28 March 2008

Mediaeval Services

I have just awoken from a dream in which I had the following realisation.

I have always thought of feudalism as being the granting of land in return for military service. Usually other "services" and "privileges" get a token mention, but I have never before really thought about them or taken them seriously.

However, these services and privileges may have been an important part of feudalism. The important point is: The service itself may have been the privilege: they are flip-sides of each other.

For example, the noble house of Thurn and Taxis ran the Imperial post. This may have been a service they performed for the Empire; it mau just as easily have been a concession granted to them by the Empire: a profitable monopoly.

(I have often referred to communism as in fact being "industrial feudalism" without tweaking to the fact that feudalism itself may have been "industrial".)


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