Saturday, December 3, 2011

Resistance is not Feudal

Yet Robert was Ned's king now, and not just a friend, so he said only, "Your Grace, Winterfell is yours."
-- A Game of Thrones, "Eddard"

George Martin certainly captures the fealty and homage of the feudal relation.

Feudalism is a kind of order. Order is a property of the upswing of the cycle of civilization. Disorder is a property of the downswing.

Order can be seen in the movie Dune, in the structure of the society and the grandeur of the opening scenes.

Disorder can be seen in the Mad Max movies and in Waterworld. The gangs in these movies are too small and violent to be considered anything but gangs, and it is a long time before feudal order can arise. There cannot be a monetary economy again, until first there is order.

Such was the role of Alfred and Charlemagne, and of Grately.

Kimel writes:

So if you don't like the way the people that own the roads and the markets and the apartment you rent do business, you can't exactly up and leave without using their road or otherwise cutting across their land. And if they don't let you do it, well, you're breaking the law...

Reminds me of Grately, the law code imposed by King Athelstan around 930. In Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England Michael Wood wrote:

But no man now could be without a lord--so said Athelstan's Grately code. It was a symbolic moment, for in theory it embodied two central ideas: everybody could be brought to justice, and everybody could be taxed.

Grately brought order to society.

In Athelstan's time, power was concentrating but wealth was beginning to spread. In our time, wealth concentrates while power ebbs from the center.

Properties of the cycle.


Jazzbumpa said...

If you are going to take on the epic task of reading ASOIAF, you will find that Martin has truly captured a great deal more about feudal society, and indeed, human nature itself, than fealty and homage.

Winter is coming.

Disorder is coming.

The order of feudalism is preferable to chaos.

The open question is: to which of these two would the regressives take us?

Rethugs: to feudalism.
Libertards: to chaos

Order rises out of chaos - eventually, but it is a long a bloody battle.


The Arthurian said...

I've been reading it for two weeks now & I'm on page 44.

Rethugs: to feudalism.
Libertards: to chaos

Feudalism is backward, chaos forward, on the cycle of civilization. But you see differences that are not clear to me.

Perhaps by defending concentrated wealth at every turn the rethugs are promoting feudalism?

And the others?

Jazzbumpa said...

Actually, go back and reread the Hudson post you linked the other day, plus the ongoing Libtard series at NC.

In GoT and its sequels you see the ordered medieval society devolve into chaos due to wars. Exactly the same thing happened in 14th century Europe.

Chaos is in no way forward-going. It is the great leap backward. Oder rises out of chaos - but there is no way to know what the nature of that order will be. Something akin to feudalism, with starkly asymmetric power relationships, seems far more likely to me than anything resembling democracy. Cf. Afghanistan or Somalia.

The rethugs will get us to feudalism more quickly and directly, and probably less painfully than the Libertards, who would interject a chaos phase as the next step.

This is not because they want chaos. It is because they are too stupid, ignorant, or blinded by ideology to realize that chaos is the end game of libertarianism.


The Arthurian said...

"Chaos is in no way forward-going. It is the great leap backward."

You take me out of context.

I cannot imagine you think I was saying that achieving chaos would be progress.

Jazzbumpa said...


How did I misinterpret this?

"Feudalism is backward, chaos forward, on the cycle of civilization."

I thought forward = progress.


The Arthurian said...

"I thought forward = progress."


from your blog: "Time moves in a single direction."

time only moves forward, but civilization does not always advance.