Can making things smaller make the world a better place? No Local takes a critical look at localism, an ideology that says small businesses, ethical shopping and community initiatives like gardens and farmers' markets can stop corporate globalization. These small acts might make life better for some, but they don't challenge the drive for profit that's damaging our communities and the earth. No Local shows how localism's fixation on small comes from an outdated ecomic model. Growth is built into capitalism. Small firms must play by the same rules as large ones, cutting costs, exploiting workers and damaging the environment. Localism doesn't ask who controls production, allowing it to be co-opted by governments offloading social services onto the poor. At worst, localism becomes a strategy for neoliberal politics, t an alternative to it. No Local draws on political theory, history, philosophy and empirical evidence to argue that small isn't always beautiful. Building a better world means creating local social movements that grow to challenge, t avoid, market priorities.
Greg Sharzer is a PhD candidate, activist and writer.