Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Volume Two: The National Socialist Movement
Chapter II: The State
By 1920 to 1921, time and again the circles of the present outlived bourgeois world held it up to our young movement that our attitude toward the present-day state was negative, which made the political crooks of all tendencies feel justified in undertaking to suppress the young prophet of a new world view with all possible means. Of course they purposely forgot that the present bourgeois world itself can no longer form any unified picture of the state concept, that there neither is nor can be any uniform definition of it. For the explainers usually sit in our state universities in the form of political law professors, whose highest task it must be to find explanations and interpretations for the more or less unfortunate existence of their momentary source of bread. The more impossible the nature of such a state is, the more opaque, artificial, and unintelligible are the definitions regarding the purpose of its existence. What, for example, could a royal and imperial university professor formerly write about the sense and purpose of the state in a country whose state existence embodied the greatest monstrosity of the twentieth century? A grave task if we consider that for the present day teacher of political law there is less obligation to truth than bondage to a definite purpose. And the purpose is: preservation at any price of the current monstrosity of human mechanism,1 now called state. We have no call to be surprised if in the discussion of this problem practical criteria are avoided as much as possible, and instead the professors dig themselves into a hodgepodge of 'ethical,' 'moral,' and other ideal values, tasks and aims.
1 'Ein Monstrum von menschlichem Mechanismus.'
In general three conceptions can be distinguished:
(a) The troop of those who regard the state simply as a more or less voluntary grouping of people under a governmental power.
This group is the most numerous. In its ranks are found particularly the worshipers of our present-day principle of legitimacy, in whose eyes the will of the people plays no role in this whole matter. According to these saints, a sacred inviolability is based on the mere fact of the state's existence. To protect this madness of human brains, a positively dog-like veneration of so-called state authority is needed. In the minds of such people a means becomes an ultimate end in the twinkling of an eye. The state no longer exists to serve men; men exist in order to worship a state authority which embraces even the most humble spirit, provided he is in any sense an official. Lest this condition of silent, ecstatic veneration turn into one of unrest, the state authority for its part exists only to maintain peace and order. It, too, is now an end and no longer a means.2 State authority must provide for peace and order, and peace and order in turn must conversely make possible the existence of state authority. Within these two poles all life must now revolve.
2 'Ein Zweck.' Second edition changes this to 'kein Zweck,' though this may be a misprint. The meaning then would be: 'no longer an end or a means.'
In Bavaria, such a conception is primarily represented by the political artists of the Bavarian Center, known as the 'Bavarian People's Party'; in Austria, it was the Black-and-YelIow Legitimists; in the Reich itself, unfortunately, it is often so-called conservative elements whose conception of the state moves along these paths.
(b) The second group of people is somewhat smaller in number, since among it must be reckoned those who at least attach a few conditions to the existence of the state. They desire not only uniform but also, if possible, uniform language - if only for general technical reasons of administration. State authority is no longer the sole and exclusive purpose of the state, but to it is added the promotion of the subjects' welfare. Ideas of 'freedom,' mostly of a misunderstood nature, inject themselves into the state conceptions of these circles. The form of government no longer seems inviolable by the mere fact of its existence, but is examined as to its expediency. The sanctity of age offers no protection against the criticism of the present. Furthermore, it is a conception which expects that the state above all will beneficially shape the economic life of the individual, and which therefore judges on the basis of practical criteria and general economic conceptions of the profitable. We find the main representatives of these views in the circles of our normal German bourgeoisie, especially in those of our liberal democracy.
(c) The third group is numerically the weakest.
It regards the state as a means for the realization of usually very unclearly conceived aims of a state-people linguistically stamped and united. The will for a uniform state language is here expressed, not only in the hope of giving this state a foundation capable of supporting an outward increase of power, but not less in the opinion - basically erroneous, incidentally - that this will make it possible to carry through a nationalization in a definite direction.
In the last hundred years it has been a true misery to observe how these circles, sometimes in the best good faith, played with the word 'Germanize.' I myself still remember how in my youth this very term led to incredibly false conceptions. Even in Pan-German circles the opinion could then be heard that the Austrian-Germans with the promotion and aid of the government, might well succeed in a Germanization of the Austrian Slavs; these circles never even began to realize that Germanization can only be applied to soil and never to people. For what was generally understood under this word was only the forced outward acceptance of the German language. But it is a scarcely conceivable fallacy of thought to believe that a Negro or a Chinese, let us say, will turn into a German because he learns German and is willing to speak the German language in the future and perhaps even give his vote to a German political party. That any such Germanization is in reality a de-Germanization never became clear to our bourgeois national world. For if today, by forcing a universal language on them, obvious differences between different peoples are bridged over and finally effaced, this means the beginning of a bastardization, and hence in our case not a Germanization but a destruction of the Germanic element. Only too frequently does it occur in history that conquering people's outward instruments of power succeed in forcing their language on oppressed peoples, but that after a thousand years their language is spoken by another people, and the victors thereby actually become the vanquished.
Since nationality or rather race does not happen to lie in language but in the blood, we would only be justified in speaking of a Germanization if by such a process we succeeded in transforming the blood of the subjected people. But this is impossible. Unless a blood mixture brings about a change, which, however, means the lowering of the level of the higher race. The final result of such a process would consequently be the destruction of precisely those qualities which had formerly made the conquering people capable of victory. Especially the cultural force would vanish through a mating with the lesser race, even if the resulting mongrels spoke the language of the earlier, higher race a thousand times over. For a time, a certain struggle will take place between the different mentalities, and it may be that the steadily sinking people, in a last quiver of life, so to speak, will bring to light surprising cultural values. But these are only individual elements belonging to the higher race, or perhaps bastards in whom, after the first crossing, the better blood still predominates and tries to struggle through; but never final products of a mixture. In them a culturally backward movement will always manifest itself.
Today it must be regarded as a good fortune that a Germanization as intended by Joseph II in Austria was not carried out. Its result would probably have been the preservation of the Austrian state, but also the lowering of the racial level of the German nation induced by a linguistic union. In the course of the centuries a certain herd instinct would doubtless have crystallized out, but the herd itself would have become inferior. A state-people would perhaps have been born, but a culture-people would have been lost.
For the German nation it was better that such a process of mixture did not take place, even if this was not due to a noble insight, but to the shortsighted narrowness of the Habsburgs. If it had turned out differently, the German people could scarcely be regarded as a cultural factor.
Not only in Austria, but in Germany as well, so-called national circles were moved by similar false ideas. The Polish policy, demanded by so many, involving a Germanization of the East, was unfortunately based on the same false inference. Here again it was thought that a Germanization of the Polish element could be brought about by a purely linguistic integration with the German element. Here again the result would have been catastrophic; a people of alien race expressing its alien ideas in the German language, compromising the lofty dignity of our own nationality by their own inferiority.
How terrible is the damage indirectly done to our Germanism today by the fact that, due to the ignorance of many Americans, the German-jabbering Jews, when they set foot on American soil, are booked to our German account. Surely no one will call the purely external fact that most of this lice-ridden migration from the East speaks German a proof of their German origin and nationality.
What has been profitably Germanized in history is the soil which our ancestors acquired by the sword and settled with German peasants. In so far as they directed foreign blood into our national body in this process, they contributed to that catastrophic splintering of our inner being which is expressed in German super-individualism - a phenomenon, I am sorry to say, which is praised in many quarters.
Also in this third group, the state in a certain sense still passes as an end in itself, and the preservation of the state, consequently, as the highest task of human existence.
In summing up we can state the following: All these views have their deepest root, not in the knowledge that the forces which create culture and values are based essentially on racial elements and that the state must, therefore, in the light of reason, regard its highest task as the preservation and intensification of the race, this fundamental condition of all human cultural development.
It was the Jew, Karl Marx, who was able to draw the extreme inference from those false conceptions and views concerning the nature and purpose of a state: by detaching the state concept from racial obligations without being able to arrive at any other equally acknowledged formulation, the bourgeois world even paved the way for a doctrine which denies the state as such.
Even in this field, therefore, the struggle of the bourgeois world against the Marxist international must fail completely. It long since sacrificed the foundations which would have been indispensably necessary for the support of its own ideological world. Their shrewd foe recognized the weaknesses of their own structure and is now storming it with the weapons which they themselves, even if involuntarily, provided.
It is, therefore, the first obligation of a new movement, standing on the ground of a folkish world view, to make sure that its conception of the nature and purpose of the state attains a uniform and clear character.
Thus the basic realization is: that the state represents no end, but a means. It is, to be sure, the premise for the formation of a higher human culture, but not its cause, which lies exclusively in the existence of a race capable of culture. Hundreds of exemplary states might exist on earth, but if the Aryan culture-bearer died out, there would be no culture corresponding to the spiritual level of the highest peoples of today. We can go even farther and say that the fact of human state formation would not in the least exclude the possibility of the destruction of the human race, provided that superior intellectual ability and elasticity would be lost due to the absence of their racial bearers.
If today, for example, the surface of the earth were upset by some tectonic event and a new Himalaya rose from the ocean floods, by one single cruel catastrophe the culture of humanity would be destroyed. No state would exist any longer, the bands of all order would be dissolved, the documents of millennial development would be shattered - a single great field of corpses covered by water and mud. But if from this chaos of horror even a few men of a certain race capable of culture had been preserved, the earth, upon settling, if only after thousands of years, would again get proofs of human creative power. Only the destruction of the last race capable of culture and its individual members would desolate the earth for good. Conversely, we can see even by examples from the present that state formations in their tribal beginnings can, if their racial supporters lack sufficient genius, not preserve them from destruction. Just as great animal species of prehistoric times had to give way to others and vanish without trace, man must also give way if he lacks a definite spiritual force which alone enables him to find the necessary weapons for his self -preservation.
The state in itself does not create a specific cultural level; it can only preserve the race which conditions this level. Otherwise the state as such may continue to exist unchanged for centuries while, in consequence of a racial mixture which it has not prevented, the cultural capacity of a people and the general aspect of its life conditioned by it have long since suffered a profound change. The present-day state, for example, may very well simulate its existence as a formal mechanism for a certain length of time, but the racial poisoning of our national body creates a cultural decline which even now is terrifyingly manifest.
Thus, the precondition for the existence of a higher humanity is not the state, but the nation possessing the necessary ability.
This ability will fundamentally always be present and must only be aroused to practical realization by certain outward conditions. Culturally and creatively gifted nations, or rather races, bear these useful qualities latent within them, even if at the moment unfavorable outward conditions do not permit a realization of these latent tendencies. Hence it is an unbelievable offense to represent the Germanic peoples of the pre-Christian era as 'cultureless,' as barbarians. That they never were. Only the harshness of their northern homeland forced them into circumstances which thwarted the development of their creative forces. If, without any ancient world, they had come to the more favorable regions of the south, and if the material provided by lower peoples had given them their first technical implements, the culture-creating ability slumbering within them would have grown into radiant bloom just as happened, for example, with the Greeks. But this primeval culture-creating force itself arises in turn not from the northern climate alone. The Laplander, brought to the south, would be no more culture-creating than the Eskimo. For this glorious creative ability was given only to the Aryan, whether he bears it dormant within himself or gives it to awakening life, depending whether favorable circumstances permit this or an inhospitable Nature prevents it.
From this the following realization results:
The state is a means to an end. Its end lies in the preservation and advancement of a community of physically and psychically homogeneous creatures. This preservation itself comprises first of all existence as a race and thereby permits the free development of all the forces dormant in this race. Of them a part will always primarily serve the preservation of physical life, and only the remaining part the promotion of a further spiritual development. Actually the one always creates the precondition for the other.
States which do not serve this purpose are misbegotten, monstrosities in fact. The fact of their existence changes this no more than the success of a gang of bandits can justify robbery.
We National Socialists as champions of a new philosophy of life must never base ourselves on so-called 'accepted facts' - and false ones at that. If we did, we would not be the champions of a new great idea, but the coolies of the present-day lie. We must distinguish in the sharpest way between the state as a vessel and the race as its content. This vessel has meaning only if it can preserve and protect the content; otherwise it is useless.
Thus, the highest purpose of a folkish state is concern for the preservation of those original racial elements which bestow culture and create the beauty and dignity of a higher mankind. We, as Aryans, can conceive of the state only as the living organism of a nationality which not only assures the preservation of this nationality, but by the development of its spiritual and ideal abilities leads it to the highest freedom.
But what they try to palm off on us as a state today is usually nothing but a monstrosity born of deepest human error, with untold misery as a consequence.
We National Socialists know that with this conception we stand as revolutionaries in the world of today and are also branded as such. But our thoughts and actions must in no way be determined by the approval or disapproval of our time, but by the binding obligation to a truth which we have recognized. Then we may be convinced that the higher insight of posterity will not only understand our actions of today, but will also confirm their correctness and exalt them.
From this, we National Socialists derive a standard for the evaluation of a state. This value will be relative from the standpoint of the individual nationality, absolute from that of humanity as such. This means, in other words:
The quality of a state cannot be evaluated according to the cultural level or the power of this state in the frame of the outside world, but solely and exclusively by the degree of this institution's virtue for the nationality involved in each special case.
A state can be designated as exemplary if it is not only compatible with the living conditions of the nationality it is intended to represent, but if in practice it keeps this nationality alive by its own very existence - quite regardless of the importance of this state formation within the framework of the outside world. For the function of the state is not to create abilities, but only to open the road for those forces which are present. Thus, conversely, a state can be designated as bad if, despite a high cultural level, it dooms the bearer of this culture in his racial composition. For thus it destroys to all intents and purposes the premise for the survival of this culture which it did not create, but which is the fruit of a culture-creating nationality safeguarded by a living integration through the state. The state does not represent the content, but a form. A people's cultural level at any time does not, therefore, provide a standard for measuring the quality of the state in which it lives. It is easily understandable that a people highly endowed with culture offers a more valuable picture than a Negro tribe; nevertheless, the state organism of the former, viewed according to its fulfillment of purpose, can be inferior to that of the Negro. Though the best state and the best state form are not able to extract from a people abilities which are simply lacking and never did exist, a bad state is assuredly able to kill originally existing abilities by permitting or even promoting the destruction of the racial culture-bearer.
Hence our judgment concerning the quality of a state can primarily be determined only by the relative utility it possesses for a definite nationality, and in no event by the intrinsic importance attributable to it in the world.
This relative judgment can be passed quickly and easily, but the judgment concerning absolute value only with great difficulty, since this absolute judgment is no longer determined merely by the state, but by the quality and level of the nationality in question.
If, therefore, we speak of a higher mission of the state, we must not forget that the higher mission lies essentially in the nationality whose free development the state must merely make possible by the organic force of its being.
Hence, if we propound the question of how the state which we Germans need should be constituted, we must first clearly understand what kind of people it is to contain and what purpose it is to serve.
Our German nationality, unfortunately, is no longer based on a unified racial nucleus. The blending process of the various original components has advanced so far that we might speak of a new race. On the contrary, the poisonings of the blood which have befallen our people, especially since the Thirty Years' War, have led not only to a decomposition of our blood, but also of our soul. The open borders of our fatherland, the association with un-German foreign bodies along these frontier districts, but above all the strong and continuous influx of foreign blood into the interior of the Reich itself, due to its continuous renewal, leaves no time for an absolute blending. No new race is distilled out, the racial constituents remain side by side, with the result that, especially in critical moments in which otherwise a herd habitually gathers together, the German people scatters to all the four winds. Not only are the basic racial elements scattered territorially, but on a small scale within the same territory. Beside Nordic men Easterners, beside Easterners Dinarics, beside both of these Westerners, and mixtures in between. On the one hand, this is a great disadvantage: the German people lack that sure herd instinct which is based on unity of the blood and, especially in moments of threatening danger, preserves nations from destruction in so far as all petty inner differences in such peoples vanish at once on such occasions and the solid front of a unified herd confronts the common enemy. This coexistence of unblended basic racial elements of the most varying kind accounts for what is termed hyper-individualism in Germany. In peaceful periods it may sometimes do good services, but taking all things together, it has robbed us of world domination. If the German people in its historic development had possessed that herd unity which other peoples enjoyed, the German Reich today would doubtless be mistress of the globe. World history would have taken a different course, and no one can distinguish whether in this way we would not have obtained what so many blinded pacifists today hope to gain by begging, whining, and whimpering: a peace, supported not by the palm branches of tearful, pacifist female mourners, but based on the victorious sword of a master people, putting the world into the service of a higher culture.
The fact of the non-existence of a nationality of unified blood has brought us untold misery. It has given capital cities to many small German potentates, but deprived the German people of the master's right.
Today our people are still suffering from this inner division; but what brought us misfortune in the past and present can be our blessing for the future. For detrimental as it was on the one hand that a complete blending of our original racial components did not take place, and that the formation of a unified national body was thus prevented, it was equally fortunate on the other hand that in this way at least a part of our best blood was preserved pure and escaped racial degeneration.
Assuredly, if there had been a complete blending of our original racial elements, a unified national body would have arisen; however, as every racial cross-breeding proves, it would have been endowed with a smaller cultural capacity than the highest of the original components originally possessed. This is the blessing of the absence of complete blending: that today in our German national body we still possess great unmixed stocks of Nordic-Germanic people whom we may consider the most precious treasure for our future. In the confused period of ignorance of al} racial laws, when a man appeared to be simply a man, with full equality - clarity may have been lacking with regard to the different value of the various original elements. Today we know that a complete intermixture of the components of our people might, in consequence of the unity thus produced, have given us outward power, but that the highest goal of mankind would have been unattainable, since the sole bearer, whom Fate had clearly chosen for this completion, would have perished in the general racial porridge of the unified people.
But what, through none of our doing, a kind Fate prevented, we must today examine and evaluate from the standpoint of the knowledge we have now acquired.
Anyone who speaks of a mission of the German people on earth, must know that it can exist only in the formation of a state which sees its highest task in the preservation and promotion of the most noble elements of our nationality, indeed of all mankind, which still remain main intact.
Thus, for the first time the state achieves a lofty inner goal. Compared to the absurd catchword about safeguarding law and order, thus laying a peaceable groundwork for mutual swindles, the task of preserving and advancing the highest humanity, given to this earth by the benevolence of the Almighty, seems a truly high mission.
From a dead mechanism which only lays claim to existence for its own sake, there must be formed a living organism with the exclusive aim of serving a higher idea.
The German Reich as a state must embrace all Germans and has the task, not only of assembling and preserving the most valuable stocks of basic racial elements in this people, but slowly and surely of raising them to a dominant position.
Thus, a condition which is fundamentally one of paralysis is replaced by a period of struggle, but as everywhere and always in this world, here, too, the saying remains valid that 'he who rests - rusts,' and, furthermore, that victory lies eternally and exclusively in attack. The greater the goal we have in mind in our struggle, and the smaller the understanding of the broad masses for it may be at the moment, all the more gigantic, as the experience of world history shows, will be the success - and the significance of this success if the goal is correctly comprehended and the struggle is carried through with unswerving perseverance.
Of course it may be more soothing for many of our present official helmsmen of the state to work for the preservation of an existing condition than having to fight for a new one. They will find it much easier to regard the state as a mechanism which exists simply in order to keep itself alive, since in turn their lives 'belong to the state' - as they are accustomed to put it. As though something which sprang from the nationality could logically serve anything else than the nationality or man could work for anything else than man. Of course, as I have said before, it is easier to see in state authority the mere formal mechanism of an organization than the sovereign embodiment of a nationality's instinct of self-preservation on earth. For in the one case the state, as well as state authority, is for these weak minds a purpose in It self, while in the other, it is only a mighty weapon in the service of the great, eternal life struggle for existence, a weapon to which everyone must submit because it is not formal and mechanical, but the expression of a common will for preserving life.
Hence, in the struggle for our new conception, which is entirely in keeping with the primal meaning of things, we shall find few fellow warriors in a society which not only is physically senile but, sad to say, usually, mentally as well. Only exceptions, old men with young hearts and fresh minds, will come to us from those classes, never those who see the ultimate meaning of their life task in the preservation of an existing condition.
We are confronted by the endless army, not so much of the deliberately bad as of the mentally lazy and indifferent, including those with a stake in the preservation of the present condition. But precisely in this apparent hopelessness of our gigantic struggle lies the greatness of our task and also the possibility of our success. The battle-cry which either scares away the small spirits at the very start, or soon makes them despair, will be the signal for the assemblage of real fighting natures. And this we must see clearly: If in a people a certain amount of the highest energy and active force seems concentrated upon one goal and hence is definitively removed from the inertia of the broad masses, this small percentage has risen to be master over the entire number. World history is made by minorities when this minority of number embodies the majority of will and determination.
What, therefore, may appear as a difficulty today is in reality the premise for our victory. Precisely in the greatness and the difficulties of our task lies the probability that only the best fighters will step forward to struggle for it. And in this selection lies the guaranty of success.
In general, Nature herself usually makes certain corrective decisions with regard to the racial purity of earthly creatures She has little love for bastards. Especially the first products of such cross-breeding, say in the third, fourth, and fifth generation, suffer bitterly. Not only is the value of the originally highest element of the cross-breeding taken from them, but with their lack of blood unity they lack also unity of will-power and determination live. In all critical moments in which the racially unified being makes correct, that is, unified decisions, the racially divided one will become uncertain; that is, he will arrive at half measures. Taken together, this means not only a certain inferiority of the racially divided being compared with the racially unified one, but in practice also the possibility of a more rapid decline. In innumerable cases where race holds up, the bastard breaks down. In this, we must see the correction of Nature. But often she goes even further. She limits the possibility of propagation. Thereby she prevents the fertility of continued crossings altogether and thus causes them to die out.
If, for example, an individual specimen of a certain race were to enter into a union with a racially lower specimen, the result would at first be a lowering of the standard in itself; but, in addition, there would be a weakening of the offspring as compared to the environment that had remained racially unmixed. If an influx of further blood from the highest race were prevented entirely, the bastards, if they continued mutually to cross, would either die out because their power of resistance had been wisely diminished by Nature, or in the course of many millenniums a new mixture would form in which the original individual elements would be completely blended by the thousandfold crossing and therefore no longer recognizable. Thus a new nationality would have formed with a certain herd resistance, but, compared to the highest race participating in the first crossing, seriously reduced in spiritual and cultural stature. But in this last case, moreover, the hybrid product would succumb in the mutual struggle for existence as long as a higher racial entity, which has remained unmixed, is still present as an opponent. All the herd-solidarity of this new people, formed in the course of thousands of years, would, in consequence of the general lowering of the racial level and the resultant diminution of spiritual elasticity and creative ability, not suffice victoriously to withstand the struggle with an equally unified, but spiritually and culturally superior race.
Hence we can establish the following valid statement:
Every racial crossing leads inevitably sooner or later to the decline of the hybrid product as long as the higher element of this crossing is itself still existent in any kind of racial unity. The danger for the hybrid product is eliminated only at the moment when the last higher racial element is bastardized.
This is a basis for a natural, even though slow, process of regeneration, which gradually eliminates racial poisonings as long as a basic stock of racially pure elements is still present and a further bastardization does not take place.
Such a process can begin of its own accord in creatures with a strong racial instinct, who have only been thrown off the track of normal, racially pure reproduction by special circumstances or some special compulsion. As soon as this condition of compulsion is ended, the part which has still remained pure will at once strive again for mating among equals, thus calling a halt to further mixture. The results of bastardization spontaneously recede to the background, unless their number has increased so infinitely that serious resistance on the part of those who have remained racially pure is out of the question.
Man, once he has lost his instinct and fails to recognize the obligation imposed upon him by Nature, is on the whole not justified in hoping for such a correction on the part of Nature as long as he has not replaced his lost instinct by perceptive knowledge; this knowledge must then perform the required work of compensation. Yet the danger is very great that the man who has once grown blind will keep tearing down the racial barriers more and more, until at length even the last remnant of his best part is lost. Then in reality there remains nothing but a unified mash, such as the famous world reformers of our days idealize; but in a short time it would expel all ideals from this world. Indeed: a great herd could be formed in this way; a herd beast can be brewed from all sorts of ingredients, but a man who will be a culture-bearer, or even better, a culture-founder and culture-creator, never arises from such a mixture. The mission of humanity could then be looked upon as finished.
Anyone who does not want the earth to move toward this condition must convert himself to the conception that it is the function above all of the Germanic states first and foremost to call a fundamental halt to any further bastardization.
The generation of our present notorious weaklings will obviously cry out against this, and moan and complain about assaults on the holiest human rights. No, there is only one holiest human right, and this right is at the same time the holiest obligation, to wit: to see to it that the blood is preserved pure and, by preserving the best humanity, to create the possibility of a nobler development of these beings.
A folkish state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape.
The protest against this on so-called humane grounds is particularly ill-suited to an era which on the one hand gives every depraved degenerate the possibility of propagating, but which burdens the products themselves, as well as their contemporaries, with untold suffering, while on the other hand every drug store and our very street peddlers offer the means for the prevention of births for sale even to the healthiest parents. In this present-day state of law and order in the eyes of its representatives, this brave, bourgeois-national society, the prevention of the procreative faculty in sufferers from syphilis, tuberculosis, hereditary diseases, cripples, and cretins is a crime, while the actual suppression of the procreative faculty in millions of the very best people is not regarded as anything bad and does not offend against the morals of this hypocritical society, but is rather a benefit to its short-sighted mental laziness. For otherwise these people would at least be forced to rack their brains about providing a basis for the sustenance and preservation of those beings who, as healthy bearers of our nationality, should one day serve the same function with regard to the coming generation.
How boundlessly unideal and ignoble is this whole system! People no longer bother to breed the best for posterity, but let things slide along as best they can. If our churches also sin against the image of the Lord, whose importance they still so highly emphasize, it is entirely because of the line of their present activity which speaks always of the spirit and lets its bearer, the man, degenerate into a depraved proletarian. Afterwards, of course, they make foolish faces and are full of amazement at the small effect of the Christian faith in their own country, at the terrible 'godlessness,' at this physically botched and hence spiritually degenerate rabble, and try with the Church's Blessing, to make up for it by success with the Hottentots and Zulu Kaffirs While our European peoples, thank the Lord, fall into a condition of physical and moral leprosy, the pious missionary wanders off to Central Africa and sets up Negro missions until there, too, our 'higher culture' turns healthy, though primitive and inferior, human beings into a rotten brood of bastards.
It would be more in keeping with the intention of the noblest man in this world if our two Christian churches, instead of annoying Negroes with missions which they neither desire nor understand, would kindly, but in all seriousness, teach our European humanity that where parents are not healthy it is a deed pleasing to God to take pity on a poor little healthy orphan child and give him father and mother, than themselves to give birth to a sick child who will only bring unhappiness and suffering on himself and the rest of the world.
The folkish state must make up for what everyone else today has neglected in this field. It must set race in the center of all life. It must take care to keep it pure. It must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. It must see to it that only the healthy beget children; that there is only one disgrace: despite one's own sickness and deficiencies to bring children into the world, and one highest honor: to renounce doing so. And conversely it must be considered reprehensible: to withhold healthy children from the nation. Here the state must act as the guardian of a millennial future in the face of which the wishes and the selfishness of the individual must appear as nothing and submit. It must put the most modern medical means in the service of this knowledge. It must declare unfit for propagation all who are in any way visibly sick or who have inherited a disease and can therefore pass it on, and put this into actual practice. Conversely, it must take care that the fertility of the healthy woman is not limited by the financial irresponsibility of a state regime which turns the blessing of children into a curse for the parents. It must put an end to that lazy, nay criminal, indifference with which the social premises for a fecund family are treated today, and must instead feel itself to be the highest guardian of this most precious blessing of a people. Its concern belongs more to the child than to the adult.
Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unworthy must not perpetuate their suffering in the body of their children. In this the folkish state must perform the most gigantic educational task. And some day this will seem to be a greater deed than the most victorious wars of our present bourgeois era. By education it must teach the individual that it is no disgrace, but only a misfortune deserving of pity, to be sick and weakly, but that it is a crime and hence at the same time a disgrace to dishonor one's misfortune by one's own egotism in burdening innocent creatures with it; that by comparison it bespeaks a nobility of highest idealism and the most admirable humanity if the innocently sick, renouncing a child of his own, bestows his love and tenderness upon a poor, unknown young scion of his own nationality, who with his health promises to become some day a powerful member of a powerful community. And in this educational work the state must perform the purely intellectual complement of its practical activity. It must act in this sense without regard to understanding or lack of understanding, approval or disapproval.
A prevention of the faculty and opportunity to procreate on the part of the physically degenerate and mentally sick, over a period of only six hundred years, would not only free humanity from an immeasurable misfortune' but would lead to a recovery which today seems scarcely conceivable. If the fertility of the healthiest bearers of the nationality is thus consciously and systematically promoted, the result will be a race which at least will have eliminated the germs of our present physical and hence spiritual decay.
For once a people and a state have started on this path, attention will automatically be directed on increasing the racially most valuable nucleus of the people and its fertility, in order ultimately to let the entire nationality partake of the blessing of a highly bred racial stock.
The way to do this is above all for the state not to leave the settlement of newly acquired territories to chance, but to subject it to special norms. Specially constituted racial commissions must issue settlement certificates to individuals. For this, however, definite racial purity must be established. It will thus gradually become possible to found border colonies whose inhabitants are exclusively bearers of the highest racial purity and hence of the highest racial efficiency. This will make them a precious national treasure to the entire nation; their growth must fill every single national comrade with pride and confidence, for in them lies the germ for a final, great future development of our own people, nay - of humanity.
In the folkish state finally, the folkish philosophy of life must succeed in bringing about that nobler age in which men no longer are concerned with breeding dogs, horses, and cats, but in elevating man himself, an age in which the one knowingly and silently renounces, the other joyfully sacrifices and gives.
That this is possible may not be denied in a world where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people voluntarily submit to celibacy, obligated and bound by nothing except the injunction of the Church.
Should the same renunciation not be possible if this injunction is replaced by the admonition finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created?
Of course, the miserable army of our present-day shopkeepers will never understand this. They will laugh at it or shrug their crooked shoulders and moan forth their eternal excuse: 'That would be very nice in itself, but it can't be done!' True, it can no longer be done with you, your world isn't fit for it! You know but one concern: your personal life, and one God: your money! But we are not addressing ourselves to you, we are appealing to the great army of those who are so poor that their personal life cannot mean the highest happiness in the world; to those who do not see the ruling principle of their existence in gold, but in other gods. Above all we appeal to the mighty army of our German youth. They are growing up at a great turning point and the evils brought about by the inertia and indifference of their fathers will force them into struggle. Some day the German youth will either be the builder of a new folkish state, or they will be the last witness of total collapse, the end of the bourgeois world.
For if a generation suffers from faults which it recognizes, even admits, but nevertheless, as occurs today in our bourgeois world, contents itself with the cheap excuse that there is nothing to be done about it - such a society is doomed. The characteristic thing about our bourgeois world is precisely that it can no longer deny the ailments as such. It must admit that much is rotten and bad, but it no longer finds the determination to rebel against the evil, to muster the force of a people of sixty or seventy millions with embittered energy, and oppose it to the danger. On the contrary: if this is done elsewhere, silly comments are made about it, and they attempt from a distance at least to prove the theoretical impossibility of the method and declare success to be inconceivable. And no reason is too absurd to serve as a prop for their own dwarfishness and mental attitude. If, for example, a whole continent finally declares war on alcoholic poisoning, in order to redeem a people from the clutches of this devastating vice, our European bourgeois world has no other comment for it than a meaningless staring and head-shaking, a supercilious ridicule - which is particularly suited to this most ridiculous of all societies. But if all this is to no avail, and if somewhere in the world the sublime, inviolable old routine is opposed, and even with success, then, as said before, the success at least must be doubted and deprecated; and here they do not even shun to raise bourgeois-moral arguments against a struggle which strives to abolish the greatest immorality.
No, we must none of us make any mistake about all of this: our present bourgeoisie has become worthless for every exalted task of mankind, simply because it is without quality and no good; and what makes it no good is not so much in my opinion any deliberate malice as an incredible indolence and everything that springs from it. And therefore those political clubs which carry on under the collective concept of 'bourgeois parties' have long ceased to be anything else but associations representing the interests of certain professional groups and classes, and their highest task has ceased to be anything but the best possible selfish defense of their interests. It is obvious that such a political 'bourgeois' guild is good for anything sooner than struggle; especially if the opposing side does not consist of cautious pepper sacks [small tradesmen], but of proletarian masses, incited to extremes and determined to do their worst.
If as the first task of the state in the service and for the welfare of its nationality we recognize the preservation, care, and development of the best racial elements, it is natural that this care must not only extend to the birth of every little national and racial comrade, but that it must educate the young offspring to become a valuable link in the chain of future reproduction.
And as in general the precondition for spiritual achievement lies in the racial quality of the human material at hand, education in particular must first of all consider and promote physical health; for taken in the mass, a healthy, forceful spirit will be found only in a healthy and forceful body. The fact that geniuses are sometimes physically not very fit, or actually sick, is no argument against this. Here we have to do with exceptions which - as everywhere - only confirm the rule. But if the mass of a people consists of physical degenerates, from this swamp a really great spirit will very seldom arise. In any case his activity will not meet with great success. The degenerate rabble will either not understand him at all, or it will be so weakened in will that it can no longer follow the lofty flight of such an eagle.
Realizing this, the folkish state must not adjust its entire educational work primarily to the inoculation of mere knowledge, but to the breeding of absolutely healthy bodies. The training of mental abilities is only secondary. And here again, first must be taken by the development of character, especially the promotion of will-power and determination, combined with the training of joy in responsibility, and only in last place comes scientific schooling.
Here the folkish state must proceed from the assumption that a man of little scientific education but physically healthy, with a good, firm character, imbued with the joy of determination and will-power, is more valuable for the national community than a clever weakling. A people of scholars, if they are physically degenerate, weak-willed and cowardly pacifists, will not storm the heavens, indeed they will not even be able to safeguard their existence on this earth. In the hard struggle of destiny the man who knows least seldom succumbs, but always he who from his knowledge draws the weakest consequences and is most lamentable in transforming them into action. Here too, finally, a certain harmony must be present. A decayed body is not made the least more aesthetic by a brilliant mind, indeed the highest intellectual training could not be justified if its bearers were at the same time physically degenerate and crippled, weak-willed, wavering and cowardly individuals. What makes the Greek ideal of beauty a model is the wonderful combination of the most magnificent physical beauty with brilliant mind and noblest soul.
If Moltke's saying, 'In the long run only the able man has luck,' is anywhere applicable, it is surely to the relation between body and mind; the mind, too, if it is healthy, will as a rule and in the long run dwell only in the healthy body.
Physical training in the folkish state, therefore, is not an affair of the individual, and not even a matter which primarily regards the parents and only secondly or thirdly interests the community; it is a requirement for the self-preservation of the nationality, represented and protected by the state. Just as the state, as far as purely scientific education is concerned, even today interferes with the individual's right of self-determination and upholds the right of the totality toward him by subjecting the child to compulsory education without asking whether the parents want it or not - in far greater measure the folkish state must some day enforce its authority against the individual's ignorance or lack of understanding in questions regarding the preservation of the nationality. It must so organize its educational work that the young bodies are treated expediently in their earliest childhood and obtain the necessary steeling for later life. It must above all prevent the rearing of a generation of hothouse plants.
This work of care and education must begin with the young mother. Just as it became possible in the course of careful work over a period of decades to achieve antiseptic cleanliness in childbirth and reduce puerperal fever to a few cases, it must and will be possible, by a thorough training of nurses and mothers themselves, to achieve a treatment of the child in his first years that will serve as an excellent basis for future development.
The school as such in a folkish state must create infinitely more free time for physical training. It is not permissible to burden young brains with a ballast only a fraction of which they retain, as experience shows, not to mention the fact that as a rule it is unnecessary trifles that stick instead of essentials, since the young child cannot undertake a sensible sifting of the material that has been funneled into him. If today, even in the curriculum of the secondary schools, gymnastics gets barely two hours a week and participation in it is not even obligatory, but is left open to the individual, that is a gross incongruity compared to the purely mental training. Not a day should go by in which the young man does not receive one hour's physical training in the morning and one in the afternoon, covering every type of sport and gymnastics. And here one sport in particular must not be forgotten, which in the eyes of many 'folkish' minded people is considered vulgar and undignified: boxing. It is incredible what false opinions are widespread in 'educated' circles. It is regarded as natural and honorable that a young man should learn to fence and proceed to fight duels right and left, but if he boxes, it is supposed to be vulgar! Why? There is no sport that so much as this one promotes the spirit of attack, demands lightning decisions, and trains the body in steel dexterity. It is no more vulgar for two young men to fight out a difference of opinion with their fists than with a piece of whetted iron. It is not less noble if a man who has been attacked defends himself against his assailant with his fists, instead of running away and yelling for a policeman. But above all, the young, healthy body must also learn to suffer blows. Of course this may seem wild to the eyes of our present spiritual fighters. But it is not the function of the folkish state to breed a colony of peaceful aesthetes and physical degenerates. Not in the respectable shopkeeper or virtuous old maid does it see its ideal of humanity, but in the defiant embodiment of manly strength and in women who are able to bring men into the world.
And so sport does not exist only to make the individual strong, agile and bold; it should also toughen him and teach him to bear hardships.
If our entire intellectual upper crust had not been brought up so exclusively on upper-class etiquette; if instead they had learned boxing thoroughly, a German revolution of pimps, deserters, and such-like rabble would never have been possible; for what gave this revolution success was not the bold, courageous energy of the revolutionaries, but the cowardly, wretched indecision of those who led the state and were responsible for it. The fact is that our whole intellectual leadership had received only 'intellectual' education and hence could not help but be defenseless the moment not intellectual weapons but the crowbar went into action on the opposing side. All this was possible only because as a matter of-principle especially our higher educational system did not train men, but officials, engineers, technicians, chemists, jurists, journalists, and to keep these intellectuals from dying out, professors.
Our intellectual leadership always performed brilliant feats, while our leadership in the matter of will-power usually remained beneath all criticism.
Certainly it will not be possible to turn a man of basically cowardly disposition into a courageous man by education, but just as certainly a man who in himself is not cowardly will be paralyzed in the development of his qualities if due to deficiencies in his education he is from the very start inferior to his neighbor in physical strength and dexterity. To what extent the conviction of physical ability promotes a man's sense of courage, even arouses his spirit of attack, can best be judged by the example of the army. Here, too, essentially, we have to deal not solely with heroes but with the broad average. But the superior training of the German soldier in peacetime inoculated the whole gigantic organism with that suggestive faith in its own superiority to an extent which even our foes had not considered possible. For the immortal offensive spirit and offensive courage achieved in the long months of midsummer and autumn 1914 by the forward-sweeping German armies was the result of that untiring training which in the long, long years of peace obtained the most incredible achievement often out of frail bodies, and thus cultivated that self-confidence which was not lost even in the terror of the greatest battles.
