The argument made up to now has been that the social position of disabled people in any society can be fully understood only through socio-spatial analysis of lived experience, past and present. My main interest in this book is in the Western experience of disability, which demands consideration of how capitalism has shaped the lives of physically impaired people. In order for this clarification to occur, it is necessary to contrast the experiences of disabled people in capitalist and non-capitalist societies. There are two broad ways of framing this comparison – i.e., historically and crossculturally. In this book I wish to contrast Western capitalism with its antecedent social form, feudalism.