- Yg. 1926, No. 35 -
No political slogan has to accept gross misunderstandings and stupid interpretations than the old democratic demand-or assertion-of the equality of all citizens.
It is really no feat to realize that people are different. After all, they are the same, for example, in that they all have to die and that they all need bread, clothes and houses to live. That they all suffer when you torture them and are happy when you leave them alone. Only when their basic needs are satisfied, when certain generally identical basic conditions are fulfilled, it is possible for the individual to bring out the personal qualities and gifts in which their difference from others is based. So it is not “dull leveling”, but the prerequisite for the opposite, if one demands of a social order that it is “fair”, that it grants all participants the same start and equal opportunities. Only in this way is the right, the just selection, victory and leadership of the best possible.
If, as a result of their special achievements, a special position and a greater proportion of the goods of life fall to them, if they are allowed to satisfy needs beyond the general minimum, this is by no means contradictory to democratic principles. Only the inheritance of larger property or greater power is questionable, demands correction and security.
Here, too, there is a childish objection: it will never be possible to distribute all goods and possessions equally in the long run. He is fatally reminiscent of the sentence that there is no point in cleaning your boots because they will soon get dirty again. A periodic reallocation of property, as the Mosaic legislation in the so-called "Hall year“Providing every fifty years would be a very wise institution because, while it does not guarantee mathematical equality, it would prevent the very harmful overly great inequality of property. There is an upper limit and a lower limit within which individual ownership is desirable or tolerable in a healthy community. What is above or below is evil.
The excessive increase in property in a single hand could now be prevented in a very simple way: through a radical inheritance taxation, such as the one that Erzberger, who was murdered five years ago, once had in mind. The expropriation of large estates could also be accomplished by means of an inheritance tax, for which the Weimar constitution provides the means, but has not yet been seized by a German statesman. In the special case of landed property, the public detriment of excess becomes particularly clear to anyone who does not intentionally turn a blind eye. It is true that there would still be a “workers question” even without large estates; but it would be different and less dangerous than ours.
What today is treated contemptuously by the haves and the privileged as a “mass” and, despite democratic forms and the “freest constitution in the world”, is kept as far away from participation in the life of the state as possible, is the result of an undemocratic, unjust, inverted social order that Gives more to those who have, and wants to take away what little they do not have. Only a leveling that dries out old swampy terrain and removes old embankments, which removes the monopoly of the rich, the "educated" (they are only in quotation marks), the "academics" - only such a leveling could create the healthy breeding ground for a people who are not "masses"; that is not run by "bigwigs", but by personalities.
1926, 35 Erich Schairer