Page:A Jewish State 1917.djvu/47

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31
LOCAL GROUPS

fifteenfold. One million produced fifteen millions; and one thousand millions, fifteen thousand millions.

This may be the case on a small scale; is it so on a large one? Capital surely yields a return diminishing in inverse ratio to its own growth? Inactive capital yields this diminishing return, but active capital brings in a marvellously increasing return. Herein lies the social question.

Am I stating a fact? I call on the richest Jews as witnesses of my veracity. Why do these carry on so many different industries? Why do they send men to work underground and to raise coal amid terrible dangers for miserable pay? I cannot imagine this to be pleasant, even for the owners of the mines. For I do not believe that capitalists are heartless, and I do not take up the attitude of believing it. My desire is not to accentuate, but to smooth differences.

Is it necessary to illustrate the phenomenon of multitudes, and their concentration on a particular spot, by references to pious pilgrimages?

I do not want to hurt any one's religious sensibility by words which might be wrongly interpreted.

I shall merely refer quite briefly to the Mahommedan pilgrimages to Mecca, the Catholic pilgrimages to Lourdes and to many other spots whence men return comforted by their faith, and to the holy Coat at Trier. Thus we shall also create a centre for the deep religious needs of our people. Our ministers will understand us first, and will be with us in this.

We shall let every man find salvation "over there" in his own particular way. Above and before all we shall make room for the immortal band of our Freethinkers, who are continually making new conquests for humanity.

No more force will be exercised on any one than is necessary for the preservation of the State and the upholding of its statutes; and the requisite force will not be arbitrarily defined by one or more shifting authorities; it will be fixed by iron laws.

Now if the illustrations I gave make people draw the inference that a multitude can be only temporarily attracted to centres of faith, of business, or of amusement, the reply to their objection is simple. Whereas one of these objects by itself would certainly only allure the masses, all these centres of attraction combined would be fully qualified permanently to hold and satisfy them. For all these centres together form a single, great, long-sought object, which our people has always longed to attain, for which it has kept itself alive, for which it has been kept alive by external pressure—a free home! When the movement commences, we shall draw some men after us and let others follow; others again will be swept into the current, and the last will be thrust after us.

These last hesitating colonists will be the worst off, both here and there.

But the first, who go over with faith, enthusiasm, and courage, will have the best of the bargain.

OUR INTRINSIC QUALITIES.

There are more mistaken notions abroad concerning Jews than concerning any other people. And we ourselves have become so depressed and discouraged by our historic sufferings that, parrot-like, we repeat and believe these mistakes. Such a one is the assertion that our love of business is extreme. Now it is well known that wherever we are permitted to take part in the uprising of classes, we give up our business as soon as possible. The great majority of Jewish business men give their sons a superior educa-