Philosophy and Party
On February 24th, 1920, the first great mass meeting under the auspices of the new movement took place. In the Banquet Hall of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich the twenty-five theses which constituted the programme of our new party were expounded to an audience of nearly two thousand people and each thesis was enthusiastically received.
Thus we brought to the knowledge of the public those first principles and lines of action along which the new struggle was to be conducted for the abolition of a confused mass of obsolete ideas and opinions which had obscure and often pernicious tendencies. A new force was to make its appearance among the timid and feckless bourgeoisie. This force was destined to impede the triumphant advance of the Marxists and bring the Chariot of Fate to a standstill just as it seemed about to reach its goal.
It was evident that this new movement could gain the public significance and support which are necessary pre-requisites in such a gigantic struggle only if it succeeded from the very outset in awakening a sacrosanct conviction in the hearts of its followers, that here it was not a case of introducing a new electoral slogan into the political field but that an entirely new world view, which was of a radical significance, had to be promoted.
One must try to recall the miserable jumble of opinions that used to be arrayed side by side to form the usual Party Programme, as it was called, and one must remember how these opinions used to be brushed up or dressed in a new form from time to time. If we would properly understand these programmatic monstrosities we must carefully investigate the motives which inspired the average bourgeois 'programme committee'.
Those people are always influenced by one and the same preoccupation when they introduce something new into their programme or modify something already contained in it. That preoccupation is directed towards the results of the next election. The moment these artists in parliamentary government have the first glimmering of a suspicion that their darling public may be ready to kick up its heels and escape from the harness of the old party wagon they begin to paint the shafts with new colours. On such occasions the party astrologists and horoscope readers, the so-called 'experienced men' and 'experts', come forward. For the most part they are old parliamentary hands whose political schooling has furnished them with ample experience. They can remember former occasions when the masses showed signs of losing patience and they now diagnose the menace of a similar situation arising. Resorting to their old prescription, they form a 'committee'. They go around among the darling public and listen to what is being said. They dip their noses into the newspapers and gradually begin to scent what it is that their darlings, the broad masses, are wishing for, what they reject and what they are hoping for. The groups that belong to each trade or business, and even office employees, are carefully studied and their innermost desires are investigated. The 'malicious slogans' of the opposition from which danger is threatened are now suddenly looked upon as worthy of reconsideration, and it often happens that these slogans, to the great astonishment of those who originally coined and circulated them, now appear to be quite harmless and indeed are to be found among the dogmas of the old parties.
So the committees meet to revise the old programme and draw up a new one.
For these people change their convictions just as the soldier changes his shirt in war – when the old one is bug-eaten. In the new programme everyone gets everything he wants. The farmer is assured that the interests of agriculture will be safeguarded. The industrialist is assured of protection for his products. The consumer is assured that his interests will be protected in the market prices. Teachers are given higher salaries and civil servants will have better pensions. Widows and orphans will receive generous assistance from the State. Trade will be promoted. The tariff will be lowered and even the taxes, though they cannot be entirely abolished, will be almost abolished. It sometimes happens that one section of the public is forgotten or that one of the demands mooted among the public has not reached the ears of the party. This is also hurriedly patched on to the whole, should there be any space available for it: until finally it is felt that there are good grounds for hoping that the whole normal host of philistines, including their wives, will have their anxieties laid to rest and will beam with satisfaction once again. And so, internally armed with faith in the goodness of God and the impenetrable stupidity of the electorate, the struggle for what is called 'the reconstruction of the Reich' can now begin.
When the election day is over and the parliamentarians have held their last public meeting for the next five years, when they can leave their job of getting the populace to toe the line and can now devote themselves to higher and more pleasing tasks – then the programme committee is dissolved and the struggle for the progressive reorganization of public affairs becomes once again a business of earning one's daily bread, which for the parliamentarians means merely the attendance that is required in order to be able to draw their daily remunerations. Morning after morning the honourable deputy wends his way to the House, and though he may not enter the Chamber itself he gets at least as far as the front hall, where he will find the register on which the names of the deputies in attendance have to be inscribed. As a part of his onerous service to his constituents he enters his name, and in return receives a small indemnity as a well-earned reward for his unceasing and exhausting labours.
When four years have passed, or in the meantime if there should be some critical weeks during which the parliamentary corporations have to face the danger of being dissolved, these honourable gentlemen become suddenly seized by an irresistible desire to act. Just as the grub-worm cannot help growing into a cock-chafer, these parliamentarian worms leave the great House of Puppets and flutter on new wings out among the beloved public. They address the electors once again, give an account of the enormous labours they have accomplished and emphasize the malicious obstinacy of their opponents. They do not always meet with grateful applause; for occasionally the unintelligent masses throw rude and unfriendly remarks in their faces. When this spirit of public ingratitude reaches a certain pitch there is only one way of saving the situation. The prestige of the party must be burnished up again. The programme has to be amended. The committee is called into existence once again. And the swindle begins anew. Once we understand the impenetrable stupidity of our public we cannot be surprised that such tactics turn out successful. Led by the Press and blinded once again by the alluring appearance of the new programme, the bourgeois as well as the proletarian herds of voters faithfully return to the common stall and re-elect their old deceivers. The 'people's man' and labour candidate now change back again into the parliamentarian grub and become fat and rotund as they batten on the leaves that grow on the tree of public life – to be retransformed into the glittering butterfly after another four years have passed.
Scarcely anything else can be so depressing as to watch this process in sober reality and to be the eyewitness of this repeatedly recurring fraud. On a spiritual training ground of that kind it is not possible for the bourgeois forces to develop the strength which is necessary to carry on the fight against the organized might of Marxism. Indeed they have never seriously thought of doing so. Though these parliamentary quacks who represent the white race are generally recognized as persons of quite inferior mental capacity, they are shrewd enough to know that they could not seriously entertain the hope of being able to use the weapon of Western Democracy to fight a doctrine for the advance of which Western Democracy, with all its accessories, is employed as a means to an end. Democracy is exploited by the Marxists for the purpose of paralysing their opponents and gaining for themselves a free hand to put their own methods into action. When certain groups of Marxists use all their ingenuity for the time being to make it be believed that they are inseparably attached to the principles of democracy, it may be well to recall the fact that when critical occasions arose these same gentlemen snapped their fingers at the principle of decision by majority vote, as that principle is understood by Western Democracy. Such was the case in those days when the bourgeois parliamentarians, in their monumental shortsightedness, believed that the security of the Reich was guaranteed because it had an overwhelming numerical majority in its favour, and the Marxists did not hesitate suddenly to grasp supreme power in their own hands, backed by a mob of loafers, deserters, political place-hunters and Jewish dilettanti. That was a blow in the face for that democracy in which so many parliamentarians believed. Only those credulous parliamentary wizards who represented bourgeois democracy could have believed that the brutal determination of those whose interest it is to spread the Marxist world-pest, of which they are the carriers, could for a moment, now or in the future, be held in check by the magical formulas of Western Parliamentarianism. Marxism will march shoulder to shoulder with democracy until it succeeds indirectly in securing for its own criminal purposes even the support of those whose minds are nationally orientated and whom Marxism strives to exterminate. But if the Marxists should one day come to believe that there was a danger that from this witch's cauldron of our parliamentary democracy a majority vote might be concocted, which by reason of its numerical majority would be empowered to enact legislation and might use that power seriously to combat Marxism, then the whole parliamentarian hocus-pocus would be at an end. Instead of appealing to the democratic conscience, the standard bearers of the Red International would immediately send forth a furious rallying-cry among the proletarian masses and the ensuing fight would not take place in the sedate atmosphere of Parliament but in the factories and the streets. Then democracy would be annihilated forthwith. And what the intellectual prowess of the apostles who represented the people in Parliament had failed to accomplish would now be successfully carried out by the crow-bar and the sledge-hammer of the exasperated proletarian masses – just as in the autumn of 1918. At a blow they would awaken the bourgeois world to see the madness of thinking that the Jewish drive towards world-conquest can be effectually opposed by means of Western Democracy.
As I have said, only a very credulous soul could think of binding himself to observe the rules of the game when he has to face a player for whom those rules are nothing but a mere bluff or a means of serving his own interests, which means he will discard them when they prove no longer useful for his purpose.
All the parties that profess so-called bourgeois principles look upon political life as in reality a struggle for seats in Parliament. The moment their principles and convictions are of no further use in that struggle they are thrown overboard, as if they were sand ballast. And the programmes are constructed in such a way that they can be dealt with in like manner. But such practice has a correspondingly weakening effect on the strength of those parties. They lack the great magnetic force which alone attracts the broad masses; for these masses always respond to the compelling force which emanates from absolute faith in the ideas put forward, combined with an indomitable zest to fight for and defend them.
At a time in which the one side, armed with all the fighting power that springs from a systematic conception of life – even though it be criminal in a thousand ways – makes an attack against the established order the other side will be able to resist when it draws its strength from a new faith, which in our case is a political faith. This faith must supersede the weak and cowardly command to defend. In its stead we must raise the battle-cry of a courageous and ruthless attack. Our present movement is accused, especially by the so-called national bourgeois cabinet ministers – the Bavarian representatives of the Centre, for example – of heading towards a revolution. We have one answer to give to those political pigmies. We say to them: We are trying to make up for that which you, in your criminal stupidity, have failed to carry out. By your parliamentarian jobbing you have helped to drag the nation into ruin. But we, by our aggressive policy, are setting up a new philosophy of life which we shall defend with indomitable devotion. Thus we are building the steps on which our nation once again may ascend to the temple of freedom.
And so during the first stages of founding our movement we had to take special care that our militant group which fought for the establishment of a new and exalted political faith should not degenerate into a society for the promotion of parliamentarian interests.
The first preventive measure was to lay down a programme which of itself would tend towards developing a certain moral greatness that would scare away all the petty and weakling spirits who make up the bulk of our present party politicians.
Those fatal defects which finally led to Germany's downfall afford the clearest proof of how right we were in considering it absolutely necessary to set up programmatic aims which were sharply and distinctly defined.
Because we recognized the defects above mentioned, we realized that a new conception of the State had to be formed, which in itself became a part of our new conception of life in general.
In the first volume of this book I have already dealt with the term völkisch, and I said then that this term has not a sufficiently precise meaning to furnish the kernel around which a closely consolidated militant community could be formed. All kinds of people, with all kinds of divergent opinions, are parading about at the present moment under the device völkisch on their banners. Before I come to deal with the purposes and aims of the National Socialist Labour Party I want to establish a clear understanding of what is meant by the concept völkisch and herewith explain its relation to our party movement. The word völkisch does not express any clearly specified idea. It may be interpreted in several ways and in practical application it is just as general as the word 'religious', for instance. It is difficult to attach any precise meaning to this latter word, either as a theoretical concept or as a guiding principle in practical life. The word 'religious' acquires a precise meaning only when it is associated with a distinct and definite form through which the concept is put into practice. To say that a person is 'deeply religious' may be very fine phraseology; but, generally speaking, it tells us little or nothing. There may be some few people who are content with such a vague description and there may even be some to whom the word conveys a more or less definite picture of the inner quality of a person thus described. But, since the masses of the people are not composed of philosophers or saints, such a vague religious idea will mean for them nothing else than to justify each individual in thinking and acting according to his own bent. It will not lead to that practical faith into which the inner religious yearning is transformed only when it leaves the sphere of general metaphysical ideas and is moulded to a definite dogmatic belief. Such a belief is certainly not an end in itself, but the means to an end. Yet it is a means without which the end could never be reached at all. This end, however, is not merely something ideal; for at the bottom it is eminently practical. We must always bear in mind the fact that, generally speaking, the highest ideals are always the outcome of some profound vital need, just as the most sublime beauty owes its nobility of shape, in the last analysis, to the fact that the most beautiful form is the form that is best suited to the purpose it is meant to serve.
By helping to lift the human being above the level of mere animal existence, Faith really contributes to consolidate and safeguard its own existence. Taking humanity as it exists today and taking into consideration the fact that the religious beliefs which it generally holds and which have been consolidated through our education, so that they serve as moral standards in practical life, if we should now abolish religious teaching and not replace it by anything of equal value the result would be that the foundations of human existence would be seriously shaken. We may safely say that man does not live merely to serve higher ideals, but that these ideals, in their turn, furnish the necessary conditions of his existence as a human being. And thus the circle is closed.
Of course, the word 'religious' implies some ideas and beliefs that are fundamental. Among these we may reckon the belief in the immortality of the soul, its future existence in eternity, the belief in the existence of a Higher Being, and so on. But all these ideas, no matter how firmly the individual believes in them, may be critically analysed by any person and accepted or rejected accordingly, until the emotional concept or yearning has been transformed into an active service that is governed by a clearly defined doctrinal faith. Such a faith furnishes the practical outlet for religious feeling to express itself and thus opens the way through which it can be put into practice.
Without a clearly defined belief, the religious feeling would not only be worthless for the purposes of human existence but even might contribute towards a general disorganization, on account of its vague and multifarious tendencies.
What I have said about the word 'religious' can also be applied to the term völkisch. This word also implies certain fundamental ideas. Though these ideas are very important indeed, they assume such vague and indefinite forms that they cannot be estimated as having a greater value than mere opinions, until they become constituent elements in the structure of a political party. For in order to give practical force to the ideals that grow out of philosophical ideals and to answer the demands which are a logical consequence of such ideals, mere sentiment and inner longing are of no practical assistance, just as freedom cannot be won by a universal yearning for it. No. Only when the idealistic longing for independence is organized in such a way that it can fight for its ideal with military force, only then can the urgent wish of a people be transformed into a potent reality.
Every philosophy of life, even if it is a thousand times correct and of the highest benefit to mankind, will be of no practical service for the maintenance of a people as long as its principles have not yet become the rallying point of a militant movement. And, on its own side, this movement will remain a mere party until is has brought its ideals to victory and transformed its party doctrines into the new foundations of a State which gives the national community its final shape.
If an abstract conception of a general nature is to serve as the basis of a future development, then the first prerequisite is to form a clear understanding of the nature and character and scope of this conception. For only on such a basis can a movement he founded which will be able to draw the necessary fighting strength from the internal cohesion of its principles and convictions. From general ideas a political programme must be constructed and general ideas must receive the stamp of a definite political faith. Since this faith must be directed towards ends that have to be attained in the world of practical reality, not only must it serve the general ideal as such but it must also take into consideration the means that have to be employed for the triumph of the ideal. Here the practical wisdom of the statesman must come to the assistance of the abstract idea, which is correct in itself. In that way an eternal ideal, which has everlasting significance as a guiding star to mankind, must be adapted to the exigencies of human frailty so that its practical effect may not be frustrated at the very outset through those shortcomings which are general to mankind. The exponent of truth must here go hand in hand with him who has a practical knowledge of the soul of the people, so that from the realm of eternal verities and ideals what is suited to the capacities of human nature may be selected and given practical form.
To take abstract and general principles, derived from a philosophy which is based on a solid foundation of truth, and transform them into a militant community whose members have the same political faith – a community which is precisely defined, rigidly organized, of one mind and one will – such a transformation is the most important task of all; for the possibility of successfully carrying out the idea is dependent on the successful fulfilment of that task. Out of the army of millions who feel the truth of these ideas, and even may understand them to some extent, one man must arise. This man must have the gift of being able to expound general ideas in a clear and definite form, and, from the world of vague ideas shimmering before the minds of the masses, he must formulate principles that will be as clear-cut and firm as granite. He must fight for these principles as the only true ones, until a solid rock of common faith and common will emerges above the troubled waves of vagrant ideas.
The general justification of such action is to be sought in the necessity for it and the individual will be justified by his success.
If we try to penetrate to the inner meaning of the word völkisch we arrive at the following conclusions:
The current political conception of the world is that the State, though it possesses a creative force which can build up civilizations, has nothing in common with the concept of race as the foundation of the State. The State is considered rather as something which has resulted from economic necessity, or, at best, the natural outcome of the play of political forces and impulses. Such a conception of the foundations of the State, together with all its logical consequences, not only ignores the primordial racial forces that underlie the State, but it also leads to a policy in which the importance of the individual is minimized. If it be denied that races differ from one another in their powers of cultural creativeness, then this same erroneous notion must necessarily influence our estimation of the value of the individual. The assumption that all races are alike leads to the assumption that nations and individuals are equal to one another. And international Marxism is nothing but the application – effected by the Jew, Karl Marx – of a general conception of life to a definite profession of political faith; but in reality that general concept had existed long before the time of Karl Marx. If it had not already existed as a widely diffused infection the amazing political progress of the Marxist teaching would never have been possible. In reality what distinguished Karl Marx from the millions who were affected in the same way was that, in a world already in a state of gradual decomposition, he used his keen powers of prognosis to detect the essential poisons, so as to extract them and concentrate them, with the art of a necromancer, in a solution which would bring about the rapid destruction of the independent nations on the globe. But all this was done in the service of his race.
Thus the Marxist doctrine is the concentrated extract of the mentality which underlies the general concept of life today. For this reason alone it is out of the question and even ridiculous to think that what is called our bourgeois world can put up any effective fight against Marxism. For this bourgeois world is permeated with all those same poisons and its conception of life in general differs from Marxism only in degree and in the character of the persons who hold it. The bourgeois world is Marxist but believes in the possibility of a certain group of people – that is to say, the bourgeoisie – being able to dominate the world, while Marxism itself systematically aims at delivering the world into the hands of the Jews.
Over against all this, the völkisch concept of the world recognizes that the primordial racial elements are of the greatest significance for mankind. In principle, the State is looked upon only as a means to an end and this end is the conservation of the racial characteristics of mankind. Therefore on the völkisch principle we cannot admit that one race is equal to another. By recognizing that they are different, the völkisch concept separates mankind into races of superior and inferior quality. On the basis of this recognition it feels bound in conformity with the eternal Will that dominates the universe, to postulate the victory of the better and stronger and the subordination of the inferior and weaker. And so it pays homage to the truth that the principle underlying all Nature's operations is the aristocratic principle and it believes that this law holds good even down to the last individual organism. It selects individual values from the mass and thus operates as an organizing principle, whereas Marxism acts as a disintegrating solvent. The völkisch belief holds that humanity must have its ideals, because ideals are a necessary condition of human existence itself. But, on the other hand, it denies that an ethical ideal has the right to prevail if it endangers the existence of a race that is the standard-bearer of a higher ethical ideal. For in a world which would be composed of mongrels and negroids all ideals of human beauty and nobility and all hopes of an idealized future for our humanity would be lost forever.
On this planet of ours human culture and civilization are indissolubly bound up with the presence of the Aryan. If he should be exterminated or subjugated, then the dark shroud of a new barbarian era would enfold the earth.
To undermine the existence of human culture by exterminating its founders and custodians would be an execrable crime in the eyes of those who believe that the folk-idea lies at the basis of human existence. Whoever would dare to raise a profane hand against that highest image of God among His creatures would sin against the bountiful Creator of this marvel and would collaborate in the expulsion from Paradise.
Hence the folk concept of the world is in profound accord with Nature's will; because it restores the free play of the forces which will lead the race through stages of sustained reciprocal education towards a higher type, until finally the best portion of mankind will possess the earth and will be free to work in every domain all over the world and even reach spheres that lie outside the earth.
We all feel that in the distant future many may be faced with problems which can be solved only by a superior race of human beings, a race destined to become master of all the other peoples and which will have at its disposal the means and resources of the whole world.
It is self-evident that so general a statement of the meaningful content of a folkish philosophy can be easily interpreted in a thousand different ways. As a matter of fact there is scarcely one of our recent political movements that does not refer at some point to this conception of the world. But the fact that this conception of the world still maintains its independent existence in face of all the others proves that their ways of looking at life are quite difierent from this. Thus the Marxist conception, directed by a central organization endowed with supreme authority, is opposed by a motley crew of opinions which is not very impressive in face of the solid phalanx presented by the enemy. Victory cannot be achieved with such weak weapons. Only when the international idea, politically organized by Marxism, is confronted by the folk idea, equally well organized in a systematic way and equally well led – only then will the fighting energy in the one camp be able to meet that of the other on an equal footing; and victory will be found on the side of eternal truth.
But a general conception of life can never be given an organic embodiment until it is precisely and definitely formulated. The function which dogma fulfils in religious belief is parallel to the function which party principles fulfil for a political party which is in the process of being built up.
Therefore, for the conception of life that is based on the folk idea it is necessary that an instrument be forged which can be used in fighting for this ideal, similar to the Marxist party organization which clears the way for internationalism.
This is the goal pursued by the National Socialist German Workers' Party.
The folk conception must therefore be definitely formulated so that it may be organically incorporated in the party. That is a necessary prerequisite for the success of this idea. And that it is so is very clearly proved even by the indirect acknowledgment of those who oppose such an amalgamation of the folk idea with party principles. The very people who never tire of insisting again and again that the conception of life based on the folk idea can never be the exclusive property of a single group, because it lies dormant or 'lives' in myriads of hearts, only confirm by their own statements the simple fact that the general presence of such ideas in the hearts of millions of men has not proved sufficient to impede the victory of the opposing ideas, which are championed by a political party organized on the principle of class conflict. If that were not so, the German people ought already to have gained a gigantic victory instead of finding themselves on the brink of the abyss. The international ideology achieved success because it was organized in a militant political party which was always ready to take the offensive. If hitherto the ideas opposed to the international concept have had to give way before the latter the reason is that they lacked a united front to fight for their cause. A doctrine which forms a definite outlook on life cannot struggle and triumph by allowing the right of free interpretation of its general teaching, but only by defining that teaching in certain articles of faith that have to be accepted and incorporating it in a political organization.
Therefore I considered it my special duty to extract from the extensive but vague contents of a general world view the ideas which were essential and give them a more or less dogmatic form. Because of their precise and clear meaning, these ideas are suited to the purpose of uniting in a common front all those who are ready to accept them as principles. In other words: The National Socialist German Workers' Party extracts the essential principles from the general conception of the world which is based on the folk idea. On these principles it establishes a political doctrine which takes into account the practical realities of the day, the nature of the times, the available human material and all its deficiencies. Through this political doctrine it is possible to bring great masses of the people into an organization which is constructed as rigidly as it could be. Such an organization is the main preliminary that is necessary for the final triumph of this world view.
By 1920-1921 certain circles belonging to the present outlived bourgeois class accused our movement again and again of taking up a negative attitude towards the modern State. For that reason the motley gang of camp followers attached to the various political parties, representing a heterogeneous conglomeration of political views, assumed the right of utilizing all available means to suppress the protagonists of this young movement which was preaching a new political gospel. Our opponents deliberately ignored the fact that the bourgeois class itself stood for no uniform opinion as to what the State really meant and that the bourgeoisie did not and could not give any coherent definition of this institution. Those whose duty it is to explain what is meant when we speak of the State, hold chairs in State universities, often in the department of constitutional law, and consider it their highest duty to find explanations and justifications for the more or less fortunate existence of that particular form of State which provides them with their daily bread. The more absurd such a form of State is the more obscure and artificial and incomprehensible are the definitions which are advanced to explain the purpose of its existence. What, for instance, could a royal and imperial university professor write about the meaning and purpose of a State in a country whose statal form represented the greatest monstrosity of the twentieth century? That would be a difficult undertaking indeed, in view of the fact that the contemporary professor of constitutional law is obliged not so much to serve the cause of truth but rather to serve a certain definite purpose. And this purpose is to defend at all costs the existence of that monstrous human mechanism which we now call the State. Nobody can be surprised if concrete facts are evaded as far as possible when the problem of the State is under discussion and if professors adopt the tactics of concealing themselves in morass of abstract values and duties and purposes which are described as 'ethical' and 'moral'.
Generally speaking, these various theorists may be classed in three groups:
1. Those who hold that the State is a more or less voluntary association of men who have agreed to set up and obey a ruling authority.
This is numerically the largest group. In its ranks are to be found those who worship our present principle of legalized authority. In their eyes the will of the people has no part whatever in the whole affair. For them the fact that the State exists is sufficient reason to consider it sacred and inviolable. To protect the madness of human brains, a positively dog-like adoration of so-called state authority is needed. In the minds of these people the means is substituted for the end, by a sort of sleight-of-hand movement. The State no longer exists for the purpose of serving men but men exist for the purpose of adoring the authority of the State, which is vested in its functionaries, even down to the smallest official. So as to prevent this placid and ecstatic adoration from changing into something that might become in any way disturbing, the authority of the State is limited simply to the task of preserving order and tranquillity. Therewith it is no longer either a means or an end. The State must see that public peace and order are preserved and, in their turn, order and peace must make the existence of the State possible. All life must move between these two poles. In Bavaria this view is upheld by the artful politicians of the Bavarian Centre, which is called the 'Bavarian Populist Party'. In Austria the Black-and-Yellow legitimists adopt a similar attitude. In the Reich, unfortunately, the so-called conservative elements follow the same line of thought.
2. The second group is somewhat smaller in numbers. It includes those who would make the existence of the State dependent on some conditions at least. They insist that not only should there be a uniform system of government but also, if possible, that only one language should be used, though solely for technical reasons of administration. In this view the authority of the State is no longer the sole and exclusive end for which the State exists. It must also promote the good of its subjects. Ideas of 'freedom', mostly based on a misunderstanding of the meaning of that word, enter into the concept of the State as it exists in the minds of this group. The form of government is no longer considered inviolable simply because it exists. It must submit to the test of practical efficiency. Its venerable age no longer protects it from being criticized in the light of modern exigencies. Moreover, in this view the first duty laid upon the State is to guarantee the economic well-being of the individual citizens. Hence it is judged from the practical standpoint and according to general principles based on the idea of economic returns. The chief representatives of this theory of the State are to be found among the average German bourgeoisie, especially our liberal democrats.
3. The third group is numerically the smallest. In the State they discover a means for the realization of tendencies that arise from a policy of power, on the part of a people who are ethnically homogeneous and speak the same language. But those who hold this view are not clear about what they mean by 'tendencies arising from a policy of power'. A common language is postulated not only because they hope that thereby the State would be furnished with a solid basis for the extension of its power outside its own frontiers, but also because they think – though falling into a fundamental error by doing so – that such a common language would enable them to carry out a process of nationalization in a definite direction.
During the last century it was lamentable for those who had to witness it, to notice how in these circles I have just mentioned the word 'Germanize' was frivolously played with, though the practice was often well intended. I well remember how in the days of my youth this very term used to give rise to notions which were false to an incredible degree. Even in Pan-German circles one heard the opinion expressed that the Austrian Germans might very well succeed in Germanizing the Austrian Slavs, if only the Government would be ready to co-operate. Those people did not understand that a policy of Germanization can be carried out only as regards human beings. What they mostly meant by Germanization was a process of forcing other people to speak the German language. But it is almost inconceivable how such a mistake could be made as to think that a Negro or a Chinaman will become a German because he has learned the German language and is willing to speak German for the future, and even to cast his vote for a German political party. Our bourgeois nationalists could never clearly see that such a process of Germanization is in reality de-Germanization; for even if all the outstanding and visible differences between the various peoples could be bridged over and finally wiped out by the use of a common language, that would produce a process of bastardization which in this case would not signify Germanization but the annihilation of the German element. In the course of history it has happened only too often that a conquering race succeeded by external force in compelling the people whom they subjected to speak the tongue of the conqueror and that after a thousand years their language was spoken by another people and that thus the conqueror finally turned out to be the conquered.
What makes a people or, to be more correct, a race, is not language but blood. Therefore it would be justifiable to speak of Germanization only if that process could change the blood of the people who would be subjected to it, which is obviously impossible. A change would be possible only by a mixture of blood, but in this case the quality of the superior race would be debased. The final result of such a mixture would be that precisely those qualities would be destroyed which had enabled the conquering race to achieve victory over an inferior people. It is especially the cultural creativeness which disappears when a superior race intermixes with an inferior one, even though the resultant mongrel race should excel a thousandfold in speaking the language of the race that once had been superior. For a certain time there will be a conflict between the different mentalities, and it may be that a nation which is in a state of progressive degeneration will at the last moment rally its cultural creative power and once again produce striking examples of that power. But these results are due only to the activity of elements that have remained over from the superior race or hybrids of the first crossing in whom the superior blood has remained dominant and seeks to assert itself. But this will never happen with the final descendants of such hybrids. These are always in a state of cultural retrogression.
We must consider it as fortunate that a Germanization of Austria according to the plan of Joseph II did not succeed. Probably the result would have been that the Austrian State would have been able to survive, but at the same time participation in the use of a common language would have debased the racial quality of the German element. In the course of centuries a certain herd instinct might have been developed but the herd itself would have deteriorated in quality. A national State might have arisen, but a people who had been culturally creative would have disappeared.
For the German nation it was better that this process of intermixture did not take place, although it was not renounced for any high-minded reasons but simply through the short-sighted pettiness of the Habsburgs. If it had taken place the German people could not now be looked upon as a cultural factor.
Not only in Austria, however, but also in the Reich, these so-called national circles were, and still are, under the influence of similar erroneous ideas. Unfortunately, a policy towards Poland, whereby the East was to be Germanized, was demanded by many and was based on the same false reasoning. Here again it was believed that the Polish people could be Germanized by being compelled to use the German language. The result would have been fatal. A people of foreign race would have had to use the German language to express modes of thought that were foreign to the German, thus compromising by its own inferiority the dignity and nobility of our nation.
It is revolting to think how much damage is indirectly done to German prestige today through the fact that the German patois of the Jews when they enter the United States enables them to be classed as Germans, because many Americans are quite ignorant of German conditions. Among us, nobody would think of taking these unhygienic immigrants from the East for members of the German race and nation merely because they mostly speak German.
What has been beneficially Germanized in the course of history was the land which our ancestors conquered with the sword and colonized with German tillers of the soil. To the extent that they introduced foreign blood into our national body in this colonization, they have helped to disintegrate our racial character, a process which has resulted in our German hyper-individualism, though this latter characteristic is even now frequently praised.
In this third group also there are people who, to a certain degree, consider the State as an end in itself. Hence they consider its preservation as one of the highest aims of human existence. Our analysis may be summed up as follows:
All these opinions have this common feature and failing: that they are not grounded in a recognition of the profound truth that the capacity for creating cultural values is essentially based on the racial element and that, in accordance with this fact, the paramount purpose of the State is to preserve and improve the race; for this is an indispensable condition of all progress in human civilization.
Thus the Jew, Karl Marx, was able to draw the final conclusions from these false concepts and ideas on the nature and purpose of the State. By eliminating from the concept of the State all thought of the obligation which the State bears towards the race, without finding any other formula that might be universally accepted, the bourgeois teaching prepared the way for that doctrine which rejects the State as such.
That is why the bourgeois struggle against Marxist internationalism is absolutely doomed to fail in this field. The bourgeois classes have already sacrificed the basic principles which alone could furnish a solid footing for their ideas. Their crafty opponent has perceived the defects in their structure and advances to the assault on it with those weapons which they themselves have placed in his hands though not meaning to do so.
Therefore any new movement which is based on the racial concept of the world will first of all have to put forward a clear and logical doctrine of the nature and purpose of the State.
The fundamental principle is that the State is not an end in itself but the means to an end. It is the preliminary condition under which alone a higher form of human civilization can be developed, but it is not the source of such a development. This is to be sought exclusively in the actual existence of a race which is endowed with the gift of cultural creativeness. There may be hundreds of excellent States on this earth, and yet if the Aryan, who is the creator and custodian of civilization, should disappear, all culture that is on an adequate level with the spiritual needs of the superior nations today would also disappear. We may go still further and say that the fact that States have been created by human beings does not in the least exclude the possiblity that the human race may become extinct, because the superior intellectual faculties and powers of adaptation would be lost when the racial bearer of these faculties and powers disappeared.
If, for instance, the surface of the globe should be shaken today by some seismic convulsion and if a new Himalaya would emerge from the waves of the sea, this one catastrophe alone might annihilate human civilization. No State could exist any longer. All order would be shattered. And all vestiges of cultural products which had been evolved through thousands of years would disappear. Nothing would be left but one tremendous field of death and destruction submerged in floods of water and mud. If, however, just a few people would survive this terrible havoc, and if these people belonged to a definite race that had the innate powers to build up a civilization, when the commotion had passed, the earth would again bear witness to the creative power of the human spirit, even though a span of a thousand years might intervene. Only with the extermination of the last race that possesses the gift of cultural creativeness, and indeed only if all the individuals of that race had disappeared, would the earth definitely be turned into a desert. On the other hand, modern history furnishes examples to show that statal institutions which owe their beginnings to members of a race which lacks creative genius are not made of stuff that will endure. Just as many varieties of prehistoric animals had to give way to others and leave no trace behind them, so man will also have to give way, if he loses that definite faculty which enables him to find the weapons that are necessary for him to maintain his own existence.
It is not the State as such that brings about a certain definite advance in cultural progress. The State can only protect the race that is the cause of such progress. The State as such may well exist without undergoing any change for hundreds of years, though the cultural faculties and the general life of the people, which is shaped by these faculties, may have suffered profound changes by reason of the fact that the State did not prevent a process of racial mixture from taking place. The present State, for instance, may continue to exist in a mere mechanical form, but the poison of miscegenation permeating the national body brings about a cultural decadence which manifests itself already in various symptoms that are of a detrimental character.
Thus the indispensable prerequisite for the existence of a superior quality of human beings is not the State but the race, which is alone capable of producing that higher human quality.
This capacity is always there, though it will lie dormant unless external circumstances awaken it to action. Nations, or rather races, which are endowed with the faculty of cultural creativeness possess this faculty in a latent form during periods when the external circumstances are unfavourable for the time being and therefore do not allow the faculty to express itself effectively. It is therefore outrageously unjust to speak of the pre-Christian Germans as barbarians who had no civilization. They never have been such. But the severity of the climate that prevailed in the northern regions which they inhabited imposed conditions of life which hampered a free development of their creative faculties. If they had come to the fairer climate of the South, with no previous culture whatsoever, and if they acquired the necessary human material – that is to say, men of an inferior race – to serve them as working implements, the cultural faculty dormant in them would have splendidly blossomed forth, as happened in the case of the Greeks, for example. But this primordial creative faculty in cultural things was not solely due to their northern climate. For the Laplanders or the Eskimos would not have become creators of a culture if they were transplanted to the South. No, this wonderful creative faculty is a special gift bestowed on the Aryan, whether it lies dormant in him or becomes active, according as the adverse conditions of nature prevent the active expression of that faculty or favourable circumstances permit it.
From these facts the following conclusions may be drawn:
The State is only a means to an end. Its end and its purpose is to preserve and promote a community of human beings who are physically as well as spiritually kindred. Above all, it must preserve the existence of the race, thereby providing the indispensable condition for the free development of all the forces dormant in this race. A great part of these faculties will always have to be employed in the first place to maintain the physical existence of the race, and only a small portion will be free to work in the field of intellectual progress. But, as a matter of fact, the one is always the necessary counterpart of the other.
Those States which do not serve this purpose have no justification for their existence. They are monstrosities. The fact that they do exist is no more of a justification than the successful raids carried out by a band of pirates can be considered a justification of piracy.
We National Socialists, who are fighting for a new philosophy of life must never take our stand on the famous 'basis of facts', and especially not on mistaken facts. If we did so, we should cease to be the protagonists of a new and great idea and would become slaves in the service of the fallacy which is dominant today. We must make a clear-cut distinction between the vessel and its contents. The State is only the vessel and the race is what it contains. The vessel can have a meaning only if it preserves and safeguards the contents. Otherwise it is worthless.
Hence the supreme purpose of the folkish State is to guard and preserve those original racial elements which, through their work in the cultural field, create that beauty and dignity which are characteristic of a higher mankind. We, as Aryans, can consider the State only as the living organism of a people, an organism which does not merely maintain the existence of a people, but functions in such a way as to lead its people to a position of supreme liberty by the progressive development of the intellectual and cultural faculties.
What they want to impose upon us as a State today is in most cases nothing but a monstrosity, the product of a profound human aberration which brings untold suffering in its train.
We National Socialists know that in holding these views we take up a revolutionary stand in the world of today and that we are branded as revolutionaries. But our views and our conduct will not be determined by the approbation or disapprobation of our contemporaries, but only by our duty to follow a truth which we have acknowledged. In doing this we have reason to believe that posterity will have a clearer insight, and will not only understand the work we are doing today, but will also ratify it as the right work and will exalt it accordingly.
