e f schumacher – small is beautiful
Arnie got us reading Small is Beautiful.
We should have listened to him sooner.
Can’t read it fast enough. And you can’t read it fast.
Notes below. Book below links to amazon.
p. 39 – It is only necessary to assert that something would reduce the “standard of living,” and every debate is instantly closed. That soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work is an insult to human nature which must necessarily and inevitably produce either escapism or aggression, and that no about of “bread and circuses” can compensate for the damage done – these are the facts which are neither denied nor acknowledged but are met with an unbreakable conspiracy of silence – because to deny them would be too obviously absurd and to acknowledge them would condemn the centra preoccupation of modern society as a cream against humanity.
p. 48 – To equate things means to give them a price and thus to make them exchangeable. To the extent that economic thinking is based on the market, it takes the sacredness out of life, because there can be nothing sacred in something that has a price. Not surprisingly, therefore, if economic thinking pervades the whole of society, even simple non-economic values like beauty, health, or cleanliness can survive only if they prove to be “economic.”
The logical absurdity however, is not the greatest fault of the undertaking: what is worse, and destructive of civilisation, is the pretence that everything has a price or, in other words that money is the highest of all values.
p. 99 (goes well with Bucky’s quotes) – Economics is being taught without any awareness of the view of human nature that underlies present-day economic theory. In fact, many economists are themselves unaware of the fact that such a view is implicit in their teaching and that nearly all their theories would have to change if that view changed.
p. 100 – Education can help us only if it produces “whole men.” The truly educated man is not a man who know a bit of everything, no even the man who knows all the details of all subjects (if such a thing were possible)L te “whole man,” in fact, may have little detailed knowledge of facts and theories he may treasure the Encyclopaidia Britannica because “she knows and he needn’t,” but he will be truly in touch with the centre. He will not be in doubt about his basic convictions, about his view on the meaning and purpose of his life. He many not be able to explain these matters in words, but the conduct of his life will show a certain sureness of touch which stems from his inner clarity.
So credentialing via fittingness, no?
Unless that person has sorted out and coordinated his manifold urges, impulses, and desires, his strivings are likely to be confused, contradictory self-defeating, and possibly highly destructive. The “centre,” obviously, is the place where he has to create for himself an orderly system of ideas about himself and he world, which can regulate the direction of his various strivings.
It’s not the there’s no structure, just needs to come from within.
If he has never given any thought to this (because he is always too busy with more important things, or he is proud to think “humbly” of himself as an agnostic), the centre will not by any means be empty: it will be filled with all those vital ideas which, in one way or another have seeped into his mind during his Dark Ages (he refers to this earlier as our youth & adolescence when we are nothing but inheritors).
p. 107 – We are suffering from a metaphysical disease, and the cure must therefore be metaphysical. Education which fails to clarify our central convictions is mere training or indulgence.
created by Keri Smith, as EF is one of her heroes:
“I was tempted to formulate the first law of economics as follows: ‘The amount of real leisure a society enjoys tends to be in inverse proportion to the amount of labor-saving machinery it employs.'” -E.F. Schumacher
#smallisbeautiful #appropriatetechnology #ThursdayThoughts
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