Are We Entering A New Age Of Feudalism?

Everything old is new again. Current makes note of the growing belief that, in the era of postindustrial perma-recession, our sociopolitical structures increasingly resemble those that were found in feudalist societies — a concept called neofeudalism:

Among the issues claimed to be associated with the idea of neofeudalism in contemporary society are class stratification, globalization, mass immigration/illegal immigration, open borders policies, multinational corporations, and “neo-corporatism.”

IxDI7

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  • Guest

    No need to invent a new word for the existing feudalism that has been part of modern society from day one. Ever hear of electrical utilities? The privatization of public utilities, a mill stone hung around the neck of the common man for decades. The misnamed public utilities are feudal systems by design and structure. The nationalization of which would instantly benefit the little people of this warring empire by 25% by cutting out the middle man. The same could be done with the banking system which has been recently made a feudal system by unnecessary bailouts. It used to be in the old real free enterprise system that a mismanaged business would fail and disappear to be replaced with one that might work better. But now with welfare for corporations we have managed to preserve failure with a system of no bank left behind and utilities that are radioactive, capital intensive and only benefit a few at the enslavement of the many and in the same breath calling it a free society. Is it really time for a new word in a failed lexicon of media double talk?

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      The problem was that there used to be a fear of a peasant uprising. Now the peasants are too stupified by their fake reality, and have no say(and care not to say) on real events that effect them, that the “knights, barons and kings” an just run amok. Even on the few occasions where the peasants get angry and try to do something (usually peacefully) we get military tactics putting them down:

      http://www.disinfo.com/2011/05/mass-arrests-tear-gas-sound-weapons-used-against-western-illinois-university-students-video/

      • Belcat2

        I disagree: Peasants were always stupified with their own reality. Revolts happened few and far between. Back then they believed their place was to be peasants, and to be poor, and the big guys make the rules. When conditions became really unliveable and deaths were assured, then revolts became a necessity – die for sure or die maybe doing the revolt.

        Also it’s partially because of support: Back then because failed revolts (and even successful ones) meant deaths, possibly yours, now it’s more likely loss of time, and possibly money if they turn around and sue. If you don’t feel any support, then you won’t do anything. This is why Facebook and the like are so good for starting movements.

        • fmpu

          I think you meant that is why Facebook (and the like) is such an important tool for those nutty spooks.

  • Anonymous

    No need to invent a new word for the existing feudalism that has been part of modern society from day one. Ever hear of electrical utilities? The privatization of public utilities, a mill stone hung around the neck of the common man for decades. The misnamed public utilities are feudal systems by design and structure. The nationalization of which would instantly benefit the little people of this warring empire by 25% by cutting out the middle man. The same could be done with the banking system which has been recently made a feudal system by unnecessary bailouts. It used to be in the old real free enterprise system that a mismanaged business would fail and disappear to be replaced with one that might work better. But now with welfare for corporations we have managed to preserve failure with a system of no bank left behind and utilities that are radioactive, capital intensive and only benefit a few at the enslavement of the many and in the same breath calling it a free society. Is it really time for a new word in a failed lexicon of media double talk?

  • SF2K01

    To quote: “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Welcome to the Human Socio-economic food chain. Those with the most rule, and those with nothing are ruled.

    • rtb61

      The actual cycle, is those with nearly everything in fear, give more and more power to the police state, the rulers of the police state, then simple eliminate those with everything and take it. The rulers of the police state inevitably turn on those that gave them power because what that gave they can take away.

      The people than revolt against the police state, which is inept at running and country and that incompetence inevitably result in successful revolution.

      It is still interesting that those violent revolution occur long after the rich and greedy, have been arrested and executed so that the police state that they created can confiscate the wealth that funded the self destructive creation of the police state ie the rich and greedy commit whole of family political suicide driven by their own fear and stupidity.

  • Anonymous

    To quote: “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Welcome to the Human Socio-economic food chain. Those with the most rule, and those with nothing are ruled.

  • Hadrian999

    we are already seeing a trend begin of overriding local democratic government, i think it’s just a matter of time before we see state governments auction off admin. rights for counties, cities and towns, it is a trend that has been grinding forward for decades.

  • Hadrian999

    we are already seeing a trend begin of overriding local democratic government, i think it’s just a matter of time before we see state governments auction off admin. rights for counties, cities and towns, it is a trend that has been grinding forward for decades.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    The problem was that there used to be a fear of a peasant uprising. Now the peasants are too stupified by their fake reality, and have no say(and care not to say) on real events that effect them, that the “knights, barons and kings” an just run amok. Even on the few occasions where the peasants get angry and try to do something (usually peacefully) we get military tactics putting them down:

    http://disinfo.com/2011/05/mass-arrests-tear-gas-sound-weapons-used-against-western-illinois-university-students-video/

  • Anonymous

    The actual cycle, is those with nearly everything in fear, give more and more power to the police state, the rulers of the police state, then simple eliminate those with everything and take it. The rulers of the police state inevitably turn on those that gave them power because what that gave they can take away.

    The people than revolt against the police state, which is inept at running and country and that incompetence inevitably result in successful revolution.

    It is still interesting that those violent revolution occur long after the rich and greedy, have been arrested and executed so that the police state that they created can confiscate the wealth that funded the self destructive creation of the police state ie the rich and greedy commit whole of family political suicide driven by their own fear and stupidity.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree: Peasants were always stupified with their own reality. Revolts happened few and far between. Back then they believed their place was to be peasants, and to be poor, and the big guys make the rules. When conditions became really unliveable and deaths were assured, then revolts became a necessity – die for sure or die maybe doing the revolt.

    Also it’s partially because of support: Back then because failed revolts (and even successful ones) meant deaths, possibly yours, now it’s more likely loss of time, and possibly money if they turn around and sue. If you don’t feel any support, then you won’t do anything. This is why Facebook and the like are so good for starting movements.

  • Guest

    Entering? I thought we were already there. . .

  • Mr Willow

    Entering? I thought we were already there. . .

  • Salamis

    The comparison comes into the picture. The relations, however, are dull. Feudalismlegalized on the inheritance by blood ties. The new feudalism solely by money andinheritance.

    • Mike

      Actually, most millionaires are self-made. There are barriers such as education and social networks (not in the Facebook sense but in the social circle sense), but they are surmountable. It is not a level playing field, but class stratification is not feudalism.

      • Hadrian999

        millionaires are self made but being a millionaire doesn’t even get you a seat at the table. you are still labor not management, you are still a peasant till you are a multi billionaire, that comes from multigenerational old money outside of the rare bill gates types. stratification isn’t feudalism but when one strata of society has total control of resources and government that is feudalism.

  • Salamis

    The comparison comes into the picture. The relations, however, are dull. Feudalismlegalized on the inheritance by blood ties. The new feudalism solely by money andinheritance.

  • Mike

    The distribution of wealth and power is becoming increasingly concentrated at the top of our society, yes. But to compare today’s society with feudal Europe is paranoid and ridiculous. Some vague parallels can be drawn, but the idea is poorly developed and ill supported. Furthermore, there are no suggestions being put forth to make anything better; just fear and ignorance. Our method of wealth distribution is flawed and the idea of capitalist society as a meritocracy is an illusion, but I stop far short of calling this any form of feudalism. What neofeudalism seems to describe are the affects of poorly managed globalization. The people are underrepresented and need a voice at the table but it needs to be a level-headed, intelligent voice, because half-baked ideas like this will continue to be scoffed at by those in power, and rightfully so.

    • Hadrian999

      things don’t line up perfectly now but it’s quite easy to see them coming.

      1. we have government being fused with corporate wealth leading to popular democracy becoming nothing more than a circus act.

      2. we see conservatives and “libertarians” seeking to destroy the social safety net which will lead to the lower and portions of the middle class living as the new serfs without the means to live outside the controll of the new nobility of corporate masters. the increasing costs of higher education is re-instituting a class system in which you will only see the “right people” will have access. the increasing cost of medical care alone is driving people into a place that the only way to afford care is to be controlled by a corporation, ask any small business owner about trying to get insurance.

      3. privatization of many areas of that were regulated give corporate interests vastly increased power. corporate powers are gaining control of ports, prisons, even the military and espionage communities are being corporatized.

      4. when wealth becomes the only power what difference does it make if there isn’t a officially recognized noble class if the lions share of wealth is controlled by a shrinking group of people, they become de facto nobles.

      it is coming.

      • Mike

        Again, there is no doubt about power becoming more concentrated, but to compare it to feudalism is extreme. The uprisings in the middle east and now in Mexico are a good example of what would happen if things went to come anywhere near that point.

