Social cohesion is created by common self interest; Pride is created by participation

One of the psychological advantages of property ownership is the effect on the owner to tend to the maintenance of their investment. It is natural for a property owner then to want their neighbours to look after their own property to a similar standard, consequently pushing up the quality of local neighborhoods through the ‘keeping up with the Jones’” effect.


The inverse relationship created by left-leaning common (state) ownership policies is amply demonstrated by the dereliction and damage to council housing in sink estates in the UK and in Mao’s Communes of the 1950s where, because no one owned anything, no one had an incentive to look after anything (Dikott, 2011)

A similar phenomenon has occurred were the EU built roads in Africa, where there was no support infrastructure to maintain them, so five years on and the roads are unusable. Another white elephant created by central planning is Castellon airport in Spain's Valencia region at a cost of €130m. It has not seen a single passenger[1]. Adam Smith was particularly aware of this Adam Smith on Localised Infrastructure, writing of it in the 'Wealth of Nations'.

Smallism uses the reverse principle by giving groups of people and businesses a share of ownership, and the responsibility for the local resources they depend on day-to-day, ensuring that only features that are wanted by the people are funded.

The same applies to the quality of utility services provided. A sewage problem in the middle of the road is a problem for everyone.  If everyone is able to push for a resolution to the problem the problem will get fixed one way or another, and if the usual provider can’t provide a repair in time then someone else will and some form of penalty will be paid in some form.  From some it might be the reduction of service costs or a contractual penalty.  In the worst cases, that penalty might be paid by the ward choosing a new provider, and the poorly performing company will fold and its resources will be reallocated.