Transcending the Economy: On the Potential of Passionate Labor and the Wastes of the Market

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St. Martin's Press, 2000 - Business & Economics - 182 pages
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This exploration of the reasons why our economy fails to provide a more fulfilling way of life argues that the irrational dominance of markets imposes burdens of needless waste and lost potential, and furthermore, that traditional economics is ill-equipped to approach such matters, because of its focus on limits rather than potential. The author offers case studies of economists' limited attempts to analyze waste, and paints a vivid picture of how a narrow preconception of human nature has precluded society from escaping the tight bounds of market organization. As an alternative, Perelman develops Charles Fourier's concept of passionate labour. Using examples ranging from wartime selflessness to blood donations and computer programming, he demonstrates that passionate labour has the potential to elevate both human performance and satisfaction well beyond the shallow limits imposed by markets.

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About the author (2000)

Michael Perelman is Professor of Economics at California State University in Chico.

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