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Thanks

Apology

Chapter 1 Where to Start

Chapter 2 Language and Giving

Chapter 3 Reciprocity

Chapter 4 Definitions and Exchange

Chapter 5 The Concept of Man

Chapter 6 'Marksist' Categories

Chapter 7 The Collective Source

Chapter 8 Castration Envy

Chapter 9 Is = $

Chapter 10 Value 157

Chapter 11 Shifting into Exchange

Chapter 12 Giving Value to Exchange

Chapter 13 Market and Gender

Chapter 14 Deserving to Exist

Chapter 15 Pointing and Patriarchy

Chapter 16 The Point of the Ego

Chapter 17 What Does Democracy Re-Present?

Chapter 18 The Unmasculated Agents of Change

Chapter 19 Dreaming and Reality

Chapter 20 Giving and Love

Chapter 21 From the Garden to the Grail

Chapter 22 Cosmological Speculations

Chapter 23 After Words Practicing the Theory

Index of Figures

Selected Bibliography

Return to Home Page




Chapter 7

The Collective Source

Through language, every individual weaves an answer to the deepest philosophical question of our time: "What is the relation of the one to the very many?" The relation of the individual to her culture and from thence to the five-and-a-half-billion other humans now living is very different from her relation to her village or social group in centuries past. The media brings us images and information about billions of people we will never see or meet, who are just as human as we are. Similarly, astronomy has brought us a view of our one planet Earth in the midst of millions of galaxies and billions of other stars and all their possible planets. As our knowledge of humanity and the universe has increased, our dimensions as individuals relative to the whole have shrunk incredibly. Yet each of us remains in the foreground for herself and thus appears very large, because she occupies her own view.

The answer to this question from the point of view of the gift paradigm goes something like this: Each human is a part of the collective because her/his identity is formed by using the collective's material, cultural and linguistic gifts, which are given to each of us by others, and are given by each of us to others. Our physical and psychological subjectivities are made of that matter, that matrix (or mother) which we ourselves re-form and become again for others. Each of us is a point or locus, a stitch in the fabric made by the transmission of innumerable gifts. In this fabric, the collective process relates things to words, words to words, things to things and us to each other--to and through the gifts at all the different levels.

The reiteration of masculation at different scales has altered the configuration of this collective process, directing the flow towards a category of self-motivating dominant ones, who attempt to expand their individual importance by establishing relations of control over the collective and its gifts. These ones are often served by other ones who access a relation to the many indirectly through their relation to the one who dominates the many. While it is conceivable that the expanded ones could give their gifts back to the many, this is not in accord with the gender mandate towards over-taking. Unfortunately, the relation of dominance by the one over the many appears to have a possible outcome in the destruction of the many by the one. Recently, the ability to cause nuclear devastation has made that power available and some 'ones' have played with it. We must reveal the illusory character of the motivation to dominate and expand and re-create ourselves through the giving and receiving process, finding a way to relate as nurturers, ones among many and many among many.

Environmental Niches

An environmental niche is a gift for which receivers evolve; creatures develop with needs that can receive that kind of nurturing. Language is a product and a by-product of the life of past generations, which present generations and individuals can receive and use. It is a collectively created cultural environmental niche.

We need to interact with each other in regard to things because they are valuable to us collectively and individually in various ways. And we have to be able to use things collectively and individually in various ways to bring their value to fruition. Others in the society have contributed a lot to the value of things, but the same is true of the value of words. Usually, the 'how to use it' side of our immediate environment at least, has been given to us free--just left there for us to pick up or handed down to us by our mothers. This, as well as the knowledge of what it would be appropriate for us to use, is transmitted to us by others in the society. But all of that, all of our material culture, happens to be there because others have been interacting with it through the centuries and mediating their interactions with language. Not only have women and things been left out of consideration, but the life processes of the multitudes of the past (and present) have often been ignored by philosophers who value words above things because they are viewing the world from a decontextualized, masculated point of view. The attitude of sexism is much broader than the issue of gender. It initiates denials and distortions of points of view which influence many other issues. It enters into the interactive dialectic between words and things, definer and defined, deeply altering the collective perspective and the world picture that is presented to its view.

