Already in 1920–1921 certain circles belonging to the effete bourgeois class accused our movement again and again of taking up a negative attitude towards the modern State. For that reason the motley gang of camp followers attached to the various political parties, representing a heterogeneous conglomeration of political views, assumed the right of utilizing all available means to suppress the protagonists of this young movement which was preaching a new political gospel. Our opponents deliberately ignored the fact that the bourgeois class itself stood for no uniform opinion as to what the State really meant and that the bourgeoisie did not and could not give any coherent definition of this institution. Those whose duty it is to explain what is meant when we speak of the State, hold chairs in State universities, often in the department of constitutional law, and consider it their highest duty to find explanations and justifications for the more or less fortunate existence of that particular form of State which provides them with their daily bread. The more absurd such a form of State is the more obscure and artificial and incomprehensible are the definitions which are advanced to explain the purpose of its existence. What, for instance, could a royal and imperial university professor write about the meaning and purpose of a State in a country whose statal form represented the greatest monstrosity of the twentieth century? That would be a difficult undertaking indeed, in view of the fact that the contemporary professor of constitutional law is obliged not so much to serve the cause of truth but rather to serve a certain definite purpose. And this purpose is to defend at all costs the existence of that monstrous human mechanism which we now call the State. Nobody can be surprised if concrete facts are evaded as far as possible when the problem of the State is under discussion and if professors adopt the tactics of concealing themselves in morass of abstract values and duties and purposes which are described as ‘ethical’ and ‘moral’.
Generally speaking, these various theorists may be classed in three groups:
1. Those who hold that the State is a more or less voluntary association of men who have agreed to set up and obey a ruling authority.
This is numerically the largest group. In its ranks are to be found those who worship our present principle of legalized authority. In their eyes the will of the people has no part whatever in the whole affair. For them the fact that the State exists is sufficient reason to consider it sacred and inviolable. To accept this aberration of the human brain one would have to have a sort of canine adoration for what is called the authority of the State. In the minds of these people the means is substituted for the end, by a sort of sleight-of-hand movement. The State no longer exists for the purpose of serving men but men exist for the purpose of adoring the authority of the State, which is vested in its functionaries, even down to the smallest official. So as to prevent this placid and ecstatic adoration from changing into something that might become in any way disturbing, the authority of the State is limited simply to the task of preserving order and tranquillity. Therewith it is no longer either a means or an end. The State must see that public peace and order are preserved and, in their turn, order and peace must make the existence of the State possible. All life must move between these two poles. In Bavaria this view is upheld by the artful politicians of the Bavarian Centre, which is called the ‘Bavarian Populist Party’. In Austria the Black-and-Yellow legitimists adopt a similar attitude. In the Reich, unfortunately, the so-called conservative elements follow the same line of thought.
2. The second group is somewhat smaller in numbers. It includes those who would make the existence of the State dependent on some conditions at least. They insist that not only should there be a uniform system of government but also, if possible, that only one language should be used, though solely for technical reasons of administration. In this view the authority of the State is no longer the sole and exclusive end for which the State exists. It must also promote the good of its subjects. Ideas of ‘freedom’, mostly based on a misunderstanding of the meaning of that word, enter into the concept of the State as it exists in the minds of this group. The form of government is no longer considered inviolable simply because it exists. It must submit to the test of practical efficiency. Its venerable age no longer protects it from being criticized in the light of modern exigencies. Moreover, in this view the first duty laid upon the State is to guarantee the economic well-being of the individual citizens. Hence it is judged from the practical standpoint and according to general principles based on the idea of economic returns. The chief representatives of this theory of the State are to be found among the average German bourgeoisie, especially our liberal democrats.
3. The third group is numerically the smallest. In the State they discover a means for the realization of tendencies that arise from a policy of power, on the part of a people who are ethnically homogeneous and speak the same language. But those who hold this view are not clear about what they mean by ‘tendencies arising from a policy of power’. A common language is postulated not only because they hope that thereby the State would be furnished with a solid basis for the extension of its power outside its own frontiers, but also because they think – though falling into a fundamental error by doing so – that such a common language would enable them to carry out a process of nationalization in a definite direction.
During the last century it was lamentable for those who had to witness it, to notice how in these circles I have just mentioned the word ‘Germanization’ was frivolously played with, though the practice was often well intended. I well remember how in the days of my youth this very term used to give rise to notions which were false to an incredible degree. Even in Pan-German circles one heard the opinion expressed that the Austrian Germans might very well succeed in Germanizing the Austrian Slavs, if only the Government would be ready to co-operate. Those people did not understand that a policy of Germanization can be carried out only as regards human beings. What they mostly meant by Germanization was a process of forcing other people to speak the German language. But it is almost inconceivable how such a mistake could be made as to think that a Nigger or a Chinaman will become a German because he has learned the German language and is willing to speak German for the future, and even to cast his vote for a German political party. Our bourgeois nationalists could never clearly see that such a process of Germanization is in reality de-Germanization; for even if all the outstanding and visible differences between the various peoples could be bridged over and finally wiped out by the use of a common language, that would produce a process of bastardization which in this case would not signify Germanization but the annihilation of the German element. In the course of history it has happened only too often that a conquering race succeeded by external force in compelling the people whom they subjected to speak the tongue of the conqueror and that after a thousand years their language was spoken by another people and that thus the conqueror finally turned out to be the conquered.
What makes a people or, to be more correct, a race, is not language but blood. Therefore it would be justifiable to speak of Germanization only if that process could change the blood of the people who would be subjected to it, which is obviously impossible. A change would be possible only by a mixture of blood, but in this case the quality of the superior race would be debased. The final result of such a mixture would be that precisely those qualities would be destroyed which had enabled the conquering race to achieve victory over an inferior people. It is especially the cultural creativeness which disappears when a superior race intermixes with an inferior one, even though the resultant mongrel race should excel a thousandfold in speaking the language of the race that once had been superior. For a certain time there will be a conflict between the different mentalities, and it may be that a nation which is in a state of progressive degeneration will at the last moment rally its cultural creative power and once again produce striking examples of that power. But these results are due only to the activity of elements that have remained over from the superior race or hybrids of the first crossing in whom the superior blood has remained dominant and seeks to assert itself. But this will never happen with the final descendants of such hybrids. These are always in a state of cultural retrogression.
We must consider it as fortunate that a Germanization of Austria according to the plan of Joseph II did not succeed. Probably the result would have been that the Austrian State would have been able to survive, but at the same time participation in the use of a common language would have debased the racial quality of the German element. In the course of centuries a certain herd instinct might have been developed but the herd itself would have deteriorated in quality. A national State might have arisen, but a people who had been culturally creative would have disappeared.
For the German nation it was better that this process of intermixture did not take place, although it was not renounced for any high-minded reasons but simply through the short-sighted pettiness of the Habsburgs. If it had taken place the German people could not now be looked upon as a cultural factor.
Not only in Austria, however, but also in the Reich, these so-called national circles were, and still are, under the influence of similar erroneous ideas. Unfortunately, a policy towards Poland, whereby the East was to be Germanized, was demanded by many and was based on the same false reasoning. Here again it was believed that the Polish people could be Germanized by being compelled to use the German language. The result would have been fatal. A people of foreign race would have had to use the German language to express modes of thought that were foreign to the German, thus compromising by its own inferiority the dignity and nobility of our nation.
It is revolting to think how much damage is indirectly done to German prestige to-day through the fact that the German patois of the Jews when they enter the United States enables them to be classed as Germans, because many Americans are quite ignorant of German conditions. Among us, nobody would think of taking these unhygienic immigrants from the East for members of the German race and nation merely because they mostly speak German.
What has been beneficially Germanized in the course of history was the land which our ancestors conquered with the sword and colonized with German tillers of the soil. To the extent that they introduced foreign blood into our national body in this colonization, they have helped to disintegrate our racial character, a process which has resulted in our German hyper-individualism, though this latter characteristic is even now frequently praised.
In this third group also there are people who, to a certain degree, consider the State as an end in itself. Hence they consider its preservation as one of the highest aims of human existence. Our analysis may be summed up as follows:
All these opinions have this common feature and failing: that they are not grounded in a recognition of the profound truth that the capacity for creating cultural values is essentially based on the racial element and that, in accordance with this fact, the paramount purpose of the State is to preserve and improve the race; for this is an indispensable condition of all progress in human civilization.
Thus the Jew, Karl Marx, was able to draw the final conclusions from these false concepts and ideas on the nature and purpose of the State. By eliminating from the concept of the State all thought of the obligation which the State bears towards the race, without finding any other formula that might be universally accepted, the bourgeois teaching prepared the way for that doctrine which rejects the State as such.
That is why the bourgeois struggle against Marxist internationalism is absolutely doomed to fail in this field. The bourgeois classes have already sacrificed the basic principles which alone could furnish a solid footing for their ideas. Their crafty opponent has perceived the defects in their structure and advances to the assault on it with those weapons which they themselves have placed in his hands though not meaning to do so.
Therefore any new movement which is based on the racial concept of the world will first of all have to put forward a clear and logical doctrine of the nature and purpose of the State.
The fundamental principle is that the State is not an end in itself but the means to an end. It is the preliminary condition under which alone a higher form of human civilization can be developed, but it is not the source of such a development. This is to be sought exclusively in the actual existence of a race which is endowed with the gift of cultural creativeness. There may be hundreds of excellent States on this earth, and yet if the Aryan, who is the creator and custodian of civilization, should disappear, all culture that is on an adequate level with the spiritual needs of the superior nations to-day would also disappear. We may go still further and say that the fact that States have been created by human beings does not in the least exclude the possiblity that the human race may become extinct, because the superior intellectual faculties and powers of adaptation would be lost when the racial bearer of these faculties and powers disappeared.
If, for instance, the surface of the globe should be shaken to-day by some seismic convulsion and if a new Himalaya would emerge from the waves of the sea, this one catastrophe alone might annihilate human civilization. No State could exist any longer. All order would be shattered. And all vestiges of cultural products which had been evolved through thousands of years would disappear. Nothing would be left but one tremendous field of death and destruction submerged in floods of water and mud. If, however, just a few people would survive this terrible havoc, and if these people belonged to a definite race that had the innate powers to build up a civilization, when the commotion had passed, the earth would again bear witness to the creative power of the human spirit, even though a span of a thousand years might intervene. Only with the extermination of the last race that possesses the gift of cultural creativeness, and indeed only if all the individuals of that race had disappeared, would the earth definitely be turned into a desert. On the other hand, modern history furnishes examples to show that statal institutions which owe their beginnings to members of a race which lacks creative genius are not made of stuff that will endure. Just as many varieties of prehistoric animals had to give way to others and leave no trace behind them, so man will also have to give way, if he loses that definite faculty which enables him to find the weapons that are necessary for him to maintain his own existence.
