—“So that I fully understand your contextual meaning, how do you define serf and Freeman?”—
Western Civilization organized unlike all others, to produce individual agency sufficient for individual self-determination.
The evolution was: prisoner, slave, serf, freeman, citizen, and sovereign – with the ancient meaning of slave, as an indentured ward (not chattel slavery).
Slave – involuntarily retained, owner full responsibility for actions, room, board. No Court.
Serf – involuntarily retained, share of his production in exchange for self responsibility for actions, room, board. Manor Court.
Freeman – Unretained, Self Everything and Common Court
Citizen – unretained, self everything, common court, political participation, world wide protection by the state (military).
Sovereign – unretained, self everything, common court, political participation, political court (senate etc), participation in rule or access to rule, worldwide protection of the state.
The failure to convey that slave > serf > freeman, were expanding layers of self-responsibility, and expanding layers of juridical defense by the polity has been, as have many things, ‘not taught’ (obscured) in order to paint a false picture of history.
It was DEFENSIVE.
There are too few people today who have direct experience with uneducated farm labor prior to mass media. If you think the left is crazy today …