Anthropology and Economy by Stephen Gudeman

By Stephen Gudeman

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002 After thought and forward thoughts or not it is found elsewhere as a social current, more significant is that people formulate their connections by seeing likeness in their being and using this likeness to make economy, which is the subject of Chapter 3. A broader forethought is also due. A base of incommensurable components that must be managed well not only anchors these Latin American models of economy, it is justified by a belief in the divinity. In effect, these are ritual economies, a subject to which I also return.

Strength, the people say, provides corporeal food during the week, and God’s power provides spiritual food on Sunday. ” Acting with faith in the material future as one tills, plants, harvests, and cooks is an act of faith in God’s power to provide strength. Economy performed expresses a belief in God as much as a belief in God is made manifest in economic practices. Let’s sharpen one connection to high market economies. Is the desire to store up a current of strength backed by God different from our desire to store up a current of money backed by a nation?

Even more, the house that receives strength and does not reciprocate this vitality takes the life of others. Reciprocity denied is a killing force, which is as much a part of reciprocity’s meaning as life’s vitality shared. At once the base and the gift of life, the source and dissemination of identity, the product of sharing that is to be shared, and the way of connecting to others by sharing one’s life, economy’s current can be an ambiguous power. I draw a close to this story about people who are connected by life’s energy.

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