Exchange has mis-taken some of the processes of language and, by transferring them onto the material plane, created a situation in which the gift is actually canceled by the requirement of an equivalent counter gift. This artificial situation is created by re-using the part of the pattern where the word takes the place of a thing, making the gift of the thing unnecessary for the creation of the human relation at the moment: I do not need to give you this flower to create a human relation of co-munication with you at the moment. I can simply say the word 'flower.' The word also serves as a sample-equivalent. In the description of the concept process, we discussed how the sample 'thing' is no longer necessary when the word takes its place as the equivalent for the category. On the material plane in exchange, when the counter gift is given, it also cancels the gift character of the first gift and expresses its value, re-presenting it. This is particularly clear when money is the counter gift.

Money takes the place of the product as the equivalent of other products (thus replacing and canceling that product as an equivalent). It measures and re-presents the value of the product in exchange as the substitute 'gift.' (Curiously, money, the arbiter of exchange, functions only by being given away.) Money also cancels both the qualitative value and the gift value (the inference that the other person is valuable), replacing them with quantitative value and exchange value so they are seen within the category of all the other products on the market.

The nurturing human transaction of giftgiving is altered, and part of the concept process is put in its place to mediate the mutually exclusive relation of private property. This material use of the concept (and transposed linguistic) process allows each exchanger in turn to act out the definition, to give and receive the substitute gift-word, money. The exchangers can thus give without depriving themselves. They give value to things and their substitute, money, rather than to one another. Money is the means of communication by which the product is defined, and the buyer gives it to the seller much as the definer gives the definiendum to a listener. The seller in turn has to give up the product--what for the definition process would be the thing defined. As it passes through the incarnated concept process, the product's gift value is canceled and transferred on to the money, which is exchanged for it and which we therefore call the exchange value of the product. As the product becomes the property of the buyer, it exits from the market process and becomes a use-value.

When it cancels the attribution of value to the receiver, the process of exchange cancels the gift value of the product in a way which has not usually been recognized. The use value is, as it were, wiped clean of previous experiences. Having bought it and paid its price, we no longer think of where it came from. We usually pay no attention to whether the source of the product we are using is underpaid 'Third World' workers, child labor, or US union members. The product is ready for our use, but gratitude and recognition are not given to its makers--nor is the product received from its makers as a nurturing gift, transmitting value to its receivers by implication. Instead, recognition and gratitude are given to the one who 'made' the money, or perhaps to the buyer, the seller, or the market process itself. For this reason, I believe there is an invisible, logical difference between use values which have passed through the process of exchange and use values which are made by people directly for others and which transmit gift value. The person who uses the use values, preparing and adapting them for the satisfaction of the needs of people in her family, does add gift value to them, but the gift value given to them by their makers has been canceled (or diverted into others' profit) by the exchange process.

Starting with the World

In his analysis of money and commodities (products in exchange), Marx took commodities as his starting point. He believed that previous thinkers had been wrong to begin with money. A similar consideration can be made about the relation between words and the world. In formulating our questions about that relation, we usually take words as our starting point, which sets us off on the wrong path to begin with. We need to start with the world, not with words--with material co-munication, not verbal communication. The answer, in either case, passes through the gift activity of human beings. However, by starting with words themselves, we cannot see the gift character of words or things. The gift character is also hidden because of the word's transparency, because the word position is burdened by masculation and because there is a motivation towards 'taking-the-place-of' in the definition, etc.

Placed in an 'inferior' giftgiving stance towards masculated men, the position of women is similar to the position of things in relation to words. Thus, it is easier for women to understand language starting from the point of view of things, while men usually take the point of view of words. Of course, all humans are also 'things related to words' when we are being talked about: 'that person over there,' 'the next one in line,' 'Janie's friend.' However, because the word has been incarnated in the male gender, women analogously take on the role of things in relation to that 'word.' We have known what it is to be spoken about rather than to speak, to give way to the one who takes our place, stands for us, re-presents us in public, while we continue our giftgiving at home.

But women actively put ourselves in relation, do the work of maintenance, caregiving and child rearing--all the myriad tasks that women have had--continually giving gift value to others in many ways. Things do not do this in first person as we do. They do not put themselves into a relationship with people. What accounts for their active side? It is the activity and creative receptivity of the collective--beyond the focus of the individual, the background of the many, in which women have also been anonymously standing for centuries. Our unacknowledged giving, providing for others directly and indirectly, is the process and result of an ongoing collective interactive dialectic with things. Not only do humans practice giving but, in the process, we leave a considerable amount of by-products available for the taking. Sometimes, it has seemed that women (and other excluded people) were only a few men's by-products, and like things, had only the value given by the collective, not value coming from themselves as givers in interaction. Things are also like women in that they give-way to words, letting them take their place.

