Political Allsorts #3
Meanwhile, my friend Oli has, for a while, been giving me some tough push-back on the decentralist, anarchist and green directions that I've been moving in for a while. And I need to flag that I don't have good answers to him yet.
Oli's arguments can be summarized, roughly, as
a) decentralism is unproven, whereas centralism, and strong power-centres, when wielded in the right cause, have demonstrable achievements.
b) in particular, centralism is necessary to promote egalitarian ends. Examples include the EU which is helping spread wealth more equably through Europe, and counter-examples include "opt-out schools" or the "local democracy" which has failed to bring the US school system to an acceptable state.
So, you need centralized concentrations of power to set and ensure standards. And encouraging decentralism is as likely to allow the wealthy and powerful communities to secede from wider social responsibilities or shared planning.
Like I say, I don't have good answers to this. Though I am looking.