The expectation of reciprocation for a gift received by another. A trust-building system based on the logic of mutuality and redistribution.
Following Marcel Mauss’s proposition in his essay, The Gift (1925), credit is a structure of mutually obliging collectivities which exchange gifts of various natures, such as: kindness, meals, dances, and party invitations, among other things. Within such arrangements, the traded objects are never fully dissociated from those who exchange them, establishing bonds through their reciprocal movement. What guarantees reciprocity is the gift itself, which moves with the certainty of retribution, in virtue of being something gifted to someone.
With credit, giving and getting are the same gesture. Both are encompassed within one another, a single action that can only be differentiated through time. Credit has delayed fulfilment as a condition of existence. Its central instrument is a belief in its ability to realize itself. What that entails is that it is not singularly a mechanism for exchange, but fundamentally a strategy for building mutual trust between different people or communities.