Octavian-Dragomir Jora
Octavian-Dragomir Jora
Professor, Ph.D., Habil., at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, where he has cultivated and developed interests in comparative economic systems, critical/creative thinking, and geo-politics/geo-economics of cultures and civilisations. Dr. Jora is involved in epistemic communities – i.e., board member of the Romanian Economic Society; the Research Center in International Business and Economics; the Social Science and Humanities Research Association etc. He is (co-)author of numerous scientific works (100+ titles), as well as of journalistic op-eds, essays, pamphlets (1000+ titles), his works being distinguished over time with plentiful and prestigious scholarly and mass-media awards. Also, dr. Jora is editor-in-chief of the Œconomica journal, founder editor of The Market for Ideas pop-science magazine and hosts the Invest in Romania! TV show, broadcasted by the Romanian public television via TVR International
Memories from the Future of the European Union

Memories from the Future of the European Union

The “science of future” (future studies, futurology) represents, at least, a paradoxical expression. Before anything else, the future’s flaw is not the fact that it is a too complex web of events, but that it… has yet to happen; we can see it/dream about it, but we cannot “know it” because it neither disseminates “news”, nor emanates “science”. Afterwards, the future is (will be) just one, although there are a lot of probable and plausible futures in the minds of the professional visionaries; and, ironically, absolutely all of them are cursed to never match the real future.  More


“The Market for Polities”: On International Institutional Competition

“The Market for Polities”: On International Institutional Competition

The Role of State in Varieties of Capitalism conference – SVOC2021 – was organized by the Institute of World Economics of the Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Budapest, Hungary and Democracy Institute of Central European University.At this years’s edition, I have delivered a presentation entiled “The Market for Polities”: Citizens’ Welfare (as Consumers of Public Goods) by Way of States’ Competition (or Cartelization), that was based on a paper written together with Mihaela Iacob. More


Three “Mister K” and Our Recovery from Eastern European “Kafkian” Absurdum

Three “Mister K” and Our Recovery from Eastern European “Kafkian” Absurdum

In Kafka’s novel, Das Schloß [The Castle], there is a gentleman bearing the name “K” who unsuccessfully tries to obtain a hearing with the enigmatic ruler of a bureaucratic citadel dominating, physically and psychically, an alienated village community, to secure a living in that surreal neighbourhood. In Der Prozess [The Trial], a certain Joseph K. gets arrested and accused by an obscure authority for a crime never unveiled, either to him or anyone else (including the millions of readers of the novel). In Amerika [America], the main character, Karl Rossmann, lives a David-Coppefield-ian life within an illusive and deluding “new world”. All three novels are part of the “absurdist literature”, are unfinished and are posthumous. Even though Kafka didn’t experience communism, his novels can be seen as a crude premonition of that epoch. In the present essay we shall speak, however, about three different characters whose names start with the Kafkian effigy “K” and whose professional careers were devoted to the extraction of Eastern Europe from the absurdum of communism: the Polish philosopher and historian of ideas Leszek Kołakowski (1927-2009), the Hungarian economist János Kornai (1928-2021) and the ex-President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus (b. 1941). More


The Lords of the Olympic Rings

The Lords of the Olympic Rings

The idea of ​​sport is associated with peace in an almost reflexive manner. At the same time, prosperity is being called into the arena of sport’s allies. But if we overcome the reflexes and become reflective, we can take into account the counter-opinions to the standard pleadings according to which sports competitions, for example the Olympic Games, both in their original, ancient expression and in modern and contemporary forms, would be, politically, victories against war, and, economically, it would mean triumphs against (of?) waste. More


Deciphering Timelessness through Ephemeral Numbers

Deciphering Timelessness through Ephemeral Numbers

I first made the acquaintance of Professor Cezar Mereuță in the most natural way a young novice economist can meet a master of the profession: as a name on a textbook. In the Professor’s case, his exposure to “the market for ideas” has always been deliberately bimodal: both in the realm of academia and in economic mass-media. I, too, have chosen to heed this tenet of dualism, for although scientific truth is sublime, its social value is only apparent once it is communicated: the “economy” of (the economic) science is inevitably a “mixed” one, its nature being both “public” (in the sense of its popularisation, not politicisation) and “private” (in the sense of being responsible for the appropriateness of one’s terminology and the adequacy of one’s methodology). Among economists, discussions can veer into opaqueness, yet it is clear that disseminating the fruits of economic research via mass-media has always been a goal of Professor Mereuță, for the sake of civility and the civil population at large. I worked alongside him for roughly twelve years, first as a reader, then as editor, foreword author and, lastly, co-author.  More


Brâncuși’s Endlessness and the Scarcity of Some Means

Brâncuși’s Endlessness and the Scarcity of Some Means

The public subscription for Brâncuși’s “The Wisdom of the Earth”, to get it from private hands “back” to the Romanian state, failed not so long ago. In markets, big money is paid for his works, more than “all” Romanians managed to gather. The moral? Art may be a public good, but it is, above all, and shall stay so, a private thrill as beauty is also in the eye of the legit beholder.  More


The Fourth Estate. And So Forth

The Fourth Estate. And So Forth

The press today makes it easier to formally prove one’s credentials as a journalist as opposed to one’s calling for the profession or even vocation, through personal probity and other underlying yet necessary qualities. You may say that this utterance is an opinion, a matter of taste or a value judgement. You may even call it confirmation bias. There is nothing wrong with such thoughts, but we say about journalism that, before values enter into the equation, it must concern itself with verifiable facts and objectivity.  More


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


The War of the Worlds: Macro-societies in Battle Against Micro-organisms

The War of the Worlds: Macro-societies in Battle Against Micro-organisms

As the lockdown has been relaxed (in Romania, the homeland of TMFI), yet social distancing is still a sacrosanct recommendation, we release the second episode from our collection of editorial products, this time from our in-house harvest. We hope that the variety and the quality of these “corona-readings” to function as a cure equally for unjustified anxieties and for mind hibernation. More


The Market for Ideas: Supplying and Demanding Thoughtfulness

The Market for Ideas: Supplying and Demanding Thoughtfulness

It has been three years since our project – The Market for Ideas – took shape. We have tried to present our readers with interesting ideas from a wide variety of fields and penned by a wide variety of others. To the best of our abilities, we have tried not to turn this journal into a publication by Romanians for Romanians, only in English, which would be snobbery, but a shared space in which Romanian issues could be presented alongside more general considerations for the edification of a diverse and educated, but non-expert audience. The figures back us up, both on Facebook and on the website, where Romanians are still a plurality, but no longer the majority of our readers. Hopefully, we have not driven any of them away; instead, we rather managed to interest some people in our corner of the Internet, which is a difficult thing to do in a world given to shallow and homogenizing diversity. Facts and figures: TMFI is being read in 188 jurisdictions all over the world and its writers come from more than 50 countries. More


MIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s)

MIND(s that filled) THE GAP(s)

The Market for Ideas initiated an editorial project in which “international business and economics” students, besides being consumers of quality information, become (co)producers of this “good”. The concept aims for a quadruple gap-filler, with young people, from all over the world, story-telling, in a non-“homework”, but “freestyle” manner, on the value and values of entrepreneurship.  More


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


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