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Super Bowl and a Soup Bowl

Super Bowl and a Soup Bowl

Football is a community distilled product (“You’ll never walk alone” goes the Liverpool F.C. anthem, adopted, against all odds - in the Beatles city, from a Pink Floyd show tune). Football unevenly blends feelings brewed by a collective order civilization which yet reeks of a wriggling culture of conflict. Association football is, among the rest of the team sports, the paragon that can most successfully neutralize societal disaggregation. Unlike theatrical performance (with which it imparts the technical and tactical demands of the plot, the actors getting into a play of mutual relations in which the spectator is merely a “spy”), the soccer performers are participants in a web of mutually shared strategy game rules where the spectator solely intrudes as a spy. The football show will also stand apart from the gigs, say, a pop-rock concert (akin in that they both trigger deep visceral sensations, still distinct where the former lacks the gut feeling usually associated with inward mystery myths, while the latter is a product explicitly delivered to its fans). This game will always generate peculiar reactions. It re-unites there where entropic drives are marked: the football supporters will allow themselves to be drugged with the cause and the strategy of the game, only when they experience this excitement with the punter on the left, right, in front and behind. The football fan will thrive feeding not only on the peers sitting close in the stand but also on the combined energies of the crowd, shouting against opponents, yet strangely aggregated by the empathy for the other team supporters. Go! Go! Go! Boo! More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Human Action. The Foundation of Society

Human Action. The Foundation of Society

Over time, numerous socialist utopians have sought the perfect society. Some had colossal plans and some claimed good intentions, but when social conditions would not meet their hopes and dreams, they blamed moral precariousness. In order to achieve their ideal society, they needed only the “good princes” and the so called “virtuous citizens”. In some cases, these utopians (or their followers) used brute force to reshape society for “a greater good”. They brought concentration camps, instituted reeducation programs, abolished all beliefs that were not theirs, rebuilt the past to match their claim, and redesigned the language in order to limit and control the thought process. In all of these cases, socialist utopia, through the application of brute force, leads to dystopia. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Smaranda Brăescu: The Girl with Her Head in the Clouds

Smaranda Brăescu: The Girl with Her Head in the Clouds

In the early 1900s, modern aviation was still in its infancy. It was an era when iconic inventions and discoveries in terms of flying machines were only starting to see the light of day. The first pilot licence obtained in Romania was issued in 1911, after the first Romanian aviation school was opened in the spring of the same year. Against this backdrop, a career in aviation was, in the 1900s, an uncharted road, especially in the case of women, for whom, at that time, it was globally uncommon to vote or to have a job… any type of job. Just to remind you that the first European country to introduce women’s suffrage has done so in 1907, while Romania gave women the right to vote only in 1938. Also in Romania, married women were allowed to manage their own income only starting 1926. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


A Social Space in Facebook Times

A Social Space in Facebook Times

The Facebook personal profile, even if it is accessible to a small number of people, is a public space, not a private one. Social networks have become a central part of everyday life. Facebook is the most used social network, likely the second site that people visit when starting or opening their laptop after google. Being a social network based in principle on the exchange of personal information, it is not surprising that many users reveal a great deal about themselves in their online profiles. With over 500 million users, Facebook decisions about privacy settings are able to influence many people. While its changes in this area have led to many media and society group criticisms, Facebook has apparently continued to attract more users to its service. This article examines some disadvantages of using the Facebook social network, but also the mistakes users make when choosing their privacy settings. We believe that although they are not universal, changes to privacy settings have led to a decrease in criticisms against Facebook. We also find that both the frequency and type of Facebook usage, as well as the Internet qualification, are correlated with the change in privacy settings.  More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


New Developmentalism, Old Ideas

New Developmentalism, Old Ideas

The so-called anti-austerity backlash in Romania, led by the now defunct unnatural alliance between the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) of eight years ago, has kept the Romanian public on the edge and can even be credited with electoral success, but its actual anti-austerity policies are quite hard to pin down. Despite a lot of angry rhetoric, until 2015 the USL (Social-Liberal Union) government’s fiscal policy basically followed, with minor tweaks, the 2010 much maligned austerity measures put in place after an external financing agreement with international financial institutions. The 2015 tax cuts were basically a Trump-style “neoliberal” supply-side fiscal stimulus that the most leftish, non-PSD aligned, commenters criticized as the climax of post-communist Social-Democratic hypocrisy, surpassing in scale even the 2005 introduction of the flat income tax. It is only in the last year or two that the PSD government has actually strayed from more or less orthodox, even if sometimes ill-timed, fiscal policies, by adopting an ill-designed bank-assets tax, as well as a turnover tax for the energy and telecommunication companies, in order to finance a growing deficit ahead of a major electoral year. Nevertheless, there is actually a heterogeneous group of both Social-Democratic as well as National-Liberal economists that claims to propose a radically different, heterodox, set of economic policies and which has gained considerable influence over policymaking.  More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


