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Mein Kampf (Complete Text)


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Aryan Warrior
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2008, 12:55:49 am »

In the old Danubian Monarchy political thought was wider in its range
and had a richer variety of interests than in the Germany of that
epoch--excepting certain parts of Prussia, Hamburg and the districts
bordering on the North Sea. When I speak of Austria here I mean that
part of the great Habsburg Empire which, by reason of its German
population, furnished not only the historic basis for the formation of
this State but whose population was for several centuries also the
exclusive source of cultural life in that political system whose
structure was so artificial. As time went on the stability of the
Austrian State and the guarantee of its continued existence depended
more and more on the maintenance of this germ-cell of that Habsburg
Empire.

The hereditary imperial provinces constituted the heart of the Empire.
And it was this heart that constantly sent the blood of life pulsating
through the whole political and cultural system. Corresponding to the
heart of the Empire, Vienna signified the brain and the will. At that
time Vienna presented an appearance which made one think of her as an
enthroned queen whose authoritative sway united the conglomeration of
heterogenous nationalities that lived under the Habsburg sceptre. The
radiant beauty of the capital city made one forget the sad symptoms of
senile decay which the State manifested as a whole.

Though the Empire was internally rickety because of the terrific
conflict going on between the various nationalities, the outside
world--and Germany in particular--saw only that lovely picture of the
city. The illusion was all the greater because at that time Vienna
seemed to have risen to its highest pitch of splendour. Under a Mayor,
who had the true stamp of administrative genius, the venerable
residential City of the Emperors of the old Empire seemed to have the
glory of its youth renewed. The last great German who sprang from the
ranks of the people that had colonized the East Mark was not a
'statesman', in the official sense. This Dr. Luegar, however, in his
rôle as Mayor of 'the Imperial Capital and Residential City', had
achieved so much in almost all spheres of municipal activity, whether
economic or cultural, that the heart of the whole Empire throbbed with
renewed vigour. He thus proved himself a much greater statesman than the
so-called 'diplomats' of that period.

The fact that this political system of heterogeneous races called
AUSTRIA, finally broke down is no evidence whatsoever of political
incapacity on the part of the German element in the old East Mark. The
collapse was the inevitable result of an impossible situation. Ten
million people cannot permanently hold together a State of fifty
millions, composed of different and convicting nationalities, unless
certain definite pre-requisite conditions are at hand while there is
still time to avail of them.

The German-Austrian had very big ways of thinking. Accustomed to live in
a great Empire, he had a keen sense of the obligations incumbent on him
in such a situation. He was the only member of the Austrian State who
looked beyond the borders of the narrow lands belonging to the Crown and
took in all the frontiers of the Empire in the sweep of his mind. Indeed
when destiny severed him from the common Fatherland he tried to master
the tremendous task which was set before him as a consequence. This task
was to maintain for the German-Austrians that patrimony which, through
innumerable struggles, their ancestors had originally wrested from the
East. It must be remembered that the German-Austrians could not put
their undivided strength into this effort, because the hearts and minds
of the best among them were constantly turning back towards their
kinsfolk in the Motherland, so that only a fraction of their energy
remained to be employed at home.

The mental horizon of the German-Austrian was comparatively broad. His
commercial interests comprised almost every section of the heterogeneous
Empire. The conduct of almost all important undertakings was in his
hands. He provided the State, for the most part, with its leading
technical experts and civil servants. He was responsible for carrying on
the foreign trade of the country, as far as that sphere of activity was
not under Jewish control, The German-Austrian exclusively represented
the political cement that held the State together. His military duties
carried him far beyond the narrow frontiers of his homeland. Though the
recruit might join a regiment made up of the German element, the
regiment itself might be stationed in Herzegovina as well as in Vienna
or Galicia. The officers in the Habsburg armies were still Germans and
so was the predominating element in the higher branches of the civil
service. Art and science were in German hands. Apart from the new
artistic trash, which might easily have been produced by a negro tribe,
all genuine artistic inspiration came from the German section of the
population. In music, architecture, sculpture and painting, Vienna
abundantly supplied the entire Dual Monarchy. And the source never
seemed to show signs of a possible exhaustion. Finally, it was the
German element that determined the conduct of foreign policy, though a
small number of Hungarians were also active in that field.

All efforts, however, to save the unity of the State were doomed to end
in failure, because the essential pre-requisites were missing.

There was only one possible way to control and hold in check the
centrifugal forces of the different and differing nationalities. This
way was: to govern the Austrian State and organize it internally on the
principle of centralization. In no other way imaginable could the
existence of that State be assured.

Now and again there were lucid intervals in the higher ruling quarters
when this truth was recognized. But it was soon forgotten again, or else
deliberately ignored, because of the difficulties to be overcome in
putting it into practice. Every project which aimed at giving the Empire
a more federal shape was bound to be ineffective because there was no
strong central authority which could exercise sufficient power within
the State to hold the federal elements together. It must be remembered
in this connection that conditions in Austria were quite different from
those which characterized the German State as founded by Bismarck.
Germany was faced with only one difficulty, which was that of
transforming the purely political traditions, because throughout the
whole of Bismarck's Germany there was a common cultural basis. The
German Empire contained only members of one and the same racial or
national stock, with the exception of a few minor foreign fragments.

Demographic conditions in Austria were quite the reverse. With the
exception of Hungary there was no political tradition, coming down from
a great past, in any of the various affiliated countries. If there had
been, time had either wiped out all traces of it, or at least, rendered
them obscure. Moreover, this was the epoch when the principle of
nationality began to be in ascendant; and that phenomenon awakened the
national instincts in the various countries affiliated under the
Habsburg sceptre. It was difficult to control the action of these newly
awakened national forces; because, adjacent to the frontiers of the Dual
Monarchy, new national States were springing up whose people were of the
same or kindred racial stock as the respective nationalities that
constituted the Habsburg Empire. These new States were able to exercise
a greater influence than the German element.

Even Vienna could not hold out for a lengthy period in this conflict.
When Budapest had developed into a metropolis a rival had grown up whose
mission was, not to help in holding together the various divergent parts
of the Empire, but rather to strengthen one part. Within a short time
Prague followed the example of Budapest; and later on came Lemberg,
Laibach and others. By raising these places which had formerly been
provincial towns to the rank of national cities, rallying centres were
provided for an independent cultural life. Through this the local
national instincts acquired a spiritual foundation and therewith gained
a more profound hold on the people. The time was bound to come when the
particularist interests of those various countries would become stronger
than their common imperial interests. Once that stage had been reached,
Austria's doom was sealed.

The course of this development was clearly perceptible since the death
of Joseph II. Its rapidity depended on a number of factors, some of
which had their source in the Monarchy itself; while others resulted
from the position which the Empire had taken in foreign politics.

It was impossible to make anything like a successful effort for the
permanent consolidation of the Austrian State unless a firm and
persistent policy of centralization were put into force. Before
everything else the principle should have been adopted that only one
common language could be used as the official language of the State.
Thus it would be possible to emphasize the formal unity of that imperial
commonwealth. And thus the administration would have in its hands a
technical instrument without which the State could not endure as a
political unity. In the same way the school and other forms of education
should have been used to inculcate a feeling of common citizenship. Such
an objective could not be reached within ten or twenty years. The effort
would have to be envisaged in terms of centuries; just as in all
problems of colonization, steady perseverance is a far more important
element than the output of energetic effort at the moment.

It goes without saying that in such circumstances the country must be
governed and administered by strictly adhering to the principle of
uniformity.

For me it was quite instructive to discover why this did not take place,
or rather why it was not done. Those who were guilty of the omission
must be held responsible for the break-up of the Habsburg Empire.

More than any other State, the existence of the old Austria depended on
a strong and capable Government. The Habsburg Empire lacked ethnical
uniformity, which constitutes the fundamental basis of a national State
and will preserve the existence of such a State even though the ruling
power should be grossly inefficient. When a State is composed of a
homogeneous population, the natural inertia of such a population will
hold the Stage together and maintain its existence through astonishingly
long periods of misgovernment and maladministration. It may often seem
as if the principle of life had died out in such a body-politic; but a
time comes when the apparent corpse rises up and displays before the
world an astonishing manifestation of its indestructible vitality.

But the situation is utterly different in a country where the population
is not homogeneous, where there is no bond of common blood but only that
of one ruling hand. Should the ruling hand show signs of weakness in
such a State the result will not be to cause a kind of hibernation of
the State but rather to awaken the individualist instincts which are
slumbering in the ethnological groups. These instincts do not make
themselves felt as long as these groups are dominated by a strong
central will-to-govern. The danger which exists in these slumbering
separatist instincts can be rendered more or less innocuous only through
centuries of common education, common traditions and common interests.
The younger such States are, the more their existence will depend on the
ability and strength of the central government. If their foundation was
due only to the work of a strong personality or a leader who is a man of
genius, in many cases they will break up as soon as the founder
disappears; because, though great, he stood alone. But even after
centuries of a common education and experiences these separatist
instincts I have spoken of are not always completely overcome. They may
be only dormant and may suddenly awaken when the central government
shows weakness and the force of a common education as well as the
prestige of a common tradition prove unable to withstand the vital
energies of separatist nationalities forging ahead towards the shaping
of their own individual existence.

The failure to see the truth of all this constituted what may be called
the tragic crime of the Habsburg rulers.

Only before the eyes of one Habsburg ruler, and that for the last time,
did the hand of Destiny hold aloft the torch that threw light on the
future of his country. But the torch was then extinguished for ever.

Joseph II, Roman Emperor of the German nation, was filled with a growing
anxiety when he realized the fact that his House was removed to an
outlying frontier of his Empire and that the time would soon be at hand
when it would be overturned and engulfed in the whirlpool caused by that
Babylon of nationalities, unless something was done at the eleventh hour
to overcome the dire consequences resulting from the negligence of his
ancestors. With superhuman energy this 'Friend of Mankind' made every
possible effort to counteract the effects of the carelessness and
thoughtlessness of his predecessors. Within one decade he strove to
repair the damage that had been done through centuries. If Destiny had
only granted him forty years for his labours, and if only two
generations had carried on the work which he had started, the miracle
might have been performed. But when he died, broken in body and spirit
after ten years of rulership, his work sank with him into the grave and
rests with him there in the Capucin Crypt, sleeping its eternal sleep,
having never again showed signs of awakening.

His successors had neither the ability nor the will-power necessary for
the task they had to face.

When the first signs of a new revolutionary epoch appeared in Europe
they gradually scattered the fire throughout Austria. And when the fire
began to glow steadily it was fed and fanned not by the social or
political conditions but by forces that had their origin in the
nationalist yearnings of the various ethnic groups.
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2008, 12:56:39 am »

The European revolutionary movement of 1848 primarily took the form of a
class conflict in almost every other country, but in Austria it took the
form of a new racial struggle. In so far as the German-Austrians there
forgot the origins of the movement, or perhaps had failed to recognize
them at the start and consequently took part in the revolutionary
uprising, they sealed their own fate. For they thus helped to awaken the
spirit of Western Democracy which, within a short while, shattered the
foundations of their own existence.

The setting up of a representative parliamentary body, without insisting
on the preliminary that only one language should be used in all public
intercourse under the State, was the first great blow to the
predominance of the German element in the Dual Monarchy. From that
moment the State was also doomed to collapse sooner or later. All that
followed was nothing but the historical liquidation of an Empire.

To watch that process of progressive disintegration was a tragic and at
the same time an instructive experience. The execution of history's
decree was carried out in thousands of details. The fact that great
numbers of people went about blindfolded amid the manifest signs of
dissolution only proves that the gods had decreed the destruction of
Austria.

I do not wish to dwell on details because that would lie outside the
scope of this book. I want to treat in detail only those events which
are typical among the causes that lead to the decline of nations and
States and which are therefore of importance to our present age.
Moreover, the study of these events helped to furnish the basis of my
own political outlook.

Among the institutions which most clearly manifested unmistakable signs
of decay, even to the weak-sighted Philistine, was that which, of all
the institutions of State, ought to have been the most firmly founded--I
mean the Parliament, or the Reichsrat (Imperial Council) as it was
called in Austria.

The pattern for this corporate body was obviously that which existed in
England, the land of classic democracy. The whole of that excellent
organization was bodily transferred to Austria with as little alteration
as possible.

As the Austrian counterpart to the British two-chamber system a Chamber
of Deputies and a House of Lords (HERRENHAUS) were established in
Vienna. The Houses themselves, considered as buildings were somewhat
different. When Barry built his palaces, or, as we say the Houses of
Parliament, on the shore of the Thames, he could look to the history of
the British Empire for the inspiration of his work. In that history he
found sufficient material to fill and decorate the 1,200 niches,
brackets, and pillars of his magnificent edifice. His statues and
paintings made the House of Lords and the House of Commons temples
dedicated to the glory of the nation.

There it was that Vienna encountered the first difficulty. When Hansen,
the Danish architect, had completed the last gable of the marble palace
in which the new body of popular representatives was to be housed he had
to turn to the ancient classical world for subjects to fill out his
decorative plan. This theatrical shrine of 'Western Democracy' was
adorned with the statues and portraits of Greek and Roman statesmen and
philosophers. As if it were meant for a symbol of irony, the horses of
the quadriga that surmounts the two Houses are pulling apart from one
another towards all four quarters of the globe. There could be no better
symbol for the kind of activity going on within the walls of that same
building.

The 'nationalities' were opposed to any kind of glorification of
Austrian history in the decoration of this building, insisting that such
would constitute an offence to them and a provocation. Much the same
happened in Germany, where the Reich-stag, built by Wallot, was not
dedicated to the German people until the cannons were thundering in the
World War. And then it was dedicated by an inscription.

I was not yet twenty years of age when I first entered the Palace on the
Franzens-ring to watch and listen in the Chamber of Deputies. That first
experience aroused in me a profound feeling of repugnance.

I had always hated the Parliament, but not as an institution in itself.
Quite the contrary. As one who cherished ideals of political freedom I
could not even imagine any other form of government. In the light of my
attitude towards the House of Habsburg I should then have considered it
a crime against liberty and reason to think of any kind of dictatorship
as a possible form of government.

A certain admiration which I had for the British Parliament contributed
towards the formation of this opinion. I became imbued with that feeling
of admiration almost without my being conscious of the effect of it
through so much reading of newspapers while I was yet quite young. I
could not discard that admiration all in a moment. The dignified way in
which the British House of Commons fulfilled its function impressed me
greatly, thanks largely to the glowing terms in which the Austrian Press
reported these events. I used to ask myself whether there could be any
nobler form of government than self-government by the people.

But these considerations furnished the very motives of my hostility to
the Austrian Parliament. The form in which parliamentary government was
here represented seemed unworthy of its great prototype. The following
considerations also influenced my attitude:

The fate of the German element in the Austrian State depended on its
position in Parliament. Up to the time that universal suffrage by secret
ballot was introduced the German representatives had a majority in the
Parliament, though that majority was not a very substantial one. This
situation gave cause for anxiety because the Social-Democratic fraction
of the German element could not be relied upon when national questions
were at stake. In matters that were of critical concern for the German
element, the Social-Democrats always took up an anti-German stand
because they were afraid of losing their followers among the other
national groups. Already at that time--before the introduction of
universal suffrage--the Social-Democratic Party could no longer be
considered as a German Party. The introduction of universal suffrage put
an end even to the purely numerical predominance of the German element.
The way was now clear for the further 'de-Germanization' of the Austrian
State.

The national instinct of self-preservation made it impossible for me to
welcome a representative system in which the German element was not
really represented as such, but always betrayed by the Social-Democratic
fraction. Yet all these, and many others, were defects which could not
be attributed to the parliamentary system as such, but rather to the
Austrian State in particular. I still believed that if the German
majority could be restored in the representative body there would be no
occasion to oppose such a system as long as the old Austrian State
continued to exist.

Such was my general attitude at the time when I first entered those
sacred and contentious halls. For me they were sacred only because of
the radiant beauty of that majestic edifice. A Greek wonder on German
soil.

But I soon became enraged by the hideous spectacle that met my eyes.
Several hundred representatives were there to discuss a problem of great
economical importance and each representative had the right to have his
say.

That experience of a day was enough to supply me with food for thought
during several weeks afterwards.

The intellectual level of the debate was quite low. Some times the
debaters did not make themselves intelligible at all. Several of those
present did not speak German but only their Slav vernaculars or
dialects. Thus I had the opportunity of hearing with my own ears what I
had been hitherto acquainted with only through reading the newspapers. A
turbulent mass of people, all gesticulating and bawling against one
another, with a pathetic old man shaking his bell and making frantic
efforts to call the House to a sense of its dignity by friendly appeals,
exhortations, and grave warnings.

I could not refrain from laughing.

Several weeks later I paid a second visit. This time the House presented
an entirely different picture, so much so that one could hardly
recognize it as the same place. The hall was practically empty. They
were sleeping in the other rooms below. Only a few deputies were in
their places, yawning in each other's faces. One was speechifying. A
deputy speaker was in the chair. When he looked round it was quite plain
that he felt bored.

Then I began to reflect seriously on the whole thing. I went to the
Parliament whenever I had any time to spare and watched the spectacle
silently but attentively. I listened to the debates, as far as they
could be understood, and I studied the more or less intelligent features
of those 'elect' representatives of the various nationalities which
composed that motley State. Gradually I formed my own ideas about what I
saw.
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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2008, 12:58:03 am »

A year of such quiet observation was sufficient to transform or
completely destroy my former convictions as to the character of this
parliamentary institution. I no longer opposed merely the perverted form
which the principle of parliamentary representation had assumed in
Austria. No. It had become impossible for me to accept the system in
itself. Up to that time I had believed that the disastrous deficiencies
of the Austrian Parliament were due to the lack of a German majority,
but now I recognized that the institution itself was wrong in its very
essence and form.

A number of problems presented themselves before my mind. I studied more
closely the democratic principle of 'decision by the majority vote', and
I scrutinized no less carefully the intellectual and moral worth of the
gentlemen who, as the chosen representatives of the nation, were
entrusted with the task of making this institution function.

