Homo-Economicus can be defined as a rational being who pursues wealth for his own self-interest. John Stewart Mills defined it as one “who inevitably does that by which he may obtain the greatest amount of necessaries, conveniences, and luxuries, with the smallest quantity of labor and physical self-denial with which they can be obtained.”
Daniel Defoe’s character of Robinson Crusoe has always been seen as a great example of Homo-Economicus. Daniel Defoe was a man of many different careers during his lifetime who was seeking an opportunity to pay all the debts he got himself into and eventually went bankrupt. We have to keep in mind that even the novel was Defoe’s attempt to try his luck into kind of a business he had never done before to earn money and to pay his debts. In the novel when Robinson Crusoe becomes completely aware of the situation he got himself into, he immediately starts to use any available resources that he can find in the hostile environment he is in. This is a character of Homo-Economicus.
He was always seeking ways to expand his business by traveling to remote places and learning new ways to get richer. Crusoe is the product of Defoe’s individualistic age. He is not a very spiritual man. His relationship with God is business-like. The only time he prays is when he needs something from God that is out of his hands. In general, Robinson Crusoe is an individual independent of God who does not wait for a miracle to be saved, but rather finds a way to save himself. Crusoe’s mastery over nature makes him master of his own fate. In the novel, Crusoe appears to be a voyager looking for a land of opportunity who does not leave an opportunity for his welfare unused and can adapt to changes. Crusoe is a creative mind as well.
So the question is, how can millennials fit the description, and have a potential to be the most accomplished version of Homo-Economicus? I have listed the possible reasons that can make Millennials the Homo-Economicus, closely looking at the context of Robinson Crusoe:
These descriptions make the Millennials strong candidates for the title of Homo-Economicus. Let’s delve into ourselves to know the fact.