Why multi-level marketing makes us feel uneasy

What is the difference between a gift and a transaction?

A gift is given without expecting anything in return. The reward for giving a gift is the act itself. Gifting happens mainly among friends and relatives and keeps a tribe together.

Every transactions entails a binding reciprocity. This reciprocity could be formal, like a contractual payment, or informal, like a favour you owe the Godfather someday. Transactions help us do business with strangers.

Gifts and transactions don’t mix very well. But multi-level marketers try anyway, and that is why we despise them. Such schemes encourage people to ‘cash in’ on their personal relationships.

The problem with a world that is primarily driven by commerce is that it often confuses gifts and transactions, leaving a string of hollow individuals in its wake.

Inspiration: Linchpin

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