I thought that members here would enjoy these two blog posts, one by Gene Callahan and a response by me,
I think you guys will find stuff to disagree with in both posts. I defend anarchism, but not by the usual route.
I'm really not a fan of Pinker or Diamond, but the "Human nature" aspect has a potential point when looking at a critique of an ancap look at violence.
Where I get really skeptical is that I doubt if "violence" all together is going to be worth a damn in any empirical study. In the end, I think it can only be used as a type of "self fulfilling prophecy" to create a narrative to affirm one's expectations. I doubt "Violence and human nature" can be set into any quantitative field to any worth while intelligible degree in relation to a sociological study, to me that seems to be scientism.
"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann
"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence" - GLS Shackle
Oh, I just skimmed Lears article - I seem to be echoing his conclusion.
And good point about the division of labor, I think it's the things like this that show just how hard it is to contextualize things of this nature within the framework people like Diamond want us to.
The problem is the effect these "barnes and noble science" type books have on the "average" mind, it's kind of irksome.
See Freedomainradio.com for podcasts and videos on the take of Molyneux on "Human Nature" and violence. I find his arguments against "Human Nature" and for peaceful parenting compelling as a mechanism to rid society of violence and especially the instituionalized violence of the state.
Neither article seems to realize the obvious that George Washington (He should know, he used the violence of the state for his own ends) knew which is that the state is institutionalized violence. It is not magic and can not create anything as its members use force to steal reasources from their subjects instead of respecting their property rights.
Certainly we can not just turn off the state as there are billions of people conditioned to believe that they need it, and hundreds of millions to billions who depend on state violence for survival. But I am one who can visualize a better world where people get to interace on a voluntary basis and can not get what they want from the state.
It's actually a matter of cost-effectiveness of different kinds of political violence.
In savage societies, operations that frequently deploy brutal and ruthless tactics can expect a consistent political profit since the groups targeted by these operations have not yet developed effective counter measures.
Larger, more advanced societies provide fewer opportunities for similar arbitrages of raw violence, at least on their "regular regimen".
In those societies, violence generation resources are used as collateral backing for political transactions that take place in a much more leveraged and cost-effective form, with only a few sparse demonstrations of naked power being necessary to keep things real.
This dynamics creates periods of metastability where very little actual violence is openly displayed. These periods are usually very materially prosperous, since the low incidence of violence allows for larger capital accumulation and population growth. But are also keen to produce all kinds of dangerous expectations of persistent peace.
So some important buffers of preparedness are eventually consumed, due to the widespread delusions concerning the supposed achievement of an "end of history" situation. And once enough of them are depleted, that's when all hell breaks loose again.
Evil is not dead. Now he might be lurking, waiting the hour of reprisal, but he's not dead, since he can never really die.
And he shall rise again, only this time on technological steroids that boost death tolls to reach new and, up until then, unthinkable, records.
That's the tragedy of our human race.