Saturday, April 16, 2011

Victor Hugo on the first political necessity

Let us not weary of repeating it, to think first of all the outcast and sorrowful multitudes, to solace them, to give them air,, to enlighten them, to love them, to enlarge their horizon magnificently, to lavish upon them education in all its forms, to offer them the example of labour, never the example of idleness, to diminish the weight of the individual burden by intensifying the idea of the universal object, to limit poverty without diminishing wealth, to create vast fields of public  and popular activity, to have, like Briareus, a hundred hands to stretch out on all sides to the exhausted and the feeble, to employ the collective power in the great duty of opening workshops for all arms, schools for all aptitudes and laboratories for all intelligences, to increase wages, to diminish suffering, to balance the ought and the have, that sit to say, to proportion enjoyment to effort and gratification to need, in one word to evolve from the social structure, for the benefit of those who suffer and those who are ignorant, more light and more comfort; this is, let sympathetic souls forget it not, the first of fraternal obligations, this is, let selfish hearts know it, the first of political necessities.

Les Miserables 

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