Monday, April 29, 2013

Money Wisdom #122

" considerably expands the capacity of individuals to stabilise their own personal identity by holding something durable that embodies the desires and wealth of all other members of society.... ....Communities exist by virtue of their members' ability to exchange meanings that are substantially shared between them. There seems little doubt that money is an important vehicle for this."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.259

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Money Wisdom #121

" Values are those invisible chains that link relations between things to relations between people. They are invisible in the sense that they are, first and foremost, forms of human consciousness that describe what is and prescribe what should be. As descriptions they clarify the relations between the reproduction of things and people in specific historical, geographical and social settings; as prescriptions they guide the actions to transform a found chaos into a desired order, or, what amounts to much the same thing, to reform an existing state."

C.A. Gregory   Savage Money: the anthropology and politics of commodity exchange (1997) p13

Money Wisdom #120

"Money is a measure of social interaction, no more, no less. We make it up, although most people prefer to think of it as already made. Above all, the consequences of examining what money really is are so shocking (because [it's - sic] more metaphysical than physical) that the world prefers, for the most part, not to think about it."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.244

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Money Wisdom #119

"The system of paid and unpaid labor has been until recently gendered. The separation of the two was made clearer if men worked for money outside and women were responsible for the home. Returning form a hard day at the factory or office, the patriarch beat the kids, ate a meal, put his feet up and enjoyed free sex before sleep completed the process of restoring him for the next day's work. This was the moral universe of early industrial society. It rested on a strong opposition between the money sphere of buying and selling and the domestic sphere of give-and-take. This is why money has a sharp cultural resonance for us that it lacks in societies that have not instituted such a strong polarity between (outside) work and home. For example, I was once talking to a Ghanaian student about exchanges between lovers, and he said that it was quite common for a boy who had slept with a girl after a party to leave some money as a gift and token of esteem. Once he had done this with a visiting American student and the resulting explosion was gigantic. "Do you imagine that I am a prostitute?", etc. Prostitution is the contradictory core of the modern economic system and its moral defenses.

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.210

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Money Wisdom #118

"Credit, wherever it occurs (and it is indispensable to the functioning of markets everywhere), introduces a bias toward greater co-operation between buyer and seller, and reduced competition between sellers. These patterns of association, taken to be anomalous in economic theory, are intrinsic to the way markets work."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.202

Monday, April 22, 2013

Money Wisdom #117

"The popularity of the label "informal" [economy] may derive from its being negative. It says what people are not doing - not wearing conventional dress, not being regulated by the state - but it does not point to any active principles they may have for doing it. In this sense it is a passive and conservative concept that acknowledges a world outside the bureaucracy, but endows it with no positive identity. The informal sector allowed academics and bureaucrats to incorporate the teeming street life of exotic cities into their models without having to confront the specificity of what the people were really up to. In sacrificing my own ethnographic encounter with real persons to the generalizing jargon of development economics, I played my own part in this process of rationalization and cover-up."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.156

Friday, April 19, 2013

Money Wisdom #116

"To divide is not just to separate, but potentially to unify on the basis of complimentary difference."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.189

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Money Wisdom #115

"A young woman who goes out with a man to the cinema has a stock repertoire of responses to his offer to buy both tickets. Going dutch means that she refuses social obligation at this stage; accepting the offer leaves open the question of how the gift will be returned..... On other occasions we make compromises, perhaps offering to pay the tip while one's companion picks up the bill for a shared meal. This retains the social and spiritual companionship of the gift, while asserting an underlying willingness and ability to reciprocate as an equal in future."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.195

Money Wisdom #114

"Mauss was prescient... recognising the potential of the welfare state to reproduce a new class system based on the superiority of tax donors to the recipients of benefits."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.195

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Money Wisdom #113

"Modern knowledge, as organised by the universities, falls into three broad classes: the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. This is to say that the academic division of labor in our day is concerned with nature, society and humanity, of which the first two are thought to be governed by objective laws, but knowledge of the last requires the exercise of subjectivity or critical judgement. Whereas nature and society may be known by means of impersonal disciplines, human experience is communicated between persons, between individual artists and their audiences.

