ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRIMITIVE-COMMUNAL SOCIETY.
1. Development of productive forces of the society.
In the communal-clan society, that succeeded the primitive society being formed in the course of the communal-social revolution, the mechanical technics keeping the leading position in the mode of technics of tribal-clan society continues to improve and spread driving the old, pre-mechanical technical means back more and more, but the latter of course continue to develop as well.
A bow with a string and arrow is being improved in the course of its spreading. In some places it is made solid – of one piece of wood, in the others it is made compound – of three pieces of wood, bone and horn. Arrows are also made solid or compound, with bone or stone, but usually with flint sharp heads. Later on arrows begin to be equipped with metal head (copper, bronze, iron) that made hunting more efficient. There appeared arrows filled with poison. When hunting for birds with red plumage in order to have their feathers as an ornament, arrows with round head were being used: it was done not to smear the feathers with blood and not to pierce a hole in the skin.
For fish-hunting with a bow, some tribes used arrows with several heads, like harpoon; they were made of hard wood, in the centre of an arrow a long thin reed was inserted (13-13).
In India, there is small nationality named “bhils” that used a bow with an arrow even at present. “Bow with arrows is a traditional hunting tool of bhils. The bow is solid and is made of various sizes. There are large bows, string of which is tightened by a hunter lying on the ground: he pulls the string with his arms planting his feet against the bow. But commonly used is a bow of medium size, its length is 120 to 150 cm. It is made of bamboo, sometimes – of large central rib of wild palm having big elasticity.
A thin strip of split bamboo is used as a bow string, it is fixed to the ends of a bow by means of leather straps, tendons or flexible lianas.
…Bhils have many kinds of arrows for wild animals hunting. “Khario” arrows are, as a rule, made of reed and have iron heads. Heads are of various shapes and sizes. Lance-shaped and lancet-shaped heads, with or without notches are widespread. “Robdo” arrows are made of bamboo and have bamboo heads. Usually arrows are 60 to 90 cm long. Khario arrows are used for hunting for large animals, even for tigers. In the past, there existed fighting arrows as well. Bhils of Rajastan (region of Kheavara) use the following kinds of arrows: “bhal’ri” – for large animal hunting, “ode” – to kill large fish, “do dhari bhavi” – double-edged arrow (as if with two blades) is a formidable fighting weapon of the past, causing internal bleeding. “Robdo” arrows are intended for hunting for small birds and training youth in bow shooting (18-65).
In 1965 in the town of Angara, the graves of ancient people – inhabitants of East Siberia – were found. Archaeologists discovered bows of unusual design it these graves. “Together with skeletons of ancient hunters, the graves contained axes made of semi-precious green Sayan nephrite, quivers with arrows of flint and unprecedented bows strengthened with bone plates along all their lengths. It was established that those were ancient bows of strengthened design, forerunners of compound bows – the most long-range weapon of ancient hunters” (19-11).
Bow and arrows became the most widespread among the ancient people. If earlier the mechanical tools although being widely used in the ancient society, but in such a way that some peoples used spear-throwing tool, but did not know air-gun, the others, vice versa, used air-gun, but did not know spear-throwing tool and sling, etc, then bow with arrows is known to all peoples, passed through the hunting-technical revolution and the communal-social revolution.
There appeared and became widespread such mechanical tools as self-firing tool, arbalest, drilling machine, fire drill, design of which has a bow and string as its basic element.
Arbalest is a complicated and perfect weapon of hunter and especially warrior. If during bow shooting an arrow is held by man’s hand and the direction of its flight is determined by mutual arrangement of bow and hand, then during arbalest (self-firing tool) shooting an arrow is placed to the special channel in the barrel having the form of groove or flute of semicircular or rectangular cross-section. There are small cuts (notches) along the sides of this groove, by means of which the string of tightened bow is held; at the side of an arbalest a triggering stick (small board) is fixed, by slight pressing of which the string is released from the notches and throws the arrow in necessary direction.
Arbalest improves the accuracy of shooting by using a more perfect mechanical tool – working mechanism to control the movement of the arrow in necessary direction. Arbalest increases the arrow energy by means of increasing the power of bow. Power of arbalest (or self-firing tool) is increased at the expense of using more elastic kind of wood for shaft of the bow, which can be tightened with both hands, planting arbalest butt against the ground, tree or chest (belly). Besides, tightening force of the bow in arbalest can be increased by means of some jerk during tightening, while for conventional bow this cannot be done as, having been tightened, it must be held in such state for some period of time necessary for aiming, and for holding the bow in tightened state the shooter must spend his muscular energy. Furthermore, having spent too much energy to hold the bow in tightened state, the shooter has less force for exact aiming. One can shoot an arbalest in lying position, creeping to an animal from the ambush. It is far easier to learn to shoot an arbalest as compared with a bow, as the former requires less personal skills from the shooter (physical strength, endurance, marksmanship, etc.), than the latter. But, together with such merits, an arbalest has one substantial disadvantage, namely: it is somewhat bulky as compared with a bow and inconvenient to be carried, especially during fast movement in dense forest or bushes, e.g. chasing an animal during hunting. That is why it was not widespread in hunting. It was used more frequently for military actions. For hunting, a semi-automatic device – self-firing tool – was used. It is usually installed against an animal path or reservoir. To the trigger stick a thread was tied that ran across the path on the small height above the ground. When animals passed self-firing tool and touched the thread, the tool shot automatically and hit an animal.
Together with self-firing tool, some other semi-automatic tools (pitfalls) became widespread in hunting: traps, loops, trap-holes, etc.
In tribal-clan society, for making various goods of wood, stone, tusk, bone and horn together with diverse technical means, the drilling machine with bow-shaped drive, invented apparently in the course of the hunting-technical revolution, began to be used.
The drilling machine was used for various works: for making stone axes, hammers, adzes, sledges, etc. The drill was made of wood or bamboo and had flint cutter, later drills were made of hollow bones. It was rotated by man using bow-shaped drive. The drill rotated in both directions alternately. When drilling stone, the wet sand was added in the hole being drilled that increased labour productivity.
S.Lilly calls the drilling machine of that period a carpenter’s mechanism. “At that time the first carpenter’s mechanism was created – bow-shaped drill is driven by a string, encircling the drill, both ends of the string are fixed to a kind of bow, that was set to reciprocal motion” (7-12). But this name is not quite right. One can call the drilling machine a carpenter’s mechanism, if it is used to process goods of wood, but archaeologists say that drilling was widely used in the communal-clan society for processing stone, bone and tusk as well. If for drilling, say, beads of elephant or mammoth tusk a hand drill (simple tool) was used, then for drilling eyes in axes, adzes, hammers, and, later, mattocks, etc. drilling machines of various designs were frequently used.
For making fire, the ancient people invented and began to apply a fire drill with bow-shaped drive, that had insignificant difference from drilling machine. The fire drill enabled people to get fire in only several seconds in any weather.
Together with mechanical technical means, in the tribal-clan society the simple technical means were widespread as well, number and diversity of them being increased more and more in spite of the fact that they played a secondary role, giving up the leading role to the hand mechanisms in the course of the hunting-technical revolution.
In the tribal-clan communal society, together with wood and stone, that were the main materials before the hunting-technical revolution, bone, horn and tusk became the main materials as well and a variety of goods were made of them.
When making various goods of stone, wood, bone, tusk and horn the new processing methods, together with old ones, were widespread: grinding, polishing, sawing, drilling, steaming, baking. Grinded axe with an eye ensuring a high level of productivity was almost as good as modern axe.
Artificial obtaining fire, that was invented apparently in the course of the hunting-technical revolution, was of great importance for people of the communal-clan society.
Fire was obtained by different means: striking, drilling, and – more seldom – scraping and sawing (4). Fire was used for most various purposes: for cooking meals of vegetable and animal food, for obtaining warmth and light, for drying and smoking fish and meat, for drying various fruits when making food reserves for winter, for protection from predators. Some groups of people used fire for hunting. Hunters set dry grass and weeds on fire for the wind to drive the fire in the direction of animal herd. Saving itself from the wall of fire, the herd passed through the hunters lying in the ambush and became their victim.
People of the tribal-clan society used fire for making technical means as well. Specifically, fire was used to make spears, leisters, harpoons and arrows. The end of spear, that is to be made sharp, is burned in the fire, then this burned end is easily scraped or cut, the process is then repeated as necessary. After several cycles of this process the blunt end of the spear became sharp. Using the above process very frequently, people noticed that the burned end of spear became not only sharp but also more hard than the shaft of spear. People gradually came to understanding that the spear head became hard under the influence of fire during burning. Then they began to use this phenomenon deliberately. They began to burn spears not only for sharpening them, but, for the main part, to make them harder. People also noticed, that burning increases the hardness of not only wooden, but horn and tusk tools as well. So people began to burn them to make them harder. People of some tribes used burning for processing goods of clay: vessels, made by means of braid modelling or coating woven vessel with clay, various statuettes. But at that time application of clay as new material and its burning were not widespread.
People of Melanesia have invented a quite original method of drilling by means of fire and water. They heated the stone, in which it is necessary to have a hole, in fire and dropped water into certain place. When a drop of water falls onto the scorching surface of the stone, a small piece in the form of scale comes off the stone and little recess in the surface builds. A new drop is being let into this recess; the latter becomes deeper. In such a way, one can get through hole of necessary diameter in the piece of stone, of what some tool with a hole, say, axe or hammer, is being made. One can now insert a wooden handle (axe-helve) into this hole. This interesting method of stone processing is based on the use of the energy of fire, in which the stone is heated.
