Stage 1 is energy in the form of ‘solar energy’ (solar radiation):
Solar radiation results in a superabundance of energy on the surface ofthe globe.— Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
For Bataille, excessive energy on the earth is natural: it is first solar (as it comes to us from the sun) — Allan Stoekl, Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustianability.
This solar energy fuels plant growth, which animals and humans need not only for food (energy), but also for oxygen.
Stage 2 is energy in the form of biological matter (biomass; ‘organic concentrations of solar energy’) as well in the form of ‘fossilized concentrations of solar energy’:
energy is… first solar… then biological (as it passes from the sun to plants and animals to us) — Allan Stoekl, Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustianability.
The sun which fuels plant growth will therefore lead to an excess of biomass.
biomass, the excess of which will support a plethora of animals and, ultimately, humans. — Allan Stoekl, Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustianability.
By ‘fossilized concentration of solar energy’ we mean, energy in the form of fossil fuels:
As an energy form, solar energy has proven to be accessible primarily through organic (and fossilized) concentration: wood, coal, and oil. — Allan Stoekl, Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustianability.
We could even posit substages of stage 2, as there is biomass (stage 2.1) which can be used to create fossil fuels (stage 2.2) (see: algae fuel).
Stage 3 is energy (solar, biological, fossilized, etc.) in the form of its use by humanity:
energy is… first solar… then biological… then human (as it is spent in our monuments, artifacts, and social rituals). — Allan Stoekl, Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustianability.
Now on to the axiomatic basis of Bataille’s economics.
The Axiomatic Basis of Solar Economics
Bataille’s ‘Solar Economics’ has at its basis two fundamental axioms:
The radiation of the sun is distinguished by its unilateral character: it loses itself without reckoning, without counterpart. Solar economy is founded upon this principle. — Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation.
This is to say that the sun gives (invests) energy and does not receive energy back (return) from that which gains energy from the sun.
Bataille expresses this first axiom when he says,
I will speak briefly about the most general conditions of life, dwelling on one crucially important fact: Solar energy is the source of life’s exuberant development. The origin and essence of our wealth are given in the radiation of the sun, which dispenses energy — wealth — without any return. The sun gives without ever receiving.—Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
It is because the sun squanders itself upon us without return that ‘The sum of energy produced is always superior to that which was necessary to its production’… since ‘we are ultimately nothing but an effect of the sun’. — Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation.
This is to say that because the sun gives energy (invests) without getting energy back (return) from that which gains energy from the sun, that which gains energy from the sun will always be at a surplus of energy.
Bataille expresses this second axiom when he says,
I will begin with a basic fact: The living organism, in a situation determined by the play of energy on the surface of the globe, ordinarily receives more energy than is necessary for maintaining life—Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
These are the facts on the basis of Bataille’s economics.
If you are still skeptical, here are some words from a nuclear scientist:
We affirm that the appropriated energies produced during a period are superior in quantity to the appropriated energies that are strictly necessary to their production. For the rigor of the thesis, it would be necessary to compare the appropriated energies of the same quality. The system produces all the appropriated energies that are necessary to it, it produces them in greater quantities than are needed, and finally it even produces appropriated energies that its maintenance at the given level does not require. In an elliptical form, but more striking, we can say that the energy produced is superior to the energy necessary for its production — Georges Ambrosino, notes preliminary to the writing of The Accursed Share.
From these two axioms, we can recognize that Bataille’s theory of economics is inherently thermodynamic, partly economic, and ultimately ecological.
We can also realize that the excess energy must then be expended, squandered, spent, wasted, etc.
For solar economy ‘[e]xcess is the incontestable point of departure’ [VII 12], and excess must, in the end, be spent. — Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation.
The purely economic part of Bataille’s theories is like all others: cold, hard, and calculative.
