All the more appropriate to the timing of the publication of Smallism is the current inevitable failure of the European Project *. The reasons for this are widely debated and consequently, little discussion will be had here other than to show that there is anecdotal evidence of a relationship between size and failure as discussed in the following extract:
Europe has to be judged in economic terms since its own terms have always been economic. And how did it do? In the 1950s the economy of integrated Europe grew at 4 per cent. In the 1960s, it was about the same. In the 1970s, growth was 2.8 percent; in the 1980s, it slid to 2.1 percent; in the 1990s, it was only 1.7 per cent: and so on, down to zero.
As European integration has proceeded, its growth has declined. The share of Europe in global GDP has fallen since 1980 from 31 per cent to just 19 per cent. Since 1980 the EU has grown faster than the United States in only nine out of 32 years. Never has its unemployment rate been lower than the US unemployment rate.
Similar comparisons may be made to the fall of the USSR and the breakdown of Mao’s vision of communist China, where an uneasy social truce between entrepreneurs and state existed. It is interesting to note how wealthy the Chinese and Russian hierarchies have become while many of their people live in abject total poverty, proving beyond doubt that Socialism creates slavery.
Even in the US, the most famous union in the world, the cracks are beginning to show. As David Axelrod said: "Part of being president is that there's so much beneath you that you can't know because the government is so vast" . If something is unmanageable, it’s going to go wrong.
It is not outside the realms of possibility that even the USA could break the union at some point in the future, should circumstances dictate: the number of states petitioning for cessation seems to be increasing each election year. Some people think unions are forever, but in truth, circumstances change and some unions simply become inappropriate for the times.
Common Cause of Failure
Trained HR managers know that there are limits to the size of a team. Too large a team will start to impede performance, and nine team members, certainly no more than ten, has been shown to be optimal (Thompson, n.d.). In all things, we find there is a natural size beyond which systems fail to operate effectively, notwithstanding other issues such as culture, skills and language. The major factor in the size equation is the size of the environment in which our systems (e.g. teams, whales, weeds and people) have to grow before they overwhelm their environment to the detriment of the ecosystem in which it lives.
As such, and as befits the name, Smallism understands that size is the root of our social and political problems and consequently demonstrates how a change in perspective of ‘ownership’ can remove many of the moral hazards created by our current oligarchical corporations and monopolistic government structures (and the relationship between the two), while still enabling large businesses to thrive and grow in a sustainable, ‘society friendly’ but, most importantly, profitable manner.
Fully understanding the enormity of this feature of Smallism will open the readers' eyes to a new and radical method of wealth re-distribution, so please keep an open mind until the implications are fully understood.
Smallism ensures that the behaviour of people is focused on the needs of local families that make up our communities, and their environment, by maximising self-interest motives for both businesses and individuals based on geographical environment and resources, encouraging cooperation between them for mutual gain we will engender a more cohesive and equal society.
Additionally, Smallism minimises the potential spread of any disaster to befall society preventing complete anarchy in a disaster scenario and enabling rapid social recovery post event. This includes a failure of the management of the ward itself. In the current system, should disaster strike across the country, people would struggle to adapt and be left helpless. Smallism will create a far more stoic sensibility in keeping with the ‘stiff upper lip’ reputation of the British. This state of independence is known to the Icelanders as “sjálfstæði” and embodies the qualities of being self-reliant and upstanding. In Smallism, this idea starts with the people and scales upwards. When the worst happens the Nation will be prepared and local communities will be able to recover independently until things can be rebuilt to their former utility.
There are already moves towards devolution to localities, a report from the London Finance Commission argues that Londoners should have more say in how their taxes are spent, Scotland and Wales are on the path to self-taxation, and spending and many more devolutionary opportunities will be presenting themselves when the EU collapses. Smallism looks to the endgame of this emerging autonomous government style and ask if indeed this principle should be applied fairly across the nation and if successful then other countries would copy the model.
There are some examples where Community is already coming together in the way that Smallism encourages. In Barford, Warwickshire, the local shop is run by the Barford Village Shop Community Interest Company.
This is one example of many, and as well as shops, local pubs being taken over by residents in villages around the country. Co-operative and partnership models are also very much in keeping with the Philosophy of Smallism, which provides some ideas for the practical implementation of such aspirations.
Further, the core problems at the heart of current governance, caused by a legal mix of incompatible ideologies, still exist at the very heart of the system and these fundamental contradictions that are addressed by Smallism by a simplification of prescriptive regulations based on the traditional British system of Law which asks fundamentally, what damage was caused, was the cause intentional and what reparation should be made.
Finally, a fundamental quality of Smallism is the equal treatment of all across the range of topics. An economic unit, whether that be an individual, a business, a charity or a government department is viewed as identical for the purposes of money management. The rules governing competition and capital are also applied equally. Thus simplifying the entire system. This can be done for reasons that will become clear later in this document, however it suffices to say here in the introduction that one of the greatest reasons for the current failure of government and corporations is the demand that different entities should be treated differently. Smallism proves this is not true and that by pandering to these organisations and institutions the balance of society is adversely affected.
At its heart, Smallism believes 'too big will fail' and recommends control structures to prevent both corporate oligarchies (to the disdain of the industrialists) but also to constrain the power of government (to the disdain of the socialists). It also believes that all entities should be treated equally.
Smallism is a revolution that takes all power away from the organizations that have caused the problems we as a society face and can be implemented, not by the vote in the General Election, or by Increasing the power and size of your local council, but by YOU, getting together with your neighbours and using a tried and trusted methodology to manage your local affairs.
This website aims to help you and your community make that change and seize power back from the 1% of industrialists and politicians who increasingly control your life.
*This line was originally written in 2013.