The Death of Homo Economicus

Work, Debt and the Myth of Endless Accumulation

Author: Peter Fleming

Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)

ISBN: 9780745399409

Category:

Page: 320

View: 9618

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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.

Mythology of Work

How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself

Author: Peter Fleming

Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)

ISBN: 9780745334875

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 240

View: 4076

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There was once a time when 'work' was inextricably linked to survival and self-preservation; where the farmer ploughed the land so their family could eat. But the sun has long since set on this idyllic tableau, and what was once an integral part of life has slowly morphed into a painful and meaningless ritual, colonising almost every part of our lives - endless and inescapable. In "The Mythology of Work," Peter Fleming examines how neoliberal society uses the ritual of work (and the threat of its denial) to maintain the late capitalist class order. As our society is transformed into a factory that never sleeps, work becomes a universal reference point for everything else, devoid of any moral or political worth. Blending critical theory with recent accounts of job related suicides, office-induced paranoia, fear of relaxation, managerial sadism and cynical corporate social responsibility campaigns, Fleming paints a bleak picture of neoliberal capitalism in which the economic and emotional dysfunctions of a workers' society greatly outweigh its professed benefits.

Dead Man Working

Author: Carl Cederstrom,Peter Fleming

Publisher: John Hunt Publishing

ISBN: 1780991576

Category: Philosophy

Page: 83

View: 9079

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Capitalism has become strange. Ironically, while the ‘age of work’ seems to have come to an end, working has assumed a total presence – a ‘worker’s society’ in the worst sense of the term – where everyone finds themselves obsessed with it. So what does the worker tell us today? "I feel drained, empty… dead." This book tells the story of the dead man working. It follows this figure through the daily tedium of the office, to the humiliating mandatory team building exercise, to awkward encounters with the funky boss who pretends to hate capitalism and tells you to be authentic. In this society, the experience of work is not of dying...but neither of living. It is one of a living death. And yet, the dead man working is nevertheless compelled to wear the exterior signs of life, to throw a pretty smile, feign enthusiasm and make a half-baked joke. When the corporation has colonized life itself, even our dreams, the question of escape becomes ever more pressing, ever more desperate…

The Rise and Fall of Homo Economicus

The Myth of the Rational Human and the Chaotic Reality

Author: Yannis Papadogiannis

Publisher: CreateSpace

ISBN: 9781499646672

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 296

View: 5250

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For financial journalist Yannis Papadogiannis, the problem with the economic science that failed to predict the financial crisis that began unfolding in 2007 is clear. While modern economic theory relies on rational humans, The Rise and Fall of Homo Economicus busts the myth of the rational human wide open, demonstrating how, in the real world, Homo sapiens are far from fully rational creatures. Papadogiannis walks readers through the history of modern economics and reveals a consistent pattern of certainty and the illusion of control among economists leading into every crisis since the seventeenth century. He presents findings from disciplines such as neuroscience, psychology, and sociology that overturn the economist's idealized view of human nature, revealing that rationality is but one quality ruling behavior. In terms that anyone can understand, and drawing from a vast bibliography of well-known references, the book contrasts the imaginary universe of modern economics with the complex, dynamic, chaotic reality that more accurately describes our existence. A stinging indictment of economic science for its role in creating the crisis of 2007, The Rise and Fall of Homo Economicus is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how our society functions or exploring ways to make economic science better serve us.

Mediocracy

The Politics of the Extreme Centre

Author: Alain Deneault

Publisher: Between the Lines

ISBN: 1771133449

Category: Philosophy

Page: 200

View: 7806

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There was no Reichstag fire. No storming of the Bastille. No mutiny on the Aurora. Instead, the mediocre have seized power without firing a single shot. They rose to power on the tide of an economy where workers produce assembly-line meals without knowing how to cook at home, give customers instructions over the phone that they themselves don’t understand, or sell books and newspapers that they never read. Canadian intellectual juggernaut Alain Deneault has taken on all kinds of evildoers: mining companies, tax-dodgers, and corporate criminals. Now he takes on the most menacing threat of all: the mediocre.

Resisting Work

The Corporatization of Life and Its Discontents

Author: Peter Fleming

Publisher: Temple University Press

ISBN: 9781439911136

Category: Social Science

Page: 218

View: 8863

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A job is no longer something we "do," but instead something we "are." As the boundaries between work and non-work have dissolved, we restructure ourselves and our lives using social ingenuity to get things done and be resourceful outside the official workday. In his provocative book, Resisting Work Peter Fleming insists that many jobs in the West are now regulated by a new matrix of power-biopower-where "life itself" is put to work through our ability to self-organize around formal rules. This neoliberal system of employment tries to absorb our life attributes--from our consumer tastes, "downtime," and sexuality--into employment so that questions of human capital and resources replace questions of employee, worker, and labor. Fleming then suggests that the corporation turns to communal life-what he calls "the common"-in order to reproduce itself and reinforce corporate culture. Yet a resistance against this new definition of work is in effect, and Fleming shows how it may already be taking shape.

The Refusal of Work

The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Work

Author: David Frayne

Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.

ISBN: 1783601205

Category: Political Science

Page: 280

View: 6553

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Paid work is absolutely central to the culture and politics of capitalist societies, yet today’s work-centred world is becoming increasingly hostile to the human need for autonomy, spontaneity and community. The grim reality of a society in which some are overworked, whilst others are condemned to intermittent work and unemployment, is progressively more difficult to tolerate. In this thought-provoking book, David Frayne questions the central place of work in mainstream political visions of the future, laying bare the ways in which economic demands colonise our lives and priorities. Drawing on his original research into the lives of people who are actively resisting nine-to-five employment, Frayne asks what motivates these people to disconnect from work, whether or not their resistance is futile, and whether they might have the capacity to inspire an alternative form of development, based on a reduction and social redistribution of work. A crucial dissection of the work-centred nature of modern society and emerging resistance to it, The Refusal of Work is a bold call for a more humane and sustainable vision of social progress.

Why Can't You Afford a Home?

Author: Josh Ryan-Collins

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 9781509523252

Category: Political Science

Page: 140

View: 1260

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Throughout the Western world, a whole generation is being priced out of the housing market. For millions of people, particularly millennials, the basic goal of acquiring decent, affordable accommodation is a distant dream. Leading economist Josh Ryan-Collins argues that to understand this crisis, we must examine a crucial paradox at the heart of modern capitalism. The interaction of private home ownership and a lightly regulated commercial banking system leads to a feedback cycle. Unlimited credit and money flows into an inherently finite supply of property, which causes rising house prices, declining home ownership, rising inequality and debt, stagnant growth and financial instability. Radical reforms are needed to break the cycle. This engaging and topical book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why they can’t find an affordable home, and what we can do about it.

Sugar Daddy Capitalism The Dark Side of the New Economy

Author: Peter Fleming

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 9781509528196

Category: Political Science

Page: 184

View: 9440

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What is the connection between the sleaziness of Harvey Weinstein’s ‘business meetings’ and the passionless doctrine of neoclassical economics? In this witty and incisive examination of the new economy, Peter Fleming argues that they are closer than you might think. The quest to rid society of bureaucracy, shrink government and burn red tape has certainly made capitalism ‘more human’, but not in the family-friendly way envisaged by free-market gurus. Increasing informality has led to a capitalism fuelled by limitless exploitation and increasingly seedy methods of management, from semi-feudal workplace hazing rituals and predatory middle-managers with an axe to grind to arbitrary zero-hours contracts, Uber and, perhaps worst of all, the compulsory gym session with your boss. Fleming dubs this ‘Sugar Daddy Capitalism’ after the controversial dating-app wealthy businessmen use to meet young girls, most of whom are struggling with university fees. What seems like a creepy outlier is actually a prescient metaphor for our whole economy: an anonymous and impersonal cash system that is also intent on getting under your skin, extra close and capable of ruining everything if you say ... ‘no’.

The End of Corporate Social Responsibility

Crisis and Critique

Author: Peter Fleming,Marc T Jones

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1446265811

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 144

View: 4238

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Electronic Inspection Copy available for instructors here Providing a much-needed critique of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practice and scholarship, this book seeks to redress CSR advocacy, from a political and critical perspective. A strident approach backed up by extensive use of case studies presents the argument that most CSR-related activity aims to gain legitimacy from consumers and employees, and therefore furthers the exploitative and colonizing agenda of the corporation. By examining CSR in the context of the political economy of late capitalism, the book puts the emphasis back on the fact that most large corporations are fundamentally driven by profit maximization, making CSR initiatives merely another means to this end. Rather than undermining or challenging unsustainable corporate practices CSR is exposed as an ideological practice that actually upholds the prominence of such practices. As CSR gathers momentum in management practice and scholarship, students in the fields of CSR, business ethics, and strategy, will find this text a useful companion to counter received wisdom in this area.

The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder

Labor's Last Best Weapon

Author: David H. Webber

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674972139

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 3189

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David H. Webber shines a light on labor's most potent remaining weapon: its multitrillion-dollar pension funds. Outmaneuvered at the bargaining table and in the courts, state houses, and Washington, worker organizations are beginning to exercise muscle through markets. Shareholder activism is a rare good-news story for America's working class.--

Identity and Capitalism

Author: Marie Moran

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1473911060

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 3679

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"This is a splendid book that dispels myths about 'identity' and presents a cultural-materialist case for the study of such keywords and their preoccupations under the hegemony of neoliberal capitalism." - Professor Jim McGuigan, Loughborough University 'Identity’, particularly as it is elaborated in the associated categories of ‘personal’ and ‘social’ identity, is a relatively novel concept in western thought, politics and culture. The explosion of interest in the notion of identity across popular, political and academic domains of practice since the 1960s does not represent the simple popularisation of an older term, as is widely assumed, but rather, the invention of an idea. Identity and Capitalism explores the emergence and evolution of the idea of identity in the cultural, political and social contexts of contemporary capitalist societies. Against the common supposition that identity always mattered, this book shows that what we now think of routinely as ‘personal identity’ actually only emerged with the explosion of consumption in the late-twentieth century. It also makes the case that what we now think of as different social and political ‘identities’ only came to be framed as such with the emergence of identity politics and new social movements in the political landscapes of capitalist societies in the 60s and 70s. Marie Moran provides an important new exploration of the articulation of the idea of identity to the social logic of capitalism, from the ‘organised capitalism’ of the mid-twentieth century, up to and including the neoliberal capitalism that prevails today. Drawing on the work of Raymond Williams, the cultural materialist approach developed here provides an original means of addressing the political debates about the value of identity in contemporary capitalist societies.

