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« Not At My Table | Main | The 3rd Economy: Gift, Market and Plunder [2] | Individual Ownership and The Root of Warfare »

June 25, 2006

Comments

Dana Ames

This looks interesting. Thanks for blogging it and your ideas.

Another blogger I read, Michael Kruse, is very interested in economics & Christianity. I think you and he could have some very fruitful discussions, if you have time. I'm not sure you would agree on some particulars, but you are both good thinkers "looking for the Kingdom of God", and could probably find some very interesting common ground.

www.krusechronicle.typepad.com

Best to you-
Dana

John Davies

I'm not sure that pro footballers are 'the leisure class' - the very top ones may earn £120000 a week but they work very hard (ok, in spates) for it: witness Beckham's physical illness on-pitch as a current example. The extreme physical extremes they put themselves through means that they'll be literally crippled in later life (Tommy Smith lives nearby here: he can't walk any more).

Honour attaches to a sportsperson for a brief window while they're at their peak; after that they have to fend for themselves, many through taking up less 'leisurely' employment.

Reflecting on Veblen's thesis I think that pro football IS an industrial occupation - a branch of the leisure industry. And just like their predecessors these guys are working-class. The leisure class are still those born advantaged who are sent to schools which teach them governance, warfare, religious observance and sports, and sadly, yes, the church still serves them far more readily than it serves industrial workers. That's the main reason, I think, why the church is seen as part of the 'leisure class'.

Kester

Really interesting points John. I'd agree that perhaps traditionally footballers have been 'industrial', but I think that if we haven't already moved away from that, we are doing so rapidly.

The difference will perhaps only become apparent when people like Beckham start to retire. These are guys who simply will never need to work again. I've heard them justify their wages with arguements about the brevity of their careers, and I think this consolidates their place in the 'leisure class'. They consider other employment (other than connected punditry or coaching) totally below them. Sure, they may have working class roots, but they are plucked from that and taken into a different world... What Veblen might have called the 'celebrity class' - who just don't think that they ought to have to work at all.

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