Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

The New Feudalism

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
Author 4456
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jerry West
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)
The social system in most of Europe during the Middle Ages is known as feudalism. A similar system existed in Japan. A defining characteristic of this system is that a ruler holds all title to land and dispenses use of the land to retainers in return for their loyalty and service in support of the ruler. These retainers in turn have there own retainers on down the line until we reach the serf at the bottom of the pyramid. A person who works for and is dependent upon those above for their survival. Eventually, this system gave way to one based on class, and theoretically now to one based on democracy for all citizens of legal age regardless of class or gender, giving them a say in how society operates.

History shows us that social systems are in continuous flux, some times one way and some times another, and some times faster or slower. Where our current system is going is a good question all of us should ask and think about. This particularly if there are directions that we care very much that we do not want it to go.

Recently in the United States the Supreme Court issue a ruling that overturned the McCain - Feingold campaign finance reform law that limited the ability of corporations to spend money on political advertising. The ruling was based on the issue of free speech, which the court ruled applies to corporations which for over a century have been considered a person under the law.

The idea that corporate groups have rights equal to those of real persons in a society is a threat to any form of democracy based on the equality of the individual, and is a step in social evolution backward towards the structures of the Middle Ages. Recognizing the rights of corporations as equal to those of actual persons increases the power of accumulated wealth to decide what the rules are that govern how we can live our lives. When corporations exercise their influence there is little doubt that when the question is between corporate interest and the well being of society, which way they will influence the decision.

The power of corporations is a direct threat to personal freedom. The more this power increases the more people are made dependent upon them and the less ability people have to deviate from what the corporations want them to do. As corporate power grows corporations absorb more and more of our infrastructure, buying up businesses and property and taking over government services. The end result could be a return to a feudal system where most of the population are serfs in the service of one corporation or another. Unlike the older feudal structures, however, instead of the ruler being at the top of the pile, in today's developing feudal society the corporations own the rulers who are being reduced to corporate functionaries. The real power lies in the board rooms.

The recent Supreme Court ruling is a step in the direction of greater corporate influence in our lives, and not just American lives since the United States has such a great impact on world society, whatever happens there sends ripples throughout the rest of the world, particularly in Canada which is so closely bound to it.

The future will depend on whether the trend of increasing corporate wealth and power is allowed to continue. If it does, the ideals of freedom and democracy will be replaced with ones emphasizing compliance and loyalty to corporate will. Reversing the trend will require public pressure, a lot of it, to reduce corporate power and increase the power of the individual.

To maintain and expand our freedom we need to vote for politicians willing to change the legal status of corporations, and make them subservient to the public, not the other way around. We need leaders who will take away corporate personhood, who will make corporations justify their existence and go through a public review process before they are granted a charter, and go through it periodically to get their charter renewed. We need to put an end to limited liability and make those who own corporations responsible for corporate actions.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Jerry West Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Jerry West grew up on a farm in California and is currently Editor and Publisher of THE RECORD newspaper in Gold River, BC. Graduate with Honors and graduate school, UC Berkeley. Member, Phi Beta Kappa. Vietnam veteran and Former Sgt. USMC
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

There Is No Cornucopia

The New Feudalism

Environmental Sustainability - The Core Issue of Our Times

Who Put Christ In The Solstice?

Tea-baggers Are A Riot

Why The Republicans Lost