- Yg. 1930, No. 25 -
Not only the hairdressers, but also the lawyers learn their craft from the poor man.
Just listen to the small and smallest "cases" in our courtrooms for a few days (almost all of which belong to the gradually frightening flood of property crimes), and you will be amazed not only at the arrogant cosmopolitanism of young prosecutors, but above all at the dignified naturalness with which the jurisprudence of a social order is handled, which in some respects has already been judged.
Even through the "mitigating circumstances", the moral indignation of a class whose god is private property grows angry in the judgments; and since the honesty and decency of the little people is much more important than that of the big for the continued existence of the present system, the penalties even for trivial matters are often more than salt. In this country it is more advisable to defraud a city bank by ten million than to lighten a welfare authority by giving ten marks by giving false information. Because there only the reserve fund of a major bank is affected, while here the all-important stock of poor decency is reduced. But nothing would be more dangerous for our social order than that. After all, it lives from it.
It is shocking to see how hundreds of thousands of people pass from a poor working life without any noteworthy attempt at rebellion and indignation into the desolate starvation of unemployment. How they defend themselves there against the final crash and often cannot escape this fate. You meet them again in the courtroom. The bourgeois society, which has relentlessly abandoned it to the labyrinth of economic anarchy, lurks with eagle eyes for the first step that deviates from the mapped out path, and with its hypocritical urge for "justice" it is completely indifferent to it whether this misstep is inevitable or not Not. She cannot get involved in such considerations because she would use it to saw off the branch she is sitting on.
And so they march to the bar every day, the little criminals out of need, the humble fraudsters, the amateurish loan and commission swindlers. They defend themselves with pathetic excuses and obsequiously listen to the morals of the young public prosecutor, who, however poor his knowledge may be, already knows that a "certain emergency" is still not a sufficient excuse for illegal actions. He and his colleagues at the judges' table come from a social class in which everyone is supported by an extensive network of "relationships" of all kinds in such a way that normally it is not possible to sink under; they do not know the complete isolation of the proletarian, who has no social ties and for whom very often only one path remains, which goes back and forth between welfare, crime and suicide.
If this class state knew even a little fairness, it would have to grant all these acts the excuse of self-defense. Instead, however, he applies a hypocritical severity, which sometimes even demands more correctness in action from the oppressed little one than he does from honest businessmen. If, for example, a needy person is mistaken about the possibility of repaying the loan he has received, he is ten times more likely to be charged and condemned for fraud than a businessman who carelessly accepted himself in his transactions or "accidentally" crossed the thin line between what is permitted and what is criminal in his business “Has exceeded something.
A reform of the Criminal Code will not change much of these things. The capitalist system has the right and the judges that are right for it.
1930, 25 · hm