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Biggest Challenge to Anarchy Since Hobbes: Steven Pinker's New Book; Buy it, you'll be happy you did.

So Leviathan AND "gentle commerce" has smothered human violence....

This is book is for the thinkers and intellectuals of our movement...
I am only past page 36 in this 700 page monster and its already paying dividends. Most excellent book that I am sure all libertarians will be discussing for the next 20 years...Enjoy.

THE BETTER ANGELS OF NATURE: Why Violence Has Declined
by Dr. Steven Pinker... http://www.amazon.com/The-Better-Angels-Our-Nature/dp/014312...

Here is Dr. Pinker at TED... video: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violen...

Here is another good book: WAR BEFORE CIVILIZATION ... http://www.amazon.com/War-Before-Civilization-Peaceful-Savag...

And one of my favorite writers: Robert Ardrey... THE HUNTING HYPOTHESIS ... http://www.amazon.com/The-Hunting-Hypothesis-Conclusion-Evol...

Robert Wright has many great books, THE MORAL ANIMAL, THE EVOLUTION OF GOD, RELIGION IN HUMAN EVOLUTION... and this book that was brought up in Steven Pinker's TED talk: NONZERO... http://www.amazon.com/Nonzero-Logic-Destiny-Robert-Wright/dp...

Treg

PS...If you are an anarcho capitalist (like me), you NEED to read Pinker's book. Sticking your head into the sand won't help.

PSS... Here are a few choice paragraphs from the book: ENJOY

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Libertarians, anarchist, and other skeptics of the Leviathan point out that when communities are left to their own devices, they often develop norms of cooperation that allow them to settle their disputes nonviolently, without laws, police, courts, or the other trappings of government. In Moby-Dick, Ishmael explains ho American whalers thousands of miles from the reach of the law dealt with disputes over whales that had been injured or killed by on ship and then claimed by the another:...
---page 79

Is The Long Peace A Liberal Peace? .... Such findings have led some political scientists to entertain a heretical idea called the Capitalist Peace. The word 'liberal' in Liberal Peace refers both to the political openness of democracy and to the economic openness of capitalism, and according to the Capitalist Peace heresy, it's the economic openness that does most of the pacifying."
--- page 287

In the wake of World War II, leading thinkers were desperate to figure out what had gone wrong and tossed around a number of schemes for preventing a repeat performance.... World government seems like a straightforward extension of the logic of the Leviathan. If a national government with a monopoly on the use of force is the solution to the problem of homicide among individuals and of private and civil wars among factions, isn't a 'worlds' government with a a monopoly on the legitimate us of 'military ' force the solution to the problem of wars among nations? Most intellectuals did not go as far as Bertrand Russell, who in 1948 proposed that the Soviet union should be given an ultimatum that unless it immediately submitted to world government, the United States would attack it with nuclear weapons. But world government was endorsed by, among others, Einstein, Wendell Willkie, Hubert Humphrey, Norman Cousins, Robert Maynard Hutchens, and William O. Douglas. many people thought world government would gradually emerge out of the United Nations.
--- page 289

But the main problem with the anarchist interpretation [of Rummel's 'Death by Government 1994] is that it isn't governments in general that kill large numbers of people but a handful of governments of a specific type. To be exact, three-quarters of all the deaths from all 141 democidal regimes were committed by just four governments, which Rummel calls the deka-mega-murderers: The Soviet Union with 62 million, the Peoples Republic of China with 35 million, Nazi Germany with 21 million, and the 1928-49 Nationalist China with 10 million. Another 11% of the total were killed by eleven mega-murderers, including Imperial Japan with 6 million, Cambodia with 2 million, and Ottoman turkey with 1.9 million. The remaining 13% of the deaths were spread out over 126 regimes.....But the distribution is enormously lopsided, 80% of the deaths were caused by 4 percent of the regimes.
--- page 337

[as we can see]..."The momentum of social norms in the direction of Market Pricing gives many people the willies, but it would, for better or worse, extrapolate the trend toward nonviolence. Radical libertarians, who of the Market Pricing model, would decriminalize prostitution, drug possession, and gambling, and thereby empty the world's prisons of millions of people currently kept there by force (to say nothing of sending pimps and drug lords the way of Prohibition gangsters). The progression towards personal freedom raises the question of whether it is morally 'desirable' to trade a measure of socially sanctioned violence for a measure of behavior that many people deem intrinsically wrong, such as blasphemy, homosexuality, drug use, and prostitution. But that's just the point: right or wrong, retracting the moral sense from its traditional spheres of community, authority, and purity entails a reduction of violence. And that retraction is precisely the agenda of classical liberalism: a freedom of individuals from tribal and authoritarian force, and a tolerance of personal choices as long as the do not infringe on the autonomy of an well-being of others."
--- page 637.

Gentle Commerce: The idea that an exchange of benefits can turn zero-sum warfare into positive-sum mutual profit was one of the key ideas of the Enlightenment, and it was revived in modern biology as an explanation of how cooperation among non-relatives evolved. It changes the Pacifist's Dilemma by sweetening the outcome of mutual pacifism with the mutual gains of exchange (see figure 10-3) Though gentle commerce does not eliminate the disaster of being defeated in an attack, it eliminates the adversary's incentive to attack ( since he benefits from peaceful exchange too) and so takes that worry off the table....
--- page 683

In the theory of Norbert Elias, the Leviathan and Gentle Commerce were the two drivers of the European 'Civilizing Processes' (chapter 3)...... these narratives have been supported by quantitative studies.
--- page 683



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Pinker Chapter 3

Chapter 3 confirms that Pinker's definition of violence is: homocide rates. That is, the record kept by the livestock managers over certain deaths among the livestock. Get that point: The only violence that counts is that executed by the livestock among themselves and evaluated and tallied according to the biases of psychopaths in the ruling gang. In particular, violence of the livestock managers against the livestock doesn't count.

And then the conclusion is that the leviathan state reduces violence.

Lovely.

As far as Treg's comment that the book is suited to an "academic" audience, I can see that the book tacitly confirms them in the belief that they are the legitimate ruling elite---or more properly the servants of the legitimate ruling elite committed to preserving the status quo.

He does slip in, on page 75, the contribution of classical liberal economics, but it is artfully subsumed under the god of leviathan: The two civilizing forces, then, (leviathan and "free" trade) reinforce each other, and Elias considered them to be part of a single process. I.e., everything is subsumed under the imposition of Leviathan. As Romney loves to revel in contradiction: "You have to have regulation to have a free market---you can't just open a bank in your garage." (As an aside, you won't find "Federal Reserve" in the index of Pinker's book. ;)

So as for Treg's assertion that this will get our benevolent overlords (or at least their intellectual mouthpieces in academia) to start thinking about classical liberal ideas, maybe it's possible, but I think the reinforcement of the idea that their secure position as ruling elite is the salvation of the world is much more the take-away message. Of course, this is perhaps one way to view classical liberalism, i.e., as simply a particular livestock management strategy.

Of course, for Pinker to make his point, it is necessary to create a large degree of confusion and to be vague about violence. In particular, there is never any distinction between violence and aggression. A distinction which some of us think is pretty important. It's a bit humorous to see how Pinker's thinking becomes hopelessly muddled when he touches on the possibility that aggression makes a difference...or, even worse, that the psychopaths might be identified as the aggressors:

Most homicides, Black notes, are really instances of capital punishment, with a private citizen as the judge, jury, and executioner. It's a reminder that the way we conceive of a violent act depends on which of the corners of the violence triangle (see Figure 2-1) we stake out as our vantage point. Consider a man who is arrested and tried for wounding his wife's lover. From the point of view of the law (sic), the aggressor is the husband and the victim is society (sic), which is now pursuing justice (an interpretation, recall, captured in the naming of court cases, such as *The People vs. John Doe*). From the point of view of the lover, the aggressor is the husband, and he is the victim; if the husband gets off on an acquittal or mistrial or plea bargain, there is no justice, as the lover is enjoined from pursuing revenge. And from the point of view of the husband, *he* is the victim (of cuckoldry), the lover is the aggressor, and justice has been done---but now he is the victim of a second act of aggression, in which the state is the aggressor and the lover is an accomplice.

