an introduction...

by Shaun Chamberlin

Welcome to LeanLogic.online!

This project emerged from a 2017 Schumacher College course on David Fleming’s work

One of the attendees was Matthew Taylor, drawn by parallels between Lean Logic and his own project, and he has since given his time and skills freely to developing this new presentation of Fleming’s legacy, just as I gave mine to seeing the original books through to posthumous publication.

Since the format of Lean Logic in many ways foreshadowed the later invention of Wikipedia, it feels so appropriate to see it brought into the hyperlinked internet age to which it is so well suited!

And appropriate too that it now provides a venue for the discussions David hoped to start. He saw each entry in his Dictionary for the Future not as the final word, but as a jumping-off point for… well, in his own words, “do nothing that matters without consulting a conversation”.

So leave comments under the dictionary entries to open those conversations, or to let us know where you find value in the new format, or how it could be improved! And enjoy the new facility of easily scanning the whole dictionary via the search that you’ll find at the top-right of every page; something every Lean Logic fan has longed for.

We very much hope this new format for Fleming’s great work will extend the reach of what of what has already proved an influential and entertaining read for thinkers and doers across the world!

Hopefully helped along too by our ongoing Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time online courses with Vermont’s Sterling College, and by the 2020 film The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?, for both of which see just below…

The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?

Opening with a powerful ‘deep time’ perspective, from the beginning of the Earth to our present moment, this film recognizes the fundamental unsustainability of today’s society and dares to ask the big question: What will follow?

Around the world, fresh shoots are already emerging as people develop the skills, will and resources necessary to recapture the initiative and re-imagine civilization, often in the ruins of collapsed mainstream economies.

We encounter extraordinary projects and people from four continents, all cultivating a resilience not reliant on the impossible promise of eternal economic growth; developing diverse, convivial, satisfying contexts for lives well lived.

And all inspired by Lean Logic, a work of rare depth that is rekindling optimism in the creativity and intelligence of humans to nurse our communities and ecology back to health.

~~ Visit thesequel.net to see the full film ~~

The Work of David Fleming

What people are saying
  • David Fleming was a walking encyclopaedia of ecological knowledge and wisdom. His brilliance, good humour, and deep insight were legendary and unforgettable. His writing, too, was of the highest calibre—witty, entertaining, profound, informative, and transformative. These books of his give us the opportunity to savour the great treasure that was his mind. To read them is to gain a superb education in ecology from one of the greatest masters in the field.
    Dr Stephan HardingDr Stephan HardingResident ecologist, Schumacher College; author of Animate Earth
  • David Fleming was an elder of the UK green movement and a key figure in the early Green Party. Drawing on the heritage of Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful, Fleming’s beautifully written and nourishing vision of a post-growth economics grounded in human-scale culture and community—rather than big finance—is both inspiring and ever more topical.
    Caroline Lucas MPCaroline Lucas MPCo-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
  • I would unreservedly go so far as to say that David Fleming was one of the most original, brilliant, urgently-needed, underrated, and ahead-of-his-time thinkers of the last 50 years. History will come to place him alongside Schumacher, Berry, Seymour, Cobbett, and those other brilliant souls who could not just imagine a more resilient world but who could paint a picture of it in such vivid colours. Step into the world of David Fleming; you'll be so glad you did.
    Rob HopkinsRob HopkinsCo-founder of the Transition Towns movement
  • David Fleming predicts environmental catastrophe but also proposes a solution that stems from the real motives of people and not from some comprehensive political agenda. He writes lucidly and eloquently of the moral and spiritual qualities on which we might draw in our ‘descent’ to a Lean Economy. His highly poetic description of these qualities is neither gloomy nor self-deceived but tranquil and inspiring. All environmental activists should read him and learn to think in his cultivated and nuanced way.
    Roger ScrutonRoger ScrutonWriter and philosopher; author of over thirty books, including Green Philosophy
  • David Fleming was an iconoclast in a time when orthodox thinking reasserted suffocating control. When many major environmental voices had, in effect, decided to 'go with the flow', accept the mainstream economy, and do their best to make it greener, David Fleming went the other way. His analysis told him that nothing short of a paradigm shift could ensure our collective survival, and he said so, loudly, without fear of being marginalised. Thank goodness his analysis can now be shared more widely.
    Andrew SimmsAndrew SimmsCo-director, New Weather Institute; fellow, New Economics Foundation; author of Cancel the Apocalypse

Howard Phipps - Figure in a Landscape

In loving memory of David Fleming, 1940-2010