By Laurens van der Post
Publish yr note: First released in 1976
Presented jointly now for the 1st time, Laurens van der Post's gathered writings will show as by no means sooner than the fullness of his perceptive, clever and remarkably constant imaginative and prescient. In them all his suggestion has been that of an adventurous pioneer exploring not only the outward features of a turbulent and afflicted international yet, at a deeper point, the styles and paradoxes of human lifestyles, the myths and desires of the human brain, the values and cultures of alternative peoples, the elusive springs of our personal humans.
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Extra resources for A Mantis Carol
But further reading in ethnography, to say nothing of Max Weber, shows that many cultures exert a dampening effect on competition. If emulation is not a human universal, his theory rests on a cultural quirk that happens to be common to Alor and modern Massachusetts. PRUDENCE ACCORDING TO FRIEDMAN Economic anthropology could well have provided criticism of this kind at the time Duesenberry wrote. But anthropologists were not attending when he fired his salvo. 21 His theory of permanent income is a strictly economic approach, in the sense of assuming that the choice between consumption and saving is made rationally.
Only if he can think of convincing nondoctrinal reasons for adherence to a given doctrine will he be on the way to explaining how particular doctrines are generated. As it happens, the Catholic case is not unique. Many peoples in different cultures believe in heavenly rewards for altruism. There may be nothing especially otherworldly (quite the Why they save 17 reverse) about the general tone of a culture that promises a glorious afterlife for deeds it cannot otherwise reward, though the people who fall for the promise are behaving in an otherworldly way.
It was useful for attacking the previous dominant position according to which prices were mainly determined by costs. It was also useful for predicting the behavior of quantities on prices in particular markets. For these limited purposes there was no need to pay special attention to the social factors determining consumption. 18 It seems astonishing that as late as 1949 the two assumptions he criticized were still firmly entrenched: (1) that every individual’s consumption behavior is independent of all other individuals’, and (2) that consumption decisions are reversible in time.
A Mantis Carol by Laurens van der Post