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Leonid GRININ THE EVOLUTION OF STATEHOOD AS THE PROBLEM OF PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICAL ANTHROPOLOGY Abstract Issues of the origin and evolution of statehood are among those most important problems not only in political anthropology but also in philosophy of history. Many aspects of these problems traditionally remain under vigorous debate. We think these difficulties are connected in many ways with the dominant view on the philosophical problems of social (cultural) evolution as much depends on scholar’s views on the evolution process (e.g. its unilinear or multilinear nature; whether all nations must pass the same phases of development or not; the hierarchy of its driving forces; its directions and trends, etc.). One or another way of solving these problems forms his/her concepts about origin and evolution of the state. And vice versa opinions on the problems connected with statehood have a profound effect on the cultural evolution’s approaches. In the present paper there is made the analysis of the evolution of the state organization with account for the conception of the political anthropology and philosophy of history. In the paper there are suggested new models of the evolution of the state. In particular instead of a two-stage model by Claessen and Skalník (early state–mature state) which does not take into account the principle differences between the states of industrial and pre-industrial epochs there is suggested a three-stage model of the evolution of state: early state – developed state – mature state. Early states – are insufficiently centralized states with underdeveloped bureaucracy, their flourishing falls on the period of Ancient World history and the most part of the Middle Ages. The developed states – the centralized estatecorporative and bureaucratic states of the Late Antiquity, Middle Ages and Modern Age. The mature states are the states of the industrial epoch with rational type of law and government where the classes of industrial society and modern type of nation have formed. INTRODUCTION Social (cultural) evolution is an endlessly debated category. The matter is that “evolution” (as well as “progress”, “development” etc.) is referred to those abstract terms which comprise a very wide content1. The notion of the state, on the contrary, seems to be quite concrete at first sight. However, in spite of that questions connected with the nature and definition of the state, reasons of its rise, stages of development, criteria of reference of a definite state to this or that stage – still remain debatable. In the present paper we would like to show the complex
Although the contents of the notions of social and cultural evolution, as we see them, by no means agree completely, but taking into account that in anthropology they are often used just as synonyms, in the framework of the present paper we will also use them as synonyms. However, as it will be further shown in the case of separating the notions of evolution and macroevolution, it will be more exact to speak about cultural evolution and social macroevolution.
interrelations in the solution of particular problems of the social evolution theory and the process of the rise and development of statehood because on the one hand, the approaches to the theory of cultural evolution on the whole are essentially dependant on the position concerning the problems connected with the state. On the other hand, it is exactly the philosophic position concerning cultural evolution taken by a researcher of the problems of the state that determines to a great degree in what way he/she will solve them. EVOLUTIONISM AND THE PROBLEMS OF THE THEORY OF THE STATE In spite of long and continuous critics (see e.g. Lowie 1961; Steward 1972 ; Popper 1964, 1969) there are still powerful the ideas of unilinear evolution and evolutionary scheme according to which all nations pass the same stages of development and differ only in the time of passing them. Although this evolutionary scheme appeared already in the 18th century and does not evidently correspond to the results of modern investigations it is eliminated with an extreme difficulty (Shieder 1977: 161). The consideration of the evolution as a unilinear (or more exactly not multilinear) process greatly simplifies and eventually distorts fundamentally the evolutionary process. The result of competition, selection, search for more successful evolutionary forms and patterns, i.e. the result of quite long and complex processes, is presented as if initially predetermined. It is explicitly or implicitly supposed that the old forms are always and everywhere substituted by strictly determined forms. For instance, the chiefless primitive bands should be substituted by chiefdoms, and chiefdoms, in their turn – by the states. In practice, it might have quite often occurred otherwise. In particular the transition to complex societies by no means always followed the classic evolutionary scheme: pre-state society – primitive (early) state – because quite often there appeared societies of a particular type, non-state in their structure of administrative government and political organization but which were quite comparable in many aspects to the state (see e.g. Kradin et al. 2000; Grinin et al. 2004). There are some approaches within whose framework there have been made attempts to resolve the contradiction between the conceptions of unilinear and multilinear evolutionism. Marshall Sahlins offered to distinguish “general” evolution that is the progress of the types of forms representing the movement through the stages of universal progress and “specific” one, i.e. the historical development of particular cultural forms (Sahlins 1960: 43). Robert Carneiro noted the importance of taking into account the parameters and aspects of the study. If one stresses the similarity of the institutions or structures that are developed, evolution is unilinear. If one stresses the various roads, social evolution can be considered as multilinear (Carneiro 1973; see also Carneiro 2003: 229–238). Of course, much depends on the research task. But still for the most scientific tasks to take into account the multilinearity and alternativity of evolution appears to be absolutely obligatory. After all variability and alternativity are the most important and fundamental features inherent of the social evolution all along, i.e., figuratively speaking, evolution always has several responses to arising problems