Having used the mechanical weapons in hunting, the hunters in communal-clan society could go hunting not only in groups as it took place before the hunting-technical revolution, but also individually. If, before the hunting-technical revolution, hunting was efficient and brought people meat food only using such method of hunting that one of the groups did one part of the joint hunting, namely: acted as chasers, driving animals with noise and shout to the place where the other group of hunters waited for them in the ambush (thus doing another part of the joint hunting work), then with the use of the mechanical weapons hunting became efficient by various methods: first, by collective hunting based on the division of labour, although primitive, rudimentary, as before when some hunters performed one part of the joint task, the other – another part; second, by collective hunting based not on the division of labour, but on simple co-operation; and, third, by individual hunting.
2. Ownership and socio-productive relations.
The tribal-clan society, born in the course of the hunting-technical revolution, was based on collective all-tribe ownership of main means of production: land, forests, groves, reservoirs, steppe, etc. Dwellings, boats, nets, vessels, as well as foodstuff were in all-clan or family ownership. Finally, such small means of labour as bow, spear, axe, etc., as well as clothing, decorations and other things were in personal ownership.
Equality (relative – in accordance with the needs of commune members) in the field of distribution and consumption of material benefits, first of all – foodstuff, was stipulated by two factors: collective all-tribe ownership of main means of production and collective, joint (where it was the case) labour of clan commune, material benefits being property of the latter.
One may ask, why the first form of ownership of the main means of production arisen in the course of the first social revolution in the development of society, was community, collective ownership, not individual, not private. The usual answer for this question is that it is because the labour in the primitive-communal society was so unproductive that there was no any surplus in excess of product absolutely necessary for people’s existence. In other words, the communal ownership of the main means of production was the consequence of the absence of surplus product.
According to this point of view, primitive working tools as well as helplessness of a single man against the forces of nature caused the necessity of collective labour, joint obtaining of means of subsistence by all members of primitive commune. Collective labour in its turn caused collective, communal ownership of the main means of production and means of subsistence obtained with the help of them.
But the absence of surplus product, at least systematic, is typical for primitive society before the hunting-technical revolution. After the hunting-technical revolution, the result of which was the significant rise of labour productivity, the living standards of ancient people and provision of foodstuff had risen accordingly. And if at that time the surplus product was not made systematically, than there was just no necessity in it, while the potential possibility of such production did existed after the hunting-technical revolution.
If the collective ownership of the main means of production was stipulated by the low labour productivity and inability to make surplus product, then it would appear long before the hunting-technical and the first social revolutions. But the ownership of the main means of production appeared after the hunting-technical revolution, when people got the possibility to make surplus product, at least from time to time. On the other hand, the communal ownership of the main means of production would be eliminated, replaced with the private ownership after the hunting-technical revolution, as a result of which the labour productivity had risen and the real possibility to make surplus product appeared. If surplus product was not made after the hunting-technical revolution, then the cause of this was the fact, that the surplus time in excess of necessary time (time to make necessary product) was spent not for surplus labour and making surplus product, which was just not necessary, but for additional rest or non-productive labour: painting, modelling and carving statuettes (ancient sculptural art), sports games, singing, dancing, etc. Hungry or half-starving ancient people, as they are sometimes described today, would never do such things.
Some researchers think, that the collective ownership of the main means of production was caused by the collective hunting. The collective hunting, however, existed even before the hunting-technical revolution, but it had not resulted in the collective ownership of the main means of production. On the contrary: if before the hunting-technical revolution single hunters returned home, as a rule, without prey, then after the hunting-technical revolution hunters equipped with a powerful, efficient weapon – bow with arrows – could hunt quite successfully even individually. Thus, after the hunting-technical revolution there was not absolute necessity in collective hunting. And, finally, the collective labour is not necessarily based on the collective ownership; it can be based on private ownership of the main means of production and on exploitation of man by man as well.
One could try to explain the origin of collective, not individual, private ownership by the fact that it is impossible to divide hunting lands and reservoirs between hunters because of specific nature of their labour: looking for and chasing animals hunters have to cover considerable distances. But this explanation is not convincing enough. If, for example, a tribe consisting of one hundred families has one thousand square kilometres of land in its property, then after the division of this land each family would get ten square kilometres of territory that is quite enough for hunting and, especially, fishing, although no doubt that hunting and fishing in such conditions would be less efficient. On the other hand, in the conditions of individual ownership some people could seize more territory than the others and use it to exploit their poor neighbours, for example by means of leasing some part of his territory or allowing the others to hunt or catch fish on it for some charge in the form of foodstuff or part of meat, pelts, fish, etc. the way that was later the common practice in the class society based mainly on private ownership of the main means of production, including forests, hunting lands and reservoirs.
Slave-holding society, based mainly on private ownership of the main means of production, was born in the course of the second social revolution that took place several thousand years after the first social revolution.
