The author.s complex argument is built on two components. First, whether rulers acquire their means of rule by producing those means, buying them with monopolized goods, or extracting them from subject populations deeply affects the character of rule. Second, over the long run democratization only occurs when rulers come to rely on citizen compliance for their means of rule. The first component implies that students of fiscality could effectively strengthen their theories by considering the whole range of state-sustaining resources before closing in on taxation as a special way of acquiring those resources. The second component implies that students of fiscality are following the spoor of democratization and, for that matter, de-democratization. Thus, we can track down the causes of fundamental changes and variations in political regimes.