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.
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Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity