By Cem Eroğul
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Extra info for An Essay on the Nature of the State
Despite ali these important developments, the main characteristic of this long period of savagery was that providing daily food remained the majör activity consuming ali the time and energy of our ancestors. To be able survive in these very tough conditions, they were compelled to gather in small bands and to incessantly stride vast lands in a constant search for resources. Division of labour was restricted only to that between generations and sexes. The men went hunting, and the women did ali the rest of the work.
But this was not enough for the THE GENERAL NTEREST 57 creation of a species ever more capable of overcoming natural conditions. Mankind had also to be preserved from the debilitating effects of close kin marriages. It is here that political activity played a crucial role in evolution. By developing rules of belaviour, taboos, and so on, savage politics was able to regulate sexual intercourse in order to gradually curtail relations between close kins of blood. Of course, these marital regulations and interdictions were not establislıed through a conscious decision-making process carried out by a separate body.
This is, therefore, the most general function of politics. I propose to cali it the 'first function'. First, not in importance, but in the degree of abstraction, and thus generality. Indeed, first, also chronologically. For, this function being independent of time, place, and any particular circumstance, it should be expected to have acted as the general matrix out of which ali other particular funetions of politics were born. Another peculiarity of this first function is that it always serves humanity as a whole.