Paleo Diet People Alert: Grains Blamed for the Rise of the State


Interesting new academic theorizing on the foundation of the state that adds a new wrinkle to my sociological observation that the paleo diet is sweeping the libertarian movement. 

In a paper called "Transparency, Appropriability and the Early State" (an earlier version of which was published by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research last year), Joram Mayshar, Omar Moev, and Zvika Neeman argue that:

The emergence of the state is commonly associated with the increase in productivity that accompanied the Neolithic Revolution. The standard argument is that the transition from foraging to agriculture created food surplus, and the availability of surplus facilitated through various channels the advance of an elite that did not engage in food production, leading ultimately to the emergent state. We argue that this explanation is deeply ?awed. The protracted rise in productivity during the Neolithic period by itself could not have generated any surplus, since population size would have adjusted endogenously to prevent its creation. 

Rather, it was the forerunners of the early state that generated surplus through expropriation, thus, in part, curtailing the increase in population. More speci?cally, we argue that the transition to agriculture made expropriation more rewarding and thus induced banditry and a demand for protection. From our perspective it does not matter whether that demand was met by roving bandits who turned stationary (as argued by Olson 1993) or by leaders from within (as is more commonly assumed). Yet, due to the public-good nature of protection, it is unlikely that the farmers who sought protection eagerly gave up their produce to ?nance it. Thus, we contend that the same innovation in the appropriating technology that invited robbery to begin with also enabled the emergence of the state.

The more speci?c proposal is that the feature of the Neolithic revolution that made expropriation more rewarding was the cultivation of cereals and the ensuing requirement to store grains. Such storage is fully consistent with a Malthusian subsistence regime and with the lack of any long-run excess of food.

Yet it was this appended feature of the new production technology that induced a fundamental change in the 'tax technology,' facilitating the regular appropriation of food-stu? by bandits and by the emergent state.

Grains: bad for your health, both physical and political. (Maybe.)

The Institute for Justice fights for the right to write about the paleo diet.

(Hat tip: The Marginal Revolution blog)

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  1. Shit…..this means Mary will be back for more unearned attention.

    1. When she has to stick to one handle she can be either tolerated or filtered out easily.

      1. If you have two brain cells you can figure out how to have multiple handles even with registration.

        1. That doesn’t mean she’ll be able to.

        2. If you have two brain cells you can figure out how to have multiple handles even with registration.

          Hence the total absence of MNG from our post-comment registration world.

    2. That was my first thought when I read the title. It’s like invoking the Candyman.

  2. Sounds like someone needs to go to the gambol lockdown corner.


    1. What does that make wheat beer?

      Worth killing for?

    2. Mayor Bloomberg agrees!

    3. I have that t-shirt!

      Another for vegans that says “Cheese is NOT murder!”

      And a third that says “Meat is murder. Tasty, tasty murder.”

  4. OK. As part of the newly-instituted austerity measures in the tarran household, we will be reorganizing the Department of Entertainment by going to basic cable (FIOS actually) + Roku box + Netflix.

    So, would any experienced Netflix customers weigh in on the do’s and don’ts?

    We’re primarily interested in movies, some network TV series, old series like Cheyenne, Barney Miller, I love Lucy etc, and movies.

    1. Breaking Bad is awesome.

      1. Times infinity. It’s got to be contending with The Sopranos for best drama in TV history.

    2. If you get streaming service only (that’s what I have) there are many, many things you won’t have access to. Some newish movies do make it on the service from time to time but for the most part they are the movies nobody really wants to see.

      As for TV series, I think my wife found I Love Lucy but not sure about the rest.

      1. Still, if you really must see new releases, or actually 90% of the IMDB top 250, you can always rent disks.

        I know it’s painful, and clunky, and strangely horrifying that they still exist.

        It’s like theres some kind of vast conspiracy by a few large powerful corporations who control all the movies supplies, to force people to buy these obselete objects. But maybe I’m just being paranoid.

    3. Korean flicks are badass and Netflix has a horde of them.

      1. And there are tons of anime series too.

        1. Anime’s not really my bag, but I could watch Old Boy over and over.

          1. Try Seirei no Moribito (possibly misspelled). Translates to ‘Guardian of the Spirit’.

            Don’t know how I stumbled across it originally, but it is one of my all time favorite TVShow/Movie experiences.

            In a desperate attempt to find something more like it, I watched all sorts of Anime available on NetFlix, but alas, I learned that Anime’s not really my bag either.

          2. That whole trilogy was incredible. Lady Vengeance was my favorite, a much more believable heroine than anyone in Western films.

        2. First three episodes of Rin were excellent. Good mix of stories and the kind of torture fetishism that Asian artist don’t blink away from. The last two sucked so hard though. They made the lead character who could quip through anything including getting her nips clipped off into a cry baby. So incongruent from the original set up you just have to wonder if they were getting complaints from wishy washy management types that the character wasn’t sympathetic enough.

      2. Tazza: High Rollers. One of the best movies on the face of the planet, any country, any culture. Kim Hye Su FTW!

          1. Worth the wait. Very nice.

            1. You have no idea. And she’s in her 40s there. Fucking 40s.

              First time I saw her I nearly convulsed into a coma. I was like, “How is this woman not a world-wide mega-star?”

              I met up with some Korean people on a trip, and we got to talking Korean movies… when I mentioned Tazza (Korean slang term for gambler) and Kim Hye Su, the Korean guy I was with lit up like a roman candle and said, in very broken English: “She is Korean Mareeen Morow…”

              Me: What?

              Him: Korean Mareeen Morow…

              Me: She’s… OH! The Korean Marilyn Monroe!

              Him: Yes, Korean Mareeen Morow!

              Me: No, my friend, she’s way better.

              Yeah, apparently she is a huge mega-star in Korea.

              1. HOLY SHIT! That’s nice!

                (She’s no Mary Stack though)

          2. She’s got huuuuuuge……. tracts of land.

              1. No way

                1. Way. In the American release of Tazza, she’s nude. Real.

      3. On the classier end of the Korean movie spectrum, I can highly recommend War of the Arrows.

        1. Korean Butt Sluts 7 never really answered the open questions from the earlier parts of the series. Very disappointing.

        2. hmm, looks like one I might have to add to my Asian martial arts quiver.

      4. Castaway on the Moon is pretty good. It’s like a funnier Korean version-of/answer-to Castaway.

        Instead of being trapped on a desert island in the pacific, he’s trapped on an island in the middle of the river through Soeul, which of course involves a lot of fun with random garbage that washes up on the island and what he makes of it.

    4. First off, a household budget isn’t like a government budget.

      1. Lighten up Francis.

        1. Hey! I was channeling Tony!

      2. This is exactly right.

        When you print your own money, it’s considered fraud. It’s considered good economic policy with the govt does it!

      3. They always say that, but they never really explain why.

    5. First task must be to watch Arrested Development, if you haven’t already. Then, get Hulu Plus so you can watch current TV episodes.

      Then, go to your favorite torrent site to download True Blood for the wife and Game of Thrones for yourself.

      1. favorite torrent site

        Is it bad to say “pirates bay”?

    6. Check out Amazon Prime as well, they add new stuff everyday and you get free two day shipping.

    7. Actually, when I was looking for a netflix device, I came to the conclusion that the Samsung blu-ray player (Panasonic and Sony and a few others have the same capabilities, IIRC) player was the way to go. Not much more than the Roku and useful as a DVD player as well.

    8. Trailer Park Boys and Peep Show out of the gate. They also recently added Leave It To Beaver, which I have been glued to for about a week now.

      1. Absolutely watch Trailer Park Boys.

    9. I have been planning exactly this for a while; would appreciate your summary of effectiveness at some point.

    10. That’s austerity? Have you been taking austerity lessons from the Greeks?

    11. Everyone shits on the streaming service only, and I do not understand why.

      Some highlights:

      All the Star Trek Series (including Enterprise, bitches!)
      All Stargate
      Mission Impossible TV
      The Office- Brit and American
      Parks and Rec
      Family Ties was on there, haven’t checked lately
      The Cosby Show
      Downton Abbey
      Black Adder
      Doc Martin
      Knight Rider
      Magnum PI
      Groundhog’s Day

      Yes, Netflix doesn’t always have exactly what you want right this exact minute, but you can often find something similar, and it has a crazy good selection for 8 bucks a month.

      I mean, it’s crazy how we bitch in the modern world. If you had told me 10 years ago that I could have all the shit Netlfix has for 8 bucks a month, I would have told you to get out of here. Now we bitch, “Oh, but it doesn’t have Bossom Buddies, I was jonesin’ for that” when ten years ago you would be lucky to find Bossom Buddies reruns.

      1. Hey, for $8 a month I’m happy with it. My point was only that many of the popular new movies will not be found there as quickly as they would elsewhere. If I can’t find the particular movie I’m looking for at any given time I browse the site for others in the same category.

      2. Where’s Firefly?

        People bitch about the content, but it would probably take me two weeks of nonstop viewing to get through my queue. And that doesn’t even have a lot of the stuff in my “mental” queue that I haven’t even put in the actual queue yet, like Stargate, X-Files, or Cheers.

        1. Firefly and Serenity are on Netflix streaming. Watched them (again) a couple months ago.

      3. Netflix is fine as far as TV shows rae oncerned, but if you want to watch a movie, you will not only NOT find popular new releases there, you will not find many highly rated classics at all.

        It’s painfully obvious that the studios are holding the best content back. You can tell by the way they release the crappy sequels on Netflix, but never the popular original, of any film series. You can tell by how they’ll release the original, right beofre someone does a remake or a sequel. And then pull it a couple months later.

        1. Just for an example of what I’m talking about go to the drama section of instant viewing, and go to all dramas, and sortable list. You find that gems like ‘Masterpiece Classic: Wuthering Heights’, ‘Rocky’, and ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ make the top of the list, while, say, The Godfather is nowhere in sight.

        2. Yeah, true. I’m more of a TV guy, for whatever reason, probably my ADD.

          I think the studios are scared. They’re scared of losing DVD revenue and foreign piracy. Yeah, The Avengers makes a shit ton, but look at shit like John Carter

          1. What Netflix really needs to do is to set up some sort of tiered “Basic Streaming” vs. “Premium Streaming” system.

            So you pay $8/month for the basic service which has all the old episodes of Dr. Who or whatever. And then you pay another $15/month to get access to the better movies, new releases, and current popular shows when they come out.

          2. What Netflix really needs to do is to set up some sort of tiered “Basic Streaming” vs. “Premium Streaming” system.

            So you pay $8/month for the basic service which has all the old episodes of Dr. Who or whatever. And then you pay another $15/month to get access to the better movies, new releases, and current popular shows when they come out.

