The “Secession Impulse” Is Alive and Well in US Cities and States (KIRKPATRICK SALE)

Publisher’s Note: Kirkpatrick Sale is our preeminent thinker on decentralism, and the founder of the Middlebury Institute, which organized in Middlebury, Vermont in November 2004. In this new OP/ED, he connects the dots on progressively-minded cities and states defying federal… Continue Reading


In the early stages of the industrial revolution, it wasn’t clear whether the main source of power would be water wheels or steam engines. The advantage of the former was a cost-free renewable source of energy, and indeed hundreds of… Continue Reading

Distributism: Beyond Capitalism and Socialism

Fritz Schumacher used to tell the story of the three professionals sitting around arguing about whose was the oldest profession. The doctor said that his was the oldest because God operated on Adam to remove his rib to make Eve. The architect, however, declared that even before that God built the world out of chaos. Yes, said the economist, but who do you think made that? Continue Reading

The Decentralist Movement: A Third Way

Just a few weeks ago I took seven large boxes of books from my library to give to the E. F. Schumacher Library just outside of Great Barrington, Massachusetts—books I’d gathered for years on decentralism, anar­chism, community, separatism, and the like—and I was struck once again by the depth, tenacity, and importance of the movement to which I was contributing. For the Schumacher Society and its library were established to provide an intellectual and activist home for what we can call, loosely, the decentralist movement. This is the Third Way that has existed for a century or so outside the varieties of centralists, both conservative and liberal; a movement that has vigorously put forth cogent alternatives to the modern-capitalist industrial nation-state. Continue Reading