2016 U.S. Presidential Elections: The Circus Is In Full Swing

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Also, 18th century serfs were kept in line by massive standing armies of musket-armed soldiers, allowing the nobility to get away with a lot more than they could in the middle ages when the differential between a peasant army and a levy army was much smaller. In premodernity if a peasant revolt happened, there was a very real chance of the nobility not having enough power to deal with it at all, hence why things like common law existed to make sure none of the feudal classes overstepped their boundaries. Absolute Monarchs and totalitarian nobles are products of the early modern period, not the middle ages, and their introduction is what eventually led to the french revolution.
 

Adorno

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only if you stubbornly misread Jacob's point.

it's obviously not a comment on all points of quality of life including health and so on ...
I was replying to rektasaurus' post.
My point being the production system and society as a whole has changed so much it makes little sense to single out working hours as a factor when analysing working conditions under capitalism.
 

rektasaurus

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I mean my initial post had the working hours bit as sort of a side note to the fact that consumers should be elevated but they’re overworked, scapegoated, and swindled.

With all of the technological advancements in production of food, equipment, and toys, thanks to the industrial and technological revolutions I have a philosophical problem with the fact that modern day commoners work more than 40 hours a week just to stay broke. I mean as it stands, we have the power to very easily have a 24 hour work week with a living wage for a job stocking shelves at a grocery store. That wouldnt bankrupt the rich or the corporations because that shelf stocker is 100% going to turn around and put all of that money right back into the economy. And then those who are motivated would get a second job as a clerk and earn double a living wage to build up capital and then themselves perhaps have the means to produce even more jobs and goods. That is how capitalism should work.
 

Anarion

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rektasaurus

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Excellent, thought provoking reads. Thank you for linking the articles as well as the site. I mean as long as dollars are used to purchase imports, and those dollars don’t find their way back to the us, the fed will keep printing. The whole system is so arbitrary, and anyways we have outside and inside dollars, it’s hard for me to imagine why wages are being suppressed, it’s not only to the detriment of the non-elite, it’s to the detriment of the us economy.

I understand there are layers which I don’t know, or fully understand, preventing what I would like to see from happening. Kind of a scary thought to think that us workers might not be getting paid more because the us is literally too broke to afford it.. and it does make sense then exactly why so many resources are poured into the military.

The existing systems can still stay in place, I just have a hard time seeing how recent events aren’t simply a wild power/money grab driven by greed, callousness, or perhaps fear, hubris maybe, I’m sure something negative rather than anything altruistic, rather than saving for a rainy day, as it were, while the opportunity is there. I can’t help but feel the big dogs up at the top playing the game barely have an understanding of how everything is connected. That makes me feel even more bitter because it’s like actual proof that sight has been lost of what is truly important.

We get 52 weekends a year. Maybe it’s silly to count them like that. The other day my mom said she’s got maybe 15 summers left. We’re all counting down. None of us are getting out of this alive. Longevity and happiness or comfort during seems like it should be the priority always.

Perhaps the best thing about the medieval ages was that grain was perishable... if it’s not eaten it’s going to be thrown away anyways.
 

kurczak

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"Getting paid less than enough to survive despite working my entire life in a robotic totalitarian job" vs "Spending less than half the year working for some prick and then being able to make my own unalienated living the rest of the time"

The fact that peasants had so much free time to do festivals and go on pilgrimages even between these two responsibilities should be a condemnation of all wagecuckery.
Perhaps 50 years from now, someone will look at the box office sales, Netflix and Steam logs, and the time people spent on a forum about a 15 year old video game and will day-dream about the cushy life a wagecuck in the early 21st century. So much money and free time to spend on dumb ****.

I googled the article and stopped reading right here.

Because the need for agricultural labor in the Middle Ages was season-dependent,
the average peasant had about eight weeks to half the year off.

Anyone who think country/farm life is just putting things in the ground in spring and then taking them out of the ground in late summer is clearly an urban academia retard, who has never even seen a farm.
 

rektasaurus

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Lol sry if any of you are related to Crocker but **** that guy

Perhaps 50 years from now, someone will look at the box office sales, Netflix and Steam logs, and the time people spent on a forum about a 15 year old video game and will day-dream about the cushy life a wagecuck in the early 21st century. So much money and free time to spend on dumb ****.

