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Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere

Chapter Two

Lev Gumilev

THE PROPERTIES OF AN ETHNOS

Part 2

Superethnoi

 

The reality of a superethnos: the Franks. I call a superethnos a group of ethnoi arising at the same time in a definite region connected together by economic, ideological, and political contacts that by no means exclude military conflicts among them. But, in contrast to clashes at superethnic level, when wars are waged to extermination or enslavement (for example, the contact of Europeans with the aborigines of America in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries), the wars within a superethnos lead only to achievement of temporary domination (for example, the Guelphs and Ghibellines in mediaeval Europe, or the internecine wars of the Old Russian dukes), with a striving for compromise. Like an ethnos, a superethnos opposes itself to all other superethnoi, in the person of its members, but unlike an ethnos a superethnos is incapable of divergence. I ask you to accept this thesis temporarily without proof, and promise to present such at the end of the book.

At first glance this seems strange because it is incomprehensible where superethnoi come from. Their rise is evidently different in character from that of ethnoi, and furthermore of subethnic entities. If so, however, then we must presume that the riddle of the origin of ethnoi has not been solved precisely because its solution lies at a higher order, and consequently that the phenomenon of ethnos, some one or another, seen and noticed by us, is only a variant of the superethnos to which it belongs as an element of the mosaic systems entity, like a column or caryatid forms part of the whole of a palace although the caryatid can be looked at from beside it, while the palace is only visible as a whole from a great distance. The palace, however, will continue to function without a caryatid, but a broken statue will be converted at best into a museum exhibit and at worst into builders' debris. Let me explain this with examples from history.

A superethnic entity is no less real than a subethnic one. The French ethnos was already part, in the early Middle Ages, of an entity called Christianity, which included the Catholic countries of Europe, a part of whose population were Arians (the Burgundians) or pagans (the Frisians). But such details bothered no one at the time. The territory united by the Carolingians was peopled by two large ethnic groups: the German-speaking Teutons and Latin-speaking Walloons. Under the grandsons of Charlemagne these ethnoi forced their rulers to break the iron band of the Empire and achieved their aim at the battle of Fontenoy (A.D. 841): Charles the Bald and Louis the German swore in A.D. 842 in Strasbourg to stand by the division of the empire by nations.

But that was a first approximation at division. Brittany, Aquitaine, and Provence separated off from the kingdom of the West Franks, and tiny France was located between the Meuse and the Loire. This 'territorial revolution' [+19] was completed by the legitimate Teutonic dynasty of the Carolingians being overthrown in Paris itself, where Eudes, son of Rodbert of Anjou, ascended the throne in 895 A.D. The Carolingians fought for a hundred years against the disintegration of their country, but the ethnoi that arose from the broad spectrum of mixing refused to submit to them. Consequently there was the 'feudal revolution', which finished in the tenth century. Western Europe broke up politically, but continued to figure as a superethnic unity opposed to the Muslims (Arabs) and Orthodox (Greeks), and Irish and pagans (Slavs and Norsemen). Subsequently it expanded, having absorbed, through conversion to Catholicism, the Anglo-Saxons, and then the Western Slavs, Scandinavians, and Hungarians. Ethnic mosaicism did not prevent the development of a superethnos.

 

The origin of a superethnos: Byzantium. A second example. In the Mediterranean there existed in antiquity a single Hellenistic culture that drew Latium and the Phoenician cities into itself during development. Ethnically it resembled the West European, because the main Hellenic nucleus did not comprehend all the variants of the diverse Hellenistic culture. Rome, Carthage, and Pella had their own local peculiarities and were independent ethnoi, but in the superethnic sense were part of the broad circle of Hellenistic culture. That is not new, incidentally, but it is important to me as a starting point. The Roman state encouraged ethnic leveling, but Greek's equality of rights with Latin led to almost the whole population of the Mediterranean merging into one ethnos.

But in the first century A.D. new people appeared in the Roman Empire, unlike any of their neighbors, who formed a new entity in the next two centuries. They already counterposed themselves at the beginning of their advent to 'pagans', i.e. to all other people, and, in fact, were singled out from their number, of course, by the character of their behavior and not by anatomical or physiological traits. They treated each other differently, thought differently, and set themselves aims in life that seemed senseless to their contemporaries, in striving for bliss beyond the grave. Asceticism was foreign to the Hellenistic world; the new people created the Thebaid. The Hellenes and Romans had already, for several centuries, considered their gods literary figures, maintaining the cult as a public tradition but guided in ordinary life by many omens. The new preachers and neophytes considered with complete conviction that the other world was reality, and prepared themselves for fife on the other side. While professing loyalty to the Roman government, they refused to recognize its divine nature, and would not bow to the statues of the emperors, although that often cost them their lives. These nuances of behavior did not break the structures of society, but the new people dropped out of the ethnic unity and evoked the burning hatred of the urban poor, who demanded their annihilation, proceeding from the principle of denial of the right to be different.

