24
Jun

Feudal as the model for the Future

   Posted by: ravynprince   in Uncategorized

As a time traveler, I have a unique view of human society. I have had the chance to live in multiple time periods and see how similar and different we as people are from century to century. In doing so, I have also come to some of my own conclusions on the human condition and how societies perform.

I, myself, come from the late 19th century, a time which has become known as the Industrial Revolution. There were many great things that came out of that time, but there were also a great many horrible precedents that your modern world has built itself upon. The people I live amongst now, the people of the City Timeless, come from a simpler time, under the Feudal system. Oh, how we considered ourselves, in my time, as so much more civilized than those who came before us. For we stood on our own, did not need the aristocracy, and indeed, each man could call himself his own master and be independent.

But there was a downside to that. Our people had no master, and true were independent, but they also were solely responsible for their own welfare. That sounds well and fine, but is that really what is best? Let us take a moment and compare these systems. I will take each in its purest form and hopefully will recount with lack of bias the strengths and weaknesses of both.

In the feudal system, the common man lived as a serf. This serf or peasant was tied to the land at times or free to move from one Lord to another, but never owning his own land. This peasant would often swear loyalty to his local Lord. That oath of loyalty was a contract between the worker and the owner of the enterprise, be it a village or a plot of land, or even a Country. That oath was very similar no matter your standing. You almost always had someone higher than you that you gave your oaths to. Even the King himself swore an oath to God, the ultimate authority, to do his bidding. This contract was not a one way construct. For truly, no contract is valid if both participants do not gain from its signing. In the simplest form, the peasant swore that he would be loyal to his lord, work his land, and when need be, act in defense of that land. The Lord, in turn, also swore an oath back to the peasant. That oath, the Lord would swear to treat the peasant fairly, uphold the laws of the land so that all may be treated the same without bias (your own legal system today was built on those very same principles), and protect the peasant and his family. The Lord often provided a hut or small house, a plot of land to work and the tools to work it with. The peasant provided the labor. In return, he kept a portion of the food he grew to support his family while providing the rest to the Lord. In truth, this is not much different from what you may have today when a farmer doesn’t own the land he works, but rather leases it. Whether the rent is paid in food or funds made from selling the food, the result is the same.

The value of the relationship comes in the hard times though. The Lord invested the funds earned from the land the peasants worked by hiring craftsmen that made the tools the peasants used, arming and feeding a militia that would protect the peasant from thieves and robbers. The Lord would also stockpile the food in graineries so that in times of famine, he would be able to provide for the welfare of his people.

In the Victorian period, workers were actually treated less well than peasants of old. There was no responsibility of the business owner to the worker, so they paid them the barest minimum, forced them to work as long as possible, so that the worker’s life became one of endless drudgery. Again, not much different than a peasant. But in the case of the peasant, the day usually ended at sunset, but in the modern period with those wonderful electric lights, work could continue long into the night.

In your modern period, your businesses even use the term “human resources”. You really are nothing more than resources, as we would use coal and iron, so you use the toil of your workers, whether it be sweat or intellectual, the toil is the same with the barest remuneration possible.

But in all of this, we have lost the responsibility to each other. Profit is good. Profit is wonderful, but it can’t be all to the exclusion of those who work for you. If you treat those who work for you like cattle, they will in turn act as such and your business will suffer. That is the fact that so many have misunderstood throughout time. Treating those who work for you, be it for a salary or a share of the crops, as humans with respect and caring will in turn increase their output, and increase your profits. Imagine that were caring and compassion can actually be a business benefit. We only have to capitalize on it.

Yours most sincerely,

Alaric

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 at 2:49 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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