In the 14th century, during the Black Death pandemic, when 50% of the population died, one did not have a boss who paid a nice salary with health care benefits and a 401k. Things were different, mostly because one group had all the power, and the other group’s motivation was to keep themselves and their family from starving or freezing to death.
The king owned everything, and he was ready to take back all he had given if his buddies didn’t deliver. These buddies of the king would be “lord” in a given area and live in style in a fine house. They would rent out land to local peasants. Some land might have a shack or barn, but some did not. If a peasant built a place to house his family, it was effectively a gift to the lord.
The renter was required to work his land and produce crops, half of which would go to the lord. The peasant would pay rent for this privilege. We have a modern word for this: share-cropping, and historically the share-cropper never wins. They take all the risk. If the crop fails, the peasant/share-cropper still owes rent and taxes.
The peasant was expected to work the lord’s personal crops as well as his own.
Peasants were not allowed to go just anywhere without the lord’s permission. If your mother lived two villages over and you wanted to take the family for a visit, you had to ask permission or risk a stiff fine.
There were also rules about the livestock a peasant could own and restrictions on where they could be grazed. All of this and more was according to the whim of the lord, and if the peasant was found in disobedience, more and stiffer penalties could be assessed. They could be thrown in jail or even removed from the land, being subjected to homelessness, starvation and exposure.
This is called the feudal system – and it killed a lot of people!
Recent trends in our society have moved us away from the ideology of responsible ownership toward renting. Don’t buy a car; lease it instead. How about music? Don’t buy CDs; just pay a monthly fee for music services and listen to whatever you like online. Then there’s Software as a Service (SaaS).
Salesforce, one of the largest SaaS companies in the U.S., recently threatened to stop doing business in Indiana if the state retains its abortion ban. Its CEO has threatened to take his 2,300-plus jobs and move. People have used his services to store terabytes of essential information for their businesses’ operation. They use Salesforce’s software to sort, compile and utilize this data to run their businesses. What will these businesses do if Mr. Benioff decides he doesn’t like the fact that they don’t provide adequate “health care” services to their employees and determines he will remove their right to use his software?
This hypothetical scenario with Salesforce sounds very much like that poor serf who built a home for his family on rented land but was evicted for attending the wrong church or going to visit grandma without permission.
The World Economic Forum claims that if its dreams come true, you and I “will own nothing and be happy.” That’s a recipe for serfdom.
Someone must own the land, the car, the clothes, the cellphone, the software, and he/she who owns the item makes the rules for who gets to rent it. In the WEF’s dream world, who will be the owner if not us, the soiled and stinking masses? No doubt, Mr. Schwab and his cronies.
They might argue, “We will have all things in common!” Such is the unfulfilled dream of communism. No one ever consolidates power in order to give it up. Never has that happened in the history of the world, although many have promised it. And if we were to have all things in common, then to whom would we pay rent?
This is communism repackaged, a failed system that benefits only those who are empowered by money and connections. However, even they are not without risk: Just ask several of the Russian oligarchs who have mysteriously died recently.
Communism does not work even at the basest level without infusions of free-market capitalism. Look at China’s recent history. The Chinese were locked in snail-paced productivity until they brought capitalist ideals into their marketplace, and now their GDP (although deceptively padded) rivals that of the U.S. This is no great feat, though, considering China has nearly five times our workforce.
Russia or China might argue that the United States’ great experiment appears to be failing. True. But I will submit that the reasons for our current situations (apart from abandoning our foundation in the Christian faith) are because we have gone off-script. Our Constitution is a masterful document, and if we actually followed it, we wouldn’t have these problems!
For all those Benioffs and Zuckerbergs out there, just know that the powers that be are always on the shift, and you could be the next unfortunate oligarch on the list that is in the way, causing a scene, expendable.
When the Black Death was over and the lords still needed help getting the crops in even though 50% of their workforce had died, the serfs realized their strengthened position but did not take advantage of it. We, the American people, would NOT make that mistake!
My fellow Americans, the opportunity for property ownership is an unalienable right hard fought and hard won by our ancestors. Do not hold it lightly! Change the way you think and live, before it’s too late!
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