Another rite in which the supplicant applies for an augmentation of his loan is

Another rite in which the supplicant applies for an

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78). Another rite, in which the supplicant applies for an augmentation of his loan is also possible (1975: 99)Wasteful expenditure functions as another form of capitalism- shifting a calculable exchange value onto the perceived debt of the dead.Gates 87 [Hill Gates Professor at Central Michigan University, Money For The Gods ]From his observations in central China in the later nineteenth century, Dore describes two versions of this complex. In the less common, and presumably older version, mourners purchased paper printed with "images of public granaries, of the state treasuries" (my translation), which were burned with prayers to the guardians of these treasures to be generous to the soul of the deceased.In the more popular version, mourners filled chests with paper money and paper
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silver ingots, sealed the chests with the date and name of the recipient, and brought it to the temple of the City God, where they were "deposited like capital in the bank of the City God. In the other world he would give to the depositor the interest on the capital placed there"(my translation, 1970: 58-59). There are many common elements between the contemporary Taiwan ritual and the older ones. But DeGroot's version differs in the relative simplicity of its financial arrangements, with its debtor's prison for souls and highly personal basis for the original debt, while Dore's hints at a shift from using money to placate political power to using it in a capitalist way, to draw interest. Hou'sversion, which my informants support, assumes a highly institutionalized financial system, a celestialcentral bank.Partic- ularly in the Taiwan version, we see the human body, the length of its life, and the quality of that life equated to specific sums of money as extreme an example of the penetration of a money economy into human existence as metaphorcan express What does the presumption of such transactions tell the Taiwanese about themselves and about their economy?As part of an answer, it is hard to resist a sort of "Daoism and the spirit of Chinese capitalism" analysis of the connections that clearly exist among the folk belief in Original Debt, popular ideals of righ- teous conduct, and petty-capitalist economic practice. Inthis class, simply staying in business, let alone prospering and expanding, depends on credit-worthiness and trust that others will fulfill their obligations, for now, as always, people of Taiwan's lower classes do not look to the law and the state to enforce contracts. Saso (1982: 185-186), identifying the Confucian virtue of yi with reciprocity among friends and business associates, argues that the worship of gods expresses the social value of these important relationships. That the gods are concerned with honesty and uprightness in humantransactions, and rewards these with prosperity, is commonplace among small business- people and craft workers. Paying one's debts, an essential obligation on earth, becomes elevated through ritual to a kind of sacrament in heaven, an act of personal salvation
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