- The original affluent society hypothesis only seems to work if one has no enemies and is never likely to encounter enemies in the future (a set of conditions that does not exist anywhere in the world I don't think).
- The arms race has likely been going on for a long time.
- The crazy situation that most societies have arrived at -- of spending 40+ hours a week working -- makes better sense if we realize that societies have maximized how much efficient labor is possible in a week. Said differently, 40 hours a week makes better sense if we realize that only 14 hours are for food and the other 26 hours are for buying the very best weapons in order to scare off enemies in a dangerous world (and that societies that go beyond 40 hours a week tend to break down because work just is not efficient after that point).
- The retro-romantic notion, that we can somehow go back to an original affluent society (Derrick Jensen, who I like a lot, seems to advocate this position) is a bit untenable because -- a) the arms race would just start all over again and b) the amount of (state) intervention required to prevent such an arms race from breaking out again would be so massive as to resemble totalitarianism.
I get that those who advocate a return to a hunter gatherer society have a different ontology than I do (they assume that human nature is more peace-loving than I do). But the history of the world suggests that human beings are prone to rather massive amounts of violence as well. And protecting against the possibility of that violence takes a massive amount of labor (which then explains a large part of the political economy of many nations).