The Apogee of the Commodity

19 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2005


Slavery is death. The body of this death is white-over-black, white-over-black only, and that continually. The body of this death is eternal and therefore with us still. Slavery is white-over-black, segregation is white-over-black, neosegregation is white-over-black, and all of it is death. White-over-black is the death that it is the slave's calling to produce. The slave produces this death through its juridical prayers for equality of right. The slave perfects its own slavery in this manner. Rights cannot be equal. There are always ambiguities. The ambiguities are always available for a white-over-black reading. The fact of white-over-black, of the general habit of reading things in white-over-black ways, which is what prompts the slave to pray for equality of right in the first place, shows that whatever is granted will be read in the general way, white-over-black. The fact of white-over-black shows the way that we have been trained. We follow our training into our future and so rights are white-over-black, white-over-black only, and that continually. The dream of equal rights, so important to slaves, results only in the continued fact of white-over-black.

If the dream is the disguise of the wish then the dream of equal rights is the disguise of the slave's own desire for white-over-black, for death. The slave's unacknowledgable death drive is the secret of the commodity and its fetish. Contra Marx, commodities do speak. Commodities speak of equality of right, equality of right only, and that continually.

Keywords: slavery, equality of right, white-over-black, death drive

Suggested Citation

Farley, Anthony Paul, The Apogee of the Commodity. DePaul Law Review, Vol. 53, pp. 1229-1246, 2004, Boston College Law School Research Paper No. 81, Available at SSRN:

Anthony Paul Farley (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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