        • quartz99

          Yes and if you look at what happened in Egypt, there hasn’t been the wide sweeping changes they thought they were getting. There are a lot of things that just got a face-change but not much literal change (some things didn’t even get that much – check out the Antiquities department). If the people can keep up the pressure, maybe they’ll succeed but look where it is today: Everyone uses it as an example because it makes a good sound bite, but very few people are paying attention anymore, which has radically reduced the pressure on the “new” government to change from the old. The people in power threw a couple of their own under the bus in the interests of keeping their own power. That makes it in many senses a counter-argument to what you were trying to use it as an example of.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        I can hardly wait for the internecine warfar BETWEEN corps to accelerate when it becomes clearer that the tax base t they’ve been butt raping for the last 30 years is totally depleated–meaning that they’ll have to abuse each other for a change.

  • Mike

    The distribution of wealth and power is becoming increasingly concentrated at the top of our society, yes. But to compare today’s society with feudal Europe is paranoid and ridiculous. Some vague parallels can be drawn, but the idea is poorly developed and ill supported. Furthermore, there are no suggestions being put forth to make anything better; just fear and ignorance. Our method of wealth distribution is flawed and the idea of capitalist society as a meritocracy is an illusion, but I stop far short of calling this any form of feudalism. What neofeudalism seems to describe are the affects of poorly managed globalization. The people are underrepresented and need a voice at the table but it needs to be a level-headed, intelligent voice, because half-baked ideas like this will continue to be scoffed at by those in power, and rightfully so.

  • Hadrian999

    things don’t line up perfectly now but it’s quite easy to see them coming.

    1. we have government being fused with corporate wealth leading to popular democracy becoming nothing more than a circus act.

    2. we see conservatives and “libertarians” seeking to destroy the social safety net which will lead to the lower and portions of the middle class living as the new serfs without the means to live outside the controll of the new nobility of corporate masters. the increasing costs of higher education is re-instituting a class system in which you will only see the “right people” will have access. the increasing cost of medical care alone is driving people into a place that the only way to afford care is to be controlled by a corporation, ask any small business owner about trying to get insurance.

    3. privatization of many areas of that were regulated give corporate interests vastly increased power. corporate powers are gaining control of ports, prisons, even the military and espionage communities are being corporatized.

    4. when wealth becomes the only power what difference does it make if there isn’t a officially recognized noble class if the lions share of wealth is controlled by a shrinking group of people, they become de facto nobles.

    it is coming.

  • http://twitter.com/30thirdwart 30thirdwart

    I think you meant that is why Facebook (and the like) is such an important tool for those nutty spooks.

  • Salamis

    What has errected the revolution against feudalism were the inheridited claims to obedience or attention. Claims for which not inputs have to be made. Based alone on heritage and bloodline. Same now with money, outgoing of the winner of this system.

  • Salamis

    What has errected the revolution against feudalism were the inheridited claims to obedience or attention. Claims for which not inputs have to be made. Based alone on heritage and bloodline. Same now with money, outgoing of the winner of this system.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    and the cure for that, no matter how onerous it has been made to sound, is excessive taxation of capital. When there is only modest reward in hoarding capital there is compelling reason to stay invested in expansion and hiring rather than accounts in the Caymans and CDOs. We have moved from a system that created value for workers to a system that creates value only for shareholders…and the slashed taxes have not spurred growth as promised, but have instead spurred shrinkage…which is actually the sensible response to a tax free environment. Low taxes do not encourage investment…they actually discourage it and favor hoarding. High taxes force capital to be invested or donated…which results in solid wages, abundant employment and civic/civil investment…as well as a robust consumer economy. It’s time to kill the Ayn Randian pseudo-babble that has dominated the last 40 years and do what actually worked.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    and the cure for that, no matter how onerous it has been made to sound, is excessive taxation of capital. When there is only modest reward in hoarding capital there is compelling reason to stay invested in expansion and hiring rather than accounts in the Caymans and CDOs. We have moved from a system that created value for workers to a system that creates value only for shareholders…and the slashed taxes have not spurred growth as promised, but have instead spurred shrinkage…which is actually the sensible response to a tax free environment. Low taxes do not encourage investment…they actually discourage it and favor hoarding. High taxes force capital to be invested or donated…which results in solid wages, abundant employment and civic/civil investment…as well as a robust consumer economy. It’s time to kill the Ayn Randian pseudo-babble that has dominated the last 40 years and do what actually worked.

  • Mike

    Actually, most millionaires are self-made. There are barriers such as education and social networks (not in the Facebook sense but in the social circle sense), but they are surmountable. It is not a level playing field, but class stratification is not feudalism.

  • Mike

    Again, there is no doubt about power becoming more concentrated, but to compare it to feudalism is extreme. The uprisings in the middle east and now in Mexico are a good example of what would happen if things went to come anywhere near that point.

  • Anonymous

    Yes and if you look at what happened in Egypt, there hasn’t been the wide sweeping changes they thought they were getting. There are a lot of things that just got a face-change but not much literal change (some things didn’t even get that much – check out the Antiquities department). If the people can keep up the pressure, maybe they’ll succeed but look where it is today: Everyone uses it as an example because it makes a good sound bite, but very few people are paying attention anymore, which has radically reduced the pressure on the “new” government to change from the old. The people in power threw a couple of their own under the bus in the interests of keeping their own power. That makes it in many senses a counter-argument to what you were trying to use it as an example of.

  • Salamis

    Trying some definition. Feudalism as we use the word in historical perspective power was created by military power, martial law and by inheritage. Without the inheritage the system is not thinkable. The heritage of power was the uprising concern. Now replace the power martial with the power of money. It works the same. New feudalism is the power of money AND heritage.

    If you only jump on habits and conducts, way of collecting attention by money i.e. corporations and put your hopes in regulating this things you will find no way out.

  • Salamis

    Trying some definition. Feudalism as we use the word in historical perspective power was created by military power, martial law and by inheritage. Without the inheritage the system is not thinkable. The heritage of power was the uprising concern. Now replace the power martial with the power of money. It works the same. New feudalism is the power of money AND heritage.

    If you only jump on habits and conducts, way of collecting attention by money i.e. corporations and put your hopes in regulating this things you will find no way out.

  • Anonymous

    I can hardly wait for the internecine warfar BETWEEN corps to accelerate when it becomes clearer that the tax base t they’ve been butt raping for the last 30 years is totally depleated–meaning that they’ll have to abuse each other for a change.

  • Hadrian999

    millionaires are self made bud being a millionaire doesn’t even get you a seat at the table. you are still labor not management, you are still a peasant till you are a multi billionaire, that comes from multigenerational old money outside of the rare bill gates types. stratification isn’t feudalism but when one strata of society has total control of resources and government that is feudalism.

  • Stephanie McMillan

    No doubt there are similarities, but the root technical difference is economic: how wealth is accumulated and whether or not it generates new wealth. Under feudalism, landlords allowed the landless to live on their property in exchange for services or a portion of crops. This is wealth going in one direction, for the personal use of the landlord. What distinguishes capitalism from that, is that the owners of the means of production allow the dispossessed to work for them in exchange for a wage. This allows the owner to make a profit when he sells the product of their labor, a portion of which he consumes directly, and a portion of which he re-invests into the productive process in order to expand. Money makes commodities make more money. This is why capitalism is inherently competitive and expansionist to a higher degree than feudalism (which expands more slowly, when new lands are required because of depletion of the old, rather than through its economic mechanism).

    Inheritance doesn’t define the difference. In fact the vast majority of wealth held in this capitalist system is also not earned but inherited.

    We may, in fact, be headed into a period of neo-feudalism (feudalism tends to happen when empires collapse). Perhaps we are there already — with the ruling class accumulating without re-investing. Does capitalism in decline (negative growth) turn it into feudalism? That’s an interesting question.

  • Stephanie McMillan

    No doubt there are similarities, but the root technical difference is economic: how wealth is accumulated and whether or not it generates new wealth. Under feudalism, landlords allowed the landless to live on their property in exchange for services or a portion of crops. This is wealth going in one direction, for the personal use of the landlord. What distinguishes capitalism from that, is that the owners of the means of production allow the dispossessed to work for them in exchange for a wage. This allows the owner to make a profit when he sells the product of their labor, a portion of which he consumes directly, and a portion of which he re-invests into the productive process in order to expand. Money makes commodities make more money. This is why capitalism is inherently competitive and expansionist to a higher degree than feudalism (which expands more slowly, when new lands are required because of depletion of the old, rather than through its economic mechanism).

    Inheritance doesn’t define the difference. In fact the vast majority of wealth held in this capitalist system is also not earned but inherited.

    We may, in fact, be headed into a period of neo-feudalism (feudalism tends to happen when empires collapse). Perhaps we are there already — with the ruling class accumulating without re-investing. Does capitalism in decline (negative growth) turn it into feudalism? That’s an interesting question.

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