Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
Kingscourt and Friedrich decided to join the New Society immediately. They therefore went to call on President Eichenstamm to ask his advice as to how they could best become useful members of the New Society. The presidential mansion reminded them of the palazzi of the Genoese patricians. Just ahead of them was another car, from which Professor Steineck alighted with two elderly gentlemen. The Professor was already on the doorstep when he saw his two friends parleying with the gate-keeper. He waved to them, and the gesture immediately solved their difficulties with the functionary... But the next moment the Professor had vanished.
They asked for Dr. Werkin, secretary to the President. A servant led them to his office, and asked them to wait. After they had spent a few moments in the beautiful, high-ceilinged room, Kingscourt grew impatient.
"I won't stand this another minute. I shall not wait seven years in the ante-room. Talk to one of the minions, Fritze! I don't believe we've been announced."
"There don't seem to be any minions," smiled Friedrich. "But I'll ask that typist there."
The typist informed them that Dr. Werkin had been with the President for the last two hours. Dr. Eichenstamm had fallen ill very suddenly.
"Ah-hah. Now I see. That's why Steineck disappeared so quickly. Can you tell me, honored Mr. Typist, who were the two gentlemen with Professor Steineck?"
"Yes, sir. Two medical professors from the Zion University."
"Kingscourt," said Friedrich, "we'll not stay now. We'll leave our cards for Dr. Werkin, and come another time when the President is feeling better."
The two friends had learned their way about the streets of Jerusalem. They now left the boulevards and turned into a large park laid out in the English fashion. Near the entrance was a large building marked "Health Department of the New Society."
"Look!" laughed Kingscourt. "Here's another copy of a good thing. This is evidently modeled after the Imperial German Health Department. I don't have to ask the natives about it. I know Old-New-Land quite well. It's a mosaic. A Mosaic mosaic. Good joke, what?"
"As good as the rest of your jokes, Kingscourt. And no better...But it seems to me that we don't get at the essential character of Old-New-Land merely by noting that all its institutions already existed elsewhere twenty years ago. It's true enough that all these things did exist then. Natural forces were well understood in those days-well, enough, at least, for their needs here. The technical appliances, also, were available. No educated person of the year 1900 would be surprised by anything we've seen here. Even the degree of social progress achieved here is not surprising. The average decent man of our day realized that the raw egotism of the individual had to be curbed by society. The restrictions are not, indeed, oppressive here, because the New Society compensates the individual in one form for what it takes from him in another. Producers' and consumers co-operatives were well known in our day. Old-New-Land is something more-it must be something more than a fusion of the elements of social and technical progress."
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