3. T h e J e w i s h C o m p a n y
The Jewish Company is partly modeled on the lines of a great land-acquisition company. It might be called a Jewish Chartered Company, though it cannot exercise sovereign power, and has other than purely colonial tasks.
The Jewish Company will be founded as a joint stock company subject to English jurisdiction, framed according to English laws, and under the protection of England. Its principal center will be London. I cannot tell yet how large the Company's capital should be; I shall leave that calculation to our numerous financiers. But to avoid ambiguity, I shall put it at a thousand million marks (about £50,000,000 or $200,000,000); it may be either more or less than that sum. The form of subscription, which will be further elucidated, will determine what fraction of the whole amount must be paid in at once.
The Jewish Company is an organization with a transitional character. It is strictly a business undertaking, and must be carefully distinguished from the Society of Jews.
The Jewish Company will first of all convert into cash all vested interests left by departing Jews. The method adopted will prevent the occurrences of crises, secure every man's property, and facilitate that inner migration of Christian citizens which has already been indicated.
The non-transferable goods which come under consideration are buildings, land, and local business connections. The Jewish Company will at first take upon itself no more than the necessary negotiations for effecting the sale of these goods. These Jewish sales will take place freely and without any serious fall in prices. The Company's branch establishments in various towns will become the central offices for the sale of Jewish estates, and will charge only so much commission on transactions as will ensure their financial stability.
The development of this movement may cause a considerable fall in the prices of landed property, and may eventually make it impossible to find a market for it. At this juncture the Company will enter upon another branch of its functions. It will take over the management of abandoned estates until such time as it can dispose of them to the greatest advantage. It will collect house rents, let out land on lease, and install business managers -- these, on account of the required supervision, being, if possible, tenants also. The Company will try everywhere to facilitate the acquisition of land by its tenants, who are Christians. It will, indeed, gradually replace its own officials in the European branches by Christian substitutes (lawyers, etc.); and these will not by any means become servants of the Jews; they are intended to be free agents to the Christian population, so that everything may be carried out in equity, fairness and justice, and without imperiling the internal welfare of the people.
At the same time the company will sell estates, or, rather, exchange them. For a house it will offer a house in the new country; and for land, land in the new country; everything being, if possible, transferred to the new soil in the same state as it was in the old. And this transfer will be a great and recognized source of profit to the company. "Over there" the houses offered in exchange will be newer, more beautiful, and more comfortably fitted, and the landed estates of greater value than those abandoned; but they will cost the company comparatively little, because it will have bought the ground very cheaply.
PURCHASE OF LAND
The land which the Society of Jews will have secured by international law must, of course, be privately acquired. Provisions made by individuals for their own settlement do not come within the province of this general account. But the Company will require large areas for its own needs and ours, and these it must secure by centralized purchase. It will negotiate principally for the acquisition of fiscal domains, with the great object of taking possession of this land "over there" without paying a price too high, in the same way as it sells here without accepting one too low. A forcing of prices is not to be considered, because the value of the land will be created by the Company through its organizing the settlement in conjunction with the supervising Society of Jews. The latter will see to it that the enterprise does not become a Panama, but a Suez.
The Company will sell building sites at reasonable rates to its officials, and will allow them to mortgage these for the building of their homes, deducting the amount due from their salaries, or putting it down to their account as increased emolument. This will, in addition to the honors they expect, be additional pay for their services.
All the immense profits of this speculation in land will go to the Company, which is bound to receive this indefinite premium in return for having borne the risk of the undertaking. When the undertaking involves any risk, the profits must be freely given to those who have borne it. But under no other circumstances will profits be permitted. Financial morality consists in the correlation of risk and profit.
The Company will thus barter houses and estates. It must be plain to any one who has observed the rise in the value of land through its cultivation that the Company will be bound to gain on its landed property. This can best be seen in the case of enclosed pieces of land in town and country. Areas that are not built up increase in value through surrounding cultivation. The men who carried out the extension of Paris made a successful speculation in land which was ingenious in its simplicity; instead of erecting new buildings in the immediate vicinity of the last houses of the town, they bought up adjacent pieces of land, and began to build on the outskirts of these. This inverse order of construction raised the value of building sites with extraordinary rapidity, and, after having completed the outer ring, they built in the middle of the town on these highly valuable sites, instead of continually erecting houses at the extremity.
Will the Company do its own building, or employ independent architects! It can, and will, do both. It has, as will be shown shortly, an immense reserve of working power, which will not be sweated by the Company, but, transported into brighter and happier conditions of life, will nevertheless not be expensive. Our geologists will have looked to the provision of building materials when they selected the sites of the towns.
What is to be the principle of construction?
The workmen's dwellings (which include the dwellings of all operatives) will be erected at the Company's own risk and expense. They will resemble neither those melancholy workmen's barracks of European towns, nor those miserable rows of shanties which surround factories; they will certainly present a uniform appearance, because the Company must build cheaply where it provides the building materials to a great extent; but the detached houses in little gardens will be united into attractive groups in each locality. The natural formation of the land will rouse the ingenuity of our young architects, whose ideas have not yet been cramped by routine; and even ii the people do not grasp the whole import of the plan, they will at any rate feel at ease in their loose clusters. The Temple will be visible from long distances, for it is only our ancient faith that has kept us together. There will be light, attractive, healthy schools for children, conducted on the most approved modern systems. There will be continuation-schools for workmen, which will educate them in greater technical knowledge and enable them to become intimate with the working of machinery. There will be places of amusement for the proper conduct of which the Society of Jews will be responsible.
We are, however, speaking merely of the buildings at present, and not of what may take place inside them.
I said that the Company would build workmen's dwellings cheaply. And cheaply, not only because of the proximity of abundant building materials, not only because of the Company's proprietorship of the sites, but also because of the non-payment of workmen.
American farmers work on the system of mutual assistance in the construction of houses. This childishly amicable system, which is as clumsy as the block-houses erected, can be developed on much finer lines.
Our unskilled laborers, who will come at first from the great reservoirs of Russia and Rumania, must, of course, render each other assistance in the construction of houses. They will be obliged to build with wood in the beginning, because iron will not be immediately available. Later on the original, inadequate, makeshift buildings will be replaced by superior dwellings.
Our unskilled laborers [in the original German given in English as "unskilled Labourers"] will first erect these shelters for each other, and then they will earn their houses as permanent possessions by means of their work -- not immediately, but after three years of good conduct. In this way we shall secure energetic and able men, and these men will be practically trained for life by three years of labor under good discipline. I said before that the Company would not have to pay these unskilled laborers. What will they live on?
On the whole, I am opposed to the Truck system [the practice of paying the workman's wages in goods instead of money], but it will have to be applied in the case of these first settlers. The Company provides for them in so many ways, that it may take charge of their maintenance. In any case the Truck system will be enforced only during the first few years, and it will benefit the workmen by preventing their being exploited by small traders, landlords, etc. The Company will thus make it impossible from the outset for those of our people, who are perforce hawkers and peddlers here, to reestablish themselves in the same trades over there. And the Company will also keep back drunkards and dissolute men. Will there thus be no payment of wages in the initial period of settlement?
THE SEVEN-HOUR DAY
The seven-hour day is the regular working day.
This does not imply that wood-cutting, digging, stone breaking, and a hundred other daily tasks should only be performed during seven hours. Indeed not. There will be fourteen hours of labor, work being done in shifts of three and a half hours. The organization of all this will be military in character; there will be commands, promotions and pensions, the means for providing these pensions will be discussed below.
A sound man can do a great deal of concentrated work in three and a half hours. After an interval of the same length of time -- which he will devote to rest, to his family and to his education under guidance -- he will be quite fresh for work again. Such labor can do wonders. The seven-hour day thus implies fourteen hours of joint labor -- more than that cannot be put into a day.
