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Tag Archives: neofeudalism

The Lessons of Rome: Our Neofeudal Oligarchy

The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 is not an easy, breezy read; its length and detail are daunting. The effort is well worth it, as the book helps us understand how the power structures of societies change over time in ways that may be largely invisible to those living through the changes. The Inheritance of Rome focuses on the lasting influence of Rome’s centralized social and political structures even as centralized economic power and trade...

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The Decline and Fall of the European Union

That a single currency, the euro, would fracture rather than unite Europe was understood long before the euro’s introduction as legal tender on January 1, 2002. The euro, the currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, is only one of the various institutions tying the member nations of the European union together, but it is the linchpin of the financial integration touted as one of the primary benefits of EU membership. Skepticism of the benefits of EU...

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“Yellow Vests” and the Downward Mobility of the Middle Class

The middle class, virtually by definition, is not prepared for downward mobility. A systemic, semi-permanent decline in the standard of living isn’t part of the implicit social contract that’s been internalized by the middle class virtually everywhere: living standards are only supposed to rise. Any decline is temporary. Downward mobility is the key context in the gilets jaunes “yellow vest” movement in France. Taxes and prices rise inexorably while wages/pensions...

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France in a Nutshell: “The Government Stopped Listening to the People 20 Years Ago”

A family member who has lived in France for decades summarized the source of the gilets jaunes protests in one sentence: “The government stopped listening to the people 20 years ago. It would be difficult to deny the generalization of this: many if not most governments stopped listening to their people decades ago, preferring instead to listen to financial and political elites and entrenched cultural elites who view commoners with disdain. Legions of commentators are...

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America Needs a New National Strategy

If you ask America’s well-paid punditry to define America’s National Strategy, you’ll most likely get the UNESCO version: America’s national strategy is to support a Liberal Global Order (LGO) of global cooperation on the environment, trade, etc. and the encouragement of democracy, a liberal order that benefits all by providing global security and avenues for cooperation. This sounds good, but it overlooks the Endless Wars ™ and global meddling that characterize...

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Droit du Seigneur and the Neofeudal Privileges of Class in America

The repugnant reality of class privilege in America is captured by the phrase date rape: the violence of forced, non-consensual sex is abhorrent rape when committed by commoner criminals, but implicitly excusable date rape when committed by a member of America’s privileged elite. Compare the effectiveness of excuses offered by privileged elites (we were both drinking, I didn’t hear her say no, etc.) when offered in court by less privileged males on trial for rape. The...

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To Understand America’s Neofeudal Economy, Start with Extortion

Let’s spin the time machine back to the late Middle Ages, at the height of feudalism, and imagine we’re trying to get a boatload of goods to the nearest city to sell. As we drift down the river, we’re constantly being stopped and charged a fee for transiting one small fiefdom after another. When we finally reach the city, there’s an entry fee for bringing our goods to market. Note that none of these fees were payments for improvements to transport or for services...

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Loving Our Debt-Serfdom: Our Neofeudal Status Quo

I have often used the words neoliberal, neocolonial and neofeudal to describe our socio-economic-political status quo. Here are my shorthand descriptions of each term: 1. Neoliberal: the commoditization / financialization of every asset, input (such as labor) and output of the economy; the privatization of the public commons, and the maximizing of private profits while costs and losses are socialized, i.e. transferred to...

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The New Nobility Uses Political Correctness to Fragment the Precariats

I have long held that our economy is, stripped of propaganda, nothing but an updated version of feudalism, i.e. neofeudal: a vast class of precarious laborers (i.e. precariats–precarious proletariats) who own little to no wealth-producing capital ruled by a New Nobility/Oligarchy that owns the vast majority of wealth-producing capital and control of the political system. I...

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Welcome to Neocolonialism, Exploited Peasants!

In my latest interview with Max Keiser, Max asked a question of fundamental importance: (I paraphrase, as the interview has not yet been posted): now that the current iteration of capitalism has occupied every corner of the globe, where can it expand to for its “growth”? My answer: neocolonialism, my term for the financialized quasi-colonial exploitation of the home domestic...

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