It is not the State as such that brings about a certain definite advance in cultural progress. The State can only protect the race that is the cause of such progress. The State as such may well exist without undergoing any change for hundreds of years, though the cultural faculties and the general life of the people, which is shaped by these faculties, may have suffered profound changes by reason of the fact that the State did not prevent a process of racial mixture from taking place. The present State, for instance, may continue to exist in a mere mechanical form, but the poison of miscegenation permeating the national body brings about a cultural decadence which manifests itself already in various symptoms that are of a detrimental character.
Thus the indispensable prerequisite for the existence of a superior quality of human beings is not the State but the race, which is alone capable of producing that higher human quality.
This capacity is always there, though it will lie dormant unless external circumstances awaken it to action. Nations, or rather races, which are endowed with the faculty of cultural creativeness possess this faculty in a latent form during periods when the external circumstances are unfavourable for the time being and therefore do not allow the faculty to express itself effectively. It is therefore outrageously unjust to speak of the pre-Christian Germans as barbarians who had no civilization. They never have been such. But the severity of the climate that prevailed in the northern regions which they inhabited imposed conditions of life which hampered a free development of their creative faculties. If they had come to the fairer climate of the South, with no previous culture whatsoever, and if they acquired the necessary human material – that is to say, men of an inferior race – to serve them as working implements, the cultural faculty dormant in them would have splendidly blossomed forth, as happened in the case of the Greeks, for example. But this primordial creative faculty in cultural things was not solely due to their northern climate. For the Laplanders or the Eskimos would not have become creators of a culture if they were transplanted to the South. No, this wonderful creative faculty is a special gift bestowed on the Aryan, whether it lies dormant in him or becomes active, according as the adverse conditions of nature prevent the active expression of that faculty or favourable circumstances permit it.
From these facts the following conclusions may be drawn:
The State is only a means to an end. Its end and its purpose is to preserve and promote a community of human beings who are physically as well as spiritually kindred. Above all, it must preserve the existence of the race, thereby providing the indispensable condition for the free development of all the forces dormant in this race. A great part of these faculties will always have to be employed in the first place to maintain the physical existence of the race, and only a small portion will be free to work in the field of intellectual progress. But, as a matter of fact, the one is always the necessary counterpart of the other.
Those States which do not serve this purpose have no justification for their existence. They are monstrosities. The fact that they do exist is no more of a justification than the successful raids carried out by a band of pirates can be considered a justification of piracy.
We National Socialists, who are fighting for a new Weltanschhauung, must never take our stand on the famous ‘basis of facts’, and especially not on mistaken facts. If we did so, we should cease to be the protagonists of a new and great idea and would become slaves in the service of the fallacy which is dominant to-day. We must make a clear-cut distinction between the vessel and its contents. The State is only the vessel and the race is what it contains. The vessel can have a meaning only if it preserves and safeguards the contents. Otherwise it is worthless.
Hence the supreme purpose of the ethnical State is to guard and preserve those racial elements which, through their work in the cultural field, create that beauty and dignity which are characteristic of a higher mankind. As Aryans, we can consider the State only as the living organism of a people, an organism which does not merely maintain the existence of a people, but functions in such a way as to lead its people to a position of supreme liberty by the progressive development of the intellectual and cultural faculties.
What they want to impose upon us as a State to-day is in most cases nothing but a monstrosity, the product of a profound human aberration which brings untold suffering in its train.
We National Socialists know that in holding these views we take up a revolutionary stand in the world of to-day and that we are branded as revolutionaries. But our views and our conduct will not be determined by the approbation or disapprobation of our contemporaries, but only by our duty to follow a truth which we have acknowledged. In doing this we have reason to believe that posterity will have a clearer insight, and will not only understand the work we are doing to-day, but will also ratify it as the right work and will exalt it accordingly.
On these principles we National Socialists base our standards of value in appraising a State. This value will be relative when viewed from the particular standpoint of the individual nation, but it will be absolute when considered from the standpoint of humanity as a whole. In other words, this means:
That the excellence of a State can never be judged by the level of its culture or the degree of importance which the outside world attaches to its power, but that its excellence must be judged by the degree to which its institutions serve the racial stock which belongs to it.
A State may be considered as a model example if it adequately serves not only the vital needs of the racial stock it represents but if it actually assures by its own existence the preservation of this same racial stock, no matter what general cultural significance this statal institution may have in the eyes of the rest of the world. For it is not the task of the State to create human capabilities, but only to assure free scope for the exercise of capabilities that already exist. On the other hand, a State may be called bad if, in spite of the existence of a high cultural level, it dooms to destruction the bearers of that culture by breaking up their racial uniformity. For the practical effect of such a policy would be to destroy those conditions that are indispensable for the ulterior existence of that culture, which the State did not create but which is the fruit of the creative power inherent in the racial stock whose existence is assured by being united in the living organism of the State. Once again let me emphasize the fact that the State itself is not the substance but the form. Therefore, the cultural level is not the standard by which we can judge the value of the State in which that people lives. It is evident that a people which is endowed with high creative powers in the cultural sphere is of more worth than a tribe of negroes. And yet the statal organization of the former, if judged from the standpoint of efficiency, may be worse than that of the negroes. Not even the best of States and statal institutions can evolve faculties from a people which they lack and which they never possessed, but a bad State may gradually destroy the faculties which once existed. This it can do by allowing or favouring the suppression of those who are the bearers of a racial culture.
Therefore, the worth of a State can be determined only by asking how far it actually succeeds in promoting the well-being of a definite race and not by the role which it plays in the world at large. Its relative worth can be estimated readily and accurately; but it is difficult to judge its absolute worth, because the latter is conditioned not only by the State but also by the quality and cultural level of the people that belong to the individual State in question.
Therefore, when we speak of the high mission of the State we must not forget that the high mission belongs to the people and that the business of the State is to use its organizing powers for the purpose of furnishing the necessary conditions which allow this people freely to unfold its creative faculties. And if we ask what kind of statal institution we Germans need, we must first have a clear notion as to the people which that State must embrace and what purpose it must serve.
Unfortunately the German national being is not based on a uniform racial type. The process of welding the original elements together has not gone so far as to warrant us in saying that a new race has emerged. On the contrary, the poison which has invaded the national body, especially since the Thirty Years’ War, has destroyed the uniform constitution not only of our blood but also of our national soul. The open frontiers of our native country, the association with non-German foreign elements in the territories that lie all along those frontiers, and especially the strong influx of foreign blood into the interior of the Reich itself, has prevented any complete assimilation of those various elements, because the influx has continued steadily. Out of this melting-pot no new race arose. The heterogeneous elements continue to exist side by side. And the result is that, especially in times of crisis, when the herd usually flocks together, the Germans disperse in all directions. The fundamental racial elements are not only different in different districts, but there are also various elements in the single districts. Beside the Nordic type we find the East-European type, beside the Eastern there is the Dinaric, the Western type intermingling with both, and hybrids among them all. That is a grave drawback for us. Through it the Germans lack that strong herd instinct which arises from unity of blood and saves nations from ruin in dangerous and critical times; because on such occasions small differences disappear, so that a united herd faces the enemy. What we understand by the word hyper-individualism arises from the fact that our primordial racial elements have existed side by side without ever consolidating. During times of peace such a situation may offer some advantages, but, taken all in all, it has prevented us from gaining a mastery in the world. If in its historical development the German people had possessed the unity of herd instinct by which other peoples have so much benefited, then the German Reich would probably be mistress of the globe to-day. World history would have taken another course and in this case no man can tell if what many blinded pacifists hope to attain by petitioning, whining and crying, may not have been reached in this way: namely, a peace which would not be based upon the waving of olive branches and tearful misery-mongering of pacifist old women, but a peace that would be guaranteed by the triumphant sword of a people endowed with the power to master the world and administer it in the service of a higher civilization.
The fact that our people did not have a national being based on a unity of blood has been the source of untold misery for us. To many petty German potentates it gave residential capital cities, but the German people as a whole was deprived of its right to rulership.
Even to-day our nation still suffers from this lack of inner unity; but what has been the cause of our past and present misfortunes may turn out a blessing for us in the future. Though on the one hand it may be a drawback that our racial elements were not welded together, so that no homogeneous national body could develop, on the other hand, it was fortunate that, since at least a part of our best blood was thus kept pure, its racial quality was not debased.
A complete assimilation of all our racial elements would certainly have brought about a homogeneous national organism; but, as has been proved in the case of every racial mixture, it would have been less capable of creating a civilization than by keeping intact its best original elements. A benefit which results from the fact that there was no all-round assimilation is to be seen in that even now we have large groups of German Nordic people within our national organization, and that their blood has not been mixed with the blood of other races. We must look upon this as our most valuable treasure for the sake of the future. During that dark period of absolute ignorance in regard to all racial laws, when each individual was considered to be on a par with every other, there could be no clear appreciation of the difference between the various fundamental racial characteristics. We know to-day that a complete assimilation of all the various elements which constitute the national being might have resulted in giving us a larger share of external power: but, on the other hand, the highest of human aims would not have been attained, because the only kind of people which fate has obviously chosen to bring about this perfection would have been lost in such a general mixture of races which would constitute such a racial amalgamation.
But what has been prevented by a friendly Destiny, without any assistance on our part, must now be reconsidered and utilized in the light of our new knowledge.
He who talks of the German people as having a mission to fulfil on this earth must know that this cannot be fulfilled except by the building up of a State whose highest purpose is to preserve and promote those nobler elements of our race and of the whole of mankind which have remained unimpaired.
Thus for the first time a high inner purpose is accredited to the State. In face of the ridiculous phrase that the State should do no more than act as the guardian of public order and tranquillity, so that everybody can peacefully dupe everybody else, it is given a very high mission indeed to preserve and encourage the highest type of humanity which a beneficent Creator has bestowed on this earth. Out of a dead mechanism which claims to be an end in itself a living organism shall arise which has to serve one purpose exclusively: and that, indeed, a purpose which belongs to a higher order of ideas.
As a State the German Reich shall include all Germans. Its task is not only to gather in and foster the most valuable sections of our people but to lead them slowly and surely to a dominant position in the world.
Thus a period of stagnation is superseded by a period of effort. And here, as in every other sphere, the proverb holds good that to rest is to rust; and furthermore the proverb that victory will always be won by him who attacks. The higher the final goal which we strive to reach, and the less it be understood at the time by the broad masses, the more magnificent will be its success. That is what the lesson of history teaches. And the achievement will be all the more significant if the end is conceived in the right way and the fight carried through with unswerving persistence. Many of the officials who direct the affairs of State nowadays may find it easier to work for the maintenance of the present order than to fight for a new one. They will find it more comfortable to look upon the State as a mechanism, whose purpose is its own preservation, and to say that ‘their lives belong to the State,’ as if anything that grew from the inner life of the nation can logically serve anything but the national being, and as if man could be made for anything else than for his fellow beings. Naturally, it is easier, as I have said, to consider the authority of the State as nothing but the formal mechanism of an organization, rather than as the sovereign incarnation of a people’s instinct for self-preservation on this earth. For these weak minds the State and the authority of the State is nothing but an aim in itself, while for us it is an effective weapon in the service of the great and eternal struggle for existence, a weapon which everyone must adopt, not because it is a mere formal mechanism, but because it is the main expression of our common will to exist.