I am convinced that it is quite possible to introduce the seven-hour day with success. The attempts to do so in Belgium and England are well known. Some advanced political economists who have studied the subject, declare that a five-hour day would suffice. The Society of Jews and the Jewish Company will, in any case, thus be a new and extensive experience which will benefit the other nations of the world; and if the seven-hour day proves itself practicable, it will be introduced in our future State as the legal and regular working day.
Meantime, the Company will always allow its employees the seven-hour day; and it will always be in a position to do so.
The seven-hour day will be the call to summon our people in every part of the world. All must come voluntarily, for ours must indeed be the Promised Land.
Whoever works longer than seven hours will receive theirs additional pay for overtime in cash. Seeing that all their needs are supplied, and that those members of their families who are unable to work are provided for by transplanted and centralized philanthropic institutions, they can save a little money. We want to encourage the native drive to thrift of our people because it will, in the first place, facilitate the rise of individuals to higher grades; and secondly, the money saved will provide an immense reserve fund for future loans. Overtime will only be permitted on a doctor's certificate, and must not exceed three hours. For our men will crowd to work in the new country, and the world will see then what an industrious people we are.
I shall not describe the mode of carrying out the Truck system, nor, in fact, the innumerable details of any process, so as not to be confusing. Women will not be allowed to perform any hard labor, nor to work overtime.
Pregnant women will be relieved of all work, and will be supplied with nourishing food by the Truck. We want our future generations to be strong men and women.
We shall educate children as we wish from the commencement; but I won't go into this now.
My remarks on workmen's dwellings, and on unskilled laborers and their mode of life, are no more utopian than the rest of my scheme. Everything I have spoken of is already being put into practice, only on an utterly small scale, neither noticed nor understood. The "Assistance par le Travail," which I came to know and understand in Paris, was of great service to me in the solution of the Jewish question.
RELIEF [AID] BY LABOR
The system of aid [charity, relief] by labor [Orig: Arbeitshilfe] which is now applied in Paris, in many other French towns, in England, in Switzerland, and in America, is a very small thing, but capable of the greatest expansion.
What is the principle of "Assistance par le travail?"[French phrase used in original German- meaning aid or relief by labor]?
The principle is: to furnish every needy man with easy, unskilled work, such as chopping wood, or cutting faggots used for lighting stoves in Paris households. This is a kind of prison-work before the crime, done without loss of character. It is meant to prevent men from taking to crime out of want, by providing them with work and testing their willingness to do it. Starvation must never be allowed to drive men to suicide; for such suicides are the deepest disgrace to a civilization which allows rich men to throw tidbits to their dogs.
Relief by labor thus provides everyone with work. But the system has a great defect; there is not a large enough demand for the production of the unskilled workers employed, hence there is a loss to those who employ them; though it is true that the organization is philanthropic, and therefore prepared for loss. But here the benefaction lies only in the difference between the price paid for the work and its actual value: Instead of giving the beggar two sous, the institution supplies him with work on which it loses two sous. But at the same time it converts the good-for-nothing beggar into an honest breadwinner, who has earned perhaps 1 franc 50 centimes. 150 centimes for 10! That is to say, the receiver of a benefaction in which there is nothing humiliating has increased it fifteenfold! That is to say, fifteen thousand millions for one thousand millions!
The institution certainly loses 10 centimes. But the Jewish Company will not lose one thousand millions; it will draw enormous profits from this expenditure.
There is a moral side as well. The small system of relief by labor which exists now preserves rectitude through industry until such time as the person who is out of work finds a post suitable to their capacities, either in their old calling or in a new one. They are allowed a few hours daily for the purpose of looking for a place, in which task the institutions assist him.
The defect of these small organizations, so far, has been that they have been prohibited from entering into competition with timber merchants, etc. Timber merchants are electors; they would protest, and would be justified in protesting. competition with state prison-labor has all been forbidden, for the State must occupy and feed criminals.
