We have no flag, and we need one. If we desire to lead many men, we must raise a symbol above their heads.
I would suggest a white flag, with seven golden stars. The white field symbolizes our pure new life; the stars are the seven golden hours of our working-day. For we shall march into the Promised Land carrying the badge of honor.--Herzl, The Jewish State.
Herzl never loses sight of the reality of Antisemitism. He takes it as an enduring empirical fact that where Jews show up in considerable numbers antisemitism will follow in its wake. He has no faith that advances in Liberalism, or Civilization, will stop this.+
But he does not dwell on antisemitism and its causes. Rather, he wishes to construct a non-Messianic Zionism (for the distinction between negative Zionism and Messianic Zionism recall here). So, he focuses on practical details. In fact, not to put too fine point on it, economics is one of the engines that drives the machinery of his vision inside (1896) Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State).* In fact he seems to think that his relentless focus on political economy distinguishes his project from Messaianic Zionism modeled on Thomas More's Utopianism. Right at the Introduction of the pamphlet he writes, "It is astonishing how little insight into the science of economics many of the men who move in the midst of active life posses." Herzl's conceit is, in part, that he can supply such insight in which a rational organization of society and the hope for a decent living with a modest number of working hours a day (even today seven hours is not a very long work-day) can animate a realistic future.
His political economy does not fit now familiar categories. He defends the value of private property and individual entrepreneurship, but he does so within a Corporatist framework centered on a corporation, Die Jewish Company, that sets tight constraints on economic activity at least in the initial stages of development. It does so in order to reduce risk and produce steady returns and that this may attract what we might call responsible capital (Herzl's treatment is very sophisticated on this point).
There is quite a bit more to say about Die Jewish Company, but its key mission is this: to transform European Jewish economic wealth, including human capital (his treatment of this is quite notable), into concentrated Zionist landholding. This land will be bought at a cheap price. Then by developing the land for commercial use with relatively cheap and skilled labor (initially), Die Jewish Company will become wealthy as the value of the land it develops increases. It's very much a demand-side driven economics. As he puts it, "travellers do not produce railways, but, conversely, railways produce travellers."
If one re-reads The Jewish State from the vantage point of Zionism's three enduring strategic failures -- (recall here and here), that is, (i) its failure to establish permanent borders for the state of Israel; (ii) to settle what kind of political entity Israel should be (so that it can end its near-permanent war-footing and occupation of hostile populations); (iii) (the perception of) Israel's dependence on America's political, military , and cultural support, which ties Israel to America's strategic interests and electoral politics --, Herzl's text suggests that first strategic failure (i) is an original sin of Zionism not just the result of tactical decisions (and embrace of strategic ambiguity) along the way. He famously wavers between "Palestine or Argentine," and in neither case does he worry much about local populations. (He notes as an advantage that Argentina is sparsely populated, but does not reflect on the fact that Palestine is not.) While he rejects a militarized society and open-ended conflict, his failure of imagination here leads to it.
While Herzl opts for temporary great power support as means to establish a Jewish state, the intended future of the Zionist project is economic and military independence [uns dann aber möglichst bald selbstständig machen]. Not by autarchy, but by commercial trade. So, Herzl's vision avoids part of the third strategic failure (iii). Having said that, he seems not very interested in a common culture and spiritual growth; and he defends the "federation of tongues" (that is multiple languages) on the grounds that "We shall remain in the new country what we now are here, and we shall never cease to cherish with sadness the memory of the native land out of which we have been driven." This suggests a nostalgic, backward looking cultural politics. (For an opposing interpretation, see Hazony.)
As the design of the national flag of the future Jewish state implies, economic fruits are meant to occupy pride of place in the hopeful part of the national rescue mission.+ To be sure, Herzl does not reduce human psychology to economic needs and incentives; if the masses are to be led (Wenn man viele Menschen führen will), they need to be inspired by not just their economic hopes (i.e., seven hour work day), but also by other desires, especially, purity and new beginnings.**
I quoted the flag passage because it also reveals something of Herzl's elitist or aristocratic sensibility. I mean this in two senses: (a) the book is meant, in part, to appeal to ambitious readers who wish to have a manual for leadership in action; (b) Herzl's political order is meant to be aristocratic in spirit ("Politics must take shape in the upper strata and work downwards" [Politik muss von oben herab gemacht werden])--in this book he has little faith in the future of Jewish liberal democracy. (Among the most notable features of his book is his notion of a Gestor.) But while Herzl leaves some details to the future, it is clear that Herzl's vision would have escaped the internal tensions between Liberal and National values that plague Israel today.++
* I am not the first to notice this, of course. (For more scholarly treatments and references see here.)
** Purity is a Jewish value with deep roots [טהורה (tehora) or טהור (tahor),] in The Hebrew Bible. It is notably absent in the discussion to create a politically Conservative Jewish vision recently debated in Mosaic (here).
+There is a further nod to More's Utopia in Herzl's treatment of the seven hour work-day. For he conceives a further seven hours to be filled with family duties, education, etc.
++ I am not alone in thinking this, of course. See Omri Boehm's diagnosis; and Yedidia Z. Stern from a different political orientation.