“The Changing Same”: Value in Marx and Amiri Baraka
For Amiri Baraka, “the new music,” or as he first called it, “the new thing,” served as a fulcrum of stability during the years of cultural, social, and political reevaluations and reorientations during the twentieth century. As a trace of diasporic identity, this fulcrum may be understood as a value, an instantiation of what Baraka called “the blues impulse,” irreducible to its uses within Negro and black tropes. This impulse may be compared to George Henderson’s rereading of “value” throughout the corpus of Marx, though his primary focus is on Volume 1 of Capital. In Value in Marx, Henderson traces the paradoxical and contradictory functions of value in Marx’s criticism of capital, suggesting that Marx reserves “true” value for the future world of associated productions.