In fact, there is very little room in an old-established society for the successful application of the system of "Assistance par le Travail." But there is room in a new society.
For, above all, we require enormous numbers of unskilled laborers to do the first rough work of settlement, to lay down roads, plant trees, level the ground, construct railroads, telegraph installations, etc. All this will be carried out in accordance with a large and previously agreed plan.
The labor carried to the new country will naturally create trade. The first markets will supply only the absolute necessities of life; cattle, grain, working clothes, tools, arms - to mention just a few things. These we shall be obliged at first to procure from neighboring states, or from Europe; but we shall make ourselves independent as soon as possible. The Jewish entrepreneurs will soon realize the business prospects that the new country offers.
The army of the Company's officials will gradually introduce more refined requirements of life. (Officials include officers of our defensive forces, who will always form about a tenth part of our male colonists. They will be sufficiently numerous to quell mutinies, for the majority of our colonists will be peaceably inclined.)
The refined requirements of life introduced by our officials in good positions will create a correspondingly improved market, which will continue to better itself. The married man will send for wife and children, and the single for parents and relatives, as soon as a new home is established "over there." The Jews who emigrate to the United States always proceed in this fashion. As soon as one of them has daily bread and a roof over his head, he sends for his people; for family ties are strong among us. The Society of Jews and the Jewish Company will unite in caring for and strengthening the family still more, not only morally, but materially also. The officials will receive additional pay on marriage and on the birth of children, for we need all who are there, and all who will follow.
OTHER CLASSES OF DWELLINGS
I described before only workmen's dwellings built by themselves, and omitted all mention of other classes of dwellings. These I shall now touch upon. The Company's architects will build for the poorer classes of citizens also, being paid in kind or cash; about a hundred different types of houses will be erected, and, of course, repeated. These beautiful types will form part of our propaganda. The soundness of their construction will be guaranteed by the company, which will, indeed, gain nothing by selling them to settlers at a fixed sum. And where will these houses be situated? That will be shown in the section dealing with local groups.
Seeing that the company does not wish to earn anything on the building works but only on the land, it will desire as many architects as possible to build by private contract. This system will increase the value of landed property, and it will introduce luxury, which serves many purposes. Luxury encourages arts and industries, paving the way to a future subdivision of large properties
Rich Jews who are now obliged carefully to secrete their valuables, and to hold their dreary banquets behind lowered curtains, will be able to enjoy their possessions in peace "over there." If they cooperate in carrying out this emigration scheme, their capital will be rehabilitated and will have served to promote an unexampled undertaking. If in the new settlement rich Jews begin to rebuild their mansions which are stared at in Europe with such envious eyes, it will soon become fashionable to live over there in beautiful modern houses.
SOME FORMS OF LIQUIDATION
The Jewish Company is intended to be the receiver and administrator of the non-transferable goods of the Jews.
Its procedures can be easily imagined in the case of houses and estates, but what methods will it adopt in the transfer of businesses?
Here numberless processes may be found practicable, which cannot all be enlarged on in this outline. But none of them will present any great difficulties, for in each case the business proprietor, when he voluntarily decides to emigrate, will settle with the company's officers in his district on the most advantageous form of liquidation.
This will most easily be arranged in the case of small employers, in whose trades the personal activity of the proprietor is of chief importance, while goods and organization are a secondary consideration. The company will provide a certain field of operation for the emigrant's personal activity, and will substitute a piece of ground, with loan of machinery, for his goods. Jews are known to adapt themselves with remarkable ease to any form of earning a livelihood, and they will quickly learn to carry on a new industry. In this way a number of small traders will become small landholders. The company will, in fact, be prepared to sustain what appears to be a loss in taking over the non-transferable property of the poorest emigrants; for it will thereby induce the free cultivation of tracts of land, which raises the value of adjacent tracts.
