‎Review

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'''* The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. by Kojin Karatani. Duke University Press, 2014'''
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'''* The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. by [[Kojin Karatani]]. Duke University Press, 2014'''
   
 
URL = [http://www.amazon.com/Structure-World-History-Production-Exchange-ebook/dp/B00K3I14RC/ Kindle]
 
URL = [http://www.amazon.com/Structure-World-History-Production-Exchange-ebook/dp/B00K3I14RC/ Kindle]
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"This book is an attempt to rethink the history of social formations from the perspective of modes of exchange."
 
"This book is an attempt to rethink the history of social formations from the perspective of modes of exchange."
   
 
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==Description==
=Description=
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"In this major, paradigm-shifting work, Kojin Karatani systematically re-reads Marx's version of world history, shifting the focus of critique from modes of production to modes of exchange. Karatani seeks to understand both Capital-Nation-State, the interlocking system that is the dominant form of modern global society, and the possibilities for superseding it. In The Structure of World History, he traces different modes of exchange, including the pooling of resources that characterizes nomadic tribes, the gift exchange systems developed after the adoption of fixed-settlement agriculture, the exchange of obedience for protection that arises with the emergence of the state, the commodity exchanges that characterize capitalism, and, finally, a future mode of exchange based on the return of gift exchange, albeit modified for the contemporary moment. He argues that this final stage—marking the overcoming of capital, nation, and state—is best understood in light of Kant's writings on eternal peace. The Structure of World History is in many ways the capstone of Karatani's brilliant career, yet it also signals new directions in his thought."
 
"In this major, paradigm-shifting work, Kojin Karatani systematically re-reads Marx's version of world history, shifting the focus of critique from modes of production to modes of exchange. Karatani seeks to understand both Capital-Nation-State, the interlocking system that is the dominant form of modern global society, and the possibilities for superseding it. In The Structure of World History, he traces different modes of exchange, including the pooling of resources that characterizes nomadic tribes, the gift exchange systems developed after the adoption of fixed-settlement agriculture, the exchange of obedience for protection that arises with the emergence of the state, the commodity exchanges that characterize capitalism, and, finally, a future mode of exchange based on the return of gift exchange, albeit modified for the contemporary moment. He argues that this final stage—marking the overcoming of capital, nation, and state—is best understood in light of Kant's writings on eternal peace. The Structure of World History is in many ways the capstone of Karatani's brilliant career, yet it also signals new directions in his thought."
   
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==Review==
   
=Review=
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Detailed summary and review by [[McKenzie Wark]]:
 
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Detailed summary and review by '''McKenzie Wark''':
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"Kojin Karatani’s The Structure of World History (Duke University Press, 2014) is an astonishing work of synthetic historical theory. Karatani views world history as a history of modes of exchange. He rejects the classical Marxist view of history though as modes of production, to which political, religious and cultural levels are superstructures.
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"[[Kojin Karatani]]’s The Structure of World History (Duke University Press, 2014) is an astonishing work of synthetic historical theory. Karatani views world history as a history of modes of exchange. He rejects the classical Marxist view of history though as modes of production, to which political, religious and cultural levels are superstructures.
   
 
The Marxist base and superstructure model always conjures up for me an image of the social formation as a three-story building, with an economic ground floor and politics and ideology or culture as the second and third. Karatani’s alternative model is more like three elevator shafts running through the social formation from top to bottom. The inadequacies of the base-and-super three-story image led Marxists such as Althusser to stress the relative autonomy and materiality of the political and cultural ‘levels’. Karatani sees two problems with this. One is a loss of a totalizing and systematic approach to history. The other is that it is really only in the west that politics could even be imagined as autonomous from economics.
 
The Marxist base and superstructure model always conjures up for me an image of the social formation as a three-story building, with an economic ground floor and politics and ideology or culture as the second and third. Karatani’s alternative model is more like three elevator shafts running through the social formation from top to bottom. The inadequacies of the base-and-super three-story image led Marxists such as Althusser to stress the relative autonomy and materiality of the political and cultural ‘levels’. Karatani sees two problems with this. One is a loss of a totalizing and systematic approach to history. The other is that it is really only in the west that politics could even be imagined as autonomous from economics.
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(http://www.publicseminar.org/2015/01/karatani/)
 
(http://www.publicseminar.org/2015/01/karatani/)
   
=Excerpts=
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==Excerpts==
   
==The [[Evolution of the Modes of Exchange]]==
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===The [[Evolution of the Modes of Exchange]]===
   
Karatani Kojin, from the Preface:
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[[Kojin Karatani]], from the Preface:
   
 
"'''This book is an attempt to rethink the history of social formations from the
 
"'''This book is an attempt to rethink the history of social formations from the
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'''There are four types of mode of exchange:'''  
 
'''There are four types of mode of exchange:'''  
   
* mode A, which consists
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* mode A, which consists of the reciprocity of the gift ;  
of the reciprocity of the gift ;  
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* mode B, which consists of ruling and protection;
 
* mode B, which consists of ruling and protection;
 
 
* mode C, which consists of commodity exchange; and  
 
* mode C, which consists of commodity exchange; and  
 
 
* mode D, which transcends the other three.  
 
* mode D, which transcends the other three.  
   
