Origins of the state and CivilizationThe Origins of the State and Civilization
Verification of the origins of the state and civilisation, by Elman Service
Overview of the origins of the state and civilization, by Elman Services (W. W. Norton), 361 pages. The Elman Science Department, University of California at Santa Barbara, suggests an alternative. Services describe his as a non-Marxist textbook about the origins of the state. Its topic is the rôle of red tape in the reallocation of presents (the "potlatch" of the Pacific Northwest Americans) in chiefship, as a state of social evolution between the crude astateless bond and institutionalised states.
Service, for example, notes that "political powers have organised the business world. "If that'?s right, the service books have a decisive meaning. According to Trotsky on some important points, one can see the service in the sense that red tape is an essential feature of every company. He admits his novel will be disputed. Indeed, Service responds to the infamous Frederick Engels novel on the origins of the family, private property and the state, and in particular to its recent reformulation by the important English archeologist Gordon Childe.
Recently, interest in Engels' novel has increased again, partly due to the feminists' realization that the suppression of females in the domestic sphere could be coincident with the rise of personal property interests, and to the evolution of the state as an institute for formalizing this suppression through marriages and for facilitating and defending other property interests through title, documents and so on.
In contrast to Service, which believes that all companies have a hierarchical gender state, Engels points out that the basic identity of all, men and woman, has been replaced by matriarchal clans, as we see them in the books of Moses. The chieftains themselves were replaced by the state.
The resurgence of interest has obviously affected the service only slightly, as it shows only a confined or more charitable, perhaps remote friend of Engels. He seems to be unaware, for example, of the ethnological notebooks on which Engels' work is founded. However, service refers to the previous notebooks of 1857-58, some of which were released as pre-capitalist economic formations in 1965.
Services criticises those who assume that "merchants make a profit" were creating riches, which in turn generated it. However, no expert historian at all ( "or, more precisely, prehistorian"), especially not Angel, ever assumed that business interests were anything but a belated societal trend. Not being able to provide this ignore, he instead identified it as a "common capitalistic ideology", which is indeed something else!
Whereas Engels stresses the importance of pre-capitalist business formation for pre-capitalist society, for example by balding that the boss is not "an asset holder in the contemporary sense", Service repeatedly references investors, properties, profits and a free enterprise. So, indeed, the work is not Marxist, but not in the spirit of service.
His fixed parts are Part Two and Three, where he summarises the ethnographics of the origin of the lands of Africa and Polynesia and the Cherokee state, as well as the archeology of the six ancient hydraulics civilisations.