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April, 2017

By Mu-Jeong Kho

University College London, United Kingdom


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

Paper (on-line) – Copyright This paper may be cited or briefly quoted in line with the usual academic conventions. You may also download them for your own personal use. But this paper must not be published elsewhere (e.g. to mailing lists, bulletin boards etc.) without the author's explicit permission. Please note that if you copy this paper you must: • include this copyright note • ‘Do not use the paper for commercial purposes or gain in any way’ • Also, you should observe the conventions of academic citation in a version of the following form:

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?)

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