    12. Just cancel cable entirely. What the hell does basic cable even have that is worth watching?

      In addition, we use an old cellphone with a pre-paid account as our home phone. It beats the hell out of a land line, and we just leave it plugged in all the time, so it’s not like the battery ever goes dead. Page plus cellular has the best deals in this regard.

  5. So Pale Native was Doherty all along? Figures.

  6. In all seriousness, I’ve been trying to lose some weight for a while now and just going to the gym a few times a week wasn’t doing anything for me. I decided to give this a try a couple weeks ago and so far I’ve lost 7.5 lbs without doing a bit of exercise. In a couple weeks I’ll be able to get back to the gym regularly so I’m looking forward to how much more will come off.

    1. No beer?!?

      1. I have one every now and then. I’ve never really been an at home beer drinker, I usually just have it when I go out.

    2. It’s amazing how you lose weight when you eat less calories.

      1. I haven’t cut back on how much I’ve been eating. I’ve just been eating differently. I guess no comprende ingles is not so amazing.

        1. Paleo diets (in general) don’t contain much wheat or dairy; you’d be surprised at how much of a percentage of your calorie intake comes from these two food groups.

          So yeah, I was over-generalizing, but I was operating under the assumption that you’re basically calling what “was” the Atkins craze 10 years ago today.

          1. On the contra-side, nobody tells you that two eggs and three slices of bacon has fewer calories than a whole-grain bagel with fat-free spread.

          2. The problem I have now is there’s rice and pasta all over my cupboards. I’m trying to get my wife and kids to eat it to get it out of the house. My son has been blessed with the ultra-high metabolism that I was born with so he won’t start packing on weight for another 7 years or so so we’re trying to get him to eat it all.

          3. assumption that you’re basically calling what “was” the Atkins craze 10 years ago

            Wow, it could help to finish my sentence: I meant that calling out the atkins diet as being responsible, when you’re probably just taking in less calories total. Because that’s how you lose weight: you consume less calories.

            1. Because that’s how you lose weight: you consume less calories.

              Thank you Captain Obvious.

              Why you would actually consume less calories, and the nutritional quality of those calories is more important. If you consume a crap diet your body might be craving more food simply because it is lacking essential micronutrients. Some foods are inherently more satiating. Why? Well perhaps there are evolutionary and metabolic reasons.

              1. You have the patience of a saint, you know.

            2. Because that’s how you lose weight: you consume less calories.

              Actually, you lose weight by releasing more fat than you store. Fat storage is controlled by insulin. Lots of insulin, lots of fat storage, not much fat released. Not much insulin, not much fat storage, lots of fat released.

              IOW you don’t gain weight by eating too much, as much as it is you eat too much because you’re gaining weight.

            3. Or you could keep your calories and EXERCISE a lot more.

              1. Also largely a myth.

              2. Or you could keep your calories and EXERCISE a lot more.

                Exercise does give one a metabolic advantage, especially depending on the type of exercise, that can help in losing weight, by increasing insulin sensitivity and such. What it doesn’t do much of is cause one to lose weight by burning calories. And if you are obese and try to lose weight through exercise alone you will just end up injured.

                1. The insulin sensitivity increase is from depletion of glycogen stores. In the little time it takes to replenish, it’s gone. When I had a 55.5 BMI I was exercising a minimum of two hours a day. I didn’t get hurt, but I did get very fat, and very hungry.

          4. The big difference between paleo and Atkins and that is that paleo is the intersection of biochemistry and evolutionary biology. The paleo community is, in general, much more interested in the science. There’s an interesting framework in paleo, as opposed to the “carbs are bad, m’kay” LC paradigm.

            1. If it gives good results for you, then please enjoy. But every diet plan in the history of the world has claimed scientific principles. Personally, I just find the whole notion of inherently “bad” foods to be rather absurd.

              1. Yes, and every explanation for how the Universe works in the history of the world has claimed scientific principles.

                So they must all be equally valid.

                Do you think Shamanism is equivalent to modern physics also? Do you find the notion of inherently wrong paradigms to be absurd?

              2. Then you’ll be going on the Cadbury Egg diet?

                  1. Like this guy, you mean?

                    For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub’s pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily.

                    You (and that jackass Haub) don’t seem to understand that 27 pounds is only a good start for a morbidly obese person like I was 8 years ago. To get down to his final weight would require losing 52% of my top weight. Hell, 50% of the general population is on a diet, but only 5% can manage that little bit!

            2. Atkins is all about the science. Lower carb intake to lower insulin so the body releases fat mobilizing hormone.

              1. Atkins is all about the science. Lower carb intake to lower insulin so the body releases fat mobilizing hormone.

                Yes the carb-insulin hypothesis (CIH). I think it has some merit but there are a lot of sharp paleo types who think it’s bullshit, such as Kurt Harris. I’m really on the fence on CIH.

                The problem with Atkins or LCHF is that this is the only scientific principle underlying the whole diet. Insulin is bad. There’s no evolutionary context, it’s just all about carbs and insulin.

                I think the reality of an optimal diet is more nuanced than that.

                1. The problem with Atkins or LCHF is that this is the only scientific principle underlying the whole diet. Insulin is bad. There’s no evolutionary context, it’s just all about carbs and insulin.

                  No evolutionary context? Mankind’s ancestors are predators who cannot digest cellulose at least as far back as australopithecus. They ate the fatty cuts and fatty organ meats first. That high-energy fat intake allowed a shorter digestive tract and a larger brain.

                  On the other hand, look what happens when we try to defy that truth: Soft fruits rot your teeth, grain proteins rot your guts (Celiacs disease isn’t just for Celiac sufferers any more!), and we cannot digest cellulose. Low animal fat and cholesterol intake causes depression.

