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The Rise and Fall of the City

November 23, 2005

Tags Legal SystemU.S. HistoryPolitical TheoryOther Schools of ThoughtPhilosophy and MethodologyInterventionism

Nearly every urban setting in the world is fraught with conflicts between groups,
so much so that political commentators can speak of votes and candidates mostly in terms
of the demographic composition and impact of the vote. It is not only in Baghad were
people struggle over the levers of Power. Rather, every election turns on the "religious
vote," the black vote," the business vote, the women's vote, etc.. This is a sad
commentary on the modern city, founded in the middle ages as a place of peace and
commerce and which became the very foundation of civilization.

Why do these conflicts exist and why does the city
— the cultural center of commecial civilization characterized by peace
and prosperity — attract them? The Marxists say that that
urban conflict is rooted in the war between capital and labor, the racialists says
its root is in the exploition of one race by another, and feminists view it as a working
out of a perpetual struggle over sex. Religion evidentally plays a role as well, as the
case of Iraq demonstrates.

And yet none of these factors speaks to the root
cause of urban conflict. For the answer, I offer this reflection from my
book 
Democracy: The God that Failed (now in paperback).
It is the state and no other institution or social force that turns peaceful urban
civilization into a war-zone:

Ludwig von Mises explained the evolution of
society — of human cooperation under the division of labor
— as the combined result of two factors. These are first, the fact of
differences among, men (labor) and the inequalities of the geographical distribution of
the nature-given factors of production (land); and second, the recognition of the fact
that work performed under the division of labor is more productive than work performed in
self-sufficient isolation. He writes:

If and as far as labor under the division of
labor is more productive than isolated labor, and if and as far as man is able to realize
this fact, human action itself tends toward cooperation and association; man becomes a
social being not in sacrificing his own concerns for the sake of a mythical Moloch,
society, but in aiming at an improvement in his own welfare. Experience teaches that this
condition — higher productivity achieved under division of labor
— is present because its cause — the inborn
inequality of men and the inequality in the geographical distribution of the natural
factors of production — is real. Thus we are in a position to
comprehend the course of social evolution.
[1]

Several points are worth emphasizing here in order to reach a
proper understanding of this fundamental insight of Mises's into the nature of society
— points which will also help us realize some preliminary conclusions
regarding the role of sex and race in social evolution.

First, it is important to recognize that inequalities with
respect to labor or land are a necessary but by no means a sufficient condition for the
emergence of human cooperation. If all humans were identical and everyone were equipped
with identical natural resources, everyone would produce the same qualities and
quantities of goods, and the idea of exchange and cooperation would never enter anyone's
mind.

However, the existence of inequalities is not enough to bring
about cooperation. There are also differences in the animal kingdom —
most notably the difference of sex (gender) among members of the same animal species as
well as the difference between the various species and subspecies (races); yet there is
no such thing as cooperation among animals.

Now
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To be sure, there are bees and ants who are referred to as
"animal societies." But they form societies only in a metaphorical sense.

[2] The cooperation between bees and ants is assured purely by biological factors
— by innate instincts. They cannot not cooperate as they do,
and without some fundamental changes in their biological makeup, the division of labor
among them is not in danger of breaking down. In distinct contrast, the cooperation
between humans is the outcome of purposeful individual actions, of the conscious aiming
at the attainment of individual ends. As a result, the division of labor among men is
constantly threatened by the possibility of disintegration.

Within the animal kingdom, then, the difference between the
sexes can only be said to be a factor of attraction — of reproduction
and proliferation; whereas the differences of the species and subspecies can be referred
to as a factor of repulsion — of separation or even of fatal
antagonism, of evasion, struggle, and annihilation.

