Dr. E.F. Schumacher, British economist, speaking at recent Conference on Intermediate Technology sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota. This was Schumacher’s second lecture, titled “Intermediate Technology: Its Importance for the United States.”
Topic was on how the U.S. can sustain and enhance prosperity and economic growth through decentralization of industry and a reduction in overly complicated and expensive technology.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen Stay title. I have been given this intermediate technology its importance for the United States this of course would presuppose a greater knowledge of the United States and I possess. But I should like to make just a few remarks about. How I would personally conceived. a fuel energy policy ice I should think this would have to have three main prongs. And be pretty specific the first one. And this can be done relatively very quickly. Is to try and maximize the use of solar energy for low-level temperature use domestic uses. No, there's no enormous amount of new research work that needs to be done and the domestic sector for space Heating. And hot water is requiring something of the order of 20% of all the energy used in the country. I hear that there is a fine Exemplar of development here in this city. It's got a funny name. Can you remind me of it Ouroboros? Yes, and I very much hope I still have a chance of seeing it. Naturally, this can best be done where there are decentralized modes of living. That's where the solar energy arrives. It doesn't arrive in sufficient quantity on the roof of Rockefeller Center. This would be the first prong. And easily extended to other small-scale sources of energy like wind power and and biogas. Well, there's nothing controversial about this. We'll talk a bit later on how how this could perhaps be really activated on a on a bigger scale. The second prong of an energy policy. I'm quite sure must focus on agriculture. I made a few remarks yesterday at the at the risk of company of repetition. I will say again that it is a fairly recent phenomenon that agriculture has made itself modern agriculture has made itself. So so heavily dependent on fossil fuels the kind of technology that has to be adopted developed perfected is not only to move from chemical farming to organic methods. Where the Pioneers have been added now for quite a long time and there is no reasonable doubt that this is capable of very wide application, but also to look at the equipment. To give you one example, some may have seen it in a film where it was shown. We at the intermediate technology Development Group. We were sort of speculating. But people now call Natural thinking this is a new term. I think what it really means is good thinking namely thinking and we said well now what what does it need? And we felt that wasn't all that clever to send two tons of tractor backwards and forwards across the land for what purpose just for the purpose of pulling a curved knife a plow. Count one pull it from a semi stationary engine. The tractor compacts the soil and it's heavy and it's very expensive. And uses a lot of fuel so we took this into the national college for agricultural engineering at a place called Seltzer in bedfordshire and managed to persuade the professors and students there to help us develop this and there is now and you can see it in a film that has been quite widely shown here in the United States. It's a tiny little engine. It's cost us about 1% of that of normal farm tractors. It's fuel consumption is 1% and it drags the plow backwards and forwards across the field and plows. This is not quite ready yet. No, do I think would it be? the right type of appropriate technology for big big American Farms as they are today, but it shows possibilities that can be perfected and undoubtedly will be perfected to do the mechanical work important part of the mechanical work at a tiny fraction of the capital and fuel inputs that is required now. so agriculture is a very big field and extremely relevant to to the energy problem. We've also been engaged in a very interesting work which has been written up in a publication called food from wind power on new methods of utilizing wind energy for irrigation. incidentally lateral thinking one of our young engineers said Really the windmill produces a rotary action, but for pumping we want an up-and-down action. Couldn't we design a windmill that doesn't go round but goes up and down flaps. Well in theory. This is possible. Again, we took this to one of the scientific establishments the Imperial College for Science and Technology. They were delighted to have such an interesting subject and they produced it. There was the the Prototype at the end of a wind tunnel going up and down immediate action and lifting lifting water. No further gearing necessary. I know it can also be done in other ways, but the aim is always to simplify the design and particularly to find the rinds the right starting point for the design. So this is a very large field where the work has to be organized. And of course also relevant irrelevant to another vital material which is causing a good deal of worry these days namely water. Here again the methods of using water which have emerged from that period as now behind us namely the period of plentiful and cheap fossil fuels these methods must be revised can be recognized as being inappropriate for the future. And is a big job to be done. Even if only to learn the state-of-the-art that one becomes conscious of the fact that for instance the Israelis have perfected many methods of irrigating or using water in on a minut scale compared with the methods used in in in the United most parts of the United States. So this seems to me to be the second prong of what could be described as a proper fuel policy. And the third prong because agriculture is in fact responsible now for very sizable