It is wrong to think that the cause of the arising hostility was the difference in convictions, because there were no stable and distinct convictions among the uneducated pagans at that time, while they were diverse among the people of the new mentality. But why did the Hellenes and Romans not quarrel with Mithra, Isis, Cybele, and Helios, making an exception only for Christ? What put Christ outside must obviously have been not an ideological or political attribute, but an ethnological one, i.e. a behavioral one that was really new and unaccustomed for Hellenistic culture.

As we know, the new entity was victorious in spite of vast losses. The Gnostics disappeared, and Manichaeans were scattered; the Marcionites (subsequently Bogomils) were confined to a narrow community, and only the Christian Church proved viable and gave rise to an entity that had no name of its own. I shall conventionally call it Byzantine, or Orthodox Christian. An ethnos was formed from the Early Christian community in the fifth century A,D. throughout the Roman Empire, that called itself by the old word 'Romaic' (Gr. Rhome). From the fifth to the tenth centuries A.D. Bulgarians, Serbs, Magyars, Czechs, Russians, and Alans were converted to Orthodoxy, and then a superethnic cultural entity of the Orthodox world was created, which was broken up in the thirteenth century by blows from outside by 'Franks' [+20], 'Turks', and Mongols. In the fourteenth century the Orthodox tradition, like the Orthodox culture, revived in connection with the rise of the Great Russian people. But one cannot consider Muscovy the cultural periphery of Byzantium, because strong local traditions made an independent entity out of Rus. What is important is that the currents that deviated from the Oecumenical Church in the fifth century A.D. (Nestorians and Monophysites) continued, in spite of their having been anathematized by Oecumenical Councils, to feel their community with the Orthodox churches, while the simple schism of 1054, when the disputing parties did not proclaim their opponents heretics, formed a break in the single superethnic entity that still exists. Catholicism became the new structural system of the 'Christian world'. The area of 'Catholic' Europe differed from the 'Byzantine' in the character of the behavior of the people inhabiting them. In Western Europe the mediaeval nationes arose, from which grew modern nations, chivalry, city communes, and everything that distinguishes the European superethnos from the other superethnoi of the world.

But even after the schism of 1054 the dogma of Christianity remained as before, which means that it was not a matter of that and the history of religion, like a sensitive indicator, only reflects the deep processes of both social and ethnic history.

 

The breakdown of a superethnos: the Arabs of the seventh to tenth centuries A.D. The Arabs are an ancient people, so that at the beginning of our era their old feeling of ethnic unity had been lost. The most educated Arabs lived either in Byzantine Syria, or in Iranian Iraq, taking part in the political and cultural life of those empires.

On the origin of the Arabs there are only the legends in the Book of Genesis, but it has been historically recorded that for nearly a thousand years isolated tribes of Bedouins and gardeners, simultaneously engaged in trade, lived in Arabia. Their life and tribal-clan system were predominantly determined by a natural economy and consequently by the terrain of the country they inhabited. No tendencies toward unification arose. The fighting capacity of the Arabs was at a very low level, so that up to the seventh century A.D. Arabia was a field of rivalry of neighboring countries, viz., the Roman Empire, Parthian Sassanid Iran, and Abyssinia (the Aksum Empire). In Arabia itself the most active and resistant population was the Jewish communities of Hejaz and Yemen.

In the sixth century A.D. there was a sudden upsurge of poetry throughout Arabia, which needs to be regarded as a modus of activization. Must one prove that it is impossible to compose good verses without the impulse of passion? In the seventh century Muhammed came forward with a preaching of a strict monotheism and, having formed a small group of fanatical, resolute, and terribly brave followers around him, as a first act wiped out the poets as his rivals. The members of the Muslim community broke up the old clan, family connections, forming a new, special collective that, like the Byzantine, had a confessional dominating idea and an ethnogenetic nature, because Muhammed declared that a Muslim could not be a slave, and accepted into his commune those slaves who pronounced the formula of Islam. An incubation period of accumulation of drive also preceded propaganda for the new faith.