Thus it happened that at one and the same time I came to know the
institution itself and those of whom it was composed. And it was thus
that, within the course of a few years, I came to form a clear and vivid
picture of the average type of that most lightly worshipped phenomenon
of our time--the parliamentary deputy. The picture of him which I then
formed became deeply engraved on my mind and I have never altered it
since, at least as far as essentials go.

Once again these object-lessons taken from real life saved me from
getting firmly entangled by a theory which at first sight seems so
alluring to many people, though that theory itself is a symptom of human
decadence.

Democracy, as practised in Western Europe to-day, is the fore-runner of
Marxism. In fact, the latter would not be conceivable without the
former. Democracy is the breeding-ground in which the bacilli of the
Marxist world pest can grow and spread. By the introduction of
parliamentarianism, democracy produced an abortion of filth and fire
(Note 6), the creative fire of which, however, seems to have died out.

[Note 6. SPOTTGEBURT VON DRECK UND FEUER. This is the epithet that Faust
hurls at Mephistopheles as the latter intrudes on the conversation
between Faust and Martha in the garden:

Mephistopheles: Thou, full of sensual, super-sensual desire,
                A girl by the nose is leading thee.
Faust: Abortion, thou of filth and fire.]

I am more than grateful to Fate that this problem came to my notice when
I was still in Vienna; for if I had been in Germany at that time I might
easily have found only a superficial solution. If I had been in Berlin
when I first discovered what an illogical thing this institution is
which we call Parliament, I might easily have gone to the other extreme
and believed--as many people believed, and apparently not without good
reason--that the salvation of the people and the Empire could be secured
only by restrengthening the principle of imperial authority. Those who
had this belief did not discern the tendencies of their time and were
blind to the aspirations of the people.

In Austria one could not be so easily misled. There it was impossible to
fall from one error into another. If the Parliament were worthless, the
Habsburgs were worse; or at least not in the slightest degree better.
The problem was not solved by rejecting the parliamentary system.
Immediately the question arose: What then? To repudiate and abolish the
Vienna Parliament would have resulted in leaving all power in the hands
of the Habsburgs. For me, especially, that idea was impossible.

Since this problem was specially difficult in regard to Austria, I was
forced while still quite young to go into the essentials of the whole
question more thoroughly than I otherwise should have done.

The aspect of the situation that first made the most striking impression
on me and gave me grounds for serious reflection was the manifest lack
of any individual responsibility in the representative body.

The parliament passes some acts or decree which may have the most
devastating consequences, yet nobody bears the responsibility for it.
Nobody can be called to account. For surely one cannot say that a
Cabinet discharges its responsibility when it retires after having
brought about a catastrophe. Or can we say that the responsibility is
fully discharged when a new coalition is formed or parliament dissolved?
Can the principle of responsibility mean anything else than the
responsibility of a definite person?

Is it at all possible actually to call to account the leaders of a
parliamentary government for any kind of action which originated in the
wishes of the whole multitude of deputies and was carried out under
their orders or sanction? Instead of developing constructive ideas and
plans, does the business of a statesman consist in the art of making a
whole pack of blockheads understand his projects? Is it his business to
entreat and coach them so that they will grant him their generous
consent?

Is it an indispensable quality in a statesman that he should possess a
gift of persuasion commensurate with the statesman's ability to conceive
great political measures and carry them through into practice?

Does it really prove that a statesman is incompetent if he should fail
to win over a majority of votes to support his policy in an assembly
which has been called together as the chance result of an electoral
system that is not always honestly administered.

Has there ever been a case where such an assembly has worthily appraised
a great political concept before that concept was put into practice and
its greatness openly demonstrated through its success?

In this world is not the creative act of the genius always a protest
against the inertia of the mass?

What shall the statesman do if he does not succeed in coaxing the
parliamentary multitude to give its consent to his policy? Shall he
purchase that consent for some sort of consideration?

Or, when confronted with the obstinate stupidity of his fellow citizens,
should he then refrain from pushing forward the measures which he deems
to be of vital necessity to the life of the nation? Should he retire or
remain in power?

In such circumstances does not a man of character find himself face to
face with an insoluble contradiction between his own political insight
on the one hand and, on the other, his moral integrity, or, better
still, his sense of honesty?

Where can we draw the line between public duty and personal honour?

Must not every genuine leader renounce the idea of degrading himself to
the level of a political jobber?

And, on the other hand, does not every jobber feel the itch to 'play
politics', seeing that the final responsibility will never rest with him
personally but with an anonymous mass which can never be called to
account for their deeds?

Must not our parliamentary principle of government by numerical majority
necessarily lead to the destruction of the principle of leadership?

Does anybody honestly believe that human progress originates in the
composite brain of the majority and not in the brain of the individual
personality?

Or may it be presumed that for the future human civilization will be
able to dispense with this as a condition of its existence?

But may it not be that, to-day, more than ever before, the creative
brain of the individual is indispensable?

The parliamentary principle of vesting legislative power in the decision
of the majority rejects the authority of the individual and puts a
numerical quota of anonymous heads in its place. In doing so it
contradicts the aristrocratic principle, which is a fundamental law of
nature; but, of course, we must remember that in this decadent era of
ours the aristrocratic principle need not be thought of as incorporated
in the upper ten thousand.

The devastating influence of this parliamentary institution might not
easily be recognized by those who read the Jewish Press, unless the
reader has learned how to think independently and examine the facts for
himself. This institution is primarily responsible for the crowded
inrush of mediocre people into the field of politics. Confronted with
such a phenomenon, a man who is endowed with real qualities of
leadership will be tempted to refrain from taking part in political
life; because under these circumstances the situation does not call for
a man who has a capacity for constructive statesmanship but rather for a
man who is capable of bargaining for the favour of the majority. Thus
the situation will appeal to small minds and will attract them
accordingly.

The narrower the mental outlook and the more meagre the amount of
knowledge in a political jobber, the more accurate is his estimate of
his own political stock, and thus he will be all the more inclined to
appreciate a system which does not demand creative genius or even
high-class talent; but rather that crafty kind of sagacity which makes
an efficient town clerk. Indeed, he values this kind of small craftiness
more than the political genius of a Pericles. Such a mediocrity does not
even have to worry about responsibility for what he does. From the
beginning he knows that whatever be the results of his 'statesmanship'
his end is already prescribed by the stars; he will one day have to
clear out and make room for another who is of similar mental calibre.
For it is another sign of our decadent times that the number of eminent
statesmen grows according as the calibre of individual personality
dwindles. That calibre will become smaller and smaller the more the
individual politician has to depend upon parliamentary majorities. A man
of real political ability will refuse to be the beadle for a bevy of
footling cacklers; and they in their turn, being the representatives of
the majority--which means the dunder-headed multitude--hate nothing so
much as a superior brain.

For footling deputies it is always quite a consolation to be led by a
person whose intellectual stature is on a level with their own. Thus
each one may have the opportunity to shine in debate among such compeers
and, above all, each one feels that he may one day rise to the top. If
Peter be boss to-day, then why not Paul tomorrow?

This new invention of democracy is very closely connected with a
peculiar phenomenon which has recently spread to a pernicious extent,
namely the cowardice of a large section of our so-called political
leaders. Whenever important decisions have to be made they always find
themselves fortunate in being able to hide behind the backs of what they
call the majority.

In observing one of these political manipulators one notices how he
wheedles the majority in order to get their sanction for whatever action
he takes. He has to have accomplices in order to be able to shift
responsibility to other shoulders whenever it is opportune to do so.
That is the main reason why this kind of political activity is abhorrent
to men of character and courage, while at the same time it attracts
inferior types; for a person who is not willing to accept responsibility
for his own actions, but is always seeking to be covered by something,
must be classed among the knaves and the rascals. If a national leader
should come from that lower class of politicians the evil consequences
will soon manifest themselves. Nobody will then have the courage to take
a decisive step. They will submit to abuse and defamation rather than
pluck up courage to take a definite stand. And thus nobody is left who
is willing to risk his position and his career, if needs be, in support
of a determined line of policy.

One truth which must always be borne in mind is that the majority can
never replace the man. The majority represents not only ignorance but
also cowardice. And just as a hundred blockheads do not equal one man of
wisdom, so a hundred poltroons are incapable of any political line of
action that requires moral strength and fortitude.

The lighter the burden of responsibility on each individual leader, the
greater will be the number of those who, in spite of their sorry
mediocrity, will feel the call to place their immortal energies at the
disposal of the nation. They are so much on the tip-toe of expectation
that they find it hard to wait their turn. They stand in a long queue,
painfully and sadly counting the number of those ahead of them and
calculating the hours until they may eventually come forward. They watch
every change that takes place in the personnel of the office towards
which their hopes are directed, and they are grateful for every scandal
which removes one of the aspirants waiting ahead of them in the queue.
If somebody sticks too long to his office stool they consider this as
almost a breach of a sacred understanding based on their mutual
solidarity. They grow furious and give no peace until that inconsiderate
person is finally driven out and forced to hand over his cosy berth for
public disposal. After that he will have little chance of getting
another opportunity. Usually those placemen who have been forced to give
up their posts push themselves again into the waiting queue unless they
are hounded away by the protestations of the other aspirants.

The result of all this is that, in such a State, the succession of
sudden changes in public positions and public offices has a very
disquieting effect in general, which may easily lead to disaster when an
adverse crisis arises. It is not only the ignorant and the incompetent
person who may fall victim to those parliamentary conditions, for the
genuine leader may be affected just as much as the others, if not more
so, whenever Fate has chanced to place a capable man in the position of
leader. Let the superior quality of such a leader be once recognized and
the result will be that a joint front will be organized against him,
particularly if that leader, though not coming from their ranks, should
fall into the habit of intermingling with these illustrious nincompoops
on their own level. They want to have only their own company and will
quickly take a hostile attitude towards any man who might show himself
obviously above and beyond them when he mingles in their ranks. Their
instinct, which is so blind in other directions, is very sharp in this
particular.

The inevitable result is that the intellectual level of the ruling class
sinks steadily. One can easily forecast how much the nation and State
are bound to suffer from such a condition of affairs, provided one does
not belong to that same class of 'leaders'.

The parliamentary régime in the old Austria was the very archetype of
the institution as I have described it.

Though the Austrian Prime Minister was appointed by the King-Emperor,
this act of appointment merely gave practical effect to the will of the
parliament. The huckstering and bargaining that went on in regard to
every ministerial position showed all the typical marks of Western
Democracy. The results that followed were in keeping with the principles
applied. The intervals between the replacement of one person by another
gradually became shorter, finally ending up in a wild relay chase. With
each change the quality of the 'statesman' in question deteriorated,
until finally only the petty type of political huckster remained. In
such people the qualities of statesmanship were measured and valued
according to the adroitness with which they pieced together one
coalition after another; in other words, their craftiness in
manipulating the pettiest political transactions, which is the only kind
of practical activity suited to the aptitudes of these representatives.

In this sphere Vienna was the school which offered the most impressive
examples.

Another feature that engaged my attention quite as much as the features
I have already spoken of was the contrast between the talents and
knowledge of these representatives of the people on the one hand and, on
the other, the nature of the tasks they had to face. Willingly or
unwillingly, one could not help thinking seriously of the narrow
intellectual outlook of these chosen representatives of the various
constituent nationalities, and one could not avoid pondering on the
methods through which these noble figures in our public life were first
discovered.

It was worth while to make a thorough study and examination of the way
in which the real talents of these gentlemen were devoted to the service
of their country; in other words, to analyse thoroughly the technical
procedure of their activities.

The whole spectacle of parliamentary life became more and more desolate
the more one penetrated into its intimate structure and studied the
persons and principles of the system in a spirit of ruthless
objectivity. Indeed, it is very necessary to be strictly objective in
the study of the institution whose sponsors talk of 'objectivity' in
every other sentence as the only fair basis of examination and judgment.
If one studied these gentlemen and the laws of their strenuous existence
the results were surprising.

There is no other principle which turns out to be quite so ill-conceived
as the parliamentary principle, if we examine it objectively.

In our examination of it we may pass over the methods according to which
the election of the representatives takes place, as well as the ways
which bring them into office and bestow new titles on them. It is quite
evident that only to a tiny degree are public wishes or public
necessities satisfied by the manner in which an election takes place;
for everybody who properly estimates the political intelligence of the
masses can easily see that this is not sufficiently developed to enable
them to form general political judgments on their own account, or to
select the men who might be competent to carry out their ideas in
practice.

Whatever definition we may give of the term 'public opinion', only a
very small part of it originates from personal experience or individual
insight. The greater portion of it results from the manner in which
public matters have been presented to the people through an
overwhelmingly impressive and persistent system of 'information'.

In the religious sphere the profession of a denominational belief is
largely the result of education, while the religious yearning itself
slumbers in the soul; so too the political opinions of the masses are
the final result of influences systematically operating on human
sentiment and intelligence in virtue of a method which is applied
sometimes with almost-incredible thoroughness and perseverance.

By far the most effective branch of political education, which in this
connection is best expressed by the word 'propaganda', is carried on by
the Press. The Press is the chief means employed in the process of
political 'enlightenment'. It represents a kind of school for adults.
This educational activity, however, is not in the hands of the State but
in the clutches of powers which are partly of a very inferior character.
While still a young man in Vienna I had excellent opportunities for
coming to know the men who owned this machine for mass instruction, as
well as those who supplied it with the ideas it distributed. At first I
was quite surprised when I realized how little time was necessary for
this dangerous Great Power within the State to produce a certain belief
among the public; and in doing so the genuine will and convictions of
the public were often completely misconstrued. It took the Press only a
few days to transform some ridiculously trivial matter into an issue of
national importance, while vital problems were completely ignored or
filched and hidden away from public attention.

The Press succeeded in the magical art of producing names from nowhere
within the course of a few weeks. They made it appear that the great
hopes of the masses were bound up with those names. And so they made
those names more popular than any man of real ability could ever hope to
be in a long lifetime. All this was done, despite the fact that such
names were utterly unknown and indeed had never been heard of even up to
a month before the Press publicly emblazoned them. At the same time old
and tried figures in the political and other spheres of life quickly
faded from the public memory and were forgotten as if they were dead,
though still healthy and in the enjoyment of their full viguour. Or
sometimes such men were so vilely abused that it looked as if their
names would soon stand as permanent symbols of the worst kind of
baseness. In order to estimate properly the really pernicious influence
which the Press can exercise one had to study this infamous Jewish
method whereby honourable and decent people were besmirched with mud and
filth, in the form of low abuse and slander, from hundreds and hundreds
of quarters simultaneously, as if commanded by some magic formula.

These highway robbers would grab at anything which might serve their
evil ends.
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2008, 12:58:36 am »

They would poke their noses into the most intimate family affairs and
would not rest until they had sniffed out some petty item which could be
used to destroy the reputation of their victim. But if the result of all
this sniffing should be that nothing derogatory was discovered in the
private or public life of the victim, they continued to hurl abuse at
him, in the belief that some of their animadversions would stick even
though refuted a thousand times. In most cases it finally turned out
impossible for the victim to continue his defence, because the accuser
worked together with so many accomplices that his slanders were
re-echoed interminably. But these slanderers would never own that they
were acting from motives which influence the common run of humanity or
are understood by them. Oh, no. The scoundrel who defamed his
contemporaries in this villainous way would crown himself with a halo of
heroic probity fashioned of unctuous phraseology and twaddle about his
'duties as a journalist' and other mouldy nonsense of that kind. When
these cuttle-fishes gathered together in large shoals at meetings and
congresses they would give out a lot of slimy talk about a special kind
of honour which they called the professional honour of the journalist.
Then the assembled species would bow their respects to one another.

These are the kind of beings that fabricate more than two-thirds of what
is called public opinion, from the foam of which the parliamentary
Aphrodite eventually arises.

Several volumes would be needed if one were to give an adequate account
of the whole procedure and fully describe all its hollow fallacies. But
if we pass over the details and look at the product itself while it is
in operation I think this alone will be sufficient to open the eyes of
even the most innocent and credulous person, so that he may recognize
the absurdity of this institution by looking at it objectively.

In order to realize how this human aberration is as harmful as it is
absurd, the test and easiest method is to compare democratic
parliamentarianism with a genuine German democracy.

The remarkable characteristic of the parliamentary form of democracy is
the fact that a number of persons, let us say five hundred--including,
in recent time, women also--are elected to parliament and invested with
authority to give final judgment on anything and everything. In practice
they alone are the governing body; for although they may appoint a
Cabinet, which seems outwardly to direct the affairs of state, this
Cabinet has not a real existence of its own. In reality the so-called
Government cannot do anything against the will of the assembly. It can
never be called to account for anything, since the right of decision is
not vested in the Cabinet but in the parliamentary majority. The Cabinet
always functions only as the executor of the will of the majority. Its
political ability can be judged only according to how far it succeeds in
adjusting itself to the will of the majority or in persuading the
majority to agree to its proposals. But this means that it must descend
from the level of a real governing power to that of a mendicant who has
to beg the approval of a majority that may be got together for the time
being. Indeed, the chief preoccupation of the Cabinet must be to secure
for itself, in the case of' each individual measure, the favour of the
majority then in power or, failing that, to form a new majority that
will be more favourably disposed. If it should succeed in either of
these efforts it may go on 'governing' for a little while. If it should
fail to win or form a majority it must retire. The question whether its
policy as such has been right or wrong does not matter at all.

Thereby all responsibility is abolished in practice. To what
consequences such a state of affairs can lead may easily be understood
from the following simple considerations:

Those five hundred deputies who have been elected by the people come
from various dissimilar callings in life and show very varying degrees
of political capacity, with the result that the whole combination is
disjointed and sometimes presents quite a sorry picture. Surely nobody
believes that these chosen representatives of the nation are the choice
spirits or first-class intellects. Nobody, I hope, is foolish enough to
pretend that hundreds of statesmen can emerge from papers placed in the
ballot box by electors who are anything else but averagely intelligent.
The absurd notion that men of genius are born out of universal suffrage
cannot be too strongly repudiated. In the first place, those times may
be really called blessed when one genuine statesman makes his appearance
among a people. Such statesmen do not appear all at once in hundreds or
more. Secondly, among the broad masses there is instinctively a definite
antipathy towards every outstanding genius. There is a better chance of
seeing a camel pass through the eye of a needle than of seeing a really
great man 'discovered' through an election.

Whatever has happened in history above the level of the average of the
broad public has mostly been due to the driving force of an individual
personality.

But here five hundred persons of less than modest intellectual qualities
pass judgment on the most important problems affecting the nation. They
form governments which in turn learn to win the approval of the
illustrious assembly for every legislative step that may be taken, which
means that the policy to be carried out is actually the policy of the
five hundred.

And indeed, generally speaking, the policy bears the stamp of its
origin.

But let us pass over the intellectual qualities of these representatives
and ask what is the nature of the task set before them. If we consider
the fact that the problems which have to be discussed and solved belong
to the most varied and diverse fields we can very well realize how
inefficient a governing system must be which entrusts the right of
decision to a mass assembly in which only very few possess the knowledge
and experience such as would qualify them to deal with the matters that
have to be settled. The most important economic measures are submitted
to a tribunal in which not more than one-tenth of the members have
studied the elements of economics. This means that final authority is
vested in men who are utterly devoid of any preparatory training which
might make them competent to decide on the questions at issue.

The same holds true of every other problem. It is always a majority of
ignorant and incompetent people who decide on each measure; for the
composition of the institution does not vary, while the problems to be
dealt with come from the most varied spheres of public life. An
intelligent judgment would be possible only if different deputies had
the authority to deal with different issues. It is out of the question
to think that the same people are fitted to decide on transport
questions as well as, let us say, on questions of foreign policy, unless
each of them be a universal genius. But scarcely more than one genius
appears in a century. Here we are scarcely ever dealing with real
brains, but only with dilettanti who are as narrow-minded as they are
conceited and arrogant, intellectual DEMI-MONDES of the worst kind. This
is why these honourable gentlemen show such astonishing levity in
discussing and deciding on matters that would demand the most
painstaking consideration even from great minds. Measures of momentous
importance for the future existence of the State are framed and
discussed in an atmosphere more suited to the card-table. Indeed the
latter suggests a much more fitting occupation for these gentlemen than
that of deciding the destinies of a people.

Of course it would be unfair to assume that each member in such a
parliament was endowed by nature with such a small sense of
responsibility. That is out of the question.

But this system, by forcing the individual to pass judgment on questions
for which he is not competent gradually debases his moral character.
Nobody will have the courage to say: "Gentlemen, I am afraid we know
nothing about what we are talking about. I for one have no competency in
the matter at all." Anyhow if such a declaration were made it would not
change matters very much; for such outspoken honesty would not be
understood. The person who made the declaration would be deemed an
honourable ass who ought not to be allowed to spoil the game. Those who
have a knowledge of human nature know that nobody likes to be considered
a fool among his associates; and in certain circles honesty is taken as
an index of stupidity.

Thus it happens that a naturally upright man, once he finds himself
elected to parliament, may eventually be induced by the force of
circumstances to acquiesce in a general line of conduct which is base in
itself and amounts to a betrayal of the public trust. That feeling that
if the individual refrained from taking part in a certain decision his
attitude would not alter the situation in the least, destroys every real
sense of honour which might occasionally arouse the conscience of one
person or another. Finally, the otherwise upright deputy will succeed in
persuading himself that he is by no means the worst of the lot and that
by taking part in a certain line of action he may prevent something
worse from happening.

A counter argument may be put forward here. It may be said that of
course the individual member may not have the knowledge which is
requisite for the treatment of this or that question, yet his attitude
towards it is taken on the advice of his Party as the guiding authority
in each political matter; and it may further be said that the Party sets
up special committees of experts who have even more than the requisite
knowledge for dealing with the questions placed before them.

At first sight, that argument seems sound. But then another question
arises--namely, why are five hundred persons elected if only a few have
the wisdom which is required to deal with the more important problems?

It is not the aim of our modern democratic parliamentary system to bring
together an assembly of intelligent and well-informed deputies. Not at
all. The aim rather is to bring together a group of nonentities who are
dependent on others for their views and who can be all the more easily
led, the narrower the mental outlook of each individual is. That is the
only way in which a party policy, according to the evil meaning it has
to-day, can be put into effect. And by this method alone it is possible
for the wirepuller, who exercises the real control, to remain in the
dark, so that personally he can never be brought to account for his
actions. For under such circumstances none of the decisions taken, no
matter how disastrous they may turn out for the nation as a whole, can
be laid at the door of the individual whom everybody knows to be the
evil genius responsible for the whole affair. All responsibility is
shifted to the shoulders of the Party as a whole.

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« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2008, 12:58:59 am »

In practice no actual responsibility remains. For responsibility arises
only from personal duty and not from the obligations that rest with a
parliamentary assembly of empty talkers.

The parliamentary institution attracts people of the badger type, who do
not like the open light. No upright man, who is ready to accept personal
responsibility for his acts, will be attracted to such an institution.

That is the reason why this brand of democracy has become a tool in the
hand of that race which, because of the inner purposes it wishes to
attain, must shun the open light, as it has always done and always will
do. Only a Jew can praise an institution which is as corrupt and false
as himself.

As a contrast to this kind of democracy we have the German democracy,
which is a true democracy; for here the leader is freely chosen and is
obliged to accept full responsibility for all his actions and omissions.
The problems to be dealt with are not put to the vote of the majority;
but they are decided upon by the individual, and as a guarantee of
responsibility for those decisions he pledges all he has in the world
and even his life.

The objection may be raised here that under such conditions it would be
very difficult to find a man who would be ready to devote himself to so
fateful a task. The answer to that objection is as follows:

We thank God that the inner spirit of our German democracy will of
itself prevent the chance careerist, who may be intellectually worthless
and a moral twister, from coming by devious ways to a position in which
he may govern his fellow-citizens. The fear of undertaking such
far-reaching responsibilities, under German democracy, will scare off
the ignorant and the feckless.

But should it happen that such a person might creep in surreptitiously
it will be easy enough to identify him and apostrophize him ruthlessly.
somewhat thus: "Be off, you scoundrel. Don't soil these steps with your
feet; because these are the steps that lead to the portals of the
Pantheon of History, and they are not meant for place-hunters but for
men of noble character."

Such were the views I formed after two years of attendance at the
sessions of the Viennese Parliament. Then I went there no more.

The parliamentary regime became one of the causes why the strength of
the Habsburg State steadily declined during the last years of its
existence. The more the predominance of the German element was whittled
away through parliamentary procedure, the more prominent became the
system of playing off one of the various constituent nationalities
against the other. In the Imperial Parliament it was always the German
element that suffered through the system, which meant that the results
were detrimental to the Empire as a whole; for at the close of the
century even the most simple-minded people could recognize that the
cohesive forces within the Dual Monarchy no longer sufficed to
counterbalance the separatist tendencies of the provincial
nationalities. On the contrary!

The measures which the State adopted for its own maintenance became more
and more mean spirited and in a like degree the general disrespect for
the State increased. Not only Hungary but also the various Slav
provinces gradually ceased to identify themselves with the monarchy
which embraced them all, and accordingly they did not feel its weakness
as in any way detrimental to themselves. They rather welcomed those
manifestations of senile decay. They looked forward to the final
dissolution of the State, and not to its recovery.

The complete collapse was still forestalled in Parliament by the
humiliating concessions that were made to every kind of importunate
demands, at the cost of the German element. Throughout the country the
defence of the State rested on playing off the various nationalities
against one another. But the general trend of this development was
directed against the Germans. Especially since the right of succession
to the throne conferred certain influence on the Archduke Franz
Ferdinand, the policy of increasing the power of the Czechs was carried
out systematically from the upper grades of the administration down to
the lower. With all the means at his command the heir to the Dual
Monarchy personally furthered the policy that aimed at eliminating the
influence of the German element, or at least he acted as protector of
that policy. By the use of State officials as tools, purely German
districts were gradually but decisively brought within the danger zone
of the mixed languages. Even in Lower Austria this process began to make
headway with a constantly increasing tempo and Vienna was looked upon by
the Czechs as their biggest city.

In the family circle of this new Habsburger the Czech language was
favoured. The wife of the Archduke had formerly been a Czech Countess
and was wedded to the Prince by a morganatic marriage. She came from an
environment where hostility to the Germans had been traditional. The
leading idea in the mind of the Archduke was to establish a Slav State
in Central Europe, which was to be constructed on a purely Catholic
basis, so as to serve as a bulwark against Orthodox Russia.

As had happened often in Habsburg history, religion was thus exploited
to serve a purely political policy, and in this case a fatal policy, at
least as far as German interests were concerned. The result was
lamentable in many respects.

Neither the House of Habsburg nor the Catholic Church received the
reward which they expected. Habsburg lost the throne and the Church lost
a great State. By employing religious motives in the service of
politics, a spirit was aroused which the instigators of that policy had
never thought possible.

From the attempt to exterminate Germanism in the old monarchy by every
available means arose the Pan-German Movement in Austria, as a response.

In the 'eighties of the last century Manchester Liberalism, which was
Jewish in its fundamental ideas, had reached the zenith of its influence
in the Dual Monarchy, or had already passed that point. The reaction
which set in did not arise from social but from nationalistic
tendencies, as was always the case in the old Austria. The instinct of
self-preservation drove the German element to defend itself
energetically. Economic considerations only slowly began to gain an
important influence; but they were of secondary concern. But of the
general political chaos two party organizations emerged. The one was
more of a national, and the other more of a social, character; but both
were highly interesting and instructive for the future.

After the war of 1866, which had resulted in the humiliation of Austria,
the House of Habsburg contemplated a REVANCHE on the battlefield. Only
the tragic end of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico prevented a still
closer collaboration with France. The chief blame for Maximilian's
disastrous expedition was attributed to Napoleon III and the fact that
the Frenchman left him in the lurch aroused a general feeling of
indignation. Yet the Habsburgs were still lying in wait for their
opportunity. If the war of 1870-71 had not been such a singular triumph,
the Viennese Court might have chanced the game of blood in order to get
its revenge for Sadowa. But when the first reports arrived from the
Franco-German battlefield, which, though true, seemed miraculous and
almost incredible, the 'most wise' of all monarchs recognized that the
moment was inopportune and tried to accept the unfavourable situation
with as good a grace as possible.

The heroic conflict of those two years (1870-71) produced a still
greater miracle; for with the Habsburgs the change of attitude never
came from an inner heartfelt urge but only from the pressure of
circumstances. The German people of the East Mark, however, were
entranced by the triumphant glory of the newly established German Empire
and were profoundly moved when they saw the dream of their fathers
resurgent in a magnificent reality.

For--let us make no mistake about it--the true German-Austrian realized
from this time onward, that Königgrätz was the tragic, though necessary,
pre-condition for the re-establishment of an Empire which should no
longer be burdened with the palsy of the old alliance and which indeed
had no share in that morbid decay. Above all, the German-Austrian had
come to feel in the very depths of his own being that the historical
mission of the House of Habsburg had come to an end and that the new
Empire could choose only an Emperor who was of heroic mould and was
therefore worthy to wear the 'Crown of the Rhine'. It was right and just
that Destiny should be praised for having chosen a scion of that House
of which Frederick the Great had in past times given the nation an
elevated and resplendent symbol for all time to come.

After the great war of 1870-71 the House of Habsburg set to work with
all its determination to exterminate the dangerous German element--about
whose inner feelings and attitude there could be no doubt--slowly but
deliberately. I use the word exterminate, because that alone expresses
what must have been the final result of the Slavophile policy. Then it
was that the fire of rebellion blazed up among the people whose
extermination had been decreed. That fire was such as had never been
witnessed in modern German history.

For the first time nationalists and patriots were transformed into
rebels.

Not rebels against the nation or the State as such but rebels against
that form of government which they were convinced, would inevitably
bring about the ruin of their own people. For the first time in modern
history the traditional dynastic patriotism and national love of
fatherland and people were in open conflict.

It was to the merit of the Pan-German movement in Austria during the
closing decade of the last century that it pointed out clearly and
unequivocally that a State is entitled to demand respect and protection
for its authority only when such authority is administered in accordance
with the interests of the nation, or at least not in a manner
detrimental to those interests.

The authority of the State can never be an end in itself; for, if that
were so, any kind of tyranny would be inviolable and sacred.

If a government uses the instruments of power in its hands for the
purpose of leading a people to ruin, then rebellion is not only the
right but also the duty of every individual citizen.

The question of whether and when such a situation exists cannot be
answered by theoretical dissertations but only by the exercise of force,
and it is success that decides the issue.

Every government, even though it may be the worst possible and even
though it may have betrayed the nation's trust in thousands of ways,
will claim that its duty is to uphold the authority of the State. Its
adversaries, who are fighting for national self-preservation, must use
the same weapons which the government uses if they are to prevail
against such a rule and secure their own freedom and independence.
Therefore the conflict will be fought out with 'legal' means as long as
the power which is to be overthrown uses them; but the insurgents will
not hesitate to apply illegal means if the oppressor himself employs
them.

Generally speaking, we must not forget that the highest aim of human
existence is not the maintenance of a State of Government but rather the
conservation of the race.

If the race is in danger of being oppressed or even exterminated the
question of legality is only of secondary importance. The established
power may in such a case employ only those means which are recognized as
'legal'. yet the instinct of self-preservation on the part of the
oppressed will always justify, to the highest degree, the employment of
all possible resources.

Only on the recognition of this principle was it possible for those
struggles to be carried through, of which history furnishes magnificent
examples in abundance, against foreign bondage or oppression at home.

Human rights are above the rights of the State. But if a people be
defeated in the struggle for its human rights this means that its weight
has proved too light in the scale of Destiny to have the luck of being
able to endure in this terrestrial world.

The world is not there to be possessed by the faint-hearted races.



Austria affords a very clear and striking example of how easy it is for
tyranny to hide its head under the cloak of what is called 'legality'.

The legal exercise of power in the Habsburg State was then based on the
anti-German attitude of the parliament, with its non-German majorities,
and on the dynastic House, which was also hostile to the German element.
The whole authority of the State was incorporated in these two factors.
To attempt to alter the lot of the German element through these two
factors would have been senseless. Those who advised the 'legal' way as
the only possible way, and also obedience to the State authority, could
offer no resistance; because a policy of resistance could not have been
put into effect through legal measures. To follow the advice of the
legalist counsellors would have meant the inevitable ruin of the German
element within the Monarchy, and this disaster would not have taken long
to come. The German element has actually been saved only because the
State as such collapsed.

The spectacled theorist would have given his life for his doctrine
rather than for his people.

Because man has made laws he subsequently comes to think that he exists
for the sake of the laws.

A great service rendered by the pan-German movement then was that it
abolished all such nonsense, though the doctrinaire theorists and other
fetish worshippers were shocked.

When the Habsburgs attempted to come to close quarters with the German
element, by the employment of all the means of attack which they had at
their command, the Pan-German Party hit out ruthlessly against the
'illustrious' dynasty. This Party was the first to probe into and expose
the corrupt condition of the State; and in doing so they opened the eyes
of hundreds of thousands. To have liberated the high ideal of love for
one's country from the embrace of this deplorable dynasty was one of the
great services rendered by the Pan-German movement.

When that Party first made its appearance it secured a large
following--indeed, the movement threatened to become almost an
avalanche. But the first successes were not maintained. At the time I
came to Vienna the pan-German Party had been eclipsed by the
Christian-Socialist Party, which had come into power in the meantime.
Indeed, the Pan-German Party had sunk to a level of almost complete
insignificance.

The rise and decline of the Pan-German movement on the one hand and the
marvellous progress of the Christian-Socialist Party on the other,
became a classic object of study for me, and as such they played an
important part in the development of my own views.

When I came to Vienna all my sympathies were exclusively with the
Pan-German Movement.

I was just as much impressed by the fact that they had the courage to
shout HEIL HOHENZOLLERN as I rejoiced at their determination to consider
themselves an integral part of the German Empire, from which they were
separated only provisionally. They never missed an opportunity to
explain their attitude in public, which raised my enthusiasm and
confidence. To avow one's principles publicly on every problem that
concerned Germanism, and never to make any compromises, seemed to me the
only way of saving our people. What I could not understand was how this
movement broke down so soon after such a magnificent start; and it was
no less incomprehensible that the Christian-Socialists should gain such
tremendous power within such a short time. They had just reached the
pinnacle of their popularity.

When I began to compare those two movements Fate placed before me the
best means of understanding the causes of this puzzling problem. The
action of Fate in this case was hastened by my own straitened
circumstances.

I shall begin my analysis with an account of the two men who must be
regarded as the founders and leaders of the two movements. These were
George von Schönerer and Dr. Karl Lueger.

As far as personality goes, both were far above the level and stature of
the so-called parliamentary figures. They lived lives of immaculate and
irreproachable probity amidst the miasma of all-round political
corruption. Personally I first liked the Pan-German representative,
Schönerer, and it was only afterwards and gradually that I felt an equal
liking for the Christian-Socialist leader.

When I compared their respective abilities Schönerer seemed to me a
better and more profound thinker on fundamental problems. He foresaw the
inevitable downfall of the Austrian State more clearly and accurately
than anyone else. If this warning in regard to the Habsburg Empire had
been heeded in Germany the disastrous world war, which involved Germany
against the whole of Europe, would never have taken place.

But though Schönerer succeeded in penetrating to the essentials of a
problem he was very often much mistaken in his judgment of men.

And herein lay Dr. Lueger's special talent. He had a rare gift of
insight into human nature and he was very careful not to take men as
something better than they were in reality. He based his plans on the
practical possibilities which human life offered him, whereas Schönerer
had only little discrimination in that respect. All ideas that this
Pan-German had were right in the abstract, but he did not have the
forcefulness or understanding necessary to put his ideas across to the
broad masses. He was not able to formulate them so that they could be
easily grasped by the masses, whose powers of comprehension are limited
and will always remain so. Therefore all Schönerer's knowledge was only
the wisdom of a prophet and he never could succeed in having it put into
practice.

This lack of insight into human nature led him to form a wrong estimate
of the forces behind certain movements and the inherent strength of old
institutions.

Schönerer indeed realized that the problems he had to deal with were in
the nature of a WELTANSCHAUUNG; but he did not understand that only the
broad masses of a nation can make such convictions prevail, which are
almost of a religious nature.

