Something must be done, explain the authors, but governments will fail again unless they shake off the economic orthodoxy which is now one of the problems rather than the means to a solution. This book investigates the roots of the problem, both historically and theoretically. Dr Michael Hudson draws on archaeology and history, from Bronze-Age Mesopotamia through Rome to Byzantium, to show how a destructive virus crept into the body politic. This led to a breakdown in man's relationship to the environment, and divided society into a wealthy ruling oligarchy and an impoverished majority. The Welfare State seeks to remedy this man-made injustice, but, despite the escalating cost to taxpayers, it has failed to stop the widening gap between rich and poor.