Schumacher: not in sympathy with this government

Posted on

Last weekend there was a pile of drivel published saying how Fitz Schumacher was a guru for David Cameron.

I’m glad to see Andrews Simms of the New Economics Foundation has responded in the Guardian:

It was a surprise to read in the Observer that the late economist EF Schumacher, author of the seminal 1973 book Small is Beautiful, was not only back in fashion, but apparently also a guru for those within Downing Street.

For many, myself included, Schumacher never went out of fashion. His ideas inform several prominent organisations and movements active in creating better, more climate-friendly food and energy systems. His understanding that the economy must know its junior place next to the biosphere, dependent not dominant, has gained influence over decades. It’s a paradigm-shifting insight with profound implications for economics and other disciplines.

Which is why, leaving aside a little political mood music, it is hard to believe that he is a guru to the current government. The coalition is rushing to restore a very old-style deregulated market economy, where finance comes first and making it easier for the already rich to get richer is meant to benefit all. Schumacher’s impressive eyebrows would have shot skyward at this thought, so very far from his “economics as if people mattered”.

I agree, entirely.

The rest of what Andrew has to say is worth reading.

I should add, he is a Green New Deal colleague of mine.