Comments

  1. Really interesting. A reminder to look more closely at the social value of money in the first world too.

    • No doubt a huge and hugely fascinating topic! I bet there is a school of social anthropology devoted to the subject. I must look into it.

      • I had a colleague who saved his skin by judicious gifting of a very special bottle of whisky to his boss, after having made a very costly mistake on an important project. the bottle had been under his desk waiting for the proper occasion. I believe he went up in their estimations through that event, despite the mistake.

  2. One thing I am not sure I agree with, is the idea that independence is better than co-dependence – whilst I do agree that social ties can be oppressive, prioritising individual freedom over group responsibilities seems a Western bias. What exactly is wrong with “tax that one pays to a community in order to stay part of it”? Sharing risks and benefits together is something we lament the loss of in our fragmented, “modern” societies.

    • Agreed. I don’t believe that independence trumps codependence in all cases. I’m just suggesting that, as participants in gift exchanges, our state of independence puts us in a better position to cultivate healthy gift economies than people who do not enjoy this independence. We have less chance of getting stuck in perniciously codependent situations.

  3. “The lie of the land” — #poignant!

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