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On the Problem of Economic Power: Lessons from the Natural History of the Hawaiian Archipelago


  • Funk, Matt


One of the greatest logicians of the twentieth century, Bertrand Russell, proposed that Economic power, unlike military power, is not primary, but derivative. Curiously, this conjecture has received scarce attention. This paper explores this theory. Our illustrative discourse tests this overlooked theory in the light of evolution: We model Homo evolution by sampling the past ≈1000 years of cultural evolution in the Hawaiian archipelago. Our analysis concludes Russell's theory is true.

Suggested Citation

  • Funk, Matt, 2009. "On the Problem of Economic Power: Lessons from the Natural History of the Hawaiian Archipelago," MPRA Paper 19371, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19371

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    Cited by:

    1. Funk, Matt, 2009. "On the Truly Noncooperative Game of Life on Earth: Darwin, Hardin, & Ostrom's Nontrivial Errors," MPRA Paper 19442, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    economic power; military power; evolutionary game theory; cultural evolution; resource holding power; long-distance dispersal; Second Amendment; Kamehameha; Hawaii; sovereignty; annexation;

    JEL classification:

    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

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