After people have survived upheavals they want quiet, not advance. They have already learned to understand that the individual who wants to display himself in all his originality is most dangerous for neighbours. But the danger can be avoided if the social imperative is changed. It is sufficient simply to invent or depict an ideal bearer of the best stereotype of behaviour, even if it has never existed, and to require everyone to copy it.
In the ancient world the cult of the king as god was created on that basis. Alexander the Great laid the basis of this perception of the world when Egyptian priests declared him son of the god Ammon. Alexander liked that, but his generals categorically refused to accept such a version as insulting to Alexander's parents, Philip and Olympias.
But the idea only died away for the time-being. It was revived under the successors of the Diadochi, especially in Rome, after Augustus. Rulers began to demand all the honours for themselves due to gods, which meant that the image of the ruler, even not his individual qualities but what was associated with duty, were deified. Rulers thus became examples for imitation obligatory for all.
The Romans well understood that scoundrels, murderers, and liars who, as people, deserved perhaps the blow of a knife in the belly, ascended the throne, but the principle of the 'divinity of the caesar' became an obligatory condition of decorum and loyalty to the established order. And the memory of the bloody centuries of the acme phase was so terrible that any guarantee of order seemed desirable.
In modern times, in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, a similar principle found embodiment in the image of the 'gentleman', an honest, educated person, which it was proposed should be imitated as far as possible. Deviation from the imitation was condemned, if not by law, by public opinion. Its pressure was sufficient.
In the East it was proposed to follow the example of a certain honoured hero of antiquity. In short, all manifestations of originality were persecuted for the sake of an ideal.
But it proceeded slowly. For people who did not want to disown their own originality, there remained the spheres of art and science, which seemed innocuous. He who seized a sword in the sixteenth century sat at home and wrote treatises in the eighteenth century, valuable if the author was talented, and senseless if he were a graphomaniac. And since there were always more of the latter, huge libraries were created filled with books there was no point in reading. It is called 'growth of culture'.
A similar situation built up in the Far East, which entered the inertial phase in the tenth century A.D. In China it was the Sung epoch, which left a vast number of objects d'art, not of such genius as those that survived from the Tang dynasty but made with even more virtuosity. In Tibet the monasteries were filled with books translated, but more often rewritten from old originals.
Of course geniuses appeared on this background (thinkers, scholars, poets), but there were not more of them than in the cruel acme phase. But they had good pupils, and disciples, and their conceptions had resonance. For example, the 'yellow faith' of the teacher Zonghawa (1355-1418) intellectually enriched not only separate consortia or sects but whole peoples (Mongols, Oirats, and some Tibetans). In Byzantine culture this role was played by monks of Mt. Athos (fourteenth and fifteenth centuries), whose ideas, while not accepted in demoralized, doomed Constantinople, found a response in Great Russia.
But enough examples. Clearly, the inertial phase of ethnogenesis is a fall in the drive or vigour of the ethnic system, and a growth in the accumulation of material and cultural values. Let me test my conclusion on a neutral indicator, viz., the change in stereotype of behaviour at the level of the Romano-German superethnos.
It would be surprising if such a grandiose phenomenon as change of stereotype of behaviour on the scale of a superethnos had not yet been noted or described. No, both has been done, though from an absolutely different position than mine, and in another system of concepts and terms. It doesn't matter! The terms of any account can always be translated into one's own. Direct observations do not lose value through that.
Werner Sombart wrote his Der Bourgeois. Zur Geistesgeschichte des moderated Wirtschaftsmenschen (On the Spiritual History of Modern Economic Man) in which he set himself the aim of showing how 'pre-capitalist man', i.e. 'natural man', was converted into the shallow, petty-bourgeois, Philistine person now observed everywhere. Before the rise of capitalism, according to Sombart, in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, 'the starting point for economic activity was man's need ... however much man spent, so much must he receive.' [+39] And only a fool could accumulate more.
There were, however, two classes, the rich signori and the mass of the people. But the difference between them was not so great. The signore, constantly risking his life, received many goods, and then squandered them on sumptuous hunts, feasts, and beautiful ladies. There was no point in saving money; he would perish all the same in the next war, and if not, then in the following one. Therefore, while you were alive and healthy enjoy yourself.
The peasant had as much land as he needed to feed himself and his family. The craftsman, according to Sombart, had the common sense not to work more than was necessary to earn a merry living. If these people had seen a Rockefeller they would have considered him mad.
But mediaeval Europeans did not consider the possessors of silk gowns and gold ornaments mad. They valued treasures and did not spare either their own or others' lives for them. They valued ringing, fine gold and not money, which they began to be attracted by only in the twelfth century. It was then that the 'passion for profit' arose which had only been observed up to then among Jews. [+40] Greed first gripped the Catholic clergy, then the burghers, and finally whole countries, but not to equal degree, and in different variants. Sometimes it pushed them to pillage overseas countries. Sometimes it was satisfied by trade which was also risky. Another path to riches was 'filthy money-lending. Others achieved their end by obtaining lucrative posts, and so on. But the guiding stimulus of activity everywhere was an instinctive striving for enrichment that had almost not been seen up to then.
One might suppose that greed arose with the development of opportunities to satisfy it. Sombart rejected the thesis that 'the capitalist spirit was created by capitalism itself. [+41] He also did not agree with Max Weber that there is a fink between Protestantism and capitalism. Instead he saw the cause of the development of the capitalist spirit ... in predispositions inherited from ancestors, [+42] i.e. he considered these propensities an inheritable attribute. Therefore there are special 'bourgeois natures', which Sombart divided into 'entrepreneurial' and 'middle class'. [+43] The former were gallant adventurers, founders of capitalism, and the latter dismal, moderate, thorough clerks whose mass and bulk filled the vacuum formed after the death of their predecessors.
According to Sombart the 'predisposition' to capitalism is observable not only at the level of the person or organism but also at the level of the ethnos. That convinced him of the biological nature of this phenomenon. [+44]
He classed Celts and Goths in the ethnoi 'with a weak capitalist predisposition', and placed only the Iberians below them ('a completely uncapitalist people') who were 'immune to the fascination felt by almost all peoples for gold'. [+45]
Ethnoi inclined to capitalism were divided into two types: 'hero folk' and 'trader folk'. [+46] Sombart put the Romans, Normans, Langobards, Saxons, and Franks among the first (and so the English and French), and the Florentines, Scottish Lowlanders, and Jews among the second, [+47] and also the Frisians, who, he said, 'were very early on considered clever, slippery trading people'. [+48] Sombart needed that in order to explain the mercenary mindedness of the Dutch and Lowland Scots, because there is a suggestion that Lowland Scotland was settled by, among others, Frisians. Sombart did not deal with the Slavs and Greeks, seemingly not considering them, in contrast to the Jews, as European peoples, which indicates that a superethnos rather than a geographical region fell into his field of view. That makes his analysis interesting for my theme, because he described, as a matter of fact, the transition from the acme phase to the inertial phase. But considering peoples (ethnoi) as stable systems, and subdivisions of races, Sombart had to explain the triumph of the 'petty-bourgeois spirit' in Tuscany by an admixture of Etruscan 'blood', although the Etruscans disappeared in the fourth century B.C., and the Florentines became petty-bourgeois in the fifteenth century. That gap of 2 000 years already puts one on one's guard and compels one to criticize the conception.
I suggest that Sombart's observations are true but his interpretation of them unsatisfactory. The Iberians were the oldest layer of Europeans, and were already in homeostasis at the time of the Romans. When one sees only the final phase of ethnogenesis, one cannot judge the foregoing ones. The descendants of the trading Etruscans are the Corsicans, who long ago lost the habits of their forefathers, and still preferred the vendetta to trade in the nineteenth century. I have written about the Celts above. The peoples Wed by Sombart as traders all had one common attribute, a high degree of mixed breeding. Tuscany lay on the road from the north to Rome. Across it passed, only after the tenth century, Swabian Ghibellines, Angevin Guelphs, Spaniards, French, and Austrians. And all sowed their gene fund among the Tuscan population. The Scottish Lowlands were a zone of contact between Scots, Angles, Norse Vikings, and French barons, who were planted there by English and Scottish kings because the borders were restless and troubled. The lower reaches of the Rhine, the region of the Frisians, were also a place of ethnic contact of a German, Roman, and Celtic population. That is the sole attribute there is in common for all the 'trader folk', but it is sufficient. One can add Southern Italy and Andalusia to their number (which Sombart seemingly overlooked). The picture is not changed.
The difference between 'signori' and 'entrepreneurs' is not so great. Both are people of vigour and zest, or drive, but in different modi. The former are vain, the latter greedy, but these differences are not essential. What is important is that both differ markedly from the petty bourgeois, clerks, and real bearers of the 'capitalist spirit' which, in my view, is only an impoverishment of the original creative zest that always arises during an upsurge of drive. The 'petty bourgeois' condemn the 'signori' only because they would like to be like them but cannot. [+49] They are the remnants of the creative soaring from which only the 'motive of gain' remains for them, i.e. these are harmonious individuals, and even people with subdrive.+ [+50] But it follows from this that we are faced with an ordinary entropic process similar to the cooling of a hot gas that converts it into water and then into ice; by that one can understand a state of homeostasis, the limit of any process of ethnogenesis.
And now let me put Sombart's observations into the schema of ethnogenesis proposed above. In the ninth to eleventh centuries, when there was still no 'capitalist spirit' in Europe, there was also no active ethnic cross-breeding. People lived in small ethnic groups that had been formed recently and were protecting their originality. The fact that these newly born ethnoi consisted of different racial components is of no significance. Their stereotypes of behaviour were original. The tasks facing any one' ethnos were common for each of its members. Drive was equally displayed in all strata of the population, as a consequence of which the social states were fluid. Cowardly barons died, and valiant villeins became either knights or free townsmen.
In the twelfth to fifteenth centuries there was a division. In the monolithic ethnoi there was a complicating of social systems, a strengthening of the monarchy, a waste of people of excess drive in the Crusades or in neighbouring countries (the Hundred Years' War). And in zones of ethnic contact, 'trader folk' appeared and grew rich. In the acme phase of the superethnos they lived through the dissensions, enjoying the patronage of rulers. But gradually they gathered strength and a second down turn began, to the inertial phase most comfortable for them. It was similar to the cooling of steam, being converted into water, at first hot, and then warmish.
As we already know, any change of aggregate state of a medium requires a big expenditure of energy, in our case vigour or drive. Like any energy, drive operates through a difference of potentials. This difference can arise either from an impulse of drive, a natural phenomenon, or through close interethnic contact in which the drive of one ethnos exceeds that of the other. The results will be different: destruction of the natural landscape is recorded only in the second variant, which I have demonstrated in a number of examples.
At the same time one must note that destruction in the anthropogenic landscape is not by any means the rule, but a deplorable exception, fortunately quite rare. If it were otherwise, then, after 50 000 years of the existence of neoanthropes, the whole geobiocoenosis would have been destroyed and man himself would have perished from hunger on an Earth made infertile. One must consequently recognize that man's impact on the biosphere takes two opposing directions, life-asserting and life-denying.
In the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries 'cooling' of the Romano-German superethnos proceeded rapidly. People of drive went to colonies and either died there or returned sick. Harmonious individuals worked persistently at home, in their fields, workshops, counting houses, and university lecture halls. They never struggled for advantages, in practice onerous for them. And that is how 'trading people' – Florentine money-changers, accommodating diplomats, intriguers, and adventurers – took the place freed by the people with drive. They were foreign to the local ethnos but precisely because of that extremely convenient for the monarchs, especially when they had no homelands.
And suddenly, luckily for them, Watt's steam engine was built and subsequently technically improved. Towns grew and became polyethnic. People began to live without ties with their ethnos, sometimes maintaining only remote contact with it. And that is how the 'capitalist spirit' of Europeans developed, so well described and abused by Sombart.
But why did that happen so easily? Only because, figuratively speaking, the water cooled and froze. But when it is all turned to ice, i.e. when the phase of obscuration sets in, the mercenary-minded tradesmen – bacteria who eat away the guts of the ethnos – will perish, but a relict of the ethnos may remain.
The conception of ethnogenesis that I have proposed here would be subjective if we did not have a scale for comparing it. But there is a scale; it is the history of the anthropogenic landscape, i.e. the history of the interaction of technique and nature, through the mechanism called an ethnos. In the phase described, people's attitude to their natural environment changes sharply, once again through a lowering of the ethnic system's drive.
However people with drive play havoc, the triumphant Philistine is a phenomenon far more deadly as regards the nature that feeds us. In this phase no one needs risk, because the necessary victories have been won, and reprisals against the defenseless have begun. And who is more defenseless than the blessed biosphere?
It was proclaimed that 'man is the king of nature', and he began to draw tribute from it calmly and systematically. Cotton plantations covered the once green hills of Dixieland, and in a certain, quite short time converted them into sand dunes. The prairies were ploughed, the harvests were immense, but only for a while; then dust storms blew, ruining gardens and crops in the eastern states as far as the Atlantic. Industry developed and yielded immense profits, but the Rhine, the Seine, and the Vistula became open sewers. The environs of settlements and towns are polluted by industrial wastes, and poisonous chemicals are dumped into rivers. No people with drive would ever have thought of such an idea; it is impossible to explain anything to them. But does it need explaining? For this is not the last phase of ethnogenesis.
Ethnoi that bear on their shoulders the huge load of the culture accumulated by their forefathers behave just the same. No technical advance in itself entails progressive development without the involvement of people, although it may be eroded by the constant action of destructive time. Egypt of the Old Kingdom and Sumer had a higher level of cultivation than Egypt of the New Kingdom and Assyria, which conquered Mesopotamia. It is seemingly a matter not of things but of people, or rather of their stock of creative energy, i.e. drive. Technique and art can therefore be regarded as indicators of ethnic processes, as a kind of crystallization of the drive of past generations.
But perhaps I am overindulging in political history? For it is accepted to consider that history and nature study are so remote from one another that it is not justified to compare them. John Stewart Collis wrote in his The Triumph of the Tree:
No doubt Saint Paul was right to preach against the people of Antioch, and other prophets to lay their curse upon other cities. But they did the right thing for the wrong reasons. Those sins were not moral; they were not theological they were ecological. That pride and that luxury might have been a great deal more pronounced and yet no harm befallen them; the green fields would have continued to yield them increase and the limpid water to bring refreshment: that immorality and that impiety might have spread further and mounted higher, and still the strong towers would not have shaken and the massive walls would not have crumbled: but because they had been unfaithful to the land upon which they lived and which God had given them; because they had sinned against the laws of earth, and despoiled the forests, and loosed the floods, they were not forgiven, and all their works were swallowed in the sand. [+51]
Brilliant, but not true! The immorality and impiety in the cities were the prelude to savage treatment of forests and fields, because the cause of the one and the other was a lowering of the ethno-social system's level of drive. During its preceding rise a characteristic feature had been severity toward itself and neighbours. With lowering, 'philanthropy', forgiveness of weaknesses, and then neglect of duty, and then crime, had been characteristic. And a habit of the latter led ,o transfer of the 'right to outrage' from people to the landscape. An ethnos' level of morality is the same phenomenon of the natural process of ethnogenesis as predatory destruction of living nature. Because we have caught the link, we would have been able to write the history of the anthropogenic landscape, i.e. that deformed by man; because the meagerness of the direct descriptions of resource-use in old authors can be supplemented by descriptions of the moral standard and political collisions of the epoch studied. It is the dynamics of the described relationship that is the subject-matter of ethnology, the science of man's place in the biosphere.
As a matter of fact I have described the manifestation of a micro-mutation that can be characterized as restoration of equilibrium disturbed by an impulse of drive. The latter is reflected in the nature of a region no less than in people that inhabited it. A surplus of energy leads to the development of new needs and consequently to a reorganization and restructuring of the enclosing terrain. I cited examples of this above; I now need to generalize them and determine their trend.
As a rule a striving for improvement and provision of amenities is characteristic of the first phase. An ethnos that is beginning to live does I not imagine that an end awaits it also. And if some such idea had entered anyone's head, no one would have wanted to listen to him. There is therefore a desire to build forever, sparing no efforts. The riches of nature still seem inexhaustible, and the job is to arrange unhampered winning of them. Sometimes that leads to rapacity, but the strict order established and maintained by the social system limits the initiative of private persons. Indeed, if the English kings and their sheriffs had not introduced cruel laws against poachers, who were called 'Robin Hoods' in the Middle Ages, there would have been not only not a single deer left in England, but most likely not a single unfelled tree and untrampled meadow. Perhaps it is better to admire not the heroes of English folk ballads but their enemies, although both were bearers of mounting drive which the killed animals, alas, lacked. For them the Hundred Years' War, which cost many human lives but postponed death of the nature of Old England and La Belle trance, was a good thing.
Such collisions have occurred many times, but the biosphere found a way out of the impasse. Nature sometimes changes more quickly than history.
As I have already said, the process of the obscuration of Western Europe was interrupted by an impulse of drive in the ninth century, but the wounds inflicted on the biosphere then were not healed. In Gaul and Britannia, because of heightened humidity, the forests and meadows were restored; in Italy and Andalusia lemon and orange groves were grown, but in dry Northern Africa the desert encroached. Whereas the Roman cavalry had obtained horses in the second century from the countless herds pastured on the southern slopes of the Atlas, in the eighth century the Arabs had begun to raise camels there. There was no change of climatic conditions there because this was a zone of a stable anticyclone, the Azores anticyclone. But it was impossible in those natural conditions to restore the thin layer of humus in a few centuries. From the second century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. the Romans had systematically driven the Numidians, the ancestors of the Tuaregs, south. The latter moved away with their herds, which gradually converted the dry steppe into the stony desert of the Sahara. And at the eastern end of Eurasia the Chinese played the role of the Romans, pressing the Hunni northward and converting the wooded slopes of the Yinshan into the boundary of the stony Gobi desert, and the Ordos steppe into a chain of sand dunes. There, it is true, the anthropogenic processes were combined with the heterochronism of heightened moisture in the and and humid zones, but it is easy to make allowance for that phenomenon to be sure that it does not alter the conclusion.
There is a suggestion that natural processes – droughts and floods – are as devastating for the nature of a region as the activity of man armed with the technique of his time. But it is not so! Natural processes create reversible changes. The repeated parching of the Great Steppe in Eurasia, for example, caused a shifting of the dry steppe and semi-desert northward and southward from the stony Gobi. But the subsequent humidification led to an opposite process; the desert was overgrown by steppe grasses, and the forest encroached on the steppe. And, parallel with that, the anthropocoenoses were restored – the nomads migrated with their herds 'for grass and water'.
But ethnogenesis is a natural process; consequently it should not, of itself, create irreversible changes in the biosphere; and if it does, then obviously some other factor is involved. What? Let us look.
