Karl MarxIn the 19th century the concept of fetishism was studied from economical point of view by Karl Marx, who engaged this term in opening chapter of his main work, Capital to describe a false perception of “commodities” in capitalistic society with complex market systems. The idea of commodity fetishism takes source from the tendency of people to give much more value to the goods and commodities they buy, then to labor of people who produced them. For example, an owner of a luxury car has more advantageous economical position than workers and technicians, who produce such cars. So, the belief according to commodity fetishism is that for an owner of such car his car is more important than people.

In capitalistic societies people organize their life with the help of buying goods and receiving services, they receive money from own work and exchange it for various commodities, produced by others. Mostly producers and customers do not have direct contact, because goods and products are being sold at the market, frequently without direct participation of manufacturers, and the market itself regulates the balance of demand and supply. That is why goods and commodities are the only form of social relations between people in the market: both producers and customers are extremely concerned about the goods, and that is what commodity fetishism is all about. Relations between people grow into relations between things. This theory shows that no one of the sides is very much mindful about own social and political position.

Marx considered commodity fetishism to be one of the principal components of capitalistic economy because it explains the relations in the process of “manufacturing-buying”. He used the terminology of fetish with the purpose of criticizing the ideology of “rationalism” of capitalistic society. Theory of commodity fetishism of Marx can become handy when trying to explain modern fetishism to material objects: everything which is being widely promoted and advertised at our commodity market receives mystic and dominating power over our minds.