About security sector reforms


This week, Cain Mathema in his book Why the West and its MDC stooges want Zimbabwe’s Defence and Security Forces reformed that The Patriot is serialising takes a closer look at the savage epoch, the period when human beings started moving away from the rest of the animals in the animal kingdom – when humans started using tools (crude stone tools) and started using articulate speech.

THE two epochs of ‘savagery’ and ‘barbarism’ were each subdivided by Morgan (whom Engels said was the first person with expert knowledge to attempt to introduce a definite order into the prehistory of human beings) into a lower, middle and upper stage “according to the progress made in the production of the means of subsistence”, (Engels, Marx/Engels, Selected Works, 1982).
We start with savagery.
I will quote Engels extensively for this section:-
“Lower Stage. Infancy of the human race.
“Man still lived in his habitat, tropical or subtropical forests, dwelling, at least partially, in trees; this alone explains his survival in face of the large beasts of prey.
“Fruits, nuts and roots served him as food; the formation of articulate speech “was the main achievement of this period.
None of the peoples that became known during the historical period were any longer in this primeval state.
Although this period may have lasted for many thousands of years, we have no direct evidence of its existence; but once we admit the descent of man from the animal kingdom, the acceptance of this transitional stage is inevitable.
“Middle Stage. Begins with the utilisation of fish (under which head we also include crabs, shellfish and other aquatic animals) for food and with it the employment of fire.
“These two are complementary, since fish food becomes fully available only by the use of fire.
“This new food, however, made man independent of climate and locality.
“By following the rivers and coasts man was able, even in his savage state, to spread over the greater part of the earth’s surface.
“The crude, unpolished stone implements of the earlier Stone Age – the so-called palaeolithic — which belong wholly, or predominantly, to this period, are scattered over all the continents, are evidence of these immigrations.
The newly-occupied territories as well as the unceasingly active urge for discovery, linked with their command of the art of producing fire by friction, made available new foodstuffs, such as farinaceous roots and tubers, baked in hot ashes or in baking pits (ground ovens), and game, which was occasionally added to the diet after the invention of the first weapons – the club and the spear.
Exclusively hunting peoples, such as figure in books, that is, peoples subsisting on solely by hunting, have never existed, for the fruits of the chase are much more too precarious to make that possible.
As a consequence of the continued uncertainty with regard to sources of food stuffs cannibalism appeared to have arisen at this stage, and continued for a long time.
The Australians and many Polynesians are to this day (1894) in this middle stage of savagery.
“Upper Stage. Begins with the invention of the bow and arrow, whereby wild game became a regular item of food, and hunting one of the normal occupations.
Bow, string and arrow constitute a very composite instrument, the invention of which presupposes long accumulated experiences and sharpened mental powers, and, consequently, a simultaneous acquaintance with a host of other inventions.
If we compare the peoples which, although familiar with the bow and arrow, are not yet acquainted with the art of pottery (from which Morgan dates the transition to barbarism), we find, even at this early stage, beginnings of settlement in villages, a certain mastery of the production of means of subsistence: wooden vessels and utensils, finger weaving (without looms) with filaments of bast, baskets woven from bast or rushes, and polished (neolithic) stone implements.
For the most part, also, fire, and the stone axe have already provided the dug-out canoe and, in some places, timber and planks for house-building.
All these advances are to be found, for example, among the Indians of North-Western America, who, although familiar with the bow and arrow, know nothing of pottery.
The bow and arrow was for savages what the iron sword was for barbarism and firearms for civilisation, namely, the decisive weapon.”
That is the savage epoch for you, the period when human beings started moving away from the rest of the animals in the animal kingdom – when humans started using tools (crude stone tools) and started using articulate speech.
Now let us move on to the epoch of barbarism.
Like we said earlier, barbarism too was divided into three stages, namely the lower, middle and upper stages.
Again we will go back to Engels on the three stages of barbarism.
He says:
“Lower Stage. Dates from the introduction of pottery.
This latter had its origin, demonstrably in many cases and probably everywhere, in the coating of baskets or wooden vessels with clay in order to render them fire-proof; whereby it was soon discovered that moulded clay also served the purpose without the inner vessel.
“Up to this point we could regard the course of evolution as being generally valid for a definite period among all peoples, irrespective of locality.
With the advent of barbarism, however, we reach a stage where the difference in natural endowment of the two great continents begins to assert itself.
The characteristic feature of the period of barbarism is the domestication and breeding of animals and the cultivation of plants.
Now the Eastern Continent, the so-called Old World, contained almost all the animals suitable for domestication and all the cultivable cereals with one exception; while Western America contained only one domesticable mammal, the Ilama, and this only in a part of the South; and only one cereal fit for cultivation, but that the best, maize.
The effect of these natural conditions was that from now on the population of each hemisphere went its own special way, and the land-marks on the border lines between the various stages are different in each of the two cases.
“2. Middle Stage. Begins, in the East, with the domestication of animals; in the West, with the cultivation of edible plants by means of irrigation, and with the use of adobes (bricks dried in the sun) and stone for buildings.
“We shall commence with the West, because there this stage was nowhere outgrown until the European Conquest.
“At the time of their discovery the Indians in the lower stage of barbarism (to which all those found east of the Mississippi belonged) already engaged to a certain extent in the garden cultivation of maize and perhaps also of pumpkins, melons and other garden produce, which supplied a very substantial part of their food.
They lived in wooden houses, in villages surrounded by stockades.
The tribes of the North-West, particularly those living in the region of the Columbia River, still remained in the upper stage of savagery and were familiar neither with pottery nor with any kind of plant cultivation.
On the other hand, the so-called Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, the Mexicans, Central Americans and Peruvians were in the middle stage of barbarism at the time of conquest.
They lived in fort-like houses built of adobe or stone; they cultivated, in artificially irrigated gardens, maize and other edible plants, varying according to location and climate, which consisted their chief source of food, and they had even domesticated a few animals – the Mexicans the turkey and other birds, and the Peruvians the Ilama.
They were further more acquainted with the working up of metals – except iron, which was the reason why they could not yet dispense with the use of stone weapons and stone implements.
The Spanish Conquest cut short all further independent development.


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