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Origins of bourgeoisie - varnamvarnam
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Origins of bourgeoisie

Karl
Marx, the father of communism, argued that contradictions within
capitalism would bring about its own end and it would be replaced by
communism. He also believed that capitalism would end through the
organized actions of the working class. We don’t know if Indian
Naxalites have read or believe in these fairy tales, but they have
taken it on themselves to murder people in the name of this ideology
and they believe that murdering feudal landlords is the way to
salvation. People of the Early
Middle Ages
(500 – 1050 CE) would have disagreed
with this point of view.

During
the Early Middle Ages, the society was mostly agrarian and
feudalism was built on an economic foundation known as manorialism.
A lord controlled a manorial village and some lords controlled many.
In the village, there were peasants, blacksmiths, carpenters, and
priests and at the bottom of the food chain was the serf who
lived in a hut along with chickens and pigs. The hut was smoke filled
and when it rained the earth floor would turn into mud. The serfs
earned no respect and they were depicted as ugly, dirty and cowardly
creatures.

Manorialism and Feudalism expected a social order that was stable
and organic. People were expected to accept their social status and
perform the role as per their ranking in the social order. This
social order was not to be upset and people were not expected to
change their position in this social order. The clergy helped in this
aspect by maintaining that, “God himself willed that among men
some must be lords and some serfs.”

As Europe moved into
the High Middle Ages, there was a revival of urban economy and the
re-emergence of central authority. With the invention of the heavy
plough
, the use of windmills for grinding cereals, and three-field system of managing  land, there was an agricultural
revolution. The rebirth of towns led to a commercial revolution and
the rise of an enterprising and dynamic middle class. The development
of towns gave new opportunities to the serfs and they escaped from
the manor seeking fortune and freedom. Some of them made a living
selling food and the others through trade.

The lords despised
people who made a living through trade because they thought trade and
manual labor were degrading. The clergy cursed them because they
thought that the pursuit of riches was shameful and was an obstacle
for salvation. They finally came up with a name for these dynamic
progressive people — bourgeoisie which means citizens of the
burg,
the walled town.

The feudal and manorial establishments were
not destroyed by revolts but by a change of the economic system. The
change of economic system was not from feudalism to classless
stateless clueless concepts of mass ownership, but into capitalism. 
It was not violence but economic opportunities and financial freedom
that changed the lives of the serfs.

Reference: Western Civilization Volume 1, Medieval Civilization In Western Europe


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