Besides the division of the human race by sex and age groups, and alongside class divisions of economic origin, there exists another separation, which is of a linguistic, racial and territorial type: the division into ethnic groups.
Just as the classes are defined according to economic criteria, even though they include global human realities and not just economic ones, ethnic groups are characterised not simply by linguistic realities but also by global human realities.
The human race was divided into ethnic groups well before the division of labour and consequently well before the existence of a class system.
A class is defined by its situation in relation to production (and consumption), and is a universal social category; each individual belongs to a horizontally limited human group of economic essence - the class - and to a linguistic human group, limited vertically - the nation or ethnic group.
Economic and linguistic factors (and sentimental factors) are not produced by each other, but are fundamental activities of the human race.
Each of these aspects of human reality poses specific, inter-related problems, for which solutions can no more be deducted from one another than they can be found separately.
This implies a humanistic relativism, a scientific humanism, of which the Marxist sociology (revised by the study of the social evolution over the past century) is one of the fundamental pillars, with ethnology on one side, psycho-physiology and parapsychology on the other which can adapt itself to cosmic energetics and agnosticism better than dogmatic a priori towards materialism and spiritualism.
Initially, like animals, a human being knows only different sensations; the human language is the mode of transmission to make others sensitive to one's own sensations via a system of sounds and the intermediary of speech and hearing. Speech is the determinant factor of the human race.
Thought is an internal language, the subsequent reproduction of dialogue by the phenomena of memory and imagination. Pure, isolated thought cannot be anything other that a real or imagined dialogue conveyed by means of a specific linguistic system, acquired by belonging to a specific social group.
Thought is both an awareness of one's sensations and an invitation to act, and therefore it determines human behaviour. Spoken words - sound-ideas - are a considerable material force.
The written word is the communication of sound-ideas by a graphical system.
The linguistic evidence is, therefore, the expression of a differentiation in temperament and mentality, the synthetic result of the racial, social, economical and political development of humanity that has happened differently in each territory.
For example, in Polynesia there are strong ties between geographical conditions (climate, natural resources..), technical know-how, specific racial characteristics, the Polynesians' gentle, spontaneous, easy-going temperament, a predominantly vocalic phonology lacking in consonantal groups, some particular grammatical characteristics, a weak social hierarchical organisation, a low level of religiosity and a family structure allowing children a large amount of freedom, recognising the right to sexual freedom. As overpopulation has lead periodically to famines and war, a particularly jagged rhythm of pronunciation and the existence of under-privileged castes, etc. constitute, or constituted, the other aspect of the Polynesian reality.
A nation does not generally correspond to a pure race, but forms a relatively stable racial structure. By "race" one should not only understand the global anatomical features belonging to each individual, but also their bio-chemical characteristics, namely the composition of their blood and secretions. These bio-chemical characteristics (and bio-electrical features of which we know very little) are closely linked to behaviour, tendencies and specific abilities, generally called psychological characteristics and which are in fact psycho-physiological ones.
This new anthropology is still far too young a science to enable one to draw any precise sociological conclusions. However, it should be noted that since distant prehistoric times, difference races have never formed concrete human groups, but have mixed to form ethnic groups. Only racial characteristics remain, whose statistical distribution varies according to territory and ethnic group. The idea of "race" is only important seen through these ethnic groups and their impact on their language and civilisation.
The historical, technico-economic explanation is not a true explanation, at least if taken separately. If social structures and, subsequently, ideological super-structures depend on technical know-how, the invention and usage of such techniques, along with scientific discovery, can only emerge from the action of a spiritual principle or by the impact of the geological environment and racial influence on individual capabilities and activities.
People remain idealist unless they admit that history results from the current impact of each individual's environment, the past impact of this environment perpetuated by racial factors and social knowledge and institutions, and lastly from relationships established between human groups, influenced in different ways by these factors. To be more precise, history results from the action of these forces on one hand, and the trends and requirements of the human race on the other. However, if we acknowledge the original unity of the latter, these tendencies and fundamental needs were initially identical to all mankind and will remain so until a totally new species appears, unrelated to the human race. The different demonstrations of these trends, their subtleties, can only stem from the diversified action produced by the environment. Human creativity is demonstrated differently according to this natural conditioning. The traditional Marxist concept can only remain valid if viewed in this light.
Each country has its own geographical conditions : type of soil and substratum, relief, presence of water, climate, flora and fauna, but there are the tendencies and basic needs that are common to the whole of humanity : economic, sentimental and intellectual.
