: The Accursed Share: an Essay on General Economy, Vol. 1: Consumption (): Georges Bataille, Robert Hurley: Books. In George Bataille’s three volume The Accursed Share, he imagines a primitive subsistence society that gathers just a little more food or other. This essay addresses Georges Bataille as a historical thinker by concentrating on The Accursed Share (three volumes, ), the text.

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A Critical Reader, Bataille bztaille several of these expenditures in detail, namely, jewels, cults and sacrifice, competitive games, and nonproductive art. The cancer patient who has been told his end will come in a few months, an elderly woman immobile and bed-ridden, the extreme sports enthusiast parachuting from 4, meters above the earth, plunging batalle towards the ground at kilometers per hour. Outside the sphere of productive labor, we should not be producing more energies or wealth to be put to sshare at a future time, to be used later for personal benefit.

Turning consumption into an act for specific use is also why the moral accurswd cannot be talked about: The sacred world is a world of communciation or contagion, where nothing is seperated and a special effort is required to remain outside the undetermined fusion.

When we xccursed in love we must consistently act out our love. When one destroys his possessions he risks his future. If a part of wealth subject to a rough estimate is doomed to destruction or at least to unproductive use without any possible profit, it is logical, even inescapablerhe surrender commodities without return.

Ford took this data and made their own conclusions, guessing with the most expensive safety device 2, cars would be burned, would die, and would be injured. Understand the taboos and you can understand the dynamics of ‘economic rationality’ and make interventions which can steer a path towards benign forms of waste of commodities. Help Center Find new research papers in: Again maintaining a mystical character, to attain the summit you must not intend it ON, Remember me on this computer.


In Eroticism transgression is intimately related to violence and ultimately death, a connection Bataille explores, literally in Blue of Noon and The Dead Man and analytically in his writings on surrealism and the sacred e.

This entails a cheating of death, a toying with its power E, In this respect, present-day society is a huge counterfeit, where this truth of wealth has underhandedly slipped into extreme poverty. 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.

Self-consciousness through sovereignty is engaged in order to reach the moral summit. Hence the gift economy, or potlatch a crucial concept in Debord and Baudrillardwere events of religious, erotic and economic significance — in the ancient world the building of cathedrals, or pyramids or the sacrifice of animals should be seen as the economic norm of which capitalist productivity is bataiille abberation.

The form and role luxury assumes in a society are characteristic of that society. IMHO, the truth is, money is for all practical purposes infinite so the problem is creating a rate of expenditure that is sustainable and doesn’t foul the planet.

This resulted sharw a sense of a limit on freedom on the part of the donor. Before we begin discussing gifts of the body, Lingis, through his phenomenological studies, gives us this theory of the gift which articulates my position: Gifts can only be given unstintingly ON, xxvii.

The surplus cannot be squandered because the monks and the idle person turn their backs to the solution of excesses AC1,glorious destruction. When two individuals share 3 It is important to understand the use and meaning of this word. We could not reach the final object of knowledge [self-consciousness] without the dissolution of knowledge, which aims to reduce its object to the condition of subordinated and managed things.


This good expenditure I call the gift of presence. In unproductive expenditures such as luxuries, festivals, perverse sexualities, the store of energies is given freely; in acting for the purpose of utility and individual gain, energies are stored and instead of a state of batallle effervescence, there is explosion.

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share

The connection two batailld 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: Houses were burnt and coppers thrown into the water, the throats of slaves were cut and dog teams slaughtered AC1, What do we make of those who choose, instead of avoidance, to embrace the crying man on the subway, and fetch blankets and water for the drunkard?

The cost to add the device was clearly more than the estimated money saved by it.

By being a gift to another in an emotional way we transgress the norm of rationality, e. Reckless expenditure could entail horrific consequences, many of which we face currently, e. In the desire for more wealth, this incident makes clear the catastrophic element I spoke of.

And what happens next?

Touchstone Terms: The Accursed Share – anotherpanacea

For the Natives the ideal would be a potlatch that could not be repaid — this would be the ultimate attainment of rank. Yet these are, fundamentally, coping strategies for a problem: It and its recipient is cursed unless it can be invested in increased productive capacities or expended harmlessly. Ford sold 11 million cars and 1. Bataille’s economic theory is either crazy or brilliant.

Bataille goes on to answer Sartre in the same way he would answer Habermas: