The idea which I develop in this pamphlet is an age-old one: the establishment of a Jewish State.
The world resounds with outcries against the Jews, and this is what awakens the dormant idea.
I am inventing nothing: let the reader bear this in mind particularly and at every point of my exposition. I am inventing neither the situation of the Jews, which has become a matter of history, nor the means to remedy it. The material components of the edifice I am sketching are in existence and within easy reach; any one can convince himself of that. If, therefore, anyone should wish to designate this attempt at a solution of the Jewish Question with a single word, it should not be called a "fantasy" but, conceivably, a "scheme."
At the outset I must guard my plan from being treated as a Utopia. Actually, in doing so I am only keeping superficial observers from possibly committing a silly blunder. After all, it would be no disgrace to have written a philanthropic Utopia. I could achieve an easier literary succes~and, as it were, avoid all responsibility-if I presented my plan in the form of a novel for readers who want to be entertained. But that would be the kind of amiable Utopia that has been produced in such abundance before and after Sir Thomas More. And I think the situation of the Jews in various countries is bad enough to render such introductory dalliance superfluous.
To bring out the difference between my construction and a Utopia I shall choose an interesting book of recent years, Freiland [Freeland] by Dr. Theodor Hertzka. This is an ingenious bit of fantasy, devised by a thoroughly modern mind schooled in the principles of political economy, and as remote from life as the equatorial mountain on which this dream state is located. Freiland is a complicated piece of machinery with many cogs and wheels which even mesh; but there is nothing to indicate to me that it can be set in motion. And even if I were to see Freeland associations come into being, I should regard the whole thing as a joke.
The present plan, however, contains the utilization of a driving force that exists in reality. In all modesty I am only indicating the cogs and wheels of the machine that is to be built, referring to my limitations and trusting that there will be mechanics more competent than I for the actual construction.
What matters is the driving force. What is that force? The distress of the Jews.
Who dares deny that this force exists? We shall deal with it in the chapter on the causes of anti-Semitism.
Another known quantity is the steam power which is generated by boiling water in a tea-kettle and which then lifts the kettle lid. Such a tea-kettle phenomenon are the Zionist experiments and many other organized efforts "to combat anti-Semitism."
Now I say that this force, if properly used, is powerful enough to run a great machine and transport men and merchandise. The machine may have whatever form one pleases.
I am profoundly convinced that I am right; I do not know whether I shall be proved right in my lifetime. The men who inaugurate this movement will hardly live to see its glorious conclusion. But the very inauguration will bring a lofty pride and the happiness of inner freedom into their lives.
To protect my plan from the suspicion that it is a Utopia, I shall use picturesque details in my description but sparingly. As it is, I suspect that unthinking scoffers will attempt to invalidate the whole idea by distorting my outline. A generally intelligent Jew to whom I presented the matter said that details of the future presented as reality were the hallmark of a Utopia. This is a fallacy. Every minister of finance uses future figures in his budgetary estimate - not just figures derived from the average of previous years and the past revenues of other states, but also figures for which there is no precedent for example, when a new tax is instituted. Only those who have never looked at a budget will be unaware of this. But will this cause anyone to regard a draft of a fiscal law as Utopian, even if he knows that it will never be possible to stick to the estimate very closely?
But I expect even more of my readers. I ask the educated readers whom I am addressing to rethink and revise many an old notion. And I am particularly imposing upon the Jewish leaders those who have actively striven for a solution of the Jewish Question, to the extent of asking them to look upon their previous efforts as misguided and ineffectual.
In presenting my idea I face one danger. If I describe all those things of the future with restraint, it will seem as though even I do not believe that they are possible. If, on the other hand, I predict their realization unreservedly, everything may look like a figment of my imagination.
Therefore I say clearly and emphatically: I do believe that my scheme can be put into practice, even though I do not presume to have found the final form the idea will take. The Jewish State is something the world needs, and consequently it will come into being.
If only some individual pursued this idea, it would be a rather foolish thing; but if many Jews agree to work on it simultaneously, it is entirely reasonable, and carrying it out will present no major obstacles. The idea depends only on the number of its adherents. Perhaps our ambitious young people, to whom every road is even now blocked and for whom the Jewish State reveals bright prospects of honor, freedom, arid happiness, will see to it that this idea is disseminated.
With the publication of this pamphlet I consider my task as completed. I shall have something further to say only if attacks from estimable opponents force me to do so, or if it i. a matter of refuting unforeseen objections and eliminating errors.
Is what I am saying not yet so? Am I ahead of my time? Are the sufferings of the Jews still not great enough? We shall see.
So it depends on the Jews themselves whether this political pamphlet is, for the time being, only a political novel. If the present generation is still too obtuse, another, better, more advanced generation will come along. Those Jews who want a state of their own will have one, and deservedly so.
Men of affairs who are in the mainstream of life often have an astonishingly slight knowledge of economics. This is the only explanation for the fact that even Jews faithfully parrot the catchword of the anti-Semites: we are supposed to be living off the "host nations," and if we had no "host nation" surrounding us, we should have to starve. This is one of the points at which the undermining of our self-respect through unjust accusations manifests itself. What is the truth about this "host nation" theory? To the extent that it is not based on old, narrow, physiocratic views, it reflects the childish misconception that in the life of commodities the same things keep going around. We need not wake from many years of slumbering, like Rip van Winkle, to realize that the world is changed by the incessant production of new commodities. In our time, which is made wonderful by technical progress, even the most stupid of men with his dim vision sees new commodities appearing all around him. The spirit of enterprise has created them.
Without the spirit of enterprise, labor remains stationary and antiquated; typical of it is the labor of the farmer, who still is at the point where his forebears were a thousand years ago. All our material welfare has been brought about by entrepreneurs. One is almost ashamed of writing down such a banal remark. Even if all of us were entrepreneurs - which is what fatuously exaggerated accounts claim we are - we should not need any "host nation." We are not dependent upon the circulation of the same commodities, because we produce new ones.
We now have slave labor of unparalleled productivity whose appearance in the civilized world meant fatal competition for handicrafts; these slaves are our machines. It is true that work. men are needed to set these machines in motion; but for such requirements we have manpower enough - too much, in fact. Only those who are unfamiliar with the condition 0 the Jews in many parts of Eastern Europe will dare assert that the Jews are unfit or unwilling to perform manual labor.
But in this pamphlet I intend to offer no defense of the Jews. It would be pointless. Everything that reason and even sentiment can say on this subject has already been said. But it is not enough to find arguments that reach the head and the heart; one's audience must first of all be capable of grasping them, for otherwise one will be preaching in the wilderness. But if the audience has advanced to such a high estate then the entire sermon is superfluous. I believe in the ascent of man to ever higher ethical levels, but in my estimation this rise is a desperately slow one. If we wanted to wait until even average people became as charitably inclined as Lessing was when he wrote his Nathan the Wise) we might have to wait beyond our lifetime, beyond the days of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But here the spirit of the age comes to our aid from a different angle.
This century has brought us a splendid renaissance through its technical achievements; but this fabulous progress has not yet been utilized for the benefit of humanity. The distances of the surface of the earth have been overcome, and yet we are beset by problems of congestion. Swiftly and safely our great steamships now rush us over hitherto unknown areas. We build safe railroads in a mountain world which people once scaled on foot and with trepidation. Events occurring in countries which were not even discovered when Europe confined the Jews in ghettos are known to us within an hour. This is why the distress of the Jews is an anachronism - and not because there was the Age of Enlightenment a hundred years ago, something that actually existed only for the noblest spirits.
To my mind, the electric light was certainly not invented so that a few snobs might illuminate their sumptuous rooms, but, rather, that we might solve the problems of mankind by its glow. One of these problems, and not the least important, is the Jewish Question. In solving it we are working not only for ourselves, but for many other struggling and overburdened human beings as well.
The Jewish Question exists. It would be foolish to deny it. It is an atavistic bit of medievalism which the civilized nations have not been able to shake off to this day, try as they might. They did show a magnanimous desire to do so when they emancipated us. The Jewish Question exists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Where it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. Naturally we move where we are not persecuted; our appearance then gives rise to persecution. This is a fact and is bound to remain a fact everywhere, even in highly developed countries-France is a case in point-as long as the Jewish Question is not solved politically. The unfortunate Jews are now importing anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.
I believe I understand anti-Semitism, a highly complex movement. I view it from the standpoint of a Jew, but without hatred or fear. I think I can discern in it the elements of vulgar sport, of common economic rivalry, of inherited prejudice, of religious intolerance-but also of a supposed need for self-defense. To my mind, the Jewish Question is neither a social nor a religious one, even though it may assume these and other guises. It is a national question, and to solve it we must first of all establish it as an international political problem which will have to be settled by the civilized nations of the world in council.
We are a people, one people.
Everywhere we have sincerely endeavored to merge with the national communities surrounding us and to preserve only the faith of our fathers. We are not permitted to do so. In vain are we loyal patriots, in some places even extravagantly so; in vain do we make the same sacrifices of life and property as our fellow citizens; in vain do we strive to enhance the fame of our native countries in the arts and sciences, or their wealth through trade and commerce. In our native lands where, after all, we too have lived for centuries, we are decried as aliens, often by people whose ancestors had not yet come to the country when our fathers' sighs were already heard in the land. The majority can decide who the strangers are; like everything else in relations between peoples, this is a matter of power. I do not waive any part of our prescriptive right when I make this statement as an individual, one with no particular authority. In the world as it is now constituted and will probably continue to be for an indefinite period, might precedes right. So it avails us nothing to be good patriots everywhere, as were the Huguenots, who were forced to emigrate If only we were left in peace…
But I think we shall not be left in peace.
Oppression and persecution cannot exterminate us. No nation in history has endured such struggles and sufferings as we have. Invariably Jew-baiting has induced only our weaklings to become apostates. The strong Jews defiantly return to their own when persecution breaks out. This was readily apparent in the period immediately following the emancipation of the Jews. Those Jews who were on a higher intellectual and material level completely lost any sense of identification with their people. Given extended political well-being, we assimilate everywhere; I think there is nothing discreditable about that. Thus any statesman who wishes to have a Jewish strain added to his nation must see to it that we remain politically secure. But not even a Bismarck could achieve that.
For in the hearts and minds of the people there are still deep-seated prejudices against us. Anyone who wants proof of this need only listen to the people where they speak frankly and simply: fairy-tales and proverbs are anti-Semitic. People everywhere are big children that can be educated, to be sure; but even in the most favorable circumstances this education would take such an enormous amount of time that, as I said before, we could far sooner help ourselves by other means.
Assimilation, by which I mean not only externals in attire, certain ways of life, cus, and speech, but also conformity in feeling and manner-the assimilation of Jews could be accomplished everywhere only by intermarriage. But this would have to be regarded as a necessity by the majority; it would certainly not suffice to declare that intermarriage was legally admissible. The Hungarian Liberals, who have recently legalized intermarriage, labor under a remarkable misconception. The doctrinaire character of this legislation was well illustrated by one of the first cases: a baptized Jew married a Jewess. The fight for the present marriage laws has greatly exacerbated the conflicts between Gentiles and Jews in Hungary, thus impeding rather than promoting the mingling of the races. Those who really desire the disappearance of the Jews through interbreeding can envisage only one possible way of bringing this about. First the Jews would have to gain so much economic power that the old social prejudices against them would be overcome. An example is provided by the aristocracy, among which the greatest proportion of intermarriage occurs. The old nobility has itself refurbished with Jewish money, and in the process Jewish families are absorbed. But what form would this phenomenon take in the middle classes, where, the Jews being a bourgeois people, the Jewish Question is mainly concentrated? There the prerequisite acquisition of power would be tantamount to the economic sovereignty of the Jews, something which they are already falsely accused of. And if the present power of the Jews elicits such cries of indignation and distress signals from the anti-Semites, what outbursts would be produced by a further increase in this power! Such a first step toward absorption cannot be taken, for it would mean the subjugation of the majority by a minority that was but recently despised, a minority that would, not possess any military or administrative power. I therefore think that the absorption of the Jews even by way of their prosperity is unlikely. In countries which are now anti-Semitic my views will be shared. In other countries, where the Jews are doing well at present, my coreligionists will presumably dispute my statements most violently. They will not believe me until they are once again beset by Jew-baiting. And the longer anti-Semitism lies in abeyance, the more fiercely it is bound to erupt. The infiltration of immigrating Jews attracted by apparent security and the rising class status of autochthonous Jews will then combine powerfully to bring about a revolution. Nothing is plainer than this rational conclusion.
However, the fact that 1 draw this conclusion ingenuously and guided only by the truth will probably net me the opposition and enmity of those Jews who are in comfortable circumstances. Insofar as it is only a matter of private interests held by people who feel endangered because they are narrow-minded or cowardly, they might be passed over with contemptuous laughter, for the cause of the poor and downtrodden is more important. But from the outset I wish to keep any erroneous ideas from arising, particularly the notion that Jewish property might be harmed if this plan ever materialized. Therefore I shall give a detailed explanation of everything that concerns property rights. If, on the other hand, my plan never becomes anything but a piece of literature, things will remain as they are anyway.
A more serious objection would be that I am aiding the anti-Semites when I say that we are a people, one people, that I am impeding the assimilation of the Jews where it is being attempted and retroactively endangering it where it has already taken place - to the extent that a solitary writer like myself can impede or endanger anything.
This objection will be brought forward in France especially. I expect it to be raised in other places as well, but I will answer only the French Jews beforehand, because they furnish the most striking example.
