‘Let us now transport ourselves…

…from Robinson’s island, bathed in light, to medieval Europe, shrouded in darkness. Here, instead of the independent man, we find everyone dependent – serfs and lords, vassals and suzerains, laymen and clerics. Personal dependence characterizes the social relations of material production as much as it does the other spheres of life based on that production.

‘But precisely because relations of personal dependence form the given social foundation, there is no need for labour and its products to assume a fantastic form different from their reality. They take the shape, in the transactions of society, of services in kind and payments in kind.

‘The natural form of labour, its particularity – and not, as in a society based on commodity production, its universality – is here its immediate social form. The corvee can be measured by time just as well as the labour which produces commodities, but every serf knows that what he expends in the service of his lord is a specific quantity of his own personal labour-power. The tithe owed to the priest is more clearly apparent than his blessing.’

Karl Marx, Capital Volume 1 page 170, Penguin Books, 1976

Karl Marx is an excellent tour guide through the centuries.

Dover Castle, built between 1168 – 1190 according to the Pevsner guide, ‘North East and East Kent’.

No visit to a ‘heritage’ site would be complete without several SUVs.

The ship is the Pelican of London. Not the 13th century, but it gives an idea of sailing across the channel.

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