Page:A Jewish State 1917.djvu/44

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28
A JEWISH STATE

Philanthropic institutions will be transferred by their local groups; each institution remaining "over there" the property of the same set of people for whom it was originally founded. I think the old buildings should not be sold, but rather devoted to the assistance of indigent Christians in the forsaken towns. The local group will receive compensation by obtaining free building sites and every facility for reconstruction in the new country.

This transfer of philanthropic institutions will give another of those opportunities which occur at different points of my scheme, for making an experiment in the service of humanity. Our present unsystematic private philanthropy does little good in proportion to the great expenditure it involves. But these institutions can and must form part of a system by which they will eventually supplement one another. In a new society these organizations can be evolved out of our modern consciousness, and may be based on all previous socio-political experiments. This matter is of great importance to us, on account of our large number of paupers. The weaker characters among us, discouraged by external pressure, spoilt by the soft-hearted charity of our rich men, easily sink, till they take to begging.

The Society, supported by the local groups, will give the greatest attention to popular education with regard to this particular. It will create a fruitful soil for many powers which now wither uselessly away. Whoever shows a genuine desire to work will be suitably employed. Beggars will not be endured. Whoever refused to do anything as a free man will be sent to the workhouse.

On the other hand, we shall not despatch the old to an infirmary. An infirmary is one of the crudest charities which our stupid good-nature ever invented. There our old people die out of pure shame and mortification. There they are already buried. But we will leave to those even who stand on the lowest grade of intelligence the consoling illusion of their utility in the world. We will provide easy tasks for those who are incapable of physical labor; for we must allow for diminished vitality in the poor of an already enfeebled generation. But future generations shall be dealt with otherwise; they shall be brought up in liberty for a life of liberty.

We will seek to bestow the moral salvation of work on men of every age and of every class; and thus our people will find their strength again in the land of the seven-hours day.

PLANS OF THE TOWNS.

The local groups will delegate their representatives to select sites for towns. In the distribution of land, every precaution will be taken to effect a careful transfer with due consideration for acquired rights.

The local groups will have plans of the towns, so that our people may know beforehand where they are to go, in which towns and in which houses they are to live. Comprehensible drafts of the building plans previously referred to will be distributed among the local groups.

The principle of our administration will be strict centralization, of our local groups complete autonomy. In this way the transfer will be accomplished with the minimum of pain.

I do not imagine all this to be easier than it actually is; on the other hand, people must not imagine it to be more difficult than it is in reality.

THE DEPARTURE OF THE MIDDLE CLASSES.

The middle classes will involuntarily be drawn into the out-