The Phenomenon of Property in Metaphysical Characteristics of History and the Medieval World
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The Phenomenon of Property in Metaphysical Characteristics of History and the Medieval World
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Nina Khachaturyan 
Affiliation: Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
The article analyzes the social structure of the Middle Ages (mainly using the West European region as an example) in the context of metaphysics throughout the history and the achievements of historical knowledge of the 20th — 21st centuries which have radically enriched the historical methods and tools of research. The possibility of a revised interpretation of how social development functions and how it is affected and shaped by the potential of society allowed for the reevaluation of the role of consciousness in history and helped to clarify the relationship between the physical and the metaphysical over the years. These accomplishments liberated the ideas of comprehensive and systemic development from their mechanistic explanation thanks to their emphasis on the variability and complexity of historical development. They also allowed the possibility of the outpacing effect of each aspect (economic — social — political — moral) while retaining their inner connections. Finally, they excluded the principle of the hierarchy among different sides of historical development, which in its most simplistic iteration gave rise to the basis and superstructure dichotomy. The peculiarities of how the main form of property in the agrarian world — land — functioned convincingly affirm not only the fixed bond between its four features but a direct and forced inner dependency between two of them: the economic mechanism of the structure (the land owner and the dependent peasant with the right to own the instruments of labor) “could not operate” without direct political coercion (so-called “noneconomic coercion”). The article underscores the unique significance of small-scale production in villages and cities (where instruments of labor were owned by manufacturers, despite their social dependence). The author believes that this specific feature explains the exceptional role of the medieval social structure in laying ground for the new — industrial — stage in the history of human civilization. The economic significance of small-scale manufacturers, their relatively early emancipation from personal dependency, and their participation in the process of corporate selfidentification, which took institutionalized and legal forms in Western Europe, fundamentally broadened the boundaries of Medieval involvement in society, which had been previously limited by its economic and political elite (“the nobility”). Medieval parliamentarism became the most convincing sign of the prehistory of the “civil” society and the parliaments of Modernity.
temporal rhythms, longue durée, social structure, pre-industrial period, agrarian world, land property, fief, small production, instrument of labor, peasant, artisan labor, particularism, corporatism, self-identification
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