№ 3, 2019
Abstract. The theory of gift, used today mainly in Anthropology, has a considerable heuristic potential for other humanities. The article represents an attempt to apply this theory to politics and law.
In the political sphere, the theory of gift opens up a possibility of novel approaches to understanding the nature of political conflicts, especially in the societies that undergo a crisis, transition etc. The author does not intend to cover all such approaches and focuses only on some of them. In particular, the author draws attention to the enormous energy hidden in those structures, relations, and political instincts that remained from the system of gifts. He proposes a hypothesis that the political cataclysms of the last century can be explained (along with other reasons) by the attempts to restore relations of gift that grew out of the active participation of broad masses in politics, which led to the reduction of state and law into the direct connection between the masses and the leader.
The author explains the disintegration of the system of gifts by the advent of money, which he views as one of the most large-scale factors of social transformation. Money called into existence a contract of purchase and sale as a negotiation about a price, which laid foundation for the whole system of modern law. Because a binding decision on price is possible only under the condition of free will of parties to a contract, the author considers that buying and selling became a source of free will that went beyond the law.
In the final part of the article, the author turns to the legal implications of the theory of gift. First, he acknowledges the inability of Legal Science to provide a convincing answer to both the question of the nature of money and genesis of law. After that he shows that the theory of gift allows for a deeper understanding of the basic legal concepts, which in turn can be useful for solving many legal issues that cannot be resolved within the framework of the established doctrines.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Sklovsky Konstantin