Therefore, in the fight for our new idea, which conforms completely to the primal meaning of life, we shall find only a small number of comrades in a social order which has become decrepit not only physically but mentally also. From these strata of our population only a few exceptional people will join our ranks, only those few old people whose hearts have remained young and whose courage is still vigorous, but not those who consider it their duty to maintain the state of affairs that exists.
Against us we have the innumerable army of all those who are lazy-minded and indifferent rather than evil, and those whose self-interest leads them to uphold the present state of affairs. On the apparent hopelessness of our great struggle is based the magnitude of our task and the possibilities of success. A battle-cry which from the very start will scare off all the petty spirits, or at least discourage them, will become the signal for a rally of all those temperaments that are of the real fighting metal. And it must be clearly recognized that if a highly energetic and active body of men emerge from a nation and unite in the fight for one goal, thereby ultimately rising above the inert masses of the people, this small percentage will become masters of the whole. World history is made by minorities if these numerical minorities represent in themselves the will and energy and initiative of the people as a whole.
What seems an obstacle to many persons is really a preliminary condition of our victory. Just because our task is so great and because so many difficulties have to be overcome, the highest probability is that only the best kind of protagonists will join our ranks. This selection is the guarantee of our success. Nature generally takes certain measures to correct the effect which racial mixture produces in life. She is not much in favour of the mongrel. The later products of cross-breeding have to suffer bitterly, especially the third, fourth and fifth generations. Not only are they deprived of the higher qualities that belonged to the parents who participated in the first mixture, but they also lack definite will-power and vigorous vital energies owing to the lack of harmony in the quality of their blood. At all critical moments in which a person of pure racial blood makes correct decisions, that is to say, decisions that are coherent and uniform, the person of mixed blood will become confused and take measures that are incoherent. Hence we see that a person of mixed blood is not only relatively inferior to a person of pure blood, but is also doomed to become extinct more rapidly. In innumerable cases wherein the pure race holds its ground the mongrel breaks down. Therein we witness the corrective provision which Nature adopts. She restricts the possibilities of procreation, thus impeding the fertility of cross-breeds and bringing them to extinction.
For instance, if an individual member of a race should mingle his blood with the member of a superior race the first result would be a lowering of the racial level, and furthermore the descendants of this cross-breeding would be weaker than those of the people around them who had maintained their blood unadulterated. Where no new blood from the superior race enters the racial stream of the mongrels, and where those mongrels continue to cross-breed among themselves, the latter will either die out because they have insufficient powers of resistance, which is Nature’s wise provision, or in the course of many thousands of years they will form a new mongrel race in which the original elements will become so wholly mixed through this millennial crossing that traces of the original elements will be no longer recognizable. And thus a new people would be developed which possessed a certain resistance capacity of the herd type, but its intellectual value and its cultural significance would be essentially inferior to those which the first cross-breeds possessed. But even in this last case the mongrel product would succumb in the mutual struggle for existence with a higher racial group that had maintained its blood unmixed. The herd solidarity which this mongrel race had developed through thousands of years will not be equal to the struggle. And this is because it would lack elasticity and constructive capacity to prevail over a race of homogeneous blood that was mentally and culturally superior.
Therewith we may lay down the following principle as valid: every racial mixture leads, of necessity, sooner or later to the downfall of the mongrel product, provided the higher racial strata of this cross-breed has not retained within itself some sort of racial homogeneity. The danger to the mongrels ceases only when this higher stratum, which has maintained certain standards of homogeneous breeding, ceases to be true to its pedigree and intermingles with the mongrels.
This principle is the source of a slow but constant regeneration whereby all the poison which has invaded the racial body is gradually eliminated so long as there still remains a fundamental stock of pure racial elements which resists further crossbreeding.
Such a process may set in automatically among those people where a strong racial instinct has remained. Among such people we may count those elements which, for some particular cause such as coercion, have been thrown out of the normal way of reproduction along strict racial lines. As soon as this compulsion ceases, that part of the race which has remained intact will tend to marry with its own kind and thus impede further intermingling. Then the mongrels recede quite naturally into the background unless their numbers had increased so much as to be able to withstand all serious resistance from those elements which had preserved the purity of their race.
When men have lost their natural instincts and ignore the obligations imposed on them by Nature, then there is no hope that Nature will correct the loss that has been caused, until recognition of the lost instincts has been restored. Then the task of bringing back what has been lost will have to be accomplished. But there is serious danger that those who have become blind once in this respect will continue more and more to break down racial barriers and finally lose the last remnants of what is best in them. What then remains is nothing but a uniform mish-mash, which seems to be the dream of our fine Utopians. But that mish-mash would soon banish all ideals from the world. Certainly a great herd could thus be formed. One can breed a herd of animals; but from a mixture of this kind men such as have created and founded civilizations would not be produced. The mission of humanity might then be considered at an end.
Those who do not wish that the earth should fall into such a condition must realize that it is the task of the German State in particular to see to it that the process of bastardization is brought to a stop.
Our contemporary generation of weaklings will naturally decry such a policy and whine and complain about it as an encroachment on the most sacred of human rights. But there is only one right that is sacrosanct and this right is at the same time a most sacred duty. This right and obligation are: that the purity of the racial blood should be guarded, so that the best types of human beings may be preserved and that thus we should render possible a more noble development of humanity itself.
A folk-State should in the first place raise matrimony from the level of being a constant scandal to the race. The State should consecrate it as an institution which is called upon to produce creatures made in the likeness of the Lord and not create monsters that are a mixture of man and ape. The protest which is put forward in the name of humanity does not fit the mouth of a generation that makes it possible for the most depraved degenerates to propagate themselves, thereby imposing unspeakable suffering on their own products and their contemporaries, while on the other hand contraceptives are permitted and sold in every drug store and even by street hawkers, so that babies should not be born even among the healthiest of our people. In this present State of ours, whose function it is to be the guardian of peace and good order, our national bourgeoisie look upon it as a crime to make procreation impossible for syphilitics and those who suffer from tuberculosis or other hereditary diseases, also cripples and imbeciles. But the practical prevention of procreation among millions of our very best people is not considered as an evil, nor does it offend against the noble morality of this social class but rather encourages their short-sightedness and mental lethargy. For otherwise they would at least stir their brains to find an answer to the question of how to create conditions for the feeding and maintaining of those future beings who will be the healthy representatives of our nation and must also provide the conditions on which the generation that is to follow them will have to support itself and live.
How devoid of ideals and how ignoble is the whole contemporary system! The fact that the churches join in committing this sin against the image of God, even though they continue to emphasize the dignity of that image, is quite in keeping with their present activities. They talk about the Spirit, but they allow man, as the embodiment of the Spirit, to degenerate to the proletarian level. Then they look on with amazement when they realize how small is the influence of the Christian Faith in their own country and how depraved and ungodly is this riff-raff which is physically degenerate and therefore morally degenerate also. To balance this state of affairs they try to convert the Hottentots and the Zulus and the Kaffirs and to bestow on them the blessings of the Church. While our European people, God be praised and thanked, are left to become the victims of moral depravity, the pious missionary goes out to Central Africa and establishes missionary stations for negroes. Finally, sound and healthy – though primitive and backward – people will be transformed, under the name of our ‘higher civilization’, into a motley of lazy and brutalized mongrels.
It would better accord with noble human aspirations if our two Christian denominations would cease to bother the negroes with their preaching, which the negroes do not want and do not understand. It would be better if they left this work alone, and if, in its stead, they tried to teach people in Europe, kindly and seriously, that it is much more pleasing to God if a couple that is not of healthy stock were to show loving kindness to some poor orphan and become a father and mother to him, rather than give life to a sickly child that will be a cause of suffering and unhappiness to all.
In this field the People’s State will have to repair the damage that arises from the fact that the problem is at present neglected by all the various parties concerned. It will be the task of the People’s State to make the race the centre of the life of the community. It must make sure that the purity of the racial strain will be preserved. It must proclaim the truth that the child is the most valuable possession a people can have. It must see to it that only those who are healthy shall beget children; that there is only one infamy, namely, for parents that are ill or show hereditary defects to bring children into the world and that in such cases it is a high honour to refrain from doing so. But, on the other hand, it must be considered as reprehensible conduct to refrain from giving healthy children to the nation. In this matter the State must assert itself as the trustee of a millennial future, in face of which the egotistic desires of the individual count for nothing and will have to give way before the ruling of the State. In order to fulfil this duty in a practical manner the State will have to avail itself of modern medical discoveries. It must proclaim as unfit for procreation all those who are inflicted with some visible hereditary disease or are the carriers of it; and practical measures must be adopted to have such people rendered sterile. On the other hand, provision must be made for the normally fertile woman so that she will not be restricted in child-bearing through the financial and economic system operating in a political regime that looks upon the blessing of having children as a curse to their parents. The State will have to abolish the cowardly and even criminal indifference with which the problem of social amenities for large families is treated, and it will have to be the supreme protector of this greatest blessing that a people can boast of. Its attention and care must be directed towards the child rather than the adult.
Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unfit must not perpetuate their own suffering in the bodies of their children. From the educational point of view there is here a huge task for the People’s State to accomplish. But in a future era this work will appear greater and more significant than the victorious wars of our present bourgeois epoch. Through educational means the State must teach individuals that illness is not a disgrace but an unfortunate accident which has to be pitied, yet that it is a crime and a disgrace to make this affliction all the worse by passing on disease and defects to innocent creatures out of mere egotism.
And the State must also teach the people that it is an expression of a really noble nature and that it is a humanitarian act worthy of admiration if a person who innocently suffers from hereditary disease refrains from having a child of his own but gives his love and affection to some unknown child who, through its health, promises to become a robust member of a healthy community. In accomplishing such an educational task the State integrates its function by this activity in the moral sphere. It must act on this principle without paying any attention to the question of whether its conduct will be understood or misconstrued, blamed or praised.
If for a period of only 600 years those individuals would be sterilized who are physically degenerate or mentally diseased, humanity would not only be delivered from an immense misfortune but also restored to a state of general health such as we at present can hardly imagine. If the fecundity of the healthy portion of the nation should be made a practical matter in a conscientious and methodical way, we should have at least the beginnings of a race from which all those germs would be eliminated which are to-day the cause of our moral and physical decadence. If a people and a State take this course to develop that nucleus of the nation which is most valuable from the racial standpoint and thus increase its fecundity, the people as a whole will subsequently enjoy that most precious of gifts which consists in a racial quality fashioned on truly noble lines.
