Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Why Schools of Economics ...

At the back of John Papworth's book Why Schools of Economics and Political Science Should be Closed Down booklet, the suggestion of a "Fourth World University" is floated:

"Countries are governed largely by their ruling ideas, which is why the modern world is in the grip of theories which have so little relationship with reality that it staggers from one crisis to another with gathering momentum; it is now clearly out of control because the size of organisation in many spheres has become so enormous as to make it impossible for them to be controlled by anyone for any rational purpose.

"It is to counter this grip that a global website 'university' has been founded to research and promote solutions to the problems of applying the human scale to all aspects of human social organisation. As yet we are hardly in the earliest dawn of the degree of human reconceptualization required. Despite the work of Kohr, Schumacher, Sale, Mander, Gandhi and others of the modern era, the factor of size continues to be seen, at best, as a convenient or even sentimental addition to prevailing concepts of planning or initiative rather than as a vital prerequisite for human survival.

As a result we continue to move towards what Jerry Mander calls 'the corporate-driven globalised unification of economic activity'; it is one which can only lead to the bankruptcy of the planet's material resources, the disintegration of countless richly-endowed national cultures and the spiritual impoverishment of an entire civilisation.

"This is an appeal to scholars, radicals and visionaries everywhere to act whilst there is time, to establish centres of learning and teaching in subjects closest to their concerns, however modest in size, in whatever part of the world they may live, in terms of the human scale and subject to human control. Help to create a global network of responsible scholarship, aware that it is as unique as the need for it is urgent and that it is helping to express the emerging global consensus of the need to create a new world of ecological sanity and spiritual vitality."

* * *

Whether or not John Papworth's Fourth World University suggestion was followed up in practical terms, the idea certainly accords well with the Yorkshire Education Association. (See HOME Page https://www.douglassocialcredit.com/ for details.) The concept of an adult education self-help university is by no means original. See, for example, Peter Maurin's 'Agronomic University', as introduced on page 32 of my booklet Down to Earth: A guide to home economics. (available as free download from https://www.douglassocialcredit.com/ RESOURCES\FRANCES HUTCHINSON). In 2011, Papworth could assume his readership would be familiar with the names Kohr, Schumacher, Sale, Mander and Gandhi. Similarly, around the time of the Second World War, Peter Maurin could assume familiarity with Luther, Calvin, Marx, Veblen, Kropotkin, Tawney and Ruskin, Morris and so on, in addition to the biblical texts and the social teachings of the church. Note also the final paragraph of the "To Despair .." Blog of 3 September, which includes reference to the allied movements of anthroposophy and guild socialism. But, to be practical, where do we start?

If scholars, radicals and visionaries everywhere" are to "establish centres of learning and teaching in subjects closest to their concerns", as Papworth suggests, the starting point is for individuals to form Booklists of their own. Reviewing those texts with which we are familiar enables us to find common ground so that we can draw together with others in discussion.

As has been said recently, "The only moral way of halting this COVID Nazification is to once again place people and ethics above science and technology." (Dr. Kevin P. Corbett.) The demanding task that lies ahead is to move beyond sound-bites by undertaking the task of self-education. And that can only be done in the company of others.

NOTE: The Booklist on the HOME page of https://www.douglassocialcredit.com/ includes suggestions of books that are of contemporary interest. How many of them are familiar to you, the reader? These could provide a starting point for starting a discussion group?

No comments:

Post a Comment