1 ANDERSON, PERRY: The feudal mode of production ", in: Transition from Antiquit y to Feudalism, Siglo XXI Editores, Mexico, 1997

. [Original English 1974]. Part II. I. Western Europe. Pages 147-154. 1. The feudal mode of production feudal mo de of production that appeared in Western Europe was characterized by a complex unit. Often, traditional definitions of feudalism have realized this fact only p artially, with the result that is difficult to analyze the dynamics of feudal de velopment. The feudal mode of production was dominated by the land and the natur al economy, in which neither work nor were the products of labor goods. The imme diate producer, the farmer was attached to the means of production - land, by a specific social relation. The formula used in that regard is provided by the leg al definition of serfdom glebae adscripti, or seconded to the land, that is, the serfs were legally limitada1 mobility. The peasants who occupied and cultivated land were not the owners. The Farm was privately controlled by a class of feuda l lords who extracted a surplus product of the peasantry through relations of po litical-legal compulsion. This extra-economic coercion, which took the form of l abor services, incomes in kind or customary obligations of the peasant to the lo rd, was exercised both in the demesne, linked directly to the person of the Lord , as holdings or plots cultivated by peasant. His was a necessary result of econ omic exploitation legal amalgamation with political authority. At the same time, the property rights of the lord over his [page 148] land were usually one of de gree: Mr. received the investiture of their rights of another noble (or noble) a bove, who had to cavalry service, this is providing effective military assistanc e in time of war. In other words, received their land as a fief. In turn, Mr. li gio was often feudal2 vassal of a superior, and the chain of those holdings depe ndent linked to military service extended upward to reach the highest point of t he system 1 Chronologically, this legal definition of the phenomenon appeared long after tha t designated facts. It was one invented by the legal definition of Roman law in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and became popular in the fourteenth century. See Marc Bloch, Les characteres originaux de l'histoire rurale française, Pari s, 1952, pp. 89-90 [French rural history: original characters, Barcelona, CrÍti ca, 1978]. We will find repeated instances of this delay in the legal codificati on of the economic and social relations. 2 ligio tribute was technically a form of tribute that took precedence over all others in those cases in which a vassal should fidelity to many masters. In practice, however, Ligia soon became synony mous with any feudal superior, and the homage ligio lost its original and specif ic distinction, Marc Bloch, Feudal Society, London, 1962, pp. 214-18 [feudal soc iety, Mexico, UTEHA, 1958]. 2-in most cases, a monarch, who, ultimately, all land in principle could be emin ent domain. In early medieval times, the characteristic of the intermediate link s feudal hierarchy, between the nobility and the monarchy simple sovereign, were the Castellani, the barony, county, and principality. The consequence of this s ystem was that political sovereignty is never settled in a single center. The fu nctions of the state disintegrated in a vertical distribution from top to bottom , precisely in each of the levels at which integrated the other hand the politic al and economic relations. This fragmentation of sovereignty was inherent to all feudal mode of production. Hence arose from three structural characteristics of Western feudalism, all of vital importance to its dynamics. First, the survival of the commons of the villages and the freeholding of the peasants, which, from pre-feudal modes of production, although not generated by feudalism were not in compatible with it. The feudal division of sovereignty in particular areas with overlapping boundaries, and no universal competence center, always allowing the existence of corporate bodies "halogen" in its interstices. Thus, while the feud al class occasionally tried to impose the rule nulle terre sans seigneur, in pra ctice he could not succeed in any social formation feudal communal lands-meadows ,€meadows and forests, and scattered freeholding always been an important secto r of autonomy and resistance [pg. 149] peasant, with decisive consequences for a

gricultural productivity total3. Furthermore, within the manorial system, the st epped structure of the property was expressed in the property division of land b etween the domain of the lord, organized directly by their managers and cultivat ed by its villains, and farmers' fields, of which received an additional surplus product, but the organization and control of production was in the hands of the ir own villanos4. Thus, there was a concentration 3 Engels always correctly highlighted the social consequences of the village commu nities, made up of communal lands and the triennial rotation system to the condi tion of the medieval peasantry. This was said in The Origin of the Family, Priva te Property and the State, which gave "the oppressed class of farmers, even unde r the most cruel bondage of the Middle Ages, local cohesion and strength of resi stance were not available to the slaves of antiquity and has no modern proletari at, "Marx-Engels, Selected Works, London, 1968, p. 575 [Selected Works, Madrid, Akal, 1975, II, pages 323-4]. Based on the work of German historian Maurer, Enge ls mistakenly believed that these communities whose origins dated back to the be ginnings of the Dark Ages were "brand associations" when in fact they were an in novation of the late Middle Ages, which appeared for the first time in the fourt eenth century. But this error does not affect the essence of his argument. 