Ssu-Ma, 100 BC
"Each man has only to be left to utilize his own abilities and exert his strength to obtain what he wishes… When each person works away at his own occupation and delights in his own business, then like water flowing downward, goods will naturally flow ceaselessly day and night without being summoned, and the people will produce commodities without having been asked."
Ibn Khaldun, 1380 AD
"It should be known that at the beginning of a dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessment. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessment. The reason for this is that when the dynasty follows the ways of Islam, it imposes only such taxes as are stipulated by the religious law, such as charity taxes, the land tax, and the poll tax. These have fixed limits that cannot be exceeded."
"Nima Sanandaji has in this excellent book enhanced the understanding of the Middle East by observing the region through the perspective of trade. He shows deep knowledge in both trade and Middle East history. The combination of these aspects is an important contribution to the ongoing debate in Europe on migration and integration."
"This provocative and educated account on the roots of capitalism offers a humbling corrective to the all too familiar claim that there are cultures that are inherently anti-market. Thus, in the spirit of Bastiat, Sanandaji makes a convincing case that the way to recovery for the Middle East must lie in releasing – not restricting – economic activity, as is currently done through sanctions and military intervention. A hearting must-read in an era of ever-increasing polarization and pessimism."