Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/463

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447
POLITICAL DIFFERENTIATION.

themselves to the most powerful member of the group, now as dependents who work, and now as armed followers—armed followers who form a class bound to the dominant man, and unconnected with the land. And since, in clusters of such groups, fugitives ordinarily flock most to the strongest group, and become adherents of its head, they are instrumental in furthering those subsequent integrations and differentiations which conquests bring about.

Inequalities of social position, bringing inequalities in the supplies and kinds of food, clothing, and shelter, tend to establish physical differences, to the further advantage of the rulers and disadvantage of the ruled. And, beyond the physical differences, there are produced, by the respective habits of life, mental differences, emotional and intellectual, strengthening the general contrast of nature.

When there come the conquests which produce compound societies, and, again, doubly compound ones, there come superpositions of ranks. And the general effect is that, while the ranks of the conquering society become respectively higher than those which existed before, those of the conquered become respectively lower.

The class-divisions thus formed during the earlier stages of militancy are traversed and obscured as fast as the many small societies are consolidated into one large society. Ranks referring to local organization are gradually replaced by ranks referring to general organization. Instead of deputy and sub-deputy governing agents who are the militant owners of the subdivisions they rule, there come governing agents who more or less clearly form strata running throughout the society as a whole—a concomitant of developed political administration.

Chiefly, however, we have to note that, while the higher political evolution of large social aggregates tends to break down the divisions of rank which grew up in the small component social aggregate, by substituting other divisions, these original divisions are still more broken down by growing industrialism. Generating a wealth that is not connected with rank, this initiates a competing power; and at the same time, by establishing the equal positions of citizens before the law in respect of trading transactions, it weakens those divisions which at the outset expressed inequalities of position before the law.

As verifying these interpretations, I may add that they harmonize with the interpretations of ceremonial institutions recently given. As the primary differences of rank result from victories, and as the primary forms of propitiation originate in the behavior of the vanquished to the vanquishers, so the later differences of rank result from differences of power which, in the last resort, express themselves in physical coercion, and so the observances between ranks are recognitions of such differences of power. When the conquered enemy is made a slave, and mutilated by taking a trophy from his body, we see simultaneously originating the deepest political distinction and the cere-