In spite of some similarity of economic conditions of the first and the second social revolutions: availability or possibility of production of surplus product, collective (but, very often, individual as well) labour of hunters and fishermen on the eve of the first social revolution and collective, on the level with individual, labour of the first farmers, functioning of the land territory as the main means of production, these social revolutions are opposite in their essence. The essence of the first social revolution was the establishment of mainly collective ownership, while the essence of the second one was the establishment of mainly private ownership of the main means of production. How can it be explained?
Many researchers think that in the tribal-clan society there existed collective hunting and collective housekeeping that corresponds to the collective ownership of the main means of production and that former simply caused the latter. Then in more late primitive-communal society there was individual agricultural farm for which the individual, private ownership was needed.
But why was hunting done collectively, while agriculture – individually? Both in hunting and in agricultural societies, the surplus product was produced or at least there was possibility of it. In both societies labour could and was done both collectively and individually. But, no matter collectively or individually worked the members of hunting society, existed the production of surplus product in it or not, this society in the course of its natural historical self-development had never come to the private ownership and slavery. On the contrary, agricultural society everywhere generates individual farm, private ownership of the main means of production and enslavement of some people by the others.
It would be expedient to discuss this question in more detail during the consideration of the second social revolution, as it is convenient to discuss it by means of comparison of these two revolutions, that we will do in the course of consideration of the second social revolution and the second revolution in the development of the society’s productive forces – the agrarian-technical revolution – the latter being forerunner of the former.
Here we will just point out that the form of socio-productive relations, established as a result of a social revolution, is in the direct interconnection with the nature of labour of the majority of producers, of the main part of the workers of the given period of the society’s development. Thus the establishment of the social, collective ownership of the main means of production as a result of the first social revolution is connected with the nature of the labour of hunters and fishermen of the ancient society, while the establishment of the private ownership of the main means of production is connected with the nature of the labour of ancient farmers. This interconnection is the essence of an economic law, which has the universal nature, i.e. it works during all the periods of development of society, all socio-economic systems. This is one of the main economic laws. Maybe it should be called the main law of the economic development of society.
This economic law can be formulated as the law of correspondence of socio-productive relations to the nature of labour of majority of working people or, in short, the law of correspondence of production relations to the nature of labour. It’s easy to see that this law follows from more generally formulated law of correspondence of production relations to the level and nature of productive forces of society.
3. Exchange. The law of value.
Both in primitive and in tribal-clan society, economy was of natural type, i.e. products of labour were manufactured for internal use. However, there is a big difference between above societies. In primitive society, there was no surplus product, while in tribal-clan society it existed, at least there were conditions for its production. In primitive society, single groups of nomads, as a result of low population density, met each other very seldom and still more seldom they came into contact the more so that they as a rule spoke different languages. In tribal-clan society, owing to high population density and widespread use of boats for people movement, contacts between single communities and people were more developed, their level was higher.
As a result of it, there appeared and maintained the exchange of surplus products of labour between single clan communities of a bigger association – tribe. In the course of time, this exchange became regular, although only insignificant part of products was subject to exchange. There was exchange between clan communities of neighbouring tribes as well, but its scale was much smaller.
In primitive society, where the exchange was rare and of occasional nature, the products of labour were exchanged, as we have said above, exclusively on the basis of their usefulness. In tribal-clan society, where the exchange became more or less regular, products of labour were exchanged more and more frequently in some proportion, namely, according to the amount of labour, measured by working time, that was spent for their production (obtaining meat, fish; making an axe, basket, arrow; gathering nuts, mushrooms, berries, etc.).
For example, exchanging fish for nuts, people evaluated not their weight, volume or some other properties, but calculated how much time is necessary to spend for obtaining some quantity of fish and for gathering some quantity of nuts and then they determined the proportion in which these products should be exchanged. In such a way, there appeared commodity exchange on the basis of the economic law of correspondence of market value of goods to the amount of labour spent for their production or, in short, on the basis of the law of value, that was scientifically substantiated by William Petty, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx.
Unlike the commodity exchange of later time, that was based on the use of money and thus represented money-commodity exchange – more developed form of commodity exchange, the exchange in tribal-clan society did not use money, and products exchanged directly in their natural form. Such exchange is natural-commodity exchange.
Sometimes the second form of commodity exchange, i.e. money-commodity exchange is simply called commodity exchange, while the first form is called natural exchange. From these names one can realize that the first form of exchange is not commodity exchange. But this is not true. One should call natural exchange the exchange of products of labour inside clan community in tribal-clan society. Such an exchange is not commodity exchange. It is not based on the law of value.
This is a result of the fact, that the products of labour in clan community belonged not to single persons or families, but to all community and were distributed between members of community irrespective of the amount of labour spent by one or another member for the production of community’s overall product of labour, but in accordance with community members needs that were satisfied fully of partially depending on availability of consumer goods in community in given moment.