(see Bondarenko, Grinin and Korotayev 2002). Historical process is not a rigorously predetermined development but a movement in the framework of constant selection of alternatives and models. Moreover, these models are by no means always in opposition but often integrate and actively borrow each others' achievements. That is why an equal level of sociopolitical complexity can be achieved not only in various forms but on essentially different evolutionary pathways (Korotayev et al. 2000; Bondarenko, Grinin, and Korotayev 2002: 54). It is false not to take this into account and that can be proved, in fact, by the example of Carneiro himself whose views on the origin of the state can be considered unilinear2. Also it is important to reject the idea that the transition to a qualitatively new level of organization (model, form) is a process similar to the transformation of an embryo into an adult individual by means of genetic code, i.e. the process of change programmed by the previous development. Any genetic code provides development only according to certain and thousand times approved patterns. Besides it prevents any, especially qualitatively new changes, after all its task is to prevent deviations from the programme. As the evolutionary development – i.e. the advance of social organisms to acquiring new, earlier unknown quality which provides better adaptive opportunities – is always connected with the emergence of the ever new, to a certain degree unfamiliar problems (for the given society or World-System on the whole)3. Among such problems there may be e.g. the explosive population growth, an acute shortage of land, an appearance of dangerous enemies or more cultural neighbors, a split and civil war in before peaceful societies, a rapid growth of wealth, sharp social stratification, deterioration of the ecological situation etc. Moreover, it is worth paying attention to the great role of the external factors among these problems or “challenges” according to A. J. Toynbee (1962−1963). Unfortunately, this aspect is often underestimated. For example, there is a common tendency to diminish the role of wars and conquests in the formation of state. Thus according to H. J. M. Claessen in this process they played a less important role in comparison with ideology or social stratification (Claessen 1989; 2000; 2002)4. However, just new challenges are obviously not enough for serious changes. The matter is that most societies “respond” to new problems with the help of old,
For example, he writes that when dealing with political evolution we encounter an undeniable unilinearity. If all human societies were once nomadic bands that later after the invention of agriculture, evolved, for the most part, into autonomous villages. Then villages developed into multivillage chiefdoms and a limited number of chiefdoms went on to become states. Consequently, the common line in the evolution of all states has been one of band – autonomous village–chiefdom–state (emphasis added – L. G.) (Carneiro 2003: 234).. When interpreting the notion of World-System we base primarily of the conception of Andre Gunder Frank (1990, 1993). On our approach to World-System and its evolution see: (Korotayev, Grinin 2006). 4 Of course not less false is to present conquests (of some nations or races by the others, of the sedentary peoples by the nomadic ones etc.) as a decisive reason for the ancient state formation, as it was observed by some famous philosophers of the end 19th and beginning of the 20th century (see e.g. Gumplowicz 1983; Oppenhiemer 1926; see also Kautski 1931). The position of R. Carneiro (1970; 1978; 1981; 2000a; 2000b; 2003; 2004) is much more reasoned, of course, but still it does not take into account some basic variants of state formation process.
customary, tested means because they select not from hypothetical but from the alternatives close enough to be accessible by chance (Van Parijs 1981: 51) that is they use actual – as opposed to potential – alternatives (Claessen 1989). Naturally, such “responses” are far from always been effective. As a result a number of societies perish, disappear, and lose independence. Thus, on the departure of the Roman legions from Britain in 410 A. D. the Britons (Romanized British Celts) in search for defenders from the raids of the Irish and Scottish barbarians called in the Saxons and gave them some land. But the Saxons seeing the Britons' weakness soon stopped obeying local authorities and in the end together with the Angles and Jutes became masters of the country. And the Britons in spite of the long and stubborn resistance were partially driven away and partially eliminated or subjugated. That is why in Britain instead of the “Britons'” state there appeared barbarian Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (Blair 1966: 149–168; Chadwick 1987: 71). But sometimes societies are nevertheless forced to respond in a really new way, and at times it happens in spite of their wish. Of course, such new responses are far from always been reasonable, effective and successful. After all, the pathway to something new is an unknown, unfamiliar way, the way by touch. So mistakes including the fatal ones are inevitable. That is why it so often happens in history that societies perish or decline. Thus for a new evolutionary perspective model to appear there is always needed a combination of specific, in some way exceptional conditions, a unique coincidence of external and internal factors, that is of new challenges and new successful responses to them (for details see Grinin 1997; 2003а: 52–53; 2003b: 48–52; 2007а: 7–10, 56–60; Grinin, Korotayev 2007). Let us examine this statement by the example of the state formation. It is recognized universally enough that to form a state a pre-state society must possess a certain set of minimum characteristics with respect to population, complexity, sociopolitical