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EXCHANGE VALUE

Thank you acknowledges a gift and replaces it with a debt. This debt represents both the gift and the knowledge of it, exchanged in a speech act. Thank you stands in for the gift as a representation of debt which means it is a symbol of symbols, the function of the symbolic.


Symbols must sufficiently match their objects in intensity of affect, quantity and kind in order to stand in for those objects. If they are not judicious, symbols take on and incur for themselves a certain amount and kind of debt. Debt is then exchanged for other debt within a closed marketplace, and if the signs were not a territory there could be no exchange at all, just piles of accumulated fragments. As there are. As capitalist/anti-capitalist modernist poetry entrails. Empty no sense putting up a fight.


Thank you pays a debt but keeps it open, does not pay it word for word. It must not or the gift would collapse into commodity replaceable dealz. Thank you means gift received and debt received along with it. This is your receipt, the debt has been renewed. When I say thank you, you can call upon it for something else and keep the cycle going. Sometimes it does't mean that though, sometimes it means full stop.


You are welcome means I am open to you. Please ask for more when you need it. I am here for you and I want to be involved. Please, take and eat. More. More because I have the feeling that I want to be there for you, or because it feels so good to be big enough to share. There is as good left over but I didn’t know until I gave. More so that I can be your guest one day, or so that I can get more debt. Because debt has exchange value in this closed market between you and yours and me. Debt is power and I know that and you know that so let’s just leave it at that.


It’s nothing means it cost me nothing so you have no debt. Your debt is cancelled means this is truly free but in order to be free it must be thoroughly devalued. A seeming self-abnegation is power because to deny mine looks good on me, and to cancel your debt makes me the canceler of debts and the liberator of sin. I reject any intrusion into your domain and command it for myself.


No problem is an incorrect assignation with regard to the exchange of debt in Thank You. It is a holdover from another debt exchange, one that happened not by gift but by theft. I’m sorry obtains for the initiator of the problem. I’m sorry means a new debt is incurred, a new symbolic exchange is open now for you to consider and hold without obligation, that an error has occurred and I had a part in making it. I took something from you, your peace of mind, your happiness and I replace it with my humility, a debt for you. If I can release you from it I can release myself too. But that has to be for real. When the exchanges are real you will know it. No problem consolidates the cosmos into a negation, a negation of mine and yours alike, and that is not helpful to an economy of goods.


Debt is the solid between humans and their wishes. Desire only testifies to that.



Previous Page Chapter 8. Deleuze



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