Down and Out in the New Economy

How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today

Author: Ilana Gershon

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022645214X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 289

View: 7825

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Preface: a book about advice, not an advice book -- Introduction: the company you keep -- You are just like Coca-Cola: selling your self through personal branding -- Being generic--and not--in the right way -- Getting off the screen and into networks -- Didn't we meet on LinkedIn? -- Changing the technological infrastructure of hiring -- The decision makers: what it means to be a hiring manager, recruiter, or HR person -- When moving on is the new normal -- Conclusion: we wanted a labor force but human beings came instead

The Company of Strangers

A Natural History of Economic Life

Author: Paul Seabright

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400834785

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 400

View: 1883

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The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Paul Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundations of social trust that we need in our everyday lives. Even the simple acts of buying food and clothing depend on an astonishing web of interaction that spans the globe. How did humans develop the ability to trust total strangers with providing our most basic needs?

From Pleasure Machines to Moral Communities

An Evolutionary Economics Without Homo Economicus

Author: Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226922715

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 305

View: 9171

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Are humans at their core seekers of their own pleasure or cooperative members of society? Paradoxically, they are both. Pleasure-seeking can take place only within the context of what works within a defined community, and central to any community are the evolved codes and principles guiding appropriate behavior, or morality. The complex interaction of morality and self-interest is at the heart of Geoffrey M. Hodgson’s approach to evolutionary economics, which is designed to bring about a better understanding of human behavior. In From Pleasure Machines to Moral Communities, Hodgson casts a critical eye on neoclassical individualism, its foundations and flaws, and turns to recent insights from research on the evolutionary bases of human behavior. He focuses his attention on the evolution of morality, its meaning, why it came about, and how it influences human attitudes and behavior. This more nuanced understanding sets the stage for a fascinating investigation of its implications on a range of pressing issues drawn from diverse environments, including the business world and crucial policy realms like health care and ecology. This book provides a valuable complement to Hodgson’s earlier work with Thorbjørn Knudsen on evolutionary economics in Darwin’s Conjecture, extending the evolutionary outlook to include moral and policy-related issues.

The Crisis of Global Capitalism

Pope Benedict XVI's Social Encyclical and the Future of Political Economy

Author: Adrian Pabst

Publisher: Casemate Publishers

ISBN: 0227680162

Category: Political Science

Page: 289

View: 9721

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The current economic crisis stems from a deeper crisis of cultural imagination and civilisational ethics: here is the starting point of this collection of essays which draw a new political economy facing the crisis of Western civilization. This book gathers together a range of audacious and provocative readings of Caritas in Veritate, the first papal encyclical that addresses issues immediately relevant for politic, economic, and social theory. These readings embody the kind of fruitful dialogue Pope Benedict XVI wanted to generate with his radical discourse for an alternative political economy.

The Worst Is Yet to Come

A Post-Capitalist Survival Guide

Author: Peter Fleming

Publisher: Watkins Media Limited

ISBN: 1912248336

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 2044

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Capitalism is about to commit suicide and is threatening to take us down with it. But will it give way to a grand social utopia or the beginning of a new dark age... albeit WiFi enabled? The Worst is Yet to Come explores the disturbing possibility that the current crisis of neoliberal capitalism isn’t going to spawn an emancipatory renaissance, but a world that is much, much worse. Wealthy CEOs see it. They’ve been purchasing isolated bunker-retreats in New Zealand for when the shit goes down. Our politicians know it too, and are frantically transforming the liberal state into a militarized machine. Scientists are either uselessly decrying the looming eco-catastrophe or jumping on the opportunity to conduct ever-reckless experiments with the human genome. The animal kingdom is retreating from the scene in terrible silence, preferring the swift demise of the abattoir’s bolt-gun than witnessing what is about to happen. Yet some of us are still ignoring the warning signs, choosing instead to remain cheerfully optimistic, believing that society has probably hit rock bottom and the only way is up. This book argues the opposite. What if we haven’t hit rock bottom and are on the precipice of something much worse? And what if were too late? But this grim prospect isn't submitted in the name of millennial fatalism or hopeless resignation. On the contrary, if our grandchildren are to survive the implosion of capitalism – for the chances we will are fairly slim – then a realistic picture of the nightmare to come is crucial. Only an unwavering attitude of “revolutionary pessimism” will help us to prepare accordingly. For the apocalypse will almost certainly be disappointing.