Unfortunately he understood only very imperfectly how feeble is the
fighting spirit of the so-called bourgeoisie. That weakness is due to
their business interests, which individuals are too much afraid of
risking and which therefore deter them from taking action. And,
generally speaking, a WELTANSCHAUUNG can have no prospect of success
unless the broad masses declare themselves ready to act as its
standard-bearers and to fight on its behalf wherever and to whatever
extent that may be necessary.

This failure to understand the importance of the lower strata of the
population resulted in a very inadequate concept of the social problem.

In all this Dr. Lueger was the opposite of Schönerer. His profound
knowledge of human nature enabled him to form a correct estimate of the
various social forces and it saved him from under-rating the power of
existing institutions. And it was perhaps this very quality which
enabled him to utilize those institutions as a means to serve the
purposes of his policy.

He saw only too clearly that, in our epoch, the political fighting power
of the upper classes is quite insignificant and not at all capable of
fighting for a great new movement until the triumph of that movement be
secured. Thus he devoted the greatest part of his political activity to
the task of winning over those sections of the population whose
existence was in danger and fostering the militant spirit in them rather
than attempting to paralyse it. He was also quick to adopt all available
means for winning the support of long-established institutions, so as to
be able to derive the greatest possible advantage for his movement from
those old sources of power.

Thus it was that, first of all, he chose as the social basis of his new
Party that middle class which was threatened with extinction. In this
way he secured a solid following which was willing to make great
sacrifices and had good fighting stamina. His extremely wise attitude
towards the Catholic Church rapidly won over the younger clergy in such
large numbers that the old Clerical Party was forced to retire from the
field of action or else, which was the wiser course, join the new Party,
in the hope of gradually winning back one position after another.

But it would be a serious injustice to the man if we were to regard this
as his essential characteristic. For he possessed the qualities of an
able tactician, and had the true genius of a great reformer; but all
these were limited by his exact perception of the possibilities at hand
and also of his own capabilities.

The aims which this really eminent man decided to pursue were intensely
practical. He wished to conquer Vienna, the heart of the Monarchy. It
was from Vienna that the last pulses of life beat through the diseased
and worn-out body of the decrepit Empire. If the heart could be made
healthier the others parts of the body were bound to revive. That idea
was correct in principle; but the time within which it could be applied
in practice was strictly limited. And that was the man's weak point.

His achievements as Burgomaster of the City of Vienna are immortal, in
the best sense of the word. But all that could not save the Monarchy. It
came too late.

His rival, Schönerer, saw this more clearly. What Dr. Lueger undertook
to put into practice turned out marvellously successful. But the results
which he expected to follow these achievements did not come. Schönerer
did not attain the ends he had proposed to himself; but his fears were
realized, alas, in a terrible fashion. Thus both these men failed to
attain their further objectives. Lueger could not save Austria and
Schönerer could not prevent the downfall of the German people in
Austria.

To study the causes of failure in the case of these two parties is to
learn a lesson that is highly instructive for our own epoch. This is
specially useful for my friends, because in many points the
circumstances of our own day are similar to those of that time.
Therefore such a lesson may help us to guard against the mistakes which
brought one of those movements to an end and rendered the other barren
of results.

In my opinion, the wreck of the Pan-German Movement in Austria must be
attributed to three causes.

The first of these consisted in the fact that the leaders did not have a
clear concept of the importance of the social problem, particularly for
a new movement which had an essentially revolutionary character.
Schönerer and his followers directed their attention principally to the
bourgeois classes. For that reason their movement was bound to turn out
mediocre and tame. The German bourgeoisie, especially in its upper
circles, is pacifist even to the point of complete
self-abnegation--though the individual may not be aware of
this--wherever the internal affairs of the nation or State are
concerned. In good times, which in this case means times of good
government, such a psychological attitude makes this social layer
extraordinarily valuable to the State. But when there is a bad
government, such a quality has a destructive effect. In order to assure
the possibility of carrying through a really strenuous struggle, the
Pan-German Movement should have devoted its efforts to winning over the
masses. The failure to do this left the movement from the very beginning
without the elementary impulse which such a wave needs if it is not to
ebb within a short while.

In failing to see the truth of this principle clearly at the very outset
of the movement and in neglecting to put it into practice the new Party
made an initial mistake which could not possibly be rectified
afterwards. For the numerous moderate bourgeois elements admitted into
the movements increasingly determined its internal orientation and thus
forestalled all further prospects of gaining any appreciable support
among the masses of the people. Under such conditions such a movement
could not get beyond mere discussion and criticism. Quasi-religious
faith and the spirit of sacrifice were not to be found in the movement
any more. Their place was taken by the effort towards 'positive'
collaboration, which in this case meant the acknowledgment of the
existing state of affairs, gradually whittling away the rough corners of
the questions in dispute, and ending up with the making of a
dishonourable peace.

Such was the fate of the Pan-German Movement, because at the start the
leaders did not realize that the most important condition of success was
that they should recruit their following from the broad masses of the
people. The Movement thus became bourgeois and respectable and radical
only in moderation.

From this failure resulted the second cause of its rapid decline.

The position of the Germans in Austria was already desperate when
Pan-Germanism arose. Year after year Parliament was being used more and
more as an instrument for the gradual extinction of the German-Austrian
population. The only hope for any eleventh-hour effort to save it lay in
the overthrow of the parliamentary system; but there was very little
prospect of this happening.

Therewith the Pan-German Movement was confronted with a question of
primary importance.

To overthrow the Parliament, should the Pan-Germanists have entered it
'to undermine it from within', as the current phrase was? Or should they
have assailed the institution as such from the outside?

They entered the Parliament and came out defeated. But they had found
themselves obliged to enter.
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« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2008, 12:59:16 am »

For in order to wage an effective war against such a power from the
outside, indomitable courage and a ready spirit of sacrifice were
necessary weapons. In such cases the bull must be seized by the horns.
Furious drives may bring the assailant to the ground again and again;
but if he has a stout heart he will stand up, even though some bones may
be broken, and only after a long and tough struggle will he achieve his
triumph. New champions are attracted to a cause by the appeal of great
sacrifices made for its sake, until that indomitable spirit is finally
crowned with success.

For such a result, however, the children of the people from the great
masses are necessary. They alone have the requisite determination and
tenacity to fight a sanguinary issue through to the end. But the
Pan-German Movement did not have these broad masses as its champions,
and so no other means of solution could be tried out except that of
entering Parliamcnt.

It would be a mistake to think that this decision resulted from a long
series of internal hesitations of a moral kind, or that it was the
outcome of careful calculation. No. They did not even think of another
solution. Those who participated in this blunder were actuated by
general considerations and vague notions as to what would be the
significance and effect of taking part in such a special way in that
institution which they had condemned on principle. In general they hoped
that they would thus have the means of expounding their cause to the
great masses of the people, because they would be able to speak before
'the forum of the whole nation'. Also, it seemed reasonable to believe
that by attacking the evil in the root they would be more effective than
if the attack came from outside. They believed that, if protected by the
immunity of Parliament, the position of the individual protagonists
would be strengthened and that thus the force of their attacks would be
enhanced.

In reality everything turned out quite otherwise.

The Forum before which the Pan-German representatives spoke had not
grown greater, but had actually become smaller; for each spoke only to
the circle that was ready to listen to him or could read the report of
his speech in the newspapers.

But the greater forum of immediate listeners is not the parliamentary
auditorium: it is the large public meeting. For here alone will there be
thousands of men who have come simply to hear what a speaker has to say,
whereas in the parliamentary sittings only a few hundred are present;
and for the most part these are there only to earn their daily allowance
for attendance and not to be enlightened by the wisdom of one or other
of the 'representatives of the people'.

The most important consideration is that the same public is always
present and that this public does not wish to learn anything new;
because, setting aside the question of its intelligence, it lacks even
that modest quantum of will-power which is necessary for the effort of
learning.

Not one of the representatives of the people will pay homage to a
superior truth and devote himself to its service. No. Not one of these
gentry will act thus, except he has grounds for hoping that by such a
conversion he may be able to retain the representation of his
constituency in the coming legislature. Therefore, only when it becomes
quite clear that the old party is likely to have a bad time of it at the
forthcoming elections--only then will those models of manly virtue set
out in search of a new party or a new policy which may have better
electoral prospects; but of course this change of position will be
accompanied by a veritable deluge of high moral motives to justify it.
And thus it always happens that when an existing Party has incurred such
general disfavour among the public that it is threatened with the
probability of a crushing defeat, then a great migration commences. The
parliamentary rats leave the Party ship.

All this happens not because the individuals in the case have become
better informed on the questions at issue and have resolved to act
accordingly. These changes of front are evidence only of that gift of
clairvoyance which warns the parliamentary flea at the right moment and
enables him to hop into another warm Party bed.

To speak before such a forum signifies casting pearls before certain
animals.

Verily it does not repay the pains taken; for the result must always be
negative.

And that is actually what happened. The Pan-German representatives might
have talked themselves hoarse, but to no effect whatsoever.

The Press either ignored them totally or so mutilated their speeches
that the logical consistency was destroyed or the meaning twisted round
in such a way that the public got only a very wrong impression regarding
the aims of the new movement. What the individual members said was not
of importance. The important matter was what people read as coming from
them. This consisted of mere extracts which had been torn out of the
context of the speeches and gave an impression of incoherent nonsense,
which indeed was purposely meant. Thus the only public before which they
really spoke consisted merely of five hundred parliamentarians; and that
says enough.

The worst was the following:

The Pan-German Movement could hope for success only if the leaders
realized from the very first moment that here there was no question so
much of a new Party as of a new WELTANSCHAUUNG. This alone could arouse
the inner moral forces that were necessary for such a gigantic struggle.
And for this struggle the leaders must be men of first-class brains and
indomitable courage. If the struggle on behalf of a WELTANSCHAUUNG is
not conducted by men of heroic spirit who are ready to sacrifice,
everything, within a short while it will become impossible to find real
fighting followers who are ready to lay down their lives for the cause.
A man who fights only for his own existence has not much left over for
the service of the community.

In order to secure the conditions that are necessary for success,
everybody concerned must be made to understand that the new movement
looks to posterity for its honour and glory but that it has no
recompense to offer to the present-day members. If a movement should
offer a large number of positions and offices that are easily accessible
the number of unworthy candidates admitted to membership will be
constantly on the increase and eventually a day will come when there
will be such a preponderance of political profiteers among the
membership of a successful Party that the combatants who bore the brunt
of the battle in the earlier stages of the movement can now scarcely
recognize their own Party and may be ejected by the later arrivals as
unwanted ballast. Therewith the movement will no longer have a mission
to fulfil.

Once the Pan-Germanists decided to collaborate with Parliament they were
no longer leaders and combatants in a popular movement, but merely
parliamentarians. Thus the Movement sank to the common political party
level of the day and no longer had the strength to face a hostile fate
and defy the risk of martyrdom. Instead of fighting, the Pan-German
leaders fell into the habit of talking and negotiating. The new
parliamentarians soon found that it was a more satisfactory, because
less risky, way of fulfilling their task if they would defend the new
WELTANSCHAUUNG with the spiritual weapon of parliamentary rhetoric
rather than take up a fight in which they placed their lives in danger,
the outcome of which also was uncertain and even at the best could offer
no prospect of personal gain for themselves.

When they had taken their seats in Parliament their adherents outside
hoped and waited for miracles to happen. Naturally no such miracles
happened or could happen. Whereupon the adherents of the movement soon
grew impatient, because reports they read about their own deputies did
not in the least come up to what had been expected when they voted for
these deputies at the elections. The reason for this was not far to
seek. It was due to the fact that an unfriendly Press refrained from
giving a true account of what the Pan-German representatives of the
people were actually doing.

According as the new deputies got to like this mild form of
'revolutionary' struggle in Parliament and in the provincial diets they
gradually became reluctant to resume the more hazardous work of
expounding the principles of the movement before the broad masses of the
people.

Mass meetings in public became more and more rare, though these are the
only means of exercising a really effective influence on the people;
because here the influence comes from direct personal contact and in
this way the support of large sections of the people can be obtained.

When the tables on which the speakers used to stand in the great
beer-halls, addressing an assembly of thousands, were deserted for the
parliamentary tribune and the speeches were no longer addressed to the
people directly but to the so-called 'chosen' representatives, the
Pan-German Movement lost its popular character and in a little while
degenerated to the level of a more or less serious club where problems
of the day are discussed academically.

The wrong impression created by the Press was no longer corrected by
personal contact with the people through public meetings, whereby the
individual representatives might have given a true account of their
activities. The final result of this neglect was that the word
'Pan-German' came to have an unpleasant sound in the ears of the masses.

The knights of the pen and the literary snobs of to-day should be made
to realize that the great transformations which have taken place in this
world were never conducted by a goosequill. No. The task of the pen must
always be that of presenting the theoretical concepts which motivate
such changes. The force which has ever and always set in motion great
historical avalanches of religious and political movements is the magic
power of the spoken word.

The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of
rhetoric than to any other force. All great movements are popular
movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and
emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or
by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people. In no
case have great movements been set afoot by the syrupy effusions of
aesthetic littérateurs and drawing-room heroes.

The doom of a nation can be averted only by a storm of glowing passion;
but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in
others. It is only through the capacity for passionate feeling that
chosen leaders can wield the power of the word which, like hammer blows,
will open the door to the hearts of the people.

He who is not capable of passionate feeling and speech was never chosen
by Providence to be the herald of its will. Therefore a writer should
stick to his ink-bottle and busy himself with theoretical questions if
he has the requisite ability and knowledge. He has not been born or
chosen to be a leader.

A movement which has great ends to achieve must carefully guard against
the danger of losing contact with the masses of the people. Every
problem encountered must be examined from this viewpoint first of all
and the decision to be made must always be in harmony with this
principle.

The movement must avoid everything which might lessen or weaken its
power of influencing the masses; not from demagogical motives but
because of the simple fact that no great idea, no matter how sublime and
exalted it may appear, can be realized in practice without the effective
power which resides in the popular masses. Stern reality alone must mark
the way to the goal. To be unwilling to walk the road of hardship means,
only too often in this world, the total renunciation of our aims and
purposes, whether that renunciation be consciously willed or not.

The moment the Pan-German leaders, in virtue of their acceptance of the
parliamentary principle, moved the centre of their activities away from
the people and into Parliament, in that moment they sacrificed the
future for the sake of a cheap momentary success. They chose the easier
way in the struggle and in doing so rendered themselves unworthy of the
final victory.

While in Vienna I used to ponder seriously over these two questions, and
I saw that the main reason for the collapse of the Pan-German Movement
lay in the fact that these very questions were not rightly appreciated.
To my mind at that time the Movement seemed chosen to take in its hands
the leadership of the German element in Austria.

These first two blunders which led to the downfall of the Pan-German
Movement were very closely connected with one another. Faulty
recognition of the inner driving forces that urge great movements
forward led to an inadequate appreciation of the part which the broad
masses play in bringing about such changes. The result was that too
little attention was given to the social problem and that the attempts
made by the movement to capture the minds of the lower classes were too
few and too weak. Another result was the acceptance of the parliamentary
policy, which had a similar effect in regard to the importance of the
masses.

If there had been a proper appreciation of the tremendous powers of
endurance always shown by the masses in revolutionary movements a
different attitude towards the social problem would have been taken, and
also a different policy in the matter of propaganda. Then the centre of
gravity of the movement would not have been transferred to the
Parliament but would have remained in the workshops and in the streets.

There was a third mistake, which also had its roots in the failure to
understand the worth of the masses. The masses are first set in motion,
along a definite direction, by men of superior talents; but then these
masses once in motion are like a flywheel inasmuch as they sustain the
momentum and steady balance of the offensive.

The policy of the Pan-German leaders in deciding to carry through a
difficult fight against the Catholic Church can be explained only by
attributing it to an inadequate understanding of the spiritual character
of the people.

The reasons why the new Party engaged in a violent campaign against Rome
were as follows:

As soon as the House of Habsburg had definitely decided to transform
Austria into a Slav State all sorts of means were adopted which seemed
in any way serviceable for that purpose. The Habsburg rulers had no
scruples of conscience about exploiting even religious institutions in
the service of this new 'State Idea'. One of the many methods thus
employed was the use of Czech parishes and their clergy as instruments
for spreading Slav hegemony throughout Austria. This proceeding was
carried out as follows:

Parish priests of Czech nationality were appointed in purely German
districts. Gradually but steadily pushing forward the interests of the
Czech people before those of the Church, the parishes and their priests
became generative cells in the process of de-Germanization.

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« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2008, 01:00:38 am »

Unfortunately the German-Austrian clergy completely failed to counter
this procedure. Not only were they incapable of taking a similar
initiative on the German side, but they showed themselves unable to meet
the Czech offensive with adequate resistance. The German element was
accordingly pushed backwards, slowly but steadily, through the
perversion of religious belief for political ends on the one side, and
the Jack of proper resistance on the other side. Such were the tactics
used in dealing with the smaller problems; but those used in dealing
with the larger problems were not very different.

The anti-German aims pursued by the Habsburgs, especially through the
instrumentality of the higher clergy, did not meet with any vigorous
resistance, while the clerical representatives of the German interests
withdrew completely to the rear. The general impression created could
not be other than that the Catholic clergy as such were grossly
neglecting the rights of the German population.

Therefore it looked as if the Catholic Church was not in sympathy with
the German people but that it unjustly supported their adversaries. The
root of the whole evil, especially according to Schönerer's opinion, lay
in the fact that the leadership of the Catholic Church was not in
Germany, and that this fact alone was sufficient reason for the hostile
attitude of the Church towards the demands of our people.

The so-called cultural problem receded almost completely into the
background, as was generally the case everywhere throughout Austria at
that time. In assuming a hostile attitude towards the Catholic Church,
the Pan-German leaders were influenced not so much by the Church's
position in questions of science but principally by the fact that the
Church did not defend German rights, as it should have done, but always
supported those who encroached on these rights, especially then Slavs.

George Schönerer was not a man who did things by halves. He went into
battle against the Church because he was convinced that this was the
only way in which the German people could be saved. The LOS-VON-ROM
(Away from Rome) Movement seemed the most formidable, but at the same
time most difficult, method of attacking and destroying the adversary's
citadel. Schönerer believed that if this movement could be carried
through successfully the unfortunate division between the two great
religious denominations in Germany would be wiped out and that the inner
forces of the German Empire and Nation would be enormously enhanced by
such a victory.

