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Thread: Backroom Errata

  1. #151
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    It's a photo of a page in a book bro. It's sourced from army unit histories. Check the tweet stream.

    But I shouldn't need to explain the concept of primary sources to a historian.
    Indeed - the book is a secondary source which may or may not misrepresent the primary source.

    The generally reaction on twitter, and here, seems to be that whilst things are far from perfect the US has come a very long way.

    So, why the expletive?
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  2. #152
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    PVC, I hope you're geared up to appreciate this.
    The adjective "churlish" has little or nothing to do with the poverty or low status of churls, it has to do with their lack of education - specifically their inability to read or speak French when the Normans invaded in 1066.

    The idea that "churlishness" is a class-related concept is outdated, it's a race-related concept. Essentially after 1066 the Normans were unable to subdue the Anglo-Saxons and resorted to establishing an apartheid system which classified everyone as either English or Norman, with only the latter being accorded any rights. Among the particularly burdensome laws the Normans enacted was the necessity to prove "Englishry" when someone was murdered - i.e. that the person was not Norman. This was necessary because the Saxons would habitually murder any Normans they came across in the first years after the Conquest and the only way to (supposedly) get them to stop was to threaten to beggar entire villages.

    On the subject of serfs - not a Saxon concept. The Saxons did sometimes practice slavery, it was common enough that several Saxons kings legislated against it until it was finally outright banned under Cnut. They also practised a form of indenture for debts similar to the one used for prisoners in early English colonies. Serfdom, however, was entirely alien to Anglo-Saxon society and when the Normans invaded serfdom was principally imposed upon the churls - which is another reason why the word "churlish" has attracted so many negative connotations.

    By the by, the word "rude" used to just mean simple" but it attracted the same negative associations as the word "churl" by also having an English root. Another example, the word "buxom" just means willing so a "buxom" maid is (an English) one willing to go to bed with you.

    All of which is to say that visiting English scholar isn't very good - or is discoursing on a topic he knows little about - and the blogger has got completely the wrong end of the stick.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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  3. #153

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Indeed - the book is a secondary source which may or may not misrepresent the primary source.

    The generally reaction on twitter, and here, seems to be that whilst things are far from perfect the US has come a very long way.

    So, why the expletive?
    I don't really understand your point? The tweet author came across the quotes in a book about the integration of the air force while researching a mutiny that occurred at the time and place of the quoted primary source. I don't see why I need to justify a strong reaction to horrible pervasive racism either.

    It remains strange that your first reaction was that the source must be misrepresenting something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    The adjective "churlish" has little or nothing to do with the poverty or low status of churls, it has to do with their lack of education - specifically their inability to read or speak French when the Normans invaded in 1066.

    The idea that "churlishness" is a class-related concept is outdated, it's a race-related concept. Essentially after 1066 the Normans were unable to subdue the Anglo-Saxons and resorted to establishing an apartheid system which classified everyone as either English or Norman, with only the latter being accorded any rights. Among the particularly burdensome laws the Normans enacted was the necessity to prove "Englishry" when someone was murdered - i.e. that the person was not Norman. This was necessary because the Saxons would habitually murder any Normans they came across in the first years after the Conquest and the only way to (supposedly) get them to stop was to threaten to beggar entire villages.

    On the subject of serfs - not a Saxon concept. The Saxons did sometimes practice slavery, it was common enough that several Saxons kings legislated against it until it was finally outright banned under Cnut. They also practised a form of indenture for debts similar to the one used for prisoners in early English colonies. Serfdom, however, was entirely alien to Anglo-Saxon society and when the Normans invaded serfdom was principally imposed upon the churls - which is another reason why the word "churlish" has attracted so many negative connotations.

    By the by, the word "rude" used to just mean simple" but it attracted the same negative associations as the word "churl" by also having an English root. Another example, the word "buxom" just means willing so a "buxom" maid is (an English) one willing to go to bed with you.

    All of which is to say that visiting English scholar isn't very good - or is discoursing on a topic he knows little about - and the blogger has got completely the wrong end of the stick.
    Interesting, but the substance that the blogger took toward the post was a modern analogy from the combination of the freedom and low-status of the churls, which is what I considered worthy of comment. The blogger didn't relate the lecturer as saying anything about Norman England; that makes sense given the lecture is described as being about Anglo-Saxon (early Medieval) England. Might you be barking up the wrong tree?
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  4. #154
    Hǫrðar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    However, I'd like to point out that the perspective of the immigrant to Ghana you quote is extremely American. Ghana, like many African countries, is highly ethnically diverse, so the concept of "black" would have little internal significance; this woman is almost certainly perceived as an outgrouper by most autochthonous Ghanaians. From her perspective, she is surrounded by similarly-colored people from the 'motherland' and it's not any more complicated than that to her.
    One obvious question is how this outgroup perception compares to the country she left behind. Certain outgroups may also be perceived positively in sum.

    Another highly relevant question is to what extent the locals tend to notice ethnicity based on appearance, including physical traits and cultural markers, particularly in the urban environment where this woman lives.
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  5. #155
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I don't really understand your point? The tweet author came across the quotes in a book about the integration of the air force while researching a mutiny that occurred at the time and place of the quoted primary source. I don't see why I need to justify a strong reaction to horrible pervasive racism either.

    It remains strange that your first reaction was that the source must be misrepresenting something.
    My first reaction to the source, as an historian, is that it appears to be misrepresenting something. All secondary sources are written with a particular goal/thesis and it behoves me to ask why that is. The American army in WWII was and is a byword for institutional racism at all levels and there have been two films about the trials and successes of the Tuskegee Airmen specifically. Given that this was surely known to you it behoves me also to ask why you are posting this?

    As to why it looks dodgy - I'll elaborate on my previous explanation. The final quote from an American airman is cut off mid-sentence and it's unclear whether his view of coloured airmen is actually positive or negative, but it's made to look negative by grouping it with the other quotes. If this is the sort of historiography the book employs then the book is manipulative and not to be trusted. You need to drill back to the original unit histories.

    Interesting, but the substance that the blogger took toward the post was a modern analogy from the combination of the freedom and low-status of the churls, which is what I considered worthy of comment. The blogger didn't relate the lecturer as saying anything about Norman England; that makes sense given the lecture is described as being about Anglo-Saxon (early Medieval) England. Might you be barking up the wrong tree?
    As I said, the negative connotations to "churl" are post-Norman. The word really just means "man" in the same way Adam does. Do you think there would have been so many Germanic Kings calls Karl if it was an insult as far back as Late Antiquity? If you want some orientation on this I suggest you look up the story of Thrall, Karl and Jarl which is a Norse legend about Heimdall that maps the social classes in Germanic society.

    The point is that the example is faulty - there is no real correlation between the blogger's perception of the churl and the modern American - they've created a false equivalency. In so doing they've taken precisely the wrong lesson from history.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  6. #156

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    One obvious question is how this outgroup perception compares to the country she left behind. Certain outgroups may also be perceived positively in sum.

    Another highly relevant question is to what extent the locals tend to notice ethnicity based on appearance, including physical traits and cultural markers, particularly in the urban environment where this woman lives.
    How do all types of Europeans and Africans and Asians distinguish one another? There are shibboleths.

    What do you think of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    My first reaction to the source, as an historian, is that it appears to be misrepresenting something. All secondary sources are written with a particular goal/thesis and it behoves me to ask why that is. The American army in WWII was and is a byword for institutional racism at all levels and there have been two films about the trials and successes of the Tuskegee Airmen specifically. Given that this was surely known to you it behoves me also to ask why you are posting this?

    As to why it looks dodgy - I'll elaborate on my previous explanation. The final quote from an American airman is cut off mid-sentence and it's unclear whether his view of coloured airmen is actually positive or negative, but it's made to look negative by grouping it with the other quotes. If this is the sort of historiography the book employs then the book is manipulative and not to be trusted. You need to drill back to the original unit histories
    I'm surprised you didn't know that ellipses in quotes is widely used in all forms of non-fiction. It is not inherently misleading.

    To assume that this sequence is "dodgy" and that the author is manipulating the abbreviated quote to turn a positive sentiment negative would surely require some evidence. or else it would be nothing more than a malicious attack on someone for printing subject matter you don't like. The author's prior history of improper or misleading citation for instance. But you didn't offer any.

    Turning to the actual content it's hard to look at:

    1. Racism
    2. Racism!
    3. Racism
    4. Racism

    and not think one would have to be motivated to confidently interject that the last quote might read something like "That isn't just what they are looking for. What they want to do is to stand at the same bar with you, and be able to talk with your wife. They are insisting on equality... [and I think that's totally awesome!]" What, do you need them to say something like this? (Don't be like Spencer.)

    Your judgement on this quote also suggests you are unaware of the historical association between white racism and misogyny/chauvinism. I should emphasize there's a reason a number of these quotes refer to white women or wives in relation to the undesirability of black contact with them. Historically it has been an overwhelmingly prevalent trope that non-white (not just black) men are sexually predator and hunger for the sweet pure flesh of white women, who are themselves judged to vulnerable to succumbing to the aggression or blandishments of swarthy ravishers. Thus in the US there was a great deal of paranoia over white women having any sort of relations, especially as peers, with black men. With the last quote anyone familiar with this history would instantly be aware of the connotation of the speaker's reference to black soldiers wanting to "talk with your wife," and it's not that he's open to sharing an interracial cuckold fetish...


    As I said, the negative connotations to "churl" are post-Norman. The word really just means "man" in the same way Adam does. Do you think there would have been so many Germanic Kings calls Karl if it was an insult as far back as Late Antiquity? If you want some orientation on this I suggest you look up the story of Thrall, Karl and Jarl which is a Norse legend about Heimdall that maps the social classes in Germanic society.

    The point is that the example is faulty - there is no real correlation between the blogger's perception of the churl and the modern American - they've created a false equivalency. In so doing they've taken precisely the wrong lesson from history.
    Here is the operative part of the post:

    Its archaic meaning, though, is for a person of low class. Specifically, in early Saxon England the churls were the lowest class of free people, which is to say they were not nobles nor royalty nor clergy, but nor were they serfs. They were essentially peasants; poor, but with the social and practical advantage of not being bound to a manor as serfs were. They were, in words used by the Mystery Lecturer that I will never forget, "possessing the freedom of the upper classes but without the economic means to take advantage of it."
    The premise of the article lies in the one and only line that the writer attributes to the lecturer, which I bolded. It has nothing to do with the Normans or the later insulting connotation of the word "churl," which was just mentioned as a lead-in by the author. The author's analogy is from the status of ceorlas as the lowest-class freemen of early Anglo-Saxon (pre-Norman) society. Do you not accept that ceorl = low-status freeman? Do you not accept the validity of the statement attributed to the lecturer (in bold)? I think you just had a lapse of reading comprehension, it happens.
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  7. #157
    Hǫrðar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    How do all types of Europeans and Africans and Asians distinguish one another?
    Unless they can hear the other person speak, they don't necessarily.

    For example, unless a person of Sami descent is wearing traditional clothing or is heard speaking Sami, the average ethnic Norwegian might not be able to tell that they are of Sami descent, because there isn't really any physiological trait that makes the conclusion inevitable (for reference, here's the Norwegian Sami parliament for 2013-2017, a parliament where participation by law is supposed to be limited to people of Sami ethnic identity).

    Let's put it this way: You are told to categorize 100 random people based on ethnicity with the information that there are 50 from each group. Even if you get everything right, you might still tend to not notice the ethnicity when you meet people on the street, because the difference in appearance is just not that large.

    If you live in an ethnically homogeneous area, you would tend to assume that people share your ethnic background unless you have a particular reason not to.

    If people normally can't tell that you have a different background than them before you say anything, you are already fitting in quite well.

    What do you think of this?
    Don't see what it is supposed to add. Any effects of his ancestry on his life in the US are barely touched on, likewise regarding his cultural background from the US and his new life in Korea.
    Last edited by Viking; 11-06-2019 at 20:57.
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  8. #158

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    Unless they can hear the other person speak, they don't necessarily.

    For example, unless a person of Sami descent is wearing traditional clothing or is heard speaking Sami, the average ethnic Norwegian might not be able to tell that they are of Sami descent, because there isn't really any physiological trait that makes the conclusion inevitable (for reference, here's the Norwegian Sami parliament for 2013-2017, a parliament where participation by law is supposed to be limited to people of Sami ethnic identity).

    Let's put it this way: You are told to categorize 100 random people based on ethnicity with the information that there are 50 from each group. Even if you get everything right, you might still tend to not notice the ethnicity when you meet people on the street, because the difference in appearance is just not that large.

    If you live in an ethnically homogeneous area, you would tend to assume that people share your ethnic background unless you have a particular reason not to.

    If people normally can't tell that you have a different background than them before you say anything, you are already fitting in quite well.
    Many say you can tell from the face (I wonder if the variation in faces trends greater the larger in population the ethnic group). As you say, all sorts of people living in homogeneous areas may not be conditioned to be visually sensitive to ethnicity.

    White faces are still normative to many, but a salient feature of American-ness is that one can never tell by face alone whether someone is American or not.

    Don't see what it is supposed to add. Any effects of his ancestry on his life in the US are barely touched on, likewise regarding his cultural background from the US and his new life in Korea.
    It didn't jump out at you that he is a Korean-American who basically became a Mexican-American (chicano)? Hence opening a Mexican restaurant.
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  9. #159
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I'm surprised you didn't know that ellipses in quotes is widely used in all forms of non-fiction. It is not inherently misleading.

    To assume that this sequence is "dodgy" and that the author is manipulating the abbreviated quote to turn a positive sentiment negative would surely require some evidence. or else it would be nothing more than a malicious attack on someone for printing subject matter you don't like. The author's prior history of improper or misleading citation for instance. But you didn't offer any.

    Turning to the actual content it's hard to look at:

    1. Racism
    2. Racism!
    3. Racism
    4. Racism

    and not think one would have to be motivated to confidently interject that the last quote might read something like "That isn't just what they are looking for. What they want to do is to stand at the same bar with you, and be able to talk with your wife. They are insisting on equality... [and I think that's totally awesome!]" What, do you need them to say something like this? (Don't be like Spencer.)

    Your judgement on this quote also suggests you are unaware of the historical association between white racism and misogyny/chauvinism. I should emphasize there's a reason a number of these quotes refer to white women or wives in relation to the undesirability of black contact with them. Historically it has been an overwhelmingly prevalent trope that non-white (not just black) men are sexually predator and hunger for the sweet pure flesh of white women, who are themselves judged to vulnerable to succumbing to the aggression or blandishments of swarthy ravishers. Thus in the US there was a great deal of paranoia over white women having any sort of relations, especially as peers, with black men. With the last quote anyone familiar with this history would instantly be aware of the connotation of the speaker's reference to black soldiers wanting to "talk with your wife," and it's not that he's open to sharing an interracial cuckold fetish...
    I'm going to sum up my response by simply saying, "Son, I ain't that stupid."

    You really need to stop assuming otherwise, it's becoming beyond insulting.

    The use of ellipsis in popular history is usually used to obfuscate. Remember, those quotes were excerpted and edited by the author, those probably don't represent an organic collection of quotes in their original context.

    The point is, you don't know what the end of that last quote would be and there's nothing in the book to tell you. This is the problem with secondary sources.

    Either the book is badly written or it's deliberately intended to mislead for some reason. Given that people there at the time, like my own grandfather, have always told me the American Army was incredibly racist even by 1940's standards the content doesn't interest me as much as the motives of the historian.

    Here is the operative part of the post:

    The premise of the article lies in the one and only line that the writer attributes to the lecturer, which I bolded. It has nothing to do with the Normans or the later insulting connotation of the word "churl," which was just mentioned as a lead-in by the author. The author's analogy is from the status of ceorlas as the lowest-class freemen of early Anglo-Saxon (pre-Norman) society. Do you not accept that ceorl = low-status freeman? Do you not accept the validity of the statement attributed to the lecturer (in bold)? I think you just had a lapse of reading comprehension, it happens.
    No, I don't accept those statements and what I'm trying to explain to you is that Anglo-Saxon society didn't work like that.

    To start with, churls were not "freemen" they were free men, and yes there is a fundamental difference between those two words. Secondly, churls or "ceorls" if you wish, were simply the free men who were not nobles, i.e. Thanes owing loyalty to an Earldorman or the King. To be a ceorl did not mean you were poor or lacking social or legal rights, it simply meant you were not a warrior by profession.

