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Economics as Pseudoscience, by Daniel Johnson

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In the 1960s, anthropologist Marshall Sahlins argued that our society had "erected a shrine to the Unattainable: Infinite Needs," submitting to capitalist discipline and competition to earn money so we can chase those infinite needs by buying things we don't really want. We could learn something, Sahlins suggested, from the pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherers of ten thousand years ago. "The world's most primitive people," he wrote, "have few possessions but they are not poor." This only sounds like a paradox, for Sahlins went on to point out that foragers typically worked twenty-one to thirty-five hours per week. Hunter-gatherers did not have cars or TVs, but they did not know they were supposed to want them. Their means were few but their needs were fewer, making them, in Sahlins view "the original affluent society."

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