Can Feudalism Save the Western World? Reflections on the De-Centralization of Power

Late Medieval France

It is both surprising and infuriating that many conservatives, libertarians and those on the Right describe today’s political and financial order as “neo-feudalism.”(1)  Surprisingly, because many of these commentators are trained academics(2) who should know better and infuriating, since feudalism and the glorious age which it reigned – the Middle Ages – if rightly understood and not denigrated could provide a paradigm for the reconstruction of the present social order after its inevitable collapse.

Many compare today’s political and economic configurations of vast wealth disparity and totalitarian democratic nation-states whose latest, and probably most egregious, abuse of power has been the lockdowns and compulsory face-mask edicts to combat a supposed deadly virus, with the conditions which existed under feudalism.

This is false.

Feudalism, and for most of the era which it existed, was characterized by political decentralization with little financial concentration of wealth.

Feudalism can be described as an arrangement between lords and monarchs with their underlings – vassals, dukes, earls, princes, counts, marquises, knights – in exchange for services.  “Feudal tenure, whatever its minor adaptations,” writes medieval historian Carl Stephenson, “was essentially military because the original vassalage was a military relationship.”(3)

In return for military service, the vassal would receive a “fief” in the form of land, money, goods, or other benefits.  “[A] fief,” Stephenson describes, “was the special remuneration paid to a vassal for the rendering of a special service.”

The relationship, unlike what modern commentators would have many believe, was not one-sided.  While the vassal swore allegiance to his lord, the latter was obligated to provide his vassal with agreed upon “payment.”  If the lord failed to fulfill his obligation, the vassal was free to break the agreement and find another lord.

The vassal, to receive his due from the lord, had to “faithfully give aid and counsel so that in every way the lord may be safeguarded as to person, rights, and belongings,” while the lord “has a reciprocal duty towards his faithful man.  If either defaults in what he owes the other, he may justly be accused of perfidy.”(4)

The feudal relationship between lords and vassals had immense consequences – mostly positive – for medieval life.  It helped shape the social order which impacted all aspects of society such as law, the political order (such as it was), war-making, and economics.  The arrangement between lord and vassal was not really “political” as in the modern sense; it was more of a “contractual relationship” than that of power.

Lords and vassals and, for that matter, monarchs, did not create law or legislation but were subjected to the (natural) law.  There was no monopolistic justice system, but a number of courts which were for the adjudication of disputes where cases could be appealed to different courts for redress. The myriad of public legislation regulating every aspect of modern man’s life, where most laws are not even read by legislators until they are enacted was, happily, not a feature of the Middle Ages. Law had to be “discovered” and based on custom and tradition in which all sectors of society had to abide by.

The feudal arrangement between lord, monarchs, and their vassals, where all had to live according to the law resulted, throughout the Western world, in a diffusion of power.  Professor Stephenson illustrates how this effected France for centuries:

France, obviously, had ceased to be a state in any proper sense of the word. Rather, it had been split into a number of states whose rulers, no matter how they styled themselves enjoyed the substance of the regal power.(5)

The idea and reality of monarchial absolutism, which characterized the early modern era and which nation states would build upon for their own aggrandizement, was not part of the medieval period.  In many areas, authority was held by dukes, princes and earls not based on political power, but one of trust, loyalty and contract.

The most vilified institution of the Middle Ages was serfdom.  Yet, compared to the present epoch where the working classes are largely indebted, have had their individual liberties curtailed, and many are dependent on the welfare state for their financial survival, could serfdom be worse? Charles Coulombe contrasts

the serf, like laborers everywhere and at all times, had a hard life.  He also could not be forced off the land, worked about 30 days a year for his lord (as opposed to the average American’s 167 for the IRS), and could NOT work on Sundays and the 30-odd Holy Days of obligation and certain other stated times.  One may compare that to any current job description one wants to.(6) …


How are they guaranteed in any case? As Joe Sobran observed, “if voting actually changed anything, it would be illegal.”

The amount of taxation and its legitimacy in a society is ultimately determined by ideology.  And, the ideology of the era frowned on taxation and those that were levied were done so grudgingly.  It was the institutional framework of feudalism which limited taxation to the benefit of the social order.

Private property was considered sacrosanct and the violation of it an egregious offense.  In the medieval world, taxation was a “sequestration of property” which the monarch only had the right to tax when it had “become traditional.”  “The rights to property possessed by every individual member of the community,” according to historian Fritz Kern, “are an absolutely sacred part of the whole absolutely sacred legal order; the criterion of the rights in property of the individual as well as of the State is the good old law.”(7)

Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages: I The Divine Right of Kings and the Right of Resistance in the Early Middle Ages…

While many other passages could be cited, the existence of state power in feudal times is almost the polar opposite of the political situation which exists in the world today. It is inconceivable that the draconian measures taken by governments in response to the pandemic, which has ruined countless lives and allowed monetary authorities the world over to assume unseen power and control, could have never taken place during the Middle Ages. Nor could a system like communism with its oppressive top-down control happen. As noted, the medieval world was a world of de-centralized power.

