- Yg. 1929, No. 32 -
A worker among the readers of the Sonntags-Zeitung wrote to me a long time ago a letter that concludes with the words: Do you believe in socialism? If so, when are we ready for socialism?
As I always feel that I am a socialist in the midst of today's social order, and I intend to remain there at least as long as we have no socialist social order, I do not confess without reservation that I have not found an answer to these questions to this day. You seem to have a suspicious resemblance to the question of God and eternal life, which I also do not know; which, however, I caution to negate, for I can almost certainly assume that the questioner will think of something that I reject. My friend, who inquired into my belief in socialism, probably also understands a kind of kingdom of God on earth below where no one wants anything more. In that case, I would have to throw all my life expectancy to the wind, if I wanted to say yes.
No, I don't believe in a socialism that one has to become “mature” for first. But I am a socialist, because I hate and despise this society in which the drones are allowed to live off the exploitation of bees, and I can think of nothing more inefficient than the economic apparatus that is set in motion for this purpose. I am convinced that a just order and a more economical economy are possible without people first having to become angels.
Precisely because humans are not angels, the so-called "free" economic order in which we live must be replaced by a bound one in which everyone, whether he likes or not, has to fulfill his ministry, and in whom the goods do not into the blue, but according to a plan generated and distributed. On the way to this goal, I do not dare to express a view that could claim to be single-handed. I do not think it is impossible that there are different ways to do that, even that it can be reached by detours. I welcome any approach to the goal, go out from where it wants to go; and distrust any ism who claims to have the patent solution in his pocket. (Also Marxism.) In particular, I am by no means quite clear about whether the implementation of socialism is conditioned (and guaranteed) by a violent, bloody revolution. History, however, teaches that ruling classes do not voluntarily give up their power. But I do not know if that story has been going on long enough to claim that what has been either way must always be that way.
All more or less learned bourgeois objections to socialism stem from a root whose popular formula is that since not all men are equal, they can not all want the same amount. Against democracy, which wanted to "equalize" politically, they argued similarly at the time. Their representatives have rightly replied that they do not want to mollify everything, but want to give everyone the same start. What does the socialist have to answer to this accusation?
It is true that not all humans are the same, just as little as all tree leaves, all cats or all bugs. But to some extent they are all the same: everyone has to eat when they are hungry, everyone has to dress and have a roof over their heads when they are not freezing, and they all have to die when they are sick or old. As long as this is so, as long as each human society has the duty to protect their individual members from starvation and frost and to care in sickness and old age, and the right to distribute the necessary work to all; conversely, every single member of society has the right to claim the assurance of its existence and the duty to contribute its share of the effort required to do so. For the smallest social group, the family, this is taken for granted without mentioning this socialism as such. Even in the Old Germanic village cooperative and in the medieval city there was this socialism. Today we belong, to the best of our ability, to larger social organizations. Is not it self-evident that even that duty and that right must be passed on to it?
No one has so convincingly substantiated this, and at the same time, the technical implementation of the demand as fully thought out as the Viennese engineer and sociologist Popper -Lynkeus in his work on the "General Nurturing", whose study may be recommended as an addition to Karl Marxens party Bible some zealous socialists may be. And another non-Marxist, who has also thought not only of the way, but of the goal, Wichard von Moellendorff, declared years ago in this paper that a four-hour working day would be enough to meet the needs of today's society by division of labor cover.
At the point where people become unequal (and they can do so only when all the same needs are satisfied), the necessity and the right of socialism cease. From then on, socialism would not be help, but rape. If there were to be an overarching "socialist" epoch, when the people who are now leading the fight of all against all under the banner of individualistic "freedom" would all have to live in a large barracks, then it would be time to defy socialism To announce fight. But we really do not need to worry about that today.