By Karel Vereycken, founder Agora Erasmus
If I would tell you: there exists a fascist conspiracy to wipe France and Germany of the map, few of you would take me serious. First, the idea of a “conspiracy” is not politically correct and the word “fascist” is always excessive. Our movement has always been very reluctant towards notions that imply such intellectual laziness represented by conspiracy theorists. In stead of investigating real chains of causality shedding light on facts and events, the latter are too easily satisfied with simplistic explanations.
But the passages I just discovered of the “Breakup of Nations”, a book written in 1945 and published in 1957 by Leopold Kohr have altered my judgment since they go far beyond anything I knew so far.
Hardly known in France, this economist and political theoretician of Austrian descent, develops in his book why he thinks large nations should be shopped up and his strategy to succeed for doing so.
With the distance of time, one could argue that Kohr made only one error, when he wondered if his plans would ever be realized and answers with “No! It will not be done!”
However, it has to be observed that since fifty years, before our eyes, day by day, and step by step, Kohrs policy is half secretly sneaked into reality and the tragic-comic break-up of Belgium, a country that became laughing stock worldwide, risks to turn out a decisive phase in a world program that qualifies for fascism.
Enter Leopold Kohr
Kohr is born in 1909 close to Salzburg, Austria and dies in 1994. With a degree in political sciences if Vienna, he flees the Nazis and enters the London School of Economics at a time another Austrian, Friedrich von Hayek crystallizes opposition towards the school’s director Lord Beveridge, a follower of the Webbs, accused to be “to social”. One of Kohr’s teachers and inspirers is the famous Henry Calvert Simons, the economist that assisted at the founding of the Mount Pelerin Society in Switzerland and will take the charge in Chicago to breed the school of monetarism under the leadership of his pupil Milton Friedman, later an advisor to both Margaret Thatcher and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
During the Spanish civil war, Kohr works as a freelance correspondent for The New York Times and earns his reputation as an anarchist fighting both totalitarian fascism and communism. He shares the office of Hemingway and gets acquainted with a certain Eric Blair, better known to the world as George Orwell, a former employee of the British imperial police in Burma and a proven asset and spy for the Information Research Department of the British interior ministry while perversely denouncing such “Big Brother” practice in books such as “1984”…
The geopolitical objectives of the break-up
In 1941, Kohr publishes an article in the catholic leaning New York based magazine The Commonweal his article “Disunion Now”, arguing for a society based on small self-governed units, where the kernel of his ideas is presented.
In the debate among the ruling Anglo-American elites of that era, ideas and concepts are elaborated for the structures of governance for post-war Europe, structures essentially conceived to break German nationalism and its likes. Kohr starts his article by analyzing the specificity of the Swiss confederation. He observes that, although several languages (French, German, Italian, etc.) do co-exist in Switzerland, the existence of 22 cantons offers the advantage to break the dominance of a single language bloc and creates appropriate precondition for equilibrium.
“The greatness of the Swiss Idea” says Kohr, “is the smallness of its cells [the cantons] from which it derives its guaranties.” One has to divide to better unite, he tells us. If the defense of the Kleinstaat, the small state, brought Kohr to claim that “When something is wrong, it is too big.”, his friend and follower Fritz Schumacher got known by repeating Kohr’s saying “Small is Beautiful” which will be used to brainwash a generation of environmentalists of the boomer generation.
For post-war Europe, Kohr says in the same article that:
“If the Swiss experience should be applied to Europe, also the Swiss technique – not merely the appearance of its result – will have to be employed. This consist in the dividing of three or any number of unequal blocks into as many smaller parts as is necessary to eliminate any sizable numerical preponderance. That is to say that one should create 40 or 50 equally small states instead of 4 or 5 unequally large ones. Otherwise even a federated Europe will always contain 80 million Germans, 45 million French, 45 million Italians, etc., which means that any European federation would end up in a German hegemony with just the same inevitability as the German federation, in which 24 small states were linked to the one 40-million power of Prussia ended up in Prussian hegemony.”
(…) “The suggestion, therefore, is to split Germany into a number of states of seven to ten million inhabitants.”