Instead of naming the current age “neo-feudalism,” it is far better categorized as “neo-Progressive,” a term which describes the era of American history at the beginning of the twentieth century.  The Progressive Era, despite the façade of supposed regulation of Big Business, was really the start of American corporatocracy – a cozy alliance between the State and Big Business to protect the latter, especially the financial sector, from competition.  Each successive generation has seen this alliance become stronger leading to today’s situation of mega bailouts for the 1% at the expense of the middle class.

The learned detractors of feudalism who mischaracterize it are doing a great disservice to those who are seeking solutions to the myriad of social and economic crises which the Western world faces.  The prime lesson that can be gleaned from feudalism is the diffusion of power.  Attempts at reform of the current totalitarian democratic social order or the creation of alternative political parties to challenge the entrenched, corrupt, political order will result in failure.

Instead, all activities, movements, and more importantly, intellectual arguments should be directed toward the break-up of the nation state. Brexit, the recent victories of pro-independence parties in the Catalan elections, and the nascent secession movements in some states, such as Texas – TEXIT – should be encouraged and supported.

Happily, the pages of history provide a paradigm of a decentralized social order which thrived for nearly a millennium.  Instead of bashing it, feudalism should be embraced and its principles incorporated into modern political discourse.

(1) The latest smearing of feudalism can be seen in Charles Hugh Smith, “The Coming Revolt of the Middle Class,” Zero Hedge, 28 January 2021.

(2) As an example, see Paul Craig Roberts, “Are We Brewing a New Feudalism?”  Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy. 16 April 2020.

(3) Carl Stephenson, Mediaeval Institutions: Selected Essays, ed. Bryce D. Lyon (Ithaca, NY.: Cornell University Press, 1954, Cornell Paperbacks, 1967), 217.

(4) Carl Stephenson, Mediaeval Feudalism, 4th ed. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Great Seal Books, 1960), 20.

(5) Stephenson, Mediaeval Feudalism, 78.

(6) Charles Coulombe, “”Monarchist FAQ.” Tumblar House.

(7) Fritz Kern, Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages, trans. S.B. Chrimes (New York: Frederick A Praeger Publishers, 1956), 186.

15 replies
    BEIR BUA says:

    Most excellent perspective-however the incoming re-feudalism is just like the old one in that the same esoteric legalities are being maintained at an enormous psycho-spiritual cost to the herd-population
    Their protector has evaporated-no religious commonality- the reptiles have free reign to predate

  2. Vespasian
    Vespasian says:

    Feudalism was just a temporary phase in the evolution of the warfare gird on which humanity is trapped. According to one of the best historians to study the middle ages Prof White “…contended in the first section of the book that the stirrup made shock combat possible, and therefore had a crucial role in shaping the feudal system.”
    He was correct but shallow and didn’t understand that humans are divided into permanent nation warring states and that war and the incessant need to improve weapons systems are the ONLY purpose of life. Lose a war to another state and you’ll understand what I’m saying. Just as the introduction of the horse stirrup to europe allowed for armor, lances, and new militarily tactics, which then facilitated feudalism, just as gunpowder changed the course of history leading to large democracies, so too will the next generation of space age weapons control the limited choices of man, making the decentralization of men even more impossible. So, no, feudalism won’t save anyone anywhere. A strong national socialist system, with a military first worldview. That is all that will survive!

  3. Aristo Boho
    Aristo Boho says:

    Dear Mister Aquinas,

    Thank you ever so much for your exact description of the Medieval structure and system of Feudalism. There’s not much more I can add. I shall only say that your error is that trained academics should know better and tell the truth about this period is naive on your part. These titled frauds are placed in all levels of pseudo-education, namely instruction, only to fabricate and lie, and have perpetuated mendacity for well over a hundred years or more. They are simply ignorant, and others are deliberately mendacious. Our entire culture and its founts of information are of the same cut. Another example is how they continue to tell us that Corporatocracy, as well as Coporationism, Corporatism are Fascist economics. No, Fascist economics was Corporativismo/Corporativism. And these academics who do not want to know better are responsible for having generated a learning culture in America and Britain that has destroyed and rendered imbecilic any true action of logic and comprehension of the truth. The Fascist Left: where? No point in proceeding further. You have presented us with an excellent essay except for your belief in academics. One point I make to you and to all: for some reason in the 1600’s a beautiful word egregious was inverted in the English language as opposed to other countries. Such a person is distinguished, eminent and so forth. The only other word more defiled is myth: the revelation of a truth. If I seem to have diverted I haven’t, for one of the main points,the definitive one, is an understanding of just what Feudalism was, and therefore when taught properly, is, and you have fulfilled this. Linguistic accuracy! God Bless Aristo Boho

  4. Edward Harris
    Edward Harris says:

    The U (banana)SA is rotten with Barons, although it got rid of the King. The first Americans turned against their own people, for whatever reason, which is something I detest, almost as much as I detest “Israel” and the descendents of East European Converts who now call themselves Jews.
    Many conversions took place in the Middle Ages because the Rabbis wanted to increase their income with larger congregations.
    Every 7 years the senior rabbis of each country would meet in Jerusalem to discuss how to harm the Christians and help the “Jews”.
    The “Jews”, I call them converts, detest all gentiles, espescially Christians.
    The Eastern Jews became the majority of “Jews” in the Middle Ages.
    My Sephardi ancestors detested them.
    Through no fault of my own I became a Christian Jew.
    In spite of that, the Jew side of the family would never tell me the abusive things the Converts call the Americans and the rest, because if asked, I would speak the truth.
    I believe that it was in the Middle Ages that peasants had to acquire surnames if they became rich (when the Rothchilds, Kennedys, Van der Bilts, Rockefellers etc. were still living in mud huts or slums). Until then they had only needed a Christian Name if Christian.
    I believe Princess Di’s family borrowed Spencer from a noble they were distantly related to through marriage. A family my late brother used used to spend Christmas with took the the name of the village where their mud hut was located.
    A gang of titled families we knew called me a pennyless nobody while I constantly reminded the useful peasant who carried messages of how the families made their money, robbed the Church and stole the Common Land.
    As my late Mother used to say, I can’t help it, it’s the Jew in me.

  5. Ferdinand Hoischen
    Ferdinand Hoischen says:

    This is an excellent article! It shows the Middle Ages as what they really were, not the dark age the modern era and its beneficiaries want it to be, but an era of individual freedom, natural rights, small self-administered units, and constraint of power of the powerful by the old and good unwritten law. Compare it to our modern times and you realize that the people of the Middle Ages were free while we are the real slaves. Don’t forget, history is the lie commonly agreed upon (Voltaire). And the history of the Middle Ages was written by the modern era which has all the interest to make its predecessor look bad.

  6. Crush Limbraw
    Crush Limbraw says:

    In essence, this excellent article describes the Covenant form of rulership – it’s a contract. It is not surprising that the Middle Ages were often described as Christendom, the foundation for Western Civilization – and therefore was due for destruction by DaFather of Lies and his servants, who are busily engaged in that process today.
    They will fail, but that’s another subject for another day.
    BTW – another example of Covenants is the Bible itself in the form of Old Covenant and New Covenant.
    I found this particular article extremely insightful and will archive it in DaLimbraw Library for future reference – it literally opened a whole string of previously archived posts – all of which you can access from my website at – but caution is advised, requires patient reading and research time.

  7. Jacobite
    Jacobite says:

    Short version: the Middle Ages were horrible because the Jews had a tough time back then, due to the Catholic Church’s influence over Europe.
    There were religious feasts commemorating Christian victories over the Mohammedans.
    The 16th and 17th Centuries were the downfall of Western/European/Christian Civilization, with the Reformation and the Enlightenment.
    From Jews financing of the printing of Luther’s bible to Erasmus and Spinoza’s virulent anti-human philosophizing, it looks like it was the you-know-whos again.
    Protestantism was created to destroy the Christian Church, and the Enlightenment philosophy attacked religion, society, and reality (John Locke: “Man has no instincts — born a tabula rasa”). When Enlightenment philosophy’s action-arm — Leftism — took power in France, Hungary, Russia, etc., the Church was always target number one.
    The Bolsheviks made anti-Semitism a crime almost before they shot the first priest and burned the first Orthodox church.
    Since the 30s, they’ve been writing the influential texts in the humanities, and that’s why the Medieval period is so downgraded.

  8. Pierre de Craon
    Pierre de Craon says:

    What a lucid, insightful, and carefully balanced article—multum in parvo indeed! It provokes as much thinking as it contains. I thank and congratulate the author, who has left me in his debt.

    The biblio is truly the icing on the cake, the only small proviso there being that Coulombe needs to be read with care. His generally clear-headed reflections aren’t always free of a tendency to overindulgence in sentimentality and crankiness.

