Feudalism involves serfdom or ‘lord and vassal’ relationships. Facts can be uncomfortable, but they are whatever they happen to be. Willfully ignoring facts can be like denying that gravity exists – someone can do it, but they shouldn’t step off a high-rise building’s ledge and imagine they’ll survive the fall. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and George Soros are among those who have been praised by media as the world’s greatest “philanthropists.” But Oxford Languages defines philanthropist as “a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.”
“Feudalism” says Oxford Languages was the “dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villeins or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him homage, labor, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection.”
If you are one of some 22 million Americans who own or live in a mobile or manufactured home, if you are one of the 111 million estimated renters in the U.S. or own some other form of ‘conventional’ housing, the odds are excellent that this topic directly impacts you and those you care about.
Now ponder the following quotes.
“Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society.” Nick Hanauer wrote that in an op-ed in left-of-center Politico entitled “The Pitchforks Are Coming for Plutocrats.” Oxford Languages says that a plutocrat is “a person whose power derives from their wealth.” That same source defines an oligarch as “a very rich business leader with a great deal of political influence.”
Rephrased, Hanauer, a billionaire who is described as an early investor in Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, is saying that he and others like him are involved in establishing a modern-day feudalism.
Former California Governor Jerry Brown (CA-D) said something similar years before Hanauer wrote the above. Describing ultra-wealthy “corporate executives” Brown said in an interview that “In effect they’re creating a colonial society here in America through the global accumulation of financial power.”
What Brown described as multinational corporations – meaning, businesses that might be based in the U.S. but are also operating in other countries – increasingly dominates society through money and the control that money brings those ‘oligarchs and plutocrats’
“Multinational corporations do control. They control the politicians. They control the media. They control the pattern of consumption, entertainment, thinking. They’re destroying the planet and laying the foundation for violent outbursts and racial division. That’s all true…” said Brown in that same interview.
Warren Buffett’s son Peter Buffett, who along with his wife operates one of his dad’s nonprofit ‘charitable’ organizations – the NoVo Foundation – said the following in an interview with Laura Flanders. Flanders referred to what she called “Philanthro-Feudalism.” Philanthro-feudalism would be a blending of philanthropy and feudalistic principles. Peter agreed with Flanders, saying that “this [Philanthro-Feudalism Charitable Industrial Complex] just keeps the existing structures of inequality in place.” While “Nearly every time someone feels better about doing good, on the other side of the world (or street), someone else is further locked into a system that will now allow the true flourishing of his or her nature or the opportunity to live a joyful and fulfilled life.”
Numerous quotes or other references to a growing feudalism in America could be considered, such as the one by university researchers previously reported here on MHLivingNews in the report linked below.
Thus the point remains that a trend that MHLivingNews and our MHProNews sister-site have been periodically reporting on for years – once understood – is difficult to deny. The very people involved in the matter have made statements that support the contention.
“Philanthropy,” say some of those involved in the practice, is often a tool for the rich to exercise power while gaining the cover by media or others for ‘giving away money’ and seemingly ‘doing good.’ But if they are truly ‘doing good,’ why is it that the system of “Philanthro-Feudalism” only locks people into the trap of poverty, second or third class citizenship?
As Warren Buffett himself said, there is class warfare and his class – the ultra-wealthy are “winning.” Why are they winning? Because these oligarchs and plutocrats have learned how to use the tools of media, philanthropy, tax law, nonprofit status, politics, bureaucracy, and other economic and governmental mechanisms to their advantage.
Politicians on the political left and right have said increasingly in recent years that the “the system is rigged.”
That rigged system in several ways is increasingly out in the open. It is the truth hiding in plain sight.
But it is also obscured through slanted media coverage that may be biased or agenda driven for a variety of reasons. That includes who owns the publication or media outlet, who is paying how much for advertising, or who has other ways of leveraging what a media source has to say – and most important – why they are saying whatever they ‘report.’
There are several methods of spinning communications where it may seem true at first blush, but might on closer examination be a blend of some truth and some misinformation or deception. One of those methods is known as paltering. Oxford Languages defines palter as “equivocate or prevaricate in action or speech.” Equivocate means “use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself.” Prevaricate is defined by that source as meaning to “speak or act in an evasive way.”
