Political Giantism: The Threat to Democracy?
To the size of states there is a limit as there is to other things, plants, animals, implements; for none of these retain their natural power when they are too large or too small, but they either wholly lose their nature or are spoilt. - Aristotle
The great Aristotle is always worthy of our deference and respect. When he speaks we should listen. We should, therefore, consider what he teaches about the proper scale of things, especially with regard to “the size of states.” Is there a politics of scale, much as there is an economics of scale, favouring the competitiveness of large states over small? More to the point, does this politics of scale contribute to the freedom of the citizens of such states or does it militate against political freedom? Is big-is-better where the size of nation-states is concerned or is the small both better and beautiful in politics as in business? In short, what are the political implications associated with scale?