percentage of all fuel use fuel and energy use in this country. The third prong would relate to what I call. I call it the negative theory of transport. negative Theory because transport is of course a cost. and two to have Arrangements General economic and other arrangements which Force us into this vast amount of Transport shows that we are not very clever. We have to be clever than that because the fuel for this volume of Transport will not be available. This is an obvious object for study how we can do not with better and faster transport, but with less transport. I hope I didn't mention it yesterday. I got a bit confused the example of when I drive up from London to Glasgow. Did I mention this? Mr. Chairman with the know there's the big the big motor Road from London to Glasgow. And enormously heavy traffic and there I drive in my little car surrounded by huge lorries carrying cookies. You call them. We call them biscuits from London to Glasgow. Hmm. Well, that's all right, but when I look at the other Carriage Way, I find equally large convoys of Laurie's trucks. You call him carrying cookies from Glasgow to London. and again, if one if one came from another star 1 but invariably come to the conclusion that somehow to get the right quality into the cookies. You have to transport them at least. at least 500 miles but it simply arises out of overall Arrangements which lead to this wasteful absurdity. I know my economists colleagues, they will defend anything and they defended as being the outcome of free consumers choice, but I can assure you there is no noticeable difference between Glasgow cookies and lung cookies. No, it arises out of the structure of Industry. If you have a very large production production unit, its overhead costs are very high. And it's marginal costs, but the next batch costs. Well, most of it is already paid for is virtually only the raw material that goes into it. And when there is a very big difference between marginal costs being low and average costs being what they are. Then of course, the marginal product can afford to travel a long long way. Well, that's fine. But in total it doesn't add up because the London producer invades the Glasgow producers markets and diminishes his local sales and the Glasgow producer does the same to the London producer to be diminishing the local sales there and substituting these long-distance scenes this arises out of the scale of production and points again to the need for developing an efficient technology for more decentralized production. On the whole just as we've seen in the case of China on the whole it will be necessary never mind about whether we like it or not. It would liking will have to be struck out of the dictionary. It will be necessary to come to a pattern where production production and consumption are much closer together because the fuel for this long-distance transport will simply not be available or will be so dire that it cannot be afforded. So this means in general a big program of design studies, we have learnt how to make things on a big scale. Can we now apply our superlative technological and scientific knowledge and learn how to make things efficiently on a small scale? There's absolutely no reason why this should not be possible. We have been doing this kind of work admittedly mainly for the third world for the last 12 years and wherever we tried, of course we could do it the the economies of scale May well have been a nineteenth-century truth. But over a very wide fields of application. There are a 20th century myth. The moment you really look into it. There's nothing in it. In fact, our great diseconomies of scale in many in many lines of production. But because people have grown up with this idea of the economy of scale they until the oppressed by the winds. And then it may be too late. They are still very reluctant to engage in to entertain even the thought that on a smaller scale. It may be better so I could imagine work spreading around the economy. To make systematically does design studies to create the mini plant and efficient unit. Take the case of paper recycling. Lots of people say yes, we ought to recycle paper. But the units for paper recycling they have a size probably the minimum size. At present is a hundred tons a day. But more normal would be 350 tons a day. Now just try and visualize a hundred tons of waste paper. That's amount every day. It means about whether five-ton Lori would carry two tons of waste paper. So a 50 such Lori's through the factory gate every day. Well that you can only do in Fairly large conurbations. You can't do that in more sparsely populated areas because the transport cost of the waste paper would eat up the value of the waste paper. And these smaller localities are now all well, they're all in need and many of them are asking for many plants. For the recycling of waste paper not a hundred tons a day, but they have one or two times a day. Is it possible or is not possible? Well with the help of some of the biggest paper people and their design capabilities we have now designed the mini plant. And of course it is possible. So there is a new possibility of doing efficient paper recycling outside the big conurbations. In the more decentralized way and so you can all think of thousands of applications. I won't repeat the example of local bakeries. It is to me a sort of symbol. And I'm not myself very much impressed by the arguments that the consumer prefers to buy bad bread. I know the consumer does by the bad bread. But if one looks into the inwardness of these processes by the the local Baker disappears, it's got very little to do with the preferences preferences of consumers. It's got a great deal to do with effects that modern intelligence has not gone come to the help of the small Beaker has left him in a defenseless position and has all gone into the Perfection of mass production on a big big