...

These observations overturn many dogmas about violence. One is that violence is caused by a deficit of morality and justice. On the contrary, violence is often caused by a surfeit of morality and justice, at least as they are conceived in the minds of the perpetrators.

---page 83 (quoted to illustrate what I view as nearly meaningless nonsense)

Another humorous passage from page 79:

Belgium and the Netherlands were at the forefront of the decline (of violence as measured by homocide rates), yet they lacked strong centralized governments. When Sweden joined the trend, it wasn't on the heels of an expansion in state power either. Conversely, the Italian states were in the rearguard of the decline in violence, yet their governments wielded an enormous bureauracracy and police force. Nor did cruel punishments, the enforcement method of choice among early modern monarchs, reduce violence in the areas where they were carried out with the most relish.
...
This doesn't refute Elias's theory,...

==========end quote==========

And this with no further explanation, as if to say..."Well, actually that does refute Elias's theory (which is Pinker's adopted theory), but we'll just ignore that.")

almost forgot

Perhaps the most absurd part...

Pinker manages, starting on page 75, to hang the prize for biggest obstacle to "free" and civilized commerce around the figurative neck of Christianity and follows up his chutzpah with a bizzare racist quote from his grandfather:

"As my grandfather would have put it, "Goyishce kopp!"---gentile head."

Well, that explains everything.

(Again, "Federal Reserve" is not found in the index---and it's supposed to be a book on violence.)

Challenge for Treg

You offered a correction of my summary of Pinker's conclusion:

> Violence has decreased because of the WIDER REACH OF THE
> leviathan state BASED UPON CLASSICAL LIBERAL IDEAS ON
> HUMAN RIGHTS & ECONOMY, and it will continue to decrease
> as the power of the state increases AND AS THE WEST &
> ITS CLASSICAL LIBERAL INFLUENCE GROWS.

(Treg's correction in all caps)

Cite one passage in the first two chapters that contains anything at all relevant to your correction...anything about CLASSICAL LIBERAL IDEAS ON HUMAN RIGHTS & ECONOMY.

In the mean time, let me mention what I think is a significant, if not main, point.

On page 51 we find:

"The number of deaths per 100,000 people per year is the standard measure of homicide rates, and I will use it as the yardstick of violence throughout the book."

*THE YARDSTICK OF VIOLENCE THROUGHOUT THE BOOK*

If what he writes here is correct (and that's difficult to determine at this point since the book seems to be a compendium of false dichotomies and outright false statements), but if it is correct that this is "the" yardstick of violence, then that is his definition.

The problem with that is that it is not a correct definition (nor yardstick) for violence. I think he may be able to make a point that the nature of violence has changed. That point is "Violence has become less 'brutal' and results in fewer *deaths*." That's probably true.

But brutal violence leading to death is not the only kind of violence. As I've thought more about violence, it is clearly something that is very difficult to quantify. It requires some evaluation of the person against whom the violence is committed, but that is not all. My offhand guess is that violence has greatly increased by any reasonable measure (though the nature of violence has changed as mentioned above). The farmers have become better at (violently) tending their human livestock for maximum production---and this is probably the dominant factor in "violence."

Another problem is that, in not being careful to start with a reasonable definition of violence, Pinker seems to miss the distinction between violence in general and aggression---unprovoked violence.

Hard to acknowledge a guy who wrote a book called

Why violence has declined

Séamusín

Pinker is a vested party and cant be objective.

His work is necessarily an apology for government that spends on pure science. However in his defence he is currently only receiving money from Google and Harvard (as per his cv)

Didn't mention it...