However greatly I may esteem personality-the strong individual personality in statesmen, inventors, artists, philosophers, and military leaders, as well as the collective personality of a historic group of human beings which we call "nation"-however much I may esteem personality, I still do not mourn its decline. Whoever can, will, and must perish, let him perish. But the distinctive nationality of the Jews cannot, will not, and need not perish. It cannot, because external foes hold it together. That it does not want to perish it has proved through two thousand years of enormous suffering. It need not perish; this is what I am trying to demonstrate in this pamphlet, following many other Jews who did not abandon hope. Whole branches of Jewry may wither and fall off, but the tree remains alive.
If any or all of French Jewry protest against this plan, saying that they are already "assimilated," my answer is simple: The whole thing is none of their business. They are Israelitic Frenchmen; splendid! But this is a private affair of the Jews.
Actually, the state-forming movement which I am here proposing would not harm Israelitic Frenchmen any more than it would harm those who have "assimilated" in other countries. On the contrary, it would benefit them-yes, benefit them! For they would no longer be disturbed in their "chromatic function," as Darwin put it. They could go ahead and assimilate, because present-day anti-Semitism would have been checked for all time. They would certainly be credited with being assimilated to the depths of their souls if they remained in their present homes even after the new Jewish State, with its superior institutions, had become a reality.
The departure of the ethnically faithful Jews would be even more to the advantage of the "assimilated" than of the Gentile citizens, for they would be rid of the disquieting, unpredictable, unavoidable competition of the Jewish proletariat which is driven from place to place, from country to country, by political pressure and economic distress. This drifting proletariat would become stabilized. At present a number of Gentile citizens, called anti-Semites, are able to oppose the immigration of foreign Jews. Jewish citizens cannot do this, although they are affected far more severely, for they are the first to feel the competition of individuals who engage in similar branches of industry and, furthermore, import anti-Semitism or aggravate the local variety. This is a secret sorrow of assimilated Jews which finds expression in "philanthropic" undertakings. They organize emigration societies for immigrating Jews. This phenomenon contains a paradox which might be comical if it did not involve suffering human beings. Some of these charitable institutions exist not for but against the persecuted Jews. The poorest are to be sent away as fast and as far as possible. And thus, upon closer examination many an apparent friend of the Jews turns out to be only an anti-Semite of Jewish origin dressed up as a philanthropist.
But even the attempts at colonization made by truly well-intentioned men have been unsuccessful so far, interesting experiments though they were. I do not believe that one or another person did it only as a pastime, that they made Jews wander the way one makes horses race. It is too grave and too sad a matter for that. These experiments were interesting in that they constituted on a small scale the practical forerunners of the idea of a Jewish State. They were even useful, for the mistakes made there can serve as lessons when the idea is put into practice on a large scale. To be sure, these attempts have also done harm. The least of the evils, to my mind, is the transplantation of anti-Semitism to new areas-the inevitable consequence of such an artificial infiltration. Far worse is the fact that the unsatisfactory results have made the Jews themselves doubt the fitness of their own human material. However, the following simple argument will serve to dispel such doubts among reasoning persons: What is not practical or feasible on a small scale need not be so on a large scale. A small enterprise may result in a loss under the same conditions that make a large one show a profit. A rivulet cannot be naeven by canoes; the river into which it flows carries stately iron vessels.
No man is powerful or wealthy enough to transport a people from one domicile to another. Only an idea can achieve that. The idea of a State probably has such a power. All through the night of their history the Jews have not ceased to dream this royal dream: "Next year in Jerusalem!" is our age-old watchword. Now it is a matter of showing that the dream can be transformed into an idea that is as clear as day.
To achieve this our minds must first be turned into a tabula rasa [clean slate], purged of many old, outworn, confused, shortsighted notions. Dullards, for example, might imagine that our migration must proceed from civilized regions to the desert. Not so! The migration will take place in the mainstream of civilization. We shall not revert to a lower stage, but rise to a higher one. We shall not move into mud huts but into more beautiful, more modern houses which we shall build and own in safety. We shall not lose our acquired possessions; we shall put them to use. We shall surrender our rights, but in return for better ones. We shall not give up 6ur cherished customs; we shall find them again. We shall not leave our old homes until the new ones are ready. Only those will depart who are certain of improving their lot thereby: first those who are desperate, then the poor, after them the well-to-do, and finally the wealthy. Those who go first will have raised themselves to a higher level by the time the members of the higher class follow. Thus the migration will be an ascent in class at the same time.
The departure of the Jews will not leave in its wake any economic disturbances, any crises or persecutions; instead, a period of prosperity will begin in the countries the Jews have left. There will be an internal migration of the Gentile citizens into the positions the Jews have abandoned. The outflow will be a gradual one, without any upheaval, and its very beginning will mean the end of anti-Semitism. The Jews will leave as honored friends, and if some of them return later, they will be given the same kind of reception and treatment at the hands of civilized nations as the citizens of other foreign states. Nor will their exodus be a flight, but it will be an orderly process under the control of public opinion. Not only should the movement be inaugurated in absolute accordance with the law, but it cannot be carried out at all without the friendly cooperation of the interested governments, which will derive material benefits from it.
Ensuring the integrity of the idea and its vigorous execution will require guarantees which can be supplied only by so-called "moral" or "juridical" persons. I will distinguish between these two designations, which are frequently confused in legal terminology. As a "moral person," to deal with all rights outside the field of private property, I propose to found the "Society of Jews." Next to it there will be the "juridical person" of the "Jewish Company," a commercial body.
Any individual who even considered undertaking such an enormous enterprise might be a swindler or a madman. The integrity of the "moral person" will be guaranteed by the character of its members. The adequate capacity of the "juridical person" will be demonstrated by its capital funds.
The above prefatory remarks were intended as a hasty defense against the first spate of objections which the very words "Jewish State" are bound to evoke. From this point on we shall proceed more slowly, refuting other objections and elaborating on some points that have already been outlined, although we shall try to avoid a ponderous tone in the interests of a lively pamphlet. Short, aphoristic chapters will probably serve this purpose best.
If I wish to replace an old building with a new one, I must demolish before I construct. So I shall observe this sensible sequence. In the first, or general, section concepts must be clarified, stifling old misconceptions swept away, politico-economic premises established, and the plan developed.
In the specific part, which is divided into three main sections, the execution must be described. These three main sections are: The Jewish Company, Local Groups, and Society of Jews. Actually, the Society is to be created first and the Company last; but in this exposition the reverse order is preferable, because the greatest doubts will be voiced as to the financial feasibility, and these doubts must be dispelled at the outset.
In the Conclusion I shall have to do final battle with the remaining objections that may be expected. I hope that my Jewish readers will follow me patiently to the end. Some will raise their objections in another order than that chosen for their refutation. But whoever finds his doubts reasonably dispelled, let him embrace the cause.
In speaking here in terms of reason, I am well aware that reason alone is not sufficient. Old prisoners do not willingly leave a prison. We shall see whether the new blood that we need is already available-the young people who sweep the old ones along, carry them forward on strong arms, and translate reason into enthusiasm.
No one will deny the plight of the Jews. In all countries where they live in appreciable numbers, Jews are persecuted to a greater or lesser degree. The equal rights that the law may call for have almost everywhere been nullified in practice, thereby disadvantaging the Jews. Even moderately high positions in the army and in public and private institutions are not open to them. Attempts are made to drive them out of business: "Don't buy from Jews!"
Attacks in parliaments, at meetings, in the press, from pulpits, in the street, on trips-such as exclusion from certain hotels-and even in places of recreation increase from day to day. The forms of persecution vary according to country and social circle. In Russia, extortionary taxes are levied on Jewish villages; in Romania a few persons are beaten to death; in Germany the Jews get an occasional whipping; in Austria the anti-Semites terrorize all of public life; in Algeria there are itinerant hate-mongers; in Paris the so-called higher society walls itself off and excludes the Jews from its clubs. There are countless gradations. But no attempt at a doleful enumeration of all Jewish grievances shall be made here. We will not dwell on particular cases, however painful they may be.
It is not my intention to arouse sympathy on our behalf. That sort of thing is dubious, futile, and discreditable. I shall content myself with asking the Jews this: Is it not true that in countries where we live in appreciable numbers the situation of Jewish lawyers, doctors, technicians, teachers, and employees of all kinds is becoming ever more intolerable? Is it not true that our entire Jewish middle class is seriously endangered? Is it not true that the passions of the mob are being inflamed against our wealthy? Is it not true that our poor people suffer far more than any other proletariat?
I believe there is pressure everywhere. In the economic upper strata of the Jews it causes discomfort; in our middle classes, a profound, vague anxiety; in the lower classes, utter despair.
The fact of the matter is that it amounts to the same thing everywhere, and this can be expressed by the classic Berlin cry "Juden raus!" ("Out with the Jews!")
I shall now put the Jewish Question in its most succinct form: Do we already have to "get out," and if so, where to?
Or, can we still remain, and if so, how long?
Let us first settle the question of remaining. Can we hope for better days, possess our souls in patience, and wait devoutly for the princes and peoples of this earth to be more mercifully disposed toward us? I say that we cannot expect the current to shift. And why not? Even if we were as close to the hearts of the princes as their other subjects, they could not protect us. By showing the Jews too much favor, they would only endorse anti-Semitism. And "too much" here means less than what any ordinary citizen or ethnic group is entitled to.
Every single one of the nations in whose midst Jews live are shamefacedly or brazenly anti-Semitic.
The common people have not, and cannot have, any historical sense. They do not know that the sins of the Middle Ages are now being visited on the nations of Europe. We are what the ghettos have made us. There is no doubt that we have attained pre-eminence in finance because we were driven into this field in the Middle Ages. The same process is now being repeated. Again they are pushing us into financial transactions, now called the stock exchange, by blocking to us all other ways of making a living. But once we are on the stock exchange, this will render us contemptible all over again. And yet we constantly produce average minds who find no outlet and thus constitute as much of a social menace as our growing wealth. Mi the educated Jews without means now embrace Socialism. Thus we are bound to become the battleground in the struggle between the classes, because we stand at the most exposed positions in both the capitalist and the Socialist camps.
The artificial methods hitherto employed to remedy the plight of the Jews have been either too petty, like the various attempts at colonization, or wrongly conceived, like the attempts to turn the Jews into peasants in their present homelands.
What is accomplished by transporting a few thousand Jews to another region? Either they prosper, and then anti-Semitism arises along with their prosperity, or they founder immediately. We have already discussed the previous attempts to divert impoverished Jews to other countries. Such a diversion is clearly inadequate and pointless, if not actually injudicious. This only postpones, drags out, and perhaps even impedes the solution.
But anyone who wishes to turn Jews into peasants labors under a strange misconception. For the peasant is a historical category, and this can best be seen by his attire, which in most countries is centuries-old, and by his implements, which are exactly the same as those used in ancestral times. His plow is still as it was then; he sows his seed from his apron, mows with the ancient scythe, and threshes with the flail. But we know that now there are machines for all these chores. The agrarian question, too, is merely a question of machinery. America must conquer Europe, just as the large estates swallow up the small ones. The peasant, therefore, is a type that is slated for extinction. If the peasant is artificially preserved, this is due only to the political interests that he is supposed to serve. Any attempt to create new peasants on the old pattern is an impossible and foolish undertaking. No one is rich or powerful enough to turn back the clock of civilization by force. The mere preservation of obsolete cultural conditions is an enormous task, one for which all the political resources of even an autocratic state are barely sufficient.
Will anyone, then, expect Jews, who are intelligent people, to agree to become peasants of the old type? That would be like saying to a Jew: "Here's a crossbow for you; now go off to war!" What?! With a crossbow, when the others have small arms and Krupp cannon? The Jews whom people are trying to rusticate are perfectly right if, under the circumstances, they do not budge. A crossbow is a beautiful weapon which puts me in an elegiac mood when I have the time. But it belongs in a museum.
There are, to be sure, regions where desperate Jews even go out into the fields, or at least would like to. And it turns out that these places - such as the enclave of Hesse in Germany and some provinces in Russia - are the very hotbeds of anti-Semitism.
For the do-gooders who send the Jews to till the soil forget a very important person who has a great deal to say about it: the peasant. He, too, is absolutely in the right. The tax on the land, the possibility of crop failure, the pressure of large proprietors who produce more cheaply, and in particular the competition from America make life difficult enough for him. Besides, the duties on grain cannot go on mounting sky-high. After all, factory workers cannot be allowed to starve either; in fact, since their political influence is rising, they must be treated with increasing consideration.
All these difficulties are well known; therefore I mention them only in passing. I merely meant to indicate the futility of most past attempts, deliberately made and many of them well-intentioned, to solve the Jewish Question. Neither a diversion of the stream nor an artificial depression of the intellectual level of our proletariat can be of avail. The panacea of assimilation has already been dealt with.
Anti-Semitism cannot be tackled by these methods. It cannot be eradicated until its causes are eradicated. But are these eradicable?
We are now no longer concerned with the emotional causes, old prejudices, and evidences of narrow-mindedness, but with the political and economic causes. Present-day anti-Semitism must not be confused with the religious hatred of former times, although this hatred still has a religious tinge in certain countries. The main current of the anti-Jewish movement is a differentone today. In the chief anti-Semitic countries it is a consequence of the emancipation of the Jews. When the civilized nations awoke to the inhumanity of discriminatory legislation and emancipated us, this emancipation came too late. Laws could no longer emancipate us in our old homes. Strangely enough, we had developed into a bourgeois people in the ghetto, and we emerged as fearful rivals to the middle class. Thus emancipation suddenly thrust us into the circle of the bourgeoisie, and there we have had a dual pressure to sustain-from within and from without. The Gentile bourgeoisie would probably not be averse to tossing us to Socialism as a sacrifice, although that would not do much good.
