In the absence of obstacles, economic progress should continue unabated.
…Obstacles, unfortunately, are not absent: the most important obstacle is predation. And the principal source of predation is governments. Indeed government can best be understood in terms of predation. Government is an organization created to deploy force—either for the purpose of predation (predatory government) or to protect a population against predation (associational government).
commerce and predation, no less than production, [are] full‐fledged economic activities—as ways people make a living. It is commerce that lies behind “the market” of conventional economic theory: the formation of prices and the allocation of resources are consequences of this economic activity. Similarly, as we have seen, it is the economic activity of predation that explains the existence of government, what it does, and how it evolves.
He argues that looking at commerce and predation together with production, rather than production alone, can illuminate important economic phenomena, especially economic growth and the lack thereof. He is working on a book, from which the linked article is adapted.