Leopold Kohr was a leading thinker, a philosophical anarchist and an international university professor, who originated and firmly developed the concept of the human scale and the idea of a return to life in small communities. Both concepts have been brought to the attention of the general public in a book, the bestseller Small is Beautiful. He tenaciously supported the need of going back to smaller, local level, to find solutions to those problems affecting the whole mankind. His theories have challenged the powerful role of centralised structures in favour of a control system of small communities solving local problems with their own material and intellectual resources. Leopold Kohr was born near Salzburg, Austria, in

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The Breakdown of Nations

He was an economist, jurist, political scientist, and self-described philosophical anarchist. Believing in the effectiveness of returning to the local level to solve the problems affecting humankind, he saw small self-governing communities as best able to solve their problems with their own resources. Kohr received his doctorate in law and economics at the University of Innsbruck Austria and in political science at the University of Vienna. He also studied at the London School of Economics.


Leopold Kohr

During his life-time, this teasing leprechaun was recognized by very few as a man ahead of his time. Even today, few have caught up with him; there is still no school of thought that carries on his social morphology. I want to be precise: To place him among the champions of alternative economics would be a posthumous betrayal. He identified conditions under which the Good became mired down in things that are scarce. Therefore he worked to subvert conventional economic wisdom, no matter how advanced. His vision of a decent common life was predicated on modesty, not on plenty. A native of the village of Oberndorf near Salzburg, he began with the propensity of Salzburg folk to trust and enjoy the local ways distinctive of each valley.


The Wisdom of Leopold Kohr

Leopold Kohr 5 October , in Oberndorf bei Salzburg , Austria — 26 February , in Gloucester , England was an economist , jurist and political scientist known both for his opposition to the "cult of bigness" in social organization and as one of those who inspired the Small Is Beautiful movement. He described himself as a " philosophical anarchist. In , he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "for his early inspiration of the movement for a human scale. Kohr grew up in the small town of Oberndorf near Salzburg , and it remained his ideal of community. He earned doctorate degrees in law, at the University of Innsbruck , Austria, and political science, at the University of Vienna. In , Kohr became a freelance correspondent during the Spanish Civil War , where he was impressed by the limited, self-contained governments of the separatist states of Catalonia and Aragon , as well as the small Spanish anarchist city-states of Alcoy and Caspe. He later became an American citizen.

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