In German: Big is clumsy – Leopold Kohr in the Age of Post-Globalization

„Groß ist ungeschickt – Leopold Kohr im Zeitalter der Poast-Globalisierung“ (Big is clumsy – Leopold Kohr in the eara  of Post-Globalization“)

was published 2010 in Vienna (presentation by i.a. Erhard Busek on Nov. 30th, 2010,  at the Diplomatic Academy).

Leopold Kohr (1909 -1994) is the the founder of the small-is-beautiful-movement, author of the sensational „ Breakdown of Nations“ (1957) and laureate of the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1983 („Right Livelihood Award“). On its 120 pages (some 28.000 words) the book summarizes what Kohr had to say, what his teachings have achieved  until today, and how in the light of the global financial crisis of 2009 his ideas give precise orientation to future developments.

In an introduction („Why Kohr?“), the main-problem of our times is compared to the habit of (some) drivers to run their car on a motorw-way at top-speed into the fog: Globalization  makes our rational projections reach in a linear way further and further, while Secularization is seen to dismiss all means of holistic (non-rational) flank-protection, like religion, ethics, harmony, aesthetics and sustained tradition. To reduce speed and complexity is now the call of the day – as Leopold Kohr had always advocated.  

After a short biography the book then describes in its first part („Kohr yesterday“)  his optimistic understanding of man, followed by his theory on society and limits to growth deducted from biology. This part concludes with Kohr‘s views on Globalization.

The second part („Kohr today“) reviews critically actual implementation of Kohr‘s ideas and sketches areas, which would have come as a surprise to Kohr – be it that he would have had to re-think his opposition to European integration or applaud Internet and new social media for the unexpected strengthening of local networks. New aspects to Kohr‘s plea for a dimensional instead of ideological handling of „great ideas“ are also included.

The third part („Kohr tomorrow“) looks at 10 Mega-Trends for the future  – from growing social spirituality to the crisis of democracy and nation-state – which appear to be heading the way Kohr had predicted. One important issue is information-overload and its biological effect on cognition, jeopardizing the use of reason while strengthening Kohr‘s demand to reduce complexity (as in small social entities) and restore comprehensibility („Überschaubarkeit“). Finally, there are specific recommendations how to apply Kohr‘s ideas in the age of Post-Globalization.