Different patriarchy Model

PioneerTom (pioneertom@aol.com)
3 Dec 1994 02:10:03 -0500

First, I wish to apologize for not having the correct attribution of this
quote about the theories of Marge Gambutis. My conection to internet
is giving me problems with simply making responses. I have to make a
new post each time .

A comment on Eisler's derivation of Gambutis's thesis, that Kurgan
invaders introduced patriarchy to European agricultural societies

"One suggestion, very tentative, held by some people who have thought hard
about the issue, is that nomadic herdsmen have a different
relationship to the world from settled people, and that this tilts the
balance towards patriarchy".

I would like to suggest that the model put forward by Marvin Harris
in his popularisation "OUR KIND" may specify this "difference" so fully
that it obviates the need for "Kurgan Influence" at all, much less
invasion. This model notes that societies in which warfare, usually
related to land scarcity, is at a "high" level, you often find that the
instruments of warfare, and male muscle advantage in their use, allows
and to some extent encourages the domination of society by those male

If the "Kurgans" were indeed nomads, then even on the steppe the
competition for the best grazing lands could become particularly intense
at the slightest drought, i.e., very often. If this resulted in extreme
dominance of their society this might have been transmitted by raiding
or trading. Even more to the point of this model, however, is the real
possibility that land scarcity among the settled European agriculturalists
would only be put off, not eliminated by the higher productivity/acre
of agricultural technology.

Thus when human fertility, and the personal incentives to each family to
have many children in an agricultural environment, fills up the good land,
we would perhaps see the same basic pattern as on the steppes, just a bit
later. This advantage in male muscle would vary with different warfare
technologues. Harris pointed out that even within the co-religionists of
India's Hindu community great differences in the staus of women exist
between Northern and Southern India. In the North, styles of warfare
emphasized heavy infantry, cavalry, etc. These techniques would
emphasize male muscle advantage. In the South, projectile weapons and
other devices that can be used with less disadvantage to women and
smaller men are used, largely because of climate and terrain. Along with
various economic influences, the result seems to be that the higher
degree of status accorded women in Southern India is a scandal in
the villages of Northern India. Northern India, meanwhile is the home of
suttee. Nuf said there.

Summary: Patriarchial culture may be the result of war, while war may
be the result of competition for land. That competition would, in turn
be produced by the incentives to produce many children in each individual
agricultural family.

Thank You for attention to along post.

Tom Billings