                  I could go on, but it’s late and there’s a word limit here…

            3. I read Atkins’ book–one of the old ones, from the 70’s probably (he used Buddy Hackett as an example)–and he went over all this “we didn’t evolve to eat processed foods” bit too. It may have been dropped by later proponents, but Atkins did mention it.

              1. I read Atkins’ book–one of the old ones, from the 70’s probably (he used Buddy Hackett as an example)–and he went over all this “we didn’t evolve to eat processed foods” bit too. It may have been dropped by later proponents, but Atkins did mention it.

                I’ve only a copy of his ‘new’ book and I don’t recall him mentioning evolution once. Interesting if that was edited out for populist sake.

                Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tons of respect for Atkins for bucking the tide and taking a lot of heat for it (even if he was crying all the way to the bank).

      2. It’s amazing how you lose weight when you eat less calories.

        Tim Cavanaugh: fewer calories.

    3. It was explained to me last week that just about ANY DIET will cause you to lose weight. The key is restricting your dietary choices. As long as you don’t do anything stupid like an only-mac-n-cheese diet, you should lose weight.

      1. I have the exact opposite problem; if I don’t remember to eat regularly, I will lose weight. So, I try to eat as much “crappy” food as I can to keep my weight up. This usually involves pizza twice a week, cheesesteaks, big macs, etc.

        1. I am about the same. I need to be concerned about eating enough, not too much. Unfortunately for people like us, there is more to being healthy than being thin.

          1. Unforntunately for people like you… jesus, go fuck yoruselves, you thin assholes with the high metabolisms that never need to workout.

            (Seriously, I have a number of buddies like that. It SUCKS to eat out with them)

            1. Except I do need to work out because I have lower back pain and have high cholesterol (or the wrong kind of cholesterol or something). And one extended illness would probably put me into the dangerously underweight category.
              Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the benefits of being able to do whatever I want and not get fat, but it’s not all good.

            2. Been lurking for awhile, Goldie?

            3. In grade school and middle school being skinny meant you were a wimp, in high school it meant you only got girls if you were good at baseball (swimming, track, tennis, and cross-country didn’t count), and in college I don’t know what it got since I went to an engineering school with no girls. And now that I’m in the working world I’m told how ridiculously lucky I am that I’m skinny and can eat whatever I want and it’s unfair and the world smiles upon me forever and ever (though it doesn’t stop the college kid at Best Buy from calling me “little buddy”).

              I’m afraid I can’t show any sympathy.

          2. Unfortunately for people like us, there is more to being healthy than being thin.

            Obesity is a symptom of metabolic problems. IOW Lyposuction is kind of like spraypainting your lawn green.

            1. like spraypainting your lawn green.

              If that worked, I’d be all over it.

              1. I know someone who ripped out their turf, poured concrete, and spray painted it green.

                1. Tennis court?

                2. I know someone who ripped out their turf, poured concrete, and spray painted it green.

                  A friend of mine had a pour of concrete dyed green and filled his (small, city) yard with it. Fat lotta good it did him. The Virginia weeds took it over quickly.

      2. Soooo, my all-buffet diet is a bad idea, then?

        1. Not if it’s Golden Corral. But then it’s more of an all-bulimia diet than an all-buffet one.

      3. The key is restricting your dietary choices.

        Personal experience tells me that doesn’t work. Low fat dieting was a horror for me. It also damaged the metabolisms of many of the “Biggest Loser” contestants in spite of all that exercise.

        1. I didn’t say it was safe, or that the weight loss would be permanent, only that it worked. YMMV.

          There are so many theories out there about what causes overweightedness (I hate the word “obesity”), that I really don’t know which one to believe. Were our paleolithic ancestors svelte because they only ate nuts and squirrels? Or were they that thin because they were so mindboggling poor? Do the Japanese tend to be thin because of the fish in their diet, or because their portions are so damned small? Low fat or low carb? Should I snack on fruits or nuts? It’s enough to make the head spin.

          1. Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories is a solid look at it all from a science writer’s POV. His conclusions match very well with my personal experience in losing enough weight to make a good-looking woman.

            The question I cannot get my skeptics to focus on is “why?” Why are people suddenly so much heavier now? Why did other groups have the same problems when they did? Why did I suddenly have the willpower (according to them) to lose all that weight when before I couldn’t manage it? And finally, why shouldn’t the answers to all of these line up to a single set of answers?

    4. Make sure you up your protein when you get back to working out. Otherwise your body will basically cannibalize itself and you will lose muscle along with fat.

      1. Any recommendations? I usually have a protein shake and meal bar in the morning during the week and eggs with either ham or bacon on the weekends.

        1. I only offer this: Never buy with soy protein power, it tastes like spicy ass-sweat.

          1. That’s why I ask. I’ve tried various protein shakes in the past and I can’t stand the taste and consistency. I don’t want to feel like I have to choke down some reconstituted chalk dust.

            1. If left in its shell after cooking, a hard-boiled egg has a decent “shelf-life” in the fridge and 6 grams of protein. When I used to lift I also ate almonds after.

              I’ve tried a bunch of protein supplements. The cheapest and tastiest route is to buy the powder and make shakes yourself. Whey tastes a little bit better than egg protein, and it comes in a wide array of flavors if you are making it with water instead of milk.

              1. I love eggs so that sounds like a viable option. I have to be careful with certain types of nuts because of kidney stone issues.

            2. Try peanut butter.

              1. I love peanut butter but it’s one of those things I’ve been warned away from. I can have it once in a while but I couldn’t eat it every day. I suppose I could switch it up now and then with the eggs.

                1. Be careful with PB, some brands are loaded with corn syrup.

                  Even the super hippie peanut butter makes my blood sugar soar.

                  1. Yeah, pretty much every normal brand of PB has sugar added.

                2. Yea sorry, I posted at the same time you said you had to be careful with certain types of nuts.

                  1. Yea sorry, I posted at the same time you said you had to be careful with certain types of nuts.

                    Peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts.

            3. Almond butter from Trader Joes.

              My post-swim shake – Whey powder(all natural type), banana, almond butter, ice, water

              Buy a decent mixer

            4. It’s more expensive than powder, but pre-mixed Muscle Milk shakes actually taste pretty good.

          2. I bet I have 50 studies showing soy is one of the worst things for you.

        2. I get the 6-pound bags of whey powder at Costco for like $35. It tastes fine, especially if you mix it with milk. I also always have hard-boiled eggs around, and I eat two or three with my lunch every day. Getting enough protein is easy and cheap as shit as long as you’re smart about it.

        3. I usually get the cheap whey powder. I always get vanilla, and doctor it up with fruit like frozen strawberries or blackberries. I agree with SF, watch out for peanut butter because it can contain a lot of sugar. The trainers I know recommend a shake immediately after each workout.

          Besides shakes, I do eat cheese and eggs. Those are quick as a snack.

      2. Which will give you the body type known as skinnyfat, common among vegan hipsters.

        1. Ewwwwww

          1. Yeah, I see a lot of girls (because of my work) who catch the eye (momentarily) because of their size and the way they dress, but then you realize things don’t look… quite… right.

    5. ja, I’m doing the low carb thing too. I’ve lost ~24pds while eating steak, cheese, pot roast, salads, eggs, bacon, bacon, bacon…. oh, wait… beef jerky, chicken stir fry (no rice), etc etc. Best part is no numbers to keep track of ala Weight Watchers or calorie counting.

      I went from 36/34 jeans to 34/34 and now I’m thinking 33/34 will fit even better. My stomach hasn’t been this flat since I was in college, 18 years ago.

      And the weight loss is just part of the change. My energy levels also seem better with less “jaggedness” brought on by sugar rush highs and lows. I could go on, but I’ll just be gushing.

      1. Good for you, LH! Gush all you want, I won’t mind.

  7. If the essence of their critique is that agriculture would not have produced a surplus because…MALTHUS!…they’re handicapped in getting me to believe this by the fact that Malthus is crap.

    Also, even if Malthus isn’t crap, he only comes into play in closed systems. Expanding systems don’t face Malthusian crises. And the early cereal-growing societies would have been expanding.

    If you drop me and 20 friends by time machine into the last historical moment in time before the Agricultural Revolution with seed stocks and a couple of domesticated animals, we would not face a Malthusian crisis. Every OTHER asshole who got in our way would face a “Oh shit I just got shot in the face!” crisis. Our descendants would eat great and have plenty of surplus until we expanded beyond the reach of our command and control and transportation apparatus.

    1. Every OTHER asshole who got in our way would face a “Oh shit I just got shot in the face!” crisis.

      So your defense force becomes the in house bandits.

      1. Eventually, sure.

        But if the authors are saying, “Even if you develop agriculture first, you wouldn’t have a food surplus!” that’s crazy. To the first agriculturalists, the world may as well be empty. Nothing but open land as far as the eye can see. Malthus can’t even begin to come into play until all the good land within migratory distance is in agricultural use. Until that happens, you stay in surplus because your population MOVES, taking over more and more available land in concentric circles from your starting point. You stay in surplus the whole time that’s happening. And that’s more than enough developmental time to create a nascent state.

        1. I think they’re arguing that bandits would steal all (or most) of their food without some sort of protection, which is what leads to the rise of the state.

  8. More speci?cally, we argue that the transition to agriculture made expropriation more rewarding and thus induced banditry and a demand for protection.

    I was talking about this with the 3 inch spear tip embedded in Kennewick man’s hip and it told me “fuck the police”.

    1. He had an arrow in his knee, too. But that was never widely reported.

      1. +1

  9. Likewise, I don’t understand the paleo diet thing among libertarians either. Like the trooferism that infects libertarianism, I think it’s a side effect of of a world view were “everything you know is wrong”.

    1. I don’t understand the paleo diet thing among libertarians either.

      Remember carpet humping guy?

    2. Or you could try it before sneering. Maybe there’s a reason people like it.

      1. Brandy is the type of cunt who shits on anything slightly out of the mainstream not for any logical reason, but because she/he doesn’t want to appear kooky amongst his/her statist friends. You know “I am a libertarian, but not one of THOSE libertarians.”

      2. Carpet humping?

        1. You had to be here.

          1. Hypothetically speaking, if I lose weight won’t that make my carpet humping workouts less effective?

      3. I’m not sneering at it, just wondering why it became such a fad among libertarians. My local libertarian book club devolved to the point where every book is either about diet or gardening. What the hell does that have to do with the non-aggression principle?

    3. On the other hand, it seems to work.

    4. Coming at it from a completely different perspective, (dog food, of all things), what I’ve read so far is persuasive.

    5. “everything you know is wrong”.


      Basically humanity invented a bunch of food that makes eating lots calories very easy. So the palo dieters decide not to eat that stuff…thus harder to eat a lot of calories.

      I don’t think eating less calories to lose weight is particularly a paradigm shift.

      1. Sure, that’s entirely reasonable.

        The annoying part is when they start in with the “good calories / bad calories” pseudoscience nonsense, or start ascribing magical glandular properties to food choices.

        There are paleos out there who think “I can eat 4000 calories a day as long as it’s all meat, and not that eeeeevil high fructose corn syrup, with its black magical, laws-of-thermodynamics-suspending ways!”

        1. Dude. You should really actually read the book before crapping on it. You could start with the chapter about “thermodynamics”. Since dried shit will burn, obviously not all of the calories you take in are burned by respiration, and I know the respiration studies (the basis of calorimetric analysis) don’t account for that. So right there, your theory is incomplete.

          Second, the average person doesn’t eat the same amount of calories within even 10%, yet their weight rarely yo-yos in relation to their calorie changes. Explain that with your “laws of thermodynamics” theory.

          1. Dude. You should really actually read the book before crapping on it

            I have, it’s garbage.

            Second, the average person doesn’t eat the same amount of calories within even 10%, yet their weight rarely yo-yos in relation to their calorie changes. Explain that with your “laws of thermodynamics” theory.

            The well documented thermal waste circuits your body has for dealing with caloric variance.

            Really, you’re desperately clinging to pseudo-science.

        2. A calorie is a calorie but a carb is not a protein or a fat.

      2. Carbs make your body release insulin. When insulin soars your body stores extra calories as fat. It’s not that complicated. Restrict carbs, lower insulin and your body burns fat.

        1. When insulin soars your body stores extra calories as fat.

          Not really, and even when true, the kind of gross oversimplification that sells self-help and dieting books.

          Restrict carbs, lower your caloric intake and your body burns fat.

          FYP. Because that’s why you’re losing weight.

          You’re taking in fewer calories. All the pseudo-scientific crap about insulin and “carbs bad!” is just that, pseudo-scientific crap.

  10. Hey, lighten up. At least these guys admitted that the state harms human flourishing, by expropriating productive surplus and keeping human population at an artificially diminished levels. (Of course to liberals, that’s a good thing.)

    1. I think you are reading that wrong.

      Sure people died to feed the Warrior class…but without the warrior class they would all be dead from the bandits….

      Of course some bandits would enslave the population and defacto become the warrior class.

      One begins to wonder if the problem is not wheat and not the state…perhaps the problem is simply human nature.

      1. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

        Federalist 51

      2. I think that is it, really. We can discuss how the state came about, and that is interesting. But I think that what it comes down to is that inevitably some people will always be dicks and either become the state or cause a state to come about. Stateless societies seem to only be able to exist for any period of time on the margins.

        1. That’s because we haven’t done it right yet.

    2. Yeah but pinning it on agriculture?? They conflate human opportunism and use of force with the implication about something inherent in agriculture.

      It’s be ironic that when taken further, you end up 180 degrees right back to a Bloomberg-like situation, except now the rationale for banning grains is that it causes people wanting to use the state to expropriate things! Somehow the pot doesn’t see it’s calling the kettle black

  11. As a paleo(ish) libertarian, I’m currently having some arguments on my blog with a couple of statists (well one mostly) on the role of government intervention and sugar. If anyone wants to help out, your viewpoint is greatly appreciated.


    1. Blogwhoring? On HampersandR? Who do you think you are, Sloopy?

      1. I resemble that remark.

      2. At least I update my blog once in a while, unlike the rest of these ADHD fucks around here.

        1. Hey! I’ve been busy!

        2. Fair enough. Lazy fucking Sloopy, with all that procreatin’ and shit.

  12. I’ve been low-carbing since I nearly ate myself to death in NYC. It’s pretty good, assuming you can cook enough to vary your diet. But I doubt I could go full-Paleo. I need cheese. Like in an almost sexual way.

    1. I’m with you on this. I like the “meat, eggs, cheese, and green leafy vegetables” approach. OTOH, Paleos aren’t opposed to tubers, so I may switch over so I can eat potatoes again. Even though dropping potatoes, bread, rice, and sugar has worked awesomely for me.

      1. Even though dropping potatoes, bread, rice, and sugar has worked awesomely for me

        That’s what eating fewer calories will do. I just never get why people have to ascribe that to a particular food to support a silly pseudo-scientific cause.

      2. I had read some places that only white rice is verboten to paleos, and brown and long-grain rice are ok. Is that not right?

        1. Strict “Paelos” don’t eat any type of rice. Among the more nuanced and scientific “Primal” types, potatoes, plantains, and WHITE rice are seen as fine in moderation. Brown rice is seen as a gut irritant that our stomachs are not evolved to properly digest. White rice on the other hand, while not being particularly nutritious, doesn’t have much downside. It is easy to digest, has little effect on blood sugar, and is a tasty way of sopping up fat, veggies, and protein that you should of course be eating with it.

          1. But wild rice grows wild in the lakes, and the hunter-gatherers of the North Country harvested it by hand and ate it, and it tastes good, so it must be okay.

          2. Dammit. White rice sucks.

    2. I can easily go the rest of my life without eating bread and pasta, it is the damn sugar that is my Achilles heel. I blame my vagina.

