A Distant Mirror: Barbara Tuchman c1978

I found these following statements in Tuchnam's book. They hit me with stunning immediacy and relevance to our modern state, yet this depictcs the situation of 600+ years ago, in the "bad old middle ages". It appears there is an inevitable one percent in every society of every age that will abscond with all the wealth they can possibly take. Always finding false rationalizations for their greed, they impoverish society as a whole.

"the total ranks of the nobility in (14th century) France numbered about 200,000 persons in 40,000 to 50,000 families who represented something over one percent of the population."

"(the nobility).. were supposed, in theory, to serve as defenders of the Faith, upholders of justice, champions of the oppressed. In practice they were themselves the oppressors, and by the 14th century the violence and lawlessness of men of the sword had become a major agency of disorder."

"In this capacity as protector, the noble earned exemption from direct taxation by poll or hearth-tax, although not from the aids or sales taxes. These, however, took proportionately more from the poor than from the rich."

Oh, and another very interesting thought...

"Si l’on ôtait l’ordre privilégié, la nation ne serait pas quelque chose de moins, mais quelque chose de plus."

"If the privleged order were removed, the nation would not be something less, but something more."
Emmanuel Joseph (Abbé) Sieyès: What Is the Third Estate? 1789

..thinking upon this..... and if the 1% were removed?..!


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