differentiation and ability to accumulate surplus (cf. e.g., Claessen 1978, 2000, 2002). Pre-state societies, however, after reaching a certain size and a certain level of sociocultural complexity (at which the transition to the state is already possible), may continue to develop without building political forms of an early state for a long time (some of many examples can serve the Gauls in pre-Roman period; the Saxons of Saxony in the end of the 8th century; Iceland before its subjugation to Norway; the Hsiung-nu polity in the 2nd century B.C.; Scythia in the 7th–5th century B. C. [on these and other similar polities see Grinin 2003c, 2004c, 2007a]). So they can significantly outgrow the respective levels of those indices – but without forming a state. In particular, a culture may have a high level of social stratification but lack a state system. How then should such societies be classified? Still as pre-state cultures, or as something else? Some of such societies can be characterized by the term heterarchy (about the term and the concept heterarchy see e.g., Crumley 1995, 2001; see also McIntosh 1999). But among such societies there are many hierarchical polities as well as those of some other types (see e.g. Kradin et al. 2000; Grinin et al. 2004). So we are convinced that the most productive path to follow is to recognize them just as early state analogues (Grinin 2002, 2003c, 2004a, 2004b, 2004c, 2007а, 2007c,
2007d; Bondarenko, Grinin, and Korotayev 2002). This is because, on the one hand, if compared with doubtlessly pre-state societies, such as, for example, simple chiefdoms, tribes, independent simple communities, big-men systems etc., they are not only bigger in size but much more complex as well. On the other hand, their size and complexity were comparable to those of early states and they dealt with problems of comparable scale and essence. That is why they may, in a certain sense, be regarded as being at the same level of sociocultural and/or political development as the early state societies. The latter, certainly, differ significantly from their analogues, but not as much in the development level as in some peculiarities of political organization and in ‘the mechanics’ of administration (for details see Grinin 2003c, 2004a, 2004c, 2007а). Was the emergence of the state inevitable in this case? This statement is true only in the most general sense – to the degree in which the matter concerns the state as a result of a long competition of different forms, their fall, transformations, social selection etc. In other words it is true for the World-System and the humanity in general. But for every society in particular the state might not be inevitable. In fact it took thousands years for the evolutionary advantages of this new form to come to light and it became dominant. But still dozens thousands of political organisms disappeared as independent ones forever losing the chance of becoming such. Thus the main (general, principle) line of evolution is discovered not at once because a) it arises in a long competition with non-principle (or secondary in retrospective sense) paths and b) for a long time it adapts to different conditions because to become the principle one it must spread at least in the principle areas of the World-System. Otherwise, for instance, why was it so difficult for the states to rise in different regions for more then 4 thousand years if the general line of evolution had been discovered right away and paved? Why then did not there emerge the Gauls` state though in the cultural level, population, development of towns and trade they noticeably surpassed many others, e.g., the Franks who conquered the Roman Gaul? (on the extremely high level of the development of the pre-Roman Gaul see e.g. Clark and Piggott 1970: 310–328; Chadwick 1987; Braudel 1986; Le Roux 1961; Thevenot 1996) Why did not the continental Saxons with their high level of social inequality form the state unlike the Saxons that conquered Britain? Why did most nomadic peoples fail to create the state although been in close contact with civilized states? The fact is that the state was not only a completely new solution of problems facing the complicated societies, but also it was the way that meant the breakup with many of the previous relations and traditions. And it is quite difficult and sometimes impossible to do that. That is why many societies followed their own way which, however, often led to some different results; in particular e.g. to an extreme sacralization of the ruler; to the overcomplicating of kin relations and the formation of aristocratic caste (estate) of the privileged clans and kin lines; to the complication of network horizontal (instead of vertical hierarchical) links; a firm fixation of professional and social differences (caste system); to the creation of tribal or towns confederations without strong central power (but with effective alternative mechanisms of intersocietal integration) or to some other patterns. At
that the choice of the direction of development is always connected with a number of concrete historical reasons (for details see Grinin 2003c, 2004a, 2004b, 2004c, 2006b, 2007а, 2007b; Korotayev et al. 2000). One should also bear in mind that evolutionary successful and potential structures not necessarily were more successful in a concrete historical situation. On the contrary, for a long period it might have been the other way round. That is why only retrospectively, at a long time spans it becomes obvious why and in what way more evolutionary perspective systems still gradually gained victory and less capable to qualitative reorganizations were rejected and destroyed though in some places due to some reasons they could last out. But even when evolutionary more complex and perspective form was found, there was usually required a long “incubation period” and specific conditions for that form to prove its advantages. Time and conditions were necessary also for these achievements to be spread to other places and situations. The difficulty of borrowing and transference of achievements was the most important reason of long delays in the development of potentially perspective forms. And