Economic needs (food, shelter and clothing) vary largely according to the prevailing climate, and local natural resources and the size of the population govern how easily such needs can be satisfied. Sexual requirements also vary in intensity and frequency depending on the climate, but unlike economic requirements they become more urgent as the temperature rises (the level of eroticism is largely linked to the intensity of orgone radiation emitted by the sun); their satisfaction also depends on the "sex-ratio" specific to each race.
Consequently, in colder regions the desire to learn is directed mainly towards a knowledge of matter (or a non-human nature) and in warmer countries this desire tends to go towards the understanding of mankind. Moreover, intellectual activity tends to more difficult in hotter climes.
These are a just examples and in reality one should try to identify, for each nation, the major influences that have played a part in building up what is known as the national character and its objective expression, namely the national culture.
Each nation has its own civilisation; one could almost say that the nation is a civilisation, and also that each civilisation is a national reality. However, a civilisation is a notion that is too vague and difficult to appreciate properly - as is the notion of a race ñ to be used without the intermediary of its spoken language.
The nation is subject to several common economic conditions resulting from the territorial community and the cultural community, which implies a certain unity of technology and social structures. Each nation possesses its own socio-economic structure. Of course, one can define it as capitalism or socialism in general, but only up to a certain point.
The Anglo-American, French, German, Portuguese and Japanese capitalist systems on the one side and the Russian, Chinese and Serbo-Croat social systems on the other, have enough in common for them to be labelled identically, but they have also a certain number of other factors making these regimes different in reality. The transformations and revolutions are never exactly identical from one country to another. Specific elements remain belonging to the former regime since there can be slight differences in recent innovations, and because permanent factors may bring to light certain characteristics that had been momentarily and superficially suppressed.
However, it should not be thought that a community of economic features belonging to one ethnic group implies the existence of a relatively closed national market (which would mean to say that the existence of the nation pre-supposes the existence of a national state). If that were the case, there would only have been a very few nations and all the nations now forming part of larger markets would no longer exist. It is obvious that Poland, which for centuries had a feudal economy before being split into three "national" markets for the whole of the nineteenth century, did not wait until 1918 to become one of the most vigorous nations of Europe.
If one spoke of a "unity of plan" rather than a "national" market, the USSR would be one single nation, whilst East Germany and Soviet Azerbaijan would be totally different nations from West Germany and Azerbaijan annexed to the Persian State.
One can only say that a nation tends to constitute a coherent economic unit.
Similarly, an ethnic group tends to constitute a political unit; this tendency toward political unity can lead to a modern centralised state, or be reduced in certain anarchical societies to some cultural institutions and to a simple pre-eminence of a few influential people, or can even be totally absent, usually because of external factors. National states and simple class states can be found. A state is always the expression of the interests of one or several classes (or part of a class). But it can also be the expression of a population's consciousness to belong to a cultural community and the expression of this population's interest in other populations. For example, the state of Luxembourg is simply the local branch of the German bourgeois class who decided it was in their interest to conserve a particular state. Pakistan sees only the interests of the large land owners and clerical caste being represented, together with those of the imperialist Anglo-American bourgeois.
Pre-war Czech and Romanian states represented the interests of the upper class and of the indigenous feudal lords, but also expressed their national consciousness and up to a certain point, defended the national Czech and Rumanian interests.
The State is the result of a struggle between nations, classes and even different groups and clans. Even in stable nations, as are or were Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, USSR, Monaco, Uruguay, the State is not a permanent part of the nation. The ethnic community (linguistic and cultural) is a factor of such importance in a human life, that its members cannot be unaware of it.
This national consciousness can be developed in varying degrees, anywhere between a collective sub-conscience to a real, fully-developed ethnical awareness, due in part to external factors (invasion, absorption...) and in part in accordance with the density of economical and cultural relationships within the nation, and lastly to class influences.
It is certain that initially, all nationalities have a "common history", but one cannot describe this common history as being a permanent characteristic of the nation.
For that to be true the a national unity would have had to have always existed and would not need to have been perfected or rebuilt; that means that imperialist structures are absent or that at least they are taking care to treat all the fractions of a nation in an identical manner. Imperialistic actions, local or regional variations of historical events effect to differing degrees the homogeneity of a nation, but remain secondary as long as they do not radically change the linguistic and racial character of the population implied. The numerous and contradictory accidents of history cannot be used as a distinctive criterion to define a nationality.
There are also relationships between civilisations which do not coincide with linguistic relationships. These can include technical, social or religious factors which do not correspond to linguistic families and which create many similarities between nations of very different ethnical character.
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