The Logic Of Sufficiency
What if modern society put a priority on the material security of its citizens and the ecological integrity of its resource base? What if it took ecological constraint as a given, not a hindrance but a source of long-term economic security? How would it organize itself, structure its industry, shape its consumption?Across time and across cultures, people actually have adap...more
Paperback, 401 pages
Published September 30th 2005 by MIT Press (MA)
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Great book. I think the framework of scale is so necessary for all of us involved in community organizing to study- and this book approaches it from the elegant language of sufficiency (as opposed to efficiency) as the measure. The author argues that efficiency was useful for single mechanical solutions, but is not useful to use as a gauge to build complex systems. Looking at productivity alone as a measure leaves out whose benefit, level of finite resources used and the costs to extract in futu...more
Princen asks the un-askable, "How much is enough?" The legendary John D. Rockefeller answer of "Just a little more" is not the answer given by several real, living, and successful communities that have put environment, sustainability, and life-style ahead of pursuing a short term dollar. Well written and encouraging in an age of "Dystopian" views of the future.
Definitely a timely book, as we get mislead by efficiency ratios in which the pushers of technology decide on the numerators and denominators. Princen's writing style, too, is by no means 'efficient.' The impact seems a little diminished because of the somewhat circular and repetitive thesis. Then again, maybe reading it while riding a stationary bike is not the best milieu for patience.