The decentralists were among the earliest critics of the notion that large industry was inherently more efficient, noting that economies of scale frequently could be met by smaller factories, ones with fewer external costs that would offer fewer abuses to a democratic polity.
The decentralists had a concrete awareness of the ways and means of corporate power that was way ahead of many of today's conservative thinkers, who believe that the marketplace will suffice to check this ever-boiling force of business power.
To the agrarians and decentralists of 80 years ago, the distinction was democratically unsustainable.
What the decentralists were pushing for was the supremacy of individual property rights that "secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," over the property rights of incorporated entities possessing a "legal-social structure of privilege and concentration completely alien" to the agrarians' notions of a democratic society.
However they enumerated the "collectivist" power of the giant corporations and their governmental servants, the agrarian decentralists were not in awe of such power.
As decentralists, they are hostile to the power and influence of interest groups within Ottawa; they favour adding explicitly to provincial jurisdictions, and increasing provincial influence within federal institutions.
The populist decentralists, given their critique of Quebec's role in Ottawa over the last generation, are somewhat less opposed to the province's departure.
Like it or not, Lucien Bouchard's decentralists and Preston Manning's decentralists have a great deal in common.
My colleague Gordon Gibson has spelled out a decentralist model for the federal government which does not require constitutional change.