The treatment of women as 'things' which nurture and give way in a 'many-to-one' relation to those men who take over and own or control them, repeats the relation between things and words that has always been so hard for philosophers to understand. The male philosophers were starting from their own point of view, the point of view of the over-takers, the owners, and controllers, the 'ones' as opposed to the 'manies.' Women, treated as things, can take the point of view of things, the many, those that give and give-way.

Someone might ask, "Do things really give and give way to words, like women give way to men?" In the fabric of innumerable gifts that make up the process of life of the collective, are things enlivened by our magic hands to become Pinocchios obedient to their Fathers' words at last? Or is it all a projection? Leaving aside Geppetto's words, witches (and the Blue Fairy) feel the life of inanimate things, perhaps because, as women, we know we are like them, under a spell of objectification. Anyway, our words are different, less empty than masculated men's, because we also speak things.

Starting with Words

Starting with words, relating words to things causes the investigator to concentrate on words but divides the idea of words into at least two parts: the 'vehicle' (sound, signifier, sign, writing, gesture of sign-language) and the 'meaning' ('idea,' 'signified,' 'referent,' 'designatum,' etc.). I believe we are actually packing some of the value of the characteristics of things into what we see as the 'meaning' of the word. Things are then split off from the word, rendered bereft of their value for communication because neither things' or words' for-others aspects are recognized--or given value. We should look at words, not so much as having their own value, but as substitute gifts that carry the value of things in and for communication. This value contributes to forming the community in all its variety by letting each of us bond with other people in specific ways regarding all the parts of the world. It is the general existence of things for others.

In the community distorted by masculation, the genders act out the relation between things and words (which they do not understand.) We have gotten ourselves into this problem because, of course, humans are better able to respond to definitions as self-fulfilling prophecies than things are, however animated things may seem. Men act out the role of the word, women of things. Men, taking the place of women, are women's (for-others) substitute gifts, bearing women's value in communication for the kind of community that we call patriarchy. Women help to create the specific kinds of bonds that form and maintain this community. Men are the communitary substitute gifts of these individual hidden gifts who are gift-givers. Things, too, have a hidden gift side that is attributed to the words that take their places. Words and men are self-referential, while things and women seem not to be. All this confusion comes from dividing the community of self-and-other-creating mutually inclusive speakers and listeners (and givers and receivers) into two original inescapable and opposite categories of gender.

'Meaning'

If we start with things instead of words, we can locate 'meaning' in things in all their varieties of appearances and uses,
fig11Figure 11. Things related to words, words related to each other.

with their relation to words as their relation to their substitute gift for human beings. Different kinds of things that are related to a word (what we usually call the different 'meanings' of the word) can also be similar to each other. For example, the word 'sweet' can convey a taste of honey, or cakes having that taste, or a person with a pleasing attitude. The honey, or the cakes, or the attitude themselves have relevance for human beings. If they were not related to the same word, they would be related to different words. If they were not related to any words as their names, they could nevertheless be related to sentences composed of words to which some of their aspects are related. The fact that things are related to a word implies that they (or things like them) have been used to satisfy the needs of the many. They have a certain amount of generality. It is not just the words themselves that are general, but the things that are related to them through human use. In the formation of the concept, the capacity of things to be repeatably for others as things of the same kind is brought forward by the generalization of the sample with regard to the many and the final assumption of the polarity by a general word. The fact that there is a word for that kind of thing expresses the generality of those things--not just of the word. In fact, the word by itself is nothing; it is dependent on the relation of things to it.

'Meaning'1 is the top-down word-based term for the relation between things and words. This relation is established by human beings in an on-going way for each other collectively and individually. We usually believe only in a word-to-thing relation, but it is the thing-to-thing and thing-to-word relation that gives value to words for human beings. Without it, words would not have any utility for us. The thing-to-word relation is also
fig12Figure 12. Similar relations of things to words in the langue, traditional wives and children to husbands and property to property owners. (Please disregard color areas; entire graphic should be black and white.)

functional in the making of our identities for several other reasons: humans are also 'things related to words' for each other (we talk about each other); we nurture one another at many levels materially and linguistically; and as we have been saying, many of us are modeling ourselves on some linguistic processes.

