Continuing the Critique of Rational Self-Interest

I was honored to discover this blog article today, written by historian and writer Lawrence DiStasi, titled Critiquing Rational Actors.  It was inspired by my earlier work on self-interest and builds the argument further.

Here’s a snippet:

“To sum up: the market fundamentalists who have nearly destroyed the American economy have done so under the banner of the so-called free market, raised to the level of an almighty controller of all things, including democracy. They have essentially said that with rational actors making economic (consumer) decisions, not just the market but politics itself, the welfare of the entire nation itself, is automatically and invisibly regulated. There is no need for government to regulate anything. There is no need for compassionate politicians to look out for the welfare of the people. There is need only for “rational” consumers making “rational” decisions. But what their beloved science—now in the form of behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and linguistics—has begun to tell them is that the whole structure is based on a lie. And the response among those who have drunk the cool aid is predictable: outrage, irrationality, attacks on those who violate their most deeply-held beliefs, and the threat of violence against the violators.”

I encourage you to read the entire article.  Well done, Lawrence!

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