Accursed Share: Consumption by Georges Bataille

By Georges Bataille

So much Anglo-American readers be aware of Bataille as a novelist. The Accursed proportion offers an outstanding advent to Bataille the thinker. right here he makes use of his targeted fiscal thought because the foundation for an incisive inquiry into the very nature of civilization. not like traditional monetary types in response to notions of shortage, Bataille's idea develops the idea that of extra: a civilization, he argues, finds its order such a lot truly within the therapy of its surplus power. the result's an excellent combination of ethics, aesthetics, and cultural anthropology that demanding situations either mainstream economics and ethnology.

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I will summarize these historical facts. Buddhism was introduced into Tibet in 640. Tibet was then governed by kings, and in the first period the devel­ opment of this religion did not at all weaken the country, which was one of the chief military powers of Asia. But Buddhist monasticism spread and in the course of time the influence of the mon­ asteries threatened that of the kings. In the twelfth century a reformer, Tsong-Ka-Pa, founded a more severe sect, in which the monks observed strict celibacy.

An amban, backed by a garrison, had the real secular power. Generally speaking, the garrison seems to have been weak; Tibet was not a protectorate (there was no colonization, the administration remaining entirely Tibetan). But China had the upper hand and owing to its agents the sovereignty of the Dalai Lama was fictitious: It may have been divine, but it was also powerless. It was all the easier to nullify the Dalai Lama's power since a 97 THE ACCURSED SHARE bizarre mode of succession periodically abandoned the country to regents for long intervals.

Even the government of India, not very anx­ ious to get involved, seems to have called on his services with a certain amount of hesitation. Charles Bell thought that the Brit­ ish should help the Tibetans to maintain their independence, to throw off the Chinese yoke for good. The British finally did adopt this policy, which was intended to make Tibet a zone of influ­ ence, but in a cautious way. They saw the advantage of a buffer state and they were very much in favor of a strong, autonomous Tibet, but a rampart against eventual difficulties must not be gained at the cost of serious immediate difficulties.

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