To achieve this the State should first of all not leave the colonization of newly acquired territory to a haphazard policy but should have it carried out under the guidance of definite principles. Specially competent committees ought to issue certificates to individuals entitling them to engage in colonization work, and these certificates should guarantee the racial purity of the individuals in question. In this way frontier colonies could gradually be founded whose inhabitants would be of the purest racial stock, and hence would possess the best qualities of the race. Such colonies would be a valuable asset to the whole nation. Their development would be a source of joy and confidence and pride to each citizen of the nation, because they would contain the pure germ which would ultimately bring about a great development of the nation and indeed of mankind itself.
The Weltanschhauung which bases the State on the racial idea must finally succeed in bringing about a nobler era, in which men will no longer pay exclusive attention to breeding and rearing pedigree dogs and horses and cats, but will endeavour to improve the breed of the human race itself. That will be an era of silence and renunciation for one class of people, while the others will give their gifts and make their sacrifices joyfully.
That such a mentality may be possible cannot be denied in a world where hundreds and thousands accept the principle of celibacy from their own choice, without being obliged or pledged to do so by anything except an ecclesiastical precept. Why should it not be possible to induce people to make this sacrifice if, instead of such a precept, they were simply told that they ought to put an end to this truly original sin of racial corruption which is steadily being passed on from one generation to another. And, further, they ought to be brought to realize that it is their bounden duty to give to the Almighty Creator beings such as He himself made to His own image.
Naturally, our wretched army of contemporary philistines will not understand these things. They will ridicule them or shrug their round shoulders and groan out their everlasting excuses: "Of course it is a fine thing, but the pity is that it cannot be carried out." And we reply: "With you indeed it cannot be done, for your world is incapable of such an idea. You know only one anxiety and that is for your own personal existence. You have one God, and that is your money. We do not turn to you, however, for help, but to the great army of those who are too poor to consider their personal existence as the highest good on earth. They do not place their trust in money but in other gods, into whose hands they confide their lives. Above all we turn to the vast army of our German youth. They are coming to maturity in a great epoch, and they will fight against the evils which were due to the laziness and indifference of their fathers." Either the German youth will one day create a new State founded on the racial idea or they will be the last witnesses of the complete breakdown and death of the bourgeois world.
For if a generation suffers from defects which it recognizes and even admits and is nevertheless quite pleased with itself, as the bourgeois world is to-day, resorting to the cheap excuse that nothing can be done to remedy the situation, then such a generation is doomed to disaster. A marked characteristic of our bourgeois world is that they no longer can deny the evil conditions that exist. They have to admit that there is much which is foul and wrong; but they are not able to make up their minds to fight against that evil, which would mean putting forth the energy to mobilize the forces of 60 or 70 million people and thus oppose this menace. They do just the opposite. When such an effort is made elsewhere they only indulge in silly comment and try from a safe distance to show that such an enterprise is theoretically impossible and doomed to failure. No arguments are too stupid to be employed in the service of their own pettifogging opinions and their knavish moral attitude. If, for instance, a whole continent wages war against alcoholic intoxication, so as to free a whole people from this devastating vice, our bourgeois European does not know better than to look sideways stupidly, shake the head in doubt and ridicule the movement with a superior sneer – a state of mind which is effective in a society that is so ridiculous. But when all these stupidities miss their aim and in that part of the world this sublime and intangible attitude is treated effectively and success attends the movement, then such success is called into question or its importance minimized. Even moral principles are used in this slanderous campaign against a movement which aims at suppressing a great source of immorality.
No. We must not permit ourselves to be deceived by any illusions on this point. Our contemporary bourgeois world has become useless for any such noble human task because it has lost all high quality and is evil, not so much – as I think – because evil is wished but rather because these people are too indolent to rise up against it. That is why those political societies which call themselves ‘bourgeois parties’ are nothing but associations to promote the interests of certain professional groups and classes. Their highest aim is to defend their own egoistic interests as best they can. It is obvious that such a guild, consisting of bourgeois politicians, may be considered fit for anything rather than a struggle, especially when the adversaries are not cautious shopkeepers but the proletarian masses, goaded on to extremities and determined not to hesitate before deeds of violence.
If we consider it the first duty of the State to serve and promote the general welfare of the people, by preserving and encouraging the development of the best racial elements, the logical consequence is that this task cannot be limited to measures concerning the birth of the infant members of the race and nation but that the State will also have to adopt educational means for making each citizen a worthy factor in the further propagation of the racial stock.
Just as, in general, the racial quality is the preliminary condition for the mental efficiency of any given human material, the training of the individual will first of all have to be directed towards the development of sound bodily health. For the general rule is that a strong and healthy mind is found only in a strong and healthy body. The fact that men of genius are sometimes not robust in health and stature, or even of a sickly constitution, is no proof against the principle I have enunciated. These cases are only exceptions which, as everywhere else, prove the rule. But when the bulk of a nation is composed of physical degenerates it is rare for a great spirit to arise from such a miserable motley. And in any case his activities would never meet with great success. A degenerate mob will either be incapable of understanding him at all or their will-power is so feeble that they cannot follow the soaring of such an eagle.
The State that is grounded on the racial principle and is alive to the significance of this truth will first of all have to base its educational work not on the mere imparting of knowledge but rather on physical training and development of healthy bodies. The cultivation of the intellectual facilities comes only in the second place. And here again it is character which has to be developed first of all, strength of will and decision. And the educational system ought to foster the spirit of readiness to accept responsibilities gladly. Formal instruction in the sciences must be considered last in importance. Accordingly the State which is grounded on the racial idea must start with the principle that a person whose formal education in the sciences is relatively small but who is physically sound and robust, of a steadfast and honest character, ready and able to make decisions and endowed with strength of will, is a more useful member of the national community than a weakling who is scholarly and refined. A nation composed of learned men who are physical weaklings, hesitant about decisions of the will, and timid pacifists, is not capable of assuring even its own existence on this earth. In the bitter struggle which decides the destiny of man it is very rare that an individual has succumbed because he lacked learning. Those who fail are they who try to ignore these consequences and are too faint-hearted about putting them into effect. There must be a certain balance between mind and body. An ill-kept body is not made a more beautiful sight by the indwelling of a radiant spirit. We should not be acting justly if we were to bestow the highest intellectual training on those who are physically deformed and crippled, who lack decision and are weak-willed and cowardly. What has made the Greek ideal of beauty immortal is the wonderful union of a splendid physical beauty with nobility of mind and spirit.
Moltke’s saying, that in the long run fortune favours only the efficient, is certainly valid for the relationship between body and spirit. A mind which is sound will generally maintain its dwelling in a body that is sound.
Accordingly, in the People’s State physical training is not a matter for the individual alone. Nor is it a duty which first devolves on the parents and only secondly or thirdly a public interest; but it is necessary for the preservation of the people, who are represented and protected by the State. As regards purely formal education the State even now interferes with the individual’s right of self-determination and insists upon the right of the community by submitting the child to an obligatory system of training, without paying attention to the approval or disapproval of the parents. In a similar way and to a higher degree the new People’s State will one day make its authority prevail over the ignorance and incomprehension of individuals in problems appertaining to the safety of the nation. It must organize its educational work in such a way that the bodies of the young will be systematically trained from infancy onwards, so as to be tempered and hardened for the demands to be made on them in later years. Above all, the State must see to it that a generation of stay-at-homes is not developed.
The work of education and hygiene has to begin with the young mother. The painstaking efforts carried on for several decades have succeeded in abolishing septic infection at childbirth and reducing puerperal fever to a relatively small number of cases. And so it ought to be possible by means of instructing sisters and mothers in an opportune way, to institute a system of training the child from early infancy onwards so that this may serve as an excellent basis for future development.
The People’s State ought to allow much more time for physical training in the school. It is nonsense to burden young brains with a load of material of which, as experience shows, they retain only a small part, and mostly not the essentials, but only the secondary and useless portion; because the young mind is incapable of sifting the right kind of learning out of all the stuff that is pumped into it. To-day, even in the curriculum of the high schools, only two short hours in the week are reserved for gymnastics; and worse still, it is left to the pupils to decide whether or not they want to take part. This shows a grave disproportion between this branch of education and purely intellectual instruction. Not a single day should be allowed to pass in which the young pupil does not have one hour of physical training in the morning and one in the evening; and every kind of sport and gymnastics should be included. There is one kind of sport which should be specially encouraged, although many people who call themselves völkisch consider it brutal and vulgar, and that is boxing. It is incredible how many false notions prevail among the ‘cultivated’ classes. The fact that the young man learns how to fence and then spends his time in duels is considered quite natural and respectable. But boxing – that is brutal. Why? There is no other sport which equals this in developing the militant spirit, none that demands such a power of rapid decision or which gives the body the flexibility of good steel. It is no more vulgar when two young people settle their differences with their fists than with sharp-pointed pieces of steel. One who is attacked and defends himself with his fists surely does not act less manly than one who runs off and yells for the assistance of a policeman. But, above all, a healthy youth has to learn to endure hard knocks. This principle may appear savage to our contemporary champions who fight only with the weapons of the intellect. But it is not the purpose of the People’s State to educate a colony of æsthetic pacifists and physical degenerates. This State does not consider that the human ideal is to be found in the honourable philistine or the maidenly spinster, but in a dareful personification of manly force and in women capable of bringing men into the world.
Generally speaking, the function of sport is not only to make the individual strong, alert and daring, but also to harden the body and train it to endure an adverse environment.
If our superior class had not received such a distinguished education, and if, on the contrary, they had learned boxing, it would never have been possible for bullies and deserters and other such canaille to carry through a German revolution. For the success of this revolution was not due to the courageous, energetic and audacious activities of its authors but to the lamentable cowardice and irresolution of those who ruled the German State at that time and were responsible for it. But our educated leaders had received only an ‘intellectual’ training and thus found themselves defenceless when their adversaries used iron bars instead of intellectual weapons. All this could happen only because our superior scholastic system did not train men to be real men but merely to be civil servants, engineers, technicians, chemists, litterateurs, jurists and, finally, professors; so that intellectualism should not die out.
Our leadership in the purely intellectual sphere has always been brilliant, but as regards will-power in practical affairs our leadership has been beneath criticism.
Of course education cannot make a courageous man out of one who is temperamentally a coward. But a man who naturally possesses a certain degree of courage will not be able to develop that quality if his defective education has made him inferior to others from the very start as regards physical strength and prowess. The army offers the best example of the fact that the knowledge of one’s physical ability develops a man’s courage and militant spirit. Outstanding heroes are not the rule in the army, but the average represents men of high courage. The excellent schooling which the German soldiers received before the War imbued the members of the whole gigantic organism with a degree of confidence in their own superiority such as even our opponents never thought possible. All the immortal examples of dauntless courage and daring which the German armies gave during the late summer and autumn of 1914, as they advanced from triumph to triumph, were the result of that education which had been pursued systematically. During those long years of peace before the last War men who were almost physical weaklings were made capable of incredible deeds, and thus a self-confidence was developed which did not fail even in the most terrible battles.
