Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

Chapter 18 - Another Fatal Conceit

from Part III - Deferred Dreams: Reflections on Politics and Society


This review essay was original published in the Journal of Bioeconomics in March, 2012. It was initiated by Ulrich Witt, Professor of Economics and Director of the Evolutionary Economics Group at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany. He asked me to write a review of The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good (Princeton University Press) by the economist Robert H. Frank, to which Frank would reply. It was an intense but constructive exchange on some of the most important political and economic issues of our time, most notably solving the “collective action” problem of getting selfish actors in a social system (i.e., each of us individually) to forego what is good for us in the short term for what is good for all of us in the long term.