I googled the article and stopped reading right here.

Because the need for agricultural labor in the Middle Ages was season-dependent, the average peasant had about eight weeks to half the year off.

Anyone who think country/farm life is just putting things in the ground in spring and then taking them out of the ground in late summer is clearly an urban academia retard, who has never even seen a farm.
I for one, have most definitely seen a very old school farm in a small village with a workload that would be fairly close to how peasant life would’ve been. Many of my family still lives in such a village! My ancestral home. Definitely physically much harder work than bull****ting in front of screens all day. I don’t know if anyone said anything about farm life being a simple put a few beans in the ground in the spring then do nothing until harvest... but a part of the romanticization of peasant life which was being explored here was the social structure of the village and the camaraderie, close ties, and pretty extreme reliance on family and neighbors that would do a very good job of taking care of the alienation the modern worker feels.

Perhaps you should keep reading
 

kurczak

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Not only was the sowing and reaping pretty hard labor before mechanization, but there was (still is to a large extent) almost infinite work around the house/farm/manor with animals and general maintenance. There was very little division of labor, these people made most of their tools, furniture, clothes. They also repaired all of those until they disintegrated. All those things are work they had to do themselves. The women in my grandpatens' villages would pluck feathers and make blankets or weave wool all winter. Men admittedly had less stuff to do, but many of them would leave for weeks as traveling tinkerers, or selling those blankets, pots, knives, hides, whathaveyou or as day laborers for "dry construction work", don't know what it's called in English.

Alienation was probably much less common, of course unless you were "excommunicated" or shunned because you were an asperger weirdo, gay or didn't want to marry or exhibited about any kind of non-conformity. Yes you could rely on family and neighbors more than today, but it came at a price of having no privacy from modern point of view and having extremely diminished decision making capacity. Your life pretty much belonged to the community and it was all kumbaya leaning on each other. You think large family gatherings are a pain in the ass with everybody constantly up in your face and never having a moment off for yourself. Now imagine living one 24/7.
 

Adorno

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Back then the average life expectancy was about 30 years for men, and a bit less for women* (childbirth is hard).
Most people with manual labour at the age of 30-40 years and up had osteoarthritis from hard work (examining skeletons).
On top of that various diseases (mainly infections) made life harder.
Even if working hours were less for a peasant back then (I still doubt it, unless you only count work in the fields),
comparing a job and way of life that no longer exists with a modern job that didn't exist back then gives little clarity.
A modern person working 40-50 hours/week might, with a longer life and fewer daily chores, should have much more free time in the end than a peasant of yore.

*Children aged 0-3 excluded since that would make it even less because of crazy high infant/child mortality.
 
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How long per day was a peasant expect to work? Quick calc reveals a 12 hours work day for half a years eats more of your time than a full year of 40 hours work week.
 

rektasaurus

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That seems an oddly specific list for getting shunned. How did murder and rape not make it into that list? I think the aspies, retards, and bachelors did just fine but that could be a regional thing. It would just be called construction, whether it’s using only dry goods, rough or finishing portions or minor improvements or repair. I would argue with a couple of points but it would just be nitpicking.

At any rate, Kurczak isn’t wrong. Sometimes I wish I were living in closer quarters... then it would make the reunions less charged because I only have a very limited amount of time to address anything they may have heard through the grapevine, if I have any time at all.

Life expectancy was absolutely not that bad. Unless you’re talking about the people who died building the pyramids or the Great Wall of China or legit actual combatants. Don’t make me open my books and get my sources.
 

Adorno

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I used numbers from the Middle Ages in Denmark that ended in 1536 (protestantism).*
If we go up to about 1850 life expectancy was about 43 years for men, and slightly higher for women: 45.5 years.
BUT those numbers are for the entire population! I don't have numbers for just peasants in year 1850, but it must certainly be lower.

*A book on Medieval peasant life I have.
 

rektasaurus

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I used numbers from the Middle Ages in Denmark that ended in 1536 (protestantism).*
If we go up to about 1850 life expectancy was about 43 years for men, and slightly higher for women: 45.5 years.
BUT those numbers are for the entire population! I don't have numbers for just peasants in year 1850, but it must certainly be lower.