    The lowest free men in Anglo-Saxon society were called "geburs", these were churls who lacked enough land to feed themselves effectively and had to rent land from their liege lord in return for service, mostly agricultural. These men might have been, or be descended from, churls who were more wealthy but had fallen on hard times, i.e. by making a bad land purchase, or they could be former slaves. Now, at this actual lowest wrung it was indeed difficult to progress up the social ladder but it was certainly still possible via frugality or you could end up even worse off by having to sell yourself into slavery.

    This is old-world slavery, mind, not new-world slavery and with hard work you might be able to buy your freedom.

    Here, have a little read:

    https://ahgray.wordpress.com/2013/11...ngs-to-slaves/

    Monty, I defecate you not, I am working at that level were I can ball out a professor from Oxford or Harvard for saying something really dumb and then refusing to back down. So some "visiting lecturer" is not an authority level that remotely impresses me.

    This guy impresses me but I still had things to say about his BBC TV series: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/...t-bartlett-FBA

    I'm sorry, I'm not really into intellectual penis measuring but today is my birthday and I'm frankly a bit sick of putting up with your habit of talking down to people. You may recall last month or so saying you would not "presume" to lecture me on my field, but that's exactly what you're doing. Worse, you presume that my reading is faulty simply because you do not comprehend or agree with my point.

    Doubtless you will now shift tack and argue that by churls the lecturer really meant geburs and even if they did not the analogy still stands if you substitute the geburs for the churls as a whole. To this I would respond, again, that Anglo-Saxon society didn't work like that. Anglo-Saxon society was less of a crab-pot trap than modern American society, I might even hazard that it was easier to escape Anglo-Saxon slavery than it is modern low-income "wage slavery" in the US. This is what I mean by "taking the wrong lesson" because the lesson is not that modern American society is like Anglo-Saxon society in that it has an underclass that perceives itself as free whilst being economically disenfranchised, the lesson is that modern US society is worse.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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  10. #160
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    God I wish this forum had someone as well versed in fascism as you are in pre feudal english society.
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  11. #161

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    I'm going to sum up my response by simply saying, "Son, I ain't that stupid."

    You really need to stop assuming otherwise, it's becoming beyond insulting.

    The use of ellipsis in popular history is usually used to obfuscate. Remember, those quotes were excerpted and edited by the author, those probably don't represent an organic collection of quotes in their original context.

    The point is, you don't know what the end of that last quote would be and there's nothing in the book to tell you. This is the problem with secondary sources.

    Either the book is badly written or it's deliberately intended to mislead for some reason. Given that people there at the time, like my own grandfather, have always told me the American Army was incredibly racist even by 1940's standards the content doesn't interest me as much as the motives of the historian.
    PVC, have you considered that writing nonsense and having me take the time to carefully address it may be insulting. You say:

    1. The use of ellipsis in [non-fiction; this is not popular history anyhow] is usually used to obfuscate.
    2. Because the writer placed an abbreviated quote alongside non-abbreviated quotes that all have the same effect of reinforcing your preexisting impression of the subject matter, you conclude the motives of the historian are questionable.

    Anyone who has read or written any measure of non-fiction of any form or genre would laugh at the first assertion. On the second, I question how your motives could be anything other than malicious. Think about what you're doing, imputing potential, and therefore presumptive, dishonesty to an author for doing something universal, on a topic where you implicitly acknowledge there would be no paucity of honest representations to the same effect that the author produces.

    It's especially galling when you on the Org make ostentatious demands for the most generous treatment regardless of your record. I will hold this against you.

    To start with, churls were not "freemen" they were free men, and yes there is a fundamental difference between those two words. Secondly, churls or "ceorls" if you wish, were simply the free men who were not nobles, i.e. Thanes owing loyalty to an Earldorman or the King. To be a ceorl did not mean you were poor or lacking social or legal rights, it simply meant you were not a warrior by profession.
    The above conforms with what I have read. None of that contradicts, however, the designation as "low-status." I could provide you with half a dozen academic sources that describe ceorls thus.

    Moreover, the post I introduced was specifically based on the fact that ceorls were NOT lacking in social or legal rights. That was the point!!! Once again, your response is evidence that you either did not read what I posted or fundamentally misunderstood the plain language! Honestly you should be embarrassed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Your link
    If you were not part of the aristocratic set, and let’s face it many of us will come under this next group, then you were a peasant worker known as a ceorl (churl). These were freemen
    Quote Originally Posted by You
    To start with, churls were not "freemen" they were free men, and yes there is a fundamental difference between those two words.


    Doubtless you will now shift tack and argue that by churls the lecturer really meant geburs and even if they did not the analogy still stands if you substitute the geburs for the churls as a whole. To this I would respond, again, that Anglo-Saxon society didn't work like that. Anglo-Saxon society was less of a crab-pot trap than modern American society, I might even hazard that it was easier to escape Anglo-Saxon slavery than it is modern low-income "wage slavery" in the US. This is what I mean by "taking the wrong lesson" because the lesson is not that modern American society is like Anglo-Saxon society in that it has an underclass that perceives itself as free whilst being economically disenfranchised, the lesson is that modern US society is worse.
    I was going to point this out, but saved it in a notepad in preparation for your reply. I think it serves my position better than you would like. This is hilarious. What I had written:

    And don't respond by pointing out something tangential like churls having access to slave ownership that is today proscribed. That would suggest a different complication of the analogy, one from an unflattering direction that reinforces its insight: the level of inequality between a common churl and a king back then was in many ways less than that between a common modern citizen and one of the "masters of the universe."
    See also:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    The fact that there was not an elites-peasants dichotomy like some old historiography has it is beside the point. All societies are more complicated than that, including ours. That there was a certain continuity does not negate the reality that neither slave-owning, land-owning churls nor the modern middle class have the full substantive freedoms enjoyed by the upper class. What you could point out instead is that the churl analogy is unnecessary because this has always been true, everywhere that there have been complex economic structures.


    I'm sorry, I'm not really into intellectual penis measuring but today is my birthday and I'm frankly a bit sick of putting up with your habit of talking down to people. You may recall last month or so saying you would not "presume" to lecture me on my field, but that's exactly what you're doing. Worse, you presume that my reading is faulty simply because you do not comprehend or agree with my point.
    I'm going to be very blunt with you. I will not demand that someone prove themselves before I extend them the benefit of the doubt. But I will not infinitely allow someone the enjoyment of this benefit of the doubt when they demonstrate that they do not know what they are talking about or to what they are responding. You had something useful to contribute but your insistence on tangential circumlocutions that don't address the substance or merits of the printed text, even when offered opportunities to recalibrate, is irritating and I expect better. I refuse to make on your behalf the best arguments I perceive available to you - you should do that. Maybe my meaning is unclear. Allow me to steelman you as an example of what I think an appropriate way to problematize my contribution would have been:

    The blogger you quote, while making an important point about the distinction between nominal and substantive rights and freedoms, falls prey to a common sort of popular impression of medieval social structures. He assumes that there has been an uncomplicated linear progress from Medieval times to the present and that the population under late capitalism is regressing in its means, living standards, and social relations to a caricature of the oppressed and immiserated peasant of the distant past. On the contrary, history is not necessarily an linear transformation from crushing aristocratic impunity to meritocratic liberal democracy. Social indicators shift in this or that direction varying by time and place. For example, the original Saxon migrants into the British isles were relatively hierarchically flat compared to the later development of more centralized and sophisticated monarchies in the region. The Anglo-Saxon churls' combination of duties and protections owed them from above as well as their own rights and statistical habits of ownership in slaves and land may in some relative terms leave them better off in their own social context than their modern analogues are in theirs, contradicting the writer's subtext of a uniform and universal improvement currently being jeopardized. When comparing past and present it is important to validate preconceptions that are misleading in specific aspects.

    There, see? It's not difficult to make a contribution that comprehends, expands on and improves the prompt. Happy birthday. Here's your gift.

    And here's a little something for Rory that he will like.


    EDIT: I just wanted to bring to everyone's attention that the diagram in the spoiler has a special outfit for the representation of a rich man, but the representations of rich and poor women are identical. Hmm...
    Last edited by Montmorency; 11-07-2019 at 21:19.
    Vitiate Man.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  12. #162
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    PVC, have you considered that writing nonsense and having me take the time to carefully address it may be insulting. You say:

    1. The use of ellipsis in [non-fiction; this is not popular history anyhow] is usually used to obfuscate.
    2. Because the writer placed an abbreviated quote alongside non-abbreviated quotes that all have the same effect of reinforcing your preexisting impression of the subject matter, you conclude the motives of the historian are questionable.
    Have you considered that only you seem to think it's nonsense? Cutting off the end of the quote is bizarre in the extreme - either the entire quote would have conformed to the racist stereotype, in which case print it, or it wouldn't - in which case omit the quote entirely.

    So the Book was written by this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_L._Gropman, and you can find it here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/b...9781935623557/

    So, let's look at what people said about it...

    This review is generally favourable but notes a couple of failings, specifically on the post-war situation "At this timenumerous Army studies and the report of the Gillem Board (despite Gropman's claim to the contrary) favored maintaining military segregation."

    So, looks like the book is not entirely reliable and possibly makes some unsupportable claim - even if it is meant to be a serious academic study. That being said, Black Athena is supposed to be a serious academic study.

    So, as I originally said, the book does not look entirely reliable and may be manipulating sources for a specific purpose - or just cherry picking.

    Anyone who has read or written any measure of non-fiction of any form or genre would laugh at the first assertion.
    I rather think not. I have read works, serious and otherwise which, when you drill back to the original sources, can be shown to be highly selective. Generally speaking I have found ellipsis to be something that is used to hide the parts of a source you'd rather the reader not see. If you want to disagree with my opinion, that's fine

    On the second, I question how your motives could be anything other than malicious.
    That's because you keep trying to fit me into your preconceptions - especially your right-wing Christian ones.

    Think about what you're doing, imputing potential, and therefore presumptive, dishonesty to an author for doing something universal, on a topic where you implicitly acknowledge there would be no paucity of honest representations to the same effect that the author produces.
    OK, let's look at what I'm actually doing, what I actually said. I said that everybody knows how racist the US Army was in WWII so I'm not really interested in the content, but that excerpt from the book makes me think the book is unreliable.

    It doesn't matter what the content or purpose of the book is to me, I'm interested in critiquing the author. I'm also interested in why you posted the link without comment.

    It's especially galling when you on the Org make ostentatious demands for the most generous treatment regardless of your record. I will hold this against you.
    On the contrary, I think you treat everyone here poorly - not me specifically. I merely note that your previous gestures of intellectual generosity were without substance. When you do not understand what I say you assume it's my fault, you don't even consider that you might be failing to comprehend my point, you don't try to explore what I mean to expand your own comprehending.

    You just resort to ridicule.

    You never like my opinion, so why do you keep soliciting it?

    The above conforms with what I have read. None of that contradicts, however, the designation as "low-status." I could provide you with half a dozen academic sources that describe ceorls thus.
    Any from the last 20 years that describe churls, without qualification, as "low status"?

    Oh, and if you insist on writings "ceorls" then you should also write "Cyning" and not "king". Otherwise, stop being pretentious.

    Moreover, the post I introduced was specifically based on the fact that ceorls were NOT lacking in social or legal rights. That was the point!!! Once again, your response is evidence that you either did not read what I posted or fundamentally misunderstood the plain language! Honestly you should be embarrassed.
    I believe the point was that whilst they had theoretical legal rights they were unable to effectively exercise them because of their low socio-economic status.

    First source I could find at 8am this morning that was generally correct, then I added a qualification where I disagreed with the source. I also disagree with the comment that the Council of London in 1102 banning slavery, given that's not technically true and in fact Wulfstan of York had already promulgated a more extensive ban under Cnut, as I previously noted. Having said that, and I did not previously know this, Wulfstan of Worcester (nephew of Wulfstan of York) was at the London Council in 1102.

    I was going to point this out, but saved it in a notepad in preparation for your reply. I think it serves my position better than you would like. This is hilarious. What I had written:
    Owning a slave in Anglo-Saxon England was perhaps akin to owning a VHS recorder in the 80's, something of a luxury but hardly remarkable. I fail to see how this is germain to your oriignal point, which was that the churls in Anglo-Saxon England were legally free but economically enslaved.

    The fact that there was not an elites-peasants dichotomy like some old historiography has it is beside the point. All societies are more complicated than that, including ours. That there was a certain continuity does not negate the reality that neither slave-owning, land-owning churls nor the modern middle class have the full substantive freedoms enjoyed by the upper class. What you could point out instead is that the churl analogy is unnecessary because this has always been true, everywhere that there have been complex economic structures.
    So you concede the analogy is wrong?

    Anglo-Saxon society had a surprising amount of social freedom and mobility, probably more than modern American society. My point was, and remains, that the correct lesson to draw from Anglo-Saxon society is that despite (or perhaps because of) our greater economic security our society is in many ways less free and fair now than it was then. This is especially true in America, but then that's not surprising because America doesn't have a king.

    A king is essential to understanding most historical theories of power and governance. It seems that the American discourse on, among other things, the medieval past, is somewhat hampered by the lack of an Upper Class. In Anglo-Saxon England there was an Upper Class, it was composed of the King, his blood-kin, his wife's kin and whoever else he decided it included.

    That's the other side of it - Anglo-Saxon society may have been freer from the perspective of social mobility but it was still an absolute monarchy.

    I'm going to be very blunt with you.
    You're never anything else, so presumably you mean you are going to now be openly rude.

    I will not demand that someone prove themselves before I extend them the benefit of the doubt. But I will not infinitely allow someone the enjoyment of this benefit of the doubt when they demonstrate that they do not know what they are talking about or to what they are responding.
    You've never accorded me the benefit of the doubt. So, perhaps, actually, I would need to provide proof?

    You had something useful to contribute but your insistence on tangential circumlocutions that don't address the substance or merits of the printed text, even when offered opportunities to recalibrate, is irritating and I expect better. I refuse to make on your behalf the best arguments I perceive available to you - you should do that. Maybe my meaning is unclear. Allow me to steelman you as an example of what I think an appropriate way to problematize my contribution would have been:

    The blogger you quote, while making an important point about the distinction between nominal and substantive rights and freedoms, falls prey to a common sort of popular impression of medieval social structures. He assumes that there has been an uncomplicated linear progress from Medieval times to the present and that the population under late capitalism is regressing in its means, living standards, and social relations to a caricature of the oppressed and immiserated peasant of the distant past. On the contrary, history is not necessarily an linear transformation from crushing aristocratic impunity to meritocratic liberal democracy. Social indicators shift in this or that direction varying by time and place. For example, the original Saxon migrants into the British isles were relatively hierarchically flat compared to the later development of more centralized and sophisticated monarchies in the region. The Anglo-Saxon churls' combination of duties and protections owed them from above as well as their own rights and statistical habits of ownership in slaves and land may in some relative terms leave them better off in their own social context than their modern analogues are in theirs, contradicting the writer's subtext of a uniform and universal improvement currently being jeopardized. When comparing past and present it is important to validate preconceptions that are misleading in specific aspects.

    There, see? It's not difficult to make a contribution that comprehends, expands on and improves the prompt. Happy birthday. Here's your gift.
    More reading is a rubbish gift - could you not have linked me a video on the intricacies of forging an Anglo-Saxon sword or making medieval ink?

    As to your supposed "steelman", I don't agree with it - because it doesn't address the points I was making.

    1. At no point did I say early Anglo-Saxon society was relatively "flat" compared to later Anglo-Saxon society. Rather, I contrasted the relatively mobile Anglo-Saxon society where churls were simply the non-noble majority with the apartheid society constructed by the Normans where being "English" and therefore a churl was a mark of racial inferiority.

    2. I don't think the blogger actually sees history as linear. If anything, I would say that the blogger is arguing that history is cyclical, i.e. likely to repeat at relatively regular intervals. Overall, though, I would say that the mistake the blogger makes is to link two points in time without any real awareness or consideration of the different circumstances or the distance between those two points.

    3. My point was, and is, that Anglo-Saxon society simply didn't work the way the blogger, and by extension you, imagine. Anglo-Saxon society is not really a useful comparison to modern society. The Witan was not a precursor to parliament, the folkmoot was not a precursor to trial by jury or local "town hall" government and the churl was not a counterpoint to the American wage-slave.

