Adolf Hitler's Zweites Buch
Chapter 2: Race and Will in the Struggle for Power
Here at this point I want to discuss that bourgeois concept which views power chiefly as a nation's supply of weapons, and, to a lesser degree, perhaps also the army as an organization. If the concept of these people were pertinent, that is, if the power of a nation really lay in its possession of arms and in its army as such, then a nation which has lost its army and weapons through any reasons whatsoever must be done for permanently. These bourgeois politicians themselves hardly believe that. By their very doubt of this they admit that weapons and army organization are things which can be replaced; and that consequently they are not of a primary character, that there is something which stands above them, and which at least is also the source of their power. And so it is. Weapons and army forms are destructible and are replaceable. As great as their importance perhaps is for the moment, just so is it limited when viewed over longer periods of time. What is ultimately decisive in the life of a Voelk is the will to self-preservation, and the living forces that are at its disposal for this purpose. Weapons can rust, forms can be outdated; the will itself can always renew both and move a Voelk into the form required by the need of the moment. The fact that we Germans had to give up our arms is of very slight importance, insofar as I look at the material side of it. And yet this is the only thing our bourgeois politicians see.
What is depressing about the surrender of our arms, at most, lies in the attendant circumstances in which it took place, in the attitude which it made possible, as well as in the wretched manner of doing it which we experienced. It is outweighed by the destruction of the organization of our Army. But even there the major misfortune is not the elimination of the organization as the bearer of the weapons we possess, but rather the abolition of an institution for the training of our Voelk to manliness, which was possessed by no other State in the world, and which, indeed, no Voelk needed more than our Germans. The contribution of our Old Army to the general disciplining of our Voelk for the highest achievements in all fields is incommensurable. Precisely our Voelk, which in its racial fragmentation so very much lacks qualities which, for example, characterize the English--a determined sticking together in time of danger--has received at least a part of this, which in other nations is a natural, instinctive endowment, by way of its training through the army. The people who chatter so happily about socialism do not at all realize that the highest socialist organization of all has been the German Army. This is also the reason for the fierce hatred of the typical capitalistically inclined Jews against an organization in which money is not identical with position, dignity, to say nothing of honor, but rather with achievement; and in which the honor of belonging among people of a certain accomplishment is more greatly appreciated than the possession of property and riches. This is a conception which to Jews seems as alien as it is dangerous, and which, if only it became the general patrimony of a Voelk, would signify an immunizing defense against every further Jewish danger. If, for example, an Officer's rank in the Army could be bought, this would be comprehensible to Jews. They cannot understand an organization--indeed they find it weird--which surrounds with honor a man who either possesses no property at all, or whose income is only a fragment of that of another man who precisely in this organization is neither honored nor esteemed. But therein lay the chief strength of this incomparable old institution which unfortunately in the last thirty years of peace, however, also showed signs of slowly becoming corroded. As soon as it became fashionable for individual Officers, especially of noble descent, to pair off with, of all things, department store Jewesses, a danger arose for the Old Army which, if the same development continued, might have some day grown into a great evil. At any rate, in the times of Kaiser Wilhelm I, there was no understanding for such events.
Nevertheless, all in all, the Germany Army at the turn of the century was the most magnificent organization in the world, and its effect on our German Voelk one that was more than beneficial. The breeding ground of German discipline, German efficiency, forthright disposition, frank courage, bold aggressiveness, tenacious persistence and granite honorableness. The conception of honor of a whole profession slowly but imperceptibly became the general patrimony of a whole Voelk. That this organization was destroyed through the Peace Treaty Of Versailles was all the worse for our Voelk, as our internal enemies thereby finally received a free path for effecting their worst intentions. But our incompetent bourgeoisie, for lack of any genius and ability to improvise, could not even find the most primitive substitute.
Thus, to be sure, our German Voelk has lost possession of arms and their bearer. But this has been the case countless times in the history of nations, without the latter having perished because of it. On the contrary: nothing is easier to replace than a loss of weapons and every organizational form can again be created or renewed. What is irreplaceable is the spoiled blood of a Voelk, the destroyed inner value.
For in opposition to the present bourgeois conception that the Treaty Of Versailles has deprived our Voelk of arms, I can reply only that the real lack of weapons lies in our pacifistic democratic poisoning, as well as in internationalism, which destroys and poisons our Voelk's highest sources of power. For the source of a Voelk's whole power does not lie in its possession of weapons or in the organization of its army, but in its inner value which is represented through its racial significance, that is, the racial value of a Voelk as such, through the existence of the highest individual personality values, as well as through its healthy attitude toward the idea of self preservation. In coming before the public as National Socialists with this conception of the real strength of a Voelk, we know that today the whole of public opinion is against us. But this is indeed the deepest meaning of our new doctrine, which as a worldview separates us from others.
