Thursday, January 16, 2014

Money Wisdom #246

"[Peace] was... ...the ultimate encompassing value [for the Iroquois], since it was about the relation of humans to the cosmos as a whole, the ultimate 'imaginary totality'. Yet logically, it was entirely premised on the prior existence of its opposite. Without war, 'peace' is meaningless. In a sense, then, the wampum belts themselves - or, perhaps more accurately, the process of weaving them together - was itself a model of the process it was meant to mediate, one constantly reproduced in ritual: of converting the potential for destruction into harmony by integrating it into a larger social whole."

David Graeber Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value - The False Coin of Our Own Dreams (2001) p.145

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