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Kirkpatrick Sale Intvw Transcript: on Small vs Big, Decentralization, Secession, Domination


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This is the first half of a two part transcript of the podcast interview which can be found here. Thanks to Dick Overfield for help with transcript checking.

R.K.: My guest tonight is Kirkpatrick Sale. He is the author of a dozen books including After Eden: The evolution of Human Domination, Human Scale and Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution. He's the director of the Middlebury Institute for the study of separation, secession, and self-determination. Welcome to the show.

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K.S.: Well thank you, sir.

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R.K.: So, as I was telling you before we got on the air, I discovered you because I recently read E. F. Schumacher's book, Small is Beautiful, then I found out that you had given a talk at a conference on decentralization, on decentralism, and that got me started looking at your work and it's all very interesting and powerful stuff. So I'm not sure where to begin but...

K.S.: Well, thank you.

R.K.: You gave me the clue and that is that I wrote to you and I said that I do this show called Bottom Up Radio because I believe we're in a transition from a top down to a bottom up culture and you said you disagree with me. Which is always fun and forces me to think in new ways. So. why do you disagree?

K.S.: I don't think we're achieving it. I think it's one of those lofty goals that people have from time to time, but it doesn't seem to me to be happening. In fact, most of the things that I have been supporting for most of my seventy-five years have not gotten anywhere either, including protecting the environment and decentralism.

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You know we established a Schumacher Institute in Massachusetts that was devoted to decentralization and getting people to talk about it and think about it and to write about it which we did for about twenty years and there is a rump organization, a Schumacher society of some kind still going on with some of the original people, but it's just spinning its wheels.

And I have to say that seems to me... what I have learned in a fairly long life, I haven't given up on any of the causes that I've taken on but I can't say that I won them, or that the world has gotten significantly better. I would say, for example, in the environmental area that the world has gotten significantly worse and, though much attention is drawn and much alarm is being raised, I don't see that it's having any effect in the world. Alas.

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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