The consortium created was converted during the lifetime of Muhammed and Abu-Bekr into a subethnos. The Muslim subethnos, having grown from a score or so of people to several tens of thousands, conquered all Arabia and imposed a dogma of monotheism on the Arabs. The indifferent Meccan merchants and Bedouins of the deserts preferred hypocritical conversion to Islam to death or slavery. So a new ethnos was created with a changed stereotype of behavior but with the old name for itself Arabs.

The second Caliph Omar, employing the forces conquered and outwardly converted to Islam, conquered Syria, Egypt, and Persia, but already, under the third Caliph Osman, the pseudo-converts penetrated the highest posts in the new state and utilized the religious impulse of the original collective for purposes of personal enrichment. Zealots of the faith murdered Osman, but that provoked an. explosion of indignation among those who were not fanatics, and an internecine struggle began between the friend of the Prophet Ali, and the son of his enemy Moawiyah, in which the 'pseudo-Muslims' were victorious. But they did not alter the policy and official ideology and continued to conquer under the slogans of Islam. The power of the descendants of Moawiyah, the Ommiads, absorbed not only Arabic, but also Syrian, Iranian, Sogdian, Spanish, African, Caucasian, and many other elements stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indus.

The Arabs imposed their language and spiritual culture (Islam) on the ethnically varied population of the Caliphate. The majority of the conquered people became Arabic-speaking, and where they retained their own language, as in Persia, more than half of the words in the literary language are Arabic.

But already in the tenth century the Caliphate had broken up into separate regions that coincided with tribal areas. The Idrisides (A.D. 789-926), the Rustamids (A.D. 777-909), and the Zirids (9721152) were supported by Berbers, the Buyid dynasty (932-1062) by Gilam and Dailamite mountaineers; the Samanids (A.D. 819-999) by Tajiks, and so on. Even the Arabs themselves were divided. The Spanish Arabs raised the green banner of the Ommiads, the Iraqis the black banner of the Abassids, the Egyptians the white banner of the Fatimids, and the Bahrein tribes of Bedouins created first the community and then the state of the Karmathians, and they all in fact separated into different ethnoi hostile to one another.

In short, the same thing that happened with the empire of Charlemagne occurred with the Caliphate in the ninth and tenth centuries A.D. The living forces of the ethnoi broke the iron band of Empire, both Christian and Muslim, like grass breaks up asphalt. But the political partitioning did not in either case break the superethnic unity, which was reflected in a certain similarity of some elements of the Arabic and Latin culture and literary language. The Muslim superethnos proved much more viable than the Arabic ethnos that gave rise to it. The idea of the Caliphate had already been taken over in the eleventh and twelfth centuries by the Seljuk Turks, and in the thirteenth century by Polovtsy and Sudanese Negroes bought in the slave markets and enrolled in the army. The inertia of the system created by Muhammed's comrades-in-arms proved tremendous.

Let me now ask whether the religious conception can be considered dominant in the process described. As an external phenomenon it undoubtedly can. But inwardly, in content, it is a more complicated matter. Karmathianism differs in its philosophical conceptions much more from Islam than Christianity does, or even Judaism; [+21] nevertheless it not only comes within the superethnic construction of Muslim culture but also within the Arabic ethnos proper. Turkish mercenaries and Moroccan cut-throats were least of all interested in religion, nevertheless only they supported Sunnite orthodoxy with their sabers in the eleventh century. Remember, Muhammed was preceded by a pleiad of Arab poets (pagans, Christians, Jews) so that the flowering of poetry was the initial link in the process described, no less than the development of intermediate trade, the hunting of Negroes for sale into slavery, and the banditry of tribal leaders.

But for all that the Islam conceived by Muhammed was dominant in forming the Arabic ethnos (and in the superethnic sense of all Muslim culture); and for it the preceding period of the flowering of Arab poetry proved suitable soil. Islam as a symbol became the object of fanatical self-assertion and a means of introducing uniformity. The appearance of various heresies and modifications of religious-ideological content usual during the rapid onslaught of a new religious system (as a kind of inevitable antitheses) only stimulated the rapidity and fury of the course of the main process. Furthermore, a varied intellectual life developed both within the Arab ethnos proper and in the superethnic culture, which led to a flowering of science, art, and unique forms of everyday life. The process is an example of the forming of a superethnos outwardly characterized by a religious-ideological dominant. Such entities have long been known to the social sciences, and are sometimes called 'cultural types' and sometimes 'civilizations'.

