Importance of conspicuous consumption

Thostein Veblen, Theory of the class of leisure, Al Tel, Gallimard, 1899 (1970), ” Chapter 3. The leisure ostentatious “

p 27

“To attract and retain the esteem of men, it is not enough to possess merely wealth or power : it is still necessary to highlight, because this is obviously only one will believes. By putting his wealth in full view, not only be made to feel his importance to others, it not only sharpens and keeps awake the feeling they have of this importance, but still, something hardly less useful, it strengthens and preserves every reason to be satisfied with self. At all stages of the civilization, except for the lower, a “suitable framework” and the exemption from “employment servile” warm and support the love own of the normal man. If it is forced to divest itself of its level of decency usual, as it is in the ornaments, of the life or in the kind and the duration of its daily activity, it may feel like an affront to his human dignity, that his peers will disapprove of them or not, whether he has or not consciousness. “

“During the stage predator, and especially then, in the period which saw the beginnings and the development of almost peaceful industry, and a life of leisure is the testimony indicated, and perfectly conclusive of the power is financial, and therefore of the power of any court : provided, however, that the man as it must be flowing visibly his recreation in ease and comfort… The forbearance displayed for any work therefore becomes the classic evidence of the feat pecuniary ; to the reverse, given that the attendance at the productive work is a proof of poverty and subjection, it becomes inconsistent with an honorable position in the society. ”

p 31

“It has already been noted that the term” leisure “, as it is used here, not speak of laziness or rest. It expresses the consumption of unproductive time, which 1° is a sense of the unworthiness of productive work; 2° demonstrates the ability of monetary to afford a life of idleness. However, man, like it should, the idle, does not expose all the moments of his life from the looks of those that should hit the show of his leisure honorary. “

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