The Schumacher Center's online collection of lectures and publications represent some of the foremost voices on a new economics. Included are the Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, launched in 1981 with Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson as speakers and continuing annually since then. Learn more...

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Visioning a New Economics
A Sense of Place
Agriculture and Food
Appropriate Technology
Citizen Action
Community Empowerment
Decentralism
Democratizing Money
E. F. Schumacher
Earth Stewardship and Environmental Justice
Ecological Restoration
Education
Ethics
Gender and Racial Justice
Green Building and Design
Human Scale
Indigenous Peoples
Land Access and Community Land Trusts
Local Economics
Ownership and Worker Ownership
Peace and Nonviolent Action
Production and Consumption
Revitalizing Democracy
Robert Swann
Spirituality
The Commons
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    Democratizing Money, Peace and Nonviolent Action
    Multilateral Clearing
    anemptytextlline
    In the following article, Schumacher discusses a method for achieving greater international co-operation. War, he believes, has underlying economic causes which are partly due to faulty thinking- praising the rich and powerful surplus countries and condemning the weak deficit countries. In order to achieve world peace, Fritz argues that is essential that world trade be organized on a multilateral rather than bilateral basis, and that order would be maintained by a central banking and clearing system which would ensure that all short-term imbalances tend towards long-term balance.
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    Production and Consumption, Spirituality
    Modern Industry in the Light of the Gospel
    anemptytextlline
    In this 1962 publication for the Society for Democratic Integration in Industry, E. F. Schumacher attempts to define the nature of our society and to examine its significant institutions in the light of the Gospel. He argues that modern industrial society, in spite of its labour-saving devices, has not given people more time to devote to their spiritual tasks. Instead, it encourages greed, envy and avarice– magnifying individual egotism in direct opposition to the teachings of the Gospel. He argues that the ideas of personal freedom and personal responsibility are today more firmly established than ever before and that we must foster and develop within ourselves a genuine understanding of the situation which confronts us, and to build conviction, determination and persuasiveness upon such understanding.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Direct Action and the Urban Environment
    anemptytextlline
    Swann believes that we have a long, long road before us, and none of our efforts will be successful until we have found the keys with which to unite the needs and problems of the “ordinary citizen” at the local level to the national and international problems of peace. He argues that we must, eventually, begin to face more forthrightly the social and economic problems that surround us and find ways of utilizing our knowledge of nonviolence to apply directly to these problems.
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    Appropriate Technology, Ethics, Production and Consumption
    How To Help Them Help Themselves
    anemptytextlline
    In this 1965 article, E. F. Schumacher outlines a radical new approach to solve the twin problems that developing countries are faced with—unemployment and poverty. He recognizes the need for an intermediate level of technology based on the needs and skills possessed by individuals in districts or regions troubled with a large labour surplus rather than utilizing technologies that are devised primarily for the purpose of saving labour. Schumacher argues that projects on the level of Western technology leave the people helpless and disheartened: it does not "fit" into their way of life and remains outside their power of self-help. He concludes that an "intermediate technology" can help the helpless to help themselves, and that it would require a great organizing effort to implement.
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    Human Scale, Peace and Nonviolent Action, Production and Consumption
    Buddhist Economics: Translations
    anemptytextlline
    Fritz Schumacher's classic essay"Buddhist Economics" is widely understood as a call for an economics of peace. In the essay Schumacher imagines a multitude of vibrant, self-sufficient villages which, from their secure sense of community and place, work together in peace and cooperation. In 1973 it was collected with other essays by Ernest Friedrich Schumacher in Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. The book went on to be translated into 27 different languages and in 1995 was named by the Times Literary Supplement (London) as one of the hundred most influential books written after World War II. The following version of "Buddhist Economics" is available in multiple translations.
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    Human Scale, Peace and Nonviolent Action, Production and Consumption
    Buddhist Economics
    anemptytextlline
    Fritz Schumacher's classic essay"Buddhist Economics" is widely understood as a call for an economics of peace. In the essay Schumacher imagines a multitude of vibrant, self-sufficient villages which, from their secure sense of community and place, work together in peace and cooperation. In 1973 it was collected with other essays by Ernest Friedrich Schumacher in Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. The book went on to be translated into 27 different languages and in 1995 was named by the Times Literary Supplement (London) as one of the hundred most influential books written after World War II. The following version of "Buddhist Economics" is in English.
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    Peace and Nonviolent Action
    The Economics of Peace
    anemptytextlline
    In Swann's opinion, only an economic program can reach to the heart of the world peace problem. Our vision, he believes, should be a cooperative vision focused upon the task of bringing justice through non-violent means through. He describes a Fund that would provide for individuals, organizations, and businesses anywhere in the world to invest in those who have  been neglected by governmental and private financial institutions, but constitute the backbone of any successful ‘self-help’ program to eliminate poverty and injustice. These ideas later inspired the creation of the SHARE Microcredit Program.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Report to Aaron E. Norman Fund on Israeli Trip...
    anemptytextlline
    This report by Fay Bennett describes the 1968 trip to Israel including Slater King and Robert Swann as well as five others who became the core group in the formation of New Communities Inc, the first community land trust in the country. It shows how the group took on the lease agreements of the Jewish National Fund to separate out ownership of land from ownership of buildings. It also discusses the organizational structures of agricultural enterprises in Israel— private, communal as a kibbutz, moshav with private ownership of farms but and cooperative marketing, and the Moshav Shitufi with private ownership of homes and cooperative ownership of the farm. It was the moshav shitufi that the group recommended as a structure for New Communities.