      1. You know who else blames your vagina?

        1. I’ve been known to. And so have the Nazis.

          1. I hate vagina blaming Illinois Nazis!

    3. So paleo with cheese? Call it the Khal Drogo Diet and watch the money pour in.

      1. Khal Drogo Diet: Three raw horse hearts for every meal, and a child bride for aerobic exercise.

    4. This is what I’ve been doing too. For just about the same reason.

    5. Then you should try Primal – it’s a modernized version of Paleo that allows high-fat dairy (including cheese – preferably from grass-fed cows) since it serves similar dietary purposes as the othe paleo foods. Check out the Marks Daily Apple website.

      1. It’s not called Primal, you idiot, it’s called the Khal Drogo Diet. That’ll be $20.

        1. Are you trying to get me to sign up to your multi-level marketing plan for this Khal Drogo Diet? How much can I make?

          1. Up to six horses and two slaves a month!

            1. That sounds great! Sign me … wait a minute – are those “results not typical”?

              1. The horses will be those little lead pewter figurines like from Warhammer.

                And the slaves will be those fat pagen chicks from the SCA.

              2. You’ll end up like Khal Drogo though.

            2. But I want an army! Give me what I deserve!

              1. Ah, you want to reach the crown of gold level!

    6. I love cheese, it’s one of the reasons I could never go vegan.

      1. Whenever I run into a vegan, I say “Yeah, I eat a plant-based diet. I eat a lot of plants. I also eat animals that eat plants. And sometimes I eat animals that eat animals that eat plants. All plant-based.”

        1. Do you eat any plants that eat animals?

          1. Not yet, but that would fit into my plant-based diet. Where can I buy some carnivorous plants and find some recipes for them?

            1. I tried venus flytrap salad. Gave me the shits.

        2. I don’t eat many animals that eat animals, unless fish count. I did try gator once, though.

      2. That and veganism makes no sense at all. At least the drive behind vegetarianism has sense to it.

    7. Indeed. Life without cheese would not be worth living.

      Cheese is our Lord,
      Cheese is our Savior,
      Cheese is the thing
      that most shapes our behavior.

      1. Are you from Wisconsin?

    1. No unsourced assertions here, pal. You’ll need to link to some evidence.

      1. ah crap, this was supposed to this video

  13. I think their argument has it backwards. You can’t have bandits–government or otherwise–robbing surpluses without a pre-existing surplus to rob.

    1. We’re willing to wait a few weeks until you shore up the numbers.

    2. Someone figured it out.

  14. Man allegedly assaulted by Minneapolis police officer at Andover bar is on life support

    The man allegedly assaulted by a Minneapolis police officer this weekend is on life support, according to the Anoka County sheriff’s office.

    Brian Keith Vander Lee, 43, was sitting on the patio at Tanners Station in Andover Saturday, June 16 when video surveillance at the bar shows Sgt. David Clifford walking over to the Ramsey man’s table and verbally confronting him before punching him once in the head, according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

    “He immediately (fell) backwards,” Sommer said, adding he heard reports Vanderlee hit his head on the concrete patio.

    Vanderlee was reportedly rising up out his chair when Clifford struck him, Sommer said.

    He was taken to Mercy Hospital where he has wo brain surgeries. A hospital spokesman said Lee’s family has requested no information about his condition be released at this time.

    “I’ve been told… he is not doing well,” Sommer said.

    Clifford, the executive officer of the Minneapolis Police SWAT Unit, allegedly fled on foot immediately following the incident, Sommer said.

    Investigators attempted to locate him at his Andover home but were unsuccessful.


    1. Typical biased reporting. The guy with brain injuries probably deserved it or faked the video from his coma.

    2. Clifford, the executive officer of the Minneapolis Police SWAT Unit,

      The very tippy-top of New Professional, then, highly trained to handle stressful situations.

    3. Clifford has since been put on paid temporary home assignment, according to Sgt. William Palmer, a spokesman for the Minneapolis police.


      1. But no double standard, right?

        If a non-cop were caught on video starting an argument and punching a guy who wound up in critical care, there wouldn’t be any arrests or anything.

        1. A couple years ago round here some kid thought it would be funny to sucker punch this dude who was walking with his fiance, and the dude ended up dying of head injuries resulting from his fall onto the brick walkway.

          The kid was eventually convicted of second degree murder.

          I’m quite positive that this agent of the state will be held to the same standard.

          Haaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha haaa!

          I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip the waitress.

    4. This is the kind of assault Tulpa said doesn’t happen on an almost daily basis…daily evidence notwithstanding.

    5. ***Lights Dunphy Signal***


    6. “That type of behavior is out of line for civilian employees but it’s egregious on the part of a sworn law enforcement officer,” Sommer said of the incident.

      So the cop was in the Army?

    7. Sommer added that Clifford laid the blow because Brian Vander Lee was supposedly talking too loud on his cell phone.

      You see: there was a reason for the officer to employ compliance tactics.

  15. “bandits who turned stationary or by leaders from within”

    That’s just Semantics

    1. Why go rob that tribe that might resist forcefully, when we can rob our own tribe and they’ll thank us for it?

  16. Topical blog post I read recently: Your Fat Is Unequivocally Your Fault. WARNING: NAKED TITS.

    1. Good rant. Nice racks.

      1. The second one seems to be named Michelle Costa. Eu gosto.

        1. Thank you, sir.

  17. I come at this from a different direction (probably because I’m a lawyer).

    I’ve always thought that (proto-)states arose when you got enough people living in one place that the old kinship/clan/tribal organizations could no longer function. Their main failing was their inability to be the arbiter of disputes, in groups that were too large or no longer all blood kin with each other.

    A society with no final arbiter will use violence to resolve disputes, which is inherently destabilizing and causes social and economic stagnation.

