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Friedrich August Ludwig von der Marwitz: Excerpt from the Essay "On the Causes of Crime Getting out of Hand" (1836)
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What is the problem with the criminals, with the demagogues and the revolutionaries, if not that they covet their neighbor's house? If that is taught to the youth, then people in the country can dispense with all of the pedantry that is being taught in their schools. They must be instructed in fewer things, but with more emphasis placed upon fulfilling their duties, upon loyalty and obedience. They need to spend less time sitting still and more time working.

This will be difficult to achieve and will be opposed by the entire educated world, for in the contemporary world it is as if the serpent spoke only yesterday: "For God doth know that in the day ye eat of the tree of knowledge, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods." Whereupon they looked upon the tree and saw that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise and they took of the fruit thereof and did eat.

[ . . . ]



Source: Friedrich August Ludwig von der Marwitz, "Von den Ursachen der überhandnehmenden Verbrechen" (1836), in Die Eigentumslosen, eds. Carl Jantke and Dietrich Hilger. Freiburg and Munich: Verlag Karl Alber, 1965, pp. 140-44.

Translation: Jonathan Skolnik

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