  9. Ole C G Olesen
    Ole C G Olesen says:

    Hmmm…. May be .. but it is adverse to my Nature .. to achieve a goal through DESTRUCTION
    That said ..
    You may be right .. In my pessimistic hours also I can think
    that only through complete Destruction and Chaos can the current evil and corrupt system be broken. …
    like in the Endstages of the Roman Empire : TOTAL DEVASTATION …

  10. Blankaerd
    Blankaerd says:

    A lot of people mistake feudalism for serfdom. When people talk about feudalism, they are more often than not actually referring to serfdom. Serfdom is a system or economic model where peasants (serfs) were bound to a plot of land. You were allowed to live on the land, and you had to work on the land. You were allowed to consume a portion of what you produced yourself, a portion went to your lord and if you did produce a surplus you could sell it on a market. No matter how long the serfs lived on the land, they would never actually come to own it. Plots of land could be sold to other lords however, but the serfs came along with it. It should be noted that it was probably better to be a serf in England than a serf in, say, the kingdom of Poland, as English serfs generally had more rights and had a chance to become freemen.

    Serfdom was not strictly medieval as it continued well into modernity. Prussia only abolished serfdom around 1807, but Russian serfdom continued well into the 19th century.

    I think that what we are heading into – that is if elites are not confronted or checked in their power – is a form of neo-serfdom. Multinationals are eroding the nation states, and governments as we know them today will simply cease to exist as they will fail to provide basic services to their citizens. In a multicultural world, the government has to spend most of its time and money on keeping the peace, as civil disruption and ethnic strife is just below the surface. What we will become then is no longer a country but an economic zone in which multiple giant megacorporations will dominate and it will be difficult to own anything if you aren’t born into the millionaire/billionaire class. You will rent, you will work and still pay taxes, but you will never own anything again. We are already heading in the directions where everything is subscription based, we can see that with cars and even video games today.

  11. Armoric
    Armoric says:

    A good reason to like our decentralized medieval past is that the Jews don’t like it and claim it was a dark age. Cohencidentally, today’s biggest force for centralization is Jewish power, which thrives on centralization, which is used to destroy Western countries from the top down. So, the best way to resist Jewish power is to push for decentralization, leave the European Union and secede from the USA.

    I like the slogan “small is beautiful”. We need political, economic and cultural decentralization. We also need racial separation, local autonomy and protectionism. It’s important to cultivate our roots and our separate identities to give more meaning to our lives.

    Without the Jews, we might still have problems caused by centralization, but there would be less resistance to the obvious solution, which is decentralization.

    In the cultural field, decentralization means breaking the Jewish media monopoly as well as the Jewish domination in the universities.

    Economic concentration is a natural phenomenon. It makes the industry more effective but creates unemployment and can depopulate a country or a region. The solution is anti-trust laws, as well as protectionism. But the Jews prefer free-trade. They are OK with depopulation and they also like the idea of shipping the factories to China. The natural evolution of capitalism seems to be that every board of directors ends up under Jewish control, while White workers end up unemployed, and everyone ends up living in big crowded cities.

    Our priority should be to get rid of Jewish power. Then, we can try to artificially imitate the natural situation of a hundred years ago, when the economic activity was more equally spread over the territory. A number of local activities, like agriculture, should be subsidized everywhere. Then we can have something that looks like a natural society, not like what Klaus Schwab, the advocate of the Great Reset, has in mind.

    Excerpt from the article:
    “– a cozy alliance between the State and Big Business to protect the latter, especially the financial sector, from competition. Each successive generation has seen this alliance become stronger leading to today’s situation of mega bailouts for the 1% at the expense of the middle class.”

    It’s really a Jewish thing. The politicians are owned by the Jews, not by big business. The media won’t say so because they are owned by the Jews too. Big business itself has been co-opted by the Jews. Without them, we could expect big business, the government and the media to work for the common good.

    Likewise, regarding immigration, we’re told that Big Business has a financial interest in bringing in low IQ parasites and turning the country into the third-world. Actually, the third-world invasion makes everyone poorer, including Big Business.

    • Richard The Angry
      Richard The Angry says:

      Yeah yeah, but just because jews use it for their goals it aint bad.

      Larger get togethers can be great for business, technology development and so on.

      We could have a union between WHITER countries that could have free trade, free movement of capital and to a large degree people.

      This could be a minimal union without too much power heavily regulated by law that it can’t become too poweerfull and also should not cost too much to run (like the EU does now).

      One of the reasons for the success of the USA is it’s huge WHITE population within a large territory in a somewhat coherent culture (later hijacked by the jews and subsaharians and others).

    • Mark K
      Mark K says:


      This shit is taking conservatism to a new level.

      That being said I think local direct democracy combined with minimal WHITE unity through unions is a way for a better society.

      It ain’t contradictory.

  12. Chester D.
    Chester D. says:

    Or we have a union of whiter countries, northwestern and central Europe (down to chechia).

    So the WHITE etno state in the USA joins in a union with the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Northern Italy, Norway, Denmark, Poland, iceland, The Netherelands and the like.

    Will not include Finland due to their mixing with asians.

    Sweden might be divided due to th mixture with finns and sapmi in the northern parts.

    Gypsies are moved to India or middle east or something.

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