David Graeber: On the Invention of Money

[…] Just in way of emphasis: economists thus predicted that all (100%) non-monetary economies would be barter economies. Empirical observation has revealed that the actual number of observable cases—out of thousands studied—is 0%. […]

What anthropologists have in fact observed where money is not used is not a system of explicit lending and borrowing, but a very broad system of non-enumerated credits and debts. In most such societies, if a neighbor wants some possession of yours, it usually suffices simply to praise it (“what a magnificent pig!”); the response is to immediately hand it over, accompanied by much insistence that this is a gift and the donor certainly would never want anything in return. In fact, the recipient now owes him a favor.

David Graebers Buch „Dept” wird derzeit viel diskutiert – in seinem Blogeintrag bei nakedcapitalism.com kann man eine knappe Zusammenfassung seiner Argumente finden.


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