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3. THE CURRENT SITUATION

Unfortunately most governments are so politically motivated that they loose sight of many of the general needs of their fellow citizens. Amongst other things, there is a need for a higher degree of social justice and this topic concerns us here. The historical development of our society has much to answer for and in this summary it will be traced in the most basic ways. It is important to see that although money systems and banking developed in parallel with social relationships, these financial facilities were not directly the cause for the current (more physical) unjust situation of the various parts of the community.

3.1 Brief Historical Review

When countries first became stable in setting their territorial boundaries, the king or chief gave his leading fighters and loyal supporters the opportunity-rights to large tracts of land. In return for this favor, the landlord was obliged to pay the king ground-rent or the equivalent of it, often in the form of material produce from the land itself. In practice the landlord collected it from his villains or peasants, whilst the produce helped the king to acquire wealth. These peasants also had access to small areas of land for their private use and cultivation. These areas were spread over the larger fields. Their quality varied, for various types of productivity, so that ideally each family had roughly the same opportunities for use of the good and the less productive soils. Thus a triple layered society evolved of kings and their families who enjoyed much of the resulting wealth, landlords or nobles who managed the lands and paid court (and produce and/or money) to the royals and peasants who did the physical work. In addition the church was allowed to govern the social and religious needs (by fears and superstitions) of the whole population. These ministers and bishops were also granted noble status, with ability to control some of the land and to have rights to a part of the resulting wealth.

The two upper classes could support and and pay for small armies to control the majority of the population. In this feudal system, the male peasants also were expected to provide regular but part-time military service to the King's army, particularly for the purpose of resisting foreign invasion. Within this stable social system these 3 classes of people each found his/her place in the region and did not move far away from home.

As the system developed and towns grew, a new class of merchants arose, who were able to collect funds for the establishment of improved means for transport of goods, so that they could safely travel between the towns and regions (at home and abroad) and to carry and exchange the various specialized products of each. Instead of bartering for the exchange of goods, money in the form of gold and silver, was introduced to ease their trading. Specialized craftsmen also became established, who found by similar investments in production tools and facilities that this was a better way to earn a living in the mostly crowded and squalid towns. These craftsmen soon established guilds and monopolies so that they were able to control the production of their particular kind of produce and particularly its resulting price.

This situation was developed and continued for many hundreds of years with the ownership and rights to the land and production faculties being strictly organized and controlled. With the gradual development of the "enlightenment", more towns' people learned to read and were able to better understand their religion and the means by which their society was politically governed. The conditions of the landless working class were always hard and it took a long time until national revolutionary forces managed to dominate the political scene and to replace some of the limiting controls of the nobles and churchmen by lawful government. Even so, the corrupting forces in politics also played a large part in the election of responsible officers and bribery was the normal means of getting changes made. In fact the huge contrast between the conditions and rights of the working classes and the others classes still prevailed.

It only became reduced after child labor and slavery were abolished and trade-unions or workers committees were permitted.The ownership of the land was no longer being controlled by the king, but many of the families of nobles (who tended to intermarry and thereby continue to retain their control of the land) were able to force the rural workers away from it and into the towns. They did this by "acts of enclosure" which legally permitted common land, which was previously shared by the majority of the population of that region, to become privatized. In extreme cases in England, this process even destroyed country villages, resulting in even more of the local population having to move to the slum conditions of the towns. What were once land-sharing peasants then became poverty-struck workers, who were ever more dependent on the monopolistic managers of the factories than when they were living in the countryside and being managed by the local nobility.

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