Life in the middle ages was better than today - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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End of Roman society, feudalism, rise of religious power, beginnings of the nation-state, renaissance (476 - 1492 CE).
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By Dr House
#1578120
Meh. I'm fine with it. Rather them than me.


Wait, weren't conservatives that were supposed to be heartless?

-Dr House :smokin:
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By Potemkin
#1578121
Wait, weren't conservatives that were supposed to be heartless?

I'm not a liberal, I'm a cold-hearted Stalinist monster, remember? :)
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By Dr House
#1578122
Oh yeah...

So how is it that your ideology is of the people, again?

-Dr House :smokin:
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By Potemkin
#1578139
Oh yeah...

So how is it that your ideology is of the people, again?

How is it not? Most people are not bleeding-heart liberals, in case you haven't noticed.
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By Ombrageux
#1578205
Most people are not bleeding-heart liberals, in case you haven't noticed.

And even less are Stalinists..
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By R_G
#1578214
Most people are not bleeding-heart liberals, in case you haven't noticed.


In Canada we have em by the boatloads, literally they come to our country looking for work.
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By Rippy The Razor
#1578296
Most filthy peasants lived off of bland & plain pourage. They could eat lots of meat in some countries, but had no spices to cook with. Food was so bland back then many common household spices we take for granted were worth more than gold back then.

Monarchy sucked unless you were royalty or a ranking official in the church. Serfs were little better off than slaves.

One plus side is you pretty much got to live off alcohol, could legally walk/ride home drunk,and not have to worry about hurting anybody but yourself. On the downside every mean rotten drunk you have ever known that should really give up drinking has no choice but to continue drinking.

The great deal killer between then and now is the midieval dental plan. Everybody hates the modern dentist. They have the highest suicide rate of any professional, and they make children cry by parents just mentioning the word dentist. We all hate them with their drills and needles, but none of us have ever had to go through the medieval alternative of having your friends grab some tools from the garage, hold you down, and find some creative way to knock/pry/cut your teeth out.
By Einherjar
#1578396
Prosthetic Conscience wrote:Both of you seem to think that the high likelihood of dying in infancy, childhood or early adulthood wasn't a problem with people's quality of life. Most people actually find young people dying to be a bit of a bummer. If you're trying to tell us you don't give a toss about any of your relatives younger than you dying, then it'd be better to tell us (and them) openly.

It's up to you to explain to me why things must necessarily be viewed from a quantitative point. Besides, I did not say that life expectancy up to 28 was mathematically incorrect. I said it was misleading. No one really died at that age, except warriors at the peak of their strength.

And if we had to take into account the modern practice of murdering infants before they're even born, what would life expectancy be? 1, 2? :roll:
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By Prosthetic Conscience
#1578875
Einherjar, yes, you said it was misleading, although you haven't in any way explained why it would be 'misleading'. That would be up to you.

"It's up to you to explain to me why things must necessarily be viewed from a quantitative point" - I'm not even saying it's a quantitative thing - when your child dies, it's a bummer. The quality of your life is affected, whatever their, or your, age was.

You are, however, incorrect when you said "No one really died at that age, except warriors at the peak of their strength" - women would frequently die in childbirth at and around that age, and everyone would be more likely to die from diseases we can now cure with antibiotics, or prevent with vaccines, at both that and any other age. Life was indeed more dangerous for everyone back then.

I do wonder, if your thought of people aged 28 back in the Middle Ages, was 'warriors', if you've ever really looked at history outside of the "Boys' Book of Big Battles" school of thought.
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By Ter
#1578962
Both of you seem to think that the high likelihood of dying in infancy, childhood or early adulthood wasn't a problem with people's quality of life. Most people actually find young people dying to be a bit of a bummer. If you're trying to tell us you don't give a toss about any of your relatives younger than you dying, then it'd be better to tell us (and them) openly.


PC, what are you talking about ? I was just pointing out that the 28 years life expectancy was a statistical figure and did not reflect on the life span of adults.

Up until a couple of centuries ago, people expected a big proportion of their children to die as babies and in young childhood. I am *not* saying those deaths were not mourned, but I believe this was more accepted than it is now. Johan Sebastian Bach had like twelve kids, six of whom died. That was also the reason that new babies were not named immediately after birth but sometimes, and to this day in certain primitive societies, only after months or even a year.

Up until 1945, anyone with an infection, any infection, would either live or die, and the medicals could do nothing about it. Hospitals had a special ward for infections, the patients would just lie there, and some would live, most would die. Look at the ridiculous ways patients with tuberculosis were treated up until the first half of the twentieth Century.

It's an interesting topic.


Ter
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By Prosthetic Conscience
#1579138
So, people who lived through all that would happily live to be 70 or 80, just like today.


