Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pondering the serf mentality…

Happy Tuesday, people!

Shall we?

Last night this bitch watched the first season of The Tudors on my beloved Roku. 


There was nothing else on the telly, damn it.

Anyhoo…The Tudors is chock full of lots of lusty, swaggeristic, lord of the manor based drama.

As I watched each episode, I couldn’t help but notice how the king’s subjects seemed so thrilled to be acknowledged.  Characters bowed and bobbed…others schemed for ways to gain his favor…and even those folks who hated his fucking guts kissed his ass in public.

The same kind of star fucking took place for the nobles...and I woke up this morning pondering the relationship between noble and subject and how it plays out today.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

I’ve been chewing on the curious happening of regular working folks defending the perks of the rich for some time.  It kicked into high gear here in America during the tax cut scuffle late last year.  Some people tried to make an economic argument in defense of extending tax cuts for the rich.  But a lot of people defended those cuts by asserting that, should we offend the rich by demanding they pay an equal percent in taxes as the rest of us, we ran the risk of losing favor with them and bringing down their wrath.

I’m now on my second cup of coffee…and I’m thinking that many among us suffer from a serf mentality.
Yeah, I know that Henry the VIII did away with serfdoms...but that doesn't mean he did away with the serf mentality.

Those suffering from it fear independence…scoff at independence…think people are fools for speaking of independence.  In true Machiavellian fashion, they are reluctant to challenge the Prince or even seek a less assholic master.

Rather than venture out and try to sell their crops at market their own damn self, these people defend their lord’s right to take the fruits of their labor…they blush with pleasure when the Prince panders to them at a political rally…and they vehemently defend the merits of the system while the wealth of a people continues to be housed in the coffers of so few.

I guess this would sorta make sense if the few actually took care of their subjects.

But the condition of the people speaks volumes about the quality of our modern day nobles...just as the reluctance to get behind a reform of this shit speaks volumes about how hoodwinked and bamboozled many people are.


But hey, I suppose it beats being a serf.



Rileysdtr said...

Actually I suspect the mentality is less serf than avarice. Everyone dreams of some day being rich.... and once they are rich, they won't want to pay higher taxea, now, will they?

J9 said...

I honestly wonder when Critical Thinking was discontinued as a subject being taught in school.

Anonymous said...

Rileysdtr has it totally correct and that is why people go along with the whole thing because we have been taught to believe in the myth that anyone can be rich in this country. People believe they will be rich someday so they vote for policy that works against the reality of their present and future circumstances. It is great marketing again on the part of the manipulators who pull the strings.

Aimee said...

I think the word is "assholistic."

Anyway. The reluctance of Americans to impose taxes on the wealthy is a little more understandable in the context of our fluid, rags-to-riches mythology. If anyone can (theoretically) become rich, then I guess it makes sense to defend the rights of the rich.

Conversely however, if anyone can become poor, why don't you hear the rich clamoring to maintain the social safety net?

But the deeper question of a "serf" mentality or a "slave" mentality or an "object" mentality has been addressed my many great thinkers in varied fields of political science, psychology, and philosophy. I particularly like Simone DeBeauvior's take on why and how women develop a sense of themselves as objects instead of subjects and can only see themselves through the eyes of others. Chapter one of the Second Sex is a great treatment of the question.

J said...

Watched the first two episodes of the BBC's Robin Hood last night. Comment from a co-watcher: "That was back when the nobility was actually expected to take care of their serfs. Not anymore."

KimmieDG said...

I grew up in a mobile home, with a single mom. I didn't know it at the time, but we were poor. My husband comes from a family of three who would never have been considered rich. When he and I first got married, we lived on about 500 dollars a month. Back then, we were poor.

I am always interested in where "rich" actually begins. I suppose on paper, my husband and I would now be considered "rich". But the money we make doesn't feel like rich perhaps on a good day maybe middle class. That being said, we pay our taxes...we don't fudge, we don't play numbers games, we don't have tax shelters. We pay what is asked of us, without complaint. If the government increases our taxes, we'll continue to do so.

We don't feel rich, because we are not rich. We are paying for our daughter to attend a state university, not an Ivy League school. My husband drives a 12 year old vehicle, we bought me a new vehicle this year...but it's a toyota, not a luxury vehicle. We live in a modest home that was built in the mid '80s. I clip coupons. We don't take vacations every year. I don't buy things unless they are on sale . Period. Target, Payless, Walmart, JC Penney are the high end stores I frequent regularly.

Instead, we save every penny that we can, knowing that despite this one day it will not be enough. He and my daughter have a chronic medical condition that will one day require that we use that money to keep him healthy. We will likely have to help our daughter with her health care costs as well. By the time we both die, we will likely be broke from medical bills.

I realize that we are fortunate to be able to put any money away at all. But, the flip side of that is because of our steady and consitant care of the blessings we've been given is that the government will hopefully not be required to take care of him. The resources he would have otherwise used, will be available for someone else to utilize.

My point in telling you this is simply to say that just because someone would be considered rich doesn't mean they are assholes who don't want to pay their taxes. Nor is every "rich" person living some amazing lifestyle with no regard for anyone else. We are consiously trying to be good stewards of the monetary blessings we've been given.

All I ask is that we all make an effort to not make broad blanket statements about the rich or the poor.

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