A socialist and according to recently discovered correspondence a Freemason, Victor Hugo was a man of his time, which happened to be a revolutionary time. His work has greatly influenced the world he lived in, and one could make the argument that the Paris Commune of 1871 was in large part a consequence of the impact Les Misérables, the book released in 1862, had on an already social-change-oriented French society.
As the reader of A Time of Change is going to find out, the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Rosicrucian and the progressive members of the Jewish Community, from the one known as Jesus all the way to Albert Einstein (see his 1949 essay Why Socialism?) have always advocated for social change and pointed at the evils of materialism and of later capitalism. It was the same type of social change Karl Marx, a contemporary of Victor Hugo and the de facto author of the 1848 Communist Manifesto (Engels made some contributions to it), felt it was not just necessary but also inevitable.
The Manifesto happened to be another document that has significantly influenced the ones behind the Paris Commune and Victor Hugo himself, with Marx being born in a non-religious Jewish family that converted to Christianity at a time when open anti-Semitism rooted in church teachings was making it very difficult, if not impossible for Jewish people to succeed professionally or to be accepted in certain circles, the academia included. As a result, it is no coincidence that, as history records show all these groups have been constantly vilified and heavily persecuted by religious institutions, especially by the Catholic Church and by anyone in a position of power associated with the church.
No coincidence because, as you are going to see, capitalism was created with the help of and in fact by a Catholic Church that would became one of the major profiteers of a system that was and still is an extension of the institution of slavery. Because the Freemasons and the Catholic Church were on opposing sides when it came to social issues, with the church favoring a monarchial system of government it tended to have control over while the Freemasons, the Rosicrucian, and the Illuminati, organizations with deep roots into an yet to be told history of civilization Earth were advocating for the establishment of a republic that was to be a from the people and for the people form of government, something they would attempt to implement in America, the history of the world is a reflection of what most of the time has been a subterranean conflict between two entities vying for control over the destiny of the Earth people.
In "Interview with Karl Marx, head of the L'Internationale," by R. Landor, it was published in the New York World on July 18, 1871, which was only a couple of months after the Paris Commune, suspecting certain secret societies were behind "the last Insurrection," Landor asks Marx if such a thing was possible, that L'Internationale did not have full control over the events, and that many of the participants in the streets were not even aware of that. Familiar with the fact that the Catholic Church was accusing the Freemasons of organizing these large-scale upheavals that most of the time had an anti-religion and a specific anti-Catholic Church platform, while claiming full leadership by L'Internationale for what went own, Marx acknowledges that individual Freemasons were active members of his organization: "Then it was a plot of the Freemasons, too, for their share in the work as individuals was by no means a slight one. I should not be surprised, indeed, to find the Pope setting down the whole insurrection to their account." The fact is, the pope would have been right.
One of the defining elements of the agenda adopted by those who started the 1789 French Revolution, the 1848 Spring of Nations Revolution, the 1871 Paris Commune, and the 1917 Russian Revolution was anticlericalism. One other thing these social events had in common was that, same as the Enlightenment movement, they were organized by the Freemasons. Regarding the French Revolution, a few among the founders of America, with Jefferson, Paine, and even Adams, who unlike Jefferson was not a fan of the popular revolt in France, among them, were not just acknowledging the problems created for our civilization by religious leaders with political and materialistic ambitions meddling in the governing of the European countries, but were also of the opinion that the priests had it coming.
The other significant detail regarding this active time of social upheaval in the history of Europe and America is the fact that, considering that they were behind them, in large part, the ideology, the motivation behind these revolutions, and that includes the American Revolution, has been laid out publicly by personalities associated with the Freemasons, the Rosicrucian, with the Illuminati, and by pro-democracy activist Jewish intellectuals.
Among others, the existential system every progressive was critical of kept producing a substantial class of poor humans forced to work for others so they could make, barely, a living. This is the reason why in the Les Misérables, Hugo chooses to tell the story of the June 1832 revolt in Paris, a story the authors of the musical with the same title, it premiered in the city of lights in 1980, focused on. Something we should ponder over once in while, something otherwise recorded in our history books, way before Marx, Engels, and Lenin, class struggle and class conflict has been a recurring defining aspect of the entire history of humankind on this planet.
The point succinctly made here is that contact in a public forum with new ideas and awareness of new and more accurate ways of understanding what is already known to the Earth people leads to a change of perception of reality. In turn, that creates the awareness of the need to make changes in the way we exist on this planet, and of what needs to be changed. The often desperate desire for change experienced by those push beyond a certain limit is bound to come in conflict with the determination shown by those who profit and enjoy the benefits of the current system as they protect and preserve a status quo that benefits them. That inevitably results in social and economic chaos that fuels street revolutions. As the same history records show, though, by and large such violent events tend to fail to reach their declared objectives.
Street revolutions, however, are not always as spontaneous as they appear to be. At the same time, to avoid major chaos, entities having a certain measure of control over civilization Earth either hinder progress or slow it down so that the wheels of the current system would not come off, which would cause the global community to plunge into an unmanageable situation. One should not assume there is unity of opinion at the deep state level regarding how progress should be achieved and what it should consist of, and that there is only one level of unseen, unelected controlling authority.
We live in a time when major change is not only expected to occur but it must occur and it will occur. Opposition to change or lack of interest in change is going to generate the same kind of unmanageable chaos that would logically result from an impulsive attempt at abolishing the current system overnight. Which brings us to the question I was asked at one time, what could be the purpose of writing a book like A Time of Change? (That was mild sarcasm.)
That said, in Les Misérables we find the best explanation for why A Time of Change came to be. In the Preface to the book, Hugo describes in powerful detail what specifically has motivated him to write it, and as one reads that, it dawns on him that the human aspirations toward living in liberty, as equals, and as a planetary brotherhood are a reaction to the constrictions and the artificial challenges created by the existential system. Since the system has remained the same, so is what hinders our effort to fulfill those aspirations.
In the end, the implication is that there is a constant burning need to brake loose from the chains of deceit and inequality that keep the Earth people enslaved to the system. This is something as real and valid today as it was in 1862 when Hugo released his book. For, according to him,
"So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine, with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age - the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of woman by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night - are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless." - Hauteville House, 1862
In large part a consequence of those failed revolutions of the past, we are in a better place today as a civilization than we were in 1862. Many of the problems enumerated by Hugo, however, those artificial "hells," as he calls them, have not been yet resolved. That makes one entertain the thought that, A Time of Change might not be a useless book, after all.
(Edited December 29, 2021)
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A Time of Change is private intellectual property made available to the public in this format free of charge. Copyright laws prohibit the unauthorized commercial reproduction of the entire set of documents or any part of it.