Moreover, within the animal kingdom it makes no sense to
describe the behavior resulting from sexual attraction as either consensual (love) or
nonconsensual (rape); nor does it make any sense to speak of the relationship between the
members of different species or subspecies as one of hostility and hatred or of criminal
and victim. In the animal kingdom there only exists interaction, which is neither
cooperative (social) behavior nor criminal (antisocial) behavior. As Mises writes:

There is interaction —
reciprocal influence — between all parts of the universe: between the
wolf and the sheep that he devours; between the germ and the man it kills; between the
falling stone and the thing upon which it falls. Society on the other hand, always
involves men acting in cooperation with other men in order to let all participants attain
their own ends.
[3]

In addition to an inequality of land and labor, a second
requirement must be fulfilled if human cooperation is to evolve. Men —
at least two of them — must be capable of recognizing the higher
productivity of a division of labor based on the mutual recognition of private property
(of the exclusive control of every man over his own body and over his physical
appropriations and possessions) as compared to either self-sufficient isolation or
aggression, depredation, and domination.

That is, there must be a minimum of intelligence
or rationality; and men — at least two of them —
must have the sufficient moral strength to act on this insight and be willing to forego
immediate gratification for even greater future satisfaction. But for intelligence and
conscious will, writes Mises, men would have forever remained deadly foes of one another,
irreconcilable rivals in their endeavors to secure a portion of the scarce supply of
means of sustenance provided by nature. Each man would have been forced to view all other
men as his enemies; his craving for the satisfaction of his own appetites would have
brought him into an implacable conflict with all his neighbors. No sympathy could
possibly develop under such a state of affairs.
[4]

There are members of the human species who are
capable of understanding the insight but who lack the moral strength to act accordingly.
Such persons are either harmless brutes living outside of and separated from human
society, or they are criminals. They are persons who knowingly act wrongly and who
besides having to be tamed or even physically defeated must also be punished in
proportion to the severity of their crime to make them understand the nature of their
wrongdoings and hopefully to teach them a lesson for the future. Human cooperation
(society) can only prevail and advance as long as man is capable of subduing, taming,
appropriating, and cultivating his physical and animalistic surroundings, and as long as
he succeeds in suppressing crime, reducing it to a rarity by means of self-defense,
property protection, and punishment.
[5]

As soon as these requirements are fulfilled,
however, and as long as man, motivated by the knowledge of the higher physical
productivity of a division of labor based on private property, is engaged in mutually
beneficial exchanges, the "natural" forces of attraction arising from the differences in
the sexes and the "natural" forces of repulsion or enmity arising from the differences
between and even within the races, can be transformed into genuinely "social" relations.
Sexual attraction can be transformed from copulation to consensual relations, mutual
bonds, households, families, love, and affection.
[6] (It testifies to the
enormous productivity of the family-household that no other institution has proven more
durable or capable of producing such emotions) And inter- and intraracial repulsion can
be transformed from feelings of enmity or hostility to a preference for cooperating
(trading) with one another.

Human cooperation — division
of labor — based on integrated family-households and on separated
households, villages, tribes, nations, races, etc., wherein man's natural biological
attractions and repulsions for and against one another are transformed into a mutually
recognized system of spatial (geographical) allocation (of physical approximation and
integration or of separation and segregation, and of direct or of indirect contact,
exchange and trade), leads to improved standards of living, a growing population, further
extensification and intensification of the division of labor, and increasing diversity
and differentiation.
[6]

As a result of this development and an ever more rapid
increase of goods and desires which can be acquired and satisfied only indirectly,
professional traders, merchants, and trading centers will emerge. Merchants and cities
function as the mediators of the indirect exchanges between territorially separated
households and communal associations and thus become the sociological and geographical
locus and focus of intertribal or interracial association.

It will be within the class of merchants in
which racially, ethnically, or tribally mixed marriages are relatively most common; and
since most people, of both reference groups, typically disapprove of such alliances, it
will be the wealthier members of the merchant class who can afford such extravagances.
However, even the members of the wealthiest merchant families will be highly circumspect
in such endeavors. In order not to endanger their own position as a merchant, great care
must be taken that every mixed marriage is to be a marriage between "equals."

[7]

Accordingly, it will be in the big cities as the
centers of international trade and commerce, where mixed couples and their offspring
typically reside, where members of different ethnicities, tribes, races, even if they do
not intermarry, still come into regular direct personal contact with each other (in fact,
that they do so is required by the fact that their respective tribesmen back home do not
have to deal directly with more or less distasteful strangers), and where the most
elaborate and highly developed system of physical and functional integration and
segregation will arise.
[8] It will also be in the big
cities where, as the subjective reflection of this complex system of spatio-functional
allocation, citizens will develop the most highly refined forms of personal and
professional conduct, etiquette, and style. It is the city that breeds civilization and
civilized life.

To maintain law and order within a big city,
with its intricate pattern of physical and functional integration and separation, a great
variety of jurisdictions, judges, arbitrators and enforcement agencies in addition to
self-defense and private protection will come into existence. There will be what one
might call governance in the city, but there will be no government (state).
[9]

For a government to arise it is necessary that one of these
judges or arbitrators succeed in establishing himself as a monopolist. That is, he must
be able to insist that no citizen can choose anyone but him as the judge or arbitrator of
last resort, and he must successfully suppress any other judge or arbitrator from trying
to assume the same role (thereby competing against him).

More interesting than the question of what a government is,
however, are the following: How is it possible that one judge can acquire a judiciary
monopoly, given that other judges will naturally oppose any such attempt; and what
specifically makes it possible, and what does it imply, to establish a monopoly of law
and order in a big city, i.e., over a territory with ethnically, tribally, or racially
mixed populations?

First, almost by definition it follows that with the
establishment of a city government interracial, tribal, ethnic, and clannish-familial
tensions will increase because the monopolist, whoever he is, must be of one ethnic
background rather than another; hence, his being the monopolist will be considered by the
citizens of other ethnic backgrounds as an insulting setback, i.e., as an act of
arbitrary discrimination against the people of another race, tribe, or clan. The delicate
balance of peaceful interracial, interethnic, and interfamilial cooperation, achieved
through an intricate system of spatial and functional integration and separation, will be
upset.

Second, this insight leads directly to the
answer as to how a single judge can possibly outmaneuver all others. In brief, to
overcome the resistance by competing judges, an aspiring monopolist must shore up added
support in public opinion. In an ethnically mixed milieu this typically means playing the
"race card." The prospective monopolist must raise the racial, tribal, or clannish
consciousness among citizens of his own race, tribe, clan, etc., and promise, in return
for their support, to be more than an impartial judge in matters relating to one's own
race, tribe, or clan (that is, exactly what citizens of other ethnic backgrounds are
afraid of, i.e., of being treated with less than impartiality).
[10]

At this stage in this sociological
reconstruction let us, without further explanation, briefly introduce a few additional
steps required to arrive at a realistic contemporary scenario regarding race, sex,
society, and state. Naturally, a monopolist will try to maintain his position and
possibly even turn it into a hereditary title (i.e., become a king). However,
accomplishing this within an ethnically or tribally mixed city is a far more difficult
task than within a homogeneous rural community. Instead, in big cities governments are
far more likely to take on the form of a democratic republic — with
"open entry" into the position of supreme ruler, competing political parties, and popular
elections.
[11] In the course of the political centralization
process
[12] — the territorial expansion of
one government at the expense of another — this big city model of
government will become essentially its only form: that of a democratic state exercising a
judicial monopoly over a territory with racially or ethnically diverse
populations.

While the judicial monopoly of governments nowadays typically
extends far beyond a single city and in some cases over almost an entire continent, the
consequences for the relations between the races and sexes and spatial approximation and
segregation of government (monopoly) can still be best observed in the great cities and
their decline from centers of civilization to centers of degeneration and decay.

With a central government extending over cities and the
countryside, countries, inlanders, and foreigners are created. This has no immediate
effect on the countryside, where there are no foreigners (members of different
ethnicities, races, etc.). But in the great trading centers, where there are mixed
populations, the legal distinction between inlander and foreigner (rather than ethnically
or racially distinct private property owners) will almost invariably lead to some form of
forced exclusion and a reduced level of interethnic cooperation.

Moreover, with a central state in place, the physical
segregation and separation of city and countryside will be systematically reduced. In
order to exercise its judicial monopoly, the central government must be able to access
every inlander's private property, and to do so it must take control of all existing
roads and even expand the existing system of roadways. Different households and villages
are thus brought into closer contact than they might have preferred, and the physical
distance and separation of city and countryside will be significantly diminished. Thus,
internally, forced integration will be promoted.

Naturally, this tendency toward forced integration due to the
monopolization of roads and streets will be most pronounced in the cities. This tendency
will be further stimulated if, as is typical, the government takes its seat in a city. A
popularly elected government cannot help using its judicial monopoly to engage in
redistributive policies in favor of its ethnic or racial constituency, which will
invariably attract even more of its own tribe's members, and with changes in the
government more members of even more and different tribes will be drawn from the
countryside to the capital city to receive either government jobs or handouts. As a
result, not only will the capital become relatively "oversized" (as other cities shrink).
At the same time, due to the monopolization of "public" streets —
whereon everyone may proceed wherever he wants — all forms of ethnic,
tribal, or racial tensions and animosities will be stimulated.

Moreover, while interracial, tribal, and ethnic marriages were
formerly rare and restricted to the upper strata of the merchant class, with the arrival
of bureaucrats from various racial, tribal, and ethnic backgrounds in the capital city,
the frequency of interethnic marriage will increase, and the focus of interethnic sex
— even without marriage — will increasingly shift
from the upper class of merchants to the lower classes — even to the
lowest class of welfare recipients. Government welfare support will naturally lead to an
increase in the birthrate of welfare recipients relative to the birthrate of other
members, in particular of members of the upper class of their tribe or race.

As a result of this overproportional growth of
low and even underclass people and an increasing number of ethnically, tribally, racially
mixed offspring especially in the lower and lowest social strata, the character of
democratic (popular) government will gradually change as well. Rather than the "race
card" being essentially the only instrument of politics, politics becomes increasingly
"class politics." The government rulers can and will no longer rely exclusively on their
ethnic, tribal, or racial appeal and support, but increasingly they must try to find
support across tribal or racial lines by appealing to the universal (not tribe or race
specific) feeling of envy and egalitarianism, i.e., to social class (the untouchables or
the slaves versus the masters, the workers versus the capitalists, the poor versus the
rich, etc.).
[13],[14]

The increasing admixture of egalitarian class
politics to the preexisting tribal policies leads to even more —
racial and social — tension and hostility and to an even greater
proliferation of the low and under-class population. In addition to certain ethnic or
tribal groups being driven out of the cities as a result of tribal policies, increasingly
also members of the upper classes of all ethnic or tribal groups will leave the city for
the suburbs (only to be followed — by means of public (government)
transportation — by those very people whose behaviors they had tried
to escape).
[15] With the upper class and the merchants leaving in
larger numbers, however, one of the last remaining civilizing forces will be weakened,
and what is left behind in the cities will represent an increasingly negative selection
of the population: of government bureaucrats who work but no longer live there, and of
the lowlifes and the social outcasts of all tribes and races who live there yet who
increasingly do not work but survive on welfare. (Just think of Washington,
DC.)

When one would think that matters could not
possibly become worse, they do. After the race and the class cards have been played and
done their devastating work, the government turns to the sex and gender card, and "racial
justice" and "social justice" are complemented by "gender justice."
[16] The establishment of a government — a judicial monopoly
— not only implies that formerly separated jurisdictions (as within
ethnically or racially segregated districts, for instance) are forcibly integrated; it
implies at the same time that formerly fully integrated jurisdictions (as within
households and families) will be forcibly broken down or even dissolved.

