April 16, 2009

D.C. Lords and we their Serfs

Here is an interesting account of how free men were turned into Serfs in Russia and Europe

The phenomena that were common to these land were the increase in the political power of the nobility, and especially of the lesser nobility; the grants by princes to seigniors of jurisdictional authority over the peasants who lived on their properties; the adjustments of the seigniors to the secular trends of economic life; and the failure of the urban middle class to establish itself as an economic and political force. All of these factors helped to bring on serfdom.

What is a serf? A serf is a person who had no other economic option but to work the job given him by his Lord and master. In return for his labor, the serf was given protection and the right to work, though his Lord took the fruits of the serf's labor. So, in the past, people set themselves up as nobility (let's just say a congressman who write laws and provides bribes of our tax dollars resulting in his own reelection forever), this nobility, this congressman, gets more and more political power while we middle class serfs continue to work -- we never organize or gather our own political power, we just continue to provide our Lord the money to keep him in power.

The lords, armed with public powers, levied for their own use obligations originally imposed for the benefit of the prince, tightened the restrictions on the freedom of movement of their peasants, demanded increased amounts of goods and services from them, changed the terms of peasant tenures, and evicted peasants from their holdings to build up their own demesnes. Thus, through entirely legal means, the lords were able to set themselves up as despots of their villages, and to press their peasants into a condition of subjection and dependence upon them.

In Western Europe, enough people stood up for themselves and revolted against the Lords -- a new era of freedom and liberty resulted. In Eastern Europe, the Lords were too strong and there was not a strong enough middle class... the Lords put more and more restrictions on their serfs, levied bigger and bigger taxes on them, prevented them from traveling until a tradition of servility, an acceptance of the right of a few men to hold millions in bondage, was just the way everyone lived.

No comments: