Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Leopold Kohr

Guru of the "small is better" movement of the late '70s and early '80s, Kohr has this to say in his The Overdeveloped Nations, The Diseconomies of Scale, Schocken Books, NY, 1977:

"Of the two forms of government intervention now proposed to avert future downswings, which henceforth threatened to end not so much in depression as in collapse, one is symbolized by Marx, the other by Keynes.  The assumption of both is the same :  business cycles, being offsprings of an uncontrolled system, cannot occur if he economy is under control.  But while the Marxian approach advocates the outright replacement of uncontrolled capitalism by fully controlled socialism, the Keynesian approach offers social control merely as a 'compensatory' emergency measure fluctuating in intensity with fee enterprise systems's fluctuating need of support.  In practice, however, the Keynesian  approach entails a degree of socialization which may differ in purpose from the Marxian aim, but hardly in its effect.  For as the preceding chapter has shown, once government is equipped with the necessary machinery to become an effective interventor in the private economy, it is clear that its enormously enlarged apparatus cannot be dismantled each time a crisis has passed.  This would itself at once lead to a new crisis.  Thus, even the Keynesian approach leads, in he last analysis, not to fluctuating but permanent controls which, in addition, must be the more sweeping the larger the economy and the greater the disruptive potential of its cyclical fluctuations."

Additionally:  ". . . it pays to be a democrat amongst democrats, a fascist amongst fascists, a communist amongst communists, an intriguer amongst intriguers, an idiot amongst idiots."

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