As I considered the object of my study, I could not personally resist the effervescence in which I discovered the unavoidable purpose, the value of the cold and calculated operation. My research aimed at the acquisition of a knowledge; it demanded coldness and calculation, but the knowledge acquired was that of an error, an error implied in the coldness that is inherent in all calculation.— Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
On the Illusion that is Production
Baudrillard follows Bataille in throwing off productivist economics and ideology which have their central focus on production rather than consumption (see: ‘The Mirror of Production’ by Jean Baudrillard).
Following Land, we can say that Bataille’s perspective sees production as illusory. Production is really just a restricted version of consumption (expenditure, dépense).
Life appears as a pause on the energy path; as a precarious stabilization and complication of solar decay. It is most basically comprehensible as the general solution to the problem of consumption. Such a solar- or general-economic perspective exhibits production as an illusion; the hypostatization of a digression in consumption. To produce is to partially manage the release of energy into its loss, and nothing more. — Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation.
Thus all economics focused on production is really just focusing on a restricted and perverted form of expenditure. One could say that production is the profane’s attempt at rendering the heterogeny that is expenditure into the profane world. This means that all economics, in reality, looks at expenditure. This means that the only difference between Bataille’s general/solar economic perspective and restricted economic perspectives is that Bataille recognizes expenditure as the focus of economics, where restricted economic perspectives do not.
I had to try in vain to make clear the notion of a “general economy” in which the “expenditure” (the “consumption”) of wealth, rather than production, was the primary object.— Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
Restricted Economy, General Economy
The basis of Bataille’s idea of the general economy is founded upon the two axioms laid out above. From there general economy asserts another truth:
all particular activity on earth is a moment or modulation of the cosmic movements and transformations of superabundant energy — in our case, solar energy — Timothy Snediker, To Have Done WIth Forgiveness: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Politics of Immanece.
This is to say, the perspective of general economy recognizes the two axioms lined out above and it, therefore, recognizes that there is an excess of energy.
The perspective of restricted economy sees scarcity, necessity, lack.
The perspective of general economy sees no such lack, but rather an excess.
So why can one not advocate for restricted economy over general economy? Well, you can. But trying to do so would be only furthering the truth of general economy because:
It is not that the general and restricted points of view are two independently true perspectives which take the same object and maintain their truth autonomously, but rather that general economy is the truth of restricted economy, the latter which nevertheless maintains or guarantees its particular truth inasmuch as it is an abstraction from the general— Timothy Snediker, To Have Done WIth Forgiveness: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Politics of Immanece.
Now to address the strawman you probably have already thought of: ‘Muh scarcity’.
A Refutation of the Scarcity Strawman and its Ilk
From the perspective of general economy, lack is a product rather than a pre-existing material condition or a transcendental condition.— Timothy Snediker, To Have Done WIth Forgiveness: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Politics of Immanece.
This is not to say that scarcity is not a reality, but rather that scarcity is only a reality from the perspective of restricted economy.
Nevertheless, scarcity or lack only appears as such, in all of its reality, from the perspective of a restricted economy — Timothy Snediker, To Have Done WIth Forgiveness: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Politics of Immanece.
Now to address the strawman you have probably already thought of: “so you’re saying that if I just change my perspectives then I’m rich? That is stupid”.
No. Bataille is not saying that if you just look from a general economic perspective scarcity and all of your economic problems disappear.
raising oneself to the perspective of general economy is by no means a magical cure-all, a fix for all economic issues forever. Rather, the general point of view is a way of thinking differently, of posing problems differently — Timothy Snediker, To Have Done WIth Forgiveness: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Politics of Immanece.
To say the strawman above is to admit you have not read Bataille and do not know what you are talking about. Bataille clearly says,
The problems are posed… in the first instance by an excess of resources if one starts from the general point of view. Doubtless the problem of extreme poverty remains in any case.— Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
General economy is a perspective as is restricted economy.
The perspective of restricted economy says,
From the particular point of view, the problems are posed in the first instance by a deficiency ofresources.— Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
Whereas, the perspective of general economy says,
They are posed in the first instance by an excess of resources if one starts from the general point of view.— Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
Bataille’s theses in The Accursed Share: resources are indeed scarce, but only from the perspective of the restricted geopolitical economy of Earth.— Timothy Snediker, To Have Done WIth Forgiveness: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Politics of Immanece.
