Sunday, February 06, 2005

The New Feudalism

I have thought for some time that the Bush administration is hell bent on turning the middle and working classes into serfs. Now I have found an article that outlines the dynamic involved. Thom Hartmann explains in "Nobles Need Not Pay Taxes" (published on the Common Dreams website) that this is actually a world-wide movement.

A new aristocracy is taking over not just the United States of America but also the world. Proof of how far along it has come was in an article by Glenn R. Simpson in the January 28, 2005 edition of The Wall Street Journal.

"European countries have been steadily slashing corporate tax rates," wrote Simpson, adding, "...between 2000 and 2003, one nation after another has moved toward lower corporate rates with fewer loopholes."

Later he discusses the relationship between the feudal mindset and the state:

This isn't the first time this has happened. Marc Bloch is one of the great 20th Century scholars of the feudal history of Europe. In his book "Feudal Society" he points out that feudalism is a fracturing of one authoritarian hierarchical structure into another: the state disintegrates, as local power brokers take over.

In almost every case, both with European feudalism and feudalism in China, South America, and Japan, “feudalism coincided with a profound weakening of the State, particularly in its protective capacity.”

Whether the power and wealth agent that takes the place of government is a local baron, lord, king, or corporation, if it has greater power in the lives of individuals than does a representative government, the culture has dissolved into feudalism.

Bluntly, Bloch states: “The feudal system meant the rigorous economic subjection of a host of humble folk to a few powerful men.”

Finally Hartmann offers this observation:

We are quickly shifting toward a corporate-run state in countries all over the world. It appears "free" and even allows elections, albeit they are only among candidates funded and approved by corporate powers, held on voting machines owned by those corporate powers, and marketed in media owned by those corporate powers.

But this bears little resemblance to the democratic republic envisioned by our nation's Founders.

If our elected representatives - and those of other "free" nations - don't quickly wake up and reverse course, we will soon again be in a feudal world. And it's up to us - We the People - to help them awaken.

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