Beyond Material Concerns

1 The results of the survey are quoted in Douthwaite, Growth Illusion.

2 Cited in M.Lutz and K.Lux, Humanistic Economics—the new challenge, Bootstrap Press, New York, 1988.

3 Indeed, it is not difficult to find this kind of argument even today. Wilfred Beckerman in his book Pricing for Pollution, Institute of Economic Affairs, London, 1990, bases his entire argument on the 'timelessness' of the principle of economic self-interest.

4 See, for instance, L.Doyal and I.Gough, A Theory of Human Need, Macmillan, London, 1991, and references in it; M.Max Neef, A.Elizalde and M.Hopenhayn, Human Scale Development—conception, application and further reflections, Apex Press, New York, 1991, and P.Ekins, M.Hillman and R.Hutchison, Wealth beyond Measure—an atlas of new economics, Gaia Books, London, 1992, also discuss these issues.

5 This is really the direct translation of Bentham's unidimensional pleasure calculus into the realm of the market.

G The list of authors who have also dismissed this equation is both long and impressive. It includes Mill himself, Sismondi, John Ruskin, E.F. Schumacher, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and many others. Lutz and Lux's book, Humanistic Economics, provides a fascinating history both of mainstream economic development and of the humanist response to it.

7 Incredibly, some economists have attempted to argue against the distinction between wants and needs, even where such basic needs as hunger and thirst are concerned. 'Do we need water?' asks Paul Heyne in The Economic Way of Thinking, Chicago, 19G7. 'No. The best way to turn a drought into a calamity is to pretend that water is a necessity.'

8 See, for instance, Motivation and Personality, Harper & Row, New York, 1954.

9 These needs were also known as self-actualisation needs.

10 See Towards a Psychology of Being, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 19é8.

11 See Max Neef et al., Human Scale Development.

12 This need was also translated as 'leisure' in the original project. The concept of leisure as a need is probably more acceptable to a Western view than the concept of idleness!

13 Actually, the project described economic goods as the material 'manifestation' of satisfiers, and defined five different categories of satisfiers: synergic satisfiers, singular satisfiers, pseudo-satisfiers, inhibiting satisfiers and violators. My use of language here is slightly different. But the categorisation is roughly the same.

14 See Table 2 in Max Neef et al., Human Scale Development.

15 See in particular an excellent discussion of alternative agricultural techniques in P.Goering, H.Norberg-Hodge and J.Page, From the Ground Up, International Society for Ecology and Culture/Zed Books, London, 1993.

1G This can be characterised in the Max Neef framework as an interacting participation need.

17 Community itself is not expressed as a need in the Max Neef framework. But it can be seen as a satisfier of the needs for participation, affection, identity and perhaps also protection.

18 Again, there is no 'need' for spirituality in the Max Neef framework. But there are certainly resonances here with the suggested tenth need of transcendence, and with Maslow's self-actualisation needs.

19 L.Herber, Our Synthetic Environment, Jonathan Cape, London, 19é3, cited in Schumacher Small Is Beautiful, p. 94.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment