The workers’ society

The industrial revolution populated the world with cities, machines and bridges in just one hundred and twenty years (1730 and 1850). It was the most violent change experienced by humanity until that day (the so-called neolithic revolution despite its “revolutionary” condition, it takes ten thousand years, and both changed the world). The industrial revolutions have not stopped since then, there are four that swept away the unproductive socialist projects that stuck their noses out. Europe comes out of a thousand years of technological stagnation and in that short period its physiognomy became unrecognizable. After centuries of transition, hybridization, mercantilism, metallism, with industry is the start of what the Marxists called “capitalist” or “bourgeois” society. The villages become cities, the carts become railways. Servitude disappeared and serfs were no longer bought or sold with land and cattle. Not even their women were penetrated the first night by the feudal lord by right of pernada. Nor did they deliver part of the crops for the corvée. Now free workers lived in cities, until recently villages, they were now politicians, they fought and achieved power and were active in parties, unions and leagues. A great civilizational leap

For traditional urban dwellers, the workers’ encroachment was a major nuisance. The proletariat fought for the democratization of parliaments that are no longer elite, thanks to the conquests of suffrage and proportional representation. Food, health and other goods are multiplied by thousands thanks to machinery and pharmacology, and if in 1730 England had five million inhabitants, in 1830 the population tripled due to the drop in mortality. And a magical blow is struck when life expectancy, frozen since the high Middle Ages at 20 years, doubles in the period up to 42. But equally violent, the reactionary outburst of intellectuals against modernization. As Benévolo analyzes in his classic History of modern architecture, migration upsets them and the “decent people”. Nobody before the urban revolution saw the poor in villages where families of 10 people lived crowded together in 12-square-meter shacks and slept on a common mat.

Now they invaded the urban space of the previously bucolic cities now swarming with poorly dressed proletarians on pounding trains to factories and suburbs. The Rousseauian black legend grows against the city, industrialism, the 19th century, the open society, the so-called capitalism (a society governed by the capital). Seeing poor people awakens remorse and moral conflicts in good consciences. It also disturbs the tranquility, because they are associated with crimes and diseases. Urban elites hated plebeian change. Hence the avalanche of rejection of capitalism between writers and artists of romanticism and realism. They return the cult to the past, to the pure life of the countryside. Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Charles Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, Emilio Zolá, William Morris; Stendhal, Daniel Defoe, Heine.

Proudhon is overwhelmed by the crowds of the boulevards built by Haussmann. When John Ruskin goes to Paris he stays at the Trocadero so as not to see the “monstrous” Eiffel Tower (“forget the snort of steam, the blow of the piston/ forget the growth of the hateful city/ And dream of London, small, white and clean ”) He defended the artisan edition of books on tissue paper and embossed leather. But the relevant place as a distorter of the nineteenth century goes to Victor Hugo (and his cohort, the “hugolaters”, because Marx was an ideologue with no interest in truth). De Hugo is one of the best-selling, widespread and influential works in modern history, two thousand pages of puerilities: The Miserables became for posterity thanks to the cinema, the postal value about an aberrant, inhuman, cruel and terrifying nineteenth century. To Jean Valjean. male version of Justine, the masochist in Sade’s novel, is sentenced to hard labor for stealing a loaf (?). Such a dumb guy, he had no way of surviving even at DisneyWorld. Cossette represents kindness until in the end, too! she turns her back on Valjean.

The sacred right to suffer. He works 16 hours a day but doesn’t earn money to feed a little bird. Fantine another good-natured one destroyed by the world capitalist, ends up as a prostitute in the hands of pimps who pull out her teeth to sell them, worse than a Cuban soap opera from the 50s of the last century. Zola is infected in Germinal but Flaubert repudiates The Miserables for being “a book” liar, for scams … vermin “. Baudelaire says that it is a work “inept and in bad taste”. His (Hugo’s) friend Lamartine considers it “regrettable that he makes that imaginary man an antagonist and victim of society… flattering the people in their lowest instincts.” Vargas Llosa says that he awakens “an appetite for unreality.” Proudhon writes that “such books poison a country.” While the workers were fighting on all fronts, building the democratic world, accumulating power, Hugo created the idea of ​​”pobrecism” or “victimology” over the mass sectors and stained one of the most splendid centuries of human history as a shame, with the myth against the open society. The society in which we live is as bourgeois as it is middle class or working class.


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