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Kirkpatrick Sale – Human Scale and Why Our Governments are Irreparable Until Scaled Down

Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Here’s a quote from the second part of Mike’s interview with Kirpatrick Sale on Human Scale, be sure and check out the transcript for the rest, “The idea of human scale not just for architecture where it had played its part before, but for all our institutions, our corporations, our governments, our societies, our communities, there is a human scale at which everything works.  When you go beyond that, it doesn’t work.  Obviously at 300-plus million people, you can’t have a country that works.  That’s exactly what we’re seeing.  That’s why I’ve been in favor of secession for the last eight years and why I started my Middlebury Institute to study this question of secession, to see if we might not be able to start thinking that way so we can reduce the size of government.”

 

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  Not only did the war not have to occur, not only did the death and destruction not have to occur, but what also happened after that was the elimination of the state governments as insular political entities.  They basically began the process of ceasing to exist as the guiders and directors of the federal government, and then the roles began to be reversed.  This is all brought about by Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression.  The Emancipation Proclamation is just a coda, an exclamation point in the original tragedy, isn’t it?

Hear the story of the United States AFTER the Constitution like you’ve never heard it before

Kirkpatrick:  Yes, it is.  Your previous caller wondered why we have state governments.  The only reason we have them, basically, is as a system of corruption that will keep order in the states.  As to power, they have virtually none.  This was Lincoln’s idea from the beginning.  Originally he thought that states were no more than counties.  They had no standing of themselves.  When he won his war, that’s what happened in the country.  The national government was going to run everything.  States’ rights would be virtually eliminated.  The Northern government industrial system would take charge.  The government paid for the railroads, to build their railroads and become powerful landowners and moneychangers.  The system that we have today that has simply been exaggerated by Wilson and Roosevelt and so on, the system we have today is what Lincoln imposed upon us 150 years ago.

Mike:  The book is Emancipation Hell.  You can get it on Amazon.  Before we let you, Kirkpatrick — Kirkpatrick Sale is with us, the author of Emancipation Hell.  I have to ask you just a little bit about the America too big to fail video.  I watched it last night.  You and Don look very good, by the way.  I don’t know if you talked Livingston into this and got him on the subject of human scale or if he was already studying it.  For those of you that doubt or are romantically or for some patriotic purpose are inexorably linked and no one can convince you otherwise to the 314 million person union, allegedly organized under the Constitution, I believe that this video will begin the process of at least having you question the size of the whole endeavor, and whether or not it’s even possible that it can work.  Will you expand upon that?  Will you expand upon that just a little bit for me, please?

Kirkpatrick:  You’ve got it exactly right.  It’s too big to succeed, what we have.  Don had gotten to the idea of human scale because he’s a philosopher.  He studied the Greeks.  The Greeks knew, of course, what human scale meant and they built their Parthenon in Athens exactly to the size of a human being in Greece at that time.  They built their institutions to human scale as well.  He knew about it when my book came along in 1980.  He got that book, read it, and began to champion it.  He brought me down to a couple conferences in the South.  I tried to spread that idea around.  In fact, it worked.  It was a book of the month club book and got various awards here and there.

The idea of human scale not just for architecture where it had played its part before, but for all our institutions, our corporations, our governments, our societies, our communities, there is a human scale at which everything works.  When you go beyond that, it doesn’t work.  Obviously at 300-plus million people, you can’t have a country that works.  That’s exactly what we’re seeing.  That’s why I’ve been in favor of secession for the last eight years and why I started my Middlebury Institute to study this question of secession, to see if we might not be able to start thinking that way so we can reduce the size of government.

Mike:  I have a specific question that I’d like for you to answer.  In your essay in Rethinking the American Union – we have a lot of people that may be talking about secession today.  If the Supreme Court throws out the Defense of Marriage Act, which it looks like they’re being urged to do, that’s just going to start another round of secession petitions.  When the debt ceiling is raised, there’s going to be another round of secession petitions.  The issue of the “s” word is not going to die.  In your chapter and your contribution to Rethinking the American Union for the 21st Century, you break it down.  You have a very impressive list of countries that are successful and they’re successful because of their size.  I had never considered that.  You have a listing of how many countries there are, how many countries that are smaller than 6.5 million.  I’ll let you tell the story.  There was a lot to be learned from studying the rest of the world and how the rest of the world manages its size when it comes to government, isn’t it?

Kirkpatrick:  Absolutely.  We don’t do it because USA #1 is a mantra that has been fed into our ears and pushed out of our mouths for years.  We don’t stop to think that we’re not number one.  We’re not number one in almost any ways.  The size of our economy is said to be number one, but as we all know, the economy is a stupid and fragile system owned by Chinese and Japanese.  That doesn’t make us number one in that.  You go down all the other lists, health and longevity and births and so on, it turns out that we are way down the list on all these measures.  The ones that are at the top turn out to be small nations: Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Dubai, and so on.  The lists are all there, all available for all of us to examine.  That’s all I did in that chapter, just to look through the facts about where the U.S. ranks in the world.  It’s quite deplorable.  The reason, of course, is that it’s too big to be governed well, too big to distribute benefits equally around the country, and too big to avoid the corruption that happens when corporations run the government.  It’s good for the corporations, of course.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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