It is our German people, which broke down and were delivered over to be kicked by the rest of the world, that had need of the power that comes by suggestion from self-confidence. But this confidence in one’s self must be instilled into our children from their very early years. The whole system of education and training must be directed towards fostering in the child the conviction that he is unquestionably a match for any- and everybody. The individual has to regain his own physical strength and prowess in order to believe in the invincibility of the nation to which he belongs. What has formerly led the German armies to victory was the sum total of the confidence which each individual had in himself, and which all of them had in those who held the positions of command. What will restore the national strength of the German people is the conviction that they will be able to reconquer their liberty. But this conviction can only be the final product of an equal feeling in the millions of individuals. And here again we must have no illusions.
The collapse of our people was overwhelming, and the efforts to put an end to so much misery must also be overwhelming. It would be a bitter and grave error to believe that our people could be made strong again simply by means of our present bourgeois training in good order and obedience. That will not suffice if we are to break up the present order of things, which now sanctions the acknowledgment of our defeat and cast the broken chains of our slavery in the face of our opponents. Only by a superabundance of national energy and a passionate thirst for liberty can we recover what has been lost.
Also the manner of clothing the young should be such as harmonizes with this purpose. It is really lamentable to see how our young people have fallen victims to a fashion mania which perverts the meaning of the old adage that clothes make the man.
Especially in regard to young people clothes should take their place in the service of education. The boy who walks about in summer-time wearing long baggy trousers and clad up to the neck is hampered even by his clothes in feeling any inclination towards strenuous physical exercise. Ambition and, to speak quite frankly, even vanity must be appealed to. I do not mean such vanity as leads people to want to wear fine clothes, which not everybody can afford, but rather the vanity which inclines a person towards developing a fine bodily physique. And this is something which everybody can help to do.
This will come in useful also for later years. The young girl must become acquainted with her sweetheart. If the beauty of the body were not completely forced into the background to-day through our stupid manner of dressing, it would not be possible for thousands of our girls to be led astray by Jewish mongrels, with their repulsive crooked waddle. It is also in the interests of the nation that those who have a beautiful physique should be brought into the foreground, so that they might encourage the development of a beautiful bodily form among the people in general.
Military training is excluded among us to-day, and therewith the only institution which in peace-times at least partly made up for the lack of physical training in our education. Therefore what I have suggested is all the more necessary in our time. The success of our old military training not only showed itself in the education of the individual but also in the influence which it exercised over the mutual relationship between the sexes. The young girl preferred the soldier to one who was not a soldier. The People’s State must not confine its control of physical training to the official school period, but it must demand that, after leaving school and while the adolescent body is still developing, the boy continues this training. For on such proper physical development success in after-life largely depends. It is stupid to think that the right of the State to supervise the education of its young citizens suddenly comes to an end the moment they leave school and recommences only with military service. This right is a duty, and as such it must continue uninterruptedly. The present State, which does not interest itself in developing healthy men, has criminally neglected this duty. It leaves our contemporary youth to be corrupted on the streets and in the brothels, instead of keeping hold of the reins and continuing the physical training of these youths up to the time when they are grown into healthy young men and women.
For the present it is a matter of indifference what form the State chooses for carrying on this training. The essential matter is that it should be developed and that the most suitable ways of doing so should be investigated. The People’s State will have to consider the physical training of the youth after the school period just as much a public duty as their intellectual training; and this training will have to be carried out through public institutions. Its general lines can be a preparation for subsequent service in the army. And then it will no longer be the task of the army to teach the young recruit the most elementary drill regulations. In fact the army will no longer have to deal with recruits in the present sense of the word, but it will rather have to transform into a soldier the youth whose bodily prowess has been already fully trained.
In the People’s State the army will no longer be obliged to teach boys how to walk and stand erect, but it will be the final and supreme school of patriotic education. In the army the young recruit will learn the art of bearing arms, but at the same time he will be equipped for his other duties in later life. And the supreme aim of military education must always be to achieve that which was attributed to the old army as its highest merit: namely, that through his military schooling the boy must be transformed into a man, that he must not only learn to obey but also acquire the fundamentals that will enable him one day to command. He must learn to remain silent not only when he is rightly rebuked but also when he is wrongly rebuked.
Furthermore, on the self-consciousness of his own strength and on the basis of that esprit de corps which inspires him and his comrades, he must become convinced that he belongs to a people who are invincible.
After he has completed his military training two certificates shall be handed to the soldier. The one will be his diploma as a citizen of the State, a juridical document which will enable him to take part in public affairs. The second will be an attestation of his physical health, which guarantees his fitness for marriage.
The People’s State will have to direct the education of girls just as that of boys and according to the same fundamental principles. Here again special importance must be given to physical training, and only after that must the importance of spiritual and mental training be taken into account. In the education of the girl the final goal always to be kept in mind is that she is one day to be a mother.
It is only in the second place that the People’s State must busy itself with the training of character, using all the means adapted to that purpose.
Of course the essential traits of the individual character are already there fundamentally before any education takes place. A person who is fundamentally egoistic will always remain fundamentally egoistic, and the idealist will always remain fundamentally an idealist. Besides those, however, who already possess a definite stamp of character there are millions of people with characters that are indefinite and vague. The born delinquent will always remain a delinquent, but numerous people who show only a certain tendency to commit criminal acts may become useful members of the community if rightly trained; whereas, on the other hand, weak and unstable characters may easily become evil elements if the system of education has been bad.
During the War it was often lamented that our people could be so little reticent. This failing made it very difficult to keep even highly important secrets from the knowledge of the enemy. But let us ask this question: What did the German educational system do in pre-War times to teach the Germans to be discreet? Did it not very often happen in schooldays that the little tell-tale was preferred to his companions who kept their mouths shut? Is it not true that then, as well as now, complaining about others was considered praiseworthy ‘candour’, while silent discretion was taken as obstinacy? Has any attempt ever been made to teach that discretion is a precious and manly virtue? No, for such matters are trifles in the eyes of our educators. But these trifles cost our State innumerable millions in legal expenses; for 90 per cent of all the processes for defamation and such like charges arise only from a lack of discretion. Remarks that are made without any sense of responsibility are thoughtlessly repeated from mouth to mouth; and our economic welfare is continually damaged because important methods of production are thus disclosed. Secret preparations for our national defence are rendered illusory because our people have never learned the duty of silence. They repeat everything they happen to hear. In times of war such talkative habits may even cause the loss of battles and therefore may contribute essentially to the unsuccessful outcome of a campaign. Here, as in other matters, we may rest assured that adults cannot do what they have not learnt to do in youth. A teacher must not try to discover the wild tricks of the boys by encouraging the evil practice of tale-bearing. Young people form a sort of State among themselves and face adults with a certain solidarity. That is quite natural. The ties which unite the ten-year boys to one another are stronger and more natural than their relationship to adults. A boy who tells on his comrades commits an act of treason and shows a bent of character which is, to speak bluntly, similar to that of a man who commits high treason. Such a boy must not be classed as ‘good’, ‘reliable’, and so on, but rather as one with undesirable traits of character. It may be rather convenient for the teacher to make use of such unworthy tendencies in order to help his own work, but by such an attitude the germ of a moral habit is sown in young hearts and may one day show fatal consequences. It has happened more often than once that a young informer developed into a big scoundrel.
This is only one example among many. The deliberate training of fine and noble traits of character in our schools to-day is almost negative. In the future much more emphasis will have to be laid on this side of our educational work. Loyalty, self-sacrifice and discretion are virtues which a great nation must possess. And the teaching and development of these in the school is a more important matter than many others things now included in the curriculum. To make the children give up habits of complaining and whining and howling when they are hurt, etc., also belongs to this part of their training. If the educational system fails to teach the child at an early age to endure pain and injury without complaining we cannot be surprised if at a later age, when the boy has grown to be the man and is, for example, in the trenches, the postal service is used for nothing else than to send home letters of weeping and complaint. If our youths, during their years in the primary schools, had had their minds crammed with a little less knowledge, and if instead they had been better taught how to be masters of themselves, it would have served us well during the years 1914–1918.
In its educational system the People’s State will have to attach the highest importance to the development of character, hand-in-hand with physical training. Many more defects which our national organism shows at present could be at least ameliorated, if not completely eliminated, by education of the right kind.
Extreme importance should be attached to the training of will-power and the habit of making firm decisions, also the habit of being always ready to accept responsibilities.
In the training of our old army the principle was in vogue that any order is always better than no order. Applied to our youth this principle ought to take the form that any answer is better than no answer. The fear of replying, because one fears to be wrong, ought to be considered more humiliating than giving the wrong reply. On this simple and primitive basis our youth should be trained to have the courage to act.
It has been often lamented that in November and December 1918 all the authorities lost their heads and that, from the monarch down to the last divisional commander, nobody had sufficient mettle to make a decision on his own responsibility. That terrible fact constitutes a grave rebuke to our educational system; because what was then revealed on a colossal scale at that moment of catastrophe was only what happens on a smaller scale everywhere among us. It is the lack of will-power, and not the lack of arms, which renders us incapable of offering any serious resistance to-day. This defect is found everywhere among our people and prevents decisive action wherever risks have to be taken, as if any great action can be taken without also taking the risk. Quite unsuspectingly, a German General found a formula for this lamentable lack of the will-to-act when he said: "I act only when I can count on a 51 per cent probability of success." In that ‘51 per cent probability’ we find the very root of the German collapse. The man who demands from Fate a guarantee of his success deliberately denies the significance of an heroic act. For this significance consists in the very fact that, in the definite knowledge that the situation in question is fraught with mortal danger, an action is undertaken which may lead to success. A patient suffering from cancer and who knows that his death is certain if he does not undergo an operation, needs no 51 per cent probability of a cure before facing the operation. And if the operation promises only half of one per cent probability of success a man of courage will risk it and would not whine if it turned out unsuccessful.
All in all, the cowardly lack of will-power and the incapacity for making decisions are chiefly results of the erroneous education given us in our youth. The disastrous effects of this are now widespread among us. The crowning examples of that tragic chain of consequences are shown in the lack of civil courage which our leading statesmen display.
The cowardice which leads nowadays to the shirking of every kind of responsibility springs from the same roots. Here again it is the fault of the education given our young people. This drawback permeates all sections of public life and finds its immortal consummation in the institutions of government that function under the parliamentary regime.
Already in the school, unfortunately, more value is placed on ‘confession and full repentance’ and ‘contrite renouncement’, on the part of little sinners, than on a simple and frank avowal. But this latter seems to-day, in the eyes of many an educator, to savour of a spirit of utter incorrigibility and depravation. And, though it may seem incredible, many a boy is told that the gallows tree is waiting for him because he has shown certain traits which might be of inestimable value in the nation as a whole.
