Quotation by David Riesman

Though Veblen repeatedly criticized Marx's Hegelian metaphysics and dismissed as scientifically irrelevant not only his propaganda but also his philosophical and speculative writings, he greatly admired Marx. He attributed hardly less hegemony than Marx had done to the way men get (and spend) a living; like Marx, he tended to regard politics, art, and religion as "superstructural" aspects of society. To be sure, where Marx is indignant, Veblen is ironic; where Marx speaks of the bourgeoisie, emphasizing their productive creative, but eventually exploitative role, Veblen speaks of the "kept classes," emphasizing their passivity and lack of contribution to industrial advance; and where Marx speaks of surplus value—a "natural rights" concept Veblen couldn't deride often enough—Veblen speaks of waste, a hardly less metaphysical category.
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