On these principles we National Socialists base our standards of value in appraising a State. This value will be relative when viewed from the particular standpoint of the individual nation, but it will be absolute when considered from the standpoint of humanity as a whole. In other words, this means:
The quality of a State can never be judged by the level of its culture or the degree of importance which the outside world attaches to its power, but that its excellence must be judged by the degree to which its institutions serve the racial stock which belongs to it.
A State may be considered as a model example if it adequately serves not only the vital needs of the racial stock it represents but if it actually assures by its own existence the preservation of this same racial stock, no matter what general cultural significance this statal institution may have in the eyes of the rest of the world. For it is not the task of the State to create human capabilities, but only to assure free scope for the exercise of capabilities that already exist. Thus, conversely, a State may be called bad if, in spite of the existence of a high cultural level, it dooms to destruction the bearers of that culture by breaking up their racial uniformity. For the practical effect of such a policy would be to destroy those conditions that are indispensable for the ulterior existence of that culture, which the State did not create but which is the fruit of the creative power inherent in the racial stock whose existence is assured by being united in the living organism of the State. Once again let me emphasize the fact that the State itself is not the substance but the form. Therefore, the cultural level is not the standard by which we can judge the value of the State in which that people lives. It is evident that a people which is endowed with high creative powers in the cultural sphere is of more worth than a tribe of negroes. And yet the statal organization of the former, if judged from the standpoint of efficiency, may be worse than that of the negroes. Not even the best of States and statal institutions can evolve faculties from a people which they lack and which they never possessed, but a bad State may gradually destroy the faculties which once existed. This it can do by allowing or favouring the suppression of those who are the bearers of a racial culture.
Therefore, the worth of a State can be determined only by asking how far it actually succeeds in promoting the well-being of a definite race and not by the role which it plays in the world at large. Its relative worth can be estimated readily and accurately; but it is difficult to judge its absolute worth, because the latter is conditioned not only by the State but also by the quality and cultural level of the people that belong to the individual State in question.
Therefore, when we speak of the high mission of the State we must not forget that the high mission belongs to the people and that the business of the State is to use its organizing powers for the purpose of furnishing the necessary conditions which allow this people freely to unfold its creative faculties. And if we ask what kind of statal institution we Germans need, we must first have a clear notion as to the people which that State must embrace and what purpose it must serve.
Unfortunately the German national being is not based on a uniform racial type. The process of welding the original elements together has not gone so far as to warrant us in saying that a new race has emerged. On the contrary, the poison which has invaded the national body, especially since the Thirty Years' War, has destroyed the uniform constitution not only of our blood but also of our national soul. The open frontiers of our native country, the association with non-German foreign elements in the territories that lie all along those frontiers, and especially the strong influx of foreign blood into the interior of the Reich itself, has prevented any complete assimilation of those various elements, because the influx has continued steadily. Out of this melting-pot no new race arose. The heterogeneous elements continue to exist side by side. And the result is that, especially in times of crisis, when the herd usually flocks together, the Germans disperse in all directions. The fundamental racial elements are not only different in different districts, but there are also various elements in the single districts. Beside the Nordic type we find the East-European type, beside the Eastern there is the Dinaric, the Western type intermingling with both, and hybrids among them all. That is a grave drawback for us. Through it the Germans lack that strong herd instinct which arises from unity of blood and saves nations from ruin in dangerous and critical times; because on such occasions small differences disappear, so that a united herd faces the enemy. What we understand by the word hyper-individualism arises from the fact that our primordial racial elements have existed side by side without ever consolidating. During times of peace such a situation may offer some advantages, but, taken all in all, it has prevented us from gaining a mastery in the world. If in its historical development the German people had possessed the unity of herd instinct by which other peoples have so much benefited, then the German Reich would probably be mistress of the globe today. World history would have taken another course and in this case no man can tell if what many blinded pacifists hope to attain by petitioning, whining and crying, may not have been reached in this way: namely, a peace which would not be based upon the waving of olive branches and tearful misery-mongering of pacifist old women, but a peace that would be guaranteed by the triumphant sword of a people endowed with the power to master the world and administer it in the service of a higher civilization.
The fact that our people did not have a national being based on a unity of blood has been the source of untold misery for us. To many petty German potentates it gave residential capital cities, but the German people as a whole was deprived of its right to rulership.
Even today our nation still suffers from this lack of inner unity; but what has been the cause of our past and present misfortunes may turn out a blessing for us in the future. Though on the one hand it may be a drawback that our racial elements were not welded together, so that no homogeneous national body could develop, on the other hand, it was fortunate that, since at least a part of our best blood was thus kept pure, its racial quality was not debased.
A complete assimilation of all our racial elements would certainly have brought about a homogeneous national organism; but, as has been proved in the case of every racial mixture, it would have been less capable of creating a civilization than by keeping intact its best original elements. A benefit which results from the fact that there was no all-round assimilation is to be seen in that even now we have large groups of German Nordic people within our national organization, and that their blood has not been mixed with the blood of other races. We must look upon this as our most valuable treasure for the sake of the future. During that dark period of absolute ignorance in regard to all racial laws, when each individual was considered to be on a par with every other, there could be no clear appreciation of the difference between the various fundamental racial characteristics. We know today that a complete assimilation of all the various elements which constitute the national being might have resulted in giving us a larger share of external power: but, on the other hand, the highest of human aims would not have been attained, because the only kind of people which fate has obviously chosen to bring about this perfection would have been lost in such a general mixture of races which would constitute such a racial amalgamation.
But what has been prevented by a friendly Destiny, without any assistance on our part, must now be reconsidered and utilized in the light of our new knowledge.
He who talks of the German people as having a mission to fulfil on this earth must know that this cannot be fulfilled except by the building up of a State whose highest purpose is to preserve and promote those nobler elements of our race and of the whole of mankind which have remained unimpaired.
Thus for the first time a high inner purpose is accredited to the State. In face of the ridiculous phrase that the State should do no more than act as the guardian of public order and tranquillity, so that everybody can peacefully dupe everybody else, it is given a very high mission indeed to preserve and encourage the highest type of humanity which a beneficent Creator has bestowed on this earth. Out of a dead mechanism which claims to be an end in itself a living organism shall arise which has to serve one purpose exclusively: and that, indeed, a purpose which belongs to a higher order of ideas.
As a State the German Reich shall include all Germans. Its task is not only to gather in and foster the most valuable sections of our people but to lead them slowly and surely to a dominant position in the world.
Thus a period of stagnation is superseded by a period of effort. And here, as in every other sphere, the proverb holds good that to rest is to rust; and furthermore the proverb that victory will always be won by him who attacks. The higher the final goal which we strive to reach, and the less it be understood at the time by the broad masses, the more magnificent will be its success. That is what the lesson of history teaches. And the achievement will be all the more significant if the end is conceived in the right way and the fight carried through with unswerving persistence.
Many of the officials who direct the affairs of State nowadays may find it easier to work for the maintenance of the present order than to fight for a new one. They will find it more comfortable to look upon the State as a mechanism, whose purpose is its own preservation, and to say that their lives 'belong to the State' -- as if anything that grew from the inner life of the nation can logically serve anything but the national being, and as if man could be made for anything else than for his fellow beings. Naturally, it is easier, as I have said, to consider the authority of the State as nothing but the formal mechanism of an organization, rather than as the sovereign incarnation of a people's instinct for self-preservation on this earth. For these weak minds the State and the authority of the State is nothing but an aim in itself, while for us it is an effective weapon in the service of the great and eternal struggle for existence, a weapon which everyone must adopt, not because it is a mere formal mechanism, but because it is the main expression of our common will to exist.
Therefore, in the fight for our new idea, which conforms completely to the primal meaning of life, we shall find only a small number of comrades in a social order which has become decrepit not only physically but mentally also. From these strata of our population only a few exceptional people will join our ranks, only those few old people whose hearts have remained young and whose courage is still vigorous, but not those who consider it their duty to maintain the state of affairs that exists.
Against us we have the innumerable army of all those who are lazy-minded and indifferent rather than evil, and those whose self-interest leads them to uphold the present state of affairs. On the apparent hopelessness of our great struggle is based the magnitude of our task and the possibilities of success. A battle-cry which from the very start will scare off all the petty spirits, or at least discourage them, will become the signal for a rally of all those temperaments that are of the real fighting metal. And it must be clearly recognized that if a highly energetic and active body of men emerge from a nation and unite in the fight for one goal, thereby ultimately rising above the inert masses of the people, this small percentage will become masters of the whole. World history is made by minorities if these numerical minorities represent in themselves the will and energy and initiative of the people as a whole.
What seems an obstacle to many persons is really a preliminary condition of our victory. Just because our task is so great and because so many difficulties have to be overcome, the highest probability is that only the best kind of protagonists will join our ranks. This selection is the guarantee of our success.
Nature generally takes certain measures to correct the effect which racial mixture produces in life. She is not much in favour of the mongrel. The later products of cross-breeding have to suffer bitterly, especially the third, fourth and fifth generations. Not only are they deprived of the higher qualities that belonged to the parents who participated in the first mixture, but they also lack definite will-power and vigorous vital energies owing to the lack of harmony in the quality of their blood. At all critical moments in which a person of pure racial blood makes correct decisions, that is to say, decisions that are coherent and uniform, the person of mixed blood will become confused and take measures that are incoherent. Hence we see that a person of mixed blood is not only relatively inferior to a person of pure blood, but is also doomed to become extinct more rapidly. In innumerable cases wherein the pure race holds its ground the mongrel breaks down. Therein we witness the corrective provision which Nature adopts. She restricts the possibilities of procreation, thus impeding the fertility of cross-breeds and bringing them to extinction.
For instance, if an individual member of a race should mingle his blood with the member of a superior race the first result would be a lowering of the racial level, and furthermore the descendants of this cross-breeding would be weaker than those of the people around them who had maintained their blood unadulterated. Where no new blood from the superior race enters the racial stream of the mongrels, and where those mongrels continue to cross-breed among themselves, the latter will either die out because they have insufficient powers of resistance, which is Nature's wise provision, or in the course of many thousands of years they will form a new mongrel race in which the original elements will become so wholly mixed through this millennial crossing that traces of the original elements will be no longer recognizable. And thus a new people would be developed which possessed a certain resistance capacity of the herd type, but its intellectual value and its cultural significance would be essentially inferior to those which the first cross-breeds possessed. But even in this last case the mongrel product would succumb in the mutual struggle for existence with a higher racial group that had maintained its blood unmixed. The herd solidarity which this mongrel race had developed through thousands of years will not be equal to the struggle. And this is because it would lack elasticity and constructive capacity to prevail over a race of homogeneous blood that was mentally and culturally superior.
Therewith we may lay down the following principle as valid:
every racial mixture leads, of necessity, sooner or later to the downfall of the mongrel product, provided the higher racial strata of this cross-breed has not retained within itself some sort of racial homogeneity. The danger to the mongrels ceases only when this higher stratum, which has maintained certain standards of homogeneous breeding, ceases to be true to its pedigree and intermingles with the mongrels.
This principle is the source of a slow but constant regeneration whereby all the poison which has invaded the racial body is gradually eliminated so long as there still remains a fundamental stock of pure racial elements which resists further crossbreeding.
Such a process may set in automatically among those people where a strong racial instinct has remained. Among such people we may count those elements which, for some particular cause such as coercion, have been thrown out of the normal way of reproduction along strict racial lines. As soon as this compulsion ceases, that part of the race which has remained intact will tend to marry with its own kind and thus impede further intermingling. Then the mongrels recede quite naturally into the background unless their numbers had increased so much as to be able to withstand all serious resistance from those elements which had preserved the purity of their race.
When men have lost their natural instincts and ignore the obligations imposed on them by Nature, then there is no hope that Nature will correct the loss that has been caused, until recognition of the lost instincts has been restored. Then the task of bringing back what has been lost will have to be accomplished. But there is serious danger that those who have become blind once in this respect will continue more and more to break down racial barriers and finally lose the last remnants of what is best in them. What then remains is nothing but a uniform mish-mash, which seems to be the dream of our fine Utopians. But that mish-mash would soon banish all ideals from the world. Certainly a great herd could thus be formed. One can breed a herd of animals; but from a mixture of this kind men such as have created and founded civilizations would not be produced. The mission of humanity might then be considered at an end.
Those who do not wish that the earth should fall into such a condition must realize that it is the task of the German State in particular to see to it that the process of bastardization is brought to a stop.
Our contemporary generation of weaklings will naturally decry such a policy and whine and complain about it as an encroachment on the most sacred of human rights. But there is only one right that is sacrosanct and this right is at the same time a most sacred duty. This right and obligation are: that the purity of the racial blood should be guarded, so that the best types of human beings may be preserved and that thus we should render possible a more noble development of humanity itself.
A folk-State should in the first place raise matrimony from the level of being a constant scandal to the race. The State should consecrate it as an institution which is called upon to produce creatures made in the likeness of the Lord and not create monsters that are a mixture of man and ape. The protest which is put forward in the name of humanity does not fit the mouth of a generation that makes it possible for the most depraved degenerates to propagate themselves, thereby imposing unspeakable suffering on their own products and their contemporaries, while on the other hand contraceptives are permitted and sold in every drug store and even by street hawkers, so that babies should not be born even among the healthiest of our people. In this present State of ours, whose function it is to be the guardian of peace and good order, our national bourgeoisie look upon it as a crime to make procreation impossible for syphilitics and those who suffer from tuberculosis or other hereditary diseases, also cripples and imbeciles. But the practical prevention of procreation among millions of our very best people is not considered as an evil, nor does it offend against the noble morality of this social class but rather encourages their short-sightedness and mental lethargy. For otherwise they would at least stir their brains to find an answer to the question of how to create conditions for the feeding and maintaining of those future beings who will be the healthy representatives of our nation and must also provide the conditions on which the generation that is to follow them will have to support itself and live.
How devoid of ideals and how ignoble is the whole contemporary system! The fact that the churches join in committing this sin against the image of God, even though they continue to emphasize the dignity of that image, is quite in keeping with their present activities. They talk about the Spirit, but they allow man, as the embodiment of the Spirit, to degenerate to the proletarian level. Then they look on with amazement when they realize how small is the influence of the Christian Faith in their own country and how depraved and ungodly is this riff-raff which is physically degenerate and therefore morally degenerate also. To balance this state of affairs they try to convert the Hottentots and the Zulus and the Kaffirs and to bestow on them the blessings of the Church. While our European people, God be praised and thanked, are left to become the victims of moral depravity, the pious missionary goes out to Central Africa and establishes missionary stations for negroes. Finally, sound and healthy – though primitive and backward – people will be transformed, under the name of our 'higher civilization', into a motley of lazy and brutalized mongrels.
It would better accord with noble human aspirations if our two Christian denominations would cease to bother the negroes with their preaching, which the negroes neither desire nor understand. It would be better if they left this work alone, and if, in its stead, they tried to teach people in Europe, kindly and seriously, that it is much more pleasing to God if a couple that is not of healthy stock were to show loving kindness to some poor orphan and become a father and mother to him, rather than give life to a sickly child that will be a cause of suffering and unhappiness to all.
In this field the People's State will have to repair the damage that arises from the fact that the problem is at present neglected by all the various parties concerned. It will be the task of the People's State to make the race the centre of the life of the community. It must make sure that the purity of the racial strain will be preserved. It must proclaim the truth that the child is the most valuable possession a people can have. It must see to it that only those who are healthy shall beget children; that there is only one infamy, namely, for parents that are ill or show hereditary defects to bring children into the world and that in such cases it is a high honour to refrain from doing so. But, on the other hand, it must be considered as reprehensible conduct to refrain from giving healthy children to the nation. In this matter the State must assert itself as the trustee of a millennial future, in face of which the egotistic desires of the individual count for nothing and will have to give way before the ruling of the State. In order to fulfil this duty in a practical manner the State will have to avail itself of modern medical discoveries. It must proclaim as unfit for procreation all those who are inflicted with some visible hereditary disease or are the carriers of it; and practical measures must be adopted to have such people rendered sterile. On the other hand, provision must be made for the normally fertile woman so that she will not be restricted in child-bearing through the financial and economic system operating in a political regime that looks upon the blessing of having children as a curse to their parents. The State will have to abolish the cowardly and even criminal indifference with which the problem of social amenities for large families is treated, and it will have to be the supreme protector of this greatest blessing that a people can boast of. Its attention and care must be directed towards the child rather than the adult.
Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unfit must not perpetuate their own suffering in the bodies of their children. From the educational point of view there is here a huge task for the People's State to accomplish. But in a future era this work will appear greater and more significant than the victorious wars of our present bourgeois epoch. Through educational means the State must teach individuals that illness is not a disgrace but an unfortunate accident which has to be pitied, yet that it is a crime and a disgrace to make this affliction all the worse by passing on disease and defects to innocent creatures out of mere egotism. And the State must also teach the people that it is an expression of a really noble nature and that it is a humanitarian act worthy of admiration if a person who innocently suffers from hereditary disease refrains from having a child of his own but gives his love and affection to some unknown child who, through its health, promises to become a robust member of a healthy community. In accomplishing such an educational task the State integrates its function by this activity in the moral sphere. It must act on this principle without paying any attention to the question of whether its conduct will be understood or misconstrued, blamed or praised.
If for a period of only 600 years those individuals would be sterilized who are physically degenerate or mentally diseased, humanity would not only be delivered from an immense misfortune but also restored to a state of general health such as we at present can hardly imagine. If the fecundity of the healthy portion of the nation should be made a practical matter in a conscientious and methodical way, we should have at least the beginnings of a race from which all those germs would be eliminated which are today the cause of our moral and physical decadence. If a people and a State take this course to develop that nucleus of the nation which is most valuable from the racial standpoint and thus increase its fecundity, the people as a whole will subsequently enjoy that most precious of gifts which consists in a racial quality fashioned on truly noble lines.
To achieve this the State should first of all not leave the colonization of newly acquired territory to a haphazard policy but should have it carried out under the guidance of definite principles. Specially competent committees ought to issue certificates to individuals entitling them to engage in colonization work, and these certificates should guarantee the racial purity of the individuals in question. In this way frontier colonies could gradually be founded whose inhabitants would be of the purest racial stock, and hence would possess the best qualities of the race. Such colonies would be a valuable asset to the whole nation. Their development would be a source of joy and confidence and pride to each citizen of the nation, because they would contain the pure germ which would ultimately bring about a great development of the nation and indeed of mankind itself.
The folkish philosophy of life which bases the State on the racial idea must finally succeed in bringing about a nobler era, in which men will no longer pay exclusive attention to breeding and rearing pedigree dogs and horses and cats, but will endeavour to improve the breed of the human race itself. That will be an era of silence and renunciation for one class of people, while the others will give their gifts and make their sacrifices joyfully.
That such a mentality may be possible cannot be denied in a world where hundreds and thousands accept the principle of celibacy from their own choice, without being obliged or pledged to do so by anything except an ecclesiastical precept. Why should it not be possible to induce people to make this sacrifice if, instead of such a precept, they were simply told that they ought to put an end to this truly original sin of racial corruption which is steadily being passed on from one generation to another. And, further, they ought to be brought to realize that it is their bounden duty to give to the Almighty Creator beings such as He himself made to His own image.
Naturally, our wretched army of contemporary philistines will not understand these things. They will ridicule them or shrug their round shoulders and groan out their everlasting excuses: "Of course it is a fine thing, but the pity is that it cannot be carried out." And we reply: "With you indeed it cannot be done, for your world is incapable of such an idea. You know only one anxiety and that is for your own personal existence. You have one God, and that is your money. We do not turn to you, however, for help, but to the great army of those who are too poor to consider their personal existence as the highest good on earth. They do not place their trust in money but in other gods, into whose hands they confide their lives. Above all we turn to the vast army of our German youth. They are coming to maturity in a great epoch, and they will fight against the evils which were due to the laziness and indifference of their fathers." Either the German youth will one day create a new State founded on the racial idea or they will be the last witnesses of the complete breakdown and death of the bourgeois world.
For if a generation suffers from defects which it recognizes and even admits and is nevertheless quite pleased with itself, as the bourgeois world is today, resorting to the cheap excuse that nothing can be done to remedy the situation, then such a generation is doomed to disaster. A marked characteristic of our bourgeois world is that they no longer can deny the evil conditions that exist. They have to admit that there is much which is foul and wrong; but they are not able to make up their minds to fight against that evil, which would mean putting forth the energy to mobilize the forces of 60 or 70 million people and thus oppose this menace. They do just the opposite. When such an effort is made elsewhere they only indulge in silly comment and try from a safe distance to show that such an enterprise is theoretically impossible and doomed to failure. No arguments are too stupid to be employed in the service of their own pettifogging opinions and their knavish moral attitude. If, for instance, a whole continent wages war against alcoholic intoxication, so as to free a whole people from this devastating vice, our bourgeois European does not know better than to look sideways stupidly, shake the head in doubt and ridicule the movement with a superior sneer – a state of mind which is effective in a society that is so ridiculous. But when all these stupidities miss their aim and in that part of the world this sublime and intangible attitude is treated effectively and success attends the movement, then such success is called into question or its importance minimized. Even moral principles are used in this slanderous campaign against a movement which aims at suppressing a great source of immorality.
No. We must not permit ourselves to be deceived by any illusions on this point. Our contemporary bourgeois world has become useless for any such noble human task because it has lost all high quality and is evil, not so much - as I think - because evil is wished but rather because these people are too indolent to rise up against it. That is why those political societies which call themselves 'bourgeois parties' are nothing but associations to promote the interests of certain professional groups and classes. Their highest aim is to defend their own egoistic interests as best they can. It is obvious that such a guild, consisting of bourgeois politicians, may be considered fit for anything rather than a struggle, especially when the adversaries are not cautious shopkeepers but the proletarian masses, goaded on to extremities and determined not to hesitate before deeds of violence.
If we consider it the first duty of the State to serve and promote the general welfare of the people, by preserving and encouraging the development of the best racial elements, the logical consequence is that this task cannot be limited to measures concerning the birth of the infant members of the race and nation but that the State will also have to adopt educational means for making each citizen a worthy factor in the further propagation of the racial stock.
Just as, in general, the racial quality is the preliminary condition for the mental efficiency of any given human material, the training of the individual will first of all have to be directed towards the development of sound bodily health. For the general rule is that a strong and healthy mind is found only in a strong and healthy body. The fact that men of genius are sometimes not robust in health and stature, or even of a sickly constitution, is no proof against the principle I have enunciated. These cases are only exceptions which, as everywhere else, prove the rule. But when the bulk of a nation is composed of physical degenerates it is rare for a great spirit to arise from such a miserable motley. And in any case his activities would never meet with great success. A degenerate mob will either be incapable of understanding him at all or their will-power is so feeble that they cannot follow the soaring of such an eagle.
The State that is grounded on the racial principle and is alive to the significance of this truth will first of all have to base its educational work not on the mere imparting of knowledge but rather on physical training and development of healthy bodies. The cultivation of the intellectual facilities comes only in the second place. And here again it is character which has to be developed first of all, strength of will and decision. And the educational system ought to foster the spirit of readiness to accept responsibilities gladly. Formal instruction in the sciences must be considered last in importance. Accordingly the State which is grounded on the racial idea must start with the principle that a person whose formal education in the sciences is relatively small but who is physically sound and robust, of a steadfast and honest character, ready and able to make decisions and endowed with strength of will, is a more useful member of the national community than a weakling who is scholarly and refined. A nation composed of learned men who are physical weaklings, hesitant about decisions of the will, and timid pacifists, is not capable of assuring even its own existence on this earth. In the bitter struggle which decides the destiny of man it is very rare that an individual has succumbed because he lacked learning. Those who fail are they who try to ignore these consequences and are too faint-hearted about putting them into effect. There must be a certain balance between mind and body. An ill-kept body is not made a more beautiful sight by the indwelling of a radiant spirit. We should not be acting justly if we were to bestow the highest intellectual training on those who are physically deformed and crippled, who lack decision and are weak-willed and cowardly. What has made the Greek ideal of beauty immortal is the wonderful union of a splendid physical beauty with nobility of mind and spirit.
Moltke's saying, that in the long run fortune favours only the efficient, is certainly valid for the relationship between body and spirit. A mind which is sound will generally maintain its dwelling in a body that is sound.
Accordingly, in the People's State physical training is not a matter for the individual alone. Nor is it a duty which first devolves on the parents and only secondly or thirdly a public interest; but it is necessary for the preservation of the people, who are represented and protected by the State. As regards purely formal education the State even now interferes with the individual's right of self-determination and insists upon the right of the community by submitting the child to an obligatory system of training, without paying attention to the approval or disapproval of the parents. In a similar way and to a higher degree the new People's State will one day make its authority prevail over the ignorance and incomprehension of individuals in problems appertaining to the safety of the nation. It must organize its educational work in such a way that the bodies of the young will be systematically trained from infancy onwards, so as to be tempered and hardened for the demands to be made on them in later years. Above all, the State must see to it that a generation of stay-at-homes is not developed.
The work of education and hygiene has to begin with the young mother. The painstaking efforts carried on for several decades have succeeded in abolishing septic infection at childbirth and reducing puerperal fever to a relatively small number of cases. And so it ought to be possible by means of instructing sisters and mothers in an opportune way, to institute a system of training the child from early infancy onwards so that this may serve as an excellent basis for future development.
The People's State ought to allow much more time for physical training in the school. It is nonsense to burden young brains with a load of material of which, as experience shows, they retain only a small part, and mostly not the essentials, but only the secondary and useless portion; because the young mind is incapable of sifting the right kind of learning out of all the stuff that is pumped into it. To-day, even in the curriculum of the high schools, only two short hours in the week are reserved for gymnastics; and worse still, it is left to the pupils to decide whether or not they want to take part. This shows a grave disproportion between this branch of education and purely intellectual instruction. Not a single day should be allowed to pass in which the young pupil does not have one hour of physical training in the morning and one in the evening; and every kind of sport and gymnastics should be included. There is one kind of sport which should be specially encouraged, although many people who call themselves völkisch consider it brutal and vulgar, and that is boxing. It is incredible how many false notions prevail among the 'cultivated' classes. The fact that the young man learns how to fence and then spends his time in duels is considered quite natural and respectable. But boxing – that is brutal. Why? There is no other sport which equals this in developing the militant spirit, none that demands such a power of rapid decision or which gives the body the flexibility of good steel. It is no more vulgar when two young people settle their differences with their fists than with sharp-pointed pieces of steel. One who is attacked and defends himself with his fists surely does not act less manly than one who runs off and yells for the assistance of a policeman. But, above all, a healthy youth has to learn to endure hard knocks. This principle may appear savage to our contemporary champions who fight only with the weapons of the intellect. But it is not the purpose of the People's State to educate a colony of æsthetic pacifists and physical degenerates. This State does not consider that the human ideal is to be found in the honourable philistine or the maidenly spinster, but in a dareful personification of manly force and in women capable of bringing men into the world.
Generally speaking, the function of sport is not only to make the individual strong, alert and daring, but also to harden the body and train it to endure an adverse environment.
If our superior class had not received such a distinguished education, and if, on the contrary, they had learned boxing, it would never have been possible for bullies and deserters and other such canaille to carry through a German revolution. For the success of this revolution was not due to the courageous, energetic and audacious activities of its authors but to the lamentable cowardice and irresolution of those who ruled the German State at that time and were responsible for it. But our educated leaders had received only an 'intellectual' training and thus found themselves defenceless when their adversaries used iron bars instead of intellectual weapons. All this could happen only because our superior scholastic system did not train men to be real men but merely to be civil servants, engineers, technicians, chemists, litterateurs, jurists and, finally, professors; so that intellectualism should not die out.
Our leadership in the purely intellectual sphere has always been brilliant, but as regards will-power in practical affairs our leadership has been beneath criticism.
Of course education cannot make a courageous man out of one who is temperamentally a coward. But a man who naturally possesses a certain degree of courage will not be able to develop that quality if his defective education has made him inferior to others from the very start as regards physical strength and prowess. The army offers the best example of the fact that the knowledge of one's physical ability develops a man's courage and militant spirit. Outstanding heroes are not the rule in the army, but the average represents men of high courage. The excellent schooling which the German soldiers received before the War imbued the members of the whole gigantic organism with a degree of confidence in their own superiority such as even our opponents never thought possible. All the immortal examples of dauntless courage and daring which the German armies gave during the late summer and autumn of 1914, as they advanced from triumph to triumph, were the result of that education which had been pursued systematically. During those long years of peace before the last War men who were almost physical weaklings were made capable of incredible deeds, and thus a self-confidence was developed which did not fail even in the most terrible battles.
It is our German people, which broke down and were delivered over to be kicked by the rest of the world, that had need of the power that comes by suggestion from self-confidence. But this confidence in one's self must be instilled into our children from their very early years. The whole system of education and training must be directed towards fostering in the child the conviction that he is unquestionably a match for any- and everybody. The individual has to regain his own physical strength and prowess in order to believe in the invincibility of the nation to which he belongs. What has formerly led the German armies to victory was the sum total of the confidence which each individual had in himself, and which all of them had in those who held the positions of command. What will restore the national strength of the German people is the conviction that they will be able to reconquer their liberty. But this conviction can only be the final product of an equal feeling in the millions of individuals. And here again we must have no illusions.
The collapse of our people was overwhelming, and the efforts to put an end to so much misery must also be overwhelming. It would be a bitter and grave error to believe that our people could be made strong again simply by means of our present bourgeois training in good order and obedience. That will not suffice if we are to break up the present order of things, which now sanctions the acknowledgment of our defeat and cast the broken chains of our slavery in the face of our opponents. Only by a superabundance of national energy and a passionate thirst for liberty can we recover what has been lost.
Also the manner of clothing the young should be such as harmonizes with this purpose. It is really lamentable to see how our young people have fallen victims to a fashion mania which perverts the meaning of the old adage that clothes make the man.
Especially in regard to young people clothes should take their place in the service of education. The boy who walks about in summer-time wearing long baggy trousers and clad up to the neck is hampered even by his clothes in feeling any inclination towards strenuous physical exercise. Ambition and, to speak quite frankly, even vanity must be appealed to. I do not mean such vanity as leads people to want to wear fine clothes, which not everybody can afford, but rather the vanity which inclines a person towards developing a fine bodily physique. And this is something which everybody can help to do.
This will come in useful also for later years. The young girl must become acquainted with her sweetheart. If the beauty of the body were not completely forced into the background today through our stupid manner of dressing, it would not be possible for thousands of our girls to be led astray by Jewish mongrels, with their repulsive crooked waddle. It is also in the interests of the nation that those who have a beautiful physique should be brought into the foreground, so that they might encourage the development of a beautiful bodily form among the people in general.
Military training is excluded among us today, and therewith the only institution which in peace-times at least partly made up for the lack of physical training in our education. Therefore what I have suggested is all the more necessary in our time. The success of our old military training not only showed itself in the education of the individual but also in the influence which it exercised over the mutual relationship between the sexes. The young girl preferred the soldier to one who was not a soldier. The People's State must not confine its control of physical training to the official school period, but it must demand that, after leaving school and while the adolescent body is still developing, the boy continues this training. For on such proper physical development success in after-life largely depends. It is stupid to think that the right of the State to supervise the education of its young citizens suddenly comes to an end the moment they leave school and recommences only with military service. This right is a duty, and as such it must continue uninterruptedly. The present State, which does not interest itself in developing healthy men, has criminally neglected this duty. It leaves our contemporary youth to be corrupted on the streets and in the brothels, instead of keeping hold of the reins and continuing the physical training of these youths up to the time when they are grown into healthy young men and women.
For the present it is a matter of indifference what form the State chooses for carrying on this training. The essential matter is that it should be developed and that the most suitable ways of doing so should be investigated. The People's State will have to consider the physical training of the youth after the school period just as much a public duty as their intellectual training; and this training will have to be carried out through public institutions. Its general lines can be a preparation for subsequent service in the army. And then it will no longer be the task of the army to teach the young recruit the most elementary drill regulations. In fact the army will no longer have to deal with recruits in the present sense of the word, but it will rather have to transform into a soldier the youth whose bodily prowess has been already fully trained.
In the People's State the army will no longer be obliged to teach boys how to walk and stand erect, but it will be the final and supreme school of patriotic education. In the army the young recruit will learn the art of bearing arms, but at the same time he will be equipped for his other duties in later life. And the supreme aim of military education must always be to achieve that which was attributed to the old army as its highest merit: namely, that through his military schooling the boy must be transformed into a man, that he must not only learn to obey but also acquire the fundamentals that will enable him one day to command. He must learn to remain silent not only when he is rightly rebuked but also when he is wrongly rebuked.
Furthermore, on the self-consciousness of his own strength and on the basis of that esprit de corps which inspires him and his comrades, he must become convinced that he belongs to a people who are invincible.
After he has completed his military training two certificates shall be handed to the soldier. The one will be his diploma as a citizen of the State, a juridical document which will enable him to take part in public affairs. The second will be an attestation of his physical health, which guarantees his fitness for marriage.
The People's State will have to direct the education of girls just as that of boys and according to the same fundamental principles. Here again special importance must be given to physical training, and only after that must the importance of spiritual and mental training be taken into account. In the education of the girl the final goal always to be kept in mind is that she is one day to be a mother.
It is only in the second place that the People's State must busy itself with the training of character, using all the means adapted to that purpose.
Of course the essential traits of the individual character are already there fundamentally before any education takes place. A person who is fundamentally egoistic will always remain fundamentally egoistic, and the idealist will always remain fundamentally an idealist. Besides those, however, who already possess a definite stamp of character there are millions of people with characters that are indefinite and vague. The born delinquent will always remain a delinquent, but numerous people who show only a certain tendency to commit criminal acts may become useful members of the community if rightly trained; whereas, on the other hand, weak and unstable characters may easily become evil elements if the system of education has been bad.
During the War it was often lamented that our people could be so little reticent. This failing made it very difficult to keep even highly important secrets from the knowledge of the enemy. But let us ask this question: What did the German educational system do in pre-War times to teach the Germans to be discreet? Did it not very often happen in schooldays that the little tell-tale was preferred to his companions who kept their mouths shut? Is it not true that then, as well as now, complaining about others was considered praiseworthy 'candour', while silent discretion was taken as obstinacy? Has any attempt ever been made to teach that discretion is a precious and manly virtue? No, for such matters are trifles in the eyes of our educators. But these trifles cost our State innumerable millions in legal expenses; for 90 per cent of all the processes for defamation and such like charges arise only from a lack of discretion. Remarks that are made without any sense of responsibility are thoughtlessly repeated from mouth to mouth; and our economic welfare is continually damaged because important methods of production are thus disclosed. Secret preparations for our national defence are rendered illusory because our people have never learned the duty of silence. They repeat everything they happen to hear. In times of war such talkative habits may even cause the loss of battles and therefore may contribute essentially to the unsuccessful outcome of a campaign. Here, as in other matters, we may rest assured that adults cannot do what they have not learnt to do in youth. A teacher must not try to discover the wild tricks of the boys by encouraging the evil practice of tale-bearing. Young people form a sort of State among themselves and face adults with a certain solidarity. That is quite natural. The ties which unite the ten-year boys to one another are stronger and more natural than their relationship to adults. A boy who tells on his comrades commits an act of treason and shows a bent of character which is, to speak bluntly, similar to that of a man who commits high treason. Such a boy must not be classed as 'good', 'reliable', and so on, but rather as one with undesirable traits of character. It may be rather convenient for the teacher to make use of such unworthy tendencies in order to help his own work, but by such an attitude the germ of a moral habit is sown in young hearts and may one day show fatal consequences. It has happened more often than once that a young informer developed into a big scoundrel.
This is only one example among many. The deliberate training of fine and noble traits of character in our schools today is almost negative. In the future much more emphasis will have to be laid on this side of our educational work. Loyalty, self-sacrifice and discretion are virtues which a great nation must possess. And the teaching and development of these in the school is a more important matter than many others things now included in the curriculum. To make the children give up habits of complaining and whining and howling when they are hurt, etc., also belongs to this part of their training. If the educational system fails to teach the child at an early age to endure pain and injury without complaining we cannot be surprised if at a later age, when the boy has grown to be the man and is, for example, in the trenches, the postal service is used for nothing else than to send home letters of weeping and complaint. If our youths, during their years in the primary schools, had had their minds crammed with a little less knowledge, and if instead they had been better taught how to be masters of themselves, it would have served us well during the years 1914–1918.
