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Ninth hall - ninth commandment
87,1. We are already in the ninth hall and look again at our round table, on which is written:
87,2. You should not long for what is your neighbor's, neither for his house, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor his land, nor for everything that grows on it.
87,3. If we look at this commandment, we must evidently lose ourselves in the same judgments and undergo the same criticism that we have already met in the seventh commandment. For here again there is talk of property, and according to it, one should not have any desire for what one or the other was legally externally appropriated to own.
87,4. Who could not at once come back to the question and say: How could this commandment be given to the Israelite people in the wilderness, where there is no one who possesses a house, an ox, a donkey, nor any land or seed? One would have to imagine this property among the Israelite people. And at the most it could mean: If your neighbor imagines that he has something, then you should not imagine that you should have something similar, or even the imagination of your neighbor, to have it as if it were seriously your property or as if you want to actually own it.
87,5. I think that not many critical judgments will be needed here to see the utmost airiness of such a command at first sight. A commandment must always be there only for some assurance of a fixed reality, the loss of which must be something every one of them must have. But what would an air-castle architect lose to another air-castle architect, who would take the unlawful audacity of his fellow air-castle builder seriously. I think the weighing of such enormous damage would require a very fine, even ethereally spiritual scale to measure. If, according to the opinion of a certain sect on earth, the Archangel Michael is seriously endowed with such instruments, I am firmly convinced that he certainly does not lack such a very delicate weight-measuring instrument.
87,6. I have here only said this in order to accentuate the utter voidness of a purely imagined possession. If it is then so, then why such a commandment, which can certainly not uphold any security of the property of another, where no one has anything in the likeness of property, after which one should not desire, according to this commandment?
87,7. But one will argue here and say: The Lord has foreseen that, over time, men will create a right of ownership among themselves, and in this regard has already made in advance a command by which a future human property is secured and no one has a mutual right to be allowed to disown the property of his neighbour in whatever way. That would be a nice conclusion! I think Divine love and wisdom could not easily be inflicted more dishonor than with such judgment.
87,8. The Lord, who surely will advise every human against acquiring anything on earth; the Lord, before whom every earthly wealth is an abomination, should have made a commandment for the purpose and favor of greed, self-love, of usury and avarice, a commandment for the sure awakening of mutual envy?
87,9. I think it will not be necessary here to spend any more words; for the absurdity of such an exegesis is too obvious to anyone's eyes to require a long and broad discussion.
87,10. However, in order to make the case palpable for the blindest, I ask every law-abiding lawyer: What is the basis for the right of ownership? Who gave the first person the property right of a thing? Take for instance a dozen immigrants in an uninhabited land. They find it and settle there. According to which ownership and ownership certificate can they take possession of such a land and settle there as legitimate owners?
87,11. I already know what they will say here: whoever comes first has the basic right. Well, I say, who then has more or less the right to the found land than the twelve immigrants? It will be said: Strictly speaking, the first instigator of the emigration, or the one who had at first seen this land from the deck of a ship, has the most right. Well, what advantage does the initiator have above the others? If they had not moved with him, he would certainly have stayed home. What has the first seer more than the rest? That he might have sharper eyes than the others? Should this advantage, which only benefits him, be a disadvantage to the others? That would be a rather unfair. So surely all twelve must have equal ownership of this found land.
87,12. But what do they have to do to realize their equal ownership of this land? You will have to divide it into twelve equal parts. But who does not see the coming quarrels at this division of the first land pieces? For surely will A say to B: Why must I take possession of this part of the country, which in my judgment is obviously worse than yours? And the B will reciprocate for the same reason: I do not see why I should swap my land part for yours. And so we can let our twelve colonists divide the land for ten years, and we will not see that the division will be all right.
87,13. But would these twelve agree among themselves and make the land a common property; can there then be a commandment to secure property among the twelve? Can one take away something from the other, if the whole country belongs to all, and thus also its products, all of which everyone can take as he pleases, without billing the other for it?
87,14. In the first case one sees here that originally, a creation of property rights is not easily conceivable. To see that this really is the case, you only have to look to the first settlers of certain areas of your own country, like the so-called Herren-Kloster clergy, who were in a sense the first settlers of this region. If they would be content with division and considered it good, they would certainly not have formed a common good.
87,15. In short, we can do what we want, but we cannot find any original ownership anywhere. And if somebody comes with his fundamental right, I ask whether one should kill the descendant at the moment of his appearance in the world, or let him slowly starve to death? Or should he be driven out of this country? Or leave him to the mercy of the landowners, but at the same time immediately protect them against him by means of the latest laws?
87,16. I think it would be fair to ask on what grounds such a descendant can, from the moment of his arrival, be made a scapegoat with regard to the right of land ownership, while the first arrivals could not sin against each other in this? Which lawyer can prove such behavior to me as legally valid? I mean, one would only be able to prove this if you have a satan as a lawyer; for every man, who thinks only reasonably well and fairly, would find such a legal proof impossible.
87,17. But I can already see that it will be said that in the first colonization of a country there can be no reciprocal property right between the colonists, especially if they have mutually compensated for the common property. But between colonisations, out of which came the first formations of states, the ownership right certainly occurs as soon as they have established each other's right of existence.
87,18. Well, I say, if that is the case, then each colony must have original property rights. But how can they, since they only received a right of usufruct from the Lord, but no right of ownership?
87,19. The right of use has its certificate in the stomach and on the skin. But where does the right of possession express itself, especially when one considers that every human being, whether native or foreign, carries in his stomach and on his skin the same Divine legal right of use as the native does? If one says: The right of ownership has its origin in the rights of use, then this sentence certainly removes any special fortune, because everyone has the same right of use. But if one reverses the matter and says: Ownership gives you first the right of use, because one cannot say anything other than the old legal word: "Potiori jus", which in other words means as much as: Kill so many usufruct owners by the power of your fist, that you alone can be complete master of a piece of land.
87,20. Should some foreign usufruct owners still have the appetite to dispute your fought for possession according to their Divine right of use, then beat them all to death or use them, at least in a better scenario, as taxable subjects, so that they may, on your conquered possession, work for you in the sweat of their faces, that you may grant them their right of use according to your discretion. Step up whoever will, and grant me another right of possession; indeed I will surrender all my bliss to him, and I want to be made the most needy citizen on earth for it! Who, from the Divine side, can justify this war? What is he? Nothing but a most brutal coup d'état, taking the right of use from the people and forcibly introducing a right of possession, that is, to destroy the Divine right and to introduce a hellish one in its place.
87,21. Who then could expect a law from God which would abolish the original Divine Law of Utilization, which was clearly documented in everyone's being, and replace it with divine power and authority, with a law of hellish right of property? - I think the absurdity of this assertion is even bright and clear for a completely blind man and can be grasped with gloved hands.
87,22. But from this it is clear that this law must certainly have a different meaning from that of men, where it only secures possession. As Divine law, it must also be valid in all heavens from the depths of the Divine order. But where does anyone in heaven own houses, oxen, donkeys and fields? Heaven is full of usufructuary rights, and the Lord alone is the owner. We therefore want to move on to the right meaning of this law.
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