But the premises as well as the conclusions in this case were both
erroneous.

It was undoubtedly true that the national powers of resistance, in
everything concerning Germanism as such, were much weaker among the
German Catholic clergy than among their non-German confrères, especially
the Czechs. And only an ignorant person could be unaware of the fact
that it scarcely ever entered the mind of the German clergy to take the
offensive on behalf of German interests.

But at the same time everybody who is not blind to facts must admit that
all this should be attributed to a characteristic under which we Germans
have all been doomed to suffer. This characteristic shows itself in our
objective way of regarding our own nationality, as if it were something
that lay outside of us.

While the Czech priest adopted a subjective attitude towards his own
people and only an objective attitude towards the Church, the German
parish priest showed a subjective devotion to his Church and remained
objective in regard to his nation. It is a phenomenon which,
unfortunately for us, can be observed occurring in exactly the same way
in thousands of other cases.

It is by no means a peculiar inheritance from Catholicism; but it is
something in us which does not take long to gnaw the vitals of almost
every institution, especially institutions of State and those which have
ideal aims. Take, for example, the attitude of our State officials in
regard to the efforts made for bringing about a national resurgence and
compare that attitude with the stand which the public officials of any
other nation would have taken in such a case. Or is it to be believed
that the military officers of any other country in the world would
refuse to come forward on behalf of the national aspirations, but would
rather hide behind the phrase 'Authority of the State', as has been the
case in our country during the last five years and has even been deemed
a meritorious attitude? Or let us take another example. In regard to the
Jewish problem, do not the two Christian denominations take up a
standpoint to-day which does not respond to the national exigencies or
even the interests of religion? Consider the attitude of a Jewish Rabbi
towards any question, even one of quite insignificant importance,
concerning the Jews as a race, and compare his attitude with that of the
majority of our clergy, whether Catholic or Protestant.

We observe the same phenomenon wherever it is a matter of standing up
for some abstract idea.

'Authority of the State', 'Democracy', 'Pacifism', 'International
Solidarity', etc., all such notions become rigid, dogmatic concepts with
us; and the more vital the general necessities of the nation, the more
will they be judged exclusively in the light of those concepts.

This unfortunate habit of looking at all national demands from the
viewpoint of a pre-conceived notion makes it impossible for us to see
the subjective side of a thing which objectively contradicts one's own
doctrine. It finally leads to a complete reversion in the relation of
means to an end. Any attempt at a national revival will be opposed if
the preliminary condition of such a revival be that a bad and pernicious
regime must first of all be overthrown; because such an action will be
considered as a violation of the 'Authority of the State'. In the eyes
of those who take that standpoint, the 'Authority of the State' is not a
means which is there to serve an end but rather, to the mind of the
dogmatic believer in objectivity, it is an end in itself; and he looks
upon that as sufficient apology for his own miserable existence. Such
people would raise an outcry, if, for instance, anyone should attempt to
set up a dictatorship, even though the man responsible for it were
Frederick the Great and even though the politicians for the time being,
who constituted the parliamentary majority, were small and incompetent
men or maybe even on a lower grade of inferiority; because to such
sticklers for abstract principles the law of democracy is more sacred
than the welfare of the nation. In accordance with his principles, one
of these gentry will defend the worst kind of tyranny, though it may be
leading a people to ruin, because it is the fleeting embodiment of the
'Authority of the State', and another will reject even a highly
beneficent government if it should happen not to be in accord with his
notion of 'democracy'.

In the same way our German pacifist will remain silent while the nation
is groaning under an oppression which is being exercised by a sanguinary
military power, when this state of affairs gives rise to active
resistance; because such resistance means the employment of physical
force, which is against the spirit of the pacifist associations. The
German International Socialist may be rooked and plundered by his
comrades in all the other countries of the world in the name of
'solidarity', but he responds with fraternal kindness and never thinks
of trying to get his own back, or even of defending himself. And why?
Because he is a--German.

It may be unpleasant to dwell on such truths, but if something is to be
changed we must start by diagnosing the disease.

The phenomenon which I have just described also accounts for the feeble
manner in which German interests are promoted and defended by a section
of the clergy.

Such conduct is not the manifestation of a malicious intent, nor is it
the outcome of orders given from 'above', as we say; but such a lack of
national grit and determination is due to defects in our educational
system. For, instead of inculcating in the youth a lively sense of their
German nationality, the aim of the educational system is to make the
youth prostrate themselves in homage to the idea, as if the idea were an
idol.

The education which makes them the devotees of such abstract notions as
'Democracy', 'International Socialism', 'Pacifism', etc., is so
hard-and-fast and exclusive and, operating as it does from within
outwards, is so purely subjective that in forming their general picture
of outside life as a whole they are fundamentally influenced by these
A PRIORI notions. But, on the other hand, the attitude towards their own
German nationality has been very objective from youth upwards. The
Pacifist--in so far as he is a German--who surrenders himself
subjectively, body and soul, to the dictates of his dogmatic principles,
will always first consider the objective right or wrong of a situation
when danger threatens his own people, even though that danger be grave
and unjustly wrought from outside. But he will never take his stand in
the ranks of his own people and fight for and with them from the sheer
instinct of self-preservation.

Another example may further illustrate how far this applies to the
different religious denominations. In so far as its origin and tradition
are based on German ideals, Protestantism of itself defends those ideals
better. But it fails the moment it is called upon to defend national
interests which do not belong to the sphere of its ideals and
traditional development, or which, for some reason or other, may be
rejected by that sphere.

Therefore Protestantism will always take its part in promoting German
ideals as far as concerns moral integrity or national education, when
the German spiritual being or language or spiritual freedom are to be
defended: because these represent the principles on which Protestantism
itself is grounded. But this same Protestantism violently opposes every
attempt to rescue the nation from the clutches of its mortal enemy;
because the Protestant attitude towards the Jews is more or less rigidly
and dogmatically fixed. And yet this is the first problem which has to
be solved, unless all attempts to bring about a German resurgence or to
raise the level of the nation's standing are doomed to turn out
nonsensical and impossible.

During my sojourn in Vienna I had ample leisure and opportunity to study
this problem without allowing any prejudices to intervene; and in my
daily intercourse with people I was able to establish the correctness of
the opinion I formed by the test of thousands of instances.

In this focus where the greatest varieties of nationality had converged
it was quite clear and open to everybody to see that the German pacifist
was always and exclusively the one who tried to consider the interests
of his own nation objectively; but you could never find a Jew who took a
similar attitude towards his own race. Furthermore, I found that only
the German Socialist is 'international' in the sense that he feels
himself obliged not to demand justice for his own people in any other
manner than by whining and wailing to his international comrades. Nobody
could ever reproach Czechs or Poles or other nations with such conduct.
In short, even at that time, already I recognized that this evil is only
partly a result of the doctrines taught by Socialism, Pacifism, etc.,
but mainly the result of our totally inadequate system of education, the
defects of which are responsible for the lack of devotion to our own
national ideals.

Therefore the first theoretical argument advanced by the Pan-German
leaders as the basis of their offensive against Catholicism was quite
entenable.

The only way to remedy the evil I have been speaking of is to train the
Germans from youth upwards to an absolute recognition of the rights of
their own people, instead of poisoning their minds, while they are still
only children, with the virus of this curbed 'objectivity', even in
matters concerning the very maintenance of our own existence. The result
of this would be that the Catholic in Germany, just as in Ireland,
Poland or France, will be a German first and foremost. But all this
presupposes a radical change in the national government.

The strongest proof in support of my contention is furnished by what
took place at that historical juncture when our people were called for
the last time before the tribunal of History to defend their own
existence, in a life-or-death struggle.

As long as there was no lack of leadership in the higher circles, the
people fulfilled their duty and obligations to an overwhelming extent.
Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, each did his very utmost
in helping our powers of resistance to hold out, not only in the
trenches but also, and even more so, at home. During those years, and
especially during the first outburst of enthusiasm, in both religious
camps there was one undivided and sacred German Empire for whose
preservation and future existence they all prayed to Heaven.

The Pan-German Movement in Austria ought to have asked itself this one
question: Is the maintenance of the German element in Austria possible
or not, as long as that element remains within the fold of the Catholic
Faith? If that question should have been answered in the affirmative,
then the political Party should not have meddled in religious and
denominational questions. But if the question had to be answered in the
negative, then a religious reformation should have been started and not
a political party movement.

Anyone who believes that a religious reformation can be achieved through
the agency of a political organization shows that he has no idea of the
development of religious conceptions and doctrines of faith and how
these are given practical effect by the Church.

No man can serve two masters. And I hold that the foundation or
overthrow of a religion has far greater consequences than the foundation
or overthrow of a State, to say nothing of a Party.

It is no argument to the contrary to say that the attacks were only
defensive measures against attacks from the other side.

Undoubtedly there have always been unscrupulous rogues who did not
hesitate to degrade religion to the base uses of politics. Nearly always
such a people had nothing else in their minds except to make a business
of religions and politics. But on the other hand it would be wrong to
hold religion itself, or a religious denomination, responsible for a
number of rascals who exploit the Church for their own base interests
just as they would exploit anything else in which they had a part.

Nothing could be more to the taste of one of these parliamentary
loungers and tricksters than to be able to find a scapegoat for his
political sharp-practice--after the event, of course. The moment
religion or a religious denomination is attacked and made responsible
for his personal misdeeds this shrewd fellow will raise a row at once
and call the world to witness how justified he was in acting as he did,
proclaiming that he and his eloquence alone have saved religion and the
Church. The public, which is mostly stupid and has a very short memory,
is not capable of recognizing the real instigator of the quarrel in the
midst of the turmoil that has been raised. Frequently it does not
remember the beginning of the fight and so the rogue gets by with his
stunt.

A cunning fellow of that sort is quite well aware that his misdeeds have
nothing to do with religion. And so he will laugh up his sleeve all the
more heartily when his honest but artless adversary loses the game and,
one day losing all faith in humanity, retires from the activities of
public life.

But from another viewpoint also it would be wrong to make religion, or
the Church as such, responsible for the misdeeds of individuals. If one
compares the magnitude of the organization, as it stands visible to
every eye, with the average weakness of human nature we shall have to
admit that the proportion of good to bad is more favourable here than
anywhere else. Among the priests there may, of course, be some who use
their sacred calling to further their political ambitions. There are
clergy who unfortunately forget that in the political mêlée they ought
to be the paladins of the more sublime truths and not the abettors of
falsehood and slander. But for each one of these unworthy specimens we
can find a thousand or more who fulfil their mission nobly as the
trustworthy guardians of souls and who tower above the level of our
corrupt epoch, as little islands above the seaswamp.

I cannot condemn the Church as such, and I should feel quite as little
justified in doing so if some depraved person in the robe of a priest
commits some offence against the moral law. Nor should I for a moment
think of blaming the Church if one of its innumerable members betrays
and besmirches his compatriots, especially not in epochs when such
conduct is quite common. We must not forget, particularly in our day,
that for one such Ephialtes (Note 7) there are a thousand whose hearts
bleed in sympathy with their people during these years of misfortune and
who, together with the best of our nation, yearn for the hour when fortune
will smile on us again.

[Note 7. Herodotus (Book VII, 213-218) tells the story of how a Greek
traitor, Ephialtes, helped the Persian invaders at the Battle of
Thermopylae (480 B.C.) When the Persian King, Xerxes, had begun to
despair of being able tobreak through the Greek defence, Ephialtes came
to him and, on being promiseda definite payment, told the King of a
pathway over the shoulder of the mountainto the Greek end of the Pass.
The bargain being clinched, Ephialtes led adetachment of the Persian
troops under General Hydarnes over the mountainpathway. Thus taken in
the rear, the Greek defenders, under Leonidas, King of Sparta, had to
fight in two opposite directions within the narrow pass. Terrible
slaughter ensued and Leonidas fell in the thick of the fighting.

The bravery of Leonidas and the treason of Ephialtes impressed Hitler,
asit does almost every schoolboy. The incident is referred to again in
MEIN KAMPF (Chap. VIII, Vol. I), where Hitler compares the German troops
thatfell in France and Flanders to the Greeks at Thermopylae, the
treachery of Ephialtes being suggested as the prototype of the defeatist
policy of the German politicians towards the end of the Great War.]

If it be objected that here we are concerned not with the petty problems
of everyday life but principally with fundamental truths and questions
of dogma, the only way of answering that objection is to ask a question:

Do you feel that Providence has called you to proclaim the Truth to the
world? If so, then go and do it. But you ought to have the courage to do
it directly and not use some political party as your mouthpiece; for in
this way you shirk your vocation. In the place of something that now
exists and is bad put something else that is better and will last into
the future.

If you lack the requisite courage or if you yourself do not know clearly
what your better substitute ought to be, leave the whole thing alone.
But, whatever happens, do not try to reach the goal by the roundabout
way of a political party if you are not brave enough to fight with your
visor lifted.

Political parties have no right to meddle in religious questions except
when these relate to something that is alien to the national well-being
and thus calculated to undermine racial customs and morals.

If some ecclesiastical dignitaries should misuse religious ceremonies or
religious teaching to injure their own nation their opponents ought
never to take the same road and fight them with the same weapons.

To a political leader the religious teachings and practices of his
people should be sacred and inviolable. Otherwise he should not be a
statesman but a reformer, if he has the necessary qualities for such a
mission.

Any other line of conduct will lead to disaster, especially in Germany.

In studying the Pan-German Movement and its conflict with Rome I was
then firmly persuaded, and especially in the course of later years, that
by their failure to understand the importance of the social problem the
Pan-Germanists lost the support of the broad masses, who are the
indispensable combatants in such a movement. By entering Parliament the
Pan-German leaders deprived themselves of the great driving force which
resides in the masses and at the same time they laid on their own
shoulders all the defects of the parliamentary institution. Their
struggle against the Church made their position impossible in numerous
circles of the lower and middle class, while at the same time it robbed
them of innumerable high-class elements--some of the best indeed that
the nation possessed. The practical outcome of the Austrian Kulturkampf
was negative.

Although they succeeded in winning 100,000 members away from the Church,
that did not do much harm to the latter. The Church did not really need
to shed any tears over these lost sheep, for it lost only those who had
for a long time ceased to belong to it in their inner hearts. The
difference between this new reformation and the great Reformation was
that in the historic epoch of the great Reformation some of the best
members left the Church because of religious convictions, whereas in
this new reformation only those left who had been indifferent before and
who were now influenced by political considerations. From the political
point of view alone the result was as ridiculous as it was deplorable.

Once again a political movement which had promised so much for the
German nation collapsed, because it was not conducted in a spirit of
unflinching adherence to naked reality, but lost itself in fields where
it was bound to get broken up.

The Pan-German Movement would never have made this mistake if it had
properly understood the PSYCHE of the broad masses. If the leaders had
known that, for psychological reasons alone, it is not expedient to
place two or more sets of adversaries before the masses--since that
leads to a complete splitting up of their fighting strength--they would
have concentrated the full and undivided force of their attack against a
single adversary. Nothing in the policy of a political party is so
fraught with danger as to allow its decisions to be directed by people
who want to have their fingers in every pie though they do not know how
to cook the simplest dish.

But even though there is much that can really be said against the
various religious denominations, political leaders must not forget that
the experience of history teaches us that no purely political party in
similar circumstances ever succeeded in bringing about a religious
reformation. One does not study history for the purpose of forgetting or
mistrusting its lessons afterwards, when the time comes to apply these
lessons in practice. It would be a mistake to believe that in this
particular case things were different, so that the eternal truths of
history were no longer applicable. One learns history in order to be
able to apply its lessons to the present time and whoever fails to do
this cannot pretend to be a political leader. In reality he is quite a
superficial person or, as is mostly the case, a conceited simpleton
whose good intentions cannot make up for his incompetence in practical
affairs.
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« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2008, 01:01:12 am »

The art of leadership, as displayed by really great popular leaders in
all ages, consists in consolidating the attention of the people against
a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that
attention into sections. The more the militant energies of the people
are directed towards one objective the more will new recruits join the
movement, attracted by the magnetism of its unified action, and thus the
striking power will be all the more enhanced. The leader of genius must
have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged
to the one category; for weak and wavering natures among a leader's
following may easily begin to be dubious about the justice of their own
cause if they have to face different enemies.

As soon as the vacillating masses find themselves facing an opposition
that is made up of different groups of enemies their sense of
objectivity will be aroused and they will ask how is it that all the
others can be in the wrong and they themselves, and their movement,
alone in the right.

Such a feeling would be the first step towards a paralysis of their
fighting vigour. Where there are various enemies who are split up into
divergent groups it will be necessary to block them all together as
forming one solid front, so that the mass of followers in a popular
movement may see only one common enemy against whom they have to fight.
Such uniformity intensifies their belief in the justice of their own
cause and strengthens their feeling of hostility towards the opponent.

The Pan-German Movement was unsuccessful because the leaders did not
grasp the significance of that truth. They saw the goal clearly and
their intentions were right; but they took the wrong road. Their action
may be compared to that of an Alpine climber who never loses sight of
the peak he wants to reach, who has set out with the greatest
determination and energy, but pays no attention to the road beneath his
feet. With his eye always fixed firmly on the goal he does not think
over or notice the nature of the ascent and finally he fails.

The manner in which the great rival of the Pan-German Party set out to
attain its goal was quite different. The way it took was well and
shrewdly chosen; but it did not have a clear vision of the goal. In
almost all the questions where the Pan-German Movement failed, the
policy of the Christian-Socialist Party was correct and systematic.

They assessed the importance of the masses correctly, and thus they
gained the support of large numbers of the popular masses by emphasizing
the social character of the Movement from the very start. By directing
their appeal especially to the lower middle class and the artisans, they
gained adherents who were faithful, persevering and self-sacrificing.
The Christian-Socialist leaders took care to avoid all controversy with
the institutions of religion and thus they secured the support of that
mighty organization, the Catholic Church. Those leaders recognized the
value of propaganda on a large scale and they were veritable virtuosos
in working up the spiritual instincts of the broad masses of their
adherents.

