The Theory of the Leisure Class (Illustrated and Bundled with ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES) by Thorstein Veblen

The Theory of the Leisure Class (Illustrated and Bundled with ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES)

byThorstein Veblen, Charles Darwin

Kobo ebook | September 19, 2014

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Thorstein Veblen is a great American economist along with Irving Fisher, Henry George, and John Bates Clark in many economic thoughts for combining a Darwinian evolutionary perspective with his new institutionalist approach to economic analysis. He developed a 20th-century evolutionary economics based upon Darwinian principles and new ideas emerging from anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Veblen’s important works includes The Theory of the Leisure Class and The Theory of Business Enterprise.

The Theory of the Leisure Class proposes that economic life is driven by the social stratification of tribal society. This view links him to Karl Marx. However, his views on socialism are different from that of Karl Marx. Marx saw communism as the ultimate goal for civilization and saw the working class as the group that would establish it. Veblen saw socialism as one intermediate phase in an ongoing evolutionary process in society that would be brought about by the natural decay of the business enterprise system and by technology advance (“inventiveness of engineers”).


By far the best known of Veblen’s work is The Theory of the Leisure Class. Veblen’s term “conspicuous consumption” in the book has become part of everyday language. Most of the key concepts of Veblen’s thought are either present or clearly foreshadowed in The Theory of the Leisure Class including his distinction between industrial and pecuniary pursuits; his concept of evolutionary stages; his definition of certain cultural traits as survivals, with consequent implications for the importance of culture lag; his nostalgic bias for the simple, preindustrial life.

Veblen also contributed theoretical foundation and later helped found the Technocracy movement. He predicted that technological developments would eventually lead toward a socialistic organization of economic affairs.

Arab Spring is a sound example for his prediction. Social media that is driven by Internet and information can help individuals form a connected strength to change social system in a powerful and effective way.

Darwin published the book On the Origin of Species in his 1859 and successfully unified the theory of the life sciences and social science by explaining the diversity of life. Today, the scientific community and much of the general public have accepted evolution as a fact.

Darwin’s scientific discovery had influenced many later economists including Thorstein Veblen in many ways.

Darwinian evolutionism is one of important intellectual strands that run through all of Veblen’s work. The element in Darwinism that influences Veblen is that individuals have little or no control over the forces of change. However, Veblen implicitly denied the relevance for social science of such other key Darwinian concepts as natural selection, the struggle for existence, and the survival of the fittest.

This book is for the readers who are interested in analyses of an economic system from an evolution approach and the deepest thoughts of the competitive and predatory nature of the business world by Thorstein Veblen and Charles Darwin, two of the greatest thinkers on the planet.


Title:The Theory of the Leisure Class (Illustrated and Bundled with ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES)Format:Kobo ebookPublished:September 19, 2014Publisher:AS TeamLanguage:English

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