We have projected these linguistic processes into the organization of the collective, economically, politically and in the structure of the family. The projections confirm and reward some types of behavior and discount others, 'training' us, influencing our identities. They make up the contexts in which we live, imposing the parameters of the 'reality' in which our self-made artificial identities operate (which we call 'patriarchy'). (See Figures 11 and 12.)

Not only do women in the US take the names of our husbands but, in traditional roles here and elsewhere, men take our place in the public sphere, speak for us and often make decisions for us. We are known by who it is we are in relation to. In order to know about the relation between things and words, we need to start with things--just as, in order to know about the relation between women and men, we have learned in feminism that we need to start with women. Men have reasoned from words to things for centuries, just as they have reasoned starting with themselves when trying to understand women (and children and 'things'). It seems to me that those who are looking for the meaning of life are, like those who are looking for the meaning of words, starting from a top-down, word-based approach. Instead, we all need to start with material giftgiving rather than linguistic, substitute, re-presentational giftgiving. We need to be giving things, not words, satisfying material needs of others, to create abundance and the satisfaction of the material needs of all, co-municating to form the physical subjectivities (the bodies) not just the linguistic or psychological subjectivities of the co-munity. We need to create the systemic changes that will make generalized material co-munication possible for everyone at all levels.

Parasitic Relations

Altruism may sometimes seem fake, but that is because the artificial masculated exchange ego has learned how to do altruism, but not in a mothering way. Paternalistic charities give small amounts, just enough to take the pressure off a few individuals without changing the big picture. They maintain control of their gifts and of the receivers through 'due diligence' with the idea that the receivers have to earn their trust. Then women (even mothers), overvaluing these 'charitable' procedures, take them as the norm of how to be altruistic. If women continue to discredit the model (concept sample) of mothering, to look at it only from the self-reflecting and self-validating point of view of masculation and exchange--whether this is due to our own success in the system or to our taking the point of view of the over-valued male 'other' who degrades us--we will lose the revolutionary (the re-evolutionary) potential that now inflames the heart of the worldwide women's movement.

Having for centuries accepted the male bill of goods that we were inferior, and now accepting the bill of goods that we are or should be 'equal' to their model, we risk relinquishing our alignment with Mother Earth, our possibility of saving her, our mothers, ourselves, our daughters and our sons from the hungry mirror of the exchange paradigm. This is a species that is eating itself alive, because it cannot value the concept sample of the abundantly giving mother, or even see her.2 We have made giftgiving, which is the source of life and joy, a slave to the artificial masculated ego and its expressions at the economic, political, and ideological levels. This drains the gifts of humanity into the coffers of the few, whose priapic excesses are kept from the needs and transformed into phallic armaments, deadly 'marks,' by which one group can demonstrate its 'superiority' (occupation of the privileged concept sample position) over another, which is forced to give way.

In this way, the constrained gifts of the many are wasted on non-nurturing expenditures of destruction, not to mention the immolation of millions of giftgiving hearts, minds and bodies. By un-making the bodies of the community, co-munication turns against itself, in the image of the concept sample. Meanwhile, this same process, supplying the needs of war (nurturing a phallic exchange), conveniently destroys (through spending wealth on armaments) the abundance which would have facilitated giftgiving in parts of the world not directly affected by the war. We have created a many-tiered relation in which a relatively small number of people act as a parasite on the rest, recreating a situation of privilege which is originally created by transferring half of all our babies into a linguistically mediated non-nurturing 'superior' category. This category is over-valued and given to by the nurturers, because of its mandate to achieve the concept sample position. (The sample position is only a conceptual mechanism functional for organizing our perceptions, not a way of 'deserving' love or abundance). The host must re-educate and convince the parasite (which is anyway part of itself). We must not allow the parasite to continue to convince the host.

The parasite is made of mirrors--exchanges, definitions, judgments--and it has to receive energy, money, food, time, nurturing from somewhere else in order to grow big enough to become a privileged 'one' by overcoming many others. But this aberrant state of affairs is not anybody's fault. In fact, blame and guilt are part of the exchange paradigm, ways of making the other 'pay back.' We cannot fix the exchange paradigm by re-applying it again and again to itself. Our prisons and electric chairs are overflowing with people 'paying' for their mistakes. We do not need justice; we need kindness. Justice is really an attempt to define the crime so that it will not happen again. We try to perform this definition through a kind of exchange because exchange derives from the definition. The 'payment' involves a forced material co-munication whereby the criminal is required to give up something, and give way. Perhaps we believe that, by returning to the material level requiring goods, time, or even life in an 'equal' exchange, we will have more effect upon the wrongdoer. An attempt is made to evaluate the gravity of the crime with respect to other crimes (a kind of quantification). The criminal is masculated again, physically distanced (de-contextualized) and put into a category of 'other' with a 'term' or a 'sentence.'