But: “The splitting up of Germany alone, however, would have no permanent effect. With the natural tendency of all growing things, Germany would reunite unless the whole of Europe were to be cantonized at the same time. France, Italy and Russia must be divided too.”
(…) “Then the Great Powers, which are the womb of all modem wars, because they alone are strong enough to give to war its modern frightfulness, shall have disappeared. But only through splitting up the entire continent of Europe will it be possible to eliminate honorably Germany or any other Great Power without having to inflict on any the odium of a new Versailles.”
Here obviously the cat is out of the bag, since we discover that the real motive of the Kohrs discussion on the “ideal state” is to formulate an imperial policy of domination for his British masters.
How to make this project acceptable
In chapter 10 of “The Break-up of Nations” Kohr reveals his strategy to get his policy adopted. First, Kohr observes that tyrants and dictators have the powers to split up nations, “But war is fortunately not the only means by which great powers can be divided.”
Kohr also writes he doesn’t really believe one can convince big nations to become smaller:
“Engulfed in a swamp of infantile emotionalism, ant attaching phenomenal value to the fact that they are big and mighty, they cannot be persuaded to execute their own dissolution. But, being infantile and emotional, they can be tricked into it. While they would reject their division, if it were presented to them as a demand, they might be quite willing to accept it, if offered to them in the guise of a gift. This gift would be: proportional representation in the bodies governing the federal union of which they form part. The acceptance of this offer would cause nothing less than their eventual disappearance.”
And Kohr adds:
“France –to illustrate the technique of division on a country clinging with particular tenacity to power and glory concepts—would never agree to be split up into her original historic regions. But she would certainly not object to the invitation to sit in the representative bodies of the European Council with, let us say, twenty voting delegates compared with, let us say, one delegate from Luxembourg, three delegates from Denmark, and five delegates each from Belgium and the Netherlands.”
The small countries would be furious since such a situation “would make an unpleasant condition legal”. “But the smaller countries” says Kohr, “would raise few objections if the twenty members of the French delegation were elected, not nationally, but regionally” “Such a shift” (…) “would bring about the eventual dissolution of France” Kohr adds that “However, the mere division of France into European-Council districts would not be enough”. World federalism, argues Kohr, is the first step towards in the right direction: “As a preliminary step towards successful integration in a larger international organization they would have to transform their present centralized systems into decentralized federations.”
Here, Kohr quotes his teacher Henry Calvert Simons at the LSE who said:
“A great virtue of extreme federalism or decentralization in great nations is that it facilitates their extension towards world organization or their easy absorption into still larger federations. If central governments were, as they should be, largely repositories of unexercised powers, held simply to prevent their exercise by constituent units or extragovernmental organizations, then supranational organization would be easy if not almost gratuitous.”
Would France ever accept such a proposal?
“The answer is yes, and for a variety of reasons. In the first place, (…) division would be presented in form of a gift.” Also, “with no official act terminating the state of France, no patriotic feelings would be hurt. The revolutionary change would be purely internal in character. It would be destruction by which nothing that counts is destroyed. It would be elimination without victims. There would be no foreign laws, no foreign occupation, no change in traffic or commerce except the fat that government and sovereignty would suddenly have come closer to the individual, endowing him within the smaller sphere of the new sovereign units with a dignity and importance not previously possessed. He would find this charming, not distasteful.”
Aldus Huxley, whose classes Orwell attended, also wrote in 1959 that:
“there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing … a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it”
One should note here that when Kohr, in 1945, suggests the creation of a European Council with its seat in Strasbourg, it didn’t yet exist. One has to wait till 1948 for the Congress of Den Haag of 1947, presided by Winston Churchill, who, before Raymond Aron, Denis de Rougemont, Coudenhove-Kalergi and Mitterrand among others, gave a vibrant speech for “The United States of Europe”. The agreement reached in Den Haag will become the treaty of London in 1949… Kohr’s book will only be made public in 1957, the year of Sputnik and the foundation of the European Common Market. Let’s build Europe!
