Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…


Trade (truck, barter, exchange) and commerce
These terms get lumped together, at least in popular discourse. I think that commerce, legally, is to do with trade that involves money. For the same reasons that ‘market’ has been made a dirty word by various capitalist and corporate scams, ‘commerce’ is also smeared. But unless you are going to be TOTALLY ‘self-sufficient’ you will trade with other people. So, it’s good to know about ‘gift exchange’

“also called Ceremonial Exchange, the transfer of goods or services that, although regarded as voluntary by the people involved, is part of the expected social behaviour. Gift exchange may be distinguished from other types of exchange in several respects: the first offering is made in a generous manner and there is no haggling between donor and recipient; the exchange is an expression of an existing social relationship or of the establishment of a new one that differs from impersonal market relationships; and the profit in gift exchange may be in the sphere of social relationships and prestige rather than in material advantage.

“The gift-exchange cycle entails obligations to give, to receive, and to return. Sanctions may exist to induce people to give, disapproval or loss of prestige resulting from a failure to do so. Refusal to accept a gift may be seen as refusal of social relations and may lead to enmity. The reciprocity of the cycle rests in the obligation to return the gift; the prestige associated with the appearance of generosity dictates that the value of the return be approximately equal to or greater than the value of the original gift.”

See also: Distribution and exchange

Reading: Manuel De Landa, Markets and anti-markets

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