The Working Class Salutes You All!
On a vacated land behind the block of flats I live in two buildings
which will be 14 stories high when completed, are feverishly being
built. This will result in further crowding of my neighborhood, which
had not had the utilities and the access roads designed to take in the
extra amount of people who will soon become my neighbors.
On a vacated land behind the block of flats I live in two buildings which will be 14 stories high when completed, are feverishly being built. This will result in further crowding of my neighborhood, which had not had the utilities and the access roads designed to take in the extra amount of people who will soon become my neighbors.
For the past four months I contemplated the mayhem from the window of my room, as the workers bending the iron to make the cast for the concrete walls were shouting and swearing at the top of their lungs. It looked like, we, the innocent dwellers of buildings around the construction site, were to bear the brunt of a curse. But in the end, I realized that I had forgotten what physical work looked like and understood that the brunt of a curse stayed upon the workers bending iron and casting concrete for days on end, under the unforgiving sun.
There were days when I could not even look at the half naked workers, for shame and a sliver of fear creeping into my heart. I wondered what would happen if one day they would not be able to bear anymore the new form of slavery, prophesied by the wild capitalism in Romania, and a true revolution would take place?
I understood, once more, how easy man forgets circumstances or events that recall his own state of slavery, for I myself was once such an unskilled worker.
I may be true what positive thinking textbooks teach us, that work moves mankind forward. But more often than not, the individual performing hard, physical labor is not uplifted by the effort. For him there is no progress: bending iron under the scorching sun looks is closer to punishment than to building a civilization; is closer to alcoholism, violence in the family and brushes the law.
The findings of a sociological study into what goes on in the minds of such workers, and what do they truly think of the white-collars would scare us all, for sure. From 1990s onwards, the media dropped the overused references to the “working class”. The workers went out of the public mind, as if the country will consist now only of television networks, banks, bureaucrats, computers, electoral slogans and tabloid news about expensive hookers.
I am sure my neighbors, who also looked at the workers toiling on the construction site, as gladiators in a modern-day arena, felt shivers down their spines too, thinking a true revolution of the working class was possible to occur.
The working class did not vanish into thin air. It was only numbed into not knowing it existed.