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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/749

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POLITICAL HEADSā€”CHIEFS, KINGS, ETC.

chiefly rule, display a filial submission which is mostly small and ceases early.

But now under what circumstances does respect for age take that pronounced form seen in societies distinguished by great political subordination? It was pointed out that when men, passing from the hunting stage into the pastoral stage, began to wander in search of food for their domesticated animals, they fell into conditions favoring the formation of that patriarchal group, at once family and miniature society, constituting the unit of composition of societies which reach the highest stages of evolution. We saw that, in the primitive pastoral horde, the man, dissociated from those earlier tribal influences which interfere with paternal power, and which prevent settled relations of the sexes, was so placed as to acquire headship of a coherent group: the father became, "by right of the strong hand, leader, owner, master, of wife, children, and all he carried with him." There were enumerated the influences which tended to make the eldest male a patriarch; and it was shown that not only the Semites, Aryans, and Turanians have exemplified this relation between pastoral habits and the patriarchal organization, but that it recurs in South African races.

Be the causes what they may, however, we find abundant proof that this family supremacy of the eldest male, common among pastoral peoples and peoples who have passed through the pastoral stage into the agricultural stage, naturally develops into political supremacy. Of the Santals Hunter says: "The village government is purely patriarchal. Each hamlet has an original founder (the manjhi-hanan), who is regarded as the father of the community. He receives divine honors in the sacred grove and transmits his authority to his descendants." Of the compound family among the Khonds we read in Macpherson that "there it [paternal authority] reigns nearly absolute. It is a Khond's maxim that a man's father is his god, disobedience to whom is the greatest crime; and all the members of a family live united in strict subordination to its head until his death." And the growth of groups thus arising, into compound and doubly compound groups, acknowledging the authority of one who unites family headship with political headship, has been made familiar by Sir Henry Maine and others as common to early Greeks, Romans, Teutons, and as still affecting social organization among Hindoos and Slavs.

Here, then, we have making its appearance a factor which conduces to permanence of political headship. As was pointed out in a foregoing chapter, while succession by efficiency gives plasticity to social organization, succession by inheritance gives it stability. No settled arrangement can arise in a primitive community so long as the function of each unit is determined exclusively by his fitness; since, at his death, the arrangement, in so far he was a part of it, must be recommenced. Only when his place is forthwith filled by one-whose claim is admitted, does there begin a differentiation which survives