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A Look Back at the Idea That Small Is Beautiful: New at Reason

"To save our planet and its civilizations…we must work toward a decentralization of institutions."

Human Scale Revisited/Chelsea GreenHuman Scale Revisited/Chelsea Green

Thirty-seven years ago, Kirkpatrick Sale set out to write a comprehensive compendium of the evils of things pushed far beyond their natural "scale," coupled with pungent arguments for why these baneful developments are destructively anti-human. The result, Human Scale, weighed in at a hefty-scaled 523 pages. The present work, Human Scale Revisited, is a slimmed down and updated reissue, adding a plethora of examples of things that Sale believes have run far beyond our ability to comprehend, cope, and pay for.

The heart of Human Scale, then and now, is Sale's judgment that "to save our planet and its civilizations…we must work toward a decentralization of institutions, the devolution of power, and the dismantling of all large scale systems that have created or perpetuated the current crisis. In their place, smaller more controllable, more efficient, more sensitive, people-sized units, rooted in local environments and guided by local citizens. That is the human-scale alternative."

Photo Credit: Chelsea Green

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