Teorija o brezdelnem sloju

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The Theory of the Leisure Class je naslov knjige, ki jo trenutno berem. Preko spleta jo lahko naročite že za prgišče novcev, v elektronski obliki pa je na voljo tudi brezplačno. Knjigo je pred 113 leti napisal ameriški ekonomist in sociolog Thorstein Veblen.

Ker njegove satirične družbene teorije menda še nikomur ni uspelo prevesti v slovenščino, sem se prisiljen truditi s precej arhaično akademsko angleščino. Primer:

The normal and characteristic occupations of the class in this mature phase of its life history are in form very much the same as in its earlier days. These occupations are government, war, sports, and devout observances. Persons unduly given to difficult theoretical niceties may hold that these occupations are still incidentally and indirectly “productive”; but it is to be noted as decisive of the question in hand that the ordinary and ostensible motive of the leisure class in engaging in these occupations is assuredly not an increase of wealth by productive effort. At this as at any other cultural stage, government and war are, at least in part, carried on for the pecuniary gain of those who engage in them; but it is gain obtained by the honourable method of seizure and conversion. These occupations are of the nature of predatory, not of productive, employment. Something similar may be said of the chase, but with a difference. As the community passes out of the hunting stage proper, hunting gradually becomes differentiated into two distinct employments. On the one hand it is a trade, carried on chiefly for gain; and from this the element of exploit is virtually absent, or it is at any rate not present in a sufficient degree to clear the pursuit of the imputation of gainful industry. On the other hand, the chase is also a sport — an exercise of the predatory impulse simply. As such it does not afford any appreciable pecuniary incentive, but it contains a more or less obvious element of exploit. It is this latter development of the chase — purged of all imputation of handicraft — that alone is meritorious and fairly belongs in the scheme of life of the developed leisure class.

Abstention from labour is not only a honorific or meritorious act, but it presently comes to be a requisite of decency. …

Veblen je umrl 3. avgusta 1929, le mesec dni preden se je ameriški borzni balon napihnil do skrajnih meja oziroma malo manj kot tri mesece pred zlomom newyorške borze na oktobrski črni torek. Škoda, ker bi bilo zanimivo prebrati kakšen njegov komentar takratnega dogajanja.

K Veblenu me je pritegnil tudi opis, da je bil wacky eccentric, in da je pisal convoluted, ironic and satiric essays. Znal bi torej biti moj tip pisca.

Upam, da se bom v prostem času dovolj decentno prebil čez vseh 244 strani njegove satirične Teorije. ;-)

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