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by Thorstein Veblen

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Author: Thorstein Veblen
ISBN: 1402197950
Language: English
Pages: 412 pages
Category: Economics
Publisher: Adamant Media Corporation (December 15, 2000)
Rating: 4.3
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FB2 size: 1879 kb | EPUB size: 1346 kb | DJVU size: 1596 kb

The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions (1899), by Thorstein Veblen, is a treatise on economics and a detailed, social critique of conspicuous consumption.

The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions (1899), by Thorstein Veblen, is a treatise on economics and a detailed, social critique of conspicuous consumption, as a function of social class and of consumerism, derived from the social stratification of people and the division of labour, which are social institutions of the feudal period (9th–15th . that have continued to the modern era.

The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions Paperback – December 15, 2000. by Thorstein Veblen (Author).

Veblen, Thorstein, 1857-1929. New York, The Macmillan Company; London, Macmillan & C. ltd. Collection. university of illinois urbana-champaign; americana. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. viii, 400 p. 20 cm. Notes. Page 395/396 appears after page 400 in physical copy.

Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929), the controversial American economist and social critic . Despite the effects these theories have had on the study of modern economics, it was The Theory of the Leisure Class, published in 1899, that became Veblen's best-known work

Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929), the controversial American economist and social critic, argues that economics is essentially a study of the economic aspects of human culture. Despite the effects these theories have had on the study of modern economics, it was The Theory of the Leisure Class, published in 1899, that became Veblen's best-known work. In it, he introduced the now classic concept of "conspicuous consumption.

Thorstein Bunde Veblen (born Tosten Bunde Veblen July 30, 1857 – August 3, 1929) was a Norwegian-American .

Thorstein Bunde Veblen (born Tosten Bunde Veblen July 30, 1857 – August 3, 1929) was a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist and a founder, along with John R. Commons, of the Institutional economics movement. He was an impassioned critic of the performance of the American economy, and is most famous for his book "The Theory of the Leisure Class" (1899). Veblen was born in Cato, Wisconsin, of Norwegian immigrant parents.

Table of Contents: Books by thorstein veblen. 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.

HE 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 signicance in these class differences is the distinction maintained between the employments proper to the several classes.

The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions (1899), by Thorstein Veblen, is an economic treatise and detailed social critique of conspicuous consumption.

The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions (1899), by Thorstein Veblen, is an economic treatise and detailed social critique of conspicuous consumption, as a function of social-class consumerism, which proposes that the social strata and the division of labor of the feudal period continued into the modern era. Veblen’s analyses of business cycles and prices, and of the emergent technocratic division of labor by specialty (scientists, engineers, technologists) at the beginning.

Book digitized by Google from the library of Harvard University and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb.

Thorstein Veblen You can read The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions by Thorstein Veblen in our library for absolutely free. Read various fiction books with us in our e-reader.

I'm not sure how relevant Veblen's theories on the Leisure Class are in a society where there is no royalty .

I'm not sure how relevant Veblen's theories on the Leisure Class are in a society where there is no royalty, hardly anybody can name a war hero, and practically nobody frets about whether they're good enough to warrant an invitation to the cotillion. But his theory is perhaps prescient in that, when you look at the most revered people in American society, they're not our hordes of hard-working suckers like Joe the Plumber, or even our eye-poppingly rich masters of industry like Bill Gates or Donald Trump. I’m going to quote a couple of paragraphs from the excellent introduction to this book to show some of the scope of what Veblen discusses here

This Elibron Classics book is a facsimile reprint of a 1899 edition by The Macmillan Company, New York.
Comments (7)
Steelraven
Thorstein Veblen is a very interesting being. I read about Veblen in economics books. For instance 'The Worldly Philosophers' has a whole chapter on him. To understand the context of where he fit. Adam Smith said small government with maximum freedom means wealth. But then David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus showed some complications to Adam Smith's theories. So John Stuart Mill taught that institutions are the solution. For instance if the landowner is getting rich at everybody's expense, how bout the landowner gets taxed more?

In this context Thorstein Veblen shows that economists will always disagree on any solution. If their are 5 economists in the room you will get 6 different answers. Veblen saw two main groups of people. Those of the Leisure Class who are the rich rulers, who waste resources and set society's norms. The others conform as they are worried about fitting in and end up wasting time and money on things that have no benefit to them. Then he saw the industrial class as the solution. As industry develops, people become more and more matter of fact.

Veblen saw ancient but not modern religion as an example of the leisure class setting norms. He saw religious ornaments and ceremonies as a waste of time. He saw those working in the factory, and focusing on the matter of facts of breaking free of the norms established by the Leisure Class. To him ancient religion took control of people by using fear. However, he saw modern religion as good. He saw charities as giving back to the people, and he saw this as becoming more and more reality.