Up until 1945, anyone with an infection, any infection, would either live or die, and the medicals could do nothing about it. Hospitals had a special ward for infections, the patients would just lie there, and some would live, most would die. Look at the ridiculous ways patients with tuberculosis were treated up until the first half of the twentieth Century.


Make your mind up, Ter - were all the adults happily living until 70 or 80, or were they dying of infections we can now survive.

You called the quote of "life expectancy of 28" a 'frequent misinterpretation'. In what way was it misinterpreted? Dr. House just said it as an example of the bad quality of life. Along with the lack of bathrooms, and no anaesthesia. If you think that it's a misinterpretation, then you must have been saying "they didn't worry about children dying".
By Einherjar
#1579163
Prosthetic Conscience wrote:You are, however, incorrect when you said "No one really died at that age, except warriors at the peak of their strength" - women would frequently die in childbirth at and around that age, and everyone would be more likely to die from diseases we can now cure with antibiotics, or prevent with vaccines, at both that and any other age. Life was indeed more dangerous for everyone back then.

I do wonder, if your thought of people aged 28 back in the Middle Ages, was 'warriors', if you've ever really looked at history outside of the "Boys' Book of Big Battles" school of thought.

You cling to a false statement whose only purpose was to make a contrasting point. Another modernist problem - the sheer preoccupation with trivial details obscures a general picture of things.
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By noemon
#1579186
The Middle Ages, might not have been better than today. But certainly they were not as bad as marxist slants have theorized. And a major lie of Marxist historical materialism has been that they was no bourgoisie during the Middle Ages. That the urban centres fell, which is false, the Slavs, the Goths, and the Avars destroyed much of the urban culture of the Greco-Roman world, but not all of them. Many cities stood, and thrived, and together with the cities, the middle-class, and with the middle-class, the arts, the sciences, sanitation for the urban centres, and all their derivatives.

The bourgoisie of the Classical world, did decrease in number and geographical domain, but it did not vanish, as some marxists claim. For Western Europe ofc, the Middle Ages were an advancement(in terms of what they were before) which did not bring them backwards but forward.
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By Potemkin
#1579192
The Middle Ages, might not have been better than today. But certainly they were not as bad as marxist slants have theorized.

Why 'Marxist slants'? It tends to be the bourgeois historians who decry the Middle Ages as a useless interregnum between the glories of the Ancient World and the glories of the Modern World. In reality, the Middle Ages were, for the most part, a period of great culture and human progress. The cathedrals, for example, were the biggest construction projects in human history, after the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China. Medieval European cathedrals are among the great wonders of the world, a staggering achievement.
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By noemon
#1579198
I reckon that it is the marxists, and their historical serfdom paradigm that has totally discredited the Middle Ages. Ofc, bourgoisie classicists completely fixed on Greece and Rome, have added further fuel to that. I agree. Or maybe the other way around, and the marxist platform was provided by those fixed classicists. Maybe.

And ofc, i agree with your example.
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By Potemkin
#1579202
I reckon that it is the marxists, and their historical serfdom paradigm that has totally discredited the Middle Ages.

But what about the historical slavery paradigm of the Marxists? After all, we talk about "wage slavery" and not "wage serfdom".

Ofc, bourgoisie classicists completely fixed on Greece and Rome, have added further fuel to that. I agree. Or maybe the other way around, and the marxist platform was provided by those fixed classicists. Maybe.

I would say definitely. Marx certainly talked about "medieval trash", but mainly in reference to laws and social customs which were hindering the development of capitalism and bourgeois hegemony in the early Modern period. Marx largely derived his attitude from the bourgeois clasicists of his time. Remember, the social and religious values of the Medieval period were overthrown by the bourgeoisie, not by Marxists. The new ruling class of bourgeois despised the values of the Middle Ages, which is why many socialists in 19th century Britain, such as William Morris, were obsessed with the Medieval period. They saw it as a more democratic time, and as a lost 'organic' society in which all classes were united.
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By noemon
#1579205
But what about the historical slavery paradigm of the Marxists? After all, we talk about "wage slavery" and not "wage serfdom".


You mean the one prior to serfdom?

That is even more false. Because slavery was not abandoned during the marxist serfdom theoretical era, nor after it.

I would say definitely. Marx certainly talked about "medieval trash", but mainly in reference to laws and social customs which were hindering the development of capitalism and bourgeois hegemony in the early Modern period.


The fallacy is that they were not hindering its development but instead protecting it, in the case of Byzantium(ie the Latin and Venetian merchant expropriations were the most loud manifestations of bourgoisie dictatorship, and the merchant legalistic treaties signed with the Rus' another manifestation) and the Islamic caliphate was another full-blown capitalist economy. The problem with marxist materialism, is that it is greatly underdeveloped, and generalized a lot in terms of geography.

