FREE AND EQUALS
At the root of this questioning is the human aspiration for freedom and equality. The detour through primatology allows us to discern its origins and then to identify in concrete social organizations the inexhaustible antagonism between freedom and authority, between egalitarianism and hierarchy.
Another fundamental feature of human experience is the gift, which opposes both extortion and exchange, thwarting the hierarchical and unequal tendencies of relations of domination as well as the dehumanizing anonymity of the administration and the market. An inexhaustible source of connection, the gift creates social value out of interpersonal relations: it is the driving principle of the paradigm of freedom and equality.
Tribal societies and family systems, royalty and religion, bureaucracy and capitalism: the major forms of social structuring are driven by these basic contradictions, which are also at stake in the diversity of gender relations and can be identified in the competing political ideologies of modern times.