A Work Ethic Gone Mad

The blend of corporate mysticism and transcendental consumerism he [Tom Peters] offers has its roots planted in the pragmatic, optimistic, can-do American work ethic. But, like the Taylorist philosophy from which it springs, it is also a work ethic gone mad. It begins with the idea that work can be meaningful and stretches it to the point where there is no meaning outside work. It becomes a deluded form of optimism, a feverish activity that masks an underlying anxiety about the meaning of life, a form of self-alienation so complete that the self disappears entirely into its consumer preferences and transactions.

From the Book The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong, New York, London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2009, pages 280-281, ISBN 0393065537

Copyright © 2009 by Matthew Stewart

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No. 210