In medium-sized businesses, where goods and organization equal, or even exceed, in importance, the personal activity of the manager, whose larger connection is also non-transferable, various forms of liquidation are possible. Here comes an opportunity for that inner migration of Christian citizens into positions evacuated by Jews. The departing Jew will not lose his personal business credit, but will carry it with him, and make good use of it in a new country to establish himself. The Jewish company will open a current bank account for him. And he can sell the goodwill of his original business, or hand it over to the control of managers under supervision of the company's officials. The managers may rent the business or buy it, paying for it by installments. But the company acts temporarily as curator for the emigrants, in superintending, through its officers and lawyers, the administration of their affairs, and seeing to the proper collection of all payments.
If a Jew cannot sell his business or entrust it to a proxy or does not wish to give up its personal management, he may stay where he is. The Jews who stay will be none the worse off, for they will be relieved of the competition of those who leave, and will no longer hear the anti-Semitic cry: "Don't buy from Jews!"
If the emigrating business proprietor wishes to carry on his old business in the new country, he can make his arrangements for it from the very first. An example will best illustrate my meaning. The firm X carries on a large business in dry goods. The head of the firm wishes to emigrate. He begins by setting up a branch establishment in his future place of residence, and sending out samples of his stock. The first poor settlers will be his first customers; these will be followed by emigrants of a higher class, who require superior goods. X then sends out newer goods, and eventually ships his newest. The branch establishment begins to pay while the principal one is still in existence, so that X ends up having two paying business-houses. He sells his original business or hands it over to his Christian representative to manage, and goes off to take charge of the new one.
Another and greater example: Y and Son are large coal-traders, with mines and factories of their own. How is so huge and complex a property to be liquidated? The mines and everything connected with them might, in the first place, be bought up by the State, in which they are situated. In the second place, the Jewish Company might take them over, paying for them partly in land, partly in cash. A third method might be the conversion of "Y and Son" into a limited company. A fourth method might be the continued working of the business under the original proprietors, who would return at intervals to inspect their property, as foreigners, and as such, under the protection of law in every civilized state. All these suggestions are carried out daily. A fifth and excellent method, and one which might be particularly profitable, I shall merely indicate, because the existing examples of its working are at present few, however ready the modern consciousness may be to adopt them. Y and Son might sell their enterprise to the collective body of their employees, who would form a cooperative society, with Limited liability, and might perhaps pay the requisite sum with the help of the State Treasury, which does not charge high interest.
The employees would then gradually pay off the loan, which either the government or the Jewish Company, or even Y and Son, would have advanced to them.
The Jewish Company will be prepared to conduct the transfer of the smallest affairs equally with the largest. And whilst the Jews quietly emigrate and establish their new homes, the Company acts as the great controlling body, which organizes the departure, takes charge of deserted possessions, guarantees the proper conduct of the movement with its own visible and tangible property, and provides permanent security for those who have already settled.
SECURITIES OF THE COMPANY
What assurance will the Company offer that the abandonment of countries will not cause their impoverishment and produce economic crises?
I have already mentioned that honest anti-Semites, whilst preserving their independence, will combine with our officials in controlling the transfer of our estates. But the State revenues might suffer by the loss of a body of taxpayers, who, though little appreciated as citizens, are highly valued in finance. The State should, therefore, receive compensation for this loss. This we offer indirectly by leaving in the country businesses which we have built up by means of Jewish acumen and Jewish industry, by letting our Christian fellow-citizens move into our evacuated positions, and by this facilitating the rise of numbers of people to greater prosperity so peaceably and in so unparalleled a manner. The French revolution had a somewhat similar result, on a small scale, but it was brought about by bloodshed on the guillotine in every province of France, and on the battlefields of Europe. Moreover, inherited and acquired rights were destroyed, and only cunning buyers enriched themselves by the purchase of State properties.
