Freud insisted that his patients were perfectly well aware that a shoe, for example, was not really a sexual object, let alone a maternal penis. It's just that this knowledge did not make any difference to them. One could say exactly the same thing of the businessman reading the Wall Street Journal and contemplating the latest adventures of pork bellies, futures funds, or "the market" in general. If one were to point out to such a person that pork bellies do not really "do" anything, he would no doubt groan or throw up his eyes at the painful obviousness of this observation. Of course they don't. It's just a way of speaking. At the same time he acts as if that way of speaking were in fact true. Awareness of the illusion makes no difference. In fact, one could go further: this is an illusion that manages to deceive its victims precisely by reassuring them that it is an illusion, that they are not deceived.
quoted from "Fetishism as Social Creativity" in David Graeber Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire.