Diamond’s model fits well with that of sociologist Franz Oppenheimer who, in one powerful chapter, demonstrated how states have arisen time after time through a single mechanism: conquest. First, one group of people, usually nomads/herdsmen, raids, murders, pillages, conquers, rapes, and/or enslaves another, usually sedentary and agricultural. Later, the conqueror realizes that “a murdered peasant can no longer plow,” and lets his victims live so he can periodically return to take what they have produced. This gradually evolves into a full-fledged state, where a political class lives off taxes appropriated from the productive class.
Both Oppenheimer and Diamond would predict a strong connection between state power and grain production. Oppenheimer’s model required first herdsman, people with a mobile and reliable food source, and then farmers, sedentary people who could produce an even greater food surplus to produce the state, and according to Diamond all of these things are correlated historically and geographically. Both models agree with a disturbing idea: just as agriculture is the domestication of animals and plants, the state is the domestication of humankind. The only difference is the “cattle” are not eaten directly… yet.
Never made the connection. Sounds like the Attila the Hun system. http://live-free-in-an-unfree-world.com