The failure of this Party to carry into effect the dream of saving
Austria from dissolution must be attributed to two main defects in the
means they employed and also the lack of a clear perception of the ends
they wished to reach.

The anti-Semitism of the Christian-Socialists was based on religious
instead of racial principles. The reason for this mistake gave rise to
the second error also.

The founders of the Christian-Socialist Party were of the opinion that
they could not base their position on the racial principle if they
wished to save Austria, because they felt that a general disintegration
of the State might quickly result from the adoption of such a policy. In
the opinion of the Party chiefs the situation in Vienna demanded that
all factors which tended to estrange the nationalities from one another
should be carefully avoided and that all factors making for unity should
be encouraged.

At that time Vienna was so honeycombed with foreign elements, especially
the Czechs, that the greatest amount of tolerance was necessary if these
elements were to be enlisted in the ranks of any party that was not
anti-German on principle. If Austria was to be saved those elements were
indispensable. And so attempts were made to win the support of the small
traders, a great number of whom were Czechs, by combating the liberalism
of the Manchester School; and they believed that by adopting this
attitude they had found a slogan against Jewry which, because of its
religious implications, would unite all the different nationalities
which made up the population of the old Austria.

It was obvious, however, that this kind of anti-Semitism did not upset
the Jews very much, simply because it had a purely religious foundation.
If the worst came to the worst a few drops of baptismal water would
settle the matter, hereupon the Jew could still carry on his business
safely and at the same time retain his Jewish nationality.

On such superficial grounds it was impossible to deal with the whole
problem in an earnest and rational way. The consequence was that many
people could not understand this kind of anti-Semitism and therefore
refused to take part in it.

The attractive force of the idea was thus restricted exclusively to
narrow-minded circles, because the leaders failed to go beyond the mere
emotional appeal and did not ground their position on a truly rational
basis. The intellectuals were opposed to such a policy on principle. It
looked more and more as if the whole movement was a new attempt to
proselytize the Jews, or, on the other hand, as if it were merely
organized from the wish to compete with other contemporary movements.
Thus the struggle lost all traces of having been organized for a
spiritual and sublime mission. Indeed, it seemed to some people--and
these were by no means worthless elements--to be immoral and
reprehensible. The movement failed to awaken a belief that here there
was a problem of vital importance for the whole of humanity and on the
solution of which the destiny of the whole Gentile world depended.

Through this shilly-shally way of dealing with the problem the
anti-Semitism of the Christian-Socialists turned out to be quite
ineffective.

It was anti-Semitic only in outward appearance. And this was worse than
if it had made no pretences at all to anti-Semitism; for the pretence
gave rise to a false sense of security among people who believed that
the enemy had been taken by the ears; but, as a matter of fact, the
people themselves were being led by the nose.

The Jew readily adjusted himself to this form of anti-Semitism and found
its continuance more profitable to him than its abolition would be.

This whole movement led to great sacrifices being made for the sake of
that State which was composed of many heterogeneous nationalities; but
much greater sacrifices had to be made by the trustees of the German
element.

One did not dare to be 'nationalist', even in Vienna, lest the ground
should fall away from under one's feet. It was hoped that the Habsburg
State might be saved by a silent evasion of the nationalist question;
but this policy led that State to ruin. The same policy also led to the
collapse of Christian Socialism, for thus the Movement was deprived of
the only source of energy from which a political party can draw the
necessary driving force.

During those years I carefully followed the two movements and observed
how they developed, one because my heart was with it and the other
because of my admiration for that remarkable man who then appeared to me
as a bitter symbol of the whole German population in Austria.

When the imposing funeral CORTÈGE of the dead Burgomaster wound its way
from the City Hall towards the Ring Strasse I stood among the hundreds
of thousands who watched the solemn procession pass by. As I stood there
I felt deeply moved, and my instinct clearly told me that the work of
this man was all in vain, because a sinister Fate was inexorably leading
this State to its downfall. If Dr. Karl Lueger had lived in Germany he
would have been ranked among the great leaders of our people. It was a
misfortune for his work and for himseif that he had to live in this
impossible State.

When he died the fire had already been enkindled in the Balkans and was
spreading month by month. Fate had been merciful in sparing him the
sight of what, even to the last, he had hoped to prevent.

I endeavoured to analyse the cause which rendered one of those movements
futile and wrecked the progress of the other. The result of this
investigation was the profound conviction that, apart from the inherent
impossibility of consolidating the position of the State in the old
Austria, the two parties made the following fatal mistake:

The Pan-German Party was perfectly right in its fundamental ideas
regarding the aim of the Movement, which was to bring about a German
restoration, but it was unfortunate in its choice of means. It was
nationalist, but unfortunately it paid too little heed to the social
problem, and thus it failed to gain the support of the masses. Its
anti-Jewish policy, however, was grounded on a correct perception of the
significance of the racial problem and not on religious principles. But
it was mistaken in its assessment of facts and adopted the wrong tactics
when it made war against one of the religious denominations.

The Christian-Socialist Movement had only a vague concept of a German
revival as part of its object, but it was intelligent and fortunate in
the choice of means to carry out its policy as a Party. The
Christian-Socialists grasped the significance of the social question;
but they adopted the wrong principles in their struggle against Jewry,
and they utterly failed to appreciate the value of the national idea as
a source of political energy.

If the Christian-Socialist Party, together with its shrewd judgment in
regard to the worth of the popular masses, had only judged rightly also
on the importance of the racial problem--which was properly grasped by
the Pan-German Movement--and if this party had been really nationalist;
or if the Pan-German leaders, on the other hand, in addition to their
correct judgment of the Jewish problem and of the national idea, had
adopted the practical wisdom of the Christian-Socialist Party, and
particularly their attitude towards Socialism--then a movement would
have developed which, in my opinion, might at that time have
successfully altered the course of German destiny.

If things did not turn out thus, the fault lay for the most part in the
inherent nature of the Austrian State.

I did not find my own convictions upheld by any party then in existence,
and so I could not bring myself to enlist as a member in any of the
existing organizations or even lend a hand in their struggle. Even at
that time all those organizations seemed to me to be already jaded in
their energies and were therefore incapable of bringing about a national
revival of the German people in a really profound way, not merely
outwardly.

My inner aversion to the Habsburg State was increasing daily.

The more I paid special attention to questions of foreign policy, the
more the conviction grew upon me that this phantom State would surely
bring misfortune on the Germans. I realized more and more that the
destiny of the German nation could not be decisively influenced from
here but only in the German Empire itself. And this was true not only in
regard to general political questions but also--and in no less a
degree--in regard to the whole sphere of cultural life.

Here, also, in all matters affecting the national culture and art, the
Austrian State showed all the signs of senile decrepitude, or at least
it was ceasing to be of any consequence to the German nation, as far as
these matters were concerned. This was especially true of its
architecture. Modern architecture could not produce any great results in
Austria because, since the building of the Ring Strasse--at least in
Vienna--architectural activities had become insignificant when compared
with the progressive plans which were being thought out in Germany.

And so I came more and more to lead what may be called a twofold
existence. Reason and reality forced me to continue my harsh
apprenticeship in Austria, though I must now say that this
apprenticeship turned out fortunate in the end. But my heart was
elsewhere.

A feeling of discontent grew upon me and made me depressed the more I
came to realize the inside hollowness of this State and the
impossibility of saving it from collapse. At the same time I felt
perfectly certain that it would bring all kinds of misfortune to the
German people.

I was convinced that the Habsburg State would balk and hinder every
German who might show signs of real greatness, while at the same time it
would aid and abet every non-German activity.

This conglomerate spectacle of heterogeneous races which the capital of
the Dual Monarchy presented, this motley of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians,
Ruthenians, Serbs and Croats, etc., and always that bacillus which is
the solvent of human society, the Jew, here and there and
everywhere--the whole spectacle was repugnant to me. The gigantic city
seemed to be the incarnation of mongrel depravity.

The German language, which I had spoken from the time of my boyhood, was
the vernacular idiom of Lower Bavaria. I never forgot that particular
style of speech, and I could never learn the Viennese dialect. The
longer I lived in that city the stronger became my hatred for the
promiscuous swarm of foreign peoples which had begun to batten on that
old nursery ground of German culture. The idea that this State could
maintain its further existence for any considerable time was quite
absurd.

Austria was then like a piece of ancient mosaic in which the cohesive
cement had dried up and become old and friable. As long as such a work
of art remains untouched it may hold together and continue to exist; but
the moment some blow is struck on it then it breaks up into thousands of
fragments. Therefore it was now only a question of when the blow would
come.

Because my heart was always with the German Empire and not with the
Austrian Monarchy, the hour of Austria's dissolution as a State appeared
to me only as the first step towards the emancipation of the German
nation.

All these considerations intensified my yearning to depart for that
country for which my heart had been secretly longing since the days of
my youth.

I hoped that one day I might be able to make my mark as an architect and
that I could devote my talents to the service of my country on a large
or small scale, according to the will of Fate.

A final reason was that I longed to be among those who lived and worked
in that land from which the movement should be launched, the object of
which would be the fulfilment of what my heart had always longed for,
namely, the union of the country in which I was born with our common
fatherland, the German Empire.

There are many who may not understand how such a yearning can be so
strong; but I appeal especially to two groups of people. The first
includes all those who are still denied the happiness I have spoken of,
and the second embraces those who once enjoyed that happiness but had it
torn from them by a harsh fate. I turn to all those who have been torn
from their motherland and who have to struggle for the preservation of
their most sacred patrimony, their native language, persecuted and
harried because of their loyalty and love for the homeland, yearning
sadly for the hour when they will be allowed to return to the bosom of
their father's household. To these I address my words, and I know that
they will understand.

Only he who has experienced in his own inner life what it means to be
German and yet to be denied the right of belonging to his fatherland can
appreciate the profound nostalgia which that enforced exile causes. It
is a perpetual heartache, and there is no place for joy and contentment
until the doors of paternal home are thrown open and all those through
whose veins kindred blood is flowing will find peace and rest in their
common REICH.

Vienna was a hard school for me; but it taught me the most profound
lessons of my life. I was scarcely more than a boy when I came to live
there, and when I left it I had grown to be a man of a grave and pensive
nature. In Vienna I acquired the foundations of a WELTANSCHAUUNG in
general and developed a faculty for analysing political questions in
particular. That WELTANSCHAUUNG and the political ideas then formed
have never been abandoned, though they were expanded later on in some
directions. It is only now that I can fully appreciate how valuable
those years of apprenticeship were for me.

That is why I have given a detailed account of this period. There, in
Vienna, stark reality taught me the truths that now form the fundamental
principles of the Party which within the course of five years has grown
from modest beginnings to a great mass movement. I do not know what my
attitude towards Jewry, Social-Democracy, or rather Marxism in general,
to the social problem, etc., would be to-day if I had not acquired a
stock of personal beliefs at such an early age, by dint of hard study
and under the duress of Fate.

For, although the misfortunes of the Fatherland may have stimulated
thousands and thousands to ponder over the inner causes of the collapse,
that could not lead to such a thorough knowledge and deep insight as a
man may develop who has fought a hard struggle for many years so that he
might be master of his own fate.


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« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2008, 01:02:00 am »

CHAPTER IV



MUNICH


At last I came to Munich, in the spring of 1912.

The city itself was as familiar to me as if I had lived for years within
its walls.

This was because my studies in architecture had been constantly turning
my attention to the metropolis of German art. One must know Munich if
one would know Germany, and it is impossible to acquire a knowledge of
German art without seeing Munich.

All things considered, this pre-war sojourn was by far the happiest and
most contented time of my life. My earnings were very slender; but after
all I did not live for the sake of painting. I painted in order to get
the bare necessities of existence while I continued my studies. I was
firmly convinced that I should finally succeed in reaching the goal I
had marked out for myself. And this conviction alone was strong enough
to enable me to bear the petty hardships of everyday life without
worrying very much about them.

Moreover, almost from the very first moment of my sojourn there I came
to love that city more than any other place known to me. A German city!
I said to myself. How different to Vienna. It was with a feeling of
disgust that my imagination reverted to that Babylon of races. Another
pleasant feature here was the way the people spoke German, which was
much nearer my own way of speaking than the Viennese idiom. The Munich
idiom recalled the days of my youth, especially when I spoke with those
who had come to Munich from Lower Bavaria. There were a thousand or more
things which I inwardly loved or which I came to love during the course
of my stay. But what attracted me most was the marvellous wedlock of
native folk-energy with the fine artistic spirit of the city, that
unique harmony from the Hofbräuhaus to the Odeon, from the October
Festival to the PINAKOTHEK, etc. The reason why my heart's strings are
entwined around this city as around no other spot in this world is
probably because Munich is and will remain inseparably connected with
the development of my own career; and the fact that from the beginning
of my visit I felt inwardly happy and contented is to be attributed to
the charm of the marvellous Wittelsbach Capital, which has attracted
probably everybody who is blessed with a feeling for beauty instead of
commercial instincts.

Apart from my professional work, I was most interested in the study of
current political events, particularly those which were connected with
foreign relations. I approached these by way of the German policy of
alliances which, ever since my Austrian days, I had considered to be an
utterly mistaken one. But in Vienna I had not yet seen quite clearly how
far the German Empire had gone in the process of' self-delusion. In
Vienna I was inclined to assume, or probably I persuaded myself to do so
in order to excuse the German mistake, that possibly the authorities in
Berlin knew how weak and unreliable their ally would prove to be when
brought face to face with realities, but that, for more or less
mysterious reasons, they refrained from allowing their opinions on this
point to be known in public. Their idea was that they should support the
policy of alliances which Bismarck had initiated and the sudden
discontinuance of which might be undesirable, if for no other reason
than that it might arouse those foreign countries which were lying in
wait for their chance or might alarm the Philistines at home.

But my contact with the people soon taught me, to my horror, that my
assumptions were wrong. I was amazed to find everywhere, even in circles
otherwise well informed, that nobody had the slightest intimation of the
real character of the Habsburg Monarchy. Among the common people in
particular there was a prevalent illusion that the Austrian ally was a
Power which would have to be seriously reckoned with and would rally its
man-power in the hour of need. The mass of the people continued to look
upon the Dual Monarchy as a 'German State' and believed that it could be
relied upon. They assumed that its strength could be measured by the
millions of its subjects, as was the case in Germany. First of all, they
did not realize that Austria had ceased to be a German State and,
secondly, that the conditions prevailing within the Austrian Empire were
steadily pushing it headlong to the brink of disaster.

At that time I knew the condition of affairs in the Austrian State
better than the professional diplomats. Blindfolded, as nearly always,
these diplomats stumbled along on their way to disaster. The opinions
prevailing among the bulk of the people reflected only what had been
drummed into them from official quarters above. And these higher
authorities grovelled before the 'Ally', as the people of old bowed down
before the Golden Calf. They probably thought that by being polite and
amiable they might balance the lack of honesty on the other side. Thus
they took every declaration at its full face value.

Even while in Vienna I used to be annoyed again and again by the
discrepancy between the speeches of the official statesmen and the
contents of the Viennese Press. And yet Vienna was still a German city,
at least as far as appearances went. But one encountered an utterly
different state of things on leaving Vienna, or rather German-Austria,
and coming into the Slav provinces. It needed only a glance at the
Prague newspapers in order to see how the whole exalted hocus-pocus of
the Triple Alliance was judged from there. In Prague there was nothing
but gibes and sneers for that masterpiece of statesmanship. Even in the
piping times of peace, when the two emperors kissed each other on the
brow in token of friendship, those papers did not cloak their belief
that the alliance would be liquidated the moment a first attempt was
made to bring it down from the shimmering glory of a Nibelungen ideal to
the plane of practical affairs.

Great indignation was aroused a few years later, when the alliances were
put to the first practical test. Italy not only withdrew from the Triple
Alliance, leaving the other two members to march by themselves. but she
even joined their enemies. That anybody should believe even for a moment
in the possibility of such a miracle as that of Italy fighting on the
same side as Austria would be simply incredible to anyone who did not
suffer from the blindness of official diplomacy. And that was just how
people felt in Austria also.

In Austria only the Habsburgs and the German-Austrians supported the
alliance. The Habsburgs did so from shrewd calculation of their own
interests and from necessity. The Germans did it out of good faith and
political ignorance. They acted in good faith inasmuch as they believed
that by establishing the Triple Alliance they were doing a great service
to the German Empire and were thus helping to strengthen it and
consolidate its defence. They showed their political ignorance, however,
in holding such ideas, because, instead of helping the German Empire
they really chained it to a moribund State which might bring its
associate into the grave with itself; and, above all, by championing
this alliance they fell more and more a prey to the Habsburg policy of
de-Germanization. For the alliance gave the Habsburgs good grounds for
believing that the German Empire would not interfere in their domestic
affairs and thus they were in a position to carry into effect, with more
ease and less risk, their domestic policy of gradually eliminating the
German element. Not only could the 'objectiveness' of the German
Government be counted upon, and thus there need be no fear of protest
from that quarter, but one could always remind the German-Austrians of
the alliance and thus silence them in case they should ever object to
the reprehensible means that were being employed to establish a Slav
hegemony in the Dual Monarchy.

What could the German-Austrians do, when the people of the German Empire
itself had openly proclaimed their trust and confidence in the Habsburg
régime?

Should they resist, and thus be branded openly before their kinsfolk in
the REICH as traitors to their own national interests? They, who for so
many decades had sacrificed so much for the sake of their German
tradition!

Once the influence of the Germans in Austria had been wiped out, what
then would be the value of the alliance? If the Triple Alliance were to
be advantageous to Germany, was it not a necessary condition that the
predominance of the German element in Austria should be maintained? Or
did anyone really believe that Germany could continue to be the ally of
a Habsburg Empire under the hegemony of the Slavs?

The official attitude of German diplomacy, as well as that of the
general public towards internal problems affecting the Austrian
nationalities was not merely stupid, it was insane. On the alliance, as
on a solid foundation, they grounded the security and future existence
of a nation of seventy millions, while at the same time they allowed
their partner to continue his policy of undermining the sole foundation
of that alliance methodically and resolutely, from year to year. A day
must come when nothing but a formal contract with Viennese diplomats
would be left. The alliance itself, as an effective support, would be
lost to Germany.

As far as concerned Italy, such had been the case from the outset.

