Power and property: the phenomenon of power-property - History of the East

1.6. Power and property: the phenomenon of power-ownership

Now, in conclusion of the chapter on political genesis, a few words about the most important. Based on the agricultural community (to some extent this also applies to nomads, but a typical agricultural option), the protostate state in both its variants, both tribal and urban-state in the area of ​​urban civilization, largely goes back to the norms of relations and Forms of interrelations, which for centuries, even millennia, developed within the community. But the old norms and forms in the new conditions and especially within the city-state are transformed into institutions of a more perfect and developed type, which is natural for the enlarged and complicated socio-political structure of the proto-state. What new institutions are we talking about?

In our country, where many were brought up on the ideas of Marxism, it was considered that the institutions that replaced the primitive community were "class antagonistic" and, most importantly, based on private property and the division of the population into "classes", primarily on the basis of the relationship to this property (the haves and have-nots). This kind of scholastic presumption, which had nothing in common with reality and did not even try to understand whether there were classes and private property at that stage in the development of society, led to outright nonsense. It was considered, for example, that all ancient societies were supposed to be so-called slave-owning entities with characteristic "antagonistic classes" slave owners and slaves. This idea of ​​Marxism turned into a dogma and was brought to the point of absurdity, in spite of the fact that its creator was much more restrained in this sense. In his scheme of world history, as was discussed, along with the slave (ancient) formation, there was the "Asian way of production", characteristic of the East and different from the ancient and other European themes, that in the eastern structures there was no private property and classes , and the alternative was the state itself in the person of the government apparatus it organized. True, unlike Hegel, who dealt with the problems of power in a much better way, who placed emphasis on the problems of power itself, and in its most severe form of eastern despotism known to mankind until the 20th century, Marx put forward property , speaking about the supreme property of the state and not even trying to figure out whether there existed then a concept of property that was isolated and acceptable to the population. Therefore, it is worth investigating the problem. In particular, in what is this - at least from the point of view of the main political criterion for Marxism. Is it property or is it power? The founder of the theory was inclined to identify the supreme property and state sovereignty. However, to the logical end of this identification in his work was not brought. Moreover, the very idea of ​​supreme property was questioned by a number of authoritative Marxist historians - a fact rare enough to leave it without attention.

So what is primary in the structure we are studying - despotism, powerlessness or property, even if not private? The answer to this cardinal question is the analysis of the problems associated with the evaluation of the role of institutions of power and property in the early political structures, genetically and functionally related to the classical eastern, stadially preceded them, and also underlay the eastern despotism of Hegel and the "Asian mode of production". Let us dwell briefly on these problems. As for power, then this concept was already discussed both theoretically, with reference to M. Weber, and in the historical.

Ascending to the oldest and most prevalent system of social values ​​of the triad, "prestige - authority - authority"; led over time to the creation of an authoritarian institution of hereditary power of the sacralized leader-king in the ancient Eastern states. It was everywhere, including the pre-Atlantic Greece with its kings, so inspired and poetically sung by the great Homer and so well known in classical Greek mythology. In the East, this type of authority, even in the early antiquity, was quickly enough, unlike ancient Greece, transformed into a despotic, though not always equally pronounced. The main reason for this was the absence of a developed market-private-ownership economy, which played a decisive role in the socio-political mutation experienced by ancient Greece. Despotism as a form of power, and if you look deeper, then as a manifestation of the general structure of society, arises where there is not that private property, about the mandatory availability of which, without recognizing any exceptions or at least options, absolutely dominant Marxist historiographic scheme. In other words, despotism is inherent in structures where there are no owners. But these are the very structures that arose on the basis of primitiveness.

In all societies that were discussed above (except for the ancient one, which differed from them), there was simply no concept of property in general, let alone private property. The specialists who studied such structures use for their characteristics the notions "collective", "communal", "tribal" property, etc., aware of all the conventionality of these concepts. The point is that the notion of ownership in the collectives of Paleolithic collectors, and also of nomads and especially of the farmers of the Neolithic communities, was primarily concerned with the idea of ​​the right to the resources that were considered belonging to this group and used by its members in the course of their economic activities. Actually, it could not be otherwise in those times and in those conditions of life. The basis of the relationship to resources, from the possession of which the collective's existence depended, was realized in this way in terms of ownership; power : "We own this. This is our & quot ;. The subject of power, possession, disposal of economic resources, or, if you like, collective property, has always been and always could only be a collective, and this did not contradict the fact that there was personal, individual and family use of some part of common ownership, not talking about household items, housing, personal things, implements of production, etc. This means that both the economic content and the legal form of this kind of property is precisely possession and, as a result of possession, power. First, it's power only over resources, but only at first.

Above we have already considered the process of addition and development of the institution of redistribution in the community with its early forms of inequality both at the level of the family clan group and within the collective with its rank and status hierarchy as a whole. Redistribution is ultimately primarily power, and it is precisely that power that rests on both economic reality (the ownership of the resources of a group or a community) and its legal form (the right to speak on behalf of a group or community, to dispose of its property and especially its excess product). In the framework of a large-scale structure, a proto-state with a hereditary leader who became a symbol of the collective, the indisputable right to dispose of the public domain was a function of the supreme power of the leader.

In light of what has been said, it is quite obvious that the idea of ​​the supreme property of the state and the ruler can only be understood in the plan in question. The supreme property of the one who rules is derived from the real possession of the property of the collective and the unconditional right of the head of the collective to dispose of his resources and property, both of which ultimately result from real power. Here, power is certainly : it is it, determined by the real possession and right to dispose, gives rise to the concept and idea of ​​property. Consequently, the property is secondary and of the derivative , it appears as a function of power and therefore entirely depends on it. We have a power-ownership phenomenon.

• Power-Ownership is an alternative to European antique-bourgeois private property in non-European structures. This is not so much property as it is power, since the functions of the owner are mediated here by participation in power, that is, to the position, but not to the personality of the ruler.

By inheritance in these structures can be transferred to a post with its rights and prerogatives, including the highest property, but not property as an exclusive private right of ownership regardless of the position. The basis of power-property of the state and the ruler from a long antiquity and in many cases up to the present day has been and remains the sacred right of the upper classes to the surplus product of producers.

If before the family-clan groups contributed part of their product in the form of voluntary contributions to the elder as symbolic rather than real payment for his socially useful work, now the situation is different. In the bulk structure, within the proto-state, the leader or ruler (if it is a city-state) has the undisputed right to a certain part of the product of his subjects. From the economic point of view, the contribution takes the form of a rent-tax:

tax is collected by the center for the needs of the structure as a whole, in particular for the maintenance of various unproductive layers, their personnel or producers engaged in non-agricultural sphere (crafts, crafts, etc.). In this sense, the tax is the supreme law of the state as a sovereign for a certain share of the population's income;

rent is manifested in the right of the owner, the subject of power-ownership, to a certain share of the realization of collective property in the farms of farmer-community members.

The emergence of the phenomenon of power-ownership was an important moment in the way of institutionalization of society and the state in the non-European world. In practice this meant that the former free community was losing its exclusive rights to own its land and product. Now she was forced to share these rights with those who, by virtue of her involvement in power, could claim a share of her property, from the regional administrator chief, the future aristocratic aristocrat, to whom the supreme leader transferred part of his higher prerogatives, and ending with the communal head, sometimes turning in an official of the administration staff. In other words, a well-known phenomenon of overlapping ownership rights arose and was permanently fixed. The same land (or rather, the right to a product from it) belongs to both the farmer who cultivates it and the community as a whole, on whose behalf the elder distributing the land acts, to the regional administrator and to the supreme owner. It is significant that this plurality of rights, so ridiculous in a society with legally well-developed private-law norms, does not bother anyone here. Since the land is not private property and belongs to everyone, it is quite natural that everyone gets his share of the income from it, and in strict accordance with the share of ownership of it, the power over it, which really has. At the same time, it is important to stipulate that the multiplicity of rights already contained the embryos of some transformation of the previous structure, in particular, the tendency towards privatization, ie, to the emergence of private property (albeit not dominant and very limited in potencies, but still private), before that in the described society is still unknown.

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