Adolf Hitler's Zweites Buch
Chapter 1: The Necessity Of Strife
A Voelk's struggle for existence is first and foremost determined by the following fact:
Regardless of how high the cultural importance of a Voelk may be, the struggle for daily bread stands at the forefront of all vital necessities. To be sure, brilliant leaders can hold great goals before a Voelk's eyes, so that it can be further diverted from material things in order to serve higher spiritual ideals. In general, the merely material interest will rise in exact proportion as ideal spiritual outlooks are in the process of disappearing. The more primitive the spiritual life of man, the more animal-like he becomes, until finally he regards food intake as the one and only aim of life. Hence a Voelk can quite well endure a certain limitation of material goals, as long as it is given compensation in the form of active ideals. But if these ideals are not to result in the ruin of a Voelk, they should never exist unilaterally at the expense of material nourishment, so that the health of the nation seems to be threatened by them. For a starved Voelk will indeed either collapse in consequence of its physical undernourishment, or perforce bring about a change in its situation. Sooner or later, however, physical collapse brings spiritual collapse in its train. Then all ideals also come to an end. Thus ideals are good and healthy as long as they keep on strengthening a Voelk's inner and general forces, so that in the last analysis they can again be of benefit in waging the struggle for existence. Ideals which do not serve this purpose are evil, though they may appear a thousand times outwardly beautiful, because they remove a Voelk more and more from the reality of life.
But the bread which a Voelk requires is conditioned by the living space at its disposal. A healthy Voelk, at least, will always seek to find the satisfaction of its needs on its own soil. Any other condition is pathological and dangerous, even if it makes possible the sustenance of a Voelk for centuries. World trade, world economy, tourist traffic, and so on, and so forth, is all transient means for securing a nation's sustenance. They are dependent upon factors which are partly beyond calculation, and which, on the other hand, lie beyond a nation's power. At all times the surest foundation for the existence of a Voelk has been its own soil.
But now we must consider the following:
The number of a Voelk is a variable factor. It will always rise in a healthy Voelk. Indeed, such an increase alone makes it possible to guarantee a Voelk's future in accordance with human calculations. As a result, however, the demand for commodities also grows constantly. In most cases the so-called domestic increase in production can satisfy only the rising demands of mankind, but in no way the increasing population. This applies especially to European nations. In the last few centuries, especially in most recent times, the European Folks have increased their needs to such an extent that the rise in European soil productivity, which is possible from year to year under favorable conditions, can hardly keep pace with the growth of general life needs as such. The increase of population can be balanced only through an increase, that is, an enlargement, of living space. Now the number of a Voelk is variable, the soil as such, however, remains constant. This means that the increase of a Voelk is a process, so self-evident because it is so natural, that it is not regarded as something extraordinary. On the other hand, an increase in territory is conditioned by the general distribution of possessions in the world; an act of special revolution, an extraordinary process, so that the ease with which a population increases stands in sharp contrast to the extraordinary difficulty of territorial changes.
Yet the regulation of the relation between population and territory is of tremendous importance for a nation's existence. Indeed, we can justly say that the whole life struggle of a Voelk, in truth, consists in safeguarding the territory it requires as a general prerequisite for the sustenance of the increasing population. Since the population grows incessantly, and the soil as such remains stationary, tensions perforce must gradually arise which at first find expression in distress, and which for a certain time can be balanced through greater industry, more ingenious production methods, or special austerity. But there comes a day when these tensions can no longer be eliminated by such means. Then the task of the leaders of a nation's struggle for existence consists in eliminating the unbearable conditions in a fundamental way, that is, in restoring a tolerable relation between population and territory.
