News report from East China Univ of Science and Technology
Small Is Beautiful
Dr. Michael Breisky’s Excellent Interpretation of Kohr’s Political Philosophy
On April 2nd, 2008, Dr. Michael Breisky, the former Austrian Ambassador to America and the Chairman of Science Committee at Leopold Kohr Academy in Austria Chairman of Leopold Kohr Academy in Austria was invited to give a lecture “Small Is Beautiful” to the faculty and students in the Research Institute of Humanities.
Dr. Michael Breisky started his interpretation of Leopold Kohr’s constructivist post-modern political philosophy from a famous classical song “Silent Night, Holy Night”. He believed the reason for the song’s success was that the beauty of simplicity and harmony could inspire man’s creative emotions, as “small is beautiful” in Kohr’s constructivist post-modern political philosophy. Kohr might be called the first post-modern political philosopher, as he doubted that any “great idea” could give lasting guidance to mankind. He subscribed to the motto of ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras: “man is the measure of all things”. Through the observations of the laws of nature and society, Dr. Breisky expounded the scientific nature of Kohr’s constructivist post-modern political philosophy, based on which he analyzed the problems in the development of European countries and some developing countries at the present time.
Meanwhile, Prof. Bao Zonghao, the director of the Research Institute of Humanities, further explained Kohr’s constructivist post-modern political philosophy based on Dr. Breisky’s excellent interpretation and the scientific concept of the sustainable development in China. The lecture aroused great interest in the faculty and students, and they discussed and exchanged ideas with Dr. Breisky after the lecture.
The lecture was very successful. Dr. Michael Breisky’s open-minded and pluralistic way of thinking and his conscientious attitude made an deep impression on the faculty and students. His excellent interpretation of profound ideas in a simple way brought fresh air and vigor in the post-modern philosophical research in our institute.
News report from Science Times
Austrian Expert lectured at Global Village of Beijing
(News report from Science Times) The eastern and the western civilizations that rooted in distinctive philosophical systems nourish different values which influence people’s way of life. So which life style is more healthy, more sustainable and better for the harmony between man and nature? Recently, Dr. Michael Breisky, the former Austrian Ambassador to America and an expert in Leopold Kohr studies, has been invited by Beijing Global Village, a non-governmental organization of environmental protection, to give the lecture “Small Is Beautiful, Leopold Kohr and His Theory of Regional Development”.
Dr. Michael Breisky is a world-famous scholar in constructive postmodern political science and the Chairman of Science Committee at Leopold Kohr Academy in Austria. Based on Leopold Kohr’s concept of “small is beautiful”, he briefly introduced Kohr’s philosophy, political ideas and their influences. Meanwhile, he reflected upon the “growthmania” and the consumerism trend accompanied by modernization, which provides a new perspective in sustainable development.
The principles that are central to Leopold Kohr include:
The Beanstalk Principle: For every animal, object, institution or system, there is an optimal limit beyond which it ought not to grow.
The Law of Peripheral Neglect: Governmental concern, like marital fidelity or gravitational pull, tends to diminish with the square of the distance.
The Law of Government Size: Ethnic and social misery increases in direct proportion to the size and power of the central government of a nation or state.
Lucca’s Law: Other things being equal, territories will be richer when small and autonomous than when large and centralized.
The Principle of Limits: Social problems tend to grow at a geometric rate, while the ability of humans to deal with them, if it can be extended at all, grows only at an arithmetic rate.
On the whole, Kohr trusted the creativity of the family and small social entities compared with the large ones.
Different cultural backgrounds bring about different values and life styles. Through comparing the different life styles and the patterns of consumption between the east and the west, Ms. Liao Xiaoyi, who is in charge of Beijing Earth Village, examined the two different civilizations’ influences on environment in respect of philosophy. She proposed the Chinese way of environmental protection—body-mind-in-one. This way is called joyful harmony, that is, harmony in the body, in the mind and in the environment. Joyful harmony is consistent with “three energy”balanced civilization and life: increase in body energy—green safety and green fit-keeping; preservation of mind energy—green ethics and green participation; saving energy—green work and green life. The aim is to shift the focus on environmental protection from the activities within a small circle, to the benefits for the body and mind of most people. Ms. Liao said, to put forward the perspective of joyful harmony is to include mind and body in the protection of ecological environment, thus put new content into the Chinese way of environmental protection.
News report from Soochow University Newsletter
The World-famous Scholar Dr. Michael Breisky Visited Our University
On March 30th, the world-famous scholar of the post-modern political science Dr. Michael Breisky visited our university and made the first speech in the “Eastern Wu Forum”.
The “Eastern Wu Forum” has been set up to enhance academic exchanges home and abroad, and we regularly invite first-class experts and scholars to give lectures. The first speaker of this forum, Dr. Michael Breisky, is an expert in Leopold Kohr studies, the Chairman of Science Committee at Leopold Kohr Academy in Austria and the former Austrian Ambassador to America and to Finland. In recent years, he has reflected upon the “growthmania” and the consumerism trend accompanied by modernization, and has explored the concept of sustainable development and consumption, which is very influential in the world. Dr. Breisky acceped our invitation to visit our university and attend the “Eastern Wu Forum”.
Before the lecture, Mr. Zhang Xueguang, the vice president of the university, welcomed Dr. Michael Breisky and introduced the history of our university and the achievements in the development, which made a deep impression on Dr. Breisky.
The lecture was co-chaired by Prof. Luo Shijin and Prof. Ren Ping. Prof. Ren Ping gave an introduction to Dr. Breisky’s academic achievements, and Prof. Luo Shijin briefly introduced the aims and the preparation work for the “Eastern Wu Forum”. Then Dr. Breisky gave the lecture “Small Is Beautiful, Leopold Kohr and His Constructivist Post-modern Political and Economic Philosophy”. He centered upon the concept of “small is beautiful” held by the post-modern political philosopher Leopold Kohr, and analyzed the background, the origin and the meaning of the concept in detail. Meanwhile, he explained the concept of sustainable development and consumption in the context of globalization by taking into consideration the Europeanism and the realities in developing countries. With great interest, several teachers and students from the Management Institute, the Business Institute, the Law Institute and the Foreign Language Institute asked questions and exchanged ideas with Dr. Breisky, making a lively and easy atmosphere in the meeting room. When Dr. Breisky quoted the ancient poem “此曲只应天上有，人间能得几回闻。” (inscribed by the former President Jiang Zemin when he visited the birthplace of Mozart in 1999) to show his respect for the concept of “man is the measure of all things”, a big round of applause was heard in the meeting room.