Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Conspicuous Consumption

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:51 AM
Original message
Conspicuous Consumption
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. This is nothing compared to Hearst Castle.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Lucky Luciano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Funny thing is that this house
is where Hearst went after his health started to fail. This is the home he died in. I have been to this house many times...and it is huge....75K sq ft of living space on 6 or 7 acres in the most expensive part of Beverly Hills. Father in the house is a very rich real estate guy and the wife is half his age from Monaco and they just had two new kids...and there are two others from a previous marriage (first wife used to be very hot...but then she aged I guess, but still looks good for that age).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madaboutharry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
2. This was a monument to 1920's,
which was also a time when most Americans had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing. This could really turn you into a commie.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. That was an earlier bubble, with the same result.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 09:06 AM by formercia
History repeats itself.

When you remove all of the safeties: bang.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
5. Who is Thorstein Veblen?
He coined the phrase "conspicuous consumption."


(1857-1929)


Thorstein Veblen is to economics what Jonathan Swift is to English literature: a master of the art of satire. Is is essential to effective satire that its message be ambiguous: the reader should never be sure whether the author is absolutely serious or just pulling his or her leg. That quality is certainly present in Swift's Gulliver's Travels and it is also present in Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), The Instinct of Workmanship (1914), Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution (1915), The Higher Learning in America (1918),Absentee Ownership (1923), and his many essays. In fact, it is there in everything he wrote except The Theory of Business Enterprise (1904), Which is as near as he ever came to writing a conventional academic book.

No matter which of these books we open, we find the idea that life in a modern industrial community is the result of a polar conflict between 'pecuniary employments' and 'industrial employments', between 'business enterprise' and 'the machine process', between 'vendibility' and 'serviceability'-in short, between making money and making goods. There is a class struggle under capitalism, not between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, but between businessmen and engineers. Pecuniary habits of thought unite bankers, brokers, lawyers and managers in a defense of private acquisition; in contrast, the discipline of the machine unites workers in industry and more especially the technicians and engineers who supervise them.
http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/walras/bios/veblen.html



Veblens writing

Veblen developed a 20th century evolutionary economics based upon Darwinian principles and new ideas emerging from anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Unlike the neoclassical economics that was emerging at the same time, Veblen described economic behavior as both socially and individually determined and saw economic organization as a process of ongoing evolution. This evolution was driven by the human instincts of emulation, predation, workmanship, parental bent, and idle curiosity. Veblen wanted economists to grasp the effects of social and cultural change on economic changes. In The Theory of the Leisure Class, which is probably his best-known work, because of its satiric look at American society, the instincts of emulation and predation play a major role. People, rich and poor alike, attempt to impress others and seek to gain advantage through what Veblen coined "conspicuous consumption" and the ability to engage in conspicuous leisure. In this work Veblen argued that consumption is used as a way to gain and signal status. Through "conspicuous consumption" often came "conspicuous waste," which Veblen detested. Much of modern advertising is built upon a Veblenian notion of consumption.

In The Theory of Business Enterprise, which was published in 1904, at the height of American concern with the growth of business combinations and trusts, Veblen employed his evolutionary analysis to explain these new forms. He saw them as a consequence of the growth of industrial processes in a context of small business firms that had evolved earlier to organize craft production. The new industrial processes impelled integration and provided lucrative opportunities for those who managed it. What resulted was, as Veblen saw it, a conflict between businessmen and engineers, with businessmen representing the older order and engineers as the innovators of new ways of doing things. In combination with the tendencies described in The Theory of the Leisure Class, this conflict resulted in waste and predation that served to enhance the social status of those who could benefit from predatory claims to goods and services.

Veblen generalized the conflict between businessmen and engineers by saying that human society would always involve conflict between existing norms with vested interests and new norms developed out of an innate human tendency to manipulate and learn about the physical world in which we exist. He also generalized his model to include his theory of instincts, processes of evolution as absorbed from Sumner, as enhanced by his own reading of evolutionary science, and Pragmatic philosophy first learned from Peirce. The instinct of idle curiosity led humans to manipulate nature in new ways and this led to changes in what he called the material means of life. Because, as per the Pragmatists, our ideas about the world are a human construct rather than mirrors of reality, changing ways of manipulating nature lead to changing constructs and to changing notions of truth and authority as well as patterns of behavior (institutions). Societies and economies evolve as a consequence, but do so via a process of conflict between vested interests and older forms and the new. Veblen never wrote with any confidence that the new ways were better ways, but he was sure in the last three decades of his life that the American economy could have, in the absence of vested interests, produced more for more people. In the years just after World War I he looked to engineers to make the American economy more efficient.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorstein_Veblen
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Great reference, thanks. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Archeoperator.
"No one travelling on a business trip would be missed if he failed to arrive." -- Thorstein Veblen
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Indeed
:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Sons of Norway for $400, Alex.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 10:01 AM by TahitiNut
:dunce:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. A good theme for the Prarie Home Companion
It seems that this segment hasn't been taken yet:

http://find.publicradio.org/search?q=conspicuous+consum...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. The Sons of Knute would be proud.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. For some, that's humor. For me, it's nostalgic. I grew up in that reality.
Everything in that relates to my childhood, growing up in a Norwegian-American family where my grandparents and grandaunt and granduncle were active in the Sons of Norway. All those foods were common. Pete Peterson was a friend of the family. (True!) Ole Oleson was too! "Ole and Lena" jokes were a staple.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Kick for the evening Veblenists!
And for all the Sons of Norway.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Dec 20th 2014, 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC