In the earliest period of European railway construction some "practical" people were of the opinion that it was foolish to build certain lines "because there were not even sufficient passengers to fill the mail-coaches." They did not realize the truth -- which now seems obvious to us -- that travelers do not produce railways, but, conversely, railways produce travelers, the latent demand, of course, is taken for granted.
The impossibility of comprehending how trade and commerce are to be created in a new country which has yet to be acquired and cultivated, may be classed with those doubts of "practical" persons concerning the need of railways. A "practical" person would express himself somewhat in this fashion:
"Granted that the present situation of the Jews is in many plates unendurable, and aggravated day by day; granted that there exists a desire to emigrate; granted even that the Jews do emigrate to the new country; how will they earn their living there, and what will they earn? What are they to live on when there! The business of many people cannot be artificially organized in a day.
To this I should reply: We have not the slightest intention of organizing trade artificially, and we should certainly not attempt to do it in a day. But, though the organization of it may be impossible, the promotion of it is not. And how is commerce to be encouraged? Through the medium of a demand. The demand recognized, the medium created, it will establish itself.
If there is a real earnest demand among Jews for an improvement of their status; if the medium to be created -- the Jewish Company -- is sufficiently powerful, then commerce will extend itself freely in the new country.
Translated from the German by Sylvie D'Avigdor
This edition published in 1946 by the American Zionist Emergency Council
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