According to traditional anthropology, the Berbers did not have a state. They were a segmentary lineage society and in the famous taxonomy of Edward Evans-Pritchard and Meyer Fortes’s 1940 book African Political Systems, this was a stateless society. Instead they had the Saints, religious figures who mediated disputes and even oversaw the election of the holders of secular political office. The Saints ruled over a society divided into lineages and clans, groups of extended families.Diga-se que creio que Ernest Gellner (que os autores aliás referem no post) argumentou, nos anos 80, em Nações e Nacionalismos, que o Líbano não tinha Estado.
But if we want to look at the closest thing that Berber society has to a state, it would be the Saints. If we thought of it in this way it would feature a peculiar inversion of Weber’s notion of a state. Weber argued that a state was the entity that exercised the legitimate use of violence in society. Yet the Saints had no coercive capacity; their authority relied on not having such capacity. They were revered for their peacefulness. Rather, it was the lineages and clans that had the legitimate use of violence, not the state. Thus if one argued that the Berber’s had a state, it would be characterized by the opposite of what Weber argued a state was, maybe an “Inverse Weberian State”.(...)
Now of course one could say that this is irrelevant because the Berbers did not have a state. So why all this pedantry?
Because, as we will see over the next few posts, it is arguable that Weber’s and Evans-Pritchard and Fortes’s analysis wasn’t quite on target: they had in mind a particularly Eurasian model of state formation and what characterized statehood. When they ran into other social organizations that looked different, they decided that they were not states. But as we will see, the type of “state” that the Berbers had is quite common in the modern world. Indeed, this is more or less what Lebanon looks like today.
And who could argue that Lebanon does not have a state?
A este respeito, relembro três post que escrevi (numa intervenção externa não-solicitada no debate regular entre Rui Albuquerque e os ancaps):
Sobre a origem do Estado e Sobre a origem do Estado (II), publicados em Novembro de 2009
O Estado sempre existiu?, publicado em Novembro de 2010
[Em dois deles linko para uma passagem do tal livro sobre os "Sistemas Políticos Africanos", exactamente aquela onde Evans-Pritchard aborda as "linhagens segmentárias"]