- Рубрика: Новости
I was happy in Saratov. My eternal gratitude to all of you and for all you have done
Trying new ideas and new approaches always means to set for a long journey. It starts, in most cases, with a question to a simple problem. Then you spend a couple of years searching for a consistent response, and then, if you find it, you will publicize the idea.
After this phase, other researchers should be able to test the hypotheses presented, trying to falsify them (in the Popperian sense) or corroborate them. This is the natural path that must follow every development of scientific theories. It is, however, a time consuming process.
About 20 years ago, when my intellectual master, the poet Maria José Giglio, handed me a Malinowski’s book, so that I would return it to the Sorocaba University library, she told me: «Look at this book! Some tribal rites are similar to economics”. I read it, of course.
From reading Malinowski, I noticed that the main food of the Melanesians was yam. I also learned that these people built their silos keeping open spaces between the wooden boards, in order to display the sum of yams stored there. The prestige of the community was proportional to the amount of yam exposed in the silo (visible through the pristine gaps purposely left there). I then asked myself the following question: What is the difference between a native Melanesian who displays his yam harvest to demonstrate wealth and a pop star that shows off his Ferrari to demonstrate professional and economic success?
This question led me to «The theory of the leisure class: an economic study in the evolution of institutions” (1899), where Thorstein Veblen asserts that the high class conspicuously consumes to demonstrate status. The author says: «… wealth has by no means lost its utility as an honorific evidence of the owner’s prepotence.»
To my understanding, Veblen’s analysis of arrogance coincides with what psychoanalytic theory would call «feelings of omnipotence,» recalling that Freud laid the foundations of psychoanalysis also in 1899. Perhaps for this reason, though Veblen drew attention to the fact that the wealth could be a sign of prepotency, he did not yet have theoretical support to better express the meaning of prepotence.
As I read Veblen, not yet having a bibliographic review in the area of psychoanalysis, I also had no theoretical support to realize that the answer to my question was already in Veblen’s original text. I believe he was always there, in his talk about «prepotence.»
For five years I’ve tried to find the best answer to the questions: Why do people need status? Why do they need to flaunt?
Later I found in some text the name of Margaret Mahler, whose book, Separation and Individuation, got me out of my doubts. The feeling of omnipotence was adequate to explain the process of ostentation. Before coming to this concept, I had studied biology, brains mechanisms and some psychoanalytic theories, such as the «Trauma of the Birth» and the «Denial of Death». Taking in this concept, I began to base my ideas on a number of studies developed by psychoanalysts.
It was then at ESEADE, Argentina, that I was able to defend my thesis in October 2009, with Dr. Martín Krause as my advisor. During my studies, I was able to develop my scientific skills in classes with Dr. Gabriel Zanotti, and the late Dr. Juan Carlos Cachanosky, which allowed me to publish in Brazil the book «Economic Aspects of Omnipotence» (Editora Annablume).
In 2012, the Society for the Advancement of the Behavioral Economy – SABE, and a University of Granada organized a Conference in Granada (Spain), where I presented an article with the same title as the book. In this conference, I met a number of researchers, such as Pellegrino Mangra (USA) (who would later write the foreword on English version of my book, and to whom I am deeply grateful), Oscar Volij, Doron Kliger, Yossi Tobol and Ofer Azar (Israel), Ester Jeunon (Brazil), Jacoby Orquin (Denmark) and Eli Spielgeman (Canada). At this conference I started noticing that the feeling of omnipotence as the explanation for the questions «Why do people need to be flaunted?» «Why do they need status» was new, even among behavioral economists.
In 2013, I participated in the conference organized by SABE-IAREP and ICABEEEP, in Atlanta (specifically Clayton State University — Morrow, Georgia-USA) with the article «The fetishism of commodity index as a tool for understanding the conflictive social relations.» There I met more behavioral economists, such as Gigi Foster (Australia), Pauline de Pechpeyrou (France), Shabnam Mousavi (USA) Reza Kheirandish (USA), Clara Koetz (Brazil), Klaus Jaffe (Venezuela), among others. At the same time, I realized that the graphic quality of my book «Economic aspects of omnipotence» compared to my first book «Hayek and information theory: an epistemological analysis» had improved greatly, however, the quality of commercial distribution was worse. So I thought: the subject is new even for behavioral economists, the subject is little studied and researched in Brazil and for that reason the book would be little read in my country. I needed to publish it in English so my ideas would be known.
