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Word Count: 5,350
The State Having declared in the opening sentence of the Manifesto that all history is the history of class struggles Marx adds immediately in a footnote of written history For prior to the invention of writing societies were nomadic organised in tribes each tribe made of less than 100 individuals There was hardly any division of labour other than sexual The tribe would designate a chief and modern ethnology tells us the chief had very little power His main function was to defuse any conflict among tribesmen not as a judge he had no power to judge but more by using his charisma to talk people out of their quarrels His authority would be limited to leading the hunt and of course the war Thats all In his essay The Origin of Property Family and the State Engels describes social life in these primitive tribes very much as something like anarchy I would like to add here that modern anthropology supports Engels analysis Primitive societies did not know anything that resembles political power let alone a state They had no use for it Pierre Clastres in his fascinating book Society Against State notes that the only distinctive feature between primitive and modern societies is not agriculture it is not sedentary life it is the institution of a state A modern society is a society that is subject to the power of a state So called primitive societies were not In economic terms nomadic tribes which Engels calls gens do not accumulate a lot of goods The only capital they use is what people can carry on their back or on the back of an animal Not much Thus between tribes violence is limited there is not much to conquer and to loot and war is considered more like a sport a rough athletic competition Note that war was a game played by all tribesmen All valid men went to war
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