Dependency: Nobles and Serfs

J.C. LaCroix Darkworking, Personal Productivity, Politics, Power Tactics

“You are mine because God says so”

In an effort to get out of a tight spot, the Master would turn to the long-standing ally, the Shaman. For a share in the stake, the Shaman would institutionalize and become the Priest. In return for this blasphemy, the Shaman would convince the populace that their Divinity existed outside of themselves. Once externalized, the Divinity would not only be responsible for, but directly enforce the social order. This also includes Confucian-like doctrines, which were nothing more than complex formulations which justified the social stratification. Thus, would the people willingly surrender to the Master, and the Master would become Noble. Now, rule need not be justified, and could be passed on to descendents.

It was in a Noble’s best interest to ensure the Peasant was content. Replacement was not difficult, but birthing more peasants took time. Insofar as the Peasant was not in open revolt, the Peasant could survive. The Peasant could escape to a city, and after a time, was protected as free by law, with little risk. Also, the Peasant could improve their lot by becoming an Agent of the Nobility — a constable or some other office.

Thus, the Noble still used the threat of force, but this threat need not be constant, freeing the Noble to conquer far more than the Master. However, this created two problems for the Noble, both stemming from the fact that the Noble had shifted justification for his power to an external entity. The first was that the social strata also became fixed, wrangling those sub-Nobles became an ongoing problem. The second was the problems of obligation – the Noble, as Agent of Divinity, had to respect the Divine’s will and provide for the Peasant. The Noble needed a solution where the justification for power could still remain externalized, freely engaged in by the Peasantry, and yet at the same time, this body could be directly controlled by the Noble. In order to do this, the Peasants would have to sacrifice their minds.