Small Is Beautiful

E F Schumacher, "Economics as if People Mattered"

I read it in college and thought it was fuzzy-headed crap.

But perhaps it's time to read it again... maybe I can see it as a model for individual action, rather than recommendation for imposed Solution. : Schumacher challenges the doctrine of economic, technological, and scientific specialization and proposes a system for Intermediate Technology, based on smaller working units, co-operative ownership, and regional workplaces using local labor and resources. With the emphasis on the person not the product, Small is Beautiful points the way to a world in which Capital serves People instead of People serving Capital.

Hi Bill Seitz, There's a core to 'Economics as if...' and some similar work which is quite soundly based on a more thorough analysis of systems with economic parts than is found in Western or Marxist economic theories. 'Economics is a form of brain damage' said Hazel Henderson.

But I agree that it would be a horrible imposed solution, as would most any: imposition implies neglecting the intellegence of the imposed, the opposite of what EF Schumacher suggested. Indeed, these insights may well guide individual action; they may have their greatest benefit in guiding small, committed groups. To learn more I suggest you peruse: ...and especially Hazel Henderson's book 'Creating Alternative Futures'

In many ways the core insight here is contained in the old english parable, 'The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg.' --BrianCady

Schumacher 31 years later --2003/11/15 19:22 GMT
Schumacher is still relevant. One of his major insights, that capitalism's foundations are deeply flawed: namely, natural resources are wrongly treated as income. Therefore our civilization will come to a wrenching conclusion, I believe sooner rather than later. Admittedly, the 'rich' will last longer than the 'poor', and I suppose, for the self-centered and ignorant human being - that is all that counts. Schumacher wrote about Wisdom, and I think that is what he was getting at. I think it is a heart a spiritual, non-material message that is lost in the get/consume - get more/consume more world economy we lived in then and which continues with increasing velocity and violence today.

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