Now that insipid and common strawman has been addressed, we can quite perfectly go to the next part of this article: a defense of Bataille’s economics against critiques.
A Defense of Bataille’s Economics
I will now defend Bataille’s economics against critiques as well as attack those critiques.
A response to Baudrillard’s “critique” of Bataille’s economics
But Bataille has poorly read Mauss: the unilateral gift does not exist… “Excess energy” does not come from the sun (from nature) but from a continual overbidding in exchange — a symbolic process legible in Mauss, not that of the gift (this is the naturalist mysticism into which Bataille falls), but that of the counter-gift — the sole, veritably symbolic process and one which effectively implicates death as a kind of maximal excess — but not as individual ecstasy, always as maximal principle of social exchange. In this sense, one can reproach Bataille for having “naturalized” Mauss— Jean Baudrillard, When Bataille Attacked the Metaphysical Principle of Economy.
So what is wrong with this?
Firstly, the unilateral gift does exist (see: axiom 1 lined out above). Bataille doesn’t have to adhere to Maussian orthodoxy, and Bataille can and did develop his own theories.
Secondly, excess energy does come from the sun (see: axiom 2 lined out above). Because Bataille’s theory is ecological and thermodynamic we can easily recognize that when by talks about energy he does not always mean energy in a sociological sense.
Thirdly, to respond to Baudrillard’s claims of naturalism in Bataille.
Land responds to these accusations of naturalism in Bataille’s solar economics.
Bataille’s solar economics is frequently accused of naturalism by the humanist left. Such resistance to naturalization is a Kantian insistence, simultaneous with transcendental philosophy as such (and not in any sense a specifically post bourgeois subversion of modern culture as so much recent ‘theory’ would suggest). An antinaturalist approach to the object is the initiating gesture of Kantianism. If ‘ideology’ is to be used as a name for the rationality of capital (a pretentiously gesticulating move), it is anti-naturalism, rather than naturalization, which is the pre-eminent trait of this ideology. This is not to suggest that the denaturalization of the real is inevitably without ‘progressive’ features. If undertaken carefully without mythotheological relapse — antinaturalism is certainly able to assist new money (interests) against old, intervening effectively in disputes between liberals and conservatives, although it seems that a great deal more than this is often being claimed. What the bourgeois intellect forbade was always something quite different, namely, the thought of natural de-naturalization, or the acknowledgement of libidinal escalation. This is why Barthes is inscribed within the horizon of critique — as its legitimate semiological discipline — in a way that Nietzsche is not.— Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation.
What Land is saying is that resisting naturalism is fundamentally Kantian (Land does a critique of Kant in his book ‘The Thirst for Annihilation,’ which I do not have time to go over). This ultimately means that Baudrillard’s accusations of naturalism are irrelevant. Land is also saying that anti-naturalism is the rationality of capital. So, we could actually make and will make an attack against Baudrillard for following the rationality of capital.
So, it is fair to say that Baudrillard has poorly read Bataille.
A response to Goux’s (and his Ilk’s) “critique” of Bataille’s economics
Jean-Joseph Goux and those that follow his critique make the argument against Bataille that the waste of post-modern capitalism is expenditure.
This argument is laughable.
Stoekl responds to these accusations of Bataille forwarding capitalism.
Waste is, we could argue, a deluded, minor version of expenditure, analogous perhaps to the right -hand sacred as it is opposed, yet tied, to the sacred of the left hand— Allan Stoekl, Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustianability.
That is it.
A response to @progressivelol’s (TikTok) and Asger Sørensen’s “critique” of Bataille’s economics
Note: Chloe plagiarizes Asger Sørensen’s article, ‘On a universal scale: Economy in Bataille’s general economy’ a lot and doesn’t reference nor gives him credit and just passes it off as their own. So I am also critiquing Asger Sørensen as well.
Chloe’s critique has a lot of (unnecessary) jargon (that sometimes doesn’t mean anything).
