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Personal and Privat Collection - Book Report/Review Example

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Personal and Privat Collection

Private property' is a defining feature of a capitalist economy, but in capitalist systems participants also consider 'private' those intimate relationships that are ideally protected from economic calculation. This combination is neither careless confusion nor a regrettable inconsistency." (Gal) The Marxist thinkers have often criticised the concept of private property which, to them, has made humanity stupid and passive due to the fact that an object becomes an individual's only if it is owned by him/her. It is essential to comprehend the distinction between 'personal' and 'private' and it can best be done by linking this distinction to collection. According to Walter Benjamin, who in a cryptic entry in file 'H' of his Passagen-Werk maintained that animals, children, and old men can be regarded as collectors, there is a primal urge in everyone to collect and there is connection between collecting and the task of historical materialist. In order to establish the meaning of the term 'the positive collector', Benjamin makes use of the Marxian idea about private property and, according to him, the positive collector realises the liberation of things from the bondage of utility. The concept of true collectors needs to be comprehended in a different way to the ordinary meaning of the term and the true collectors refuse to go along with the demands of capital. Therefore, the countertypes of collectors can disentangle the secret historical meanings of things they accrue. In his autobiographical essay "Unpacking My Library", Walter Benjamin prefigures the termination of collector and postulates that his role as a private collector will be taken over by the public collection. "The phenomenon of collecting loses its meaning as it loses its personal owner. Even though public collections may be less objectionable socially and more useful academically than private collections, the objects get their due only in the latter. I do know that time is running out for the type that I am discussing here and have been representing before you a bit ex officio. But, as Hegel put it, only when it is dark does the owl of Minerva begin its flight. Only in extinction is the collector comprehended." (Benjamin, 67) Therefore, it is essential to make comprehend the exact meaning of the concept of positive countertype of the collector which helps in distinguishing 'personal' and 'private' and a 'private' collection.
The concept of positive countertype or the positive dimension of collecting underlies the chief distinction between 'personal' and 'private' and a 'private' collection. Walter Benjamin has undertaken salient efforts to explain the concept of positive countertype and only the countertypes of collectors can unscramble the secret historical meanings of things they accrue. According to him, the countertypes of collectors refuse to accept the demands of capital by submitting the objects they form into collection to worthless hands. "With collecting it is decisive that the object is released from all its original functions in order to enter into the closest possible relationship with its equivalents. This is the diametric opposite of use, and stands under the curious category of completeness... And for the true collector every single thing in this system becomes an encyclopaedia of all knowledge of the age, of the landscape, the industry, the ...Show more


There has been significant distinction between public and private historically and this distinction has become one of the ubiquitous features of everyday life. In the modern usage, the terms public and private are used in compound and apparently contradictory ways…
Author : mcculloughlupe
Personal and Privat Collection essay example
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