Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Neo-Feudalism and Neo-Conservatism
Thus, I was struck by the parallels between feudalism and certain aspects of conservatism. It's not really fleshed out but here's the sketchy details.
Feudalism was a typical pyramidal power structure: serfs, craftspeople, midlevel power brokers, knights, queen/king. Lines of authority and hierarchy were generally fairly plain and obvious.
While much of the old feudalism was based on control of land, today's feudalism follows other economic concentrations of capital as well. (Once I bring in the word "capital" I seem to recall Karl Marx must have posited a similar lineage, but I admit I've read little Marx.) Land is still often a signpost of status. Bush's "estate" in Crawford includes 1600 acres, if I recall correctly. But because we value more and different things than production of food, economic and social capital concentrates through more than land. Factories, production, celebrity, politics, etc.
In a way, I see the NeoCons as a peculiar type of knight errant of the Neo-Feudalism. First, they are striving to consolidate and extend the US's influence and dominance on political and military levels. Second, they are trying to secure access to the raw resources necessary to maintain our high energy consumption way of life. Third, they don't give a shit what other countries or people think about the process except in a very specific public relations/image way.
Uh, now I've lost track of where I was going. So much for concentration.