Our Enemy, The Crown

Today, many peasants make a grave and disheartening error. They have the impression that feudalism is wicked, and that lords taking the fruits of their labor makes it oppressive. Some even think the solution is liberalism, a fond, foolhardy idea that has been tried over and over and killed thousands.  In reality, feudalism is freedom—it is simply what happens when you allow nobles and peasants to freely interact with one another without having an oppressive royal guard trying to interfere. Feudalism is responsible for ensuring your subsistence, from the brogues you wear on your feet, to the turnips and ale you eat to break fast, to the sickle which reaps your rye. Without the feudal order, we wouldn’t have a division of duties, and we would all end up starving, in God’s disfavor, or robbed and pillaged by brigands.

Wise, fortunate, and dutiful application of wealth is an important quality for nobility. This is why nobles are wealthy and peasants are not; peasants must toil to prove their loyalty and piety to their vassals and lords in order to be rewarded with wealth. Until then, they may voluntarily use the nobles’ wealth in exchange for their labor. No one who doesn’t desire this is forced to, thus it is a voluntary agreement. If they don’t want to, they can become monks and live by allegiance to God. If they don’t want to do either of those, they can hunt or forage for themselves. The peasants have both the greatest amount of freedom and the best quality of life under feudalism. In some ways, their freedom is even greater than the so-called “wealthy” nobles, who must shoulder the onerous duty of managing the land and military alliances that create wealth for everyone else; it is one they cannot easily abdicate because of the pressure to maintain their personal and familial status.

The liberals believe we must allow individuals to freely buy and sell property, even going as far as to say that the “aristocracy” should not set prices on goods. But without the stability provided by fair value and land tenure, the peasants would starve. We need look no further than the Jamestown colony to witness the dismal nature of liberalism. Peasants are naturally indolent, as proven by their low status and wealth. The nobility exists to maintain tenure of the land and charge rents on the peasants, thereby imposing scarcity on them. This invisible brand of feudalism naturally whips the peasants into industry, which makes them better off as a result. Peasants experiencing a scarcity of food are better fed and appreciate what they have all the more. Interactions with peasants and nobles, therefore, only happen when they mutually benefit each man.

Feudalism is also key to many wondrous novelties. Today, thanks to the alignment of feudalism to God and to human nature, it can best bring out the hidden propensity of men to innovate. Thanks to feudalism, we have pencils, knitting machines, flushing chamber pots, microscopes, telescopes, calculating machines, and bottled beer. Monks today have even begun revealing the existence of an entire world, hidden beneath the sight of men, through their microscopes, as well as becoming closer to god by studying heaven through their telescopes. The liberals as yet have invented nothing of the sort, lest they imagine their quaint notion of “capital” to be some world-changing idea. It is clear that a liberal society would be too concerned with fleeing from the fastening grasp of hunger and death to create anything new. They are so bold as to think that they can create some faery tale paradise where men truck and barter for their subsistence without the secure division of labor and wealth provided by classes.

By allowing nobles to freely compete for peasants, the nobles which treat their peasants the best, and most efficiently manage scarcity, will outcompete those who treat their peasants like slaves or allow them to become indolent. There are those who may think that it is necessary to have a king to impose his rule on the nobility. However, this is interference with the fee market and will only result in a worse outcome. This is what we have today: a king imposing his rule on freely-interacting nobles and peasants, and favoring only the lords he is personally acquainted with. Vassals then have to get in the good graces of the favored lords, and so forth. As a result, we have many poor and have experienced famines. This is not true feudalism; it is crony feudalism. In true feudalism, the competition of lords for vassals and peasants would result in the best possible outcome for all. We can see the success of real feudalism thanks to all the good things we have, and we can see the danger of crony feudalism thanks to all the bad things that have happened. Therefore, real feudalism brings forth the standard of fortune, and crony feudalism brings forth the standard of suffering; this double standard interpretation of feudalism makes it abundantly clear for any reasonable man that what we need to do is get rid of the king and let real feudalism take hold.

The monarchists believe that the king is benevolent, that his intentions are just, and that his rule provides better conditions to those not fortunate or hardworking enough to be noble. However, in reality, the king does little more than impose taxes and rents on the nobility, making him no better than a highwayman or bandit. The king also owns all the land in the kingdom, meaning there is no real land tenure. Thanks to the king’s exclusive privilege of allodial title to the land, lords must pay taxes and rents on their manors, which is why they must impose their own rents on peasants. Because wealth is an extension of the self and the family lineage, imposing taxes and rents is little more than a droit du seigneur on nobility. The king even decides how nobility is determined, through a labyrinth of royal decrees and edicts. This raises the ramparts to entry for becoming a noble. Without the ability to freely pledge themselves to vassals and lords, people are forced into alliances based on the whims of the king. The attempted relief of those who suffer at the hand of the king is a mere attempt to save face. These so-called “Poor Laws” actually make the poor poorer; if we had real feudalism then they would all be properly subsisting.

