chapter  II
28 Pages

The Life of the State

This chapter focuses on slavery there were two other modes of exploitation in ancient society which also reached their culmination about the time of the origin of Christianity, sharpened class antagonisms to the utmost, and then progressively accelerated the destruction of society and of the state: usury, and the plundering of the subjected provinces by the all-conquering central power. Democracy did not change anything in this system except in that it also permitted wealthy barbarian families to penetrate into the favored circle, which was limited to patricians while the aristocratic regime endured. The district in which Rome was situated was still rude, but to the North and South of it there were lands in an advanced stage of economic development, Etruria and Campania, with an active industry, extensive trade, and already having an agricultural economy based on compulsory labor. Thus the Roman Empire became the possession of a single individual, the Caesar or Emperor. All political life ceased.