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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/456

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

with these factors a consequent factor—namely, the extra power which the greater, wealth gives. For when there arise disputes within the tribe, the richer are those who, by their better appliances for defense and their greater ability to purchase aid, naturally have the advantage over the poorer. Proof that this is a potent cause is found in a fact named by Sir Henry Maine: "The founders of a part of our modern European aristocracy, the Danish, are known to have been originally peasants who fortified their houses during deadly village struggles, and then used their advantage." Such superiorities of power and position once initiated are increased in another way. Already in the last chapter we have seen that communities are to a certain extent increased by the addition of fugitives from other communities—sometimes criminals, sometimes those who are oppressed. While, in places where such fugitives belong to races of superior type, they often become rulers (as among many Indian Hill-tribes, whose rajahs are of Hindoo extraction), in places where they are of the same race, and can not do this, they attach themselves to those of chief power in their adopted tribe. Sometimes they yield up their freedom for the sake of protection: a man will make himself a slave by breaking a spear in the presence of his wished-for master, as among the East Africans, or by inflicting some small bodily injury upon him, as among the Fulahs. And in ancient Rome the semi-slave class distinguished as clients originated by this voluntary acceptance of servitude with safety. But, where his aid promises to be of value as a warrior, the fugitive offers himself in that capacity in exchange for maintenance and refuge. Other things equal, he joins himself to some one marked by superiority of power and property, and thus enables the man already dominant to become more dominant. Such armed dependents, having as aliens no claims to the lands of the group, and bound to its head only by fealty, answer in position to the comites as found in the early German communities, and as exemplified in old English times by the "Huscarlas" (house-carls), with whom nobles surrounded themselves. Evidently, too, followers of this kind, having certain interests in common with their protector, and no interests in common with the rest of the community, become, in his hands, the means of usurping communal rights and elevating himself while depressing the rest.

Step by step the contrast strengthens. Beyond such as have voluntarily made themselves slaves to a head-man, others have become enslaved by capture in the wars meanwhile going on, others by staking themselves in gaming, others by purchase, others by crime, others by debt. And of necessity the possession of many slaves, habitually accompanying wealth and power, tends still further to increase that wealth and power, and to mark off still more the higher rank from the lower.

 

Certain concomitant influences generate differences of nature, physical and mental, between those members of a community who have at-