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Ernst F. Schumacher quotes Showing 1-30 of 87

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
E.F. Schumacher
“Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology toward the organic, the gentle, the elegant and beautiful.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
“An attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the
single-minded pursuit of wealth - in short, materialism - does not fit into this
world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the
environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
“If greed were not the master of modern man--ably assisted by envy--how could it be that the frenzy of economism does not abate as higher "standards of living" are attained, and that it is precisely the richest societies which pursue their economic advantage with the greatest ruthlessness? How could we explain the almost universal refusal on the part of the rulers of the rich societies--where organized along private enterprise or collective enterprise lines--to work towards the humanisation of work? 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 amount of of "bread and circuses" can compensate for the damage done--these are 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 central preoccupation of modern society as a crime against humanity.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
“An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.”
E F Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
E.F. Schumacher
“Any intelligent fool can invent further complications, but it takes a genius to retain, or recapture, simplicity.”
E.F. Schumacher
“Education can help us only if it produces "whole men." The truly educated man is not a man who knows a bit of everything, not even the man who knows all the details of all subjects (if such a thing were possible): the "whole man," in fact, may have very little detailed knowledge of facts & theories...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 may 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.”
E.F. Schumacher
“What do I miss, as a human being, if I have never heard of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? The answer is: Nothing. And what do I miss by not knowing Shakespeare? Unless I get my understanding from another source, I simply miss my life. Shall we tell our children that one thing is as good as another-- here a bit of knowledge of physics, and there a bit of knowledge of literature? If we do so, the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, because that normally is the time it takes from the birth of an idea to its full maturity when it fills the minds of a new generation and makes them think by it.

Science cannot produce ideas by which we could live.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
“Anything that we can destroy but are unable to make is, in a sense sacred, and all our 'explanations' of it do not really explain anything.”
E.F. Schumacher
“The art of living is always to make a good thing out of a bad thing.”
E.F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: E. F. Schumacher, Appropriate Technology, Globalization, 1973 Oil Crisis, Neoclassical Economics, Simple Living, Buddhist Economics, Decentralization
“Economic development is something much wider and deeper than economics, let alone econometrics. Its roots lie outside the economic sphere, in education, organisation, discipline and, beyond that, in political independence and a national consciousness of self-reliance.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
“There is incredible generosity in the potentialities of Nature. We only have to discover how to utilize them.”
E.F. Schumacher
“The real problems of our planet are not economic or technical, they are philosophical. The philosophy of unbridled materialism is being challenged by events.”
E.F. Schumacher
“Modern man does not experience himself as a part of nature but as an outside force destined to dominate and conquer it. He even talks of a battle with nature, forgetting that, if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side.”
Ernst F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered
“Our ordinary mind always tried to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but this is of interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees.”
E.F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed
“Any fool can make things complicated, it requires a genius to make things simple”
E.F. Schumacher
“The generosity of the Earth allows us to feed all mankind; we know enough about ecology to keep the Earth a healthy place; there is enough room on the Earth, and there are enough materials, so that everybody can have adequate shelter; we are quite competent enough to produce sufficient supplies of necessities so that no one need live in misery.”
E.F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed
“Every increase of needs tends to increase one's independence on outside forces over which one cannont have control and therefore increases existential fear”
Schumacher
“Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation to man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations: as long as you have not shown it to be "uneconomic" you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow, and prosper.”
E.F. Schumacher
“I certainly never feel discouraged. I can’t myself raise the winds that might blow us or this ship into a better world. But I can at least put up the sail so that when the winds comes, I can catch it”.”
E.F. Schumacher
“Real life consists of the tensions produced by the incompatibility of opposites, each of which is needed”
E.F. Schumacher
“Education which fails to clarify our central convictions is mere training or indulgence. For it is our central convictions that are in disorder, and, as long as the present anti-metaphysical temper persists, the disorder will grow worse. Education, far from ranking as man's greatest resource, will then be an agent of destruction.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
“Many have no desire to be in it, because their work does not interest them, providing them with neither challenge nor satisfaction, and has no other merit in their eyes than that it leads to a pay-packet at the end of the week.”
E.F. Schumacher
“Self-awareness is the rarest power of all, precious and vulnerable to the highest degree, the supreme and generally fleeting achievement of a person.”
E.F. Schumacher
“Much of the economic decay of southeast Asia (as of many other parts of the world) is undoubtedly due to a heedless and shameful neglect of trees.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
“How could we even begin to disarm greed and envy? Perhaps by being much less greedy and envious ourselves; perhaps by resisting the temptation of letting our luxuries become needs; and perhaps by even scrutinising our needs to see if they cannot be simplified and reduced.”
Ernst F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered
“People say:
'Let the facts speak for themselves'; they forget that the speech of facts is real only if it is heard and understood.”
E.F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed
“Everything can be seen directly except the eye through which we see.”
E.F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed

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