The Republic of Genoa provides an example of how a small "state" managed to defend itself against much larger states using military resources that were overwhelmingly owned and controlled by private parties.
Mr. Volcker certainly deserves credit for curbing the Great Inflation of the 1970s. However, he also merits a lion’s share of the blame for unleashing the Great Inflation on the US and the world economy in the first place.
Contrary to popular thinking, we do not need the central bank to stabilize prices in order to promote economic prosperity. The central bank can neither know the "correct" level at which to stabilize prices, nor can it know the right way to do it.