Christian solidarism

Matthias Erzberger (* 20 September 1875 in Buttenhausen, Kingdom of Württemberg, † 26, August 1921 near Bad Griesbach in the Black Forest, Republic of Baden)

A legacy

- Yg. 1923, No. 36 -

What here from the number 36 of the 4. The vintage of the "Sonntags-Zeitung" is a document of historical significance: a memorandum by Matthias Erzberger on "Guidelines for the Reconstruction of German Economic Life", which he completed shortly before his assassination (end of August 1921). This work shows how Erzberger, apparently under the influence of Moellendorff or Rathenau, had converted to socialism, for which the clever party attorney, however, chose a different name: he avoids the ominous word for his circles and uses the term "Christian solidarism". Erzberger prefaced the following with his transcript: "Guidelines A-D represent the reorganization of German industrial life on the basis of Christian solidarism. The guidelines under E serve the purpose of preserving the means necessary for reparation and our people through selfless work to make his youth strong for the future. To win the means of redress from taxes is hopeless in view of their level; they can not be covered by new debts either. "Sch.

A. Guidelines for transfer to common property ("socialization")

1. The private economic undertakings suitable for socialization are to be converted into joint ownership in accordance with a respective Reichsgesetz (Article 156 of the Reich Constitution).

2. Prior to socialization employers and employees of the companies in question must be questioned by secret ballot.

3. The compensation to the previous owners must be made in accordance with the Reichsgesetz to the actual value. The compensation amount is registered as a mortgage on the private company in the first place. The title of ownership passes to the Reich.

4. The socialized enterprises are to be managed according to commercial principles. Every enterprise must be left as far as possible independent of the overall plan. In the case of the transfer of companies, existing shareholders and shareholders have the right to continue to elect the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board will be strengthened in accordance with the provisions of the Works Council Act. The Reich can appoint the chairman of the Supervisory Board or also confirm the chairman elected by the previous shareholders as a trusted agent of the Reich.

5. The workers and employees of the socialized enterprises remain in the free employment contract and do not become state or imperial officials.

6. The compensation amount of the previous owners is subject to annual 5½ percent interest. The repayment of the compensation usually begins after 30 years.

7. The available net income of the company is distributed in the following way: a) 40 percent is allocated to the employees and employees as annual special remuneration; b) 40 percent receives the empire, which are to be used primarily for the expansion of the enterprise; c) the remainder of 20 percent is used to increase the interest rate of the indemnity by 1 to 1½ percent. The remainder remaining will be used for the extraordinary repayment of the compensation.

B. Guidelines for the introduction of the public sector for individual enterprises through the formation of works cooperatives

1. In all commercial enterprises with 20 and more workers and employees, as far as they are not transferred into common property (see A), a works cooperative must be formed (article 156, paragraph 2 of the constitution of the Reich).

2. The Werksgenossenschaft belongs as equal members to a) all workers and employees of the enterprise; b) the workers and employees leaving the company as a result of retirement and disability, provided that they are not employed in another company that has a works cooperative; c) the wives of the persons mentioned under a and b and, in the case of their death, the guardians of the minor children.

3. The administration of the cooperative works independently according to the law of cooperatives. All elections are to be made according to the system of proportional representation.

4. The assets of the factory cooperatives form an indivisible inalienable whole. No member is entitled to any of these assets when leaving the business or cooperative.

5. The assets of the cooperative are at most 50 percent of the total investment capital of the company and is with the rest of the company working private capital (capital of the entrepreneur, shares, shares, Kuxe, etc.) in accordance with the Commercial Code completely equal. In the balance sheet the private capital and the assets of the cooperatives are to be kept separate. Both together carry the term investment capital.

6. The assets of the cooperative are formed in the following way: a) In companies that distribute more than 6 percent of the investment capital, half of the excess is credited as assets of the cooperative and added to the investment capital. (An example: A company with 100 million marks in private capital distributes 12 percent dividends. Half of the excess 6 percent = 3 percent, i.e. 3 million marks, is to be credited to the cooperative as increased investment capital and left in the company so that in the next Year the investment capital is not 100, but 103 million marks, namely 100 million marks in private capital and 3 million marks in assets of the factory cooperative. The dividend would be 12 percent instead of 9 percent). The establishment of the cooperative's assets is always at par. b) Companies that distribute less than 6 percent of net profit have to transfer 10 percent of private capital to the cooperative free of charge in the first 2 years, and 30 percent in the next 1 years until the maximum amount of 50 percent is reached. In the case of companies, the free assignments are to be borne equally by the individual shareholders. C) Companies that distribute 6-10 percent net profit must initially create the assets of the works cooperative according to item a and the remaining remainder according to item b.

