Feudalism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "feudalism" Showing 1-28 of 28
Eugene V. Debs
“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”
Eugene Debs

Kim Stanley Robinson
“The idea that each corporation can be a feudal monarchy and yet behave in its corporate action like a democratic citizen concerned for the world we live in is one of the great absurdities of our time—”
Kim Stanley Robinson, Antarctica

Douglas Coupland
“I wouldn't mind if the consumer culture went poof! overnight because then we'd all be in the same boat and life wouldn't be so bad, mucking about with the chickens and feudalism and the like. But you know what would be absolutely horrible. The worst? ... If, as we were all down on earth wearing rags and husbanding pigs inside abandoned Baskin-Robbins franchises, I were to look up in the sky and see a jet -- with just one person inside even -- I'd go berserk. I'd go crazy. Either everyone slides back into the Dark Ages or no one does.”
Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet

David Brin
“While I have the floor, here's a question that's been bothering me for some time. Why do so few writers of heroic or epic fantasy ever deal with the fundamental quandary of their novels . . . that so many of them take place in cultures that are rigid, hierarchical, stratified, and in essence oppressive? What is so appealing about feudalism, that so many free citizens of an educated commonwealth like ours love reading about and picturing life under hereditary lords?

Why should the deposed prince or princess in every clichéd tale be chosen to lead the quest against the Dark Lord? Why not elect a new leader by merit, instead of clinging to the inbred scions of a failed royal line? Why not ask the pompous, patronizing, "good" wizard for something useful, such as flush toilets, movable type, or electricity for every home in the kingdom? Given half a chance, the sons and daughters of peasants would rather not grow up to be servants. It seems bizarre for modern folk to pine for a way of life our ancestors rightfully fought desperately to escape.”
David Brin, Glory Season

Antonia Fraser
“It was a fact generally acknowledged by all but the most contumacious spirits at the beginning of the seventeenth century that woman was the weaker vessel; weaker than man, that is. ... That was the way God had arranged Creation, sanctified in the words of the Apostle. ... Under the common law of England at the accession of King James I, no female had any rights at all (if some were allowed by custom). As an unmarried woman her rights were swallowed up in her father's, and she was his to dispose of in marriage at will. Once she was married her property became absolutely that of her husband. What of those who did not marry? Common law met that problem blandly by not recognizing it. In the words of The Lawes Resolutions [the leading 17th century compendium on women's legal status]: 'All of them are understood either married or to be married.' In 1603 England, in short, still lived in a world governed by feudal law, where a wife passed from the guardianship of her father to her husband; her husband also stood in relation to her as a feudal lord.”
Antonia Fraser, The Weaker Vessel

Tehmina Durrani
“Love's absence ailed me. I could not imagine loving my husband. He was a superior and I did not know how to love and be subservient together. Nor had he ever thought of me as a human being, let alone a woman. For no reason had he ever softened towards me, I had stirred him that little.”
Tehmina Durrani, Blasphemy

Hans-Hermann Hoppe
“The traditional, correct pre-Marxist view on exploitation was that of radical laissez-faire liberalism as espoused by, for instance, Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer. According to them, antagonistic interests do not exist between capitalists, as owners of factors of production, and laborers, but between, on the one hand, the producers in society, i.e., homesteaders, producers and contractors, including businessmen as well as workers, and on the other hand, those who acquire wealth non-productively and/or non-contractually, i.e., the state and state-privileged groups, such as feudal landlords.”
Hans-Hermann Hoppe, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy

Majid Kazmi
“Our minds become slaves to those we see as having total power to control us and to cause pain to us. We are quick to give up control of ourselves to those who have the power to rule us as long as they also have the power to feed us. This is the fundamental construct of a feudal society.”
Majid Kazmi, The First Dancer: How to be the first among equals and attract unlimited opportunities

William Golding
“-I got the conch!" --Piggy (in Lord of the Flies), attempting Democracy”
William Golding

Maaza Mengiste
“The rich think this land is theirs though they have never earned the right to call it theirs.”
Maaza Mengiste, Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Jane Jacobs
“Ebenezer Howard’s vision of the Garden City would seem almost feudal to us. He seems to have thought that members of the industrial working classes would stay neatly in their class, and even at the same job within their class; that agricultural workers would stay in agriculture; that businessmen (the enemy) would hardly exist as a significant force in his Utopia; and that planners could go about their good and lofty work, unhampered by rude nay-saying from the untrained. It was the very fluidity of the new nineteenth-century industrial and metropolitan society, with its profound shiftings of power, people and money, that agitated Howard so deeply”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Paul Rushworth-Brown
“Modern writers usually don't know what it was like to live in the past, but Rushworth-Brown has done this with great skill in this accomplished, atmospheric and thoughtful novel.” — US National Times”
Paul Rushworth-Brown

Corey Robin
“The conservative does not defend the Old Regime; he speaks on behalf of old regimes—in the family, the factory, the field. There, ordinary men, and sometimes women, get to play the part of little lords and ladies, supervising their underlings as if they all belong to a feudal estate . . . The task of this type of conservatism---democratic feudalism—-becomes clear: surround these old regimes with fences and gates, protect them from meddlesome intruders like the state or a social movement, while descanting on mobility and innovation, freedom and the future.”
Corey Robin

Noam Chomsky
“In traditional society like the feudal system, people had a certain place, and they had certain rights-in fact, they had what was called at the time a "right to live." I mean,under feudalism it may have been a lousy right, but nevertheless people were assumed to have natural entitlement for survival. But with the rise of what we call capitalism, the right had to be destroyed: people had to have it knocked out of their heads that they had any automatic "right to live" beyond what they could win for themselves on the labor market.”
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky

“In England, in the Netherlands, in France, from the sixteenth century on, economic and political violence expropriated craftsmen and peasants, repressed indigence and vagrancy, imposed wage-labor on the poor. Between 1930 and 1950, Russia decreed a labor code which included capital punishment in order to organise the transition of millions of peasants to industrial wage-labor in less than a few decades. Seemingly normal facts: that an individual has nothing but his labor power, that he must sell it to a business unit to be able to live, that everything is a commodity, that social relations revolve around market exchange ... such facts now taken for granted result from a long, brutal process.”
Gilles Dauvé, The Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement

Herman Melville
“What are the sinews and souls of Russian serfs and Republican slaves but Fast-Fish, whereof possession is the whole of the law?”
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

Kim Stanley Robinson
“... this system we call the transnational world order is just feudalism all over again, a set of rules that is anti-ecologic, it does not give back but rather enriches a floating international elite while impoverishing everything else, and so of course the so-called rich elite are in actuality poor as well, disengaged from real human work and therefore from real human accomplishment, parasitical in the most precise sense, and yet powerful too as parasites that have taken control can be, sucking the gifts of human work away from their rightful recipients which are the seven generations, and feeding on them while increasing the repressive powers that keep them in place!”
Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars

“I ask you this. If the Everyman will sing this Song, then why shouldn’t the Everyman make our videos, too?”

Yes, of course! Why shouldn’t the Everyman make our videos too?

Kanish was describing the business model of Big Tech. Get the user base to create content, which generates eyeballs, which advertisers pay to reach. In exchange, Big Tech shares just enough of the ad revenue with their largest content providers to make it appear as though it’s a viable business model for the rest of us. This is nothing new, mind you. It’s really just a modern spin on Feudalism—the Lord of the Manor exploits us lowly Serfs to work the land in exchange for our own meager sustenance.

It sounds so terrible when I put it that way, doesn’t it?”
Mixerman, #Mixerman and the Billionheir Apparent

Karl Marx
“In point of fact, however, whether a man works three days of the week for himself on his own field and three days for nothing on the estate of his lord, or whether he works in the factory or the workshop six hours daily for himself and six for his employer, comes to the same, although in the latter case the paid and unpaid portions of labour are inseparably mixed up with each other, and the nature of the whole transaction is completely masked by the intervention of a contract and the pay received at the end of the week. The gratuitous labour appears to be voluntarily given in the one instance, and to be compulsory in the other. That makes all the difference.”
Karl Marx, Wage-Labour and Capital/Value, Price and Profit

Nega Mezlekia
“Land was to the nomads what a deity is to the initiated: one may draw on its might, but not lay claim to it. Amma herdsmen roamed the vast steppe at will in search of a green pasture and watering hole, with little regard for man-made boundaries. They questioned why a settled society should behave any differently, why one man should toil in the service of another merely because the stronger had staked out something that had never belonged to him in the first place.”
Nega Mezlekia, The God Who Begat a Jackal: A Novel

Daniel Schwindt
“It is a fact of history that no king could push his people into war as rapidly and as fluidly as George Bush or Barack Obama. And this cannot be dismissed as a technological issue brought about by progress. It stems directly from the configuration of power structures. Here we must emphasize the difference between a stratified society and the modern egalitarian regime. In the latter, the state has direct authority over each individual or group, and this is true primarily because all have been reduced to one dead level. Access to one member on any single level implies access to all. In the stratified framework, however, the authority of a man at the uppermost level does not imply access to any other level beyond that which happens to be immediately adjacent to his own. He does not subsume command of all that falls below him in the vast hierarchy. He sits on the top rung, indeed, but his arms aren't any longer than yours or mine, and so he can only grasp at the next rung down from his own. The medieval king could command his dukes, but he could not command their knights. He could draw taxes from the peasants who lived on his own estate (which was not much larger than a duke's), but he could not draw taxes from the peasants who lived on his dukes' estates. In this way the monarch had no effective way of exercising direct dominion over anyone but the dukes themselves. Any influence on the peasantry was indirect, as a result of convincing the nobility of the justness of his cause. It was open to them to refuse in a way that no American governor can refuse mobilization of his population for a military engagement.”
Daniel Schwindt, The Case Against the Modern World: A Crash Course in Traditionalist Thought

“There is much in Judeo-Christian doctrine and history that can be used to support a peace system, but it is so far a minor current. The main stream has adopted the violent, dominator mode of late Palestinian Judaism with its foundation in Old Testament holy war. It is a somber fact of history that in the name of Christ men have murdered and condoned murder, tortured women and children, slaughtered in war, and executed each other without remorse. The Crusaders saw Jesus in terms of their own society, that is, as their feudal lord.”
Kent D. Shifferd, From War to Peace: A Guide to the Next Hundred Years

Andrzej Sapkowski
“I'd like to remind everybody of another legend. It's an old, forgotten legend -- we've all probably heard it in our difficult childhoods. In this legend, the kings kept their promises. And we, poor vassals, are only bound to kings by the royal word: treaties, alliances, our privileges and fiefs all rely on it. And now? Are we to doubt all this? Doubt the inviolability of the king's word? Wait until it is worth as much as yesteryear's snow? If this is how things are to be, then a difficult old age awaits us after our difficult childhoods!”
Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last Wish

Jorge Icaza
“¿De quién es este bosque milenario lleno de riquezas y de alimañas? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta, respondió el interrogado, en tono de letanía. Y luego, al pasar por las tierras altas: ¿de quién es el páramo infinito? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y la cañada que se ve en el fondo? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y la sierra que corta el horizonte? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y el viento y la tempestad? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y el verde, el naranja y el amarillo de los campos? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y las chozas? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y los indios? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y el aire? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y la fiebre y el hambre, y los reptiles venenosos? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta. ¿Y la muerte? De patrón Luis Antonio Urresta.”
Jorge Icaza, En las calles

Christopher G. Moore
“Feudalism, that discreet system of gentlemen gangsters and serfs, had never died out in the region, and was concealed in the trappings of modern buildings and streets. Only a lunatic would quarrel with his master; only a fool would not understand that he stood in the steel jaws of death his entire life.”
Christopher G. Moore, Spirit House

“Good God, Bertil, don't be daft. Peasants are like children. They love to frighten one another.”
Roxanne Moreil, L'âge d'or. Volume 1

Raoul Vaneigem
“The bourgeoisie does not dominate, it exploits. It does not need to be master, it prefers to use. Why has nobody seen that the principle of productivity simply replaced the principle of feudal authority? Why has nobody wanted to understand?”
Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life

Pyotr Kropotkin
“In olden times, when a king sent his vogt to a village, the peasants received him with flowers in one hand, and arms in the other, and asked him--which law he intended to apply: the one he found in the village, or the one he brought with him?”
Pyotr Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: a factor of evolution