Northcote Parkinson and Freddy Heineken
Later, another employee of the British Empire, the British naval historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson (1909-1993) will publicize Kohr’s theory in his own way. If Kohr presented the multiplication of new states as a formidable opportunity for a multitude of people to feel important, Parkinson though the other way around, claiming that vast states secrete large lazy bureaucracies (his famous “Parkinson law”) while small monarchies know how to run things with few means available and little personnel. Parkinson was also the mentor and friend of John Train, the New York banker who hired a special salon of media freaks to slander Lyndon LaRouche and his friend Jacques Cheminade in France. In memory of “Cyril”, Train created the Northcote Parkinson Foundation initially aimed to defend “free enterprise”. The fund was renamed John Train Foundation and distributes the Civil Courage Award. Parkinson at one point got to meet the Dutch beer magnate Freddy Heineken (1923-2002), according to some in good terms with the queen of the Netherlands and French president François Mitterrand. Heineken in a letter recounts how he, after his encounter with Northcote Parkinson, hired a team of geographers to redo the map of Europe according to Parkinson’s principles. Weeks after the signing of the Maastricht treaty, Heineken published a booklet “The United States of Europe (a Eurotopia?)” recommending the break-up of Europe into 75 regions or mini-states possessing an “optimal” size between 5 and 7 million inhabitants, loyal to the precepts of Kohr and Parkinson. The project provoked quite some discussion at that time. Heineken was even obliged to redo his initial map. The Greek government had declared an embargo on Heineken beer imports to Greece after discovering that vast territories of Greece had been included into Macedonia. Certain Serbians remain puzzled by the striking similarity between Heineken’s map and the current borders agreed on by diplomats after the Balkan wars. In his country of origin, Heineken’s map became also controversial. The infernal logic of returning to old “nations” applied by the Heineken team would not break-up Belgium between Flemings and Walloons (a horizontal split), but between Flanders reunified with the region of Holland in the Netherlands and the north of France on the one side, and the Flemish Brabant reunified with the Dutch Brabant (vertical split)…
How globalization means war against nation-states
If till now heads of government such as General De Gaulle, or others, considered these schemes as evil nuisances or mere conjectures of spoiled brads, the new economic and financial factors of globalization have transformed the world in such a fashion as what seemed strange and lunatic yesterday might very soon unfold as reality today.
On the ground, in its consequences on the ground, “globalization” has operated as a battering ram against nation-states: the wild privatizations public and private enterprises, the mergers and acquisitions with vast international corporations and trust and the policies of outsourcing production to low wage countries have killed any emotional attachment of the population for the nation state it inhabits.
Belgium, not to name it, has seen entire sectors of its national economy “disappear”: the French group Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux acquired the totality of the Belgian Societe Generale, once the greatest economic player of the country (60% of the economic activity). Anglo-French oil giant Total took control over the Belgian Petrofina, ING bought the Belgian Banque Brussel Lambert, the French Usinor got control over the Belgian Cockerill Sambre, the French bank Dexia took over the Belgian Crédit Communal and the French insurance giant Axa got the Belgian insurance company Royale Belge. The steel mills of Forges de Clabecq were closed, outsourcing closed down the Renault Vilvoorde plant and the Belgian airline Sabena went bankrupt after a failed try to merge with Swissair. Far from “creating” small countries, and strikingly similar to Nazi occupation, while promising “Flemish” or “Walloon” independence to the credulous, globalization “evaporates” the plat pays.
However, so far, two important issues withheld candidates from independence: the monetary issue –since creating one’s own currency isn’t that easy– and the issue of guaranteeing access to large markets to sell one’s produce. However, as we will discover, if candidates for independence are part of a larger “monetary zone”, things look totally different.
Robert Mundell and “optimal monetary zones”
It has to be noted here that the “father of the Euro”, who was simultaneously the “mother of the European Central Bank”, is the Canadian neo-Keynesian economist Robert Mundell, born in 1932 and Nobel Price of Economics in 1999. Mundell is also a product of the London School of Economics and currently professor at Columbia University New York. Among his followers one counts the current president of the Italian national bank Mario Draghi. Draghi, the former deputy CEO of Goldman Sachs Europe masterminded most privatizations in Italy and was at the centre of the unsavory Britannica scandal. Also Alberto Giovannini, the former CEO of LTCM is another production of Mundell’s “genius” while in 1998, the bankruptcy of the LTCM hedge fund brought the international monetary system to the brink of a “financial Tchernobyl”.