In the life of nations there are several ways for correcting the disproportion between population and territory. The most natural way is to adapt the soil, from time to time, to the increased population. This requires a determination to fight and the risk of bloodshed. But this very bloodshed is also the only one that can be justified to a Voelk. Since through it the necessary space is won for the further increase of a Voelk, it automatically finds manifold compensation for the humanity staked on the battlefield. Thus the bread of freedom grows from the hardships of war. The sword was the path breaker for the plough. And if we want to talk about human rights at all, then in this single case war has served the highest right of all: it gave a Voelk the soil which it wanted to cultivate industriously and honestly for itself, so that its children might some day be provided with their daily bread. For this soil is not allotted to anyone, nor is it presented to anyone as a gift. It is awarded by Providence to people who in their hearts have the courage to take possession of it, the strength to preserve it, and the industry to put it to the plough. Hence every healthy, vigorous Voelk sees nothing sinful in territorial acquisition, but something quite in keeping with nature. The modern pacifist who denies this holy right must first be reproached for the fact that he himself at least is being nourished on the injustices of former times. Furthermore, there is no spot on this Earth that has been determined as the abode of a Voelk for all time, since the rule of nature has for tens of thousands of years forced mankind eternally to migrate. Finally the present distribution of possessions on the Earth has not been designed by a higher power, but by man himself. But I can never regard a solution effected by man as an eternal value, which Providence now takes under its protection and sanctifies into a law of the future. Thus, just as the Earth's surface seems to be subject to eternal geological transformations, making organic life perish in an unbroken change of forms in order to discover the new, this limitation of human dwelling places is also exposed to an endless change. However, many nations, at certain times, may have an interest in presenting the existing distribution of the world's territories as binding forever, for the reason that it corresponds to their interests, just as other nations can see only something generally manmade in such a situation which at the moment is unfavorable to them, and which therefore must be changed with all means of human power. Anyone who would banish this struggle from the Earth forever would perhaps abolish the struggle between men, but he would also eliminate the highest driving power for their development; exactly as if in civil life he would want to eternalize the wealth of certain men, the greatness of certain business enterprises, and for this purpose eliminate the play of free forces, competition. The results would be catastrophic for a nation.
The present distribution of world space in a one sided way turns out to be so much in favor of individual nations that the latter perforce have an understandable interest in not allowing any further change in the present distribution of territories. But the overabundance of territory enjoyed by these nations contrasts with the poverty of the others, which, despite the utmost industry, are not in a position to produce their daily bread so as to keep alive. What higher rights would one want to oppose against them if they also raise the claim to a land area that safeguards their sustenance? No. The primary right of this world is the right to life, so far as one possesses the strength for this. Hence, on the basis of this right, a vigorous nation will always find ways of adapting its territory to its population size.
Once a nation, as the result either of weakness or bad leadership, can no longer eliminate the disproportion between its increased population and the fixed amount of territory by increasing the productivity of its soil, it will necessarily look for other ways. It will then adapt the population size to the soil.
Nature as such herself performs the first adaptation of the population size to the insufficiently nourishing soil. Here distress and misery are her devices. A Voelk can be so decimated through them that any further population increase practically comes to a halt. The consequences of this natural adaptation of the Voelk to the soil are not always the same. First of all a very violent struggle for existence sets in, which only individuals who are the strongest and have the greatest capacity for resistance can survive. A high infant mortality rate on the one hand and a high proportion of aged people on the other are the chief signs of a time which shows little regard for individual life. Since, under such conditions, all weaklings are swept away through acute distress and illness, and only the healthiest remain alive, a kind of natural selection takes place. Thus the number of a Voelk can easily be subject to a limitation, but the inner value can remain, indeed it can experience an inner heightening. But such a process cannot last for too long, otherwise the distress can also turn into its opposite. In nations composed of racial elements that are not wholly of equal value, permanent malnutrition can ultimately lead to a dull surrender to the distress, which gradually reduces energy, and instead of a struggle which fosters a natural selection, a gradual degeneration sets in. This is surely the case once man, in order to control the chronic distress, no longer attaches any value to an increase of his number, and resorts on his own to birth control. For then he himself immediately embarks upon a road opposite to that taken by nature. Whereas nature, out of the multitude of beings who are born, spares the few who are most fitted in terms of health and resistance to wage life's struggle, man limits the number of births, and then tries to keep alive those who have been born with no regard to their real value or to their inner worth. Here his humanity is only the handmaiden of his weakness, and at the same time it is actually the cruelest destroyer of his existence. If man wants to limit the number of births on his own, without producing the terrible consequences which arise from birth control, he must give the number of births free rein but cut down on the number of those remaining alive. At one time the Spartans were capable of such a wise measure, but not our present, mendaciously sentimental, bourgeois patriotic nonsense. The rule of six thousand Spartans over three hundred and fifty thousand Helots was only thinkable in consequence of the high racial value of the Spartans. But this was the result of a systematic race preservation; thus Sparta must be regarded as the first Voelkish State. The exposure of sick, weak, deformed children, in short their destruction, was more decent and in truth a thousand times more humane than the wretched insanity of our day which preserves the most pathological subject, and indeed at any price, and yet takes the life of a hundred thousand healthy children in consequence of birth control or through abortions, in order subsequently to breed a race of degenerates burdened with illnesses.
