What separates feudalism from capitalism?

What separates feudalism from capitalism?

It seems like there isn't much of a definitive line between feudalism and capitalism the way there seems to be between capitalism and communism

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What the fuck is this even supposed to mean?
Read Marx

You can see it in the way things are produced locally and on a large scale. In feudalism must non-sustenance everyday goods were produced by artisans in your village, while agricultural goods were produced either on commons or under lords as serfs/tennants. A good rule of thumb for the end of feudalism is when land rights changed from feudalistic & common property to private property. For example in England this occurred during enclosure following the English Civil War. In Scotland this came after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. In Ireland this occurred a lot after the Jacobite war of 1689. For the Russians, obviously with the abolition of serfdom (which saw the start of Russia's rapid industrialisation from the 1870s through to the 1900s). In Japan it follows the Boshin war. In France the French Revolution. In Italy reunification. In Germany the Congress of Vienna (which saw the continued promulgation of the code napoleon despite the restoration of the previous regimes). All of these see major changes in land ownership and property rights. There you find the line between feudalism and capitalism.

is "feudalistic" even a real term?



Exactly, feudalistic property: aka property owned by a feudal lord which is worked by serfs, slaves*, or tenants.

*the term slave in a medieval context is quite varied but yeah.

so whats the difference between property owned by kings, barrons, dukes and private property?

1. Exploitation of surplus value is obfuscated under capitalism by wage labour. In feudalism with serfdom there were clearly defined days when you worked only for you lord, and when you worked to provide for yourself. Wages obscure this under capitalism.
2. The hierarchical pyramid under capitalism is more stable. Under feudalism exploiters made up less than 1% of the population, while basically everyone else was a serf (with very few percent of monks and burgers). The supper rich now are also very few, but there are way more rich, higher middle class, lower middle class people, meaning the system is more stale, as more people are interested in keeping it
3. Religion is no longer a necessary tool of control for a capitalist society.
4. Capitalism comes hand in hand with changes the like rise of productivity, the migration of peasantry to the cities etc.
5. Rise of enlightenment values when transitioning to capitalism
Sage because this belongs in QTDDTOT

did serfs not make wages prior to capitalism?

Kings, barons, dukes and other aristocrats also declared the laws their underlings had to follow.
Not unlike CEOs, COOs, CTOs, etc. They pay to have the laws fit their purpose.
Then what is the difference?

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feudalism is a mostly agrarian system of production in which land was assigned due to birthright, and a rigid class system, not intrinsec economic value, economic value only exists a seed in feudalism, so there is no wages, or wage labour, or commodities, also

the law of value, the property of the king was not under the law of value, it produced under a patriarchal system where value meant nothing

no, as a serf you paid your lord, not the other way around, and the rest of your product left to you wasn't given to you by him, it was directly and physically produced by you

They exist, but no where on scale of capitalism. Wage labor also existed in Roman times.

but thats not really a material difference between serf and proletariat

The modern landlord isn't that comparable to a feudal one. Feudal ones made you pay / serve for a plot of land. Modern landlord *technically* needs to maintain the apartments they are renting, or at least hire someone who would do it for them, anyhow, it would require actual labour input, unlike if you were renting a plot of land that has nothing on it. What modern landlords do is shit, yes, but is capitalistic, not feudal

No, they either worked a certain amount of times on their lords field and a certain amount on their own, or worked only their own and were forced to give some of their produce away for the lord. There probably was some wage labour in the cities, but that doesn't concern serfs

A proletariat can't rely on their own produce since they no longer produce food (at least the majority don't). Hence an exchange / distribution of goods is necessary

so are we just ignoring the whole merchant class, shop workers etc?

That's just proto bourg and proto prole.

Yes, because they are not serfs.
What said. They existed in Rome (which was a slave society) too, but the point is that they are a minority, and not an absolute majority like today

In the feudal system the landlord, be them a baron, count/earl, duke, or monarch is not only just the owner of the land but is the law. People who work their land as indentured servants (as serfs or tenant farmers or as slaves) not only had to follow their rules the same way a worker would, but abide by their law. My expertise is Russia so let me explain this way. Say you're a serf, you steal a horse from another serf. Your punishment would not come from the state, but from your aristocrat (or more likely one of his hired underlings). Why? Because the aristocrat is an organ of a state, he is inseparable from it. Law is dispensed not by an organised police force (which mostly rose in conjunction with capitalism btw) that originates the state, but by owners of lands. Inside the cities it was a different story but 80-90% of people in a pre-industrialised state do not live in cities. So yeah, the difference is that a landowner in feudalism is not just someone that owns land by virtue of property rights that the state grants/protects, but is an integral part of the state itself. It is why capitalism developed in conjunction with absolutism and proto-parliamentarianism: both of which sort to disrupt the power of the feudal landlord.
Also worth noting that this is not dissimilar under classical slavery, with slave owners expected to uphold the law of the land on their latifundia rather than it occurring via some police force.

