Used price: $1.00
Collectible price: $6.25
The inspirational well-written contents cover:
*Part I- The modern world- problem of production, peace and permanence, role of economics, Buddhist economics, and a question of size.
*Part II- resources- education, proper use of land, resources for industry, nuclear energy, and technology with a human face.
*Part III_ the third world- development, social and economic problems requiring intermediate technology, two million villages, and the problem of unemployment in India.
*Part IV- organisation and ownership- a machine to foretell the future, towards a theory of large-scale organisation, socialism, ownership and new patterns of ownership.
Improvements could include up-to-date case studies (perhaps including material from VSO) showing the benefits of the approach; and an update on where intermediate technology is today. Note- the book 'Flexible Specialisation' by Pedersen et al (ISBN 1853392170 publ.1994) provides some such case studies for Africa, Asia and Mexico.
Personally, this reviewer was inspired by the book to lead an undergraduate team project with Intermediate Technology (the company) and Sri Lankan men designing and implementing a self-build fretsaw for educational toys in 1991. Overall a stimulating, worthwhile addition to any library.
Truer words were never spoken. There are those who will point out detail errors in Schumacher's work. The book was, after all, written over 25 years ago, and Schumacher would never have considered himself a prophet. Yet the central theme of his work, that infinite economic growth is impossible within a finite system, and the inevitable consequences of ignoring this simple truth have been fully vindicated. Even the most orthodox economists are beginning to see the disasterous environmental and social consequences of their economic policies over the last 50+ years, which Schumacher describes in detail, and warn policy makers that major changes must be made. Schumacher also proposed a highly effective and practical method, Intermediate Technology, to help impoverished and developing nations make the best possible use of modern scientific and technological advances, without the vast (and for countless millions in the world impossible) financial investments and ecological/social consequences. In 1965 Schumacher and a few friends started the Intermediate Technology Development Group ...which continues to develop practical applications of his ideas in the developing world. Small is Beautiful - a Study of Economics as if People Mattered, along with his other two key books Good Work, which explores the question of the effects of modern economics on the individual and the very purpose of work itself, and A Guide for the Perplexed, which outlines the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of Schumacher's work, provide a powerful and compelling alternative view of economics and our world - a view every bit as applicable today as it was in his lifetime.
An earlier reviewer who seemed to have no grasp of economics or recent history (Gen Ne Win is no more a Buddhist than Hitler was a Jew - he in fact deliberately set out to destroy the cultural and economic system of Burma - including Buddhism itself. To use this example to "invalidate" the chapter "Buddhist Economics" totally destroys this reviewer's credibility) stated that "a wise world has ignored his bad advice & prospered." Far from it. In the end, a wiser world will be forced to look back on Schumacher's book and conclude that he was, in fact, right.
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