Industry and Progress

LULU Press, 16 juin 2015 - 133 pages
Excerpt from Industry and Progress

Why, in ancient history, do we read so little of how most men lived? In the Rome of Julius Cæsar the plebeians were much more numerous than the aristocrats and middle class combined, yet the most assiduous research will give them in fragmentary glimpses only. We know vaguely that they slept crowded in unsafe tenements, but as that condition gave to the owners and statesmen no concern, history has encumbered itself with no details. The plebeian was of as slight human moment as the slave. He was "fickle," "violent" or "dirty," but few other adjectives were needed for him. In Greece also manual labor was lowering, and masses of the population were looked upon without respect. Such thinkers as Aristotle and Plato believed the higher attributes of man were inconsistent with ordinary labor. Cicero observes that "all gains made by hired laborers are dishonorable and base." Their work is "slavish," and "all retail dealing may be put in the same class... The work of all artisans is sordid. There can he nothing honorable in a workshop."

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