Rather than regarding intra-family or -household
matters (including subjects such as abortion, for instance) as no one else's business to
be judged and arbitrated within the family by the head of the household or family
members,
[17] once a judicial monopoly has been established, its
agents — the government — also become and will
naturally strive to expand their role as judge and arbitrator of last resort in all
family matters. To gain popular support for its role the government (besides playing one
tribe, race, or social class against another) will likewise promote divisiveness within
the family: between the sexes — husbands and wives
— and the generations — parents and
children.
[18] Once again, this will be particularly noticeable in
the big cities.

Every form of government welfare — the
compulsory wealth or income transfer from "haves" to "have nots" lowers the value of a
person's membership in an extended family-household system as a social system of mutual
cooperation and help and assistance. Marriage loses value. For parents the value and
importance of a "good" upbringing (education) of their own children is reduced.
Correspondingly, for children less value will be attached and less respect paid to their
own parents. Owing to the high concentration of welfare recipients, in the big cities
family disintegration is already well advanced. In appealing to gender and generation
(age) as a source of political support and promoting and enacting sex (gender) and family
legislation, invariably the authority of heads of families and households and the
"natural" intergenerational hierarchy within families is weakened and the value of a
multi-generational family as the basic unit of human society diminished.

Indeed, as should be clear, as soon as the government's law
and legislation supersedes family law and legislation (including interfamily arrangements
in conjunction with marriages, joint-family offspring, inheritance, etc.), the value and
importance of the institution of a family can only be systematically eroded. For what is
a family if it cannot even find and provide for its own internal law and order! At the
same time, as should be clear as well but has not been sufficiently noted, from the point
of view of the government's rulers, their ability to interfere in internal family matters
must be regarded as the ultimate prize and the pinnacle of their own power.

To exploit tribal or racial resentments or class
envy to one's personal advantage is one thing. It is quite another accomplishment to use
the quarrels arising within families to break up the entire —
generally harmonious — system of autonomous families: to uproot
individuals from their families to isolate and atomize them, thereby increasing the
state's power over them. Accordingly, as the government's family policy is implemented,
divorce, singledom, single parenting, and illegitimacy, incidents of parent-, spouse-,
and child-neglect or -abuse, and the variety and frequency of "nontraditional" lifestyles
increase as well.
[19]

Parallel to this development will be a gradual but steady
surge in crime and criminal behavior. Under monopolistic auspices, law will invariably be
transformed into legislation. As a result of an unending process of income and wealth
redistribution in the name of racial, social, and gender justice, the very idea of
justice as universal and immutable principles of conduct and cooperation will be eroded
and ultimately destroyed. Rather than being conceived of as something preexisting (and to
be discovered), law is increasingly considered as government made law (legislation).

Accordingly, not only will legal uncertainty increase, but in
reaction the social rate of time preference will rise (i.e., people in general will
become more present-oriented and have an increasingly shorter planning horizon). Moral
relativism will also be promoted. For if there is no such thing as an ultimate right,
then there is also no such thing as an absolute wrong. Indeed, what is right today may be
wrong tomorrow, and vice versa.

Rising time preferences combined with moral
relativism, then, provides the perfect breeding ground for criminals and crimes
— a tendency especially evident in the big cities. It is here that the
dissolution of families is most advanced, that the greatest concentration of welfare
recipients exists, that the process of genetic pauperization has progressed furthest, and
that tribal and racial tensions as the outcome of forced integration are most virulent.
Rather than centers of civilization, cities have become centers of social disintegration,
corruption, brutishness, and crime.
[20]

To be sure, history is ultimately determined by ideas, and
ideas can, at least in principle, change almost instantly. But in order for ideas to
change it is not sufficient for people to see that something is wrong. At least a
significant number must also be intelligent enough to recognize what it is that is wrong.
That is, they must understand the basic principles upon which society
— human cooperation — rests: the very principles
explained here. And they must have sufficient will power to act according to this
insight.

The state — a judicial monopoly
— must be recognized as the source of de-civilization: states do not
create law and order; they destroy it. Families and households must be recognized as the
source of civilization. It is essential that the heads of families and households
reassert their ultimate authority as judge in all internal family affairs. Households
must be declared extraterritorial territory, like foreign embassies. Free association and
spatial exclusion must be recognized as not bad but good things that facilitate peaceful
cooperation between different ethnic and racial groups. Welfare must be recognized as a
matter exclusively of families and voluntary charity and state welfare as nothing but the
subsidization of irresponsibility.


