For Heidegger, sharing is a property of Dasein, of the mode of being that is constitutive to the human mode being-in-the-world, that is, to existence. The world we exist in is always already a shared world making being in the world Mitsein, or being-with. It is because of this originary sharing that we are always also the other, and so the sharing of the world allows others to appear. Nancy takes this thinking further, considering sharing as a prerequisite of meaning, and at the root of his critique of capitalism.
It is through the historical universalization of exchange, necessitated by the principle of private property, that sharing has drifted to the margins of western culture. The current triumph of neoliberalism amounts to an attempt at creating a world that is no longer a shared world. In such a world, optimized towards the requirements of exchange, sameness and generalized positivity give radical otherness nowhere to be. Precisely at the time when sharing is hailed as a more agreeable, pleasant form of capitalism, the actual meaning of sharing becomes all but impossible to communicate.
When Bataille developed his concept of expenditure in the 1920s, he intuited that an effective critique of capitalism must let go of the principle of exchange and instead ground itself on what is given away without return, what is wasted and “sacrificed.” Does his notion of expenditure contain leads for developing a radical critique of neoliberalism from existential and ontological understandings of sharing?
Referring to recent works by Wendy Brown, Byung-Chul Han, Gianni Vattimo & Santiago Zabala, this talk asks the question where the place for a critical understanding of sharing is within the critique of neoliberalism.