David Frum writes,

[Peter] Heather takes a less benign view of Rome. Here, he says, is a society of savage aggressiveness, that grew not through productivity improvement but by waging war on its neighbors to enslave their populations.

Pointer from Razib, although an email from Bruce Charlton alerted me to the passage above.

What I call “my most wrong belief” is that early markets where primarily mechanisms for exchanging plunder rather than systems for organizing voluntary production.