Since our point of departure is that one Voelk is not equal to another, the value of a Voelk is also not equal to the value of another Voelk. If, however, the value of a Voelk is not equal to another, then every Voelk, apart from the numerical value deriving from its count, still has a specific value which is peculiar to it, and which cannot be fully like that of any other Voelk. The expressions of this specific, special value of a Voelk can be of the most varied kind and be in the most varied fields; but collected together they result in a standard for the general valuation of a Voelk. The ultimate expression of this general valuation is the historical, cultural image of a Voelk, which reflects the sum of all the radiation of its blood value or of the race values united in it. This special value of a Voelk, however, is in no way merely aesthetic cultural, but a general life value as such. For it forms the life of a Voelk in general, moulds and shapes it and, therefore, also provides all those forces which a Voelk can muster in order to overcome the resistances of life. For every cultural deed, viewed in human terms, is in truth a defeat for the hitherto existing barbarism, every cultural creation [thereby] a help to man's ascent above his formerly drawn limitations and thereby a strengthening of the position of these Voelks. Thus a power for the assertion of life truly also lies in the so-called cultural values of a Voelk. Consequently the greater the inner powers of a Voelk in this direction, the stronger also the countless possibilities for the assertion of life in all fields of the struggle for existence. Consequently the higher the race value of a Voelk, the greater its general life value [through] which it can stake in favor of its life, in the struggle and strife with other Voelks.
The importance of the blood value of a Voelk, however, only becomes totally effective when this value is recognized by a Voelk, properly valued and appreciated. Voelks who do not understand this value or who no longer have a feeling for it for lack of a natural instinct, thereby also immediately begin to lose it. Blood mixing and lowering of the race are then the consequences which, to be sure, at the beginning are not seldom introduced through a so called predilection for things foreign, which in reality is an underestimation of one's own cultural values as against alien Voelks. Once a Voelk no longer appreciates the cultural expression of its own spiritual life conditioned through its blood, or even begins to feel ashamed of it, in order to turn its attention to alien expressions of life, it renounces the strength which lies in the harmony of its blood and the cultural life which has sprung from it. It becomes torn apart, unsure in its judgement of the world picture and its expressions, loses the perception and the feeling for its own purposes, and in place of this it sinks into a confusion of international ideas, conceptions, and the cultural hodgepodge springing from them. Then the Jew can make his entry in any form, and this master of international poisoning and race corruption will not rest until he has thoroughly uprooted and thereby corrupted such a Voelk. The end is then the loss of a definite unitary race value and as a result, the final decline.
Hence every existing race value of a Voelk is also ineffective, if not indeed endangered, as long as a Voelk does not consciously remind itself of its own and nurse it with great care, building and basing all its hopes primarily on it.
For this reason, international mindedness is to be regarded as the mortal enemy of these values. In its place the profession of faith in the value of one's own Voelk must pervade and determine the whole life and action of a Voelk.
The more the truly eternal factor for the greatness and the importance of a Voelk is sought in the Voelk value, the less will this value as such achieve a total effectiveness if the energies and talents of a Voelk, at first slumbering, do not find the man who will awaken it.
For so little as mankind, which is made up of different race values, possesses a uniform average value, just as little is the personality value within a Voelk the same among all members. Every deed of a Voelk, in whatever field it might be, is the result of the creative activity of a personality. No distress can be redressed solely by the wishes of those affected by it, as long as this general wish does not find its solution in a man chosen from a Voelk for this task. Majorities have never wrought creative achievements. Never have they given discoveries to mankind. The individual person has always been the originator of human progress. Indeed a Voelk of a definite inner race value, so far as this value is generally visible in its cultural or other achievements, must at the outset possess the personality values, for without their emergence and creative activity the cultural image of that Voelk would never have come into being, and therefore the possibility of any inference as to the inner value of such a Voelk would be lacking. When I mention the inner value of a Voelk, I appraise it out of the sum of achievements lying before my eyes, and thereby at the same time I confirm the existence of the specific personality values which acted as the representatives of the race value of a Voelk and created the cultural image. As much as race value and personality value seem to be linked together, because a racially valueless Voelk cannot produce important creative personalities from this source--as, conversely, it seems impossible to infer, for example, the existence of race value from the lack of creative personalities and their achievements--just as much can a Voelk, nevertheless, by the nature of the formal construction of its organism, of the Voelk Community or of the State, promote the expression of its personality values, or at least facilitate it, or indeed even prevent it.
