Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Descent into Feudalism

We moderns are all for freedom, right? And our lefty friends are all for liberation from oppression and marginalization, right?

So how come we are taxed on every hour of work? How come we stand in lines at the airport, like peasants? How come the government sequesters our savings for us in government "trust funds" and in special government-regulated IRA and 401k accounts?

The answer is that the final centuries of the last millennium were an outlier. The old feudal system of warrior lords lording it over the peasants had broken down. The ordinary people were "on their own" and they were busting out of the cages that had confined them for millennia as the subordinate creatures of their noble lords.

And the new feudalism was still in its conceptual stages. Feudal Concept One was the Marxist idea that a revolutionary cadre would fight for and protect the workers against the capitalists. Feudal Concept Two was the Progressive/Fabian idea that wise, educated experts would manage the world on behalf of the workers.

How's that new feudal system doing, boys and girls?

Now in my reductive Three Peoples theory I assume that the world is always composed of three kinds of people. One of them are the People of the Subordinate Self. In my idea, people graduate from the world of the subordinate self to become People of the Responsible Self. And I assume that people are eager to graduate from subordinate slavery to responsible freedom.

But what if I am wrong? What if many People of the Subordinate Self are perfectly happy living as subordinate drones of the ruling class? What if they naturally live as grumpy peasants, forever complaining about "them" but not actually doing anything about it?

If you look around you, it seems to me to be inescapable that many people are perfectly content to live as subordinate peasants, or as we say now, victims.

It is pretty obvious that the whole program of the Democratic Party is a program of feudalism. Democratic voters look to their leaders to provide them with benefits without which they would be helpless.

But the rise of Donald Trump shows that the same applies now to the Republican Party. Mr. Trump is running on a platform to Make America Great Again, and he will create the jobs and punish the Chinese in order to do this. He is appealing, we are told, to the white working class that has spent the last half century dying of despair after the Democrats abandoned them when the Dems decided to be the noble lords of women and minorities rather than the noble lords of the working class.

Here is what I have to say about this.

I don't like it. The whole point of the modern Great Enrichment is that we come out of our cages, we break out of the lord's manor, and we take responsibility for our lives. We do not rely of a powerful patron to provide us with the necessaries of life; we go out into the world and find something useful to do, something that other people are willing to pay money for.

On my view, if we return to feudalism we will return to stasis. There will be no more Great Enrichment, but only obedience.

And the problem with feudalism is what I call the little darlings problem. If you are the little darling of the ruling class, whether peasant or worker or woman or minority, you are facing a big risk. What if the ruling class finds that you are no longer useful in their power project?

It happened to the peasants during the agricultural revolution and the growth of the nation state. The absolute monarchs disarmed the nobles and the nobles decided their didn't need no stinkin' peasants eating their heads off on the odd chance that the nobles would need them in their baronial armies. The liberal ruling class decided that they didn't need no stinkin' white working class once they decided that leading women and minorities was much more fun.

As that black state senator from Louisiana said a while back. The politicians don't care about you; they only care about your vote.

No comments:

Post a Comment