The Jewish Company will offer to the states that come within its sphere of activity direct as well as indirect advantages. It will give Governments the first offer of abandoned Jewish property, and allow buyers most favorable conditions. Governments, again, will be able to make use of this friendly appropriation of land for the purpose of certain social improvements.
The Jewish Company will give every assistance to governments and parliaments in their efforts to direct the inner migration of Christian citizens.
The Jewish Company will also pay heavy taxes. Its central office will be in London, so as to be under the legal protection of a power which is not at present anti-Semitic. But the Company, if it is supported officially and semi-officially, will everywhere provide a broad basis of taxation. To this end, it will establish taxable branch offices everywhere. Further, it will pay double duties on the two-fold transfer of goods which it accomplishes. Even in transactions where the Company is really nothing more than a real estate agency, it will temporarily appear as a purchaser, and will be set down as the momentary possessor in the register of landed property.
These are, of course, purely calculable matters. It will have to be considered and decided in each place how far the company can go without running any risks of failure. And the company itself will confer freely with Finance ministers on the various points at issue. Ministers will recognize the friendly spirit of our enterprise, and will consequently offer every facility in their power necessary for the successful achievement of the great undertaking.
Further and direct profit will accrue to Governments from the transport of passengers and goods, and where railways are State property the returns will be immediately recognizable. Where they are held by private companies, the Jewish company will receive favorable terms for transport, in the same way as does every transmitter of goods on a large scale. Freight and carriage must be made as cheap as possible for our people, because every traveler will pay his own expenses. The middle classes will travel with Cook's tickets, the poorer classes in emigrant trains. The company might make a good deal by reductions on passengers and goods; but here, as elsewhere, it must adhere to its principle of not trying to raise its receipts to a greater sum than will cover its working expenses.
In many places Jews have control of the transport; and the transport businesses will be the first needed by the company and the first to be liquidated by it. The original owners of these concerns will either enter the company's service, or establish themselves independently "over there." The new arrivals will certainly require their assistance, and theirs being a paying profession, which they may and indeed must exercise there to earn a living, numbers of these enterprising spirits will depart. It is unnecessary to describe all the business details of this monster expedition. They must be judiciously evolved out of the original plan by many able men, who must apply their minds to achieving the best system.
SOME OF THE COMPANY'S ACTIVITIES
Many activities will be interconnected. For example: the company will gradually introduce the manufacture of goods into the settlements which will, of course, be extremely primitive at their inception. Clothing, linens, and shoes will first of all be manufactured for our own poor emigrants, who will be provided with new suits of clothing at the various European emigration centers. They will not receive these clothes as alms, which might hurt their pride, but in exchange for old garments: any loss the company sustains by this transaction will be booked as a business loss. Those who are absolutely without means will pay off their debt to the company by working over-time at a fair rate of wage.
Existing emigration societies will be able to give valuable assistance here, for they will do for the company's colonists what they did before for departing Jews. The forms of such cooperation will easily be found.
Even the new clothing of the poor settlers will have the symbolic meaning; "You are now entering on a new life." The Society of Jews will see to it that long before the departure and also during the journey a serious yet festive spirit is fostered by means of prayers, popular lectures, instruction on the object of the expedition, instruction on hygienic matters for their new places of residence, and guidance in regard to their future work. For the Promised Land is the land of work. On their arrival, the emigrants will be welcomed by our chief officials with due solemnity, but without foolish exultation, for the Promised Land will not yet have been conquered. But these poor people should already see that they are at home.
The clothing industries of the company will, of course, not produce their goods without proper organization. The Society of Jews will obtain from the local branches information about the number, requirements and date of arrival of the settlers, and will communicate all such information in good time to the Jewish Company. In this way it will be possible to provide for them with every precaution.
PROMOTION OF INDUSTRIES
The duties of the Jewish Company and the Society of Jews cannot be kept strictly apart in this outline. These two great bodies will have to work constantly in unison, the company depending on the moral authority and support of the society, just as the society cannot dispense with the material assistance of the company. For example, in the organizing of the clothing industry, the quantity produced will at first be kept down so as to preserve an equilibrium between supply and demand; and wherever the company undertakes the organization of new industries the same precaution must be exercised.
