In classic medieval feudalism, the vassal was a person who swore loyalty and service to a higher lord. The vassal relationship could be between a king and his nobles, nobles and lesser personages of military professionals, and nobles or lesser persons and tenants of the land under their control.
In return for the promise of rents, paid either in coin or produce as well as service in war when called upon, vassals would receive a grant of land for the support of themselves, their families, and their obligations to their lord. Vassals retained their freedom and other certain rights as well as a claim to protection from their lord.
Serfs, on the other hand, had no freedom. They were bound to the land of their lord and forced to work hard labor in the fields for the production of produce and income. They were under the control of their overlords with no way out.
Rather like the current student loan crisis, where students find their loan balances increasing as their lives go on, they will never pay it off and they cannot discharge the debt through bankruptcy, their degrees are worthless from the for-profit colleges that suckered them, … these students have entered adult life in a type of serfdom, where the banks/loan holders own them. Their ability to buy a house, own an automobile, marry and support a family are compromised by the student debt burden that they bear.
Furthermore, the debt will prevent them from building an estate from which they can pass on generational wealth to their heirs.
Under the new American feudalism, the billionaire class is hoovering up the wealth built by the generations of middle class and working class people in the 20th century.
But they’re only keeping score.
But the bulk of the American people are their points.
Some financiers have proposed a solution to student debt. They will pay for a young person’s college education in return for future payments of a specified percentage of the young person’s future earnings.
For example, one of the wealthy will pay the tens of thousands of dollars for tuition, books, and other college expenses. In return, the benefiting person agrees to pay 15% of their lifetime earnings.
Talk about a vassal relationship with a lord! Here is the promise of fealty, the obligation of paying rent for the land, in return for a grant at the outset of one’s life.
The new American feudalism at work. And there’s no way out for anyone driven into making such a Faustian bargain.