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‘A fascinating book, bursting with paradoxes, riddles and counterintuitive ideas that will challenge some of your strongest beliefs about how society works’ Daniel Susskind
‘It takes scholarly courage and knowledge to upend Adam Smith, but this is what Krzysztof Pelc has done . . . Profound and brilliant’ Robert Skidelsky
In his first book, brilliant young political economist Krzysztof Pelc overturns our understanding of how self-interest works.
We’ve learned that the way to get ahead is through strong will, grit and naked ambition. The belief that self-interest makes the world go round has served us well: it has helped make our society more affluent. But does that premise still hold?
In Beyond Self-Interest, Krzysztof Pelc argues that those who prosper increasingly do so by spurning prosperity, or by convincing others that they are pursuing passion, purpose, love of craft – anything but their own self-advancement. From the Puritans, who followed a religious calling and yet made a killing; to the fastest-growing firms of today, who claim to be ‘changing to the world’ through ‘doing what they love’, declaring passion over profit is a profitable move.
A bold, incisive and original work that draws on three centuries of intellectual thought, Beyond Self-Interest is a book to upend how we relate to capitalism. What if the true driver of market society is not the appearance of self-interest, but its opposite?
‘Lucid, smartly written … A welcome intervention into the debate surrounding the future of liberalism’ Financial Times
It takes scholarly courage and knowledge to upend Adam Smith, but this is what Krzysztof Pelc has done in this profound and brilliant study. It is not love of money, he argues, which drives the baker to bake bread, but the disinterested passion for baking, which assures the credibility of his product. There is an urgent moral lesson here for our own age of climate-induced scarcity: GDP is at best a means to the good life, it cannot be its meaning -- Robert Skidelsky We cannot obtain happiness by pursuing it. Happiness is a byproduct of the pursuit of other goals. In this stimulating and important book, Krzysztof Pelc argues that the same is true of prosperity -- Martin Wolf A fascinating book, bursting with paradoxes, riddles, and counterintuitive ideas that will challenge some of your strongest beliefs about how society works -- Daniel Susskind, author of A WORLD WITHOUT WORK Why do so many people perceive capitalism to be failing us? This wide-ranging and provocative book argues that modern capitalists have fallen into the trap of believing their own arguments about the benefits of individual self-interest -- Diane Coyle What if greed is not good? What if the pursuit of happiness means embracing values beyond narrow ambition? Pelc argues that affluent societies have reached just such a point. Turning both economics and conventional wisdom on their head, he describes a world in which those who shun self-interest may actually end up being most successful - and most fulfilled -- David Pilling, author of THE GROWTH DELUSION
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