AUTHORITY AND THE INDIVIDUAL
been very convincingly set forth by Sir Arthur Keith.
It is obvious that our early and barely human ancestors
cannot have been acting on a thought-out and
deliberate policy, but must have been prompted by an
instinctive mechanism—the dual mechanism of friend-
ship within the tribe and hostility to all others. As the
primitive tribe was so small, each individual would
know intimately each other individual, so that friendly
feeling would be co-extensive with acquaintanceship.
The strongest and most instinctively compelling of
social groups was, and still is, the family. The family
is necessitated among human beings by the great
length of infancy, and by the fact that the mother of
young infants is seriously handicapped in the work of
food gathering. It was this circumstance that with
human beings, as with most species of birds, made
the father an essential member of the family group.
This must have led to a division of labour in which
the men hunted while the women stayed at home.
The transition from the family to the small tribe was
presumably biologically connected with the fact that
hunting could be more efficient if it was co-operative,
and from a very early time the cohesion of the tribe
must have been increased and developed by conflicts
with other tribes.
The remains that have been discovered of early
men and half-men are now sufficiently numerous to
give a fairly clear picture of the stages in evolution,
from the most advanced anthropoid apes to the most
primitive human beings. The earliest indubitably