Thursday, June 23, 2011

Really, Really Free Market

I stumbled upon this idea recently. Not that I've ever physically seen such a market.


Tom Hickey said...

Native Americans do this on a regular basis. It is the origin of our "potluck." In Western society, the prize goes to the greatest accumulator. In native societies, to the greatest distributor. See Wikipedia- potlatch.

This is the inspiration of the counterculture idea of the gift economy and pay what you can afford. It started in the Sixties and is still in vogue in the counterculture. Many now view such things as open source, the Internet and social networking as key developments of the gift economy, which some forward thinkers believe can become economically transformative globally. See, for example, Dr. Patch Adams.

The gift economy was also practiced in early Christian communities.

While this phenomenon has been the subject of study by anthropologist and sociologists, I am not aware of any research into it by economists other than Marx, who was influenced by the work of Lewis Morgan on Native Americans.

dictateursanguinaire said...

There's a monthly one where I live. never attended although for the life of me I'm not sure why I haven't.