The exchange between communities was carried out in accordance with the amount of labour embodied in the commodities and, thus, was natural-commodity exchange. Of course, this exchange had never been absolutely equivalent, because no one, even sellers and producers of labour products, could calculate exactly how much labour was embodied in one or another commodity, but nevertheless the amounts of labour for the two commodities being exchanged were comparable, i.e. differed insignificantly. In the course of development of exchange, this difference became smaller. Thus, the basis for natural-commodity exchange of labour products in the tribal-clan society was the law of correspondence of market value of commodities to the amount of labour spent for their production (the law of value), i.e. the exchange of labour products, transforming to commodities, was an equivalent exchange.
4. The law of correspondence of the size of commodity market
to the level of social division of labour.
During the consideration of the hunting-technical revolution, we have already mentioned, that, in the course of it, the division of labour appeared.
This division of labour that, together with technical and technological progress, caused the increase of labour productivity, appeared in two ways. First, on the basis of physiological – sexual and age – differences of members of community. Some of them, that were stronger and of greater endurance than the others (men), were occupied mainly by hunting, the other – by fishing, still the other, weaker ones (women, adolescents, old men) were occupied by gathering, cooking, care of children, making clothes, etc., while the most experienced ones made weapons as well as various instruments of labour and other tools: nets, bows, spear-throwing tools, arrows, spears, axes, needles, fish-hooks, etc.
Such a division of labour – and this is social division of labour, namely, its lower form – did not cause the appearance and development of natural-commodity exchange.
Second, in the tribal-clan society, the division of labour on the territorial or geographical basis appeared and developed. As different clans and tribes lived in different natural conditions they obtained different means of subsistence. Some communities gained more fish and fewer nuts, the others – less meat but more nuts, still the others – less meat but more cereals. Some communities had surplus of mammoth and elephant tusks, the others lacked these products. Some had much flint, the others had only a little of it.
Such social division of labour (this is its lower form as well) constantly caused the exchange of labour products between communities in its natural-commodity form on the basis of the economic law of value.
This exchange, becoming more and more regular and intensive in the course of time, caused the establishment of steady economic relations between single communities that had been isolated before.
It is after the hunting-technical revolution and especially after the communal-social revolution, that these trade-market relations appeared and established themselves. There were no tribes at that time. The ancient people lived in small groups counting some dozens of members. Constant market relations of single, for the most part related communities, promoted their closer rapprochement. And since the benefits of social division of labour including the rise of labour productivity, could be realized only by means of commodity exchange, trade relations between communities, then the stability and reliability of the latter determined, to some extent, the living standards of ancient people.
So, the strengthening of trade-market relations was one of the main tasks of communities. Meanwhile, these relations were often disturbed by conflicts arising from time to time. As a result, the established commodity market uniting a number of neighbouring communities destroyed or contracted, that caused the lowering of level of social division of labour achieved by that time. In its turn, the lowering or elimination of the social division of labour caused the lowering, sometimes considerable, of living standards of ancient people.
All this was the cause (if not the only, than the main) of establishment of larger tribes. The tribes including many times more people, than primitive groups (sometimes they are called primitive human herds), were established as a rule by means of consolidation of related communities, that lived in the neighbourhood and constituted the local commodity market, although tribal-clan structure of society could as well appear by means of division of too large communities to smaller, branch communities. If earlier such a division caused full separation of these smaller communities from one another, so that they became completely independent, then now the branch communities (clans), leading their own economic life, remained still in parent community (tribe), at that the latter did not disappear, as it was earlier, but remained to exist as a sort of federation of clan communities.
No matter, was it consolidation of related communities into a larger tribe, or tribes were established by means of division of large communities into smaller clan communities, or both these processes took place simultaneously, in every case the cause of establishment of a large association of ancient people – a tribe – was the establishment of local commodity market, that in its turn appeared as a result of origin and development of social division of labour.
There is a direct interconnection between the size of local commodity market and the level of social division of labour. Although the level of social division of labour depends upon trade connections of communities, and – by means of them - upon the size of local commodity market, the main point here is the level of social division of labour determining the size of commodity market. The higher is level of social division of labour, the more is the size of commodity market (and the larger is the tribe).
If the size of commodity market (and tribe itself) depends on the level of social division of labour, then the level of social division of labour depends for the most part on the progress of means of transportation, on achieved level of labour productivity during the transportation of commodities. Perhaps, the only effective means of transportation that was widely used in tribal-clan society not only for production needs (for the most part – fishing), but for trade as well, was boat, by means of which and using numerous water-ways the successful trade exchange between various clans and tribes was possible.
The interconnection between the size of commodity market and the level of social division of labour denotes the action of the economic law of correspondence of the size of commodity market to the level of social division of labour, that has the universal nature, i.e. acts during all the period of the development of society, in all socio-economic structures.
The fact that tribal associations were smaller than future states or, rather, nationalities and nations that appeared later, can only be explained by extremely low level of social division of labour as a result of which only an insignificant part of all labour products of communal-clan society became commodities. And the size of commodity market depends on the part of aggregate labour product of society that turns to commodities, i.e. is being sold / bought on the commodity market. The size of tribal association is, in its turn, determined by the size of commodity market, the borders of tribe are only “legal” expression of the borders of commodity market.
