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THORSTEIN VEBLEN: IS FINANCIAL CAPITALISM SELF-ORGANIZING? 

April, 2017

By Mu-Jeong Kho

University College London, United Kingdom 

m.kho@ucl.ac.uk

mu-jeong.kho@cantab.net


Abstract

The relationship between Veblen and Marxist theories has been explored, but an issue, which has been left unaddressed in that context, is: is financial capitalism really self-organising? If it is true, it is possible to make a matrix with two variables: market or non-market institutional mechanisms on the one hand; and on the other, pro-capital versus anti-capital. This article, which defines the term ‘self-organisation’ as ‘order out of disorder,’ aims to answer to this research question particularly based in Veblen’s writings and facilitate a detailed understanding of his position through the current U.S. financial capitalism. It is argued in this paper that a dialogue with Veblen is a precondition for deepening Marxist political economy.


Key Words: finance capitalism, self-organisation, process, social order, origin of disorder, stability, institution, habit, successive approximation, history of economic thought

JEL Classification: B14, B15, B40, G01, G10

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Kho, Mu-Jeong (2017). “Thorstein Veblen: Is Financial Capitalism Self-Organising?” WSSA-AFIT Conference Paper, Panel 4: The Enduring Influence of Thorstein Veblen, Economics (Association for Institutional Thought: AFIT) program at the Western Social Science Association (WSSA) 59th Annual Conference and the 38th Annual Meeting of AFIT, San Francisco, California (The Hyatt Regency Embarcadero), The United States of America (USA), April 12-15, 2017 (Conference Theme: Institutions: The Cause of, and Solution to, all our Economic and Social Problems?)


Available at: http://associationforinstitutionalthought.org/downloads/AFIT-Program-Feb-25-version.pdf http://associationforinstitutionalthought.org/downloads/2017-WSSA-Conference-Program.pdf http://www.wssaweb.com/documents/2017_WSSA_Conference_Program_CONTENT.pdf

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