Chapter twenty, the last
DISCREPANCIES IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY.
Thus, we can see that the society, in the course of its natural-historical development, sequentially passes through the following ten phases being qualitatively different from each other:
However, if we look at the history of single countries, we will see that the vast majority of them do not develop according to the above scheme. They do not pass through all the ten phases, but through only part of them by-passing not only single phases, but also entire socio-economic structures.
- Productive phase of primitive-communal society.
- Usurious phase of primitive-communal society.
- Trade phase of slave-holding - serf society.
- Productive phase of slave-holding - serf society.
- Usurious phase of slave-holding - serf society.
- Trade phase of bourgeois-capitalist society.
- Productive phase of bourgeois-capitalist society.
- Usurious phase of bourgeois-capitalist society.
- Trade phase of socialist society.
- Productive phase of socialist society.
This is explained by the fact that the society only goes through all the phases and structures under condition of ideal development without the influence of external, additional factors deflecting the development of one or another community from its natural-historical development.
Just as the planets, circling the Sun, does not move along the ideal elliptical orbits, but do this with some deviations from the latter owing to influence (disturbance) of other planets, the same way different countries, communities and nations, in the course of their development, deflect from the ideal movement, development, because some countries and nations exert influence upon the development of other countries and nations deflecting the economic development of the latter from the ideal scheme.
Only the community being not influenced by any external forces and other communities could pass through all the phases and structures during its development. But there were no such cases in the history. Therefore, the statement that any society must pass through all the above ten phases and all of them are obligatory for the historical development of society, would be erroneous.
These ten phases of development of society represent only the tendency, but not the mandatory law of its development, since single communities develop mostly according to another scheme not containing some phases and even entire socio-economic structures.
The influence of neighbouring nations upon the economic development is the main but not the only factor of deviations in the development of socio-productive relations. Since the main point in the development of socio-productive relations is the productive forces of society, then one may suppose that some or other deviations in the development of productive forces would cause the respective deviations in the development of socio-productive relations. And the history testifies that it is really so. Productive forces deflecting from their normal development for some of other reasons, can either hamper, brake the development of socio-productive relations, or, vice versa, accelerate it.
In some cases, deviations in the development of socio-productive relations can also take place under the influence of political and ideological superstructure of society; although the development of the latter is determined by the development of socio-productive relations, it exerts influence on the development of productive relations itself.
The subjective factor – single historical figures – also affects the development of socio-productive relations. However, in most cases, single historical personalities, as well as political, juridical and ideological superstructures do not speed up, but hamper the development of socio-productive relations, owing to the lag in their development behind the development of socio-productive relations and, consequently, their conservatism.
But most often communities deflect from their natural-historical development, from their normal, ideal development under the influence of other communities and states. Such an influence can be exerted by two ways.
First, the influence of some communities over the development of other ones is being exerted by means of military conquest of the latter by the former. Such was the influence of German tribes upon the development of Western Europe in V century AD, when the former had defeated the ancient Roman Empire and established the primitive-communal socio-productive relations at its territory. Such was the influence of Ancient Rome that conquered huge territories, subordinated a number of tribes and nations, and established the slave-holding socio-productive relations there, so that many of the conquered nations were transferred from the productive or usurious phase of primitive-communal structure to the productive phase of slave-holding structure. Such was the influence of Turkey upon Byzantine Empire, of Western Europe over America, Australia, Asia and Africa, etc.
Second, the influence of some communities over the social development of other ones can be exerted by means of social, economic, political and cultural impact, without military conquest. Such was the influence of Byzantium on the development of Central and Eastern Europe, as a result of which, European countries proceeded from the last phase of primitive-communal society to the last, usurious phase of slave-holding - serf society (within the framework of which Byzantium existed in Middle Ages), by-passing the trade and productive phases of slave-holding - serf socio-productive relations. Such was the impact of Northern America over the social development of Latin America, as a result of which, the latter by-passed the productive phase of capitalism; at that, some Latin-American countries escaped the trade phase as well. Such is the influence of the Soviet Union upon the social development of a number of countries that, in the course of transition to socialism, stepped over a number of phases of socio-historical development.
The distinctions in socio-historical development of different communities are very much influenced by distinctions in the development of productive forces of society that, in their turn, are determined by geographic-climatic factor.
According to discrepancies of natural factor, the ancient countries of Europe, Asia and Northern Africa can be subdivided into three zones: the countries of Ancient East with their hot arid climate; the countries of Northern coast of Mediterranean Sea with temperate climate; and the countries of Northern and East Europe with cool climate. Distinctions of natural-climatic conditions of these zones left a mark on the development of productive forces of communities existing at these territories.
In the countries of Ancient East, there were relatively few animals, as well as vegetables owing to arid climate. Therefore, the communities having settled there after the hunting-technical revolution, passed through the productive phase of primitive-communal society relatively quickly. The agriculture appeared there early, the agrarian-technical revolution had been accomplished early as well. And so, they quickly passed from the productive phase to the higher, usurious phase of primitive-communal society.
However, in contrast to other climatic zones, the agriculture in the countries of Ancient East, owing to arid climate, was of irrigation nature that stipulated for extremely slow development of socio-productive relations in these countries. The higher phase of primitive-communal society lasted there for several thousand years.
The necessity of collective, extremely thorough, painstaking care, keeping, timely repair of complicated irrigation facilities, supervision, regulation of watering the fields with limited amount of water: all these factors extremely hampered the transformation of state ownership of the main means of production (first of all, of irrigation facilities and the land plots being inseparable from the former) to private ownership and the wide application of slave labour. Besides, the very nature of the labour of peasants being occupied in irrigation agriculture is somewhat different from the nature of labour of peasants of the second zone, with temperate climate, i.e. of Antique countries.
The crop capacity of cereals in irrigation agriculture of the countries of Ancient East was some ten times more than that in Antique countries. Therefore, to have the same amount of grain, the peasants of Ancient East cultivated ten times less sown area and spent ten times less hard, exhausting labour. Although, the community members performed not less hard work at clearing the canals, but it was not permanent and took only several days a year. During a significant part of working time, community members in the countries of Ancient East were occupied by other, less exhausting kinds of labour. These factors did not promote the development of slavery; slave labour was not effective for these kinds of work. Therefore, the hired labour in the countries of Ancient East was more frequent than the labour of serf slaves. And the main form of labour was free labour of community members in their households.
Besides, it was dangerous to allow slaves to work with irrigation facilities, since they could simply wreck them dooming the community members to starvation.
All these factors caused the durability of social structure in the countries of Ancient East, being based on the state ownership of the main means of production (irrigation facilities, land and water), free labour and small, individual household.
The matters stood differently in Southern Europe. There, the agriculture was not in need of irrigation; therefore, the land could be divided into small or large plots and turned to private property, to commodity without detriment to productive forces. Besides, owing to low crop capacity, people had to cultivate a lot of land and to spend a lot of hard, exhausting, crude labour, since it was based on primitive hand and draught technics and the same primitive technology of production. In addition, there were other fields where the same hard, exhausting labour was used, for example, in extractive industry, during extraction of metal ores.
The necessity to apply hard, crude and exhausting labour in agriculture and in mines on a large scale stipulated the wide use of slave labour; the latter, being simply a possibility before the social revolution, turned to reality after it. First, the social revolution took place that replaced the state ownership of the main means of production by private ownership; then there began the wide application of slavery conditioned by this revolution. In the countries of Ancient East, with their irrigation agriculture, the accomplishment of social revolution lingered that, in its turn, hampered the wide use of slave labour.
The communities of Southern Europe passed on to the last phase of primitive-communal society after the communities of Ancient East, maybe, under the influence of the latter, however, they came to the slave-holding social revolution earlier, already in the I millennium BC. The first, trade phase of slave-holding society in Southern Europe was also short. The slave labour had displaced the free labour very soon.
Let’s consider the countries of the third natural-climatic zone. These countries were rich in animate nature, both animal and vegetable; the communities living there had stayed too long at the productive phase of primitive-communal society. There, agriculture and cattle-breeding appeared by far later than in Antique World, the more so – than in the countries of Ancient East. The agrarian-technical revolution took place late as well.
After the accomplishment of agrarian-technical revolution, agriculture, though having become the leading branch of economy, had not displaced other branches, as it was the case in Ancient East and Antique World. In particular, hunting, fishing and gathering continued to play an important role, while in Ancient Greece and Rome they had almost disappeared. This is explained exclusively by natural conditions.
First, the summer in Southern Europe is longer; consequently, the agricultural production needs more prolonged use of labour. The summer in Eastern and Northern Europe is shorter, so the peasants have a lot of time free from agricultural labour. The annual labour-intensiveness of agriculture in countries with cool climate is much less than that in Southern Europe. Therefore, people of these countries have the opportunity to occupy themselves with other kinds of labour: hunting, fishing, gathering, etc. for a long time.
And, second, the countries of the third zone, as against Antique World, had comparatively scarce population. At the same time, animal and vegetable resources were much richer. All these factors conditioned the retention of relatively big importance of hunting and fishing in Eastern and Northern Europe after the completion of agrarian-technical revolution there, while these occupations in Southern Europe had lost their former significance. In Eastern and Northern Europe, hunting and fishing were second, by significance, branch of economy for a very long time after the completion of agrarian-technical revolution, while, in the Antique countries, hunting had lost its significance very soon after the revolution.
Preservation of significant role of hunting and fishing in Northern and Eastern Europe left a mark on the development of socio-productive relations there; it did not promote the development of slave labour and private ownership of the main means of production. A significant role of predominantly creative hunting labour strengthened the primitive-communal socio-productive relations. The slave-holding - serf socio-productive relations had become firmly established there not so much under the influence of their own productive forces, as under the impact of socio-productive relations of Byzantium.
In the countries of Ancient East, the socio-productive relations were mostly exported by the conquerors: Ancient Greece, Alexander the Macedonian, Ancient Rome, Byzantium, the Persians, the Arabs, the Turks.
However, one should bear in mind that, under the influence of natural-climatic factor, in contrast to the impact of neighbouring communities, nations and states, only the slowing down or speeding up the development of a community can take place, not jumping over some phases and structures. One or another community could slow down or accelerate its social development under the influence of natural-climatic factor, but it could neither stop for a long time, nor escape any socio-economic structures or their phases in process of its self-development. Long conservation, or throwing back, or jumping over some phases or structures could only take place under the influence of external forces: other states, communities, nations, and, especially, conquerors. In the absence of such an influence, a society should pass through all the ten phases of development of socio-productive relations.
However, in any case, every society should come to the scientific and technological and socialist revolution in the course of its socio-historical development. Tomorrow is with automatic technics and scientific production, creative labour and socialist society!
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