Hence it can be said in general that the limitation of the population through distress and human agencies may very well lead to an approximate adaptation to the inadequate living space, but the value of the existing human material is constantly lowered and indeed ultimately decays.
The second attempt to adapt the population size to the soil lies in emigration, which so long as it does not take place tribally, likewise leads to a devaluation of the remaining human material. Human birth control wipes out the bearer of the highest values, emigration destroys the value of the average.
There are still two other ways by which a nation can try to balance the disproportion between population and territory. The first is called increasing the domestic productivity of the soil, which as such has nothing to do with so called internal colonization; the second the increase of commodity production and the conversion of the domestic economy into an export economy.
The idea of increasing the yield of the soil within borders that have been fixed once and forever is an old one. The history of human cultivation of the soil is one of permanent progress, permanent improvement and therefore of increasing yields. While the first part of this progress lay in the field of methods of soil cultivation as well as in the construction of settlements, the second part lies in increasing the value of the soil artificially through the introduction of nutritious matter that is lacking or insufficient. This line leads from the hoe of former times up to the modern steam plough, from stable manure up to present artificial fertilizers. Without doubt the productivity of the soil has thereby been infinitely increased. But it is just as certain that there is a limit somewhere. Especially if we consider that the living standard of cultured man is a general one, which is not determined by the amount of a nation's commodities available to the individual; rather it is just as much subject to the judgement of surrounding countries and, conversely, is established through the conditions within them. The present day European dreams of a living standard which he derives as much from the potentialities of Europe as from the actual conditions prevailing in America. International relations between nations have become so easy and close through modern technology and the communication it makes possible, that the European, often without being conscious of it, applies American conditions as a standard for his own life. But he thereby forgets that the relation of the population to the soil surface of the American continent is infinitely more favorable than the analogous conditions of European nations to their living spaces. Regardless of how Italy, or let's say Germany, carry out the internal colonization of their soil, regardless of how they increase the productivity of their soil further through scientific and methodical activity, there always remains the disproportion of the number of their population to the soil as measured against the relation of the population of the American Union to the soil of the Union. And if a further increase of the population were possible for Italy or Germany through the utmost industry, then this would be possible in the American Union up to a multiple of theirs. And when ultimately any further increase in these two European countries is no longer possible, the American Union can continue to grow for centuries until it will have reached the relation that we already have today.
The effects that it is hoped to achieve through internal colonization, in particular, rest on a fallacy. The opinion that we can bring about a considerable increase in the productivity of the soil is false. Regardless of how, for example, the land is distributed in Germany, whether in large or in small peasant holdings, or in plots for small settlers, this does not alter the fact that there are, on the average, 136 people to one square kilometer. This is an unhealthy relation. It is impossible to feed our Voelk on this basis and under this premise. Indeed it would only create confusion to set the slogan of internal colonization before the masses, who will then latch their hopes onto it and thereby think to have found a means of doing away with their present distress. This would not at all be the case. For the distress is not the result of a wrong kind of land distribution, say, but the consequence of the inadequate amount of space, on the whole, at the disposal of our nation today.