Thus, the appearance of tribes was the consequence of the action of law of correspondence of size of commodity market to the level of social division of labour, the same way as the hunting-technical revolution was the consequence of the law of correspondence of the level of labour productivity to the level of people’s needs, and the same way as the communal-social revolution was the consequence of the law of correspondence of the form of socio-productive relations to the nature of labour of the majority of labourers.
In order to consolidate tribal formation (and, consequently, commodity market as well), that at the moment of its origin was nothing but territorial-trade union, the latter was supplemented with military and conjugal union, as well as concentration of the right of ownership of the main means of production in the hands of tribal formation (the latter concerns only those tribes appeared by means of consolidation of smaller communities, as the tribes being formed in different way had the main means of production in their ownership from the beginning).
The military union bound all the clan communities of a tribe to withstand jointly any enemy that was in armed conflict with the tribe. And the conjugal union prohibited members of community to marry members of their own community thus compelling them to find partners in other clan communities of the tribe, that tied clan communities of the tribe and, consequently, the whole tribe by blood relationship thus contributing to its consolidation. It is well known that exogamy promoted physical and mental development of ancient people.
The territorial-trade, military and conjugal unions imparted extraordinary stability to tribal formations based on communal social system with all-tribe ownership of the main means of production, collective free labour and equalizing distribution.
5. The law of correspondence of degree of centralization of production
(economy) to the level of operational division of labour.
Labour of a man, no matter in what specific form it is manifested, can always be of either individual, or collective kind. And it is always so that in some cases more efficient and productive is individual labour, in other case – collective one, in still other cases both kinds are more or less equally effective.
For example, hunting in ancient society, especially before the use of mechanical hunting tools – bow, spear-throwing tool, etc. – was more efficient, being conducted by hunters jointly, collectively. The efficiency of fruit gathering is almost independent on the kind of labour – collective or individual. And fishing with the help of fishing rod with fish hook and float, that appeared in the course of the hunting-technical revolution, is more efficient being done individually.
In the past, the collective labour was most frequently used in hunting, at present – in industry (since the appearance of manufactory). Individual labour was used mainly in agriculture, where it gave up its place to collective labour only with the beginning of use of machinery.
The collective labour, in its turn, is divided into two kinds, two varieties. One kind is the labour, based on the simple cooperation, i.e. the labour without operational division of labour, at that each worker, say, in one room makes one or another product by himself from the beginning to the end. The second kind of collective labour is the labour based on the operational division of labour.
For example, farmers jointly cultivating field with mattocks, do the work based on the simple cooperation. The labour of industrial workers of the modern industrial enterprise, where one worker turns a part on the lathe, the other processes the same part on the drilling machine, still the other – grinds it, etc., is the labour based on the operational division of labour.
Operational division of labour (its lowest form), together with the social division of labour, appeared in the primitive society before the hunting-technical revolution. What is the difference between them?
The main difference between operational and social division of labour lies in the fact, that under conditions of social division of labour single workers manufacture various labour products from the beginning to the end, from the first operation to the last, so that, in the hands of one and the same worker, the raw material and the subject of labour turns to the product of labour ready for use, personal or for production purposes. If one member of community in the tribal-clan society gathers berries, the other – makes working instruments, still the other – catches fish, etc., then here we have nothing but social division of labour. This is the lowest form of division of labour. The highest form of the social division of labour is branch division of labour, at that single people are constantly occupied in one branch of economy, do one kind of labour. Under the highest form of the social division of labour, the separation or branching of single branches of social economy, social production takes place. As the highest form of social division of labour we consider what F.Engels in his book “The origin of family, private ownership and state” called large-scale division of social labour, i.e. branch division of labour.
Under the operational division of labour, one product of labour is manufactured not by one, but by several workers, so that one worker makes one part or performs one operation, while the other workers make other parts of this product or perform other operations. If, for example, during manufacture of flint axe, one worker strikes off a piece of stone, the second retouches it, the third grinds it, the fourth makes a hole in the axe with the help of drilling machine with bow-shaped drive, and the fifth makes axe handle, than here we have nothing but operational division of labour. Even if only two workers take part in axe manufacture, so that one of them performs all operations with stone: striking-off, grinding, drilling, while the other makes handle of wood, this is also operational division of labour, but in this second case the level of operational division of labour is lower. The less is the number of operations performed by one worker, the more monotonous is his work, the higher is the level of operational division of labour. Just the same, the less is the number of various products manufactured by one worker, the higher is the level of operational division of labour. Just as the social division of labour, the operational division leads to the increase of labour productivity, as it reduces waste of working time, that are inevitable in the course of transition from making one part of product to making other part, from performing one operation to performing the other. The less is the diversity of operations performed, the higher is the labour productivity.
