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It's not actually true that technology did not develop in the middle ages. It did, but it was based on craftsmanship rather than centralised mass education.

It is quite probable that centralised mass education is necessary to maintain a technically sophisticated industrial society. But it is less than perfectly self-evident that this education cannot be co-opted by a feudal system. If you have a two-tier educational system in which corporations sponsor high-quality education in subjects that they like (and in a context that encourages loyalty to their bureaucracy), then you would have an almost classic late feudal system. As a member of the privileged classes you would get to pick which corporation you want to align with (and work in and pay off your student loans to). As a member of the underprivileged classes, your situation would be analogous to that of the Incas after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.

I don't see how this can't possibly work, as long as the plunder remains profitable. And when it becomes unprofitable, all you have to do is corral in the lower classes with consumer credit. Then we've come full circle.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 10th, 2011 at 07:09:29 AM EST
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