7. The increase of the private capital of the company requires the approval of the cooperative. The increase must be made equally in each case on the private capital of the enterprise and the assets of the company cooperative. The amount of capital increase accruing to the Cooperative will be deferred by the Company and repaid under the provisions of section 6, (A joint stock company with 100 million Mark private capital and 20 million Mark assets of the Cooperative, a total of 120 million Mark investment capital, increases the investment capital by 60 million marks As a result, 100 increases its private capital to 130 million, 20's 50 cooperative's assets to 30 million marks, and 30 million marks of share capital to be paid in cash.The 6 million mark increase in the cooperative's assets will become XNUMX over the years repaid.)

8. The assets of the cooperative are involved in the same ratio to the net profit as the private capital working in the enterprise.

9. If the assets of the Cooperative have reached 50 per cent, then a further increase of the same can only be made with the consent of the Cooperative and the owner of the private capital.

10. The distribution of revenue accruing to the assets of the cooperative works in accordance with the decisions of the General Assembly of the Cooperative. Revenues may only be used for members of the Cooperative in the following ways: a) 30 percent for housing; b) 10 percent for child care; c) 10 Percentage grant for disabled members of the Cooperative. The remainder will be used in accordance with the decisions of the factory cooperative.

11. The statutory tasks of the works councils are transferred to the works cooperative.

12. The dissolution (bankruptcy, liquidation) or closure of the enterprise requires the consent of the cooperative. The cooperative can continue the entire business on its own account. Compensation for private capital is based on the actual value, but not more than the nominal value of the same. If the dissolution of the entire enterprise takes place and the works cooperative rejects the continuation of the same, the assets of the works cooperative are distributed among the members according to the length of their membership in the works cooperative.
For example:
Corporation with 8 million marks of investment capital, distributed annually 20 percent dividend

C. Guiding principles for self-governing bodies for the purpose of the common economy of economic enterprises

1. The economic enterprises are to be united on a cooperative basis either for the empire or for individual economic areas as self-governing bodies for the purpose of the regulation of the production and the organization of the prices for the common economy. Sections of the self-governing body can also be formed for individual economic areas (Article 156, Abs. 2 of the Reich Constitution).

2. Members of these self-governing bodies are: a) representatives of the enterprises; b) Representatives of the works cooperatives or works councils. The representatives of a and b are to be determined in equal numbers. They are chosen by secret choice according to the ratio system.

3. The statutes of the self-governing body are issued by the latter on the basis of the statutes of the employers' liability insurance associations. Supervisory body is the Reich Ministry of Economics. In the executive committee of the self-governing body are representatives of the Reichswirtschaftsrat, which are not allowed to belong to the respective self-governing body and against the same as consumers are to be regarded, as well as representatives of the realm. The number of these representatives may not exceed one quarter of the total number of the board.

4. The self-governing bodies regulate the production of goods in the individual enterprises connected to them, determine their quotas and can also regulate the procurement of raw materials, as well as the employment agency.

5. The prices of the goods produced are fixed by the municipal body as the average of the prices of the production costs of all affiliated enterprises, whereby the lower production costs below the average price do not flow entirely to the individual enterprise, but are partly to be delivered to the self-governing body. These funds are to be used to promote those ventures operating at little more cost than the average price, and to increase the accumulation of the assets of the cooperatives of companies that distribute less than 6 per cent of their net assets. The municipal body also has to assess the retail prices of these products.

6. The representative of the Reich has a right of objection to the fixing of all prices and must assert this if the representatives of the consumers oppose the price.

7. The last decisive point about complaints etc. is the Reich Ministry of Economics with the approval of the Reichswirtschaftsrat.

D. Reich Economic Council

1. The Reichswirtschaftsrat (Article 165 of the Reich Constitution) is subject to the order of the entire economy in the Reich in favor of the common good.

2. The tasks of the Reichswirtschaftsrat are: a) Control of self-governing body formed on the basis of a cooperative foundation; (b) compensation for complaints made by individual administrative bodies or parts thereof; c) in conjunction with the Reich Ministry of Economics, decision of complaints of the self-governing body; d) consideration of social policy and economic policy bills before they are submitted to the Reichsrat and Reichstag; e) the right of initiative for social-political and economic-political bills and their independent representation before the Reichstag; f) The adoption of implementing provisions on the socio-political and economic-political laws of the individual ministries or of the Reich Ministry requires the approval of the Reich Economic Council, which here takes the place of the Reichsrat.

3. The Reichswirtschaftsrat consists of: a) the representatives of the self-governing bodies on a cooperative basis, namely representatives of the entrepreneurs and the company cooperatives or works councils in equal numbers; b) representatives of the liberal professions appointed by the Reich Government on the proposal of the professional organizations; c) distinguished connoisseurs of economic life, appointed by the Reich Government; d) the former Reichsminister.

The representatives of b and c may not exceed one fifth of the total number of members of the Reich Economic Council. The election or appointment of the individual members takes five years. The number of representatives of individual self-governing bodies (working groups) is the same as in the provisional Economic Council. The self-governing bodies have to take into account their choice of the individual economic areas of the empire. The district economic councils have the right to nominate members to be appointed under b and c.

E. Guidelines for the General National Labor Service

1. For the reconstruction of the German economy in the general interest, the general national labor service is introduced in favor of the Reich.