    Where a society had a final arbiter (who would necessarily need the option to use force to make sure the dispute stayed good and settled), that stagnation didn’t happen.

    Even without external banditry, an society is going to have too many people to survive without a final arbiter/ruler.

    1. I always figured the state arose as bands of bandits fought each other over turf to exploit, the one coming out on top and maintaining the monopoly on organized violence becoming the government.

      Dispute resolution would be secondary to the primary purpose of plundering for plunder’s sake.

      1. The basis of a chieftain’s power within the political order was the power he already possessed outside it, in civil society. The office of chieftaincy was private property, and could be bought or sold; hence chieftaincies tended to track private wealth. But wealth alone was not enough. As economic historian Birgir Solvason notes in his masterful study of the period, “just buying the chieftainship was no guarantee of power”; the mere office by itself was “almost worthless” unless the chieftain could “convince some free-farmers to follow him.” Chieftains did not hold authority over territorially-defined districts, but competed for clients with other chieftains from the same geographical area.

        A chieftain was politician, lawyer, and policeman rolled into one: he represented his clients in parliament, served as their advocate in arbitration, and offered them armed assistance in dispute resolution.

      2. If his customers were dissatisfied with the quality or price of these services, they could switch to a different chieftain without having to change their physical location; the relation between chieftain and client could be freely terminated by either party, so that signing up with a chieftain was rather like signing up for insurance or long-distance phone service today; legal jurisdictions were, in effect, “virtual” rather than physical.

        The fact that the provision of “governmental” services was a competitive rather than a monopolistic enterprise was arguably one of the Free State’s greatest strengths; just as in any other market, the competitive discipline imposed by the fear of losing clients to rival service providers served as a check on inefficiency and abuse of power. Icelandic law owed its resilience and flexibility to this decoupling of authority from geography.

      3. I always figured the state arose as bands of bandits fought each other over turf to exploit,

        Which is to say, there was no final arbiter of their dispute over turf, so they used violence.

        Of course, if your society is generating its own bandits internally, then you’ve got my dispute resolution problem right there.

        I’m not really saying how the final arbiter/ruler got that role (winning bandit chieftain is OK by me). I’m just saying that where your tuff gai bandit dude settles in to holding his position by acting as a final arbiter for the community as a whole, you’ve got a proto-state. Where he doesn’t, you have a stagnating community with endemic violence.

    2. The Icelandic Free State had a sophisticated way of dealing with this (essentially, similar to an ancap model, before their use of the tithe)

      This parliament had no budget and no employees; it met only two weeks per year. In addition to their parliamentary role, chieftains were empowered in their own local districts to appoint judges and to keep the peace; this latter job was handled on an essentially fee-for-service basis. The enforcement of judicial decisions was largely a matter of self-help (hence Iceland’s reputation as a land of constant private feuding), but those who lacked the might to enforce their rights could sell their court-decreed claims for compensation to someone more powerful, usually a chieftain; hence even the poor and friendless could not be victimized with impunity.

      1. .. crap.. damn nested commenting.

        Anyways, the system is similar to the modern concept of dynamically organizing and self-governing phyles, btw

  18. Anyone ever read Sugar Blues? It’s a pretty interesting book. Of particular note is the part where it talks about the old Catholic Church making tons of money from the sale of sugar, while the natural healers of the time, those who became renamed &tag=reasonmagazinea-20″witches”, advised against its consumption. Guess who won that fight?

    1. And here I had been blaming sugar on the Jews.

      1. Given the origin of the word, I blame the Mohamedeans.

        1. Well, the crusaders brought cane back to Europe, so yeah.

  19. any paleo advocate using this as a White-Indian-libertarian argument needs realize that correlation is not causation. That agriculture provided an opportunity for statist acts does not mean it caused those acts. It’s the people, the individuals involved who choose to act that way that causes statism, regardless of the means, pure and simple.

  20. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me dude. WOw.


  21. You just had to look in that cave full of eggs Bryan, didn’t you?

    When that facehugger named Mary bursts through your chest, I will have no sympathy.

  22. This, right here, is why I love Reason Mag. Where else would you see this story? Winning.

  23. Um, the development of agriculture may have had something to do with the development of “the state” however I would still argue that even the worst dystopian state is preferable to the alternative.

    After all, the “bandits” in the state might steal half your grain but the friggin lions just eat you and if you don’t find a Mammoth to kill this week the entire tribe starves.

    Ultimately however the entire discussion is missing the central fact that societies have the social structures they can afford, yes having a ruling elite requires a certain minimum level of surplus food and manpower but if you’ve got it you’re a hell of a lot better off getting some professional warriors than distributing it equally amongst the tribes, modern notions of equality and ‘fairness’ are just that, modern, for the very good reason that until a couple hundred years ago there was not sufficient surpluses of food and other supplies to even concieve of such a notion.

    1. Really? Robbers might rob what, one tenth of the people one twentieth of the time? The state robs one third of my income every two weeks.

  24. This is like sending out the White Indian bat signal.

  25. The last time I had lost quite a bit of weight I did high protein, low to moderate fat, and some carbs (less then 50% carbs which is pretty low compared to a “normal” diet). The main thing was that I counted every calorie. 30g of fiber everyday so most of those carbs were pretty low GI obviously. A lot of beans (chilli, bean soup)which gives you protein and fiber. Your body adjust to that fiber wihin a couple weeks to eliminate the typical side effects. Also, lot’s of weightlifting and some walking. Everycopy of weeks I’d go out on a friday for pizza and beer.

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