Once a Voelk installs the majority as the rulers of its life, that is to say, once it introduces present-day democracy in the western conception, it will not only damage the importance of the concept of personality, but block the effectiveness of the personality value. Through a formal construction of its life, it prevents the rise and the work of individual creative persons.
For this is the double curse of the democratic parliamentary system prevailing today: not only is it itself incapable of bringing about really creative achievements, but it also prevents the emergence and thereby the work of those men who somehow threateningly rise above the level of the average. In all times the man whose greatness lies above the average measure of the general stupidity, inadequacy, cowardice, and arrogance too, has always appeared most threatening to the majority. Add to this that, through democracy, inferior persons must, almost as a law, become leaders, so that this system applied logically to any institution devaluates the whole mass of leaders, insofar as one can call them that at all. This resides in the irresponsibility lying in the nature of democracy. Majorities are phenomena that are too elusive to be grasped so that they can somehow be charged with responsibility. The leaders set up by them are in truth only executors of the will of the majorities. Hence their task is less that of producing creative plans or ideas, in order to carry them out with the support of an available administrative apparatus, than it is to collect the momentary majorities required for the execution of definite projects. Thus the majorities are adjusted less to the projects than the projects are to the majorities. No matter what the result of such an action may be, there is no one who can be held concretely accountable. This is all the more so as each decision that is actually adopted is the result of numerous compromises, which each will also exhibit in its character and content. Who then is to be made responsible for it?
Once a purely personally drawn responsibility is eliminated, the most compelling reason for the rise of a vigorous leadership falls away. Compare the army organization [institution], oriented to the highest degree toward authority and responsibility of the individual person, with our democratic civil institutions, especially in relation to the results of the leadership training on both sides, and you will be horrified. In one case an organization of men who are as courageous and joyous in responsibility as they are competent in their tasks, and in the other, incompetents too cowardly to assume responsibility. For four and a half years the German Army organization withstood the greatest coalition of enemies of all times. The civil, democratically decomposed domestic leadership literally collapsed at the first thrust of a few hundred ragamuffins and deserters.
The pitiful lack of really great leading minds among the German Voelk finds its most simple explanation in the desolate disintegration, which we see before us through the democratic parliamentary system which is slowly corroding our whole public life.
Nations must decide. Either they want majorities or brains. The two are never compatible. Up to now, however, brains have always created greatness on this Earth, and what they created was again destroyed mostly through majorities.
Thus, on the basis of its general race value, a Voelk can certainly entertain a justified hope that it can bring real minds into existence. But then it must seek forms in the mode of construction of its national body which do not artificially, indeed systematically, restrict such brains in their activity, and erect a wall of stupidity against them, in short, which prevent them from achieving efficacy. Otherwise one of the most powerful sources of a Voelk's strength is blocked.
The third factor of the strength of a Voelk is its healthy natural instinct for self-preservation. From it result numerous heroic virtues, which by themselves make a Voelk take up the struggle for life. No State leadership will be able to have great successes, if the Voelk whose interests it must represent is too cowardly and wretched to stake itself for these interests. No State leadership, of course, can expect that a Voelk possess heroism, which it itself does not educate to heroism. Just as internationalism harms and thereby weakens the existing race value, and as democracy destroys the personality value, so pacifism paralyses the natural strength of the self preservation of Voelks.
These three factors--the race value as such, the existing personality values, as well as the healthy instinct of self preservation--are the sources of strength, from which a wise and bold domestic policy time and again can draw the weapons which are necessary for the self assertion of a Voelk. Then the army establishments and the technical questions regarding weapons always find the solutions suitable to support a Voelk in the hard struggle for freedom and daily bread.
If the domestic leadership of a Voelk loses sight of this standpoint, or believes that it must arm for the struggle in terms of weapon technique only, it can achieve as much momentary success as it pleases, but the future does not belong to such a Voelk. Hence the limited preparation for a war was never the task of truly great legislators and statesmen of this Earth, but rather the unlimited inner and thorough training of a Voelk, so that its future could be secured almost as by law, according to all human reason. Then even wars lose the isolated character of more or less immense surprises, but instead are integrated into a natural, indeed self evident, system of fundamental, well grounded, permanent development of a Voelk.
That present State leaders pay little attention to this viewpoint is partly due to the nature of democracy, to which they owe their very existence, but secondly to the fact that the State has become a purely formal mechanism which appears to them as an aim in itself, which must not in the least coincide with the interests of a specific Voelk. Voelk and State have become two different concepts. It will be the task of the National Socialist Movement to bring about a fundamental change here.
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