Just as the People’s State must one day give its attention to training the will-power and capacity for decision among the youth, so too it must inculcate in the hearts of the young generation from early childhood onwards a readiness to accept responsibilities, and the courage of open and frank avowal. If it recognizes the full significance of this necessity, finally – after a century of educative work – it will succeed in building up a nation which will no longer be subject to those defeats that have contributed so disastrously to bring about our present overthrow.
The formal imparting of knowledge, which constitutes the chief work of our educational system to-day, will be taken over by the People’s State with only few modifications. These modifications must be made in three branches.
First of all, the brains of the young people must not generally be burdened with subjects of which ninety-five per cent are useless to them and are therefore forgotten again. The curriculum of the primary and secondary schools presents an odd mixture at the present time. In many branches of study the subject matter to be learned has become so enormous that only a very small fraction of it can be remembered later on, and indeed only a very small fraction of this whole mass of knowledge can be used. On the other hand, what is learned is insufficient for anybody who wishes to specialize in any certain branch for the purpose of earning his daily bread. Take, for example, the average civil servant who has passed through the Gymnasium or High School, and ask him at the age of thirty or forty how much he has retained of the knowledge that was crammed into him with so much pains.
How much is retained from all that was stuffed into his brain? He will certainly answer: "Well, if a mass of stuff was then taught, it was not for the sole purpose of supplying the student with a great stock of knowledge from which he could draw in later years, but it served to develop the understanding, the memory, and above all it helped to strengthen the thinking powers of the brain." That is partly true. And yet it is somewhat dangerous to submerge a young brain in a flood of impressions which it can hardly master and the single elements of which it cannot discern or appreciate at their just value. It is mostly the essential part of this knowledge, and not the accidental, that is forgotten and sacrificed. Thus the principal purpose of this copious instruction is frustrated, for that purpose cannot be to make the brain capable of learning by simply offering it an enormous and varied amount of subjects for acquisition, but rather to furnish the individual with that stock of knowledge which he will need in later life and which he can use for the good of the community. This aim, however, is rendered illusory if, because of the superabundance of subjects that have been crammed into his head in childhood, a person is able to remember nothing, or at least not the essential portion, of all this in later life. There is no reason why millions of people should learn two or three languages during the school years, when only a very small fraction will have the opportunity to use these languages in later life and when most of them will therefore forget those languages completely. To take an instance: Out of 100,000 students who learn French there are probably not 2,000 who will be in a position to make use of this accomplishment in later life, while 98,000 will never have a chance to utilize in practice what they have learned in youth. They have spent thousands of hours on a subject which will afterwards be without any value or importance to them. The argument that these matters form part of the general process of educating the mind is invalid. It would be sound if all these people were able to use this learning in after life. But, as the situation stands, 98,000 are tortured to no purpose and waste their valuable time, only for the sake of the 2,000 to whom the language will be of any use.
In the case of that language which I have chosen as an example it cannot be said that the learning of it educates the student in logical thinking or sharpens his mental acumen, as the learning of Latin, for instance, might be said to do. It would therefore be much better to teach young students only the general outline, or, better, the inner structure of such a language: that is to say, to allow them to discern the characteristic features of the language, or perhaps to make them acquainted with the rudiments of its grammar, its pronunciation, its syntax, style, etc. That would be sufficient for average students, because it would provide a clearer view of the whole and could be more easily remembered. And it would be more practical than the present-day attempt to cram into their heads a detailed knowledge of the whole language, which they can never master and which they will readily forget. If this method were adopted, then we should avoid the danger that, out of the superabundance of matter taught, only some fragments will remain in the memory; for the youth would then have to learn what is worth while, and the selection between the useful and the useless would thus have been made beforehand.
As regards the majority of students the knowledge and understanding of the rudiments of a language would be quite sufficient for the rest of their lives. And those who really do need this language subsequently would thus have a foundation on which to start, should they choose to make a more thorough study of it.
By adopting such a curriculum the necessary amount of time would be gained for physical exercises as well as for a more intense training in the various educational fields that have already been mentioned.
A reform of particular importance is that which ought to take place in the present methods of teaching history. Scarcely any other people are made to study as much of history as the Germans, and scarcely any other people make such a bad use of their historical knowledge. If politics means history in the making, then our way of teaching history stands condemned by the way we have conducted our politics. But there would be no point in bewailing the lamentable results of our political conduct unless one is now determined to give our people a better political education. In 99 out of 100 cases the results of our present teaching of history are deplorable. Usually only a few dates, years of birth and names, remain in the memory, while a knowledge of the main and clearly defined lines of historical development is completely lacking. The essential features which are of real significance are not taught. It is left to the more or less bright intelligence of the individual to discover the inner motivating urge amid the mass of dates and chronological succession of events.
You may object as strongly as you like to this unpleasant statement. But read with attention the speeches which our parliamentarians make during one session alone on political problems and on questions of foreign policy in particular. Remember that those gentlemen are, or claim to be, the elite of the German nation and that at least a great number of them have sat on the benches of our secondary schools and that many of them have passed through our universities. Then you will realize how defective the historical education of these people has been. If these gentlemen had never studied history at all but had possessed a sound instinct for public affairs, things would have gone better, and the nation would have benefited greatly thereby.
The subject matter of our historical teaching must be curtailed. The chief value of that teaching is to make the principal lines of historical development understood. The more our historical teaching is limited to this task, the more we may hope that it will turn out subsequently to be of advantage to the individual and, through the individual, to the community as a whole. For history must not be studied merely with a view to knowing what happened in the past but as a guide for the future, and to teach us what policy would be the best to follow for the preservation of our own people. That is the real end; and the teaching of history is only a means to attain this end. But here again the means has superseded the end in our contemporary education. The goal is completely forgotten. Do not reply that a profound study of history demands a detailed knowledge of all these dates because otherwise we could not fix the great lines of development. That task belongs to the professional historians. But the average man is not a professor of history. For him history has only one mission and that is to provide him with such an amount of historical knowledge as is necessary in order to enable him to form an independent opinion on the political affairs of his own country. The man who wants to become a professor of history can devote himself to all the details later on. Naturally he will have to occupy himself even with the smallest details. Of course our present teaching of history is not adequate to all this. Its scope is too vast for the average student and too limited for the student who wishes to be an historical expert.
Finally, it is the business of the People’s State to arrange for the writing of a world history in which the race problem will occupy a dominant position.
To sum up: The People’s State must reconstruct our system of general instruction in such a way that it will embrace only what is essential. Beyond this it will have to make provision for a more advanced teaching in the various subjects for those who want to specialize in them. It will suffice for the average individual to be acquainted with the fundamentals of the various subjects to serve as the basis of what may be called an all-round education. He ought to study exhaustively and in detail only that subject in which he intends to work during the rest of his life. A general instruction in all subjects should be obligatory, and specialization should be left to the choice of the individual.
In this way the scholastic programme would be shortened, and thus several school hours would be gained which could be utilized for physical training and character training, in will-power, the capacity for making practical judgments, decisions, etc.
The little account taken by our school training to-day, especially in the secondary schools, of the callings that have to be followed in after life is demonstrated by the fact that men who are destined for the same calling in life are educated in three different kinds of schools. What is of decisive importance is general education only and not the special teaching. When special knowledge is needed it cannot be given in the curriculum of our secondary schools as they stand to-day.
Therefore the People’s State will one day have to abolish such half-measures.
The second modification in the curriculum which the People’s State will have to make is the following:
It is a characteristic of our materialistic epoch that our scientific education shows a growing emphasis on what is real and practical: such subjects, for instance, as applied mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. Of course they are necessary in an age that is dominated by industrial technology and chemistry, and where everyday life shows at least the external manifestations of these. But it is a perilous thing to base the general culture of a nation on the knowledge of these subjects. On the contrary, that general culture ought always to be directed towards ideals. It ought to be founded on the humanist disciplines and should aim at giving only the ground work of further specialized instruction in the various practical sciences. Otherwise we should sacrifice those forces that are more important for the preservation of the nation than any technical knowledge. In the historical department the study of ancient history should not be omitted. Roman history, along general lines, is and will remain the best teacher, not only for our own time but also for the future. And the ideal of Hellenic culture should be preserved for us in all its marvellous beauty. The differences between the various peoples should not prevent us from recognizing the community of race which unites them on a higher plane. The conflict of our times is one that is being waged around great objectives. A civilization is fighting for its existence. It is a civilization that is the product of thousands of years of historical development, and the Greek as well as the German forms part of it.
A clear-cut division must be made between general culture and the special branches. To-day the latter threaten more and more to devote themselves exclusively to the service of Mammon. To counterbalance this tendency, general culture should be preserved, at least in its ideal forms. The principle should be repeatedly emphasized, that industrial and technical progress, trade and commerce, can flourish only so long as a folk community exists whose general system of thought is inspired by ideals, since that is the preliminary condition for a flourishing development of the enterprises I have spoken of. That condition is not created by a spirit of materialist egotism but by a spirit of self-denial and the joy of giving one’s self in the service of others.
The system of education which prevails to-day sees its principal object in pumping into young people that knowledge which will help them to make their way in life. This principle is expressed in the following terms: "The young man must one day become a useful member of human society." By that phrase they mean the ability to gain an honest daily livelihood. The superficial training in the duties of good citizenship, which he acquires merely as an accidental thing, has very weak foundations. For in itself the State represents only a form, and therefore it is difficult to train people to look upon this form as the ideal which they will have to serve and towards which they must feel responsible. A form can be too easily broken. But, as we have seen, the idea which people have of the State to-day does not represent anything clearly defined. Therefore, there is nothing but the usual stereotyped ‘patriotic’ training. In the old Germany the greatest emphasis was placed on the divine right of the small and even the smallest potentates. The way in which this divine right was formulated and presented was never very clever and often very stupid. Because of the large numbers of those small potentates, it was impossible to give adequate biographical accounts of the really great personalities that shed their lustre on the history of the German people. The result was that the broad masses received a very inadequate knowledge of German history. Here, too, the great lines of development were missing.
It is evident that in such a way no real national enthusiasm could be aroused. Our educational system proved incapable of selecting from the general mass of our historical personages the names of a few personalities which the German people could be proud to look upon as their own. Thus the whole nation might have been united by the ties of a common knowledge of this common heritage. The really important figures in German history were not presented to the present generation. The attention of the whole nation was not concentrated on them for the purpose of awakening a common national spirit. From the various subjects that were taught, those who had charge of our training seemed incapable of selecting what redounded most to the national honour and lifting that above the common objective level, in order to inflame the national pride in the light of such brilliant examples. At that time such a course would have been looked upon as rank chauvinism, which did not then have a very pleasant savour. Pettifogging dynastic patriotism was more acceptable and more easily tolerated than the glowing fire of a supreme national pride. The former could be always pressed into service, whereas the latter might one day become a dominating force. Monarchist patriotism terminated in Associations of Veterans, whereas passionate national patriotism might have opened a road which would be difficult to determine. This national passion is like a highly tempered thoroughbred who is discriminate about the sort of rider he will tolerate in the saddle. No wonder that most people preferred to shirk such a danger. Nobody seemed to think it possible that one day a war might come which would put the mettle of this kind of patriotism to the test, in artillery bombardment and waves of attacks with poison gas. But when it did come our lack of this patriotic passion was avenged in a terrible way. None were very enthusiastic about dying for their imperial and royal sovereigns; while on the other hand the ‘Nation’ was not recognized by the greater number of the soldiers.