the problem often lied not only in the unwillingness to change but also in the difficulty of adjustment and adaptation of the borrowed technologies. Consequently, there must have appeared some additional innovations which would help these advantages to show up in new conditions (in respect to those where they had appeared) but that could have happened not that soon. In respect to the state, for example, in these or those regions there were needed various factors: technological, legal, cultural – to compensate the lack of fertile land, population, wealth, specific combination of sacral and political aspects which were present in the irrigation states in the valleys of big rivers. In particular in Central and Northern Europe before the appearance of effective ferrous metallurgy the development of statehood was hampered. Also spreading the technology in this area by no means led to an automatic formation of statehood or its alternative forms of political organization – it is a question of necessary but insufficient condition (for detail see Grinin, Korotaev 2006, 2007; Korotayev, Grinin 2006). It is worth dwelling on two complicated problems of modern theory of social evolution, whose uncertainty is thought to come from incomplete overcoming of the idea of the unilinearity of social evolution and the idea that all societies must pass the same stages of development in the same forms but in different time periods. These problems we could formulate as follows: first, how should one insert regress, stagnation, collapse, cyclic tendencies and similar processes in the evolution because the evolution of practically every polity shows alternating periods of flourishing and decay? Second, what level of analysis should be chosen as the basic one: the level of a separate society or a higher level of combination of a group of societies (or even World-System or whole historical process at one of the large stages of its development)? These problems in our view are closely connected and to solve the first of them one should analyze some features of social evolution at the level higher than a separate society. For example, H. J. M. Claessen to understand evolution finds important to emphasize that the growing complexity is not the essence of cultural evolution (Claessen 2000: 1) because it is not always and everywhere observed and other scholars suggest considering decay, stagnation and even collapse as intrinsic as-
pects of evolution (see e.g. Yoffee 1979). Such suggestions proceed from the implicit idea that 1) the basic level of analysis of social evolution must be the development of a particular society; 2) in the social evolution framework the development of any societies is considered as theoretically equal. However, with such an approach, first, one loses an opportunity to distinguish among the combination of different paths of evolution a) more or less perspective, b) lateral and c) dead-ends; second, an important methodological idea is underestimated that it is just the process of growing complexity that ultimately creates more viable forms and better adaptation of societies to environment. That is why such process of growing complexity must be recognized as the most important specific characteristics of social evolution5. We suggest proceeding from the fact that societies by definition develop in different ways. That the transition to a new level (quality, model, form etc.) is realized in the bundle of different variants, on the one side of which there is an appearance of a perspective model of development in the future, and on the other – the appearance of a non-perspective model which will eventually bring a society to the evolutionary dead-end, from which an independent and successful outcome is impossible or extremely difficult. At that as we observed earlier, it is just this nonperspectivity of some societies that to a great degree contributes to the perspectivity of the “successful” in the long run model. But if societies actually develop according to different directions and models then how one can describe these qualitative changes working at the level of evolution of particular societies but not at the level of the whole or most part of them (whole historical process or World-System at one of the large stages of its development)? On the other hand, the level of a particular society is also extremely important and returning to it, it is necessary to admit that evolution can fail to bring qualitative reorganizations of the growing complexity type, although it is just them that are theoretically most important. The way out from this “contradiction” in our view is a) to separate the processes of social (or rather cultural) evolution proper and social macroevolution (as a combination of the most important and long for the humankind and World-System changes), and b) to consider macroevolution not only at the level of societies but at a higher suprasocietal level, at the level of large groups of societies within which there are distinguished particular societies which are pioneers working out from their own experience the successful evolutionary model or “locomotives” advancing others6. But still a significant part of achievements of societies that developed not along the conventional general evolutionary path, nevertheless, are also used. So this general macroevolutionary line is always that of a complex system of combined and transformed achievements of many societies which however can become especially apparent in one or another pioneer society. And
It is worth noting that in Voget`s and Claessen`s definition of evolution as the process by which structural reorganization is affected through time, eventually producing a form or structure which is qualitatively different from the ancestral form (Voget 1975: 862; Claessen 2000: 2) there is much true but still some important specific features of evolution as it was said earlier, are lost in this case. The idea of separating evolution and macroevolution belongs to us jointly with A. V. Korotayev what was stated in our common work (Grinin, Korotayev 2007), to it we also refer those who would like a more detailed and reasoned statement of the above-said view on social evolution.
