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ūüďį Book Review: Seeing Like a State

Author: slatestarcodexabridged.com

Full Title: Book Review: Seeing Like a State

URL: https://www.slatestarcodexabridged.com/Book-Review-Seeing-Like-A-State

Highlights from March 13th, 2021.

The state pro¬≠moted the High Mod¬≠ernists‚Äô plat¬≠i¬≠tudes about The Greater Good as cover, in order to im¬≠ple¬≠ment the to¬≠tal¬≠i¬≠tar¬≠ian schemes they wanted to im¬≠ple¬≠ment any¬≠way. The re¬≠sult¬≠ing ex¬≠per¬≠i¬≠ments were usu¬≠ally fail¬≠ures by the hu¬≠man¬≠i¬≠tar¬≠ian goals of the Mod¬≠ernists, but re¬≠sound¬≠ing suc¬≠cesses by the command-‚Äčand-control goals of the state. And so we grad¬≠u¬≠ally tran¬≠si¬≠tioned from sys¬≠tems that were messy but full of fine-‚Äčtuned hid¬≠den order, to ones that were barely-‚Äčfunctional but re¬≠ally easy to tax.
So from the be¬≠gin¬≠ning, kings had an in¬≠cen¬≠tive to make the coun¬≠try ‚Äúleg¬≠i¬≠ble‚ÄĚ ‚Äď that is, so or¬≠ga¬≠nized and well-‚Äčindexed that it was easy to know every¬≠thing about every¬≠one and col¬≠lect/double-‚Äčcheck taxes. Also from the be¬≠gin¬≠ning, no¬≠bles had an in¬≠cen¬≠tive to frus¬≠trate the kings so that they wouldn‚Äôt be out of a job. And com¬≠mon¬≠ers, who fig¬≠ured that any¬≠thing which made it eas¬≠ier for the State to tax them and in¬≠ter¬≠fere in their af¬≠fairs was bad news, usu¬≠ally re¬≠sisted too.
Peas­ants didn’t like per­ma­nent sur­names. Their own sys­tem was quite rea­son­able for them: John the baker was John Baker, John the black­smith was John Smith, John who lived under the hill was John Un­der­hill, John who was re­ally short was John Short. The same per­son might be John Smith and John Un­der­hill in dif­fer­ent con­texts, where his sta­tus as a black­smith or place of ori­gin was more im­por­tant.