Commodification means the metamorphosis of items, services or ideas that were traditionally unattainable through commerce, into relationships and monetarily attainable products readily available in the commercial market.


Haitian coins circa 1800 (pre-subsidy, post slavery)

“The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, …nations into civilization. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it forces the …intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.”

Examples of commodification include but are not limited to:

  • Commercialization of traditions and cultural activities
  • Privatization of services provided by the government such as education, healthcare and public transport
  • Professionalism of hobbies such as acting and professional sports
  • Socialization of women’s labor such as caring for children, cooking meals and cleaning the home

What you would you do tomorrow if we were living in an economy sans commodification?