English text following
Cent ans après la première guerre mondiale...
Je suis de ceux qui pensent que l’on peut détruire la misère et l’ignorance…
Je suis de ceux qui pensent que la fraternité est l’avenir de l’homme et que l’éducation, l’école en sont son berceau, plus encore dans nos sociétés mondialisées qui détruisent notre planète, où se lit, déjà la montée des extrêmes, ainsi que des crises migratoires majeures.
Je serai toujours de ceux qui agiront dans ce sens jusqu’au dernier moment de leur existence…
HDN Novembre 18
Discours de Victor Hugo, 9 juillet 1849 Assemblée nationale
Détruire la misère
Je ne suis pas, messieurs, de ceux qui croient qu'on peut supprimer la souffrance en ce monde ; la souffrance est une loi divine ; mais je suis de ceux qui pensent et qui affirment qu'on peut détruire la misère.
Vous n'avez rien fait, j'insiste sur ce point, tant que l'ordre matériel raffermi n'a point pour base l'ordre moral consolidé
Victor Hugo 1849
T am not, gentlemen, those who believe that suffering can be suppressed in this world; suffering is a divine law; but I am one of those who think and say that we can destroy misery.
Mind you, gentlemen, I do not say diminish, diminish, limit, circumscribe, I say destroy. The legislators and the governors must think of it incessantly; for in such a matter, as long as the possible is not done, the duty is not fulfilled.
Misery, gentlemen, here I come to the heart of the question, do you want to know how far it is, misery? Do you want to know how far she can go, how far she goes, I do not say in Ireland, I do not say in the Middle Ages, I say in France, I say in Paris, and the time we live? Do you want facts?
There is in Paris, in those suburbs of Paris, which the wind of the riot so lately raised so easily, there are streets, houses, cesspools, where families, whole families, live pell-mell, men, women, young girls, children, having for beds, having for blankets, I have almost said for clothing, that piles of rags in fermentation, collected in the mud from the corner of the terminals, a kind of manure of the cities where creatures burrow alive to escape the cold of winter.
That's a fact. Do you want others? These days, a man, my God, an unfortunate man of letters, because the misery spares no more the liberal professions than the manual professions, an unfortunate man died of hunger, died of hunger to the letter, and the After his death, it was found that he had not eaten for six days.
Do you want something more painful? Last month, during the recrudescence of cholera, we found a mother and her four children who sought their food in the filthy and filthy debris of Montfaucon mass graves!
Well, gentlemen, I say that these are things that should not be; I say that society must spend all its strength, all its solicitude, all its intelligence, all its will, so that such things are not! I say that such facts, in a civilized country, engage the conscience of the whole society; that I feel it, I who speak, accomplice and solidarity, and that such facts are not only wrongs to man, that they are crimes against God!
You have done nothing, I insist on this point, as long as the established material order is not based on the consolidated moral order
Victor Hugo 1849, speech to National Assembly