Nevertheless, the equal rights of the Jews before the law can-not be withdrawn where they exist-not only because such a withdrawal would run counter to modern sensibilities, but also because it would immediately drive all Jews, rich and poor alike, into the ranks of the revolutionary parties. Nothing effectual can really be done against us. In olden times they took away our Jewels. How are they going to seize hold of movable property today? It resides in printed documents locked up somewhere in the world, possibly in Christian coffers. Of course, it is possible to get at the shares and preferred stocks of railways, banks, and industrial concerns of all kinds by taxation, and where there is a progressive income tax all movable property can be laid hold of. But all such efforts cannot be directed at Jews alone, and wherever the attempt might be made regardless, the immediate result would be a severe economic crisis which would by no means be confined to the Jews as those first affected. The very impossibility of getting at the Jews only makes the hatred greater and more bitter. Among the populace, anti-Semitism increases day by day and hour by hour, and it is bound to increase further, because the causes continue to exist and cannot be removed.
Its catisa remota [remote cause] is the loss of our assimilability in the Middle Ages; the causa proxima [immediate cause], our overproduction of average intellects who have no outlet beneath them and no chance to rise-that is, no wholesome outlet in either direction. On the lower level we are proletarianized and become revolutionaries, the non-commissioned officers of all revolutionary parties, and at the same time our terrifying financial power grows on the upper level.
The pressure exerted on us does not make us any better. We are no different from other people. It is quite true that we do not love our enemies. But only he who is capable of conquering himself is entitled to reproach us with that. Naturally, the pressure inspires in us hostility against our oppressors-and our hostility in turn increases the pressure. It is impossible to escape this vicious circle.
"No!" some soft-hearted idealists will say. "No! It is possible - through the innate goodness of man which needs to be brought out."
Is it really necessary for me to demonstrate what sentimental drivel this is? Anyone who wanted to base an improvement of conditions upon the goodness of all men would certainly be writing a Utopia!
I have already referred to our "assimilation." I am not saying for a moment that I desire it. Our national character is too famous in history and, despite all degradations, too noble to make its decline desirable. But we might be able to merge with the peoples surrounding us everywhere without leaving a trace if we were only left in peace for two generations. But they will not leave us in peace. After brief periods of toleration their hostility toward us erupts anew time and again. There seems to be something provoking about our prosperity, because for many centuries the world has been accustomed to regarding us as the most contemptible among the poor. Yet out of ignorance or narrow-mindedness people fail to observe that our prosperity weakens us as Jews and eliminates our peculiarities. Only pressure attaches us to our ancient roots again; only the hatred surrounding us turns us into strangers once more.
Thus, whether we desire it or not, we are and shall remain a historical group of unmistakable solidarity.
We are a people - our enemies have made us one without our volition, as has always happened in history. Affliction makes us stand by one another, and at such times we suddenly discover our strength. Yes, we are strong enough to form a state, and a model state at that. We have all the human and material resources required for it.
This would actually be the proper place to speak of our "human material," to use a somewhat crude expression. But first we must be familiar with the main features of the plan which, after all, is the focal point of everything.
The entire plan is in its essence perfectly simple, as it must be if it is to be comprehensible to all.
Let sovereignty be granted us over a portion of the earth's surface that is sufficient for our rightful national requirements; We shall take care of everything else ourselves.
The creation of a new sovereign state is neither ludicrous nor impossible. After all, we have seen it happen in our own day-among nations which are not largely middle-class, as we are, but poorer, uneducated, and therefore weaker than ourselves. The governments of the countries scourged by anti-Semitism will be keenly interested in securing a sovereign Status for us.
Two great agencies will be created for this task, which is simple in design but complicated in execution: the Society of Jews and the Jewish Company.
What the Society of Jews has prepared scientifically and politically, the Jewish Company will put into effect.
The Jewish Company will handle the liquidation of all business interests of departing Jews and will organize trade and commerce in the new country.
As has already been stated, the departure of the Jews must not be imagined as a sudden one. It will be gradual, taking decades. The poorest will go first and make the land arable. In accordance with a predetermined plan they will build roads, bridges, and railways, set up telegraph installations, regulate rivers, and provide themselves with homesteads. Their labor will bring trade, trade will create markets, the markets will attract new settlers-for everyone will come voluntarily, at his own expense and his own risk. The labor that we put into the soil will enhance the value of the land. The Jews will soon realize that a new and permanent field has opened up for their spirit of enterprise which has hitherto been met with hatred and contempt.
Whoever wants to found a state today must not go about it in the manner that a thousand years ago would have been the only possible one. It is foolish to revert to old levels of civilization, which is what some Zionists would like to do. If, for example, we were required to clear a country of wild beasts, we would not tackle it in the fashion of fifth-century Europeans. We would not set out individually with spears and lances to hunt bears, but would organize a large, jolly hunting party, drive the beasts together, and throw a melinite bomb into their midst.
If we wish to erect buildings, we shall not put up ungainly piles at the shore of some lake; we shall build the way it is done now. We shall build more boldly and more magnificently than has ever been done before; for we now have means that are unprecedented in history.
The emigrants standing lowest in the economic scale will gradually be followed by those of the next grade. Those who are now in desperate straits will go first. They will be led by the average intellects whom we overproduce and who are persecuted everywhere.
This pamphlet is intended to open a general discussion on the question of Jewish migration. This does not mean, however, that it is to be put to a vote, for that would ruin the cause from the outset. Let anyone who does not want to go along stay behind. The opposition of individuals is immaterial.
Let all those who wish to join us line up behind our banner and fight for it with word, pen, and deed.
The Jews who espouse our idea of a state will rally the Society of Jews. Thereby they will give it the authority to speak in the name of the Jews and negotiate with governments in their behalf. To put it in the terminology of international law, the Society will be recognized as a state-creating power, and this in itself will mean the formation of the State.
If the Powers show themselves willing to grant the Jewish people sovereignty over a neutral territory, the Society will negotiate for the land to be taken. Two regions are possibilities: Palestine and Argentina. Noteworthy experiments in colonization have been made in both places, although they have been based on the mistaken principle of a gradual infiltration of Jews. Infiltration is always bound to end badly. For there invariably comes a moment when the government, under pressure of the native population-which feels itself threatened-bars any further influx of Jews. Consequently, emigration will be pointless unless it is based upon our guaranteed sovereignty.
The Society of Jews will negotiate with the present authorities of the country - under the protectorate of the European Powers, if the matter makes sense to them. We shall be able to offer the present authorities enormous advantage - assume part of their national debt, build new thoroughfares (which we should require ourselves), and do many other things. But the very creation of the Jewish State will be beneficial to the neighboring countries, because the cultivation of an area enhances the value of its surroundings, on a large as on a small scale.
Is Palestine or Argentina preferable? The Society will take whatever it is given and whatever is favored by the public opinion of the Jewish people. The Society will determine both points.
Argentine is a country with some of the greatest natural resources in the world; it extends over a vast area, is sparsely populated, and has a temperate climate. It would be very much to the interest of the Republic of Argentina to cede a portion of its territory to us. The present infiltration of Jews, to be sure, has produced some ill feeling there; it would be necessary to enlighten Argentina on the intrinsic difference of the new Jewish immigration.
Palestine is our unforgettable historic homeland. The very name would be a powerfully moving rallying cry for our people. If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could in return pledge ourselves to regulate the entire finances of Turkey. For Europe we could constitute part of the wall of defense against Asia; we would serve as an outpost of civilization against barbarism. As a neutral state we would remain in contact with all of Europe, which would have to guarantee our existence. Some form of extraterritoriality under international law could be found for the Holy Places of Christendom. We would form a guard of honor around the Holy Places, answering for the fulfillment of this duty with our existence. This guard of honor would be the symbol of the solution of the Jewish Question after what were for us eighteen centuries of affliction.
In the last chapter but one I said: "The Jewish Company will organize trade and commerce in the new country."
I think I ought to insert a few comments on this point. A plan like the one being presented here is fundamentally endangered if the "realists" come out against it. Realists are, as a rule, only men in the rut of routine who are incapable of transcending a narrow circle of antiquated notions. But their adverse opinion does carry some weight and can do great harm to a new project-at least until the innovation is strong enough to push the "realists" and their moldy notions aside.
When the railroad era dawned over Europe, there were "realists" who declared that the construction of certain lines was foolish "because not even the mail coaches have enough passengers there." In those days people did not realize the truth, which seems like one even a child can appreciate: that travelers do not produce railways, but, rather, railways produce travelers-provided, of course, that a latent demand may be assumed.
In a class with the doubts of those pre-railroad "realists" may be placed the inability of some to imagine what trade and commerce ought to be like among the new arrivals in a country which has yet to be won and cultivated. A "realist," then, will express himself somewhat as follows:
"Granted that the present situation of the Jews in many places is untenable and is bound to get worse and worse; granted that this gives rise to a desire to emigrate; granted even that the Jews do emigrate to the new country-how will they make a living there and how much will they earn? What are they going to live on? After all, the commerce of many people cannot be artificially organized overnight."
To this I reply: There is no intention of organizing trade artificially, least of all from one day to the next. But even if trade cannot be organized, it can certainly be stimulated. How? Through the instrumentality created in response to a demand. The demand must be recognized, the instrumentality must b~ created, and then trade will come about automatically.
If there is a genuine and deep-seated demand among Jews for an improvement in their condition, if the instrumentality for this demand, the Jewish Company, is sufficiently powerful, then trade in the new country is bound to be plentiful. This, of course, lies in the future, just as the development of railway traffic was a matter of the future for people in the 1830s. The railroads were built nevertheless. Fortunately, the objections of mail-coach realists were passed over.
The Jewish Company is conceived partly along the lines of the great land-acquisition companies; it might be called a Jewish "Chartered Company. However, it is not endowed with sovereign powers and has other than merely colonial tasks.
The Jewish Company will be founded as a joint-stock company incorporated in England, under British laws and protection. Its headquarters will be in London. I cannot tell at this time how large the share capital should be; our numerous financial experts will work that out. But to avoid vague terminology I shall estimate it at a billion marks; it may have to be either more or less than that. The form of subscription, which will be discussed later, will determine what fraction of that amount must actually be paid in at the start of the Company's operations.
The Jewish Company will be a transitional organization. It is strictly a business operation which must always be carefully distinguished from the Society of Jews.
The first task of the Jewish Company will be to liquidate the immovable property of the emigrating Jews. This will be done in such a way as to prevent crises, safeguard every man's interests, and permit that internal migration of Christian fellow Citizens which has already been indicated.
The immovables concerned are buildings, land, and the local good will of businesses. In the beginning the Jewish Company will merely announce its readiness to act as a go-between in selling these immovables. At first Jewish sales will take place freely and without any major drop in prices. The Company's branch establishments in a number of cities will become the central offices for the sale of Jewish property, and each office will charge only as much commission on transactions as is required for its upkeep.
The development of the movement may bring about a fall in the prices of immovable property, eventually making it impossible to sell it. At that stage the Company will branch out in its function as a business agent. It will manage abandoned property and watch for the right moment to sell it. The Company will collect house rents, let out land on lease, and install business managers-preferably also on a leasehold arrangement, to ensure careful administration. The Company will endeavor everywhere to facilitate the acquisition of this property by these (Gentile) lessees. In general, it will gradually staff its European branches with Gentile clerks and free-lance agents (lawyers, etc.), and these are in no way to become lackeys of the Jews. They will serve as a sort of unofficial board of control of the Christian population, making sure that everything is open and aboveboard, that things are done honestly and in good faith, and that no impairment of the national wealth is intended anywhere.
At the same time the Company will act as a salesman of property or, rather, an exchanger of property. It will e~change a house for a house, an estate for an estate-namely, "over there." Wherever possible, everything is to be transplanted the way it was "over here." In this a source of great and legitimate profits opens up to the Company. "Over there" it will supply more beautiful, modern houses equipped with all conveniences, as well as offering better estates which will nevertheless cost the Company far less, for it will have bought the ground very cheaply.
The land that is guaranteed to the Society of Jews under international law must, of course, be purchased under civil law as well.
The arrangements made by individuals for their own settlement are not within the scope of this discussion. But the Company will require large tracts of land for its own needs and ours, and it must secure the necessary land by centralized purchase. It will mainly be a matter of acquiring state domains now belonging to the present government of the country. The aim will b~ to acquire land "over there" without driving prices sky-high, just as "over here" sales will be made without causing prices to drop. There is no need to worry about any wild rigging of the market, for the value of the land will be created by the Company, which will direct the settlement of the land in cooperation with the supervising Society of Jews. The latter will also see to it that the enterprise becomes a Suez rather than a Panama. [The reference is to the Suez Canal, whose construction was successfully concluded in 1869, as contrasted with the Panama Canal, whose name became a by-word for administrative corruption. As a result of the corrupt practices of many officials of the French Panama Canal Company, Ferdinand de Lesseps resigned and was tried in 1888, and the Company was dissolved in 1889. - Editor]
The Company will sell its official building sites at favorable rates and grant them long-term mortgages for the construction of attractive homes, deducting these loans from their salaries or putting them down as gradual increments in pay. Over and above the honors in store for them, this will be a reward for their services.
All the enormous profits from this speculation in land will accrue to the Company, for it is entitled to an unlimited premium for having borne the risk, like any free entrepreneur. When an undertaking involves risk, the entrepreneur should be encouraged to make a generous profit. But profits are to be tolerated only under such circumstances. The correlation of risk and premium is part of financial morality.
