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State Formation

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A highwayman - by Glen Campbell (source). Before the rise of the State, and its pacification of social relations, the top man was the one who dominated the local group through a mixture of violence, bombast, and charisma. Before the State came into being, men were organized into small, loosely defined groups where authority was... Read More
Bandit with traditional tattoos (source). In premodern China, who enjoyed the most reproductive success? The thrifty hardworking farmer? Or the local bandit/warlord? In my last post, I asked how well the Clark-Unz model of selection applied to Japan and Korea (Unz, 2013). Let me now ask a more obvious question. How well did it apply... Read More
Homicide rates in England, 1200-2000 (Eisner, 2001) States seek to pacify their territories by monopolizing the use of violence. With each passing generation, violent individuals are ostracized, imprisoned, or executed, their predispositions being thereby selected out of the gene pool. Has this “genetic pacification” made longtime State societies kinder and gentler places to live in?... Read More
The Ioannis Metaxas regime (1936–1941) was the high-water mark of Greek nationalism. It sought to create an emotional bond between Greeks and their nation that they had previously felt only for their families and immediate kin. In this, Metaxas was trying to replicate a process of nation-building that had happened over a much longer time... Read More
Scenes of daily life from Sumer. The causes of civilization are not to be found in early art, writing, or architecture. These are merely the consequences of a preceding mental revolution. Humans have gone through three stages of development: hunting/gathering, simple agricultural societies, and complex agricultural societies. The last stage brought us most of what... Read More
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