D. Graeber, “Give It Away”

. . . the scholars at the conference invariably assumed that «gifts» do not really exist: Scratch deep enough behind any human action, and you’ll always discover some selfish, calculating strategy. Even more oddly, they assumed that this selfish strategy was always, necessarily, the real truth of the matter; that it was more real somehow than any other motive in which it might be entangled. It was as if to be scientific, to be «objective» meant to be completely cynical.

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