    4. I'd never use such dreadful purple prose.

    Anglo-Saxon society was also actually very hierarchical, with people and tribes categorised according to wealth, inheritance, sometimes race, religion and social and physical proximity to the King. Under a strong King Anglo-Saxon kingdoms could be highly centralised with the king able to hire and fire his "nobles" on a whim, raising them to the titles of Earl or stripping them of their assigned lands and reducing them to virtual penury, possibly even virtual churldom if they could find no one to take them as a Thane.

    Even so, Anglo-Saxon society was completely different to American society, where wealth rather than social position tends to be the defining class feature. As I have noted previously, America does not really have an "Upper Class", it just have a very wealthy Upper Middle Class.

    So, really, your "steelman" just demonstrates you don't apprehend my point.

    Now, I shall be blunt - given that I don't seem to have difficulty representing my ideas to people undoubtedly cleverer than either of us, and being taken seriously, whose fault is it that you don't understand me?

    Oh, thanks for continuing to be an arsehole to me on my birthday. Don't suppose you could have just saved all this up for tomorrow, could you?

    Just trying being nice Monty.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  13. #163
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Truman issued an executive order in 1948 that made discrimination on race or national origin illegal for the US military. It took until 1954 for the last "colored" unit to disband. There was a lot of opposition to the move, with less than 30% of the US population favoring military units with Whites and Blacks living and working together. The US military achieved a largely "color-blind" organizational culture somewhere in the early 1980s. Coincidentally (or perhaps not) this is after virtually all of those serving before 1948 had retired from military service (usual max is 30 years, with rare exceptions for senior flag officers and senior NCO's and warrants). Cultural changes seldom happen swiftly, and much of the older generation has to die off for the shift to finalize.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  14. #164

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Have you considered that only you seem to think it's nonsense? Cutting off the end of the quote is bizarre in the extreme - either the entire quote would have conformed to the racist stereotype, in which case print it, or it wouldn't - in which case omit the quote entirely.
    What if it's a long quote? You'll notice all the quotes on that page are about a single sentence.

    That's one of the primary usages of ellipsis in any context: to cite or present without full transcription. Is it possible for such a usage to be deceptive? Sure - bring evidence either from the material itself, or the author's record. If you can't, it's a baseless attack that undermines your own claims to decorum and authority.

    If you sincerely believe that such a use of ellipsis should be presumptively suspect in all cases, then you deserve ridicule.

    So, looks like the book is not entirely reliable and possibly makes some unsupportable claim
    Your syllogism:

    A. This reviewer thinks the book has limitations
    B. The book is not entirely reliable
    C. The author is misrepresenting primary source material

    Absurd.

    So, as I originally said, the book does not look entirely reliable and may be manipulating sources for a specific purpose - or just cherry picking.
    Again, manipulating or cherry picking how? Looking at the subject matter, you yourself admit that the author would have no shortage of quotes denouncing integration. The author did in fact present multiple uncontestable examples. What do you think the rest of the abbreviated quote could possibly have said? "I support Negro equality because I want to see our honorable black servicemen talking to my wife"? Just wild. I can't get over the disparity between your self-regard and your cavilling dismissal of an entire person you've never previously heard of.

    I might as well give my own example of a (self-formulated) elliptic quote apt to be misleading: "[T]he English are not a methodical or logical nation—they perceive and accept facts without anxiously inquiring into their reasons or meanings[...]"

    That's because you keep trying to fit me into your preconceptions - especially your right-wing Christian ones.
    It's because you keep stirring up outrageous and poorly-considered contentions.

    I'm also interested in why you posted the link without comment.
    Because it's a quick share and I didn't have a comment, nor thought I needed one.

    On the contrary, I think you treat everyone here poorly - not me specifically. I merely note that your previous gestures of intellectual generosity were without substance. When you do not understand what I say you assume it's my fault, you don't even consider that you might be failing to comprehend my point, you don't try to explore what I mean to expand your own comprehending.
    *sigh*

    It is possible that I may understand you and that you may be wrong. You are rarely able to acknowledge when I am arguing directly against the propositions you maintain, which rather conveys a misunderstanding on your part.

    You never like my opinion, so why do you keep soliciting it?
    Trying out that conciliatory generosity. I guess it hasn't worked out. I'm always thinking of elaborations and complications in the subjects I choose to raise that I desperately wish someone would present or allude to so I could develop them. I don't want to post exhaustive essays on any given item following every conceivable strand, causing suffering for everyone. My hope is to introduce opportunities (for you or anyone) to eruditely expand the prompt. Too often I wind up in meritless and unproductive arguments, which I resent. Please tell me something interesting that I don't know or haven't considered, not what I already know to be bullshit or indefensible! The tension here isn't some autogenous eruption from me; we've had plenty of mundane disagreements in the past, and there are others whose offerings I have appreciated (yours as well sometimes).



    Any from the last 20 years that describe churls, without qualification, as "low status"?
    *heavy sigh*

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Quote Originally Posted by Abel,s Richard Philip. Alfred the Great: War, Kingship, and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England. 1998. pp. 35-6, 41-4.
    Social rank and dignity in Alfred’s Wessex were determined
    in part by birth and in part by service to God and
    king. The law code refers to three ranks of free men, whose
    deaths were to be compensated with payments of 1,200, 600,
    and 200 shillings. Elsewhere, it categorizes all free men as
    either ‘husbandman or noble’ (ge ceorle ge eorle).25
    To judge by the laws of Ine, the 1,200- and 600-shilling men comprised the nobility,
    the former perhaps being landed nobles and
    the latter landless or of Welsh descent. The 200-shilling men
    apparently described all free commoners, ceorls, regardless
    of the size of their holdings or the extent of their economic
    and personal freedom.
    An even more basic division was between freedom and
    servitude. Alfred’s Wessex was a slave society. No one can
    even begin to estimate how many slaves (or free men, for
    that matter) there were in ninth-century Wessex, but from
    Alfred’s laws it is clear that even ceorls owned slaves.26
    [...]
    Still, when Alfred thought of the commoners he must
    have considered them, as a group, to have been ‘working
    men’. The place of the ceorl, the ordinary free man, in
    Anglo-Saxon society has been a subject of controversy among
    historians for generations. The dominant historiographical
    school would place the ceorl at the centre of the AngloSaxon
    legal and social world, at least in the earliest centuries
    of Anglo-Saxon England before the rise of a powerful
    centralized monarchy in the tenth century depressed his
    status and paved the way for the further levelling of the
    Norman Conquest. Other historians have questioned the
    centrality of the ceorl even in the settlement period, suggesting
    that his freedom was greatly circumscribed by economic
    and judicial obligations to noble lords.39
    For Alfred’s
    Wessex, at any rate, the latter view comes closer to the mark.
    A fortuitous mistranslation in the Old English Orosius, a work
    apparently commissioned by Alfred as part of his educational
    programme, suggests that even in ninth-century terms
    the ceorl was not completely ‘free’.40 The translator relates
    that the Volscians ‘had freed some of their slaves and also
    became too mild and forgiving to them all. Then their
    ceorls [Latin: libertini, ‘freedmen’] resented the fact that
    they had freed the slaves and would not free them.’ The
    less-than-free status of the ‘ceorl’ in this text is echoed in
    Alfred’s treaty with the Danish king, Guthrum. There ‘the
    ceorls who occupy tributary land’ are imputed the same
    200-shilling wergeld as Danish freedmen rather than the
    higher wergeld of free viking warriors.
    In what way were ceorls unfree? The key lies, perhaps, in
    the relationship between the ninth-century husbandmen and
    their lords, especially if the lord was also a landlord. The
    West Saxon royal dynasty, even before Alfred, promoted the
    rights and obligations of lordship as a mechanism through
    which the king could rule the realm more firmly and securely.
    From the late seventh century on, the freedom of the West
    Saxon ceorl was bounded by the rights of his lord over him.
    The ceorl of Ine’s day, in fact, was so tightly bound to his
    lord that if he attempted to seek another, the law prescribed
    that he be returned and fined sixty shillings, payable to the
    lord from whom he had fled. A ceorl who held land from
    his lord could be obliged to labour under the lord’s command.
    Indeed, if he had accepted a dwelling-place when he
    covenanted for his yardland, he became tied to his tenancy.
    Because he had accepted the gift of a house, he was no
    longer free to leave his holding, even if his lord were to
    demand increased services from it.41
    It is unlikely that the condition of the lesser free peasantry
    improved substantially between the late seventh and the
    late ninth century. From an extremely interesting vernacular
    memorandum attached to a royal charter of Alfred’s son,
    Edward the Elder (a d 901), we learn that the tenure of the
    ceorls of the royal estate of Hurstbourne Priors in Hampshire
    in the last years of Alfred’s reign and in the first of his
    son was heavily burdened with labour services. The body of
    the charter relates the complex tenurial history of the estate
    and stipulates that the land pass to Winchester with all the
    people who had been on it when Alfred was still alive. The
    memorandum attached to the charter enumerated what was
    expected from them. From each ‘hide’ (an assessment of tax
    liability equivalent to a notional 120 acres (forty-nine hectares)
    ) the ceorls were to pay forty pennies at the autumnal
    equinox, and six church-measures of ale, and three sesters
    of wheat for bread. They were to plough three acres (1.2
    hectares) in their own time and sow them with their own
    seed and bring it to the barn in their own time, and give
    three pounds (1.36 kilograms) of barley, supply split wood
    and poles for fencing, and mow half an acre (0.2 hectares)
    of meadow in their own time as rent. At Easter they were to
    render two ewes with two lambs, which they were first to wash
    and shear in their own time. They were to work as bidden
    every week except for one at midwinter, a second at Easter,
    and a third on the Rogation days. (Curiously, Alfred was
    more generous in his law code than to his tenants, allowing
    all free men some thirty-seven days of rest.)42 In the onerous
    obligations of their tenure, the ceorls of Hurstbourne prefigure
    the villeins of the Domesday Book. They are cousins
    to the humble geburs of Wynflaed’s will and similar tenthcentury
    testaments who also were bequeathed along with
    the estates in which they held land.
    The condition of the ceorls of Hurstbourne does not prove
    that all men below the rank of noble were heavily burdened
    with rent and labour services, free men in name but ‘trembling
    on the verge of serfdom’.43 The actual social structure
    of Alfredian Wessex was even more complex and highly
    stratified than suggested by his law code, and the general
    category of 200-shilling men embraced men and women of
    quite disparate fortune and rank.
    The most prosperous ceorls
    may well have possessed more land and wealth than many
    young nobles striving for a place in a lord’s household. Ceorls
    as well as nobles fought in Alfred’s armies and attended his
    folk moots. Their main function in Alfred’s eyes, though,
    was to be the king’s ‘working men’, whose labours helped
    feed those who prayed and those who fought. The ‘lord’ of
    Hurstbourne, after all, had been Alfred himself; it was to a
    royal reeve that the ceorls of the estate had rendered their
    labour services and rents. In this they served the king in the
    same capacity as other king’s ceorls, settled in Charltons
    appended to nearby royal manors, who worked the king’s
    demesne and rendered to his reeves the food rent upon
    which the king and his court depended.44 They were, as
    Alfred’s tripartite scheme recognizes, an integral part of a
    closely knit society, bound to one another by ties of kinship
    and to the nobles and the king by bonds of lordship.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by Arnold, C.J. An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms. 1997. p. 174.
    The social structure of early Anglo-Saxon England is a subject that was
    originally confined to historians and social anthropologists. They depended on
    limited amounts of written evidence, particularly the laws and the charters, which
    are frequently difficult to reconcile with each other (Chadwick 1905; Seebohm
    1911; Bullough 1965). Information regarding early Anglo-Saxon social structure
    has often been extrapolated from these documents that all tend to belong to the
    latter half of the period or even later. The view has been expressed that the task
    is made more difficult because much of the earlier structure of society may have
    been suppressed by the power of later lordship and Christian kingship (Loyn
    1974:209). From the later laws it emerges that there were a number of classes of
    person, ranging from the slave (theow) to the governor of the shire (ealdorman),
    and including unfree or half-free cottagers (the ceorl), freedmen occupying farms
    and rent-paying tenants (gafolgelda), and also the free farmer (frigman) and
    landed nobleman (gesith). It is notable that in this hierarchical representation of
    society distinctions were sometimes made in terms of property holding and at
    other times status was reflected in the fines paid by each class for specific crimes.
    Hence it belongs to a period when systems for the ownership of land with fixed
    boundaries had been established, something that, as we have seen, occurred late
    in the period under consideration.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sukhino-Khomenko, Denis. Thegns in the Social Order of Anglo-Saxon England and Viking-Age Scandinavia: Outlines of a Methodological Reassessment. 2019
    In this social context, a ceorl (modern English churl,
    German Kerl, Old Norse karl, etc.) is usually
    understood as a ‘commoner’, a ‘rank-and-file’
    member of the Anglo-Saxon society. Rosamond
    Faith (1997: 127) characterises ceorlas as “a large
    and loosely defined social category [...], which
    included all those who were neither unfree nor of
    aristocratic birth,” which also “may preserve
    vestiges of a social class of a type which escapes our
    modern typologies, a class in which both peasant
    farmers and lesser landowners were to be found.”


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. 2014. pp. 489-90.
    WERGILD, literally ‘man-payment’, was the legal
    value set on a person’s life. All classes of society
    excepting *slaves were protected by a wergild
    , the
    sum payable to their relatives to buy off the *feud
    if they were killed (see also *kinship). Under the
    seventh-century Kentish *laws of Hlothhere and
    Eadric, the wergild of a nobleman was 300 shillings,
    and that of an ordinary freeman 100 shillings. The
    corresponding sums under the West Saxon laws of
    *Ine were 1,200 shillings and 200 shillings, with
    an intermediate class of 600 shillings
    ; but the West
    Saxon shilling was worth much less than its Kentish
    counterpart (see *coinage). Ecclesiastics were fitted
    in at appropriate points on the scale, according to
    Law of the North People (?early eleventh century),
    which defines the king’s wergild as 30,000 thrymsas
    (90,000 pence), half payable to the kindred and
    half to the people, and equates an archbishop with
    an *ætheling at 15,000 thrymsas, a bishop with an
    *ealdorman at 8,000 thrymsas, a hold (nobleman)
    with a high-reeve at 4,000 thrymsas, and a masspriest
    with a *thegn at 2,000 thrymsas: a ceorl is valued
    at 266 thrymsas. Mercian wergilds of the same
    period are defined in Law of the Mercians as 30,000
    sceattas (120 pounds) for the king, 1,200 shillings for
    a thegn, and 200 shillings for a ceorl.
    Quote Originally Posted by Williams, Ann. The World Before Domesday: The English Aristocracy, 900–1066. 2008. p. 2, 87.
    The wergeld tariffs reveal the subdivision of the free (as opposed to slave)
    population into ceorlas (ceorls, free men) and þegnas (thegns, aristocrats). Such
    simple distinctions could be used to embrace everybody, or at least everybody
    who mattered.
    In his First Letter to the English people, King Cnut addressed ‘all
    his people in England, twelfhynde and twihynde’; for the king and his entourage,
    thegns and ceorls made up the whole English nation (Angelcynn).12 In practice,
    of course, matters were much more complicated than this tidy legal fiction
    implies. In the uncertain years of the tenth and eleventh centuries, it was easy
    for free men to slip into slavery, either by the formal act of selling themselves
    and their families in order to gain a master’s protection, or by attrition, as
    landlords gradually increased services and customary dues until formerly free
    peasants became serfs.13 The ranks of the ceorls thus included men teetering
    on the edge of serfdom. Upward mobility, however, was also possible, and
    some ceorls might aspire to the ranks of thegnhood, so that it was no easy
    matter to distinguish between more prosperous ceorlisc men and less affl uent
    thegns. The only thing which all ceorls had in common was that legally they
    were neither thegns nor slaves.
    It is for this reason that ceorl is better translated
    as ‘free man’ rather than as ‘peasant’, for not only has the latter acquired pejorative
    associations, but it is also clear that not all ceorlas personally worked
    the land; some were themselves landlords with dependants who worked it for them.

    [...]

    Some social repercussions might be expected. The appearance of king’s thegns
    whose status depended on service rather than land or birth may have been resented
    by those magnates whose rank derived from inherited wealth and ancient
    (in some cases royal) lineage.16 Archbishop Wulfstan certainly had occasion
    to reprove great laymen who looked down on bishops and priests from more
    modest backgrounds, reminding them that God could make a shepherd-boy
    (David) into a king, and a fi sherman (Peter) into the greatest of bishops.17 The
    same attitudes perhaps applied to prospering free men as well; the insistence in
    Norðleoda lagu that a ceorlisc family must maintain the property qualification
    (fi ve hides of land) for three generations for the offspring to be regarded as a
    thegn (gesiðboren) suggests a desire to close ranks against intruders.18 A similar
    stipula tion is found in Conrad II’s legislation for north Italian vavassors in 1037
    but this concerns the ability of the vavassor’s grandson to render the correct
    heriot, thus entitling him to his benefice; this would not have sufficed in England,
    where rank followed land, not military equipment.19 The crisis caused by the
    Danish incursions of King Æthelred’s day might have put ‘aristocratic’ weapons
    into the hands of those ordinary free men who followed their lords into battle,
    but ‘even if he prospers so that he possesses a helmet and a coat of mail and a
    gold-hilted sword, if he has not the land, he is a ceorl all the same’.20
    Quote Originally Posted by Blair, John. Building Anglo- Saxon England. 2018. pp. 302-5.
    WHO WERE THE PEOPLE?
    So much has been written about the social structure of the Anglo- Saxon ‘peasantry’ that one
    might think that we know quite a lot about them. But when the documentary evidence is
    distinguished by region, its severe limitations become obvious. Detailed sources for rural
    cultivators in estate- management contexts are almost entirely post- 900, and from the West
    Saxon zone. Surviving law- codes of the seventh to early eighth centuries are from Kent and
    Wessex; in the post- Viking period, they are from Wessex alone; and the rich narrative
    sources for early eighth- century Northumbria emphasise Bernicia rather than Deira, and
    give only fleeting glimpses of the ordinary laity. Kent, Wessex, and Bernicia are among the
    regions where archaeological evidence for mainstream settlements is hard to find. Maybe
    some of the categories of people itemised in the ‘Laws of Ine’ lived in places like Collingbourne
    Ducis or Wantage, or the rustici occasionally mentioned by the Northumbrian histories
    and hagiographies occupied upland farms like those around Ingleborough, but such
    possibilities are too broad and indirect to help us very much.
    The two archetypal Anglo- Saxon groups below the nobility were free farmers (ceorlas)
    and slaves (þeōwas).71 In some and perhaps most regions, they dominated rural society
    through the whole period. There must have been gradations among the ceorlas—some richer
    than others, many no doubt owning slaves—but they look like a culturally coherent class of
    independent householders, to whom ties of kindred and community were more important
    than vertical stratification.
    From the seventh century, however, the rise of great (and initially
    monastic) estates generated the dynamic that would ultimately result in the high medieval
    demesne economy, with its servile workforces. There were many stages in that process, and
    for present purposes the word ‘demesne’ is anachronistic. It is better—with Paul Vinogradoff
    and Rosamond Faith—to follow Old English terminology, and describe the intensively exploited
    cores of great estates as ‘inlands’.72 With their formation and expansion, a new social
    category emerged, intermediate between free farmers and slaves. These were the people
    known as gebūras, a word that in origin just means ‘farmers’; legally they were free, and
    therefore members of society in a way that slaves were not.73 When we first meet them, however,
    they had relatively small holdings, they were burdened with services to the lords of big
    estates, and they were—at least to some extent—constrained from leaving those estates without
    permission. While we should never forget how little we really know about their lives, it
    is tempting to borrow a later expression and call them ‘serfs’.74
    When and how did this category come into existence? In parts of Wessex, the southeast
    Midlands, and western Mercia, it is demonstrable that gebūr workforces existed by the
    880s.75 The only earlier piece of evidence is a single, less- than- lucid clause in the laws of Ine
    of Wessex: ‘If anyone comes to terms about a yard of land or more at an agreed payment and
    ploughs, if the lord wishes to increase that land for him as regards either labour or payment,
    he need not accept it from him if he does not give him a house, and let him suffer loss of the
    crops’.76 Like several clauses in Ine’s chaotically organised code, to which additional enactments
    may have been added well into the eighth century, this one reads like the overcondensed
    summary of discussions on a specific, complex case. The crux is whether the man to
    whom a lord ‘gives a house’ is initially free, and thus sinks into a relationship of subjection,
    or initially a slave, and thus rises into the ranks of small cultivators.77 The latter is perhaps
    more likely (and is supported by Bede’s story that Saint Wilfrid baptised and freed 250 slaves
    at Selsey, since he presumably expected them to remain as an estate workforce78), but in
    either case the clause implies a category of tenants who not only owed labour, but who were
    also constrained from leaving their land.
    In southern and western England, then, it is likely that gebūras became more common
    through the eighth and ninth centuries, though even there they may still have been confined
    to the major estates: islands in an essentially ceorlisc society. Nothing useful can be said here
    about their domestic building culture, or how it may have differed from that of ceorlas, since
    the houses of all social groups are equally invisible. More important for present purposes is
    to emphasise the lack of any trace of gebūras—either then or long afterwards—in the eastern
    zone of England,79 with its high coin circulation, abundant jewellery, and tradition of substantial
    timber construction. The laity of that area are essentially undocumented before 900,
    but in later centuries they were notably free, and there are strong grounds for thinking that
    this freedom was long- standing.80 The quantities of finds now being recovered by metaldetecting
    imply that some of them were rich enough to lose or discard copper- alloy and even
    silver dress fittings.81 Some evidently prospered by producing—and presumably selling or
    exporting—commodities that must have included wool, cloth, and grain, but it is imponderable
    whether they did this independently, or as tenants or agents. They must have included
    merchants, or at least have interacted with them regularly.82
    It is unhelpful to call these people ‘peasants’: not because the term is derogatory (which
    it is not), but because we have no idea whether they matched any useful definition of it. It is
    likewise against common sense to define them all as ‘lords’—and, strong though the monastic
    influence was, they can hardly all have been monks and nuns. Many inhabitants of the
    eastern province, and of the houses that we can excavate and study there, are likely to have
    been prosperous weapon- bearing farmers supported by an underclass of slaves. The combination
    of grid- planning with relatively poor material culture on some monastically associated
    sites might point to the origins there of a gebūr- type class, but might also suggest that
    the inhabitants were identified specifically as monastic workforces, bound by ties that were
    religious as well as economic. There must have been a spectrum in status and wealth, ranging
    from farmers through monastic personnel to the top aristocrats. In any case this was
    clearly a society with a broad spread of disposable resources; it must have contained its
    disadvantaged groups, but a ‘lords- versus- peasants’ dichotomy does not help us to understand
    it.


    For surplus, check the Online Dictionary of Old English. I can't access it.

    Frame it this way: Were there any groups between churls and theows (slaves)? If not, then logically as the only general class of free men above slaves the churls must be the lowest-status freemen.

    Oh, and if you insist on writings "ceorls" then you should also write "Cyning" and not "king". Otherwise, stop being pretentious.
    This is a point of generosity: OK.

    I believe the point was that whilst they had theoretical legal rights they were unable to effectively exercise them because of their low socio-economic status.
    "...possessing the freedom of the upper classes but without the economic means to take advantage of it."

    First source I could find at 8am this morning that was generally correct, then I added a qualification where I disagreed with the source. I also disagree with the comment that the Council of London in 1102 banning slavery, given that's not technically true and in fact Wulfstan of York had already promulgated a more extensive ban under Cnut, as I previously noted. Having said that, and I did not previously know this, Wulfstan of Worcester (nephew of Wulfstan of York) was at the London Council in 1102.
    I'm sure the demographic proportion of slaves in different parts of England at different times is a murky matter of controversy. I won't look for the source but in the readings on churls I came across an estimate that by the time of the Norman conquest 10% of the English population were still slaves, and in Cornwall 25%.

    Owning a slave in Anglo-Saxon England was perhaps akin to owning a VHS recorder in the 80's, something of a luxury but hardly remarkable. I fail to see how this is germain to your oriignal point, which was that the churls in Anglo-Saxon England were legally free but economically enslaved.
    Churls had to do and manage backbreaking labour in the fields and in common works. Could a churl fick off and decide to take it easy for the summer? Can you tell your administrators you're taking a year's sabbatical to travel the world, and fund it? This isn't enslavement - it's constraint. Economic constraint.

    I would add social control: A churl could (I venture) no more tell a thane how to relate to their lord than a line worker can tell their supervisor what company policy should be.

    So you concede the analogy is wrong?
    No, that it's superfluous. The insight into modern society is nothing we haven't heard before, but here I thought you would be gladdened by the Medieval reference. How poorly I can anticipate your feelings.

    Anglo-Saxon society had a surprising amount of social freedom and mobility, probably more than modern American society. My point was, and remains, that the correct lesson to draw from Anglo-Saxon society is that despite (or perhaps because of) our greater economic security our society is in many ways less free and fair now than it was then. This is especially true in America, but then that's not surprising because America doesn't have a king.
    Anglo-Saxon society was a shithole. It's all relative.

    A king is essential to understanding most historical theories of power and governance. It seems that the American discourse on, among other things, the medieval past, is somewhat hampered by the lack of an Upper Class. In Anglo-Saxon England there was an Upper Class, it was composed of the King, his blood-kin, his wife's kin and whoever else he decided it included.

    That's the other side of it - Anglo-Saxon society may have been freer from the perspective of social mobility but it was still an absolute monarchy.
    You've seen our neo-Medieval movies.

    You're never anything else, so presumably you mean you are going to now be openly rude.
    I don't have the energy for that.

    You've never accorded me the benefit of the doubt. So, perhaps, actually, I would need to provide proof?
    I'm saddened you feel that way, but I don't want to litigate it further.

    More reading is a rubbish gift - could you not have linked me a video on the intricacies of forging an Anglo-Saxon sword or making medieval ink?
    The title is enough to read, because it's relevant to something.

    Do you like lindybeige? If you don't like lindybeige then I am truly unable to learn how to relate to you.

    As to your supposed "steelman", I don't agree with it - because it doesn't address the points I was making.
    A steelman does not characterize an actual argument from an interlocutor. It constructs what a good argument from that interlocutor might be. See, you don't get it.

    1. At no point did I say early Anglo-Saxon society was relatively "flat" compared to later Anglo-Saxon society. Rather, I contrasted the relatively mobile Anglo-Saxon society where churls were simply the non-noble majority with the apartheid society constructed by the Normans where being "English" and therefore a churl was a mark of racial inferiority.
    Between Roman and Norman rule.

    Norman = Roman(n)! Isn't that fun?

    2. I don't think the blogger actually sees history as linear. If anything, I would say that the blogger is arguing that history is cyclical, i.e. likely to repeat at relatively regular intervals. Overall, though, I would say that the mistake the blogger makes is to link two points in time without any real awareness or consideration of the different circumstances or the distance between those two points.

    3. My point was, and is, that Anglo-Saxon society simply didn't work the way the blogger, and by extension you, imagine. Anglo-Saxon society is not really a useful comparison to modern society. The Witan was not a precursor to parliament, the folkmoot was not a precursor to trial by jury or local "town hall" government and the churl was not a counterpoint to the American wage-slave.
    There were some elites in the past who had much wealth and political power in their realms. The churls as a group were not these elites. In that they did not share these characteristics with the elites they are similar to the contemporary middle class vis-a-vis the wealthy and politically connected. Kings can dispose of more than peasants. Billionaires can dispose of more than software engineers. (This is unaffected by a purely hypothetical ability of churls to assassinate kings or of software engineers to sabotage governments.)

    You could say it is not a deep or insightful analogy, but it is a perfectly valid one.

    4. I'd never use such dreadful purple prose.
    Cautious academic language?

    Anglo-Saxon society was also actually very hierarchical, with people and tribes categorised according to wealth, inheritance, sometimes race, religion and social and physical proximity to the King.
    Sure. It got more so over time.

    Now, I shall be blunt - given that I don't seem to have difficulty representing my ideas to people undoubtedly cleverer than either of us, and being taken seriously, whose fault is it that you don't understand me?
    I do understand you. My amply supported position is that your understanding is deficient.

    Wouldn't you say the ideas you communicate in your academic context are more restricted, refined, and specialized than those offered here? If you wanted to lecture me on the proper translation and interpretation of Beowulf in the context of linguistic and archaeological evidence, I wouldn't have anything to say to you; I would just respectfully listen.

    Oh, thanks for continuing to be an arsehole to me on my birthday. Don't suppose you could have just saved all this up for tomorrow, could you?
    OK, you have a point. I didn't think of that. (I don't really celebrate birthdays.) Well, it's not your birthday anymore...

    Just trying being [I]nice Monty.
    I do!

    I wouldn't call your approach to me nice. Sometimes it feels like you're advancing something ridiculous deliberately to antagonize me. How about this: how would you rewrite something I had to say to you in a way that, aside from the disagreement at the heart of it, you would accept as nice and/or respectful?
    Vitiate Man.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  15. #165
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Please tell me something interesting that I don't know or haven't considered,
    concupiscible
    Concupiscible is a word meaning "worthy of being desired" or worthy of being lusted after. This archaic adjective can also refer to passionately desiring something. It does make one think of bodice rippers or possibly … literotica. Or, you know, of Channing Tatum with his shirt off in Magic Mike, which we would definitely describe as concupiscible.

    https://www.dictionary.com/e/s/archa...#concupiscible
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
    The article exists for a reason yes, I did not write it...

  16. #166
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    What if it's a long quote? You'll notice all the quotes on that page are about a single sentence.

    That's one of the primary usages of ellipsis in any context: to cite or present without full transcription. Is it possible for such a usage to be deceptive? Sure - bring evidence either from the material itself, or the author's record. If you can't, it's a baseless attack that undermines your own claims to decorum and authority.

    If you sincerely believe that such a use of ellipsis should be presumptively suspect in all cases, then you deserve ridicule.
    As an historian approaching secondary sources I have found that the best was to approach ellipsis is to ask "what has been omitted and why?" That is how you do source criticism, otherwise you're assuming that the source quoted with ellipsis is as the author presents it. If you want to criticise me for something you can criticise my for snobbishness over "popular history", which might be fair. On the other hand, even serious historians are guilty of "dumbing down" when writing popular history.

    1. Telling me I deserve ridicule is insulting and unnecessary.

    Your syllogism:

    A. This reviewer thinks the book has limitations
    B. The book is not entirely reliable
    C. The author is misrepresenting primary source material

    Absurd.
    I said the way the source was quoted made it look suspect, then I quoted a professional review which suggested that the author has a tendency to make miss-representations in the book. I did at any point suggest that this misrepresentation undermined the thesis that US Army = Racist in the 1940's etc. I merely noted the incongruity, for which I criticised the historian, and I'm apparently not the only one, based on that review.

    If it's long either quote it in full or quote part of it and paraphrase.

    2. I clearly quoted the part of the review where the reviewer held up the author for misrepresenting the conclusions of a report. I am not being absurd and accusing me of such is just an insult.

    Again, manipulating or cherry picking how? Looking at the subject matter, you yourself admit that the author would have no shortage of quotes denouncing integration. The author did in fact present multiple uncontestable examples. What do you think the rest of the abbreviated quote could possibly have said? "I support Negro equality because I want to see our honorable black servicemen talking to my wife"? Just wild. I can't get over the disparity between your self-regard and your cavilling dismissal of an entire person you've never previously heard of.

    I might as well give my own example of a (self-formulated) elliptic quote apt to be misleading: "[T]he English are not a methodical or logical nation—they perceive and accept facts without anxiously inquiring into their reasons or meanings[...]"
    Again, critiquing the historiography, not the point. Go back and look at what I originally said, i.e. that the way the quote is presented makes it look misleading. I have now, several times, noted that using such a quote in a misleading way is pointless in the context of this particular argument.

    It's because you keep stirring up outrageous and poorly-considered contentions.
    Sometimes a critique of poor historiography is just a critique of poor historiography.

    Because it's a quick share and I didn't have a comment, nor thought I needed one.
    You clearly felt it required you to breach the forum rules on profanity, without explaining your interpretation. That was always going to ellit and obtuse response.

    *sigh*

    It is possible that I may understand you and that you may be wrong. You are rarely able to acknowledge when I am arguing directly against the propositions you maintain, which rather conveys a misunderstanding on your part.
    Indeed, it is possible - but I can't remember the last time you actually argued against my point directly. Remember the time you spent pages accusing me of being transphobic just because I said I could appreciate why some fathers are more worried about their daughters safety than being socially inclusive to complete strangers? Remember how you you interpreted my critique of Beskar's appeal to gender-fluidity as transphobic when my point was actually that trans people are rarely gender-fluid and are often actually very much gender-conforming, just not their physical gender?

