*FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In The Breakdown of Nations Leopold Kohr shows that, throughout history, people living in small states are happier. 9 Results Leopold Kohr. Follow. Follow on Amazon. Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations and more coming soon. The first time I ever came across the name of Leopold Kohr was in a footnote of an obscure little academic volume called Size and Democracy, where he was.

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You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Oversimplified as this may seem, we shall find the idea more easily acceptable if we consider that bigness, or oversize, is really much more than just a social problem.

For while the margin of leisure emerging from specialization relieves every person of part of his work, giving him time for enjoying the pleasures of convivium, kogr is too narrow to release anyone wholly. That greater power can only be the aggregate will of the people, which can only operate as a kind leolold feedback loop if the human scale is maintained.

Move to the U. When this, in turn, reached its limit considering that even the best education can enlarge our individual horizon only up to a point, one last boost to perhaps ten, twelve, or fifteen million could be achieved through integration and the organization of efficient team work.

Mar 17, Lauri rated it it was amazing Shelves: For though a community of a few hundred thousand members needs a somewhat larger political apparatus than a society of ten thousand, its social complexities do not grow at a rate that could not be offset at this stage by the more than proportionate growth of intellectual and economic resources which can still be made available by its now more numerous constituent economic societies.


Americans wore the white hats. A structure may be a railroad terminal, a factory, a school, a wharf, a home.

The Breakdown of Nations by Leopold Kohr

Kohr consistently advocated the effectiveness of the small autonomous unit in the solution of human problems. English Choose a language for shopping.

But while specialization answers both the convivial and the economic optimum needs of a community, it breeds previously nonexisting complexities. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. For, populations of 7, to 12, may be large enough to furnish all the material amenities of life and, in addition, constitute vigorous political communities. Thus Kohr assesses that the only conclusion for leopoold power to reach its “critical dimension” is to split it apart – therby, even if it reaches it’s full potential, it will have no way to get bigger than other powers.

The Breakdown leoplld Nations by Leopold Kohr.

The Breakdown of Nations

During the Middle Ages, a society could not have extended its optimum far beyond a few hundred thousand without becoming critical. And since there is nothing left that man could wish for, a society of aboutcan be thought to represent the ultimate concept of optimum social size.

He finally retired from teaching and began to divide his time between his Welsh residence and one near his beloved Austrian hometown. Want to Read saving…. For once man acquires his means of subsistence by exchanging goods, disputes begin to arise regarding their value. Although we can learn to behave morally, morality is not the human default setting.

By now it was the s. Nor is the problem this or that economic system. Breakdown explains, more than any other single work available, why the U.

A Pair of Cranks by Leopold Kohr Steven rated it really liked it Jun 27, In the case of a home, the size determining function is to provide shelter. Greed, bad political moves e. He argued that leopkld external aid to poorer nations stifled local initiatives and participation. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Schumacher Lectures, OctoberYale University.


Leopold Kohr —

Then they become empires, whose rules know only aggression and force, whether against other nations or against their own people. Those at its center tend to accumulate more and more power, and to play faster and looser with whatever rules they began with, such as a Constitution.

In this way, the new political optimum is accomplished without affecting the optimum proportions of its several constituent economic societies. When it is not maintained, those at the top, or in the middle, become ciphers. States must therefore be kept small, so those voices can be heard — and, in particular, so that aggressive impulses can be contained.

Barbara rated it liked it May 05, Leopold Kohr was a leading thinker, a philosophical anarchist and an international university professor, who originated and firmly developed the concept lepold the human scale and the idea of a return to life in kkhr communities.

But this, too, had its limit. I didn’t find any of Kohr’s arguments convincing, while I agree with the author’s final conclusion that a decentralised federalism is the koht means of organising a state, his arguments have holes big enough to drive a truck through.

Did you know that our East wing burned down last night? Kohr moved from Puerto Rico to Wales, where he taught political philosophy at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth from until Once more, the larger optimum does therefore not need to come into conflict with the size requirements of a smaller optimum.

These ideas were powerfully expressed in a series of books, including: