August 10, 2021

TO BE FAIR, IT WAS ALSO BETTER UNDER THE BARBARIANS AFTER ROME FELL:

The “Dark Ages” were dark for bureaucrats and scribes — who get to name things like that — but the average peasant farmer consumed significantly more calories after the Empire’s taxes disappeared. The Goths and Vandals and such looted, but they stole less from the people than their predecessors. For more on this see Joseph Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societies. Tainter’s thesis is that the collapse occurs when the bureaucratic/parasitic load on a society destroys its ability to adapt to new challenges. We may be approaching that point. The safest and easiest thing to do would be to cut off the bureaucrats and parasites, but they will resist that with the determination of all who don’t work for a living to protect their sinecures.

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