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Thorstein Veblen on The Web

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Message Stephen C. Rose

A selection of sites that provide access to the thought of one of the most stringent analysts of American (Western) culture and economics. His thought, like Nietzsche's, remains relevant to the present and future and calls out for attention. The Web is the future of words, of texts, or discourse. This is a sample of the sorts of guideposts I find useful.

In general I have been subjective in my selection deep into search results. I try not to feature sites that require downloads, or registration and to ignore sites that are too busy and seem hard to use. I have not closed selections to critics of Veblen. Please leave a comment if you wish to suggest a link or flag a non-working link.

have placed the initial few sentences of each work linked to below to give a flavor of the man.

Text of The Theory of The Liesure Class

The institution of a leisure class is found in its best development at the higher stages of the barbarian culture; as, for instance, in feudal Europe or feudal Japan. In such communities the distinction between classes is very rigorously observed; and the feature of most striking economic significance in these class differences is the distinction maintained between the employments proper to the several classes. The upper classes are by custom exempt or excluded from industrial occupations, and are reserved for certain employments to which a degree of honour attaches.

Böhm-Bawerk's Definition of Capital and the Source of Wages

In his exposition of the term "capital" Professor Böhm-Bawerk briefly touches on the wages-fund doctrine, so far as to reject summarily the proposition that the means of subsistence of productive laborers is drawn from the capital of the community, although, from the point of view of the employer, these "real wages" are to be regarded as drawn from his private capital. With the distinction which the discussion establishes between social capital and private capital, this position is, of course, in itself perfectly consistent.

Why is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science

M.G. de Lapouge recently said, "Anthropology is destined to revolutionise the political and the social sciences as radically as bacteriology has revolutionised the science of medicine." In so far as he speaks of economics, the eminent anthropologist is not alone in his conviction that the science stands in need of rehabilitation.

The Beginning of Ownership

In the accepted economic theories the ground of ownership is commonly conceived to be the productive labor of the owner. This is taken, without reflection or question, to be the legitimate basis of property; he who has produced a useful thing should
possess and enjoy it.

The Instinct of Workmanship and the Irksomeness of Labor

It is one of the commonplaces of the received economic theory that work is irksome. Many a discussion proceeds on this axiom that, so far as regards economic matters, men desire above all things to get the goods produced by labor and to avoid the labor
by which the goods are produced.

The Barbarian Status of Women

It seems altogether probable that in the primitive groups of mankind, when the race first took to a systematic use of tools and so emerged upon the properly human plane of life, there was but the very slightest beginning of a system of status, with
little of invidious distinction between classes and little of a corresponding division of employments.

Another Site with The Theory of The Liesure Class Text

The Preconceptions of Economic Science 1

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Born in NYC, attended Oberlin & Trinity Schools, then Exeter and Williams (Phi Beta Kappa 1958). Worked with the Reverend James Robinson, finished Union Theological Seminary in NYC (1961). Joined Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. Founded (more...)
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