In the tenth century A.D. the energy of the Arabo-Muslim ethnos gave out despite the fact that the economy flourished, social relations were normalized, and philosophy, literature, geography, and medicine yielded a maximum number of masterpieces precisely then. The Arabs were converted from warriors into poets, scholars, and diplomats. They created a brilliant style in architecture, built cities with bazaars and schools, laid irrigation works and grew beautiful gardens that provided food for a growing population. But the Arabs forgot how to defend themselves against enemies. In place of the era of conquests a time of losses set in.

The French Normans took Sicily from the Muslims. Asturian mountaineers captured Central Spain and converted it into the 'land of castles'- Castile. The Byzantines took back Syria, except Damascus. The Georgians liberated Tiflis from an Arab garrison. To save themselves the Arabs had to turn to Turkomans and Berbers. But that helped. In the eleventh century the Almoravids drove the Spaniards north and the Seljuks subdued Armenia and Asia Minor. But these newcomers did not defend the ethnos of the Arabs, [+22] for whom they did not care two pence, but the superethnos, the 'world of Islam', because the latter had become the cultural dominant for them. The Central Asian Turks, Sudanese Negroes, and savage Kurds, on becoming part of the structure of the disintegrating Caliphate, assimilated the morals, customs, views, etc., accepted in it, and became perpetuators of the cause of the community created by Muhammed. It was these people who stopped the onslaught of the Crusaders.

But for all that the culture remained, products of human hands that had no self-development and were free only to collapse and be ruined. The destruction took place slowly, and the fascination of this culture embraced ever newer regions in Africa, India, and the Malay archipelago, and also China. There it still exists, having outlived the rise of the ethnos that created it by a thousand years.

Having taken in such a large quantity of elements foreign to it in the tenth to twelfth centuries, elements introduced by the ethnoi incorporated, this culture changed its look and generated new forms, fanciful to the point of monstrosity. The Muslims ethnically foreign to the Arabs became Shi'ites, Ismailites, Sufis, or professors of doctrines outwardly orthodox but essentially original and far from the original attitude to the world of Muhammed's companions and of the first Caliphs. And since ethnic disagreements and differences were clothed in confessional forms at that time, we can if we take the reverse course (from culture to ethnogenesis) discover and characterize the ethnic contacts of the 'World of Islam'. I shall devote a special excursus to this intricate but fascinating problem, in which I shall master with readers several more techniques of the ethnological method.

 

The Algorithm of Ethnogenesis

 

Ethnic relicts. Ethnic history can number more than 20 superethnoi that have disappeared in historical time and been replaced by ones now existing. The job is still to describe the mechanism of the disappearance of superethnoi, but I shall speak specially of their origin and spread. Let me note, as an important detail, that islets often remain in the place of a once vast superethnos broken by history that have survived the epoch of its flourishing and decline. The Basques, Albanians, and several Caucasian ethnoi and the interesting and very stable ethnos of the Iroquois of North America, can serve as examples of such small ethnoi. Unlike the majority of the extinct or assimilated tribes of North and Central America, the Iroquois have maintained their numbers (20 000), their language, and their contrast to all non-Iroquois. They have, it is true, changed their life structure and have been converted from warriors into 'museum pieces'.

There are quite a few relict ethnoi, some of them dying out, and some being assimilated by other ethnoi, but some, like the Iroquois, maintaining their self-awareness, more or less stable numbers, and the territory they occupy. These ethnoi I call persistent, i.e. that have outlived themselves and are in a phase of homeostasis (equilibrium with their environment). Ethnography knows very many isolated ethnoi that, thanks to their geographical position, have not been drawn into dealings with other ethnoi or have become involved in it only in the past 100 years. Such were the many tribes of Canada before the coming of the fur-trading companies, the Indians of the interior of Brazil before the rubber boom, the Australians until the coming of Europeans, and certain mountain people of the Caucasus (even after the capture of the Gunib plateau of Daghestan by Russian troops). There are many other peoples and tribes with a greater or less degree of isolation not only in India and Africa but even in Europe. But what is very important is that isolates arise under the eyes of the historian. Such are the Icelanders, descendants of the Vikings who settled the island in the ninth century A.D. and who lost the warlike spirit of their forefathers over 300 years. The offspring of Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish vikings and slave girls captured in Ireland, already constituted a small but independent ethnos in the eleventh century that preserved certain traditions of olden times and married within their island.

