E.F. Schumacher has wonderful dreams of a Utopian society that lives together in peace and harmony. Each person lives to help provide for the society and live out their days happy content and eco-friendly. The following will entail how Schumacher sees this society and if it is even possible for us to attempt to behave as his dreams state. Today’s pollution and absorption of fossil fuels will impact our planet in many ways we may not be capable of predicting. Something must be done.
Everyone should have a small carbon print on the earth. That is, remove as few fossil fuels and non-renewable resources from the earth as possible. Schumacher feels that it is the position of the economy and everyone in it to obtain new ways of producing essential and non-essential items reducing the amount of pollution and the items taken from the earth in order to sustain our resources for future generations. (Schumacher E.F.)
Schumacher considers well-being as finding time to enjoy life while still consuming minimal items and finding optional ways of producing. (Schumacher E.F) Schumacher’s idea of well-being seems sound enough. However, he did state that we should attempt to find a society that no longer does evil and always does the good and right thing. I think this is a child’s dream. Unless you change the hearts of men, we will never be at that level of understanding and righteousness, if you will. It seems like an unattainable dream. There will always be evil in the world. Someone will get jealous of someone else and fight to take it. There is addiction, love, hate and many more emotions that tear at the hearts of men causing them to do battle. The top two would be greed and power.
Schumacher’s Ideal sustainable community would be a utopia of people living in harmony with each other and nature. I imagine a hippie commune where everyone works together as a community and chips into the chores and money pot, taking care of children and helping each other. They have minimal item owned and while they do work, they are creative and their life is fulfilling. Each person lives in peace and harmony with society and nature and no more wars are fought over materials things. (Schumacher E.F.) All hate is abolished. It seems men throughout history have tried to work as a community but power always corrupted them. I am not sure if this is attainable but maybe one day.
With everything that has happened the last twenty years, the great recession, public backlash, Occupy movements, are Schumacher’s ideas vindicated? He definitely had some pie in the sky ideas, but with the way we are behaving in the west, it would be a great life. The west is not the only ones that need to change their ways, the middle-east and Africa still owns slaves. We must lead by example showing the world that we are not beasts that consume endlessly without giving back.
China’s pollution was so bad on October 20 2014 that the PM2.5 pollution particles reached more than 500 micrograms per cubic meters in parts of Hebei reducing visibility. This is 20 times the safe limit. (theguardian.com) So yes, it would be a wonderful utopia where everyone lives together with no hate or fighting or harm to the earth, should we attempt it. I think so. Is it now achievable? Not for many years. Maybe if we teach everyone the methods and ways to work together, but we would have to remove evil from the earth and I do not believe that is possible.
Schumacher, E.F.. (1975). “Small Is Beautiful”. Economics as if People Mattered. HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. (NY), Print.
“The Guardian.com”. (2014). China Pollution Level Hits 20 Times the Limit. Web. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/10/china-pollution-levels-hit- 20-times-safe-levels