In 2014, after submitting to some economy journals, my article was accepted and published in Theoretical Economics Letters (4;3, April 2014, DOI 10.4236 / tel. 2014.43024) and in that same year we (Scirp Publisher and myself) published the book «Economic Aspects of Omnipotence» which was released in October 2015.
In 2019, at the invitation of Professor Shinji Teraji (Yamaguchi University), I presented the ideas of the book «Economic aspects of omnipotence» at the WEAI — Western Economic Association conference at the SABE Session held at Keio University, Tokyo, organized by Dr. Morris Altman and Dr. Shinji Teraji (Power, Norms, Trust and Efficiency). The chair of my session was Dr. Tomasz Zaleskiewicz. My thanks to all of them.
Following the event in Japan, I was honored with the invitation, by Dr. Alexander Neverov to present the ideas in Russia.
In Saratov I was really happy! I was invited by the Stolypin Volga Region Institute of Administration to participate as Guest Speaker at the IV International Scientific and Practical Conference «Economic Psychology: Past, Present, Future» and to teach a Master Class at IV Summer International Scientific School on economic psychology and experimental economics. The Institute provided all the necessary arrangements to make my participation possible, from bureaucratic procedures for the visa to the airplane tickets.
Despite my difficulties with the English language, in Saratov it was possible to present my ideas and, in the first presentation, there many questions and comments related to the work, and this event resulted in a greater and better participation of the public. My ideas had never been discussed as much as they have been in Saratov at the Stolypin Institute, there I got the best feedback on my work.
I think that new approaches and new ideas may emerge from these presentations that have been made. Trying to correlate feelings of omnipotence and conspicuous consumption was my task. Other researchers need to test these hypotheses, corroborate them or deny them, improve the fetish index, perhaps. That is, to advance in the understanding of this subject. I took the first step, if I write about it again without other minds having investigated it, I will be «telling the same story» to paraphrase Dr. Ronald M. Harstad. I need other minds to think about it and that, after having done so, new articles and new discussions are made, with my participation or not. It is important to me that behavioral and psychological economics advance in this direction. I feel that a good seed was planted in the best possible soil to flourish: Russia, at the Stolypin Institute.
My eternal gratitude to Dr. Alexander Neverov, to the Stolypin Institute and to Russia, for this opportunity. I have many institutions and places that have great significance for my life and career. I usually call these places my homes. Russia and the Stolypin Institute will be among them forever.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Markelov and Dr. Fedor Gobulev for the warm reception, and Dr. W. Fred van Raaij, Dr. Ronald M. Harstad, Dr. Alex Krumer, and all the researchers for the ideas presented at the Stolypin Conference.
Thanks also to Ksenia Popenko for her attention and administrative support, all the students who helped us in our activities. Dr. Anastasia Neverov and Anna Magalyan for the ever kind support during the Conference, Alla Changlian, Aigerim Erken, Irina Goriacheva, Igor Sokolov and Orkhan Nadirov and Armen Airapetian for the friendship and the propitiation of happy moments.
Finally, I would like to thank Natalya Shumkaeva, Vadim Kruglov and Igor Ermilov for the opportunity to publish this article in Ved24 Weekly.
With your permission, Saratov and the Stolypin Institute are and will be one of my homes. Here I was happy. My eternal gratitude. You will always be in my heart!
Francisco Carlos Ribeiro
Professor of Economics, Finance, Ethics and Methodology of Scientific Research at Faculdade de Tecnologia de Sorocaba, Brazil
Title of the dissertation: “Aspectos Económicos de la Omnipotencia” ( “Economic Aspects of Omnipotence”) (dissertation with distinction)
“Economic Aspects of Economic of Omnipotence” author
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