Absence of frequent intercourse with foreigners inevitably leads to stabilization of the relations within an ethnos. A structure arises that I call 'stagnant', and a 'simplification of the system' takes place in the ethnos. Let me clarify this from an example.

In Ancient Egypt the united Hamite tribes merged into a powerful ethnos and created a ramified social system. In it were the pharaoh and counselors, princes or dukes of nomes and armies, priests and scribes, merchants, farmers, and poor laborers. The system became complicated as clashes occurred with foreigners. The conquests in Nubia and Syria were made by professional soldiers; treaties with Babylon were concluded by experienced diplomats; canals and palaces were built by specialist engineers trained from childhood. The ramified system survived the Hyksos invasion and was revived as if watered by a regenerating power. But from the eleventh century B.C. a process of simplification started, and the resistivity of the system fell. From 950 B.C. power over Egypt fell into the hands of Libyans. In. 715 B.C. dominion passed to Ethiopians, who lost a war with Assyria, and then Asians occupied Egypt, which lost the capacity to defend itself. The Sais dynasty liberated the country but was supported by the spears of Libyans and Hellenes. In 550 B.C. this dynasty fell after which Egypt was successively dominated by Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Arabs, Berbers, and Turks. Of all the social groups only the farmer fellahin and a small handful of Hellenized Coptic townsmen survived by the first century A.D. The fellahin became isolates, and although an active, historical life seethed around them, it had nothing to do with them. They lived in a society not ethnically foreign to them but remained themselves for 2 000 years. We can call that ethnic statics or rest. It means that development so slowed down that it could be ignored in the description.

 

Statics and dynamics. Let me explain the terms. I conditionally call those peoples whose life cycle is repeated without change in each generation 'static' or 'persistent'. That does not mean, of course, that such peoples do not experience external influences. They often even perish from a change of the environment, as, for example, the Tasmanians, who were wiped out, or the Araucans who were stamped out in Patagonia. Sometimes stable ethnic groups, tribes, or peoples avoid borrowing from their civilized neighbors, but more often they easily adopt what suits them without thereby changing their accustomed rhythm of life. The Algonquian tribes, for example, had already taken the musket into their armament in the seventeenth century, and learned to shoot no worse than the French or English colonists; the Patagonians were converted in one generation in the nineteenth century from hunters on foot to mounted ones; the Tungus mastered matches and iron stoves suitable for their skin tents. But the ethnic image of these peoples remained as it used to be, until the twentieth century. Neither the Algonquians nor the Araucans became French or Spanish.

The problem of 'fathers and sons' always arises among 'dynamic' peoples. The young generation is not like the older one. Ideals, tastes, and customs change, and a category of 'fashion' develop. Along with the appearance of the new there goes a forgetting of the old; these changes are called the development of culture.

Dynamic peoples are also not eternal. They either disappear without trace or, with the passage of a certain cycle of development, are converted into static peoples who in turn, after various transformations, become dynamic, but already different peoples. The disappearance is sometimes linked with the complete death of the people who constitute the ethnos, the survivors being assimilated by neighboring ethnic communities; the people remain but the ethnos as a systems entity disappears. If part of an ethnos is preserved as a relict it will be an isolate.

These examples are clear, but there are such smooth gradations of traditionality that if we distributed all the ethnoi known to us by degree of diminishing conservatism, it would turn out that the zero limit, i.e. the absence of tradition, is not reached by any ethnos, because by then it would have simply ceased to exist, having melted away or been dissolved among neighbors. That phenomenon, though observed from time to time, is never the fruit of the purposive efforts of the ethnic collective itself. Nevertheless ethnoi die. That means there are destructive factors through which this happens. And since no ethnoi are completely isolated from external influences, we must suppose that all ethnoi are mortal. It is most interesting that ethnoi sometimes prefer death to an existence unacceptable to them. Why?

Perhaps it is this right to death that distinguishes an ethnos that is in a state of homeostatic equilibrium with its environment from a population of any species of animal. The death of an ethnos is a breakdown of systems unity, and not total extinction of all the individuals composing it. Although history has preserved shameful pages of the extermination of separate Indian tribes by Americans, and of Hunni by the Chinese, the members of a dying ethnos much more often become part of new, neighboring ethnoi. Ethnic extermination is therefore more a social phenomenon than a biological one.