Yeah I know user, I mean tennant farmers á la sharecroppers.

They were a miniscule part of the population.

so what percent of the population needs to merchants, shop workers for it not to be feudalism

Not how it works. Also "shop workers" were pretty non-existent since most people that sold things, even in cities, make them themselves (Blacksmiths, ironmongers, tailors, tinkers etc) or processed things onsite (butchers, curers, bakers).
But again its about land ownership. The period following the end of the English Civil War is considered the start of capitalism in the UK because it saw a lot of land consolidated from communal and feudal property into tennant farms in a process known as enclosure. Once you see enclosure, capitalism has started in earnest. Because with enclosure then it is far easier to undertake activities like commercial mining or resource extraction. Also people who are forced off their land in enclosure often move to cities spurring production there which gives rise to mercantilism and eventually industrialisation. Its land rights, its all about land rights. Makes sense in a system like feudalism which was based on lords who owned land paying service to other lords who owned land.

then how does it work? this question has been avoided this whole thread

but even those people were their own private ventures

so why was there a change

Real question is, what separates (actually existing) communism from feudalism?

North Korea even has a hereditary monarchy.

I literally explain that in the rest of the post.
Good for them, they did not represent the vast majority of the economic system: the same way that coops exist under capitalism but that does not make capitalism socialist.
Now this is a good question. Partially it was a desire to increase agricultural production, enclosure did make production more efficient (although the "Tragedy of the Commons" is mostly utter horseshit). Partially was because absolutist states wanted to take power away from aristocats so pushed them towards this (you see without serfs aristocrats can't levy armies and thus can't effectively challenge the state militarily without direct help from an outside power). Partially it was a patronage system for when aristocrats did revolt, their lands would be confiscated and given to commoners like the proto-bourgeoisie (your merchants).

A great example of all three are The Clearings following the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 (Aka the Great '45 or Bonnie Prince Charlie's Rebellion or The Last Stand of the Highlands). Highland Scotland was ruled by feudal clans which operated in a normal feudal manner: a man had a right to work the land as-long-as he paid rent in-kind (aka in the form of goods) and/or military service for his clan chief. Someone who did this was called a "tenant" or a "Crofter". I won't get into the specifics but in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie called the Clan Chiefs and their levées up, did alright, didn't do alright, then got crushed. After the rebellion, the clan chiefs were stripped of their lands .They were then taken over by southron (aka people from the Lowlands of Scotland) lairds and businessmen who went around forcing the tenants off their land to make way for sheep. A load of these tenants (well the ones that weren't killed in the immediate aftermath) emigrated to Canada (heard of Nova Scotia?) or to the growing trade port town of… GLASGOW. This saw the end of feudalism in Scotland and the dominance of mercantile capitalism. When industrialisation started, Glasgow became a key industrial city, gaining the epithet "The second city of the Empire". This was partially due to it having so many bodies to work in it as cheap labour: labour that only existed there because of the clearing of the highlands.
So here we see an absolutist state (absolutist in the sense it wanted to centralise power into a central authority, GB at this time was a developing parliamentary democracy) using a rebellion of feudal lords as an excuse to crush an element of resistance to this state's centralisation (the catholic, gaelic, feudal nobility & their crofter armies) and in-doing so allowing for the development of capitalism.


Modes of production are distinguished by the predominance of certain relations of production (and the productive forces which enable them), thus feudalism is distinguished by the predominance of feudal relations of production in an economy, ie. that between serf and (land)lord, just as capitalism is distinguished by the predominance of capitalist relations of production, that is between proletarian and capitalist.
When we speak of modes of production in terms of historical materialism and try to categorise societies or historical periods into modes of production we do so by analysing which modes of production, which relations of production predominated in a given economy.
As such while a feudal society has cities wherein merchants, artisans, proletarians and capitalists exist and capitalist and other non-feudal relations of production operate, these are not dominant and are typically constrained by the social, economic and political order enforced by the class rule of the feudal aristocracy which is what eventually leads a bourgeoisie growing in size and power due to the development of productive forces and the internal contradictions of the feudal mode of production to seize political power and realign the political and social order of a society, its superstructure, along its own lines and in line with the by that point dominant economic mode of production, capitalism.
In the same way in capitalist society alternative modes of production, alternative relations of production do occur. There are independent artisans, smallholders and landlords aplenty existing in capitalist society, they do not however predominate in the slightest, these classes do not dominate the political order or have any independent class organisation, floating freely along with shifting class interests.
Socialist relations of production too exist, cooperatives/worker-owned enterprises and even state-monopolies or capitalist monopolies constitute instances of socialist relations of production and productive forces sufficiently developed in turn in capitalist society, these do not constitute socialism any more than capitalist relations of production existing in ancient Alexandria or medieval Florence constituted capitalism, but they do exist.