In terms of “economic science”, Mundell with Marcus Fleming elaborated the theory of “optimal monetary zones”. As soon as 1960, only a couple of years after the foundation of the EEC and the publication of Kohr’s book, Mundell argues that for economic zones to be “optimal”, members belonging to the zones should not suffer different rates of inflation, should not be vulnerable to asymmetric chocks but on the contrary should benefit from free circulation of individuals (labor factor) and free circulation of financial flows (capital factor). Now you realize where the Bolkestein directive (labor factor) and the famous purely monetary “criteria of convergence” preceding the introduction of the Euro come from, the package being counterproductive from the standpoint of the physical economy.
As we have demonstrated, the very fact to be member of a monetary zone greatly facilitates secession. The second question, implicit in the first one, remains the need of a “new” country to have access to a large market different than a domestic or national market. The transformation of Europe in a large free trade zone open to globalization offers a European market integrated into the world market.
The case of Belgium
This toxic thesis is at the centre of the Break-up of Belgium. They were refreshed by the book “The Size of Nations”, a provocative book published in 2003 at MIT by two reputed Italian economists working in the USA, Alberto Alesina, head of the Economics section of Harvard, and Enrico Spolaore of Tufts Unversity. Both have worked for the IMF and the European Commission and have responsibilities at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a private institution funded exclusively funded by the four main family foundations that finance the radical neo-conservative cult in Washington: Bradley, Scaife, Olin and Smith Richardson. Also, in June 2005, Alesina went with Mundell to China, where the latter is hired as an advisor to the government.
Uniting Kohr’s and Mundell’s lunacies, the two authors claim that borders of nations have nothing to do with a willing to live together, essence of any republic, but are mere results of pragmatic trade-offs between the advantages of a large territory and the costs of heterogeneity. In short, one applies cost/benefit analysis already insane for commercial companies to entire nations for the herding people treated as human cattle. After analyzing the advantage of a large territory (low cost of public services per capita, sharing of tax burden or easier defense) the authors take a look at wealth. If a large nation should be theoretically wealthier, they say that in reality wealth is proportional to the “openness” to commercial markets. From there on, by simple Aristotelian logic, they assert that “economic integration leads to political disintegration.” The message is crystal clear: globalization (economic and financial integration) leads, by its own nature, to the breakup of nations. One easily can understand now, why The Size of Nations became the handbook of the Flemish secessionists in Belgium.
Frans Crols, the director and editor of the leading Flemish economic weekly Trends and passionately pro-independence resumes the argument of the book:
“In 2004 was published the Size of Nations of Alberto Alesina and Enrico Spolaore, two Italian economists that teach in major US universities. Spolaore has been a researcher for a couple of years at the Free University of Brussels. The subject they were interested in was: on federalism and decentralization there exist many studies and articles. But about the phenomenon of the ever faster rise of new states, no handbook exists, no text to guide. That’s what this well received book The Size of Nations tries to answer. What are its conclusions?
1) There exist more nations in a democratic world than in a non-democratic world (democracy is growing fast and the number of nations will continue to grow. [it went from 74 in 1945 to 193 in 2003]
2) The number of nations will keep growing because vast zones of free trade are created such as the European Union and Nafta. For Quebec, nothing will change after leaving Canada, since she will remain part of Nafta; for Flanders, nothing will change, and both Flanders and Wallonia will continue to be part of the single common European market and the EU.
3) The costs of heterogeneity of a country can become so high that citizens of a more homogeneous subdivision decide to lower costs by creating together a low cost country based on more cohesion, more social capital, les disputes and less loss of time.”
Note here that, after forty years of evermore complicated forms of sophisticated federalism, suddenly the smart guys come up and tell us that all of this is too expensive and a waste of time and that separation could be so much cheaper! Kohr’s plan worked, as planned.
