[ExI] size of polities

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Feb 19 05:01:58 UTC 2008

Jeff Davis writes

> It seems that modern nation state has come about because militarily,
> bigger is better, ie the 8000 lb gorilla beats the 800 lb gorilla
> beats the 80 lb gorilla.  So it you possess a social organizational
> system (with the appropriate "security" apparatus) to hold together
> one of the larger groups of inherently diverse and consequently
> fractious humans, and extract from them the tithe of their
> productivity(taxes), then you have the military resources to survive
> and prevail.

I totally agree with your explanation. It would be natural to see
larger states evolve, but only in terms of their military security.
I would think the federal solution to be optimal: for sovereignty
and defence, they unite. For laws they remain separate (up to

> In contrast, the evolved ideal human social group would be tribal.
> Large enough for the clan leaders to know everyone personally, and for
> everyone to have -- for the condition of social harmony to prevail --
> identical cultural values/identifiers.


> Larger than that and the leaders are too removed from the polity to
> sympathize with them and behave decently, become a tribe in their own
> right -- the ruling class -- treat the polity as pawns,

I agree that you are onto something here, and it is easy for Washington
bureaucrats to start thinking of themselves exactly as you describe, a
sort of ruling class that gets to regulate everything in sight. The libertarian
solution is to suggest that the governments be as absolutely small as 
possible (but no smaller).

> and pursue the slaughter of innocents in a sociopathic enterprise
> to aggrandize their own power.

:-O   Wow!  You're really getting carried away!  :-)

The U.S., for example, slaughters innocents in its nearby neighbors
(Canada, Mexico, Central America and the West Indies) only for
*commercial* reasons, not to aggrandise the power of those
senators and representatives behind the mass killings going on
right now in those countries.  Now it happens that I don't know
about all those massacres, but they I haven't read enough Noam
Chomsky, right?


>  The nation state and imperial system we have today.

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