Feudalism Returns to America?
It's been a year since the world encountered COVID-19. On December 31, 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. On January 21, the virus made it to the U.S.
As the events unfolded, we've seen the Trump administration being just as effective as the Democrat governors and legislators were inadequate. Mainstream media portray the Chinese virus as some kind of zombie apocalypse with an imminent death awaiting everyone who dares peek a nose outside his basement. To get a picture of how ridiculously and painfully overblown the threat was (and is), I highly recommend analysis of Brian Joondeph, M.D., who proves that the COVID-related narrative and politics have no more to do with science than, say, a demented and corrupt man being president of the United States.
So how come a virus with mortality rate ranging from 0.00004 to 0.028 percent in the older population (which is relatively easy to protect), while close to 100 percent of those cases are associated with underlying conditions, with hyper-sensitive tests could cause economic devastation comparable to a world war? Why would the governments shut down the whole economic sector deemed "unessential," while claiming to save lives, when in fact they brazenly destroyed them and continue to do so? Why, with the arrival of vaccines, does Joe Biden say our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us? Is it really about COVD — or the destruction of the booming economy and a prosperous society?
The leftists did and do everything to undermine efforts to save the economy — and lives. There is no contradiction here. Why would anyone even consider destroying a hefty part of the world economy? The problem lies within the globalist version of capitalism reaching its natural limits, which manifested in the so-called 9/11 recession of 2001 and the 2007–2009 global financial crisis. The following years up until 2019 marked a manufacturing recession in many developed countries. The markets were overwhelmed with supply, and the global crisis was a necessity to reload the system. The COVID-related economic restrictions allowed just that. At the end of the day, who cares if the factories don't produce anything due to bombings or as the result of closures? The population loses its capital and savings due to unemployment just as fast as if those buildings were burned. But what happens next?
Any system that reaches its developmental boundaries either moves to the next level or degrades and moves back to the previous one. The levels are known: feudalism, capitalism, socialism/communism. Undoubtedly, the policies of Donald Trump that brought an unseen prosperity that integrated previously unengaged people into the workforce with record-low unemployment was a foundation for the transition to a more just and developed society. As wild as it may sound, Donald Trump may be considered a true revolutionary, but certainly not in the buzz-terms of Bernie Sanders and the left. The way the left sees it — "free stuff" for everyone — bankrupts society, whereas Trump's approach aimed at building a concrete foundation of the societal well-being that is achieved by the means of productive labor and a protectionists economy versus government handouts and open borders.
In the year of the presidential elections, for Trump opponents, societal well-being seemed like a small price to pay to regain power. As a result, society was pushed not forward, but backward to neo-feudalism. As described by Prof. Jodi Dean, the main features of the neo-feudal society are parcelated sovereignty, new lords and peasants, hinterlandization (polarization between the cities and rural areas), and catastrophism. All of these are observed in the U.S.
Politically, in feudal society, two classes primarily exercised power — what the French referred to as the First Estate, the clergy, and the Second Estate, consisting of the warrior-aristocratic elite. Everyone else, even wealthy merchants, resided in the Third Estate, and most were peasants living at subsistence levels.
As noted by the prominent theorist of the neo-feudalism, conservative geographer Joel Kotkin, we are beginning to see the elevation of two powerful classes — one dominant economically, the other culturally.
The new lords, a class of "woke" tech oligarchs, share a "progressive" agenda and align with the Democrat party. This oligarchic drift has been building for years, as wealth has shifted from traditional resource and manufacturing industries to software, media, finance, and entertainment. In sharp contrast to energy firms, homebuilders, and farmers, the regulatory state does not threaten the bottom lines of these industries, as long as it refrains from breaking up their virtual monopolies. During the pandemic, their net worths have surged.
Another beneficiary class is a neo-clergy, encompassing professions such as consultants, lawyers, top-level government officials, medical specialists, and media professionals who interpret their prophecies. A part of the "expert" class has emerged as "the privileged stratum," operating from an assumption of "moral superiority" that justifies their right to instruct others. Rest assured: from the beginning of the pandemic, these people have not missed a single paycheck. As observed by Dr. Kotkin, their share of the labor market has grown while those of the traditional middle class — small business–owners, workers in basic industries and construction — have shrunk, and the power of today's Third Estate is inexorably weakening. With the middle-class economy largely shut down and, in the best-case scenario, in for a long and painful recovery, the pauperization is staggering. In the U.S., the ranks of the poor are projected to increase by as much as 50 percent, to levels not seen in at least a half-century. Liquidating America's kulaks serves the purpose of thinning not just the Republican electorate, but also the Third Estate as the basis of capitalist society. Notably, these trends disturb at least one thinker on the left, too.
There is another important indicator of a transition from one level of freedom to another. Well developed capitalism with a wealthy and vast middle class allows for a wide array of political and economic freedoms, while neo-feudalism curbs them dramatically. The latter brings with it the insecurity and anxiety of an overwhelming sense of catastrophe. As put by Prof. Dean, a loose, mystical neo-feudal ideology, one that knits together and amplifies apocalyptic insecurity, is taking form in the new embrace of the occult, techno-pagan, and anti-modern. The fear remains a main tool of the manipulation of the mass consciousness, and many seem to be eager to trade their freedom for a false sense of security.
As Fyodor Dostoevsky said through his Grand Inquisitor, "Thou [Christ] wouldst go into the world ... with some promise of freedom which men in their simplicity and their natural unruliness cannot even understand, which they fear and dread — for nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom." America has been proving this notion wrong for a long time until now. The results of the recent elections, and the events of January 6 in Washington, D.C., brought neo-medievalism to our doors.
Follow Veronika Kyrylenko, Ph.D. on Parler (@KyrylenkoV) or LinkedIn.