The Jewish State
By Theodor Herzl
The Jewish Company
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
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
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
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 till 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 endeavor everywhere to facilitate the acquisition of land by its
tenants, who are Christians. It win, indeed, gradually replace its own
officials in the European branches by Christian substitutes (lawyers, etc.);
and these are not by any means to become servants of the Jews; they are
intended to be free agents to the Christian population, so that everything may
be carried through 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, will 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 not
built over 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 conformation 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 be come
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 of 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
Our unskilled laborers will first mutually erect these shelters; 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 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. Then will there be no payment of wages at all during the
first period of settlement. Certainly, there will be wages for overtime.
THE SEVEN-HOUR DAY
The seven-hour day is the regular working day.
This does not imply that wood-cutting, digging, stonebreaking, and a
hundred other daily tasks should only t performed during seven hours. Indeed
not. There will t 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 by which these
pensions are provided being explained further on.
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
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 advance political economists who have studied the subject, declare that a
five-hour day would suffice. The Society of Jew and the Jewish Company will,
in any case, make net and extensive experiments which will benefit the other
nations of the world; and if the seven-hour day prove itself practicable, it
will be introduced in our future State as the legal and regular working day.
Meantime, the Company will always allow its employee 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
Whoever works longer than seven hours receives his additional pay for
overtime in cash. Seeing that all his needs are supplied, and that those
members of his family who are unable to work are provided for by transplanted
and centralized philanthropic institutions, he can save a little money.
Thrift, which is already a characteristic of our people, should be greatly
encouraged, 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 nut describe the mode of carrying out the Truck system, nor, in
fact, the innumerable details of any process, for fear of confusing my
readers. Women will not be allowed to perform any arduous labor, nor to work
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
We shall educate children as we wish from the commencement; but this I
shall not elaborate either.
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 learned to know and understand in Paris, was of great service to me in
the solution of the Jewish question.
RELIEF BY LABOR
The system of relief by labor 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 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 tid-bits to
Relief by labor thus provides every one with work. But the system has a
great defect; there is not a sufficiently large 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
There is a moral side also. The small system of relief by labor which
exists now preserves rectitude through industry till such time as the man who
is out of work finds a post suitable to his capacities, either in his old
calling or in a new one. He is 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 be 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 al been forbidden, for the
State must occupy and feed criminals.
In fact, there is very little room in an old-establish society for the
successful application of the system "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 settled 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
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
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 methods of procedure 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
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 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
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
commencement. An example will best illustrate my meaning. The film 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 by 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
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
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
unparallelled 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
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 taxatian. 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
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 traveller 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
shaes will first of all be manufactured for our own poor emigrants, who will
be provided with new suits oi 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 ofsuch 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
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.
But 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.
But 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 despatch
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 studp 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 till it is sure of the existence of a sound basis ior 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 ta 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 re 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 agood 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
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 till 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
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
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
All this would, of course, need the express and definite assistance of
2. The Jewish Question
4. Local Groups
5. Society of Jews and Jewish State
Source: Translated from the German by Sylvie D'Avigdor, This
edition published in 1946 by the American Zionist Emergency Council, Essential
Texts of Zionism