Friday, July 20, 2012

Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (9780521761734): Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R. Weingast: Books

By Douglas North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast.
In the middle of this book right now. Makes some interesting arguments about democracy and capitalism, and how countries make the transition from "Natural States", with limited access to modern states, with open access. The discussion of property rights will please the political right; the discussion of the role of government and public goods will please the left. Both groups will walk away from the book equally unhappy with his discussion of special interest groups (spoiler alert: special interests are not all bad!). The argument for how and why democracy is essential for modern capitalism is the only convincing logical case I've seen and is not based on some half-baked liberty argument.

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