2007, Sat, May 12

Homo oeconomicus and his antagonists

The image of man in Chinese and European economic theory

Hans Christoph Binswanger (*1929 in Zurich) is an economist. The inventor of the eco-tax, he is regarded as the best-known non-Marxist critic of money and growth. His primary interest is in the relationship between economics and ecology, the history of economic theory, and European integration. Binswanger has repeatedly stepped beyond the boundaries of his own discipline, which has made him known to a broader public. For example, in his book “Money and Magic”, he presents a monetary-theoretical interpretation of Goethe’s “Faust” with the title figure as the “first modern, globally thinking entrepreneur”. Binswanger worked until 1995 as Director of the newly founded Institute for Economy and the Environment in St. Gallen. He has received numerous prizes, including the Adam Smith Prize for Market-Economy Environmental Politics for 2004. His most recent book is “The Growth Spiral” (2006).


Mathias Greffrath (*1945), Berlin, studied Sociology, was culture editor at the weekly newspaper, DIE ZEIT, and at SFB radio station, and was editor in chief of the Wochenpost. Since then he has worked as a freelance author, radio moderator, and journalist (including for DIE ZEIT, Weltwoche, Süddeutschen Zeitung, die tageszeitung, and Theater heute). Among his publications are: "Zerstörung der Zukunft - Gespräche mit emigrierten Sozialwissenschaftlern" [Destruction of the Future – Talks with Emigrated Social Scientists], Campus, 1991; "Montaigne - Leben in Zwischenzeiten" [Montaigne – Life in Interim Times], Diogenes, 1999; and most recently “attac. Was wollen die Globalisierungskritiker?” [atac. What do the Globalization Critics Want?], Rowohlt Berlin, 2002.