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Earl A. Thompson:

If the leadership contest is endogenously determined:

"If there are few contestants [in the fight for power], then the rational winner adopts values of benevolence towards rivals in order to reduce their resistance to his or her leadership. It is similarly rational for the rivals to adopt values of respect for the leader, or 'civil reverence', in order to maintain their favored positions in the social hierarchy .. If .. there are many contestants, .. the winning leader cannot afford to be generous to all rivals ... In this case, the winner is the person who adopts the cruelest values, the greatest psychological willingness to physically punish alternative leaders for small transgressions. The latter, 'brutocratic' sort of society can be empirically identified by political imprisonment and torture." (p. 41)

Brutocracy creates high defense externalities because capital accumulation by members of the favored ruling class threatens the existing leader .. Additional national defense expenditures must be provided to defend against these internal threats against capital in brutocratic countries. So efficient income tax rates in such countries are abnormally high. So are tariffs. The Early Nation-State period (15th through 17th cy), saw not only a great escalation of political torture and brutality ... it also saw extremely high domestic regulation and tariffs, i.e. efficient mercantilism." (p. 41)

"Brutocracy, which similarly characterizes most third-world countries, is a substantial economic liability. This is not only because it entails a higher defense cost and thus taxation. It also breeds civic irreverence and corrupt bureaucracies that militate against effective democracy and hence the elimination of underdevelopment traps." (p. 42)