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Index – Science – They did not know opera, but the first strikers in history overthrew a king

Index – Science – They did not know opera, but the first strikers in history overthrew a king

Because employees can pressure employers by means other than jointly organized work stoppages. Since independent guerrilla actions rarely achieve their goal, threats of arbitrary dismissal are usually easily dismissed by the principle that “no one is irreplaceable.” However, mass strikes often affect employers sensitively and can even paralyze an entire country.

When nearly 20,000 Phulan workers protested at the end of January, the wage increase movement was successful, for example. But perhaps this also requires the fact that there was a day (January 29) when 56 percent of bus drivers did not get behind the wheel.

But workers work not only in transport, but also in Parnassus, where opera house workers recently demanded a wage increase (and a collective agreement).

In this noble workplace, special strike tactics are clearly needed:

On March 19, 2024, Don Giovanni– During the performance, the entire orchestra stayed away for a full hour, and the male singers also joined them. Since technical workers were also on strike, office workers began demolishing the machines.

The next day Ferenc Erkel Laszlo Hunyadi At the beginning of his opera, General Manager Sylvester Ukovac spoke to the astonished audience from the General Manager's box and stated that “no railway worker can prevent the operation of the Opera House.”

The General Manager said it well, no conscious member of the railway companies working with the world's most powerful trade unions capable of shutting down countries tried to prevent national opera singers dressed in Hunyadi costumes from performing in front of the railways. Don Giovanni's suites evoking the forest had been played the day before, but not the entire work, but only “the overture, the two conclusions, and a few other arias”, to piano accompaniment, without chorus and dancers. It seems that mutilation and deprivation of pleasure could also be an effective form of pressure, because some sort of agreement was reached and the strike was suspended on Sunday 24 March.

But since when did employees become so shy?

It is clear that since the advent of capitalism, it is possible to be careless about it, even though we are far from the truth. For example, even in feudal Hungary, the miners of Pszczerzseppania, dissatisfied with their wages, went on strike in 1525, but this early strike failed, to put it mildly. He sent members of the mining delegation to the royal court in Buda He was thrown in prisonThey were not released until after more than a year in captivity.

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They first struck in the shadow of the mummies

But the first strikes broke out much earlier First documented movement Because at the dawn of civilization (well the morning) in ancient Egypt around 1159 BC, III. It developed during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses.

In every era, there was a reason to stop working. The first documented organized action broke out specifically among laborers working in the giant tombs of the pharaoh, who reduced their supplies of food and beer. He found some of this in a partially incomplete state Multiplication on papyrus We know: According to the inscription, the craftsmen and tomb sculptors took care of themselves, placed their bronze tools, and many of the later kings were completed, as well as the third who is still alive. The mortuary temple of Ramesses, which was under construction, was also attacked. Or beaten, it doesn't matter, it's English He hits The meaning of the word: hit, strike.

They were so determined that the highest-ranking official in the pharaoh's service, the vizier, had to conciliate them and convince the local officials that they would receive their reward no matter what.

Carving the tomb was like a dream…

Of course, the question immediately arises: Why were they not disturbed or punished in the time of the god-kings? In an age where no one but the gods mattered? Because they are unlikely to be treated with gloves and their demands met due to their strong “union activity”.

The answer is not clear, because even recently it was taught in schools that the pyramids (later huge royal tombs, churches and tombs) were built by thousands of slaves over many years or even decades of sweaty labor.

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The elite builders of the giant tombs were skilled Egyptian workers who literally received royal patronage. The smallest of the pyramids of Giza, the Pyramid of Menkaure for example, was excavated by construction workers on an area of ​​17 hectares. Temporary cityWhere thousands of craftsmen can live with their families at the same time. Orderly rows of houses, traces of bakeries and a sea of ​​animal bones indicate this on average every day With 2 thousand kilograms of meat – They supplied the pyramid builders with cattle, sheep, and goats.

Traces of medical care were also discovered on many of the skeletons, in addition to the sumptuous meal rich in meat

It must have been a very tempting option for the simple villagers.

The majority of Egyptians were vegetarians, and their meals were based on wheat, barley, and vegetables, and sometimes there was some type of meat on their table. Bread was made from wheat and liquid bread from barley, i.e. beer, but ancient Egyptian beer was not the rich, frothy beer of Brague, but rather a nutritious, dense, block-like food with a very low alcohol content.

…if the head share comes

There was a similar labor settlement near the Valley of the Kings, an ancient strike nest. DJ Medina, which, unlike those adjacent to the pyramids, has been continuously inhabited for centuries. However, the craftsmen and tomb carvers were of the elite working class of the time like the pyramid builders who lived a thousand years ago. They were well-paid and many were also educated (which of course were sold when carving hieroglyphs), and they also found a richly decorated tomb filled with images of a mason, not a craftsman.

Skilled workers knew that it was important for the pharaoh and other dignitaries to have elaborate burials, so when their pay (food) became permanently short, they stopped working.

The pharaoh did not survive long

There could be a number of reasons why they are not getting their rations.

  • One of them was the opposition of the priesthood of Amun, who seized two-thirds of Egypt's arable land, to the god-king. Pharaoh probably would not have delayed payment if his grain stores were full.
  • But it could also easily happen that there actually is a food shortage. The existence of the empire along the Nile depended so delicately on annual floods, that two or three dry years were sufficient to replenish grain reserves.
  • Researchers do not rule out that it is a skeleton volcano in Iceland, which produces jagged appearances, and is still active That's when he thought None of its volcanic eruptions occurred, which caused a clear climate change in northern Europe with the ash cloud obscuring the sky for many years, and most likely affected the climate of the entire northern hemisphere, including ancient Egypt. If this happened, even though the Divine Nile was flowing, the grains would still not be able to mature.
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But they could all have happened at the same time, but the strikers certainly got their rations late several times. Like everyone else, the hungry gravedigger's patience quickly ran out 3,200 years ago.

And the divine gift of the king and the powerful began to fade not only in their circles.

Dissatisfaction soon bypassed the tomb builders and the higher circles.”For his harem plot“Ramesses III was killed shortly after the blow. We know from documents of subsequent trials that the fatal succession operation was planned by the pharaoh's wife, who was second in the queen hierarchy, and that half the ruling class was up to his neck in it.

Well, if we just look at this crazy story, the dense and turbulent history of organized labor strikes starts out with a bang.

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