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Addicted to Profit

Reclaiming Our Lives from the Free Market

Stuart Sim

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Will our addiction to profit destroy the world we live in?

The profit motive now exercises an effective tyranny over our lives: in the private as well as the public sector, nowhere seems immune from its reach. International tycoons, economists and politicians are obsessed with economic growth. Yet, as Stuart Sim shows, the pursuit of excessive profit brought the world to the brink of economic chaos in the recent credit crisis and threatens us with environmental disaster as well. Despite this, neoliberalism still sets the agenda for economic policy in the West. Sim suggests various 'act up' strategies so that we might resist becoming slaves to personal gain and, in doing so, he demonstrates that life needn't be all about profit.

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1. Introduction: It's All About Profit
2. The Tyranny of Profit: Confronting an Addiction and a Fetish
3. 'What Shall It Profit a Man?': Profitless Activities
4. Life Before Profit, Life Minus Profit
5. Profit in the Genes?
6. Neoliberalism, Financial Crisis, and Profit
7. Global Warming and Profit
8. Healthcare and Profit
9. Education and Profit: The World of Pay-as-You-Learn
10. The Arts, the Media Industries and Profit
11. Conclusion: It Needn't All Be About Profit

About the Author

Stuart Sim is retired Professor of Critical Theory at Northumbria University. He has published widely on critical theory, and is a Fellow of the English Association. Amongst his recent publications are The Lyotard Dictionary (2011), Addicted to Profit: Reclaiming Our Lives from the Free Market (2012), Fifty Key Postmodern Thinkers (2013), and, with Brett Wilson and Barbara Hawkins (eds) Art, Science & Cultural Understanding (2014).