scale. Well, if intelligence desserts a sector of the economy, then that sector of the economy will feel so it is not so much the preference of consumers are suggest but the the preference Of them designers companies great deal of Tycoon re to be to do the stunt technology rather than the work for the for the humble people. This is effect, which as we have seen China has overcome. It's a social political phenomenon that the educated don't really interest themselves in ordinary the needs of ordinary people. They want to be at the frontier of refinement sophistication Etc even before mile. The Chinese had worked out that it costs the work of 30. Peasants to keep one young person at a university. So if that person has been at the University for five years he or she will have consumed 150 peasant work years not surprisingly there for Chairman Mao said now you come and say something back to the peasant then the young people were sent in to some remote Village. And found that totally incapable of helping the peasants. They had learned nothing of any use to The Peasants what's over there may have been qualified doctors, but they couldn't assist the local woman to put a baby into the world the local Midwife could do it but not the studied person and they came back and what they said had a magic effect on the curriculum of the University's orientating the learning towards actual needs of actual human beings and not defensive real needs of the kind of society. As as depicted by the advertisement about which I talked last night some people I understand thought that this was a joke. No this advertisement appeared in has appeared in many high-class journals and is totally serious. Now this would be a three-pronged attack on the fuel problem relating to domestic requirements agricultural requirements and transport requirements the the last of the three By by creating a new small scale industrial technology permitting really decentralized production so that the point of production the point of consumption that as closely as possible together. Now, how does one do any of these things? I'd like to say just a very few words about about ourselves intermediate technology Development Group, which was set up in 1965 without any money and backing from anyone just a few family men as a matter of fact to who had considerable family responsibilities, but we said something needs to be done. So let's start But we developed a particular idea which I'd like to communicate to you. We said it is no use doing things. I'm a Taurus lie in one's own backyard when in fact the society is so full of know-how and resources research facilities Etc. Our task is not to do the work ourselves, but to penetrate and infiltrate the whole of society so that the orientation of technological development work technology in the widest sense also software technology that this will gradually be influenced and actual work will be done. Therefore we felt that our own working groups of which we have now of the order of 30 same is separate working groups on different subjects, like water power agricultural implements chemicals textiles woodworking foundries Etc. So that these working groups they should reflect the main forces of society the main well, I'll explain and in order to remind ourselves continuously of this we started talking about the ABCD combination. That's at least easy to remember a stands for the administrators to get work done. We have to have some people who are really connected with government and know how to pull the wires. Admittedly administrators actually can't do anything but they can stop everything so you better have them on your side. And I know how to how to deal with a big apparatus. That's the effector if some people show interest in our work and if they're connected with big Administration than on the count of that we are very anxious to have them if we think that the right people the be factor is Believe It or Not business. including banking also a peculiar tribe of people who live under a very peculiar discipline namely they have to pay wages on Fridays the effect that they received their salary at the end of the month whether they have stopped anything or not, but the others The others to be factored. I have to live under this discipline of getting the actual money to pay wages. Like all disciplines this may narrow the Mind occasionally or make people grasping. But without this discipline nothing can be done. They are the people who know the art of viability. So we must have people with that discipline knowledge and access to the big business Community. We must have them if we want to mobilize effectively the resources of society for this new work. The C factor C stands for communicators. These are the people of the world. They also don't actually produce anything that we can eat or wear or live in but they are. Problem solvers researchers Now problem solvers. I had some fun with them already yesterday. There are playful little Souls who who shunned the real world and and take up a problem and solve it and when they have solved it they tend to to Market top secret and file it away and take up the next problem, but we need them because we have problems to solve. And you get quite a new atmosphere when this C Factor finds himself or herself placed next to a b Factor who says hey, wait a minute with the money on this. We can't just file it away and turn to the next one. Now. We must utilize it and and and push it out into society. That's the C Factor now finally D. It took us some time to learn that these stands for the Democratic organizations of society such as labor unions all sorts of voluntary associations women's organizations. Etc in the sense that the troops with them on can then engage in various campaigns and get all sorts of work organized which requires a sort of massive input Now this I say this. Because I find that many of our societies are full of mutual