Mar 21 2011
Did you know that the Dark Ages weren’t really so dark at all? Many movies that depict life in medieval times show a very segregated upper and lower class. It appears that the poor people had horrible lives and that the rich took advantage of the poor. While this may seem like the case it was rarely so.
In fact, living in the Dark Ages was actually a pretty decent time to be around. I’ll argue that some of their conventional practices might actually help our struggling society today.
Of course, there’s plenty to argue on the contrary but in general, if life were like this today, things might be better…..
Money Was Simple
In the Middle Ages money was pretty easy to identify. If you had money, well then you had money: gold. Today’s money systems are usually controlled by government and the International Monetary Fund. In fact, money used to be measured by production and that all changed when it was measured by how much gold the King released (which took place in the Renaissance). This all had to do with land and owning it as an asset. Without getting into too much detail this is what caused money’s demise. It’d be easier if the guy who had the most was the guy who had the most.
Working as a Knight
How awesome would it be if you’re job was to go to battle, impress the King, be treated like royalty and only have to work 40 days a year? That was the job of a Knight though I can’t imagine those jobs were easy to come by.
Food was Real
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where you didn’t have to worry about hormones, pesticides, labels, and the 500 other annoying things that come along with it? Here is what BBC says: “The average medieval peasant, however, would have eaten nearly two loaves of bread each day, and 8oz of meat or fish, the size of an average steak. This would have been accompanied by liberal quantities of vegetables, including beans, turnips and parsnips, and washed down by three pints of ale.” Not bad for poor people.
Tons of Work to Go Around
The Middle Ages didn’t really have unemployment troubles like we do these days. If you were a serf, you worked the land. If you were in the unnamed middle class, you ran a shop or worked for a Lord. If you were upper class, you had hunting and fun stuff to do. In most cities huge Cathedrals were being built so most men could work in some capacity on those structures. And usually if you didn’t work you were disabled or were sick. And in those cases most of these people were cared for by nuns or monks.
Taxes Seemed Pretty Straightforward
Taxes in medieval England seldom went above 15% and they were very much based on land you owned. Also, taxes were utilized for very few purposes. They mostly went to support the King and the military. They didn’t go to 6000 different programs and create horrible rifts between Democrats and Republicans. Also, many poor people (like serfs) were exempt from having to pay taxes. Seems pretty simple to me.
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