chapter  2
18 Pages

The Crumbling of Central Authority

In every human collectivity two forces are in conflict. Centripetal force encourages the concentration of central power. Centrifugal force fosters the erosion of power. This chapter explains the relationship between “residues” and the centripetal and centrifugal forces under examination. Centripetal and centrifugal forces are chiefly influenced by the strength of traditional attachments. They are also affected by residues of sociality. Under certain conditions centrifugal force grows and centripetal force is diminished. The feudal period during Europe’s Middle Ages reflects this kind of cyclical change. In France there were actually two cycles during the feudal period. A long cycle was preceded by a shorter cycle. One should not look to social theories for true origins of unionism. Rather, the opposite is true. Similarly, theories of feudalism reflect the consequences rather than the causes of feudal relations.