Particularly our German people which today lies broken and defenseless, exposed to the kicks of all the world, needs that suggestive force that lies in self-confidence. This self-confidence must be inculcated in the young national comrade from childhood on. His whole education and training must be so ordered as to give him the conviction that he is absolutely superior to others. Through his physical strength and dexterity, he must recover his faith in the invincibility of his whole people. For what formerly led the German army to victory was the sum of the confidence which each individual had in himself and all together in their leadership. What will raise the German people up again is confidence in the possibility of regaining its freedom. And this conviction can only be the final product of the same feeling in millions of individuals.
Immense was the collapse of our people, and the exertion needed to end this misery some day will have to be just as immense. Anyone who thinks that our present bourgeois education for peace and order will give our people the strength some day to smash the present world order, which means our doom, and to hurl the links of our slavery into the face of our enemies, is bitterly mistaken. Only by super-abundance of national will-power, thirst for freedom, and highest passion, will we compensate for what we formerly lacked.
The clothing of our youth should also be adapted to this purpose. It is truly miserable to behold how our youth even now is subjected to a fashion madness which helps to reverse the sense of the old saying: 'Clothes make the man' into something truly catastrophic.
Especially in the youth, dress must be put into the service of education. The boy who in summer runs around in long stovepipe trousers, and covered up to the neck, loses through his clothing alone a stimulus for his physical training. For we must exploit ambition and, we may as well calmly admit it, vanity as well. Not vanity about fine clothes which everyone cannot buy, but vanity about a beautiful, well-formed body which everyone can help to build.
This is also expedient for later life. The girl should get to know her beau. If physical beauty were today not forced entirely into the background by our foppish fashions, the seduction of hundreds of thousands of girls by bow-legged, repulsive Jewish bastards would not be possible. This, too, is in the interest of the nation: that the most beautiful bodies should find one another, and so help to give the nation new beauty.
Today, of course, all this is more necessary than ever, because there is no military training, and so the sole institution is excluded which in peacetime compensated at least in part for what was neglected by the rest of our educational system. And there, too, success was to be sought, not only in the training of the individual as such, but in the influence it exerted on the relations between the two sexes. The young girl preferred the soldier to the non-soldier.
The folkish state must not only carry through and supervise physical training in the official school years; in the post-school period as well it must make sure that, as long as a boy is in process of physical development, this development turns out to his benefit. It is an absurdity to believe that with the end of the school period the state's right to supervise its young citizens suddenly ceases, but returns at the military age. This right is a duty and as such is equally present at all times. Only the present-day state having no interest in healthy people has neglected this duty in a criminal fashion. It lets present-day youth go to the dogs on the streets and in brothels, instead of taking them in hand and continuing their physical education until the day when they grow up into a healthy man and a healthy woman.
In what form the state carries on this training is beside the point today; the important thing is that it should do so and seek the ways and means that serve this purpose. The folkish state will have to look on post-school physical training as well as intellectual education as a state function, and foster them through state institutions. This education in its broad outlines can serve as a preparation for future military service. The army will not have to teach the young men the fundamentals of the most elementary drill-book as hitherto, and it will not get. recruits of the present type; no, it will only have to transform a young man who has already received flawless physical preparation into a soldier.
In the folkish state, therefore, the army will no longer have to teach the individual how to walk and to stand; it will be the last and highest school of patriotic education. In the army the young recruit will receive the necessary training in arms, and at the same time he will receive a further moulding for any other future career. But in the forefront of military training will stand what has to be regarded as the highest merit of the old army: in this school the boy must be transformed into a man; in this school he must not only learn to obey, but must thereby acquire a basis for commanding later. He must learn to be silent not only when he is justly blamed but must also learn, when necessary, to bear injustice in silence.
Furthermore, reinforced by faith in his own strength, filled with the force of a commonly experienced esprit de corps, he must become convinced of the invincibility of his nationality.
After the conclusion of his military service, two documents should be issued: His citizen's diploma, a legal document which admits him to public activity, and his health certificate, confirming his physical health for marriage.
Analogous to the education of the boy, the folkish state can conduct the education of the girl from the same viewpoint. There. too, the chief emphasis must be laid on physical training, and only subsequently on the promotion of spiritual and finally intellectual values. The goal of female education must invariably be the future mother.
Only secondarily must the folkish state promote the development of the character in every way.
Assuredly the most essential features of character are fundamentally preformed in the individual: the man of egotistic nature is and remains so forever, just as the idealist in the bottom of his heart will always be an idealist. But between the fully distinct characters there are millions that seem vague and unclear. The born criminal is and remains a criminal; but numerous people in whom is only a certain tendency toward the criminal can by sound education still become valuable members of a national community; while conversely, through bad education, wavering characters can turn into really bad elements.
How often, during the War, did we hear the complaint that our people were so little able to be silent! How hard this made it to withhold even important secrets from the knowledge of our enemies! But ask yourself this question: What, before the War, did German education do to teach the individual silence? Even in school, sad to say, wasn't the little informer sometimes preferred to his more silent schoolmates? Was not and is not informing regarded as praiseworthy 'frankness,' discretion as reprehensible obstinacy? Was any effort whatever made to represent discretion as a manly and precious virtue? No, for in the eyes of our present school system these are trifles. But these trifles cost the state countless millions in court costs, for ninety per cent of all slander and similar suits have arisen only through lack of discretion. Irresponsibly dropped remarks are gossiped along just as frivolously, our national economy is constantly harmed by the frivolous revelation of important manufacturing processes, etc.; in fact, all our secret preparations for national defense are rendered illusory since the people simply have not learned how to be silent but pass everything on. This talkativeness can lead to the loss of battles and thus contribute materially to the unfavorable issue of the conflict. Here, again, we must realize that mature age cannot do what has not been practiced in youth. And this is the place to say that a teacher, for instance, must on principle not try to obtain knowledge of silly children's tricks by cultivating loathsome tattle-tales. Youth has its own state, it has a certain closed solidarity toward the grown-up, and this is perfectly natural. The ten year-old's bond with his playmate of the same age is more natural and greater than his bond with grown-ups. A boy who snitches on his comrade practices treason and thus betrays a mentality which, harshly expressed and enlarged, is the exact equivalent of treason to one's country.
Such a boy can by no means be regarded as a 'good, decent' child; no, he is a boy of undesirable character. The teacher may find it convenient to make use of such vices for enhancing his authority, but in this way he sows in the youthful heart the germ of a mentality the later effect of which may be catastrophic. More than once, a little informer has grown up to be a big scoundrel!
This is only one example among many. Today the conscious development of good, noble traits of character in school is practically nil. In the future far greater emphasis must be laid on this. Loyalty, spirit of sacrifice, discretion are virtues that a great nation absolutely needs, and their cultivation and development in school are more important than some of the things which today fill out our curriculums. The discouragement of whining complaints, of bawling, etc., also belongs in this province. If a system of education forgets to teach the child in early years that sufferings and adversity must be borne in silence, it has no right to be surprised if later at a critical hour, when a man stands at the front, for example, the entire postal service is used for nothing but transporting whining letters of mutual complaint. If at the public schools a little less knowledge had been funneled into our youth and more self-control, this would have been richly rewarded in the years from 1915 to 1918.
And so the folkish state, in its educational work, must side by side with physical culture set the highest value precisely on the training of character. Numerous moral weaknesses in our present national body, if they cannot be entirely eliminated by this kind of education, can at least be very much attenuated.
Of the highest importance is the training of will-power and determination, plus the cultivation of joy in responsibility.
In the army the principle once held good that any command is better than none; related to youth this means primarily that any answer is better than none. The dread of giving no answer for fear of saying something wrong must be considered more humiliating than an incorrectly given answer. Starting from this most primitive basis, youth should be trained in such a way that it acquires courage for action.
People have often complained that in the days of November and December, 1918, every single authority failed, that from the monarchs down to the last divisional commander, no one was able to summon up the strength for an independent decision. This terrible fact is the handwriting on the wall for our educational system, for this cruel catastrophe expressed, hugely magnified, what was generally present on a small scale. It is this lack of will and not the lack of weapons which today makes us incapable of any serious resistance. It sits rooted in our whole people, prevents any decision with which a risk is connected, as though the greatness of a deed did not consist precisely in the risk. Without suspecting it, a German general succeeded in finding the classic formula for this miserable spinelessness: 'I act only if I can count on fifty-one per cent likelihood of success.' In these 'fifty-one per cent' lies the tragedy of the German collapse; anyone who demands of Fate a guaranty of success, automatically renounces all idea of a heroic deed. For this lies in undertaking a step which may lead to success, in the full awareness of the mortal danger inherent in a state of affairs. A cancer victim whose death is otherwise certain does not have to figure out fifty-one per cent in order to risk an operation. And if the operation promises only half a per cent likelihood of cure, a courageous man will risk it; otherwise he has no right to whimper for his life.
The plague of our present-day cowardly lack of will and determination is, all in all, mainly the result of our basically faulty education of youth, whose devastating effect extends to later life and finds its ultimate crowning conclusion in the lack of civil courage in our leading statesmen.
In the same line falls the present-day flagrant cowardice in the face of responsibility. Here, too, the error begins in the education of youth, goes on to permeate all public life, and finds its immortal completion in the parliamentary institution of government.
Even at school, unfortunately, more value is attached to 'repentant' confession and 'contrite abjuration' on the part of the little sinner than to a frank admission. The latter seems to many popular educators of today the surest mark of an incorrigible depravity and, incredible as it may seem, the gallows is predicted for many a youth for qualities which would be of inestimable value if they constituted the common possession of a whole people.