    Your combative style means you attack the other person on what you percieve their platform to be, rather than trying to understand that platform.

    Trying out that conciliatory generosity. I guess it hasn't worked out. I'm always thinking of elaborations and complications in the subjects I choose to raise that I desperately wish someone would present or allude to so I could develop them. I don't want to post exhaustive essays on any given item following every conceivable strand, causing suffering for everyone. My hope is to introduce opportunities (for you or anyone) to eruditely expand the prompt. Too often I wind up in meritless and unproductive arguments, which I resent. Please tell me something interesting that I don't know or haven't considered, not what I already know to be bullshit or indefensible! The tension here isn't some autogenous eruption from me; we've had plenty of mundane disagreements in the past, and there are others whose offerings I have appreciated (yours as well sometimes).
    So you expect others to raise certain arguments for you so that you can respond to them? See above about attacking percieved targets. I'm not you, I don't understand you, I don't know what you want.

    If you want to discuss something raise it, if nobody argues against it then it may just be because we all agree with you and aren't interested in debating it.

    *heavy sigh*

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    For surplus, check the Online Dictionary of Old English. I can't access it.
    I struggle to understand how you can have sourced all the above and written all of the following.

    Frame it this way: Were there any groups between churls and theows (slaves)? If not, then logically as the only general class of free men above slaves the churls must be the lowest-status freemen.
    The question is malformed, because as I said Anglo-Saxon society doesn't work like that.

    A churl is simply anyone not a noble or a slave, the very idea that they are "lowest status" is anachronistic and a relic of the Normon Conquest when almost all English were reduced to the status of churls and legally disenfranchised.

    Some thanes may have become knights, but even they would have lost the freehold to their lands and it's just as likely their lands were taken from them, they were made destitute and either emigrated to the Byzantine Empire (a well documented phenomenon) or became churlish serfs.

    This is a point of generosity: OK.
    If you want to go all thorn, ash and yew we can do that, but you're just creating a barrier to understanding and being pretentious. It's also a hassle to have to use all the keyboard codes.

    3. Suggesting it's generous to condescend to use consistent orthography is just another insult. Talk about not being able to back down.

    "...possessing the freedom of the upper classes but without the economic means to take advantage of it."
    Right, and there's no evidence for this - it's a 19th Century invention.

    I'm sure the demographic proportion of slaves in different parts of England at different times is a murky matter of controversy. I won't look for the source but in the readings on churls I came across an estimate that by the time of the Norman conquest 10% of the English population were still slaves, and in Cornwall 25%.
    I believe I've heard those figures before - remember the people in Cornwall may not be considered "English". We really don't know, what we do know is that the Kings issued Law Codes aimed at preventing the sale of slaves, or the forcible enslavement of someone to pay a debt. The fact it was legislated against shows it was clearly relatively common whilst also considered to be, how to say, un-Christian.

    Churls had to do and manage backbreaking labour in the fields and in common works. Could a churl fick off and decide to take it easy for the summer? Can you tell your administrators you're taking a year's sabbatical to travel the world, and fund it? This isn't enslavement - it's constraint. Economic constraint.
    Really - here's some quote from your sources:

    "The most prosperous ceorls may well have possessed more land and wealth than many young nobles striving for a place in a lord’s household. Ceorls as well as nobles fought in Alfred’s armies and attended his folk moots. Their main function in Alfred’s eyes, though, was to be the king’s ‘working men’, whose labours helped feed those who prayed and those who fought."

    "The only thing which all ceorls had in common was that legally they were neither thegns nor slaves. It is for this reason that ceorl is better translated as ‘free man’ rather than as ‘peasant’, for not only has the latter acquired pejorative associations, but it is also clear that not all ceorlas personally worked the land; some were themselves landlords with dependants who worked it for them."

    The ONLY thing all churls have in common is being free and not being noble and some of them DO NOT directly work the land. Do you not see how different that is to later Norman society, and how it is different to the plight of the modern American wage-slave?

    Let's put this another way - you are a churl - but so is Warren Buffet.

    Is Warren Buffet economically constrained?

    I would add social control: A churl could (I venture) no more tell a thane how to relate to their lord than a line worker can tell their supervisor what company policy should be.
    True and not true - as a couple of sources hint all churls, like all thanes, needed a liege lord but the lord didn't need to be the local thane. Consider the wealthy church whose liege is the king vs the less wealthy thane whose liege is another than or an Earl.

    No, that it's superfluous. The insight into modern society is nothing we haven't heard before, but here I thought you would be gladdened by the Medieval reference. How poorly I can anticipate your feelings.
    The insight into modern society is banal, the connection to Anglo-Saxon society is misconstrued. I simply pointed this out and now we're having a big fight about how I'm a bad historian?

    You just like picking fights.

    Anglo-Saxon society was a shithole. It's all relative.
    I'd rather live there than modern American society.

    You've seen our neo-Medieval movies.
    Yeah - that's the wierd thing - they get kings better than you do in some cases.

    I don't have the energy for that.
    I numbered the insults above for you.

    I'm saddened you feel that way, but I don't want to litigate it further.
    I don't believe you, on either point. We've spent weeks litigating it and you seem unrepentant.

    The title is enough to read, because it's relevant to something.
    I just clicked the link and realised it was more screed, and you'd already accused me of supporting racism on my birthday. Yet, great present, more work.

    Do you like lindybeige? If you don't like lindybeige then I am truly unable to learn how to relate to you.
    He's amusing, but I'm much, much, less of a cynic.

    A steelman does not characterize an actual argument from an interlocutor. It constructs what a good argument from that interlocutor might be. See, you don't get it.
    No, I get it. You don't get the point I'm trying to make - so your supposedly "good argument" doesn't address itself to my thesis. So you've demonstrated that you either don't understand my argument or you want me to make a different one.

    Like I said, if you don't like my contributions or value them (and you never do) why do you keep soliciting them?

    I gave you may opinion in my fist most - banal point - completely misunderstands Anglo-Saxon society and here we are days later and you're trying to argue against my interpretation of the historiography making points that are directly contradicted by the sources you quote.

    Between Roman and Norman rule.

    Norman = Roman(n)! Isn't that fun?
    Normanum non Romanorum est?

    There were some elites in the past who had much wealth and political power in their realms. The churls as a group were not these elites. In that they did not share these characteristics with the elites they are similar to the contemporary middle class vis-a-vis the wealthy and politically connected. Kings can dispose of more than peasants. Billionaires can dispose of more than software engineers. (This is unaffected by a purely hypothetical ability of churls to assassinate kings or of software engineers to sabotage governments.)

    You could say it is not a deep or insightful analogy, but it is a perfectly valid one.
    You're still tangling up wealth, power, and class in a totally anachronistic way. The medieval King has wealth and power because of his class, his social status, he doesn't get that status because of his wealth and power.. You really need to accept what I'm telling you when I tell you that America doesn't really have an "Upper Class" as it is traditionally understood, otherwise you're going to keep making these anachronistic comparisons.

    Trump is a churl.

    Cautious academic language?
    I meant "oppressed and immiserated". If I wrote that and sent it to my supervisor I'd get it back with the last word triple underlined and the word "miserable" above it with multiple question marks.

    Sure. It got more so over time.
    It got more clearly delineated in its sub-divisions but it was always a system with the King at the top and everyone else under him. As time progressed the "great monastic estates" developed as Kings bequeathed land in charters that the monasteries were able to hold onto - as opposed to land that automatically reverted to the King when someone died. Gradually this "book lnad" also came to be held by members of the laity and from this developed the concept of the freehold where a man held land freely - i.e. had been granted it and could keep it or sell the holding of it.

    Note holding - not ownership. You can't actually own land if you're not the king, but you can own the use of it, and the property on it. This point, incidentally, has implications for appropriation of land and property (and its permissible limits) under English Common Law even today.

    I do understand you. My amply supported position is that your understanding is deficient.
    You've quoted sources that demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the most basic concepts we are discussing - you continue to hold to an American concept of class as being wealth-derived.

    Wouldn't you say the ideas you communicate in your academic context are more restricted, refined, and specialized than those offered here? If you wanted to lecture me on the proper translation and interpretation of Beowulf in the context of linguistic and archaeological evidence, I wouldn't have anything to say to you; I would just respectfully listen.
    I'm not actually an expert on Old English - and in fact I've never claimed to be an expert. Although that being said I suppose I would be considered "expert" in lay circles. If I were an actual Anglo-Saxonist, or I were to direct one here, I imagine you'd be buried under an avalanche of sources I would struggle to wade through.

    The fact is you're making a rear-guard action over a point that's clearly no longer accepted - i.e. that churls were the "lower class" of Anglo-Saxon society when in reality they were not, some of them had not only legal but actual rights and privileges in Anglo-Saxon society, some did not. Some were economically constrained (geburs) but many were not. Despite which they constituted a single legal class in society.

    In fact, the more appropriate interpretation of the churl with regards to modern American society (so much as it is applicable) is that all Americans are churls because all Americans are equal before the law. What you are trying to do is to compare wealthy Americans today to a legally distinct class that existed over a thousand year ago.

    This is not quite the case in Europe, although the aristocracy have become less and less powerful over the last five decades in particular.

    OK, you have a point. I didn't think of that. (I don't really celebrate birthdays.) Well, it's not your birthday anymore...

    I do!

    I wouldn't call your approach to me nice. Sometimes it feels like you're advancing something ridiculous deliberately to antagonize me. How about this: how would you rewrite something I had to say to you in a way that, aside from the disagreement at the heart of it, you would accept as nice and/or respectful?
    I certainly wasn't nice to you yesterday, but then again you insinuated I was racist just because I critiqued a source on racism in the American Air Force, and it was my birthday.

    Why don't you just avoid phrases like "deserve ridicule", especially when I've quoted a review of said book which indicates far more serious forms of misrepresentation in the work. Also, do you actually think I'm being ridiculous, if so why do you bother?

    Have you considered just asking for clarification?

    Also - have you considered that you hold beliefs that I consider patently ridiculous? Like the belief that it's possible to differentiate between right and wrong without appeal to any higher power? I could give you a long, well sourced, argument on how a conceptual "higher power" is necessary to be able to define something as "right" or "wrong" and the difference between the objectively right and human perception which is only "subjectively right".

    Such an argument would, however, be utterly pointless between us because you would reject it on unprovable first principles - you would first dispute my definition of "right" and then you would argue that there is no discernible "higher power" and therefore I must be wrong. The only reason to have such a discussion would be to try to better understand each other's positions but given you have indicated you have no interest in exploring philosophical beliefs you reject. So - utterly pointless.

    Like this discussion has become.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  17. #167

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    concupiscible
    Concupiscible is a word meaning "worthy of being desired" or worthy of being lusted after. This archaic adjective can also refer to passionately desiring something. It does make one think of bodice rippers or possibly … literotica. Or, you know, of Channing Tatum with his shirt off in Magic Mike, which we would definitely describe as concupiscible.

    https://www.dictionary.com/e/s/archa...#concupiscible
    Good. One topic you probably have special familiarity with that others here would be interested in, but would find it challenging to navigate on their own, is how Ukrainian media is covering recent aspects of the country's relationship with America. If you have any comments we have a suitable thread for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    As an historian approaching secondary sources I have found that the best was to approach ellipsis is to ask "what has been omitted and why?"
    But you didn't do that, which shows the very process behind your supposition to be supposititious.

    I said the way the source was quoted made it look suspect, then I quoted a professional review which suggested that the author has a tendency to make miss-representations in the book.
    Unless you can support your reading from the review, you are the one guilty of misrepresentation here; the line you quote (without citation) gives no such implication. If it were the case that disagreement over academic conclusions eo ipso equated to misrepresentation by one party, scholarship across all fields of inquiry would hardly be possible.

    If it's long either quote it in full or quote part of it and paraphrase.
    Partial quotations are properly used if they materially represent the substance of the quote or highlighted meaning. No one holds that partial quotation is inherently misleading, but if someone did it would not be rational for them to apply such a standard knowing the prevalence of partial quotation. If one does not believe partial quotation is always misleading, one would have to make a case on the facts of a specific instance. You still have not.

    I am not being absurd and accusing me of such is just an insult.
    if one were even to follow your reasoning, it would refute itself as bare pretense. One could imagine finding a second review, a review in existence saying, "Gropman is widely considered in the field to be prone to dishonestly presenting sources to the opposite of their meaning." But one could not point to such a review to justify their initial characterization of the quote as misleading if it came to their attention after they had attacked the quote - that would be ex ante reasoning, a sharpshooter fallacy.

    Malpractice warrants condemnation. You cannot be ignorant of the implications of falsely and maliciously accusing a historian of dishonest historiography.

    Sometimes a critique of poor historiography is just a critique of poor historiography.
    If you were more self-aware you would reflect on how this line redounds to you.

    That was always going to ellit and obtuse response.
    How could I take this as anything other than an admission that you have been purposely obtuse with (i.e. trolling) me?


    I went to the trouble of getting access to the original work, The Air Force Integrates 1949-1964. The relevant section is "The Freeman Field Mutiny." The unit (477th Bombardment Group) in question had since its formation seen conflict between segregationist white officers - including the commanders - and black officers. The black officers were denied access to the white officers' club (barred under penalty of arrest). This was a widespread policy under First Air Force Commander General Frank Hunter, and a colonel under his command had been reprimanded in 1943 by the Chief of Air Staff in Washington when black officers put segregation to the test (they didn't even have a colored club) and were arrested. The surprisingly perspicacious military regulations prohibited racial segregation of officers' facilities, on the account that

    ...the idea of racial segregation is disliked by almost all Negroes and downright hated by most. White people and Negro . . . fail to have a common understanding of the meaning of segregation . . . . The protesting Negro . . . knows from experience that separate facilities are rarely equal, and that too often racial segregation rests on a belief in racial inferiority.
    But Hunter didn't take this too seriously, protesting that "The doctrine of social equality cannot be forced on a spirited young pilot preparing for combat." Also in 1943 under Hunter, Colonel William Colman shot his black chauffeur because he didn't want a black chauffeur and was given a light punishment.

    Low unit readiness, refusal to promote any blacks over whites (one calculated loophole was to designate all blacks as trainees and only whites as supervisors), and the officers' club issue led to open insubordination when the unit was transferred to inadequate basing (movement back and forth between Godman and Freeman Fields) and the whites tried to formalize segregation of officers. In summary, in April 1945 the blacks forced their way into the white club en masse; 61 were arrested, 3 later court-martialed. On following days even more officers attempted mass entry and were arrested. The incident gained national notoriety in Congress and the press. Within days the commanders attempted to force all officers to sign consent to segregated facilities. All whites signed, but some blacks refused. These were arrested, leading to the renewed insubordination of almost all black officers, with a resultant closing of of the white club as they tried to gain ingress.

    How this story ends is not the issue and can be studied to independent satisfaction. Here is the place to reemphasize the total lack of cause to suspect any manipulation of primary material on the author's part to insert racist sentiment. Indeed, below is the full excerpt around the prompting screenshot, which is sourced to a "Rpt. of Racial Situation" on Freeman Field with scope of the few weeks before the mutiny:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Some whites made "disgruntled remarks" in the presence of
    blacks, but all those put in the report had been made at the
    white officers' club.
    They included, for example, the following
    remarks:

    c. "If one of them makes a crack at my wife, laughs or whistles
    at-her, like I saw them do to some white girls downtown,
    so help me, I'll kill him."

    d. "I killed two of them in my home town, and it wouldn't
    bother me to do it again."

    e. "I went to the show on this base my first and last time
    because I'm afraid I'll get into trouble some night when
    they start making remarks about the white actors and actresses:
    besides that, the smell in the show is terrible."

    h. "Their club is better than ours. Why don't they stay in
    their place."

    i. "That isn't just what they are looking for. What they
    want to do is stand at the same bar with you, and be able to
    talk with your wife. They are insisting on equality . . . . "75


    That is, the source material listed what it described as "disgruntled remarks" from white officers, prompted by Negro agitation for desegregated facilities. Gropman quotes these remarks - not idly or coincidentally assembled - from the report. For quote (i) to have been deceptively included one would have to believe that an officer signaled approval of blacks talking to his wife as equals, and that this was included in a list of negative racial remarks from other white officers. If one does not believe this, then there is no way in which the quote could have been materially misrepresented. To have advanced on nothing but sentiment any notion that this remark must have instead been supportive of the desegregationist aim the white officer class from Hunter down had long been unified in suppressing among blacks, is indefensible. In the worst case, you did not identify any conceivable misrepresentation but chose to level a spurious character assault regardless. To continue in this vein would be repugnant for any so-called scholar, a confirmation of bad faith. Complaints of mistreatment at my hands would hold little weight in that light, and would be deserving of more than disgruntled remarks.