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    Democratizing Money, Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Economics of Ecocide and Genocide
    anemptytextlline
    Many countries have been adopting the ecocide technology of United States agriculture where short-term productive success has obscured the long-term disastrous effects on the soil, the environment, and the health of animals and humans. In his essay Swann suggests both the scientific and moral approach to this problem: to recognize that land and resources can only be used, not owned; and that they should be held in trust, rather than exploited for the advantage of any individual, group of individuals, or nation. He also argues that along with control of land and resources, control of the power of credit creation is at the heart of any economic political system and that unless the power to create money or credit is decentralized or democratized, there cannot be any real decentralization of power.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Planning a Rural New Town in Southwest Georgia
    anemptytextlline
    In this essay Robert Swann and Shimon Gottschalk summarize the first 26 months of New Communities, Inc.—the first community land trust located in Southwest Georgia—and the original design for the "Rural New Town Idea". They discuss the direct relationship between rural poverty and the "urban crisis," a crisis that has resulted in large part from the migration of hundreds of thousands of families from the land to the cities during the last quarter century, and how the land trust model reduces individual economic insecurity by eliminating land speculation, absentee land ownership, and systems of tenancy whereby the user of the land is victimized.
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    Democratizing Money
    Initial Results of WIR Research in Switzerland
    anemptytextlline
    
In this report, Hansch critically examines the WIR-Cooperative and explains the operations and transactions of the WIR credit system. Founded in 1934, WIR (now the WIR Bank) was a cooperative association of small to medium size, independent Swiss businesses for the purpose of mobilizing their own credit potentialities without using commercial banks as intermediaries. As a self-help measure, Hansch argues that a business circle cooperative is successful in protecting the small, independent businesses and business owners against the constantly increasing pressure from large, financially strong competitors.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Land, Land Trusts, and Employment
    anemptytextlline
    In his essay, Swan explains how the combination of land reform and appropriate technology is the best, if not the only, alternative to the Keynesian prescription for unemployment. Community Land Trusts can provide the natural resources which are the basic conditions for all employment.
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    Appropriate Technology, Production and Consumption
    Work in a Sane Society
    anemptytextlline
    It has been universally recognized that every human being born into this world has to work not merely to keep themselves alive but to strive towards perfection. It might be said, that it is the ideal of the employer to have production without employees, and the ideal of the employee to have income without work. The question is: Can the pursuit of these two ideals, undertaken with the ingenuity and energy of modern science and technology, produce—or maintain—a sane society?  All this, Schumacher believe, hangs together - smallness, simplicity, and non-violence, all related to the human scale, all related to the humanization of human work, all conducive to the re-integration of the human being into the productive process, so that they can feel alive, creative, happy—in short, a real person—even while working for a living.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Introduction from "The Community Land Trust: A Guide...
    anemptytextlline
    In 1967 Robert Swann and Slater King established the first community land trust in Albany, GA. The publication of this guide established the term community land trusts, and paved the way for community land trust projects across the US and internationally. The guide describes how communities can use these tools to gain control of the development process in their own neighborhoods. They can be used equally well in urban or rural areas, especially in conjunction with a local community development corporation – themselves innovations of poor communities for their own development.
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    Decentralism, Democratizing Money, Land Access and Community Land Trusts, Peace and Nonviolent Action
    A Decentralist Approach to Development
    anemptytextlline
    In this essay Robert Swann describes the programs of the International Independence Institute in Ashby, Massachusetts. Swann was its Director until 1980 when he left the Institute to found the Schumacher Center with Susan Witt. The Institute was a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the revitalization of economic and community life in the deprived barrios, ghettos, and rural areas of the world by the creative use of economic and social instruments such as micro-credit loans and community land trusts.
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    Democratizing Money
    Position Statement of Credit of the International Independence Institute
    anemptytextlline
    All over the world today, men and women are struggling to regain power over their own lives, and independence cannot be achieved, argues Swann, without control over the institutions of credit creation as well as land and natural resources. This function of money or credit creation is a crucially vital function for the economic health of a community or region. One of the purposes of the International Independence Institute is to assist in establishing models of local credit institutions. To accomplish this task, one of the important elements is to create credit infrastructures that help to build confidence and competence among ordinary people in the handling of money, making loans, and allocating resources.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Think About Land
    anemptytextlline
    In this talk originally published by The Catholic Housing Aid Society, E. F. Schumacher addresses an immense and intolerable paradox: the housing problem in an affluent society. Through exploring numerous theories, Schumacher determines private land ownership to be the root of the problem. He closes by calling for a reorientation towards a much more decentralized pattern, a greater autonomy and self-reliance of small communities and, a much more flexible, just and rational use of land – as the social costs of inadequate housing immensely outweigh the real costs of adequate housing.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Land Trusts as Part of a Threefold Economic Strategy...
    anemptytextlline
    In this essay Swann discusses the elements that are required to created a regional integration strategy with its emphasis on the local community, and transformation of the purely private profit system in order to make it serve the needs of the community and region. Such a strategy would release new energy, imagination and power around the concept of local control and local participation in economic decision making.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Land Trusts and a Strategy for Horizontal Integration
    anemptytextlline
    In his essay Robert Swann argues that the concept of horizontal integration is the alternative strategy to a purely political strategy. He suggests that a movement towards horizontal integration, community control, and a high degree of regional self-sufficiency would be a part of a merger strategy in opposition to corporate vertical integration. It is in the context of this strategy that the community, or regional land trust, belongs.
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    Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Lifestyle! Interviews Bob Swann
    anemptytextlline
    In his interview with Lifestyle! Magazine, Bob Swann describes the community land trust model as a practical way of setting up a sense of trusteeship—or stewardship—for the land through a non-profit organization  for the common good. He believes that the society we live in is headed for some very, very rough economic conditions and that the establishment of land trusts may prove to be one of the life rafts that people can cling to. Swann details New Communities Inc., the first community land trust in the U.S. located in Albany, Georgia, and the mechanics of organizing a community land trust.
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