Marshall Sahlins on an old problem

One might say that if production reflects the general scheme of society, it is looking at itself in a mirror. But it is saying the same thing, and in a way that does not neglect the understanding of our own system already achieved while opening a comparison with others, to observe that in Western culture the economy is the main site of symbolic production…The uniqueness of bourgeois society consists not in the fact that the economic system escapes symbolic determination, but that the economic system is structurally determining.

-Marshall Sahlins, Culture and Practical Reason, 1976