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despised by the haughty Bedouins, and these the Akhdams carry on. They are tanners, washermen, potters, butchers, and are therefore looked upon as tainted, though not so impure as to communicate impurity to the objects that have passed through their hands (7).
The social organization of Further India is not so elaborately bureaucratic as that of China. The great importance of the nobility reminds us of Japan; and in Cambodia and Burmah we have Indian institutions, of which there is also a glimmer in Siam. In Cambodia the royal family stand in the first class, almost a caste; in the second are the descendants of the old kings of the country. Third come the preams, the Brahmins of India, and fourth, the servants of Buddha. The lowest place is held by the laboring population, husbandmen, fishermen, artisans, shop-keepers. These are nominally free, but have to render service to a lord and most liberally to the state. In addition there are the slaves, especially numerous in Siam and in Cambodia, in whose ranks is much of the best labor-power in the country" (8).
$ 18. — Thus we see that slavery, or property in men, is today found everywhere among races that have climbed above the lower planes of savagery, while falling short of the levels of civilization. It does not now exist, at least in outward form, in the highly progressive modern countries like Germany, France, England, the United States, and the other parts of western society. But it once prevailed among the forefathers of these peoples; and as we have already observed, it was universal in the ancient classic and oriental civilizations. Before the prehistoric beginnings of material progress, property in men was not a factor in human life. In the preceding chapter, for instance, we saw that it did not prevail among the extremely backward Fuegians. The prime condition of slavery is, that labor be able artificially to produce more than enough for immediate necessities. When a surplus appears, along with the early steps of progress in the arts, then slavery inevitably follows. The institution of pro
perty right in men originates in the stage of nomadic barbarism; and it continues in the life of settled races until their social development passes into higher stages. *
$ 19. — We do not stop just here to inquire into the moral aspects or the general significance of property right in human beings, or any kind of property right by which an upper class is able to exploit a lower class without returning a direct economic recompense. In the present connection we are concerned, most of all, to emphasize the inevitableness of property right in surplus-producing labor at a certain point in social development. This institution is just as inevitable in the earlier stages of social evolution as the precipitation of rain when atmospheric conditions are favorable to it. The ancient civilizations, with their universal slavery, were oases in the midst of deserts of savagery and barbarism. The history of every ancient society records the presence of outside barbarisms with which it sooner or later came into contact, and against which it was compelled to undertake defensive and offensive operations. If the enslaved classes had withdrawn from the ancient civilizations, and established an equality and liberty such as that prevailing among the lowest savages and advocated by some social idealists, the seceding multitudes would have retrograded toward the conditions of the primitive struggle for existence. To use a homely phrase, they would have jumped out of the fry
* It may be noted here that the so-called “communism in land” practiced by ancient societies — oriental, classic, and western was upperclass communism. Before the advance of material progress had permitted men to increase greatly and form general governments there was necessarily a large amount of unused land around every community; and this, together with occupied land, was at first regarded as the common property of the free upper class. When population increased, and general governments were established, the upper-class communism in land passed into upper-class individualism; and the soil was appropriated in severalty. The conquest of a society like Anglo-Saxon England, living under primitive upper-class communism, looks, to the superficial modern eye, as if it were the subjection of Democracy by Aristocracy; but in reality it was nothing of the kind.
ing-pan into the fire. Collision with an indefinite number of hostile tribes would have been certain. On the one hand, the seceders might have been conquered, and either exterminated or re-enslaved by new masters. Or, on the other hand, after exterminating a few tribes, they might have acquired some good territory as a home. But if the free and equal seceders had the good fortune to go as far as this, their troubles would not have been ended. They would now have been compelled to defend their hardly won possessions against others less fortunate than they. These hostile tribes, incessantly attacking, either singly or in combination, would have at length exhausted the resources of our ancient democracy and enslaved it. No race ever could nor did work its way up from the stone age into modern civilization on the basis of equality and liberty. It would have been simply impossible for free societies to organize the progress that has led up from the early prehistoric age through the oriental, classic, and western civilizations into modern democracy.
$20. The beginnings of material art in the midst of the primitive struggle for existence, then, —
Increased the size of social groups, and —
Stratified these growing aggregates into two principal classes whose relations were based at first upon the institution of slavery, or property right in men.
Our survey thus far has disclosed a comparatively simple story; but the plot now thickens.
(1)-RATZEL, I, p. 123.
(8)—IDEM, III, pp. 424, 425. — On slavery and serfdom in general, cf. SPENCER, Principles of Sociology (N. Y., 1895), II, pp. 290-310. IDEM (N. Y., 1897), III, pp. 464-492.
THE CAPITALIZATION OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT.
$ 21. — It is well understood by historical students that slavery was a great step in human progress; but whatever its merits may be, the consideration of slavery, or the institution of property right in men, introduces a much larger subject.
By means of slavery it is plain that an upper class appropriates the labor products and services of a lower class without engaging to make repayment. But it now becomes exceedingly important to emphasize that the appropriation of labor products on this one-sided basis is brought about by other institutions than that of property right in men. For instance, if a class engross the land of a country, and force the remainder of the population to pay rent for the use of the soil, such a procedure issues, like slavery, in the absorption of labor products by an upper class without repayment.
In the previous chapter we learned that social cleavage arose during prehistoric times, while society was yet in the stage of nomadic barbarism. Now, if we examine the field of history carefully, it becomes plain that one of the most considerable facts not only of the ancient civilizations, but of all civilizations down to the present, is just this cleavage, or stratification, of society into two principal classes, upper and lower. It matters little what legal form social cleavage may take. The upper class may own the lower class bodily — in which case we have slavery, pure and simple. Or, the upper class may own the land of a country, the lower class being personally free, but compelled to pay rent to the landed aristocracy.
Or, there may be a combination of slavery and land monopoly, or a variation of either of these in the direction of “serfdom.” In any case there is a fundamental cleavage of society into two classes, the upper appropriating the labor products of the lower without engaging to make repayment. The form of the fact may vary; but the essence, or substance, of exploitation is always the same. And it is the naked fact of cleavage in abstraction from all forms of it that we have predicated as one of the most considerable facts of universal history down to the present. If the point is not immediately apparent, let it be assumed while we turn to the next proposition.
$ 22. — We have seen that in the prehistoric period, while men were engaged in the primitive struggle for existence, they were necessarily dispersed over wide areas in small, more or less hostile, groups, like animals. If we could rise to some elevated point, and take a bird'seye view of all history, we should see that one of the most dramatic features of social development consists in the expansion and affiliation of these little groups into social bodies of continually increasing size. Primitive wandering, family groups have been gathered into nomadic tribes; tribes, in turn, have coalesced into settled nations; while nations have been gathered into great civilized communities, or groups of nations.
At the outset of this great process of social aggregation, or integration, imperative necessities, hitherto nonexistent, came rapidly to the front. Men were beginning to live a life unlike that of their ancestors before the age of material progress. They were being unconsciously drawn together into expanding social systems by forces they little understood. They had struck out along the upward path of civilization; and as the old, primitive life receded into the past, they were confronted by a tremendous problem - or, perhaps better, by a number of problems with a common element. These problems did not have to be solved all at once; but, for convenience, we will enumerate a number of them together. If each expanding social cor