Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Conventional Lies of Our Civilization - Max Nordau

The modern day labourer is more wretched than the slave of former times,
for he is fed by no master nor any one else,
and if his position is one of more liberty than the slave,
it is principally the liberty of dying of hunger.

He is by no means so well off as the outlaw of the Middle Ages,
for he has none of the gay independence of the free-lance.

He seldom rebels against society,
and has neither means nor opportunity to take by violence or treachery
what is denied him by the existing conditions of life.
The rich is thus richer,
the poor poorer than ever before since the beginnings of history.

Max Nordau (1849 - 1923) Hungary
Source: Sinclair, Upton, ed. The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Co., 1915
Max Nordau was a co-founder of the World Zionist Organization together with Theodor Herzl. The above text is from his controversial book The Conventional Lies of Our Civilisation (1883).

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