Sammier observes that many people believe the Initiative Hypothesis: “The rate of both technological and material progress within a society inevitably increases with increasing freedom.” He makes 2 interesting arguments:
1. low tech civilizations make softer/more-attractive targets than higher tech ones. viz. once the US shifted to a war footing, Al Queada et al decided it was easier to attack soft targets in Muslim countries rather than local US military or distant US civilians.
2. Small sates may be easier to police than larger states.
I would add that this would cause the local population to find extremist groups risky and might cause them to preemptively stop/kill them before they can become a danger to those around them. Notably, this option is probably only available to democracies that can afford to have citizens free enough to take this sort of initiative and very well run dictatorships with police states effective enough to catch all conspiracies.