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Property, Power and PoliticsWhy We Need to Rethink the World Power System$
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Jean-Philippe Robé

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529213164

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529213164.001.0001

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From Political Enterprise to the Modern State

From Political Enterprise to the Modern State

(p.137) 4 From Political Enterprise to the Modern State
Property, Power and Politics

Jean-Philippe Robé

Policy Press

The Chapter explains how the State evolved from being merely a type of political enterprise to the institution it is today. In its origins, the State is nothing more than a coalition of powerful men controlling a territory via the use of violence if necessary. Property rights in the modern sense hardly exist at this stage of institutional development. Accessorily, violent coalitions of political entrepreneurs provide a service to the population: order. The political enterprise will extend this service, enlarging its jurisdiction and effective control over competing forces and will facilitate and benefit from the progressive development of market exchange. The modern State is intrinsically linked to modern taxes, payable in money and not in kind. Via a very long process, the resources needed by States to be in a position to provide services to their local population will be extracted via taxation and not mere compulsion in the context of the development of a monetary economy developed in part thanks to State action. States developed an inherent interest in protecting property and facilitating market exchange as a means to access to more resources via the taxation of a monetary economy.

Keywords:   Political enterprise, Modern State, Taxation, Monetary economy, Market exchange

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