In its educational system the People's State will have to attach the highest importance to the development of character, hand-in-hand with physical training. Many more defects which our national organism shows at present could be at least ameliorated, if not completely eliminated, by education of the right kind.
Extreme importance should be attached to the training of will-power and the habit of making firm decisions, also the habit of being always ready to accept responsibilities.
In the training of our old army the principle was in vogue that any order is always better than no order. Applied to our youth this principle ought to take the form that any answer is better than no answer. The fear of replying, because one fears to be wrong, ought to be considered more humiliating than giving the wrong reply. On this simple and primitive basis our youth should be trained to have the courage to act.
It has been often lamented that in November and December 1918 all the authorities lost their heads and that, from the monarch down to the last divisional commander, nobody had sufficient mettle to make a decision on his own responsibility. That terrible fact constitutes a grave rebuke to our educational system; because what was then revealed on a colossal scale at that moment of catastrophe was only what happens on a smaller scale everywhere among us. It is the lack of will-power, and not the lack of arms, which renders us incapable of offering any serious resistance today. This defect is found everywhere among our people and prevents decisive action wherever risks have to be taken, as if any great action can be taken without also taking the risk. Quite unsuspectingly, a German General found a formula for this lamentable lack of the will-to-act when he said: "I act only when I can count on a 51 per cent probability of success." In that '51 per cent probability' we find the very root of the German collapse. The man who demands from Fate a guarantee of his success deliberately denies the significance of an heroic act. For this significance consists in the very fact that, in the definite knowledge that the situation in question is fraught with mortal danger, an action is undertaken which may lead to success. A patient suffering from cancer and who knows that his death is certain if he does not undergo an operation, needs no 51 per cent probability of a cure before facing the operation. And if the operation promises only half of one per cent probability of success a man of courage will risk it and would not whine if it turned out unsuccessful.
All in all, the cowardly lack of will-power and the incapacity for making decisions are chiefly results of the erroneous education given us in our youth. The disastrous effects of this are now widespread among us. The crowning examples of that tragic chain of consequences are shown in the lack of civil courage which our leading statesmen display.
The cowardice which leads nowadays to the shirking of every kind of responsibility springs from the same roots. Here again it is the fault of the education given our young people. This drawback permeates all sections of public life and finds its immortal consummation in the institutions of government that function under the parliamentary regime.
Already in the school, unfortunately, more value is placed on 'confession and full repentance' and 'contrite renouncement', on the part of little sinners, than on a simple and frank avowal. But this latter seems today, in the eyes of many an educator, to savour of a spirit of utter incorrigibility and depravation. And, though it may seem incredible, many a boy is told that the gallows tree is waiting for him because he has shown certain traits which might be of inestimable value in the nation as a whole.
Just as the People's State must one day give its attention to training the will-power and capacity for decision among the youth, so too it must inculcate in the hearts of the young generation from early childhood onwards a readiness to accept responsibilities, and the courage of open and frank avowal. If it recognizes the full significance of this necessity, finally – after a century of educative work – it will succeed in building up a nation which will no longer be subject to those defeats that have contributed so disastrously to bring about our present overthrow.
The formal imparting of knowledge, which constitutes the chief work of our educational system today, will be taken over by the People's State with only few modifications. These modifications must be made in three branches.
First of all, the brains of the young people must not generally be burdened with subjects of which ninety-five per cent are useless to them and are therefore forgotten again. The curriculum of the primary and secondary schools presents an odd mixture at the present time. In many branches of study the subject matter to be learned has become so enormous that only a very small fraction of it can be remembered later on, and indeed only a very small fraction of this whole mass of knowledge can be used. On the other hand, what is learned is insufficient for anybody who wishes to specialize in any certain branch for the purpose of earning his daily bread. Take, for example, the average civil servant who has passed through the Gymnasium or High School, and ask him at the age of thirty or forty how much he has retained of the knowledge that was crammed into him with so much pains.
How much is retained from all that was stuffed into his brain? He will certainly answer: "Well, if a mass of stuff was then taught, it was not for the sole purpose of supplying the student with a great stock of knowledge from which he could draw in later years, but it served to develop the understanding, the memory, and above all it helped to strengthen the thinking powers of the brain." That is partly true. And yet it is somewhat dangerous to submerge a young brain in a flood of impressions which it can hardly master and the single elements of which it cannot discern or appreciate at their just value. It is mostly the essential part of this knowledge, and not the accidental, that is forgotten and sacrificed. Thus the principal purpose of this copious instruction is frustrated, for that purpose cannot be to make the brain capable of learning by simply offering it an enormous and varied amount of subjects for acquisition, but rather to furnish the individual with that stock of knowledge which he will need in later life and which he can use for the good of the community. This aim, however, is rendered illusory if, because of the superabundance of subjects that have been crammed into his head in childhood, a person is able to remember nothing, or at least not the essential portion, of all this in later life. There is no reason why millions of people should learn two or three languages during the school years, when only a very small fraction will have the opportunity to use these languages in later life and when most of them will therefore forget those languages completely. To take an instance: Out of 100,000 students who learn French there are probably not 2,000 who will be in a position to make use of this accomplishment in later life, while 98,000 will never have a chance to utilize in practice what they have learned in youth. They have spent thousands of hours on a subject which will afterwards be without any value or importance to them. The argument that these matters form part of the general process of educating the mind is invalid. It would be sound if all these people were able to use this learning in after life. But, as the situation stands, 98,000 are tortured to no purpose and waste their valuable time, only for the sake of the 2,000 to whom the language will be of any use.
In the case of that language which I have chosen as an example it cannot be said that the learning of it educates the student in logical thinking or sharpens his mental acumen, as the learning of Latin, for instance, might be said to do. It would therefore be much better to teach young students only the general outline, or, better, the inner structure of such a language: that is to say, to allow them to discern the characteristic features of the language, or perhaps to make them acquainted with the rudiments of its grammar, its pronunciation, its syntax, style, etc. That would be sufficient for average students, because it would provide a clearer view of the whole and could be more easily remembered. And it would be more practical than the present-day attempt to cram into their heads a detailed knowledge of the whole language, which they can never master and which they will readily forget. If this method were adopted, then we should avoid the danger that, out of the superabundance of matter taught, only some fragments will remain in the memory; for the youth would then have to learn what is worth while, and the selection between the useful and the useless would thus have been made beforehand.
As regards the majority of students the knowledge and understanding of the rudiments of a language would be quite sufficient for the rest of their lives. And those who really do need this language subsequently would thus have a foundation on which to start, should they choose to make a more thorough study of it.
By adopting such a curriculum the necessary amount of time would be gained for physical exercises as well as for a more intense training in the various educational fields that have already been mentioned.
A reform of particular importance is that which ought to take place in the present methods of teaching history. Scarcely any other people are made to study as much of history as the Germans, and scarcely any other people make such a bad use of their historical knowledge. If politics means history in the making, then our way of teaching history stands condemned by the way we have conducted our politics. But there would be no point in bewailing the lamentable results of our political conduct unless one is now determined to give our people a better political education. In 99 out of 100 cases the results of our present teaching of history are deplorable. Usually only a few dates, years of birth and names, remain in the memory, while a knowledge of the main and clearly defined lines of historical development is completely lacking. The essential features which are of real significance are not taught. It is left to the more or less bright intelligence of the individual to discover the inner motivating urge amid the mass of dates and chronological succession of events.
You may object as strongly as you like to this unpleasant statement. But read with attention the speeches which our parliamentarians make during one session alone on political problems and on questions of foreign policy in particular. Remember that those gentlemen are, or claim to be, the elite of the German nation and that at least a great number of them have sat on the benches of our secondary schools and that many of them have passed through our universities. Then you will realize how defective the historical education of these people has been. If these gentlemen had never studied history at all but had possessed a sound instinct for public affairs, things would have gone better, and the nation would have benefited greatly thereby.
The subject matter of our historical teaching must be curtailed. The chief value of that teaching is to make the principal lines of historical development understood. The more our historical teaching is limited to this task, the more we may hope that it will turn out subsequently to be of advantage to the individual and, through the individual, to the community as a whole. For history must not be studied merely with a view to knowing what happened in the past but as a guide for the future, and to teach us what policy would be the best to follow for the preservation of our own people. That is the real end; and the teaching of history is only a means to attain this end. But here again the means has superseded the end in our contemporary education. The goal is completely forgotten. Do not reply that a profound study of history demands a detailed knowledge of all these dates because otherwise we could not fix the great lines of development. That task belongs to the professional historians. But the average man is not a professor of history. For him history has only one mission and that is to provide him with such an amount of historical knowledge as is necessary in order to enable him to form an independent opinion on the political affairs of his own country. The man who wants to become a professor of history can devote himself to all the details later on. Naturally he will have to occupy himself even with the smallest details. Of course our present teaching of history is not adequate to all this. Its scope is too vast for the average student and too limited for the student who wishes to be an historical expert.
Finally, it is the business of the People's State to arrange for the writing of a world history in which the race problem will occupy a dominant position.
To sum up: The People's State must reconstruct our system of general instruction in such a way that it will embrace only what is essential. Beyond this it will have to make provision for a more advanced teaching in the various subjects for those who want to specialize in them. It will suffice for the average individual to be acquainted with the fundamentals of the various subjects to serve as the basis of what may be called an all-round education. He ought to study exhaustively and in detail only that subject in which he intends to work during the rest of his life. A general instruction in all subjects should be obligatory, and specialization should be left to the choice of the individual.
In this way the scholastic programme would be shortened, and thus several school hours would be gained which could be utilized for physical training and character training, in will-power, the capacity for making practical judgments, decisions, etc.
The little account taken by our school training today, especially in the secondary schools, of the callings that have to be followed in after life is demonstrated by the fact that men who are destined for the same calling in life are educated in three different kinds of schools. What is of decisive importance is general education only and not the special teaching. When special knowledge is needed it cannot be given in the curriculum of our secondary schools as they stand today.
Therefore the People's State will one day have to abolish such half-measures.
The second modification in the curriculum which the People's State will have to make is the following:
It is a characteristic of our materialistic epoch that our scientific education shows a growing emphasis on what is real and practical: such subjects, for instance, as applied mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. Of course they are necessary in an age that is dominated by industrial technology and chemistry, and where everyday life shows at least the external manifestations of these. But it is a perilous thing to base the general culture of a nation on the knowledge of these subjects. On the contrary, that general culture ought always to be directed towards ideals. It ought to be founded on the humanist disciplines and should aim at giving only the ground work of further specialized instruction in the various practical sciences. Otherwise we should sacrifice those forces that are more important for the preservation of the nation than any technical knowledge. In the historical department the study of ancient history should not be omitted. Roman history, along general lines, is and will remain the best teacher, not only for our own time but also for the future. And the ideal of Hellenic culture should be preserved for us in all its marvellous beauty. The differences between the various peoples should not prevent us from recognizing the community of race which unites them on a higher plane. The conflict of our times is one that is being waged around great objectives. A civilization is fighting for its existence. It is a civilization that is the product of thousands of years of historical development, and the Greek as well as the German forms part of it.
A clear-cut division must be made between general culture and the special branches. To-day the latter threaten more and more to devote themselves exclusively to the service of Mammon. To counterbalance this tendency, general culture should be preserved, at least in its ideal forms. The principle should be repeatedly emphasized, that industrial and technical progress, trade and commerce, can flourish only so long as a folk community exists whose general system of thought is inspired by ideals, since that is the preliminary condition for a flourishing development of the enterprises I have spoken of. That condition is not created by a spirit of materialist egotism but by a spirit of self-denial and the joy of giving one's self in the service of others.
The system of education which prevails today sees its principal object in pumping into young people that knowledge which will help them to make their way in life. This principle is expressed in the following terms: "The young man must one day become a useful member of human society." By that phrase they mean the ability to gain an honest daily livelihood. The superficial training in the duties of good citizenship, which he acquires merely as an accidental thing, has very weak foundations. For in itself the State represents only a form, and therefore it is difficult to train people to look upon this form as the ideal which they will have to serve and towards which they must feel responsible. A form can be too easily broken. But, as we have seen, the idea which people have of the State today does not represent anything clearly defined. Therefore, there is nothing but the usual stereotyped 'patriotic' training. In the old Germany the greatest emphasis was placed on the divine right of the small and even the smallest potentates. The way in which this divine right was formulated and presented was never very clever and often very stupid. Because of the large numbers of those small potentates, it was impossible to give adequate biographical accounts of the really great personalities that shed their lustre on the history of the German people. The result was that the broad masses received a very inadequate knowledge of German history. Here, too, the great lines of development were missing.
It is evident that in such a way no real national enthusiasm could be aroused. Our educational system proved incapable of selecting from the general mass of our historical personages the names of a few personalities which the German people could be proud to look upon as their own. Thus the whole nation might have been united by the ties of a common knowledge of this common heritage. The really important figures in German history were not presented to the present generation. The attention of the whole nation was not concentrated on them for the purpose of awakening a common national spirit. From the various subjects that were taught, those who had charge of our training seemed incapable of selecting what redounded most to the national honour and lifting that above the common objective level, in order to inflame the national pride in the light of such brilliant examples. At that time such a course would have been looked upon as rank chauvinism, which did not then have a very pleasant savour. Pettifogging dynastic patriotism was more acceptable and more easily tolerated than the glowing fire of a supreme national pride. The former could be always pressed into service, whereas the latter might one day become a dominating force. Monarchist patriotism terminated in Associations of Veterans, whereas passionate national patriotism might have opened a road which would be difficult to determine. This national passion is like a highly tempered thoroughbred who is discriminate about the sort of rider he will tolerate in the saddle. No wonder that most people preferred to shirk such a danger. Nobody seemed to think it possible that one day a war might come which would put the mettle of this kind of patriotism to the test, in artillery bombardment and waves of attacks with poison gas. But when it did come our lack of this patriotic passion was avenged in a terrible way. None were very enthusiastic about dying for their imperial and royal sovereigns; while on the other hand the 'Nation' was not recognized by the greater number of the soldiers.
Since the revolution broke out in Germany and the monarchist patriotism was therefore extinguished, the purpose of teaching history was nothing more than to add to the stock of objective knowledge. The present State has no use for patriotic enthusiasm; but it will never obtain what it really desires. For if dynastic patriotism failed to produce a supreme power of resistance at a time when the principle of nationalism dominated, it will be still less possible to arouse republican enthusiasm. There can be no doubt that the German people would not have stood on the field of battle for four and a half years to fight under the battle slogan 'For the Republic,' and least of all those who created this grand institution.
In reality this Republic has been allowed to exist undisturbed only by grace of its readiness and its promise to all and sundry, to pay tribute and reparations to the stranger and to put its signature to any kind of territorial renunciation. The rest of the world finds it sympathetic, just as a weakling is always more pleasing to those who want to bend him to their own uses than is a man who is made of harder metal. But the fact that the enemy likes this form of government is the worst kind of condemnation. They love the German Republic and tolerate its existence because no better instrument could be found which would help them to keep our people in slavery. It is to this fact alone that this magnanimous institution owes its survival. And that is why it can renounce any real system of national education and can feel satisfied when the heroes of the Reich banner shout their hurrahs, but in reality these same heroes would scamper away like rabbits if called upon to defend that banner with their blood.
The People's State will have to fight for its existence. It will not gain or secure this existence by signing documents like that of the Dawes Plan. But for its existence and defence it will need precisely those things which our present system believes can be repudiated. The more worthy its form and its inner national being. the greater will be the envy and opposition of its adversaries. The best defence will not be in the arms it possesses but in its citizens. Bastions of fortresses will not save it, but the living wall of its men and women, filled with an ardent love for their country and a passionate spirit of national patriotism.
Therefore the third point which will have to be considered in relation to our educational system is the following:
The People's State must realize that the sciences may also be made a means of promoting a spirit of pride in the nation. Not only the history of the world but the history of civilization as a whole must be taught in the light of this principle. An inventor must appear great not only as an inventor but also, and even more so, as a member of the nation. The admiration aroused by the contemplation of a great achievement must be transformed into a feeling of pride and satisfaction that a man of one's own race has been chosen to accomplish it. But out of the abundance of great names in German history the greatest will have to be selected and presented to our young generation in such a way as to become solid pillars of strength to support the national spirit.
The subject matter ought to be systematically organized from the standpoint of this principle. And the teaching should be so orientated that the boy or girl, after leaving school, will not be a semi-pacifist, a democrat or of something else of that kind, but a whole-hearted German. So that this national feeling be sincere from the very beginning, and not a mere pretence, the following fundamental and inflexible principle should be impressed on the young brain while it is yet malleable: The man who loves his nation can prove the sincerity of this sentiment only by being ready to make sacrifices for the nation's welfare. There is no such thing as a national sentiment which is directed towards personal interests. And there is no such thing as a nationalism that embraces only certain classes. Hurrahing proves nothing and does not confer the right to call oneself national if behind that shout there is no sincere preoccupation for the conservation of the nation's well-being. One can be proud of one's people only if there is no class left of which one need to be ashamed. When one half of a nation is sunk in misery and worn out by hard distress, or even depraved or degenerate, that nation presents such an unattractive picture that nobody can feel proud to belong to it. It is only when a nation is sound in all its members, physically and morally, that the joy of belonging to it can properly be intensified to the supreme feeling which we call national pride. But this pride, in its highest form, can be felt only by those who know the greatness of their nation.
The spirit of nationalism and a feeling for social justice must be fused into one sentiment in the hearts of the youth. Then a day will come when a nation of citizens will arise which will be welded together through a common love and a common pride that shall be invincible and indestructible for ever.
The dread of chauvinism, which is a symptom of our time, is a sign of its impotence. Since our epoch not only lacks everything in the nature of exuberant energy but even finds such a manifestation disagreeable, fate will never elect it for the accomplishment of any great deeds. For the greatest changes that have taken place on this earth would have been inconceivable if they had not been inspired by ardent and even hysterical passions, but only by the bourgeois virtues of peacefulness and order.
One thing is certain: our world is facing a great revolution. The only question is whether the outcome will be propitious for the Aryan portion of mankind or whether the everlasting Jew will profit by it.