Hans-Hermann Hoppe ( Hoppe@Mises.com) is professor of economics at the
University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This essay is based on a chapter of
Democracy: The God That Failed Comment on the blog.

1 Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on
Economics
, Scholar's Edition (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1998),
p.160.9

2 See on this Jonathan Bennett, Rationality: An
Essay Toward an Analysis
(London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964).

3 Mises, Human Action, p. 169.

4 Ibid., p. 144.

5 Rarely has the importance of cognition and rationality
for the emergence and maintenance of society been more strongly emphasized than by Mises.
He explains that one

may admit that in primitive man the propensity for killing and
destroying and the disposition for cruelty were innate. We may also assume that under the
conditions of earlier ages the inclination for aggression and murder was favorable to the
preservation of life. Man was once a brutal beast…. But one must not
forget that he was physically a weak animal;he would not have been a match for the big
beasts of prey if he had not been equipped with a peculiar weapon, reason. The fact that
man is a reasonable being, that he therefore does not yield without inhibitions to every
impulse, but arranges his conduct according to reasonable deliberation, must not be
called unnatural from a zoological point of view. Rational conduct means that man, in
face of the fact that he cannot satisfy all his impulses, desires, and appetites,
foregoes the satisfaction of those which he considers less urgent. In order not to
endanger the working of social cooperation, man is forced to abstain from satisfying
those desires whose satisfaction would hinder establishment of societal institutions.
There is no doubt that such a renunciation is painful. However, man has made his choice.
He has renounced the satisfaction of some desires incompatible with social life and has
given priority to the satisfaction of those desires which can be realized only or in a
more plentiful way under a system of the division of labor… . This
decision is not irrevocable and final. The choice of the fathers does not impair the
sons' freedom to choose. They can reverse the resolution. Every day they can proceed to
the transvaluation of values and prefer barbarism to civilization, or, as some authors
say, the soul to the intellect, myths to reason, and violence to peace. But they must
choose. It is impossible to have things incompatible with one another. (Human Action, pp.
171 — 72)

See on this also Joseph T. Salerno, "Ludwig von Mises as
Social Rationalist," Review of Austrian Economics 4 (1990).

6 "Within the frame of social cooperation," writes
Mises, there can emerge between members of society feelings of sympathy and friendship
and a sense of belonging together. These feelings are the source of man's most delightful
and most sublime experiences. They are the most precious adornment of life; they lift the
animal species man to the heights of a really human existence. However, they are not, as
some have asserted, the agents that have brought about social relationships. They are the
fruits of social cooperation, they thrive only within its frame; they did not precede the
establishment of social relations and are not the seeds from which they spring. (Ibid.,
p.l44)

"The mutual sexual attraction of male and female," Mises
explains further,

is inherent in man's animal nature and independent of any
thinking and theorizing. It is permissible to call it original, vegetative, instinctive,
or mysterious;. - . However, neither cohabitation, nor what precedes it and follows,
generates social cooperation and societal modes of life. The animals too join together in
mating, but they have not developed social relations. Family life is not merely a product
of sexual intercourse. It is by no means natural and necessary that parents and children
live together in the way in which they do in the family. The mating relation need not
result in a family organization. The human family is an outcome of thinking, planning,
and acting. It is this fact which distinguishes it radically from those animal groups
which we call per analogiam animal families. (Ibid., p. l67)

7
See
Murray N. Rothbard, "Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism,
and the Division of Labor," in idem, Egalitarianism
as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays
(Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises
Institute, 2000).

8 See Wilhelm Mühlmann, Rassen, Ethnien,
Kulturen. Moderne Ethnologie (Neuwied: Luchterhand, 1964), pp. 93
— 97. In general, apart from the upper strata of the class of
merchants, peaceful racial or ethnic mixing is typically restricted to members of the
social upper-class, i.e., to nobles and aristocrats. Thus, the racially or ethnically
least pure families are characteristically the leading royal dynasties.

