Octavian-Dragomir Jora
Octavian-Dragomir Jora
Economist, Associate Professor, Ph.D., the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, editor and journalist, interested in comparative economic systems, cultural economics, geopolitics and geo-economy
Super Bowl and a Soup Bowl

Super Bowl and a Soup Bowl

Football is a community distilled product (“You’ll never walk alone” goes the Liverpool F.C. anthem, adopted, against all odds - in the Beatles city, from a Pink Floyd show tune). Football unevenly blends feelings brewed by a collective order civilization which yet reeks of a wriggling culture of conflict. Association football is, among the rest of the team sports, the paragon that can most successfully neutralize societal disaggregation. Unlike theatrical performance (with which it imparts the technical and tactical demands of the plot, the actors getting into a play of mutual relations in which the spectator is merely a “spy”), the soccer performers are participants in a web of mutually shared strategy game rules where the spectator solely intrudes as a spy. The football show will also stand apart from the gigs, say, a pop-rock concert (akin in that they both trigger deep visceral sensations, still distinct where the former lacks the gut feeling usually associated with inward mystery myths, while the latter is a product explicitly delivered to its fans). This game will always generate peculiar reactions. It re-unites there where entropic drives are marked: the football supporters will allow themselves to be drugged with the cause and the strategy of the game, only when they experience this excitement with the punter on the left, right, in front and behind. The football fan will thrive feeding not only on the peers sitting close in the stand but also on the combined energies of the crowd, shouting against opponents, yet strangely aggregated by the empathy for the other team supporters. Go! Go! Go! Boo! More


“America’s Subprime-acy” in Retrospect

“America’s Subprime-acy” in Retrospect

Almost ten years have passed since the first symptoms of America’s subprime crisis emerged, yet the lessons of the “age of turbulence” remained unabsorbed by the great public. People devoured semi-explanations imputing the crisis to epidemics of greed and/or stupidity, ignoring the white elephant in the room: the flawed design of the modern finance & banking system. More


Farewell, Camil!

Farewell, Camil!

I met Camil Aurelian Petrescu as if in a revelation: it was not only the scent of the novels and plays of his well-known father, which I had read long time ago, that hit me then; it was not only the scent of freedom that he brought back home from his beloved America to his beloved Romania that I inhaled then; it was simply the scent of a vividly beautiful mind and of a imperturbably good soul. More


A Kingdom in Heaven, a Serfdom on Earth

A Kingdom in Heaven, a Serfdom on Earth

When states become “more sovereign” than human persons and their property rights, when the positive law outweighs the natural one, when people become peoples before being free, here is a question we might ask: will there ever be peace in a land that is so holy for so many, who, by the machinations of the politics of warmongers, arrive at hating each other with such undisguised anger?  More


Santa-Nomics and Santa-Comics Stories

Santa-Nomics and Santa-Comics Stories

The gift of wisdom (which does not reside in Santa’s bag of gifts) also enjoins us to reflect an additional second beyond the first impulse. For instance, Christmas is a parable of austere Birth, but we celebrate it with bells and whistles; Christmas floods us with gifts, but with every useless little thing that we receive, some say, welfare is lost; Christmas remains a Christian holiday, but it externalizes secular glamour into a globalization which is decorated with Xmasy globes. More


The Road to Sibiu, the Road to Wisdom

The Road to Sibiu, the Road to Wisdom

2018 found Romania celebrating a century of nation-state unity. 2019 finds Romania as the home of the European unity. A freely and firmly committed community of nations is one of the most delicate enterprises of mankind, one that up to now no empire has succeeded in preserving. The nation seemed the ultimate aggregate. But ration is the ultimate aggregator. More


The Earthly Algorithms of the Heavenly Affairs

The Earthly Algorithms of the Heavenly Affairs

The papal institution opens up the road to redemption for more than 1.200 million Roman-Catholics – that is for the so-called “Western Christianity” –, according to Vatican statistics. Through its doctrine of closeness to God, far and away from any canonical schisms, the Holy See inspires all Christianity, pervasively radiating to all hemispheres, over other distinct cults as well. The fact is that to be able to order the immanent chaos while indulging your mind to wander with the transcendent is a tough penance. Even if you have adhered to your faith wholeheartedly, the spiritual stakes were and are under assail by the modern-version-of-Canaan capitalist hedonism (now called insatiable consumerism), by the anti-social socialism (now dead, but still not buried), and by “welfare-warfare” statism (now, as ever, trying to divide and conquer, and command and control). The aforesaid progenitors of the human “fallen existence” have declared foreclosure on the most valuable assets of the life we lead, all except for the “perceivable physical” biases. The pitfalls looming ahead of all our mundane trespasses, entailed by the very nature of the interaction with our own kind, tarnished as that may be, are lurking as far as the eye can see, even what we now call in vernacular the supreme “consultancy” and “governance”: namely, the one covering the “salvation of our souls”. All human beings, with all their burning passions, are, since the beginning of times, fumbling in the dark to find their way to reach Him. And the mission is not easier even for His most faithful servants. As the supreme pontiffs, the Bishops of Rome, are (supposed to be).  More


Obelix Runs Away from Fiscalix

Obelix Runs Away from Fiscalix

The “fear” of taxation dies hard. In 2013, Gerard Depardieu became a French “tax refugee” in the Russian Federation. Half a decade since then, he became a Russian tax debtor in the Russian Federation. In 2018, he was listed in Russia’s Federal Court Marshals Service database as owing taxes in Saransk (the capital of Mordovia, somewhere in “Yevropeyskaya Rossiya”), where he was registered.  More


The Frontier of Science Is Expansive and Expensive

The Frontier of Science Is Expansive and Expensive

The CERN physicists announced, around mid-March 2013, that the particle discovered a year before, which they had claimed to be the Higgs boson “with 99% certainty”, had gained another “1% of certainty”. That is it, the verdict is in! The particle which bestows mass on us, the source of our weight, has become a factual given. We have found the Creator among quanta, but we still need to search deeply into our souls to find Him, if we want the mystery of Creation to ever be completely revealed to us. The attempt to re-create the Creation remains a costly business.  More


People’s Republic of Competitive Cooperation Present China’s Silky Ties

People’s Republic of Competitive Cooperation
Present China’s Silky Ties

China has a special geometry and geography of time, and whenever you touch its lands and breathe its epochs, you understand that the sizes and units of measure are different. When travelling to China, a foreigner cannot ignore the time-space continuum in which reigns the cosmopolitan-and-comradely cohabitation of apartment skyscrapers, sometime taller than their corporate cousins, pictures of hard-core communist planner Mao featuring on banknotes circulating in a market economy, workers and peasants equipped with much more than blunt sickles and hammers, apparatchiks and free spirits, mundane youngsters and flying shaolin monks. “To understand China’s last hundred years, see Shanghai. To understand China’s last thousand years, see Beijing. And to understand China’s last three thousand years, see Henan Province”, here is a good piece of advice for those who want to take the perfect tour of China. More


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


The CORONAtion of Equality, the Abdication of Inequality

The CORONAtion of Equality, the Abdication of Inequality

We all are equal in front of death, but we are living lives in unequal ways, because of our deeply uneven endowments and unsimilar chances that Gods or odds reserve for us. We are (supposedly) alike in front of laws, while some (one-sidedly) legislate fake sameness. Among the many questions we may ask while getting bored in the tight safety of our lazaretto homes: is Corona an equalizer?  More


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016