Giuseppe Mazzini is an odd figure. While roundly celebrated for his role in the unification of Italy and promotion of liberal values, he actually spent years in the United Kingdom, a refuge from the Austrian-imposed death sentence on his head. It was during this time that he compiled The Duties of Man, a fascinating work demonstrating tremendous foresight, along with applicability to the present world. For the erudition of all who may stumble upon this post, I’ve compiled some solid points here.
What Is the Point of Freedom?
In all the Countries wherein these principles were proclaimed, Society was composed of the small number of individuals who were the possessors of land, of capital, of credit; and of the vast multitude who possessed nothing but the labour of their hands, and were compelled to sell that labour to the first class, on any terms, in order to live. For such men–compelled to spend the whole day in material and monotonous exertion, and condemned to a continual struggle against hunger and want, what was liberty but an illusion, a bitter irony?
This analysis reminded me of the anti-union Massey Energy employees profiled in the Blood On The Mountain documentary. They vigorously proclaim their freedom from the federal government, even as the local mining industry works them long hours and pollutes the surrounding countryside. Yet still they are “free.”
The Duty Principle
We must convince men that they are the sons of one sole God, and bound to fulfill and execute one sole law here on earth:–that each of them is bound to live, not for himself, but for others:–that the aim of existence is not to be more or less happy, but to make themselves and others more virtuous:–that to struggle against injustice and error, wherever they exist, in the name and for the benefit of their brothers, is not only a right but a Duty:– a duty which may not be neglected without sin:–the duty of their whole life.
The colons and hyphens aside, what a refreshing message this is, when compared with the aimless self-focus of our world, and its manifest hedonism.
On Attaining Education As a Wage Slave
You labour for 10 or 12 hours of the day: how can you find time to educate yourselves? The greater number of you scarcely earn enough to maintain yourselves and your families. How can you find means to educate yourselves? The frequent interruption and uncertain duration of your work, causes you to alternate excessive labour with period of idleness. How are you to acquire habits of order, regularity, and assiduity?
A timeless issue which we have discussed before. One of the main reasons why societies remain ignorant is that so little room is left for personal development after a 9-5 plus commute, if not more. The weekend becomes a pitiful monastery wherein many souls are so exhausted that they devote it to drinking or the consumption of crude entertainment. Intellectual stimulation is so easily lost.
The Role of Women
Love and respect Woman. Seek in her not merely comfort, but a force, an inspiration, the redoubling of your intellectual and moral faculties. Cancel from your minds every idea of superiority over Woman. You have none whatsoever. Long prejudice, an inferior education, and a perennial legal inequality and injustice, have created an apparent intellectual inferiority which has been converted into an argument of continued oppression .
Not easy words for the manosphere. I have always found it interesting how people will insist certain systems are fixed or ordained by nature, even as times and contexts change.
How The Elite Prevents Mobility
But does not the history of oppression teach us how the oppressor ever seeks his justification and support by appealing to the fact of his own creation? The feudal castes that withheld education from you, the sons of the people, excluded you on the grounds of that very want of education from the rights of the citizen, from the sanctuary wherein Laws are framed, and from the right to vote which is the initiation of your social mission.
The Slaveholders of America declare the black race radically inferior and incapable of education, and yet persecute those who seek to instruct them.
Here we have the Moral Sabotage tactic. Wealthy and powerful interests will often impede the development of the poor through various policies, only to turn around and claim the results are proof of a permanently lower station. We see this with politicians raiding pension programs and then claiming they are unsustainable. It is also the basis to block expansion of college education, because those who would benefit the most are perceived as being unworthy of access.
In the future I will probably do a video expanding on other points he makes. Until then, I highly advise checking out The Duties of Man.