Schumacher, along with that other great subsidiarist, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, championed the idea of self-limitation. This necessary virtue for a healthy economy, a healthy culture and a healthy environment, is enshrined in the everyday realities of family life. Families teach us to be selfless and to sacrifice ourselves for others. It is these very virtues that are necessary for the practice of the economic and political virtues so sadly absent from our ailing and deteriorating world.

The increasing atomisation of society in the direction of self-centred individualism not only undermines the family but undermines the present and future health of the economy and the environment. The elevation of so-called “rights” over responsibilities has further accentuated the rise (preceding the fall) of heedless hedonism with its rampant consumption of the world’s resources.

In short, therefore, and to conclude these opening remarks, all true economics begins with the Family and ends with the Family. Small is still beautiful because families still matter! ~Joseph Pearce