Just as the folkish state must some day devote the highest attention to the training of the will and force of decision, it must from an early age implant joy in responsibility and courage for confession in the hearts of youth. Only if it recognizes this necessity in its full import will it finally, after an educational work enduring for centuries, obtain as a result a national body which will no longer succumb to those weaknesses which today have contributed so catastrophically to our decline.
The scientific school training which today is really the beginning and end of all state educational work can with only slight changes be taken over by the folkish state. These changes lie in three fields.
In the first place the youthful brain should in general not be burdened with things ninety-five per cent of which it cannot use and hence forgets again. Particularly, the curriculum of the elementary and intermediate schools is today a mongrel; in many cases, the material to be learned in the various subjects is so swollen that only a fraction of it remains in the head of the individual pupil, and only a fraction of this abundance can find application, while on the other hand it is not adequate for the man working and earning his living in a definite field. Take, for example, the average government official, graduated from the Gymnasium or the superior Realschule, at the age of thirty-five or forty, and examine him in the school learning that was once so painfully drummed into him. How little of all the stuff that was once funneled into him is still present! To be sure, you will get the answer: 'Well, the mass of material learned then was not intended only for the future possession of varied knowledge, but also for training mental receptivity, the power of thought and especially the memory. This is partly correct. Yet there is a danger in having the youthful brain flooded with so many impressions which only in the rarest cases it is able to master, and whose various elements it neither can sift nor evaluate according to their greater or lesser importance; and besides, as a rule, not the non-essential but the essential is forgotten and sacrificed Thus the main purpose of learning so much is again lost; for it cannot consist after all in inducing learning power in the brain by an unmeasured heaping up of material, but must be to give the future man that store of knowledge which the individual needs and which through him in turn benefits the community. And this becomes illusory if the man, in consequence of the superabundance of the material forced on him in youth, later either possesses it not at all or has long since lost the very essentials. It is impossible to understand, for example, why millions of people in the course of the years must learn two or three foreign languages only a fraction of which they can make use of later and hence most of them forget entirely, for of a hundred thousand pupils who learn French for example, barely two thousand will have a serious use for this knowledge later, while ninety-eight thousand in the whole further course of their life will not find themselves in a position to make practical use of what they had once learned. They have in their youth, therefore, devoted thousands of hours to a subject which later is without value and meaning for them. And the objection that this material belongs to general education, is unsound, since it could only be upheld if people retained all through their life what they had learned. So in reality, because of the two thousand people for whom the knowledge of this language is profitable, ninety-eight thousand must be tormented for nothing and made to sacrifice valuable time.
And in this case we are dealing with a language of which it cannot even be said that it implies a training in sharp, logical thinking as applies, for example, to Latin. Hence it would be considerably more expedient if such a language were transmitted to the young student only in its general outlines or, better expressed, in its inner structure, thus giving him knowledge of the most salient essence of this language, introducing him perhaps to the fundamentals of its grammar and pronunciation, discussing syntax, etc., by model examples. This would suffice for general use and, because it is easier to visualize and remember, would be more valuable than the present-day manner of drumming in the whole language, which is not really mastered anyway and is later forgotten. In this way, moreover, the danger would be avoided that of all the overpowering abundance of material only a few unconnected crumbs would stick in the memory, as the young man would have to learn the most noteworthy aspects, and consequently the process of sifting according to value or the lack of it would have taken place in advance.
The general foundation thus imparted would suffice most people, even for later life, while it creates for those others who really need the language later the possibility of building further on it, and devoting themselves of their own free choice to learning it with the greatest thoroughness.
Thus the necessary time in the curriculum is gained for physical training as well as the increased demands in the abovementioned fields.
Particularly in the present method of teaching history a change must be made. Probably no people studies more history than the German; but probably there is no people that applies it worse than ours. If politics is history in the making, our historical education is directed by the nature of our political activity. Here, again, it is not permissible to complain about the wretched results of our political achievements unless we are determined to provide a better political education. The result of our present history instruction is wretched in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred. A few facts, dates, birthdays and names remain behind while a broad, clear line is totally lacking. The essentials which should really matter are not taught at all; it is left to the more or less gifted nature of the individual to find out the inner motives from the flood of dates and the sequence of events. We may argue as much as we like against this bitter statement; just read attentively the speeches on political problems, say questions of foreign policy, delivered during a single session by our parliamentary gentlemen; and bear in mind that these men-allegedly at least-are the cream of the German nation, and that at any rate a large part of them have even been at universities, and from this you will be able to see how totally inadequate the historical education of these people is. If they had not studied history at all, but only possessed a healthy instinct, it would be considerably better and more profitable for the nation.
Especially in historical instruction an abridgment of the material must be undertaken. The main value lies in recognizing the great lines of development. The more the instruction is limited to this, the more it is to be hoped that an advantage will later accrue to the individual from his knowledge, which summed up will also benefit the community. For we do not learn history just in order to know the past, we learn history in order to find an instructor for the future and for the continued existence of our own nationality. That is the end, and historical instruction is only a means to it. But today the means has become the end, and the end disappears completely. Let it not be said that thorough study of history requires attention to all these individual details' on the ground that only from them can a great line be developed. To lay down this line is the function of the special science. The normal, average man is no history professor. For him history exists primarily to give him that measure of historical insight which is necessary for him to take a position of his own on the political issues of his nation. Anyone who wants to become a history professor may later devote himself intensively to this study. It goes without saying that he will have to concern himself with all and even the smallest details. For this, however, even our present history instruction cannot suffice; for it is too extensive for the normal, average man, but much too limited for the specialized scholar.
Aside from this, it is the task of the folkish state to see to it that a world history is finally written in which the racial question is raised to a dominant position.
To sum up: the folkish state will have to put general, scientific instruction into an abbreviated form, embracing the essentials. In addition to this, the possibility of a thorough, specialized training must be offered. It suffices for the individual man to obtain a general knowledge in broad outlines as a foundation, and only in the field which will be that of his later life, to enjoy the most thorough specialized and detailed training. General education should be obligatory in all departments; the special training should remain free to the choice of the individual.
The shortening of the curriculum and the number of hours thus achieved will benefit the training of the body, of the character, of the will power and determination.
How irrelevant our present-day school training, especially in the high schools, is for a future profession is best demonstrated by the fact that today people from three schools of an entirely different nature can arrive at one and the same position. In reality only the general education is of decisive importance and not the specialized knowledge that is funneled into them. And where - as I have said before - a specialized knowledge is really necessary it can naturally not be obtained within the curriculums of our present high schools.
With such halfway methods, therefore, the folkish state must some day do away.
The second change of scientific curriculum in the folkish state must be the following:
It is the characteristic of our present materialized epoch that our scientific education is turning more and more toward practical subjects - in other words, mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. Necessary as this is for a period in which technology and chemistry rule - embodying at least those of its characteristics which are most visible in daily life - it is equally dangerous when the general education of a nation is more and more exclusively directed toward them. This education on the contrary must always be ideal. It must be more in keeping with the humanistic subjects and offer only the foundations for a subsequent additional education in a special field. Otherwise we renounce the forces which are still more important for the preservation of the nation than all technical or other ability. Especially in historical instruction we must not be deterred from the study of antiquity. Roman history correctly conceived in extremely broad outlines is and remains the best mentor, not only for today, but probably for all time. The Hellenic ideal of culture should also remain preserved for us in its exemplary beauty. We must not allow the greater racial community to be torn asunder by the differences of the individual peoples. The struggle that rages today is for very great aims. A culture combining millenniums and embracing Hellenism and Germanism is fighting for its existence.
A sharp difference should exist between general education and specialized knowledge. As particularly today the latter threatens more and more to sink into the service of pure Mammon, general education, at least in its more ideal attitude, must be retained as a counterweight. Here, too, we must incessantly inculcate the principle that industry, technology, and commerce can thrive only as long as an idealistic national community offers the necessary preconditions. And these do not lie in material egoism, but in a spirit of sacrifice and joyful renunciation.
By and large the present education of youth has set itself the primary goal of pumping into the young person that knowledge which in his later career he needs for his own advancement. This is expressed in the words: 'The young man must some day become a useful member of society.' By this is meant his ability some day to earn his daily bread in a decent way. The superficial civic training carried on alongside rests on a weak base to begin with. Since the state in itself represents only a form, it is very hard to educate, let alone obligate people with regard to it. A form can too easily be shattered. But the concept 'state' - as we have seen - does not possess a clear content today. And so there remains nothing but the current 'patriotic' education. In old Germany its chief emphasis lay in a deification, often unintelligent and usually very insipid, of the small and smallest potentates, whose very quantity from the outset made it necessary to renounce any comprehensive appreciation of our nation's really great men. The result among our broad masses, consequently, was a very inadequate knowledge of German history. Here, too, the great line was lacking.
That a real national enthusiasm could not be achieved in this fashion is obvious. Our educational system lacked the art of picking a few names out of the historical development of our people and making them the common property of the whole German people, thus through like knowledge and like enthusiasm tying a uniform, uniting bond around the entire nation. They did not understand how to make the really significant men of our people appear as outstanding heroes in the eyes of the present, to concentrate the general attention upon them and thus create a unified mood. They were not able to raise what was glorious for the nation in the various subjects of instruction above the level of objective presentation, and fire the national pride by such gleaming examples. This would have seemed reprehensible chauvinism to that period, and in this form would not have met with much approval. Comfortable dynastic patriotism seemed more agreeable and easier to bear than the clamoring passion of higher national pride. The former was always ready to serve, the latter might some day become a master. Monarchistic patriotism ended in veterans' dubs, the national passion would have been hard to direct in its course. It is like a thoroughbred horse which does not carry everyone in the saddle. Is it any wonder that the powers of the time preferred to keep aloof from such a danger? No one seemed to consider it possible that some day there might come a war that would thoroughly test the inner steadfastness of our patriotic convictions in drumfire and clouds of gas. But when it came, the absence of the highest national passion brought the most frightful consequences. People had but little desire to die for their imperial and royal lords, and the 'nation' was unknown known to most of them.
