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I came across an interesting tweet from @johnsolomonbain that recently went viral:
The tweet is provocative enough and (judging by the sources cited in follow up tweets) most likely true.
But what really hooked me about the tweet was the amount of outrage it triggered in people.
People were passionate about insisting (against all evidence) that life in the medieval period was absolutely shitty.
I thought this was odd.
Why would anyone insist that a particular period in the past was barely tolerable?
Wait a minute…
I’ve seen this pattern before…
See, there’s one thing we have today that our medieval ancestors lacked.
Capitalism is the god of this age (at least in America.)
In order for us to believe in Capitalism as our Savior, we need a dire condition that we were saved from.
The destitute medieval peasant provides just the image.
Who would want to go back to that?
Perhaps more people than expected.
How many people nowadays return to farming after toiling for decades aquiring their financial independence?
We’ve come full circle. With few exceptions, most of the “advancements” of the industrial revolution are overhyped.
Relentless productivity in the service of accumulating capital is a cruel taskmaster. People are too preoccupied to even take care of their own bodies, let alone have fulfilling sex.
A meme I once saw eloquently summed up the medieval peasant’s secret to happiness:
Unbothered by current events, can’t even read, too busy farming & fucking.
I have no desire to go back to the so-called “dark ages.” But there seems to be something insane about modern life that was blissfully absent in previous ages.
It’s not just the medieval age that has fallen victim to the “artistic liberties” of the dogmatists…
Evidence says early Christian life is not what we were lead to believe either. Email subscriber Alex sent me an article on the recently discovered “Basel letter,” dated back to 230 A.D.
The letter is short, but reveals much about the daily life and family structure:
“Greetings, my lord, my incomparable brother Paulus. I, Arrianus, salute you, praying that all is as well as possible in your life.
“[Since] Menibios was going to you, I thought it necessary to salute you as well as our lord father. Now, I remind you about the gymnasiarchy, so that we are not troubled here. For Heracleides would be unable to take care of it: he has been named to the city council. Find thus an opportunity that you buy the two [–] arouras.
“But send me the fish liver sauce too, whichever you think is good. Our lady mother is well and salutes you as well as your wives and sweetest children and our brothers and all our people. Salute our brothers [-]genes and Xydes. All our people salute you.
“I pray that you fare well in the Lord.”
If this letter is any indication of conventional family life, the “nuclear family” that modern Christianity holds so dear is bunk.
My best guess is that early Christian families were structured like a “family abbey.” A patriarch would manage an estate made up of his women, children, extended blood relatives as well as anyone wishing to attach themselves to the manor (since hospitality was a core virtue of the faith.)
To borrow a phrase from Bible teacher Arthur P. Adams, these extended family estates existed to “alleviate the bondage of modern life, and give strength and leisure for the growth of the spirit.”
Something worth thinking about…