In the Great Steppe ethnogenesis began three times in the historical period: in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. with the Hunni; in the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. with the Turks and Uighurs; and in the twelfth century with the Mongols and, in the Sungari taiga alongside, the Manchus. All these regenerated ethnoi were descendants of aborigines, their predecessors. They did not expend their surplus of drive on changing nature, because they love their land, but on creating original political systems (the Hunnic clan power, the 'Eternal Ehl', the Mongol ulus), and on campaigns against China and Iran. In that aspect the nomads were like the Byzantines. And it was not by chance that both are regarded, from a standpoint of Eurocentrism, as 'second-rate' or 'defective', although, from the angle of the need to protect the environment, the Europeans and the Chinese should have learned from the Turks and Mongols.
But the worst in the phase of civilization is the stimulus of unnatural migrations, or rather the resettlement of whole populations from a natural to an anthropogenic landscape, i.e. into towns. Although each town, irrespective of its size, exists at the expense of natural resources, it accumulates such a great technical base within it that newcomers from quite dissimilar countries can five in it. They are able to feed themselves in the urbanistic landscape, for example, through exploitation of the aborigines who created and maintained this artificial landscape. The most tragic thing in this collision is that the migrants set up a feedback with the aborigines. They begin to teach them, to introduce technical improvements suitable for the native terrain of the migrants but not for the countries to which they have been mechanically transferred. This projection is sometimes remediable; and sometimes flourishing countries are even converted not into deserts but into badlands where the destructive effect of technique is irreversible.
Such a fate overtook Mesopotamia as a consequence of the calamities of historical fate. There the Sumerians turned the marshes into an Eden, and the Semitic Akkadians built a town called 'The Gateway of God' (Bab-elom) or Babylon. Why are there only ruins on its site now?
It seems improbable that a city that was the cultural and economic centre of the Near East for 1 500 years, perished for no fundamental reasons. So what were they? And what was the mechanism of their action? There is no answer in the literatures.
This great city was founded by the Amorites in the nineteenth century B.C. and conquered by the Assyrians in the seventh century B.C. The conquest was bloody, uprisings were put down brutally. Neighbours joined in the war (Elamites and Chaldeans). The Chaldeans, a tribe of eastern Arabia, overthrew Assyria in 612 B.C. and became the masters of Babylon, whose population was as much as a million, but included very few descendants of the ancient Babylonians. [+52] The culture and economy of the city outlived its founders, and the system, with a new ethnic replenishment, continued to function. Despite all the bloodshed, the stable anthropogenic landscape was not destroyed until the sixth century B.C.
The economy of Babylon was based on a system of irrigating Mesopotamia, the surplus water being drained into the sea via the Tigris. That was rational, since the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris carried much suspended matter from the Armenian uplands during floods, and choking of the fertile sod by gravel and sand was undesirable. But in 582 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar concluded peace with Egypt by marrying Queen Nikokerti (Nitocris), who subsequently passed to his successor Nabonidas. Along with the Queen arrived her suite of educated Egyptians. Nikokerti suggested to her husband, seemingly not without consulting her closest advisors, to dig a new canal and increase the irrigated area. The King of the Chaldeans adopted the Egyptian Queen's plan, and in the 560s the Pallukat canal was dug, which began above Babylon and irrigated a vast area of land beyond the river flood plains. [+53] What happened as a result?
The Euphrates began to flow more slowly, and the alluvium settled in the irrigation canals. That increased the outlay of labour on maintaining the irrigation network in its old state. The water from the Pallukat, which passed across dry territories, caused salting of the soil. Farming ceased to be profitable, but the process dragged on for a long time. In 324 B.C. Babylon was still such a big city that the romantic Alexander the Great wanted to make it his capital. But the more sober Seleucus Nicator, who gained possession of Babylon in 312 B.C., preferred Seleucia on the Tigris and Antioch on the Orontes to it. Babylon was deserted, and in 129 B.C. became the booty of the Parthians. At the beginning of our era it was in ruins, in which a small settlement of Judeans made their quarters. Then it disappeared.
But could one capricious queen really ruin a huge city and a flourishing country? Obviously her role was not decisive. For if the king in Babylon had been a local resident he would either have understood himself what devastating consequences an ill-considered measure would have or he would have consulted fellow-countrymen and have found capable people among them. But the king was a Chaldean, his army consisted of Arabs, his counselors were Jews, and none of them even bothered about problems of the geography of the country, conquered and bled white. The Egyptian engineers mechanically transferred their techniques of land improvement from the Nile to the Euphrates. The Nile carried fertile silt during its flood, and the sand of the Libyan desert would drain away any quantity of water, so that there was no danger of salting of the soil in Egypt. The most dangerous thing was not even a mistake but the failure to pose the problem where it should have been posed. For the inhabitants of Babylon, who had replaced the Babylonians killed in war and carried off and dispersed, everything seemed so clear that they didn't even want to think about it. But the consequences of the next 'victory over nature' killed their descendants. That is the difference between the 'geography of population' and ethnology. Bare statistics figure in the former, but in the latter the problem of the relation between an ethnos and the terrain in the different phases of ethnogenesis.
The consequences of land improvement in Mesopotamia could not be corrected, although attempts were made. In the seventh to ninth centuries A.D. the Arabs had vast amounts of cheap labour at their disposal. They obtained Negro slaves from Zandj (Zanzibar) whom they called Zindji. They forced these slaves to gather up salt crystals in baskets in the environs of Babylon. The idea of improving the soil that way was impractical, because the fine crystals were not visible to the naked eye. And the work was ghastly, murderous in fact – under the scorching sun, with hands eaten away by the salt, and without hope of rest!
The desperate Blacks rose in revolt. The uprising lasted from A.D. 869 to 892 and ended, as was to be expected, in the death of all these unfortunate people. But, furthermore, having sacrificed their own lives, which no longer gladdened them, the Zindji destroyed the Baghdad Caliphate, because the vice-regents of Egypt and Khorasan broke away from Baghdad, the bandit Ya'qub Saffar reached the capital's walls, and the sectarians of Bahrein, the Karmathians, achieved independence. That happened because all the Caliph's forces had been thrown against the Zindji, and all his funds were needed to hire Turkomans to reinforce the depleted army.
The Turkomans, warlike steppe dwellers, having seen that they were the sole real force in Baghdad, began to change the Caliphs to suit themselves and to suppress the indignation of their employers, the Arabs, by force. They were only expelled with the help of hillmen, the Buidi, Shi'ites, who were enemies of everything Arab, and who made the Caliph their puppet.
That was the price of the second attempt at land improvement and water conservancy, ill-considered, and as irresponsible as the first.
But one must not think that any improvement of the soil is disastrous. It only becomes so when it is not thought out, the locality is not studied, and the consequences not allowed for. And that happened in antiquity when outsiders and newcomers took charge. They had no time to study, but had to act immediately - and see the results! But when an ethnos is in charge that constitutes part of the surrounding terrain, it works in unison with the natural processes and creates a stable biocoenosis in which there are ecological niches for plants, animals, and people. That usually happens in the early phases of ethnogeneses, because they are natural processes that are blended into the natural forming of Earth's relief envelope.
I have been drawing attention to cruel, sombre eras, poor in remains of objects d'art, and that is not by chance. The beautiful eras, rich in masterpieces, have been described many times, and there is no point in repeating the descriptions. It is more to the point to bring out and explain why the bright periods in the history of culture are succeeded by dark ones.
Thinking people in the Middle Ages sincerely believed that they lived in a time of decline, which was expressed in a permanent loss of the heritage of antiquity (the Roman Empire and apostolic Christianity). Only in the fifteenth century did that feeling disappear, as a consequence of which that age is called the Renaissance.
Interestingly, Chinese held the same ideas, grieving for the culture of the Han dynasty, and Persians, lauding their history, and the Arab Bedouins who opposed the teaching of the Biblical prophets Adam, Noah, Moses, and included among them Kings David and Solomon, to orthodox Islam.
There is no point in arguing about the truth of these convictions. They were rooted in the feeling of the time, which was in itself a fact; and if it was a global feeling then it is a historical fact. And if that is so, then it can and should be explained scientifically.
But first I must ask what was in decline (or in advance). There are rises and falls in ethnic processes and in the history of culture, but they do not coincide with one another in phase. That is not accidental. An outburst or explosion of drive inspiring ethnogenesis is as a rule lethal for and destructive of the preceding culture. The old Christians smashed masterpieces of antique sculpture; the early Goths, Vandals, and Franks burned towns and cities with magnificent memorials of architecture; the Arabs destroyed the libraries of Alexandria and Ctesiphon, and plastered over the frescoes of the cathedrals of Cordoba. Art suffered terrible, irreplaceable losses, but that cannot be called a decline, because the creative impulse, as such, was respected and only the cultural dominant was changed.
On the contrary, however, the classical era of decline, the Roman Empire of the second to fourth centuries A.D., is characterized by an increase in the production of statues and frescoes, the building of temples and theatres, and the erection of triumphal arches. But a lowering of aesthetics standards and of quality was characteristic then, as I have said. The depictions of emperors were conventional, and the busts of matrons were not expressive, because both were tributes to the requirements of propriety and decorum as it was then understood. Things were even worse with architecture. In order to erect Constantine's triumphal arch in time, Trajan's arch was dismantled. That was no longer craftsmanship but simply hack-work. Roman tenement houses were built so badly that they often collapsed, burying the residents under their ruins. Rome had ceased to five creatively before the Goth and Vandal devastations.
Had it indeed? For even in those cruel centuries there were authors of immortal works: Lucian of Samosata, Ammianus Marcellinus, Sidonius Apollinaris, not to mention the pleiad of Christian philosophers and the Neoplatonists close in spirit to the Christians.
Yes, it was so, but remember that readers became fewer and fewer. Sidonius Apollinaris complained bitterly of spiritual loneliness. The philosophers Hypatia and Proclus lived alone and abandoned. Her disciples did not even defend Hypatia from the Alexandrian mob. One can find bits and pieces of late statues of a high standard, but they are insignificant in number compared with the hack-work. That lowering of taste and substitution of the eclectic for style was a real decline in art. But whether or not it was combined with catastrophic destructions it was a detail of the historical processes and ethnic migrations.
So it was everywhere. In Byzantium the fourth-century poet John Chrysostom came out as a rival of the almighty empress, and after his death was honoured as a saint. And in the eleventh century all influence was concentrated in the hands of the assembly (of top officials) which destroyed the hero-defenders of the homeland, and there were no poets at all.
In the Arab Caliphate scholars were respected, and memorials of architecture were not destroyed, but the shuubiyya, the creative interpretation of the Koran, gave way to dogmatic pedantry. The Sung dynasty dealt similarly with intellectual diversity in China, where all religions were banned, and only Confucianism was tolerated. Decline of culture is obviously a general process.
Now let me pass to a summing up.
In the phase of ethnic inertia capacity to extend area is reduced and a time of affecting the landscape of one's own country sets in. The technosphere grows, i.e. the quantity of needed and unneeded buildings, articles, monuments, and utensils increases, obviously at the expense of natural resources. Some of thew changes are relatively harmless distortions of nature (irrigation ditches, monoculture fields, vast herds of cattle). Left without attention they will be restored to the natural geobiocoenoses. But where natural materials are confined within the shackles of strict forms, self-development is prevented, being replaced by slow but steady destruction, which is often irreversible. Only archaeologists need such ruins. They study the traces of fading, not flourishing ethnoi, that leave to the ages shards of vessels made of fired clay, fragments of Babylonian tablets with cuneiform writing, pyramids, and the foundation of the Baalbek temple, ruins of mediaeval castles, and of Mayan temples in the jungles of Yucatan. The biosphere is capable of feeding people, but is not in a position to satisfy their striving to cover the planet's surface with rubbish removed from biocoenoses' cycle of conversion. In this phase, an ethnos, like Anthaeus, loses touch with the soil, i.e. with life, and inevitable decline sets in. The picture of this decline is deceptive. It wears a mask of well-being and prosperity, which seem eternal to contemporaries because they cherish illusions of inexhaustible natural wealth., But that is a consoling self-deception that is dissipated after the last, and this time fatal, down turn sets in.
The last phase of ethnogenesis is destructive. The members of an ethnos who are incapable (by the law of the irreversibility of evolution) of getting back into contact with the biosphere, pass to despoliation and rapacity, but that does not save them. Demographic decline begins, after which peripheral subethnoi remain, minimally linked with the main line of ethnogenesis. They either vegetate, as relicts, or create new ethnoi with different behavioural dominants. Then the process is revived, of course, if there is another impulse of drive.
A distinguishing feature of 'civilization' is reduction of the active element and full contentment of the emotionally passive and hard-working population. But a third variant should also be taken into account, viz., the existence of people who are neither constructive nor hard-working, are emotionally and mentally defective, but who possess heightened demands on fife. In heroic ages of growth and self-manifestation these individuals have few chances of surviving. They are bad soldiers, good-for-nothing workers, and the path of crime quickly leads, in rigorous times, to the scaffold. But in the easy times of civilization, with a general material abundance, there is an extra piece of bread and a woman for everyone. 'Life-lovers' begin to multiply without limit and, since they are creatures of a new mould, they create their own imperative, viz., 'be like us', i.e. do not aspire to anything that cannot be eaten or drunk. Any growth becomes an odiose phenomenon. The industrious and diligent are ridiculed, and intellectual pleasures arouse fury and frenzy In art there is a decline in style, in science original work is ousted by compilations, corruption becomes the rule in public affairs, in military affairs soldiers impose their will on officers and generals, threatening mutiny. Everything is for sale; no one can be trusted, and a ruler must, in order to govern, employ the tactics of a robber baron – suspect rivals, and track them down and kill them.
The order established in this stage, which it would be correct to call 'obscuration', cannot in any way be considered democratic. In it, as in preceding stages, groups predominate; only the principle of their selection is different, and negative. Capabilities are not valued, but rather their absence, ignorance and not education, unscrupulousness and not; firmness of opinion. Far from every Philistine is capable of meeting these requirements and the majority of the people therefore prove defective from the standpoint of the new imperative and consequently unequal. But there is then retribution, because the life-lovers only know how to live parasitically off the fat of the body of the people overfed during 'civilization'. They themselves can neither create nor preserve. They corrode the body of the people, like cancer cells corrode the human organism, but having won, i.e. having killed the rival, they themselves perish.
Other qualities than those so carefully cultivated are needed, in fact, in order to protect the family and bring up children. Otherwise the children will make short work of their parents as soon as it is convenient for them. Thus, after obscuration begins to triumph its bearers disappear like smoke, and there remain descendants of the original bearers of the static state, who have survived all the scrapes, and who begin to teach their children to live quietly in the ruins, avoiding conflicts with neighbours and with each other. Anatomically and physiologically they are full-blooded people adapted to the terrain, but their drive is so low that there is no development of the ethnos. Even when someone with drive is born among them, he applies himself among neighbours and not in the homeland. There are two possibilities: either those remaining alive drag out a pitiable existence as a relict ethnos, or they fall into a melting pot and, in favourable circumstances, a new ethnos is fused from several fragments, only vaguely recalling its origin, because the date of its new birth is far more important for it. And once again the process goes through the same stages, unless it is accidentally cut short by an outside, external influence.
There arc fewer striking examples to illustrate the phase of obscuration than for other stages. The people of Europe, both Western and Eastern, are not so old as to fall into a state of debility, so I must turn again to antiquity for examples.
Let me begin with the clearest example, the Mediterranean in the fourth century B.C. It was then that the aggression of the warlike Celts petered out; in the preceding century, they had conquered lands in Spain and Italy and had inflicted heavy losses on the growing culture of the Etruscans. In that same century the military and economic power of Carthage was flourishing; and the complex state system of Rome, liberated from Etruscan yoke, was taking shape. But the Greeks played the main role. They were experiencing their most brilliant age and being converted from a mosaic ethnos into a superethnos.
The Hellenist superethnos,, which included Macedonia, stretched from the Indus in the east to Spain (Saguntum) and Gaul (Massilia) in the west, having overawed the Punic and Etrurian ethnoi competing with it. Although both the latter preserved their independence, they lost hegemony at sea. But the drain of the element with drive to the frontier, together with the wars suffered in recent time (the Peloponnesian, Theban, and Macedonian) made Hellas less resistant, which is clear from the fact that the initiatives of Athens and Sparta began to be seized by the semi-savage hillmen of the Epirus and Aetolia, and the modest peasants of Achaea. Not that they had accumulated special power; their strength proved sufficient, however, with the isolation of the former centres of the drive, for them to join the struggle for hegemony with hope of success. The same process, originating in Italy, elevated the robber republic on the Seven Hills to the Eternal City of the ancient world. And here it may not be out of place to make an important observation. The Romans' main rival, the Samnites, who were not inferior to them in courage, had a custom of supplying their young men as mercenaries sometimes to Carthage, sometimes to the Hellenic cities of Taras (Tarentum), Syracuse, etc. Naturally, most of them went looking for adventure and wealth and perished; and if they returned they were already worn out and exhausted. The Romans, on the contrary, kept their youth at home, although it gave them no little trouble. They thus preserved their stock of drive and employed it in the wars with Pyrrhus and Hannibal, which gave Rome power over the Mediterranean. Nevertheless this fund of energy was frittered away which led to the reform of Gaius Marius, viz., the formation of a professional standing army in which iron discipline made it possible to employ people of sub-drive as rank-and-file soldiers. The structure of the Roman ethnos disintegrated. Two subsystems developed, the Senate and the army. Under Julius Caesar the army won, and won again after his death, under the command of Octavian and Marcus Antonius. During the next three centuries the army drew into itself the whole of the population of the Roman Empire with drive, and civil wars were waged between military groupings made up of members of the various ethnoi forming part of one superethnos, the Pax Romana.
The first war broke out in 68 A.D., when the propraetor of Gaul, Julius Vindex, a descendant of the Aquitanian kings, led an uprising of his fellow-tribesmen thirsting to free themselves from the power and exactions of Rome. The Spanish legions joined the rebellion, proclaiming Servius Sulpicius Galba emperor. But before Galba crossed the Pyrenees, the legions stationed on the Upper Rhine came to blows with the Aquitanians. The leaders of the two armies did not think of fighting, but their legionaries did not listen to them; 20 000 Aquitanians fell in battle, including Vindex.
Galba entered Rome at the lead of the Spanish legions and seven months later was killed by the Praetorian Guard, natives of Italy, who proclaimed emperor Otho, one of the late Nero's boon companions. But the legions of the Lower Rhine rebelled, forcing their chief Vitellius to go with them to Rome. In A.D. 69 these provincials broke the Praetorian Guard. Otho plunged a dagger into his breast. But the Syrian and Egyptian legions did not agree to recognize Vitellius and forced their commander Vespasian to lead them in the struggle for power.
They were joined by the legions stationed in Mosses, Pannonia, and Illyrian in order to avenge Otho on Vitellius. The commander of the German legions, Caecina, tried in vain to surrender. The soldiers put him in chains, and went into battle. Vespasian's army was victorious at Cremona, pillaged the town, and killed all its inhabitants because they were Roman citizens and could not be sold as slaves. Vitellius renounced power, but the troops who were in Rome did not accept his abdication, attacked the Capitoline hill, killed Vespasian's brother, the prefect of Rome, and fought each other until they were killed. And the people of Rome went over to the next victor.
It is clear from this list of evil deeds that the Roman professional army had detached itself from the Roman people and had become directly hostile to the Senate. But it, too, did not constitute a single whole, being split into several territorial consortia. The legionaries' stereotype of behaviour and that of peaceful citizens diverged the more that provincials who had broken their ties with their homelands and fellow-tribesmen for the sake of a soldier's life were taken into the army.
The thirty legions that the Empire had in A.D. 70 had been reinforced not only by callus and an influx of volunteers, but also by natural growth. In peace time the legionaries worked plots of land for their own needs and, although they did not have the right to marry, they took bedmates whose children also became soldiers. The soldiers thus constituted a subethnos in the Roman Empire whose significance grew year by year, and the stereotype of behaviour altered in accordance with the conditions of life military service.
However badly Roman citizens treated their standing army, and however brutally the soldiers made short work of the peaceful population whenever it suited, one must say that the provinces grew rich and the capital enjoyed itself only thanks to the legions. And the capital amused itself vilely with gladiatorial battles, the baiting of animals, execution of Christians, the insulting of female prisoners, and the sale of male and female slaves; such was the Roman stereotype that excites the admiration of lovers of classical antiquity.
Yet, for all the horrors described, the imperial age of Rome must be considered the inertial phase of ethnogenesis. The Roman people expended their own drive in maintaining their political system. Whereas surplus drive had broken the rigid social system by means of civil war in the second and first centuries B.C., and the energy and drive was as much as was needed at the turn of the eras to maintain order and peace in the system, a need had arisen already by the end of the first century A.D. to reinforce the army with people of fighting efficiency, i.e. provincials with drive. That was the beginning of the end.
What happened, Did the legions become weaker? Or the Empire's neighbours stronger? Perhaps both at the same time. That, too, is important to me.
Of course, the part of the Roman ethnos (which coincided at that time with the antique Graeco-Roman superethnos) that formed part of the legions lost drive more rapidly than it would from battle losses only. During each of the many revolts the soldiers avenged insults on the junior officer corps, i.e. killed those officers who maintained discipline, which meant that there was an extermination of the most responsible, resourceful, efficient, and dutiful people, whose places were taken by unprincipled, venal persons. That degradation was noted and described as regards the moral and cultural standards of the 'soldier' emperors, but it is more important for my theme to note that it affected all strata of the army, which at that time involved the whole drive element of the Roman ethnos, because only in the army could an ambitious youth make a career, even at the risk of his life.
Inertia maintained the existing system until the end of the second century A.D., and was exhausted. Then the time for a new phase arrived.
The phases of ethnogenesis pass so smoothly one into the other that they are unnoticeable for contemporaries as a rule. But it is clear to the historian that the transitions coincide with important events whose significance is only apparent from a distance.
The decisive turning point in the fate of the Roman ethnos occurred in A.D. 193, after the mad emperor Commodus was assassinated.
It is worth concentrating attention on those events. The monster born in the purple lost a tablet in his favourite concubine's bed with the names on it of those doomed to death. Her name was on it, too. She showed it to the other named victims, and a specially invited gladiator Narcissus finished the scoundrel off. The Senate appointed a venerable old man, Pertinax, emperor. The Praetorians recognized him, since he was known as an honest, brave, efficient administrator, and a well-meaning, just, and meek ruler. Those condemned, though guiltless, were released from prison and brought back from exile. Informers were punished. Order was restored in legal proceedings and management. Pertinax halved expenditure on the palace, and sold off the slaves with whom Commodus had debauched himself. The country, it seemed, was reviving within only three months.
One day a crowd of Praetorians came to the palace. The sentries admitted them. They killed Pertinax. The people wept. So ended the attempt to save the fatherland.
The Praetorians proposed to give the throne to whoever would pay them most. It was bought by a rich Senator Didius Julianus, who had been the ruler of remote provinces for a long time, and who had stolen much money there. His authority got no support. The Senators and equites hid their feelings but the mob quarrelled with them. There was no relying on the Praetorians. The Guard was no longer the valiant legionaries who had defended their leader Otho in A.D. 69 from Vitellius' terrible border troops. They had become so corrupt over 124 years that no one believed them or respected them.
The proconsuls of the provinces immediately opposed the Roman legionaries. In Britannia Claudius Albinus, a friend of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, who hid all his unnatural vices under the cloak of a philosopher, proposed to his troops to restore freedom. In Syria Pescennius Niger, an efficient and affable ruler, popular in his province and in Rome, had many chances for success. In Pannonia Septimius Severus, a Roman equite and native of Africa, ambitious and secretive, seized the initiative. He exploited the factor of speed. Being close to Rome, he entered the eternal city without a fight. Didius Julianus, deserted and betrayed by the Practorians, was killed in his palace.
But the Praetorians, who had gone out to meet the usurper with laurel wreaths, miscalculated. Septimius Severus ordered his seasoned troops to disarm them, and then sent them off to various provincial cohorts. Once conquered Illyria and Thrace thus gained the upper hand over Rome. After bloody victories over Niger and Albinus, won thanks to the courage of the Thraco-Illyrian legions which, unlike the Syrian and British legions, were recruited in their own provinces, Septimius Severus improved the position of the soldiers and increased the army by natives of the eastern provinces (Illyrians, Thracians, Galatians, Moors, lazyges, Arabs, etc.). As a result almost the whole Roman army proved to be made up of foreigners at the beginning of the third century A.D. That shows that the Roman ethnos, which had ceased to supply volunteer defenders of the homeland, had lost drive. The structure, language, and culture of the Empire still remained, through inertia, at a time when real Romans could be counted by separate families, even in Italy, which was settled by immigrants from Syria and descendants of war-prisoner slaves (colons).
The military dictatorship of the Severans prolonged the existence of the Roman system for forty years; then things began to happen. In A.D. 235 the soldiers killed Alexander Severus and his wise mother Mamaea, and gave the throne to a Thracian Maximinus. The Proconsul of Africa, Gordianus, a Roman of long standing, together with his son, opposed Maximinus. Both were killed. In A.D. 238 the soldiers filled Maximinus, and the Praetorians, the two consuls Pupienus and Balbinus. The Praetorian prefect Philip the Arabian killed Gordianus III in A.D. 244, and was himself killed by Decius in 249. After the death of Decius in battle with the Goths, the soldiers betrayed and killed Gallus, and then Aemillianus. His rival Valerian, whom the army refused to obey at the decisive moment and demanded should surrender to the Persians, died in a 'tower of silence'. The Empire split into three parts: in the West there was the usurper Posturn, in the East the Palmyran king Odaenathus, who repulsed the Persians; while in Rome the following were successively murdered: Gallienus, Aurelius, Claudius 11, Quintilian, who reigned for 17 days, and finally Aurelian, who restored order and united the Empire in A.D. 270 before the emancipated slave Mnestius (murdered in turn) killed him in 275.
Then, in turn, the elder consul Tacitus, his brother Florian, the Pannonian officer Probus, Carus, and Numerian were murdered. Only in September 284 was Diocletian proclaimed, who took advantage of the murder of his rival Carinus (son of Carus) in 285 by his own comrades-in-arms, and became emperor.
This long fist of regicides helps us understand the course of ethnic development when we take into account that far more ordinary people were killed. Before us is the phase of obscuration, when a capable military leader trying to restore discipline for the sake of victory was regarded as the worst enemy, worse than the real one. Instinctive reactions (irritation, greed, laziness) not being counterbalanced by lost drive, made the Roman army a crowd of villains and traitors. And it was not that there was no determined general or clever diplomat for half-a-century. There were plenty of them in that vast country, but there were few true executives. And since the number of them was diminishing all the time, because they were killed along with the emperors, the stereotype of behaviour also changed, i.e. the phase of ethnogenesis. The Roman ethnos had died and rotten before perishing from the invasion of barbarians.
Diocletian understood that only a backward province could save him. He therefore divided care for defense of the frontiers with three companions, established his residence in the Asia Minor town of Nicomedia, far from Rome, and surrounded himself with troops from Illyrian, Thracian, and Moesian mountaineers who had not yet lost their fighting capacity. He created a bureaucracy, because he did not, with every justification, trust the corrupt society. He persecuted Christians and Manichaeans because these communities lived by their own laws and not his. In short, he exploited the inertia, not of the ethnos (because that was exhausted) but of the culture created by preceding generations. But he, too, capitulated to the force of things, since he became the emperor of a state (dominus) and not the head of a republic (princeps).
Diocletian's state was Roman only in name. In essence it was an association of all the countries of the Mediterranean basin that completely ignored the ethnic principle. A large part of the Empire's population were drawn into the whirlwind of obscuration, i.e. lost its ethnic affiliation, having exchanged it for participation in the superethnos. These people were bound only by a cultural tradition expressed in skillful administration, which meant that true patriotism was replaced by obedience to magistrates appointed from a number of chance persons who had connections and had lost conscience. Such a system could not be strong. But it held together in spite of the efforts of its own population because viable consortia had arisen in it. They were hostile to the traditions of the Roman ethnos, but not to the dominant, in spite of the latter's not caring for them. And soon after the death of the first dominus, these new forces galvanized the corpse of ancient Rome.
For all that, the Roman army, in spite of the tragic position, held the frontier along the Rhine, and Hadrian's Wall in Northern Britannia, and coped well with the Numidians and Moors. Things were more serious in the east. Goth vessels penetrated the Aegean; Persia, though disposing of only a fiftieth of the resources, successfully waged war in Mesopotamia; and it needed exertion of all the forces of the Roman Empire to crush the Dacians and the Judeans in the second century A.D. In fact, only the Illyro-Thracian units and their leaders who became emperors, from Aurelian to Diocletian, saved the Empire in the third century. These leaders included the famous general Aetius, who is called 'the last Roman'. But matters were not so simple.
Anyone who joined the legions in Thrace and Illyricum obviously belonged to the number of people of the same stamp as those who joined the Christian communities. Their dominant was of course different, but for my analysis that has no significance. What is important is that in interpolating the impulse of drive I take in just those areas of the Balkan Peninsula where it should have occurred, theoretically speaking, and get confirmation of it there. Consequently Aetius and his legionaries should be considered the 'first Byzantine' rather than the 'last Roman'. I thus establish that, from the second century A.D., there was an upsurge in the activity of the population in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire and in certain areas lying to the north of them. Outside the Empire, this was the beginning of the ethnogenesis of new peoples (Goths, Ants, and Vandals) Inside the Empire this rise in drive acquired an original dominant, the creation of confessional communities on a mixed ethnic basis, either Christian or gnostic and pagan (Neoplatonic). It is customary to say that Christianity was the religion of the slaves. That is partly true, but it loses sight of the fact that the slaves in their overwhelming majority were replenished by prisoners of war. Marriages between slaves of different tribes were permitted by their masters, but mixed marriages with those of other faiths were prohibited by the leaders of the Christian communities, which I venture to call consortia. Thus hybrids which, as we know, possess heightened lability, were grouped together in the Christian consortia. Such forms are usually unstable and disintegrate in two or three generations, but there was an additional factor at work here which gave Christian communities stability, viz., immense drive. Thanks to matchless sacrifice and in spite of cruel persecution, the Christian community, already given organization (the Church), replaced the imperial power in A.D. 313.
Christians were the most loyal subjects of the Emperor Diocletian, and the most disciplined soldiers, but when pagan sacrifices were made in the camps, at which the legionaries had to be present, they shielded themselves by the sign of the cross, which in Diocletian's opinion destroyed the force of the ritual. In A.D. 303 he started a persecution of Christians which was the last in the Roman Empire. It lasted only two years, because Diocletian abdicated in 305 and retired to Illyricum where his villa was as big as the town of Spalato (Split). He died in 313 after learning that his wife and daughter had been brutally murdered, and that something worse than death lay ahead for him.
Diocletian was a bureaucratic genius. He saw it was impossible to govern a country from the Euphrates to Gibraltar and the Tweed without an executive administration. He divided the Empire into four parts, making his comrade-in-arms Maximinus his colleague, also bearing the title of Augustus, while Galerius and Constantius Chlorus were appointed Caesars. After his abdication, Galerius, the initiator of the persecution of the Christians, became Augustus of the East, and the humane and gentle Constantius Chlorus, whose son was Constantine, Augustus of the West. The persecution of Christians ceased in Gaul and Britannia, since Diocletian edicts were simply not enforced.
In A.D. 306 Italy rose against Galerius; the leader of the uprising was the son of Diocletian's Caesar Maxentius, a coarse, giftless, dissolute man. But when Galerius tried to pacify Italy, he was defeated and died in 311, leaving power in the Balkan Peninsula to his friend Licinius. Maxentius' brother Maximinus ruled in Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt.
Both brothers were such that it seemed that the times not even of Nero but of Caligula, Commodus, and Caracalla had returned. Both were consumed by hatred for Constantine and Licinius. War broke out in A.D. 312-313. Those who were aided by the Christians – Constantine and Licinius – won. Yet the strength of authority, numerical superiority, economic resources, and even the influence of old traditions were with Maxentius and Maximinus. But they were killed. It happened like this.
In 312 Constantine crossed the Alps with 40 000 troops, mainly Gauls, against an enemy with a four-to-one superiority. He won several battles in the valley of the Po, reached the Tiber, and there clashed with the army of Maxentius.
Constantine raised a banner on which a radiant cross was depicted. His Gallic cavalry routed Maxentius' Roman cavalry on both flanks, while the veteran border troops cut down the Praetorians Maxentius drowned in the Tiber while fleeing.
Licinius had married Constantine's sister, and the two Augustuses published an edict on tolerance in Milan, which granted Christians freedom of worship. Licinius then went to the East, where Maximinus was invading Thrace from Syria. Licinius' Illyrian soldiers were more capable of fighting than Maximinus' Syrian legionaries who were a motley crowd. Licinius was victorious at Heraclea in 313, and Maximinus died, probably poisoned.
Having won, Licinius displayed the same cruelty to people who were not guilty of anything toward him but who happened to be in his power. In A.D. 315 he inspired a conspiracy against Constantine and then ordered the overthrow of Constantine's statues in the border town of Aemon. Constantine declared war and twice defeated Licinius' army, after which the latter sued for peace. Constantine took Macedonia and Greece away from Licinius, leaving him the rest of the East.
The struggle between the two rulers was postponed, but both understood that it was inevitable. Constantine had the powerful support of the Christians of the whole Empire.
What remained for Licinius to do, who had also promulgated the Edict of Milan in his possessions in the struggle with Maximinus, thanks to which his soldiers had called on the aid of the 'Supreme God' and received it in the battle of Heraclea? But since Constantine's mother Helena was a Christian, and he himself was the recognized leader of the Christian party, it was only left to Licinius to revive persecution. In 324 the armies of the contenders for absolute power clashed at Adrianople and Licinius' Thraco-Illyrian legions, vaunted for their bravery, which outnumbered the enemy were routed. They lost a second battle on the other side of the Bosphorus at Chrysopolis. Licinius surrendered, having beer, given a promise of mercy, but within a few months he was strangled (A.D. 324). It is not worth pitying him; he himself killed innocent people. He should have shared the fate of the soldiers who perished for him, and not hidden behind the skirts of his wife, Constantine's sister.
That war did not reflect the rivalry of the old pagan ethnos with the new Christian one, but a struggle for predominance between two subethnoi of an already established ethnos, from which Byzantium arose. As for the descendants of the Romans who were not yet dissolved in the regenerated ethnic system, the phase of obscuration had ended for them, and a time had begun when they could no longer act in any way. All that remained for them was to remember.
The material cited is sufficient for a conclusion. The drive of the antique or Helleno-Roman superethnos faded, being crystallized in a civilization capable of holding out against the pressure of neighbours through accumulated inertia. This system was blown up from within by a powerful excess or impulse of drive that took place in the region of Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, "d Syria. This localization shows that the phenomenon described has no connection with the social crisis of the slaveowning system and was not the fruit of the conscious activity of people who died not understanding why things had suddenly become bad for them.
Neither Diocletian's bureaucratic genius nor Constantine's political resourcefulness, nor Theodosius' military talents could stem the process and save the country. In the East where the new ethnos took shape, that I arbitrarily call Byzantine, the barbarians were repelled; in the West they simply replaced the disappearing Roman citizens.
The same process occurred in Byzantium under the Angelus dynasty and ended with the fall of Constantinople in 1204. The outburst of patriotism in the Empire of Nicaea revived the ramshackle country for a time, but the process of ethnic decline continued, and even the courage of John VI Cantacuzene could not stop it. The Byzantine people disappeared, dissolved and deformed a long time before the Ottoman Turks broke into defenseless, or rather lacking the will to defend itself, Constantinople (5 May 1453).
The Achaemenid Empire perished from an external blow, and obscuration came later in the Near East. It facilitated victory not to Alexander the Great, but to Sulla, Lucullus and Pompeius, Titus and Trajan, and to Arsaces, the leader of the Saki who founded the Parthian Empire on the ruins of ancient Iran.
In mediaeval China obscuration arrived stealthily little by little. In the middle of the seventeenth century, the rotting Ming bureaucracy capitulated to the peasant rising of Li Tzu-cheng, and the latter was subsequently beaten by a blitz by a handful of Manchus, only just united by Prince Nurhatsi. [+54] After that China was in a state of catalepsy for two hundred years, which gave European observers an excuse for regarding the temporary lethargy as an inseparable property of Chinese culture. This, in fact, was not the sickness of a growing culture, but the natural aging of an ethnos that had survived for more than a thousand years (A.D. 581-1681).
Strange as it may seem, the phase of obscuration does not always lead to death of an ethnos, although it always does irreparable harm to the ethnic culture. When it develops rapidly and there are no predatory neighbours near, thirsting for conquests, the imperative 'be like us' finds a logical reaction of the person 'Mine is the day!', with the result that the very. possibility of preserving the ethnic dominant and of any collective measures, even destructive ones, disappears. Purposeful development degenerates into a kind of 'Brownian movement' in which the elements (individual people or smallish consortia that preserve tradition, even partially) get a chance to oppose the tendency to progressing decline. When there is even a little drive and inertia of the everyday norms developed by the ethnos in preceding phases, they conserve separate 'islets' of culture, creating a deceptive impression that the existence of the ethnos as an integral system has not ceased. That is self-deception. The system has disappeared, and only individual people and their memory of the past survive.
The phase of obscuration is awful because it is a series of breaks, be they even small. Adaptation to such rapid and constant changes of the environment is inevitably delayed, and the ethnos perishes.
It is thus clear that people with drive do not dislodge anyone from an ethnos, but by adding themselves and their deeds create a diversity that complicates the ethnic system. And complex systems are more stable than simplified ones.
Such is the mechanism of ethnogenesis, a natural process. And clearly, neither St. Augustine's idea of the City of God, nor the Hegelian longing for the Absolute, not Jaspers' philosophical existence are applicable to explain this phenomenon.
Memory of the past survives the inertia of the impulse of drive, but individual people are not in a position to retain it. Their efforts are not supported by contemporaries, though they are not fruitless. The works of poets are preserved as folklore, artists' masterpieces become the motives of folk art, the history of the feats of defenders of the homeland are converted into legends or ballads in which accuracy of description is counterposed to the genre.
We find such a picture in the Altai. Six tribes live there, the three northern ones of which are Turkicized Ugrians, and the three southern remains of ancient Turks. The Telesi are descendants of Turkuts, the Telenkite and Teleuts are tribes of the Teles group to which the Uighurs belong, and the Altai-Kizhi are a branch of the Naimans who came to the Altai in the twelfth century. All have a rich ballad epic, many of the subjects of which arose in the days of the Turkic Kaghanate the sixth to eighth centuries that perished in struggle with the Tang Dynasty. The Turkuts who saved themselves from the slaughter, hid away in the valleys of the High Altai, and there awaited the time of their rebirth in vain. They passed into a state close to homeostasis, but preserved their heroic poetry as a memory of the past.
The same memory of events not only of days of yore but also of the comparatively recent past (of the war with the Chinese in the nineteenth century) is preserved by the Kirghiz of the Tien Shan, the Jungar Oirats, the Pueblo Indians (Tewa), and many other, once powerful ethnoi, which have become small, not very numerous 'tribes'. Crystallized drive, or art, saved them from dissolution into neighbours, from assimilation and the abasement associated with that.
Ethnoi that are in this phase of ethnogenesis always evoke a feeling of profound respect among ethnographers and 'harmonious' (in the sense of degree of drive) colonists who find a common language with the aborigines. But among people of sub-drive and rapacious people with drive they arouse a savage, unrestrained hatred that excluded any possibility of peaceful contact. That is especially clearly marked in the history of North America.
Most of the Indian tribes living between the Atlantic and the prairies had already experienced their dynamic period before the arrival of Europeans. An exception was the Iroquois, who had settled in the basin of Lake Ontario from the west not long before the arrival of Europeans, and possibly the Seminoles. Both bore the impress of drive and evoked the ferocious hatred of the white settlers. But the Algonquians, the old inhabitants of this territory, and the cultured Natchez in Louisiana, mercilessly exterminated by the French, were made a model of courage, honesty, loyalty, and other good qualities in European literature. So Fenimore Cooper and Chateaubriand depicted them. But as soon as the Europeans clashed with Indians with drive (Apaches, Navajo, Comanches), the image of the Indians was darkened. And the quiet, industrious Pueblo Indians did not get a just evaluation at all. European authors were more interested by their traditional architecture than by them themselves. And that was no accident. The Indian farmers were a very old people; much of their culture has been lost. The Algonquians preserved much but could not keep the drive without which it was impossible to maintain independence; consequently they were forced to make friends with the French and English. But the Iroquois knew how to defend themselves; only division during the revolt of the colonies destroyed them. Some of them sided with England, some with the Americans; and both slaughtered them.
There are very many isolated ethnoi, remembering and valuing their culture, but there are also subethnoi, removed from forward movement by the calamities of historical fate and consciously preferring to preserve the stereotype of their way of life, if only to preserve the memory, dear to them, of the 'beautiful past'. Even at the beginning of the nineteenth century the Old Believer communities in the Russian Empire lived that way. Under Catherine the Great the Old Believers were saved from persecution for their beliefs and could keep up the rites and rituals they considered 'old'.
That was a sincere delusion. They did not preserve the customs of the age of Andrei Rublev and St. Nilus of the Sora, but those established by the middle of the seventeenth century when, after the Time of Troubles and the Polish and Swedish intervention, the reaction to everything foreign became very sharp. But having fixed precisely that moment in the intellectual and aesthetic life in Russia they did not want to reject it. They could have lived indefinitely in that way if they had not been eroded away by their surroundings, i.e. by living, pulsing reality, and the actually occurring processes of ethnogenesis.
And the opponents of the founders of Old Believerdom – the scaramouches – proved to be in the same position. Exiled in the seventeenth century to the north because their songs, dances, masquerades, and stories of the ballads drew people away from observance of fasts and Church rituals, these unfortunate artistes handed their art down to their children until folklorists collected them, i.e. until the middle of the nineteenth century. Happily, it was not too late. They succeeded in recording and publishing a great deal. So, thanks to the memorial phase of a tiny convicinity (not even a subethnos), we Russians know that our forefathers were not savages, nor illiterates, nor dunces waiting for enlightenment from Europe. Because the illiteracy mine later with the superceding of the old tradition by semi-literacy, i.e. in the nineteenth century.
The examples cited witness that after the end of the dynamic phases of ethnogenesis the surviving people by no means become worse, i.e. weaker, or more stupid, than those who up to then had constituted the overwhelming majority of the ethnos. It is not the people who have changed but the ethnic system's integrity. Earlier, along with the majority there had been a yeast of drive, exciting the system, interfering with everything, but giving the system, i.e. the ethnos, resistivity and a striving for changes. The ideal then, or rather forecasts for the distant future, were development, but now the ideal has become conservation. The aggressiveness of the ethnic system, naturally, disappears, and its resistivity is lowered, but the law of drive entropy continues to operate. Only instead of gains there are losses. And much in this depends on the character of the ethnic environment.
A subethnos that Lis lost the inertia of development is, of course, doomed, but the, people that constitute it have a chance of mixing with other subethnoi within their ethnos. Here they are at home and nobody is going to kill them. But a defenceless ethnos surrounded by members of other superethnoi is a picture that chills the blood. The English did not consider the Tasmanians people, and rounded them up and got rid of them. The Argentinians carried out a 'shoot' of the Patagonians, and sold the Tierra del Fuegans blankets infected with smallpox. The Bantu Negroes caught Bushmen in order to use them for heavy work, but were themselves made slaves by the Boers. In order to repel a merciless enemy an ethnos had to expend the remains of drive; for the bravest resisted, i.e. the most vigorous and energetic. But people of sub-drive hid themselves where they could, thanks to which they prolonged their fife but without any hope of victory. That is the mechanism of the tragedy of the ethnoi that evolutionist ethnographers have christened 'primitive'.
But even if these islets of culture in the sea of ignorance and ferocity were able to hold out and not sink into chaos annihilating itself, they are powerless against the last relict phase preceding homeostasis, in which the descendants of members of the most sluggish convicinities that have long ago lost drive, are guided by the imperative 'Troll! To thyself be enough!', [+55] because they are no longer members of an ethnos, as a system, but like the trolls inhabiting undergrowth and gorges (according to the beliefs of the old Norwegians); the phrase I have taken is from Ibsen, because it is very suitable for them. It means: 'Try not to get in the way of others, do not pester them, but do not grieve yourself, and have pity on nothing.'
The extermination of such nice, innocent people, honest, hospitable, and benevolent, is like the murder of children, i.e. it is a crime that is unforgivable.
Another way out would seem to be possible, viz., isolation. I would like to think that, in favourable conditions, an ethnos could, without outside pressure, endlessly preserve its original culture and developed stereotype of behaviour. Even if everything around crumbled to dust or was ground to powder by impulses of drive, the ethnos would reproduce itself: so many naive people think.
But the fact is that people in the last phase of ethnogenesis lose the sense of time along with memory of the past, at first outside their own individual or family biography. In the final stages they are limited to recording the time of year and even simply day and night. I myself observed that among Chukchi: the change of winter to summer was outside their ken. At the same time the Chukchi are fine hunters, have a developed mythology, and are very brave and ingenious. The absence of a chronology by no means prevents them from living.
Europeans who have associated closely with the Pygmies of Central Africa have painted a similar picture. A Pygmy does not know how old he is because a year is too long a period for him and he has no need to count his years. In other things Pygmies are very intelligent, orientate themselves beautifully in the tropical forest, where not only Europeans but also Bantu immediately lose their way. The Bantu live in close contact with the Pygmies, employing them as guides, for which they supply them with iron, because the Bantu are wonderful smiths. And what is most important for my theme: it is necessary to pay the Pygmies for their services, but only after they have done the work, without making an advance, because they work only in order to satisfy a pressing need or fancy. Here is a very graphic example.
The Pygmies know what no one except them knows, viz., how to build a bridge across a wide river from lianas. A narrow river can be waded, but a broad one is dangerous, because of crocodiles. So it is necessary to build a bridge, and the sole material is lianas and two trees, one on one bank and one on the other. Here is how the Pygmies do it; they tie a liana to a palm-tree, and a youth clings to it. They swing him se that he flies to the opposite bank and catches hold of another palm there; if he misses and does not catch it, the liana flies back, and he may be killed against the bole of the first palm. It is a very dangerous business but they know how to do it. Then they pull other lianas along the first, and make a wonderful suspension bridge. An American cameraman wanted to film the building of such a bridge and was acquainted with a Pygmy who knew how to do this dangerous work. The American promised to pay him well if he would demonstrate his skill before the camera. But the Pygmy replied: 'No, I won't do anything; I don't need anything from you. I've already worked for you and you gave me a knife. There is the knife; you gave me a kettle – there it is; you even gave me a chisel – very good, thank you. But I do not need anything more; why should I risk myself?' 'So just in case'. 'What? What's in case; I don't understand what you are saying, stupid white man.' Then the American, for all that, hit on an idea. He learned that this Pygmy wanted to marry, but had to pay bride-price. A woman there is a valuable, not as with us; it is necessary to pay for her and to respect her; a woman is a great matter. He said: 'I will buy you a bride, if only you will do it.' And the Pygmy made a bridge and got a bride.