4 The medieval manors had a variable structure depending on the relative balance in t hem existed between these two components. At one end was [a few] farms devoted e ntirely to the demesne, such as 'granges' cultivated by Cistercian lay in the ot her end was also some farms completely leased tenant farmers. But the most wides pread type was always a combination of aristocratic power and holdings in variou s proportions: "This bilateral composition of the manor and its income has alway s been the true hallmark of the typical manor, M. M. Postan, The mediaeval econo my and society, London, 1972, pp. 82-94. 3 simple and horizontal two basic classes of the rural economy into one homogene ous form of ownership. Within the estate, relations of production were mediated through a dual agricultural status. On the other hand, there was often a disjunc ture between the new justice to which slaves were subjected in the manorial cour ts [manorial] and his master and the seigneurial jurisdictions [seigneurial] of territorial dominion. The manors usually did not coincide with each village, but were scattered in several of these, hence, conversely, in every village were in terspersed a multitude of different domains manorial lords. Above this tangled l egal maze [pg. 150] is normally the haute justice of the territorial lords, whos e geographic area of responsibility was not for the dominios5. The peasant class from which the surplus product was extracted dwelt in this system, therefore, a social world of claims and overlapping powers, whose diverse and plural "instan ces" of exploitation latent created gaps and discrepancies, impossible in a more unified legal and economic . The coexistence of communal lands, freeholding and plots, with their own feudal control, was constitutive of the feudal mode of pr oduction in Western Europe and had major implications for their development. Sec ond, and even more important than this, the division of sovereignty in Western E urope produced the phenomenon of the medieval city. Once again, the genesis of u rban commercial production should not be within the feudalism as such, because i t is obviously before him. However, the feudal mode of production was the first independent development allowed under a natural economy agriculture. The fact th at the largest medieval cities in magnitude could never compete with those of th e empires of antiquity, or Asia, has often obscured the truth that their role wi thin the social formation was much more advanced. In the Roman Empire, with its elaborate urban civilization, cities were subordinated to the domination of the landowning nobles who lived in them, but not of them. In China, the vast crowds in the provinces were controlled by bureaucrats, mandarins who resided in a spec ial district separate from any commercial activity. By contrast,€the paradigmat ic medieval cities of Europe, who exercised the trade and manufacturing, were se lf-governing communities, which enjoyed a corporate autonomy, political and mili tary respect for the nobility and the Church. Marx saw this difference and clear

ly expressed so 5 There is an excellent analysis of the basic features of this system in B. H. Sli cher van Bath, The agrarian history of Western Europe, London 1963, pp. 1946-195 1 [Agrarian History of Western Europe, Barcelona, PenÍnsula, 1974.] Where there were no territorial domains, as in most of England, the various domains that ex isted within the same village farming community gave considerable scope for self -regulation, see Postan, The mediaeval economy and society p. 117. 4 memorable: "The story is classic old urban history, but of cities based on the land and the [pg. 151] agriculture Asian history is a kind of indifferent unity of city and country (in this case, the truly great cities must be regarded mere ly as a camp manor, as an overlay on the economic structure itself), the Middle Ages (Germanic period ) arises from the land as the site of history, history, wh ose further development is then converted into an opposition between town and co untry; the [history] modern urbanization of the countryside is not, as among the ancients of the city ruralization "6. Thus, the dynamic opposition between town and country was only possible in the feudal mode of production: opposition betw een a growing urban economy of commercial exchange, controlled by merchants and organized into guilds and corporations, and a natural exchange rural economy, co ntrolled by noble lords and organized plots, communal and individual peasant enc laves. Needless to say that the preponderance of the latter was enormous: the fe udal mode of production was overwhelmingly agricultural. But his laws of motion, as we shall see, were governed by the complex unity of different areas and not by the simple dominance of the manor. Finally, on top of all dependencies feudal hierarchy was always an intrinsic oscillation and ambiguity. The "top" of the c hannel was in some important respects its weakest link. In principle, the highes t level of the feudal hierarchy in any territory of Western Europe was necessari ly different, not in kind but only in degree, from the subordinate levels of dom ains located below it. Put another way, the king was a feudal lord of his subjec ts, who were bound by mutual ties of loyalty, not a supreme ruler placed over hi s subjects. Their financial resources resided almost exclusively in their person al domains as Lord, and their calls to their vassals were essentially military i n nature. I had no direct political access to the entire population, since the j urisdiction over it was mediated by countless subinfeudación levels. The monarc h, in fact, it was only master of his own domain, in the rest was largely a cere monial figure. The pure model of this system, in which political power was strat ified to below so that [pg. 152] did not retain its top qualitatively different from any authority or plenipotentiary, never really existed in Europe medieval7, because the lack of a 6 Karl Marx, Pre-Capitalist Formations, London, 1964, pp. 77-8 [Building Blocks fo r the Critique of Political Economy, Madrid, Siglo XXI, 1972, I, p. 442]. 