But if territorial states cannot be reduced to their civilian and military organizations, the latter do form the main actors whose routine activities give these largest of regionalized locales their temporal structure. A good example of the new organizational activities that were required after 1648 were the fiscal and monetary policies, as well as the overall system of public finance, needed to conduct large-scale warfare. On the economic side there were activities guided by a heterogeneous body of pragmatic beliefs referred to as ‘mercantilism’. The central belief of this doctrine was that the wealth of a nation was based on the amount of precious metals (gold and silver) that accumulated within its borders. This monetary policy, it is clear today, is based on mistaken beliefs about the causal relations between economic factors. On the other hand, since one means of preventing the outward flow of precious metals was to discourage imports, and this, in turn, involved the promotion of local manufacture and of internal economic growth, mercantilism had collective unintended consequences that did benefit territorial states in the long run. [Nota de rodapé 46: Fernand Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce (New York: Harper & Row, 1979), pp. 544–5.] For this reason, however, it is hard to consider the people making mercantilist policy decisions the relevant social actors in this case. Another reason to consider the activities of organizations the main source of temporal structure for territorial states is that many of the capacities necessary to conduct a sound fiscal policy were the product of slow organizational learning, a feat first achieved in England between the years of 1688 and 1756. (DeLanda 2019 :112)
DELANDA, Manuel. 2019 . A new philosophy of society: assemblage theory and social complexity. London: Bloomsbury Academic.