Centralisation (British), or centralization (American), is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision-making, become concentrated within a particular location or group, keeping all of the important decision-making powers within the head office or the centre of the organisation.
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- The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
- James Madison, The Federalist Papers : No. 47 (Feb. 1, 1788) p. 298.
- I believe very deeply, as I explained in my book The Lion and the Unicorn, in the English people and in their capacity to centralise their economy without destroying freedom in doing so.
- The shortcomings of centralization were largely ignored until the advent of the computer age. Computing power gave scientists the capability to quantify the fatal flaws underlying the tenets of centralization. The phrase that computer technicians coined to describe these inherent defects is 'single point of failure'. The 'single point of failure' principle refers to a system such that, if that one component were to fail, the entire system would grind to a halt… In socioeconomics, it means that one single error by a government agency could invoke a devastating outcome to society and its citizens. One error could crash a centralized system, leading to total systemic failure.
- L.K. Samuels, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action Cobden Press (2013) p. 200.
- The underlying problem of centralization is that it attempts to force many dissimilar parts into a seamless whole. Of course, nothing is identical in the physical world. No two parts are equal. This means that centralization must force cohesion of mismatched parts—a herculean task that is impossible to satisfy.
- L.K. Samuels, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action, Cobden Press (2013) p. 192.
- The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.
- George Washington, Farewell Address, originally published in Daved Claypole's American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796.