Human Scale and Why Little Republics Work
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “What do nine of those entities have in common? They’re tiny. In the grand scale of things, they’re tiny, they’re miniatures. They’re Rhode Islands. They’re Districts of Columbia. Let me give you the stats on Luxembourg. Population is 514,862. Square mileage is 2,586 square kilometers. That ranks it as the 179th largest country in the world. According to Theodora.com, that makes Luxembourg slightly smaller than Rhode Island.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I’m writing my weekly Daily Caller piece and I’m writing it about the size and scale of the NSA. How many of you people know where the mammoth countries of Luxembourg and Liechtenstein are? Do you know where Liechtenstein and Luxembourg are?
Eric: Luxembourg is in central Europe.
Mike: That’s right.
Eric: Liechtenstein is in central Europe, isn’t it?
Mike: It is. To those that say, [mocking] “Mike, we’re better off together. In every measure, we’re all better off together,” no, you’re not.
These are the latest numbers out there from the CIA’s own report, although there are others you can find. This is gross domestic product (GDP) per capita 2013 countries by rank. I’m going to go through the top ten list. By the way, we’re not in it. See if you can find anything, outside of the country of Norway, see if you can find any common thread running through the top ten countries in gross domestic product per capita.
#1 – Qatar
#2 – Liechtenstein
#3 – Luxembourg
#4 – Macau
#5 – Bermuda
#6 – Singapore
#7 – Jersey
#8 – Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
#9 – Norway
#10 – Hong Kong
Now, what do nine of those entities have in common? Do you want to take a guess? This is a pretty easy one actually. What do nine of those entities have in common? They’re tiny. In the grand scale of things, they’re tiny, they’re miniatures. They’re Rhode Islands. They’re Districts of Columbia. Let me give you the stats on Luxembourg. Population is 514,862. Square mileage is 2,586 square kilometers. That ranks it as the 179th largest country in the world. According to Theodora.com, that makes Luxembourg slightly smaller than Rhode Island. [mocking] “Mike, what’s your point? I get your silliness about the scale of things and all the rest of this.” The point is that in polities where the population and the geographic area is small, you have every expectation that freedom, number one, is increased, and number two, that security and economic success has a greater chance of success. It is because when things are kept in scale, the things that would throw things out of scale like big government and standing armies and what have you just can’t come into being. It’s an impossibility. If you’re looking for answers to these things: Scale. It’s not that hard, scale. Scale.
I re-read two chapters in Donald Livingston’s Rethinking the American Union for the 21st Century. I re-read Kirkpatrick Sale’s chapter on this. I need to go back and read, because I never finished reading the entire book that Kirkpatrick Sale wrote in 1980 which is called Human Scale. It’s a phenomenal book. It’s still quoted by researchers and writers across the globe. Sale went through the process of analyzing almost everything he could get his hands on that had stood the test of time throughout human history. He didn’t limit himself to political systems. He studied everything, the size of doors, size of houses, size of bedrooms, size of roads. There’s a whole chapter in Sale’s book about roads, how since the Romans built the first superhighway system, the size of a road, the width of a lane, has not appreciably changed. Why? Because it’s in scale. It doesn’t need to get any bigger. It’s a waste to make it larger. It’s a fascinating read.
The point is — and the founding fathers knew this. There were many arguments from anti-federalists — as they were derisively called at the time — there were many arguments from the founders about the expansion, the clauses in the Constitution that allowed for the expansion of the union. Many of the anti-federalists, Cato — or Governor George Clinton of New York, as we believe Cato was — among them said: Look, you are leaving the door open to go way beyond the 13 parties to this compact and bring new parties in and to expand territory west. There is no indication in the historical record that a government that would have to be administered over that large of a landmass with an increasing population could possibly remain virtuous and effective. I think the anti-federalists and every claim that they made, and then some, have been proven correct.
There’s an awful lot to think about there. Just think about the scale of the Department of Defense and how large it is. If we break it down — I’ve gone through this exercise on the program in the last couple of weeks. If we’re looking at the State of Vermont — I looked this up as well. Vermont had about 650,000 citizens after the 2010 census. Vermont is one of the states that wishes to secede. Unlike a Southern state, Vermonters want to secede because they want more socialism. Okay, fine, let them go. If they want to do it, let them do it. They want a single-payer healthcare system that is run for Vermonters by Vermonters. Fine by me as long as you Vermonters don’t ask the rest of us to pay for it. The point is Vermonters, were they to secede — and they would be well within human scale in their little polity — probably have a chance to work out the kinks in whatever administrative system that they concoct to form their single-payer system. If you go to Switzerland, they have some facsimile of a single-payer system, but it’s not single-payer as we think of it.
The other point about Vermont is, while they’re doing this, do you think Vermonters are going to be able to raise an army? They only have 650,000 citizens. Are they going to be able to raise a cyber super-state that can tyrannize and terrorize the other remaining 47 states in the lower part of North America? The answer to that question is: Come on, Mike, don’t be silly, of course not.
That’s exactly right because it’s in scale. It would be an impossibility to them. What threat would the Vermont NSA pose to the Republic of Texas, as a comparison?
When we talk about these things, if we don’t talk about the scale of these things, you’re just spinning your wheels. You’re talking them to just hear yourself talk. It is quite amazing to me, and disappointing at the same time, that so many that claim to so desperately want — from the time of Reagan, I would say, all the way till today, the catchphrase has been “to reduce the size and scope of government.” If you truly want to reduce the size and scope of government, then reduce the size and scope of the people that live under any one government. Got it?
End Mike Church Show Transcript