Small is Beautiful. A Study of Economics as if People Mattered.
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a Call by the author to end excessive consumption. Buy Local and Fair Trade. Named one of the Times Literary Supplement's 100 Most Influential Books Since World War II, Small Is Beautiful presents eminently logical arguments for building our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations.
divergent problem, a problem in which irreconcilable opposites have to be reconciled. It is only the latter that are the real stuff of life. Finally, I turn to a third class of notions, which really belong to metaphysics, although they are normally considered separately: ethics. The most powerful ideas of the nineteenth century, as we have seen, have denied or at least obscured the whole concept of 'levels of being' and the idea that some things are higher than others. This, of course, has
fast enough. Instead of looking at the total situation, which has been and still is highly predictable, the authors of these studies almost invariably look at innumerable constituent parts of the total situation, none of which is separately predictable, since the parts cannot be understood unless the whole is understood. To give only one example, an elaborate study by the European Coal and Steel Community, undertaken in 1960-1, provided precise quantitative answers to virtually every question
values. and behaviour patterns establish themselves in poor countries which, being (doubtfully) appropriate only to conditions of affluence already achieved, fix the poor countries ever more inescapably in a condition of utter dependence on the rich. The most obvious example and symptom is increasing indebtedness. This is widely recognised, and well- meaning people draw the simple conclusion that grants are better than loans, and cheap loans better than dear ones. True enough. But increasing
new to them, but not altogether new to every- body. It is quite wrong to assume that poor people are generally unwilling to change; but the proposed change must stand in some organic relationship to what they are doing already, and they are rightly suspicious of, and resistant to, radical changes proposed by town-based and office-bound innovators who approach them in the spirit of: 'You just get out of my way and I shall show you how useless you are and how splendidly the job can be done with a
and refused to become inordinately rich and thus made it possible to build a real community. Third, while the Scott Bader experiment demonstrates with the utmost clarity that a transformation of ownership is essential - without it everything remains make-believe - it also demonstrates that the transformation of ownership is merely, so to speak, an enabling act: it is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for the attainment of higher aims. The Commonwealth, accordingly, recognised that the