A collection of explainers, references, opinions, and other supplementary material to help you better understand our collection of facts and myths.

Separation of Powers Metaphor

The four “elements” (or “powers”) that form the foundation of government can roughly be expressed as: citizens, executive, legislative, and judicial.

Where Does the State of Nature Argument Come From?

We often attribute the origin of the state of nature argument to Hobbes, but it can be traced to thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, and the Sophists in the 300s BC, and is then mused on by other early philosophers.

The Birth of Modern Banking

Modern banking originated in Italy around 1150 as Jews fleeing persecution brought new practices, including “discounting”, to the merchant banks of the Italian piazzas.

The 2007 – 2009 Financial Crisis Explained

We explain the Financial Crisis / Great Recession of 2007 – 2009 that began with the 2006 housing bubble, led to a recession in the U.S. by December 2007, and became a global crisis by 2009.

What is the State of Nature?

The state of nature is the state humans lived in before forming the first societies. By examining the state of nature we can better understand the implicit and explicit social contracts which govern societies.

The Attributes of Government

Different types of government can be said to be based on a number of attributes like power source, power structure, and economic system.