Archive4. September 2012

Addendum on Graeber’s Debt


»It is probable that the majority of the difficulties of contemporary ethnology and anthropology arise from their approaching the ›facts‹, the ›givens‹ of (descriptive) ethnography, without taking the theoretical precaution of constructing the concept of their object: this omission commits them to projecting on to reality the categories which define the economic for them in practice, i.e., the categories of the economics of contemporary society, which to make matters worse, are often themselves empiricist. This is enough to multiply aporia.« (Althusser/Balibar, Reading Capital) »The habit of always saying ›please‹ and ›thank you‹ first began to take hold during the commercial revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuriesamong those very middle classes who were largely responsible...