War! What is it Good For?
I'm reading an absolutely fascinating book of the same title by Ian Morris. His startling point is that, in the Very Long Run, war creates larger, more stable states (leviathans, from Hobbs). The result of the creation of these Leviathans is that, even when the leviathans go to war, fewer people die violent deaths than the situation of constant person-to-person or tribe vs. tribe violence that existed in the previous state. He backs it up with very sobering archeological evidence. And, it was only advances in technology that enabled the Leviathans to form in the first place.