Nature and humanity are represented conventionally through science and art, but the best way of approaching society is moot, since social science is a recent (and, in my view, failed) attempt to bring the methods of the natural sciences to bear on a task that previously had fallen to religion. If science is the commitment to know the world objectively, religion was and is a bridge between subject and object, a way of making meaningful connection between something inside oneself and the world outside. Now that science has driven religion from the government of modern societies, we must find new forms of religion capable of reconciling scientific laws with personal experience."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.119

Monday, April 8, 2013

Money Wisdom #112

In Freud’s account, following on their rebellious deed, their aggressive impulses sated, the junior males, who all along had harbored profoundly ambivalent views about their despotic alpha, loving him and hating him equally and at the same time, now fell back on their loving tendencies, and in their remorse, imposed inhibitions on themselves that led to exogamy in marriage - the giving away of the women of the group who had been the original prize they were seeking, in exchange for the women of other groups. They also prohibited intergroup aggression, and to enforce these new rules, they invented the totemic religion that established a ritual relationship to the remembered ghost of the slain patriarch in the form of an ancestral animal. Through a mechanism directly analogous to the repression of an infantile trauma in an individual, Freud proposed, human civilization at first repressed the memory of the trauma of the primal murder, which expressed itself in indirect symbolic ways such as in the rituals and myths of totemism. There was then a long period of ‘‘latency,’’ just as there is after the Oedipal upheavals of individual childhood, and this might be understood to correspond to the ‘‘latency’’ during which the sexual aggression that had led to the primal crime was successfully defended against by repression. In a gradual process parallel to the‘‘return of the repressed’’ in individual lives, however, the memory of the primal deed reasserted itself, as the evolution of religious forms passed through stages of hero worship, polytheism and henotheism, culminating in monotheism - the reinstatement through ‘‘deferred obedience’’ of the alpha male despot in the form of God the Father. The whole process would recapitulate the development of the mature restrictive superego of the well-socialized, rule-obeying, conscientious citizen of human society.

This scenario, once one filters out the antiquated language and translates it into the more contemporary terms I have suggested above, has just enough uncanny resonance that one is tempted or at least I am tempted to exclaim along with Robin Fox ‘‘something like it must have taken place’’ (1980:61).

Robert A Paul Yes, the Primal Crime Did Take Place : A Further Defense of Freud’s Totem & Taboo
(in Ethos - Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology - Vol. 38, Issue 2) (2010) p.235

Money Wisdom #111

"One day, the brothers who had been driven out came together, killed and devoured their father and so made an end of the patriarchal horde. United, they had the courage to do and succeeded in doing what would have been impossible for them individually. Some cultural advance, perhaps, command over some new weapon, had given them a sense of superior strength. Of course these cannibalistic savages ate their victim. This violent primal father had surely been the envied and feared model for each of the brothers. Now they accomplished their identification with him by devouring him and each acquired a part of his strength. The totem feast, which is perhaps mankind's first celebration, would be the repetition and commemoration of this memorable, criminal act with which so many things began, social organization, moral restrictions and religion."

Sigmund Freud Totem and Taboo (1913) p.141–142

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Money Wisdom #110

"Economists... ...tend to stress the notion of sacrifice, the withdrawal of goods from immediate consumption, and the enhanced productivity of factors other than labor in which the capitalist has invested. So that increase constitutes the reward for making the sacrifice."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.84

Money Wisdom #109

"Capital is wealth used to make more wealth. Wealth is all resources having economic value. Value is worth in general, but tends to be measured in a universal equivalent, that is, money. So the essence of capital is that it is wealth (usually money in some form) capable of increasing its value."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.83

Money Wisdom #108

"Agriculture is ..... a system of food production in which the growth of plants and animals comes increasingly within the control of human beings. Human work is progressively substituted for natural processes of reproduction."

Keith Hart Money in an Unequal World (2000) p.45