Will Durant: “The Origins of Government” (1935)

‘Instead of democracy being a wilted feather in the cap of our own age, it appears at its best in several primitive groups where such government as exists is merely the rule of the family-heads of the clan, and no arbitrary authority is allowed. The Iroquois and Deleware Indians recognized no laws or restraints beyond the natural order of the family and the clan; their chiefs had modest powers which might at any time be ended by the elders of the tribe. The Omaha Indians were ruled by a Council of Seven, who deliberated until they came to a unanimous agreement; add to this the famous League of the Iroquois, by which many tribes bound themselves–and honored their pledge–to keep the peace, and one sees no great gap between these “savages” and the modern states that bind themselves revocably to peace in the League of Nations.’

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