The paper deals mainly with the close connexions between the traditional social structure of Afghanistan, the failure of the "revolution" of April 27, 1978, and the origins and forms of organization of the Afghan resistance. The later history of Afghanistan proves the importance of the tribes, which has always been taken into account by the ruler of the day in spite of all efforts at centralization. As, in addition to this, Afghanistan has never been a colony, in rural areas social structures have been preserved. These are no doubt characterized by inequalities and dependences which, however, have always been mitigated by compensating mechanisms and mutual obligations. In addition to this, the Khans represented the tribes against the central government, thus protecting the sovereignty important for the traditional autonomy of the tribes and stabilizing their own social position within the social structures mentioned above. Therefore, the attempt by the Chalq-Party - that mainly consists of intellectuals from Kabul - to completely reorganize Afghan domestic conditions (agrarian reform, campaign for literacy) after April 27, 1978 , was strongly objected to by the privileged poor farmers right from the beginning. They considered it to be an interference from the outside in the internal affairs of their tribes. Accordingly, the inner resistance in its first phase was characterized by the differences between the tribes and rather anti-centralistic than fundamentalistic- lslamic, though the Western world saw this differently because of the activities of some parties operating from Pakistan. The necessity of an effective strategy was produced incipient concentration of the isolated "internal fronts" across the borders of tribal and ethnic differences since the Soviet invasion. Besides , there are indications of a "modernization from the bottom", also brought about by the war. As a consequence one has to ask the question if by this means Afghanistan will gradually become a nation. As the tribal differences and traditions, however, have existed for centuries, they are a strong counterweight, and thus today an answer to this question is not yet possible.