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Jason Highley
Jason Highley
4 months ago

In my anecdotal observations of daily life in the “information economy”, I can see that at this point most western societies have fragmented into multiple nations (often with completely different world views and aims) living within the same border. This is fueled and abetted by “social” “media”. It’s distinctly feudal. There is no faith in any of the larger institutions. “You can only look to your neighbor” is how I increasingly see people conduct their daily lives.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Jason Highley

Still, if you have the option of being part of a functioning demnocratic state (as, for instance the Afghans did not), why would people prefer to be ruled by ‘armed gangs of uncertain allegiance’, as the author puts it?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Good question, and my belief is that the reason is simply economic. If the “armed gangs” provide security and the availability of food better than the corrupt local “democratic” state government does, it will prosper.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

I was thinking they provide a higher probability of safety.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
4 months ago

Yes, you take a knee to whoever can protect you from villains worse than them.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Makes sense (I did say functioning democratic state).

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

This recalls Joseph Tainter’s view in his book The Collapse of Complex Societies: when a society grows too complex, it fails to provide what people need. A resulting collapse then produces smaller, simpler organizations that perform better. Interesting idea.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

…that’s it! See Lord Rees-Mogg’s predictions of exactly all this in “The Sovereign Individual” (1997).

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
4 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Thanks for recommending the book.

Last edited 4 months ago by Erik Hildinger
Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It depends on the price of “being part of a functional democratic state”. Remember, democracy is when the 3 wolves vote to eat the 2 sheep. If the sheep could find an “armed gang of uncertain allegiance”, why wouldn’t they take a chance?

We’re a long way from that in the upper-middle-class West. But how far away are the Blue Ridge hillbillys from making that switch? Or poor, inner-city blacks? (I would argue it’s already started there) Or TX & NM border town residents? Or the Canadian truckers who had their bank accounts frozen?

The sheep are increasing in number.

Aaron James
Aaron James
4 months ago

the title – ”Feudal overlords still rule the world” (I love Ben Harnwell’s name for them(Davos, WEF) ‘Our Psychopathic Overlords’))
OK but the writer does not get it – it is to be feudalism under the WEF ‘You will own nothing but be happy’ That IS Feudalism. Before the Norman Conquest Saxons own their land – a Peasant is a small landholder farmer, his own man, the Kulaks – but that ended with Feudalism. Islam has always been Feudal where all are tenants on the lords land. They paid a Share of all they produced in exchange for using the lord’s land, they paid service and fealty.

This is the Bill Gates future for you.

But the picture of Putin – Russia are autocrat Oligarchs – but so is Ukraine. Both totally owned by their corrupt masters. That is why the war between them is different – it was not our business, it was a regional war, not European. Not even Western. The global problems were not worth it. Peace should have been forced by us, concessions given – not just joining the war.

If the Crips and the Bloods were fighting over one of their turfs being invaded by the other – should the city give assistance to the side being invaded?

So look at the global income chart – why was Ukraine so poor? Because it was run by criminals. They have resources, tech, industry, vast markets – but dirt poor! That is how corrupt Ukraine is.

Average Income around the world https://www.worlddata.info/average-income.php

USA income $70,000

UK income $45,000

Ukraine income $4120

They were a POOR Country Ecuador and Columbia are above them.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Perhaps spending a long time under the rule of the Soviets, and then under Russian influence is what has caused Ukraines stagnation? Most of the ex Soviet republics saw their incomes improve once they looked west rather than east, maybe if Ukraine had followed their lead earlier they wouldn’t be languishing where they currently are in the financial league tables

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Aaron James

If the Crips were winning, and apt to take on the Chamber of Commerce next, absolutely we should help the Bloods.

Albert Michaels
Albert Michaels
4 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Z

Russ W
Russ W
4 months ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Thanks for the data points on income

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
4 months ago

“Nowadays, autocracies are run not by one bad guy, but by sophisticated networks … connected not only within a given country, but among many countries. The corrupt, state-controlled companies in one dictatorship do business with the corrupt, state-controlled companies in another. The police in one country can arm, equip, and train the police in another…. Their links are … designed to take the edge off ….”
Add in the MSM and how does this not apply to the US, UK, EU, Canada etc?
We just have more window dressing

Last edited 4 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
4 months ago

The process will accelerate greatly as the Globalized Order breaks down and new fault lines emerge (or re-emerge). I think those best able to resist this will be the nation states who’s legitimacy are derived from the harnessing of solidarity of their people. The more liberal societies which don’t even believe they are a common people at all, with a common God, will be easiest fragmented, however they also have the farthest to fall.