So, Bataille’s theory of solar economics is less economic and more ecological as I said above. Now Chloe says,
This excess serves as the primary ontological consideration in the treatment of economic behavior that is to be considered in unison with the erotic and the sacred — Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
So, there are issues with this.
Firstly, Bataille’s idea of excess is treated in so many different ways, thermodynamic, ecological, sociological, cultural, etc. Excess for Bataille is not treated as the primary ontological consideration when talking about economic behavior. Bataille lines out in ‘The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption’ that his theories of behavior, growth, etc. are not economic but rather zoological. Secondly, the erotic is apart of the left pole of the sacred, so I will just address the two as the sacred. The sacred is the realm of non-knowledge (non-savoir). The sacred is the realm of silence (see: Hegarty’s chapter on silence in his book ‘Georges Bataille: Core Cultural Theorist). The sacred is not of homogenous behavior either. The sacred is the heterogenous exemplified. Subjects are undone in inner and limit experience(s) which are of the sacred. Economics is undone in the sacred; all homogenous discourses are undone in the sacred. Therefore, there is no behavior that is uniform with the sacred, rather behavior is undone within the sacred.
The heterogeneous is even resolutely placed outside the reach of scientific knowledge, which by definition is only applicable to homogeneous elements. Above all, heterology is opposed to any homogeneous representation of the world, in other words, to any philosophical system.— Georges Bataille, Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939.
Chloe then says,
What societies do with the surplus of energy is fundametally constituted by their religious and economic realities.— Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
This is also, I feel, a misinterpretation.
Firstly, Bataille recognizes that societies will have to squander the inevitable excess. He does not say that how societies do this is constituted by their religious and economic realities or their material conditions. Rather, societies will have to get rid of this excess. How societies expend this excess is usually done through social rituals, war, sacrifice, etc. The severity/scale of how expenditure takes place does depend on technological advancement, though the form of expenditure doesn’t really change (e.g., technological advancement means expenditure can be done through nuclear war but still it takes the form of war). Secondly, the economic reality of all societies is excess. So I do not know if Chloe means material conditions by economic reality. Thirdly, religious realities can affect how expenditure is done but it does not constitute how expenditure is done.
All societies can expend via sacrifice or war, no matter their religious or economic realities. Society implies more than a single person, and therefore one person could kill the other.
For a general economy, scarcity is not existent as such, but an excess.— Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
See what I have said above about scarcity.
The general economy is first considered in a macrofoundation, which comprises the whole of the universe, second in a micro-perspective, where the subjective aspect of economy is maintained as non-objectified desire and inner experience. I would turn to the general economy as it was explicitly intended, namely as a political economy. The suggestions that Bataille himself presents are intentionally apolitical (ordinary sense), and that this can be shown to bedue to some conceptual slides between nature and society and between history and ontology. Some postmodern attempts to legitimize respectively alternatives, refer to the general economy, but argue finally that Bataille can escape both, since he maintians the important distinction between need and desire. Although Bataille’s conception of economy thus reminds us of aspects often overlooked by economy in an ordinary sense, “it has claimed to also contains aporias, which means that it does not constitue the theoritical basis of a new general political economy,” EVEN if I considered it a optimal rule.— Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
Firstly, I would like to say that I expected more. The majority of this paragraph as well as all of their video I’m just now realizing is actually from Asger Sørensen’s article, ‘On a universal scale: Economy in Bataille’s general economy’. So, I don’t know, put it all in quotes, reference it, etc. But this also means that I’m really responding to Asger Sørensen.
Secondly, there are a lot of issues.
Bataille does not have a micro-perspective nor a macro-perspective of economy.
Bataille’s economy is equal to the universe that is all.
He even wrote some notes called ‘The Economy Equal to the Universe: Brief notes preliminary to the preparation of an essay on “general economy” forthcoming under the title The Accursed Share’.
Macro- and micro-economic perspectives are perspectives of restricted economy. General economy does not organize itself (into more perspectives) (see: the last Land quote right before ‘Concluding Remarks’).
