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Title of Article: A Question of Size Author or Reference: Schumacher, E.F.

, Small is Beautiful, Harper & Row Subject: Economics Schumacher addresses the question of size in this article, like what size should a city have. He showed that the common conviction that big is better can lead to shattering effects. Due to the amplified mobility of our times, foot looseness is draining out people from the small rural areas into the big cities which people thought that their lives will progress, but in fact worsen. We all knew throughout history that most people were successful if they were unified or in group. Like a country, in order it to be prosperous it had to be big—bigger is better. But is this always the case? When we look on most prosperous countries, we can see that most of them are small and indeed the big ones are poor. Today, as the modern technology and advancement of science dictates firms and industries to form large corporation, irrefutably small groups or firms are gradually increasing and not waning. Why people think that large organization is necessary? Maybe it is because of the influence of idolatry of large size by theoreticians. There is that significant role of a general belief to people about the need for and efficiency of bigness. But practical reality, with practical people in the actual world tends to suggest smallness is more efficient. So what can we reflect from this question of size? We need “smallness” in action. Like what Schumacher pointed up “because action is a highly personal affair; and one cannot be in touch with more than a very limited number of persons at any one time”. For example in teaching, certain things can only be imparted in an intimate group like in our classroom. Other teachings can be taught en masse like in television, etc. We need “bigness” especially in values and general views and respect for each other and the world we are living in. One major point in the article is that for our diverse purposes, we need many different arrangements, both small ones and large ones, some exclusive and some comprehensive. As a result of this gigantism and automation, people drive for ever larger units. Industrialists eliminate the human factor for machine because machines do not make mistakes. Yes, people strive and utilize their advancement in science and technology for the improvement of their lives, fight against misery and human degradation but they should also consider of the poor who are in need of development. After all, we should have close contact with the actual people, individuals, families, small groups rather than states or countries. What will be the sense of our democracy, freedom, human dignity and achievement? For sure it is a matter of people, and not goods, right?

Perez, Kirby P.
BSChE-V