*A book on Medieval peasant life I have.
Very cool. It’s going to compel me to start google translating danish words! Do those numbers include expectancy with infant mortality or no?

I think that the biggest factors in low life expectancy is war, famine, and disease rather than workload. If you just walk around for like 10 years and don’t feed yourself right you’ll get arthritis in your hips. Evidence of worn cartilage and bone doesn’t necessarily mean that peasant farmers were being worked to death. But their oxen might have been I’m sure!

I see from some of the graphs that in 1850 there was population above 70, it could be safe to say that it may have been more difficult for a poor tenant farmer to achieve that age, before getting cut down but a quick google search shows that Medieval english landholders who reached 25 had an additional 23 years of life expectancy to go. This is in addition to a life expectancy of around 30 for those who reached age 10. Clearly it isn’t only infant mortality which lowers the life expectancy.

At any rate, I think we expressed it could be a life that would be preferable with modern medicine, during peacetime, and under a benevolent lord. So cherry picking the absolute best scenario possible with the least amount of feudal political intrigue 😂

Edit: a word
 
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Bromden

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Those numbers are off because they only take the age 0-3 out of count. A lot of bad illnesses that like to kill children manifest up to their mid-late teens. A thirty years old person was expected to live at least a couple of decades more, barring any major plague, famine or murder.
 

Bromden

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A 30-40 years old outdoorsy, hard working person should be at top of his game, I can't see how the peasants could die in the masses at that age. And they make the food, malnourished peasants were not the norm. If the peasants were hungry, the whole country was hungry. Maybe except for the nobility.
 

rektasaurus

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It’s a little pointless to argue that life expectancy hasn’t gone up dramatically in the modern age. But a life expectancy of 45 doesn’t mean that peasants died, as a rule, at around 35 years old. In the us in 1850, 2/3 of the population was under 20 and made up more than half of the deaths, excluding age 1, and thus infant mortality. That would dramatically lower life expectancy. It was much harder to reach old age back then than it is today mostly because of, for the purpose of this topic anyways, hygiene and medicine.

This is 19th century and not the medieval period, but in the interest of comparing numbers from the same time period as Adorno’s link, here are some detailed actuarial tables from the us 1850 census. The very top of the chart shows total mortality broken down by age, more than half of deaths occurring above age 1 and below age 20.


Age distribution begins on page 5. It’s a little harder to read because of poor scans and the numbers are broken between race but these are the raw numbers. Roughly 2/3 of the population is under 20.

 
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Adorno

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(Your original remark was about feudal society, not US in the 19th century. They are literally worlds apart)
"feudal society peasants worked less hours and enjoyed more time off than we do"
Another interesting phenomenon is "time off". That's a very post-industrial thing that didn't exist back then.
There was little distinction between work and "leasure time". No feudal peasant was ever asked "so what do you like to do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?" 😆
 

rektasaurus

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(Your original remark was about feudal society, not US in the 19th century. They are literally worlds apart)


Another interesting phenomenon is "time off". That's a very post-industrial thing that didn't exist back then.
There was little distinction between work and "leasure time". No feudal peasant was ever asked "so what do you like to do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?" 😆
Yes, of course, because feudal peasants didn’t do much else than play with mud crying “help help I’m being repressed” before dying in childbirth or getting their heads bashed in by chivalrous knights. Drinking, telling stories, ****ing, eating, gambling, and making toys are solely modern phenomena built on the backs of children working in textile factories 12 hours a day.

If your response was to my original remark on feudal peasants, made in passing about working conditions and society today, then why on this good green earth did you use a source showing life expectancy from the year 1850 in Denmark?

Reading “people enjoyed more leisure time due to the industrial revolution” in your history text does not mean only the monarchs and nobles had leisure time in the Middle Ages.

It’s a simple point. And either argument “Puritan work ethic” or “well peasants died sooner so that’s why we can be worked harder today” doesn’t cut it. The more time people spend working and commuting the less “leisure” time they have for reading and learning. Idk about you but I don’t want to live with overworked, stressed out, dumb people if I can help it.

The thought that a system that keeps people preoccupied with their next paycheck without enough time to learn about the world is the best way to keep a populace in check or a labor force ready to be exploited is grossly misguided. I don’t understand how anyone could disagree with that.
 
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