Brad DeLong | Grasping Reality | 17th November 2022
Having just published an economic history of the 20th century, DeLong offers draft notes towards a prequel at scale — an economic history of the world since the invention of agriculture 12,000 years ago. In brief: the Neolithic shift from hunter-gathering to settled farming doomed most humans to poverty and servitude, which remained the worker's lot until modernity came, belatedly, in 1870 (1,500 words)
Sarah Constantin | Rough Diamonds | 17th November 2022
Can a legal system function without state power at its back? Up to a point, and there are examples to prove it — in non-state polities such as Somaliland and medieval Iceland, and among non-state communities such as the Romani and the Amish. But non-state courts still require means of compelling obedience to their judgements: Ostracism is one such, ritualised violence is another (2,916 words)
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