Neo-feudalism is a term is a term that literally means new feudalism. It was introduced onto this blog, I think, by regular commentator Ivan Horrocks. It refers, in essence to the idea that a small elite in society are taking advantage of their situation to reintroduce the politics, economics and governance structures of feudal society in the 21 century.
Neo-feudalism requires the taking over of control of state functions by private companies.
It undermines the state.
It provides a return to those already in power.
It provides that return by reallocation from those already poor.
It seeks to diminish the perceived self worth of all but an elite.
It is sexist.
It ignores national boundaries.
It contest that law exists only to preserve private property.
Markets, of course, determine who has and has not. And there is no responsibility to those who have not.
Neo-feudalism consciously spreads myths: myths that justify the holding of wealth by a few to the many. These are powerfully reinforced by substantial investment in the purveyors of the story. That's much of the media. And the captured economics departments of so many universities.
And neo-feudalism is very real. The Daily Mail is a vehicle for the spread of neo-feudalism, just as it was once a vehicle for the spread of its near relative, fascism.
In the US the Tea Party is a perverse mechanism that has enlisted many of those oppressed by neo-feudalism to serve the interest of the few who benefit, funded by Fox News and a closely knot web of think tanks.
And what Ed Miliband has done is stand up to it. No one will dispute that ed Miliband has his weaknesses. but then, so have we all. But what he has done is something quite extraordinary. He has said no to Murdoch and now he has said no to Rothermere, both agents for the dissemination of the neo-feudal myth. That has taken courage not seen from people like him before. yes, Tom Watson did it, but he was not a party leader. Miliband is. His brother, I am quite sure would not have done it. Miliband's politics remain too neo-liberal, but his courage is real.
I hope Obama shows the same courage. He is facing the same enemy in the USA. The Republicans want to close down the state there. They've chosen Obamacare and debt as the issue, but it's just an excuse. The plan is to shut down the state, just as Osborne and Cameron want to slash its size so that more of the power, more of the wealth and more of the control can pass into the hands of an elite who can control societies, economies and global finance in ways beyond control.
Tax havens are, of course, agents of this process providing stateless anonymity for finance for the few as they do.
And the price is to all of us.
We literally pay. And we lose services, security, hope and freedom.
We become worse off. And that's why this is a theme for this blog. In a world where there is already too much poverty, too much despair, too much insecurity and far too little freedom neo-feudalism stands to make things much worse.
That's why it has to be named and opposed by those who believe that the interests of ordinary people matter. In neo-feudalism they don't.
Miliband's doing a brave and good job.
We have to hope Obama does not blink.
We cannot afford either to lose.
It's that important.