But you are absolutely correct: He is filling his assigned role as an apologist for the status quo.

This is manifest in many ways, not the least of which is his dismissal of/suppression of attention to certain forms of violence.

Part of the question here is "How successful will he be in his role of apologist?" Preliminary conversations suggest that the answer is "quite successful." Of course, often the people who are influenced are predisposed to his conclusions and often haven't even read the book. Still it may be worthwhile to question his assertions and point out some of the more egregious "violence" he does to philosophy, history, and individuals in society.

He is no "apologist" for the State.

Most important for you & I to understand is that Pinker is writing to a liberal academically educated audience that comes with certain understandings and preset beliefs. His audience is not you and I. His audience is the elite educated. So often, its not that you don't know, its what you have assumed to be true is not true or factual.

And if he is making waves and "inroads", its this: He is bringing in the value of CLASSICAL LIBERAL IDEAS to the liberal left academia.

Most upsetting to them is his section on IQ. See pages:662-670

As you can see, libertarians or classical liberals score higher than liberals.

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

I don't know...

How on earth can you say he is not an apologist for the state?

His primary dichotomy is between anarchy and the state. The result of the state is what he calls "pacification." I quote from page 51:

"The major cleft in the graph, then, separates the anarchical bands and tribes from the governed states."

He calls this the "leviathan hypothesis."

Yes, he makes a distinction between different kinds of states, but only for the purpose of distancing the majority of states from the "handful" like Nazi Germany which execute the preponderance of violence (along with men of course according to Pinker).

If he makes some kind of distinction which might be interpreted to the benefit of "liberal ideas" then it must be later in the book. It's not in the first two chapters.

And I ask this: Why is it important to understand his presumed "liberal academically educated audience"? The only audience to which I can imagine what I have read so far would appeal is one composed of brainwashed individuals who don't know how to think. Of course, that is synonomous with the audience you describe, but I don't see the relevance. Bs is bs.

I will probably make some response to your vague comment below, but I know you mention somewhere below that he discusses the definition of violence. This also must come after the second chapter. Where is it?

Better Angels (beginning review)

OK Treg, I've tried to track you down, but you do not respond. I carry on.

I'm far enough into chapter two to make some comments.

Chapter 1 is a compendium of descriptions of brutality designed to bias the reader in the direction of the author's conclusion: Violence has decreased because of the leviathan state, and it will continue to decrease as the power of the state increases.

In short: People used to dismember others on the rack and break them on the wheel. People don't do that (so often) any more, so there is less violence. And...and...we have the bodies of two or three prehistoric ice men (who we think were some kind of raiders) and they both died violent deaths. Therefore, the percentage of people in hunter gatherer societies who died violent deaths was between 30 and 60 percent, while in our civilized society it's below one percent.

Conspicuously absent is a definition of violence, though we find only in chapter 2 that he is basically only using "numbers" calculated upon estimates of *deaths* selected by some unknown criterion for being "violent" deaths.

In chapter 2 it becomes painfully clear that the "numbers" are highly subjective and highly suspect. How does one know that prehistoric burial sites subject to the author's (and his colleague's) census were not specific burial grounds for people killed in battle? No explanation.

Is Pinker comparing oranges to oranges or oranges to unicorns, one wonders. One particular "number" is extremely telling. He wants a number giving the percentage of deaths in a modern society which will be "large" and "conservative." What is that number? It's this: The number of U.S. soldiers killed divided by the number of U.S. citizens during the decade or two including the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns.

Note carefully: The deaths to Afghanis and Iraqis are not included. And the fact that this number is less than one percent is supposed to mean something? Again, note what he is saying carefully: The ratio of those killed in a highly technologically superior aggressor nation (that is, killed as aggressors) compared to the number of people in that same nation is supposed to be a measure of violence. Give me a break.

Two other extremely major false dichotomies are laid out in this chapter.

