In societies, as in living bodies, an increase in mass is invariably accompanied by an increase in structure and complexity. Development is predicated on differentiation. The association of these two characters in animals is a well-known fact. Excluding certain animals whose activities are little above those of plants, we recognize the general law that large aggregates always involve a high degree of organization. The qualifications of this law which go along with differences of medium, of habitat, and of type, are numerous; but when made they reveal the simple truth that for carrying on the combined life of an extensive mass, increasingly involved and complicated arrangements and rearrangements are also required. So, too, is it with societies. As we progress from small groups to larger groups; from simple groups to compound groups; from compound groups to doubly compound ones; the unlikenesses of the respective parts increase. The social aggregate, homogeneous when minute, habitually gains in heterogeneity along with each increment of growth. For a society to reach great size, it must also acquire great complexity. To illustrate this general principle, let us look at some anthropological examples.
In a stage of social organization like that of the Cayaguas or Indians of South America, where one family lives at a distance from another and there exists a great deal of independence, talking about a social order is problematic at best. Even where there is some slight association of families, complicated organizations of humans do not arise while they are few and wandering. Groups of Esquimaux, of Australians, of Bushmen, of Fuegians, are without even that primary contrast of parts implied by settled chieftainship. Their members are subject to no control but such as is temporarily acquired by the stronger, or more cunning, or more experienced: not even a permanent nucleus is present. The functional social unit is too small to support a complicated social hierarchy.
Invariably though, where larger simple groups exist, we find some kind of head. The headless clusters, wholly ungoverned in any strict legal sense, are unconnected and separate before they acquire considerable sizes; but along with maintenance of an aggregate approaching to, or exceeding, a hundred, we ordinarily find a simple or compound ruling agency that consists of one or more men claiming and exercising authority that is natural, supernatural, or both in origin. This is the first recognizable social differentiation.
Soon after this frequently comes another stage of differentiation between regulative and operative parts of the social group. In more dispersed groups, this is roughly represented only by the contrast in status between the biological sexes: the men, having unchecked control, carry on such external activities as they please, chiefly in war; while the women are made drudges who perform the less skilled parts of the process of sustentation. But that tribal growth, and establishment of chieftainship, which gives military superiority, eventually causes enlargement of the operative part by adding captives to it. This begins unobtrusively. While in battle the men are killed, and the non-combatants are enslaved. This leads to increases in the operative part. It is also not uncommon for the dispersed tribes to consolidate regionally, again increasing the operative population still further. With these two rather basic sources of operative population, the once small roaming tribes take on sufficient mass to require permanent social differentiation between the regulative and operative functions, differentiation complex enough to support the needs, be it food, shelter, or space, of the enlarged population. With the completion of this stage of differentiation comes the beginnings of human society.
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