Frans Crols is one of the authors of the Manifesto for an independent Flanders in Europe, published in December 2005 by the right wing leaning think-tank “In de Warande” which argues, on the basis of “purely economic” considerations, for the break-up of Belgium following the model of the 1992 “velvet divorce” of Czechoslovakia. For Crols and associates, it is preferable that Flanders and Wallonia become independent nations while Brussels, today a French speaking enclave inside Flemish territory, could get a statute akin to Washington D.C.
We have documented elsewhere in great detail the neo-conservative nature of their project especially aimed at killing one of the most advanced social welfare systems of the planet, the Belgian one. If after 1960, the money transfer (not to be equated with wealth transfer) inversed between Walloons and Flemings, Flemish money has mainly been siphoned into large Brussels based banks in stead of populations.
For our argument here, we only want to underline that the manifesto, full with statistics, only gives more flesh to the line of argument developed by The Size of Nations. Did it come from simple honest militants? No, the president of the think-tank is the Flemish specialist of financial derivatives Remi Vermeiren, former CEO of KBC Banque & Assurance, also on the board of a copper mining company that came out of the famous Union Minière of the Belgian Congo. Members of “In de Warande” are in essence a group of businessmen often politically invested in the independence parties.
Without surprise, in June 2005, Enrico Spoloare, the co-author of The Size of Nations, was asked to deliver the keynote speech at an important colloquium of the Flemish Parliament. At the debate, Bart de Wever, the president of the radical pro-independence party Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (formerly Volksunie) said that “romanticism is important, but does not convince the young Flemings of the 21st century. We have to rationalize our argumentations” (i.e. talk to people’s cupidity…). The tragedy of Belgium today is that De Wever, a Leuven trained historian who vindicates the tradition of the reactionary Edmond Burke, is officially part of the team in charge of negotiating a new government for a country he wants to break-up! His presence last May at the funeral of his friend, the founder of the xenophobic Vlaams Blok, Karel Dillen, along with the French “boulangist” Jean-Marie Lepen who gave more then verbal support to the Flemish far-rightists, has also to be taken in account.
On September 6, 2007, The London Economist, who published Northcote Parkinson’s articles in the past and gave a warm reception for The Size of Nations, observes cynically, after three months of stalemate in the formation of a new government, that it is “Time to call it a day. Sometimes it is right for a country to recognize that its job is done.”
“Rancour is ever-present and the country has become a freak of nature, a state in which power is so devolved that government is an abhorred vacuum. In short, Belgium has served its purpose. A praline divorce is in order. Belgians need not feel too sad. Countries come and go.”
However, arrivals are slower than leavings. As under Nazi occupation, the defenders of independence have dangerous illusions hoping the devil himself will offer them “a beautiful little republic” Our advice to the honest one: read also the last pages of lunatics Kohr and Alesina and not only the first chapters of their books…
Maastricht and Eurocities
One often forgets that the 1991 Maastricht treaty, on top of adopting the “principle of subsidiarity” –which states that matters ought to be handled by the smallest (or, the lowest) competent authority–, also gave birth to the creation of the “European Committee of Regions”. To give more impetus to the drive, a network of major cities and regions founded a powerful lobby if favor of decentralization labeled Eurocities, whose current president is Michel Delebarre, the socialist mayor of Dunkerque, while Paris, Lyons and Nantes figure among the French members.
In 2002, shortly before his death, Freddy Heineken exposed his lunatic scheme before a closed door session of the representatives of Eurocities gathered in Amsterdam. Heineken jokingly told them that to solve the political problem of European integration one should take all the European population and ship them to the United States before bringing them back to Europe… Observing Heineken’s map, a participant full of opportunism and optimism stated that the location of Heineken’s 75 “United States of Europe” nearly completely coincided with the location of the 75 cities who are members of Eurocities…
In reality the plan is not to have mini-states at all, but the “United Cities of Europe”. What some rightly call Kohr’s “medieval regression” is not a simple return to former nations that disappeared centuries ago, but the founding of a global empire composed of city-states more or less de-territorialized. The Austro-British designer Christopher Alexander, who also was present at the session, is another spokesman for this scheme. Referring to the degenerate counter-cultural British Lord Weymouth –who thinks that optimal demographic limits of a region are between 2 and 10 million people—Alexander told the audience: “Do what you can to establish a world government composed of a thousand independent regions to replace the countries.” His inspirer, Lord Weymouth proposed a world government composed by a single representative of countries having each about 10 million inhabitants. Not astonishing is the fact that in the Netherlands, a “Club of the 10 million” exists inspired by Lord Weymouth and out to find the means to reduce the population of the Netherlands, today over 16 million, to only 10 millions. Maybe legalized euthanasia will help?
