In today's workplaces we work harder and longer, labouring under the illusion that this will bring us more wealth. As this myth becomes increasingly preposterous, it's time to understand why we believe in it, and where it came from.
The Death of Homo Economicus explores the origin of this oppressive myth, in order to destroy it. The story begins with the creation of a fake persona labelled the 'dollar-hunting man', invented by economists Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek. Today, this persona, driven by competition and ego, is used by politicians and managers to draw a veil over the terrible reality of work under capitalism.
Creeping into all aspects of life, the desire to constantly compete and accumulate must be resisted if we are to create a better way of life for all.
Peter Fleming is Professor of Business and Society at Cass Business School, City University London. He researches the changing politics of capitalist employment relations, and has a Guardian column on this topic. He is the author of The Mythology of Work (Pluto, 2015) and The Death of Homo Economicus (Pluto, 2017).
Introduction: Welcome to the New Dark Ages 1. Cash Psychosis 2. Wreckage Economics 3. Why Homo Economicus Had to Die... Over and Over Again 4. The Theatre of Loss... Work 5. Microeconomics (really is) For Dummies 6. The Quiet Earth Conclusion: A Marginal Model of Nothingness Notes Index