dteh on 25 Aug 2000 03:19:59 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> The New Culture? The New Economy!


I'm not sure I follow you:

<<You can't call something an economy that doesn't take production. . . >>

since when has the on-line economy been exclusive of 'production'? what about
knowledge workers, media, advertising, or intellectuals who post their
thoughts on e-letters/mailing lists...?  is this not work?  could it not be
that the nature of the idea: 'production' itself is about due for a bit of
renovation (along with <<a whole lot of other stuff>> like 'infrastructure',
'distribution', etc).  production must, as a term, unshackle itself from the
notional engine of manufacture.

as a mode of exchange, i've got to say that i find the "hi-tech gift economy"
- no matter how 'artificial' or 'intangible' or apparently unbinding its
material relations may be - MUST qualify for an economic analysis, in the same
way that, say, the kula or potlatch qualify.  these were systems of
gift-exchange that defined and delineated the material and social relations in
a community (and between communities), and yet are irreducible to the terms
you seem to demand - no money, no negotiation, etc.  what exactly is the harm
in treating a system like gift-exchange to an economic analysis?

the material/historical relations that constitute the conditions of
possibility for such systems as the kula are clearly also instrumental in
shaping the mode of exchange as it evolves; and furthermore, the mode of
exchange itself is no less productive of the continuation/adjustments of these
'relations' than in say, high-capitalist industrial exchange, though they
might be less overtly apparent, and certainly tended to be 'unformulated' in
any textual sense.

please explain why a gift-exchange system is not an 'economy' in more depth.


David Teh

Phil Graham wrote:

> At 05:05 PM 23/08/00 -0400, richard barbrook wrote:
> >Bollocks. What I always point out is that the hi-tech gift economy is
> >precisely that: an *economy*.
> No it isn't. It's a particular mode of exchange related in complex ways to
> any number of economies, just like barter- and money-based exchanges.
> Production, for example, is not included. You can't call something an
> economy that doesn't take production (and a whole lot of other stuff) into
> account. In essence, to call the exchange of gifts an economy is
> qualitatively no different than vulgar monetarist econometricians who see
> flows of money as identical with "the economy". Both views focus on modes
> of exchange alone and ignore all the other material and historical
> relations that make exchanges possible.
> Phil
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