Opening Remarks

This blog will present my reflections on the work of Werner Sombart dealing with his discussions of capitalism, luxury and cities. I will take for a close and extended perusal a German edition of Sombart’s book dealing with this topic.

As well, I will present my reflections on the relationships between art, luxury and cities that places like Macao, Singapore and Hong Kong represent. Given that Macau is a globally prominent gambling hotspot, it started me thinking that whereas Las Vegas was a starting point for a theorization of postmodernism, Macao or Macau can be representative a similar development. Only this time I reflect on Macau as a site of luxury consumption, since most of its profits from casinos derive from VIP-customers. Even though gambling is not the first association that comes to mind when luxury is concerned, economically speaking casinos do belong to a larger sphere of consumption that only persons within a particular income bracket can afford. In other words, luxury is primarily an economic phenomenon.

In this respect, connections between capitalism, luxury and cities are not as trivial as it might seem. Especially, I am reflecting on the differences between the thesis on capitalism that Max Weber proffered and parallel strains on thought, such as those of Georg Simmel and, possibly, Siegfried Kracauer.

No doubt, in the background there is the enigmatic oeuvre of Walter Benjamin that I may or may not have a recourse to in the process of working on this blog. Also, I will make efforts to keep this blog tri-lingual: English, German and French.


Pablo Markin

Dr. Pablo B. Markin is a Blogger at OpenScience.com, Senior Associate Editor in Culture and Sociology at De Gruyter Open and Adjunct Professor at the University of the People.

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