ACFM Trip 30: Gifts

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Episode notes

Adam Smith claimed that “the propensity to truck, barter and exchange… is common to all men”, but anthropologists know that this isn’t the case. In fact, humans tend towards the opposite. So why do we feel compelled to give away our wealth?

Nadia, Jem and Keir unwrap the cultural and economic pressures on doing pressies in a loosely festive edition of ACFM. Talking about Santa’s workshop, energy price controls and the lavish tradition of potlatch, they bring in the works of Marcel Mauss and David Graeber plus music from The Velvet Underground and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

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Books: Emmanuel Levinas – Totality and Infinity / E.P. Thompson – The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century / Bronislaw Malinowski – Argonauts of the Western Pacific / Georges Bataille – The Accursed Share / David Graeber – On Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit / Marcel Mauss – The Gift / Jacques Derrida – The Gift of Death

Music: The Velvet Underground – The Gift / Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – Merry Christmas (Happy New Year) / El Vez – Feliz Navidad / El Vez – Feliz Navi-Nada / Fox The Fox – Precious little Diamond (Shep Pettibone Remix) / Patti Smith – Free Money / Double Exposure – My Love Is Free / The Dickies – Silent Night

Produced and edited by Matt Huxley and Chal Ravens. PRS Licence Number: LE-0016481