chapter
Market 3 On Divine Markets and the Problem of Justice: Empire as Theodicy
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Is Empire useful because it is “good to eat?” That is, would its consumption and absorption result in theoretical growth? Or is Empire useful because it is “good to think?”1 That is, is it homologous to other practical and theoretical interventions in contemporary social fields? Lévi-Strauss had argued that the logical relations differentiating totemic creatures from one another could be seen as similar to the system of social differences constituting a society.2 The resemblance between these two sets of logical relationships dispelled the totemic illusion by revealing it to be something in the structure of all human thought. That resemblance, then, was not strictly speaking an analogy but a structural homology, a concordance of structure, function, and functional interrelationships among constituent parts of the animal kingdom, human society, and the mind. Lévi-Strauss claimed to find homologies in customs, beliefs, and practices that reacted “dialectically among themselves in such a way that we cannot hope to understand one of them without first evaluating, through their respective relations of opposition and correlation, institutions, representations, and situations.”3 Anthropology, as a mode of knowledge, was simply to assert the homology of structure evident in that dialectic, integrating “essence and form” and reflecting “a more necessary integration: that between method and reality.”4