Magazine article New Internationalist

The Death of Homo Economicus

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Death of Homo Economicus

Article excerpt

The Death of Homo Economicus by Peter Fleming (Pluto Press, ISBN 9780745399409)

There is a corrosive fiction at the heart of today's workplace, says Peter Fleming. We are sold the lie that if we work harder and longer, we will be rewarded with increased health, wealth and happiness. In his wide-ranging and thought-provoking book, Fleming traces the roots of this myth of Homo Economicus to the writings of economists such as James Buchanan, Milton Friedman and Stephen Moore - latterly an advisor to Donald Trump. These and other neo-conservative thinkers have peddled the idea that the modern worker is a 'dollar-hunting animal' driven by competitiveness and ego to ever-greater heights of earnings and productivity. Examining the world of work in the 21st century in detail, and with telling anecdotal evidence, Fleming exposes this argument as false, pernicious and leading to dire and entirely predictable consequences. …

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