Rakhi Jayashankar's Reviews > The Free Market Existentialist: Capitalism without Consumerism

The Free Market Existentialist by William Irwin
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really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed, non-fiction

Detailed analysis and a thought provoking elucidation of the philosophy of Existentialism in the free market scenario.


The book is an adult non-fiction. Author, who calls himself an existentialist, tries to put forth a conglomeration of free market and existentialism. During the first part of the book, author quotes several advocates of existentialism in the beginning. Nevertheless, his views are more concentrated around Sartre and his Existential Marxism. He shows us how Sartre evolved towards Marxism through his books Being and Nothingness, Critical Dialectical etc. Author argues that Sartre’s inclination is towards two different disciplines. These parts of the book is quite informative about the history of existentialism. It is written in a systematic manner. Later when author tried to put forth his views, we get another picture or outlook, I would say.

While learning more about existentialism, I had a doubt about the validity of existentialism in terms of morality. It is then the author explains moral anti-realism. The chapter comes at the right time in tune with the reader’s mental process but at some points, author lost the grip and focus on the real subject. Later he changes the focus to capitalism, consumerism, and the free market possibility. Even while advocating a free market existentialism, the thought of minimal government made me think that he is a core existentialist. But this has nothing to do with the quality of the book. Hence, I would count it as a negative.

I would not say that the book will convince the reader to become a free market existentialist but the book will definitely evoke a debate or argument on the topic and maybe we could find an optimal solution.

The writing style is quite professional and maintains the academic standards. The research put in by the author is tremendous. The book is a quite informative and thought provoking one and it would definitely be in the shelves of the lovers of the similar genre.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
November 16, 2015 – Shelved
November 16, 2015 – Shelved as: reviewed
February 20, 2016 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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