The Accursed Share is a brilliant product of [Bataille’s] loony-tunes coupling of critical genres: pseudo/antisurrealist manifestos, leftist political treatises, erotics. This essay addresses Georges Bataille as a historical thinker by concentrating on The Accursed Share (three volumes, ), the text. In George Bataille’s three volume The Accursed Share, he imagines a primitive subsistence society that gathers just a little more food or other.

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An immense industrial network cannot be managed in the same way that one changes a tire Nov 30, Maxwell rated it really liked it. The industrial development of the entire world demands of Americans that they lucidly grasp the necessity, for an economy such as theirs, of having a margin of profitless operations. Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies. I left her house… in a mood of vague dissatisfaction.

A turn to self-consciousness overthrows other practices of expending and conserving for prestige or future concerns, and it is gifts that are the path to the appropriate type of expenditure.

On Bataille [continued from here ] Erik Empson, I had to add that the book I was writing And this ritual euthanasia of unspent energy is not merely primary to our survival; disbursal of the explosive plethora of solar residue flows into joy, art, eroticism and transcendence. How this recognition of limits is made manifest is through their transgression. This is why Stoekl and I suggest that sovereignty — although possessing a mystical element — is the guide or model towards an ethic of pure expenditure.

Reckless expenditure could entail horrific consequences, many of which we face currently, e. Evolutions and Atavisms in Culture. But it should be clear, given the accounts of self-consciousness and potlatch, Bataille would not be an advocate of consumer culture.


Who are the bigger fools in this story, the drug dealers or motorists?

The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I: Consumption

The connection two beings forge through their personal experiences with death can only be accomplished if they have tried to grasp the limits of existence, unproductive expenditures taken as ends in themselves: Hyde however does have much to say on kidney transplants, and he does so quite interestingly, contrasting the erotic nature of the gift of life with the cold and calculating utilitarian justifications of life. For now consider this fundamental principle throughout the following, it clearly articulates the theme of the essay.

The former is a theory of the deficiency of resources while the latter looks at the excesses of resources and what the individual and society at large makes of its surpluses AC1, When one does work for the progress and furthering of the field, he offers a gift, and is recognized with prestige and honor. From Human Blood to Social Policy. The general economy is always about dissolution of self, a negation of personal satisfactions, e. The idea of limits is pressed by Stoekl into two alternatives, either an ignorance there of or transgression there of.

The useless has a dangerous tendency to become useful, and even necessary. Stoekl clarifies this point, suggesting self-consciousness is a reluctance to accept things or goods which serve a purpose, that provide one with a sense of security or profit to be put to use for some future goal. Skip to main content. The earth is thus what makes human activity possible, and it is with human activity, i.

Still, the remainder is a kind of live grenade in an egalitarian culture.

The same can be said of the person with contempt for riches here: It is the essence ehare continues our very lives. But the curse tears him away from the order of things; it gives him a recognizable figure, which now radiates intimacy, anguish, the profundity of living beings.


On the latter Hyde brings in the case of the Ford Pinto. The last section of the last chapter talks about “self-consciousness” and how it is a different kind of consciousness because it is not a consciousness OF anything, but of “pure interiority”.

Views Read Edit View history. Eroto-econo-socio-anthropology at its best. Mankind will move peacefully toward a general resolution of its problems only if this threat causes the U. This book is generally acknowledged as an attempt at articulating a major theory of political economy out of Nietzsche’s ideas with a lethal dose of clarity.

The Accursed Share – Wikipedia

In a deeper sense, the allocation shrae the surplus is closely tied to meaning-making, as well as to status. I have touched on how the gift is always vataille gift of self, and giving up your individualized existence is a confrontation with death. And so too with the gamblers in the audience: The movement…’that of excess energy, translated into the effervescence of life’. Mar 20, Samelu Binumcole rated it really liked it Shelves: I gather that the limited economies discussed here, and the limited analyses of economies, are what make it unclear how self-consciousness depends on the general economic move of expenditure — thus to have no object.

When Charles Bell, a 20th century British Political Officer, tried to convince the 13th Dalai Lama to increase military expenditure in the interests of national protection it was strongly opposed by the majority of monks. Some part of the excess might even be devoted to philosophers….