Unless someone knows what to look for, it is often difficult to discern the difference between what is sincere and honest and what is merely posturing or spin.
These patterns noted above have been researched by groups such as the Capital Research Center (CRC) and Influence Watch, which tracks the sources of funding for nonprofits and how they interlace with others. The Capital Research Center has used the phrase “Deception and Misdirection” to describe these techniques for masking the truth.
Among the individuals and groups that CRC has reported on are those with ties to Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and George Soros.
CRC is more right-of-center in their orientation. But as the outline above reflects, most of those on the political left have described this same phenomenon. It isn’t a left-or-right issue. Rather, it is a look at reality.
The reason to establish this outline and why this matters to you and others you know include the following.
- What can be described as “The American Way” was “equal justice under law” and “equal opportunity.” Equal opportunity doesn’t mean equal outcomes. That system is increasingly viewed by people across the left and right as having been undermined as is under assault.
- Wikipedia defines the American Way like this: “The American way of life or the American way refers to the American nationalist ethos that adheres to the principle of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At the center of the American way is the American Dream that is achievable by any American through hard work.”
- But if by the use of deceptive language, misunderstanding by media and/or agenda-driven reporting, and other methods of ‘rigging the system’ people can have their rights artificially limited, then the American Dream and the American Way are being undermined or stolen.
People who live in a manufactured home or who work in the manufactured housing industry have likely experienced the misunderstanding between the perception by media and others vs. the reality that exists.
Research reflects that millions like or love their manufactured home. Manufactured housing is built to federal standards that are closely regulated for safety, durability, energy saving, and other features.
Notably since the passage of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 manufactured homes include significant consumer safeguards.
Yet, there is a perception that manufactured homes – often inaccurately called “mobile homes” which haven’t been built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976 – are ‘inferior’ to conventional housing. Yet as experts have said, by law manufactured homes must be built to ‘perform’ in the same manner as conventionally ‘site built’ housing structure is. Federal data supports the contention that the construction and safety standards are working as designed.
Rephrased, the impressions held by millions are inaccurate. If manufactured homes are misunderstood and have been for over 20 years – as third-party research like the university, federal and other reports linked below has often documented – then why would people be surprised if other media related issues are inaccurate too?
In fairness to mainstream media, there are several pressures on reporters, editors and producers that have been getting more intense in recent years. For instance, the number of reporters and journalists are in sharp decline, as the population continues to grow. Additionally, with respect to manufactured housing, the argument can be made that a proper understanding of manufactured homes has been undermined from within the industry itself. That doesn’t absolve journalistic responsibility, but it does set it into a more ‘fair and balanced’ context.
Speaking of media and the public’s trust – or lack thereof – in news, the latest report from Pew Research included the following. They make the point that large parts of American society no longer blindly trust the ‘news’ media. But their research also lays obliquely out how that trust can regained.
The following is according to Pew Research, published on 8.31.2020. “Many Americans remain skeptical toward the news media, questioning not only the quality of journalists’ work but their intentions behind it. For instance, no more than half of U.S. adults have confidence in journalists to act in the best interests of the public, or think that other Americans have confidence in the institution. And the public is more likely than not to say to say that news organizations do not care about the people they report on.
While most Americans (61%) expect the news they get to be accurate, nearly seven-in-ten (69%) think news organizations generally try to cover up mistakes when they do happen.
The reasons for why Americans think these mistakes happen underscore the distrust that substantial portions of the public feel: Many say that careless reporting (55%) or even a desire to mislead the public (44%) are major factors behind significant mistakes in news stories, although other, less negligent or nefarious reasons such as the rapid pace of breaking news (53%) also are seen as responsible for mistakes.”
A brief segue and admission is in order before returning to the premise of this report. If someone reads articles from several years ago on MHLivingNews or on MHProNews, there is a distinctive shift noticeable. Prior to our clarifying discovery of how Warren Buffett, his allies like Bill Gates, and others who are liked minded influence both sides of several important debates impacting manufactured housing, we tried to ‘defend’ the industry. The truth is more nuanced. Accurate reporting frankly takes time and effort to explain, as we seek to do in reports and analysis like this one.
