- Written by Luigino Bruni
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On the border and beyond/10 - Trust to find the language of reciprocity again
by Luigino Bruni
published in Avvenire on 26/03/2017
"The obligation of reciprocity in the exchange is not a response to specific powers linked to the objects, but a cosmic conception which presupposes an eternal circulation of species and beings"
M. Mauss, The Gift
At the origin of the ethos of the West there is the gift with all its ambivalences. Many origin myths associate human history with the refusal of people to stay and remain in a state of the harmonious reciprocity of gifts. The tales of Prometheus and Pandora (meaning: "all gifts"), or those of Adam and Eve tell us the same story in different languages: that human beings are unable to build their own civilization on free gift. But they also tell us that there is a profound relationship between gift and disobedience, between gratuitousness and authority, between freedom and hierarchy.