then this advanced society’s culture and technology can be borrowed by other societies and so on. Any noticeable qualitative change at the highest level of abstraction – at the level of the humanity on the whole or even at the level of World-System – was often created at the expense of degradation or elimination of a great number of societies in different directions of which only few become leading later on7. In other words the development of World-System on the one hand, and of these or those particular societies – on the other, is not the correlation of the same processes differing only in scale. That is why it is more productive to consider them as a correlation of a whole and a part. And the whole, especially if it is a system, as is well known is not equal to the sum of its constituents. It is quite clear as the constituents play different functional role of the center and periphery, predator and prey, winner and loser, borrower (recipient) and giver (donor), colony and metropolitan country, resource supplier and consumer, producer and mediator, chief and executor; bodies specializing in separate functions and just participants of division of labour and etc. Thus, evolution is figuratively speaking not a wide ladder where sooner or later everybody can go up independently and in a single direction but a most complicated labyrinth, from which only a few can find the way out without borrowings. In other words, the model of society development is extremely dependant on whether it independently passes to a new level (stage, form) or not and also on the degree of independence. In respect to the state many scholars following Morton Fried (1967) emphasized such differences by introducing the notions of the so-called primary and secondary states, that is correspondingly of the states formed without other states influence and states formed under the influence of already finished examples and under the impact of the existing states. However, at the level of evolutionary theory on the whole such approaches for some reason do not carve they way. THE EVOLUTIONARY SEQUENCE OF STATE TYPES Basing the above-stated ideas about the direction of development and the most important characteristics of cultural evolution and social macroevolution we can start a discussion of the relevant set of definitions regarding the evolutionary sequence of state types. Some scholars are "suspicious" to the very idea of identifying stages within any processes; in fact, it is not unusual for them to directly contrast the notion of "process" with "stages" as mutually exclusive (see, e.g., Shanks and Tilley 1987; see also Marcus and Feinman 1998: 3). However, we agree with Carneiro (2000b) that the opposition of process to stages is a false dichotomy, as stages are nothing else but continuous episodes of a continuous process, whereas the notion of process can be used for the development of the notion of stages (Goudsblom 1996; see also Grinin 2006c, 2007e). When the development of statehood in the framework of the overall historical process is analyzed, two main stages are usually identified: the ones of the early state and those of the mature state (see, for example, Claessen and Skalník 1978a; Claessen and van de Velde 1987, 1991; Skalník 1996; Shifferd 1987; Tymowski
At least that how it was during the whole main part of historical process though modern situation is a bit different.
1987). However, when we try to apply this scheme to the political development of the World System, it becomes evident that in no way is this scheme complete. Why? To answer this question we have to consider the concept of the early state introduced by Henri J. M. Claessen and Peter Skalník. The concept appears to have been the last among the great epoch-making political-anthropological theories of the 60s and 70s of the last century (e.g., Sahlins [1960, 1963, 1968], Service [1962, 1975], Fried [1967, 1975]), which did more than just giving a new consideration of sociopolitical evolution, its stages and models. One may even say that these theories succeeded in filling the evolutionary gap between the pre-state forms and the state, which had formed by that moment in the academic consciousness due to the fact that the accumulated ethnographic and archaeological data could hardly fit the prior schemes. However it seems that in comparison with other ‘stage’ theories from the above-mentioned list the theory of the early state has a number of important advantages, especially concerning the view on social evolution in general and the evolution of statehood8. In the theory of the early state it was fundamentally new and important from methodological point of view to define the early state as a separate stage of evolution essentially different from the following stage, the one of the full-grown state, or mature state. ‘To reach the early state level is one thing, to develop into a full-blown, or mature state is quite another’ (Claessen and Skalník 1978b: 22). At the same time they (as well as a number of other authors) indicated quite soundly that not all early states were able to become and actually became the mature ones (see e.g. Claessen and Skalník 1978a; Claessen and van de Velde 1987; Shifferd 1987). Thus there was formed exactly the evolutionary sequence of statehood in the form of two-stage scheme: the early state – the mature state. And that explained a lot in the mechanisms and directions of the political evolution. The differences between the early and mature states in Claessen and Skalník's opinion in general were described as the change of ideology and the system of relationships between power and population during the transition from one type of the state to another. According to them ‘the structure of the early state… [was] based principally upon the concept of reciprocity and genealogical distance from the sovereign’, and so the period of the early state terminates ‘as soon as the ideological foundation of the state no longer is based upon these concepts’. From Claessen and Skalník's analysis it follows that in the mature state the managerial and redistributive aspects became dominant. The mature state is based upon an
It is clear that there are some weak points in Claessen–Skalník's theory. In particular in their theory does not take into account the fact that many complex non-state polities per se are not as much the societies of developmental stages prior to the early state as they are the polities quite comparable to inchoate and typical early state in the level of evolutionary complexity and the scope of functions. We tried to show the possible solutions of this problem introducing the notion of early state analogues (Grinin 2003c, 2004c, 2007a, 2007b; Bondarenko, Grinin, and Korotayev 2002). Another drawback of the early state theory is that implicitly only a monarchic form of state with a sacral monarch at the head is regarded as an early state and that is why the ancient and medieval democratic states virtually were disregarded by the theory (see about this e.g., Grinin 2004a, 2004b).
