The Central Problem Of Violence In Human Societies? Or The Central Problem Of Free Riding?

–“The absence of a workable integrated theory of economics and politics reflects the lack of systematic thinking about the central problem of violence in human societies.”– Violence and Social Orders (Preface).

[T]he fundamental problem of cooperation is the suppression of free riding. Violence is but one of the many tools used by free riders.

Our emphasis on suppressing violence distracts us from the insufficiency of suppressing violence in creating a polity capable of generating wealth in a division of knowledge and labor.

Very poor societies manage to prevent violence and theft. What they do not prevent is every other possible means of free riding.

The smaller the family size the higher the trust in any polity.

But for small family sizes suppression of free riding must be nearly universal.

And therefore not only must we possess property rights to allow small families to engage in production, but we must suppress all forms of involuntary transfer to lower the risk enough to do so. (ANF societies are fragile.)

By eliminating free riding we obtain trust, and the low transaction costs that come with trust. In seeking to obtain trust, non-aggression is not enough.

The source of any liberty was, is, and will always be, the organized use of violence to suppress free riding in all its forms.

The reason that democracy, policy and economics are in conflict is the intellectual failure to address the incompatible moral codes of the different demographic groups, and the degree of trust vs demand for intervention, that is expressed by these different groups.

As such, western high trust, which is an extension of the absolute nuclear family, democracy, rule of law, and the high economic performance of the few high trust societies, are assumed to be the consequence of democracy.

Whereas democracy is a luxury of the high trust society.

There is no free lunch. You either accept universal absolute nuclear families and total suppression of free riding in all its forms as a high cost you must bear for prosperity and liberty, or instead, you obtain some variant of every other lower and lowest trust societies on the planet.

No way out. Period.

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