    Indeed, it is possible - but I can't remember the last time you actually argued against my point directly. Remember the time you spent pages accusing me of being transphobic just because I said I could appreciate why some fathers are more worried about their daughters safety than being socially inclusive to complete strangers? Remember how you you interpreted my critique of Beskar's appeal to gender-fluidity as transphobic when my point was actually that trans people are rarely gender-fluid and are often actually very much gender-conforming, just not their physical gender?
    I remember that your statements entailed rather more than that, which I delineated carefully, and I never accused you of transphobia. You are rewriting the terms of a discussion after the fact.

    Your combative style means you attack the other person on what you percieve their platform to be, rather than trying to understand that platform.
    I see a reflexive refusal on your part to grapple with flaws in your positions as they have been stated.

    So you expect others to raise certain arguments for you so that you can respond to them? See above about attacking percieved targets. I'm not you, I don't understand you, I don't know what you want.

    If you want to discuss something raise it, if nobody argues against it then it may just be because we all agree with you and aren't interested in debating it.
    It shouldn't be difficult to grasp. For example, if I post about a proposed policy, I will privately consider pros and cons, and open questions, as well as potential challenges to both the pros and cons from various perspectives. I may or may not post about some of these, which in full would look like a rather dense and meandering wall of text. I would however be prepared to discuss these points should someone else present an opportunity. Insofar as there is any response it almost never works out that way here, so I should probably leave well enough alone.

    The question is malformed, because as I said Anglo-Saxon society doesn't work like that.
    It is a mere logical necessity of hierarchy.If you are thinking through any attachments you have to Anglo-Saxon culture, step back. Some propositions:

    A. Churls are lower in status than thanes.
    B. Slaves are lower in status than churls.
    C. Churls and above are free.
    D. Slaves are not free.
    E. Churls are the lowest-status men who are free.

    A churl is simply anyone not a noble or a slave,
    What is a whole number between 1 and 3? There is only one whole number between 1 and 3.

    3. Suggesting it's generous to condescend to use consistent orthography is just another insult. Talk about not being able to back down.
    I bet you and all your colleagues routinely use "king" instead of "cyning" alongside Old English words, because king is a generic term with the same meaning.

    Right, and there's no evidence for this - it's a 19th Century invention.
    What's the evidence against this? I have presented evidence for, and common sense agrees.

    The ONLY thing all churls have in common is being free and not being noble and some of them DO NOT directly work the land. Do you not see how different that is to later Norman society, and how it is different to the plight of the modern American wage-slave?
    This account on its terms alone maps pretty well to the broad middle class today, which ranges from garbage collectors to oncologists. Why do you reject my defense of the weak analogy and inadvertently argue for the strong?

    Let's put this another way - you are a churl - but so is Warren Buffet.

    Is Warren Buffet economically constrained?
    In fact, the more appropriate interpretation of the churl with regards to modern American society (so much as it is applicable) is that all Americans are churls because all Americans are equal before the law. What you are trying to do is to compare wealthy Americans today to a legally distinct class that existed over a thousand year ago.
    You're abusing language. Literal formal peerage is not what's relevant.

    The insight into modern society is banal, the connection to Anglo-Saxon society is misconstrued. I simply pointed this out and now we're having a big fight about how I'm a bad historian?

    You just like picking fights.
    As I said, I didn't post that for its insight - countless others, including Obama, have made it in more or less detail - but because I thought you would like it.

    Right now this is two separate "fights." If you're a bad historian it's not because of obtuseness over the content of the churl analogy.

    I don't believe you, on either point. We've spent weeks litigating it and you seem unrepentant.
    Yes, I'm saying I won't bother litigating your perception of me going forward. How much appetite I have to continue any other dispute is still indeterminate.

    I just clicked the link and realised it was more screed, and you'd already accused me of supporting racism on my birthday. Yet, great present, more work.
    What? It's a link to a White House press release. I didn't accuse you of supporting racism.

    No, I get it. You don't get the point I'm trying to make - so your supposedly "good argument" doesn't address itself to my thesis. So you've demonstrated that you either don't understand my argument or you want me to make a different one.
    Yes, I was saying your pedantry was misplaced and sketched a better attempt.

    Like I said, if you don't like my contributions or value them (and you never do) why do you keep soliciting them?
    Sometimes I have (I don't know how valuable 'America be craycray' is, but I'll take it). It's been a rough spot lately.

    I gave you may opinion in my fist most - banal point - completely misunderstands Anglo-Saxon society and here we are days later and you're trying to argue against my interpretation of the historiography making points that are directly contradicted by the sources you quote.
    I've covered this.

    You're still tangling up wealth, power, and class in a totally anachronistic way. The medieval King has wealth and power because of his class, his social status, he doesn't get that status because of his wealth and power.. You really need to accept what I'm telling you when I tell you that America doesn't really have an "Upper Class" as it is traditionally understood, otherwise you're going to keep making these anachronistic comparisons.

    Trump is a churl.
    By anachronistically insisting that archaic class distinctions and modern class distinctions would have to map to each other one to one to be compared at all you make the error you accuse me of.

    I meant "oppressed and immiserated". If I wrote that and sent it to my supervisor I'd get it back with the last word triple underlined and the word "miserable" above it with multiple question marks.
    Some of the sources I quoted use the word immiserated, and it's hardly an unfamiliar word. El gustando no disputando.

    You've quoted sources that demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the most basic concepts we are discussing - you continue to hold to an American concept of class as being wealth-derived.
    Are you saying the sources are wrong about something, or that I've misunderstood them? To clarify, I never said Anglo-Saxon class was based on wealth. Modern class is largely wealth-based.

    The fact is you're making a rear-guard action over a point that's clearly no longer accepted - i.e. that churls were the "lower class" of Anglo-Saxon society when in reality they were not, some of them had not only legal but actual rights and privileges in Anglo-Saxon society, some did not. Some were economically constrained (geburs) but many were not. Despite which they constituted a single legal class in society.
    The best I can give you is that you're opposing an equivocation of status and class that no one fouled over. To say that someone is lower-status is not to imply that they have no rights or resources. If there were a world in which the worst-off lived like kings as we know them, it would still be correct to call them lower or lowest-status.

    This is not quite the case in Europe, although the aristocracy have become less and less powerful over the last five decades in particular.
    I've linked in this very thread how the majority of wealth in American and European countries is inherited. There is more to aristocracy than a certain title.

    I certainly wasn't nice to you yesterday, but then again you insinuated I was racist just because I critiqued a source on racism in the American Air Force, and it was my birthday.
    I didn't, but if you're frequently in the position of thinking I'm insinuating bigotry on your part, well - guilty conscience perhaps?

    Why don't you just avoid phrases like "deserve ridicule", especially when I've quoted a review of said book which indicates far more serious forms of misrepresentation in the work. Also, do you actually think I'm being ridiculous, if so why do you bother?
    I won't bother. You've lost credibility.

    Have you considered just asking for clarification?
    I do that frequently, and then you complain I'm accusing you of something.

    Also - have you considered that you hold beliefs that I consider patently ridiculous? Like the belief that it's possible to differentiate between right and wrong without appeal to any higher power? I could give you a long, well sourced, argument on how a conceptual "higher power" is necessary to be able to define something as "right" or "wrong" and the difference between the objectively right and human perception which is only "subjectively right". Such an argument would, however, be utterly pointless between us because you would reject it on unprovable first principles - you would first dispute my definition of "right" and then you would argue that there is no discernible "higher power" and therefore I must be wrong.
    Whatever the case, your argument would be not even wrong.

    The only reason to have such a discussion would be to try to better understand each other's positions but given you have indicated you have no interest in exploring philosophical beliefs you reject. So - utterly pointless.
    I have interest, but you're not that person.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 11-11-2019 at 08:00.
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  18. #168
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    I simultaniously want you to both shut up and not stop, its getting confusing.
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    Don't be scared that you don't freak out. Be scared when you don't care about freaking out
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  19. #169
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    You're abusing language. Literal formal peerage is not what's relevant.
    This, right here, is you not listening. You accuse me of abusing language, and yet you insist that churl is the only "whole number" between slaves and nobles.

    Clearly, as your own sources indicate, the Geburs were a legally-defined sub-class among the Churls present in Wessex (but not in all regions) and they were the ones directly butting up against slaves.

    Now, you've done everything up to and including character assassination just to try to prove that your initial point against me was correct, despite which you claim that the historiography doesn't matter, which gives you a double out.

    So what was the point?

    I think this is really about your defence of the thesis that the wealthy in modern America form an aristocratic class, I'd argue that they don't because as a class they aren't cohesive. Yes, the wealthy in America often inherit their wealth, but then so did churls. The fact is for every Donald Trump you also have a Michael Bloomberg.

    The difference is, with a real aristocracy if you take away all their money, it doesn't matter. This has remained true in the UK to the extent that up until 1997 every titled aristocrat in the UK automatically got a seat in the legislature, regardless of wealth. This was also true in many other countries at the start of the 20th Century.

    Wealthy Americans wish they had that, and they wish they had the social access that real aristocrats have world-wide. This is the crucial difference, and this is why any critique of modern American society based on a comparison to medieval class structures is inherently faulty and needs to be challenged.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  20. #170

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    This, right here, is you not listening. You accuse me of abusing language, and yet you insist that churl is the only "whole number" between slaves and nobles.
    I insisted that there is only one whole number between 1 and 3: that number is 2. There is nothing precious about an ability to convince yourself otherwise.

    Clearly, as your own sources indicate, the Geburs were a legally-defined sub-class among the Churls present in Wessex (but not in all regions) and they were the ones directly butting up against slaves.
    Beside the point, but to be accurate none of the sources I quoted describes a legal definition of "gebur". Building Anglo-Saxon England speculates that the group known as geburs in Wessex possibly arose out of freed slaves (as opposed to free men sinking into subjection).

    Now, you've done everything up to and including character assassination just to try to prove that your initial point against me was correct, despite which you claim that the historiography doesn't matter, which gives you a double out.
    The historiography reinforces the intermediate status of churls between slaves and nobility, which you don't contest. I don't know of what character assassination you speak with regard to churls, but since you engaged in character assassination to troll me I can't respect this whinging.

    I think this is really about your defence of the thesis that the wealthy in modern America form an aristocratic class,
    It has nothing to do about whether the wealthy form an "aristocratic" class. The analogy is valid whether or not that word applies. You have been hung up on the historical definitions of classes (e.g. stratified legal standing vs. theoretical equality under the law) rather than observing the cross-sectional relationship in practice, which latter is the point.

    I'd argue that they don't because as a class they aren't cohesive.
    What does it mean for a class to be cohesive?

    The fact is for every Donald Trump you also have a Michael Bloomberg.
    If by this you mean that most super-wealthy individuals were not born into wealth, you are correct - especially as concerns people outside the US or Europe. But the growth opportunities of the globalizing age have always been vanishingly few and predicated on criminality and political access at that level, and the good times have given way to secular stagnation. Below the masters, the petite bourgeois are much better at staying affluent or getting more so than those below are at breaking into their ranks.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
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    But this has always been so. Most wealth is inherited, and what is inherited is mostly passed between the upper ramparts of society. in America this is especially a foundational racial problem, where as we see black families pass on almost no accumulated wealth whatsoever, even compared to middle class whites.

    The difference is, with a real aristocracy if you take away all their money, it doesn't matter. This has remained true in the UK to the extent that up until 1997 every titled aristocrat in the UK automatically got a seat in the legislature, regardless of wealth. This was also true in many other countries at the start of the 20th Century.

    Wealthy Americans wish they had that, and they wish they had the social access that real aristocrats have world-wide. This is the crucial difference, and this is why any critique of modern American society based on a comparison to medieval class structures is inherently faulty and needs to be challenged.
    You are making two mistakes:

    First, modern oligarchs and plutocrats, and their families, do have special access despite a lack of formally-specified status. This is still called privilege.

    Second, even if the above were not the case it would not be relevant to instigating analogy, which is explicitly about the substantive inherent capacities of common people, and implicitly of their relationship to the ruling classes.

    Again, this is the point. Your contrarian posture here is as misguided as if you said we cannot refer to modern military servicepeople as soldiers because they do not form in blocks or carry spears.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 11-13-2019 at 04:37.
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  21. #171
    Hǫrðar Member Viking's Avatar
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    A long-delayed reply for @Montmorency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I wonder if the variation in faces trends greater the larger in population the ethnic group
    I would say necessarily. The larger the population, the stronger the evolutionary pressure needs to be to enforce homogeneity for a given trait. As far as human faces go, that sounds most relevant for sexual selection, and I am not sure it would be up to the task.

    Size in numbers also correlates with size in area, so you can have founder effects and other phenomena that push for the branching off of new, distinct ethnic groups.

    It didn't jump out at you that he is a Korean-American who basically became a Mexican-American (chicano)? Hence opening a Mexican restaurant.
    Adoptees that are adequately young tend to adopt the culture they are adopted into. He would have a much easier time passing as a Mexican than a European where he grew up, so it's not the most surprising cultural identity he adopted.

    I get the impression that he has a bit of a conservative personality (cf. the Action facet of the Openness to experience dimension in the NEO PI-R model); he does not seem very interested in trying out new things in general. He was set in his ways before he got to Korea.

    If he had ended up in Mexico instead, I don't think he would be very interested in exploring aspects of Mexican culture that he does not already have some familiarity with, because that's how his personality works.
    Runes for good luck:

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  22. #172

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    I would say necessarily. The larger the population, the stronger the evolutionary pressure needs to be to enforce homogeneity for a given trait. As far as human faces go, that sounds most relevant for sexual selection, and I am not sure it would be up to the task.

    Size in numbers also correlates with size in area, so you can have founder effects and other phenomena that push for the branching off of new, distinct ethnic groups.
    Pretty much all ethnic groups grow by outright absorbing/assimilating disparate ethnic groups as well as by intragroup sexual reproduction. But there's two ways to interpret what I said about facial variation, first in terms of variability in particular measurements within a group (e.g. interocular distance, ear height), second in terms of how the population can be divided into something like facial archetypes. These are obviously not unrelated but I would guess the former has prompted more research.

    Adoptees that are adequately young tend to adopt the culture they are adopted into. He would have a much easier time passing as a Mexican than a European where he grew up, so it's not the most surprising cultural identity he adopted.
    He mentioned that kids at school or in the gang identified him as Asian, so there's more to it than a scale of appearance (particularly as perceived from without).

    I get the impression that he has a bit of a conservative personality (cf. the Action facet of the Openness to experience dimension in the NEO PI-R model); he does not seem very interested in trying out new things in general. He was set in his ways before he got to Korea.

    If he had ended up in Mexico instead, I don't think he would be very interested in exploring aspects of Mexican culture that he does not already have some familiarity with, because that's how his personality works.


    I don't know how to evaluate your impression of his personality. I would say he comes across as insecure or defensive (stemming from trauma), but that's not the same as what you're describing.
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  23. #173
    Hǫrðar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Pretty much all ethnic groups grow by outright absorbing/assimilating disparate ethnic groups as well as by intragroup sexual reproduction. But there's two ways to interpret what I said about facial variation, first in terms of variability in particular measurements within a group (e.g. interocular distance, ear height), second in terms of how the population can be divided into something like facial archetypes. These are obviously not unrelated but I would guess the former has prompted more research.
    I don't recall hearing about facial archetypes in a scientific context like this. Skull shapes, on the other hand..

    By the way, I generally wouldn't take large-scale assimilation for granted. Newcomers or expanding groups could displace or outcompete existing groups. It would be interesting to find out how common the different scenarios have been throughout history.

    He mentioned that kids at school or in the gang identified him as Asian, so there's more to it than a scale of appearance (particularly as perceived from without).
    If there were no social groups for "bad" (his word) Asian kids, then it is not difficult to see his choice as the second-best option.



    I don't know how to evaluate your impression of his personality. I would say he comes across as insecure or defensive (stemming from trauma), but that's not the same as what you're describing.
    The scientific underpinnings of the five-factor model (which NEO PI-R is based on) I haven't read much about, but I have listened to tens of episodes of a podcast where celebrities have their personalities broken down according to the 30 facets of the NEO PI-R (with both hosts and guests taking the endeavour seriously). From these episodes, for any of the 30 facets, it seems clear to me that the two extreme ends of a facet describe very different people.

