Friday, October 13, 2006

Já que estou falando de "romanos" e "bárbaros"

Há tempos li esta passagem do livro de Emil de Laveleye, Primitive Property (1878), sobre os antigos germanos:

"In the eyes of the Germans, as of all primitive nations, the right to occupy a portion of [land] was an indispensable attribute of freedom. Several economists have propounded the same idea. (...) The free man should be able to subsist on the fruits of his labour; and, as the only labour which can procure him the means of living is the cultivation of the land, a portion of land should be assigned to him. To allow him to lose this portion, or to refuse it to a newly-formed family, would be to take away their means of existence, and to condemn them to sell themselves into slavery. The only plan, then, of ensuring a constant means of existence and independence to all the families of the tribe, was to effect a new division of land among them from time to time; and, as all had an equal right, the only mode of assigning to each his portion was by lot."

"Freedom, and, as a consequence, the ownership of an undivided share of the common property, to which the head of every family in the clan was equally entitled, were, then, in the German village originally essential rights, inherent, so to say, in one's personality. This system of (...) equality impressed a remarkable character on the individual, which explains how small bands of barbarians made themselves masters of the Roman empire, in spite of its skilful administration, its perfect centralization, and its civil law, which has received the name of written reason. "

"How great is the difference between a member of one of these village communities and the German peasant, who occupies his place to-day! The former lived on animal food, venison, mutton, beef milk and cheese; while the latter lives on rye-bread and potatoes; meat being too dear, he only eats it very rarely, on great holidays. The former made his body hardy and his limbs supple by continual exercise; he swam rivers, chased the wild ox the whole day through in the vast forests, and trained himself in the management of arms. He considers himself the equal of all, and recognizes no authority above him. He chooses his chiefs as he will, and takes part in the administration of the interest of the community; as juror he decides the differences, the quarrels, and the crimes of his fellows; as warrior, he never lays aside his arms, and by the clash of them signalizes the adoption of any important resolution. His mode of life is barbarous in the sense, that he never thinks of providing for the refined wants begotten by civilization; but he brings into active use, and so develops all the faculties of man; strength of body first, then will, foresight, reflection."

"The modern peasant is lazy; he is overwhelmed by the powerful hierarchies, political, judicial, administrative, and ecclesiastical, which tower above him; he is not his own master, he is an appanage of society, which disposes of him as of its other property. He is seized by the state for its brigades; he trembles before his pastor, or the rural guard; on all sides are authorities, which command him and which he must obey, seeing that they arrange all the strength of the nation so as to enforce his obedience. Modern societies possess a collective power incomparably greater than that of primitive societies; but in the latter, when they escaped conquest, the individual was endowed with far superior energy."

Refira-se que, quando o autor fala dos "camponeses alemães dos nossos dias", obviamente está-se a referir aos camponeses alemães de 1878.

[Eu fiz algumas alterações no texto (sobretudo para contornar as ambiguidades da palavra "propriedade" e também para facilitar a leitura) mas penso que não afectam o pensamento do autor]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

conclusão, quanto menos hierarquia, maior responsabilidade, maior activismo, maior participação e maior desenvolvimento humano.