suspicion and confrontation. And people say oh well, I'll do a wonderful thing. But who I would have nothing to do with business. Oh, no, I mustn't have anything to do with government. But assuredly neither a nor B. No C. Now the alone can do anything really effective in this in this situation and it is the task of of anyone who says let's do something to consciously strive to get people. From these four sectors to join the working group, then the chance of reaching out into society mobilizing the Colossal colossal the sources of modern society that chance is then real and one can actually get things done. Well, this is what I wanted to say. I've saved your bit of time by being very brief. Thank you for your attention. We'll just as much as there has been a big gap in the teaching of organic methods in agriculture. So there has been a big gap and even longer gap in improper religious or metaphysical of loss of good teaching and so we have a difficult time starting it. But I find that things are changing very rapidly now. I mean ten years ago. It's just was there's not possible to mention God in polite Society, but no, it's quite possible to you get away with it. and then there is still a lot of cleaning up to be done. There's no doubt. We still have absolutely absurd situation between science and religion as if these two were in conflict. There are in Conflict only where science becomes totally unscientific. And in fact becomes a kind of religion in itself, then there's conflict but as long as science sticks to what it's competent in there can't possibly be a conflict. Now the young are not told this the young still told I see it with my own children, they're told weird and wonderful theory that everything started with an original bang and then there was some Cosmic soup. And then buy me a chance out of the soup suddenly came living cells and then by making themselves more complex, they suddenly acquired life or intelligence and all this sort of hoax is offered a sign. Well that of those will confuse everybody. The theory of evolution is not taught scientifically at our schools. It starts as a Dogma the scientific theory of evolution is simple and it causes no problems namely things have changed. And things have changed in a mysterious way so that they're all sorts of connections. We went there so we can't be quite sure but there are all sorts of interesting bones that can be found. And I show there is a certain coherence. And if they leave it there there are main scientific. But if they see as they say therefore it follows that there is no higher power at all. There's no higher intelligence that the human race has a cosmic accident and and follow the sort of stuff that Bertrand Russell used to write that only on the basis of unyielding despair can the modern house of the Mind be built, you know this kind of heroic nonsense as long as that happens, of course, you can't and it will never forget when a little daughter of mine. She must have been seven or so suddenly took me by the hand and said I must show you something absolutely moms. And she went to flower which hadn't opened opened it and said look inside this. Well, I didn't say I've seen it before I looked into it. I was just blaze of colors this delicate construction. And I said, yes, isn't it moment and she said, you know, it's cool. I always thought God had made this but it's cool that tell me that no God can't make anything God doesn't exist at this all happened by chance. That's what we do to our children. And hence you find it very difficult to correct the mistakes that have been made already by turning their mind in the wrong direction. I think this baton is first. Maybe maybe the masses don't have to be educated to Common Sense. Maybe they're the only ones who have it. Maybe maybe what we really have to learn is the very relative. relativity of the intelligence of the experts You see you all know the phrase an expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing, but they become so narrow and we again education we educate them over so narrow fields and don't give them what our friend is trying namely some sound knowledge princes of the fact that there has never been a society until the Western Society of the last 300 years, which did not have a solid system of deep convictions about Good and Evil and so on all that. We don't even teach So that common sense is systematically driven out of people. And their overall World by all sorts of things like Panasonic. Now how you get this liberatory movement? that maybe tomorrow you may have a nuclear scientist here who tells you what a wonderful thing it is. And then maybe some people will sit their cows out and say well, of course I am not a nuclear scientist. So I better keep my mouth. Shut. Oh, they remember the common sense of the whole thing. See you're allowed to do this. You assurances are worthless. You are talking about a subject that you know, nothing about because it's basically human subject and and you only physicists and after all the real question is can you give assurances that the stuff will forever be safe? It's a human problem. And so that the this is this bogus imperialism of certain expertise that that is thrown out and sent packing. I don't know we have cowed ourselves and the masses for so long that they have said it would take a lot more suffering until the common-sense asserts itself. It certainly cannot be educated in two people. You can be educated out of people. You take just a just a few more. Go ahead. Well, thank you very much. I should be delighted to talk about about trees and maybe allow me to do this in a rather personal personal manner. How I became interested. I suddenly received a letter from the United States from Oregon on the back I could read the sender was Richard be Greg. And it's just struck me. That was a great friend of Gandhi's by that name. I never met him. I opened the letter and it