Interesting social sciences/Ethnosociology

Ethnos. Lewis Morgan. Lev Gumilyov.

English subtitles exist in this video. Lewis Morgan about the emergence of the clan and tribe. Nikolai Berdyaev on national psychology (French, German, Polish and Russian, as in an anecdote). Lev Gumilyov on ethnogenesis. All nations are born, conquer neighbors, create an empire, degenerate and die.

Historical forms of ethnoses


The ethnos is a group of people connected by consanguinity. Historical forms of ethnoses is a genus and a tribe, nationality and the nation. The tribe existed in the period of primitive society, nationality existed in the period of slaveholding and feudalism, the nation existed in the period of capitalism. The general origin from the general ancestor, community of historical destiny, the general traditions, culture, language and the territory unite of people in uniform ethnos. The tribe consists from several genuses.

A tribe is an ethnos which managed to order reproduction of people, to exclude cases of appearance of children with the hereditary diseases caused by incest, to create own dialect and customs, to win own territory.

Unlike the tribe, a nationality is an ethnos which managed to create own state.

A nation is an ethnos which managed to construct capitalist society – the common national market, democracy, a private property, the constitutional state, national culture.

Thus, the tribe, nationality and the nation is three steps of evolution of ethnos. Not each tribe is capable to create the state and to turn into nationality therefore backward tribes are doomed to become dependent from more advanced nationalities and to be assimilated. Not any nationality is capable to construct capitalist society and to become by nation, backward nationalities and backward tribes are doomed to become by colony of more advanced nations and backward nationalities and backward tribes risk to be assimilated. It is possible that the mankind enters to the fourth period of evolution of ethnos today – creation of global society where a free mixture of various nations of nationalities and tribes exists. This forecast is disputable.

Gens and tribe

Lewis H. Morgan
Native Americans

The family is the smallest kinship unit. Several families form a gens. Several gentes form the tribe. A group marriage was before emergence of family, count of kinship was kept on the maternal line because it was difficult to establish of child's father at group marriage. The vice of group marriage is a high probability of incest when close relatives marry, because it is difficult to establish of the child's father. An inevitable consequence of incest are hereditary diseases. Marriages between brothers and sisters were encouraged in a dynasty of Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt since it was difficult for Pharaoh to find the bride equal to Pharaoh on the status of origin, but it inevitably led to degeneration of this dynasty.

Our primitive ancestors made the great invention which allowed to protect them from incest. This invention consisted in the invention of the gens-tribal relations. The American ethnographer and the historian Lewis H. Morgan had given for the first time the description of this invention in work "Ancient society"[1]. Lewis H. Morgan conducted field researches among Indians of the tribe of Iroquois. Men of one gens took themselves wives from other gentes within the tribe, as a last resort, it was possible to steal of the wife from others tribe, but there was a strict prohibition – a taboo - on marriage with the woman from own gens. Custom to take wives from other gentes is named as exogamy. The custom to take wives only inside of the tribe is named as endogamy. Lewis H. Morgan considered the gens at Iroquois League, in particular at the tribe Seneca.

The following customs dominate in each gens:

  • Each gens chooses own sachem (the elder for peace time) and the leader (the military leader). Sachem was the member of council of the tribe of Seneka. [2]
  • Members of gens have to render the help, protection and assistance each other in process of revenge for damage caused by strangers, this custom carried the name of blood feud. [3]
  • Gens could adopt of strangers, for example, prisoners of war, at a solemn ceremony according to the recommendation of certain members of a gens.
  • The gens had common place of a burial. [4]
  • The gens had council – a democratic meeting of all adult members of a gens, the men and women having the equal right to vote. There were two fratriya (brotherhoods) in the tribe of Seneka, each fratriya included four gentes. Fratriya represent itself initial gentes which broke up later to secondary gentes. [5]

What did characterize of separate Indian tribe in America?

