strategy

Promoting small-scale human society

Synonyms:
Fostering human scale development
Advocating small-scale societies
Facilitating local human development
Description:
Advocating small nations, small communities and the human scale.
Context:
Many people's helplessness concerning the future stems from their feeling overwhelmed by the problems surrounding them, and by the feeling that any contribution they could make would be too trifling to make a difference. Small-scale means that ordinary human beings can begin to feel empowered and able to exert noticeable influence through their individual leverage. Small-scale means that any two or three people of goodwill, energy and perseverance, gathered together, can begin to feel that they could move at least small mountains.
Implementation:
The New Economics Foundation grew out of The Other Economic Summit (TOES), founded in 1984 and now held every year in parallel to the seven richest nations' (G7) economics summit. It is concerned with revising the old economics so that economic logic and practice once again serves people -- democratizing economics by (a) making the link between diversity and strong local economies; (b) looking to the powerless for solutions to current problems, recognizing that "economic experts" might have a great deal to learn from the developing world or the ancient teachings; and (c) setting people free so that economics can start support their dreams.
Claim:
1. The main concern today should not be pollution, resource depletion, over-population, the nuclear threat, poverty, unemployment or crime, but rather the scale on which these problems are occurring. Everything in our mass societies is heading for explosive breakdown, the inevitable natural consequence of a structure grossly exceeding its optimum scale. Consequently, none of our social problems will be soluble until the scale of our societies is reduced. The ideal model (at least politically, if not economically) is Switzerland -- a small population, a federal on confederal structure (with not even a minister for education, this being left to the regions), and with villages within cantons, both enjoying a degree of autonomy through decision-making by referenda. There is no guarantee, of course, that social problems will be solved completely at smaller scale -- there are several recent examples of small human-scale nations with particularly vicious infighting and atrocities -- but a small scale does at least allow the possibility of solution, does mean that ordinary human beings can begin to feel empowered and able to exert noticeable influence through their individual leverage.

2. From the day we're born, until the day we die, we are expected to believe that money makes the world go round. We are meant to trust the authorities and experts who tell us that they have everything under control. Our lives are determined and exploited by the perceived need for money and status; dominated by the power and influence of companies, bureaucracies and laws to keep us in our place; marginalised by a traffic system based on cars and concrete; swamped by the mass media; and controlled and affected by all manner of remote institutions and decisions.

Subjects:
Human
Society
Local
Promotion
Development
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies