Parable of the tribes
August 30, 2011 12:33 PM Subscribe
The Parable of the Tribes. A classic essay by Andrew Schmookler on the Hobbesian struggle for power, and its inevitability.
Power may be defined as the capacity to achieve one's will against the will of another. ...
Imagine a group of tribes living within reach of one another. If all choose the way of peace, then all may live in peace. But what if all but one choose peace, and that one is ambitious for expansion and conquest? What can happen to the others when confronted by an ambitious and potent neighbor? ...
I have just outlined four possible outcomes for the threatened tribes: destruction, absorption and transformation, withdrawal, and imitation. In every one of these outcomes the ways of power are spread throughout the system.
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