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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/161

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POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IN GENERAL.

be greater prosperity and populousness in the regions subject to a king.

These last cases introduce us to a further truth. Not only does that first step in political organization which places individuals under the control of a tribal chief bring the advantages gained by better cooperation, but such advantages are increased when minor political heads become subject to a major political head. As typifying the evils which are thereby avoided, I may name the fact that among the Belooches, whose tribes, unsubordinated to a general ruler, are constantly at war with one another, it is the habit to erect a small mud tower in each field, where the possessor and his retainers guard his produce—a state of things allied to, but worse than, that of the Highland clans, with their strongholds for sheltering women and cattle from the inroads of their neighbors, in days when they were not under the control of a central power. The benefits derived from such wider control, whether of a simple head or of a compound head, were felt by the early Greeks when the Amphictyonic Council established the laws that "no Hellenic tribe is to lay the habitations of another level with the ground; and from no Hellenic city is the water to be cut off during a siege." The good which results from that advance of political structure which unites smaller communities into larger ones was shown in our own country when, by the Roman conquest, the incessant fights between tribes were stopped; and again, in later days, when feudal nobles, becoming subject to a monarch, were debarred from private wars. Under its converse aspect, we see the same truth when, amid the anarchy which followed the collapse of the Carlovingian empire, princes and barons, resuming their independence, became active enemies to one another: their state being such that "when they were not at war they lived by open plunder." And the history of Europe has repeatedly, in many places and times, furnished kindred illustrations.

While political organization, as it extends itself throughout masses of increasing size, directly furthers welfare by removing that impediment to cooperation which the antagonism of individuals and of tribes causes, it indirectly furthers it in another way. Nothing beyond a rudimentary division of labor can arise in a small social group. Before commodities can be multiplied in their kinds, there must be multiplier! kinds of producers; and, before each commodity can be produced in the most economical way, the different stages in the production of it must be apportioned out among special hands. Nor is this all. Neither the required complex combinations of individuals, nor the elaborate mechanical appliances which facilitate manufacture, can arise in the absence of a large community, generating a great demand.

 

But though the advantages gained by coöperation presuppose political organization, this political organization necessitates disadvantages;