7 The State of the crusaders in the Middle East has often been viewed as the closest t o a perfect feudal constitution. The overseas construction of European feudalism were created ex nihilo in a foreign environment and assumed, therefore, an exce ptionally systematic legal form. Engels, among others, emphasized that uniquenes s, "Is that feudalism fell to his concept? Founded in the kingdom of the Franks 5 truly integrative mechanism at the top of the feudal system, as required by th is type of political system, posed a constant threat to its stability and surviv al. A complete fragmentation of sovereignty was incompatible with the unit class of their own nobility, because the potential anarchy necessarily imply involvin g dislocation of the entire mode of production which are based privileges. So th ere was an internal contradiction in feudalism between the specific and powerful trend towards a breakdown of the sovereignty and the absolute demands of a fina l center of authority that could take place a restructuring practice. The feudal mode of production of specified West, then, from the beginning,€sovereignty: t

o some extent, this has always existed in a legal and ideological field located beyond those vassal relations whose top could be the powerful ducal or county an d had few rights that the latter could not aspire. At the same time, the real po wer was always true to assert and spread against spontaneous disposition of the whole feudal political system in a constant struggle to establish an authority " public" outside the compact network of private jurisdictions. The feudal mode of production marked the West, then, from its inception and in its very structure by a dynamic tension and contradiction within the state that produced and reprod uced centrifugal organically. [Page 153] This political system necessarily precl uded the emergence of an extensive bureaucracy and functionally divided in a new way to class rule. Because on the one hand, the fragmentation of sovereignty in Europe in the Middle Ages led to the formation of a completely separate ideolog ical. The Church, in late antiquity had always been directly integrated into the machinery of the imperial state and subordinate to it, now became essentially a utonomous institution within the feudal political system. As the only source of religious authority, his control over the beliefs and values of the masses was i mmense, but their ecclesiastical organization was different from that of any sec ular monarchy or nobility. Due to the dispersion of coercion, which was intrinsi c to the nascent Western feudalism, the Church was able to defend, when necessar y, its corporate interests from a territorial stronghold and through armed force . The institutional conflict between secular and religious domains were therefor e endemic in medieval times and the result was a split in the structure of Western perfected in Normandy by the conquerors Norwegians continued their train ing by the Norman French in England and in Southern Italy, moved closer to the c oncept in Jerusalem, in the realm of a day, in Jerusalem Asisises [Godfrey of co de Bouillon for the kingdom in the eleventh century Jersualén N. E.] made the c lassic expression of the feudal order, "Marx-Engels, Selected Correspondence, Mo scow, 1965, p. 484 [Correspondence, Buenos Aires, Carthage, 1973 422]. But even in the realm of the practical realities Crusaders never corresponded to the lega l codification of their baronial lawyers. 6 legitimacy feudal cultural consequences for the subsequent intellectual develo pment would be considerable. On the other hand, the secular government itself wa s reduced significantly to a new mold and became essentially the exercise of "ju stice" that under feudalism functional occupied a position quite different from today is under capitalism. Justice was the central form of political power, spec ified as such by the very nature of feudal political power. As we have seen, the pure feudal hierarchy excluded any form of "executive" in the modern sense of a permanent administrative apparatus of the state to enforce the law, because the fragmentation of sovereignty made it unnecessary and impossible. At the same ti me, there was no room for a 'legislative' type post, because the feudal order ha d no general concept of innovation policy through the creation of new laws. The Monarchs kept their traditional laws preserving function, but inventing new ones . Thus, for some time, political power came to be practically identified with th e single function "law" in interpreting and applying existing laws. Moreover, in the absence of a public bureaucracy, coercion and local administration, police powers, to impose fines, collect tolls and enforce the laws "were added inevitab ly to the judicial function. [Page 154] Therefore, it is always necessary to rem ember that "justice" included medieval really a much broader range of activities that modern justice, because structurally occupied a much more central position within the global political system. Justice was the ordinary name of power.