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The Rise and Fall of Society: An Essay on the Economic Forces that Underlie Social Institutions Paperback – 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 167 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute; 1st edition (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000WU1I4K
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,328,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Chodorov is one of the last writers of the "old right" and the logic used in the book is flawless. This book is a wonderfully written book about how society is formed, how it then creates a government, how then the government takes hold of society, and how government eventually takes society to the ground. He's a firm individualist, and does an excellent job in defense of it. Along the way Chodorov displays the silliness of protectionism among other silly policies. This book gives both a historical and an economical perspective. A very quick, but good read.
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I enjoyed this book. It describes in detail the difference between the "State" and "Society". I gave it only 4 stars because I disagree with its essential inevitability. Although the author is anything but Marxist, his writing here suffers from the same sense of inevitability. It overlooks, (in my opinion) the possibility that people do not always seek "something for nothing" or even "something for the least amount of effort" when that requires that "something" be obtained at the expense of others. The author is obviously sceptical of the power of religion in the lives of our people. Obviously, the State attempts--and frequently successfully--but not, in my opinion always inevitably--to uncermine that power.
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Humans collaborate to meet their needs using a relationship called society based on economic interaction. Society leads to government and government eventually destroys society. The author leads the reader through this process using clear logic to show the conflict between how we wish society would operate and how it actually functions. Human psychology apparently has a design flaw that can cause the eventual destruction of humanity as we know it. In view of the increasing power of technology, unless we can learn to overcome this flaw, we are all doomed. The author does not go this far in his conclusions, but this possibility must be considered, making this book extremely important to read.
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Chodorov, the author, is one of the "Old Right", writers critical of the sixteenth Amendment and government interventions in the national economy. The title describes the formation mechanics of societies, and how they become governed, and then destroyed by increasing government takings and/or simply overbearing. It's a well written and fascinating read by one of the "Old Right" greats . . .
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This book forcefully and cogently details the developmental phases of a society, and for once clearly explains why societies tend to first succeed and then fail. This has become a reference work for me, and I have now read it twice, and will read it again.
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The parallels in this ancient history of democracy and present day democracy is uncanny. The city state of Athens invented the democratic form of government. It worked well and Athens was strong. However the government evolved the meet the demands of citizens for more and more benefits. With more benefits came more controls and the unintended reduction in personal freedoms.
The economy declined and the power of Athens eroded and the city was eventually conquered by the Persians.

Parallels to today's democratic governments are easily seen. Today's democratic countries are suffering economic problems that appear similar to Athens' problems.
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Chodorov's work "The Rise and Fall of Society", stands with Bastiat's "The Law" as explanation and inevitablity of all political calamities that have befallen man since the beginning of his times.
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This book presents a lot of things that we never think about. Too many people automatically think that peace and prosperity are guaranteed. Island America is in for a rude awakening
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