International Institute for Culture

Small is Beautiful versus Big is Best
Thursday, July 3, 2003

I would like to present a paper on the perennial significance of subsidiarity to any discussion of civil society in its political and socio-economic manifestations. Far from being a peripheral issue, or an optional extra, the question of political, economic or cultural 'smallness' versus the increasing encroachments of multinational and multi-cultural giantism should be at the centre of current debate on the role of the individual within society. 
Employing the arguments of significant Catholic thinkers, most notably E.F. Schumacher, (but also Belloc, Chesterton, Eliot & others) I will look at the crucial nature of this debate within the spheres of politics, economics and culture. 
In the field of politics, I will look at the battle between the forces seeking the centralization of power and those seeking its decentralisation. As examples, I shall focus on the balance of power between the US Federal Government and the rights of individual States; the expansion of the European Union and its usurpation of national sovereignty; and the possibilities of devolving power within individual states, taking the example of nationalism and regionalism within the United Kingdom as my principle, but not my sole, example. 
In the field of economics, I will look at the impact of multinational corporations on both the economic and ecological level. I will also contrapose an alternative mode of development through the implementation of low-impact intermediate, or 'appropriate', technology. 
In the field of culture, I shall argue that globalism is inimical to genuine local cultures and that so-called multi-culturalism is merely a euphemism for market-driven mono-culture.

Mr. Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce has written books on two of the 20th century's literary giants, G.K. Chesteron and Hilaire Belloc. Friends in the same Faith, these men sought to understand and articulate the glories of the Catholic past and the contemporary ideological challenges of their own day. G. K. Chesterton once remarked that the Catholic Church saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his own age. Mr. Pearce will investigate the freeing intellectual breath of two great champions of Catholic culture.
  Communitas, 2003 Eichstatt

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