Institutional Economic Theory Economics 451 University of Missouri-Kansas City. Institutions. Technology. Ceremony. Tools & Skills. Instrumental Logic/Behavior. Ceremonial Logic/Behavior. The Veblenian Dichotomy. Culture. Myth, Legend, Tradition.
Institutional Economic Theory
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Tools & Skills
The Veblenian Dichotomy
Myth, Legend, Tradition
Generalizations Regarding Ceremonial Behavior
Although there is enormous diversity of ceremonial patterns of different societies in different parts of the world, and also great differences in ceremonial patterns of the same society over time, as, e.g., the differences between ancient and modern Italian society, nevertheless, it is possible to identify some major features of ceremonies.
1.Power, authority, class inequality, rank, status, superior/ subordinate are based on the ceremonial aspect and all purport to rest on differences in competence and hence are quasi-technological; Veblen described this as "ceremonial adequacy."
3.This is because inventions or tools include processes or ways of making things as well as things themselves. The modern use of carpentry tools involves the arts of steel making and fabricating, wood shaping, and these in turn involve the knowledge included in chemistry, physics, biology and more. The point is that tool using is complex and interrelated activity. And, these activities and processes grow and accumulate by combination. The more tools and inventions and skills there are, the greater the number of combinations are possible and the faster is the accumulation process. Even if a tool is broken, it can be replaced in much less time than it took to create it in the first place for the simple reason that all the knowledge and skill necessary to make it exists. It is a simple job of recreation.
4. Consider how long it took man to make the first hammer out of stone and wood, and how long it took to make the first steel headed hammers. Now we manufacture hammers at the rate of millions per year. If a hammer is broken it is a "simple and quick" matter to replace it. But not too many years ago a broken hammer meant long delays in production for the unfortunate workman whose hammer got broken. Why is this? What has changed? Have people become naturally or inherently better at making hammers? Are babies now born knowing how to make hammers? Obviously not.