But the concept 'a stock for the future' is as foreign to Pygmies as the past before the birth of a given Pygmy. Neither the one nor the other interests him. Contact with the Bantu supports the Pygmies, stimulates them, without thereby depriving them of their accustomed geographical environment, because no one ever encroaches on the tropical jungle. Thanks to the symbiosis established the Pygmies have survived for centuries.
It thus turns out that ethnoi that have lost past drive can exist at the expense of the drive of a neighbour ethnos passed to them not sexually but through systems links. Symbiosis is a complicated system beneficial for both parties. The sole danger in it lies in attempts to translate the ethnic contact into a modus of assimilation, but that is always a pain of age of the inertial phase when people begin to invent things instead of studying the reality around them. No one has yet found a more successful variant than that existing in nature.
Thus, even in the final phases of ethnogenesis there is a need for drive, even though borrowed. That is why drive impulses not only destroy ethnoi that are in their neighbourhood, but also save them.
But when an ethnos in this phase is completely isolated, and an impulse of drive passes right by their habitat, an even sorrier end sets in. Let us turn to the facts, because no one wants to believe logic.
On the Little Andaman Island the small Negrito tribe of the Onghies lives in a marvellous climate and luxurious nature. No one has ever done them down. A reservation has been established there and not even tourists are admitted. The inhabitants are peaceful, friendly, honest, and very clean. They are food-gatherers and fishers. Illnesses are a rarity among them, and if there is a case the warden of the reserve gives help. It would seem a paradise – but the population is declining. They are simply too lazy to live. They sometimes prefer to starve than hunt for food. The women do not want to bear children. The children are taught only one thing – how to swim. The adults want only one thing from the civilized world tobacco. For all that the Onghies are very sensitive to justice and do not bear humiliation. Their women are chaste, and when a visiting Burman tried to make love to them, the Onghies killed him, and then reported that to the authorities not as an offence but as an establishing of order. It goes without saying that no question of punishment arose. Rightly! One shouldn't poke one's nose into the affairs of another ethnos.
But there was something strange about this. The director of the Anthropological Department, an educated Indian named Choudhary, told the author of this story, Suresh Vaidya:
Their [the Onghies'. – Ed.] way of life is what mankind lived twenty thousand years ago. For them nothing has changed. They eat what nature gives, and for warmth they depend on the sun and the fire. [+56]
That is the strength of the hypnosis of an uncritically accepted evolutionary theory of ethnogenesis. And how, in the opinion of the Indian scientist, did the ancestors of the Onghies get to the Andaman Islands? For they must have known not just coasting navigation. And they hardly drifted by chance across the very stormy Indian Ocean. Bows and arrows would have had to be invented, or borrowed from neighbours. Their marriage customs, which forbid a second marriage even it the case of early widowhood, and limit marriage with close relatives, are by no means primitive. The Onghies' language has not yet been studied, but when it is it will probably turn out that they have recollections of ancestors, myths, and tales not yet quite forgo: ten. But the life tone of the Onghies has been lowered. A quarter of the young women are barren. If that is how matters stood twenty thousand years ago, the ancestors of the Onghies would long have been extinct.
No, the Onghies, and ethnoi like them, are not children, but oldsters. People without drive are less adapted to fife on Earth than animals. Those in stable, favourable conditions do not die out. Even the crocodiles on these same Andaman Islands, learned to keep under cover when hunters with guns appeared. They did not fear the aborigines with bows and arrows.
At that level of drive ethnogenesis ends.
But besides the direct processes of ethnogenesis lying in the biosphere and therefore not initiating phenomena of destruction, there is a distortion of development in which irreversible simplifications of the ecosystems arise. They can be understood as an ethnic formation with a negative sign; but that calls for special discussion.
Study of the biosphere as a systems entity encounters great difficulties. The traditional methods of the natural sciences, which make it possible not only to describe processes but also to establish their genesis, prove not to be exhaustive because of the absence of datings, even not very rigorous ones. It has been readily noted, for example, that as a consequence of shifting of the path of cyclones, protracted, age-long droughts set in in a certain region, and as a consequence of that the character of the vegetation and consequently of the fauna, was altered, but it is impossible, without an absolute chronology, to establish the dates of the beginning and end of the phenomenon. Chronology is the business of history but, alas, historians have dodged doing their job.
And that is not by chance. History as the science of events in their connections and sequence, had completed its accumulative period by the end of the eighteenth century; then a need developed for its interpretation, which found completion in historical materialism.
But disclosure of the social patterns, viz., the progressive development of the productive forces and relations of production, described only one aspect of a multi-faceted phenomenon, and man's relationship with the biosphere remained within the jurisdiction of dialectical materialism. Historians were not prepared for that division, and gave themselves up to refining the details in communications of the sources. In that connection, however, the contours of the main object of ethnic history, viz., the discrete centuries-old process of ethnogenesis, and its beginning and end, were inevitably lost. That led to a substitution of numerous descriptions of 'Brownian movement' in history as its real development, in place of real historical analysis. But even a drop from a cloud does not fall straight down.
No protracted movement or motion is simple. It includes a number of fine deviations that compensate each other.
But imagine an observer who is studying not the whole trajectory of the falling of a drop but any two centimetres in the middle of its path. He will inevitably conclude that New ton's law is false; for the drop, according to his observation, does not just move down but to the side, and often upward. His conclusion is false but logical, because the mistake is latent in the posing of the problem, which admits the right of the investigator to narrow the theme without coordinating it with surrounding problems.
But don't say that that does not happen! A similar method, leading to obvious fallacies and errors, was the trouble with Thor Heyerdahl's A'Khu.
The interpretation presented aimed not so much at clarifying history as at understanding it as a means of deciding problems of natural science, in particular of study of the biosphere. I therefore suggest a hierarchy of approximations to the reader, which makes it possible to observe the principle of scale and employ the whole of the needed historical material (see Table 3).
By using the table of successive approximations one can find the place of an ethnogenesis, experiencing the effect not only of the biosphere but also of spontaneous social development. This effect is mediated by the so-called 'logic of events', i.e. by the section of history from which it began to be studied (wars, diplomacy, internal revolutions, conquest of power, and so on). This material is abundant but its use calls for strict observance of scale so that unimportant events are not ranked together with major ones. The fate of separate individuals is therefore placed two orders lower than the fate of social systems (see Fig. 3).
The variation of an ethnic system's drive deserves special attention. A rise in the drive of a whole ethnos, but not of the individuals who compose it, occurs uniformly as a rule: growth of the function D, fluctuations of D at certain levels, during overheating, a steep short fall during a break, and a smooth inertial phase. The movement of the level of D is shown by the unbroken line marked a. Variations of the acme phase are shown by the broken line, and a sudden break and decline (usually caused by a blow from outside) is marked by the letter b (see Fig. 4).
In conclusion, as a resume, I propose a table of the generalized content of the whole conception of ethnogenesis, in its substantial part.
[+39] Werner Sombart. Der Bourgeois. Zur Geistesgeschichte des modernen Wirtschaftsmenschen. Verlag von Duncker und Humblot, Munich, Leipzig, 1913, p 11.
[+40] Ibid., p 35.
[+41] Ibid., p 243.
[+42] Ibid., p 254.
[+43] Ibid., pp 256-265.
[+44] Ibid., p 267.
[+45] Ibid., pp 269-270.
[+46] Ibid., p 270.
[+47] Ibid., pp 272-273.
[+48] Ibid., pp 275-276.
[+49] Ibid., p 440.
[+50] Ibid., p 449.
[+51] John Stewart Collis. The Triumph of the Tree. Jonathan Cape, London, 1950, p 181.
[+52] From the seventh century B.C. Babylon even changed its language; Aramaic, which was spoken in Syria, came into use. Ile admixture of the Jews brought into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, was very great; many of them were not able to prove their Judaic origin after liberation, and remained in Babylon. In the sixth century B.C. Babylon had been converted from the capital of monoethnic Akkadia into an urbanistic agglomeration (zone of ethnic contact). See: V.A. Belyavsky. Ethnos in the Ancient World. Doklady otdelenii i komissii VGO, Leningrad, 1967,3:24-27.
[+53] V.A. Belyavsky. Vailon legendarnyi i Virvilon istoricheskii (Legendary Babylon and Historical Babylon), Nauka, Moscow, 1971, pp 96-97,174.
[+54] The Manchus, an ethnos of the Tungus group, began the conquest of China in 1644, completed it in 1683, which put an end to the independent existence of the Chinese national state. Until 1911 the Central Plain, which we call China, was a province of Manchuria; and the people who lived them, Chinese, were without rights, and oppressed. There are no grounds for considering the Ch'in dynasty Chinese, as is constantly done
[+55] The Collected Works of Henrik Ibsen. Vol. IV. Peer Gynt. A Dramatic Poem translated by William and Charles Archer. William Heinemann Ltd., London, 1917, p 247.
[+56] Suresh Vaidya. Islands of the Marigold Sun. Robert Hale Ltd., London, 1960, p 108.