Unequal access to income and wealth preceded the formation of the state and contributed to its development. Yet once established, governmental institutions in turn exacerbated existing inequalities and created new ones. Premodern states generated unprecedented opportunities for the accumulation and concentration of material resources in the hands of the few, both by providing a measure of protection for commercial activity and by opening up new sources of personal gain for those most closely associated with the exercise of political power.
Continuar leyendo «The original one percent»
One finds an astonishing degree of agreement among scholars that the state and violence are intimately related.
…One finds an astonishing degree of agreement among scholars that the state and violence are intimately related. If you were to ask David Hume how the state originated he would say that ‘Almost all the governments which exist at present, or of which there remains any record in story, have been founded originally in usurpation or conquest or both, without any pretense of a fair consent or voluntary subjection of the people.’
Continuar leyendo «The origin and character of the State»
Graeber recently passed away and I allow myself to share with you one of his most popular (and controversial) passages.
While he found a gold mine debunking some historical inaccuracies of «the myth of the barter» as usually presented by armchair economists, ironically he still managed to get the underlying economic principle that eventually explained the (Mengerian) origin of money (very) very wrong. Right facts, wrong interpretation.
May he rest in peace.
Continuar leyendo «The myth of the barter»