Skip to comments.The Evil that Men Do: How Bad Governments Create Poverty
Posted on 08/18/2014 1:10:03 PM PDT by Politically Correct
Pharoah, let my people go:
How did ancient Egypt become a land of slaves building fantastic monuments to dictatorial leaders?
The land of Egypt was rich and fertile, a seeming paradise for egalitarian living.
Stephanie Pappas writes in Live Science about how despots evolved in ancient societies, but thats a misleading use of the term; it actually was a series of bad choices by free people.
She writes how Simon Powers at the University of Lausanne came up with a mathematical model to explain the shift from egalitarianism to despotism.
Whether it actually explains them could be disputed, but he posits that people gradually yielded up their rights to strong leaders who promised them benefits.
As population density grew, he thinks, people had fewer options; a feedback loop ensued, that led to more yielding of power for more promises.
In Egypt, surrounded by desert, the people had nowhere else to go; in Peru, leaving the dictator would have required climbing mountains.
Still, those obstacles have not hindered other people groups throughout history, while nations with plenty of space and resources (Russia, China) have also given in to despots.
See more at: Bad Governments Create Poverty
(Excerpt) Read more at crev.info ...
Bad governments seek absolute control over the people because they do not trust them. And the best way to control them is to impoverish them and make them beholden to the government for their daily bread.
Oppression is Tolerated, Freedom is Fought for....
It’s an interesting subject.
Reading ‘The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire” (Gibbon) the author said that incessant warfare meant armies took as prisoner, whole populations of conquered people.
They were kept, traded or sold as slaves. Slaves were currency and if you had or traded any slaves, you had wealth.
Also, the total of gold, silver and precious stones in the known world was limited so there was not enough of that for the valuation of commodities.
Human slaves BECAME currency.
I’m sure that’s part of it....I mean how whole countries became subject to tyranny
To rely solely on the character of the men and women we send to DC is to admit we are not a nation of laws.
The Framers knew this, and in order to secure liberty they didn’t rely on a Bill of Rights, but instead divided power between the states and the new federal government.
Stephanie Pappas is a moron if she thinks the original condition of those societies was freedom.
except for Gaul where they pretty much wiped them out to the last man, woman and child
I’d bet that not one member of the House or the Senate left office with less money than they had when they entered, in at least a century.
Then the Framers' grandsons passed the 17th Amendment and ended the power that enforced that division of power.
Righto. It appears all the early civilizations were theocratic in origin. When you’re a farming people weather becomes absolutely critical. The guy who is able to convince people he’s got connections Upstairs gathers more and more power.
Eventually becoming a God-King. This appears to be pretty much what happened in Egypt, the Indus, China, the Andes and Meso-America.
The main exception I’m aware of is Sumer. There, unlike Egypt, the country was split up into many city-states. These needed military leaders who gradually gained power relative to the priests and eventually became the first true secular rulers. Kings, IOW.
Actually, 'Decline and Fall."
He started the story at what he thought was the peak of the Empire, the 2nd century.
Right... it’s been THAT long ago
It was THAT long ago that I read that book
Ahh. Come to think of it, I read the whole series back about 30 years ago. Picked up the whole unabridged set at a garage sale for $10. Guy could really write, but slogging through some of the stuff about obscure Christian theological struggles and the resultant wars was pretty tough.
“...obscure Christian theological struggles and the resultant wars was pretty tough.”
THAT was the worst part I think. Everything else was pretty interesting.
It was THE piece of historical scholarship when it was written.
Up to that time, information about that period, though available, was scattered far and wide and mostly had to be translated.
Putting it all together with such insight and academic rigor was an accomplishment.
Here’s an interesting anecdote about Gibbon.
On one occasion during the American Revolutionary War he rejected an invitation to meet with Benjamin Franklin, replying with a card saying that though he respected the American envoy as a man and a philosopher, he could not reconcile it with his duty to his king to have any conversation was a revolted subject. Franklin replied that he had such high regard for the historian that if ever Gibbon should consider the decline and fall of the British Empire as a subject, Franklin would be happy to furnish him with some relevant materials!
No ifs ands or buts.
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