How do you find that?

The girl dealer

- Yg. 1928, No. 46 -

Fritz Lang, the director of the "Metropolis" film and other equally monumental and kitschy celluloid strips, discovers a young actress, Miss Dyers. He contractually binds them for six years and ensures their annual pay increases (currently 1500 Mark monthly). Miss Dyers plays successfully, but only once under Fritz Lang. Otherwise with other film companies. In fact, Fritz Lang lets her out; the contract gives him the right to do so.

How do you find that? But wait a moment! He does not rent them at cost price, but demands of the companies to which he lends Miss Dyers seven and eight times what he pays her as a salary. In this "girl trading", he earned 20 000 Mark in a year round and nice.

Now you say: how do you like that? I totally agree with you: that is disgusting, yes. , , Alas, the words are missing. The court that Miss Dyers has finally gone to has also thought like you and invalid the contract between Fritz Lang and Miss Dyers as offending against the good manners.

So that's okay. But now listen: In your apartment a pipe of water rinse is damaged. They hurry to the phone and let a worker come from an installation shop. If he has mended the pipe, he hands you an invoice, on which his working hour with 1,50 Mark is calculated. But he gets only 70 penny from his entrepreneur.

Now you say: how do you like that? Quite alright? I do not know. But let's move on to something else.

One hundred workers make of iron, sheet metal, wood, leather, etc. automobiles. Your entrepreneur buys the raw materials by 1 million marks and sells the finished cars by 3 million marks. After deduction of all expenses (apart from the wages) he has a profit of 1 million marks. Does he now give this million to his workers as a reward? Oh no, only a part; and he keeps the other part to himself. (If the company is a stock corporation, the money is paid out to shareholders as a dividend.) And now you are talking: how do you think that?

"But Mr. Hail. You have funny manners today! I think it is quite right that the owner of the installation business and the automobile manufacturer also earn something. They give their capital, without which the workers could not work at all. Imagine if the installation worker were not employed in a business! He might be looking for a long time to find a broken tube that he can use to make repairs. "

Well, sir, but now please be consistent. With the same right Fritz Lang can say that without him Miss Dyers would not work at the movie and earn 1 500 Mark a month, but she would still be a tipp or otherwise in Vienna with 200 Schilling monthly salary. He has discovered her, gives her work and fame, he also has the right to earn money from the work she does in other societies. That was right and cheap. In addition, he needed the money as a "capital" in his "business", otherwise he could not discover and train other young talents. It is on the hair exactly the same case as that of the installation worker. And basically, the situation of the hundred workers of the automobile factory is no different.

But you find the treatment of Miss Dyers wrong, and the worker's not. Do you know where that comes from? Because Miss Dyers has two beautiful eyes and two slender legs, and because beauty gives her a kind of monopoly. For many decades, however, workers without monopoly (there are a few millions too many) are powerless against the monopoly of entrepreneurs (capital, land, employment); they have been exploited for a long time, and you are so used to it that you no longer feel it is wrong.

"I can do it with an umbrella. , . "

The iron industrialists, now that Wilhelm can not do it any more, go to arbitration courts. , ., shut down their factories, leave the ore unused in the ground and take 200 000 workers' families credit are simply expropriated.

"Listen, Mr. Hagel, you are the purest Bolshevik. After all, the factories and the huts belong to the entrepreneurs, so you can not just tell them what they are allowed to do with their property and what not. I'm allowed to do whatever I want with an umbrella that belongs to me. "

You are mistaken, dear fellow. You can take your umbrella for a walk in the sunshine, but you can't run it in your neighbor's stomach and then open it. Otherwise you’ll be dealing with the police. Because that's not what the umbrella is for. And the ores in the ground are not there to be closed to those willing to work and thereby harm the general public. That is abuse that should be punished. "Property obliges. Its use should at the same time serve the common good. ”This is what Article 153 of the Weimar Constitution says.

May the state steal?

The irreverent Bolsheviks have not only expropriated coal mines and oilfields, but have also taken over valuable works of art from private property without compensation from state museums. And now the Soviet state is auctioning off some of its rich collections at the auction house Lepke in Berlin. How do you find that? Right or wrong?

Well, a Russian prince has found something else: among the items on display for auction, a few that once belonged to him. "Stolen!" He says indignantly, goes to a German court and ensures that the items "a bailiff for the purpose of ensuring" must be issued and therefore may not be auctioned. How do you find that?

I find it at least inconsistent. For the oil we buy from Russia is also "stolen," as are grain, platinum, wool, etc., and the money a German factory receives from Soviet Russia for the supply of machinery, even from "theft". ,

Aha, you find it makes a difference whether the state "steals" mineral resources that are to benefit the general public, or a valuable image. But the Bolsheviks will reply that the picture benefits the people much more when it is in a public museum than when it is accessible to a few visitors. And if the state now sells these pictures and builds a children's home or textile factory from the proceeds in Moscow, then the general public can not object.

The German courts, however, seem to have doubts, although they would have to admit that the German state also "steals" daily for the benefit of the general public. He "steals" you eg. For example, pay 10% of your income each month and say he needs the money to prevent any rogue from stealing the rest, or to build good roads for Mr. Thyssen's Buick. You like it calmly, even though you know that your taxes are often not for the benefit of the general public, but for those who are closest to the heart or purse of the state. You may feel that this is wrong, but you are not at all indignant that it would bother you at all in your daily work. Yes, there are people who take no notice of this, but are now debating, assisted by the Hugenberg papers, on the question: "Do you think that Lepke is behaving properly?"

You see, so inconsistent are our views on right and wrong, so confused our concepts of property and theft.

1928, 46 Jan Hail