If people in Germany had studied history and the psychology of nations a
little more carefully not one of them could have believed for a single
hour that the Quirinal and the Viennese Hofburg could ever stand
shoulder to shoulder on a common battle front. Italy would have exploded
like a volcano if any Italian government had dared to send a single
Italian soldier to fight for the Habsburg State. So fanatically hated
was this State that the Italians could stand in no other relation to it
on a battle front except as enemies. More than once in Vienna I have
witnessed explosions of the contempt and profound hatred which 'allied'
the Italian to the Austrian State. The crimes which the House of
Habsburg committed against Italian freedom and independence during
several centuries were too grave to be forgiven, even with the best of
goodwill. But this goodwill did not exist, either among the rank and
file of the population or in the government. Therefore for Italy there
were only two ways of co-existing with Austria--alliance or war. By
choosing the first it was possible to prepare leisurely for the second.

Especially since relations between Russia and Austria tended more and
more towards the arbitrament of war, the German policy of alliances was
as senseless as it was dangerous. Here was a classical instance which
demonstrated the lack of any broad or logical lines of thought.

But what was the reason for forming the alliance at all? It could not
have been other than the wish to secure the future of the REICH better
than if it were to depend exclusively on its own resources. But the
future of the REICH could not have meant anything else than the problem
of securing the means of existence for the German people.

The only questions therefore were the following: What form shall the
life of the nation assume in the near future--that is to say within such
a period as we can forecast? And by what means can the necessary
foundation and security be guaranteed for this development within the
framework of the general distribution of power among the European
nations? A clear analysis of the principles on which the foreign policy
of German statecraft were to be based should have led to the following
conclusions:

The annual increase of population in Germany amounts to almost 900,000
souls. The difficulties of providing for this army of new citizens must
grow from year to year and must finally lead to a catastrophe, unless
ways and means are found which will forestall the danger of misery and
hunger. There were four ways of providing against this terrible
calamity:

(1) It was possible to adopt the French example and artificially
restrict the number of births, thus avoiding an excess of population.

Under certain circumstances, in periods of distress or under bad
climatic condition, or if the soil yields too poor a return, Nature
herself tends to check the increase of population in some countries and
among some races, but by a method which is quite as ruthless as it is
wise. It does not impede the procreative faculty as such; but it does
impede the further existence of the offspring by submitting it to such
tests and privations that everything which is less strong or less
healthy is forced to retreat into the bosom of tile unknown. Whatever
survives these hardships of existence has been tested and tried a
thousandfold, hardened and renders fit to continue the process of
procreation; so that the same thorough selection will begin all over
again. By thus dealing brutally with the individual and recalling him
the very moment he shows that he is not fitted for the trials of life,
Nature preserves the strength of the race and the species and raises it
to the highest degree of efficiency.

The decrease in numbers therefore implies an increase of strength, as
far as the individual is concerned, and this finally means the
invigoration of the species.

But the case is different when man himself starts the process of
numerical restriction. Man is not carved from Nature's wood. He is made
of 'human' material. He knows more than the ruthless Queen of Wisdom. He
does not impede the preservation of the individual but prevents
procreation itself. To the individual, who always sees only himself and
not the race, this line of action seems more humane and just than the
opposite way. But, unfortunately, the consequences are also the
opposite.

By leaving the process of procreation unchecked and by submitting the
individual to the hardest preparatory tests in life, Nature selects the
best from an abundance of single elements and stamps them as fit to live
and carry on the conservation of the species. But man restricts the
procreative faculty and strives obstinately to keep alive at any cost
whatever has once been born. This correction of the Divine Will seems to
him to be wise and humane, and he rejoices at having trumped Nature's
card in one game at least and thus proved that she is not entirely
reliable. The dear little ape of an all-mighty father is delighted to
see and hear that he has succeeded in effecting a numerical restriction;
but he would be very displeased if told that this, his system, brings
about a degeneration in personal quality.

For as soon as the procreative faculty is thwarted and the number of
births diminished, the natural struggle for existence which allows only
healthy and strong individuals to survive is replaced by a sheer craze
to 'save' feeble and even diseased creatures at any cost. And thus the
seeds are sown for a human progeny which will become more and more
miserable from one generation to another, as long as Nature's will is
scorned.

But if that policy be carried out the final results must be that such a
nation will eventually terminate its own existence on this earth; for
though man may defy the eternal laws of procreation during a certain
period, vengeance will follow sooner or later. A stronger race will oust
that which has grown weak; for the vital urge, in its ultimate form,
will burst asunder all the absurd chains of this so-called humane
consideration for the individual and will replace it with the humanity
of Nature, which wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the
strong.

Any policy which aims at securing the existence of a nation by
restricting the birth-rate robs that nation of its future.

(2) A second solution is that of internal colonization. This is a
proposal which is frequently made in our own time and one hears it
lauded a good deal. It is a suggestion that is well-meant but it is
misunderstood by most people, so that it is the source of more mischief
than can be imagined.

It is certainly true that the productivity of the soil can be increased
within certain limits; but only within defined limits and not
indefinitely. By increasing the productive powers of the soil it will be
possible to balance the effect of a surplus birth-rate in Germany for a
certain period of time, without running any danger of hunger. But we
have to face the fact that the general standard of living is rising more
quickly than even the birth rate. The requirements of food and clothing
are becoming greater from year to year and are out of proportion to
those of our ancestors of, let us say, a hundred years ago. It would,
therefore, be a mistaken view that every increase in the productive
powers of the soil will supply the requisite conditions for an increase
in the population. No. That is true up to a certain point only, for at
least a portion of the increased produce of the soil will be consumed by
the margin of increased demands caused by the steady rise in the
standard of living. But even if these demands were to be curtailed to
the narrowest limits possible and if at the same time we were to use all
our available energies in the intenser cultivation, we should here reach
a definite limit which is conditioned by the inherent nature of the soil
itself. No matter how industriously we may labour we cannot increase
agricultural production beyond this limit. Therefore, though we may
postpone the evil hour of distress for a certain time, it will arrive at
last. The first phenomenon will be the recurrence of famine periods from
time to time, after bad harvests, etc. The intervals between these
famines will become shorter and shorter the more the population
increases; and, finally, the famine times will disappear only in those
rare years of plenty when the granaries are full. And a time will
ultimately come when even in those years of plenty there will not be
enough to go round; so that hunger will dog the footsteps of the nation.
Nature must now step in once more and select those who are to survive,
or else man will help himself by artificially preventing his own
increase, with all the fatal consequences for the race and the species
which have been already mentioned.

It may be objected here that, in one form or another, this future is in
store for all mankind and that the individual nation or race cannot
escape the general fate.

At first glance, that objection seems logical enough; but we have to
take the following into account:

The day will certainly come when the whole of mankind will be forced to
check the augmentation of the human species, because there will be no
further possibility of adjusting the productivity of the soil to the
perpetual increase in the population. Nature must then be allowed to use
her own methods or man may possibly take the task of regulation into his
own hands and establish the necessary equilibrium by the application of
better means than we have at our disposal to-day. But then it will be a
problem for mankind as a whole, whereas now only those races have to
suffer from want which no longer have the strength and daring to acquire
sufficient soil to fulfil their needs. For, as things stand to-day, vast
spaces still lie uncultivated all over the surface of the globe. Those
spaces are only waiting for the ploughshare. And it is quite certain
that Nature did not set those territories apart as the exclusive
pastures of any one nation or race to be held unutilized in reserve for
the future. Such land awaits the people who have the strength to acquire
it and the diligence to cultivate it.

Nature knows no political frontiers. She begins by establishing life on
this globe and then watches the free play of forces. Those who show the
greatest courage and industry are the children nearest to her heart and
they will be granted the sovereign right of existence.

If a nation confines itself to 'internal colonization' while other races
are perpetually increasing their territorial annexations all over the
globe, that nation will be forced to restrict the numerical growth of
its population at a time when the other nations are increasing theirs.
This situation must eventually arrive. It will arrive soon if the
territory which the nation has at its disposal be small. Now it is
unfortunately true that only too often the best nations--or, to speak
more exactly, the only really cultured nations, who at the same time are
the chief bearers of human progress--have decided, in their blind
pacifism, to refrain from the acquisition of new territory and to be
content with 'internal colonization.' But at the same time nations of
inferior quality succeed in getting hold of large spaces for
colonization all over the globe. The state of affairs which must result
from this contrast is the following:

Races which are culturally superior but less ruthless would be forced to
restrict their increase, because of insufficient territory to support
the population, while less civilized races could increase indefinitely,
owing to the vast territories at their disposal. In other words: should
that state of affairs continue, then the world will one day be possessed
by that portion of mankind which is culturally inferior but more active
and energetic.

A time will come, even though in the distant future, when there can be
only two alternatives: Either the world will be ruled according to our
modern concept of democracy, and then every decision will be in favour
of the numerically stronger races; or the world will be governed by the
law of natural distribution of power, and then those nations will be
victorious who are of more brutal will and are not the nations who have
practised self-denial.

Nobody can doubt that this world will one day be the scene of dreadful
struggles for existence on the part of mankind. In the end the instinct
of self-preservation alone will triumph. Before its consuming fire this
so-called humanitarianism, which connotes only a mixture of fatuous
timidity and self-conceit, will melt away as under the March sunshine.
Man has become great through perpetual struggle. In perpetual peace his
greatness must decline.

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« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2008, 01:02:46 am »

For us Germans, the slogan of 'internal colonization' is fatal, because
it encourages the belief that we have discovered a means which is in
accordance with our innate pacifism and which will enable us to work for
our livelihood in a half slumbering existence. Such a teaching, once it
were taken seriously by our people, would mean the end of all effort to
acquire for ourselves that place in the world which we deserve. If. the
average German were once convinced that by this measure he has the
chance of ensuring his livelihood and guaranteeing his future, any
attempt to take an active and profitable part in sustaining the vital
demands of his country would be out of the question. Should the nation
agree to such an attitude then any really useful foreign policy might be
looked upon as dead and buried, together with all hope for the future of
the German people.

Once we know what the consequences of this 'internal colonization'
theory would be we can no longer consider as a mere accident the fact
that among those who inculcate this quite pernicious mentality among our
people the Jew is always in the first line. He knows his softies only
too well not to know that they are ready to be the grateful victims of
every swindle which promises them a gold-block in the shape of a
discovery that will enable them to outwit Nature and thus render
superfluous the hard and inexorable struggle for existence; so that
finally they may become lords of the planet partly by sheer DOLCE FAR
NIENTE and partly by working when a pleasing opportunity arises.

It cannot be too strongly emphasised that any German 'internal
colonization' must first of all be considered as suited only for the
relief of social grievances. To carry out a system of internal
colonization, the most important preliminary measure would be to free
the soil from the grip of the speculator and assure that freedom. But
such a system could never suffice to assure the future of the nation
without the acquisition of new territory.

If we adopt a different plan we shall soon reach a point beyond which
the resources of our soil can no longer be exploited, and at the same
time we shall reach a point beyond which our man-power cannot develop.

In conclusion, the following must be said:

The fact that only up to a limited extent can internal colonization be
practised in a national territory which is of definitely small area and
the restriction of the procreative faculty which follows as a result of
such conditions--these two factors have a very unfavourable effect on
the military and political standing of a nation.

The extent of the national territory is a determining factor in the
external security of the nation. The larger the territory which a people
has at its disposal the stronger are the national defences of that
people. Military decisions are more quickly, more easily, more
completely and more effectively gained against a people occupying a
national territory which is restricted in area, than against States
which have extensive territories. Moreover, the magnitude of a national
territory is in itself a certain assurance that an outside Power will
not hastily risk the adventure of an invasion; for in that case the
struggle would have to be long and exhausting before victory could be
hoped for. The risk being so great. there would have to be extraordinary
reasons for such an aggressive adventure. Hence it is that the
territorial magnitude of a State furnishes a basis whereon national
liberty and independence can be maintained with relative ease; while, on
the contrary, a State whose territory is small offers a natural
temptation to the invader.

As a matter of fact, so-called national circles in the German REICH
rejected those first two possibilities of establishing a balance between
the constant numerical increase in the population and a national
territory which could not expand proportionately. But the reasons given
for that rejection were different from those which I have just
expounded. It was mainly on the basis of certain moral sentiments that
restriction of the birth-rate was objected to. Proposals for internal
colonization were rejected indignantly because it was suspected that
such a policy might mean an attack on the big landowners, and that this
attack might be the forerunner of a general assault against the
principle of private property as a whole. The form in which the latter
solution--internal colonization--was recommended justified the
misgivings of the big landowners.

But the form in which the colonization proposal was rejected was not
very clever, as regards the impression which such rejection might be
calculated to make on the mass of the people, and anyhow it did not go
to the root of the problem at all.

Only two further ways were left open in which work and bread could be
secured for the increasing population.

(3) It was possible to think of acquiring new territory on which a
certain portion of' the increasing population could be settled each
year; or else

(4) Our industry and commerce had to be organized in such a manner as to
secure an increase in the exports and thus be able to support our people
by the increased purchasing power accruing from the profits made on
foreign markets.

Therefore the problem was: A policy of territorial expansion or a
colonial and commercial policy. Both policies were taken into
consideration, examined, recommended and rejected, from various
standpoints, with the result that the second alternative was finally
adopted. The sounder alternative, however, was undoubtedly the first.

The principle of acquiring new territory, on which the surplus
population could be settled, has many advantages to recommend it,
especially if we take the future as well as the present into account.

In the first place, too much importance cannot be placed on the
necessity for adopting a policy which will make it possible to maintain
a healthy peasant class as the basis of the national community. Many of
our present evils have their origin exclusively in the disproportion
between the urban and rural portions of the population. A solid stock of
small and medium farmers has at all times been the best protection which
a nation could have against the social diseases that are prevalent
to-day. Moreover, that is the only solution which guarantees the daily
bread of a nation within the framework of its domestic national economy.
With this condition once guaranteed, industry and commerce would retire
from the unhealthy position of foremost importance which they hold
to-day and would take their due place within the general scheme of
national economy, adjusting the balance between demand and supply. Thus
industry and commerce would no longer constitute the basis of the
national subsistence, but would be auxiliary institutions. By fulfilling
their proper function, which is to adjust the balance between national
production and national consumption, they render the national
subsistence more or less independent of foreign countries and thus
assure the freedom and independence of the nation, especially at
critical junctures in its history.

Such a territorial policy, however, cannot find its fulfilment in the
Cameroons but almost exclusively here in Europe. One must calmly and
squarely face the truth that it certainly cannot be part of the
dispensation of Divine Providence to give a fifty times larger share of
the soil of this world to one nation than to another. In considering
this state of affairs to-day, one must not allow existing political
frontiers to distract attention from what ought to exist on principles
of strict justice. If this earth has sufficient room for all, then we
ought to have that share of the soil which is absolutely necessary for
our existence.

Of course people will not voluntarily make that accommodation. At this
point the right of self-preservation comes into effect. And when
attempts to settle the difficulty in an amicable way are rejected the
clenched hand must take by force that which was refused to the open hand
of friendship. If in the past our ancestors had based their political
decisions on similar pacifist nonsense as our present generation does,
we should not possess more than one-third of the national territory that
we possess to-day and probably there would be no German nation to worry
about its future in Europe. No. We owe the two Eastern Marks (Note Cool of
the Empire to the natural determination of our forefathers in their
struggle for existence, and thus it is to the same determined policy that
we owe the inner strength which is based on the extent of our political
and racial territories and which alone has made it possible for us to
exist up to now.

[Note 8. German Austria was the East Mark on the South and East Prussia
was the East Mark on the North.]

And there is still another reason why that solution would have been the
correct one:

Many contemporary European States are like pyramids standing on their
apexes. The European territory which these States possess is
ridiculously small when compared with the enormous overhead weight of
their colonies, foreign trade, etc. It may be said that they have the
apex in Europe and the base of the pyramid all over the world; quite
different from the United States of America, which has its base on the
American Continent and is in contact with the rest of the world only
through its apex. Out of that situation arises the incomparable inner
strength of the U.S.A. and the contrary situation is responsible for the
weakness of most of the colonial European Powers.

England cannot be suggested as an argument against this assertion,
though in glancing casually over the map of the British Empire one is
inclined easily to overlook the existence of a whole Anglo-Saxon world.
England's position cannot be compared with that of any other State in
Europe, since it forms a vast community of language and culture together
with the U.S.A.

Therefore the only possibility which Germany had of carrying a sound
territorial policy into effect was that of acquiring new territory in
Europe itself. Colonies cannot serve this purpose as long as they are
not suited for settlement by Europeans on a large scale. In the
nineteenth century it was no longer possible to acquire such colonies by
peaceful means. Therefore any attempt at such a colonial expansion would
have meant an enormous military struggle. Consequently it would have
been more practical to undertake that military struggle for new
territory in Europe rather than to wage war for the acquisition of
possessions abroad.

Such a decision naturally demanded that the nation's undivided energies
should be devoted to it. A policy of that kind which requires for its
fulfilment every ounce of available energy on the part of everybody
concerned, cannot be carried into effect by half-measures or in a
hesitating manner. The political leadership of the German Empire should
then have been directed exclusively to this goal. No political step
should have been taken in response to other considerations than this
task and the means of accomplishing it. Germany should have been alive
to the fact that such a goal could have been reached only by war, and
the prospect of war should have been faced with calm and collected
determination.

The whole system of alliances should have been envisaged and valued from
that standpoint. If new territory were to be acquired in Europe it must
have been mainly at Russia's cost, and once again the new German Empire
should have set out on its march along the same road as was formerly
trodden by the Teutonic Knights, this time to acquire soil for the
German plough by means of the German sword and thus provide the nation
with its daily bread.

For such a policy, however, there was only one possible ally in Europe.
That was England.

Only by alliance with England was it possible to safeguard the rear of
the new German crusade. The justification for undertaking such an
expedition was stronger than the justification which our forefathers had
for setting out on theirs. Not one of our pacifists refuses to eat the
bread made from the grain grown in the East; and yet the first plough
here was that called the 'Sword'.

No sacrifice should have been considered too great if it was a necessary
means of gaining England's friendship. Colonial and naval ambitions
should have been abandoned and attempts should not have been made to
compete against British industries.