Thirdly, the rest of “Chloe’s” (Sørensen’s) paragraph above runs off of the false assumption that general economy is just another interpretation of political economy.
The only way I can even figure that one would interpret Bataille as trying to do this is from one thing Bataille says in the ‘Preface’ to ‘The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption’. But even then, what Bataille says doesn’t say anything close to the idea that the general economy is and should be taken as a political economy.
For some years, being obliged on occasion to answer the question “What are you working on?” I was embarrassed to have to say, “A book of political economy.”— Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
Nothing in this quote says the general economy is political economy. All it says is that he is writing a book of political economy, which just means a book of economics, as political economy can refer to just economics (it even says this in 18th note in the article Chloe is plagiarizing (Asger Sørensen’s article, ‘On a universal scale: Economy in Bataille’s general economy’)). If you want to look more into the development of the term ‘political economy’ just look at the Wikipedia article ‘Political economy’.
Now even if Bataille does mean political economy and not economics, it still doesn’t matter. Benjamin Noys explains this precisely when he says,
So, rather than being a work of ‘political economy’, as The Accursed Share claims to be, ‘The Notion of Expenditure’ is a work of revolutionary critique.— Benjamin Noys, Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction.
Fourthly, Chloe (Sørensen) even CONTRADICTS themself when they say (they are plagiarizing Sørensen once more),
Bataille thus considers ordinary economical thinking, including both political economy and the neoclassical scientification of economy, as an inappropriate reduction, which is wanting both empircally and theoritcally. He therefore distinguishes between such a ‘restricted economy’ and his own ‘general economy.’ — Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
The contradiction is apparent. Bataille considers political economy to be apart of restricted economy, which IS NOT general economy (see: my section on restricted economy and general economy above).
Fifthly, general economy is beyond political economy.
Land makes this point in his work ‘The Thirst for Annihilation’ when he says,
Beyond political economy there is general economy, and the basic thought at its heart is that of the absolute primacy of wastafe, since ‘everything is rich which is to the measure of the universe’ [VII 23].— Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation.
Now on to the next thing Chloe says.
This approach to think the unreduced desire and the flow of energy in nature into economy leaves an impression of economy as totally unmanageable and uncontrollable in a practical sense.— Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
In The Accursed Share Bataille destroys the framework of political economy in which he is writing. Political economy is led by Bataille into moment of excess which cannot be reduced to political economy: ‘I had a point of view from which a human sacrifice, the construction of a church or the gift of a jewel were no less interesting than the sale of wheat’ (AS1, 9). The last great critique of political economy has been Marx’s Capital, but what had been intended as a critique was often transformed into a manual for a new Marxist political economy.22 Unlike Marx, Bataille did not operate on the conceptual terrain of political economy and he swept away the residual Marxist desire for ‘a good use of economy’ (Baudrillard in CR, 192) by destroying the axioms of economy itself.— Benjamin Noys, Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction.
Bataille is not trying to make a good use of the economy. He is not trying to manage the economy for an end. Rather, Bataille is recognizing that excess and expenditure are inevitable. Bataille rejects utility and therefore practicality as well.
Now to their next argument.
Chloe makes the same argument as Goux when they say,
The anti-authoritarian, theoritical perspective means that the general economy loses its character of political economy and instead transforms itself into a scientistic ontology, the alleged neccesity of which contributes to legitimate a total liberation of desire and consumption, which in turn can legitimate a capitalist development without any restrictions.— Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
So let’s look at their first claim.
First, they are assuming that general economy at one point had as it is character political economy, which it did not (see: my refutations to this above).
Second, this is not a scientistic ontology. Rather, this is a libidinal pre-ontology.
libidinal energy is chaotic, or pre-ontological.— Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation.
So from there, everything else they say falls as its premise has already fallen. But I will entertain their argument.
When they say a true liberation of desire and consumption, they mean a true liberation of libido and dépense (expenditure).
Bataille does no such thing with libido. He is explicitly against movements for sexual liberation. Bataille wants taboo’s and prohibitions so there can be transgression. But if I am even more charitable and assume they just mean desire, my argument still applies.
