“The Selfish Capitalist”

The Selfish Capitalist – the latest paperback offering from Oliver James, the prolific pop-psychologist -- looks back at his bestselling Affluenza and promises more "scientific detail" to back up the theories outlined therein. Which immediately invites the question: why was all this not just included the first time around?


The arguments James makes about the rise of selfish capitalism, a "politico-economic creed" akin to Thatcherism, and the damage it is doing to the emotional well-being of western societies are well-substantiated; and he does explore new issues, for example, showing how the increasing popularity of genetic studies marries well with selfish capitalism, leading us to blame our genes, rather than society, for our ills.


But for all its urgency, the book still feels piecemeal.                 


The Selfish Capitalist
Oliver James
Vermilion, 2008


— By Mary Fitzgerald

Copyright Guardian News and Media Limited 2009