9 For instance, Fernand Braudel has given the following
description of the complex pattern of spatial separation and functional integration and
the corresponding multiplicity of separate and competing jurisdictions developed in the
great trading centers such as Antioch during the heyday of the Islamic civilization from
the eighth to the twelfth century: At the city center

was the Great Mosque for the weekly sermon….
Nearby was the bazaar, i.e., the merchants' quarter with its streets and shops (the souk)
and its caravanserais or warehouses, as well as the public baths …
Artisans were grouped concentrically, starting from the Great Mosque: first, the makers
and sellers of perfumes and incense, then the shops selling fabrics and rugs, the
jewelers and food stores, and finally the humblest trades… curriers,
cobblers, blacksmiths, potters, saddlers, dyers. Their shops marked the edges of the
town…. In principle, each of these trades had its location fixed for
all time. Similarly, the maghzen or Prince's quarter was in principle located on
the outskirts of the city, well away from riots or popular revolts. Next to it, and under
its protection, was the mellah or Jewish quarter. The mosaic was completed by a
very great variety of residential districts, divided by race and religion: there were
forty-five in Antioch alone. "The town was a cluster of different quarters, all living in
fear of massacre." So Western colonists nowhere began racial segregation
— although they nowhere suppressed it. (Braudel, A History of
Civilizations
[New York: Penguin Books, l995], p. 66)

10 See Otto Brunner, Sozialgeschichte Europas im
Mittelalter
(Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1984), chap. 8; Henri Pirenne,
Medieval Cities (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969); Charles
Tilly and Wim P. Blockmans, eds., Cities and the Rise of States in Europe, 1000
— 1800
(Boulder, Cob.: Westview Press, 1994); Boudewijn
Bouckaert, "Between the Market and the State: The World of Medieval Cities," in
Values and the Social Order, Vol.3, Voluntary versus Coercive Orders,
Gerard Radnitzky, ed. (Aldershot, U.K.: Avebury, 1997). Incidentally, the much-maligned
Jewish Ghettoes, which were characteristic of European cities throughout the Middle Ages,
were not indicative of an inferior legal status accorded to Jews or of anti-Jewish
discrimination. To the contrary, the Ghetto was a place where Jews enjoyed complete
self-government and where rabbinical law applied. See on this Guido Kisch, The Jews in
Medieval Germany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942); also Erik Von
Kuehrielt-Leddihn, "Hebrews and Christians," Rothbard — Rockwell
Report 9, no. 4 (April, 1998).

11 For a sociological treatment of the first
(predemocratic) stage in the development of city states, characterized by aristocratic
— patrician government founded on and riven by families (clans) and
family conflicts, see Max Weber, The City (New York: Free Press, 1958), chap. 3.
See also note 16 below.

12 This statement regarding the characteristically
democratic — republican — rather than monarchical
— form of government in large commercial cities should not be
misinterpreted as a simple empirical-historical proposition. Indeed, historically the
formation of governments predates the development of large commercial centers. Most
governments had been monarchical or princely governments, and when large commercial
cities first arose the power of kings and princes typically also extended initially to
these newly developing urban areas. Instead, the above statement should be interpreted as
a sociological proposition concerning the unlikeliness of the endogenous origin of royal
or princely rule over large commercial centers with ethnically mixed populations, i.e.,
as an answer to an essentially hypothetical and counterfactual question. See on this Max
Weber, Soziologie, Weltgeschichtliche Analysen, Politik (Stuttgart: Kroener,
1964), pp. 41 — 42, who notes that kings and nobles, even if they
resided in cities, were nonetheless decidedly not city-kings and city-nobles. The centers
of their power rested outside of cities, in the countryside, and the grip that they held
on the great commercial centers was only tenuous. Hence, the first experiments with
democratic — republican forms of government occurred
characteristically in cities which broke off and gained independence from their
predominantly monarchical and rural surroundings.

