I am finding that books written in the 1970's and 1980's a making a comeback and people realize that certain of those authors were a quarter century ahead of their times. Richard Falk is one, Kirkpatrick Sale is the other. This book could usefully be read with Leopold Kohr's “The Breakdown of Nations,” Joel Garreau's “Nine Nations of North America,” and Philip Alcott's “The Health of Nations,” on why sovereignty and the Treaty of Westphalia should be overturned in favor of more localized governance with more universal rights and protections.
The bottom line in this book is crytal clear half-way through the book: at a specific point of scale, variable depending on natural resources, technical and cultural sophistication, etc, an individual's share of earned income goes MORE toward “power” goods and services of common concrn than to their own benefit. It is at this point that “the state” has outgrown its utility and becomes a burden on the individual taxpayer.
It merits comment in this context that there are 27 seccessionist movements in the United States of America, and at least 3 in Canada. As we look at the idiocy of the elective war on Iraq, and the very real prospect that the German Pope has cut a neo-fascist deal with the Karl Roves and Otto Reichs of this world–all descendants of Nazi war criminals admitted to the US under espionage cover, we have to contemplate the possibility that our big states are *out of control* and need to be chopped back to more “human scale.” This is a Nobel Prize kind of book, quite extraordinary.