said dear. Mr. Schumacher. I've read some of your articles Gandhi used to say when you are old and can't do very much anymore. Walk through your library pick out the books that you consider the most useful for life and send them to a younger man. And this is what I've done. So you'll be receiving a parcel of books marvelous marvelous. Just one remark by Gandhi and then somebody actually acts accordingly and among these books which were superlative was one book called three crops system of permanent agriculture. by a American professor and name of Russell Smith Well, I read this book and I thought well, this is fabulous. But my life is not organized at I could do anything about it. But I started interesting myself in three crops. Let's just say particularly specifically trees for food production. Not fruit. Not Timber food, which Russell Smith had shown had been one of the great opportunities, which mankind has sort of missed out on Some genetic development work has been done very rarely on trees a bit with fruit trees and outstanding example was the development of the noble rubber tree and their demonstrated what can be done with this genetic work, but with nuts and carob and honey locust and food-producing trees actually hardly any work had been done and Russell Smith said that it needs to be done now and there you can look forward to yields per acre or foodstuff food or for other stuff which are a high multiple of what agriculture can do. About the cat up and the Honey Locust. He informs us you can get used up to 20 tons of these beans per acre 20 tons. Well, this whole matter has been brought up to date by a Scotsman by the name of shelter Douglas who has published published last year book called Forest farming. and There it is. All confirmed. He is internationally known expert on trees. And so Well the second time I myself couldn't pass pass it by so I made a deal with some to Douglas and I said I have that bit of land which has never been used for anything. It's overgrown with Thorn bushes, and I will plant food producing trees. Luckily I had to Peter Gillingham staying with me so he could help me dig the holes. I will talk to trees that some to Douglas would recommend now talking very seriously about it, I think. It is high time that mankind should ReDiscover the tree as one of the finest things that the good Lord has put into this world, which does so many jobs. It's quite incredible. It's relevant, of course to your energy problem. It's renewable burning matter it is and it's very relevant to the water problems. Because the tree maintains the water holding capacity of the soil where you have deforestation. Well, you can see it all over the world the damage that has been done. It's very relevant to the food problem. It's almost a universal solution to Mankind's problems. And what is most important it is a democratic technology. Everybody can actually do it who has the slightest access to some then it doesn't require a hundred thousand or a million dollars per workplace. It can be done in spare time. It's also good for the soul. So in India, I have always recommended that if some magician or some politician could start a real popular movement so that it becomes the sacred duty of every able-bodied engine. Child up to grandfather and grandmother to plant and established 13 a year five years running economic effect would be greater within the five-year period than any Five-Year Plan of India has ever promised. The the Planning Commission didn't like me for this because again the answer is too simple for their liking. Couldn't be true to simple and now I understand that. I don't know how to interpret it politically that mrs. Gandhi's son son. Jai is has adopted this very slogan. Well, that's better than nothing. I think the gentleman in their Factory. Well five minutes about men and religion. well If you if you think of the false gospel it begins in the beginning of the word. But then if you read on you find that nothing very much happens unless the word becomes flesh and dwelt Among Us. In other words in the beginning there's an idea. Without the idea nothing starts, but if it's still if you don't hold it down. And make it flesh incarnated in some actual activities or Hardware something material. Then it remains pure. Cloud Cuckoo Land Whether it is tactically and strategically better to show your cards all the time and talk primarily about to word all to work actually in this working incarnating the word. Well, that is a matter of temperament. I quite agree with you. I said in my little book that the end what we are suffering from is a metaphysical disease. We have become totally confused about our basic convictions. And therefore unless we have a metaphysical and that's the same religious or philosophical reconstruction. Then even Noble attempts like organic farming will simply add to the confusion, which is not a reason not to do it. So I think we're probably in agreement on this one. earlier proving the quality of work would be similar to the abolition of slavery slavery was followed by sharecropping and the seems to be that in a lot of companies a lot of countries in England included. There's great concern over Bowie productivity in the nature of work and that some businesses and some countries are making vague attempts to redress this by such terms as worker control of worker participation of co-determination, which might prove to be similar to solution to sharecropping proved to be the slavery you have any ideas about how to avoid this cosmetic approach to the creation of more meaningful work such as more worker ownership and excess of Captain who are quite obviously large-scale organization mass production very concentrated control of finance and all that does not lend itself to any kind of democratic participation. now to the extent that this scale out of human scale has been forced Upon Us by technology. We have to revise the