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The state wasn't created to escape a "nasty, brutish life". The state grew bc it could tax and appropriate grains

Walls were to keep inhabitants in as much as they were to keep invaders out

Agriculture didn't necessitate the state. The state required agriculture
Sedentism appeared 4000 years before the state. The conventional story of states arising as soon as agriculture was created is wrong

Sedentism itself was not necessarily forward progress

Pre state barbarians lived happier, healthier and freer lives than earliest state citizens
Contrary to mainstream view, the collapse of early states was actually a boon to health

Dark ages are only dark to historians and statists who require the legibility of a state

The disassembly of states into its constituent parts improved the lives of citizens of early states
Until very recently, ~1600, the majority of humans around the world were not under state control

Barbarians weren’t so much uncivilized as differently civilized

In fact, during the so called "dark ages" the Iliad & Odyssey were created
Would we be better off as subsistence hunters instead of masters of nuclear weapons?

There would be a lot fewer of us, sure. Probably much less "cultural achievement" (and no BTC)

But much more anti-fragility, freedom and even health in some cases (save for a few diseases)
Hunter gatherers largely didn't advance in any material way.

But has the advancement under states for the average citizen come at the expense of additional suffering and increased fragility?
It's hard to deny the benefits of increasing GDP and wealth per capita -- especially when digging into a bacon rapped McRib or drinking a bottle of 2 buck chuck

But these are all very interesting questions posed from Against the Grain by James Scott

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