Bataille does not try to liberate expenditure either. One cannot liberate expenditure. One cannot control or use expenditure. Expenditure is pure loss. Bataille is just recognizing the reality of excess and expenditure.
Now, they could be making the argument that Bataille’s expenditure falls in line with capitalist consumption just as Goux did (see: my response to Goux above).
Benjamin Noys response to Goux’s (and therefore also Chloe’s) idea that the consumption (expenditure) of capitalism is not what Bataille means by expenditure when he says,
Goux’s reading sees the accursed share as an element of capital, becoming the necessary element of risk and chance in market calculations. However, it could also be argued that this is a refusal to deal with the accursed share at all. Capitalism is not just a restricted economy in terms of accumulation but also in terms of the range of its expenditures, and Bataille’s point that the bourgeoisie spends ‘within itself’ does not seem any less true than when he first made it. The gift of potlatch is exactly that, a gift, not the gamble of an investment or the selling of goods in new and unstable markets.— Benjamin Noys, Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction.
Now onto their last point.
Economically Bataille maintian a macroperspective on such a universal scale that one cannot distinguish clearly between energy and matter— Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
This is doesn’t matter (see what I did there? “doesn’t matter”. “matter”).
Following the principles of the theory of relativity Bataille considers energy as matter in a fluid form. — Asger Sørensen, On a universal scale: Economy in Bataille’s general economy.
Matter would then be energy in a static form. Therefore, energy is matter and vice versa.
But their “critique” could also be taken another way. It could be taken as ‘Bataille makes everything into energy’.
Our answer would be the same.
This isn’t really a critique nor an issue.
If everything is energy and energy is always in excess (see: the axiom I lined out above) then we are always in a state of excess which proves Bataille’s argument.
This is also contingent on Bataille having a macro-economic perspective, which I have refuted earlier in this article.
while he in his microperspective makes the very rationality of planning and organization suspicious in itself. — Chloe (@progressivelol on TikTok), their video.
Again this is the whole point.
Bataille isn’t trying to use the economy for a certain end. Bataille is a-teleological in this sense.
Any process of organization is necessarily aberrational within the general economy, a mere complexity or detour in the inexorable death-flow, a current in the informational motor, energy cascading downstream, dissipation.— Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation.
So this isn’t even an argument.
This is also contingent on Bataille having a micro-economic perspective, which I have refuted earlier in this article.
Note: I have only given a VERY ROUGH outline of Bataille’s economics. I have tried to make it as digestible as possible given the amount of time it has taken me to write. If you have any questions, please comment it and I will reply to it to the best of my abilities.
It is quite clear that Bataille’s economics are complex and always developing (in the form of new interpretations). There are constant strawmen, misinterpretations, and fallacious arguments against Bataille’s economics; most of which, I have responded to in this article.
I have shown the axiomatic basis of Bataille’s economics:
M-matter (the earth, plants, non-human animals, humans, etc.)
0-the number zero
An attempt at a rough outline of a formulaic expression of the axioms of solar economics:
- ☉ →E
- E>0 (always true)
I have explained the differences between restricted economy and general economy.
Restricted economy has its primary focus on production. Restricted economy does not recognize that there is excess but rather puts forward that there is lack. Restricted economy poses economic problems with the presupposition of lack.
General economy has its primary focus on expenditure. General economy does recognize that there is excess. General economy poses economic problems with the recognition of the axioms of excess.
I do think that Bataille’s economics are very important. They accurately recognize our problems and forward good forms of expenditure. Bataille’s economics are becoming increasingly important with the threat of energy famines, as well as the climate crisis (see: Allan Stoekl’s ‘Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustianability’ if you are interested).
I will end this fittingly with some words from Bataille himself.
it is not necessity but its contrary, “luxury,” that presents living matter and mankind with their fundamental problems.— Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume 1: Consumption.
Again, if you have any questions leave a comment below. I will try to the best of my ability to respond to them in a satisfactory way.