    For the facet in question, based on the episodes of this podcast, I would informally describe the people that score the lowest on "openness to actions" this way: when they book a holiday, they book the same destination as always, the same hotel at that destination as always, the same hotel room in that hotel as always; and when at the destination, they eat the same meals at the same nearby restaurant. People who score high on this facet, in contrast, like to travel to new destinations and try new things.

    In other words, I think this guy, if he goes on holidays, prefers to go to the same old destination(s).

    Perhaps insecurity, caused by trauma or otherwise, could indirectly lead to conservative choices as a means of keeping things stable and under control, but I can't immediately see that applying here.

    Another facet where it seems that his score comes through clearly (much clearer, really) is achievement striving. He comes across as very ambitious, making sure that his restaurant has the highest standards. He focuses a lot on that his restaurant is the best, not just to boast; and emphasizes that it took "hard work" to get there (i.e. he doesn't take it for granted simply because of his background, he had to want to get there).

    Nah, I think his underlying personality is coming through well enough. Maybe with a significantly rougher edge than it would have had with a different childhood and youth.
    Last edited by Viking; 11-17-2019 at 00:04.
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  24. #174

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    What does "God have mercy on the man who doubts what he's sure of" mean?


    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    I don't recall hearing about facial archetypes in a scientific context like this. Skull shapes, on the other hand..

    By the way, I generally wouldn't take large-scale assimilation for granted. Newcomers or expanding groups could displace or outcompete existing groups. It would be interesting to find out how common the different scenarios have been throughout history.
    Skull shape in itself creates much of the face shape, and craniofacial bones and tissues are made up of multiple segments with distinct genetic and developmental processes. How that biologically comes together is not the point right now.

    What I'm saying is, haven't you ever looked at people's faces and found that sometimes people from a given nationality or ethnic group will often have what looks like the same facial model but with slight variations? Like: 'that face looks like a face I'd often see on a French person,' or 'that's a distinctly Chinese (as opposed to Japanese or Korean) face.' It's not to say that a handful of facial models typify entire ethnic groups, but that particular basic facial models are particularly associated.

    Unfortunately I can't clearly illustrate what I mean, since I don't make a habit of collecting prosopography from whatever visual media I encounter. If I can't collate examples of the kinds of trend I have in mind, I can at least give examples of what look like archetypes to me.

    HP Lovecraft epitomizes the WASPy physiognomy in my mind.

    This protester is easily identifiable as Jewish (aside from it being a Jewish-led protest).

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    If there were no social groups for "bad" (his word) Asian kids, then it is not difficult to see his choice as the second-best option.
    Certainly the context-specific interrelationships between groups matter. A white/European-American child in that position would have barriers to assimilation due to the wider societal racial hierarchy. A (dark) black/African-American child could indeed grow up much like our subject D, though there would be an additional layer of influence from the prevalent African-American representation (not to say whether it's good or bad) in TV, film, and music that would be very difficult to conceal from a child even if living in a location with no other black people around.

    I don't understand your framing of "second-best."

    In other words, I think this guy, if he goes on holidays, prefers to go to the same old destination(s).
    I can't really argue with a gut feeling, but why? I have read people who live through poverty often display this kind of behavioral/psychological tendency, but what did you see in the video that left you with this judgement? Making and persisting with a risky business investment in a foreign country seems like contrary evidence.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 11-17-2019 at 04:14.
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  25. #175
    Hǫrðar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    What I'm saying is, haven't you ever looked at people's faces and found that sometimes people from a given nationality or ethnic group will often have what looks like the same facial model but with slight variations? Like: 'that face looks like a face I'd often see on a French person,' or 'that's a distinctly Chinese (as opposed to Japanese or Korean) face.' It's not to say that a handful of facial models typify entire ethnic groups, but that particular basic facial models are particularly associated.
    I think I get what you mean.

    Certainly the context-specific interrelationships between groups matter. A white/European-American child in that position would have barriers to assimilation due to the wider societal racial hierarchy. A (dark) black/African-American child could indeed grow up much like our subject D, though there would be an additional layer of influence from the prevalent African-American representation (not to say whether it's good or bad) in TV, film, and music that would be very difficult to conceal from a child even if living in a location with no other black people around.

    I don't understand your framing of "second-best."
    Koreans and Latin Americans can have similar skin tones, so in the absence of any relevant groups of Asians to join, a group of Latin Americans (or natives) would in practice be the group where his physical appearance would be the most similar to the other members.

    I can't really argue with a gut feeling, but why? I have read people who live through poverty often display this kind of behavioral/psychological tendency, but what did you see in the video that left you with this judgement? Making and persisting with a risky business investment in a foreign country seems like contrary evidence.
    I would like to emphasize that in the five-factor model, the starting point is not that the aspects of a person's personality that it describes tend to be heavily affected by a person's background (the model is not supposed to describe a person's personality exhaustively, at any rate). In theory, a preference for the same holiday destination every year is independent of your current and past wealth; though I suppose greater wealth could lead to more expensive habits. If you are very rich, maybe you'll take a cruise in your personal yacht to the same five destinations every year instead of sticking to just one destination. The key is a preference for doing the same rather than trying something new.

    I also want to emphasize that the five-factor model does not operate with dichotomies; for every facet, most people fall somewhere in the middle between the two extremes, but it is easier to understand the facets by looking at the extremes.

    Now for why I think he has that personality trait: one thing that really stood out, is the language. It is possible he has difficulty learning Korean, but my theory is that he doesn't really care to learn Korean, which would be consistent with a low score on this facet. His personal style, like the way he dresses, also seems a bit like he is stilling living his old life. Granted, if a person has been forced to live a very different life, they could try to hold onto something from their old life because it relates to their identity, even if they have a general preference for trying out new things.

    He did say that he was a "little bit" excited to get out of his old lifestyle; but it also seems that this excitement was about leaving behind a life he didn't really enjoy rather than being excited at the prospect of moving to a new country and integrating into a new culture.

    In personality theory, I think success is generally associated with the dimension of conscientiousness. The facet of ambition, which I mentioned above, belongs to this dimension. He could have scores that are average or above on some other facets of that dimension as well, such as self-discipline (cf. his reference to "hard work").
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  26. #176
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I insisted that there is only one whole number between 1 and 3: that number is 2. There is nothing precious about an ability to convince yourself otherwise.
    It's not a scale between one and three, it's a scale between something like one and seven.

    You have the nobility, broken down into the Royal family, containing the Cyning and the Æthelings, his sons, brothers, nephews etc., then the mass of the þeȝns from whom the king selected his Æorldormon and from which class came most of the non-monastic bishops. Then, below them, you have the mass of the ceorles, who were themselves subdivided into a, the geneats - the "peasant aristocracy" distinguished from the lower Þeȝns by being primarily landholders and farmers as opposed to warriors, the mass of men - the kotsetlas - and the bottom rung, just hanging on, the geburs who were tenant farmers often economically tied to a given estate.

    Then you have slaves, mostly non-Saxons.

    You'r just engaging in reductio ad absurdem - a geneat would be indistinguishable from a less affluent Þeȝn in the street or in the shieldwall - both mean "follower" or "retainer", the distinction is not one of wealth or even necessarily practical function, both could serve as landlords, the distinction is that one has access to the royal family in a direct way (in theory) and the other does not.In Anglo-Saxon England its all about personal relationship - status is defined (formally) by who you owe your loyalty to and in what context. Þeȝns are warriors first and foremost and it is from this that they derive their status and their privileged access to the royal court, not wealth, not even necessarily birth. Oh, I know you're going to mention Huscarls next - so let me preempt you by pointing out that huscarls are not self-supporting, they're professional paid soldiers as opposed to simply being retainers. Þeȝns were also farmers with their own lands who equipped themselves out of their own pockets. Incidentally, both þeȝns and ceorles fought in the Fyrd together as mounted infantry, in addition to weapons and armour they had to provide their own horses. That's why the property qualification for a þeȝn was five hides, or the equivalent of five small-holdings, because every hundred was required to provide one man for every five hides - þeȝns were that man for their own landholdings, ceorles might send someone else.

    Beside the point, but to be accurate none of the sources I quoted describes a legal definition of "gebur". Building Anglo-Saxon England speculates that the group known as geburs in Wessex possibly arose out of freed slaves (as opposed to free men sinking into subjection).
    The fact they're described in a charter regarding a manor owned by the king indicates a certain legal status. The problem is we can't be certain what that status is, something life slaves, like serfs? We don't know, exactly, what we do know is that they represented a different kind of status to that enjoyed by other ceorles.

    The historiography reinforces the intermediate status of churls between slaves and nobility, which you don't contest. I don't know of what character assassination you speak with regard to churls, but since you engaged in character assassination to troll me I can't respect this whinging.
    "You've lost credibility" was what you said.

    You don't like it when people call you out for your bad behaviour, well suck it up - you once told Furnunculus his "caution [was] not respectable."

    It has nothing to do about whether the wealthy form an "aristocratic" class. The analogy is valid whether or not that word applies. You have been hung up on the historical definitions of classes (e.g. stratified legal standing vs. theoretical equality under the law) rather than observing the cross-sectional relationship in practice, which latter is the point.
    Outside the US class is inherited regardless of wealth. Go re-watch Downton Abbey, it's a study in class relationships, right down to the perpetually awkward position of the Early's American wife and brother-in-law.

    What does it mean for a class to be cohesive?
    It means they form a cohesive group with similar social standards, goals, tastes, etc. - a community with an in-group and out-group.

    If by this you mean that most super-wealthy individuals were not born into wealth, you are correct - especially as concerns people outside the US or Europe. But the growth opportunities of the globalizing age have always been vanishingly few and predicated on criminality and political access at that level, and the good times have given way to secular stagnation. Below the masters, the petite bourgeois are much better at staying affluent or getting more so than those below are at breaking into their ranks.

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    But this has always been so. Most wealth is inherited, and what is inherited is mostly passed between the upper ramparts of society. in America this is especially a foundational racial problem, where as we see black families pass on almost no accumulated wealth whatsoever, even compared to middle class whites.
    So you acknowledge that the most wealthy in America, those "holding the reigns" so to speak were not born into it. Do you understand how different this is to a class-system where people are born into a certain class and that defines their social standing? Do you understand that the only was to access a higher class in those circumstances is through personal patronage of the person at the top of that class (the monarch) and no amount of money will ever get you in?

    You are making two mistakes:

    First, modern oligarchs and plutocrats, and their families, do have special access despite a lack of formally-specified status. This is still called privilege.
    Privilege of wealth is not privilege of class. They aren't the same and your insistence on trying to equate them demonstrates that a refusal to believe that class works differently outside a Republic like the US. Compare the Anglo-Saxons and the Romans.

    Second, even if the above were not the case it would not be relevant to instigating analogy, which is explicitly about the substantive inherent capacities of common people, and implicitly of their relationship to the ruling classes.

    Again, this is the point. Your contrarian posture here is as misguided as if you said we cannot refer to modern military servicepeople as soldiers because they do not form in blocks or carry spears.
    And this is the part you refuse to accept, Anglo-Saxon society doesn't work like that'. Status is conferred by access to the King, he decides if you're a þeȝn or a ceorl - and then everyone else agrees with him. So how do you make the change? Pretty simple really, you demonstrate loyalty to the king and an ability to kill his enemies. Anglo-Saxon society is totally militarised, all free men serve, and even priests and bishops can be found in the shield wall. If you don't have the requisite five hides, well, the king will just give you land.

    In this society deeds grant access and access grants wealth. Wealth does not, by itself, grant access.

    You're engaging in Marxist historiography again, insisting on seeing other times and places in the context of your own society. In this case you're comparing an absolute monarchy with a completely militarised (free) population against a largely demilitarised republic. Apples and oranges.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  27. #177

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    I think I get what you mean.
    I think I've found a good comparison to illustrate: HP Lovecraft (colonial Anglo) and TE Lawrence (British Anglo).

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._June_1934.jpg
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...e_lawrence.jpg

    Tell me you don't see it? Now the next step if my notion has any validity would be to identify any systematic proportion among the general population of this facial model - maybe it's just a weird coincidence. (Well, the proper first step would be to parametrize the putative facial model but...)

    Koreans and Latin Americans can have similar skin tones, so in the absence of any relevant groups of Asians to join, a group of Latin Americans (or natives) would in practice be the group where his physical appearance would be the most similar to the other members.
    Considering the great variation in appearance within the groups "Asian" and "Latin American" (of whom the latter comprise everything from overwhelmingly European-ancestry countries like Argentina and overwhelmingly Amerindian (and minimally-admixed mestizo) countries like Bolivia), that's too sweeping an assessment. At any rate, it isn't helpful to dignify sorting by appearance or color.

    I would like to emphasize that in the five-factor model, the starting point is not that the aspects of a person's personality that it describes tend to be heavily affected by a person's background (the model is not supposed to describe a person's personality exhaustively, at any rate). In theory, a preference for the same holiday destination every year is independent of your current and past wealth; though I suppose greater wealth could lead to more expensive habits. If you are very rich, maybe you'll take a cruise in your personal yacht to the same five destinations every year instead of sticking to just one destination. The key is a preference for doing the same rather than trying something new.

    I also want to emphasize that the five-factor model does not operate with dichotomies; for every facet, most people fall somewhere in the middle between the two extremes, but it is easier to understand the facets by looking at the extremes.

    Now for why I think he has that personality trait: one thing that really stood out, is the language. It is possible he has difficulty learning Korean, but my theory is that he doesn't really care to learn Korean, which would be consistent with a low score on this facet. His personal style, like the way he dresses, also seems a bit like he is stilling living his old life. Granted, if a person has been forced to live a very different life, they could try to hold onto something from their old life because it relates to their identity, even if they have a general preference for trying out new things.

    He did say that he was a "little bit" excited to get out of his old lifestyle; but it also seems that this excitement was about leaving behind a life he didn't really enjoy rather than being excited at the prospect of moving to a new country and integrating into a new culture.

    In personality theory, I think success is generally associated with the dimension of conscientiousness. The facet of ambition, which I mentioned above, belongs to this dimension. He could have scores that are average or above on some other facets of that dimension as well, such as self-discipline (cf. his reference to "hard work").
    OK, like any model of personality insight more data (interview material, professional examination) is better, but I understand where you're coming from.


    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    It's not a scale between one and three, it's a scale between something like one and seven.

    You have the nobility, broken down into the Royal family, containing the Cyning and the Æthelings, his sons, brothers, nephews etc., then the mass of the þeȝns from whom the king selected his Æorldormon and from which class came most of the non-monastic bishops. Then, below them, you have the mass of the ceorles, who were themselves subdivided into a, the geneats - the "peasant aristocracy" distinguished from the lower Þeȝns by being primarily landholders and farmers as opposed to warriors, the mass of men - the kotsetlas - and the bottom rung, just hanging on, the geburs who were tenant farmers often economically tied to a given estate.

    Then you have slaves, mostly non-Saxons.

    You'r just engaging in reductio ad absurdem - a geneat would be indistinguishable from a less affluent Þeȝn in the street or in the shieldwall - both mean "follower" or "retainer", the distinction is not one of wealth or even necessarily practical function, both could serve as landlords, the distinction is that one has access to the royal family in a direct way (in theory) and the other does not.In Anglo-Saxon England its all about personal relationship - status is defined (formally) by who you owe your loyalty to and in what context. Þeȝns are warriors first and foremost and it is from this that they derive their status and their privileged access to the royal court, not wealth, not even necessarily birth. Oh, I know you're going to mention Huscarls next - so let me preempt you by pointing out that huscarls are not self-supporting, they're professional paid soldiers as opposed to simply being retainers. Þeȝns were also farmers with their own lands who equipped themselves out of their own pockets. Incidentally, both þeȝns and ceorles fought in the Fyrd together as mounted infantry, in addition to weapons and armour they had to provide their own horses. That's why the property qualification for a þeȝn was five hides, or the equivalent of five small-holdings, because every hundred was required to provide one man for every five hides - þeȝns were that man for their own landholdings, ceorles might send someone else.
    This is well-worn ground by now, and it reinforces the logical necessity of the proposition that churls are the lowest class of freemen. The internal structure of the churl class does not change the external hierarchy!

    "You've lost credibility" was what you said.

    You don't like it when people call you out for your bad behaviour, well suck it up - you once told Furnunculus his "caution [was] not respectable."
    Your bad behavior was the problem here!