Just like the social division of labour, the operational division of labour can manifest itself in lower or higher form. Under the highest form of operational division of labour, one and the same worker constantly, day by day, month by month performs one and the same work, one and the same operation (one or several). The highest form of operational division of labour appeared and became dominant form in the manufactory production. For this reason K.Marx in the first volume of “Das Kapital” called it manufactory division of labour. This highest form of operational division of labour takes the prevailing position at present as well, both in factory industrial production, and in many other branches of social production.
Under the lower form of division of labour, there is no constant attachment of single workers to one or other operation, one or other work. A worker performs one operation today, and entirely other – tomorrow. He may do various kinds of work even during one day. The prerequisite of the transition to the highest form of operational division of labour is the transition to the highest form of social division of labour. Without branch division of labour, the manufactory and, the more so, factory division of labour simply cannot exist. That is why, first, in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution, the formation of branch division of labour takes place, and then, during the industrial-technical revolution occurs the formation of the highest form of operational division of labour (manufactory, factory, plant).
In tribal-clan society, the operational division of labour (its lower form) was used in different kinds of labour. However, here the operational division of labour existed not only in pure form, but also being mixed with simple cooperation, the latter was then the prevailing form of labour. The operational division of labour rather supplements simple cooperation, than predominates over it. During net fishing, some fishermen hold the end of seine or pull it along the coast, the others pull it through the water with the help of boat, at that some of them move the boat by means of oars and poles, the others hold the seine, still the others chase the fish into the seine by means of screams, shouts and splashes. After catching the fish, some of men scale it, removing fins, bowels, scales, the others salt and put it into vessels (barrels) making food reserves for winter, still the others boil or fry fish for immediate use.
When making various technical means, the operational division of labour sometimes was used as well, but more seldom and on the lower level. Operational division of labour was also used in hunting. At that, the hunters divide themselves into two groups, one of them armed with bows and spears sets itself up in the ambush, the other, having gone round an animal (or herd of them), begins to approach it from the opposite side or from three sides simultaneously, so that the animals were not able to escape. Having seen or heard the hunters, the herd of animals rushed to the side where the other group of hunters laid in ambush and became their victim. Such kind of hunting did not require many hunters, just several men. Hunting in big group was not economically expedient, because of low level of operational division of labour.
Production efficiency, labour productivity is in the direct interconnection with correlation between the number jointly working people and the level of operational division of labour. In industrial production, where there is the possibility to divide the work of making some labour product into many single works, single operations, the urgent necessity exists to concentrate great number of workers in the single enterprise, at that each or majority of them perform one work, operation. The more complicated is production process, the more operations it contains, the larger is the enterprise and the more is the number of workers in it. Otherwise, the production efficiency would be lower, than in a larger enterprise where there is more optimal correlation between the number of workers and the level of operational division of labour or, more exactly, the level that can be achieved in the manufacture of one or other product at the existing level of development of productive forces (technics, technology, etc.). And the latter depends on how complicated the product is. Simple products, consisting of one or several parts and, consequently, several operations, can be efficiently produced in small workshop. But it is ineffective to manufacture a more complicated labour product, consisting of hundreds or thousands parts and, consequently, some thousands or even tens of thousands operations, in the small enterprise. Production of machine tools, cars, agricultural machines, electronics is more profitable in the large enterprises, then in small ones because of the use of the benefits of operational division of labour.
But with the increase of scale of production, some difficulties with the sale of commodities arise owing to rise of transport costs in the course of commodity market growth, as well as difficulties in production management, control of technological processes, human engineering. The larger is the production, the harder is the control over it, and as a result its effectiveness is lower.
Thus, with the increase of scale of production, two opposite tendencies manifested itself. On the one hand, there is increase of production efficiency, labour productivity according to the achieved level of operational division of labour in given enterprise. On the other hand, there is decrease of production efficiency, labour productivity depending on size of enterprise, and the rise of the cost of products owing to the increase of transport costs.
If it wasn’t for the decrease of production efficiency because of the rise of transport costs and complication of production management, control of technological processes and human engineering, the scale of production might be increased infinitely. And (in this hypothetic case) the larger the enterprise would be, the more effective it would be owing to continuous growth of operational division of labour, more effective use of production facilities and advantages of mass serial production.
On the other hand, if it wasn’t for the increase of production efficiency, labour productivity owing to the increase of the level of operational division of labour – one of the main factors of rise of labour productivity of larger enterprises – then, with the increase of the scale of production, its efficiency would become lower, beginning with some quite low level at which the efficiency of production is achieved at the expense of advantages of simple cooperation.
Both these factors, however, are available and the resultant of these opposite tendencies determines optimal scale of production in each specific case. If the scale of enterprise is higher or lower than this optimal value, it would be less efficient than the enterprise of optimal size.
Of two enterprises of equal size, more effective – under equal other conditions – would be the enterprise with higher level of operational division of labour.