Many 'One-Manies'

Thinking about all this, I saw I had three areas of similar relations to work with: 1. commodities were to money as; 2. things were to words as; 3. women were to men. I could use each to clarify the others.

For example, all of these areas have many to one relations as part of their make-up. All commodities are many, related to money as their equivalent. They are also many in relation to a particular price as one. Things are related to words in various ways as many to one: as many with regard to language as one kind of thing; as many with regard to a single word (for example, the word 'things'); and as many as kinds of things with regard to the word, which 'means' that kind, or re-presents it. As the 'inferior' gender, all women are related to every man as many to one. Each of these relations also involves potential one-to-one relations. The human couple is a one-to-one relation like the more fleeting relation of the exchange of a product for money, and like Saussure's concept of the sign. Variations and changes in the one-to-one relation take place in the on-going relation of women to men with the family's relation to the father. The mother herself figures as one with regard to whom her children are potentially many, but she is replaced by the father as the 'head' of the family. Such examples of the double standard as the Don Juan syndrome or polygamy also involve many-to-one relations. Another many-to-one relation is that of property to its owner, which has often combined with the relation of family as chattel to the father.3 Then, of course, there are subjects to a king, constituencies to their elected representatives, nations to their presidents, employees to their bosses. There are successive many to one stages, for example: Catholics to their priests, priests to their bishops, bishops to their cardinals, cardinals to their popes. Armies are related in the same stairsteps to their officers and finally to their generals, etc. The overlapping of one-many structures creates a giant mechanism. Perhaps, when some of its pieces are missing, it can be more benign, but the re-enforcement which occurs among the structures in First World patriarchy has made it more deadly and priapic than ever before--with its nuclear weapons ready to obliterate the many, its phallic mushroom cloud evidence that it has achieved the one (1) position.

We have been reasoning and acting from the point of view of words in relation to things, money to commodities, men to women. It seems to me that the explanation for this is that the exchange economy provides a focus on the individual ego and gives value and importance mainly to the one, the abstract isolated consciousness. The importance (and the ways of using) the collective consciousness, group consciousness and other-tending gift experience have been ignored, because we have only known how to start from ourselves as isolated individuals--and only those who have succeeded as isolated individuals have been given credence and the authority to speak. This self-focus is due to masculation, to the self-reflecting logic of exchange and to the top-down hierarchical model. It is consistent with capitalism, especially with the 'independent producer' or entrepreneur cultural hero. Academics are no more free from this syndrome than others, though perhaps they would like to be. The competition, in terms of a certain type of creativity and acumen (the reward of which is ego validation, authority and prestige), influences the world views of academics just as much as if the rewards were only economic ones. Language has become an instrument of power, and those who study it are usually not free from the ego-validating patterns which make this power possible.

Light and Shadow

Women can also develop a self-focused ego, but we often remain to some extent other-oriented because we continue to be required to be the nurturers of our children. Inside or outside academia, our world views are likely to be broader than men's, especially when we are not intellectually subservient to the patriarchal way. With one foot in each camp, it is easier to see the contradictions. In fact, what we see is that we are standing half in the shadow, half in the light. Even while we compete and succeed in the exchange economy, as individuals we often view ourselves as belonging to the masses of women who are unseen and unrecognized.

Our place in the shadow also lets us look at the others who are in the dark, the masses of people, cultures, women, children, and men, who are placed in the background by the masculated ego. Along with these are all the things, animals, creatures, plants, inventions, art and household effects which have been the objects of our care, use and maintenance throughout the centuries. Here in the dark lie all the tables we have polished, corn we have ground, fields we have planted, horses, cows and chickens we have fed, snow we have shoveled, roofs we have thatched, assembly lines we have worked in, sinks we have unstopped, dances we have danced, children we have raised. In all this variety of activity, we have conferred value upon things and imbued them with the stuff of life freely, which others may freely use. Even when our activity has cost us a lot, humanly or economically, the results of our acting according to nurturing principles still remain as a free legacy for others. The legacy consists of material reality--the house that was lived in and taken care of has survived to this day, the one that was abandoned has decayed and gone--caring ways and unmasculated value-giving hearts and minds.