Since the revolution made its entry into Germany and monarchistic patriotism died out of its own accord, the purpose of instruction in history is really nothing more than the mere acquisition of knowledge. This state cannot use national enthusiasm; but what it would like to have it will never get. For no more than there could be a dynastic patriotism endowed with the ultimate power of resistance in an age governed by the principle of nationalities, much less can there be a republican enthusiasm. For there can be no doubt that under the motto, 'For the Republic,' the German people would not remain in the battlefield for any four and one-half years; least of all did those remain who have created this amazing structure.
Actually this Republic owes its unshorn existence only to its willingness, of which it gives assurance on all sides, voluntarily to assume all tribute payments and sign every renunciation of territory. It is liked by the rest of the world; just as every weakling is considered more agreeable by those who need him than a rough man. True, this sympathy on the part of enemies is the most annihilating criticism for precisely this state form. Our enemies love the German Republic and let it live because they could not find a better ally for their enslavement of our people. To this fact alone does this magnificent structure owe its present existence. That is why it can renounce any truly national education and content itself with cries of 'Hoch' from Reichsbanner3 heroes who, incidentally, if they had to protect this banner with their blood, they would run away like rabbits.
3 Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold. Semi-military republican organization founded on February 22, 1924, by the Social Democrats Otto Horsing and Hölterman. In 1932, it had three and a half million members.
The folkish state will have to fight for its existence. It will neither obtain it by Dawes signatures, nor be able to defend its existence by them. For its existence and for its protection, it will need the very things that people today think they can do without. The more incomparable and precious its form and content will be, the greater will be the envy and resistance of its enemies. Its best defense will lie not in its weapons, but in its citizens; no fortress walls will protect it, but a living wall of men and women filled with supreme love of their fatherland and fanatical national enthusiasm.
The third point to be considered in scientific education is the following:
Science, too, must be regarded by the folkish state as an instrument for the advancement of national pride. Not only world history but all cultural history must be taught from this standpoint. An inventor must not only seem great as an inventor, but must seem even greater as a national comrade. Our admiration of every great deed must be bathed in pride that its fortunate performer is a member of our own people. From all the innumerable great names of German history, the greatest must be picked out and introduced to the youth so persistently that they become pillars of an unshakable national sentiment.
The curriculum must be systematically built up along these lines so that when the young man leaves his school he is not a half pacifist, democrat, or something else, but a whole German.
In order that this national sentiment should be genuine from the outset and not consist in mere hollow pretense, beginning in youth one iron principle must be hammered into those heads which are still capable of education: any man who loves his people proves it solely by the sacrifices which he is prepared to make for it. There is no such thing as national sentiment which is only out for gain. No more is there any nationalism which only embraces classes. Shouting hurrah proves nothing and gives no right to call oneself national if behind it there does not stand a great, loving concern for the preservation of a universal healthy nation. There is ground for pride in our people only if we no longer need be ashamed of any class. But a people, half of which is wretched and careworn, or even depraved, offers so sorry a picture that no one should feel any pride in it. Only when a nation is healthy in all its members, in body and soul, can every man's joy in belonging to it rightfully be magnified to that high sentiment which we designate as national pride. And this highest pride will only be felt by the man who knows the greatness of his nation.
An intimate coupling of nationalism and a sense of social justice must be implanted in the young heart. Then a people of citizens will some day arise, bound to one another and forged together by a common love and a common pride, unshakable and invincible forever.
Our era's fear of chauvinism is the sign of its impotence. Not only lacking any exuberant force, but even finding it distasteful, it is no longer destined by Fate for a great deed. For the greatest revolutionary changes on this earth would not have been thinkable if their motive force, instead of fanatical, yes, hysterical passion, had been merely the bourgeois virtues of law and order.
And assuredly this world is moving toward a great revolution. The question can only be whether it will redound to the benefit of Aryan humanity or to the profit of the eternal Jew.
The folkish state will have to make certain that by a suitable education of youth it will some day obtain a race ripe for the last and greatest decisions on this earth.
And the people which first sets out on this path will be victorious.
The crown of the folkish state's entire work of education and training must be to burn the racial sense and racial feeling into the instinct and the intellect, the heart and brain of the youth entrusted to it. No boy and no girl must leave school without having been led to an ultimate realization of the necessity and essence of blood purity. Thus the groundwork is created by preserving the racial foundations of our nation and through them in turn securing the basis for its future cultural development.
For all physical and all intellectual training would in the last analysis remain worthless if it did not benefit a being which is ready and determined on principle to preserve himself and his special nature.
Otherwise that would occur which we Germans even now must greatly deplore, though perhaps the full extent of this tragic misfortune has hitherto not been realized: that in the future we remain nothing out cultural fertilizer, not only in the limited conception of our present bourgeois view, which regards an individual national comrade lost as nothing more than a lost citizen, out with the painful realization that in this event, despite all our knowledge and ability, our blood is nevertheless doomed to decline. By mating again and again with other races, we may raise these races from their previous cultural level to a higher stage, out we will descend forever from our own high level.
For the rest this education, too, from the racial viewpoint, must find its ultimate completion in military service. And in general, the period of military service must be regarded as the conclusion of the average German's normal education.
Important as the type of physical and mental education will be in the folkish state, equally important will be the human selection as such. Today this matter is taken lightly. In general it is the children of high-placed, at the time well-situated parents who are considered worthy of a higher education. Questions of talent play a subordinate role. Taken in itself, talent can only be evaluated relatively. A peasant boy can possess far more talents than the child of parents enjoying an elevated position in life for many generations, even if he is inferior to the bourgeois child in general knowledge. The latter's greater knowledge has in itself nothing to do with greater or lesser talent, but is rooted in the materially greater abundance of impressions which the child continuously receives as a result of his more varied education and rich environment. If the talented peasant boy from his early years had likewise grown up in such an environment, his intellectual ability would be quite different. Today, perhaps, there is a single field in which origin is really less decisive than the individual's native talent: the field of art. Here where a man cannot merely 'learn,' but everything has to be originally innate and is only later subject to a more or less favorable development in the sense of wise encouragement of existing gifts, the money and wealth of the parents are almost irrelevant. Hence it is here best shown that talent is not bound up with the higher walks of life, let alone with wealth. The greatest artists arise not seldom from the poorest houses. And many a poor village boy has later become a celebrated master.
It does not exactly argue great depth of thought in our time that this realization is not applied to our whole spiritual life. People imagine that what cannot be denied in art does not apply to the so-called exact sciences. Without doubt certain mechanical abilities can be taught a man, just as clever training can teach a docile poodle the most amazing tricks. But in animal training, the intelligence of the animal does not of itself lead to such exercises, and the same is the case with man. Without regard for any other talent, man too can be taught certain scientific tricks' but the process is just as lifeless and inwardly uninspired as with the animal. On the basis of a certain intellectual drill, knowledge above the average can be crammed into an average man; but it remains dead, and in the last analysis sterile knowledge. The result is a man who may be a living dictionary but nevertheless falls down miserably in all special situations and decisive moments in life; he will always have to be coached again for every situation, even the simplest, and by his own resources will not be able to make the slightest contribution to the development of humanity. Such a mechanically drilled knowledge suffices at. most for assuming state positions in our present period.
It goes without saying that in the totality of a nation's population talents will be found for every possible domain of daily life. It is furthermore obvious that the value of knowledge will be the greater, the more the dead knowledge is animated by the relevant talent in the individual. Creative achievements can only arise when ability and knowledge are wedded.
The boundless sins of present-day humanity in this direction may be shown by one more example. From time to time illustrated papers bring it to the attention of the German petty-bourgeois that some place or other a Negro has for the first time become a lawyer, teacher, even a pastor, in fact a heroic tenor, or something of the sort. While the idiotic bourgeoisie looks with amazement at such miracles of education, full of respect for this marvelous result of modern educational skill, the Jew shrewdly draws from it a new proof for the soundness of his theory about the equality of men that he is trying to funnel into the minds of the nations. It doesn't dawn on this depraved bourgeois world that this is positively a sin against all reason; that it is criminal lunacy to keep on drilling a born half-ape until people think they have made a lawyer out of him, while millions of members of the highest culture-race must remain in entirely unworthy positions; that it is a sin against the will of the Eternal Creator if His most gifted beings by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands are allowed to degenerate in the present proletarian morass, while Hottentots and Zulu Kaffirs are trained for intellectual professions. For this is training exactly like that of the poodle, and not scientific 'education.' The same pains and care employed on intelligent races would a thousand times sooner make every single individual capable of the same achievements.
But intolerable as this state of affairs would be if it ever consisted of anything but exceptions, equally intolerable is it today in places where it is not talent and inborn gifts that decide who is chosen for higher education. Yes, indeed, it is an intolerable thought that every year hundreds of thousands of completely ungifted people are held worthy of a higher education, while other hundreds of thousands with great talent remain deprived of higher education. The loss which the nation thereby suffers is inestimable. If in the last decades the wealth of important inventions has increased amazingly, especially in North America, it is not least because there materially more talents from the lowest classes find opportunity for higher education than is the case in Europe.
For invention, drilled knowledge does not suffice, but only knowledge animated by talent. But in our country today no store is set on this; it is only good marks that matter.
Here, too, the folkish state will some day have to intervene by education. Its task is not to preserve the decisive influence of an existing social class, but to pick the most capable kinds from the sum of all the national comrades and bring them to office and dignity. It has not only the obligation of giving the average child a certain education in public school, but also the duty of putting talent on the track where it belongs. Above all, it must see its highest task in opening the gates of the higher state educational institutions to all talent, absolutely regardless from what circles it may originate. It must fulfill this task, since only in this way can representatives of a dead knowledge be transformed into brilliant leaders of a nation.