13 On the eliminative competition and inherent tendency
of states toward centralization and territorial expansion — ultimately
to the point of the establishment of a world government — see

Democracy: The God That Failed , chapters 5, 11,
and 12.

14 See on this Helmut Schoeck, Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior (New York: Harcourt,
Brace and World, 1970); Rothbard, Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other
Essays
; and esp. "Freedom, Inequality Primitivism, and the Division of Labor," in
ibid.

15 For a sociological treatment of this second
— democratic or "plebeian" — stage in the
development of city government, based on and riven by classes and "class conflicts"
(rather than clans and family conflicts, as during the preceding development stage of
patrician government), see Max Weber, The City, chap. 4. In contrast to
patrician city government, plebeian government, Weber observes importantly, is
characterized by

a changed concept of the nature of law…. The
beginning of legislation paralleled the abolition of patrician rule. Legislation
initially took the form of charismatic statutes by the aesymnetes [governors
possessing supreme power for a limited time]. But soon the new creation of permanent laws
was accepted. In fact new legislation by the ecclesia became so usual as to produce a
state of continuous flux. Soon a purely secular administration of justice applied to the
laws or, in Rome, to the instructions of the magistrate. The creation of laws reached
such a fluid state that eventually in Athens the question was directed yearly to the
people whether existing laws should be maintained or amended. Thus it became an accepted
premise that the law is artificially created and that it should be based upon the
approval of those to whom it will apply. (pp.170 — 71)

Likewise, in the medieval city states of Europe the
"establishment of rule by the popolo had similar
consequences…. It, too, ground out enormous editions of city laws and
codified the common law and court rules (trial law) producing a surplus of statutes of
all kinds and an excess of officials" (p. 172). Hand in hand with the changed concept of
law goes a different political conduct.

The political justice of the popolo system with its
system of official espionage, its preference for anonymous accusations, accelerated
inquisitorial procedures against magnates, and simplified proof (by "notoriety") was the
democratic counterpart of the Venetian trials of the [aristocratic —
patrician] Council of Ten. Objectively the popolo system was identified by: the exclusion
of all members of families with a knightly style of life from office; obligating the
notables by pledges of good conduct; placing the notables' family under bail for all
members; the establishment of a special criminal law for the political offenses of the
magnates, especially insulting the honor of a member of the populace; the prohibition of
a noble's acquiring property bordering on that of a member of the populace without the
latter's agreement…. Since noble families could be expressly accepted
as part of the populace, [however,] even the offices of the popolo were nearly always
occupied by noblemen. (pp. 160-61)

16 See on this tendency Edward Banfield, The
Unheavenly City Revisited
(Boston:Little, Brown, 1974).

17 See on this Murray N. Rothbard, "The Great Women's
Lib Issue: Setting it Straight," in Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and
Other Essays
; Michael Levin, Feminism and Liberty (New Brunswick, N.J.:
Transaction Publishers, 1987).

18 See Robert Nisbet, Prejudices: A Philosophical
Dictionary
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982), pp. 1-8,
110-17.

19 See on this Murray N. Rothbard, "Kid Lib," in
Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays.

20 See on this Allan C. Carlson, "What Has Government
Done to Our Families?" Essays in Political Economy (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von
Mises Institute, 1991); Bryce J. Christensen, "The Family vs. the State," Essays in
Political Economy
(Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1992).

21 See on this Edward C. Banfield, "Present-Orientedness
and Crime," in Assessing the Criminal, Randy E. Barnett and John Hagel, eds.
(Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1977); David Walters, "Crime in the Welfare State," in
Criminal Justice?: The Legal System vs. Individual Responsibility, Robert J.
Bidinotto, ed. (Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Foundation for Economic Education, 1994); also
James Q. Wilson, Thinking About Crime (New York: Vintage Books,
1985).

23 See on this Seymour W. Itzkoff, The Decline of
Intelligence in America
(Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1994); idem, The Road to
Equality: Evolution and Social Reality
(Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1992).


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