Localism is the building of community knowledge. Community is not built so much as preserved, restored, and built upon. Both community and community knowledge are built from learnings over the span of time. Social breakdown is the distruption of community--the loss of the community of knowledge. The solution is the restoration of the long-standing local community.
If there was no human community to build upon, or even restore; if a region is still pristine and free from human abuses, then the community of knowledge is the animal community. There is no capital in the animal community, except in exploiting it. There is knowledge in the animal community; it is empathy and synergy, not capital.
I have been reading a book called Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin, a 1800s Russian sort-of pacifist/revolutionary. He shows how we people, and especially animals thrive by helping each other. He talks about natural commuALism, which was destroyed all over Europe by the annexation of the public lands by the wealthy and the nobles. And also, in his native Russia, communALism was destroyed by commUNism (true irony).
He also describes an admiring attitude of the New World peoples by Europeans sick of the abuses of the wealthy and the nobles: people we would think of as Natives, what they called the Noble Savages.
This to me is really advanced thinking, despite the silliness of the term noble savages. I would very much like to write about this, maybe in a novel about natural people, both Native and European living in the places like Vermont during the 1600-1700s.
I would also like to write about the two rebellions against the early American government: the Whiskey rebellion and Shay's rebellion.
The feeling by Shay and his supporters was that Geo. Washington betrayed the natural desire for freedom by Americans-- the reason people came here from Europe.
The Whiskey rebellion was only partly about distilling and taxation; the real issue was land. Philadelphia lawyers, including Ben Franklin, were drawing lines on the official maps to give vast land tracts to themselves. This is defined as annexation of the public domain by the wealthy. If you lived inside Ben's box, even before he drew the lines, you had to buy the land you lived on from him: annexation is the ultimate theft.
From the Whiskey rebellion we learn that all land is stolen. All land needs to be returned to the public domain. Today, because trade deficits have made the US a debtor to the world, land annexation now extends to giving away our land resources to the foreign capital interests who are robbing us blind through globalism and multiculturalism. This is the new colonialism, same as the old colonialism. This is why our nation needs to unite more than ever.
Also important is the relationship between land and knowledge in the new Information Society, which is the Internet. Public domain software and stored data is often called intellectual property. This misnomer is simply as an expedience to help the wealthy annex the control of knowledge.
This is why it is so important to get involved with the free and open software and Linux movements. Through knowledge annexation, based on land annexation, Microsoft (a wholly illegal monopoly), has gained control of control itself, of the majority of the world's computing and knowledge power. Microsoft, though the Bill Gates foundation, is actually blocking the use of technology to model disease, especially AIDS. Simply because Microsoft software is not up to the task, whereas Linux is, Gates is effectively blocking the modern cure of illness. This is because Linux is in the culture of the public domain: the enemy of the proprietary (property) control. Microsoft holds the world hostage to disease to preserve its control of control.
The yin/yang of America is the struggle between Capital and Synergy. Capital is imported from Europe, as a revival of the Roman empire to manage highly capitalized industry, and war. Capital is also the preservation of the Roman Empire, called the Holy Roman Empire until a century ago, now preserved in many churches.
Synergy was defined by Ruth Benedict (friend of Margaret Mead) as she observed Native tribes struggle to overcome their decimation at the hands of the government. The successful tribes gave social status not so much for success, but for successfully helping people who are not doing so well. Low synergy tribes were centralized (root meaning of the word capital), and thrived on usurious debt, prostitution and whiskey abuse.