The Rural Agricultural Neighbors’ Communities: Logic vs History
The Rural Agricultural Neighbors’ Communities: Logic vs History
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Annotation

Rural neighbors’ communities are observed in various periods in many countries. Usually they are understood as the survival of primordial social structures, as the remnants of a tribal system, which allegedly was peculiar to human beings from the very beginning of social history. This community theory was based on: 1) some misinterpreted contemporary (for the 19th century) remnants of communality (in Germany, Russia and India); 2) research on the tribal society of American Indians (L.G. Morgan) and 3) on the logic, on the deep persuasion that a man was primordially a community member and only after some time and development acquired individualistic notions. This concept was perceived by K. Marx and F. Engels and, therefore, became the indisputable dogma in the Soviet and, unfortunately, in some Post-Soviet historical and theoretical historical studies. The author of the article shows groundlessness of such kinds of ar-guments and reveals his own concept of formation of rural agricultural communities in various countries as institutions, providing the formation and functioning of political and economic systems of class (stratified, developed) society. They had various forms depending on their composition: they were rather composed with the lower social stratum (peasantry), or they included privileged people as well, and on their main functions: securing of rights or of their obligations. Periodical redistributions of land, if any, accordingly, were of two types: based on sharing common property, or on usages of distribution of rents and revenues.

Factual material in support of this concept is contained in the author’s previous works over the past half century (see References).

About authors
Leonid Alaev
Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Oriental History of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
References

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