On human exceptionalism

Modern man does not experience himself as a part of nature but as an outside force destined to dominate and conquer it. He even talks of a battle with nature, forgetting that, if he won the battle, he would find himself on the losing side. E F Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if PeopleContinue reading “On human exceptionalism”

On quantification

Counting is the religion of this generation. It is its hope and its salvation. Gertrude Stein, Everybody’s Autobiography Industrial civilisation is in love with numbers. We have numbers on pretty much everything that can be quantified, and some things that arguably can’t. When someone wishes to assert incontrovertibly that X is the case, the magicContinue reading “On quantification”

On wealth

There is no wealth but life. John Ruskin, Unto This Last I’m going to start an occasional series of essays enquiring into economics by examining the notion of wealth. Adam Smith himself defined economics as “the science of wealth” and his most famous book is entitled An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of theContinue reading “On wealth”

On slogans

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four The word slogan comes to us from Scottish Gaelic, and its original meaning was battle-cry. As such, its basic function is a declaration of group identity. The meaning of what is being yelled is less important than the fact that all ofContinue reading “On slogans”