sokolovic, dzemal


The Dialectics of Exchange (from Plunder to Donation)

Post-socialist societies are experiencing ambiguous and ambivalent perceptions of new socio-economic realities. Hopes and expectations vary: from exaltations to disappointments. New emerged economic systems and property forms are the most embarrassing. One can even deepen Fukuyama’s question: whether it is about a new historical achievement or an unexpected return to historical past? Theory stands in the front of a puzzling challenge: Are promised free market and financial capital just an unrealised dream or a fake? These dilemmas require theoretical answer to the question: What is exchange as such and how to cultivate it in order to attain a ‘good society’? The paper pretends to provide such an answer. The author begins from the premise that ‘good society’ is determined by the level of individuality. Competition, basically within exchange, is just one of the ways to achieve individuality. Exchange is an ambivalent/disputable path towards individuality. Hence, a dialectical approach to exchange (free market) is unavoidable. And yet, the question which remains unanswered is what individuality eventually is. For that reason the author invokes a comparison between Aristotle and Marx, who defines the capital (the most developed form of exchange) on the basis of Aristotle’s comprehension of exchange, money and – ‘economy’. It seems that we, the contemporaries, are facing the same dilemma as both Marx and Aristotle. Is there, therefore, the ‘good society’ at all, or whether the ‘dream of good society’ is actually – good society.

Key words: individuality, exchange, money, Aristotle, Marx, Marcel Mauss, Thebes.

Friday 26 October 14.30-16:30 Panels IX, Panel 23 Theoretical Perspectives of Competition II (Hall 14)