And for another reason the state must take measures in this direction: our intellectual classes, especially in Germany, are so segregated and so ossified that they lack a living connection with the people below them. We suffer from this in two ways: in the first place, they lack as a consequence any understanding and feeling for the broad masses. They have been torn out of this relation too long to possess the necessary psychological understanding for the people. They have become alien to the people. And in the second place, these intellectual strata lack the necessary will-power, which is always weaker in this secluded intellectual caste than in the mass of the primitive people We Germans, by God, have never lacked scientific education; but we have been all the more lacking in any will power and determination. The more 'intellectual' our statesmen were, for example, the feebler, as a rule, was their actual accomplishment. The political preparations, as well as the technical armament for the World War, was not inadequate because insufficiently educated minds ruled our people, but because the rulers were overeducated men, crammed full of knowledge and intellect, but bereft of any healthy instinct and devoid of all energy and boldness. It was a calamity that our people had to conduct its struggle for existence under the Chancellorship of a philosophizing weakling. If, instead of a Bethmann-Hollweg, we had had a robuster man of the people as a leader, the heroic blood of the common grenadier would not have flowed in vain. Likewise, the excessively rarefied pure intellect of our leader material was the best ally of the revolutionist November scoundrels. By disgracefully withholding the national treasure that had been entrusted to them, instead of staking it fully and wholly, these intellectuals themselves created the premise for the enemy's success.
In this the Catholic Church can be regarded as a model example. The celibacy of its priests is a force compelling it to draw the future generation again and again from the masses of the broad people instead of from their own ranks. But it is this very significance of celibacy that is not at all recognized by most people. It is the cause of the incredibly vigorous strength which resides in this age-old institution. For through the fact that this gigantic army of spiritual dignitaries is continuously complemented from the lowest strata of the nations, the Church not only obtains its instinctive bond with the emotional world of the people, but also assures itself a sum of energy and active force which in such a form will forever exist only in the broad masses of the people. From this arises the amazing youthfulness of this gigantic organism, its spiritual suppleness and iron will-power.
It will be the task of a folkish state to make certain through its educational system that a continuous renewal of the existing intellectual classes through an influx of fresh blood from below takes place. The state has the obligation to exercise extreme care and precision in picking from the total number of national comrades the human material visibly most gifted by Nature and to use it in the service of the community. For state and statesmen do not exist in order to provide individual classes with a living but to fulfill the tasks allotted to them. This will only be possible if as a matter of principle only capable and strong-willed personalities are trained to deal with these tasks. This applies not only to all official positions but to the intellectual leadership of the nation in all fields. Another factor for the greatness of the people is that it succeed in training the most capable minds for the field suited to them and placing them in the service of the national community. If two peoples, equally well endowed, compete with one another, that one will achieve victory which has represented in its total intellectual leadership its best talents and that one will succumb whose leadership represents only a big common feeding crib for certain groups or classes, without regard to the innate abilities of the various members.
To be sure, this looks impossible at first sight in our present world. The objection will at once be raised that the little son of a higher government official, for example, cannot be expected, let us say, to become an artisan because someone else whose parents were artisans seems more capable. This may be true in view of the present estimation of manual labor. For this reason the folkish state will have to arrive at a basically different attitude toward the concept of labor. It will, if necessary, even by education extending over centuries, have to break with the mischief of despising physical activity. On principle it will have to evaluate the individual man not according to the type of work he does but according to the form and quality of his achievement. This may appear positively monstrous to an era in which the most brainless columnist, just because he works with the pen, seems superior to the most intelligent precision mechanic. This false estimation, as has been said, does not lie in the nature of things, but is artificially cultivated and formerly did not exist. The present unnatural condition is based on the generally diseased condition of our present materialized epoch.
Fundamentally, the value of all work is twofold: a purely material value and an ideal value. The material value resides in the importance, that is to say, the material importance of a piece of work for the life of the totality. The more national comrades draw profit from a certain achievement performed, including direct and indirect profit, the greater the material value is to be estimated. This estimation, in turn, finds its plastic expression in the material reward which the individual obtains from his work. Contrasting with this purely material value, we now have the ideal value. It does not rest in the importance of the work performed measured materially, but in its necessity in itself. As surely as the material profit of an invention can be greater than that of an everyday handy-man's service, just as surely does the totality need the small service just as much as the great one.
It may make a material distinction in evaluating the benefit of the individual piece of work for the totality, and can express this by a corresponding reward; in an ideal sense, however, it must recognize the equality of all as long as every individual endeavors to do his best in his field - whatever it may be. It is on this that the estimation of a man must be based, and not on his reward.
Since the concern of a sensible state must be to allot to the individual the activity which is in keeping with his ability or, otherwise expressed, to train the capable minds for the work that is suited to them, but since ability and principle are not taught but must be inborn, hence are a gift of Nature and not an achievement of man, general civic estimation cannot depend on the work that has, so to speak, been allotted to the individual. For this work falls to the account of his birth and to the training which he has consequently received through the community. The evaluation of the man must be based on the manner in which he fulfills the task entrusted him by the community. For the activity which the individual performs is not the end of his existence, but only the means to it. It is more important for him to develop and ennoble himself as a man, but he can do this only within the framework of his cultural community which must always rest on the fundament of a state. He must make his contribution to the preservation of this fundament. The form of this contribution is determined by Nature; his duty is only to return to the national community with honest industry what it has given him. Anyone who does this deserves the highest estimation and the highest respect. Material reward may be granted to him whose achievement brings corresponding benefit to the community; his ideal reward, however, must lie in the esteem which everyone can claim who dedicates to the service of his nationality the forces which Nature gave him and which the national community has trained. Then it is no longer a disgrace to be an honest manual worker, but it is a disgrace to be an incompetent official, stealing the daylight from his maker and daily bread from honest people. Then it will be taken for granted that a man will not be allotted tasks to which he is not equal to begin with.
Moreover, such activity provides the sole standard for right in universal, equal, juridical civic activity.4
4 'Den einzigen Maszstab fur das Recht bet der allgemeinen bürgerlichen Betätigung.'
The present era is liquidating itself: it introduces universal suffrage, shoots off its mouth about equal rights, but finds no basis for them. It sees in material reward the expression of a man's worth and thereby shatters the foundation for the noblest equality that there can be. For equality does not rest and never can rest on the achievements of individuals in themselves, but it is possible in the form in which everyone fulfills his special obligations. Thereby alone is the accident of Nature excluded in the judgment of the man's worth, and the individual himself becomes the smith of his own importance.
In the present period, when entire human groups can estimate one another only according to salary classes, there is - as said before - no understanding for this. But for us this cannot be a reason to renounce the fight for our ideas. On the contrary: anyone who wants to cure this era, which is inwardly sick and rotten, must first of all summon up the courage to make clear the causes of this disease. And this should be the concern of the National Socialist movement: pushing aside all philistinism, to gather and to organize from the ranks of our nation those forces capable of becoming the vanguard fighters for a new philosophy of life.
Of course, the objection will be made that in general the ideal estimation is hard to separate from the material, indeed, that the diminishing estimation of physical labor is brought about precisely by its diminished reward. And that this diminished reward is in turn the cause for the limitation of the individual man's participation in the cultural treasures of his nation. And that precisely the ideal culture of man, which does not necessarily have anything to do with his activity as such, is impaired thereby. That the dread of physical labor is really based on the fact that, as a result of the inferior reward, the cultural level of the manual worker is necessarily lowered and that this provides the justification for a general diminished estimation.
In this there lies much truth. For this very reason we must in future guard ourselves against an excessive differentiation of wage rates. Let it not be said that this would destroy achievement. It would be the saddest sign of the decay of a period if the impetus to a higher spiritual achievement lay only in the increased wage. If this criterion had been the sole determinant in the world up to now, humanity would never have received its greatest scientific and cultural treasures. For the greatest inventions, the greatest discoveries, the most revolutionary scientific work, the most magnificent monuments of human culture, have not been given to the world through the urge for money. On the contrary, their birth not seldom meant positive renunciation of the earthly happiness of riches.
It may be that today gold has become the exclusive ruler of life, but the time will come when man will again bow down before a higher god. Many things today may owe their existence solely to the longing for money and wealth, but there is very little among them whose non-existence would leave humanity any the poorer.
This, too, is a task of our movement; even now it must herald a day which will give to the individual what he needs for living, but uphold the principle that man does not live exclusively for the sake of material pleasures. This must some day find its expression in a wisely limited gradation of earnings which in any event will give every decent working man an honest, regular existence as a national comrade and a man.
Let it not be said that this is an ideal condition which this world will not tolerate in practice and will actually never achieve.
We are not simple enough, either, to believe that it could ever be possible to bring about a perfect era. But this relieves no one of the obligation to combat recognized errors, to overcome weaknesses, and strive for the ideal. Harsh reality of its own accord will create only too many limitations. For that very reason, however, man must try to serve the ultimate goal, and failures must not deter him, any more than he can abandon a system of justice merely because mistakes creep into it, or any more than a medicament is discarded because there will always be sickness in spite of it.
Care must be taken not to underestimate the force of an idea. I should like to remind those who become faint-hearted in this connection - in case they were ever soldiers - of a time whose heroism represented the most overpowering proof of the force of idealistic motives. For what made men die then was not concern for their daily bread, but love of the fatherland, faith in its greatness, a general feeling for the honor of the nation. It was when the German people moved away from these ideals to follow the material premises of the revolution, and exchanged their arms for knapsacks,5 that they arrived, not at the earthly paradise, but at the purgatory of general contempt and, no less, of general misery.
Therefore it is really necessary to confront the master bookkeepers of the present material republic by faith in an ideal Reich.
5 In German there are two words for knapsack. A military knapsack is a Tornister the word here used is Rucksack. This is the type worn by hikers. But Hitler is referring to the hungry proletarians after the War who went out foraging with knapsacks.