Icons, old and new- (pages 5 - 6)
Could they be called peasants? No way. They could not be called owners or any kind of scholars either. Nor could they be called tradesmen, as they produce only nonsense. They belong to no trade. Then what are they, in fact? They are usurpers, demagogues and stupid lazybones living off other people’s toil and giving nothing in exchange. They are arrogant so-called lords, far more arrogant than the very descendants of the oldest families in the country are.
That is why these worthless people are so terribly envious of any bit of real merit. That is why they chase all the really valuable intellectuals away from our country. They are afraid that, if people get sober after they had them drunk with words, the demagogues’ ruling will wiped out.
Indeed, people will finally see clearly when one says: "Listen, fellows! You pay professors who are neither competent, nor teach your children anything. You pay unfair judges and bailiffs who steal from you, as their wages are not enough. Moreover, their words bewilder and fool you. All of them order, but nobody obeys. They have no master to control them, so they do whatever they please. They impoverish you by getting more additional jobs for themselves. Therefore, they become deputies, mayors, members of committees and many officials that you pay for, while they give you nothing, absolutely nothing in exchange. On the contrary, they leave you naked, just after you have bought them clothes. Would it be not better if you had leaders, who do not need your money, while they have their own? Would it not be better for you to have at least kind-hearted rulers, who would pay back everything you invest in them, by using their wisdom?
Come and banish this flock of morons. Cannot you see they work and own nothing, but want to live it up? Cannot you see that these people know nothing at all, but they want to teach your children? These people are not smart enough to save their own money, but they claim to save yours."
II. ECONOMIC PARALLELS
Between 1830 and 1840, we have to admit that many abuses and setbacks must have been in our country, as setbacks also belong to this world. Like old people do, we are also ought to implore God all the time not to let anyone bear as much trouble as one could endure. In the period when Organic Regulations were issued, the first liberal idea was born, and, as a matter of course, all the bad things were attributed to the ruling classes. If the world went wrong, the boyars were to be blamed. Warranties and people’s sovereignty was missing, so there was no control. Abuses were outrageous, everybody went on stealing and liberals kept on saying: "Leave the country to us and you will see what an earthly paradise you shall have to live in!" Just like now, they promised wonders. Just like nowadays all evil things happened because the privileged classes ruled and handled the country’s wealth with no control, so they did whatever they pleased.
Let us suppose that this is the truth. Now the privileges are gone. Nowadays people control everything. There are no more abuses or thefts. We are undoubtedly governed according to correct rules, which guarantee all our possible rights.
So, let us list our wealth.
What we really have is chambers, commune and county councils, mayors, notaries, lawyers, university and academy
professors and so on, who are all well paid in cash.
Our public debt amounts to half a billion francs. There is a constant decrease in the number of agricultural workers and tradesmen and a fierce exploitation of the peasantry. There is also noticed the impoverishment of the upper classes, caused by the general poverty, while trade and professions are in foreigners’ hands.
Have we admitted foreign rules? Well, we have not admitted them for Romanians’ benefit (as these laws have not fitted their needs), but for those people to whom they were convenient and who knew how to benefit from them. We created a public atmosphere for exotic plants, which lethally harms the native ones.
Nowadays we have the most modern liberal institutions: state control, people’s sovereignty, French law-codes and community councils. Has therefore our situation improved? Not at all, it is ten times worse, as the new institutions do not match our culture, working potential or our work’s quality. So that we simply have to exhaust all these in order to support the expensive, inefficient system of our modern state.
We are peasants, indeed, so we should look after everything as peasants do. A peasant has no money and the modern state needs money. A step that the deputy takes in the Chamber or a nonsense he utters require money from this country and money means work. A sentence written by a vice-mayor costs money and money means work. A stupid lecture at the university costs money and money means work. Well, as a rule, money is the representation of work, the visible application of it. Money means sweat and toil. Just as the hand of the clock tells the time, the amount of money in my pocket indicates how much work society has invested in me.
Some might say: So what? Could we not build a constitutional state endowed with liberty, equality, fraternity and sovereignty based on the Romanians’ work? The Frenchmen must have been really smart to do it. Could we not be equally smart? Are we not the same kind of people? Can we not follow their example? Are they smarter than we are?
It is true that the Frenchmen are not smarter than we are, but we still have a flaw that prevents or must have prevented us from doing that.
A Frenchman buys a piece of metal for 50 pennies and makes a watch of it. Then he sells it to you for 2 napoleons. You sell him a half-pound of wool for one French franc and he sends it back to you as cloth worth 20 French francs. He takes rice straws for nothing and makes a hat that your wife buys for 4 napoleons.
He is not smarter, as intelligence is inherited from parents. A shepherd could be as clever as a watchmaker from Paris could, but he is just not trained for this job. This way, he will earn in one whole year the amount that a foreign watchmaker makes in one day.
That is why the watchmaker in Paris can afford to pay for chambers, universities, theatres and libraries or even some hare cheese if he wants such a thing. On the contrary, it takes us some time to do this, as our country has an agricultural economy. While a Frenchman easily spends money, we have to plan it carefully, as an agricultural country has never had enough money. Anyway, what happens in fact?