Ritual economics

July 9th, 2012 | Posted by Alistair in books

“Man’s economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships. He does not act so as to safeguard his individual interest in the possession of material goods; he acts so as to safeguard his social standing, his social claims, his social assets. He values material goods only in so far as they serve this end.”

Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, 1944.

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One Response

  • Julie says:

    Thanks Alistair. I like to think that is so, but some value material goods over and above social standing (I’m assuming morally rather than hierarchically) due to the consumer culture we find ourselves in.
    When digital goods exceed material goods we may find an interesting shift :)