In anti-monarcho-feudalism, there would be no forest laws preventing the peasants from earning their subsistence through hunting and foraging on “the king’s land”. You could even settle your own land, because there’s no way that lords could own all the land in England without the intervention of a king. Nobility would be determined in a decentralized way, through voluntary fealty and free treaty. Those who receive the most allegiance, in other words, those who best serve their peasants, will earn the highest nobility and will be rewarded with the most wealth. Rather than being an injustice, this serves as to incense beneficence from the noble lords. By rewarding them according to how many peasants choose to work on their lands and how many vassals choose to pledge fealty, it is in the lords’ own best interests to fulfill his duties as a noble and to be a kind and fair lord. The lords also accept much greater responsibility than peasants, who need only worry about themselves. The king removes these incentives through the practice of crony feudalism, favoring lords based on criteria other than service to their duties. In crony feudalism, the lords who most appease the king become wealthiest; under real feudalism they would have to get by purely on their honor, duty, and piety.

Some also believe serfdom to be an example where the nobility has oppressed the peasants. Monarchists will swear that it was the increasing strength of the king that led to the demise of serfdom, but it was already disappearing in the 14th century, thanks to the natural forces of the invisible brand. Compare this to a monarchist institution such as slavery, and you will see that serfs were also much better off than slaves. It is no matter, for today the peasants live in vast luxury comparable to that of the kings of bygone eras. Today peasants enjoy as much bread as they crave and can make luxurious cloths with ease using a handloom. In comparison, life in lands without feudalism is fickle and miserable, and famines are common. Liberals also make far more extensive use of slaves than the nobility, which shews quite a bit of hypocrisy with their proclamations of “individual rights”. The liberals would let a peasant starve if they were without coin, while under feudalism a peasant may always become a dependent to his lord to keep his belly full.

The real key to anti-monarcho-feudalism is its lack of force. Because feudalism is the natural form of interaction between people, real feudalism is simply what occurs when a king does not impose his will on others. Liberals ignore this truth, and daftly believe their order can work. However, because it has failed so spectacularly, there is no way that it could spread without being imposed by force. Liberal society therefore requires a king to decree that people have individual rights and to force people to engage in the trucking and bartering of property, for duty and class division is the ordinary state of man. Liberal society would need a royal guard to prevent someone from pledging their fealty to me, and to prevent me from accepting the homage of a vassal. This is merely the natural behavior of men, to pledge loyalties to one another, and to create a social order without such behavior could only be done at the point of a spear.

However, in an anti-monarcho-feudalist society, no one would be prevented from gathering together with some of their fellow liberals and starting their own liberal bourg, as long as they don’t try to impose their individual rights and market exchange on others. The liberals cannot say the same, for they would immediately, were they in power, try to annihilate feudalism through edict or decree with their oppressive king. We have already witnessed this for ourselves with the failed coup of Oliver Cromwell, who became a de facto king for his brief and ridiculous rise to power. Some liberals believe they have shewn examples of nobles oppressing their peasants, but such a misfortune happens only when there is but one choice of lord, an outcome which only occurs in a monarchy.

Liberalism’s promise of equal status for all can of course only be achieved by reducing all men to the level of peasant. Even with their so-called “free trade”, to gain wealth, one must labor for a wage or become dependent upon someone who possesses great sums of coin. They intend to substitute duty and law with mere ratios of monies, for the liberals have melancholy for their own lowly status and indolence that they wish to create a new order that favors themselves. They conceive that money profits shew a beneficent service rendered unto others, but the predation of paupers by unrestrained price, and the fraudulent representation of bread and other victuals is a problem that should be well-known to peasants. It is thanks to the beneficence and wisdom of nobles that bread and ale prices be maintained at levels affordable to paupers and according to the yearly reserves of cereals. Prices must be made to reconcile the supply from the fields and the demands of subsistence for all. To let the liberal upstarts take control over the pricing of bread or ale—or would they were to have it their way, to buy and sell land as if it were a loaf or peck—will surely spell doom for the most wretched among us.

Rather than trying to recreate the same catastrophic liberal experiment, we should smash the monarchy. Were we to do so, the natural order of men would be allowed to emerge, and nobles, peasants, and priests would be free to provide subsistence and wealth for each sort of man. Those who be of noble or peasant sort will be free to enter their class without the whim of a king or queen trying to prevent such an outcome. Peasants may provide us with wheat and ale, monks with prayer and science, and vassals with order and wealth. Furthermore, it is the most just and moral outcome, for any other social order necessitates force to maintain.

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