View Single Post
Old 02-24-2012, 10:02 AM
erislover erislover is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 13,476
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Now I see what you're suggesting. Sorry for my obtuseness earlier.
I'm almost certain that we'd be looking at a clear power structure in which certain people have a privileged use of violence, and others have a diminished right to use violence. Are there states in which that's not true?
I think there is universal agreement on two points. One, a sedentary lifestyle was only enabled by increased food production, which enabled a warrior class; two, the clear power structure which has executive power over a warrior class is the defining characteristic of a state. So a state is impossible without a warrior class; is a warrior class possible without becoming a state? (Rephrase of a rhetorical question I asked earlier in response to a question about whether anarchy could mount a reasonable defense against a state military.) Sure, it never happened that way historically, but that's not really an argument. Early societies also didn't have complex financial instruments and video games.
Edit: successful states may also be examined in the context of the other organizational structures around them. What could succeed for a state (or other social oranizational structure) 10,000 years ago would probably not succeed today, given different technologies and ideas about how the world works.
Yes, definitely. Neighboring societies are like the climate.