Kirkpatrick Sale

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  • Born: June 27, 1937
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Author

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Kirkpatrick Sale is an independent scholar and author who has written prolifically about political decentralism, environmentalism, luddism and technology. He has been described as having a "philosophy unified by decentralism" and as being "a leader of the Neo-Luddites," an "anti-globalization leftist," and "the theoretician for a new secessionist movement."

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Big is bad - the corollary of Schumacher's small is beautiful. The centralized state, particularly the mass-society state of the 20th century, is inherently a failure: it is authoritarian and anti-liberty, imposing checks and laws on all individual actions; it is hierarchical and arbitrary, with power at the top and subservience for the great majority below; it is bureaucratic in order to function at all, but it functions poorly nonetheless because bureaucracies are always inefficient and clumsy and self-perpetuating; it is undemocratic, because it is too big to allow direct face-to-face decision making and substitutes various forms of representation, all of which take power from the individual. Bureaucracy
Politically, resistance to industrialism must force the viability of industrial society into public consciousness and debate. What purpose does this machine serve? What problem has become so great that it needs this solution? Is this invention nothing but, as Thoreau put it, an improved means to an unimproved end? Who are the winners? Who are the losers? Will this invention concentrate or disperse power, encourage or discourage self worth? Can society at large afford it? Can the biosphere? Environment & Environmentalism ;Capitalism
Technologies are never neutral, and some are hurtful. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The duration and severity of war has always increased with an increase in state power. Larger states, far from providing peace, merely provide larger wars, having more human and material resources to pour into them. War & Peace