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.