Icons, old and new - (pages 9 - 10)
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Nowadays, ministerial decrees are meant for the villages, but nobody enforces them, although the mayor wrote on them to be applied according to Minister's instructions. Nowadays orders are obeyed only if the mayor wants to take revenge on a conservative statesman.

Nowadays, the State is the venue for cowards to avenge themselves on their political opponents. Look at the consequences of people's sovereignty, liberty, fraternity and equality.

Could we say then that all these are good? They might be good indeed, except for one thing: they simply do not fit us.

III. PEOPLE, OLD AND YOUNG

It is difficult for a narrow mind to understand that there is no state of affairs or social truth to last forever. As life is motion, social truth (the mirror of reality) changes perpetually. Whatever is true today will be doubtful tomorrow. The world's wheel does not bring up and down again only human destinies, but ideas as well. In this natural chain of circumstances and people, art alone is immutable. Strangely enough, not what is useful to people but what entertains them has been the only steady thing.

Today we still enjoy reading old Homer's lyrics, which used to entertain the Greek shepherds of yore. We still take delight in the Rig-Veda hymns dedicated by the Indian shepherds to light and to forces of nature, praising them and entreating them for grass and herds. We also find pleasure in the work of the greatest poet ever, Shakespeare, whom we appreciate even more than his contemporaries did. In the same way, we contemplate Phidias and Praxiteles' statues, Raphael's icons or we listen to Palestrina's music. We are happy to read about Stephen the Great in Grigorie Ureche's chronicles, and so learning what a hardworking and virtuous Romanian His Majesty used to be.

However, it is not the same matter related to economic strategies threatening people prosperity and their life harmony, and thus making them hate one another.

Those perfect and most beautiful laws were implemented in a country where they do not fit. On this reason, society declines no matter how well meant they might be. And why is this? Because whatever is not an icon, but a living organic entity must be treated like a real body. Whatever organic is begotten, lives, gets ill, recovers and eventually dies. As there are different bodies, the treatment must be also different. A certain plant, while it is poisonous for one, cures another.

How should we call those pretending to have discovered a wonder medicine, a flawless cure to heal all the diseases in the world? If one were insane, that cure would make him sane again. If one is deaf, it will make him hear. That wonder medicine will cure baldness, measles, poor sight, toothache, everything.

We should call such a doctor a crook.

What about the Romanian people doctors who prescribe the same remedies for any kind of disease?

Are the roads so bad that the wagon breaks down? Liberty, fraternity and equality will fix it. Are public debts increasing? Liberty, fraternity and equality are all we need to pay them off. Is the educational system wrong? Are teachers ignorant? Is the peasant impoverished? Are the cattle sick? Liberty, equality and fraternity are to be appealed for everything to be set right.

We have already said that we kept on taking these liberal cures without seeing any improvement. They might be efficient, but not for us.

Let us see in what way the liberals obtained this prescription that cures all diseases, but none, in fact. Last century there was a big hue and cry in France when it was found out that the Royal Court's expenses exceeded the national revenue and the country had too many debts. People were driven to despair by many taxes and lots of difficulties they had to face. To earn a living, one had either to kill people, or die, because life was hell on earth..

Our Prince Stirbey left 16 million in the country's treasury and 3 million in the village treasury when he gave up the throne. So, the situation is quite different from the one in France!

In France, all the taxes were collected by collectors who impoverished people in order to support the Court and the lazy bastards there. Meanwhile, in our country, taxes were collected directly from the people and the king was rich enough to live off his estate. He lived decently, but not luxuriously at all. That also was unlike the French ways.

In France, people were dissatisfied with their economic status and everybody wanted more than they had. Even the largest fortunes were wasted on luxuries and fashionable things. In our country, a landlord inherited a mink coat from his grand grandfather, a Turkish shawl from his grandfather and another coat from his father. He intended to leave them all to his grandson, so that the latter might be proud of this heritage. The landlords were thrifty, so they had more money than they needed. Nevertheless, they were "conservative" back then. That was again unlike the French ways.

However, what did our ancestors do to be so blamed by the liberals? What did they do, in fact? They did what they were capable to figure out: they built churches, monasteries, schools, hospitals, wells and bridges, in order to be remembered after their death. Last but not least, they took money out of their purses and sent clever young men abroad, to learn and become useful to their country. These young men proved to be just snakes in the grass.

These young men were sent to a country whose social life was corrupt. The upper classes there were filthily rich and had reached a highly refined state of pleasure, nowhere else to be found. Snappy ways of expression had replaced pure literary and artistic productions. People preferred anything to clean and refreshing spring water. They preferred perfumed water, sugared water, almond water and poisoned water to spring water.

Instead of learning useful things like ploughing and sowing, teaching, curing a stomach ache or weaving, our young men took an interest in politics and learnt only how to manipulate people, from newspapers likeLe Figaro andPetite Republique Francaise. Therefore, they came back to teach us, after they had had their heads and purses empty. These shallow boisterous young people now live in Romania thinking that they are in France. They live in a poor country, but they are used to the habits of the rich middle classes of France. They have tycoon-like demands, but their purses are emptier than those of French shoemakers are. These young men are characterized by a rare lack of respect for their ancestor's deeds; they speak a corrupted language instead of the beautiful mother tongue of their forerunners. They judge people and circumstances with their narrow mind and reject whatever does not reach their poor understanding. These young people learnt by heart the tunes of the cabarets in Paris. Armed with this kind of a "science", they came back to us and asked to be appointed ministers, university professors, members of Academy, as well as thousands of other vain titles fit for Danubian Bulgarians.

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