Men arose because of their own abilities; men arose because institutions pushed him up, as in the expression, "the times make the man." He says: 11
Leadership among men is reducible to two factors, one psycho-biological, the other more purely social. Certain individuals are "born leaders" as the saying goes; they possess those qualities of will, character, sang-froid, ambition, which mark them for positions of dominance or control. And again, social institutions, if they are to function, require some sort of organizational center as well as an edge of power, however small, which position, from earliest times on, was filled by appropriate individuals almost spontaneously or automatically. Presently the leader becomes surrounded with emblems and traditions of authority, and a little later his position is further enhanced and fortified by the principle of succession of office.
Mumford 12 notes that the conditions of activity, as among hunters, for instance, may preclude the institutionalization of leadership. The kind of activity will tend to condition the social distribution of power, according to this author.
Hobhouse 13 has systematically pursued this thought, and has arranged his results in the following table:
||Serfs & Slaves
Although no completely satisfactory formulation has been made as to why one family was permitted by the community to monopolize priestly or military honors -- to set itself above others in perpetuity -- it is known that such a development occurred. The reason each family, as soon as it was organized into a unit and became conscious of the sequence of generations, should have prepared for the future living conditions of the offspring in terms of those achieved by the parents, must have lain, and must still lie, in the nature of child possession. (Unless the state or some other organization is prepared to break up the sequence of generations in family lines, it may be anticipated that this mechanism will tend to stratify all complex societies into social classes.)Next Page
Many writers have shown possible ways in which classes could have arisen. Sumner and Keller mention the "intra-group differentiation of social strata," but they emphasize as more thoroughgoing the "contrast between victorious masters and conquered aliens." 14 Dixon and Eberhart believe that though the institutions of magic "the Shamen (sic!) constituted the first distinct class." 15 Then followed the warriors. "The priests protected the warriors from the supernatural world; the warriors protected the priests and their valuable property. Of course, the underlying population . . . paid handsomely . . . . " 16 Whether this was the order of sequence is not definitely known, but one can be sure than when the first appropriation of the economic surplus took place in the towns which cradled civilization these groups were both among those favored with extra shares.
Hereditary Status. Warring and offering sacrifices were not the only functions to enter into class formation. Skills and trades have tended to be ranked by custom and to become hereditary. This probably came about because those engaged in honored crafts wanted to keep them controlled in order to protect their children from competition; those in lowly crafts had no choice but to follow the family tradition. 17
Circumcisors have been noted as honorable and hereditary among the Akikuyu Indians, while "the Kafir circumcisors constitute a professional class. " 18 Bancroft reports that among the Nootka of the North Pacific "harpooners also form a privileged class, whose rank is handed from father to son." 19 In general among uncivilized and semi-civilized, difficult as it is to explain, butchers and musicians followed despised trades, avoided by persons of standing. 20
11. Alexander Goldenweiser, Anthropology (New York, 1937) pp. 375 - 376.
12. Eben Mumford, The Origins of Leadership (Chicago, 1909) p. 78.
13. L.T. Hobhouse, Social Development, Its Nature and Conditions (New York, 1924) p. 275.
14. William Graham Sumner and Albert Galloway Keller, The Science of Society, vol. I (New Haven, 1927) p. 581.
15. Russell A. Dixon and E. Kingman Eberhart, Economics and Cultural Change (New York, 1938) p. 70.
16. Ibid., pp. 121-122.
17. Landtman, op. cit., p. 84.
18. Ibid., p. 83.
19. Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of, vol. I (San Francisco, 1886) p. 194.
20. Landtman, op. cit., p. 84.