By increasing the productivity of the soil, however, some alleviation of a Voelk 's lot could be achieved. But in the long run this would never exempt it from the duty to adapt the nation's living space, become insufficient, to the increased population. Through internal colonization, in the most favorable circumstances, only amelioration in the sense of social reform and justice could take place. It is entirely without importance as regards the total sustenance of a Voelk. It will often be harmful for a nation's foreign policy position because it awakens hopes that can remove a Voelk from realistic thinking. The ordinary, respectable citizen will then really believe that he can find his daily bread at home through industry and hard work, rather than realize that the strength of a Voelk must be concentrated in order to win new living space.
Economics, which especially today is regarded by many as the savior from distress and care, hunger and misery, under certain preconditions can give a Voelk possibilities for existence which lie outside its relation to its own soil. But this is linked to a number of prerequisites of which I must make brief mention here.
The sense of such an economic system lies in the fact that a nation produces more of certain vital commodities than it requires for its own use. It sells this surplus outside its own national community, and with the proceeds therefrom it procures those foodstuffs and also the raw materials which it lacks. Thus this kind of economics involves not only a question of production, but in at least as great a degree a question of selling. There is much talk, especially at the present time, about increasing production, but it is completely forgotten that such an increase is of value only as long as a buyer is at hand. Within the circle of a nation's economic life, every increase in production will be profitable to the degree that it increases the number of goods which are thus made available to the individual. Theoretically, every increase in the industrial production of a nation must lead to a reduction in the price of commodities and in turn to an increased consumption of them, and consequently put the individual Voelk Comrade in a position to own more vital commodities. In practice, however, this in no way changes the fact of the inadequate sustenance of a nation as a result of insufficient soil. For, to be sure, we can increase certain industrial outputs, indeed many times over, but not the production of foodstuffs. Once a nation suffers from this need, an adjustment can take place only if a part of its industrial overproduction can be exported in order to compensate from the outside for the foodstuffs that are not available in the homeland. But an increase in production having this aim achieves the desired success only when it finds a buyer, and indeed a buyer outside the country. Thus we stand before the question of the sales potential, that is, the market, a question of towering importance.
The present world commodity market is not unlimited. The number of industrially active nations has steadily increased. Almost all European nations suffer from an inadequate and unsatisfactory relation between soil and population. Hence they are dependent on world export. In recent years the American Union has turned to export, as has also Japan in the east. Thus a struggle automatically begins for the limited markets, which becomes tougher the more numerous the industrial nations become and, conversely, the more the markets shrink. For while on the one hand the number of nations struggling for world markets increases, the commodity market itself slowly diminishes, partly in consequence of a process of self industrialization on their own power, partly through a system of branch enterprises which are more and more coming into being in such countries out of sheer capitalist interest. For we should bear the following in mind: the German Voelk, for example, has a lively interest in building ships for China in German dockyards, because thereby a certain number of men of our nationality get a chance to feed themselves which they would not have on our own soil, which is no longer sufficient. But the German Voelk has no interest, say, in a German financial group or even a German factory opening a so called branch dockyard in Shanghai which builds ships for China with Chinese workers and foreign steel, even if the corporation earns a definite profit in the form of interest or dividend. On the contrary, the result of this will be only that a German financial group earns so and so many million, but, as a result of the orders lost, a multiple of this amount is withdrawn from the German national economy. The more pure capitalist interests begin to determine the present economy, the more the general viewpoints of the financial world and the stock exchange achieve a decisive influence here, the more will this system of branch establishments reach out and thus artificially carry out the industrialization of former commodity markets and especially curtail the export possibilities of the European mother countries. Today many can still afford to smile over this future development, but as it makes further strides, within thirty years people in Europe will groan under its consequences.
