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Look Homewrad, America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists by Bill Kauffman. If there’s been a better book for promoting the Principle of Subsidiarity in the past twenty years, I don’t know of it. I put Kauffman in the same league as John Zmirak: young, brilliant writers who don’t get enough press (they’re in Tom Woods’ league, but Woods gets press).

The whole book pushes a fundamental truth: small is good, especially in the political sphere. I often describe myself as a “regionalist.” When people ask me what that means, I can simply refer to Kauffman’s definition (which he lifted from the artist, Grant Wood): “Each section has a personality of its own, in physiography, industry, psychology. . . When different regions develop characteristics of their own, they will come into competition with each other, and out of this competition a rich American culture will grow.”

Such a vision, of course, is anathema to the centralists. They don’t want individuality, eccentricity, or regionalism. When they see those things, they see selfishness, bigotry, and racism. If a trait doesn’t fit their vision of how America should be, they ham-handedly try to stomp it out. Selfishness, bigotry, and racism ought to be eliminated, of course, but it’s a delicate thing. By uprooting those weeds, you uproot the entire forest and toss it in the dumpster. It’s far better to let those weeds get eradicated on their own because, far from being noxious weeds that destroy things around it, they more resemble harmless weeds that nobler cultivars in the vicinity can overcome if merely given enough time.