Peter Gelderloos will speak about his book which attempts to answer the question of where states came from and why, looking at the causes of state formation and tracing different pathways of state development. How did the State co-evolve with different models of the family, religion, warfare, commerce, and economic production?
The arguments presented counter the typical explanations that are dominant in society at large as well as in anticapitalist movements, revealing state formation as a constant process with certain patterns but without any single motor or dialectic. It is also a completely reversible process, as many societies have destroyed their states once it became clear how oppressive they were.
The talk would give a few examples to illustrate the breadth of possible pathways of state formation, as well as the importance of patriarchy to the process, and then focus on the emergence of democracy and the modern State, as the most relevant concern for people today who go up against state power in their struggle for a better world.