Privacy, Symbols and Capital

China Social Science Review

No.1, 2022


Privacy, Symbols and Capital



He Liye


Privacy is the product of personal social relationships, i.e. social symbols. The asymmetrical contradiction created by symbolic singularity and the diversity of human nature and activity is the ontological root of the emergence of privacy. The spread of privacy can undermine the symbols and interests of individuals within a community of symbolic interests, but privacy based on interaction also has the positive effect of enhancing interpersonal relationships and strengthening the sense of community. The protection of privacy through personality rights is a revolt against the symbolic ideology of capital and the community of power. The intersection of society’s public and private spheres and the contradiction between the social division of labor and human instincts are the socio-historical roots of privacy. In a private market economy, this develops into privacy alienation. Using Marx’s standpoint and approach enables us to explore the many problems of the relationship between privacy and symbols and between privacy and capital.