Individual enterprise must never be checked by the company with its superior force. We shall only work collectively when the immense difficulties of the task demand common action; we shall, wherever possible, scrupulously respect the rights of the individual. Private property, which is the economic basis of independence, shall be developed freely and be respected by us. Our first unskilled laborers will at once have the opportunity to work their way up to private proprietorship.
The spirit of enterprise must, indeed, be encouraged in every possible way. Organization of industries will be promoted by a judicious system of duties, by the employment of cheap raw material, and by the institution of a board to collect and publish industrial statistics.
This spirit of enterprise must be wisely encouraged, and risky speculation must be avoided. Every new industry must be advertised for a long period before establishment, so as to prevent failure on the part of those who might wish to start a similar business six months later. Whenever a new industrial establishment is founded, the Company should be informed, so that all those interested may obtain information from it.
Industrialists will be able to make use of centralized labor agencies, which will only receive a commission large enough to ensure their continuance. The industrialists might, for example, telegraph for 500 unskilled laborers for three days, three weeks, or three months. The labor agency would then collect these 500 unskilled laborers from every possible source, and dispatch them at once to carry out the agricultural or industrial enterprise. Parties of work-men will thus be systematically drafted from place to place like a body of troops. These men will, of course, not be sweated, but will work only a seven-hour day; and, in spite of their change of locality, they will preserve their organization, work out their term of service, and receive commands, promotions, and pensions. Some establishments may, of course, be able to obtain their workmen from other sources, if they wish, but they will not find it easy to do so. The Society will be able to prevent the introduction of non-Jewish work-slaves by boycotting obstinate employers, by obstructing traffic, and by various other methods. The seven-hour workers will therefore have to be taken, and we shall thus bring our people gradually, and without coercion, to adopt the normal seven-hour day.
SETTLEMENT OF SKILLED LABORERS
It is clear that what can be done for unskilled workers can be even more easily done for skilled laborers. These will work under similar regulations in the factories, and the central labor agency will provide them when required.
Independent operatives and small employers must be carefully taught on account of the rapid progress of scientific improvements, must acquire technical knowledge even if no longer very young men, must study the power of water, and appreciate the forces of electricity. Independent workers must also be discovered and supplied by the Society's agency. The local branch will apply, for example, to the central office: "We want so many carpenters, locksmiths, glaziers, etc." The central office will publish this demand, and the proper men will apply there for the work. These would then travel with their families to the place where they were wanted, and would remain there without feeling the pressure of undue competition. A permanent and comfortable home would thus be provided for them.
METHOD OF RAISING CAPITAL
The capital required for establishing the company was previously put at what seemed an absurdly high figure. The amount actually necessary will be fixed by financiers, and will in any case be a very considerable sum. There are three ways of raising this sum, all of which the Society will take under consideration. This society, the great "Gestor" of the Jews, will be formed by our best and most upright men, who must not derive any material advantage from their membership. Although the society cannot at the outset possess any but moral authority, this authority will suffice to establish the credit of the Jewish Company in the nation's eyes. The Jewish Company will be unable to succeed in its enterprise unless it has received the society's sanction; it will thus not be formed of any mere indiscriminate group of financiers. For the Society will weigh, select and decide, and will not give its approbation until it is sure of the existence of a sound basis for the conscientious carrying out of the scheme. It will not permit experiments with insufficient means, for this undertaking must succeed at the first attempt. Any initial failure would compromise the whole idea for many decades to come, or might even make its realization permanently impossible.
The three methods of raising capital are: (1) Through big banks; (2) Through small and private banks; (3) Through public subscription.
