In The Long Run A Property Regime Matters

(By Adam Voight)

[I]n the short term, you have an impasse between property regimes.

But in the long term, different property regimes compete for how well they cultivate the potential of what they already have. Those who make better use of their resources outcompete those who do not. This does not depend on declaring genocide, just the normal level of animosity that exists between any two neighboring peoples, which occasionally erupts into open conflict.

This is how a certain regime of property rights came to dominate Europe in the premodern era, and something like this is how this regime continued to spread.

Now perhaps you may prevail upon some country or two to allow inefficient use of resources, but ultimately this is a “conspiracy of doves” and is liable to fail in the long run. And it would make sense if some creature who has not gone extinct would be loath to adopt such a strategy. Conversely, any other creature who wants to avoid extinction should also avoid such a strategy, even those at a disadvantage.

Even in this best case you are professing a strategy which is unlikely to become an ESS. Which in my view is the same as being wrong, although many differ with me on this.

The traditional alternative to avoid extinction in this situation is to convert to whichever universalistic religion the dominant property regime adheres to.

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