    Outside the US class is inherited regardless of wealth. Go re-watch Downton Abbey, it's a study in class relationships, right down to the perpetually awkward position of the Early's American wife and brother-in-law.
    All class at all times is a matter of networking above wealth. Formal title applies to very few humans today, and it's not the meaningful thing.

    So you acknowledge that the most wealthy in America, those "holding the reigns" so to speak were not born into it. Do you understand how different this is to a class-system where people are born into a certain class and that defines their social standing? Do you understand that the only was to access a higher class in those circumstances is through personal patronage of the person at the top of that class (the monarch) and no amount of money will ever get you in?
    Almost all megamillionaires and billionaires have been created in the past two or three generations, because of contingencies in the global economy that are fluid. Even adjusted for inflation there were almost no such people a hundred years ago. You're born into it after the first generation, similar to how an immigrant family in America will always give birth to lifelong Americans regardless of their own original status.

    But before that, it's applicable at all points in modern history. If, for instance, you've read anything about early America you'll notice that people from wealthy, landed, educated families were falling into destitution all the time. Some even died penniless or in debtor's prison. Yet even so they were typically able to maintain access to capital, professional opportunities, other influential bourgeois people, political power, etc. Why? Because they were from the "right" families! Ain't you ever heard of the Boston Brahmins? And that's just New England, it was all over the country like that. The Southern slavers, who were in any sense an aristocratic throwback, had almost all their wealth destroyed in the Civil War. Guess what happened in the aftermath? Most of those slavers picked up and re-enslaved the blacks and rebuilt their wealth and political power. With the invention of sharecropping where planters could not rely on slaves they literally transformed the blacks into serf-like tenant farmers, who could leave or demand remuneration at the risk of their lives.

    To this day descendants of the aristocratic families are disproportionately represented in Southern business and politics.

    Privilege of wealth is not privilege of class. They aren't the same and your insistence on trying to equate them demonstrates that a refusal to believe that class works differently outside a Republic like the US. Compare the Anglo-Saxons and the Romans.
    You don't understand how class works today.

    And this is the part you refuse to accept, Anglo-Saxon society doesn't work like that'. Status is conferred by access to the King, he decides if you're a þeȝn or a ceorl - and then everyone else agrees with him. So how do you make the change? Pretty simple really, you demonstrate loyalty to the king and an ability to kill his enemies. Anglo-Saxon society is totally militarised, all free men serve, and even priests and bishops can be found in the shield wall. If you don't have the requisite five hides, well, the king will just [I]give you land.
    Again, this doesn't affect the analogy because the analogy does not depend on these specific relationships.

    In this society deeds grant access and access grants wealth. Wealth does not, by itself, grant access.
    A wealthy enough landowner will always have access to the king, unless it's war. Obviously.

    You're engaging in Marxist historiography again, insisting on seeing other times and places in the context of your own society. In this case you're comparing an absolute monarchy with a completely militarised (free) population against a largely demilitarised republic. Apples and oranges.
    Wrong. This is because you fundamentally don't understand the comparison. I don't think I can help you.
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  28. #178
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    This is well-worn ground by now, and it reinforces the logical necessity of the proposition that churls are the lowest class of freemen. The internal structure of the churl class does not change the external hierarchy!
    OK, so... what?

    "There's always been a 1%"?

    Your bad behavior was the problem here!
    If by bad behaviour you mean "trolling" that's just slanderous.

    I'm not trolling you, I'm reflecting you, I tried being polite and you ignored me, so now I'm deliberately being antagonistic because it's all you respond to. You don't value good manners or compassion, so I refuse to avail you of those things. It is a waste of my time.

    All class at all times is a matter of networking above wealth. Formal title applies to very few humans today, and it's not the meaningful thing.
    Formal title has never applied to many humans. In England only a few hundred people at any one time have ever held formal title, excepting baronets and knights. You're avoiding the core point here - in this case it's not about "networking" but about access to one specific person, a person who in all instances claimed decent from a pagan God, Woden. This was true for all Anglo-Saxon Kings from all seven kingdoms, excepting possibly the last, Harold II.

    Almost all megamillionaires and billionaires have been created in the past two or three generations, because of contingencies in the global economy that are fluid. Even adjusted for inflation there were almost no such people a hundred years ago. You're born into it after the first generation, similar to how an immigrant family in America will always give birth to lifelong Americans regardless of their own original status.
    Debatable - the globalised economy has had certain perverse effects on human society. The landed aristocracy held a strangle hold on the lives of all people prior to the French Revolution. It's difficult to quantify their wealth in today's terms, or the extent of their political power.

    But before that, it's applicable at all points in modern history. If, for instance, you've read anything about early America you'll notice that people from wealthy, landed, educated families were falling into destitution all the time. Some even died penniless or in debtor's prison. Yet even so they were typically able to maintain access to capital, professional opportunities, other influential bourgeois people, political power, etc. Why? Because they were from the "right" families! Ain't you ever heard of the Boston Brahmins? And that's just New England, it was all over the country like that. The Southern slavers, who were in any sense an aristocratic throwback, had almost all their wealth destroyed in the Civil War. Guess what happened in the aftermath? Most of those slavers picked up and re-enslaved the blacks and rebuilt their wealth and political power. With the invention of sharecropping where planters could not rely on slaves they literally transformed the blacks into serf-like tenant farmers, who could leave or demand remuneration at the risk of their lives.

    To this day descendants of the aristocratic families are disproportionately represented in Southern business and politics.
    Well, technically, modern history begins with the Renaissance, aka the Early Modern Period. The American South is certainly a fascinating culture, one which established a landed aristocracy and a slave-caste based on race whilst also managing to distinguish between that aristocracy and the mass of non-slaves. On the other hand, we have an untitled-aristocracy here too. When I visited the Trecarrell estate with my mother over the summer the owner, whom you would call a "country squire" was telling us about the time be managed to talk his way into Lambeth Palace library to see manuscripts relating to the manor house.

    You don't understand how class works today.
    On the contrary, I understand it works differently outside the US. One is reminded of the rather amusing story of when Her Majesty visited Normandy in the 1960's, I believe it was then. The local peasants lined the streets, doffed their caps and shouted "Viva la Duchess!" to the considerable embarrassment of her French hosts.

    Again, this doesn't affect the analogy because the analogy does not depend on these specific relationships.
    The blogger's analogy was between the modern American who is disenfranchised but doesn't realise it because he votes and the churl imagined to be disenfranchised but doesn't realise it because he's better than a slave. Well, the churl did realise it, and he was still better off than the modern American.

    A wealthy enough landowner will always have access to the king, unless it's war. Obviously.
    This ignores the point I referred to a while back, where the king owns all the land, so it's up to him if you're wealthy or not. This is true in early Anglo-Saxon society and later post-conquest. It's less true in late Anglo-Saxon society where landholding (as opposed to renting) has become much more prevalent but the central point stands. The only really practical way to get that wealthy that you have access by default is to get into the aristocracy because your ability to acquire land and wealth is dependent on the king or a powerful magnate.

    A really good example of this in Early Modern times is Thomas Cromwell, a more enduring example is Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Brandon's father was a knight, Sir William, who was of sufficiently low standing that he was accused of raping a "gentlewoman" which isn't something that happens to genuinely noble people in late-medieval England as a rule. he got off. Cromwell, of course, was just a good lawyer who amassed fabulous wealth and titles under Henry VIII until he was offed by some actual aristocrats for basically being too common.

    Wrong. This is because you fundamentally don't understand the comparison. I don't think I can help you.
    There is no meaningful comparison, that's the point. Your view is no more applicable than Greyblades labelling Anglo-Saxon society "pre-feudal". In both cases you're drawing a false comparison that is based on common (and therefore shallow) modern understanding of the historical context.

    We are not living in a post Anglo-Saxon society, we haven't been for centuries. We're living in a post-Roman society. Don't believe me, look up how votes for magistrates were conducted in the Roman Republic and compare it to the Primary process for selecting presidential candidates in the US, never mind the junk food (including pizza).

    Remember, this started because you asked for my opinion. My opinion is, and was, that the point being made by the blogger is banal and the comparison is misconstrued. Don't like that opinion? well, you'll remember not to ask in future, then, won't you?
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  29. #179
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    There is no meaningful comparison, that's the point. Your view is no more applicable than Greyblades labelling Anglo-Saxon society "pre-feudal". In both cases you're drawing a false comparison that is based on common (and therefore shallow) modern understanding of the historical context.
    Elucidate, historian. Was the norman conquests not a substanstive enough societal change to consider a book mark in history to lable pre and post?
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    OK, so... what?

    "There's always been a 1%"?
    I don't like the application of the "1%" concept, which is just a slogan, but sure, whatever.

    If by bad behaviour you mean "trolling" that's just slanderous.

    I'm not trolling you, I'm reflecting you, I tried being polite and you ignored me, so now I'm deliberately being antagonistic because it's all you respond to. You don't value good manners or compassion, so I refuse to avail you of those things. It is a waste of my time.
    There have been about two instances this year in which your thought process was so outrageously defective that I tried to unmistakably and compassionately impress on you the severity of your mistakes. I hoped you would take it to heart and check yourself. If from that you've learned only to double down and preemptively attack, well, fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, won't get fooled again.

    Formal title has never applied to many humans. In England only a few hundred people at any one time have ever held formal title, excepting baronets and knights. You're avoiding the core point here - in this case it's not about "networking" but about access to one specific person, a person who in all instances claimed decent from a pagan God, Woden. This was true for all Anglo-Saxon Kings from all seven kingdoms, excepting possibly the last, Harold II.
    The way you speak makes it seems as though you think kings were the sole and unlimited sources of political power in pre-modern times. Who you knew and what you could do for each other has always been an organizing principle of complex societies.

    Debatable - the globalised economy has had certain perverse effects on human society. The landed aristocracy held a strangle hold on the lives of all people prior to the French Revolution. It's difficult to quantify their wealth in today's terms, or the extent of their political power.
    I don't know about Mansa Musa sprinkling gold here and there, but there was a coherent monetary framework in place in the 18th century. It's not debatable that there were relatively few megamillionaires and billionaires, adjusted for inflation, before the world wars and globalization.

    Well, technically, modern history begins with the Renaissance, aka the Early Modern Period. The American South is certainly a fascinating culture, one which established a landed aristocracy and a slave-caste based on race whilst also managing to distinguish between that aristocracy and the mass of non-slaves. On the other hand, we have an untitled-aristocracy here too. When I visited the Trecarrell estate with my mother over the summer the owner, whom you would call a "country squire" was telling us about the time be managed to talk his way into Lambeth Palace library to see manuscripts relating to the manor house.
    The important takeaway is that de facto hereditary class has been big throughout American history, it is cultivated and perpetuated through interrelationships among the elite as much as wealth per se, and wealth can always be obtained through mutual services and leveraging of prestige and privilege. As has been increasingly pointed out, even the entire American upper-middle-class looks ever more like a hereditary class in practice.

    On the contrary, I understand it works differently outside the US. One is reminded of the rather amusing story of when Her Majesty visited Normandy in the 1960's, I believe it was then. The local peasants lined the streets, doffed their caps and shouted "Viva la Duchess!" to the considerable embarrassment of her French hosts.
    You always return to your understanding of modern English class. Without even engaging on those terms, you should realize that the world is bigger than England.

    Though separately I would be interested if you can find any other examples of French "peasants" cheering Queen Elizabeth. She visits Normandy frequently enough, after all, usually to commemorate WW2 events. Come to think of it, I wonder if that has any relevance...

    The blogger's analogy was between the modern American who is disenfranchised but doesn't realise it because he votes and the churl imagined to be disenfranchised but doesn't realise it because he's better than a slave. Well, the churl did realise it, and he was still better off than the modern American.
    A certain kind of modern American doesn't realize it because he has access to consumer choice, and to tribal opiates like god and guns.

    If you want to say the churl was better off than a modern American or Englishman, that's a separate topic, and it will have to admit much more information than just class theory. I would agree only on some very narrow constructions. Such as I already mentioned, that on some measures of inequality the churl could have been closer to his lord than the modern analogues.To the extent that you reacted against any subtext that the modern American is 'declining' or 'degenerating' into churlhood, I was and am willing to accommodate that.

    This ignores the point I referred to a while back, where the king owns all the land, so it's up to him if you're wealthy or not. This is true in early Anglo-Saxon society and later post-conquest. It's less true in late Anglo-Saxon society where landholding (as opposed to renting) has become much more prevalent but the central point stands. The only really practical way to get that wealthy that you have access by default is to get into the aristocracy because your ability to acquire land and wealth is dependent on the king or a powerful magnate.
    The king owning all land is a legal fiction, not an intrinsic power dynamic. The land is not a magical organism that responds to divinely-vested authority. Kingship is not a unit of power.

    A really good example of this in Early Modern times is Thomas Cromwell, a more enduring example is Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Brandon's father was a knight, Sir William, who was of sufficiently low standing that he was accused of raping a "gentlewoman" which isn't something that happens to genuinely noble people in late-medieval England as a rule. he got off. Cromwell, of course, was just a good lawyer who amassed fabulous wealth and titles under Henry VIII until he was offed by some actual aristocrats for basically being too common.
    Without refreshing my memory I believe there were some other conflicts ongoing beyond umbrage at Cromwell being a commoner.

    Speaking of rape, elites, and the South, here's a wonderful little story:

    Wade Hampton II was one of the big names among the Southern elite of the antebellum period. Hampton had four daughters. I'm just going to post something from Wiki without further comment.

    Hampton's sister-in-law Catherine Fitzsimmons, a shy girl, at age 17 married James Henry Hammond, making him a wealthy man with her large dowry. He eventually owned more than 20 square miles of property and hundreds of slaves through wealth gained by this marriage. The families saw each other socially because of this relationship.

    In 1843 Hampton learned that Hammond had sexually abused his daughters (Hammond's nieces) as teenagers and accused him when he was still governor, although nothing was written publicly.[2][3] As rumors of Hammond's behavior spread, he was socially ostracized[4] and his political career was derailed for a decade.[3] But, he recovered sufficient political standing to be elected in 1856 by the South Carolina legislature as US senator from the state. The Hampton daughters' reputations were irrevocably tarnished. None of the daughters ever married.[3]
    Hammond's Secret and Sacred Diaries (not published until 1989) reveal that his sexual appetites were varied. He described, without embarrassment, his "familiarities and dalliances"[1] over two years with four teenage nieces, daughters of his sister-in-law Ann Fitzsimmons and her husband Wade Hampton II.[1][11] He blamed his behavior on what he described as the seductiveness of the "extremely affectionate" young women.[1] The scandal "derailed his political career" for a decade to come after Wade Hampton III publicly accused him in 1843, when Hammond was governor.[12] He was "ostracized by polite society" for some time, but in the late 1850s, he was nonetheless elected by the state legislature as US senator.[13]

    Hammond's damage to the girls was far-reaching. Their social prospects were destroyed. Considered to have tarnished social reputations by his behavior, none of the four ever married.[1]

    Hammond was also known to have repeatedly raped two female slaves, one of whom may have been his own daughter. He raped the first slave, Sally Johnson, when she was 18 years old.[1] Such behavior was not uncommon among white men of power at the time; their mixed-race children were born into slavery and remained there unless the fathers took action to free them.[13] Later, Hammond raped Sally Johnson's daughter, Louisa, who was a year old baby when he bought her mother; the first rape apparently occurred when Louisa was 12; she also bore several of his children.

    His wife left him for a few years, after he repeatedly raped the enslaved girl, taking their own children with her. She later returned to her husband.[1]

    There is no meaningful comparison, that's the point.
    If you think it's not insightful, that's fine. I offered you that. But it's not a false comparison.

    We are not living in a post Anglo-Saxon society, we haven't been for centuries. We're living in a post-Roman society. Don't believe me, look up how votes for magistrates were conducted in the Roman Republic and compare it to the Primary process for selecting presidential candidates in the US, never mind the junk food (including pizza).
    If there is a sense that Russia is "post-Soviet," that is not the sense in which any part of the world is "post-Roman." It's the height of banality to repeat the fact that Roman civilization has influenced subsequent civilizations.

    Remember, this started because you asked for my opinion. My opinion is, and was, that the point being made by the blogger is banal and the comparison is misconstrued. Don't like that opinion? well, you'll remember not to ask in future, then, won't you?
    Last edited by Montmorency; 11-18-2019 at 03:17.
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