The Evolution ofPolitical SystemsThere is a strongpositive relationshipbetween populationgrowth andsocioeconomiccomplexity
Population has 2 key consequences for thesubsistence economy: As resources are depleted, people turn to more costly alternatives that modify the environment and improve productivity through technology and resource management As landscape becomes crowded, there is constant potential for food shortages and aggressive competition over the most desired resources. (To overcome threats, careful management of food redistribution and defense is required.)
A Surplus (or Tax) is mobilized from the subsistence economy in order to finance: Economic Military And Religious Institutions
Intensification Political Integration Social Stratification With intensification, political integration functions to coordinate production, distribution, and defense in multifamily settings. The services rendered by leaders afford opportunities to control production and allocation of resources, which leads to the emergence of stratification.
HEADMEN OFTEN FUNCTION AS INTENSIFIERS OF PRODUCTION AND AS REDISTRIBUTORS: They get their relatives to work harder, they collect and give away the extra product A village may have several headmen “Big Men” emerge where technological and ecological conditions encourage intensification and leaders living in the same village become rivals
Size of the population – chiefdoms are associated with larger communities Leadership – chiefdoms are based on stratification, with a hierarchy of offices at the regional and community level Chiefdoms: are regional systems integrating several villages under an elite class of leaders. These leaders control and manage local resources, from which they derive obligatory payments. These payments are used to establish the chief’s rank and prestige.
“BIG MEN” MUST ACHIEVE AND CONSTANTLY VALIDATE THEIR STATUS BY RECURRENT FEASTS CHIEFS HAVE ASCRIBED STATUS AND HOLD THEIR OFFICES EVEN IF THEY ARE TEMPORARILY UNABLE TO PROVIDE THEIR FOLLOWERS WITH GENEROUS REDISTRIBUTIONS.Ascribed Status: is determined for a person at birth
The evolution of chiefdoms – and later states – depends on the leader’s ability to control production and exchange and to mobilize resources to finance various institutions.
A CHIEF TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTROL RESOURCES BY MONOPOLIZING THE MANAGEMENT OF PRODUCTION AND EXCHANGE AND EXTRACTING A SURPLUS THAT BECOMES THE BASIS OF HIS POWER 4 KINDS OF CONTROL: Risk Management Capital Investment Warfare Large-scale Trade
THE STATE IS A FORM OF POLITICALLY CENTRALIZED AND STRATIFIED SOCIETY, WHOSE GOVERNING ELITE HAVE THE POWER TO COMPEL SUBORDINATES TO PAY TAXES, RENDER SERVICES, AND OBEY THE LAW Stratified Society: arranges statuses or subgroups according to socially superior and inferior ranks that reproduce inequality
Chiefdoms first transformed into states when dense populations came to subsist on intensifiable forms of agriculture, especially on the cultivation of staple grains such as: Rice Wheat Barley Maize (corn)
Early state formation occurred when the dissatisfied factions of stratified chiefdoms who sought to flee from the growing power of paramount chiefs found themselves blocked by similarly stratified chiefdoms in adjacent territories or by features of the environment that required them to adopt a new and less efficient mode of production and suffer a drastic decline in their standard of living, known as circumscription The significance of circumscription is that factions of discontented members of a chiefdom cannot escape from their elite overlords without suffering a sharp decline in their standard of living
Population increase Intensive agriculture with storable staples Circumscription that restricts migration As the governing elite compels subordinates to pay taxes and tribute, provide military or labor services, and obey laws, the entire process of intensification, expansion, conquest, stratification, and centralization is amplified
Control is continuously increased, orAmplified, through a form of changeknown as Positive Feedback
Every state, ancient and modern, has specialists who perform ideological services in support of the status quo
Religious ideology imparts an understanding of what is right and what is natural It is based on real experiences that people have in common, that lie outside the mind These experiences are derived from material objects such as: Large public monuments Ceremonial facilities Special regalia (fine clothes, a crown, or jewels) That represent the power of the dominant classes
The Process of Materialization: meaning that ideology becomes transformed from abstract ideas and values into material objects that become public symbols. These public symbols create shared experiences that state rulers can manipulate and use to mold individuals’ beliefs about nature of power dynamics and the universe
These powerful ideologies legitimatize and uphold the doctrine of the divine descent of their rulers by sanctifying the belief that the continuity of the universe requires the subordination of commoners to persons of noble and divine birth A considerable amount of conformity is achieved not by frightening or threatening people but by inviting them to identify with the governing elite and to enjoy vicariously the pomp of state occasions Today, movies, television, and radio provide states with far more powerful means of thought control Compulsory universal education is another powerful modern means of thought control