Imperialism / Social Classes: Two Essays

Imperialism / Social Classes: Two Essays

Language: English

Pages: 181


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For, in the second place, the warrior of that period grew into an expert mounted fighter.4 Success in the profession of arms required not merely an aptitude for fighting, but constant application to technical mastery. Those who had other concerns were by that fact alone disqualified from the full exercise of this function. Today, special technical skill can be confined to the few who, in case of need, can in a short time train men drawn from their regular occupations. But that was not true then.

undermined until the eighteenth century— which agrees with the general observation that of all the clearly marked elements of social life the "super-structure" 6 of law, custom, and so forth is always the last to change, always lags behind changes in the actual life situation. Nor is it expressed in a decline in "social" position which, on the contrary, has been surprisingly well maintained to the present day. Rather does this decline emerge in the invariable subjection of the class to a new

essence and guarantee of independence had lain in the fact that in case of need the lord would mount his horse and defend himself, sword in hand, against dangers from above or below—the last example, already adulterated by other factors, is furnished by the sixteenth-century peasant wars. The time was past when the coronation formula of Aragon was a striking expression of an actual situation, when the concept of the "peer" had real meaning. Now the servility of the estates just as strikingly

became an English protectorate, not to be surrendered until Imperialism as a Catch Phrase 13 1863. Long before then, however, one foreign secretary after another had realized that this possession was meaningless and untenable—not in the absolute sense, but simply because no reasonable person in England would have approved of the smallest sacrifice on its behalf. Nevertheless, none dared surrender it, for it was clear that this would have appeared as a loss and a defeat, chalked up against the

later times Mohammedanism also knew expansion by means IMPERIALISM AND SOCIAL CLASSES of conversion, notably in India and among the Mongols. But this does not change our diagnosis of Arab imperialism. IMPERIALISM IN THE MODERN ABSOLUTE MONARCHY *Tö the need for action there was added the fighting instinct. Royal policy gave direction to both. A mass of subsidiary motives were also present, among which lust for booty, murder, and destruction was by no means absent. 8 Thus he never carried

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