Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Do Vampires And Innovation Have In Common?

Maybe not much. But a paper on vampires and a book on innovation both use an article I wrote as a reference. The article of mine that they both cite is "Mythology, Joseph Campbell, and the Socioeconomic Conflict”, from The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 23, No.4, 1994.

The paper on vampires is "Shadow of the Vampire: Understanding the Transformations of an Icon in Popular Culture" by Michelle Bohn of Texas State University. It is very interesting, using history and psychology to explain when and why vampire stories become popular. It even occassionally mentions economics (the Industrial Revolution, for example).

The book is Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed an Industry by Nancy Tennant Snyder & Deborah L. Duarte.

Vampires have been linked to economics before. Here is a passage from Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government by Robert Higgs:

"Without embarassment, Karl Marx wrote about the capitalists' "were-wolf hunger for surplus-labour" and their "vampire thirst for the living blood of labour."

There is an article called THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE DEAD: MARX’S VAMPIRES by Mark Neocleous. Here is the abstract:

Abstract: This article aims to show the importance of the vampire metaphor to Marx’s work. In so doing, it challenges previous attempts to explain Marx’s use of the metaphor with reference to literary style, nineteenth-century gothic or Enlightenment rationalism. Instead, the article accepts the widespread view linking the vampire to capital, but argues that Marx’s specific use of this link can be properly understood only in the context of his critique of political economy and, in particular, the political economy of the dead.

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