The first concerns Hobbes' mythical "state of nature." And the only possible alternative? Of course, it's Rousseau's mythical "noble savage."

The second false dichotomy is that exactly two kinds of societies are possible. The first is "hunter gatherer," and the second is "agricultural, sedentary, and state dominated." And one of his first attempted comparisons is a broad comparison between these two.

He does mention briefly the effect of abundance versus scarcity on the outcome in respect to the Northwestern Pacific Indians, who are considered hunter gatherers with an abundance of salmon. Even here he has an unshakable belief that the absolutely dominant (if not only) factor in determining outcomes in human society is some kind of biological pressure.

This is clearly false. In fact, the situation is extremely similar to that in Austrian economics, where the suggested alternative is to view economic outcomes as the result of resource dependent pressures of suppy and demand, while the dominant factor is actually irrational consumer sentiment.

Let me suggest something original here: What he's really talking about in both cases is a kind of "base state" for comparison of the outcomes of interaction in human society. None of his presuppositions is particularly historical in spite of the pretention to be so. What I would like to suggest is a different "base state."

My suggested "base state" is

Humans operating in a context of hard work, restraint, and abundance.

It is foresight, ambition, skill, self-control (or the lack of these things) that originate in the minds of individual men (and are to a large extent independent of biological pressures) that play the dominant role in societal outcomes.

Illustration: It may be true that individuals, having an abundance of food, have at times in the past reproduced until there is scarcity, and this has resulted in violence in human society.

That may have happened. It is not a necessary biological outcome. It is simply not true that people with an abundance of resources *must* multiply until there is scarcity and conflict. That is not some kind of biological consequence. People have the ability to think ahead. They have the ability to practice self-restraint. They have the ability to take account of the population density with respect to resources and behave responsibly and effect social outcomes. We are not animals as Pinker would have us believe. I am not the slave of my semen.

Of course there are other sources of conflict, but the principle is the same. They are not primarily biologically determined, and they never have been in human society. This is part of the fallacy of both Hobbes and Rouseau (aside from Pinker's false dichotomy of suggesting that their mythical scenarios are the only possible base cases). This is very much relevant to the error of classifying all societies into hunter gatherer (also referred to by Pinker as anarchy) and leviathan/enslaved. It is also possible to settle and be responsible and *produce* an abundance through hard work, foresight, and restraint. It is absolutely possible.

So then, it's clear by this point in the book, that Pinker discounts any violence of the existence of leviathan. He explicitly follows Hobbes in his error of imagining two parties in conflict with a third disinterested party as a "bystander" and purveyor of "law." In fact, Pinker admits

"Early states were more like protection rackets, in which powerful Mafiosi extorted resources from the locals and offered them safety from hostile neighbors and from each other. Any ensuing reduction in violence benefited the overlords as much as the protectees. Just as a farmer tries to prevent his animals from killing one another, so a ruler will try to keep his subjects from cycles of raiding and feuding that just shuffle resources or settle scores among them but from his point of view are a dead loss."

This is a good description of his "bystander." I would rather use the term "aggressive predator."

Pinker does not admit that current states incorporate the same principle nor that such a situation, in itself, constitutes violence. In Pinker's mind, if you are a slave but you are not shot with an arrow through the shoulder, you have suffered no violence worth considering. And if Pinker finds one such, then we are to believe that that society has a high rate of violence. I return to my previous example. If that unwelcome penis which frequents your vaginal or anal canal leaves you productive, you have suffered no violence.

Addition as postscript: There are quite a number of other assertions which Pinker makes which could be discussed at length. In short, just about everything he says is wrong. This does not negate the fact that his book may be viewed by many as insightful and may be influential. Still I am surprised at the low level to which academic/polemic writing (presumed to have some scientific patina) has fallen.

correction

The "number" was for one year (2005) during the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns. It was either campared to total U.S. population or all deaths. It was a small number. Nevertheless, my point stands: What does the number of aggressor deaths in the United Staes in 2005 have to do with violence in society? Obvious answer: Nothing. A better number would be the percentage of villagers or defensive fighters in Afghanistan or Iraq who were the victims of an American raid on those particular villages compared to the number of deaths by natural causes in those villages or defensive positions in 2005. That "number" is probably well over 1. And if one is going to talk about this particular kind of violence, then that would be a relevant "number."

