When Did "Small" Become "Horrible?"

Chris Bray, a blogger at Cliopatria (the flagship blog of the History News Network), has been reading Eric Miller’s biography of Christopher Lasch and thinking about the writings of Wendell Berry.

His post raises some interesting historical questions.  When did small-scale solutions to social problems go out of fashion?  Here is a taste:

When did the American left, such as it is, abandon scale as a worthy topic? As a historical matter, where can we locate the demise of “small is beautiful” liberal politics? Why is the argument for a devolution of power right wing? Why is the dial on American “progressive” politics stuck on the “massive” setting? None of this just happened. It’s a development with roots, and with dire effects.


One thought on “When Did "Small" Become "Horrible?"

  1. I'd date it to the 70's. LBJ's War on Poverty was partially focused on the small, community action projects, the legal services corporation, Head Start, etc. And many of the boomers were experimenting with communes and back to the earth projects. But the boomers grew older, many of the projects, both government and private, failed to meet expectations, and the general left project was swamped by the Nixon presidency and his landslide.


Comments are closed.