The more market difficulties increase, the more bitterly will the struggle for the remaining ones be waged. Although the primary weapons of this struggle lie in pricing and in the quality of the goods with which nations competitively try to undersell each other, in the end the ultimate weapons even here lie in the sword. The so-called peaceful economic conquest of the world could take place only if the Earth consisted of purely agrarian nations and but one industrially active and commercial nation. Since all great nations today are industrial nations, the so called peaceful economic conquest of the world is nothing but the struggle with means which will remain peaceful for as long as the stronger nations believe they can triumph with them, that is, in reality for as long as they are able to kill the others with peaceful economics. For this is the real result of the victory of a nation with peaceful economic means over another nation. Thereby one nation receives possibilities of survival and the other nation is deprived of them. Even here what is at stake is always the substance of flesh and blood, which we designate as a Voelk.
If a really vigorous Voelk believes that it cannot conquer another with peaceful economic means, or if an economically weak Voelk does not wish to let itself be killed by an economically stronger one, as the possibilities for its sustenance are slowly cut off, then in both cases [it will seize the sword] the vapors of economic phraseology will be suddenly torn asunder, and war, that is the continuation of politics with other means, steps into its place.
The danger to a Voelk of economic activity in an exclusive sense lies in the fact that it succumbs only too easily to the belief that it can ultimately shape its destiny through economics. Thus the latter from a purely secondary place moves forward to first place, and finally is even regarded as State-forming, and robs the Voelk of those very virtues and characteristics which in the last analysis make it possible for Nations and States to preserve life on this Earth. A special danger of the so called peaceful economic policy, however, lies above all in the fact that it makes possible an increase in the population, which finally no longer stands in any relation to the productive capacity of its own soil to support life. This overfilling of an inadequate living space with people not seldom also leads to the concentration of people in work centers which look less like cultural centers, and rather more like abscesses in the national body in which all evil, vices and diseases seem to unite. Above all, they are breeding grounds of blood mixing and bastardization, and of race lowering, thus resulting in those purulent infection centers in which the international Jewish racial maggots thrive and finally effect further destruction.
Precisely thereby is the way open to decay in which the inner strength of such a Voelk swiftly disappears, all racial, moral and folk values are earmarked for destruction, ideals are undermined, and in the end the prerequisite which a Voelk urgently needs in order to take upon itself the ultimate consequences of the struggle for world markets is eliminated. Weakened by a vicious pacifism, Voelks will no longer be ready to fight for markets for their goods with the shedding of their blood. Hence, as soon as a stronger nation sets the real strength of political power in the place of peaceful economic means, such nations will collapse Then their own delinquencies will take revenge. They are overpopulated, and now in consequence of the loss of all the real basic requirements they no longer have any possibility of being able to feed their overgrown mass of people adequately. They have no strength to break the chains of the enemy, and no inner value with which to bear their fate with dignity. Once they believed they could live, thanks to their peaceful economic activity, and renounce the use of violence. Fate will teach them that in the last analysis a Voelk is preserved only when population and living space stand in a definite natural and healthy relation to each other. Further, this relation must be examined from time to time, and indeed must be reestablished in favor of the population to the very same degree that it shifts unfavorably with respect to the soil. For this, however, a nation needs weapons. The acquisition of soil is always linked with the employment of force.
If the task of politics is the execution of a Voelk's struggle for existence, and if the struggle for existence of a Voelk in the last analysis consists of safeguarding the necessary amount of space for nourishing a specific population, and if this whole process is a question of the employment of a Voelk 's strength, the following concluding definitions result therefrom:
Politics is the art of carrying out a Voelk 's struggle for its Earthly existence.
Foreign policy is the art of safeguarding the momentary, necessary living space, in quantity and quality, for a Voelk.
Domestic policy is the art of preserving the necessary employment of force for this in the form of its race value and numbers.
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