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Marcel Mauss on Islamo-Capitalism

“The famous Sourate LXIV, ‘mutual disappointment’ (the Last Judgement) given to Mahoment at Mecca, say of God:

15. Your wealth and your children are your temptation, whilst God holds in reserve a magnificent reward.
16. Fear God with all your might; listen and obey, give alms (sadaqa) in your own interest. He who is on his guard against avarice will be happy.
17. If you make a generous loan to God, he will pay you back double; he will forgive you because he is grateful and longsuffering.
18. He knows things visible and invisible, he is one powerful and wise.

Substitute for the name of Allah that of society and the occupational grouping, or put together all three names, if you are religious. Replace the concept of alms by that of co-operation, of a task done or a service rendered for others. You will then have a fairly good idea of the kind of economy that is at present laboriously in gestation. We see it already functioning in certain economic groupings, and in the hearts of the masses, who possess, very often better than their leaders, a sense of their own interests, and of the common interest.”

~Mauss – The Gift: The Form & Reason For Exchange In Archaic Societies, pp. 77-8


Proletarian Science: Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages

I find it remarkable how a conceptual system as empirically reliable as Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages has not been adopted into mainstream pedagogy. I can only appeal to my own experience (as well as the many case studies by Chapman), and for the purposes of this essay take its empirical validity as a premise. In doing so, I hope to explain the significance of this theory, to explain how it is distinguished from other intellectual theories, and to call such correct but ‘unproved’ conceptual systems ‘proletarian science’.

Dr. Chapman is not a typical intellectual. Rather than working in academia, he developed his conceptual system on the field during his practice of marriage counselling (in a situation similar to that of Freud), in order to explain the goings-on and oft-repeated explanations of why a spouse felt that their partner no longer loved them. Chapman eventually discovered a limited number of categories for a person’s manner of expressing affection, and found that each person tended toward one (sometimes two: ‘bilingualism’) of these categories at the exclusion of the others. However, because the predominant category became entrenched in each spouse’s behaviour (and because this choice was entirely unconscious), many spouses did not know how to extend their methods of expressing affection so as to address the other person’s category. Thus, marriage problems resulted: the behaviours which had once occurred naturally during courtship (e.g. buying flowers, taking walks) no longer occurred, and each spouse felt that the other no longer loved them.

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