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The Meaning of General Economy – Bataille
The author of The Meaning of General Economy discusses the various viewpoints in the aspect of the economy. The author states that the economy depends on the circulation of energy on earth. In the comparison of the production of automobiles and the general movement of the economy, the author states that people accept the fact that the interdependence is obvious and instead look at the economy as an isolatable system of an operation (Bataille, 1991).
Production and consumption go hand-in-hand and studying them jointly is not a difficult task. The author states that economic phenomena are not easy to identify, and general coordination is not an easy task to establish. At first look, the recognition of this aspect of terrestrial activity regarded as a cosmic phenomenon is easy. A movement is established on the surface of the globe that comes from the circulation of energy. Economic activities appropriate this movement and create the possibilities that may result for specific goals. However, this movement has the laws that the people who use them are acquainted to. The author states that the disregard for material basis of life causes man to make serious mistake (Bataille, 1991).
The author states that a living organism, in a state regulated by the interplay of energy on the planet gets energy that is more than it is needed to maintain life. Therefore, the excessive energy might be used for the development of the system (Bataille, 1991). In case the system cannot grow, or the excess energy cannot be fully absorbed, then it should be spent anyhow. The author states that people who are used to see the development of productive forces as the result of activity refuse to acknowledge that energy that constitutes wealth should be spent lavishly and that profitable actions have no effect that the squandering of profits. Therefore, to agree that the dissipation of a large portion of energy is a necessity is acting against judgments that form the basis of a rational economy. Despite the fact that there are cases of wealth being destroyed, these cannot offer valid examples that can be followed. Involuntary destruction of wealth means failure and a misfortune that is undesirable. However, when considering the totality of the productive wealth on the surface of the earth, it is evident that the products can be used for beneficial ends insofar as humankind can increase its efficiency. This means that surplus must be dissipated through deficit operations (Bataille, 1991).
The author considers war to be the result of catastrophic use of excessive energy. He states that people can forget or ignore the fact that the world that we live in is an arena of multiple destructions. The sustenance of economic growth requires that economic principles or ethics that govern them be overturned. Thus, the change of restrictive economic perspectives to the global economy leads to reversal thinking. It is logical that the destruction of wealth without profit leads to surrender or commodities without return (Bataille, 1991).
Functions such as growth and reproduction show that organisms have at their disposal greater energy resources than are required to sustain life. The author uses the example of a calf that utilizes the available energy for functional activity but has excess energy for its growth. If the stock grower keeps the calf, it benefits, and the saving of excess energy can be seen in terms of stored fat. Plants also display the excess energy because they are about growth and reproduction. The author regards the limit of growth by looking at solar energy the sun gives without receiving. Living organisms use solar radiation and accumulate it for growth, but within the limits available to them. Other organisms give the limitation (Bataille, 1991).
The author's analysis brings up important questions. Does the global economy depend on energy of earth? Is life on earth characteristic of energy available? Does man's action reflect the pressures created by the energy available?
As a rule, the surface of the globe is invested by life to all points that are possible. Because of the pressure available, all forms of life adapt to the available resources so that space becomes the primary limit. The first effect if of pressure is extension. Pressure cannot be defined precisely because it is complex and elusive. Therefore, the earth opens life to life, but life takes possession of air when it extends. The second effect is squandering or luxury. The most remarkable here is death, which shows that the simple forms of life are immortal. The birth of an organism that is reproduced in scissiparity is lost in the course of time. Three luxuries of nature include eating, death and sexual reproduction (Bataille, 1991).
The general movement of life conditions the activities of man, such that the activity opens a possibility to life and new space. This is similar to the fact that labor and technology result to increased reproduction of human beings. As the author indicates, man is a roundabout subsidiary response to the problem of growth. The fact of man being afraid that defines us is expected. The consequences of the movement are distressing. For instance, the image of a tiger reveals the fact of eating. The atmosphere of malediction presupposes anguish that signifies the absence of pressure caused by exuberance of life. Therefore, general economy starts from an account of the historical data that relates its meaning to present data that calls for consciousness that makes human life commensurate with truth (Bataille, 1991).