Small Is Beautiful Essay

Small Is Beautiful Essay - RLG224 - Prof. Schmidt Quila...

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Small in Application, Large in Thought The beauty of the natural world can easily be seen through the eyes of any inhabitant of this vast planet. Whether it be trees, mountains, glaciers or oceans, there are uncountable seemingly healthy representations of mother nature which bring content in regard to the current state of our environment. However, underneath the surface, our planet is absorbing harsh inflictions made my modern day society on a daily basis. We are overusing what the earth is giving us and the previously beautiful accounts of nature are becoming marred with signs of distress. Our oceans are flooded with oil and waste, greenhouse gases are being constantly emitted into the air, renewable energy sources are being seen as expendable along with countless other issues. E.F. Schumacher uses the categories of metaphysics, ethics and economics to outline both these diseases and the cures that beset most civilizations in modern day. His outlook provides a framework which I will use to delve deeper into the roots of the issue to finally explain why only a minimal impact has been made based on the suggestions. I shall begin with a concise summary of Schumacher’s philosophical analyses. I will then argue in favour of Schumacher’s account whilst representing the underlying argument that a change in psychology of the general public will be the saviour to environmental distress. As noted, I will preface my arguments by giving a brief summary of the first and second parts of Small is Beautiful. Schumacher begins by asserting that there is a firmly held belief among people of this modern age, which is that the problem of production is solved (Schumacher 13) . However, we are consuming the very capital which our modern industrial system relies on. Examples of this irreplaceable capital are fossil fuels, the ability of the entirety of nature to accept harm without reaching its limit, and the human substance, which often includes not only primary problems with tainted genetic inheritance, but the ability to engage with life in a constructive and commonsensical way (21). Regardless of these harmful conclusions, it is still argued that the road to peace is a universal economic prosperity that is synonymous with a completely materialist philosophy (23). As the use of fossil fuels is closely linked to the prosperity of any nation, it can be said that the rich are stripping the world of its basic resources all in the process of the temporary fulfillment of greed and envy. When these human drives take over, we sacrifice intelligence. Ultimately, we must realize that we need wisdom as it results in permanence (34). Ideally, one should be able to turn to economists for advice on how to achieve this end, but they are solely concerned with what is “economically sound” or “uneconomic” (43). If something is uneconomic it is seen as a disease, merely because it fails to earn sufficient monetary profit (44). It is meta-economics that introduces qualitative developments instead of
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Small Is Beautiful Essay - RLG224 - Prof. Schmidt Quila...

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