  1. Own name and own territory for hunting and fishing which the tribe protected from encroachments. The uninhabited neutral zone was located between possession of two tribes. There were in the tribe Seneca eight genera carrying the names of animals:
  • Wolf,
  • Bear,
  • Turtle,
  • Beaver,
  • Deer,
  • Sandpiper,
  • Heron,
  • Falcon.
  1. Special, only to this tribe peculiar dialect.
  2. The right of the tribe to inaugurate solemnly of the sachems and military leaders chosen by gentes and the right to remove them, even contrary to desire of a gentes.
  3. Own religious holidays with games and dances.
  4. Own council of the tribe from sachems and military leaders. Council had the right to declare war and to make the peace with other tribes, to send embassy for negotiating. Military campaigns were organized by certain outstanding soldiers whom the insignificant number of volunteers joined. They arranged a war dance, and then they went in military campaign.
  5. There was the Supreme leader from among sachem sometimes.
  6. Union of tribes. Iroquois represented itself the union from five tribes. The number of Iroquois exceeded 20000 people never. The average number of the American tribes was less than 2000 people, however, the tribe of Cherokee, largest in the USA, totaled 26000 people. Iroquois existed due to fishing, hunting and primitive farming, Iroquois lived in the State of New York in the villages protected by palisade. Five tribes of Iroquois were at war together against other tribes which are forced out by Iroquois from this territory.

Features of the union of tribes of Iroquois:

  • The eternal union on the basis of full equality between five the tribes connected by consanguinity.
  • Allied council from 50 sachems.
  • All decisions of allied council had to be made unanimously.
  • Meetings of council took place in the presence of the people, each Iroquois could take the floor, but the decision was made only by council.
  • The union of tribes had 2 highest military leaders with equal powers.

Gentes and the tribes in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome


Spartans had two tsars, and Romans have 2 consuls like Iroquois.

Ancient Greeks had in Attica four tribes, in each of them on three fratriya, in each fratriya on thirty genera. The higher authority belonged to people's assembly where the decision was made by a raising of hands. There was a military leader (basileus) who had priestly and judicial powers at the same time.

The people of Rome arose from three tribes:

  • Sabines
  • Latins
  • Etruscans

There were 30 curia (fratriya) in Rome. One curia exposed 100 pedestrian soldiers and 10 horse soldiers during war. There were 100 genera originally in Rome, and then there were 300 genera. Each gens had a name, for example, such names as Yulius, Emilius, Horatius, Fabius, Valerius. The gens consisted of patriarchal families (familia) including 3-4 generations.

Evolution of the Russian ethnos


The union of tribes turned into nationality together with emergence of the state which united of the extensive territory. For example, the Old Russian nationality arose under association of such Slavic tribes as Polans, Drevlyans, Dregovichs, Radimichs, Vyatichs, Krivichs, Slovens, Dulebes (later known as Volhynians and Buzhans), White Croats, Severians, Ulichs, and Tivertsi. There was a mixture of Slavs to the Finnish and Turkic tribes already at an early stage. Slavic tribes came on Dnieper from the Carpathians. The Finno-Ugric tribes lived on Volga before Slavs. Examples of the Finno-Ugric tribes are the Merya, the Muromians, and the Meshchera. Turkic tribes are Pechenegs, Cumans, Tatars-Mongols. Russia was from the very beginning of the history as "a national copper" where various tribes mixed up. The Old Russian nationality broke up to parts in the 12th century on three close ethnoses – Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. The Russian nation was formed in 15-17 centuries in the course of collecting of lands around Moscow. Russia became the empire under Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century.

National psychology

Nikolai Berdyaev

Nikolai Berdyaev had given the description of four national characters in work "the Fate of Russia.", written in 1918:

