For very interesting perspective on Ryan Murphy's life's work, read this.
He frames his anti-hipsterism as a criticism of status-signaling. To a certain extent I think this is fair, but what I've always found odd about Ryan's take on all this is that he seems to classify just about any social trend as status-signaling because it's trending, and that he doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that the whole reason these things "signal" anything is that there's an affiliated value that's genuine. Perhaps the line between the two is fuzzy sometimes. Localism is a good example. It's not a status-signaling thing to like to live in a community that's interesting, diverse, and close-knit. Those are things that would be valued regardless of what sort of status they signal. There are lots of ways to participate and build up such a community, and one of those ways is through the market: buying local. Now there are other facets of the localism tendency these days that are clearly just posturing as well. Ryan, I think, tends to jumble a lot of that together and scoff at any expression of localism as a value.
Veblen is perfect to mention as a version of Ryan from an earlier time, particularly the charge that anti-hipsters themselves share a lot of the hipsters' faults. It's hard to think of a more hipster economist than Veblen, after all, and yet as Ryan points out Veblen kicked off the whole anti-status-signaling thing. Marx isn't ironic enough. He isn't ironic at all in fact. Doug North seems grumpy where he should be blasé. Ken Boulding is in some sense, but he seems too peppy to be a hipster. I think Veblen wins this one.
The Lonely Unicorn
6 hours ago