I would correct this to say that Capitalism really begun predominating in England over a century before the Civil War, it was the wars of the roses which provided the impetus by culling a good deal of the nobility and enclosure and engrossing really started happening of a large scale then. Henry VII was cognisant of this and his administrative reforms brought in a lot of bourgeois non-aristocratic types into government and set the foundations for the modern english/british bourgeois state replacing the pre-wars of the roses royal household style of government. Under Henry VIII you also had the growing influence of trading companies, particularly in wool and cloth industries which were becoming enormous sectors of the economy, on policy and the reformation taking root which goes to show the sort of superstructural predominance of a southern, urban, protestant bourgeoisie. By Elizabeth's time the aristocracy had removed itself totally from any sort of military and land-owning role, instead investing into capitalist enterprises, particularly through royal-granted monopoly charters of things like wine, beginning the transformation/merging of much of the british aristocracy into the bourgeoisie, the results of which can be seen in the british ruling class of today.
The English civil war, or more aptly: revolution was really the culmination of the growing predominance of the bourgeoisie and resultant class struggle which cemented a bourgeois capitalist political order in britain after the economic shift had already happened for the most part.


I get the other two, but do people really believe that's what happened in socialist countries?

Other than some minor nuances the cucks around these parts are going to screech at you, op; Nothing.

IT is the domination of the individual by private ownership of large swaths of property in both cases. There is, really, fundamentally, no difference.

Which makes sense as capitalism was molded in such a way as to mirror feudalism. (Having been all the economists of that time understood about property relations and human relations)

NK isn't communist.
RE Leninism -

Someone else could do this better, but I'll address you point by point.

On your first point, this power would be mostly hereditary under feudalism.

Your second point could be applied to capitalism. In the USSR, you could only be forced into a certain job if you were refusing employment altogether without a health reason. Switching jobs was generally allowed, and education was provided so that anyone who could get through school could pursue an occupation regardless of their birth or monetary status.

RE your third point - you're just talking about authoritarianism, which actually can exist in multiple different kinds of economies.

Except this actually isn't true at all. The early capitalists not only rejected feudalism, they rejected mercantilism as well.

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This never happens in pretty much every communist country, save for maybe in the case of Gulag prisoners (who left such job after they left the Gulag, which was on average 5 to 10 years). People generally went to school and studied for their intended area of work, and then maybe if they wanted went on to higher education or vocational school. People choose and moved around jobs all the time.
North Korea isn't a hereditary monarchy. I don't necessarily agree with everything it does, but it objectively isn't. Educate yourself in the DPRK thread.

The rest is just literal propaganda garbage.

Only good answer in the thread.

Wage-labor didn't exist, labor wasn't a commodity to be bought and sold under feudalism. Serfs didn't sell their labor power to other people, while all proletarians do. And under feudalism taxation was the primary form of surplus extraction, while in capitalism it is the buying of labor that is.

Also production under capitalism is collective, that is, people work a full day building/producing/serving one thing for the greater good of the economy, while in feudalism production was self-sufficient and the feudals taxed surplus off the serfs.

they were part of guilds. you couldn't just become a blacksmith or a bricklayer without being part of their community and protecting their trade secrets. they would drive you out of town.

Tragedy of the Commons isn't so much horseshit as it is applied to the wrong scenario. It's not a description of a commons, but an open access situation with private competition. Why are the participants not allowed to communicate or coordinate? IRL people would do that because they'd anticipate over-exploitation. Why do they pick specifically something where you could conceivably privatize it? You would see the same situation apply to something un-enclosable, like fisheries. An actual case of the commons wouldn't have independent competitive actors using the same space, but jointly managing it. Co-operative economic planning has to be absent for the Tragedy of the "Commons" to be possible, which makes it not a situation of the commons. It's actually a pretty relevant parable, except that it applies to capitalism's management of un-managed resources.

its not that they are not allow to. they just tend not to. hence the word tragedy

That's the thing though, they did. The Commons worked for centuries without duplication or overproduction crises.

That's fair, but it is easier for the sake of analysis to use the english civil war as the starting point. Before the english civil war England had proto-capitalism, maybe as the predominant economic system, but still proto-capitalist. After the establishment of a fully bourgois state under Cromwell did it really become proper mercantile capitalism.

Sure, because there wasn't the technology or manpower available to seriously damage the natural world beyond repair in the way we do now.

Except such industrial farming was only possible because of the destruction of the commons.
Oh and communal farming not only still exists today but often tends to be far more environmentally friendly. Look at the Zapatistas in Mexico.

irrelevant, this is the world we are working with now.

private permaculture forests are superior.

literally fueled with cartel money

What a load of bollocks Chiapas is one of the few cartel-free zones in Mexico.

umm what



Generalized commodity production as opposed to limited commodity production.

Feudalism was still mostly production for use but also had petty commodity production

Tell that to farc, Castro, the IRA

good post