[Frugalware-forums] y, a

Peteet flaringly at anime-time.com
Mon Aug 24 19:41:04 CEST 2009

Ed by the combined labour of all the villagers, and the produce is
annually distributed among the households, sometimes according to their
supposed wants, sometimes according to rules which give to particular
persons a fixed share of the usufruct. All these practices are traced by
the jurists of the East of Europe to a principle which is asserted to be
found in the earliest Sclavonian laws, the principle that the property
of families cannot be divided for a perpetuity. The great interest of
these phenomena in an inquiry like the present arises from the light
they throw on the development of distinct proprietary rights _inside_
the groups by which property seems to have been originally held. We have
the strongest reason for thinking that property once belonged not to
individuals nor even to isolated families, but to larger societies
composed on the patriarchal model; but the mode of transition from
ancient to modern ownerships, obscure at best, would have been
infinitely obscurer if several distinguishable forms of Village
Communities had not been discovered and examined. It is worth while to
attend to the varieties of internal arrangement within the patriarchal
groups which are, or were till recently, observable among races of
Indo-European blood. The chiefs of the ruder Highland clans used, it is
said, to dole out food to the heads of the households under their
jurisdiction at the very shortest intervals, and sometimes day by day. A
periodical distribution is also made to the Sclavonian villagers of the
Austrian and Turkish provinces by the elders of their body, but then it
is a distribution once for all of the total produce of the year. In the
Russian villages, however, the substance of the property ceases to be
looked upon as indivisible, and separate proprietary claim
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