Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
"I myself am a member of the well-to-do class. I am a ship-owner. My business is the type which, now as formerly, can be conducted successfully either by individuals or by stock corporations. It is the great merit of mutualism that it does not exclude either the creation or the continuance of new economic forms.
"In my firm, for instance, you will see an interesting example of a mixed form. I am the owner. My employees have a co-operative society which, with my approval and encouragement, is becoming more and more independent of me. At first they had only a consumers' co-operative society, but later they expanded it to include a savings fund. You must remember that our workingmen, as members of the New Society, are automatically insured against accidents, illness, old age, and death. Their savings-capacity is therefore not split up by provision for these contingencies.
"I have voluntarily made over a share of the firm's profits to the savings fund of my employees. I did not do this out of magnanimity, but for selfish reasons. By this method of profit-sharing, I not only ensured their continued devotion to the firm, but created for myself a favorable opportunity for selling the enterprise when I should get ready to retire. I shall then turn the business into a stock company, having already granted a purchasing option upon it to my employees' savings fund at a moderate rate of interest. We have no differences over wages or anything else. It is, if you choose to call it so, a patriarchal relation, but one expressed in ultra-modern forms. If a demagogue were to try to incite my men, I should not need to have him thrown out-they'd simply laugh him out of court, so that he'd be glad to run away. They know what they are about, and there's an end to all vague socialistic notions." "You're still a young man," boomed Kingscourt cordially, "but you've come a damned long way."
"I began early. We were among the first immigrants. Personal merit had nothing to do with it, or very little. I was swept along with the general tide of prosperity. But I want to tell you about that only when we get to Tiberias."
"You will understand when we reach there. You evidently don't know what festival we are to celebrate tomorrow. ...But, now, gentlemen, please make your choice. Or perhaps you'd rather hear the program from an oral newspaper."
David lifted two receivers from the wall, and handed them to his guests.
Kingscount laughed. "Your Excellencey cannot impress me with .that thing. I know the trick. They had a spoken newspaper like that in Budapest twenty-five years ago."
"I did not intend to show you anything new. By the way, this oral newspaper is also co-operative." "But this one doesn't yield any profits, since it carries no advertisements."
"On the contrary. Its advertisements command the highest rates. The reader of a printed newspaper is not obliged to look at the advertising columns. But he is defenseless against advertisements that come through the receiver. Listen in. You may happen to hear one." They put the receivers to their ears. They were informed about a dock fire in Yokohama, a theatrical premiere in Paris, and the latest quotations on the New York cotton exchange. Then, very clearly enunciated, they heard:
"At Samuel Kohn's...Best grades of diamonds, genuine and artificial Lowest prices guaranteed. At Sa-muel Kohn's, Great Gallery, 47."
They laughed heartily.
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