Category Archives: Economy

Mauss on gifts, markets and money

The First World War was more than a watershed; it was an irreversible fissure in modern European history. The state had acquired undreamt of powers in the course of the war: to mobilize and kill off huge armies, to control production and distribution, to monopolize propaganda; from now on it was a struggle between rival… Read More »

Is Haiti to be another victim of disaster capitalism?

The Haitian disaster has boosted Naomi Klein’s theory of ‘disaster capitalism‘. In an article entitled Disaster capitalism headed for Haiti, Stephen Lendman provides a summary of Klein’s argument and a trenchant account of recent events in Haiti as a powerful reinforcement of her central thesis, featuring American imperialism at its worst. “Neoliberalism dominates the world… Read More »

The breakdown of the neoliberal world economy

Now published here by Storicamente as “The great economic revolutions are monetary in nature”: Mauss, Polanyi and the breakdown of the neoliberal world economy. Anthropology in the financial crisis Everybody knows that we are living through a hinge moment in world history generated by the financial crisis of 2008. The collapse of the credit boom… Read More »

The politics, pragmatics and promise of money

Edited extracts from a recorded conversation between Keith Hart and Bill Maurer Marina Del Rey, August 2007 KH: There are quite profound similarities and differences between us. My version of the dialectic is that, if we want the quite significant differences to remain under control, we have to establish a framework of sameness to start… Read More »

Development

The development of capitalism No-one can deny that the human presence on our planet has undergone remarkable development in the last two centuries. In 1800 the world’s population was around one billion. It had grown slowly over the previous 10,000 years since the invention of agriculture. Cipolla (1968) estimates that births regularly exceeded deaths by… Read More »

World economy heading for a double dip recession?

A friend sent me a link to an article, ‘World at risk of double dip recession‘ and asked if I agreed. By Economics correspondent Stephen Long. I wrote the following in response: Hi, I have moved away from thinking of the economic crisis as a single global event. I am reminded of what was long known… Read More »

Marcel Mauss’s economic vision, 1920-25

The First World War was more than a watershed; it was an irreversible fissure in modern European history. The state had acquired undreamt of powers in the course of the war: to mobilize and kill off huge armies, to control production and distribution, to monopolize propaganda; from now on it was a struggle between rival… Read More »

The Hit Man’s Dilemma (lite)

“Don’t take this personal, it’s just business” My essay is about the tension between the impersonal conditions of social life and the persons who inevitably carry it out. This relationship is poorly understood, perhaps never more than now, when the difference between individual citizens and business corporations operating on a scale larger than some countries… Read More »