If of two enterprises based not on the operational division of labour, but on simple cooperation, the first one is of small size and the second one is oversized, then the second enterprise would be less effective. The second enterprise will have lower material production costs at the expense of saving in raw materials, technical means, energy, industrial buildings, store-houses, etc., that will produce some effect, say, 5% of production costs of the first enterprise. But at the same time other costs will rise, first of all for transport as well as for maintaining additional administrative personnel; as a result, costs will rise by more than 5%. The more so that excessive centralization of production, freeing the initiative of the higher section of administration, restrains the initiative of its lower sections and of labourers themselves. Thus, the saving in material funds is exceeded by additional costs for transport and maintaining the additional personnel of auxiliary labourers.
The scale of production and (which is the same) the grade of production centralization depend upon the level of operational division of labour. And this means that the rise of the level of operational division of labour should be accompanied with the increase of grade of production centralization in the definite proportion that is to be determined by practice. If the centralization of production increases to the lower extent than the level of operational division of labour in this branch does, then its efficiency, as compared with the other, more centralized enterprises, would decrease or increase, but to the lower extent.
Thus, the effectiveness of each production directly depends on correspondence between the grade of production centralization and the level of operational division of labour. The higher is the correspondence of the degree of production centralization to the level of operational division of labour, the more efficient is this production. Each level of operational division of labour should be accompanied with the degree of centralization corresponding to it. If the degree of centralization is lower than the optimal, it would restrain further growth of operational division of labour and would not let to use all its benefits. And if the degree of centralization is higher than the optimal for achieved level of operational division of labour, then the effectiveness of production would drop down sharply due to steep rise of transport costs, complication of production management, control of technological processes, human engineering.
This correspondence of the degree of production centralization to the level of operational division of labour is the universal economic law that acts during all the period of the development of society, in all socio-economic structures.
Under the shop system, the level of operational division of labour was extremely low, but the degree of centralization of artisan production was relatively high. There was obvious contradiction between them. The consequence of the violation of the law of correspondence of the degree production centralization to the level of operational division of labour was the holding down of the industrial production, slowing of its progress. When the above correspondence was restored by means of liquidation of the shop system, the industry got free space for its development.
At the end of 19-th century, on the contrary, the operational division of labour in the industry had reached such a high level, that there appeared a discrepancy between such and relatively lower degree of production centralization, that was removed by means of transformation of relatively small capitalist private enterprises to large and giant joint-stock companies.
Both substitution of the shop system for free competition, and replacement of free competition by monopoly of joint-stock companies were exclusively the consequences, results of the action of the law of correspondence of the degree production centralization to the level of operational division of labour.
But let us return to the tribal-clan society. As we have seen, in the economy of clan communities, together with simple cooperation, there was also operational division of labour, mixed with the former, but its level was low. As there was operational division of labour, the collective, joint labour of community members during hunting and fishing was more efficient, more productive than individual labour. And as the level of operational division of labour was low, the groups of community members, that worked (hunted, fished) together, were small – up to several men.
These small groups, leading joint economy, the size of which was determined by the level of operational division of labour and the efficiency of the simple cooperation, united themselves into small production units (speaking by means of modern economic notions – into production enterprises) – clan communities, that were collective owners of means of subsistence and auxiliary means of production, with the exception of those ones, that were in personal ownership of single community members: bow, spear, axe, etc.
Certainly, the number of community members belonging to one of another clan community, was more than number of hunters or fishermen occupied by joint hunting or fishing, because their families – women, children, old men - were members of clan community as well. Besides, a part of male members of community were occupied by other kinds of labour: making technical means, building and repair of dwelling, gathering, etc.
Thus, the structure of tribal-clan society was determined by the action of economic laws. The origin and existence of the tribe as social institution was stipulated by the availability and action of the law of correspondence of the size of commodity market (and, by means of it, the size of tribe) to the level of social division of labour. And the origin and existence of the clan as social institution was caused by the availability and action of the law of correspondence of the grade of production centralization (and, by means of it, the size of the production unit of ancient society – the clan community) to the level of operational division of labour.
If we now have a look at the primitive society before the hunting-technical and the communal-social revolutions, we will understand why primitive people of that society being formed liv ed not in single families and not in large groups, as tribal formations that appeared later, but in small groups of 20 to 40 people. As the operational division of labour did existed, for example, during drive hunting, the collective labour based on joining the operational division of labour with the simple cooperation was more efficient. As the level of operational division of labour was extremely low, primitive groups were of small size. And as there was no regular exchange between primitive groups, there was no need for them to join in such large formations as tribe. In other words, the size of primitive groups of people was optimal for circumstances of that period of time; it secured the best conditions of their life.
During the consideration of the operational division of labour in primitive-gregarious and communal-clan societies, one should have in mind that: first, the operational division of labour was of extremely low level; second, it existed not in pure form but being mixed with simple cooperation; third, it was the lowest form of operational division of labour.
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