No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won't Change The World Paperback – 27 Apr 2012
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About the Author
Greg Sharzer is a PhD candidate, activist and writer.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's fairly predictable that a Marxist would dislike localism, since they are almost opposite approaches. Localism is a very general set of principles, a fluid and relational idea that emphasises the practical over the theoretical. It lacks a central figure and a coherent literature. It makes it up as it goes along and believes in getting on with it. Marxism and Localism, it turns out, are pretty poorly equipped to talk to each other.
So what Sharzer does is just lump everything together, and that means lots of generalising. `Localists' think this, he will say, and then quote Barbara Kingsolver or Bill McKibben. If one person is utopian, all localists are utopian, or Malthusian, or middle class snobs. This is rather wearing, heckling a caricature of `a localist' in the absence of a defined movement.
Unhelpfully, Marxism has a category for that middle class do-gooder caricature. These are the `petite bourgeoisie', an intermediate class between the workers and the rulers who believe they can make progress as individuals and won't commit to the revolution. Localism is a petit bourgeois philosophy because it avoids conflict, believes in the small scale and most importantly for Sharzer, it is individualist. Except that it isn't. The localists I know are passionate believers in community. Still, Sharzer ploughs on, asking bizarre and patronising questions like "why do localists want their shopping trips to include personal conversations?" (Because they're lonely in their petit bourgeois world, obviously.Read more ›
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