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form in which it will appear."
 
form in which it will appear."
   
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===The Emergence of the [[Nation-State]]===
   
==The Emergence of the [[Nation-State]]==
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[[Kojin Karatani]], chapter nine:
 
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Kojin Karatini, chapter nine:
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"The nation-state is a coupling together of two elements with different
 
"The nation-state is a coupling together of two elements with different
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capital-state."
 
capital-state."
   
=Discussion=
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==Discussion==
   
==A profile of the author==
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===A profile of the author===
   
 
by Carl Cassegard:
 
by Carl Cassegard:
   
"[[Karatani Kojin]]’s (1941- ) recent thought offers a novel way of grappling or dealing with the dilemma which we pointed to in Yoshimoto and Asada, namely how the aspiration to work for societal change could be combined with an affirmation of the masses’ withdrawal from public involvement. The question is particularly timely since the 90’s has been a decade in which much discontent with the system has taken the form of exit – from school, marriage, the labor market or (in the case of the social withdrawal) from social life tout court. Can such discontent be turned into effective forms of resistance? Can it be channeled in ways that could further social change? Today questions such as these have gained renewed importance.
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"Karatani Kojin’s (1941- ) recent thought offers a novel way of grappling or dealing with the dilemma which we pointed to in Yoshimoto and Asada, namely how the aspiration to work for societal change could be combined with an affirmation of the masses’ withdrawal from public involvement. The question is particularly timely since the 90’s has been a decade in which much discontent with the system has taken the form of exit – from school, marriage, the labor market or (in the case of the social withdrawal) from social life tout court. Can such discontent be turned into effective forms of resistance? Can it be channeled in ways that could further social change? Today questions such as these have gained renewed importance.
   
 
The thought of Karatani follows a trajectory that can be described as almost the reverse of Yoshimoto’s, with Karatani growing increasingly critical of capitalism and affirmative of social movement activism. [10] In early texts, from the 70’s and 80’s, his point of departure is a search for “exteriority” in the “intercrossing” spaces outside or between discursive systems, states or communities. The market provided a model for such a space. The global market, in his view, was a liberating and deconstructive tool that undermined the autonomy and closure of national and local communities. In opposition to communal space where rules were shared, it was a space existing in-between communities where participants confronted each other as strangers without presupposing common norms. It therefore offered liberating possibilities of otherness (Karatani 1995a:182; 1995b:143ff).
 
The thought of Karatani follows a trajectory that can be described as almost the reverse of Yoshimoto’s, with Karatani growing increasingly critical of capitalism and affirmative of social movement activism. [10] In early texts, from the 70’s and 80’s, his point of departure is a search for “exteriority” in the “intercrossing” spaces outside or between discursive systems, states or communities. The market provided a model for such a space. The global market, in his view, was a liberating and deconstructive tool that undermined the autonomy and closure of national and local communities. In opposition to communal space where rules were shared, it was a space existing in-between communities where participants confronted each other as strangers without presupposing common norms. It therefore offered liberating possibilities of otherness (Karatani 1995a:182; 1995b:143ff).
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(http://apjjf.org/-Carl-Cassegard/2684/article.html)
 
(http://apjjf.org/-Carl-Cassegard/2684/article.html)
   
 
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===The [[Evolution of Modes of Exchange in the Context of P2P Theory]]===
==The [[Evolution of Modes of Exchange in the Context of P2P Theory]]==
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Michel Bauwens:
 
Michel Bauwens:
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Karatani distinguishes four ‘modes of exchange’:
 
Karatani distinguishes four ‘modes of exchange’:
   
mode A, which consists of the reciprocity of the gift ;
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* mode A, which consists of the reciprocity of the gift ;
mode B, which consists of ruling and protection;
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* mode B, which consists of ruling and protection;
mode C, which consists of commodity exchange; and
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* mode C, which consists of commodity exchange; and
mode D, which transcends the other three.
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* mode D, which transcends the other three.
   
   
 
The transcend and include aspect of Mode D helps to see how it is:
 
The transcend and include aspect of Mode D helps to see how it is:
   
Related to the nomadic condition which is entirely about communal shareholding
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* Related to the nomadic condition which is entirely about communal shareholding
Related to the gift economy aspect of the clan societies
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* Related to the gift economy aspect of the clan societies
Related to the distributed aspect of the medieval structures
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* Related to the distributed aspect of the medieval structures
Honours the advantages of the market and even capitalism
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* Honours the advantages of the market and even capitalism
Helps us disentangle mode of production and mode of exchange aspects of commons-based peer production
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* Helps us disentangle mode of production and mode of exchange aspects of commons-based peer production
 
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Kojin Karatani in his book, The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. Duke University Press, 2014, makes an important theoretical innovation that echoes what we have done in P2P Theory in 2005-6.
 
Kojin Karatani in his book, The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. Duke University Press, 2014, makes an important theoretical innovation that echoes what we have done in P2P Theory in 2005-6.
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For example,
 
For example,
   
Related to the nomadic condition which is entirely about communal shareholding
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* Related to the nomadic condition which is entirely about communal shareholding
Related to the gift economy aspect of the clan societies
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* Related to the gift economy aspect of the clan societies
Related to the distributed aspect of the medieval structures
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* Related to the distributed aspect of the medieval structures
   
   

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