The Company, then, will exchange houses and estates. It will and must make a profit on the land. This will be plain to anyone who has anywhere or at any time observed the rise in the value of land through arrangements for its cultivation. This can best be seen in the case of enclosed pieces of land in town and country. Plots that are not built up increase in value through being ringed by developed areas. A land speculation brilliant in its simplicity was accomplished by the men who carried out the extension of Paris: instead of erecting new buildings immediately adjacent to the last houses of the city, they bought up the neighboring plots of land and started building on the outer edge of these. This inverse order of construction raised the value of building sites with extraordinary rapidity, and after having completed the outer ring, they confined their activities to the center of the city, building on these more valuable lots instead of continually erecting houses on the outskirts of the city.
Will the Company do its own building or give assignments to independent architects? It can and will do both. As will shortly become apparent, it will have a tremendous reserve of workers who, far from being exploited financially in usurious fashion, are to enjoy happy and bright living conditions and yet will not prove costly. Our geologists will have looked into the availability of building material when they selected the sites of the towns.
What, then, is to be the principle of construction?
The workers' dwellings (which include the homes of all manual laborers) are to be erected by the Company itself. I am certainly not thinking of the dismal workmen's barracks of European towns nor of the miserable shanties that are lined up around factories. Our workmen's homes must also present a uniform appearance, to be sure, because the Company can build cheaply only if it produces the materials in large quantities - but these detached houses with their little gardens shall be combined into attractive groups in each locality. The natural qualities of the surroundings will inspire the happy genius of our young architects which has not yet been sapped by routine, and even though the people may not understand the great outlines of the plan, they will at any rate feel comfortable in this uncrowded arrangement. The Synagogue will be visible from afar, since the old faith is the only thing that has kept us together. And there will be attractive, bright, healthy schools for children, equipped with all modern teaching aids. There will be continuation schools for craftsmen which will offer advanced training for higher fu, enabling simple workers to acquire technical training and become familiar with the principles of engineering. Also, there will be places of popular amusement, with the Society of Jews supervising their moral standards.
But we are now concerned only with the buildings, not with what may take place inside them.
I said that the Company would build workers' dwellings cheaply-not only because there will be an abundance of building materials, or because the land will be owned by the Company, but also because the Company will not need to pay the laborers for building.
Farmers in America have a system of mutual assistance in the construction of their houses. This childlike, amicable system, which is as unsophisticated as the blockhouses thus erected, can be greatly refined.
Our unskilled laborers, who will come at first from the great reservoirs of Russia and Romania, will also have to build one another's houses. In the beginning we shall have no steel of our own, so that we too shall be obliged to build with wood. Later on this will change, and then the original makeshift buildings will be replaced by better ones.
Our unskilled laborers will first erect shelters for one another - and of this they will be informed in advance. In return for their labor they will become the owners of these houses - not immediately, to be sure, but after three years of good conduct. In this way we shall secure industrious, skillful people; and a man who has worked for three years under good discipline is trained for life.
I said before that the Company would not have to pay these unskilleds." Well, what will they live on?
Generally speaking, I am opposed to the truck system, but in the case of those first settlers it should be applied. The Company will take care of them in so many ways that it might as well supply their daily needs. In any case, the truck system is to be in effect only during the first few years, and it will be a boon to the workmen, because it will protect them from being exploited by small tradesmen, innkeepers, etc. The Company will thus make it impossible from the outset for the less fortunate among us to take up their accustomed peddling over there - an occupation which only historical necessity has forced them into here. And the Company will keep a tight rein on drunkards and dissolute men. So there will be no wages at all during the first period of settlement?
There will be - for overtime.
The seven-hour day will be the standard working day.
This does not mean that each day there will be only seven hours of wood-cutting, digging, stone-carting, and a hundred other tasks. No, indeed. There will be fourteen hours of labor, but one group of workers will relieve another after a shift of three and a half hours. The organization of this will be quite military-with ranks, promotions, and pensions. The source of these pensions will be discussed later.
In three hours and a half a healthy man can do a great deal of concentrated work. After a recess of three and a half hours - devoted to rest, to his family, to his education under guidance-he will be quite fresh again. Such labor can work wonders.
The seven-hour day! It makes possible a total of fourteen working hours - more than that cannot be put into a day.
Furthermore, I am convinced that the seven-hour day is entirely feasible. The experiments in Belgium and England are familiar. Some advanced social thinkers even go so far as to claim that a five-hour day would be quite sufficient. Anyway, the Society of Jews and the Jewish Company will gather an abundance of empirical data in this field, new data which will benefit the other nations of the world as well, and if the seven-hour day proves to be practicable, our future State will introduce it as the legal, regular working day.
In any event, the Company will always grant its workers a seven-hour day, and it will always be able to do so.
But we need the seven-hour day as a worldwide rallying cry for our people, all of whom are to come voluntarily. Ours must truly be the Promised Land …
A man who works more than seven hours will receive additional pay for overtime in cash. Since all his needs will be su~ plied and any members of his family who are unable to work will be provided for by the transplanted and centralized charitable institutions, he will be able to save some money. Thrift, which is already a characteristic of our people, should be encouraged, because it will facilitate the rise of individuals to higher strata and provide us with a tremendous reserve fund for future loans.
Overtime on a seven-hour day must not exceed three hours, and a medical examination will be required for it. For in the new life our men will flock to work, and only then will the world see what an industrious people we are.
At this time I shall not describe the set-up of the truck system for the pioneers (vouchers, etc.) nor any number of other details, lest I confuse my readers. Women will not be allowed to do any hard work or to work overtime. Pregnant women will be exempted from work and supplied with extra food by the truck. For we will need sturdy offspring in the future. We shall raise our children from the very beginning just as we want them. I shall not go into this here.
What I said before in connection with the workers' dwellings about the "unskilleds" and their mode of living is no more Utopian than all the rest. Everything already exists - only on an infinitely small scale, unnoticed, unappreciated. In the solution of the Jewish Question the assistance par le travail, which I learned to know and understand in Paris, has been of great service to me.
The system of work relief that is now in existence in Paris, various French cities, in England, in Switzerland, and in America is a pitiably small thing, but it can be turned into something very great.
What is the principle of assistance par le travail?
The principle is to furnish every needy man with unskilled work - easy chores requiring no training, such as chopping wood, cutting the margotins used for lighting stoves in Paris households. It is a kind of prison labor before the crime, i.e., one that involves no dishonor. Now no one need commit a crime out of want if he is willing to work. Hunger must no longer be a reason for committing suicide. As it is, suicides are among the worst stigmata of a civilization in which dogs are thrown tidbits from the tables of rich men.
Work relief thus gives work to everyone. But does it have a market for its products? It does not-at least, not an adequate one-and this is the defect of the present system. This assistance always works at a loss. It is prepared for one, to be sure, for it is a charitable institution. Here the charity consists in the difference between the cost of production and the price received for the product. Instead of giving a beggar two sous, the institution gives him work on which it loses two sous. However, the shabby beggar who has become a respectable workman earns one franc fifty centimes. One hundred and fifty centimes for ten! This means that the donation, about which there no longer is anything humiliating, has been increased fifteenfold, that one billion has been turned into fifteen!
The assistance loses the ten centimes, of course. The Jewish Company, however, will not lose its one billion, but will make enormous profits.
There is a moral side as well. Even the small-scale work relief already in existence achieves moral rehabilitation through industry, until such time as the unemployed person has found a position commensurate with his abilities, either in his old line of work or in a new one. Each day he has a few hours available for job-hunting, and the assistance has a placement service.
The trouble with the present small-scale institution is that it must not compete with lumber dealers and the like. Lumber dealers are voters; they would raise an outcry, and justifiably so. Nor may the work relief compete with the prison labor of the state, for the state must keep its criminals occupied and fed.
In an old society it will be hard to find a for the assistance par le travail.
But there is a place for it in our new one!
Above all, we shall need enormous numbers of unskilled laborers for our first pioneering efforts - building roads, de-foresting, digging up the ground, constructing railroads, setting up telegraph installations, etc. All this will be done in accordance with a great, predetermined plan.
In transferring our labor to the new country we shall also bring along commerce. At first, to be sure, the market will cover only the bare necessities of life: cattle, grain, working clothes, tools, arms - to mention but a few things. Initially we shall buy these things in neighboring states or in Europe, but as soon as possible we shall go into business for ourselves. Jewish entrepreneurs will soon realize what business prospects are opening up to them.
The mass of Company officials will gradually introduce more refined requirements. (Among the officials I include the officers of our security forces, which are to consist of about one-tenth of the male immigrants at any given time. This should be sufficient to quell disturbances by the disorderly, for most people are law-abiding).
The more refined requirements of our well-situated officials will create a continuously growing market for finer things. As soon as they have homes over there, the married men will send for their families, single people for their parents, brothers, and sisters. Today we observe this process among Jews who emigrate to the United States. Just as soon as a man is sure of his daily bread he sends for his relatives, for family ties are quite strong among Jews. The Society of Jews and the Jewish Company will work together to strengthen and nurture the family even more. I am not referring to the moral aspects, for these are obvious, but to material things. The officials will receive allowances for wife and children. We shall need people-all who are there and all who will follow.
I interrupted the main thread of this presentation after discussing the Company's building of workers' dwellings. Now I shall return to other classes of dwellings. The Company's architects will build for the lower middle class as well, for payment in kind or cash. The Company will have its architects design arid reproduce about a hundred types of houses. These attractive models will at the same time be part of our promotion. Each house will have its fixed price, and the quality of its workmanship will be guaranteed by the Company, which will handle construction on a non-profit basis. And where will these buildings be put up? That will be shown in the section dealing with Local Groups.
Since the Company does not wish to make a profit on construction but only on the land, it will be very pleased to have as many independent architects as possible build by private contract. This will enhance the value of landed property and bring luxury into the country-something that we need for various purposes, particularly for art, industry, and, on a long-range basis, for the break-up of the large fortunes.
Yes, the rich Jews who are now obliged to secrete their valuables timidly and to give their dreary parties behind drawn curtains will be able to enjoy their possessions freely over there. If this emigration comes about with their help, capital will be rehabilitated in our new State, for it will have demonstrated its usefulness in an unparalleled undertaking. Once the wealthiest Jews in the new country begin to rebuild those mansions of theirs which are now looked at askance in Europe, it will soon become fashionable to move into sumptuous houses on the other side.
The Jewish Company is planned as the receiver or administrator of the immovable property of the Jews.
These functions can easily be imagined in the case of houses and pieces of land; but how does it work in the case of businesses?
Here there will be numerous procedures. In fact, they can-not even be envisaged in outline form. And yet this will present no difficulty, for in each individual case the owner of a business, when he voluntarily decides to emigrate, will reach an agreement with the Company's branch office in his area on the form of liquidation most advantageous to him.
The transfer of property will be easiest to arrange in the case of small businessmen, in whose establishments the proprietor's own activity is the main thing, while the small inventory or equipment is of secondary importance. The Company will provide an assured field of operations for the emigrant's own activity, and whatever material goods he owns can be replaced on the other side with a plot of land and machinery on credit. Our resourceful people will quickly learn their new jobs; Jews are known to adapt themselves quickly to any form of earning a livelihood. In this way many merchants can be turned into retailers within an agricultural framework. The Company can even agree to sustain an apparent loss in taking over the immovable property of the poorer emigrants, for it will thereby obtain the free cultivation of tracts of land, raising the value of its other tracts.
In medium-sized businesses, where the inventory equals or even exceeds in importance the personal participation of the proprietor and where his credit is a major imponderable factor, various forms of liquidation are conceivable. In addition, this is one of the principal opportunities for the internal migration of Gentiles [into positions evacuated by Jews]. A departing Jew will not lose his personal credit, but will take it along and put it to good use in establishing himself in the new country. The Jewish Company will open a current account for him. He can sell his old business or turn it over to managers under the supervision of Company officials. The managers may rent the business or prepare for its acquisition by paying for it in installments. Through its supervisors and lawyers the Company will see to it that the business is properly administered and that payments are properly made. In this it will act as trustee for the absentee owners. If a Jew cannot sell his business, does not entrust it to a proxy, and yet does not wish to relinquish it, he will simply stay where he is. Even the Jews who stay will not worsen their present position; they will be relieved of the competition of those who leave, and anti-Semitism with its "Don't buy from Jews!" will have ceased.
If the emigrating business proprietor wishes to carry on the same business in the new country, he can make arrangements for this from the very beginning. Let us illustrate this by an example. Firm X carries on a large dry-goods business. The proprietor wishes to emigrate. First he sets up a branch in his future place of residence and stocks it with his discontinued items. His first customers on the other side will be the poor early settlers. Gradually new people will come over who require more in the way of fashion. X then sends out more modern items and, finally, high-fashion merchandise. The branch establishment will be lucrative even while the parent firm is still in existence, so that X will end up having two going concerns. He will sell his original business or turn its management over to his Gentile representative, while he goes off to take charge of his new business.
An example on a larger scale: Y & Son have an extensive coal business with mines and factories. How is such a huge compound of properties to be liquidated? In the first place, the coal mines and everything connected with them might be bought up by the state in which they are located. In the second place, the Jewish Company might acquire them, paying for them partly in land in the new country, partly in cash. A third possibility would be the founding of a separate joint-stock company, "Y & Son." A fourth method might be the unchanged continued operation of the business - the difference being that the proprietors who have emigrated and occasionally return to inspect their property would be foreigners, although they would be entitled to the full protection of the law in civilized countries. All of these practices are ephenomena. A fifth and particularly fruitful and splendid method I shall refer to only in passing, because the existing examples of it are few and feeble, no matter how ready the modern mind may be to accept it. Y & Son could turn over their business to the collective body of their employees for a consideration. The employees would form a cooperative with limited liability, and with the aid of the public treasury, which does not charge a usurious interest, they might be able to pay the requisite sum to Y & Son. The employees would then gradually pay off the loan given them by either the public treasury, the Jewish Company, or even the firm itself.
The Jewish Company will liquidate the smallest as well as the largest businesses. And while the Jews emigrate peacefully and establish their new homes, the Company will act as the great body corporate which organizes the departure, supervises the property left behind, guarantees with its visible, tangible assets that all transactions will proceed in good order, and provides constant security for those who have already emigrated.
In what way will the Company guarantee that the abandonment of countries will not cause their impoverishment and produce economic crises?
It has already been stated that respectable anti-Semites, while preserving their independence which is of value to us, are to participate in the project as popular supervisory authorities, as it were.
But the state, too, has fiscal interests which might be harmed. It will lose a group of tax payers who may be little appreciated as citizens but are highly valued from a financial point of view. The state must be given compensation for this loss. Actually, we shall offer one indirectly: by leaving in the country businesses which we have built up with our Jewish acumen and our Jewish industry, by letting our Gentile fellow citizens move into the positions we have evacuated, thus enabling the masses to rise to prosperity with unprecedented peacefulness. The French Revolution had a similar result, on a small scale, but it took torrents of blood on the guillotine, in every province of France, and on the battlefields of Europe. Then, too, inherited and acquired rights had to be destroyed, and only those grew rich who shrewdly bought up state properties.
The Jewish Company will offer direct advantages as well to the states which come within its sphere of activity. Governments everywhere can be assured of being able to purchase abandoned Jewish property on favorable terms. The governments, for their part, will be able to use this amicable expropriation on a large scale for certain social improvements.
The Jewish Company will give assistance to governments and parliaments which desire to direct the internal migration of Gentile citizens.
The Jewish Company will also pay heavy taxes.
Its central office will be in London, for it must be under the legal protection of a great Power which is not at present anti-Semitic. But if the Company is supported officially and semi-officially, it will everywhere provide a broad tax base. It will set up taxable branch establishments everywhere; also, it will offer the advantage of a twofold transfer of property-which means a double payment. Even in transactions where the Company is merely a real-estate agency it will temporarily have the semblance of a purchaser. Although it does not wish to own property, the Company will momentarily appear as the owner in the register of landed property.
These are, of course, mere matters of bookkeeping. In each particular place it will have to be considered and decided how far the Company can go without jeopardizing its own existence. It will freely confer with Finance Ministers on these points. The Ministers will clearly recognize its good intentions and will everywhere offer those concessions which are demonstrably necessary for the successful accomplishment of the great undertaking.
Another direct benefit lies in the transport of freight and passengers. This is immediately evident where railroads are state property. Where they are operated by private interests, the Company will, like any major shipper, receive favorable terms. Naturally, it will have to let our people travel and ship their belongings as cheaply as possible, because everyone will be making the trip at his own expense. The middle classes will use Cook's system, while stage coaches will be available for the poorer classes. The Company might make a great deal of money by discounts on passengers and freight; but here, too, its guiding principle must be to cover only its working expenses.
In many places the transport business is in Jewish hands. The shipping agencies will be the first needed by the Company and the first liquidated by it. The original owners of these businesses will either enter the Company's service or establish themselves independently on the other side. There will be a demand for freight agents at the places of arrival, and since this is an excellent business and people not only may but should make money there right away, there will be no lack of enterprising spirits. There is no need to elaborate on the business details of this mass expedition. They should grow rationally out of the purpose at hand, and many able minds shall and will work out the best procedure.
Many activities will be interconnected. Just one example: The Company will gradually go into the manufacture of goods in the settlements which will be primitive in the beginning. Clothing, linen, shoes, etc. will at first be mass-produced for our own poor emigrants, for they will be provided with new clothes at the European places of departure. They will not receive these clothes as alms, for they must not be humiliated, but will simply have their old things exchanged for new ones. Any loss sustained by the Company in this will be put down as a business loss. Those who are completely destitute will receive these clothes as a loan from the Company which they will pay off on the other side by working overtime; they will be exempted from this if their conduct warrants it.
In these matters, incidentally, the existing emigration societies will have a chance to be of assistance. Everything they have done up to now for departing Jews they shall henceforth do for the colonists of the Jewish Company. The forms of such cooperation will be easily found.
Even the new clothing of the poor emigrants should have a symbolic meaning: "You are now starting a new life!" The Society of Jews will see to it that long before the departure and also during the journey a solemn and festive mood is maintained by means of prayers, popular lectures, information on the purpose of the expedition, hygienic regulations for their new places of residence, and guidance in regard to their future work. For the Promised Land is the land of labor. Upon their arrival the emigrants will be welcomed by our chief officials with due solemnity but without foolish jubilation, for the Promised Land has yet to be won. But these poor people should already see that they are at home.
The Company's manufacture of clothes for the poor emigrants will not, of course, proceed without proper planning. The Society of Jews will obtain information about the number of emigrants, the date of their arrival, and their requirements from the Local Groups and must communicate all this in good time to the Jewish Company. In this way it will be possible to make the proper arrangements for them in advance.
The tasks of the Jewish Company and the Society of Jews cannot be kept strictly apart in this outline. Actually, these two great bodies will have to work together constantly. The Company will remain dependent on the moral authority and support of the Society, just as the Society will not be able to dispense with the material assistance of the Company. For example, the systematic organization of the clothing industry will be a first modest attempt to avoid crises of overproduction. This procedure shall be followed in all areas in which the Company assumes an industrial function.
Buunder no circumstances must the Company use its superior power to stifle individual enterprise. We shall be collectivists only where the enormous difficulties of the task require it. In general we will cherish and protect the individual and his rights. Private property, as the economic basis of independence, shall develop with freedom and respect among us. After all, we shall give our very first "unskilleds" a chance to become proprietors.
The spirit of enterprise shall be encouraged in every way. The establishment of industries will be promoted by a sensible tariff policy, by the supply of cheap raw material, and by the creation of a bureau which will gather and publish industrial statistics.
This spirit of enterprise can be stimulated in a sound way, avoiding haphazard speculation. The establishment of a new industry will be announced a sufficient time in advance, so that an entrepreneur who six months later may hit on the idea of starting a similar business will be spared failure and financial ruin. Since the Company is to be informed of the purpose of any new establishment, information on business prospects will be available to anyone at any time.
In addition, industrialists will have centralized labor at their disposal. An entrepreneur will apply to an employment office which will charge him only a fee required for its operating expenses. An industrialist might, for instance, telegraph that he needs the next day five hundred "unskilleds" for three days, three weeks, or three months. The next day the required five hundred will arrive at his agricultural or industrial establishment; the labor agency will have collected them from every available source. The haphazard movements of migratory workers will thus be refined along military lines, becoming a purposeful institution. No slave labor will be supplied, of course, but only men who work seven hours a day, who preserve their organization, and despite changes of locality get credit for seniority along with their regular ranks, promotions, and pensions. A free entrepreneur may obtain his workmen from other sources as well if he so desires, but he will not find it easy to do so. The Society will be able to prevent the introduction of non-Jewish wage slaves by boycotting uncooperative industrialists, obstructing transportation, and that sort of thing. The seven-hour workers will therefore have to be taken, and in this way we shall achieve the regular seven-hour working day almost painlessly.
It is clear that what can be done with the "unskilleds" will be even easier in the case of skilled workers. Piece workers in factories can be subject to the same regulations, and the central labor agency will provide them.
As for the independent artisans, the small master craftsmen whom we want to take good care of with a view to the future progress of technology, whom we want to provide with technical information even if they are no longer young, to whom water power and electric light are to be made available-these independent craftsmen, too, shall be sought out and provided by the central agency of the Society. A Local Group will apply to the central office, stating that so-and-so-many carpenters, locksmiths, glaziers, etc. are needed. The office will make this known and the people will come forward. They and their families will move to the places where they are needed and establish their residence there, without being crushed by random competition. A permanent, good home will have been created for them.
An amount that sounds fantastic has been mentioned as the capital required for establishing the Jewish Company. The actual amount needed will have to be determined by financial experts, and it will certainly be an enormous sum. How is it to be raised? There are three methods which the Society will take under consideration. The Society, this great "moral person," the gestor of the Jews, will consist of our best and most upright men who cannot and must not derive any financial gain from the undertaking. Although in the beginning the only authority of the Society will be a moral one, this authority will suffice to establish the credit of the Jewish Company in the eyes of the Jewish people. The Jewish Company will have prospects of commercial success only if it has the Society's stamp of approval, so to speak. Thus no random group of financiers will be able to band together to form the Jewish Company. The Society will investigate, select, and decide, and it will approve of the establishment only after it has been furnished with all necessary securities for the conscientious execution of the plan. Experiments with insufficient means must not be made, for this enterprise must succeed at the very first attempt. Failure would compromise the whole idea for decades to come and might even render it permanently impossible.
The three methods of raising capital are: 1) through big banks; 2) through smaller banks; 3) through public subscription.
The easiest, fastest, and surest method would be for the big banks to found the Company. The existing great financial groups could raise the necessary funds in a very short time by merely consulting together. This would have the great advantage that it would not be necessary to pay in the whole billion (to stick to the original figure) all at once. A further advantage would be that the credit of these powerful financial groups would also accrue to the enterprise. A great many unutilized political forces lie dormant in the financial power of the Jews. The enemies of Jewry picture this power as being as effective as it might be but actually is not. Poor Jews feel only the hatred that this financial power arouses; they do not get the benefits, the alleviation of their sufferings, which might be produced. The credit policy of the great Jewish financiers ought to be placed in the service of the National Idea. But if these gentlemen, who are quite satisfied with their lot, do not feel impelled to do something for their fellow Jews who are unjustly held responsible for the great fortunes of some individuals, then the realization of this plan will afford an opportunity for drawing a clear line of demarcation between them and the rest of Jewry.
The big banks, incidentally, will not be called upon to provide such an enormous amount out of charitable motives; that would be foolish presumptuousness. Rather, the founders and stockholders of the Jewish Company should make a good profit, and they will be able to calculate in advance what their chances are. For the Society of Jews will be in possession of all documents and aids by which the prospects of the Jewish Company may be gauged. The Society of Jews will in particular have made a close study of the scope of the new Jewish movement, and it will be able to give the founders of the Company perfectly reliable information on the degree of participation it may expect. By supplying the Company with comprehensive modern statistics on the Jews, the Society will be doing the work of a societe d’etudes [study commission] of the kind that is appointed in France before the financing of a very big enterprise is undertaken.
Even so, the scheme may not receive the precious approval of the Jewish money magnates. They may even try to oppose our Jewish movement by using their secret lackeys and agents. Such opposition, like any other that is forced upon us, we shall meet with relentless firmness.
Perhaps the money magnates will content themselves with disposing of the matter with a smile of rejection.
Does that mean that it is finished?
It does not.
Then we shall turn to the second method of raising money, an appeal to the moderately rich Jews. In the name of the National Idea the smaller Jewish banks would have to be united against the big bankers, forming a second formidable financial force. The trouble with this would be that at first it would all be nothing but a financial transaction, for the billion would have to be subscribed in full before we would be allowed to start operations; and since this money would become available only gradually, there would be sorts of banking transactions and loans during the first few years. It might even come about that in this way the original purpose would gradually be forgotten; the moderately rich Jews would have found a new and large business, and the migration of the Jews would bog down.
The idea of raising money in this way is anything but fantastic; that much is known. There have already been several attempts to muster Catholic money against the big banks; that one could also oppose them with Jewish money has not been considered until now.
But what crises all this would produce! The countries in which such conflicts occurred would suffer, and anti-Semitism would be bound to become rampant.
Therefore I do not like the thought of this, and I only mention it because it lies within the logical development of the idea.
Nor do I know whether smaller banks will take up my idea.
In any case, even if the moderately rich reject the scheme, it is not done for. In fact, then it would begin in earnest.
For then the Society of Jews, which will not be composed of businessmen, might try to found the Company through popular subscription.
The Company's capital could be raised by announcing a public subscription directly, without a syndicate of big or small banks acting as an intermediary. Not only poor Jews but also Gentiles who wanted to get rid of the Jews would participate in this method of raising funds in very small amounts. It would be a new and original kind of plebiscite whereby everyone who wished to vote for this form of solving the Jewish Question could express himself by subscribing a certain sum conditionally. The condition would constitute his security. The full sum would be payable only if the entire amount had been subscribed; otherwise the initial payment would be returned.
But if the whole of the required sum is raised by worldwide popular subscription, then each individual small amount will be guaranteed by the countless other small amounts.
This would, of course, require the express and firm assistance of interested governments.
So far it has only been shown how the emigration may be carried out without an economic upheaval. But such an emigration also involves many deep and powerful emotions. There are old customs and memories which bind all of us to certain places. We have cradles and we have graves, and it is well known what graves mean to Jewish hearts. Our cradles we shall take along; in them there slumbers our future, rosy and smiling. Our beloved graves we shall have to leave behind; I think this is what we covetous people will find it hardest to part from, but it will have to be.
Economic distress, political pressure, and social hatred are already driving us from our homes and from our graves. We Jews are even now constantly moving from one country to another; a strong current even carries us across the sea to the United States, where we are not liked either. Where will people want us as long as we have no homeland of our own?
But we will give the Jews a homeland-not by forcibly uprooting them from their soil, but by lifting them out carefully, roots and all, and transplanting them in better ground. Just as we want to create new economic and political conditions, we intend to keep sacred all emotional attachments to the past. This theme can only be briefly touched upon, for at this point the danger is greatest that my plan will be considered overly romantic.