efficient governmental apparatus and a new type of legitimation and ideology, based on a more complete law and political order or ‘a new myth of the society’ or something like that; besides, land as the basic means of production becomes an object of private ownership and in the state there increases the role of the owners of land and other means of production (Claessen and Skalník 1978a: 633–634; see also Claessen 1984; Claessen and Oosten 1996). However, it is important to point out that in The Early State (Claessen and Skalník 1978d) as well as in other works (e.g. Claessen 1984) the characteristics of the mature state were presented quite briefly as actually they were needed only to emphasize the characteristics of the early state. Besides Claessen and Skalník the phenomenon of the mature state was more or less thoroughly examined in the articles by Thomas Bargatzky and Patricia Shifferd (Bargatzky 1987; Shifferd 1987). On the whole almost everybody who employs the term ‘mature state’ connects such a type of state with the presence of an effective bureaucratic apparatus, still with respect to the time of appearance of the mature state (and consequently of its specific characteristics) there are evident discrepancies which may be reduced to the two viewpoints. The first is shared by the majority of scholars who use this term (including Claessen and Skalník) who employ the term with respect to the ancient and medieval as well as modern states9.The second point of view is expressed by Shifferd (although quite unclearly) who thinks that mature states are primarily the European states of the New Age. To this point of view Ronald Cohen's position (Cohen 1978: 35–36) is also rather close, as although he does not use (at least in the cited paper) the notion of mature state, but in quite a definite way he opposes early states to the industrial ones (Ibid. p. 36)6. In other words, in the evolution of state organization he also defines two stages: the pre-industrial (early) and industrial states. So the former viewpoint (Claessen, Skalník, Bargatzky et al.) proceeds from the point that mature states are the second and the highest stage of the state organization which appeared in the Antiquity and is present until now; the latter (Shifferd, Cohen) divides the whole evolution of the statehood into early states and modern states called at times mature, at other times industrial but which appear only starting from the industrial epoch or at least from the Modern Age. Note that this approach has something in common with the approach dividing states into archaic and modern nation-states that exists beyond the Early State’s Project framework (see e.g., Marcus and Feinman 1998: 4–5)10. It is important to point out that there is some truth in both viewpoints. On the one hand, the bureaucratic pre-industrial states of the Antiquity and Middle Ages differ much from the weakly centralized ‘reciprocal’ early state based on the ruler's
More distinctly the idea that states of capitalist or industrial type are not included in their concept of mature state was presented by Claessen in the work ‘Verdwenen koninkrijken en verloren beschavingen [Disappeared kingdoms and lost civilizations’ (Claessen 1991: 184–185, in Dutch)]. 10 For more details about the approaches dedicated to the phenomenon of the mature state, and its analysis see: (Grinin 2008).
clan. And so an important boundary in the evolution of the statehood can be traced already from Egypt of the New Kingdom. On the other hand, it is evident, that the European rational legal states of the Modern Age and especially of the industrial epoch differed in the most profound way from the complex monarchies of the Antiquity and Middle Ages (even from such developed as Sung and T'ang empires in China), which are called ‘mature states’ by some scholars. It makes sense to cite the following statement by Max Weber: ‘In fact, the State itself, in the sense of a political association with a rational, written constitution, rationally ordained law, and an administration bound to rational rules or laws, administered by trained officials, is known, in this combination of characteristics, only in the Occident, despite all other approaches to it’ (Weber 1958: 15–16). And really, would not it be rather strange to assume that the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th century did not lead to the radical transformation of the state organization? The fact is when we try to apply the scheme ‘early state – mature state’ to the evolution of the state in the world history, it becomes evident that in no way is this scheme complete. So the sequence of two stages of the evolution of the statehood must be re-examined and changed. Hence we think that it would be more correct to distinguish not two but three stages of statehood, namely after the stage called by Claessen and Skalník the mature state there must be inserted one more stage which would denote the type of industrial states (not only European but all the industrial states). However here comes the question of the name of this third stage. It would be better to introduce a new term for it. But which term? Supermature? But it seems it would sound awkward. So we came to the conclusion about the necessity to keep the term mature state only for the industrial states and to define as developed states those pre-industrial bureaucratic centralized states that Claessen, Skalník and others call the ‘mature’ ones (see Grinin 2006a, 2006b, 2007b, 2008; Grinin and Korotayev 2006). Hence, we are dealing with the following sequence of three stages: early states; developed states; mature states. Early states are insufficiently centralized states. They politically organize societies with underdeveloped administrative-political and social structures, their flourishing falls on the period of Ancient World history and the most part of the Middle Ages. Developed states are the formed centralized states of the Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern period. They politically organize societies with distinct estate-class stratification. Mature states are the states of the industrial epoch. They politically organize such societies, where estates have disappeared, the bourgeois and working classes have formed, nations have developed, and representative democracy has proliferated11. Thus, according to such point of view, in the Antiquity and Middle Ages there were no mature states, but only early and developed ones. For each stage of the statehood we can identify the following three types of the state: the primitive, typical, and transitional ones12. In the framework of this article the basic characteristics of statehood stages are identified on the basis of the
Note, however, that not all the mature states are democratic. On totalitarian mature states see Grinin 2007b: 274, 279–280).
