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IMPERIALISM, VEBLEN - Essay Example

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Economics: Imperialism, Veblen Name Institution Veblen, Capitalists Rely On Two Principal Means of Cultural Discipline and Social Control to Keep Profit Rates Up: Patriotism, Nationalism, Militarism, and Imperialism; and Emulative Consumption One can understand this well by looking at Veblen Reform Eras attempt to protect the society against the financial institutions…
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Download file to see previous pages Even so, the rise of World War 1 proved otherwise, by the time Veblen was writing Absentee Ownership, which he did in 1923; capitalism had done more harm than good. The financial management was poor, the cost was rising and the economy was becoming less productive and less competitive. The fruits of technology were not being realized. That is where Veblen argued that the economy or the market was organized in a way that there was a ‘free lunch’ privileges for some people. Some group of people could seize the income without really contributing to the production process. The power and ownership of property was rewarded more than labor. At this time, the economy sought to guide the economic policies and those in power only served their own interests. In his entire economic theory, Veblen is critical to the issue of imperialism, militarism, patriotism, nationalism, and emulative consumption. The greatest economist of all time analyzes capitalism as it is reflected in the large corporations, financial institutions, imperialism, militarism and patriotism. He does this by looking at how society is divided into the groups; the leisure class, and the rest of the population. The leisure class is there to exploit the others while the rest of the population is characterized by workmanship which is constantly rejecting leisure group resulting in a social conflict. The social conflicts exist in much society either in form of slavery, feudalism or capitalism. As a result, the society is divided into two distinct classes (Veblen 12). In modern times, they can be termed as the exploit and the industry. The industry means innovation or creation of new things while the exploit seizing other peoples work or innovation. For that reason, to maintain the status quo, and prevent war, some form of military must be in place to ensure that war is prevented. In addition, to ensure that the power remains only on the hand of the few patriotism exist to ensure that those who supports the status quo are greatly rewarded. Veblen regarded patriotism as the collective expression of what he called the archaic human propensity (Veblen 165). He argued that patriotism was being used by interest of capitalism to legitimize imperialism condemned imperialism on the ground that it retarded the economic growth and it was wasteful. Emulative consumption, according to him was a personal treadmill. This means that there was no possibility of progress. There was no way possible to escape the cycle. According to him, the power to rule over the society depended on the ability to control the ideologies and the emotions of the rest of the society and that was only possible to those who controlled the modes of production. Comparison of Veblen’s Ideas about Imperialism with Each of Hobson’s, Lenin’s And Luxemburg’s Views of Imperialism Imperialism can be defined as the highest stage of capitalism. It is a concept in a left theory of politics which shows the aggressive nature and characteristics of modern capitalism. The term, over the time keeps changing in meaning, from the classical Marxist theory to present day. Different scholars have different meaning of what really imperialism means. Hobson, for example, explains it as a symptom of capitalist crisis. According to him, capitalism has moved beyond its competitive stage to another high level characterized by a ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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