Page:A Jewish State 1917.djvu/33

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17
THE JEWISH QUESTION

England are well known. Some advanced political economists who have studied the subject declare that a five-hours day would actually suffice. The Society of Jews and the Jewish Company will, in any case, make new and extensive experiments which will benefit the other nations of the world; and if the seven-hours 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 employés the seven-hours day; and it will always be in a position to do so.

The seven-hours day will be the call of assembly to 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 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 put a little money by. 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 stuff for work is in us.

I shall not 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 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 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 has already been put into practice on a small and insignificant scale. The "Assistance par le Travail," or "labor-test," which I studied in Paris, was of great service to me in the solution of the Jewish Question.

THE LABOR-TEST.

The labor-test 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 the labor-test.

The principle is: the furnishing of every necessitous 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 tit-bits to their dogs.

The labor-test thus provides every one with work. But the system has a great defect: there is not a sufficiently large demand for the productions 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