middle phase of each stage (thus, respectively for typical early, typical developed, and typical mature states). Now we can discuss about the main differences between the early, developed, and mature states13. Early states differ greatly from each other in many characteristics. However, if we try to understand what differentiates them from the developed and mature states, we can find out that the early states are always incomplete states. There were numerous versions of the early states (see about Grinin 2004a, 2004b, 2007b), but within each of them some important elements of statehood were either absent, or significantly underdeveloped. In most cases this incompleteness was expressed in the most direct way, as most of the early states simply did not have minimal necessary level of centralization or/and some significant statehood attributes, or did not develop them to a sufficient degree. This is especially significant with respect to such statehood attributes as professional administration, control and repression apparatus, taxation, artificial territorial division, as well as a sufficiently high degree of written law. But this ‘incompleteness’ is also relevant with respect to relationships between the state and the society. The developed state is a state that has been formed and completed, and centralized, that is why the attributes of statehood that could be absent within the political system of the early state are necessarily present within that of the developed one. The developed state influences social processes in a much more purposeful and active way. It is not only tightly connected with the peculiarities of social and corporate structure of the society, but also constructs them in political and judicial institutes. The most important characteristics of the developed state that distinguish it from the early state are: a) The developed state has more statehood attributes which in addition are more elaborated. The developed state possesses all the below mentioned statehood features in a rather clear and systematic form: a special professional administration/coercion apparatus separated from the population; regular taxation; and an artificial territorial division. Also it always has a written law and a special culture of written documentation, registration, and control. Taxation becomes more regular and ordered. Archaic duties and revenues (tribute, gifts, labor-rents, etc.) disappear, or play subordinate roles. b) The developed state is an estate-corporative state. The social structure of the developed state becomes represented by large social groups and not by numerous tiny social layers or socio-territorial units (like autonomous cities or temples with special privileges) as it is for early states. Large ethnic groups develop instead of conglomerates of tribes and small peoples. As a result, society becomes suffiIn general, these names are given to the respective phases in accordance with the tradition of Claessen and Skalník (1978b: 22–23; 1978c: 640; Claessen 1978: 589) who identified the inchoate, typical, and transitional stages of the early state. Because of the restricted size of the article further comments, explanations, examples and references concerning the developed, mature and especially early states were omitted. Nevertheless, they can be found in my works devoted to this issue (see Grinin 2003c, 2004a, 2004b, 2004c, 2006a, 2006b, 2007a, 2007b, 2008; Grinin and Korotayev 2006).
ciently consolidated socially. With respect to states one cannot help but notice that the activities of a developed state are directed toward the legal shaping of estates, at making the society more stable, at ordering social mobility. On the other hand, both the state structure and its policies reflect the peculiarities of its social (and ethnic) arrangement; the state actively influences the social structure of society and acts as an intermediary between various estates/corporations. c) The developed state is always a centralized state; generally, it is much more durable and stable than the early state. The developed state cannot be a political conglomerate, as it was frequently the case with respect to early states. This is not just a set of territories that disintegrate as soon as the central power weakens. Of course, the disintegration can be experienced by the developed states rather regularly (especially, during the transition from primitive to typical developed statehood). However, if the further development of such a state occurs, it is always connected with a new and tighter form of centralization within more or less the same territory. This is accounted for by the fact that the developed state is formed within a definite, historically prepared (both materially and culturally) territory with common culture, ideology, writing, and is supported by the development of communications, trade, a certain unification of money types, measures, law, and so on. d) In the developed state the social role of the state changes. The developed state, being an estate-corporative state with a stable social order, performs its role in the organization of coercion much more effectively than the early state. As the state itself takes the functions of maintaining social order, it reduces the possibilities of the upper strata to solve themselves the problems of coercive support of their position (for example, through the prohibition for them to have their own armed forces). e) The presence of a new type of state ideology and/or religion. Political ideology in the wide sense of this term develops instead of primitive ideas of royal power. The Confucianism in China provides a telling example here. However, such an ideology usually had certain religious forms (for instance, like the 16th century Russian treatment of Moscow as ‘the Third Rome’). It is quite natural that different states entered the developed state phase in different ages. However, the indicated dates refer to the beginning of the transition into developed statehood, with the main transformations taking place later, sometimes much later. Egypt entered the developed state phase at the beginning of the New Kingdom Age in the 16th century BCE. China reached this stage as a result of its first unification in the late 3rd century BCE under Qin Shi Huang. Byzantium was a developed state from the very beginning, as it was the successor of the Roman empire. By the 3rd century CE, Iran can already be regarded as a developed state with the consolidation of the Sassanid dynasty. France entered this phase in the late 13 th century during the reign of Philip IV the Fair. England entered this phase in the late 15 th century and the early 16th century (after the end of the War of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty coming to power). For many European countries the 16th century was a ‘period of state construction’ (Elliott 1974: 80). But this century also appeared to be
