18 January 2010

A Very Young Artist

"Recruited as plantation hands, they frequently showed themselves unwilling to work steadily. Induced to raise a cash crop, they would not react "appropriately" to market changes: as they were interested mainly in acquiring specific items of consumption, they produced that much less when crop prices rose, and that much more when prices fell off. And the introduction of new tools or plants that increased the productivity of indigenous labour might only then shorten the period of necessary work, the gains absorbed rather by an expansion of rest than of output. All these and similar responses express an enduring quality of traditional domestic production, that it is production of use values, definite in its aim, so discontinuous in its activity."

Marshall Sahlins -
Stone Age Economics quoted in The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America by Michael Taussig

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