About roving bandits

"Under anarchy, uncoordinated competitive  theft by "roving bandits" destroys the incentive to invest  and produce, leaving little for either the population or the bandits. Both can be better off if a bandit sets himself up as a dictator-a "stationary bandit" who monopolizes and rationalizes theft in the form of taxes. A secure autocrat has an encompassing  interest in his domain that leads him to provide a peaceful order and other public goods that increase productivity. Whenever an autocrat expects a brief tenure, it pays him to confiscate  those assets whose tax yield over his tenure is less than their total value. This incentive plus the inherent uncertainty of succession in dictatorships imply that autocracies will rarely have good economic performance  for more than a generation. The conditions necessary  for a lasting democracy are the same necessary  for the security of property and contract rights that generates economic growth" 
In a world of roving banditry there is little or no incentive for anyone to produce or accumulate anything
Mancur Olson (1993), Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development, American Political Science Review

Also - "You should be more careful what you write. You never know when a future employer might read it."


Anonymous said...

Roving banditry.. LOL Oops! I ain't write no nothing! :D

Anonymous said...

The quote misrepresents anarchy. Anarchy is community based ownership not a free for all. It is community based not individualistic so anarchists would not be roving bandits they works organised communally in a face to face direct democracy. As resources are communally owned, say fish stocks, they wouldn't need investment just sustainable management. Each community could discuss between each other and define territories based on the resource and communities needs

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