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On the Nature of the Concept of Tolerance

On the Nature of the Concept of Tolerance

I would like to discuss the following issues related to the concept of tolerance (the concept of intolerance can be derived, relatively un-problematically, from that of tolerance): the nature (source) of the concept of tolerance. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Models of Globalization

Models of Globalization

By the end of June 2017, when the seminar on “Marxist mathematical economics” was wrapping up, I announced a plan to organize a scientific seminar on “Models of globalization”, and I expoused its basic themes. It extends the economic study from the national to the supranational (of international organizations) and global levels, as was the obvious progression of inquiries. In September, after consulting with potential participants and especially professor Emil Dinga (director of the Seminary “N. Georgescu-Roegen”, of Logic and Methodology of Economics), a plan of organization and a list of reviewers and reports were established. Hence, on the 28th of September 2017, I was able to publish online the purpose, the organization and the program of the seminar, which was described as “interdisciplinary”. Latter on, under the approval of the participants, it was named “Octav Onicescu”, because he was an important promoter of interdisciplinary studies and the seminar was housed by the Institute for Mathematical Statistics and Applied Mathematics, of the Romanian Academy, which bears his name. I also managed for the seminars (together the discussions) to be recorded and published on youtube,com and to be broadcast live, through Skype. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


The Future of Economics Is Human

The Future of Economics Is Human

Private actors have long embraced behavioral economics as a way to boost sales and profits yet, until recently, the line of study had not been endowed with a front row seat in the hall of economic policy development. This year’s recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (called the Nobel Prize for Economics), Richard H. Thaler, increases the proportion of behavioral economists upon whom the prestigious award has been bestowed to 6%. His work offers a glimpse into a particular type of libertarianism: coined as “libertarian paternalism” by this year’s Nobel Prize recipient and the co-author of his bestselling book “Nudge”, Cass Sunstein, the pair argues for guiding people in their choices under specific conditions. Libertarian paternalism would prevent losses resulting from neglecting to act upon lucrative propositions such as signing up for a savings plan where the employer matches one’s contribution up to a certain percent of one’s income and reasons in favor of providing as default options for policy implementation the best alternative for the individual or society as a whole (such as automatic enrollment in said savings program) in order to assist fallible or inexperienced individuals with key decisions. Thaler tries to match the two seemingly conflicting interests of the individual and the group (to him, choices need not be a zero-sum game) by minimizing the cost of externalities through defaults that are beneficial to one party while interfering minimally with respect to the other (a widespread example is that of favoring opt-out policies rather than opt-in, on the one hand to increase the number of participants and, on the other, to bank on people’s inertia). More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


In Pursuit of the West

In Pursuit of the West

There is a ceaseless notion going on about the rearwardness of Eastern European states and their inability to build lastingness. Ideas uninterruptedly flow about a retrograde existence that keeps the East away from competing with the West; that the hiatus seems to enlarge day after day. Alignment with the West is one of the biggest endeavours of the East. Many efforts are put into an attempt of modernization which gives the impression of being beyond comprehension and realization. Arraying in the same clothes as the big brother looks to have become a mantra of the East, with an ubiquitous hope of a finest hour that will come when differences will no longer exist. Odd enough, the East sets its hopes in an ideal it has never managed to obtain for centuries, but which is now seen as an end goal. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Man, Mansion, and Motion (II)

Man, Mansion, and Motion (II)

The last argument concluded by leaving an open door to the second facet of our topic: the duality of transport/mobility & house/stability. We set up the context of our discussion based on the relationship between action and movement, which has applicability in the analysed duality. We argued how the action axiom is the spine of the above dualism and we performed afterwards a short review of the history of transport from its roots to its forthcoming developments. Having taken care of transport, we will discuss in this article how humans acted with regard to the concept of homesteading. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Man, Mansion, and Motion (I)

Man, Mansion, and Motion (I)

Known as one of the economic foundations, human action, as stated by Ludwig von Mises, refers to action as any process which is based on a certain purpose and conscious behaviour. In order for the action to be done, people employ particular means, mechanisms, tools or other helpful implements. However, those tools are not necessary for men to act. Action can be exercised with or without additional equipment. David Gordon further details the action axiom in An Introduction to Economic Reasoning and outlines that actions are not necessarily linked to physical movement. The process of acting can be done either with mobility and motility (a case in which examples are more than obvious) or with no physical movement on the part of the subject. An action can be performed without physical movement if it passes the self-consciousness filter and aims towards an increase in utility. For example, being in a waiting room, a seated man can stand up (which is an action realized through movement) or can stay down (which is also an action as staying is done deliberately and consciously in order to rest his feet). As long as voluntarily not moving involves further consequences, the action still takes place. More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


