When Holcombe takes a step back, one common element of IHS programs that stands out to him is the community of scholars. For him, the most rewarding part of IHS programs is meeting with like-minded people who believe that smaller—rather than larger—government promotes growth and prosperity.
At an IHS seminar concerning the theory of the state, Brown was introduced to the ideas of Robert Carneiro, especially his article “A Theory of the Origin of the State,” which was published in 1970. After this introduction, Brown explored thinkers like Herbert Spencer and Karl August Wittfogel. As Brown absorbed these theorists, she discovered that the state “had nothing to do with ideology. It was a fact that required an explanation.”
Fraternal societies whose members provided each other with mutual aid reached a pinnacle of popularity in the 1920s. Membership declined in the 1930s due in part to cultural changes and New Deal welfare programs, which appear to have crowded out fraternal societies, eventually reducing many to obsolescence.