Selfless power

David Hart notes, in a discussion of Derrida and Milbank on gift, that “absolute ‘selfless’ gratuity, which will not submit to reciprocation, is pure power; but interested exchange – even though sin inevitably corrupts all exchange with the shadow of coercion and greed – is not simply an economy over against which the impossible gift stands as a dialectical encounter, but is able rather to manifest a more primordial free gesture . . . that underlies and ultimately exceeds any economy.” That is, “a love that is inseparable from an interest in the other is always more commendable, more truly selfless, than the airless purity of disinterested expenditure, because it recognzes the otherness and delights in the splendor of the other.”

Derrida, in his eagerness to escape the interested exchanges of economy, plots right back into economy.

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