The first method of raising capital is: Through big banks. The required sum could then be raised in the shortest possible time among the large financial groups, after they had discussed the advisability of the course. The great advantage of this method would be that it would avoid the necessity of paying in the thousand millions (to keep to the original figure), immediately in its entirety. A further advantage would be that the credit of these powerful financiers would also be of service to the enterprise. Many latent political forces lie in our financial power, that power which our enemies assert to be so effective. It might be so, but actually it is not. Poor Jews feel only the hatred which this financial power provokes; its use in alleviating their lot as a body, they have not yet felt. The credit of our great Jewish financiers would have to be placed at the service of the national idea. But should these gentlemen, who are quite satisfied with their lot, feel indisposed to do anything for their fellow-Jews who are unjustly held responsible for the large possessions of certain individuals, then the realization of this plan will afford an opportunity for drawing a clear line of distinction between them and the rest of Jewry.
The great financiers, moreover, will certainly not be asked to raise an amount so enormous out of pure philanthropic motives; that would be expecting too much. The promoters and stock holders of the Jewish Company are, on the contrary, expected to do a good piece of business, and they will be able to calculate beforehand what their chances of success are likely to be. For the Society of Jews will be in possession of all documents and references which may serve to define the prospects of the Jewish Company. The Society will in particular have investigated with exactitude the extent of the new Jewish movement, so as to provide the Company promoters with thoroughly reliable information on the amount of support they may expect. The Society will also supply the Jewish Company with comprehensive modern Jewish statistics, thus doing the work of what is called in France a "societé d'études," which undertakes all preliminary research previous to the financing of a great undertaking. Even so, the enterprise may not receive the valuable assistance of our moneyed magnates. These might, perhaps, even try to oppose the Jewish movement by means of their secret agents. Such opposition we shall meet with relentless determination.
Supposing that these magnates are content simply to turn this scheme down with a smile:
Is it, therefore, done for?
For then the money will be raised in another way -- by an appeal to moderately rich Jews. The smaller Jewish banks would have to be united in the name of the National Idea against the big banks until they were gathered into a second and formidable financial force. But, unfortunately, this would require a great deal of financing at first -- for the £50,000,000 would have to be subscribed in full before starting work; and, as this sum could only be raised very slowly, all sorts of banking business would have to be done and loans made during the first few years. It might even occur that, in the course of all these transactions, their original object would be forgotten; the moderately rich Jews would have created a new and large business, and Jewish emigration would be forgotten.
The notion of raising money in this way is not by any means impracticable. The experiment of collecting Christian money to form an opposing force to the big banks has already been tried; that one could also oppose them with Jewish money has not been thought of until now. But these financial conflicts would bring about all sorts of crises; the countries in which they occurred would suffer, and anti-Semitism would become rampant.
This method is therefore not to be recommended. I have merely suggested it, because it comes up in the course of the logical development of the idea.
I also do not know whether smaller private banks would be willing to adopt it.
In any case, even the refusal of moderately rich Jews would not put an end to the scheme. On the contrary, it would then have to be taken up in real earnest.
The Society of Jews, whose members are not business men, might try to found the Company on a national subscription.
The company's capital might be raised, without the intermediary of a syndicate, by means of direct subscription on the part of the public. Not only poor Jews, but also Christians who wanted to get rid of them, would subscribe a small amount to this fund. A new and peculiar form of the plebiscite would thus be established, whereby each man who voted for this solution of the Jewish Question would express his opinion by subscribing a stipulated amount. This stipulation would produce security. The funds subscribed would only be paid in if their sum total reached the required amount, otherwise the initial payments would be returned.
But if the whole of the required sum is raised by popular subscription, then each little amount would be secured by the great numbers of other small amounts.
All this would, of course, need the express and definite assistance of interested governments.
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Updated translation copyright 2008. This updated and corrected translation has been prepared for MidEastWeb: Middle East and Zionism-Israel.com. It may not be copied on the Web without permission. It may be printed freely for non-profit use only. Other uses require permission.
Originally translated from the German by Sylvie D'Avigdor
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