Sunday, March 05, 2017

In Inequality the Price of Peace

I have previously promoted Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature on the decline of violence. I still think this is a great book, and a phenomenon worth celebrating.

I am now reading Walter Scheidel's The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century. His main point is that the only things that have worked so far in human history to level economic inequality have been accomplished with great violence - war, revolution, state collapse, or pestilence.

A point that is secondary to Scheidel's argument, but primary to my consideration of the happy society, is that peace and stability seem to necessarily lead to increasing income inequality.

I will have to chew on this.  More as I digest Scheidel's argument.

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