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Thorstein Veblen (1857 – 1929)


Born Tosten Bunde Veblen, was a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist and a leader of the Efficiency Movement, most famous for The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899).
Thorstein Veblen
A standard of living is of the nature of habit. ...it acts almost solely to prevent recession from a scale of conspicuous expenditure that has once become habitual.
Veblen quotes
The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before.
Veblen
In order to stand well in the eyes of the community, it is necessary to come up to a certain, somewhat indefinite, conventional standard of wealth.




Veblen Thorstein quotes
In point of substantial merit the law school belongs in the modern university no more than a school of fencing or dancing.
Veblen Thorstein
The possession of wealth confers honor; it is an invidious distinction.
Thorstein Veblen quotes
Invention is the mother of necessity.
Thorstein Veblen
It is a matter of course and of absolute necessity to the conduct of business, that any discretionary businessman must be free to deal or not to deal in any given case; to limit or withhold the equipment under his control, without reservation. Business discretion and business strategy, in fact, has no other means by to work out its aims. So that, in effect, all business sagacity reduces itself in the last analysis to judicious use of sabotage.
Veblen Thorstein quotes
It frequently happens that an element of the standard of living which set out with being primarily wasteful, ends with becoming, in the apprehension of the consumer, a necessary of life.
Veblen
The thief or swindler who has gained great wealth by his delinquency has a better chance than the small thief of escaping the rigorous penalty of the law.
Veblen Thorstein
The institution of a leisure class has emerged gradually during the transition from primitive savagery to barbarism; or more precisely, during the transition from a peaceable to a consistently warlike habit of life.
Thorstein Veblen
In itself and in its consequences the life of leisure is beautiful and ennobling in all civilised men's eyes.




Thorstein Veblen quotes
Labor wants also pride and joy in doing good work, a sense of making or doing something beautiful or useful - to be treated with dignity and respect as brother and sister.
Thorstein Veblen
The superior gratification derived from the use and contemplation of costly and supposedly beautiful products is, commonly, in great measure a gratification of our sense of costliness masquerading under the name of beauty.
Veblen quotes
In modern civilized communities... the members of each stratum accept as their ideal of decency the scheme of life in vogue in the next higher stratum.
Veblen Thorstein
The domestic life of most classes is relatively shabby, as compared with the éclat of that overt portion of their life that is carried on before the eyes of observers.
Veblen Thorstein quotes
Servants should not only show a servile disposition, but it is quite as imperative that they should show a trained conformity to the canons of conspicuous subservience.
Thorstein Veblen
The latter-day outcome of this evolution of an archaic institution, the wife, who was at the outset the drudge and chattel of the man... has become the ceremonial consumer of goods which he produces. But she still quite unmistakably remains his chattel in theory; for the habitual rendering of vicarious leisure and consumption is the abiding mark of the unfree servant.
Thorstein Veblen quotes
It is much more difficult to recede from a scale of expenditure once adopted than it is to extend the accustomed scale in response to an accession of wealth.
Thorstein Veblen
In the modern industrial communities... the apparatus of living has grown so elaborate and cumbrous... that the consumers of these things cannot make way with them in the required manner without help.
Veblen Thorstein
The walking stick serves the purpose of an advertisement that the bearer's hands are employed otherwise than in useful effort, and it therefore has utility as an evidence of leisure.


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