Founder Editor in Chief: Octavian-Dragomir Jora ISSN (print) 2537 - 2610
ISSN (online) 2558 - 8206
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Cultural Goods and Cultural Welfare

Cultural Goods and Cultural Welfare Some Praxeological and Proprietarian Notes

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.

The economists acknowledge the dual view of culture: anthropological (viz., “shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions, values, and practices”) and artefactual (viz., “cultural goods / organizations / industries / sectors”). They see that both economy and economics display the profound imprints of culture: the material substance upon which spiritual symbols are imprinted is scarce, while scientific truth is often discounted through value judgments. Still, a hardly deniable feature of economic analysis, to be processed / professed, is that societal workings are always “property rights-sensitive”, irrespective of the cultural background of the observers, as well as of the observed. By virtue of being mine, yours, ours or theirs, culture is property.

(For the full version, see the print edition.)



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