And yet this, too, is possible and real, though it now occurs in actuality in a tangled and ineffectual form. Organization can turn it into something rational.
Our people are to emigrate in groups of families and friends. No one will be forced to join the group departing from his present locality. Everyone may go the way he wants -to after he has settled his affairs. After all, everyone will be paying his own way, in whatever class of railroad and ship he chooses. It is possible that our trains and boats will have only one class. On such long trips the poor are bothered by differences in wealth. And even though we are not taking our people across for entertainment, we still do not wish to spoil their good humor on the way.
No one will travel under conditions of hardship, but everything in the way of elegant comfort will be available. People will make arrangements far in advance - even in the most favorable circumstances it will be years before the movement gets rolling among the individual propertied classes - and the well-to-do will form traveling parties. All personal connections will be taken along. We know that, with the exception of the wealthiest, Jews have almost no social relations with Gentiles. In some countries those Jews who do not support a few dinner-table parasites, spongers, and flunkeys have no Gentile acquaintances whatever. The ghetto continues to exist within.
Therefore, those of average means will make prolonged and careful preparations for departure. Every locality will form a group. In large cities there will be several district groups which will communicate by means of elected representatives. There is nothing obligatory about this division into districts; it is actually intended only as an aid to those less well-to-do and to obviate discomfort and homesickness during the trip. Everyone is free to travel alone or to join any Local Group whatever. The conditions will be the same for all travelers of a particular class. If a traveling party is large enough, the Company will give it a special train and thereafter a special boat.
Suitable living accommodations for the poorer people will be provided by the Company's housing office. Later on, when the more prosperous emigrate, their easily foreseeable lodging needs will have encouraged private enterprise to build hotels. Besides, the well-to-do emigrants will have built their houses beforehand, so that they need only move from an abandoned old home into a finished new one.
There is no need for us to assign tasks to our intelligentsia. Every man who rallies behind the National Idea will know how to propagate it and translate it into action in his own circle. We shall make a special appeal for the participation of our spiritual leaders.
Each group will have its Rabbi who will travel with his congregation. All groupings will be voluntary. A Local Group will have a Rabbi as its nucleus; there will be as many such groups as there are Rabbis. For the Rabbis will be the first to understand us, to be enthusiastic about the cause, and they will impart their enthusiasm to the others from their pulpits. There will be no need to call any special assemblies with a lot of blather. The appeal will be included in the religious service, and properly so. We recognize our historic identity only by the faith of our fathers, because we have long since inextinguishably absorbed the languages of various nationalities.
The Rabbis will then regularly receive the announcements of the Society and the Company, and they will share them with, and explain them to, their congregations. Israel will pray for us and for itself.
The Local Groups will appoint small committees of representatives under the chairmanship of the Rabbis. The committees will discuss and decide all practical issues in accordance with local needs.
Charitable institutions will be freely transferred by the Local Groups. Endowed institutions will remain with their original Local Group on the other side. The buildings should not be sold, in my opinion, but donated to needy Gentiles in the cities concerned. When land is distributed over there, the Local Groups will receive credit for this in the form of free building sites and special consideration in construction.
The transfer of charitable institutions will provide another of those opportunities which occur at a number of different points in this plan to make an experiment in the service of humanity. Our present disorganized system of private philanthropy does little good in proportion to the expenditure involved. These institutions can and must be organized in such a way that they will supplement one another. In a new society these institutions can be set up in accordance with modern ideas and on the basis of all available socio-political experience. This matter is of great importance to us, since we have a large number of paupers. The weaker characters among us, disheartened by external pressure and spoiled by the flabby charity of our rich men, easily degenerate to beggary.
The Society, supported by the Local Groups, will give its full attention to educating the people in this respect. A fertile soil will be created for many energies that are now withering away uselessly. Whoever is willing shall be suitably employed. Beggars will not be tolerated. Anyone who refuses to work of his own free will is going to be put in a workhouse.
On the other hand, we shall not relegate our old people to homes for the aged. Such homes are one of the most cruel forms of charity that our fatuous benevolence has devised. In a home for the aged an old person dies of shame and grief. Actually, he is buried alive there. But we will leave even those on the lowest level of intelligence the comforting illusion of usefulness till the end of their lives. Those incapable of physical labor shall be given light tasks. We must take into account the atrophied arms of an already enfeebled generation. But future generations shall be brought up differently: in freedom for freedom.
We shall seek for all ages, for all walks of life, the moral blessings of labor. Thus will our people regain its skill in the land of the seven-hour working day.
The Local Groups will delegate their authorized representatives to select sites for towns. In the distribution of land every precaution will be taken to ensure a gentle transplantation and the preservation of all rightful claims.
The Local Groups will have plans of the towns. Our people will know beforehand where they are going, in what towns and in what houses they will live. The building plans and the clear illustrations which are to be distributed among the Local Grouphave already been mentioned.
Just as strict centralization will be the principle of our administration, the principle for the Local Groups will be full autonomy. Only in this way can the transplanting be accomplished painlessly.
I do not imagine all this to be easier than it actually is; on the other hand, people should not imagine it to be harder.
The middle classes will automatically be drawn along by our movement. Some will have their sons on the other side, as officials of the Society or employees of the Company. Lawyers, doctors, engineers of every description, young businessmen-in fact, all Jews in search of opportunity who are now fleeing oppression in their native lands to make a living in other parts of the world-will assemble on a soil so full of promise. Others will have daughters married to such up-and-coming men. Then one of our young people will send for his fiancee, another for his parents, brothers, and sisters. In a new civilization people marry young. This can only benefit general morality, and we shall have sturdy offspring-not those delicate children of fathers who have married late, having already spent their energies in life's struggles.
Every middle-class emigrant will pull others of his kind along.
Naturally, the best of the new world will belong to the most courageous.
Here, to be sure, seems to lie the greatest difficulty of the plan.
Even if we succeed in initiating a serious worldwide discussion of the Jewish Question -
Even if this discussion leads to the most unequivocal conclusion that the Jewish State is a world necessity -
Even if we acquire sovereignty over some territory through the support of the Powers -
How do we get the Jewish masses to move from their present homes to this new country without coercion?
For do we not always envisage their emigration as a voluntary one?
Great exertion will hardly be necessary to stimulate the migration. The anti-Semites are already taking care of this for us. They need only do what they are doing now, and the desire of the Jews to emigrate will arise where it does not exist and intensify where it is already present. If Jews now remain in anti-Semitic countries, they do so chiefly because even those among them who are ignorant of history know that the numerous changes of residence over the centuries have not brought us any lasting benefits. If today there were a country where the Jews were welcomed and offered even fewer advantages than will be assured when the Jewish State comes into being, that country would immediately attract a great influx of Jews. The poorest, who have nothing to lose, would drag themselves there. But I maintain, and everyone will know for himself whether this is true or not, that as a result of the pressure weighing upon us there is a desire to emigrate even among our prosperous classes. Actually, our poorest strata alone would suffice to found a State; in fact, they are the most suitable human material for acquiring a land, because a little bit of desperation is necessary for great ventures.
But as our "desperadoes" raise the value of the land by their arrival and their labor, they will gradually entice people of greater means as well to follow them.
Higher and yet higher strata will become interested in going across. The expedition of the first and poorest settlers will be directed jointly by the Society and the Company, and in this they will probably be supported by the existing emigration and Zion societies.
How can a multitude be directed to a particular spot without being given a command?
There are certain Jewish philanthropists on a grand scale who wish to alleviate Jewish suffering through Zionistic experiments. These benefactors have already had to face this problem, and they thought they were solving it when they provided the emigrants with money or means of employment. Thus a philanthropist would say, "I shall pay these people to go there."
That is dead wrong, and all the money in the world cannot pay for it.
The Company, by contrast, will say: "We shall not pay them; we shall make them pay. Only, we are going to offer them something."
I will illustrate this by means of a humorous example. One of those philanthropist - let us call him "The Baron" - and I would like to assemble a crowd of people on the plain of Longchamps near Paris on a hot Sunday afternoon. By promising them 10 francs each, the Baron will bring out 20,000 perspiring, miserable people who will curse him for having inflicted this drudgery upon them.
I, on the other hand, shall offer the 200,000 francs as a prize for the swiftest race horse-and then I shall put up barriers to keep the people off the Longchamps course. Those who want to get in have to pay: 1 franc, 5 francs, 20 francs.
The upshot will be that I shall get half a million people out there; the President of the Republic will drive up a la Daumont[The expression "a la Daumont" originated during the period of the French Restoration and referred to driving in state after the manner of the Duc d'Aumont, the initiator of the four-horse carriage in which the horses were led by two postillions]; and the people will have a good time entertaining one another. Most of them will find the exercise in the open air a pleasure in spite of the heat and the dust, and for my 200,000 francs I shall have collected a million in admissions and betting taxes. I can get those same people out there again any time I want to; but the Baron cannot-not at any price.
Let me give a more serious illustration of the same phenomenon in an economic situation. Try to get someone to shout this in the streets of a city: "Whoever is willing to stand all day long, in the bitter cold of winter or the burning heat of summer, in an iron hall exposed on all sides and there to accost every passer-by and offer him junk, or fish, or fruit, will receive two florins, or four francs, or anything he pleases."
How many people do you suppose will go to that hall? If hunger drove them there, how many days would they stand it? And if they did hold out, how much eagerness would they display in trying to persuade the passers-by to purchase fruit, fish, or junk?
We shall go about it in a different way. In places where trade is active-and these places we can discover all the more easily because we shall channel trade in any direction we please - we shall build large halls and call them markets. These halls could be worse built and more unhealthy than those I have mentioned, and yet people would flock to them. But we shall make them better and more attractive, applying our best efforts. And the people, to whom we have promised nothing, because we cannot promise them anything without deceiving them, these good, enterprising people will create an atmosphere of fun and do a thriving business. They will tirelessly harangue the buyers; they will stand on their feet and scarcely think of fatigue. They will not only rush there every day so as to be the first on the job, but they will form unions, combines, all sorts of things, just so they can continue this gainful employment undisturbed. And even if it turns out at the end of a day that all their honest work has netted them only a florin-and-a-half, or three francs, or whatever, they will still look forward hopefully to the next day, which may be better for them.
We shall have given them hope.
Would anyone like to know where we are going to get the demand which is needed for the markets? Is it really necessary to spell this out?
I demonstrated earlier that the assistance par le travail will produce a fifteenfold return: fifteen millions for one million; fifteen billions for one billion.
Well, is this just as true on a large scale as it is on a small one? Does not capital yield a return that diminishes in inverse ratio to its own growth? That is true of inactive capital, capital that has gone into hiding, but not of the active kind. In fact, that kind of capital yields a tremendously increasing return in large amounts. Indeed, this is the crux of the social question.
Am I stating facts? I call on the ricJews to attest to it. Why do they engage in so many industries? Why do they send men to work underground and bring up coal for meager wages and amidst terrible dangers? I cannot imagine this to be pleasant, even for the owners of the mines. For I do not believe, and do not pretend to believe, that capitalists are heartless. My desire is not to agitate, but to reconcile differences.
Do I need to illustrate the phenomenon of masses and the ways of attracting them to any desired spot by discussing religious pilgrimages, too?
I do not wish to offend anyone's religious sensibilities by words which might be misinterpreted.
I merely cite in passing what the pilgrimage to Mecca means in the Mohammedan world, or what Catholics feel for Lourdes and countless other places. including the Holy Coat of Trier [The Holy Coat of Trier is a treasured relic in the Cathedral of this city. It is a seamless garment supposed to have been worn by Jesus, and, when exhibited in 1844 and 1891 (and again in 1933), it attracted vast crowds of pilgrims] from which people return home comforted by their faith.
Thus we too shall create goals for the deep religious needs of our people. Our clergymen will be the first to understand us and go along with us.
We shall let everyone find salvation over there in his own way. That includes, and very particularly, our beloved freethinkers, our immortal army which is conquering more and more new territory for mankind.
No more force will be applied against anyone than is necessary for the preservation of the State and public order. And the force required will not be arbitrarily determined by whatever person or persons happen to be in authority at a given time, but will reside in iron-clad laws.
Now, if it be inferred from my illustrations that the masses can be attracted to such centers of faith, of business, or of amusement only temporarily, the rebuttal is simple. One of these objects can only attract the masses, but all of the centers combined are designed to hold them and give them permanent satisfaction. For all these centers together constitute a great, long-sought entity, one for which our people has never ceased to yearn, for which it has kept itself alive, for which it has been kept alive by external pressure: a free homeland! Once the movement comes into being, we shall pull some along with us and let others follow; still others will be swept along, and the last will be pushed after us.
These, the hesitating laggards, will be the worst off, both here and on the other side.
But the vanguard, those who go over with faith, enthusiasm, and courage, will have the best places.
There are more misconceptions in circulation about the Jews than about any other people. And our age-old sufferings have made us so depressed and so discouraged that we ourselves parrot and believe these canards. One of them is that Jews have an immoderate love of business. Now, it is well known that wherever we are permitted to share in the rise of classes we quickly give up trading. By far the great majority of Jewish businessmen send their sons to the universities; hence the so-called "Judaization" of all professions. But even in the lower economic strata our love of business is by no means as great as is supposed. In the countries of Eastern Europe there are large masses of Jews who are neither traders nor afraid of hard work. The Society of Jews will be in a position to prepare scientifically accurate statistics of our manpower. The new tasks and prospects that await our people in the new country will satisfy our present craftsmen and transform many of those who are now small tradesmen into manual workers.
