Insatiable exposes the damaging effects of greed in both public and private life, showing how the actions of a socially irresponsible ‘greedocracy’ are systematically undermining our democratic institutions. Ranging across politics, economic theory, the financial world, healthcare, the food industry, sport, religion and the creative arts, it demonstrates how deeply embedded the greed imperative is in human psychology, and suggests various strategies for dealing with it in our daily experience.
All of us are capable of being greedy in small, usually insignificant ways, but some of our fellow citizens carry this trait to extremes, including such antisocial behaviour as tax evasion. When the public purse is defrauded, everyone suffers. Greed is all around us, a critical factor of twenty-first-century life: the food industry enthusiastically promotes greed in our eating habits, ignoring the well-attested harm this does to our health prospects; the private medical sector, the norm in most countries, treats its clients primarily as sources of profit; the corporate sector cynically exploits the climate of austerity as an excuse to erode workers’ rights and drive down wages; the wealth gap between the greedocracy and the rest of the population grows exponentially year on year. Insatiable is a wake-up call to recognize the negative influence that greed is having on human relations, and to resist the ever-present temptation to give in to its lure. Greed is a social evil that we must combat wherever we can.
‘[a] lively survey . . . Hard-hitting analysis.’ – Jonathan Steele, The Guardian
Stuart Sim is a former Professor of Critical Theory, Northumbria University, Newcastle. Recent publications include Fifty Key Postmodern Thinkers (2013), The Edinburgh Companion to Critical Theory (2016) and A Philosophy of Pessimism (Reaktion, 2015).