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Macall B. Polay / AP

"Ice and fire: what Game of Thrones can teach us about power politics — Panelists at Washington's Cato Institute discussed what real-world lessons could be drawn from the complexities and ambiguities of the show's political feuds," by The Guardian's Paul Owen. Possible reasons for stagnation in Westeros:

  • Long term political unity: Ilya Somin of the Cato Institute said, "Westeros does have several factors that economic theorists and historians point to as slowing down growth ... One is actually longstanding political unity. For hundreds or thousands of years the Targaryens dominated Westeros with a single unified state, and historically, competition between states, like in early modern Europe, for example, has been important to economic development."
  • Maesters: "Referring to the cadre of stuffy, aged scholars in the show, he added: 'The institution of the maesters probably is a problem. They monopolise intellectual development and scientific thought.'"
  • Focus on preserving food for winters: Matt Yglesias of Vox said, "Probably a huge amount of the savings and planning that exists is very narrowly focused on trying to preserve food for the winters ... It's hard to develop the kind of agricultural surpluses that would let you have cities and specialisation of labour when you not only need to grow enough food to feed people but you need to grow enough food to feed people through an unknown."

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”