Aug 12, 2004

Sad truth? Glad truth?

On a visit to Leningrad some years ago, I consulted a map to find out where I was, but I could not make it out. From where I stood, I could see several enormous churches, yet there was no trace of them on my map. When finally an interpreter came to help me, he said: “We don’t show churches on our maps.” Contradicting him, I pointed to one that was clearly marked. “That is a museum,” he said, “not what we call a ‘living church.’ It is only the ‘living churches’ we don’t show.”

This is the opening paragraph to the late E.F. Schumacher’s “A Guide for the Perplexed”. I first read Schumacher's seminal "Small is Beautiful" way back in college when I was forced to take a business economics course. It made a lasting impression on me with its topic of sustainability and human scale economics (Schumacher was a British Labor economist).

He also became a Christian late in life, turning his back on the Labor-Socialism's secular positions (without embracing the Tory position). He lost a lot of friends as a result, and gained few.

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