The Breakdown of Nations has 69 ratings and 8 reviews. Rob said: ok, this guy had a five-star idea, and he started writing a five-star book, and then he. The Breakdown of Nations was the economist and political scientist, Leopold Kohr’s first book. It was published in , but is remarkably. The Breakdown of Nations. Leopold Kohr. , TO COLIN LODGE. CONTENTS. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS · FOREWORD by Kirkpatrick Sale.
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There are endless possible questions and implications to be traced. What does already seem clear is that the Vote Leave campaign was based on a brekadown of lies that have already unravelled, and its soundbite-politician architects have absolutely no clue how to deal with the political, economic and social mess they so carelessly engineered.
A considered retreat is one thing, unforced self-destruction quite another. What really matters is what the next order will look like. To flesh out the local issues, where better to start than my hometown of Frome? But in the EU referendum, as far as can be inferred from aggregate figures, they voted to remain. The trick is to create nested systems in which decisions, arbitration and spheres of influence are appropriately structured at different geopolitical levels — including very broad, global or continent-wide levels.
By contrast, the Brexit campaign was founded on a conservative, nostalgic, modernist project of reclaiming sovereignty for the nation-state. I suppose I might have supported it if I felt there was something worth rescuing in the concept of national sovereignty.
The Breakdown of Nations
The EU has its problems, after all — though in the cold light of day the wilder flights of the Vote Leave campaign are beginning to look a bit silly. And the fact is, Westminster has its problems too.
From medieval times, Britain has had very weak traditions of local political autonomy, which is one reason why it once rose to prominence as a global power above other European countries. Like many countries, it has strong traditions of popular radicalism, but more than many countries those traditions have been consistently frustrated by a political elite that has cannily absorbed most of the challenges to its power and kept a more or less continuous grip.
The main checks on its power over the last couple of centuries have been the politics of organised industrial labour, the politics of municipal radicalism, the troubled politics of the UK union, and the EU.
The first two were eclipsed in the s the self-destruction of the Labour Party in the wake of Brexit merely being another sad coda to that tale. The EU has now gone, and with it possibly the union. Good news if you support the Conservative Party, and its neoliberal, pro-rich policies. The truth is, Westminster has a crushing, centralising, conservative, undemocratic grip on power — the notion that the referendum is somehow liberatory for a more sovereign and localised politics seems to me very much mistaken.
There are many aspects to that lack of democracy.
Others have broader socio-political causes: But more important than the notion of democracy-as-voting is democracy as social interaction, the endless frictions, accommodations and slippages between us as individuals and as interest groups in our multiple social roles that constitute a democratic civil society. When I read it a few years ago I thought Kohr had some wise things to say.
He appreciated that we lived in a microcosmos, not a macrocosmos. The size of atoms has nothing whatever to do with the size of polities. We live simultaneously in a microcosmos and a macrocosmos. Kohr argued that smaller European states have an organic primacy over larger conglomerate polities — Scotland as against the UK, for example.
But here he succumbs to the seductive power of nationalist mythology. And if the EU has become an unreformable cabal of power-hungry neoliberals, then so has Westminster, with bells on, for at least the last forty years. I think the worst if probably the likeliest thing now would be a messy compromise, which will leave the Brexit voters feeling cheated of their victory.
No access to the single market. Immigration was never fundamentally the problem. Bureaucratic EU rules were never fundamentally the problem. A declining post-industrial power drifting aimlessly in the sea of neoliberalism was the problem.
Perhaps ironically a Johnson premiership in a fracturing, isolated UK under massive trading disadvantages could be the best hope that the long and divisive grip on power by a conservative establishment might finally crumble under the weight of its own contradictions, just at the moment of its apparent triumph.
The Breakdown of Nations by Leopold Kohr
Let other power blocs feast on our vacated place at the world table while we pursue our self-enforced agenda of economic localism, out bteakdown which some good could certainly come. And, luckily for Britain, Small Farm Future is here to guide the country through the morass in its hour of need.
All it needs now is the keopold to make the appointment. The donate button is, as ever, top right. So a message to any pro-Brexit non-British neo-agrarians reading this: My country needs you.
It needs your support. Above all, it needs your foreign exchange. By Source, Fair use, hte Menu Resilience Building a world of resilient communities. Get Resilience delivered daily.
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