technology. I know. In fact, I could almost venture to guess what our friend has in mind. He hasn't mind that before you can really make any Headway with any of these things. You have to change the political system. The predicament is that is so difficult to find out how do you change the political system? And it is also a bit discouraging to see that where the political system is quite different. As long as the same technology is used. It's much the same. It may be under slightly different auspices and favor different groups of people, but it's much the same. So, I believe that by working at this level the actual processes of production that this is certainly one and a very effective method of changing the political system. Those reasons that cause alienation of dissatisfaction with work, for example, the law has been written lately about putting two workers on the board of directors for the company is the kind of cosmetic technology. I was referring to the people seem to be picking up on right now is a solution without understanding the underlying causes. well Even that is a beginning. It's more than doing nothing. I don't know what to say to it because you can say that about any attempt to change anything. You can say it's only cosmetic. But well, where does it leave you if the actually who is so much against cosmetics? I don't follow this this way of arguing really I'm I'm not a queen bee but a worker bee and I like to show and create new possibilities of living for the people who've been bypassed by the big development that will give them strength. Then worker control or participation in management. If it's on a human scale will be a feasibility. It's not a feasibility with these immensely complex and huge processes. But let me tell you the light house that we what happened to me. When I visited Eastern Germany where they have a different system and they explained to me at Great length that their system was very much more efficient and less wasteful than the capitalist system of the West and then they took a very gloomy view of our economies and they said the Western economies are like Express trains hurtling at ever increasing speed towards in a bush. And I stopped and said but we shall overtake them. Structure of the business or producing sector in this country one such change might be in the development of workers or industrial cooperative. Border control by their member worker owners question. Do you feel that your technological approach is compatible with the organizational nature of workers cooperatives. Is this a propitious combination or is it not there have been Tens of thousands of foundations of new Cooperative societies of various kinds in in the developing world in the last 30 years probably hundreds of thousands and most of them have failed. Why they have failed? It's difficult to find out one reason has been that. the entrepreneurial element it has been very very much underestimated what it takes to put it make you get anything going. And this is one of the very big problems particularly the moment you are handling more complex situations and Technologies when merely the fact that ordinary people who are hard pressed by everyday life that they get together. This does not guarantee that the competences there. Now, I mean either hundred percent approve of the Co-operative principle and where There's a way out. I'm in the Co-operative operators can become simply capitalists and then hire a competent man to run it. But to have complex processes to be controlled by Co-operators with shared decision taking on these processes. That's the thing on which they have normally failed now in order to help this along. Since we found that many of them failed because they couldn't cope with accountancy. We found the situation that in accountancy also the middle had disappeared namely either they were using a so primitive accountancy, which was not proper constitute all that. They didn't notice that they're eating their Seed corn or they adopted the highly complex system from the West which then caused Auditors fees bigger than their total profit. So we did three years work with a special working group to develop The Optimist accountancy system for various types of cooperatives. I mentioned this extra work of this kind needs to be done the formula of cooperation sounds very good. But in practice it's a has had too many failures to be very confident that without input of intelligence. It can can succeed in the future. Thank you. This will be the last question for Schumacher's mine education we went into A great thing in Britain abolishing lots and lots of little schools. creating new comprehensive schools with two or three thousand children It's been a disaster. the logic that led to it was Sort of technocratic logic namely in a big school. You can offer many more subjects and more choice and have better apparatus all these. Externals, but that actually education has something to do with TLC with a tender loving care with a human factor. That was totally overlooked. So now people say well we ought to have smaller schools, but they They have got themselves now that up ideas about the curriculum and and the final exams and so on so that the thing is in a in a mess also the academic Academia in Britain and the rest of you Europe. I wouldn't presume to speak about your country is at a low Point All Time Low point Chancellors of universities come to me and say we don't believe what we're teaching them and they certainly don't believe that they're being taught. I don't know. I think just need for decentralisation. But also in the overall administration of it much greater Freedom much greater Reliance on that common sense that we've already mentioned insistence that it should be education and not some sort of training where children are forced already at the age of 12 to decide what they want to be later on and all that but That's all I can say.