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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

whole life long, rarely suffices, to do more than meet this obligation. Such is the fate of the man who tries to guarantee a menschenwürdiges Dasein to himself, his wife, and his children. But the man who is to be provided with such an existence, under the new arrangement proposed, will not have any such difficulty to contend with; he is to have a living secured to him by the state, or the social reformers, or somebody else. His wife and children will obviously have as good a claim to a menschenwürdiges Dasein as he; their support will therefore cause him no anxiety and no burden. Therefore this class of persons will increase with great rapidity. They are, of course, all those who have neglected or refused to win a menschenwürdiges Dasein for themselves; and whenever it is determined that somebody else shall give it to them, it is provided that their number shall multiply indefinitely and forever.

Furthermore, in all these propositions the fact is overlooked that no humanitarian proposition is valid unless it is applied to the whole human race. If I am bound to love my fellow-man, it is for reasons which apply to Laplanders and Hottentots just as much as to my neighbor across the street; our obligation to provide a menschenwürdiges Dasein is just as great toward Africans or Mongolians as towards Americans. It must certainly be as wide as all Menschen, that is, all human beings. There are millions of people on the globe whose mode of life, whose Dasein, is far below that of the most miserable wretch in the United States, never has been any better than it is, never will be any better as far ahead as anybody can see, and they cannot be said to be to blame for it. It is true that they do not know that they are badly off; they do not bother their heads about a menschenwürdiges Dasein. They do not work much and