When men multiplied on the face of the earth and drifted apart on account of economic factors, the various races, nations and countries began to develop. "Man learned to live in any climate," wrote Engels,70 and "he spread over the whole of the habitable world." As the productive forces of primitive man increased, "the increasing density of population creates at one point a community of interests, at another, [dialectically!] conflicting interests, between the separate communities,"71 whereas "race is itself an economic factor."72
And so we find that "where nature is too lavish to man, she does not impose upon him any necessity of developing himself"; for, wrote Marx,13 "it is not the tropics with their luxuriant vegetation, but the temperate zone, that is the mother country of capital." And this then is the reason, according to Engels,74 why the aboriginal "Australians and many Polynesians are to this day in the middle stage of savagery."
The development of new productive forces, maintains communism, ultimately terminated this initial period of "primitive communism" by economically alienating man from woman, producer from owner, manual laborer from mental laborer, chief from tribe, and priest from layman. But the apex of man's alienation from man was supposedly reached in the establishment of man's private ownership of his fellow man in the institution known as slavery.
In time, slavery would in its own turn yield to feudalism, and feudalism to capitalism; but in each successive era, progressive thinkers would plan to re-institute the communal property, communal labor, and communal social life of "primitive communism," albeit at a higher level.
Slavery, then, is regarded as the second era in the history of mankind, after the dissolution of "primitive communism." Slavery was supposedly produced and characterized by the discovery of new iron tools, by the accumulation of disposable surpluses and handicrafts, by the development of the economic institution (first) of inter-tribal and (then) of intra-tribal exchange, and, to facilitate the latter, by the development of money.
"The second form" of human society in its historical development, wrote Marx and Engels,75 "is the ancient communal and State ownership which proceeds especially from the union of several tribes into a city by agreement or by conquest, and which is still accompanied by slavery. Beside communal ownership we already find movable, and later also immovable, private property developing."
As Engels elsewhere remarked: "The subjugation of man for menial work … presupposes the possession of a certain amount of property in excess of the average."76 "The working of metals and agriculture were the two arts the discovery of which produced this great revolution,"77 for "gold and silver … iron and corn … ruined the human race,"60 and "greed and the lust for power are the levers of historical development."78
"The lowest interests-base greed, brutal sensuality, sordid avarice, selfish plunder of common possessions-usher in the new, civilized society, [slave] class society; [and] the most outrageous means-theft, rape, deceit and treachery-undermine and topple the old, classless gentile society [of primitive communism]."79
Economic alienation between man and man supposedly started in friction between the sexes. Initially, "multiplication of the population" went hand in hand with the "division of labor," which division of labor, according to Marx and Engels,80 was "originally nothing else than the division of labor in the sexual act." Through the resulting alienation, woman became the first slave known to humanity, and today man cannot be emancipated without the simultaneous emancipation of woman to a position of complete equality with man, for "wife and children are the slaves of the husband. This latent slavery in the family, though still very crude, is the first property "81