A peddler who travels about the country with a heavy pack on his back does not feel as happy as his persecutors imagine. The seven-hour day can convert all these people into workmen. They are good, misunderstood people, who may now be suffering more than anyone else. The Society of Jews will, incidentally, concern itself from the outset with their training as artisans. Their profit motive will have to be stimulated in a wholesale manner. Jews are thrifty, resourceful, and imbued with a strong sense of family. Such men are suited for any gainful employment, and merely making small trading unremunerative will be sufficient to cause even those now active as peddlers to give up this occupation. This could be brought about, for example, by encouraging large department stores which carry all conceivable items. Even now such stores crush small trading in the large cities; in a new civilization they would prevent it from arising altogether. The establishment of these stores would have the further advantage of making the country immediately habitable even for people accustomed to a higher standard of living.
Is a reference, even a passing one, to the little habits and conveniences of the common man in keeping with the serious nature of this pamphlet?
I believe it is. In fact, it is very important. For these little habits are like a thousand fine threads; each of them is thin and fragile, but together they make up an unbreakable cable.
Here, too, narrow preoccupations must be swept away. Whoever has seen anything of the world knows that precisely these small everyday habits can even now be easily transplanted everywhere. Indeed, the technical achievements of our time, which this plan would like to employ in the service of humanity, have heretofore been used chiefly for those little habits. There are English hotels in Egypt and on the mountain peaks of Switzerland, Viennese cafes in South Africa, French theaters in Russia, German opera houses in America, and the best Bavarian beer in Paris.
When we journey out of Mitzraim [Egypt] again, we shall not leave the fleshpots behind.
Everyone can and will find his little habits again in the Local Groups, but they will be better, finer, and more pleasant.
This pamphlet is not intended for legal specialists. I can therefore touch only cursorily, as on so many other things, upon my theory of the legal basis of a state.
Nevertheless, I must put some stress on my new theory which will probably hold up even in a discussion among legal scholars.
According to Rousseau's now antiquated view, a state is based on a social contract. Rousseau wrote: "The conditions of this contract are so precisely defined by the nature of the agreement that the slightest alteration would make them null and void. The consequence is that even where they are not expressly stated they are everywhere identical and everywhere tacitly accepted and recognized …”
A logical and historical refutation of Rousseau's theory has never been difficult, however frightful and fruitful the effects of that theory may have been. The question whether a social contract with "conditions not expressly stated, yet unalterable" existed before the framing of a constitution is of no practical interest to modern constitutional states. In any case, the legal relationship between government and citizen is now clearly established.
But prior to the framing of a constitution, and during the creation of a new state, these principles are of practical importance also. We know and see for ourselves that new states can still come into being. Colonies secede from the mother country; vassals break away from their suzerain; newly opened territories are immediately established as free states. The Jewish State, to be sure, is envisaged as a very special new formation on an as yet undetermined territory. But a state is formed not by an area of land, but by a number of men united under one sovereignty.
The people is the subjective, the land is the objective basis of a state, and of these two the subjective basis is the more important. There is, for example, one sovereignty without any objective basis which is, in fact, the most respected on earth: the sovereignty of the Pope.
The theory of rationality is one currently accepted in political science. This theory suffices to justify the creation of a state and, unlike the contract theory, it cannot be historically refuted. Insofar as this pamphlet is concerned with the creation of the Jewish State, it is based entirely on the theory of rationality. However, this theory evades the legal basis of the state. The theories of a divine institution, or of superior power, or of a contract, the patriarchal and patrimonial theories are not in accordance with modern views. The legal basis of a state is sought either too much within men (patriarchal theory, theories of higher power and contract), in a pure realm above them (divine institution), or below them (objective patrimonial theory). The theory of rationality leaves this question conveniently or cautiously unanswered. Yet a question which has so seriously occupied the greatest philosophers of law in every age cannot be an absolutely idle one. As a matter of fact, in a state we find a mixture of human and superhuman elements. Some legal basis is indispensable for dealing with the oppressive relationship in which subjects occasionally stand to rulers. I believe it is to be found in the negotiorum gestio) with the body of citizens constituting the dominus negotiorum and the government representing the gestor.
The wonderful legal sense of the Romans produced a noble masterpiece in the negotiorum gestio. When the property of an incapacitated person is in danger, anyone may step forward and save it. This man is the gestor, the director of someone else's affairs. He has received no warrant-that is, no human warrant. His warrant derives from a higher necessity. For the purposes of the state this higher necessity may be formulated in different ways, and its formulation may also differ in accordance with the intellectual capacity found at different levels of culture. The aim of the gestio is the welfare of the dominus) the people, of whom the gestor himself is one.
The gestor administers a property of which he is a co-owner. His part ownership acquaints him with the emergency situation which demands his intervention, his leadership in war and peace; but his co-ownership certainly does not mean that he delegates any valid authority to himself. Even under the most favorable circumstances he can only presume the consent of the innumerable other part owners.
A state comes into being through a nation's struggle for existence. In such a struggle it is impossible to obtain the proper authority in any formal way. Indeed, any undertaking for the common weal would be wrecked at the outset if one first attempted to obtain a regular majority decision. Partisanship within would render the people defenseless against the danger from without. All heads cannot be put under the same hat, as the German saying goes. That is why the gestor simply puts on the hat and leads the way.
Action by the gestor of the state is sufficiently warranted if the common cause is in danger and the dominus is prevented from helping itself-by lack of will or some other reason.
But through his intervention the gestor becomes liable to the dominus in a manner similar to a contractual obligation-quasi ex contractu. This is the legal relationship existing before, or, more correctly, created simultaneously with, the state.
The gestor then becomes liable for every form of negligence, including the non-completion of assignments undertaken, the neglect of such affairs as are intimately connected with them, etc. I shall not enlarge on the negotiorum gestio here nor apply the concept to the state; this would take us too far from the actual subject. Let me make just one more point: "Business transactions, if approved by the owner, are just as effective as if originally carried on by his order."
And what does all this mean to us?
At present the Jewish people is prevented by the Diaspora from conducting its own political affairs. Yet it is in a condition of more or less severe distress in a number of places. It needs, above all things, a gestor.
This gestor, to be sure, cannot be one individual. Such a one would seem either ridiculous or, because he would appear to be out for his own advantage, contemptible.
The gestor of the Jews must be a "moral person" in every sense of the word.
And that is the Society of Jews.
This organ of the National Movement, whose nature and functions we are only now discussing, will actually come into being before anything else. Its formation is extremely simple. This "moral person" will arise out of the circle of valiant English Jews whom I informed about my plan in London. [Herzl here refers to his visit to London which took place in the second half of November 1895, during which he was received with sympathy and was promised support by several leading British Jews. Cf. The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, New York, 1960, Vol.1, pp.276-84.]
The Society of Jews will be the center of the incipient Jewish movement.
The Society will have scientific and political tasks. The founding of the Jewish State, as I envisage it, presupposes modern, scientific methods. If we journey out of Egypt today, this cannot be done in the simple fashion of ancient times. We shall first obtain an idea of our numbers and our strength in a different way. The Society of Jews is the new Moses of the Jews. The undertaking of that old, great gestor of the Jews in primitive times is to ours as some beautiful old Singspiel is to a modern opera. We shall play the same melody with many, many more violins, flutes, harps, violincellos, and strong basses, with electric lights, scenery, choruses, magnificent costumes, and star singers.
This pamphlet is intended to initiate a general discussion of the Jewish Question. Friend and foe will take part in it, but no longer, I hope, in the form of sentimental defense and vulgar invective. Let the debate be objective, grand, serious, and political.
The Society of Jews will collect all pronouncements of statesmen, parliaments, Jewish communities, and organizations which are made oraor in writing, at meetings or in news-papers and books.
Thus the Society will learn and determine for the first time whether the time has come when the Jews want to, or have to, migrate to the Promised Land. Fr9m Jewish communities all over the world the Society will receive the materials for a comLrehensive collection of Jewish statistics.
Subsequent tasks, such as expert investigation of the new country and its natural resources, the uniform plan for the migration and the settlement, preliminary work on legislation and administration, etc. will be developed logically in line with the objective.
Externally, the Society, as I have already explained in the general section, must attempt to be recognized as a state-forming power. From the free assent of many Jews it can derive the authority required to deal with the governments concerned.
Internally - that is to say, in its relations with the Jewish people - the Society will create the institutions that are indispensable in the early period - the germ cell, to use a scientific term, from which the public institutions of the Jewish State are to develop later.
Our first object is, as has already been stated, sovereignty assured by international law over an area that is adequate for our rightful needs.
What must be done next?
When peoples migrated in ancient times, they let themselves be carried along, pulled, tossed about by historical chance. Like swarms of locusts they alighted wherever their random course took them. For in ancient times the globe was not known to man.
The new migration of the Jews must proceed in accordance with scientific principles.
As recently as some forty years ago, gold mining was carried on in a curiously naive manner. How adventurous things were in California! There a rumor made desperadoes come running from all over the world; they looted the earth, stole the gold from one another, and then gambled it away in an equally predatory fashion.
But today! Take a look at gold mining in the present-day Transvaal. Gold mining is no longer run by romantic rogues, but by sober-minded geologists and engineers. Ingenious machines separate the gold from the auriferous rock. Little is left to chance.
And so the new Jewish land must be explored and taken possession of with all modern aids.
As soon as we have secured the land, a ship will sail to take possession of it.
This ship will carry representatives of the Society, the Company, and the Local Groups.
These pioneers will have three tasks: first, the exact scientific investigation of all natural properties of the land; second, the establishment of a tightly centralized administration; third, the distribution of land. These tasks complement one another and are to be carried out in accordance with the objective which is by now sufficiently familiar.
Only one thing remains to be clarified-namely, how the occupation of the land by Local Groups should proceed.
In America the occupation of a newly opened territory still takes place in a rather naive manner. The settlers gather at the border and at the appointed hour make a simultaneous and violent dash for it.
It cannot be done that way in the new land of the Jews. Plots in the provinces and towns will be auctioned off-not for money, but for achievements. It will have been established according to the general plan which roads, bridges, dams, etc. are necessary for traffic. These will be grouped according to provinces. Within each province the sites for towns will be auctioned off in a similar manner. The Local Groups will assume the responsibility of carrying this out in an orderly fashion, and they will defray the costs from local assessments. After all, the Society will be in a position to know in advance whether or not the Local Groups are undertaking too great a sacrifice. The big communities will get a lot of elbow-room for their activities. Greater sacrifices will be rewarded by certain concessions: Universities, technical schools, academies, research institutes, etc. and those government institutions which do not have to be located in the capital will be dispersed throughout the country.
The proper execution of what is undertaken will be guaranteed by the personal interest of the buyers and, if need be, by local assessments. For just as we cannot, and do not wish to, abolish differences among individuals, differences among the Local Groups will continue. Everything will fall into place in a natural way. All acquired rights will be protected, every new development will get sufficient scope.
Our people will be fully informed of all these matters.
Just as we will not take others by surprise or cheat them, we shall not deceive ourselves either.
Everything will be systematically worked out in advance. In the elaboration of this plan, which I am capable only of suggesting, our keenest minds will participate. Every achievement in the fields of social science and technology of our own age and of the even more advanced age which will dawn over the protracted execution of the plan must be utilized for the cause. Every happy invention which is already available or will become available must be used. Thus the land can be occupied and the State founded in a manner as yet unknown to history, with unprecedented chances of success.
One of the great commissions to be appointed by the Society will be the council of state jurists. This body will have to create as good a modern constitution as can be devised. I believe that a good constitution ought to be moderately flexible. In another work I have stated what forms of government I hold to be the best [Herzl here refers to his book Das Palais Bourbon: Bilder aus dern franzosischen Parlamentsleben (The Palais Bourbon: Pictures from French Parliamentary Life), which was published in 1895 in Leipzig, and in which he clearly expressed his preference for an aristocratic form of government.]. I consider a democratic monarchy and an aristocratic republic to be the finest forms of state. The form of a state and the principles of its government must be in an opposition which provides a balance. I am a staunch advocate of monarchic institutions, because they make possible a stable policy and represent the interests of a historically illustrious family, one born and educated to rule-interests that are bound up with the preservation of the state. But our history has been too long interrupted for us to attempt to resume this institution. The very attempt would bring upon us the curse of ridicule.
Democracy without the salutary counterpoise of a monarch is extreme in its approval and disapproval, tends to idle parliamentary babble, and produces that repulsive class of men, the professional politicians. Nor are the present-day nations suited to unlimited democracy, and I believe they will become ever less fit for it. For pure democracy presupposes a very simple morality, and our morality is becoming ever more complex with the advance of commerce and civilization. "Le ressort d'une democratie est la vertu" [The concern of a democracy is virtue], said wise Montesquieu. And where will you find this virtue-political virtue, I mean? I have no faith in the political virtue of our people, because we are no different from the rest of modern men and because freedom would at first make our heads swell. I consider government by referendum inadequate, for in politics there are no simple questions which can be answered merely by Yes or No. Also, the masses are more prone even than parliaments to be misled by fantastic ideas and to lend a willing ear to every ranting demagogue. Neither internal nor external policy can be formulated in popular assembly.
Politics must work from the top down. This does not mean that anyone will be put in bondage in the Jewish State, for every Jew will be able to rise, and everyone will want to. Thus a powerful upward surge is bound to move through our people. Every individual will think he is only raising himself, and yet the entire community will be raised thereby. This rise must be cast in moral forms which will be beneficial to the State and will serve theNational Idea.