Another fallacy is the assumtpion that the laws were different, the Laws have been exactly the same from the day of the established Constitution in Athens by Solon, which in effect created capitalism in Europe, until today, with very minor modifications, systemized in Roman Law, which has been the Laws of Europe(and lately of many others too) from the antiquity untill today.
Last edited by noemon on 05 Jul 2008 15:31, edited 1 time in total.
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By Potemkin
#1579208
You mean the one prior to serfdom?

Yes.

That is even more false. Because slavery was not abandoned during the serfdom era, nor after it.

Correct. However, it was abandoned as the main mode of production in late antiquity, being replaced by serfdom and the feudal mode of production. It did not disappear entirely, as you stated, and indeed it enjoyed a resurgence in the early Modern period with the slave trade out of Africa. However, in the European heartlands, it remained marginal and lasted only a couple of centuries in the American colonies, where it was introduced and became the main mode of production because the shortage of labour in the colonies. When one mode of production displaces another, the old mode of production never entirely vanishes. There are still cases of slavery in Britain even now, with foreign domestics and sex workers; however, these are isolated cases and not the main mode of economic production.

The fallacy is that they were not hindering its development but instead protecting it, in the case of Byzantium(ie the Latin and Venetian merchant expropriations were the most loud manifestations of bourgoisie dictatorship, and the merchant legalistic treaties signed with the Rus' another manifestation) and the Islamic caliphate was another full-blown capitalist economy.

Trading is not identical with capitalism. And the Islamic Caliphate was not "a full-blown capitalist economy". They allowed and encouraged trading, but by this standard ancient Rome was a "full-blown capitalist economy". This is nonsense, on the same level as those American pro-capitalists on this forum who try to claim that capitalism is the only "natural" economic system since it has existed since the Stone Age. :roll:

The problem with marxist materialism, is that it is greatly underdeveloped, and generalized a lot in terms of geography.

How so? Could you give some examples of this deficiency?

Another fallacy is the assumtpion that the laws were different, the Laws have been exactly the same from the day of the established Constitution in Athens by Solon, which in effect created capitalism in Europe, until today, with very minor modifications, systemized in Roman Law, which has been the Laws of Europe(and lately of many others too) from the antiquity untill today.

Then how do you explain why industrial capitalism first developed in Britain, which never adopted Roman law? And ancient Athens was not a capitalist economy; they had real slaves doing all the work, not just "wage slaves".
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By noemon
#1579213
I already did. Byzantium and the Islamic caliphate were bourgoisie economies, they capitalist economies by all senses, except for the fact that techonology did not allow the volume produced to be as it is today after industrialism, as was Ancient Rome, and as was Alexander's Legacy. Alexander is not Great for conguering, Alexander is great for establishing a capitalist network of urban cities outside of the already established networks of trade, which transfered everything into his network.

Also,

noemon wrote:Another fallacy is the assumtpion that the laws were different, the Laws have been exactly the same from the day of the established Constitution in Athens by Solon, which in effect created capitalism in Europe, until today, with very minor modifications, systemized in Roman Law, which has been the Laws of Europe(and lately of many others too) from the antiquity untill today.


Then how do you explain why industrial capitalism first developed in Britain, which never adopted Roman law? And ancient Athens was not a capitalist economy; they had real slaves doing all the work, not just "wage slaves".


First, ofc, she did adopt Roman Law especially the private laws.
wiki wrote:This is especially true in the field of private law.Even the English and North American Common law owes some debt to Roman law although Roman law exercised much less influence on the English legal system than on the legal systems of the continent.
, second, industrialism is not the driver behind capitalism, but the other way around. It is capitalism, combined with technology that brought industrialism.
Last edited by noemon on 05 Jul 2008 15:39, edited 1 time in total.
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By Potemkin
#1579216
I already did. Byzantium and the Islamic caliphate were bourgoisie economies, they capitalist economies by all senses, except for the fact that techonology did not allow the volume produced to be as it is today after industrialism, as was Ancient Rome, and as was Alexander's Legacy. Alexander is not Great for conguering, Alexander is great for establishing a capitalist network of urban cities outside of the already established networks of trade, which transfered everything into his network.

Opening and protecting trade routes is not the same thing as capitalism. Alexander's conquests linked Europe and Asia and permitted trade to occur over a far wider geographical region than had ever been possible before. And who knows what might have happened if he had fulfilled his ambition of conquering western Europe as well as Asia? But this is not the same as establishing the capitalist mode of production in his Empire. He clearly didn't. It was and remained a slave-based economy.

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