a turning point for the political evolution of such countries as Ottoman Empire, Russia, India and Iran (where we also observe the formation of the developed statehood). The mature state is a result of capitalist development and the industrial revolution; hence, it has a qualitatively different production basis, social structure and is based on a formed or forming nation with all its peculiarities. Such a state is qualitatively more developed in organizational and legal aspects, as well as with respect to specialized institutions of administration and control. The first such states (France in the reign of Louis XIV) appeared in the late 17th century. Yet, only in the 19th century they became dominant in Europe and the New World. So in general the mature state is a result of the development of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. In addition to this, the transition to the mature statehood is connected with the demographic revolution. The main characteristics of the mature state: a) it significantly surpasses the developed state with respect to the complexity and efficiency of its political organization and legal system; it necessarily has a professional bureaucracy with its definite characteristics (see, e.g., Weber 1947: 333–334), distinct mechanisms and elaborated procedures of legitimate power transition; b) there are usually present the working out of constitutions and the division of powers, and the role of law (especially civil law) significantly increases. As a result one of the most important functions of the mature state is to secure not only the social order, but also the legal one, to which developed states often paid little attention; c) it is based on a modern type of nation (or a set of nations), that is why it can only exist within a society with a unified national (or supranational) culture (about the tight relations between the nation and the state see e.g., Gellner 1983). That is why such a state is concerned with its influence on culture, including control over language, religion, education and so on. Hence, the mature state ideology always includes some nationalism (or some other ideas on the superiority of the given state's population; for example, its special progressiveness, revolutionary spirit, love for democracy/freedom, etc.); d) in connection with the growth of the role of property relations, the establishment of legal equality of the citizens, the abolishment of estate privileges the mature state is gradually transformed from the estate-class state to the purely classcorporate state. Thus, here the role of new industrial classes especially the bourgeoisie within the state system dramatically increases. As the class division is mostly economic, and not juridical, it becomes necessary to have organizations and corporations that express the interests of certain parts and groups of certain classes (and sometimes interests of a certain class as a whole). These are various organizations and political parties of both workers and bourgeoisie, as well as other social strata; Thus, the mature state bases itself on new types of infrasocietal links: – material links – unified economic organism and unified market; – cultural links – unified culture-information organism;
– national links – consciousness of national unity and development of new symbols of this unity: nation, national interests, supreme interests; – consolidation on the basis of ideology: cult of law and constitution, cult of nation; – consolidation on the basis of participation in pan-national organizations and corporations (trade unions, parties, movements) and participation in pan-national elections. CONCLUSION Thus, in this article we aimed at showing that the problems of evolutionism and political anthropology are closely interrelated. It especially concerns the dilemma of unilinearity or multilinearity of social evolution. That is why in the present article we paid so much attention to the evidence of multilinearity of social evolution, to the demonstration of real alternatives to the early state in social evolution in the form of what we called the analogues of early state. We suppose that one can advance in the matter of solving a number of problems if to consider social evolution and historical process not as a firmly predetermined line of development but as a complex process within the framework of constant selection of alternatives and models. We also believe that there is a great necessity to separate within social evolution theory a theory of social macroevolution as its most important constituent part. The general path (retrospectively) of macroevolution is groped not at once, a) it arises and strengthens in long struggle with competing non-principle paths and b) it adapts for a long period to different conditions because to become the principle path it must spread at least in the basic areas of World-System). The above-said explains in particular why for a long time there existed and successfully competed with states the non-state polities (the analogues of the early state); why for a long time and with difficulty (and not independently everywhere) there was going on a transition to developed and mature states. In the paper we maintained that the scheme ‘early state–mature state’ poorly describes the evolution of the statehood, so the sequence of three stages (early state – developed state – mature state) has been suggested as a more acceptable alternative. However it is worth paying attention that during the 20th century social policy of highly developed mature states experienced radical changes. We can observe the transformation of the class state into the social state that is the state that actively pursues the policy of providing support for poor, socially unprotected groups and that places limits on the growth of inequality. Thus, many present-day characteristics of the Western states cannot be regarded unconditionally as the ones of the mature state (for more details see Grinin 2006b: 544; 2007b: 288–290; 2008; Grinin and Korotayev 2006: 98).
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