Since the revolution broke out in Germany and the monarchist patriotism was therefore extinguished, the purpose of teaching history was nothing more than to add to the stock of objective knowledge. The present State has no use for patriotic enthusiasm; but it will never obtain what it really desires. For if dynastic patriotism failed to produce a supreme power of resistance at a time when the principle of nationalism dominated, it will be still less possible to arouse republican enthusiasm. There can be no doubt that the German people would not have stood on the field of battle for four and a half years to fight under the battle slogan ‘For the Republic,’ and least of all those who created this grand institution.
In reality this Republic has been allowed to exist undisturbed only by grace of its readiness and its promise to all and sundry, to pay tribute and reparations to the stranger and to put its signature to any kind of territorial renunciation. The rest of the world finds it sympathetic, just as a weakling is always more pleasing to those who want to bend him to their own uses than is a man who is made of harder metal. But the fact that the enemy likes this form of government is the worst kind of condemnation. They love the German Republic and tolerate its existence because no better instrument could be found which would help them to keep our people in slavery. It is to this fact alone that this magnanimous institution owes its survival. And that is why it can renounce any real system of national education and can feel satisfied when the heroes of the Reich banner shout their hurrahs, but in reality these same heroes would scamper away like rabbits if called upon to defend that banner with their blood.
The People’s State will have to fight for its existence. It will not gain or secure this existence by signing documents like that of the Dawes Plan. But for its existence and defence it will need precisely those things which our present system believes can be repudiated. The more worthy its form and its inner national being. the greater will be the envy and opposition of its adversaries. The best defence will not be in the arms it possesses but in its citizens. Bastions of fortresses will not save it, but the living wall of its men and women, filled with an ardent love for their country and a passionate spirit of national patriotism.
Therefore the third point which will have to be considered in relation to our educational system is the following:
The People’s State must realize that the sciences may also be made a means of promoting a spirit of pride in the nation. Not only the history of the world but the history of civilization as a whole must be taught in the light of this principle. An inventor must appear great not only as an inventor but also, and even more so, as a member of the nation. The admiration aroused by the contemplation of a great achievement must be transformed into a feeling of pride and satisfaction that a man of one’s own race has been chosen to accomplish it. But out of the abundance of great names in German history the greatest will have to be selected and presented to our young generation in such a way as to become solid pillars of strength to support the national spirit.
The subject matter ought to be systematically organized from the standpoint of this principle. And the teaching should be so orientated that the boy or girl, after leaving school, will not be a semi-pacifist, a democrat or of something else of that kind, but a whole-hearted German. So that this national feeling be sincere from the very beginning, and not a mere pretence, the following fundamental and inflexible principle should be impressed on the young brain while it is yet malleable: The man who loves his nation can prove the sincerity of this sentiment only by being ready to make sacrifices for the nation’s welfare. There is no such thing as a national sentiment which is directed towards personal interests. And there is no such thing as a nationalism that embraces only certain classes. Hurrahing proves nothing and does not confer the right to call oneself national if behind that shout there is no sincere preoccupation for the conservation of the nation’s well-being. One can be proud of one’s people only if there is no class left of which one need to be ashamed. When one half of a nation is sunk in misery and worn out by hard distress, or even depraved or degenerate, that nation presents such an unattractive picture that nobody can feel proud to belong to it. It is only when a nation is sound in all its members, physically and morally, that the joy of belonging to it can properly be intensified to the supreme feeling which we call national pride. But this pride, in its highest form, can be felt only by those who know the greatness of their nation.
The spirit of nationalism and a feeling for social justice must be fused into one sentiment in the hearts of the youth. Then a day will come when a nation of citizens will arise which will be welded together through a common love and a common pride that shall be invincible and indestructible for ever.
The dread of chauvinism, which is a symptom of our time, is a sign of its impotence. Since our epoch not only lacks everything in the nature of exuberant energy but even finds such a manifestation disagreeable, fate will never elect it for the accomplishment of any great deeds. For the greatest changes that have taken place on this earth would have been inconceivable if they had not been inspired by ardent and even hysterical passions, but only by the bourgeois virtues of peacefulness and order.
One thing is certain: our world is facing a great revolution. The only question is whether the outcome will be propitious for the Aryan portion of mankind or whether the everlasting Jew will profit by it.
By educating the young generation along the right lines, the People’s State will have to see to it that a generation of mankind is formed which will be adequate to this supreme combat that will decide the destinies of the world.
That nation will conquer which will be the first to take this road.
The whole organization of education and training which the People’s State is to build up must take as its crowning task the work of instilling into the hearts and brains of the youth entrusted to it the racial instinct and understanding of the racial idea. No boy or girl must leave school without having attained a clear insight into the meaning of racial purity and the importance of maintaining the racial blood unadulterated. Thus the first indispensable condition for the preservation of our race will have been established and thus the future cultural progress of our people will be assured.
For in the last analysis all physical and mental training would be in vain unless it served an entity which is ready and determined to carry on its own existence and maintain its own characteristic qualities.
If it were otherwise, something would result which we Germans have cause to regret already, without perhaps having hitherto recognized the extent of the tragic calamity. We should be doomed to remain also in the future only manure for civilization. And that not in the banal sense of the contemporary bourgeois mind, which sees in a lost fellow member of our people only a lost citizen, but in a sense which we should have painfully to recognize: namely, that our racial blood would be destined to disappear. By continually mixing with other races we might lift them from their former lower level of civilization to a higher grade; but we ourselves should descend for ever from the heights we had reached.
Finally, from the racial standpoint this training also must find its culmination in the military service. The term of military service is to be a final stage of the normal training which the average German receives.
While the People’s State attaches the greatest importance to physical and mental training, it has also to consider, and no less importantly, the task of selecting men for the service of the State itself. This important matter is passed over lightly at the present time. Generally the children of parents who are for the time being in higher situations are in their turn considered worthy of a higher education. Here talent plays a subordinate part. But talent can be estimated only relatively. Though in general culture he may be inferior to the city child, a peasant boy may be more talented than the son of a family that has occupied high positions through many generations. But the superior culture of the city child has in itself nothing to do with a greater or lesser degree of talent; for this culture has its roots in the more copious mass of impressions which arise from the more varied education and the surroundings among which this child lives. If the intelligent son of peasant parents were educated from childhood in similar surroundings his intellectual accomplishments would be quite otherwise. In our day there is only one sphere where the family in which a person has been born means less than his innate gifts. That is the sphere of art. Here, where a person cannot just ‘learn,’ but must have innate gifts that later on may undergo a more or less happy development (in the sense of a wise development of what is already there), money and parental property are of no account. This is a good proof that genius is not necessarily connected with the higher social strata or with wealth. Not rarely the greatest artists come from poor families. And many a boy from the country village has eventually become a celebrated master.
It does not say much for the mental acumen of our time that advantage is not taken of this truth for the sake of our whole intellectual life. The opinion is advanced that this principle, though undoubtedly valid in the field of art, has not the same validity in regard to what are called the applied sciences. It is true that a man can be trained to a certain amount of mechanical dexterity, just as a poodle can be taught incredible tricks by a clever master. But such training does not bring the animal to use his intelligence in order to carry out those tricks. And the same holds good in regard to man. It is possible to teach men, irrespective of talent or no talent, to go through certain scientific exercises, but in such cases the results are quite as inanimate and mechanical as in the case of the animal. It would even be possible to force a person of mediocre intelligence, by means of a severe course of intellectual drilling, to acquire more than the average amount of knowledge; but that knowledge would remain sterile. The result would be a man who might be a walking dictionary of knowledge but who will fail miserably on every critical occasion in life and at every juncture where vital decisions have to be taken. Such people need to be drilled specially for every new and even most insignificant task and will never be capable of contributing in the least to the general progress of mankind. Knowledge that is merely drilled into people can at best qualify them to fill government positions under our present regime.
It goes without saying that, among the sum total of individuals who make up a nation, gifted people are always to be found in every sphere of life. It is also quite natural that the value of knowledge will be all the greater the more vitally the dead mass of learning is animated by the innate talent of the individual who possesses it. Creative work in this field can be done only through the marriage of knowledge and talent.
One example will suffice to show how much our contemporary world is at fault in this matter. From time to time our illustrated papers publish, for the edification of the German philistine, the news that in some quarter or other of the globe, and for the first time in that locality, a Negro has become a lawyer, a teacher, a pastor, even a grand opera tenor or something else of that kind. While the bourgeois blockhead stares with amazed admiration at the notice that tells him how marvellous are the achievements of our modern educational technique, the more cunning Jew sees in this fact a new proof to be utilized for the theory with which he wants to infect the public, namely that all men are equal. It does not dawn on the murky bourgeois mind that the fact which is published for him is a sin against reason itself, that it is an act of criminal insanity to train a being who is only an anthropoid by birth until the pretence can be made that he has been turned into a lawyer; while, on the other hand, millions who belong to the most civilized races have to remain in positions which are unworthy of their cultural level. The bourgeois mind does not realize that it is a sin against the will of the eternal Creator to allow hundreds of thousands of highly gifted people to remain floundering in the swamp of proletarian misery while Hottentots and Zulus are drilled to fill positions in the intellectual professions. For here we have the product only of a drilling technique, just as in the case of the performing dog. If the same amount of care and effort were applied among intelligent races each individual would become a thousand times more capable in such matters.
This state of affairs would become intolerable if a day should arrive when it no longer refers to exceptional cases. But the situation is already intolerable where talent and natural gifts are not taken as decisive factors in qualifying for the right to a higher education. It is indeed intolerable to think that year after year hundreds of thousands of young people without a single vestige of talent are deemed worthy of a higher education, while other hundreds of thousands who possess high natural gifts have to go without any sort of higher schooling at all. The practical loss thus caused to the nation is incalculable. If the number of important discoveries which have been made in America has grown considerably in recent years one of the reasons is that the number of gifted persons belonging to the lowest social classes who were given a higher education in that country is proportionately much larger than in Europe.
A stock of knowledge packed into the brain will not suffice for the making of discoveries. What counts here is only that knowledge which is illuminated by natural talent. But with us at the present time no value is placed on such gifts. Only good school reports count.
Here is another educative work that is waiting for the People’s State to do. It will not be its task to assure a dominant influence to a certain social class already existing, but it will be its duty to attract the most competent brains in the total mass of the nation and promote them to place and honour. It is not merely the duty of the State to give to the average child a certain definite education in the primary school, but it is also its duty to open the road to talent in the proper direction. And above all, it must open the doors of the higher schools under the State to talent of every sort, no matter in what social class it may appear. This is an imperative necessity; for thus alone will it be possible to develop a talented body of public leaders from the class which represents learning that in itself is only a dead mass.