The male ego notoriously fears death and loves what it fears, because by shifting its vision away from others, it denies what it has received from them--and their existence and importance for it, as well. Thus, it is likely to see itself as the lonely source of what instead has been given to it by others, from the masses of humanity that preceded it, to the workers in its factories and fields, to its mother, wife, sister, child, and (even at times) brother. This is a bit rarer, because the Old Boys Network and male bonding serve to increase the sense of power and autonomy of the isolated male ego as such. Men learn to recognize the self-reflecting image and validate each other. The 'one' position works particularly well within the denial of the fact that it has received from others. The ego sees everything in the framework of taking--or at least of deserving what it gets. (Deserving is another transposition of exchange, requiring an equivalence between past actions and present rewards.) The emphasis that we have put on the monetization of labor in capitalism has concentrated attention only on that area of our activity and on the kind of human relation which is 'making money.' Since the ego thinks of its perceptions, its world, and its abilities as all coming from itself, its own social artificial character is concealed from it, and it runs the risk of solipsism.

Looking at language from the point of view of the gift paradigm is a good cure for solipsism. If we consider each word as a by-product of the linguistically-mediated life processes of the multitudes of people before us, by which they satisfied each others' communicative needs and which is also freely given to us, we find ourselves in contact with millions of other giftgiving and communicating people, because we have received our words (and our culture and our material goods) from them. Actually, solipsism is not so much a philosophical position in our society as a psychological and a political one. It allows cruelty without responsibility, blissing out in our own well-being in the face of others' pain. Our compassion withers and dries up and our souls become prisoners of our egos. We allow our governments to make innumerable decisions which kill other people or let them die, perpetrating economic and military genocide while we stay safely at home wondering whether those other people really existed in the first place.

People who talk about creating our own reality are perhaps unknowingly inspired by the limitless creativity and magical quality of the gift of language, without however acknowledging the source of the gift as others-in-general. Some religious attitudes, both New Age and Fundamentalist, are prone to weaseling out of the human race, so as not to feel powerless among the multitude, and instead to belong only to the privileged 'one' position. When we begin to relate only to God (who is often also seen as a masculated 'one,' and therefore similar to each of us as an isolated individual) and not to the human race and the planet, our attitude tends to become megalomaniacal and paranoid. Then we act in singularly discompassionate ways, ignoring those people outside our immediate focus--whose spirituality, after all, is just as great or as small as our own. If we can re-conceptualize ourselves as having received from the people of the past and present, beginning with our own mothers, we are no longer separate and disempowered. In fact, seeing oneself as a masculated ego (as not receiving from others except through 'deserving') does really make us powerless. Then we overcompensate.

At any rate, solipsism is disproved by the fact that we think in language, which we have gotten from others. There used to be a creationist theory that God had buried those dinosaur bones out there to 'test our faith' in the Bible story of Genesis. Similarly, for solipsists, S/He would have to have implanted language in our minds to test our faith by making us suspect there were other people out there. Actually, our earth is so vast and varied we could never begin to live on it as individuals. We need the common perceptions of the many to give any kind of real context to our individual lives. Society is a sort of enormous fly's eye which, by putting together its many facets into a collective vision, is able to see the big picture. This picture is facilitated by and transcribed into language in order to mediate our social relations with each other. And the transcription, in turn, provides a sort of enormous collective eardrum, which reverberates in response to everything that is important at a certain threshold of intensity beyond the individual level. Through collective elaboration, the cultural values of the things the co-munity responds to are stored in words, kept alive as gifts available for all, constantly in use.4

Still, the patriarchal ego looks only at the things which are within its own focus, shining its own light upon them. It is because people, in first place in the so-called 'First World,' are in this mode that we are able to ignore the flow of goods, money and value from the so-called 'Third World' at home and abroad to US. When the CIA is not directly destabilizing Third World governments or the US funding fascist tyrants against the interests of the many poor, 'First World' patriarchy takes over economically. While our media and our therapy focus on the here and now, our government uses our money, their influence and their armaments to devastate the people in the dark. Big businesses relocate in the Third World, causing economic and environmental disaster, while some of us at home reap the profits and others lose their jobs. When the businesses are unable to hide, they cover up with lies, re-defining what they do as 'development.' Under the appearance of helping people, they bring the gift mode into focus, though falsely, to cover the bitter exchange-mode, exploitative things that they are really doing. This has the effect of portraying the gift-mode as something other than it is, and of identifying it with the men, especially in the government and big business, who are farthest away from the truth. Often, as individuals these men have never nurtured anybody, having themselves always functioned within the exchange mechanism.

