How feudal are our farmers?

There’s a question that haunts me when I’m lying in bed pondering what The Hands that Feed Us is really about: Are we at risk of reverting to feudalism?

My fear is that we will end up in a situation where land is owned by large, absent land-holders who demand a tax from the farmers who actually live and work on the land. Roughly speaking, this feels like feudalism, where land was divided into fiefdoms owned by lords who were supported by their vassals — the people who actually worked the land.

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