Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered

By E. F. Schumacher

Ranked in the 100 most influential books since World War II, Schumacher wrote this "to evolve a more democratic and dignified system of industrial administration, a more humane employment of machinery, and a more intelligent utilization of the fruits of human ingenuity and effort." Offering a kind of Buddhist-based economic alternative to the rampant capitalism espousing "bigger is better," mass advertising hypnosis, and the extreme income inequality so common today; he offers a vision of society, business, culture, and government empowering rather than manipulating people, appreciating and protecting natural resources rather than exploiting them, and finding meaning in the small details of life rather than pursuing riches and fame. His views have successfully championed sustainable development, appropriate technology, and education as our greatest resource.


Quotes from Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered

“…the present consumer society is like a drug addict who, no matter how miserable he may feel, finds it extremely difficult to get off the hook.”

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

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“An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment 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.”

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

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“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.”

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Simplicity

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“But what is wisdom? Where can it be found? Here we come to the crux of the matter: it can be read about in numerous publications but it can be found only inside oneself.”

Chapters: 59. The Gardening of Spirit

Themes: Wisdom

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“Even today, we are generally told that gigantic organizations are inescapably necessary; but when we look closely we can notice that as soon as great size has been created there is often a strenuous attempt to attain smallness within bigness.”

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

Themes: Less is More

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“How can we 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 scrutinizing our needs to see if they cannot be simplified and reduced.”

Chapters: 75. Greed

Themes: Greed

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“Socialists should insist on using the nationalized industries not simply to out-capitalize the capitalists—an attempt in which they may or may not succeed—but to evolve a more democratic and dignified system... If they can do this, they have the future in their hands.”


Themes: Socialism

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“The ownership and the consumption of goods is a means to an end, and Buddhist economics is the systematic study of how to attain given ends with the minimum means.”

Chapters: 58. Goals Without Means

Themes: Economics

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“We may say, therefore, that modern has deprived man of the kind of work that he enjoys most, creative, useful work with hands and brains, and given him plenty of work of a fragmented kind, most of which he does not enjoy at all…we might do well to take stock and reconsider our goals.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

Themes: Creativity

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