Dreaming of jubilee—the abolition of all debts and a yearlong halt to market transactions—is a helpful activity because it reminds us that our corporations are the ones who should be asking for forgiveness for their acts of plunder. Taking the idea of Jubilee seriously can help us break free of a market mentality and begin to adopt a gift economy mentality.

Within our current market-based society, it is quite common for people to frame social interactions as exchanges: glances, conversations, ideas, and gifts can all be considered in that mode. Market exchange, quid pro quo, is validated at every turn in our society, so the idea of an exchange of equivalents permeates our idea of interaction. In reality, however, there are many initiatives and responses that are not exchanges. Rather they are instances of unilateral giving that are imitated and repeated.

For many years I have...

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