Arnold Kling: February 2008 Archives

Splinter States

"Building states in pre-colonial Africa was exceptionally arduous. Imposing taxes or duties on reluctant subjects was hard anywhere. But, where rebelling meant no more than walking away to found a splinter community..." --John Darwin, After Tamerlane, p. 314 (Recen Read More

Mandates for Change

"The way most goods and services become excellent -- I mean really excellent -- is through competition...How do you think we got from subsistence agriculture to super-cheap food? By mandates?" --Tyler Cowen In November, the United States may take its... Read More

The Humility Factor

One of my former students is in Egypt on an archaeology project, and we have kept in touch by email. After I gave him my rundown on the political situation, he wrote back saying that it sounded as though I... Read More

The Benefits of Hegemony

"He carried a golden paiza just as his father and uncle had done on their journeys on behalf of the Mongol empire. This object was a foot long and three inches across...Possessing it meant that Marco was designated as a... Read More

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