The Accursed Share is a brilliant product of [Bataille’s] loony-tunes coupling of critical genres: pseudo/antisurrealist manifestos, leftist political treatises, erotics. This essay addresses Georges Bataille as a historical thinker by concentrating on The Accursed Share (three volumes, ), the text. In George Bataille’s three volume The Accursed Share, he imagines a primitive subsistence society that gathers just a little more food or other.

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The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I: Consumption

Self-consciousness is the sought after state of glorious expenditure, arrived at through sovereignty, a demand that a life be lived in the heat of moment and willfully neglect the times to come.

In other words, an organism in Bataille’s general economy, unlike the rational actors of classical economy who are motivated by scarcity, normally has an “excess” of energy available to it.

The prestige or rank one attains from his squandering, like I said of Singer, transforms expenditures into servile use. Bataille goes on to answer Sartre in the same way he would answer Habermas: Mauss discovered in Native American potlatch three obligations: But a question remains; suppose that the sacred, far from being, like the other objects of science, sbject to separation, is defined as the exact opposite of abstract objects things, tools, and clearly definable elementsprecisely as the concrete totality itself is resistant to it.

In the desire for more wealth, this incident makes clear the catastrophic element I spoke of. New York and London: Quotes from The Accursed Shar We therefore need an ethical model to guide us away from this kind of expenditure. Perhaps, as in Tibet, monks adopt ritualistic poverty alongside disciplined unproductivity: He sees human reason and culture as servile to a base pragmatism that fails to take seriously the teleological issues with our efforts to perpetuate endless growth.

Surpluses must be lost unproductively, and almost in this case, expenditure nearly found its form in the loss of life. Titmuss, The Gift Relationship: But otherwise a pretty interesting batsille.

Bataille’s The Accursed Share: The Implications of Excess | Troy Bordun –

This expansion was possible because waste and squandering were declared immoral, and the limits of growth were ignored. So in bataillr gulf is death, or rather, the experience of the continuity of being, the completion we could say, of the life cycle E, 16e. The question of who is who here can have numerous answers, like questions about whether waterboarding is torture, or how people detained in Iraq compare to illegal combatants.

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Energy, Religion, and Accurzed. A gift is a giving up of self. What do we do with the remainder? In fact, the positive shocks of population growth, the industrial revolution, the green shaare revolution, and the digital revolution have shown themselves to be even more disruptive. This book is generally acknowledged as an attempt at articulating a major theory of political economy out of Nietzsche’s ideas with a lethal dose of clarity.

Gleaming with the energy of the sun, steel and human sacrifice, I find it hard to see how people can fail to at least be entertained by this book even if they do not buy the shar ideas.

Lists with This Book. Even a nominee for Attorney General might wish to equivocate about certain questions. Our lack of gift-giving consumption turns accurrsed person in rags, the poverty-stricken with contempt for riches, into a pseudo-hero ibid. More legible than his theories of erotics.

Stoekl clarifies this point, suggesting self-consciousness is a reluctance to accept things or goods which serve a purpose, that provide one with a sense of security or profit to be put to use for some future goal. A task is now at hand: Adcursed University Press, Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. Ford chose the cheapest of the devices at the cost of burning to death in Pinto crashes.

Jun 14, Chris Nagel rated it really liked it. The fundamental violation of being for Bataille is physical eroticism not limited to sexual reproduction E, 17but we can extend batailpe examples to other facets of life.

Ritual sacrifice, potlatches, conquest, festivals, opulence and luxury, lavish public works–avenues through which given social formations must expend their surpluses or risk descending into famine, imperial wars, genocide, mass unemployment, etc. Perhaps it becomes the prize in a game of trivia. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

Hereafter cited as AC1. Aug 01, Nathan rated it really liked it Recommends it for: When fewer workers can produce more stuff—but not yet enough to distribute it equally—what are we to do with the extra? For the Natives the ideal would be a potlatch that could not be repaid — this would be the ultimate attainment of rank.


Bataille’s Ritual sacrifice, potlatches, conquest, festivals, opulence and luxury, lavish public works–avenues through which given social formations must expend their surpluses or risk descending into famine, imperial wars, genocide, mass unemployment, etc. I’d say that as much as Mick Dillon’s book “Security” uses the concept of security to suggest there is a much richer ‘lifeworld’ of politics that we can start to see if we handle that is, deconstruct the term properly, here the same could count with respect to the use of ‘excess’ that as well borders on the now somewhat deflated concept of ‘affect’ as a key to our economic imagination.

He found Bataille’s ideas about economics to have particular relevance following the collapse of communism. One participates in the global movement of energy by annihilating himself as he exists in his embedded life: Explore the Home Gift Guide.

He rejected traditional literature and considered that the ultimate aim of all intellectual, artistic, or religious activity should be the annihilation of the rational individual in a violent, transcendental act of communion. Showing of 11 reviews.

Potlatch is not without its difficulties however. The man of leisure and the poverty-stricken act akin to the Tibetan monks Bataille extensively discusses: With his concern being the global movement of energy and wealth Bataille provides us with multiple historical accounts of cultures and societies either expending or conserving their excesses. One must invite as many as one can and one must always accept lest negative socio-political and religious consequences result. As Bataille puts it: When traveling, traversing seas and mountains entirely alone, we communicate with locals and others engaged in the same kind of journey.

When one does work for the progress and furthering of the field, he offers a gift, and is recognized with prestige and honor. I have touched on how the gift is always a gift of self, and giving up your individualized existence is a confrontation with death.