Small is Beautiful

Nature abhors a monoculture.

Planting and harvesting the same crop, year after year, exhausts the soil. Yet the industrialists keep doing it — first because they can (with the help of chemicals and money to suspend the laws of nature for a little while), and second because it’s what they know how to do.

They themselves have become a monoculture: when industrial farming is made to be the only economically viable option, everyone eats Monsanto.

Mass culture is the same way. Whether you’re buying the same ironically “alternative” fast fashion as everyone else or pinning all your hopes on the next presidential election, you’re looking for nourishment from “Food”®, not real food.

Presidents don’t fill potholes. They don’t take out the trash. And they don’t know (or care) all that much about the specifics of you and your place.

They can’t — and that’s not really what they’re for, anyway. Leaders can set the tone, choose the issues, and frame the debate, and all of that matters immensely.

But think very, very carefully before trying to scale what’s unique and cool about your neck of the woods to become everyone’s monoculture.

When you deplore them and they abhor you, nobody wins.