This chapter seeks to show how the most consequential contemporary critiques of mediation—found in the work of Quentin Meillassoux and Alain Badiou—reinstall a form of species-humanism under cover of a procedure of mathematical abstraction that Marx (and Melville) have already put in question. Here—and returning to the distinctive imbrication of things with the matter of poetic expression and with the expression of what comes to be called subjectivity that so captivates Marx about Lucretius's poem—it is John Donne, Pablo Neruda, and again Freud who provide us with a contemporary account of de-theologized fetishism on which to build a critico-political project in the wake of Marx's writing.
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