  • The Frenchmen were tired from catastrophes, revolutions and wars. The modern Frenchman is too refined, relaxed by thirst of pleasures and love to the woman, France endured already militant period, France dominated over Europe already and France is not terrible military force any more nowadays.[6]
  • The main thing for the German is a reason and will, debt and an iron order. German wants to remake the whole world according to his plan and German wants to establish world supremacy. As a result Germany lost two world wars in 20 century, Germany lost 1/3 of own territory therefore degree of ambition was reduced at Germans today... [7]
  • The Pole is a knight, the aristocrat and the individualist before soreness. Russian and Pole are relatives in origin and language, but Russian and Pole are opposites in culture. The Pole professes Catholic culture, and Russian professes orthodox culture. The Russian is struck and pushed away bad honor, love to gesture, elegance, sweet speeches, a sense of superiority and a sense of contempt to other peoples in the Polish character. Russians were at war with Poles two hundred years, as a result Poland died nearly, Poland became by colony of Russia on hundred years, and Russia turned into the empire. [8]
  • Russian is an simple, straight and artless person, the excited pathos and aristocratic honor are alien for Russian. The shortcoming of the Russian national character is lack of inclination to organize and order, The shortcoming of the Russian national character is inclination to sink and to sin. The Russian is capable to go through fire and water (war and hunger), but The Russian is not capable to pass test by glory – "brass trumpet". The Russian is not able to use by reached things. [9]

Conclusion: each national character has bad and good features therefore the best nation and "the highest race" don't exist in nature.

History of ethnos life

Lev Gumilyov. Photo of 1934.

Lev Gumilyov was the author of the theory about cycles in life of ethnos. Lev Gumilyov was psychologist as personality type therefore the correct thoughts were combined with myths and utopias at Lev Gumilyov. The example of a utopia is an explanation of the reasons of appearance of passionary ethnos as result of a micromutation because of solar radiation. Poets Nikolay Gumilyov and Anna Akhmatova were by parents of Lev Gumilyov. Bolsheviks shot Nikolay Gumilyov in 1921. The authorities forbade to Anna Akhmatova to publish her verses. Lev Gumilev was imprisoned three times, in total 13 years – for the father and for mother. Lev Gumilev worked at Belomorkanal and at mines of Norilsk. Lev Gumilev participated in storm of Berlin as a part of penal battalion. Its object of research in science – history of Huns and Mongols. Lev Gumilev wrote the doctoral dissertation on wrapping paper in prison. Lev Gumilev worked at institute of geography, and Lev Gumilev spent summer months on the Lower Volga where ancient Khazaria was located. The authorities forbade to publish its works, the authorities reproached of Lev Gumilev for exaggeration of a role of foreigners in the history of Russia, but Lev Gumilev managed to live longer than its censors and a communist regime, Lev Gumilev managed to publish all own works at the end of life.

The essence of ideas of Lev Gumilev is as follows. The passionarity is a passion, the passionarity is will to live, the passionarity is strength of character. [10] Examples of passionary leaders are Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy, Yermak Timofeyevich, Alexander Suvorov and other heroes of history.[11] Ethnoses are born, win of neighbors, blossom, and then fall into decay and perish.

Maximum term of life of ethnos is of 1200-1500 years by Gumilyov's calculations. [12]The vast majority of representatives of ethnos are passionarity persons at the beginning of ethnos life, and then a gradual decrease in a share of passionarity persons exists that leads to death of old ethnos in war with younger ethnoses eventually. In my opinion, speakers and theorists possess by highest degree of passionarity.

International conflicts


Ethnoses enter the conflict with each other inevitably because of rivalry for the territory and natural resources. Other reason of the international conflicts are cultural, economic and political rivalry between ethnoses. These international conflicts are shown in the form of war, the market competition and rivalry in the sphere of mass culture. An example of cultural rivalry are religious conflicts, for example, the conflicts between Christians and Muslims in the form of crusades, the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, the conflicts between Catholics and Orthodox Christians, the conflicts between Shia and Sunni in Islam, the conflicts between Hindus and Muslims, the conflicts between Christians and pagans in the form of European conquest of America. Resources, because of which wars began, are minerals – oil, gold and silver, for example, Spaniards conquered of Central and South America because of gold and silver deposits which were found there.

