Walter Scheidel, socio-economic equality, violence, inequality


Inspired by the work of Thomas Piketty, particularly his Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century (2013), and Albrecht Dürer’s 1497-1498 woodcut, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” Dr. Walter Scheidel, Professor of Classics and History at Stanford University, argues in his massive 521-page volume that for most of human history reductions in socio-economic equality, supposedly a positive good, have resulted from more-or-less violent compressions entailing destruction and death. The implication is that in “normal” times, societies are characterized by inequality even though it is not perceived as a positive good.