Heterodox Economics Newsletter

Issue 233 July 23, 2018 web pdf Heterodox Economics Directory

Once a year, typically around this time, an issue of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter is compiled under unusual circumstances and, effectively, sent out from a campsite somewhere in Southern Europe. And I repeadetly find that compiling Newsletters during vacation provides the material for an interesting economic case-study.

First, following Thorstein Veblen's classic piece on the subject, working during vacation constantly brings up the tension between the "instinct of workmanship" and the corresponding "irksomeness of labor" and thereby reminds me steadily of the dubious "double nature" of work: it is something that we often want to do and, still, doing it is occasionally burdensome.

Second, as my "instinct of workmanship" is strong (or so I believe), my family constantly, but patiently, has to remind me of the associated irksomeness, which points us to the fact that productive and reproductive actions are more closely tied together than typically assumed in conventional analysis.

Finally, being an academic coming from the Alps, compiling Newsletters in a tropical surrounding I found that even our profession has some requirements in terms of physical capacities ;-)

Having said all that, let me emphasize that all this case-study is, of course, based on introspection. Although such a methodology once had a significant standing in the mainstream part's of our discipline - one man even once claimed that only the "ignorant and perverse" would challenge its basic assumptions (see here, p. 1) - I would strongly advice, to take any conclusions drawn from this editorial with a grain of salt.

All the best,

Jakob

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