18. The situation of clients and followers in dynasties.



It should be known that followers in a dynasty occupy different positions in (the) dynasty depending on whether their close contact with the ruler is of old or of recent date. The reason for this is that the purpose of group feeling, which is defense and aggression, can materialize only with the help of a common descent. For, as we have stated before,172 blood relations and other close relatives help each other, while strangers and outsiders do not. Client relationships 173 and contacts with slaves or allies have the same effect as (common descent). The consequences of (common) descent, though natural, still are something imaginary.174 The real thing to bring about the feeling of close contact is social intercourse, friendly association, long familiarity, and the companionship that results from growing up together, having the same wet nurse, and sharing the other circumstances of death and life. If close contact is established in such a manner, the result will be affection and co-operation. Observation of people shows this to be so.

Something similar can be observed in connection with the relation between master and follower. Between the two, there develops a special closeness of relationship which has the same effect (as common descent) and strengthens the close contact. Even though there is no (common) descent, the fruits of (common) descent are there.

Whenever such a client relationship exists between a tribe and its clients before the tribe has obtained royal authority, the roots of the relationship are more firmly intertwined, the feelings and beliefs involved are more sincere, and the relationship itself is more clearly defined, for two reasons.

First: Before (people obtain) royal authority, they are a model in their ways.175 Only in the rarest cases is a distinction made between (common) descent and the client relationship. The position (of clients) is the same as that of close or blood relatives. However, if they choose followers after they have obtained royal authority, their royal rank causes them to make a distinction between master and client, and (another) between close relatives and clients or followers. The conditions of leadership and royal authority require this in view of (existing) distinctions and differences in rank. The situation (of followers), therefore, is different. They are now on the same level as strangers. The close contact between (the ruler and his followers) weakens, and co-operation, therefore, becomes less likely. This means that followers are now less (close to the ruler) than they were before (the ruler obtained) royal authority.

Second: Followers from before (the time the ruler obtained) royal authority had the status of followers long before the dynasty (came to power).176 It is, thus, no longer clear (to contemporaries) how the close contact (originally) came about. As a rule, it is supposed to be a case of (common) descent, and in this case the group feeling is strengthened. On the other hand, (follower relationships formed) after (the ruler has obtained) royal authority are of recent date and equally well known to most people. (The origin of) the close contact is clear, and it is clearly distinguishable from (common) descent. The group feeling, in the latter case, is weak in comparison with the group feeling that results from the client relationship that existed before the dynasty (came to power).

A look at (known) dynasties and other cases of (political) leadership will show this to be so. Follower relationships formed before leadership and royal authority were obtained, will be found to show a stronger and closer contact between masters and followers. The latter occupy the same position with their master as do his children, his brothers, and other blood relatives. On the other hand, follower relationships formed after royal authority and (political) leadership were obtained do not show the same close connection that exists in the first (group). One may observe this with one's own eyes.

At the end of their power, dynasties eventually resort to employing strangers and accepting them as followers. These people, however, do not acquire any such glory as the men who had become followers of the dynasty before (it came to power) were able to build up for themselves. Their (status as followers) is too recent in origin. Also, the destruction of the dynasty is impending. Therefore, they occupy a very low and humble position. In taking them on as followers and replacing his old clients and original followers by them, the ruler is motivated by the fact that (his old clients and followers) have become overbearing. They show little obedience to him. They look at him in the same way as his own tribe and relatives do. Close contact existed between him and them for a very long time. They had grown up together with him, had had connections with his ancestors and older mem­bers of his family, and were aligned with the great men of his house. (Thus, they are familiar with him) and, as a result (of their familiarity with him), they become proud and over­bearing towards him. This is the reason why the ruler comes to shun them and use others in their place. It has been only for a short time that he has come to care for these others and to use them as followers. Therefore, they do not attain positions of glory, but retain their position as outsiders.177

This is the case with dynasties at their end. As a rule, the words "followers" and "clients" are used for the first group. The more recent followers are called "servants" and "helpers."

"God is the friend of the believers." 178