08 Spend! Spend! Spend!

Whilst 'orthodox' economic thinking, following on from the 'marginal utility' theories of the 'neoclassical' economists, laid stress on the 'pure' rationality of people engaged in economic decisions, other forms of 'heterodox' thinking about political-economy continued to develop. In particular, thinking drawing on anthropology, sociology, and psychology which suggested that not only may the motives behind economic decision making be 'non-rational' but may also be subject to factors outside of rational decision. Thorstein Veblen and Georges Bataille, in particular, developed theories of consumption that depended on the 'gratuitous' waste of economic surplus.

Useful Reading:
Chapter 8 of 'The Worldly Philosophers'

Fifty Major Economists, entry on 'Thorstein Veblen'