Therefore I am thinking of an aristocratic republic. This is also in keeping with the ambitious spirit of our people which has now degenerated into fatuous vanity. Many of the institutions of Venice come to mind; but all that caused the ruin of that city must be avoided. We shall learn from the historical mistakes of others, just as we shall learn from our own. For we are a modern nation and wish to become the most modern. Our people, to whom the Society is presenting the new country, will also gratefully accept the new Constitution given by the Society. But wherever resistance may appear, the Society will break it. It cannot permit its work to be disturbed by obtuse or malicious individuals.
Someone may think that difficulties will arise from the fact that we no longer have a common language. After all, we cannot converse with one another in Hebrew. Who among us knows enough Hebrew to ask for a railroad ticket in that language? We have no such people. Yet it is really a very simple matter. Everyone will retain his own language, the beloved homeland of his thoughts. Switzerland offers conclusive proof that linguistic federalism is possible. Even on the other side we shall remain what we are now, just as we shall never cease to love nostalgic ally the native lands which we were forced to leave.
We shall give up the stunted, broken-down jargons, those ghetto languages which we now employ. They were the stealthy tongues of prisoners. Our educators will give due attention to this matter. The language which proves to be of the greatest utility for general intercourse will establish itself naturally as our principal tongue. Our peoplehood is indeed peculiar and unique. Actually, the faith of our fathers is the only thing by which we still recognize that we belong together.
Shall we, then, end up by having a theocracy? No! Faith unites us, knowledge makes us free. Therefore we shall permit no theocratic velleities on the part of our clergy to arise. We shall know how to restrict them to their temples, just as we shall restrict our professional soldiers to their barracks. The army and the clergy shall be honored to the extent that their noble functions require and deserve it. But they will have no privileged voice in the State which confers distinction upon them, for otherwise they might cause trouble externally and internally.
Every man will be as free and as unrestricted in his belief or unbelief as he is in his nationality. And should it happen that men of other creeds and other nationalities come to live among us, we shall accord them honorable protection and equality before the law. We have learned tolerance in Europe. I am not saying this sarcastically. Present-day anti-Semitism can only in a very few places be taken for the old religious intolerance. For the most part it is a movement among civilized nations whereby they try to exorcise a ghost from out of their own past.
When the idea of a State approaches realization, the Society of Jews will have a council of jurists do preliminary work on legislation. During the transition period the underlying principle can be that every immigrant Jew is to be judged according to the laws of the country which he has left. Legal uniformity should be striven for as soon as possible. The laws must be modern, and here too only the best should be employed. Ours might become a model code, permeated by all the just social demands of the day.
The Jewish State is envisaged as a neutral country. It will require only a professional army - albeit one equipped with every implement of modern warfare - to preserve order externally as well as internally.
We have no flag. We need one. Anyone who wants to lead many men must raise a symbol over their heads.
I am thinking of a white flag with seven gold stars. The white field signifies our new, pure life; the stars are the seven golden hours of our working day. For the Jews will move to the new land under the banner of labor.
The new Jewish State must be founded in a respectable manner. After all, we are mindful of our future honor in the eyes of the world.
For that reason all obligations in our old places of residence must be scrupulously fulfilled. The Society of Jews and the Jewish Company will grant cheap passage and all settlement benefits only to those who produce an official certificate from the local authorities saying "Affairs left in good order."
Every private claim originating in the abandoned countries will be heard more readily in the Jewish State than anywhere else. We shall not even wait for reciprocity, but shall act purely for the sake of our honor. Thus our own claims will later get more consideration from courts of law than may now be the case in some places.
From the foregoing remarks it is self-evident that we shall extradite Jewish criminals more readily than any other state, until such time as we can enforce our penal code in accordance with the same principles as all other civilized nations. Thus a period of transition is envisaged during which we shall receive Jewish criminals after they have taken their punishment. But once they have paid all penalties, they will be accepted without restrictions; the criminals among our people shall start a new life, too.
Thus emigration may become for many Jews a crisis with a happy outcome. The bad external circumstances which have ruined many a character will be removed, and it will be possible to save many who are lost.
Here I should like briefly to relate a story which I came across in an account of the gold mines of Witwatersrand. A man came to the Rand one day, settled down, tried several things, not including gold mining, finally started an ice factory which prospered, and soon won universal esteem. Years later he was suddenly arrested. He had perpetrated fraud as a banker in Frankfurt, then had escaped and started a new life under an assumed name. But when he was taken away as a prisoner, the most respected people turned up at the station and bade him a cordial "Farewell-until we meet again!" For he was going to return.
How much this story tells! A new life can regenerate even criminals. And we have a proportionately very small number of these. Compare on this point an interesting statistical study, Die Kriminalitat der Juden in Deutschland [The Criminality of Jews in Germany] by Dr. P. Nathan (Berlin), [Paul Nathan (1857.1927) was a German-Jewish politician, writer and editor, who authored numerous books on Jewish problems. His book, Die Krimina1itat der Juden in Deutschland, was published in 1896. He was a co-founder of the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, and an untiring fighter against anti-Semitism.] commissioned by the Committee for Defense Against Anti-Semitic Attacks and based on official reports. To be sure, like many another "defense" this pamphlet, which teems with figures, proceeds from the erroneous assumption that anti-Semitism can be refuted by rational arguments. We are presumably as much hated for our merits as for our faults.
I imagine that governments will pay some attention to this plan, either voluntarily or under pressure from their anti-Semitic citizens, and it may even be that here and there the plan will be received with a sympathy which will also be accorded to the Society of Jews.
For the Jewish emigration that I have in mind cannot create any economic upheavals. Instead, such crises are as bound to arise everywhere in the wake of Jew-baiting would be prevented by the realization of this plan. A great period of prosperity would begin in those countries which are now anti-Semitic. For, as I have repeatedly stated, there will be an internal migration of Gentile citizens into the positions slowly and systematically evacuated by the Jews. If we are not merely suffered, but actually assisted, to do this, the movement will have a fructifying effect everywhere. Another narrow view which must be abandoned is that the departure of many Jews is bound to bring about the impoverishment of the countries involved. It is different from a departure resulting from Jew-baiting; then, to be sure, property is destroyed, as it is in the confusion of a war. Quite another thing is the peaceful, voluntary departure of colonists, when everything can be done with due consideration for acquired rights and in absolute conformity with the law, freely and openly, by the light of day, in full view of the authorities and under the supervision of public opinion. The emigration of Gentile proletarians to other parts of the world would be brought to a standstill by the Jewish movement.
The states would have the further benefit of a tremendous increase in their export trade; for since the emigrant Jews on the other side would be dependent on European products for a long time to come, they would necessarily have to import them. The Local Groups would create an equitable adjustment; the customary needs would have to be met by the customary sources for a long time yet.
One of the greatest benefits would probably be the easing of the social question. Social discontent might be put at rest for some time - perhaps for twenty years, possibly even longer, but certainly throughout the entire period of the Jewish migration.
The shape which the social question may take depends only on the development of our technical resources. Steam power has concentrated men around machines in factories where they are squeezed together and make one another miserable. Production is enormous, indiscriminate, unplanned, and every moment this brings about serious crises which ruin the workers along with the management. Steam has crowded men together; the utilization of electricity will presumably disperse them again and may improve the conditions under which they work. In any case, the technical inventors, those true benefactors of mankind, will continue their labors after the migration of the Jews starts and hopefully will invent such wonderful things as before - no, ever more wonderful ones.
The word "impossible" already seems to have disappeared from the language of technology. If a man who lived in the last century returned to earth, he would find our whole life full of incomprehensible magic. Wherever we modern men appear with our contrivances, we transform the desert into a garden. To build a city it now takes us as many years as it required centuries at an earlier stage of history; America offers countless examples of this. The obstacle of distance has been overcome. The storehouse of the modern spirit already contains immeasurable riches. Every day this wealth increases; a hundred thousand minds think and search at every point of the globe, and what one discovers belongs to the whole world the next moment.
In the Jewish Land, we ourselves should like to make use of all new experiments in pioneer fashion.
Just as we shall institute the seven-hour day as an experiment for the good of humanity, we will lead the way in all humanitarian activities and build the new land as a land of experiment and a model country.
After the departure of the Jews, the enterprises which they have created will remain where they are. Nor will the Jewish spirit of enterprise be lacking wherever it is welcome. Jewish investors will continue to invest their liquid funds where they are familiar with local conditions. And whereas Jewish capital, because of persecution, is now sent abroad to be invested in the remotest of ventures, our peaceful solution will make it return and contribute to the further prosperity of the countries in which Jews used to live.
How much remains to be discussed, how many defects, harmful superficialities, and useless repetitions there still are in this pamphlet which I have so long considered and so frequently revised!
A fair-minded reader, one who also has enough insight to grasp the spirit of my words, will not be repelled by these defects. He will, instead, be stimulated to bring his sagacity and his energy to bear on a project which is not one man's alone, and to improve it.
Have I explained obvious things and overlooked important reservations?
I have tried to refute some objections; I know that there will be others, many of them, both high-minded and base ones.
One of the high-minded objections is that the distress of the Jews is not the only problem in the world. But I think that despite this we ought to start removing a little misery, be it only our own for the time being.
It might further be said that we should not create new distinctions between people, that we ought not to raise fresh barriers but make the old ones disappear instead. I say that those who think along these lines are lovable romantics; but the idea of a fatherland will go on flourishing long after the dust of their bones will have been blown away without a trace. Universal brotherhood is not even a beautiful dream. Conflict is needed for the utmost exertion of a man's personality.
But how will this work? The Jews would probably have no more enemies in their own State, and since prosperity would weaken them and make them decline, would this not spell the final doom of the Jewish people? I believe that the Jews, like every other nation, will always have enough enemies. But once they are settled on their own soil, they can never again be scattered all over the world. The Diaspora cannot be revived unless all of civilization collapses, and only a simpleton can fear that. Our present-day civilization has expedients enough to defend itself.
The base objections are innumerable, just as there are more ignoble people than noble ones. I have tried to knock out some of the narrow-minded notions. Anyone who wishes to rally behind the white flag with the seven stars must assist in this campaign of enlightenment. Perhaps it will be necessary first to do battle with certain evil, narrow-minded, short-sighted Jews.
Will it be said that I am supplying the anti-Semites with ammunition? How so? Because I admit the truth? Because I do not maintain that there are none but excellent men among us?
Will it be said that I am pointing out a way in which we could be harmed? This I deny most categorically. What I am proposing can be carried out only with the free consent of a majority of Jews. It can be done against the will of some individuals, even despite the opposition of groups of Jews who today are most powerful, but never, absolutely never, can a state act against all the Jews. The Jews' equal rights before the law cannot be rescinded once they have been granted, for the very first attempts would immediately drive all Jews, rich and poor alike, into the ranks of the revolutionary parties. The very beginnings of official injustice toward the Jews invariably produce economic crises. Thus there is really very little that can effectively be done against us, unless people are prepared to hurt themselves. Yet hatred grows and grows. The rich do not feel it much. But our poor! Just ask our poor, who have been more dreadfully proletarianized since the resurgence of anti-Semitism than ever before.
Will some of our well-to-do say that the pressure is not yet great enough to justify emigration, and that even the forcible expulsions of Jews have shown how reluctant our people are to depart? True, because they do not know where to go! Because they only pass from one misery to another. But we shall show them the way to the Promised Land. And the wonderful force of enthusiasm will have to wrestle with the terrible force of habit.
Persecutions are no longer as vicious as they were in the Middle Ages? True, but our sensitivity has increased, so that we feel no diminution in our suffering. Prolonged persecution has overstrained our nerves.
And will some people say that the venture is hopeless, because even if we obtain the land and the sovereignty only the poor people will go along? They are the very ones we need first! Only desperate men make good conquerors.
Will anybody say, Oh yes, if it were possible it would have been done by now?
It was not possible before. It is possible now. As recently as a hundred, even fifty years ago it would have been a dream. Today it is all real. The rich, who have an epicurean acquaintance with all technical advances, know very well what can be done with money. And this is how it will be: Precisely the poor and plain people, who have no idea of the power that man already exercises over the forces of Nature, will have the greatest faith in the new message. For they have never lost their hope of the Promised Land.
Here it is, Jews! No fairy tale, no deception! Everyone may convince himself of it, for every man will carry over with him a little piece of the Promised Land: one in his brain, another in his brawn, a third in the possessions he has acquired.
Now, all this may seem to be a long-drawn-out affair. Even in the most favorable circumstances it might be many years before the founding of the State is under way. In the meantime, Jews will be ridiculed, offended, abused, whipped, plundered, and slain in a thousand different localities. But no; just as soon as we begin to implement the plan, anti-Semitism will immediately grind to a halt everywhere. For it is the conclusion of peace. When the Jewish Company has been formed, this news will be carried in a single day to the remotest ends of the earth with the lightning speed of our telegraph wires.
And relief will ensue instantly. The average minds which we overproduce in our middle classes will find an outlet in our organizations as our first technicians, officers, professors, officials, jurists, physicians. And so the movement will continue, rapidly but yet without any upheaval.
Prayers will be offered up in the temples for the success of our undertaking. But in the churches as well! It will relieve an old pressure, one under which all have suffered.
But first there must be light in men’s minds. The idea must spread to the remotest miserable hamlets where our people live. They will awaken from their torpor. For all our lives will have a new substance. Everyone need think only of himself for the movement to become a tremendous one.
And what glory awaits the selfless fighters for the cause!
That is why I believe that a wonderful breed of Jews will spring up from the earth. The Maccabees will rise again.
Let me repeat my opening words once more: The Jews who want a State of their own will have one.
We are to live at last as free men on our own soil and die peacefully in our own homeland.
The world will be freed by our freedom, enriched by our riches, and made greater by our greatness.
And whatever we attempt there only for our own welfare will spread and redound mightily and blessedly to the good of all mankind.