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The Breakdown of Nations


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A fascinating manifesto, proposing that the world should be split into smaller regions to distribute power more evenly.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Preface to the 1986 Edition Foreword by Neal Ascherson Foreword by Richard Body Introduction The Philosophies of Misery The Power Theory of Aggression Disunion Now Tyranny in a Small-State World The Physics of Politics: The Philosophic Argument Individual and Average Man: The Political Argument The Glory of the Small: The Cultural Argument The Efficiency of the Small: The Economic Argument Union Through Division: The Administrative Argument The Elimination of Great Powers: Can It Be Done? But Will It Be Done? The American Empire Appendices: The Principle of Federation Presented in Maps Chapter Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Leopold Kohr, an economist by profession, was the originator of the concept of 'the human scale', an idea later popularised by his friend, E. F. Schumacher in his bestselling book Small is Beautiful. Born near Salzberg in 1909, Kohr held academic positions at many universities.


We have now reached the point Kohr warned about... the point where 'instead of growth serving life, life must now serve growth, perverting the very purpose of existence'. Kohr's crisis of bigness is upon us
*Paul Kingsnorth, The Guardian*

This is the most important book written by the most original political thinker of the 20th century.
*Neal Ascherson, from the foreword*

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