Wow -- that reply is certainly a strange, odd & unique one.

Corrections (ALL CAP):

author's conclusion: Violence has decreased because of the WIDER REACH OF THE leviathan state BASED UPON CLASSICAL LIBERAL IDEAS ON HUMAN RIGHTS & ECONOMY, and it will continue to decrease as the power of the state increases AND AS THE WEST & ITS CLASSICAL LIBERAL INFLUENCE GROWS.

Other Corrections ( way too many to list ).

Thanks.... thanks for opening up Dr. Pinker's book and trying to see his point of view.

Treg

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

Again...

As I mentioned above, your "correction" may be yet to come, but there is no whiff of such ideas in the first two chapters. And he seems to clearly lay out his main hypothesis, which is the one I stated.

Again, where is his definition of violence?

Farmer I am on the DP at least once per day and of course you

could just email me via the contact provided. Its simple really.

Treg

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

I did

I did email you but got no response. Maybe your email link is an old address you're not monitoring (or maybe my message went in spam). In any case, I'm glad you ran across this old thread I'm apparently trying to keep alive in fits and starts.

Yes, perhaps it went to spam

I'll check that.

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

Treg, are you still around here?

I'm reading this book right now.

One of my first questions: What is the definition of "violence."

It seems impossible to approach any such analysis of a topic like this without making that definition clear. And it's not so obvious what the definition should be, but I have some ideas.

In any case, without such a definition, I'm afraid Pinker's book is reduced to an anti-intellectual propaganda piece. Do you know if he has such a definition? I haven't seen one.

Yes, he goes to great lengths to define violence and what

is normally meant by the term.

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

Where?

?

Bump

-

Free includes debt-free!

Dangit

Now I need to buy the book so I can attempt to tear it apart, or challenge my own view.

Ah the life of an anarcho-capitalist.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

hope he is a better anthropologist than he is a linguist

I think he is still promoting Chomsky's innate grammar nonsense. He is also a neo-Darwinist. He seems to have all the wrong instincts.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

I think you will find it supports us

See my quotes from the book above ...

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

tasmlab's picture

Hi Treg, can you elaborate in a few sentences

I appreciate the book recommendation and that it would be good for an an cap to read.

Buy why?

What's the premise that helps or challenge anarchism? I'd like more to go on than just the whole keeping my head out of the sand type of thing.

Thanks!
Peace!

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Let me give you a long lenghty quote from the book and since the

book is about human violence, why it has declined. He covers anarchy, big govt, small govt, human nature, ancient history, modern history, and so much territory that as a ANARCHO-CAPITALIST, you will want to know this stuff.

Recall, this is the same Steven Pinker whose book THE BLANK SLATE; Modern Denial of Human Nature ... basically spelled it out that Marxism is incompatible with Human Nature and the best or closest match is the political prescriptions of the paleoconservatives / libertarians.

This is a book that you need to know, backwards and forwards, because this is now the new standard from which modern discussions of Anarcho-Capitalism will/must begin.

Enjoy,

Treg

PS... I cannot for the life of me understand why this thread is down voted as well as my comments. Strange.