By educating the young generation along the right lines, the People's State will have to see to it that a generation of mankind is formed which will be adequate to this supreme combat that will decide the destinies of the world.
That nation will conquer which will be the first to take this road.
The whole organization of education and training which the People's State is to build up must take as its crowning task the work of instilling into the hearts and brains of the youth entrusted to it the racial instinct and understanding of the racial idea. No boy or girl must leave school without having attained a clear insight into the meaning of racial purity and the importance of maintaining the racial blood unadulterated. Thus the first indispensable condition for the preservation of our race will have been established and thus the future cultural progress of our people will be assured.
For in the last analysis all physical and mental training would be in vain unless it served an entity which is ready and determined to carry on its own existence and maintain its own characteristic qualities.
If it were otherwise, something would result which we Germans have cause to regret already, without perhaps having hitherto recognized the extent of the tragic calamity. We should be doomed to remain also in the future only manure for civilization. And that not in the banal sense of the contemporary bourgeois mind, which sees in a lost fellow member of our people only a lost citizen, but in a sense which we should have painfully to recognize: namely, that our racial blood would be destined to disappear. By continually mixing with other races we might lift them from their former lower level of civilization to a higher grade; but we ourselves should descend for ever from the heights we had reached.
Finally, from the racial standpoint this training also must find its culmination in the military service. The term of military service is to be a final stage of the normal training which the average German receives.
While the People's State attaches the greatest importance to physical and mental training, it has also to consider, and no less importantly, the task of selecting men for the service of the State itself. This important matter is passed over lightly at the present time. Generally the children of parents who are for the time being in higher situations are in their turn considered worthy of a higher education. Here talent plays a subordinate part. But talent can be estimated only relatively. Though in general culture he may be inferior to the city child, a peasant boy may be more talented than the son of a family that has occupied high positions through many generations. But the superior culture of the city child has in itself nothing to do with a greater or lesser degree of talent; for this culture has its roots in the more copious mass of impressions which arise from the more varied education and the surroundings among which this child lives. If the intelligent son of peasant parents were educated from childhood in similar surroundings his intellectual accomplishments would be quite otherwise. In our day there is only one sphere where the family in which a person has been born means less than his innate gifts. That is the sphere of art. Here, where a person cannot just 'learn,' but must have innate gifts that later on may undergo a more or less happy development (in the sense of a wise development of what is already there), money and parental property are of no account. This is a good proof that genius is not necessarily connected with the higher social strata or with wealth. Not rarely the greatest artists come from poor families. And many a boy from the country village has eventually become a celebrated master.
It does not say much for the mental acumen of our time that advantage is not taken of this truth for the sake of our whole intellectual life. The opinion is advanced that this principle, though undoubtedly valid in the field of art, has not the same validity in regard to what are called the applied sciences. It is true that a man can be trained to a certain amount of mechanical dexterity, just as a poodle can be taught incredible tricks by a clever master. But such training does not bring the animal to use his intelligence in order to carry out those tricks. And the same holds good in regard to man. It is possible to teach men, irrespective of talent or no talent, to go through certain scientific exercises, but in such cases the results are quite as inanimate and mechanical as in the case of the animal. It would even be possible to force a person of mediocre intelligence, by means of a severe course of intellectual drilling, to acquire more than the average amount of knowledge; but that knowledge would remain sterile. The result would be a man who might be a walking dictionary of knowledge but who will fail miserably on every critical occasion in life and at every juncture where vital decisions have to be taken. Such people need to be drilled specially for every new and even most insignificant task and will never be capable of contributing in the least to the general progress of mankind. Knowledge that is merely drilled into people can at best qualify them to fill government positions under our present regime.
It goes without saying that, among the sum total of individuals who make up a nation, gifted people are always to be found in every sphere of life. It is also quite natural that the value of knowledge will be all the greater the more vitally the dead mass of learning is animated by the innate talent of the individual who possesses it. Creative work in this field can be done only through the marriage of knowledge and talent.
One example will suffice to show how much our contemporary world is at fault in this matter. From time to time our illustrated papers publish, for the edification of the German philistine, the news that in some quarter or other of the globe, and for the first time in that locality, a Negro has become a lawyer, a teacher, a pastor, even a grand opera tenor or something else of that kind. While the bourgeois blockhead stares with amazed admiration at the notice that tells him how marvellous are the achievements of our modern educational technique, the more cunning Jew sees in this fact a new proof to be utilized for the theory with which he wants to infect the public, namely that all men are equal. It does not dawn on the murky bourgeois mind that the fact which is published for him is a sin against reason itself, that it is an act of criminal insanity to train a being who is only an anthropoid by birth until the pretence can be made that he has been turned into a lawyer; while, on the other hand, millions who belong to the most civilized races have to remain in positions which are unworthy of their cultural level. The bourgeois mind does not realize that it is a sin against the will of the eternal Creator to allow hundreds of thousands of highly gifted people to remain floundering in the swamp of proletarian misery while Hottentots and Zulus are drilled to fill positions in the intellectual professions. For here we have the product only of a drilling technique, just as in the case of the performing dog. If the same amount of care and effort were applied among intelligent races each individual would become a thousand times more capable in such matters.
This state of affairs would become intolerable if a day should arrive when it no longer refers to exceptional cases. But the situation is already intolerable where talent and natural gifts are not taken as decisive factors in qualifying for the right to a higher education. It is indeed intolerable to think that year after year hundreds of thousands of young people without a single vestige of talent are deemed worthy of a higher education, while other hundreds of thousands who possess high natural gifts have to go without any sort of higher schooling at all. The practical loss thus caused to the nation is incalculable. If the number of important discoveries which have been made in America has grown considerably in recent years one of the reasons is that the number of gifted persons belonging to the lowest social classes who were given a higher education in that country is proportionately much larger than in Europe.
A stock of knowledge packed into the brain will not suffice for the making of discoveries. What counts here is only that knowledge which is illuminated by natural talent. But with us at the present time no value is placed on such gifts. Only good school reports count.
Here is another educative work that is waiting for the People's State to do. It will not be its task to assure a dominant influence to a certain social class already existing, but it will be its duty to attract the most competent brains in the total mass of the nation and promote them to place and honour. It is not merely the duty of the State to give to the average child a certain definite education in the primary school, but it is also its duty to open the road to talent in the proper direction. And above all, it must open the doors of the higher schools under the State to talent of every sort, no matter in what social class it may appear. This is an imperative necessity; for thus alone will it be possible to develop a talented body of public leaders from the class which represents learning that in itself is only a dead mass.
There is still another reason why the State should provide for this situation. Our intellectual class, particularly in Germany, is so shut up in itself and fossilized that it lacks living contact with the classes beneath it. Two evil consequences result from this: First, the intellectual class neither understands nor sympathizes with the broad masses. It has been so long cut off from all connection with them that it cannot now have the necessary psychological ties that would enable it to understand them. It has become estranged from the people. Secondly, the intellectual class lacks the necessary will-power; for this faculty is always weaker in cultivated circles, which live in seclusion, than among the primitive masses of the people. God knows we Germans have never been lacking in abundant scientific culture, but we have always had a considerable lack of will-power and the capacity for making decisions. For example, the more 'intellectual' our statesmen have been the more lacking they have been, for the most part, in practical achievement. Our political preparation and our technical equipment for the world war were defective, certainly not because the brains governing the nation were too little educated, but because the men who directed our public affairs were over-educated, filled to over-flowing with knowledge and intelligence, yet without any sound instinct and simply without energy, or any spirit of daring. It was our nation's tragedy to have to fight for its existence under a Chancellor who was a dillydallying philosopher. If instead of a Bethmann von Hollweg we had had a rough man of the people as our leader the heroic blood of the common grenadier would not have been shed in vain. The exaggeratedly intellectual material out of which our leaders were made proved to be the best ally of the scoundrels who carried out the November revolution. These intellectuals safeguarded the national wealth in a miserly fashion, instead of launching it forth and risking it, and thus they set the conditions on which the others won success.
Here the Catholic Church presents an instructive example. Clerical celibacy forces the Church to recruit its priests not from their own ranks but progressively from the masses of the people. Yet there are not many who recognize the significance of celibacy in this relation. But therein lies the cause of the inexhaustible vigour which characterizes that ancient institution. For by thus unceasingly recruiting the ecclesiastical dignitaries from the lower classes of the people, the Church is enabled not only to maintain the contact of instinctive understanding with the masses of the population but also to assure itself of always being able to draw upon that fund of energy which is present in this form only among the popular masses. Hence the surprising youthfulness of that gigantic organism, its mental flexibility and its iron will-power.
It will be the task of the Peoples' State so to organize and administer its educational system that the existing intellectual class will be constantly furnished with a supply of fresh blood from beneath. From the bulk of the nation the State must sift out with careful scrutiny those persons who are endowed with natural talents and see that they are employed in the service of the community. For neither the State itself nor the various departments of State exist to furnish revenues for members of a special class, but to fulfil the tasks allotted to them. This will be possible, however, only if the State trains individuals specially for these offices. Such individuals must have the necessary fundamental capabilities and will-power. The principle does not hold true only in regard to the civil service but also in regard to all those who are to take part in the intellectual and moral leadership of the people, no matter in what sphere they may be employed. The greatness of a people is partly dependent on the condition that it must succeed in training the best brains for those branches of the public service for which they show a special natural aptitude and in placing them in the offices where they can do their best work for the good of the community. If two nations of equal strength and quality engage in a mutual conflict that nation will come out victorious which has entrusted its intellectual and moral leadership to its best talents and that nation will go under whose government represents only a common food trough for privileged groups or classes and where the inner talents of its individual members are not availed of.
Of course such a reform seems impossible in the world as it is today. The objection will at once be raised, that it is too much to expect from the favourite son of a highly-placed civil servant, for instance, that he shall work with his hands simply because somebody else whose parents belong to the working-class seems more capable for a job in the civil service. That argument may be valid as long as manual work is looked upon in the same way as it is looked upon today. Hence the Peoples' State will have to take up an attitude towards the appreciation of manual labour which will be fundamentally different from that which now exists. If necessary, it will have to organize a persistent system of teaching which will aim at abolishing the present-day stupid habit of looking down on physical labour as an occupation to be ashamed of.
The individual will have to be valued, not by the class of work he does but by the way in which he does it and by its usefulness to the community. This statement may sound monstrous in an epoch when the most brainless columnist on a newspaper staff is more esteemed than the most expert mechanic, merely because the former pushes a pen. But, as I have said, this false valuation does not correspond to the nature of things. It has been artificially introduced, and there was a time when it did not exist at all. The present unnatural state of affairs is one of those general morbid phenomena that have arisen from our materialistic epoch. Fundamentally every kind of work has a double value; the one material, the other ideal. The material value depends on the practical importance of the work to the life of the community. The greater the number of the population who benefit from the work, directly or indirectly, the higher will be its material value. This evaluation is expressed in the material recompense which the individual receives for his labour. In contradistinction to this purely material value there is the ideal value. Here the work performed is not judged by its material importance but by the degree to which it answers a necessity. Certainly the material utility of an invention may be greater than that of the service rendered by an everyday workman; but it is also certain that the community needs each of those small daily services just as much as the greater services. From the material point of view a distinction can be made in the evaluation of different kinds of work according to their utility to the community, and this distinction is expressed by the differentiation in the scale of recompense; but on the ideal or abstract plans all workmen become equal the moment each strives to do his best in his own field, no matter what that field may be. It is on this that a man's value must be estimated, and not on the amount of recompense received.
In a reasonably directed State care must be taken that each individual is given the kind of work which corresponds to his capabilities. In other words, people will be trained for the positions indicated by their natural endowments; but these endowments or faculties are innate and cannot be acquired by any amount of training, being a gift from Nature and not merited by men. Therefore, the way in which men are generally esteemed by their fellow-citizens must not be according to the kind of work they do, because that has been more or less assigned to the individual. Seeing that the kind of work in which the individual is employed is to be accounted to his inborn gifts and the resultant training which he has received from the community, he will have to be judged by the way in which he performs this work entrusted to him by the community. For the work which the individual performs is not the purpose of his existence, but only a means. His real purpose in life is to better himself and raise himself to a higher level as a human being; but this he can only do in and through the community whose cultural life he shares. And this community must always exist on the foundations on which the State is based. He ought to contribute to the conservation of those foundations. Nature determines the form of this contribution. It is the duty of the individual to return to the community, zealously and honestly, what the community has given him. He who does this deserves the highest respect and esteem. Material remuneration may be given to him whose work has a corresponding utility for the community; but the ideal recompense must lie in the esteem to which everybody has a claim who serves his people with whatever powers Nature has bestowed upon him and which have been developed by the training he has received from the national community. Then it will no longer be dishonourable to be an honest craftsman; but it will be a cause of disgrace to be an inefficient State official, wasting God's day and filching daily bread from an honest public. Then it will be looked upon as quite natural that positions should not be given to persons who of their very nature are incapable of filling them.
Furthermore, this personal efficiency will be the sole criterion of the right to take part on an equal juridical footing in general civil affairs.
The present epoch is working out its own ruin. It introduces universal suffrage, chatters about equal rights but can find no foundation for this equality. It considers the material wage as the expression of a man's value and thus destroys the basis of the noblest kind of equality that can exist. For equality cannot and does not depend on the work a man does, but only on the manner in which each one does the particular work allotted to him. Thus alone will mere natural chance be set aside in determining the work of a man and thus only does the individual become the artificer of his own social worth.
At the present time, when whole groups of people estimate each other's value only by the size of the salaries which they respectively receive, there will be no understanding of all this. But that is no reason why we should cease to champion those ideas. Quite the opposite: in an epoch which is inwardly diseased and decaying anyone who would heal it must have the courage first to lay bare the real roots of the disease. And the National Socialist Movement must take that duty on its shoulders. It will have to lift its voice above the heads of the small bourgeoisie and rally together and co-ordinate all those popular forces which are ready to become the protagonists of a new philosophy of life.
Of course the objection will be made that in general it is difficult to differentiate between the material and ideal values of work and that the lower prestige which is attached to physical labour is due to the fact that smaller wages are paid for that kind of work. It will be said that the lower wage is in its turn the reason why the manual worker has less chance to participate in the culture of the nation; so that the ideal side of human culture is less open to him because it has nothing to do with his daily activities. It may be added that the reluctance to do physical work is justified by the fact that, on account of the small income, the cultural level of manual labourers must naturally be low, and that this in turn is a justification for the lower estimation in which manual labour is generally held.
There is quite a good deal of truth in all this. But that is the very reason why we ought to see that in the future there should not be such a wide difference in the scale of remuneration. Don't say that under such conditions poorer work would be done. It would be the saddest symptom of decadence if finer intellectual work could be obtained only through the stimulus of higher payment. If that point of view had ruled the world up to now humanity would never have acquired its greatest scientific and cultural heritage. For all the greatest inventions, the greatest discoveries, the most profoundly revolutionary scientific work, and the most magnificent monuments of human culture, were never given to the world under the impulse or compulsion of money. Quite the contrary: not rarely was their origin associated with a renunciation of the worldly pleasures that wealth can purchase.
It may be that money has become the one power that governs life today. Yet a time will come when men will again bow to higher gods. Much that we have today owes its existence to the desire for money and property; but there is very little among all this which would leave the world poorer by its lack.
It is also one of the aims before our movement to hold out the prospect of a time when the individual will be given what he needs for the purposes of his life and it will be a time in which, on the other hand, the principle will be upheld that man does not live for material enjoyment alone. This principle will find expression in a wiser scale of wages and salaries which will enable everyone, including the humblest workman who fulfils his duties conscientiously, to live an honourable and decent life both as a man and as a citizen. Let it not be said that this is merely a visionary ideal, that this world would never tolerate it in practice and that of itself it is impossible to attain.
Even we are not so simple as to believe that there will ever be an age in which there will be no drawbacks. But that does not release us from the obligation to fight for the removal of the defects which we have recognized, to overcome the shortcomings and to strive towards the ideal. In any case the hard reality of the facts to be faced will always place only too many limits to our aspirations. But that is precisely why man must strive again and again to serve the ultimate aim and no failures must induce him to renounce his intentions, just as we cannot spurn the sway of justice because mistakes creep into the administration of the law, and just as we cannot despise medical science because, in spite of it, there will always be diseases.
Man should take care not to have too low an estimate of the power of an ideal. If there are some who may feel disheartened over the present conditions, and if they happen to have served as soldiers, I would remind them of the time when their heroism was the most convincing example of the power inherent in ideal motives. It was not preoccupation about their daily bread that led men to sacrifice their lives, but the love of their country, the faith which they had in its greatness, and an all round feeling for the honour of the nation. Only after the German people had become estranged from these ideals, to follow the material promises offered by the Revolution, only after they threw away their arms to take up the rucksack, only then – instead of entering an earthly paradise – did they sink into the purgatory of universal contempt and at the same time universal want.
That is why we must face the calculators of the materialist Republic with faith in an idealist Reich.
Subjects and Citizens
The institution that is now erroneously called the State generally classifies people only into two groups: citizens and aliens. Citizens are all those who possess full civic rights, either by reason of their birth or by an act of naturalization. Aliens are those who enjoy the same rights in some other State. Between these two categories there are certain beings who resemble a sort of meteoric phenomena. They are people who have no citizenship in any State and consequently no civic rights anywhere.
In most cases nowadays a person acquires civic rights by being born within the frontiers of a State. The race or nationality to which he may belong plays no role whatsoever. The child of a Negro who once lived in one of the German protectorates and now takes up his residence in Germany automatically becomes a 'German Citizen' in the eyes of the world. In the same way the child of any Jew, Pole, African or Asian may automatically become a German Citizen.
Besides naturalization that is acquired through the fact of having been born within the confines of a State there exists another kind of naturalization which can be acquired later. This process is subject to various preliminary requirements. For example one condition is that, if possible, the applicant must not be a burglar or a common street thug. It is required of him that his political attitude is not such as to give cause for uneasiness; in other words he must be a harmless simpleton in politics. It is required that he shall not be a burden to the State of which he wishes to become a citizen. In this realistic epoch of ours this last condition naturally only means that he must not be a financial burden. If the affairs of the candidate are such that it appears likely he will turn out to be a good taxpayer, that is a very important consideration and will help him to obtain civic rights all the more rapidly.
