Maybe as a way to stay closer to the schedule we could keep up on this site. For next week, before taking on chapter 3, we should get through the discussion of the relative and equivalent form—as well as the fetish section.

So the question is why is the expression 1 coat = 20 linen NOT reversible? If it were a mathematical expression, a purely formal expression, it would be reversible as 20 linen = 1 coat without doing any damage to the relation. In fact Marx says repeatedly that this expression is not reversible. He calls this the  “mystery” of the equivalent form. (A mystery that others will ascribe to money.)

Rather than a reversible, formal, mathematical expression, 1 coat = 20 linen is a social expression. This is part of the answer. Another part is the topic of this chapter: The dual nature of the commodity. The historicity of capitalism is yet another part of the answer. Enjoy. See you next Wednesday.