First Draft
Published in

First Draft

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Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

“War, and peace, and War: The rise and fall of Empires.”

Author: Peter Turchin

notes: page 208-a good summary of the general thesis of the book as well as one of the greatest quotes I have ever heard:

“The gist of the approach was admirably expressed by George Puttenham in 1589: ‘Peace makes plentie, plentie makes pride, pride breeds quarrel, and quarrel breeds war. Warre brings spoil, and spoil povertie, povertie pacience, and pacience peace: so peace brings war and war brings peace.’ What is important here is not the specific details of how one things leads to another, but the absence of a simple, linear causal relationship. What causes “warrre”? Peace. But peace itself is cause by war. SO there is no cause and effect, or rather each is both the cause and the effect. War brings peace, and peace brings war, and so on, cycle after cycle ad infinitum. The causation is not linear, but circular. “

Link to Amazon:

Description: “Turchin argues that the key to the formation of an empire is a society’s capacity for collective action. He demonstrates that high levels of cooperation are found where people have to band together to fight off a common enemy, and that this kind of cooperation led to the formation of the Roman and Russian empires, and the United States. But as empires grow, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, conflict replaces cooperation, and dissolution inevitably follows. Eloquently argued and rich with historical examples, War and Peace and War offers a bold new theory about the course of world history with implications for nations today.”




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Jon Walsh

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