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Clive Menzies from was kind enough to review the smallism concept and leave the following post. 

Disclaimer: Clive is not involved or associated with the Smallism Project or organization.


Hegemonic power structures are a product/symptom of the flawed political economy rather than the root cause. Corporate power is synonymous with size in this "winner takes all" society but size is fostered and facilitated by the political economy - through theft of the commons and leverage (interest). Remove these flaws and size will become less of an issue.

But at the root of everything is the hierarchy which determines the shape and beneficiaries of the political economy. That's where humanity took an evolutionary misstep - without hierarchy, many of the problems Smallism seeks to address would be absent.

Localised, community-based initiatives are undoubtedly the best way to insulate ourselves from the inevitable collapse of the current system and will form the basis of a new political economy in which power is decentralised and wealth fairly distributed. Thus Smallism is one tactical means to transform the political economy.

The only realistic way forward is a shift in human consciousness away from belief in the necessity of government. The daily diet of corruption and misdeeds are sufficient reason for people to begin to question the need.

Most people are motivated to take action within their sphere of influence, ie. within their families and communities. Thus if people can see a way to limit their exposure to the abusive and oppressive political economy, they can take control over their lives (which will become increasingly important as the current system collapses).

In brief, as long as the principles are adhered to [no hierarchy, sharing commons (where possible) and no interest] then people can collaborate and co-create frameworks and resources for the common good. It will inevitably start small but there are already many groups doing this in a variety of ways. Food is the most important essential to focus on and we need to embrace community food production and distribution; of course, self-sufficiency is a remote possibility at present but even some marginal contribution to people's diet is a building block towards a real alternative. There are many other possibilities, LETS, time-banks, free software, car sharing, energy generation and conservation etc.

A summary of where Critical Thinking has got in its deliberations on these issues is here:

This year we'll be focusing on sharing information and analysis while identifying practical measures to build alternative, cellular, organic, initiatives for community-based solutions which can interact with others locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Smallism is a potential manifestation of such initiatives.

Clive Menzies

Political Economist


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