Archive for the ‘Economic Universals In Funny French’ Category

The Fief As Employment Contract

We have, alas, been all-too careful to keep the terminology of economic activity and economic exploitation quite separate as between different historical periods, even when the phenomena are much the same. Suppose, for example, that I am short of capital to make the most productive use of my assets, and make an arrangement with another […]

Outsourcing And Enfeoffment

There is a fairly precise equivalent to the “enfeofment” of the classic or Gandshofian feudal paradigm in the recent trend towards outsourcing. Under that paradigm, the original companionage of the Germanic chieftain was paid by either loot or peregrinatory extortion, but in time the bossman hit upon the idea of settling his merry men on […]

Towards The First McDonalds’ Rifles

When considering the economic arrangements of previous ages, we seem strangely content to accept their own “personalisation” of the productive units and thus speak of Lord This, Earl That and the Count of the Other. We are, of course, aware that these magnates have fields, mills, mines, warehouses, ships, licences, trading contacts and every other […]

Outsourcing Of Government

The classical paradigm of “feudalism” can be summarised in six words: “outsourcing of core government services on contract”. Historians writing at the peak of twentieth-century statism, whether welfare-capitalist or socialist, clearly had no sympathy with this phenomenon and usually employed “feudal” as an adjective qualifying the noun “disintegration” or something even worse. Nationalist historiography was […]

Rebranding The State

Ecclesiastes was right to observe that there is no new thing under the sun. Of nothing is this truer than the so-called New Public Management, whose mixed public-private legal regimes and demand for private contributions to what were once thought of as government functions uncannily recreate the economics of the Late Roman Empire. And we […]

The Law Of Fiefs And Corporations

Writers on “feudalism” seem to consider it characteristic or even diagnostic that there exist two separate legal systems, the public law and “feudal law”. The one is said to be the rather battered remnant of the previously omnicompetent public law, administered by the state power whose enfeeblement or disintegration has produced this thing called “feudalism,” […]

The Bitter Medicine Of Christendom

The christianisation of the pagan communities of Europe was sometimes achieved by fire and the sword, but just as often came about by voluntary accession in a manner not entirely unlike the expansion of the European Union. Europhiles claim that these countries join because they want to be part of Schumann’s great vision, or at […]