February 12, 2008

economy of the gift

[...] Oscar Wilde once quipped that `everyone knows the price of everything and the value of nothing`, he understood that gifts cannot be accounted for or attributed a figure to show how valuable they are. They are priceless, because of the relational potential that they carry with them.
Perhaps the most pernicious aspect of market exchange is the insistence that everything and everyone must be able to justify their function and contribution to making a profit. If it is not profitable chop it off, cut it out, resign it, sell it off....

Nowhere do we see the contrast between the economy of the gift and the economy of the market more clearly than in situations where relationsips and people are put on ledgers (im Mittelpunkt stehen?) [...]

Brewin, Kester: The Complex Christ

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