Anyway, here is a taste from the book.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Libertarians, anarchist, and other skeptics of the Leviathan point out that when communities are left to their own devices, the often develop norms of cooperation that allow them to settle their disputes nonviolently, without laws, police, courts, or the other trappings of government. In Moby-Dick, Ishmael explains ho American whalers thousands of miles from the reach of the law dealt with disputes over whales that had been injured or killed by on ship and then claimed by the another:...
---page 79

In the wake of World War II, leading thinkers were desperate to figure out what had gone wrong and tossed around a number of schemes for preventing a repeat performance.... World government seems like a straightforward extension of the logic of the Leviathan. If a national government with a monopoly on the use of force is the solution to the problem of homicide among individuals and of private and civil wars among factions, isn't a 'worlds' government with a a monopoly on the legitimate us of 'military ' force the solution to the problem of wars among nations? Most intellectuals did not go as far as Bertrand Russell, who in 1948 proposed that the Soviet union should be given an ultimatum that unless it immediately submitted to world government, the United States would attack it with nuclear weapons. But world government was endorsed by, among others, Einstein, Wendell Willkie, Hubert Humphrey, Norman Cousins, Robert Maynard Hutchens, and William O. Douglas. many people thought world government would gradually emerge out of the United Nations.
--- page 289

[as we can see]..."The momentum of social norms in the direction of Market Pricing gives many people the willies, but it would, for better or worse, extrapolate the trend toward nonviolence. Radical libertarians, who of the Market Pricing model, would decriminalize prostitution, drug possession, and gambling, and thereby empty the world's prisons of millions of people currently kept there by force (to say nothing of sending pimps and drug lords the way of Prohibition gangsters). The progression towards personal freedom raises the question of whether it is morally 'desirable' to trade a measure of socially sanctioned violence for a measure of behavior that many people deem intrinsically wrong, such as blasphemy, homosexuality, drug use, and prostitution. But that's just the point: right or wrong, retracting the moral sense from its traditional spheres of community, authority, and purity entails a reduction of violence. And that retraction is precisely the agenda of classical liberalism: a freedom of individuals from tribal and authoritarian force, and a tolerance of personal choices as long as the do not infringe on the autonomy of an well-being of others."
--- page 637.

Gentle Commerce: The idea that an exchange of benefits can turn zero-sum warfare into positive-sum mutual profit was one of the key ideas of the Enlightenment, and it was revived in modern biology as an explanation of how cooperation among non-relatives evolved. It changes the Pacifist's Dilemma by sweetening the outcome of mutual pacifism with the mutual gains of exchange (see figure 10-3) Though gentle commerce does not eliminate the disaster of being defeated in an attack, it eliminates the adversary's incentive to attack ( since he benefits from peaceful exchange too) and so takes that worry off the table....
--- page 683

In the theory of Norbert Elias, the Leviathan and gentle commerce were the two drivers of the European 'Civilizing Processes' (chapter 3)...... these narratives have been supported by quantitative studies.
--- page 683

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

"PS... I cannot for the life

"PS... I cannot for the life of me understand why this thread is down voted as well as my comments. Strange. "

It's simple. there are a lot of fargin iceholes and bastiches around here as well as some corksuckers.

For a translation see, Johnny Dangerously

good discussion here

http://bastiat.mises.org/2013/01/that-pinker-quote/

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

has this dude forgotten about the 20th century?

Also, he is not an athropologist and his conclusions about the levels of violence in tribal societies are questionable.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

and why are his conclusions questionable?

Do you have some better evidence and better reasoning on the levels of tribal violence, modern and ancient?

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

.

.

Blessings )o(

But I lean Lockean

I read some of the readers' reviews and saw this:
"More than in his other books, Pinker reminds us of his Jewish roots, gently chafing Christianity for celebrating the sacrifice of an innocent man, and turning the cross, the instrument of sacrifice, into its holy icon. He also takes the obligatory swipes at George W. Bush for his bloodthirsty wars... He also conveniently over looks the fact that President Obama, despite his vehement campaign rhetoric to the contrary, has continued the wars, presumably also with strong backing from AIPAC, and that he has likewise been captive to advisors such as Larry Summers."

'Gentley chafing Christianity' for celebrating Jesus' sacrifice? Guess Pinker never heard of, 'Do this in rememberance of me'. Overlooks BO? Uh-oh.
Thanks, but I prefer to gleen my ideas about mankind from very different sources. I prefer to stay away from Harvard 'profs'.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison