- Human society evolves through different stages: a. Savagery, b. Barbarism, c. Civilization. These stages are separated by: a. different inventions, b. different modes of organization of human society. Hence, there is a direct connection between inventions and forms of organization of human society.
- While progress from Savagery is marked by such inventions as fire, bow and arrow, pottery, and Barbarism is marked by such inventions as agriculture, domestication of animals, metalworking, beginning of civilization is marked by the use of alphabet and writing. This is a qualitative jump in human knowledge. We can hypothize that any significant jump in the accumulation and use of human knowledge brings about a significant jump in the mode of organization of human society.
- Principals subject of Morgan's book are: 1) inventions and discoveries, 2) development of the forms of government, 3) development of the family, 4) development of property. The book of Engels which followed totally missed on the first category ("inventions and discoveries").
- Government of human society can be based on: 1) sex (primitive society), 2) kin (civil society), 3) territory (the state).
- Types of families: 1) The consanguine family – intermarriage of brothers and sisters in a group. 2) Punaluan family – “the intermarriage of several brothers to each other’s wives in a group; and of several sisters to each other’s husbands in a group”. 3) Syndyasmian family – “the pairing of a male with a female under the form of marriage, but without an exclusive cohabitation”. Transitional between group marriage and monogamy. 4) Patriarchal family – another transitional form. One man is married to several wives. 5) Monogamian family – “the marriage of one man with one woman, with an exclusive cohabitation; the latter constituting the essential of the institution”. The first two types of organization belong to savagery, the next two to barbarism, and the 5th to beginning of civilization.
- The growth of institution of private property broke up the group marriage in favor of monogomy. Same thing is happening today in reverse: monogomy is broken up in favor of group marriage. First factor which contributes to this is the public nature of information and knowledge, due to Internet.
- Conclusion of the author: "A mere property career is not, the final destiny of mankind, if progress is to be the law of the future as it has been of the past. The time which has passed away since civilization began is but a fragment of the past duration of man’s existence; and but a fragment of the ages yet to come. The dissolution of society bids fair to become the termination of a career of which property is the end and aim; because such a career contains the elements of self-destruction. Democracy in government, brotherhood in society, equality in rights and privileges and universal education, foreshadow the next higher plane of society to which experience, intelligence and knowledge are steadily tending. It will be a revival, in a higher form, of the liberty, equality and fraternity of the ancient gentes."
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