In economics, it is clearly not by chance that Robert Mundell cultivates the old fantasy of a single world currency. In 2003, he brought together in his Renaissance palace in Siena a handful of powerful bankers to discuss the scheme. The now deceased Robert Bartley, who was Mundell’s close friend and editor emeritus of the Wall Street Journal (known for his animosity towards LaRouche) said that “If the euro can replace the franc, mark, and lira, why can’t a new world currency merge the dollar, euro, and yen? » Such a new world currency, he avers, could be called the “dey” (short for “dollar, euro, yen”). Bartley added that “This suggests success for the grandest reform of all, a supranational central bank.”
As one sees here, behind the Kohr-Parkinson-Heineken model, the aim is the creation of a worldwide Malthusian government. The model of Swiss cantons, regionalization, federalism and today secessions and the rising power of cities over nation-states are nothing but different angles of attack of a policy aimed at shopping up the big nations in order to destroy more easily the smaller ones.
See Venice and die
As one sees on the cover of The Size of Nations –since it features a zoom of a map of Venice– for Alberto Alesina, the model is the oligarchic Republic of Venice, a “poor” country full of immensely rich people! In chapter 11 of The Size of Nations (p.176), Alesina says that the three centuries that followed the dark ages “were characterized by the economic growth of the city-states: Venice, Lisbon, Genoa, Antwerp, and Amsterdam in chronological order of leadership.” Over more, “The city-state of this period is a clear example of a political entity (i.e., a country in our models) that could prosper economically even if extremely small because its market was unrelated to its political borders.”
Obviously, not a word about the slave trade, the colonial loot of vast regions, the wars and crusades or the financial racketeering that made Venice –and the British Empire—so powerful.
Leopold Kohr was also a fervent admirer of Venice. In his political fiction essay “The Duke of Buen Consejo”, Kohr imagines a scenario in which a shanty town in the suburbs of Porto Rico becomes a glorious and prosperous city by following his precepts. How? It is sufficient to select a millionaire and give him the pompous title of Duke of the location. However, certain specific restrictions apply. First, he is obliged to live on his estate and raise his own children on site. Obviously, the duchess, when opening up her delicate curtains in the morning, gets a horrific view on the stinky slums. She will then tell her husband Duke to build something more attractive around the palace. Once the children will need to go to school, the Duke will call in the best teachers of the planet and erect beautiful schools which all the other children can also profit from… The stimulus of the shock between the active private duke and the lazy crowds will bring them to work hard to resemble him, the Duke.
“Fiction?” asks Kohr, “It pictures not theory but history as it unfolded itself in a vast number of villages, cities, and city states all over Europe during the Middle Ages, or in the countless urban foundations of Greek and Phoenician antiquity. They all were developed through nuclear seeding rather than comprehensive planning.”
And Kohr adds: “When Peisistratos appeared on the scene, the major part of Athens consisted of hovels. When he departed, there stood an array of buildings of whose immortal beauty Pausanias could write hundreds of years later that, when they were new, they already looked ancient. Now that they were old, they still looked new. Similarly, Venice started her scintillating career as an abysmal slum. Had she followed modern advice and waited with her development until Italy had been united, the United Nations established, the Common Market formed, she would still be a slum today. And so would Urbino, Perugia, Assisi, Parma, Padua, and most of the glamorous rest. By going ahead on her own in the fashion of the Duke of Buen Consejo, she violated all principles of sound politics, economics, planning, location theory, indeed of intellectual levelheadedness itself. For who except a fool or bohemian slummer would build in the midst of a lagoon. But she gave us Venice.”