Our 'First World' needs are actually being satisfied free or at very low cost to us by 'Third World' people. An equivalent of their work does not go back to them. The difference in the economies allows the business people to pocket most of the price we pay them, put it in our banks, transferring that value one more time from the have-nots to the haves, from the dark to the light, the invisible to the visible. Like a lock in a river, the flow of value is blocked and maintained at a 'higher' level. The 'First World' economies, as a whole, have received an enormous amount from the 'Third World' economies. Individually, it may be hard to see this, or we may not feel the benefit directly. But the much larger amount of value circulating here than there is due to the unequal exchange, an exchange which in practice ends up as a free gift from 'Third World' people to US.

Our short-term profit motive, which fits so well with the privileged ego mode, lets the people in the dark (those of the past, those of the present in the 'Third World' at home or abroad, and those of the future, all our children) be damaged or destroyed by poverty, pollution and war to pay for what is in the 'light,' our own continued well-being. The problem is not moral depravity and a psychological penchant towards greed but a 'normal' world view, an ego structure, and an economic way which fit and function together to the detriment of all. Individually, I do not think we know we are doing this, or we would stop, make each other stop. Collectively, our consciousness is in denial--which makes it hard to come to individual consciousness. That is why we so desperately need a paradigm shift.

The mandate towards over-taking and being 'one' by having and domination is broadcast at every level in our society. The scarcity that is artificially created by the powers that be, in order to maintain the system of exchange, intensifies the penalties for not succeeding in the mandate. We do not realize that it is logically impossible for everyone to be a 'one' related to the many and that no other life agenda is available to most males beyond masculation per se. Meaningful work, education and entertainment are offered almost exclusively to economic 'haves,' and all of those areas are anyway part of the exchange economy. Gangs and criminal behavior are the only chance many people have to carry out the masculated life agenda, though violence against women continues to be an option for males needing to act as dominant 'ones.' While all of these activities need to be defined as 'wrong,' it is only through a re-vision and re-definition of society itself that the problem can be solved.

We have to shift paradigms and educate everyone into the nurturing way, not masculate our boy babies into an ego structure that requires dominance and privilege to feel it is carrying out its gender identity mandate. We have to restore the mothering model for all, educate our boys to be giftgivers too, from the beginning. After they have had to give up the mother and learn how not to nurture, how can they at a later date learn to be 'good' by following the rules, the behavioral syntax deriving from the naming of gender, the overtaking Law of the Father?


1We should ask, "Which others is it for?" We attribute qualities of things to words and of words to things. In the linguists' example: 'man' = + adult + male, 'man' does not have the quality of adulthood, or maleness, because 'man' is a word, while a man is not. We cover up the relation of things to words with the idea of a word-based concept, to which qualities can be attributed (given). We transcribe the qualities of men in a notation based on addition and subtraction, which are the quantificatory translation of giving and taking, creating un-kind 'mean-ing'activity without giving. Whom does this attribution serve? If we restored the gift paradigm, perhaps we could call mean-ing 'kind-ing.'

2I find it fascinating that breasts have been both degraded and sexually objectified in our society. Until recently, our baby bottles were phallicanother symptom of our malady, of replacing the mother with the father model.

3Children may participate in many of these relations at different levels. The property relation looks something like Vigotsky's complexes. It is 'one-many' but does not depend upon similarity. The child may also be an owner, of toys, for example, at an early agewhile s/he is 'owned' by the father in the family relation. Associative complexes or their incarnations in property or the family may be held together also by a 'feeling tone'as Carl Jung said about word association and about psychological complexes. The feeling tone of concepts would be influenced by masculation. Carl Jung, 1973 [1906] "A psychological diagnosis of evidence" Experimental Researches, Collected Works of C.G. Jung 2, Leopold Stein and Diana Riviere eds. London, Routledge and Keegan Paul, pp. 318-332.

4Though most of us arrive at an effective linguistic competence, the lack of access to experiences of cultural variety, and to the positive aspects of education, sometimes deprives economically disadvantaged people of many of these gifts.

For-Giving Chapter 8

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