Syria and post-Saddam Iraq or even Spain it seems are examples of nations which aren’t “really real” in this sense and were held together by regimes who’s legitimacy derived from keeping the anarchy at bay. Mexico is a bit different, there is hope there and no matter how bad it gets they will always be on the continent that enjoys doing nothing more than withdrawing into itself when the goings get tough.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
4 months ago

Whose.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
4 months ago

It’s worth noting that while the author mentions “sub-state actors”, he focuses almost exclusively on those operating in so-called ‘failed states’, like drug cartels and regional warlords, while studiously avoiding naming any of the prominent ones that operate within our so called liberal democracies, namely tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, big banking, big pharma, Wal-Mart, etc. Name an industry and there’s likely a handful of multinational corporations that exert far more control over it than any government, and in fact exert more control over the governments of liberal democracies than the governments exercise over them. Perhaps a more apt term for these would be supra-state actors.

Last edited 4 months ago by Steve Jolly
chris sullivan
chris sullivan
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

excellent point and apposite term – i will adopt it henceforth! Liberal govts may change but the supra-state actors do their thing regardless of any attempted checks and balances…

Peter B
Peter B
4 months ago

Funny how all the countries in this supposed new feudal order are without exception losers: Russia, Syria, Belarus, Venezuela, … . China has severe economic problems coming its way.
I wouldn’t waste too much time on this ridiculous fantasy.

Dominic A
Dominic A
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Exactly, and you don’t even need a GCSE in psychology to appreciate the link between insecurity/weakness and displays of strength (& vice versa). The chihuahua vs the pitbull – who barks most; why?

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
4 months ago

The article makes interesting points, but I object to the use of the term “feudalism” for the phenomenon described. Feudalism was based on oaths between lords and vassals that set out recognized duties and obligations. What is described in the article strikes me more as a sort of anarchism or gangsterism.
erikhildinger.com

Last edited 4 months ago by Erik Hildinger
Russ W
Russ W
4 months ago

Interesting perspective

Russ W
Russ W
4 months ago

There appears to be some truth to this story.

Neven Curlin
Neven Curlin
4 months ago

Marie-Antoinette Schiffman clearly fears the return of the guillotine, but how about the beam in his/her own eye?

Aaron James
Aaron James
4 months ago

Yea, well he does not have vast concintration camps of Uyghers making cell phone parts for the West.

‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ was the old saying – we made it into:

‘Lets force our enemies to be each-other’s friends.’

A. M.
A. M.
4 months ago

Yeah, its all about mutual conset over physical violence. Thats why “liberal globalisation” has world`s largest military budget and military forces, that it keeps using to reduce countries to rubble.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
4 months ago
Reply to  A. M.

Curious as to which country has been reduced to rubble in the last 50 years by the world’s largest military? Perhaps I missed the news.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Directly – Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan.
Indirectly – Chile, Iran, Yemen

The question itself is interesting. Most people would agree the West has been a force for good in recent decades and better than the alternative (communism, Nazism, China, Islam).

But being utterly ignorant of how awful the top layer of the political and military class is, how contemptuous of lives that don’t quite “matter” as much, is a pretty common malaise here.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Libya? No. The West intervened in an existing fighting to topple Ghaddafi (who was otherwise going to win and take his revenge). The Libyans did the rest themselves. Yemen? Civil war, supported by Iran and Saudi Arabia, on opposite sides. Chile, Iran? Not a lot of rubble there, last time I saw. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan I am not going to argue.Why the long list? Are you one of those ‘everything the west does is bad’ guys?

Last edited 4 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
David Adams
David Adams
4 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

You’re right to point out that US foreign policy has not always been benign, intelligent, or even rational – however, on the specifics:

Vietnam – fair enough, strategic bombing of North Vietnamese cities

Afghanistan – infrastructure destroyed almost entirely by local warlords since 1978, partially if temporarily rebuild by West and Soviets; yes warlords sometimes part-funded by USA (and regional powers), but disingenuous to equate this with the US military flattening the country

Iraq – relatively limited destruction of infrastructure during invasion, and rebuilt by the coalition, severe collateral damage to areas of heavy urban fighting like Ramadi and Fallujah likewise repaired

Libya – infrastructure destroyed mostly by Gaddafi and to a lesser extent by local warlords after NATO bombing campaign concluded

Chile – not even close, negligible infrastructure destruction by conservative junta

Iran – tenuous links between Saddam Hussein and USA, Iran-Iraq war was entirely Saddam’s choice and had a relatively limited area of destruction due to stalemate nature of conflict

Yemen – fair enough, 2/7

You can be balanced about US foreign policy without resorting to Trumpian exaggeration

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
4 months ago
Reply to  David Adams

Why is Yemen the fault of the USA? I would not have thought so, so I am honestly curious.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
4 months ago

I can’t say I got much out of this droning piece.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
4 months ago

Excellent essay and very useful macroview framework thankyou

R E P
R E P
4 months ago

Liberal World Order = you have total freedom over your own junk but we will decide everything else, deplorable.