The United States and France
If you believe this is an American conspiracy to destroy Europe, you are strongly mistaken. Alesina for example explicitly attacks James Madison’s argument developed in the Federalist Papers where Madison develops the advantages of a large national territory and heterogeneity of population.
Recently, secessionist movements have been set up in the United States with links to their European counterparts. They see “republics” in Vermont, New Hampshire, Texas, California or the creation of a new country called “Hudsonia” around the Hudson River… On October 4, 2007, a handful of delegates gathered at Chattanooga, Tennessee adopted the “Chattanooga Declaration” Bypassing the right-left division –since matters of freedom bypass such cleavages—they state that the influence of large corporations on government is a threat to the welfare and health of the American citizen. They observe that “The American Empire is no longer a nation or a republic, but has become a tyrant aggressive abroad and despotic at home.” In the name of the inalienable rights defined by the US Constitution (the right to break away from England), the Chattanooga declaration calls for the break-up of the United States. If the effort has been steered by radical greeny Kirkpatrick Sale, an expert on the Luddites, and Thomas Naylor, a libertarian professor of Duke University, the initiative remains folkloric. However it got large media coverage by AP, USA Today, the British daily Independent and even The New York Times. On the webpages of the Middlebury Institute headed by Sale entire chapters of Kohr’s The Break-up of Nations are proudly presented and Sale was the first to publish the book in the US in 1977. US secessionists are out to shop up the United States, through Kohrs “nuclear seeding”, into a close to infinite number of small nucleus of habitation. The new political fact however is that Sale and Naylor, rather green and lefty, did not resist joining hips with the nostalgic fellows of the neo-confederate pro-slavery Southern League created by Dr James Michael Hill in 1994. Hill, as a historian is an expert on the “Celtic wars” of the sixteenth century conducted by Ireland and Scotland against England. Hill says time has come to educate the youth of “Dixie” and presides the League of the South Institute (LSI) created with funding from the Mary Noel Kershaw Foundation of Nashville, Tennessee. That foundation funds the building of commemorative monuments to honor the great “heroes” of the pro-British Confederates and LSI announces it is publishing of a “Grey Book”, a blueprint for the independence of the South.
In France, Kohr’s lunacies have penetrated in two fashions. Firstly, Kohr, who went to live in Gloucester, Wales when he retired in 1977, wrote for a friend, who was the founder of the Welsh independence party in the UK, a booklet called “Is Wales viable”. That book was translated into French by the European federalist and defender of the independence of Bretagne, Yann Fouéré. Fouéré had the smart idea to replace the word “Great Britain” with “France”, and the word “Wales” with “Bretagne”. This way, Kohr’s book is available in France under the title “Une Bretagne libre est-elle viable?” Fouéré is one of the co-founders of the “Celtic League” and wrote that “one can introduce measure into as well capitalism as socialism by reducing the scales of societies of all nature on which this applies, increasing on them in the same time the control of local powers, the citizens, the producers and those that are ruled, thanks to what Dr Kohr called the ‘transparency of the small’.”
The other movement that recently got promoted in France is the “Decroissance” movement. At the creation of the Fourth World Educational and Research Association Trust, Kohr was a member of its board together with the American radical greeny secessionist Kirkpatrick Sale and the British aristocrats Lord Beaumont, John Seymour and the unavoidable Edward Goldsmith, chief editor of “The Ecologist”. Goldsmith has been the early protector of the French “Asterix” José Bové and a sponsor of the “Décroissance” movement, French word for the term “de-development” that appeared for the first time in Goldsmith’s The Ecologist in 1977. Their fight for the “defense of the environment” is nothing but a moral pretext to combat the modern nation-state. The fact of the matter is that the intelligent use of nuclear power or other advanced technologies implies a division of labor and a management of time and space uniquely attainable by modern nation-states. For them, it is not the “nuclear” issue that worries them, but a society that progresses by the permanent rethinking of its “certitudes” and prejudices and the axioms of rural imbecility that contaminated the boomer generation currently living in our citi
From now on, I think it is safe to say that “Small is often not beautiful at all”.