Cultural Goods and Cultural Welfare

Cultural Goods and Cultural Welfare

The core intellectual conundrum that fuels the present essay is the following: is culture a product made in “free markets” or a “public good” to be provided by the state – allegedly the only societal institution able to grant individuals the collective means for bundling cultural values, for breeding cultural capital, and for maintaining sustainable cultural behaviour? The answers diverge culturally: from laissez-faire French harmonists to Marxist or Maoist communists, from cosmopolitan libertarians to nationalist autarkists, from old-school conservatives to politically-correct progressives, from Maecenas-entrepreneurs to sacrosanct bureaucrats, from freelance, self-contained artists to publicly-subsidized, politically-connected spoiled artificers. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


On the “Awakening of Civic Consciousness”

On the “Awakening of Civic Consciousness”

“A few revolutionists walk from house to house and knock at each door: “everybody in the street / it is outrageous to stay in the house!” And every conscience, the gimp, the blind, the crippled went to the market; none of them remained in the house! For half a century they ravaged, wailing and fighting. At home is misery, poverty and disorder, but the master is not interested in this. He went to the market to save his people – and this is easier and much more exciting that the unpleasant work from home.” More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


A Colchoneric Tragedy

A Colchoneric Tragedy

Santiago Roncagliolo did not do anything out of the usual. A young Peruvian writer, playwright, producer and journalist – a man of arts and letter, in a nutshell – emigrated to Spain at the turn of the century in search for a better life, in search of a career that he seemed to have been banned from in native Lima. This is the sort of brain-drain you get all over the world, sourced mainly underdeveloped countries. Santiago was only 27 when he settled in Madrid, aspiring to follow in the footsteps of García Márquez and Vargas Llosa, the ‘corps d’elite’ of Latin American erudite triumph on European soil. Full of ardor, he descended to Barajas ready to mesmerize with pen on paper. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


A Social Alloying Model for Immigration

A Social Alloying Model for Immigration

When discussing the question of nationalism, I am not alone in believing that the traditional and biblical understanding of a “nation” as being based off of shared culture, mores, and traditions is superior to the modernistic “genetics only” view based on shared ancestry held by some people, including most of those who would subscribe to white nationalism. White nationalism is a concept that is alien to Europe, with its long history of intra-European ethnic and sectarian rivalries. In the United States, where the proverbial “melting pot” has almost obliterated the former ethnic and group distinctions between the various waves of European migration, a generic European blended ethnicity (an ethnic American) could be contemplated for political and identitarian purposes, first informally (in the “us vs them” of politics and culture) and then formally, through overt politicization, affirmative action privileges and quotas and through self-identification on census forms in an increasingly (and visibly) diverse nation More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


The Long Slide towards Autocracy

The Long Slide towards Autocracy

There are, broadly speaking, two great societal (politico-economic) systems: coordinated power of men over nature and coercive power of men over men. Human civilization bears witness to several cultural hypostases of this fundamental dichotomy, whereas market freedom and democracy are considered (despite their cunning polysemy) the best combination from the possible worlds. Their adoption or rejection in various societies in history were the work of wisdom vs. ignorance, that were “discounted” / “enhanced” by the use and abuse of blunt force. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Eclecticism in Economic Theory is Just another Name for State Intervention: The Case of Virgil Madgearu

Eclecticism in Economic Theory is Just another Name for State Intervention: The Case of Virgil Madgearu

Romanian economic historiography on Virgil N. Madgearu (1887-1940), economist and ideologue of the National Peasants’ Party, lacks of a coherent perspective on the ideas and theories underlying the great historical scene, despite its insights and factual information.The present study pays tribute to a classical liberal interpretation of economic history and economic ideas. It reconstructs the portrait of Madgearu, under the banner of “what would a classical liberal economist would have to say about him?” Was he closer to a laissez-faire approach, as understood by the French and British schools of thought, or to various other schools who support state intervention? More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016