Thoreau in the city
in A brief history of thrift
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Challenges the conventional view of economic history in which capitalism is assumed as the backdrop. Argues that thrift as frugality is simply the daily reality for the majority of the world’s population; thrift (as frugality and thriving) does not constitute ‘moments’ in a smooth trajectory of capitalism; and that thrift (as thriving, and even in some cases as frugality) proves that material conditions are just as likely to result in reciprocity than maximisation. Attempts to make a small start towards re-thinking the concept of thrift, both in terms of attempting to remove it from frugality per se (as its primary principle or motivation), and in terms of attempting to prove it can be used to carve out future alternatives, not simply shore up existing systems.


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