Britain is out. Yesterday was momentous and there is no telling what the consequences will be. But, Andrew Nikiforuk writes, yesterday had everything to do with what he calls, "the misery of bigness:"
Years ago, the great Austrian economist Leopold Kohr argued that overwhelming evidence from science, culture and biology all pointed to one unending truth: things improve with an unending process of division.
The breakdown ensured that nothing ever got too big for its own britches or too unmanageable or unaccountable. Small things simply worked best.
Kohr pegged part of the problem with bigness as "the law of diminishing sensitivity." The bigger a government or market or corporation got, the less sensitive it became to matters of the neighbourhood.
In the end bigness, just like any empire, concentrated power and delivered misery, corruption and waste.
Kohr was an iconoclast whose
masterful and humorous work, The Breakdown of Nations, argued the root of most evil lies in big government and big institutions. Whenever power reached it, a critical mass, its wielders, no matter how nice or educated, tended to abuse it. Bigness not only allowed but invited the abuse.
The only way to stop the cancer of bigness was to return to the modesty of smallness.
"If a society grows beyond its optimum size, its problems must eventually outrun the growth of those human faculties which are necessary for dealing with them," wrote Kohr.
The problem, he added, "is not to grow but to stop growing; the answer not union but division."
Yesterday the Brits put another nail in the coffin of globalization. Despite what its cheerleaders say, it's falling apart. The centre cannot hold -- for good or ill.