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.