In at least two places Marx identifies the origins of exchange in
communities coming into contact with each other. He reject the notion
that exchange is rooted in some individual propensity to truck, barter,
and exchange. The two passages by Marx that I'm thinking about are
Can anyone on this list point me to anthropological, historical or other
writings that would shed light on Marx's claim?
it is simply wrong to place exchange at the center of communal society
as the original, constituent element. It originally appears, rather, in
the connection of the different communities with one another, not in the
relations between the different members of a single community.
the exchange of products springs up at the points where different
families, tribes, communities, come in contact; for, in the beginning of
civilisation, it is not private individuals but families, tribes, &c.,
that meet on an independent footing. Different communities find
different means of production, and different means of subsistence in
their natural environment. Hence, their modes of production, and of
living, and their products are different. It is this spontaneously
developed difference which, when different communities come in contact,
calls forth the mutual exchange of products, and the consequent gradual
conversion of those products into commodities.
[SECTION 4: DIVISION OF LABOUR IN MANUFACTURE, AND DIVISION OF LABOUR IN