(AUGUST 16, 1911 — SEPTEMBER 4, 1977)
“Since there is now increasing evidence of environmental deterioration, particularly in living nature, the entire outlook and methodology of economics is being called into question. The study of economics is too narrow and too fragmentary to lead to valid insights, unless complemented and completed by a study of meta-economics…”
– E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered (Blond & Briggs, 1973)
Since its founding in 1980 the Schumacher Center for a New Economics has been preserving and building upon the lifework of the German-born British economist E. F. Schumacher. Because of his opposition to Hitler, Schumacher left Germany before the Second World War and spent the rest of his life in England, where he was a pioneer in integrated thinking about economic, environmental, and cultural issues. His advocacy of a new value-imbued economics offers a clear and compelling vision for action.
In 1955 Schumacher traveled to Burma as an economic consultant. While there, he developed the principles of what he called “Buddhist economics,” based on the belief that good work was essential for proper human development and that “production from local resources for local needs is the most rational way of economic life.” His stay in Burma was a turning point in his life that inspired him to write the essay “Buddhist Economics,” which was published together with other essays in 1973 under the title Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered. Schumacher’s ideas subsequently became popular during the 1970s in much of the English-speaking world. He is best known for his critique of Western economies and his proposal for human-scale, decentralized, and appropriate technologies.
E. F. Schumacher’s Personal Library and Archives
The Schumacher Center Library is home to the bulk of Dr. Ernst Friedrich Schumacher’s personal library and archives, donated in 1994 by his widow, Verena Schumacher. His collection, consisting of 2,500 books, has been computer indexed and its catalog can be searched online.
The bulk of Dr. Ernst Friedrich Schumacher’s personal library and archives were donated to the Schumacher Library in 1994 by his widow, Verena Schumacher. The 2,500 volume collection of books, many containing Schumacher’s research notes, and some inscribed by their authors, span a surprising range of topics.
Schumacher’s archives consist of manuscripts, articles, memorabilia, and lecture and background notes, which can be viewed at the Schumacher Center Libary. Schumacher’s archives were professionally organized by his daughter Barbara Wood, author of E. F. Schumacher: His Life and Thought.
E. F. Schumacher: His Life and Thought by Barbara Wood
Nonviolence | Lecture, 1976
The Critical Question of Size | Resurgence, 1975
How to Abolish Land Speculation | Resurgence, 1974
Think About Land | The Catholic Housing Aid Society, 1973
Work in a Sane Society | Third Charles Plater Memorial Lecture, 1972.
How To Help Them Help Themselves | The Observer, 1965
Modern Industry in the Light of the Gospel | Pamphlet, 1962
“Multilateral Clearing” | Economica, 1943
Interview by William Nesbitt, 1976
“Small Is Beautiful” Press Conference | UC-Davis, 1977
Nonviolent Technology | a Lindisfarne talk, 1976/1977
The World Crisis and the Wholeness of Life | Findhorn, 1976
Decentralist Economics | a Lindisfarne talk, 1974
Planetary Culture and New Image of Humanity | a Lindisfarne talk, 1974
Tributes and Miscellaneous
Is Small Still Beautiful? by Satish Kumar
The Politics of Economics by Hazel Henderson
In Honour of E. F. Schumacher by Barbara Wood
The Vision of E. F. Schumacher by Joseph Pearce
The Education of E. F. Schumacher by Joseph Pearce
Fritz Schumacher: A Centennial Tribute by John McClaughry
Thinkers before their time 2: Fritz Schumacher by Virginia Isaac
“Limits to Models,” a blogpost on Shepherd on Climate by Peter Etherden
The Relevance of E. F. Schumacher in the 21st Century by John Fullerton
Ernst Friedrich Schumacher zu Ehren by Leopold Kohr
Schumacher’s Big Society by the BBC Radio 4, 2011
(audio of E. F. Schumacher provided by the E. F. Schumacher Archives)
Lectures from: “Responsibility in Economics and Business – The Legacy of E.F. Schumacher.” September 22, 2011 Antwerp, Belgium.
A Great Transition by Stewart Wallis
Informed by Place, Guided by Wisdom by Susan Witt
Responsibility in Technology by Simon Trace
In Honour of E. F. Schumacher by Barbara Wood
Lectures and talks by E. F. Schumacher from the Schumacher Center for New Economics Archives
This film is a short documentary portrait of economist, technologist and lecturer Fritz Schumacher. Up to age 45, Schumacher was dedicated to economic growth. Then he came to believe that the modern technological explosion had grown out of all proportion to human need. Author of Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered and founder of the London-based Intermediate Technology Development Group, he championed the cause of “appropriate” technology. The film introduces us to this gentle revolutionary a few months before his death.
E. F. Schumacher – On the Edge of the Forest (A Walk Among the Karri and Jarrah Eucalyptus Of Western Australia)
by M.B. Oldfield & Sons, 1978
Produced and Directed by Barrie Oldfield
E. F. Schumacher, recorded shortly before his death, talks about his philosophy of life and describes the marvelous ecological balance found in the eucalyptus forests of Australia, which are being cleared on a large scale for sale to the Japanese paper industry.
The Other Way by John M. Mansfield, British Broadcasting Corporation, 1974
E. F. Schumacher, founder of the Intermediate Technology Group in London, discusses his work. He questions the wisdom of the current trend to mechanise and automate, and believes the human factor should be brought back to the production process. Some compromise should be sought between the waste of non-renewable fuel sources in highly developed technology, and the labour intensity and low production of primitive industry.