But on both of our trade media platforms we admitted more than once that we had been sucker punched by the powers that be and would strive not to get duped again. Interestingly, and to the point of what the Pew Research above relates, while there was for a time a dip in readership, there has since been a steady increase. The point-in-part is that readers do seem to respect and forgive and candid admission of error. Millions of visits annually to our two sites, along with higher than average page views per visit and other positive metrics are a testament to the fact that readers routinely respect both admissions, evidence, and accuracy.
It is also worth mentioning that the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) encourages transparent admissions of reporting error when they are discovered. We strive to do so.
That said, the above outline could be summed up like this.
- What was long described as ‘free enterprise’ in America is no longer as free as it once was years ago.
- A modern form of Feudalism is returning to our society but also arguably to others around the world. The U.S. is hardly alone in this trend.
- While there is much talk about racism, slavery, and its consequences, there is insufficient understanding of how those were dealt with in America. Much of the history of racial issues has by accident or design been obscured.
- There is evidence that those who are stoking the flames seeking redress to racial or economic injustice in America are often financially supported by the same billionaires that have ‘rigged the system.’
- In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic’s genesis and handling – whose timeline and logic were previously reported at the link below – resulted in even more wealth inequality than already existed.
Was it merely chance that the handling of the Wuhan Virus pandemic has enriched some of the same people who have been credibly accused of rigging the system in their favor?
Pandemic Yields Billionaires Bonanza?
On August 28, 2020 left-of-center Bloomberg reported that “Facebook Inc. co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s third-richest person, joined Bezos and Bill Gates among the ranks of those possessing 12-figure fortunes earlier this month. Together, their wealth totals $540 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.”
On August 18, 2020 MarketWatch reported the following based upon research from the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).
Additional information, MHLivingNews Analysis and Commentary
No single report can cover everything. We’ve linked other reports that provide evidence for the points made herein. Sources have been accurately cited.
Note that the evidence is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has enriched a relatively small group of people wildly, while much of the rest of the nation – which includes millions of smaller, independent businesses – have suffered.
MarketWatch have called those individuals at the top the “Oligarchic Dozen.” They relied upon research by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), which cited right-of-center Forbes. But as we noted above, left-of-center Bloomberg has separately confirmed several of the points in their findings.
Rephrased, because of multiple sources across the political spectrum, there are good reasons to believe that the claims are accurate.
Next, let’s note that while several of these billionaires have often supported candidates from each of the two major political parties, in this 2020 presidential election cycle, Gates, Buffett, Soros and others on that list have strongly opposed the re-election of President Donald J. Trump.
The candidate who reportedly has more billionaires, “Wall Street,” and big banker connections is the former Obama-era Vice President Joe Biden-Senator Kamala Harris (CA-D) ticket. It goes without saying that when most people give money to a political campaign, they think they will get something.
Manufactured home residents and those who seek or sincerely promote more affordable housing should recall that Buffett backed Barack Obama for the presidency and his re-election. Buffett’s team, allies, political operatives, and surrogates have kept good laws from being enforced that could have created millions of more manufactured homeowners.
More affordable manufactured homeowners would have resulted in more wealth creation for those new to home ownership. The entire citation below is relevant, but the part in the green box points directly to the advantages of affordable manufactured home ownership.
It is with that background that we now pivot back to how the game is played internationally.
There has been political corruption that has impacted both major parties, or minor parties for that matter. That said, the concerns raised in this new documentary below ought to be carefully considered in the light of the fact that the Clintons and the Obamas have both ‘cashed in’ on their time in office to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each.
Given what New York Times bestselling investigative author Peter Schweitzer outlines – citing his sources – and noting that left-of-center Politico has said that Biden has told big donors that he will protect their status quo, there are good reasons to vote for someone other than the Biden-Harris ticket.
Manufactured homeowners and others seeking affordable housing can’t afford to risk the harm that will arguably follow if the hand-picked candidate of the “oligarchs and plutocrats” wins on November 3, 2020.
MHLivingNews will continue to report on and advocate for those who promote truth, justice, and the American Way. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, lifestyle news, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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