1000 Castaways, Additional Material (Chapter 5)


The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune (The Real World)

Consider our little Island with its well-balanced System One and System Two. What if instead it had had to grow its little economy in the midst of 9 other islands?

If they were 9 other completely peaceful Islands, and all endowed with the same abundant materials and climate that our Island had, things might have worked out about the same, for all 10 islands.

But imagine the other 9 islands had constant, murderous intent to invade your little island. Now there would be a sustained need to raise and maintain a military. Now imagine that often they were your immediate land neighbors rather than distant islands, generally ready to march into your territory, and often larger, richer, and more powerful than you.

Now further imagine that there are large differences in the amounts and types of raw materials between different territories. And your territory might have lacked not some but perhaps even most of the basics needed to feed and house and clothe a growing population. From the earliest stages of emerging states there would exist strong pressures for “international” trade and with that many added layers of complexity such as many different types of “money” (from commodity-based coins to various types of notes of credit) and thus foreign exchange, bills of exchange, and other complex credit- and insurance- instruments related to long-distance trade. [note that “commodity based coins” themselves were rarely if ever {ingot form} actually valued for their commodity value – the value was in practice from taxation/fine/tribute or the use of precious metals was a form of anti- counterfeiting, making “fakes” difficult, but not giving the actual value to the coins]

The proto-states that are the precursors to modern states developed in a world that was much more like this latter scenario than our peaceful, abundant little Island.

Imagine again…


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4 thoughts on “1000 Castaways, Additional Material (Chapter 5)

  1. In the podcast with Jeff Epstein you mention an article by Peter Cooper reviewing Scott Fullwiler. I am wondering if you could share that link.
    Many thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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