Icons, old and new - (pages 21- 22)
VI. STATEMENTS AND TRUTH
Nothing can be more natural than the people accepting things as they are, instead of searching the skies for what is placed right under their noses.
However, they do exactly what they are ought not to. Before we start giving examples from our country, let us give one from abroad. In 1813, the socialist thinker Bebel wrote in his newspaper "Volksstaat": "God might exists and then we are led by the nose; or God might not exist and then we may do whatever we please." If we reverse the meaning of this statement, it will be neither clearer, nor more explainable. We might say as well: "God might not exist and then we are led by the nose; or God might exist and we may do whatever we please."
All radical statements are just like that. No matter howyou interpret these phrases, their content is meaningless and, more often than not, their negation is even more valid than they are.
"If you enlighten yourself, you will exist." The opposite might be valid, too: "If you exist, you will be enlightened." A long existence will bear the fruit of knowledge, i.e. light. The same for "If you want, you can" and "You can, if you want". On this ground, man wants what he can have. But when he wants what he cannot have, he must be insane.
Nevertheless, whatever the truth is, words are useless and all these abstractions are nothing but words. The more abstract, the less meaningful they are.
Our forerunners’ culture is based on newspapers. Thereis no doubt that they learned nothing abroad, but how to talk and dress fashionably, as well as to rule people by statements. They had the opportunity to learn using such statements taken from foreign newspapers.
All kinds of newspapers abroad are issued every day, so they use abstractions when they have nothing to say, because this way they can write several pages without saying anything. Let us be not misled. Words in excess in Romanian newspapers compete with words in excess in foreign newspapers. Our journalists need big mouths rather than brains, while they are less cultivated than foreign journalists are, thus they have less to say. This also holds true of foreign newspapers. The difference is that people abroad do not take such newspapers seriously. It is well known they intend to incite society and prepare the proper background that the government or its opponents need to help some climb and others descend the social ladder. So we conclude that the press is just a factory of statements shrewdly covering interests different from those of the people.
What is that State and which is its purpose from the practical point of view, not the theoretical one?
One should just go on the streets or in the fields and he immediately has an answer: some people sell, some buy, some cut, some sew, some strike the iron, some plough, some sow and some weave. Only during holidays do the hands stop and the brains start working. Man uses his spare time for praying in church or for dancing. Weekdays are meant for the stomach, while holidays are meant for mind and soul.
Essence of a state existence is work. The purpose of work is a decent life and prosperity, so these aspects are fundamental. The worst thing is poverty. Poverty is the source of nearly all the evil in the world: disease, drinking, stealing, envy, family conflicts or lack of faith. Almost all are caused by one’s own poverty or by his ancestors’ poverty.
Poverty should be understood for what it is.
One is poor if he feels like that or if he badly wants more than he has.
As a proof could stand the sum of borrowed words meaning disease and poverty. The French word "miserable" and the German "eland" originally meant "poor", but nowadays they name a person lacking moral qualities. The same situation occurs linked to the Romanian word "misel" (creep).
Moral qualities of a nation depend rather on its economic situation than on climate and race. The Romanians’ typical gentleness proves that in the past they used to live prosperously.
This means that the main condition for a civilized state is related to economic matters. Implementing the formulas of a foreign civilization without any economic foundation means working in vain. Moreover, this is exactly what Liberals did. Instead of paying attention to essential evils of our society, they were concerned with mean or accidental evil aspects.
In our century, needs have multiplied, thus we should have multiplied the working potential and production. However, we did exactly the opposite. The number of producers (in our case, only peasants) decreases, which means that they have to overwork. But what sort of people are prospering? People who waste the peasants’ work here or abroad, as well as the parasitical classes. Unsold grains rot in the countryside, while the price of bread in town is comparable to that in Vienna or Paris. As the grains pass through the hands of twenty people from producer to consumer, they become more expensive, because to those twenty people, another fifty are to be added and this way they produce an artificial increase of prices.