Esben Kran


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On welfare: Bismarck is famous as a social welfare reformer but these efforts were famously made to undermine socialism and appease the working class, a result any newly-formed volatile state would enjoy. I expect that the effects of social welfare are useful in most countries from the same basis.

On environmentalism today, we see significant European advances in green energy right now, but this is accompanied by large price hikes in natural energy resources, providing quite an incentive. Early large-scale state-driven environmentalism (e.g. Danish wind energy R&D and usage) was driven by the 70s oil crises in the same fashion. And then there's of course the democratic incentives, i.e. are enough of the population touting environmentalism, then we'll do it (though 3.5% population-wide active participation seems to work as well).

And that's just describing state-side shifts. Even revolutions have been driven by non-ideological incentives. E.g. the American revolution started as a staged "throwing tea in the ocean" act by tea smugglers because London reduced the tax on tea for the East India company, reducing their profits (see myths and the article about smugglers' incentives). Perpetuating a revolution also became a large personal profit for Washington.