There is still another reason why the State should provide for this situation. Our intellectual class, particularly in Germany, is so shut up in itself and fossilized that it lacks living contact with the classes beneath it. Two evil consequences result from this: First, the intellectual class neither understands nor sympathizes with the broad masses. It has been so long cut off from all connection with them that it cannot now have the necessary psychological ties that would enable it to understand them. It has become estranged from the people. Secondly, the intellectual class lacks the necessary will-power; for this faculty is always weaker in cultivated circles, which live in seclusion, than among the primitive masses of the people. God knows we Germans have never been lacking in abundant scientific culture, but we have always had a considerable lack of will-power and the capacity for making decisions. For example, the more ‘intellectual’ our statesmen have been the more lacking they have been, for the most part, in practical achievement. Our political preparation and our technical equipment for the world war were defective, certainly not because the brains governing the nation were too little educated, but because the men who directed our public affairs were over-educated, filled to over-flowing with knowledge and intelligence, yet without any sound instinct and simply without energy, or any spirit of daring. It was our nation’s tragedy to have to fight for its existence under a Chancellor who was a dillydallying philosopher. If instead of a Bethmann von Hollweg we had had a rough man of the people as our leader the heroic blood of the common grenadier would not have been shed in vain. The exaggeratedly intellectual material out of which our leaders were made proved to be the best ally of the scoundrels who carried out the November revolution. These intellectuals safeguarded the national wealth in a miserly fashion, instead of launching it forth and risking it, and thus they set the conditions on which the others won success.
Here the Catholic Church presents an instructive example. Clerical celibacy forces the Church to recruit its priests not from their own ranks but progressively from the masses of the people. Yet there are not many who recognize the significance of celibacy in this relation. But therein lies the cause of the inexhaustible vigour which characterizes that ancient institution. For by thus unceasingly recruiting the ecclesiastical dignitaries from the lower classes of the people, the Church is enabled not only to maintain the contact of instinctive understanding with the masses of the population but also to assure itself of always being able to draw upon that fund of energy which is present in this form only among the popular masses. Hence the surprising youthfulness of that gigantic organism, its mental flexibility and its iron will-power.
It will be the task of the Peoples’ State so to organize and administer its educational system that the existing intellectual class will be constantly furnished with a supply of fresh blood from beneath. From the bulk of the nation the State must sift out with careful scrutiny those persons who are endowed with natural talents and see that they are employed in the service of the community. For neither the State itself nor the various departments of State exist to furnish revenues for members of a special class, but to fulfil the tasks allotted to them. This will be possible, however, only if the State trains individuals specially for these offices. Such individuals must have the necessary fundamental capabilities and will-power. The principle does not hold true only in regard to the civil service but also in regard to all those who are to take part in the intellectual and moral leadership of the people, no matter in what sphere they may be employed. The greatness of a people is partly dependent on the condition that it must succeed in training the best brains for those branches of the public service for which they show a special natural aptitude and in placing them in the offices where they can do their best work for the good of the community. If two nations of equal strength and quality engage in a mutual conflict that nation will come out victorious which has entrusted its intellectual and moral leadership to its best talents and that nation will go under whose government represents only a common food trough for privileged groups or classes and where the inner talents of its individual members are not availed of.
Of course such a reform seems impossible in the world as it is to-day. The objection will at once be raised, that it is too much to expect from the favourite son of a highly-placed civil servant, for instance, that he shall work with his hands simply because somebody else whose parents belong to the working-class seems more capable for a job in the civil service. That argument may be valid as long as manual work is looked upon in the same way as it is looked upon to-day. Hence the Peoples’ State will have to take up an attitude towards the appreciation of manual labour which will be fundamentally different from that which now exists. If necessary, it will have to organize a persistent system of teaching which will aim at abolishing the present-day stupid habit of looking down on physical labour as an occupation to be ashamed of.
The individual will have to be valued, not by the class of work he does but by the way in which he does it and by its usefulness to the community. This statement may sound monstrous in an epoch when the most brainless columnist on a newspaper staff is more esteemed than the most expert mechanic, merely because the former pushes a pen. But, as I have said, this false valuation does not correspond to the nature of things. It has been artificially introduced, and there was a time when it did not exist at all. The present unnatural state of affairs is one of those general morbid phenomena that have arisen from our materialistic epoch. Fundamentally every kind of work has a double value; the one material, the other ideal. The material value depends on the practical importance of the work to the life of the community. The greater the number of the population who benefit from the work, directly or indirectly, the higher will be its material value. This evaluation is expressed in the material recompense which the individual receives for his labour. In contradistinction to this purely material value there is the ideal value. Here the work performed is not judged by its material importance but by the degree to which it answers a necessity. Certainly the material utility of an invention may be greater than that of the service rendered by an everyday workman; but it is also certain that the community needs each of those small daily services just as much as the greater services. From the material point of view a distinction can be made in the evaluation of different kinds of work according to their utility to the community, and this distinction is expressed by the differentiation in the scale of recompense; but on the ideal or abstract plans all workmen become equal the moment each strives to do his best in his own field, no matter what that field may be. It is on this that a man’s value must be estimated, and not on the amount of recompense received.
In a reasonably directed State care must be taken that each individual is given the kind of work which corresponds to his capabilities. In other words, people will be trained for the positions indicated by their natural endowments; but these endowments or faculties are innate and cannot be acquired by any amount of training, being a gift from Nature and not merited by men. Therefore, the way in which men are generally esteemed by their fellow-citizens must not be according to the kind of work they do, because that has been more or less assigned to the individual. Seeing that the kind of work in which the individual is employed is to be accounted to his inborn gifts and the resultant training which he has received from the community, he will have to be judged by the way in which he performs this work entrusted to him by the community. For the work which the individual performs is not the purpose of his existence, but only a means. His real purpose in life is to better himself and raise himself to a higher level as a human being; but this he can only do in and through the community whose cultural life he shares. And this community must always exist on the foundations on which the State is based. He ought to contribute to the conservation of those foundations. Nature determines the form of this contribution. It is the duty of the individual to return to the community, zealously and honestly, what the community has given him. He who does this deserves the highest respect and esteem. Material remuneration may be given to him whose work has a corresponding utility for the community; but the ideal recompense must lie in the esteem to which everybody has a claim who serves his people with whatever powers Nature has bestowed upon him and which have been developed by the training he has received from the national community. Then it will no longer be dishonourable to be an honest craftsman; but it will be a cause of disgrace to be an inefficient State official, wasting God’s day and filching daily bread from an honest public. Then it will be looked upon as quite natural that positions should not be given to persons who of their very nature are incapable of filling them.
Furthermore, this personal efficiency will be the sole criterion of the right to take part on an equal juridical footing in general civil affairs.
The present epoch is working out its own ruin. It introduces universal suffrage, chatters about equal rights but can find no foundation for this equality. It considers the material wage as the expression of a man’s value and thus destroys the basis of the noblest kind of equality that can exist. For equality cannot and does not depend on the work a man does, but only on the manner in which each one does the particular work allotted to him. Thus alone will mere natural chance be set aside in determining the work of a man and thus only does the individual become the artificer of his own social worth.
At the present time, when whole groups of people estimate each other’s value only by the size of the salaries which they respectively receive, there will be no understanding of all this. But that is no reason why we should cease to champion those ideas. Quite the opposite: in an epoch which is inwardly diseased and decaying anyone who would heal it must have the courage first to lay bare the real roots of the disease. And the National Socialist Movement must take that duty on its shoulders. It will have to lift its voice above the heads of the small bourgeoisie and rally together and co-ordinate all those popular forces which are ready to become the protagonists of a new Weltanschhauung.
Of course the objection will be made that in general it is difficult to differentiate between the material and ideal values of work and that the lower prestige which is attached to physical labour is due to the fact that smaller wages are paid for that kind of work. It will be said that the lower wage is in its turn the reason why the manual worker has less chance to participate in the culture of the nation; so that the ideal side of human culture is less open to him because it has nothing to do with his daily activities. It may be added that the reluctance to do physical work is justified by the fact that, on account of the small income, the cultural level of manual labourers must naturally be low, and that this in turn is a justification for the lower estimation in which manual labour is generally held.
There is quite a good deal of truth in all this. But that is the very reason why we ought to see that in the future there should not be such a wide difference in the scale of remuneration. Don’t say that under such conditions poorer work would be done. It would be the saddest symptom of decadence if finer intellectual work could be obtained only through the stimulus of higher payment. If that point of view had ruled the world up to now humanity would never have acquired its greatest scientific and cultural heritage. For all the greatest inventions, the greatest discoveries, the most profoundly revolutionary scientific work, and the most magnificent monuments of human culture, were never given to the world under the impulse or compulsion of money. Quite the contrary: not rarely was their origin associated with a renunciation of the worldly pleasures that wealth can purchase.
It may be that money has become the one power that governs life to-day. Yet a time will come when men will again bow to higher gods. Much that we have to-day owes its existence to the desire for money and property; but there is very little among all this which would leave the world poorer by its lack.
It is also one of the aims before our movement to hold out the prospect of a time when the individual will be given what he needs for the purposes of his life and it will be a time in which, on the other hand, the principle will be upheld that man does not live for material enjoyment alone. This principle will find expression in a wiser scale of wages and salaries which will enable everyone, including the humblest workman who fulfils his duties conscientiously, to live an honourable and decent life both as a man and as a citizen. Let it not be said that this is merely a visionary ideal, that this world would never tolerate it in practice and that of itself it is impossible to attain.
Even we are not so simple as to believe that there will ever be an age in which there will be no drawbacks. But that does not release us from the obligation to fight for the removal of the defects which we have recognized, to overcome the shortcomings and to strive towards the ideal. In any case the hard reality of the facts to be faced will always place only too many limits to our aspirations. But that is precisely why man must strive again and again to serve the ultimate aim and no failures must induce him to renounce his intentions, just as we cannot spurn the sway of justice because mistakes creep into the administration of the law, and just as we cannot despise medical science because, in spite of it, there will always be diseases.
Man should take care not to have too low an estimate of the power of an ideal. If there are some who may feel disheartened over the present conditions, and if they happen to have served as soldiers, I would remind them of the time when their heroism was the most convincing example of the power inherent in ideal motives. It was not preoccupation about their daily bread that led men to sacrifice their lives, but the love of their country, the faith which they had in its greatness, and an all round feeling for the honour of the nation. Only after the German people had become estranged from these ideals, to follow the material promises offered by the Revolution, only after they threw away their arms to take up the rucksack, only then – instead of entering an earthly paradise – did they sink into the purgatory of universal contempt and at the same time universal want.
That is why we must face the calculators of the materialist
Republic with faith in an idealist Reich.