Thorstein Veblen


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The Vested Interests and The Nature of Peace are two books by Thorstein Veblen that go hand in hand. Veblen's main critique in The Vested Interests and the Common Man that business prospers by limiting supply in order to allow capitalists to dictate the highest possible prices, making theirs and interests of the government clearly in the opposition to the interests of the common man. Veblen goes further stating that not only that common man doesn't profit, but he is also damaged in this relationship considering social repercussions of capitalistic industry.
An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of Its Perpetuation is a Veblen's book that came as a product of his work with a group that had been commissioned by President Woodrow Wilson to analyze possible peace settlements for World War I. Veblen here claims that patriotism is based on the idea of superiority of one nation over others and is often abused by governments especially in imperial monarchies. He explicitly says that the peace between democratic states and imperial monarchies can't be kept without disbanding one form of government and these claims were later confirmed. Working on this book marked a series of distinct changes in Veblen's later career path.
Thorstein Veblen (1857–1929) was an American economist and sociologist. He is well known as a witty critic of capitalism. Veblen is famous for the idea of “conspicuous consumption.” Conspicuous consumption, along with “conspicuous leisure,” is performed to demonstrate wealth or mark social status. Veblen explains the concept in his best-known book, The Theory of the Leisure Class. Within the history of economic thought, Veblen is considered the leader of the institutional economics movement.
599 printed pages
Original publication



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