ABSTRACT

Following the publication of Derrida's Given Time (1991), a great deal of philosophical attention was devoted to gifts and gift exchange as well as Marcel Mauss's Essay on the Gift. But after a certain formalization of the possible/impossible aporia of the gift (the gift's conditions of possibility are its conditions of impossibility), interest in Mauss's Essay among philosophers has largely disappeared. I return to Mauss's Essay and in particular to its moral, economic, and political conclusions to argue that Mauss makes several observations that relate directly to the current political dysfunction of the U.S. government.

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