D O C . 3 4 7 P E R I L T O G E R M A N C I V I L I S A T I O N 2 7 9 (4) It is a fact that many of the political murders have been committed by people who have lost the means of support as a result of present conditions, but I should not venture to say whether unfavourable economic conditions are alone responsible for the lamentable deterioration of political morals. The political intolerance of the supporters of the old regime is doubtless partly due to tradition. (5) It must be admitted that the policy of the Allies has greatly augmented the difficulties of the Republican Government in particular it has undermined the pres- tige of the Government by repeated humiliations, in the face of the whole people. Moreover, everyone here knows that the financial obligations laid upon the country cannot be fulfilled at their present figure, even with the utmost exertion. All this has bred in us the conviction that there is no hope of working our way out of our present serfdom by legitimate means. This paralyses economic activities and drives people to evade taxation, and try to remove their capital from the country. (6) Even if we admit that the stabilisation of the mark might involve certain tem- porary difficulties, it can scarcely be doubted that we must try to attain stabilisation in any event and at the earliest possible moment. Without that it is impossible to reach stable economic conditions. The participation of German statesmen and experts in consultations upon international economic relations would certainly be desirable, if not absolutely necessary. (7) It is only as a layman that I can answer your last question, and, further, with the utmost hesitation. I must admit with regret that I do not see how the hope of individual gain and the fear of want could be dispensed with as motives for produc- tive work. In my opinion the community can mitigate the economic struggle of the individual, but cannot do away with it. I trust that I have understood all your questions rightly and have answered them. I remain, yours faithfully, A. Einstein. Translator’s note: Originally published in English. Is a translation of the following document. 348. To Henry N. Brailsford Berlin, 11 September 1922 [Not selected for translation. Is the German-language draft of the preceding document.]
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