Octavian-Dragomir Jora
Octavian-Dragomir Jora
Economist, Associate Professor, Ph.D., the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, editor and journalist, interested in comparative economic systems, cultural economics, geopolitics and geo-economy
Cyber-Cerberus and Hackers’ Hades

Cyber-Cerberus and Hackers’ Hades

The creation of cyberspace may be perceived either as a benign addendum to the biblical Book of Genesis or as man’s fatal conceit making a virtual world mimicking the inherited one. Is it a smarter cover for the physical world – with its old-days and more predictable social life, economic cooperation, and power politics – or a digital hallucination – leaving us disturbed? The godfather of cyberspace is considered William Gibson. He invented the word, using it in his SciFi Burning Chrome story and Neuromancer novel. You do not have to be full-time scientific-fantasist to get the side effects of an avatar-world. An avatar-world will accordingly develop goods and bads that will transcend it and trespass it. Its goods will enhance the source realms, its bads will strike back in it, as happened in the world of www, Facebook, Wikileaks and US presidential campaign interfered by maleficent descendants of the “dark-side” soviets. More

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


For a Privatization of Environmental Public Policies

For a Privatization of Environmental Public Policies

Climate change and sustainable development are, somehow, like “love and marriage”, and they go together like “a horse and carriage”; and if you ask “the local [as well as global] gentry”, they will say that this is “elementary”. But despite a basic consensus, that something is happening to our earthly environment and something must rapidly be done, the problem is much more delicate scientifically and politically. More

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


Romanian Capitalist Economic Thought (I)

Romanian Capitalist Economic Thought (I)

The process of institutional transformation from the socialist, command economy to the capitalist, market economy can be understood theoretically and historically, as a priority, like a process of intellectual transformation. Romania in the 1990s, perhaps to a greater extent than any other country in the ex-communist bloc, was the theatre of a transition at the level of politico-economic institutions which was little-announced and stated by a convergent, consensual idealistic transition.  More

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


Long Live Europe!

Long Live Europe!

European Union remains one profoundly unaccomplished political project for too many reasons. Despite a continuous external growth, since the inception, and internal maturation, it was not able to fill entirely the “real estate” of the cultural habitat which – by both stretches of the mind and grace of geography – was and is considered to represent the whole (and holy) Europe: the Norwegians and the Swiss were not seduced by the “tender offer” Brussels displayed towards them, though they are solid parts of the continent’s historical trunk either in its “heroic” (the Viking expeditions by sea) or in its “settled” (Europe’s inland highly celebrated democracy) epochs. Also, EU struggles to digest and metabolise some of the Central and Eastern European new-comers, while the Western Balkans, with the residual nation-states of the ex-Yugoslavian failed multinational union, seem, with the notable exception of Croatia, so “estranged” from Europe. More

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


“America’s Subprime-acy” in Retrospect

“America’s Subprime-acy” in Retrospect

Almost ten years have passed since the first symptoms of America’s subprime crisis emerged, yet the lessons of the “age of turbulence” remained unabsorbed by the great public. People devoured semi-explanations imputing the crisis to epidemics of greed and/or stupidity, ignoring the white elephant in the room: the flawed design of the modern finance & banking system. More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 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


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


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


People’s Republic of Competitive Cooperation Present China’s Silky Ties

People’s Republic of Competitive Cooperation
Present China’s Silky Ties

China has a special geometry and geography of time, and whenever you touch its lands and breathe its epochs, you understand that the sizes and units of measure are different. When travelling to China, a foreigner cannot ignore the time-space continuum in which reigns the cosmopolitan-and-comradely cohabitation of apartment skyscrapers, sometime taller than their corporate cousins, pictures of hard-core communist planner Mao featuring on banknotes circulating in a market economy, workers and peasants equipped with much more than blunt sickles and hammers, apparatchiks and free spirits, mundane youngsters and flying shaolin monks. “To understand China’s last hundred years, see Shanghai. To understand China’s last thousand years, see Beijing. And to understand China’s last three thousand years, see Henan Province”, here is a good piece of advice for those who want to take the perfect tour of China. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


Cultural Goods and Cultural Welfare

Cultural Goods and Cultural Welfare

The core intellectual conundrum that fuels the present essay is the following: is culture a product made in “free markets” or a “public good” to be provided by the state – allegedly the only societal institution able to grant individuals the collective means for bundling cultural values, for breeding cultural capital, and for maintaining sustainable cultural behaviour? The answers diverge culturally: from laissez-faire French harmonists to Marxist or Maoist communists, from cosmopolitan libertarians to nationalist autarkists, from old-school conservatives to politically-correct progressives, from Maecenas-entrepreneurs to sacrosanct bureaucrats, from freelance, self-contained artists to publicly-subsidized, politically-connected spoiled artificers. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The Anathema of Secession

The Anathema of Secession

Talking about secession in the house of the modern state is, depending on the tastes and the actual situation of the speaker, either something absolutely hilarious (if not even dangerous), or something absolutely legitimate (if not even necessary). It is a historical fact that the current world, in its settlement as state-centred reality, of cohabiting territorial monopolies of legitimate use of force, was built on a foundation which, in the meantime, became a geopolitical quasi-taboo: the principle of self-determination. This self-determination, in its pure form, does not involve something that should mandatorily be seen as insidious, but a natural prolongation of human liberty and personal property – two civilizational benchmarks which, we must admit, are still treated as indigest on certain lands, in certain times. And if the state is portrayed and perceived as a social contract, then it can only be accepted as valid if closed between free men, within the limits of their legitimate patrimony, including their territorial possessions, under a strictly consented jurisdictional framework. (Or not quite so?)  More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


Three Unions in a (Life)Boat

Three Unions in a (Life)Boat

The unions of states, in their either federalist or inter-governmental setting, are portrayed in economics and political science literature, by certain scholars and pundits, as quasi-romance stories and, by others, as purely-cynical undertakings: they are, for the first, expressions of common destinies, while for the second, mere cartels of political exploitation. Though, beyond charitable or circumspect translation of state gatherings, the undeniable facts are that the state, as an organization of humans, has a maximizing logic and that this logic is exercised as the monopoly of (legitimate?) violence with the privilege of (unconsented?) expropriation, by taxation, regulation and inflationary redistribution of purchasing power. Maximization logic of the state (apparatus) – rightly de-homogenized from the rest of society – leads to a triple choice: to increase domestic exploitation, to expand abroad, or both. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016