“Meanwhile the internal problems piled up – pauperism, the proletariat, wages, education, the penal system, prostitution, the condition of women, riches, poverty, production, consumption, distribution, exchange, currency, credit, the rights of capital and labour – a fersom burden.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, published in 1862.
While reading Les Miserables, which translates from the French, to the miserable and wretched, I came across this passage written by Victor Hugo in the 1860s. Incredible as this list is, I am even more fascinated by the fact that this is an almost EXACT list of ALL the problems that we are facing TODAY!
Have we learned anything yet! Is anyone listening? This short sentence of 36 words was written over 150 years ago, and yet they are the very same problems that we cannot find solutions to, today. How can this be?
Poverty, and the working poor, wages that never make ends meet, the rights of Capital and Labour, why is that we have not solved ANY of these problems, when so many are “standing-on-the-soapbox”, telling us how they’re going to do it if we only vote them into power, or give them the opportunity to fix things.
It takes a superb wordsmith, such as Hugo to express it as such, … a fearsom burden. There is no shortage of blame to go around, and one would think that after hundreds of years of beating these issues to death, that we would have improved upon SOME of these, at least slightly.
Education, that wondrous institution of learning is in complete disarray. A system of learning born in the Middle Ages, and bent more on political ideolgy, than in teaching open minds to grow.
The Economy, again, littered with Nobel Prize winners, strolling through the halls of Academia, unable to devise a system of production and distribution of goods and services, worth its salt. Currency that has become worthless, robbing the earner of all his effort, how can we move forward as a society, when so much is in disarray?
Crime and Punishment, the penal system, sex trafficing, prostitution, drugs and alcohol, (which he did not have in his list), all alive and doing well. I am well into my years of maturity, and I am not naive enough to believe that life is a box of chocolates, or that anyone should be promised a rose garden, but come on, … we don’t seem to have improved on ANY of these issues.
These lines that were written over 150 years ago, with the exception of drugs and alcohol, and I don’t know why they were omitted, are the EXACT problems that I am reading about and witnessing this very day, in the Main Stream Media.
Human Beings have a broad and varied history of solving problems, so why are we failing so miserably on these problems?
Modern day News and Event cycles have left little to shock us, but when I read those lines of text, I had to stop for a moment and reread them. I thought I was imagining things, but it seems, I wasn’t.
The more things CHANGE, the more they stay the SAME!