24 July 2007

In other reading news...

Alongside Harry Potter, I'm also reading an amazing book by E.F. Schumacher, titled "Small Is Beautiful." It's a wonderful exploration of "economics as if people mattered." As you might have guessed, Schumacher's ideas are very distributist (or decentralist, to use the term from the E.F. Schumacher Society's website).

Here's a short excerpt from his essay titled Buddhist Economics (demonstrating that just because he's a Christian doesn't mean he can't recognize the truth & beauty found in other faiths):

The Buddhist point of view takes the function of work to be at least threefold: to give man a chance to utilise and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome his ego-centredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence. Again, the consequences that flow from this view are endless.

To organise work in such a manner that it becomes meaningless, boring, stultifying, or nerve-racking for the worker would be little short of criminal; it would indicate a greater concern with goods than with people, an evil lack of compassion and a soul-destroying degree of attachment to the most primitive side of this worldly existence.

Equally, to strive for leisure as an alternative to work would be considered a complete misunderstanding of one of the basic truths of human existence, namely that work and leisure are complementary parts of the same living process and cannot be separated without destroying the joy of work and the bliss of leisure.

Imagine what would happen if we had greater concern for people than for goods...

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