The won territory served as hunting grounds for Indians of North America. The won territory served as an exit to the Baltic and Black seas for Russia in the period of government of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. The won territory served as an agriculture zone in America for natives of Europe. The Arab-Israeli conflict, wars of Chechens against Russia, the Indo-Pakistani conflict, war between Indians of North America and the European immigrants are examples of the international conflicts for the territoty. A market competition exists between the countries for markets of sales and for sources of raw materials today, for example, Japan forced out the USA in many industries – in the sphere of consumer electronics and computers, productions of cars, steel, ships. Cultural rivalry in the modern global world is shown in influence of the American mass culture on the rest of the world when the whole world watches the movies made in Hollywood, whole world watches news of the American TV channels. Other countries try to oppose own movies and own news to this american influence, for example, the Brazilian Film series, the Indian melodramas, news "Rossiya Today" etc.

Classification of people of the world

Contemporary distribution (2005 map) of the world's major language families (in some cases geographic groups of families).

It is difficult to present this full classification because of a lack of the place therefore it is necessary to be limited to statement of this question in the reduced option, at the same time the emphasis will be placed on a mention of the nations and nationalities living in the territory of Europe and Russia.

People of the world are divided into three main races: Caucasian, Mongoloid and Negroid, some researchers mark out also Australoid race. The mixed races were formed as a result of the mixing between the races.

People of the world can be divided on the basis of language relationship into the following families:

1) Indo-European family which unites 45% of the population of the Globe.

  • Slavs: Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Serbs. Balts: Lithuanians and Latvians.
  • Germans: Germans, Dutch people, English people, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes.
  • Celts: Irish people.
  • Romance group of peoples: Italians, French, Spaniards, Portuguese people, Romanians, Moldavians.
  • Albanians.
  • Greeks.
  • Armenians.
  • Iranian peoples: Persian people, Kurds, Tajiks, Ossetians.
  • Indian people and Romani people.

2). Afroasiatic family of people which unites 5% of world's population.

  • Semitic people: Arabs and Jews.

3). Kartvelian family of people which unites 0.1% of world's population.

  • Georgians.

4). The Uralic family of people which unites 0.5% of world's population.

  • Finno-Ugric peoples: Finns, Karelians, Estonians, Mordvins, Mari people, Udmurt people, Komi people, Hungarians, Khanty, Mansi people.

5). The Altai family of peoples which unites 6% of world's population.

  • Turkic group of people: Turkish people, Azerbaijanis, Turkmens, Tatars, Bashkirs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz people, Uzbeks, Yakuts, Chuvash people.
  • Mongolian group of people: Mongols, Kalmyks, Buryats.
  • Tungus-manchu group of people: Evenks, Manchu people.
  • Koreans
  • Japanese people.

6). The North Caucasian family of people which unites 0.1% of world's populations.

  • Abkhazians, Kabardians, Adyghe people, Circassians, Chechens, Ingush people, Avars.

7). Sino-Tibetan family of people, which unites 23% of world's population.

  • Chinese people and Tibetan people.

A some peoples of the world holds in the language relation the isolated position, for example, Basques in Spain, Ainu people in Japan.

Citations and references.

  2. Friedrich Engels Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. III. The Iroquois Gens.
  3. Friedrich Engels Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. III. The Iroquois Gens.
  4. Friedrich Engels Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. III. The Iroquois Gens.
  5. Friedrich Engels Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. III. The Iroquois Gens.
  6. Nicholas Berdyaev. The Fate of Russia. 3.Souls of peoples (Parallels). The fate of Paris.
  7. Nicholas Berdyaev. The Fate of Russia. 3.Souls of peoples (Parallels). Religion of Germanizm.
  8. Nicholas Berdyaev. The Fate of Russia. 3.Souls of peoples (Parallels). Russian and Polish souls.
  9. Nicholas Berdyaev. The Fate of Russia. 3.Souls of peoples (Parallels). Russian and Polish souls.
  10. Lev Gumilev. Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere. Chapter Five DRIVE IN ETHNOGENESIS. The Ethnogenic Sign or X-Factor.
  11. Lev Gumilev. Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere. Chapter Five DRIVE IN ETHNOGENESIS. Examples of Drive.
  12. Lev Gumilev. Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere. Chapter Six. THE BRIDGE BETWEEN THE SCIENCES. Examples of Drive. Drive and the Sphere of Consciousness