Unfortunately some of what Veblen has advocated has come to pass, and the world is no better. We have become more technological in our communication-internet and cellphones; and have less time for face to face communication. I miss those days. Another worrying thing is that Karl Marx was against family, religion and private property. Veblen was also against the traditional family, traditional religion and private property. He was against traditional family in the sense that the woman would concentrate on having children and pleasing her man instead of working in the family. Where they disagreed is that Marx saw technology as part of the ruling class, and making the life of everybody else miserable. Whereas Veblen saw the machine as ultimately liberating people. He also saw mankind on an evolutionary path, whereas Marx saw the end of capitalism as the 2nd to last stage.

In all Veblen, is a very interesting being as he comes from a very unique point of view. One last thing about ancient vs modern religion. 'Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world" James 1:27. So there you have it he wasn't against all forms of religion. I'm giving him 5 stars not because I agree or disagree with him, but simply cause he presented a different view in economics, and different economists have different views. And last of all yes he did write many books and articles, but most of his other books are just a build on. This book covers the majority of his ideas.
Wooden Purple Romeo
This is the classic deep sociological analysis of "conspicuous consumption" (a term it coined) and its cultural effects. It has lots of of insight about social structure and capitalism which is still applicable today. It is also interesting because it was published when "socialism" was not a dirty word and it seemed as if it might succeed, not just in the US. On the minus side it is padded out and repetitive, so skimming in spots is recommended. He also used some very outdated evolutionary analysis (evolution was still a hot subject then and being inappropriately applied in many places, as it has been since then), but that is easily ignored.
Yahm
This review calls for some humility – it's like being asked to review Shakespeare and asked whether It is any good. The author is a master of a mannered style of English prose – a little grand in today's terms but really a pleasure to read.
Why would a person read "The Theory of the Leisure Class" by Thorstein Veblen today? This book was written in 1899 by an economist though it is wider in scale than mere economics. I first came across it in 1970 when it was referred to by S I Hayakawa a somewhat indifferent scholar of general semantics as understood by Alfred Korbzybski. Hayakawa went on to be Senator in California after serving a time as president of San Francisco State University and having employed helicopters to teargas students. He is also mentioned in Robert L Heilbroner's "the Worldly Philosophers" where Adam Smith and Keynes are included in six leading economists which includes Thorstein Veblen, but I must get back to the topic. The relevance of this book today seems to be that we have returned to 1900 after a period of democracy which existed in America following the trust busting. Democracy has been gradually rolled back from the 70s. The rich 1% now control about 20% of the resources, tax rates are falling and democracy in United States seems to be on the way out. At the time when Thorstein Veblen was writing about 4% of American youth went to university, mainly from the elites where they could meet and marry each other. The state of American universities are such today that we may well revert to that position. The American ruling class has generally been industrious and not a leisure class: see the studies of G William Domhoff, though there do exist some tens of thousands who never work at all amongst the elites. One hopes that the leisure class is capable of contributing to culture either directly or through patronage, but when you look at the English leisure class of the 19th century, it seemed to consist of gentlemen (gentlefolk) who spent their whole time hunting, fishing and shooting; and not much was produced by them – mainly the middle classes looked after culture. In fact the word "culture" is looked down upon by the gentry who refer to themselves as civilised rather than "cultured" which is a middle-class word.
In this book Veblen coined the phrase "conspicuous consumption" though today the old rich indulge more in "inconspicuous consumption" and it is the Jetset and flashy newly arrives who flaunt their wealth in the form of McMansions and other forms of vulgarity. In Veblen's day it was the playing sports e.g. Polo, yachting, large wealth and working in essentially parasitic activities such as banking since this showed great wealth. His book is to be enjoyed for its prose style and I will finish this review with a quote from page 142 of the Dover edition:

"Employments fall into a hierarchical gradation of reputability. Those which have to do immediately with ownership on a large scale are the most reputable of economic employments proper. Next to these in good repute come those employments that are immediately subservient to ownership and financiering, – such as banking and the law. Banking employments also carry a suggestion of large ownership, and this fact is doubtless accountable for a share of the prestige that attaches to the business. The profession of law does not imply large ownership, but since no taint of usefulness, for other than competitive purpose, attaches to the lawyer's trade, it grades high in the conventional scheme. The lawyer is exclusively occupied with the details of predatory fraud, either in achieving or in checkmating chicane, and success in the profession is therefore accepted as marking a large endowment of that barbarian astuteness which has always commanded men's respect and fear".
Ces
The book is one of the standards in the study of the value of the bourgeoisie. The only issue with Veblen is that his writing is very "tight" if I can use that word. You have to read him closely, and he writes from a viewpoint of a Sociologist, though, h e ultimately brings in economic thinking, not much like Marx, but thinking of his own. Conspicuous consumption and conspicuous waste are his two original ideas about the topic.
Hugighma
I'm picking it up and putting it down over time. Honestly, there are days when I feel like people who read books back then were a lot smarter than I am. Getting through this is enlightening, but rough.