According to dialectical philosophy death is a necessary moment and the law-governed result of an organism's life activity,

the negation of life as being essentially contained in life itself, so that life is always thought of in relation to its necessary result, death, which is always contained in it in germ. [+23]

This universal law of dialectics operates as well in the processes of ethnogenesis.

Just as a person can be killed at any age, so an ethnogenetic process can be cut short in any phase. It is easier, however, to cut ethnogenesis short either at the commencement when the ethnos has not gathered force, or when it is ending, when this force has already been expended. The level of technique and culture, moreover, is not of great significance, any more than the size of the population. In the fifteenth century the Iroquois created an original, developing form of community life a league of five tribes, a sort of republic. The Nahua were the start of the Aztecs, and the state of Montezuma II can hardly be considered undeveloped from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century (more exactly from 1325 when Tenochtitlan was founded, to 1521 when it was captured by Cortes). These are examples of beginning ethnogenetic processes cut short by blows from outside.

An even more graphic example is the ancient Jews. In the fifteenth century B.C. nomadic tribes the Habiru invaded Palestine and seized a territory on the Jordan. In level of technique and methods of farming, and fighting methods they were indistinguishable from the other Semitic tribes of Syria and Arabia, and behind the peoples of Egypt and Babylonia. But this was a people that was intensively developing on the ethnic plane, and it survived all neighbors, until perishing as an ethnic community under the short swords of Roman infantry. A few saved themselves, finding refuge in Parthia and on the Rhenish frontier of the Roman Empire. But this death coincided (and obviously not by chance) with the ethnic divergence of the Jewish people themselves, when the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes ceased to feel their community and began to see each other either as apostates and traitors (the attitude of the Pharisees and Essenes to the Sadducees) or as savages (the attitude of the Sadducees to the Essenes, or the common people), or as a priestly caste cut off from the people (the attitude of the Sadducees and Essenes to the Pharisees). But in standard of culture the Jews in the first century A.D. were not inferior to either the Romans or the Greeks.

One might think, from these examples, that it was barbarism that had forces within it that vanished with the development of culture. But that point of view finds no support in history. European peoples conquered Africa and South-East Asia in the nineteenth century and created a system of colonial empires that embraced almost the whole land surface of the world at the beginning of the twentieth century. In some cases that can be explained by superiority of military technique, but not always. In India, for example, the Sepoys were armed with British weapons, yet nevertheless were beaten by the British, who were fewer in numbers. The Turkish army was not inferior in quality of weapons in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the Russian and Austrian armies, but Prince Eugene of Savoy and Suvorov proved the victors, in spite of the smallness of their armies and the remoteness of their supply bases. The French conquered Algeria and Annam not so much by better guns as by the celebrated courage and daring of the Zouaves exhibited in the little (anti-guerrilla) war. The Italians, on the contrary, while disposing the most modern weapons, lost the war in 1896 with the Negus Menelik, whose troops were armed with spears and flintlocks, but who were not inferior in the antiquity of their culture to the natives of Italy. That's how it was!

All these conquests were inseparable from the ethnogenetic process in Western Europe, the consequences of which made it possible to create nations and colonial empires already back in feudal times. But the extension of the area of the European ethnoi finished in the twentieth century, and it has become clear that it was an important, bloody, heroic, and contradictory episode (but only an episode and not the pinnacle of evolution) in the history not only of the whole world but of Western Europe itself. The collapse of the colonial empires, that we have been witnesses of, shows that the process of ethnogenesis had passed the phase of flowering, and that history took a former direction, viz., Europe again returned to its geographical frontiers. It is consequently not a matter of level of technique or culture, and it is impossible to build a model of ethnic development on these principles.

No people, no races remain unchanged. Continually they are mixing with others and slowly changing; they may appear to die almost and then rise again as a new , people or just a variation of the old. [+24]

But it remains unclear why isolated ethnoi lose the capacity to resist a hostile environment. In Arnold Toynbee's conception of 'response' to 'challenge', they should give a powerful response to the challenges of an enemy, but they either surrender or take flight and scatter. The transition to homeostasis, which enables an ethnos to exist in isolation, is seemingly linked with loss of some attribute that stimulates its resistance in earlier phases. They remain firm in one thing only, not to admit others into their environment.

 

Incorporation. The peculiarity of the ethnic phenomenon noted and described explains the difficulties constantly arising during the incorporation of outsiders. It is not sufficient, in order to become part of a foreign ethnos, to desire to do so and simply e