A Polanyi Snippet

“The outstanding discovery of recent historical and anthropological research is that man’s economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships. He does not act so as to safeguard his individual interest in the possession of material goods; he acts so as to safeguard his social standing, his social claims, his social assets. He values material goods only in so far as they serve this end.”

Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, 1944
(p. 48 in the 2001 Beacon Books edition)