Pluto Press Logo




On the Blog

The Death of Homo Economicus

The Death of Homo Economicus

Work, Debt and the Myth of Endless Accumulation

Peter Fleming



(with free eBook)



A sharp analysis of the nature of work under late capitalism, revealing the dark side of aspiration and utility

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 Management at University of Technology Sydney and has previously held positions at the University of Cambridge and University of London. His research explores the seedy side of capitalism, particularly in relation to work. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian and on the BBC. He is the author of The Mythology of Work (Pluto, 2015) and The Death of Homo Economicus (Pluto, 2017).

'Sparklingly sardonic ... Hilariously angry' - The Guardian

'A timely call-to-arms for idlers everywhere' - The Idler

'An outstanding analysis of economics, society and the human condition' - Morning Star

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
Published by Pluto Press in Sep 2017
Paperback ISBN: 9780745399409
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745399423
eBook ISBN: 9781786801302

320 pages

135mm x 215mm

Related Content