Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Liveblogging The Origins of Political Order
Discussing the period before the rise of states in China (which is why "states" is in scare quotes below), Fukuyama notes: 'One scholar has calculated that in the 294-year duration of the Spring and Autumn period, more than 1,211 wars were fought between and among Chinese "states." Throughout this entire period, there were only 38 years of peace' (p. 111). Far from being the source of warfare, the state arose in response to the constant warring of pre-state societies. (And the more-organized chiefdoms arose in response to the warring of less-organized tribes, and so on.) The death tolls in these wars, especially when population became dense and there was no escaping to empty land nearby, were horrific. If creating the state did not create war, why in the world would someone think that eliminating the state will eliminate war?