The Impact of Russia’s Strategic Interest in the Black Sea Region on the Imbalance of the Russian Economy

The Impact of Russia’s Strategic Interest in the Black Sea Region on the Imbalance of the Russian Economy

March 6th, 2009, Geneva. In an attempt to boost the diplomacy between the two nations, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button with the English word “reset” mis-translated into a Russian word meaning “overload”. The wrong translation proved to be a prediction for US – Russia relations for the years that followed.  More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


The Structural Incompleteness of Economics

The Structural Incompleteness of Economics

As I understand it, in the economic discipline there are two major paradigms in the sense that Thomas Kuhn employed the word, to mean modes of thought:a) the neoclassical paradigm (the still current mainstream);
b) the behavioural paradigm (the dissident current).
Keynesianism and its avatars (new and post-Keynesianism) could be considered as properly fitting with the neoclassical model although, as it is well-known, Keynes anticipated the so-called behavioural economics (see, for example, the concept of “animal spirits”, also approached by Akerlof and Schiller). In my opinion, both paradigms are incomplete regarding some crucial, structural issues. The examination of this heretical assertion is the goal of this article. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Farewell, Camil!

Farewell, Camil!

I met Camil Aurelian Petrescu as if in a revelation: it was not only the scent of the novels and plays of his well-known father, which I had read long time ago, that hit me then; it was not only the scent of freedom that he brought back home from his beloved America to his beloved Romania that I inhaled then; it was simply the scent of a vividly beautiful mind and of a imperturbably good soul. More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


How Migration Saved the White City

How Migration Saved the White City

Few parts of the world can boast of a history as turbulent as that of the Balkan peninsula. Never quite East, nor quite West, it has been at the crossroads of different cultural and political influences throughout the centuries. One of the places that has suffered the most is Serbia’s capital, Belgrade.On the confluence of two major rivers, the Sava and the Danube, it has been coveted by many and, it seems, conquered by even more. This is the impression you get while walking through the city’s center. Old Balkan style buildings, next to lavish Art Nouveau and then simple Brutalist building right around the corner. Today, over 25% of the total population of Serbia lives in this city. Similar to most countries in Europe, Serbia is experiencing a problem with the aging of its population, as well as a significant “brain drain” ever since the 1990s. Most of Serbia is a source for emigration; however, Belgrade, as a coveted destination, has a net positive migration rate. The biggest university in the country and better job opportunities are just some of the reasons why. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


A Kingdom in Heaven, a Serfdom on Earth

A Kingdom in Heaven, a Serfdom on Earth

When states become “more sovereign” than human persons and their property rights, when the positive law outweighs the natural one, when people become peoples before being free, here is a question we might ask: will there ever be peace in a land that is so holy for so many, who, by the machinations of the politics of warmongers, arrive at hating each other with such undisguised anger?  More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


Drifting Away

Drifting Away

Summers in Germany are usually temperate. The humid winds from the West and from the North keep temperatures at a decent average, letting people enjoy sunny, but not torrid days, while also safeguarding some vital sales of the traditional beer. Away from the proverbial workaholism, Germans can also find their ways for letting off steam. Some of them do it in the ‘Biergartens’ of the ‘Vaterland’, while most of the others jump on the plane to Mallorca to work on a tan which is unavailable back home. “Little Germany”, as Mallorca has come to be known, offers cheese cubes, roast pork (to put it ‘simply’: “Schweinebraten”) or apple salads next to traditional paellas in what has become a ‘saxon-iberic’ mix meant at attracting tourists. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Santa-Nomics and Santa-Comics Stories

Santa-Nomics and Santa-Comics Stories

The gift of wisdom (which does not reside in Santa’s bag of gifts) also enjoins us to reflect an additional second beyond the first impulse. For instance, Christmas is a parable of austere Birth, but we celebrate it with bells and whistles; Christmas floods us with gifts, but with every useless little thing that we receive, some say, welfare is lost; Christmas remains a Christian holiday, but it externalizes secular glamour into a globalization which is decorated with Xmasy globes. More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016