Icons, old and new - (pages 23- 24)
As needs have multiplied, production sources should have multiplied as well. Those intermediaries between producer and consumer (whose manipulation pushes prices up) should not grow in number. Because of this manipulation, an agricultural nation has always to support economic loss, because the goods produced have not a flexible value. Although they are produced under a general order, their price is general, too.
When buying an industrial item, an agricultural nation pays for transportation, customs and the tradesman’s profit. At the same time, the money for customs, transport and profit is taken from the sum obtained by that agricultural nation by selling its products. Therefore, an agricultural nation loses twice in both transactions –selling and buying. The difference in value is huge: for 500 wagons of wheat, one gets in exchange half a wagon of luxury objects. In brief: an agricultural nation is exposed not only to its industrial neighbour’s exploitation, but also to the danger of gradually losing its manufacturers by their turning into proletarians, as they are unable to compete with industrial production.
The best example is our own people. The intermediaries in bartering our products for foreign ones are mostly recruited among foreigners. Old people could compare today’s Bucharest with Bucharest about fifty years ago. It is true that Bucharest was not so flourishing back then, but it was Romanian, at least. What do we have today? We still say nothing of Iasi and the towns in Moldavia in general.
Statements or professional schools cannot alter these circumstances, as professions do not exist yet, because the conditions are not achieved.
These circumstances cannot be altered even by civil laws regulating the transaction between A and B. They cannot be altered by an axiom stating that people have an innate right to freedom. Nothing can be altered either by the slogan sustaining that people are equal, or by ensuring a general participation to government.
Middle Age had some means to keep each production branch in business: autonomy of the guilds and their protection against external competition. In our country, Middle Age has just ended; so many old people still remember those times when a foreigner was not allowed to be a member of the guild. Not to mention that the conflicts among the members of a guild were mediated by the leader and, finally, by the King. So powerful was this institution, that the Austrian Empire (as diplomatic as it had always been) introduced consulates in our country under guild names.
So "salus reipublicae summa lex esto". We do not care about metaphysical or constitutional principles that might ensure the Romanians’ prosperity. It is enough that we have the proof that liberalism leads us exactly in the opposite direction.
State needs powerful classes and liberalism has almost destroyed them. Thirty or forty years ago we had a powerful peasantry - not rich, but comfortably provided. This included the first elements of the middle classes.
Nowadays, peasantry has been gradually diminished, just like the owners, whose interests are identical to those of the peasants. We do not have guilds any more and trade now belongs to foreigners. Thus, if we wanted to sell everything we own, we should find foreign buyers in our country, we could pack and immigrate to America. It would be a good idea to have a plot of land in Mexico and settle there, while it is nothing left for us in Romania.
Let us not fool ourselves. As we are economically dependent, no matter what they say, all our governments are subject to foreign influences. We do not consider their cooperation with the counselors - this would be a too serious incrimination. Instead, we blame each other (I think about noble people, not the bastards), because we feel that our people are in a terrible situation and we can see no way out. The historical blame and our ancestors’ curse will fall on the Liberals responsible for this. They have created empty frames filled with the scum of society, as well as a government whose members speak in monosyllabic words. They are responsible for the middle classes fighting over political power, instead of working hard for the nation’s prosperity.
Essential evil consists both in multiplying the needs and declining production. The value of the latter has remained nearly constant. Lacking equality, freedom and participation in the government seem not to have had any consequence.
I should certainly prefer an absolutist state with a healthy and wealthy population to a liberal state whose entire population is poor and ill. Moreover, within an absolutist state, healthy and wealthy people would know better freedom and somehow might be placed on really equal places, while the poor people of a state with liberal laws never reach such positions. One usually has as much freedom and equality as fortune, while a poor man is always meant to be a slave. Therefore, the latter could be never equal to the one owning more.
(Translated by Junona Tutunea)