- From: "Franz Nahrada" <f.nahrada reflex.at>
- Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2008 13:08:51 +0100
It destroyed the culture of the Northwest coast indians, and their way
of life ... hence destroyed 'all production' (of these cultures, but not
that something instead could be produced by western/russian settlers etc.
I practical terms all production (fish, furs, whales etc.) was converted
into objects/goods which then was burned and destroyed (in what has been
described as rather unpleasant ways).
It is very likely that things happened this way, but could that have been
the original idea? Geregers you write about an original idea of the
potlatch and I find that fascinating.
In the eighties we started looking into a social innovation with the same
name, where we would focus on a ritualized way of exchange. Everybody
brought with them to a social gathering things that were not necessary for
ones own life, yet carrying the assumption of having usevalue for others.
Things were circulated in a circle of people. The rule was that you should
start to take only what you absolutely and essentielly needed, in the
second round what was nice to have.
The rest would be brought to the center of the circle and symbolically
burned, trashed, externalized.
So the ritual had two entirely different functions, one was to introduce a
very efficient mechanism of exchange within society, and only after that
to get rid of the burden of unnecessary things.
I still remember the magic of both, because it was entirely different from
simply throwing away. And it also was entirely different from equivalent
exchange, allowing people to focus completely on usefulness.
In a way, it was the creation of abundance and the trust that the coming
together of the people would create a miracle in everybodies life. There
was no ex-ante corrdination, and yet there was no market.
I see some parallels with free modes here.
Laboratory for Global Villages
Contact: projekt oekonux.de