The question of race plays no part at all.
The whole process of acquiring civic rights is not very different from that of being admitted to membership of an automobile club, for instance. A person files his application. It is examined. It is sanctioned. And one day the man receives a card which informs him that he has become a citizen. The information is given in an amusing way. An applicant who has hitherto been a Zulu or Kaffir is told: "By these presents you are now become a German Citizen."
The President of the State can perform this piece of magic. What God Himself could not do is achieved by some Theophrastus Paracelsus of a civil servant through a mere twirl of the hand. Nothing but a stroke of the pen, and a Mongolian slave is forthwith turned into a real German. Not only is no question asked regarding the race to which the new citizen belongs; even the matter of his physical health is not inquired into. His flesh may be corrupted with syphilis; but he will still be welcome in the State as it exists today so long as he may not become a financial burden or a political danger.
In this way, year after year, those organisms which we call States take up poisonous matter which they can hardly ever overcome.
Another point of distinction between a citizen and an alien is that the former is admitted to all public offices, that he may possibly have to do military service and that in return he is permitted to take a passive or active part at public elections. Those are his chief privileges. For in regard to personal rights and personal liberty the alien enjoys the same amount of protection as the citizen, and frequently even more. Anyhow that is how it happens in our present German Republic.
I realize fully that nobody likes to hear these things. But it would be difficult to find anything more illogical or more insane than our contemporary laws in regard to State citizenship.
At present there exists one State which manifests at least some modest attempts that show a better appreciation of how things ought to be done in this matter. It is not, however, in our model German Republic but in the U.S.A. that efforts are made to conform at least partly to the counsels of commonsense. By refusing immigrants to enter there if they are in a bad state of health, and by excluding certain races from the right to become naturalized as citizens, they have begun to introduce principles similar to those on which we wish to ground the People's State.
The People's State will classify its population in three groups: Citizens, subjects of the State, and aliens.
The principle is that birth within the confines of the State gives only the status of a subject. It does not carry with it the right to fill any position under the State or to participate in political life, such as taking an active or passive part in elections. Another principle is that the race and nationality of every subject of the State will have to be proved. A subject is at any time free to cease being a subject and to become a citizen of that country to which he belongs in virtue of his nationality. The only difference between an alien and a subject of the State is that the former is a citizen of another country.
The young boy or girl who is of German nationality and is a subject of the German State is bound to complete the period of school education which is obligatory for every German. Thereby he submits to the system of training which will make him conscious of his race and a member of the folk-community. Then he has to fulfil all those requirements laid down by the State in regard to physical training after he has left school; and finally he enters the army. The training in the army is of a general kind. It must be given to each individual German and will render him competent to fulfil the physical and mental requirements of military service. The rights of citizenship shall be conferred on every young man whose health and character have been certified as good, after having completed his period of military service. This act of inauguration in citizenship shall be a solemn ceremony. And the diploma conferring the rights of citizenship will be preserved by the young man as the most precious testimonial of his whole life. It entitles him to exercise all the rights of a citizen and to enjoy all the privileges attached thereto. For the State must draw a sharp line of distinction between those who, as members of the nation, are the foundation and the support of its existence and greatness, and those who are domiciled in the State simply as earners of their livelihood there.
On the occasion of conferring a diploma of citizenship the new citizen must take a solemn oath of loyalty to the national community and the State. This diploma must be a bond which unites together all the various classes and sections of the nation. It shall be a greater honour to be a citizen of this Reich, even as a street-sweeper, than to be the King of a foreign State.
The citizen has privileges which are not accorded to the alien. He is the master in the Reich. But this high honour has also its obligations. Those who show themselves without personal honour or character, or common criminals, or traitors to the fatherland, can at any time be deprived of the rights of citizenship. Therewith they become merely subjects of the State.
The German girl is a subject of the State but will become a citizen when she marries. At the same time those women who earn their livelihood independently have the right to acquire citizenship if they are German subjects.
If the principal duty of the National Socialist People's State be to educate and promote the existence of those who are the material out of which the State is formed, it will not be sufficient to promote those racial elements as such, educate them and finally train them for practical life, but the State must also adapt its own organization to meet the demands of this task.
It would be absurd to appraise a man's worth by the race to which he belongs and at the same time to make war against the Marxist principle, that all men are equal, without being determined to pursue our own principle to its ultimate consequences. If we admit the significance of blood, that is to say, if we recognize the race as the fundamental element on which all life is based, we shall have to apply to the individual the logical consequences of this principle. In general I must estimate the worth of nations differently, on the basis of the different races from which they spring, and I must also differentiate in estimating the worth of the individual within his own race. The principle, that one people is not the same as another, applies also to the individual members of a national community. No one brain, for instance, is equal to another; because the constituent elements belonging to the same blood vary in a thousand subtle details, though they are fundamentally of the same quality.
The first consequence of this fact is comparatively simple. It demands that those elements within the folk-community which show the best racial qualities ought to be encouraged more than the others and especially they should be encouraged to increase and multiply.
This task is comparatively simple because it can be recognized and carried out almost mechanically. It is much more difficult to select from among a whole multitude of people all those who actually possess the highest intellectual and spiritual characteristics and assign them to that sphere of influence which not only corresponds to their outstanding talents but in which their activities will above all things be of benefit to the nation. This selection according to capacity and efficiency cannot be effected in a mechanical way. It is a work which can be accomplished only through the permanent struggle of everyday life itself.
A philosophy of life which repudiates the democratic principle of the rule of the masses and aims at giving this world to the best people – that is, to the highest quality of mankind – must also apply that same aristocratic postulate to the individuals within the folk-community. It must take care that the positions of leadership and highest influence are given to the best men. Hence it is not based on the idea of the majority, but on that of personality.
Anyone who believes that the People's National Socialist State should distinguish itself from the other States only mechanically, as it were, through the better construction of its economic life – thanks to a better equilibrium between poverty and riches, or to the extension to broader masses of the power to determine the economic process, or to a fairer wage, or to the elimination of vast differences in the scale of salaries – anyone who thinks this understands only the superficial features of our movement and has not the least idea of what we mean when we speak of our Weltanschhauung. All these features just mentioned could not in the least guarantee us a lasting existence and certainly would be no warranty of greatness. A nation that could content itself with external reforms would not have the slightest chance of success in the general struggle for life among the nations of the world. A movement that would confine its mission to such adjustments, which are certainly right and equitable, would effect no far-reaching or profound reform in the existing order. The whole effect of such measures would be limited to externals. They would not furnish the nation with that moral armament which alone will enable it effectively to overcome the weaknesses from which we are suffering today.
In order to elucidate this point of view it may be worth while to glance once again at the real origins and causes of the cultural evolution of mankind.
The first step which visibly brought mankind away from the animal world was that which led to the first invention. The invention itself owes its origin to the ruses and stratagems which man employed to assist him in the struggle with other creatures for his existence and often to provide him with the only means he could adopt to achieve success in the struggle. Those first very crude inventions cannot be attributed to the individual; for the subsequent observer, that is to say the modern observer, recognizes them only as collective phenomena. Certain tricks and skilful tactics which can be observed in use among the animals strike the eye of the observer as established facts which may be seen everywhere; and man is no longer in a position to discover or explain their primary cause and so he contents himself with calling such phenomena 'instinctive.'
In our case this term has no meaning. Because everyone who believes in the higher evolution of living organisms must admit that every manifestation of the vital urge and struggle to live must have had a definite beginning in time and that one subject alone must have manifested it for the first time. It was then repeated again and again; and the practice of it spread over a widening area, until finally it passed into the subconscience of every member of the species, where it manifested itself as 'instinct.'
This is more easily understood and more easy to believe in the case of man. His first skilled tactics in the struggle with the rest of the animals undoubtedly originated in his management of creatures which possessed special capabilities.
There can be no doubt that personality was then the sole factor in all decisions and achievements, which were afterwards taken over by the whole of humanity as a matter of course. An exact exemplification of this may be found in those fundamental military principles which have now become the basis of all strategy in war. Originally they sprang from the brain of a single individual and in the course of many years, maybe even thousands of years, they were accepted all round as a matter of course and this gained universal validity.
Man completed his first discovery by making a second. Among other things he learned how to master other living beings and make them serve him in his struggle for existence. And thus began the real inventive activity of mankind, as it is now visible before our eyes. Those material inventions, beginning with the use of stones as weapons, which led to the domestication of animals, the production of fire by artificial means, down to the marvellous inventions of our own days, show clearly that an individual was the originator in each case. The nearer we come to our own time and the more important and revolutionary the inventions become, the more clearly do we recognize the truth of that statement. All the material inventions which we see around us have been produced by the creative powers and capabilities of individuals. And all these inventions help man to raise himself higher and higher above the animal world and to separate himself from that world in an absolutely definite way. Hence they serve to elevate the human species and continually to promote its progress. And what the most primitive artifice once did for man in his struggle for existence, as he went hunting through the primeval forest, that same sort of assistance is rendered him today in the form of marvellous scientific inventions which help him in the present day struggle for life and to forge weapons for future struggles. In their final consequences all human thought and invention help man in his life-struggle on this planet, even though the so-called practical utility of an invention, a discovery or a profound scientific theory, may not be evident at first sight. Everything contributes to raise man higher and higher above the level of all the other creatures that surround him, thereby strengthening and consolidating his position; so that he develops more and more in every direction as the ruling being on this earth.
Hence all inventions are the result of the creative faculty of the individual. And all such individuals, whether they have willed it or not, are the benefactors of mankind, both great and small. Through their work millions and indeed billions of human beings have been provided with means and resources which facilitate their struggle for existence.
Thus at the origin of the material civilization which flourishes today we always see individual persons. They supplement one another and one of them bases his work on that of the other. The same is true in regard to the practical application of those inventions and discoveries. For all the various methods of production are in their turn inventions also and consequently dependent on the creative faculty of the individual. Even the purely theoretical work, which cannot be measured by a definite rule and is preliminary to all subsequent technical discoveries, is exclusively the product of the individual brain. The broad masses do not invent, nor does the majority organize or think; but always and in every case the individual man, the person.
Accordingly a human community is well organized only when it facilitates to the highest possible degree individual creative forces and utilizes their work for the benefit of the community. The most valuable factor of an invention, whether it be in the world of material realities or in the world of abstract ideas, is the personality of the inventor himself. The first and supreme duty of an organized folk community is to place the inventor in a position where he can be of the greatest benefit to all. Indeed the very purpose of the organization is to put this principle into practice. Only by so doing can it ward off the curse of mechanization and remain a living thing. In itself it must personify the effort to place men of brains above the multitude and to make the latter obey the former.
Therefore not only does the organization possess no right to prevent men of brains from rising above the multitude but, on the contrary, it must use its organizing powers to enable and promote that ascension as far as it possibly can. It must start out from the principle that the blessings of mankind never came from the masses but from the creative brains of individuals, who are therefore the real benefactors of humanity. It is in the interest of all to assure men of creative brains a decisive influence and facilitate their work. This common interest is surely not served by allowing the multitude to rule, for they are not capable of thinking nor are they efficient and in no case whatsoever can they be said to be gifted. Only those should rule who have the natural temperament and gifts of leadership.
Such men of brains are selected mainly, as I have already said, through the hard struggle for existence itself. In this struggle there are many who break down and collapse and thereby show that they are not called by Destiny to fill the highest positions; and only very few are left who can be classed among the elect. In the realm of thought and of artistic creation, and even in the economic field, this same process of selection takes place, although – especially in the economic field – its operation is heavily handicapped. This same principle of selection rules in the administration of the State and in that department of power which personifies the organized military defence of the nation. The idea of personality rules everywhere, the authority of the individual over his subordinates and the responsibility of the individual towards the persons who are placed over him. It is only in political life that this very natural principle has been completely excluded. Though all human civilization has resulted exclusively from the creative activity of the individual, the principle that it is the mass which counts – through the decision of the majority – makes its appearance only in the administration of the national community especially in the higher grades; and from there downwards the poison gradually filters into all branches of national life, thus causing a veritable decomposition. The destructive workings of Judaism in different parts of the national body can be ascribed fundamentally to the persistent Jewish efforts at undermining the importance of personality among the nations that are their hosts and, in place of personality, substituting the domination of the masses. The constructive principle of Aryan humanity is thus displaced by the destructive principle of the Jews, They become the 'ferment of decomposition' among nations and races and, in a broad sense, the wreckers of human civilization.
Marxism represents the most striking phase of the Jewish endeavour to eliminate the dominant significance of personality in every sphere of human life and replace it by the numerical power of the masses. In politics the parliamentary form of government is the expression of this effort. We can observe the fatal effects of it everywhere, from the smallest parish council upwards to the highest governing circles of the nation. In the field of economics we see the trade union movement, which does not serve the real interests of the employees but the destructive aims of international Jewry. Just to the same degree in which the principle of personality is excluded from the economic life of the nation, and the influence and activities of the masses substituted in its stead, national economy, which should be for the service and benefit of the community as a whole, will gradually deteriorate in its creative capacity. The shop committees which, instead of caring for the interests of the employees, strive to influence the process of production, serve the same destructive purpose. They damage the general productive system and consequently injure the individual engaged in industry. For in the long run it is impossible to satisfy popular demands merely by high-sounding theoretical phrases. These can be satisfied only by supplying goods to meet the individual needs of daily life and by so doing create the conviction that, through the productive collaboration of its members, the folk community serves the interests of the individual.
Even if, on the basis of its mass-theory, Marxism should prove itself capable of taking over and developing the present economic system, that would not signify anything. The question as to whether the Marxist doctrine be right or wrong cannot be decided by any test which would show that it can administer for the future what already exists today, but only by asking whether it has the creative power to build up according to its own principles a civilization which would be a counterpart of what already exists. Even if Marxism were a thousandfold capable of taking over the economic life as we now have it and maintaining it in operation under Marxist direction, such an achievement would prove nothing; because, on the basis of its own principles, Marxism would never be able to create something which could supplant what exists today.
And Marxism itself has furnished the proof that it cannot do this. Not only has it been unable anywhere to create a cultural or economic system of its own; but it was not even able to develop, according to its own principles, the civilization and economic system it found ready at hand. It has had to make compromises, by way of a return to the principle of personality, just as it cannot dispense with that principle in its own organization.
The folkish philosophy is fundamentally distinguished from the Marxist by reason of the fact that the former recognizes the significance of race and therefore also personal worth and has made these the pillars of its structure. These are the most important factors of its view of life.
If the National Socialist Movement should fail to understand the fundamental importance of this essential principle, if it should merely varnish the external appearance of the present State and adopt the majority principle, it would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground. For that reason it would not have the right to call itself a philosophy of life. If the social programme of the movement consisted in eliminating personality and putting the multitude in its place, then National Socialism would be corrupted with the poison of Marxism, just as our national-bourgeois parties are.
The People's State must assure the welfare of its citizens by recognizing the importance of personal values under all circumstances and by preparing the way for the maximum of productive efficiency in all the various branches of economic life, thus securing to the individual the highest possible share in the general output.
Hence the People's State must mercilessly expurgate from all the leading circles in the government of the country the parliamentarian principle, according to which decisive power through the majority vote is invested in the multitude. Personal responsibility must be substituted in its stead.
From this the following conclusion results:
The best constitution and the best form of government is that which makes it quite natural for the best brains to reach a position of dominant importance and influence in the community.
Just as in the field of economics men of outstanding ability cannot be designated from above but must come forward in virtue of their own efforts, and just as there is an unceasing educative process that leads from the smallest shop to the largest undertaking, and just as life itself is the school in which those lessons are taught, so in the political field it is not possible to 'discover' political talent all in a moment. Genius of an extraordinary stamp is not to be judged by normal standards whereby we judge other men.
In its organization the State must be established on the principle of personality, starting from the smallest cell and ascending up to the supreme government of the country.
There are no decisions made by the majority vote, but only by responsible persons. And the word 'council' is once more restored to its original meaning. Every man in a position of responsibility will have councillors at his side, but the decision is made by that individual person alone.
The principle which made the former Prussian Army an admirable instrument of the German nation will have to become the basis of our statal constitution, that is to say, full authority over his subordinates must be invested in each leader and he must be responsible to those above him.
Even then we shall not be able to do without those corporations which at present we call parliaments. But they will be real councils, in the sense that they will have to give advice. The responsibility can and must be borne by one individual, who alone will be vested with authority and the right to command.
Parliaments as such are necessary because they alone furnish the opportunity for leaders to rise gradually who will be entrusted subsequently with positions of special responsibility.
The following is an outline of the picture which the organization will present:
From the municipal administration up to the government of the Reich, the People's State will not have any body of representatives which makes its decisions through the majority vote. It will have only advisory bodies to assist the chosen leader for the time being and he will distribute among them the various duties they are to perform. In certain fields they may, if necessary, have to assume full responsibility, such as the leader or president of each corporation possesses on a larger scale.
In principle the People's State must forbid the custom of taking advice on certain political problems – economics, for instance – from persons who are entirely incompetent because they lack special training and practical experience in such matters. Consequently the State must divide its representative bodies into a political chamber and a corporative chamber that represents the respective trades and professions.
To assure an effective co-operation between those two bodies, a selected body will be placed over them. This will be a special senate.
No vote will be taken in the chambers or senate. They are to be organizations for work and not voting machines. The individual members will have consultive votes but no right of decision will be attached thereto. The right of decision belongs exclusively to the president, who must be entirely responsible for the matter under discussion.
This principle of combining absolute authority with absolute responsibility will gradually cause a selected group of leaders to emerge; which is not even thinkable in our present epoch of irresponsible parliamentarianism.
The political construction of the nation will thereby be brought into harmony with those laws to which the nation already owes its greatness in the economic and cultural spheres.
Regarding the possibility of putting these principles into practice, I should like to call attention to the fact that the principle of parliamentarian democracy, whereby decisions are enacted through the majority vote, has not always ruled the world. On the contrary, we find it prevalent only during short periods of history, and those have always been periods of decline in nations and States.
One must not believe, however, that such a radical change could be effected by measures of a purely theoretical character, operating from above downwards; for the change I have been describing could not be limited to transforming the constitution of a State but would have to include the various fields of legislation and civic existence as a whole. Such a revolution can be brought about only by means of a movement which is itself organized under the inspiration of these principles and thus bears the germ of the future State in its own organism.
Therefore it is well for the National Socialist Movement to make itself completely familiar with those principles today and actually to put them into practice within its own organization, so that not only will it be in a position to serve as a guide for the future State but will have its own organization such that it can subsequently be placed at the disposal of the State itself.
Philosophy and Organization
The People's State, which I have tried to sketch in general outline, will not become a reality in virtue of the simple fact that we know the indispensable conditions of its existence. It does not suffice to know what aspect such a State would present. The problem of its foundation is far more important. The parties which exist at present and which draw their profits from the State as it now is cannot be expected to bring about a radical change in the regime or to change their attitude on their own initiative. This is rendered all the more impossible because the forces which now have the direction of affairs in their hands are Jews here and Jews there and Jews everywhere. The trend of development which we are now experiencing would, if allowed to go on unhampered, lead to the realization of the Pan-Jewish prophecy that the Jews will one day devour the other nations and become lords of the earth.
In contrast to the millions of 'bourgeois' and 'proletarian' Germans, who are stumbling to their ruin, mostly through timidity, indolence and stupidity, the Jew pursues his way persistently and keeps his eye always fixed on his future goal. Any party that is led by him can fight for no other interests than his, and his interests certainly have nothing in common with those of the Aryan nations.
If we would transform our ideal picture of the People's State into a reality we shall have to keep independent of the forces that now control public life and seek for new forces that will be ready and capable of taking up the fight for such an ideal. For a fight it will have to be, since the first objective will not be to build up the idea of the People's State but rather to wipe out the Jewish State which is now in existence. As so often happens in the course of history, the main difficulty is not to establish a new order of things but to clear the ground for its establishment. Prejudices and egotistic interests join together in forming a common front against the new idea and in trying by every means to prevent its triumph, because it is disagreeable to them or threatens their existence.
That is why the protagonist of the new idea is unfortunately, in spite of his desire for constructive work, compelled to wage a destructive battle first, in order to abolish the existing state of affairs.
A doctrine whose principles are radically new and of essential importance must adopt the sharp probe of criticism as its weapon, though this may show itself disagreeable to the individual followers.
It is evidence of a very superficial insight into historical developments if the so-called folkists emphasize again and again that they will adopt the use of negative criticism under no circumstances but will engage only in constructive work. That is nothing but puerile chatter and is typical of the whole lot of folkists. It is another proof that the history of our own times has made no impression on these minds. Marxism too has had its aims to pursue and it also recognizes constructive work, though by this it understands only the establishment of despotic rule in the hands of international Jewish finance. Nevertheless for seventy years its principal work still remains in the field of criticism. And what disruptive and destructive criticism it has been! Criticism repeated again and again, until the corrosive acid ate into the old State so thoroughly that it finally crumbled to pieces. Only then did the so-called 'constructive' critical work of Marxism begin. And that was natural, right and logical. An existing order of things is not abolished by merely proclaiming and insisting on a new one. It must not be hoped that those who are the partisans of the existing order and have their interests bound up with it will be converted and won over to the new movement simply by being shown that something new is necessary. On the contrary, what may easily happen is that two different situations will exist side by side and that the-called philosophy is transformed into a party, above which level it will not be able to raise itself afterwards. For the philosophy is intolerant and cannot permit another to exist side by side with it. It imperiously demands its own recognition as unique and exclusive and a complete transformation in accordance with its views throughout all the branches of public life. It can never allow the previous state of affairs to continue in existence by its side.
And the same holds true of religions.
Christianity was not content with erecting an altar of its own. It had first to destroy the pagan altars. It was only in virtue of this passionate intolerance that an apodictic faith could grow up. And intolerance is an indispensable condition for the growth of such a faith.
It may be objected here that in these phenomena which we find throughout the history of the world we have to recognize mostly a specifically Jewish mode of thought and that such fanaticism and intolerance are typical symptoms of Jewish mentality. That may be a thousandfold true; and it is a fact deeply to be regretted. The appearance of intolerance and fanaticism in the history of mankind may be deeply regrettable, and it may be looked upon as foreign to human nature, but the fact does not change conditions as they exist today. The men who wish to liberate our German nation from the conditions in which it now exists cannot cudgel their brains with thinking how excellent it would be if this or that had never arisen. They must strive to find ways and means of abolishing what actually exists. A philosophy of life which is inspired by an infernal spirit of intolerance can only be set aside by a doctrine that is advanced in an equally ardent spirit and fought for with as determined a will and which is itself a new idea, pure and absolutely true.
Each one of us today may regret the fact that the advent of Christianity was the first occasion on which spiritual terror was introduced into the much freer ancient world, but the fact cannot be denied that ever since then the world is pervaded and dominated by this kind of coercion and that violence is broken only by violence and terror by terror. Only then can a new regime be created by means of constructive work. Political parties are prone to enter compromises; but a philosophy never does this. A political party is inclined to adjust its teachings with a view to meeting those of its opponents, but a philosophy proclaims its own infallibility.
In the beginning, political parties have also and nearly always the intention of securing an exclusive and despotic domination for themselves. They always show a slight tendency to become philosophical. But the limited nature of their programme is in itself enough to rob them of that heroic spirit which a philosophy demands. The spirit of conciliation which animates their will attracts those petty and chicken-hearted people who are not fit to be protagonists in any crusade. That is the reason why they mostly become struck in their miserable pettiness very early on the march. They give up fighting for their ideology and, by way of what they call 'positive collaboration,' they try as quickly as possible to wedge themselves into some tiny place at the trough of the existent regime and to stick there as long as possible. Their whole effort ends at that. And if they should get shouldered away from the common manger by a competition of more brutal manners then their only idea is to force themselves in again, by force or chicanery, among the herd of all the others who have similar appetites, in order to get back into the front row, and finally – even at the expense of their most sacred convictions – participate anew in that beloved spot where they find their fodder. They are the jackals of politics.
But a general philosophy of life will never share its place with something else. Therefore it can never agree to collaborate in any order of things that it condemns. On the contrary it feels obliged to employ every means in fighting against the old order and the whole world of ideas belonging to that order and prepare the way for its destruction.
These purely destructive tactics, the danger of which is so readily perceived by the enemy that he forms a united front against them for his common defence, and also the constructive tactics, which must be aggressive in order to carry the new world of ideas to success – both these phases of the struggle call for a body of resolute fighters. Any new philosophy of life will bring its ideas to victory only if the most courageous and active elements of its epoch and its people are enrolled under its standards and grouped firmly together in a powerful fighting organization. To achieve this purpose it is absolutely necessary to select from the general system of doctrine a certain number of ideas which will appeal to such individuals and which, once they are expressed in a precise and clear-cut form, will serve as articles of faith for a new association of men. While the programme of the ordinary political party is nothing but the recipe for cooking up favourable results out of the next general elections, the programme of a philosophy represents a declaration of war against an existing order of things, against present conditions, in short, against the established view of life in general.
It is not necessary, however, that every individual fighter for such a new doctrine need have a full grasp of the ultimate ideas and plans of those who are the leaders of the movement. It is only necessary that each should have a clear notion of the fundamental ideas and that he should thoroughly assimilate a few of the most fundamental principles, so that he will be convinced of the necessity of carrying the movement and its doctrines to success. The individual soldier is not initiated in the knowledge of high strategical plans. But he is trained to submit to a rigid discipline, to be passionately convinced of the justice and inner worth of his cause and that he must devote himself to it without reserve. So, too, the individual follower of a movement must be made acquainted with its far-reaching purpose, how it is inspired by a powerful will and has a great future before it.
Supposing that each soldier in an army were a general, and had the training and capacity for generalship, that army would not be an efficient fighting instrument. Similarly a political movement would not be very efficient in fighting for a philosophy if it were made up exclusively of intellectuals. No, we need the simple soldier also. Without him no discipline can be established.
By its very nature, an organization can exist only if leaders of high intellectual ability are served by a large mass of men who are emotionally devoted to the cause. To maintain discipline in a company of two hundred men who are equally intelligent and capable would turn out more difficult in the long run than in a company of one hundred and ninety less gifted men and ten who have had a higher education.
The Social-Democrats have profited very much by recognizing this truth. They took the broad masses of our people who had just completed military service and learned to submit to discipline, and they subjected this mass of men to the discipline of the Social-Democratic organization, which was no less rigid than the discipline through which the young men had passed in their military training. The Social-Democratic organization consisted of an army divided into officers and men. The German worker who had passed through his military service became the private soldier in that army, and the Jewish intellectual was the officer. The German trade union functionaries may be compared to the non-commissioned officers. The fact, which was always looked upon with indifference by our middle-classes, that only the so-called uneducated classes joined Marxism was the very ground on which this party achieved its success. For while the bourgeois parties, because they mostly consisted of intellectuals, were only a feckless band of undisciplined individuals, out of much less intelligent human material the Marxist leaders formed an army of party combatants who obey their Jewish masters just as blindly as they formerly obeyed their German officers. The German middle-classes, who never; bothered their heads about psychological problems because they felt themselves superior to such matters, did not think it necessary to reflect on the profound significance of this fact and the secret danger involved in it. Indeed they believed. that a political movement which draws its followers exclusively from intellectual circles must, for that very reason, be of greater importance and have better grounds. for its chances of success, and even a greater probability of taking over the government of the country than a party made up of the ignorant masses. They completely failed to realize the fact that the strength of a political party never consists in the intelligence and independent spirit of the rank-and-file of its members but rather in the spirit of willing obedience with which they follow their intellectual leaders. What is of decisive importance is the leadership itself. When two bodies of troops are arrayed in mutual combat victory will not fall to that side in which every soldier has an expert knowledge of the rules of strategy, but rather to that side which has the best leaders and at the same time the best disciplined, most blindly obedient and best drilled troops.
That is a fundamental piece of knowledge which we must always bear in mind when we examine the possibility of transforming a philosophy into a practical reality.
If we agree that in order to carry a philosophy into practical effect it must be incorporated in a fighting movement, then the logical consequence is that the programme of such a movement must take account of the human material at its disposal. Just as the ultimate aims and fundamental principles must be absolutely definite and unmistakable, so the propagandist programme must be well drawn up and must be inspired by a keen sense of its psychological appeals to the minds of those without whose help the noblest ideas will be doomed to remain in the eternal, realm of ideas.
If the idea of the People's State, which is at present an obscure wish, is one day to attain a clear and definite success, from its vague and vast mass of thought it will have to put forward certain definite principles which of their very nature and content are calculated to attract a broad mass of adherents; in other words, such a group of people as can guarantee that these principles will be fought for. That group of people are the German workers.
That is why the programme of the new movement was condensed into a few fundamental postulates, twenty-five in all. They are meant first of all to give the ordinary man a rough sketch of what the movement is aiming at. They are, so to say, a profession of faith which on the one hand is meant to win adherents to the movement and, on the other, they are meant to unite such adherents together in a covenant to which all have subscribed.
In these matters we must never lose sight of the following: What we call the programme of the movement is absolutely right as far as its ultimate aims are concerned, but as regards the manner in which that programme is formulated certain psychologica1 considerations had to be taken into account. Hence, in the course of time, the opinion may well arise that certain principles should be expressed differently and might be better formulated. But any attempt at a different formulation has a fatal effect in most cases. For something that ought to be fixed and unshakable thereby becomes the subject of discussion. As soon as one point alone is removed from the sphere of dogmatic certainty, the discussion will not simply result in a new and better formulation which will have greater consistency but may easily lead to endless debates and general confusion. In such cases the question must always be carefully considered as to whether a new and more adequate formulation is to be preferred, though it may cause a controversy within the movement, or whether it may not be better to retain the old formula which, though probably not the best, represents an organism enclosed in itself, solid and internally homogeneous. All experience shows that the second of these alternatives is preferable. For since in these changes one is dealing only with external forms such corrections will always appear desirable and possible. But in the last analysis the generality of people think superficially and therefore the great danger is that in what is merely an external formulation of the programme people will see an essential aim of the movement. In that way the will and the combative force at the service of the ideas are weakened and the energies that ought to be directed towards the outer world are dissipated in programmatic discussions within the ranks of the movement.
For a doctrine that is actually right in its main features it is less dangerous to retain a formulation which may no longer be quite adequate instead of trying to improve it and thereby allowing a fundamental principle of the movement, which had hitherto been considered as solid as granite, to become the subject of a general discussion which may have unfortunate consequences. This is particularly to be avoided as long as a movement is still fighting for victory. For would it be possible to inspire people with blind faith in the truth of a doctrine if doubt and uncertainty are encouraged by continual alterations in its external formulation?
The essentials of a teaching must never be looked for in its external formulas, but always in its inner meaning. And this meaning is unchangeable. And in its interest one can only wish that a movement should exclude everything that tends towards disintegration and uncertainty in order to preserve the unified force that is necessary for its triumph.
Here again the Catholic Church has a lesson to teach us. Though sometimes, and often quite unnecessarily, its dogmatic system is in conflict with the exact sciences and with scientific discoveries, it is not disposed to sacrifice a syllable of its teachings. It has rightly recognized that its powers of resistance would be weakened by introducing greater or less doctrinal adaptations to meet the temporary conclusions of science, which in reality are always vacillating. And thus it holds fast to its fixed and established dogmas which alone can give to the whole system the character of a faith. And that is the reason why it stands firmer today than ever before. We may prophesy that, as a fixed pole amid fleeting phenomena, it will continue to attract increasing numbers of people who will be blindly attached to it the more rapid the rhythm of changing phenomena around it.
Therefore whoever really and seriously desires that the idea of the People's State should triumph must realize that this triumph can be assured only through a militant movement and that this movement must ground its strength only on the granite firmness of an impregnable and firmly coherent programme. In regard to its formulas it must never make concessions to the spirit of the time but must maintain the form that has once and for all been decided upon as the right one; in any case until victory has crowned its efforts. Before this goal has been reached any attempt to open a discussion on the opportuneness of this or that point in the programme might tend to disintegrate the solidity and fighting strength of the movement, according to the measures in which its followers might take part in such an internal dispute. Some 'improvements' introduced today might be subjected to a critical examination to-morrow, in order to substitute it with something better the day after. Once the barrier has been taken down the road is opened and we know only the beginning, but we do not know to what shoreless sea it may lead.
This important principle had to be acknowledged in practice by the members of the National Socialist Movement at its very beginning. In its programme of twenty-five points the National Socialist German Labour Party has been furnished with a basis that must remain unshakable. The members of the movement, both present and future, must never feel themselves called upon to undertake a critical revision of these leading postulates, but rather feel themselves obliged to put them into practice as they stand. Otherwise the next generation would, in its turn and with equal right, expend its energy in such purely formal work within the party, instead of winning new adherents to the movement and thus adding to its power. For the majority of our followers the essence of the movement will consist not so much in the letter of our theses but in the meaning that we attribute to them.
The new movement owes its name to these considerations, and later on its programme was drawn up in conformity with them. They are the basis of our propaganda. In order to carry the idea of the People's State to victory, a popular party had to be founded, a party that did not consist of intellectual leaders only but also of manual labourers. Any attempt to carry these theories into effect without the aid of a militant organization would be doomed to failure today, as it has failed in the past and must fail in the future. That is why the movement is not only justified but it is also obliged to consider itself as the champion and representative of these ideas. Just as the fundamental principles of the National Socialist Movement are based on the folk idea, folk ideas are National Socialist. If National Socialism would triumph it will have to hold firm to this fact unreservedly, and here again it has not only the right but also the duty to emphasize most rigidly that any attempt to represent the folk idea outside of the National Socialist German Labour Party is futile and in most cases fraudulent.
If the reproach should be launched against our movement that it has 'monopolized' the folk idea, there is only one answer to give.
Not only have we monopolized the folk idea but, to all practical intents and purposes, we have created it.
For what hitherto existed under this name was not in the least capable of influencing the destiny of our people, since all those ideas lacked a political and coherent formulation. In most cases they are nothing but isolated and incoherent notions which are more or less right. Quite frequently these were in open contradiction to one another and in no case was there any internal cohesion among them. And even if this internal cohesion existed it would have been much too weak to form the basis of any movement.
Only the National Socialist Movement proved capable of fulfilling this task.
All kinds of associations and groups, big as well as little, now claim the title völkisch. This is one result of the work which National Socialism has done. Without this work, not one of all these parties would have thought of adopting the word völkisch at all. That expression would have meant nothing to them and especially their directors would never have had anything to do with such an idea. Not until the work of the German National Socialist Labour Party had given this idea a pregnant meaning did it appear in the mouths of all kinds of people. Our party above all, by the success of its propaganda, has shown the force of the folk idea; so much so that the others, in an effort to gain proselytes, find themselves forced to copy our example, at least in words.
Just as heretofore they exploited everything to serve their petty electoral purposes, today they use the word völkisch only as an external and hollow-sounding phrase for the purpose of counteracting the force of the impression which the National Socialist Party makes on the members of those other parties. Only the desire to maintain their existence and the fear that our movement may prevail, because it is based on a philosophy that is of universal importance, and because they feel that the exclusive character of our movement betokens danger for them – only for these reasons do they use words which they repudiated eight years ago, derided seven years ago, branded as stupid six years ago, combated five years ago, hated four years ago, and finally, two years ago, annexed and incorporated them in their present political vocabulary, employing them as war slogans in their struggle.
And so it is necessary even now not to cease calling attention to the fact that not one of those parties has the slightest idea of what the German nation needs. The most striking proof of this is represented by the superficial way in which they use the word völkisch.
Not less dangerous are those who run about as semi-folkists formulating fantastic schemes which are mostly based on nothing else than a fixed idea which in itself might be right but which, because it is an isolated notion, is of no use whatsoever for the formation of a great homogeneous fighting association and could by no means serve as the basis of its organization. Those people who concoct a programme which consists partly of their own ideas and partly of ideas taken from others, about which they have read somewhere, are often more dangerous than the outspoken enemies of the völkisch idea. At best they are sterile theorists but more frequently they are mischievous agitators of the public mind. They believe that they can mask their intellectual vanity, the futility of their efforts, and their lack of stability, by sporting flowing beards and indulging in ancient German gestures.
In face of all those futile attempts, it is therefore worth while to recall the time when the new National Socialist Movement began its fight.