Synopses & Reviews
Throughout history, the natural human inclination to accumulate power has led to increases in growth and scale that have amplified major social problems. In several cases, the costs of development have been borne by the many, but the benefits have been concentrated among the few. The implications are clear: some of the world's most serious social problems -- poverty, war, pollution -- can be seen as problems of scale and power. Drawing on history, economics, anthropology, and sociology, the author argues that individuals, not social classes, have been the agents of social change. This cogent and provocative book looks at how increases in scale necessarily lead to an increasingly small elite gaining disproportionate power -- ironically making democratic control more difficult to achieve and maintain.