it flows down – down to the weakest and the most disadvantaged section of the society. The edifices of the past that make us gasp with awe, extracted the labor from the susceptible either through force, or through collective psychological manipulation.
Think of a mammoth building project, that a king wishes to complete in his life time. It could be the city of Akhetaten at Amarna or the Tajmahal in India, and imagine how it might have come into existence. We say now, that Akhenaten built the city at Amarna, and that Shahjahan built the Tajmahal – but the statement is erroneous. The men we attribute the building of these huge monuments were merely the financiers – in cash and in kind (and in Ancient Egypt, it was mostly in kind – beer, bread, linen, grains and so on.)
These monuments were built by the poor – the peasant class. In Ancient Egypt, the men were rounded up for their essential service to Pharaoh’s building projects – this happened before the floods, for at that time, there was nothing else the poor could do. In medieval India, there were huge colonies of craftsmen who lived in low huts and worked around the year on the Emperor’s projects. Continue reading “Physical Labor is Like Water…”