2. The labor service is provided by the entire male youth between the 18. and 25. Year of life. For the female youth, the community can introduce a general national work service according to the female character.

3. Every German receives at the completed 18. Age of the local authority of his stay a work service book, in which the execution of the service, deferment, etc. are to be entered by the competent authority. The local authorities maintain lists of the persons liable to pay employment and are responsible for the timely provision of the employees.

4. The work service book is valid as a passport to all authorities. Anyone who does not have a properly maintained employment service book can not find employment with an employer, is excluded from the exercise of civic duties, including unemployment benefits, and can not attend public or private tuition.

5. Exemptions from the National Labor Service are not permitted for physically and mentally wholesome persons. Where as a result of the performance of the labor service by the sole breadwinner parents unable to work in need, the empire takes over for the duration of the labor service, previously paid by the workforce subsidies.

6. Deferments are only permitted to the lower administrative authority on the basis of the economic situation of the worker and his parents, and because of the backward development of the official. You may not use the 20. Year of age.

7. The National Labor Service is in the publicly-operated enterprises of the Reich and, as far as elsewhere, only for the benefit of the Reich. These include: mining, work on state domains, in state forests, in housing, for the creation of real power sources, for the construction of waterways and railways, for the cultivation of bogs. The Reich Ministry determines to what extent the labor service can be rendered in other enterprises of the Reich.

8. The integration of the employees in the work service is initially on
Reason for voluntary reports; Here, first of all, the needs of mining are to be fully satisfied. Anyone who has volunteered as a volunteer in mining will receive a one-time bonus from 4000 Mark upon release. If enough volunteers are available in the mining industry, volunteers are accepted for work on the domains and in the state forests. The allocation of non-volunteers to the individual work areas is carried out by the lower administrative authorities, taking into account the physical and mental abilities as well as the previously learned work or profession, regardless of the economic and social position of the official or his parents.

9. The assignment of the designated by the lower administrative authority as a workman in the individual enterprises after consultation of the Reich Economic Council by the Reich Ministry of Employment (Reich Employment Office). The invitation to start the national employment service is sent by the lower administrative authority.

10. The duration of the labor service is calculated on the basis that the average worker in the hard coal mining industry has extracted 450 tonnes of coal, taking into account the natural differences of the funding agency. The volunteer working person has on average less 50 tons of coal to promote. The labor service lasts half a year longer in all other companies than in mining.

11. The Reich grants the employees subject to the compulsory wages sufficient food, clothing and housing at no cost, and a monthly cash wage which increases with their work. The general rules on working time apply.

12. Catering and accommodation of the employees are carried out in closed groups. Each group chooses for three months to maintain the order of their group leader. It manages the foodstuffs provided for the food itself through an Economic Committee of at least three members. The group leader imposed disciplinary sanctions against the house and economic order. Complaints are decided by the Economic Committee, and finally by the General Assembly of the Group.

13. The workers have to participate in the civil education during the performance of their employment service. Every employee has to join a sports department. Facilities for the free scientific and technical education and training of the workforce are to be created. The final exam will be accompanied by a certificate, which may include entitlement to attend all educational institutions, including universities, and employment in the civil service.

14. Anyone who defies the performance of the labor service year, will inevitably to this until the completed 60. Age brought up. The assets of the refugee expire in favor of the Reichskasse. Anyone who provides assistance whose assets are also forfeited to the Reichskasse. In addition, forced labor can be recognized for up to three years.

F. Guidelines for folk nutrition and agriculture

1. German soil as the basis of popular nutrition serves as a private property of the people.

2. The creation of new territory is to be supported by all means.

3. A healthy mix of small, medium and large ownership is everywhere to bring and, where available, maintain.

4. Poorly managed land is, according to the decisions of local residents by operating compulsion of the highest yield opportunity to be supplied, even by public service.

5. Municipalities and associations of municipalities have the right of first refusal for all real estate sales.

6. The sale price of the land - including inheritances - is at most equal to the income value underlying the last tax returns, taking into account special recent expenses for improvement.

7. Any additional proceeds of a plot of land above the income value (number 5) accrue to the municipality.

8. The prices for artificial fertilizers are to be reduced and delivered to the farmers for a small down payment with deferment of the full purchase price until harvest.

9. Collective agreements between owners and farm workers with compulsory arbitration and mutually binding legal remedy must be concluded at least for one crop year. Work settings are not allowed during harvest time.

10. Outward migration of young people from the countryside requires the consent of the municipal council; As a rule, it is only permitted for vocational training.

11. The prices of agricultural products should be such as to cover the average cost plus a 4% interest on the value of the land (income value). The prices of cereals are to be compared with those of livestock and milk, which makes the feeding of the grain unprofitable.

12. Any sale at higher than statutory prices shall be punished at least with the confiscation of all the inventories of the product in question, or in the case of recurrence within one year with the confiscation of the entire property; the buyer or dealer is subject to the same penalty.

1923, 36 Matthias Erzberger