Friday, November 5, 2010

Back to Feudalism?

Have you got your tunic on? Plow hitched to your ox? No?
Maybe you are lucky enough to be a baron or clergyman. Or maybe even luckier. Maybe your a lord.

In feudal times, also called The Middle Ages, land management was in the control of lords, who divided their vast holdings into parcels, or fiefs, and put local barons in charge of them. Barons held local power but still held loyalty, or fealty, to the lords.

The church was the other great governing body, and it held and divided great plots of land.

Ten percent of the population were clergy, barons, or lords. Everyone else was condemnded to be the peasantry, working the land for the lords and barons in exchange for meager food and protection from invaders.

Feudalism still existed in weakened form in Europe and elsewhere for centuries after Medieval times in that an overwhelming peasantry supported a minute noble class (the King, Tsar, Emperor in China.) The French Revolution and the American Revolution put the ax (or the Guillotine in France) to the system and ushered in a large middle and upper-middle class. Soon the French Bourgeosie consolidated its power, and a new consumer class fueled the Industrial Revolution (which had started around 1770 in England).

Pundits say America is doing away with its middle class. This country has the largest one in history, and these events pose an enormous problem. We need a large middle class to purchase imports from China and services from our own country. If we shift the wealth to a larger, but still small upper class, and create a very large lower and working class, we will be, in some way, going back to a kind of Feudalism.

The other problem is that under true Feudalism the serfs were all completely uneducated. In America we have a huge amount of college-educated and skilled people who are being forced to settle for jobs beneath their skills and education, or, worse, to remain among the unemployed or underemployed. You can't maintain a large educated underclass without friction. Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo

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