10 The State: Its Historic Role.
But not all his needs: there were still others to be satisfied. However, the spirit of the age was not for calling upon a government as soon
as a new need was felt. It was, on the contrary, to take the initiative
oneself, to unite, to league, to federate, to create an understanding,
great or small, numerous or restricted, which would correspond to the
new need. And society of that time was literally covered, as by a network, with sworn fraternities, guilds for mutual support, "con-jura-
tions," within and without the village, and in the federation. We can
observe this stage and spirit at work, even to-day, among many a barbarian federation having remained outside modern States modelled on
the Roman or rather the Byzantine type.
Thus, to take an example among many others, the -Kabyles have retained their village community with the powers I have just mentioned.
I But man feels the necessity of action outside the narrow limits of his
hamlet. Some like to wander about in quest of adventures, in the capacity of merchants. Some take to a craft, " an art" of some kind.
And these merchants and artisans, unite in "fraternities," even when
they belong to different villages, tribes and confederations. There must
be union for mutual help in distant adventures or to mutually transmit
the mysteries of the craft—and they unite. They swear brotherhood,
and practice it in a way that strikes Europeans: in deed and not in
Besides, misfortune can overtake anyone. Who knows that tomorrow, perhaps, in a brawl, a man, gentle and peaceful as a rule, will
not exceed the established limits of good behaviour and sociability ?
Very heavy compensation will then have to be paid to the insulted or
wounded; the aggressor will have to defend himself before the village
council and prove facts on the oath of six, ten or twelve "con-jurors."
This is another reason for belonging to a fraternity.
Moreover, man feels the necessity of talking politics and perhaps
even intriguing, the necessity of propagating some moral opinion or
custom. There is, also, external peace to be safeguarded ; alliances
to be concluded with other tribes; federations to be constituted far off;
the idea of intertribal law to be propagated. Well, then, to satisfy all
these needs of an emotional and intellectual kind the Kabyles, the
Mongols, the Malays do not turn to a government: they have none.
Men of customary law and individual initiative, they have not been
perverted by the corrupted idea of a government and a church which
would be supposed to do everything. They unite directly. They constitute sworn fraternities, political and religious societies, unions of
cr&hs—guilds as they were called in the Middle Ages, sofs as Kabyles
call them to-day. And these sofs go beyond the boundaries of hamlets;
tiiey flourish far out in the desert and in foreign cities ; and fraternity