Only a clear and definite policy could lead to such an achievement. Such
a policy would have demanded a renunciation of the endeavour to conquer
the world's markets, also a renunciation of colonial intentions and
naval power. All the means of power at the disposal of the State should
have been concentrated in the military forces on land. This policy would
have involved a period of temporary self-denial, for the sake of a great
and powerful future.

There was a time when England might have entered into negotiations with
us, on the grounds of that proposal. For England would have well
understood that the problems arising from the steady increase in
population were forcing Germany to look for a solution either in Europe
with the help of England or, without England, in some other part of the
world.

This outlook was probably the chief reason why London tried to draw
nearer to Germany about the turn of the century. For the first time in
Germany an attitude was then manifested which afterwards displayed
itself in a most tragic way. People then gave expression to an
unpleasant feeling that we might thus find ourselves obliged to pull
England's chestnuts out of the fire. As if an alliance could be based on
anything else than mutual give-and-take! And England would have become a
party to such a mutual bargain. British diplomats were still wise enough
to know that an equivalent must be forthcoming as a consideration for
any services rendered.

Let us suppose that in 1904 our German foreign policy was managed
astutely enough to enable us to take the part which Japan played. It is
not easy to measure the greatness of the results that might have accrued
to Germany from such a policy.

There would have been no world war. The blood which would have been shed
in 1904 would not have been a tenth of that shed from 1914 to 1918. And
what a position Germany would hold in the world to-day?

In any case the alliance with Austria was then an absurdity.

For this mummy of a State did not attach itself to Germany for the
purpose of carrying through a war, but rather to maintain a perpetual
state of peace which was meant to be exploited for the purpose of slowly
but persistently exterminating the German element in the Dual Monarchy.

Another reason for the impossible character of this alliance was that
nobody could expect such a State to take an active part in defending
German national interests, seeing that it did not have sufficient
strength and determination to put an end to the policy of
de-Germanization within its own frontiers. If Germany herself was not
moved by a sufficiently powerful national sentiment and was not
sufficiently ruthless to take away from that absurd Habsburg State the
right to decide the destinies of ten million inhabitants who were of the
same nationality as the Germans themselves, surely it was out of the
question to expect the Habsburg State to be a collaborating party in any
great and courageous German undertaking. The attitude of the old REICH
towards the Austrian question might have been taken as a test of its
stamina for the struggle where the destinies of the whole nation were at
stake.

In any case, the policy of oppression against the German population in
Austria should not have been allowed to be carried on and to grow
stronger from year to year; for the value of Austria as an ally could be
assured only by upholding the German element there. But that course was
not followed.

Nothing was dreaded so much as the possibility of an armed conflict; but
finally, and at a most unfavourable moment, the conflict had to be faced
and accepted. They thought to cut loose from the cords of destiny, but
destiny held them fast.

They dreamt of maintaining a world peace and woke up to find themselves
in a world war.

And that dream of peace was a most significant reason why the
above-mentioned third alternative for the future development of Germany
was not even taken into consideration. The fact was recognized that new
territory could be gained only in the East; but this meant that there
would be fighting ahead, whereas they wanted peace at any cost. The
slogan of German foreign policy at one time used to be: The use of all
possible means for the maintenance of the German nation. Now it was
changed to: Maintenance of world peace by all possible means. We know
what the result was. I shall resume the discussion of this point in
detail later on.

There remained still another alternative, which we may call the fourth.
This was: Industry and world trade, naval power and colonies.

Such a development might certainly have been attained more easily and
more rapidly. To colonize a territory is a slow process, often extending
over centuries. Yet this fact is the source of its inner strength, for
it is not through a sudden burst of enthusiasm that it can be put into
effect, but rather through a gradual and enduring process of growth
quite different from industrial progress, which can be urged on by
advertisement within a few years. The result thus achieved, however, is
not of lasting quality but something frail, like a soap-bubble. It is
much easier to build quickly than to carry through the tough task of
settling a territory with farmers and establishing farmsteads. But the
former is more quickly destroyed than the latter.

In adopting such a course Germany must have known that to follow it out
would necessarily mean war sooner or later. Only children could believe
that sweet and unctuous expressions of goodness and persistent avowals
of peaceful intentions could get them their bananas through this
'friendly competition between the nations', with the prospect of never
having to fight for them.

No. Once we had taken this road, England was bound to be our enemy at
some time or other to come. Of course it fitted in nicely with our
innocent assumptions, but still it was absurd to grow indignant at the
fact that a day came when the English took the liberty of opposing our
peaceful penetration with the brutality of violent egoists.

Naturally, we on our side would never have done such a thing.

If a European territorial policy against Russia could have been put into
practice only in case we had England as our ally, on the other hand a
colonial and world-trade policy could have been carried into effect only
against English interests and with the support of Russia. But then this
policy should have been adopted in full consciousness of all the
consequences it involved and, above all things, Austria should have been
discarded as quickly as possible.

At the turn of the century the alliance with Austria had become a
veritable absurdity from all points of view.

But nobody thought of forming an alliance with Russia against England,
just as nobody thought of making England an ally against Russia; for in
either case the final result would inevitably have meant war. And to
avoid war was the very reason why a commercial and industrial policy was
decided upon. It was believed that the peaceful conquest of the world by
commercial means provided a method which would permanently supplant the
policy of force. Occasionally, however, there were doubts about the
efficiency of this principle, especially when some quite
incomprehensible warnings came from England now and again. That was the
reason why the fleet was built. It was not for the purpose of attacking
or annihilating England but merely to defend the concept of world-peace,
mentioned above, and also to protect the principle of conquering the
world by 'peaceful' means. Therefore this fleet was kept within modest
limits, not only as regards the number and tonnage of the vessels but
also in regard to their armament, the idea being to furnish new proofs
of peaceful intentions.

The chatter about the peaceful conquest of the world by commercial means
was probably the most completely nonsensical stuff ever raised to the
dignity of a guiding principle in the policy of a State, This nonsense
became even more foolish when England was pointed out as a typical
example to prove how the thing could be put into practice. Our doctrinal
way of regarding history and our professorial ideas in that domain have
done irreparable harm and offer a striking 'proof' of how people 'learn'
history without understanding anything of it. As a matter of fact,
England ought to have been looked upon as a convincing argument against
the theory of the pacific conquest of the world by commercial means. No
nation prepared the way for its commercial conquests more brutally than
England did by means of the sword, and no other nation has defended such
conquests more ruthlessly. Is it not a characteristic quality of British
statecraft that it knows how to use political power in order to gain
economic advantages and, inversely, to turn economic conquests into
political power? What an astounding error it was to believe that England
would not have the courage to give its own blood for the purposes of its
own economic expansion! The fact that England did not possess a national
army proved nothing; for it is not the actual military structure of the
moment that matters but rather the will and determination to use
whatever military strength is available. England has always had the
armament which she needed. She always fought with those weapons which
were necessary for success. She sent mercenary troops, to fight as long
as mercenaries sufficed; but she never hesitated to draw heavily and
deeply from the best blood of the whole nation when victory could be
obtained only by such a sacrifice. And in every case the fighting
spirit, dogged determination, and use of brutal means in conducting
military operations have always remained the same.

But in Germany, through the medium of the schools, the Press and the
comic papers, an idea of the Englishman was gradually formed which was
bound eventually to lead to the worst kind of self-deception. This
absurdity slowly but persistently spread into every quarter of German
life. The result was an undervaluation for which we have had to pay a
heavy penalty. The delusion was so profound that the Englishman was
looked upon as a shrewd business man, but personally a coward even to an
incredible degree. Unfortunately our lofty teachers of professorial
history did not bring home to the minds of their pupils the truth that
it is not possible to build up such a mighty organization as the British
Empire by mere swindle and fraud. The few who called attention to that
truth were either ignored or silenced. I can vividly recall to mind the
astonished looks of my comrades when they found themselves personally
face to face for the first time with the Tommies in Flanders. After a
few days of fighting the consciousness slowly dawned on our soldiers
that those Scotsmen were not like the ones we had seen described and
caricatured in the comic papers and mentioned in the communiqués.

It was then that I formed my first ideas of the efficiency of various
forms of propaganda.

Such a falsification, however, served the purpose of those who had
fabricated it. This caricature of the Englishman, though false, could be
used to prove the possibility of conquering the world peacefully by
commercial means. Where the Englishman succeeded we should also succeed.
Our far greater honesty and our freedom from that specifically English
'perfidy' would be assets on our side. Thereby it was hoped that the
sympathy of the smaller nations and the confidence of the greater
nations could be gained more easily.
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« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2008, 01:03:32 am »

We did not realize that our honesty was an object of profound aversion
for other people because we ourselves believed in it. The rest of the
world looked on our behaviour as the manifestation of a shrewd
deceitfulness; but when the revolution came, then they were amazed at
the deeper insight it gave them into our mentality, sincere even beyond
the limits of stupidity.

Once we understand the part played by that absurd notion of conquering
the world by peaceful commercial means we can clearly understand how
that other absurdity, the Triple Alliance, came to exist. With what
State then could an alliance have been made? In alliance with Austria we
could not acquire new territory by military means, even in Europe. And
this very fact was the real reason for the inner weakness of the Triple
Alliance. A Bismarck could permit himself such a makeshift for the
necessities of the moment, but certainly not any of his bungling
successors, and least of all when the foundations no longer existed on
which Bismarck had formed the Triple Alliance. In Bismarck's time
Austria could still be looked upon as a German State; but the gradual
introduction of universal suffrage turned the country into a
parliamentary Babel, in which the German voice was scarcely audible.

From the viewpoint of racial policy, this alliance with Austria was
simply disastrous. A new Slavic Great Power was allowed to grow up close
to the frontiers of the German Empire. Later on this Power was bound to
adopt towards Germany an attitude different from that of Russia, for
example. The Alliance was thus bound to become more empty and more
feeble, because the only supporters of it were losing their influence
and were being systematically pushed out of the more important public
offices.

About the year 1900 the Alliance with Austria had already entered the
same phase as the Alliance between Austria and Italy.

Here also only one alternative was possible: Either to take the side of
the Habsburg Monarchy or to raise a protest against the oppression of
the German element in Austria. But, generally speaking, when one takes
such a course it is bound eventually to lead to open conflict.

From the psychological point of view also, the Triple decreases
according as such an alliance limits its object to the defence of the
STATUS QUO. But, on the other hand, an alliance will increase its
cohesive strength the more the parties concerned in it may hope to use
it as a means of reaching some practical goal of expansion. Here, as
everywhere else, strength does not lie in defence but in attack.

This truth was recognized in various quarters but, unfortunately, not by
the so-called elected representatives of the people. As early as 1912
Ludendorff, who was then Colonel and an Officer of the General Staff,
pointed out these weak features of the Alliance in a memorandum which he
then drew up. But of course the 'statesmen' did not attach any
importance or value to that document. In general it would seem as if
reason were a faculty that is active only in the case of ordinary
mortals but that it is entirely absent when we come to deal with that
branch of the species known as 'diplomats'.

It was lucky for Germany that the war of 1914 broke out with Austria as
its direct cause, for thus the Habsburgs were compelled to participate.
Had the origin of the War been otherwise, Germany would have been left
to her own resources. The Habsburg State would never have been ready or
willing to take part in a war for the origin of which Germany was
responsible. What was the object of so much obloquy later in the case of
Italy's decision would have taken place, only earlier, in the case of
Austria. In other words, if Germany had been forced to go to war for
some reason of its own, Austria would have remained 'neutral' in order
to safeguard the State against a revolution which might begin
immediately after the war had started. The Slav element would have
preferred to smash up the Dual Monarchy in 1914 rather than permit it to
come to the assistance of Germany. But at that time there were only a
few who understood all the dangers and aggravations which resulted from
the alliance with the Danubian Monarchy.

In the first place, Austria had too many enemies who were eagerly
looking forward to obtain the heritage of that decrepit State, so that
these people gradually developed a certain animosity against Germany,
because Germany was an obstacle to their desires inasmuch as it kept the
Dual Monarchy from falling to pieces, a consummation that was hoped for
and yearned for on all sides. The conviction developed that Vienna could
be reached only by passing through Berlin.

In the second place, by adopting this policy Germany lost its best and
most promising chances of other alliances. In place of these
possibilities one now observed a growing tension in the relations with
Russia and even with Italy. And this in spite of the fact that the
general attitude in Rome was just as favourable to Germany as it was
hostile to Austria, a hostility which lay dormant in the individual
Italian and broke out violently on occasion.

Since a commercial and industrial policy had been adopted, no motive was
left for waging war against Russia. Only the enemies of the two
countries, Germany and Russia, could have an active interest in such a
war under these circumstances. As a matter of fact, it was only the Jews
and the Marxists who tried to stir up bad blood between the two States.

In the third place, the Alliance constituted a permanent danger to
German security; for any great Power that was hostile to Bismarck's
Empire could mobilize a whole lot of other States in a war against
Germany by promising them tempting spoils at the expense of the Austrian
ally.

It was possible to arouse the whole of Eastern Europe against Austria,
especially Russia, and Italy also. The world coalition which had
developed under the leadership of King Edward could never have become a
reality if Germany's ally, Austria, had not offered such an alluring
prospect of booty. It was this fact alone which made it possible to
combine so many heterogeneous States with divergent interests into one
common phalanx of attack. Every member could hope to enrich himself at
the expense of Austria if he joined in the general attack against
Germany. The fact that Turkey was also a tacit party to the unfortunate
alliance with Austria augmented Germany's peril to an extraordinary
degree.

Jewish international finance needed this bait of the Austrian heritage
in order to carry out its plans of ruining Germany; for Germany had not
yet surrendered to the general control which the international captains
of finance and trade exercised over the other States. Thus it was
possible to consolidate that coalition and make it strong enough and
brave enough, through the sheer weight of numbers, to join in bodily
conflict with the 'horned' Siegfried. (Note 9)

[Note 9. Carlyle explains the epithet thus: "First then, let no one from
the title GEHOERNTE (Horned, Behorned), fancy that our brave Siegfried,
who was the loveliest as well as the bravest of men, was actually
cornuted, and had hornson his brow, though like Michael Angelo's Moses; or
even that his skin, to which the epithet BEHORNED refers, was hard like a
crocodile's, and not softer than the softest shamey, for the truth is,
his Hornedness means only an Invulnerability, like that of Achilles..."]

The alliance with the Habsburg Monarchy, which I loathed while still in
Austria, was the subject of grave concern on my part and caused me to
meditate on it so persistently that finally I came to the conclusions
which I have mentioned above.

In the small circles which I frequented at that time I did not conceal
my conviction that this sinister agreement with a State doomed to
collapse would also bring catastrophe to Germany if she did not free
herself from it in time. I never for a moment wavered in that firm
conviction, even when the tempest of the World War seemed to have made
shipwreck of the reasoning faculty itself and had put blind enthusiasm
in its place, even among those circles where the coolest and hardest
objective thinking ought to have held sway. In the trenches I voiced and
upheld my own opinion whenever these problems came under discussion. I
held that to abandon the Habsburg Monarchy would involve no sacrifice if
Germany could thereby reduce the number of her own enemies; for the
millions of Germans who had donned the steel helmet had done so not to
fight for the maintenance of a corrupt dynasty but rather for the
salvation of the German people.

Before the War there were occasions on which it seemed that at least one
section of the German public had some slight misgivings about the
political wisdom of the alliance with Austria. From time to time German
conservative circles issued warnings against being over-confident about
the worth of that alliance; but, like every other reasonable suggestion
made at that time, it was thrown to the winds. The general conviction
was that the right measures had been adopted to 'conquer' the world,
that the success of these measures would be enormous and the sacrifices
negligible.

Once again the 'uninitiated' layman could do nothing but observe how the
'elect' were marching straight ahead towards disaster and enticing their
beloved people to follow them, as the rats followed the Pied Piper of
Hamelin.

If we would look for the deeper grounds which made it possible to foist
on the people this absurd notion of peacefully conquering the world
through commercial penetration, and how it was possible to put forward
the maintenance of world-peace as a national aim, we shall find that
these grounds lay in a general morbid condition that had pervaded the
whole body of German political thought.

The triumphant progress of technical science in Germany and the
marvellous development of German industries and commerce led us to
forget that a powerful State had been the necessary pre-requisite of
that success. On the contrary, certain circles went even so far as to
give vent to the theory that the State owed its very existence to these
phenomena; that it was, above all, an economic institution and should be
constituted in accordance with economic interests. Therefore, it was
held, the State was dependent on the economic structure. This condition
of things was looked upon and glorified as the soundest and most normal
arrangement.

Now, the truth is that the State in itself has nothing whatsoever to do
with any definite economic concept or a definite economic development.
It does not arise from a compact made between contracting parties,
within a certain delimited territory, for the purpose of serving
economic ends. The State is a community of living beings who have
kindred physical and spiritual natures, organized for the purpose of
assuring the conservation of their own kind and to help towards
fulfilling those ends which Providence has assigned to that particular
race or racial branch. Therein, and therein alone, lie the purpose and
meaning of a State. Economic activity is one of the many auxiliary means
which are necessary for the attainment of those aims. But economic
activity is never the origin or purpose of a State, except where a State
has been originally founded on a false and unnatural basis. And this
alone explains why a State as such does not necessarily need a certain
delimited territory as a condition of its establishment. This condition
becomes a necessary pre-requisite only among those people who would
provide and assure subsistence for their kinsfolk through their own
industry, which means that they are ready to carry on the struggle for
existence by means of their own work. People who can sneak their way,
like parasites, into the human body politic and make others work for
them under various pretences can form a State without possessing any
definite delimited territory. This is chiefly applicable to that
parasitic nation which, particularly at the present time preys upon the
honest portion of mankind; I mean the Jews.

The Jewish State has never been delimited in space. It has been spread
all over the world, without any frontiers whatsoever, and has always
been constituted from the membership of one race exclusively. That is
why the Jews have always formed a State within the State. One of the
most ingenious tricks ever devised has been that of sailing the Jewish
ship-of-state under the flag of Religion and thus securing that
tolerance which Aryans are always ready to grant to different religious
faiths. But the Mosaic Law is really nothing else than the doctrine of
the preservation of the Jewish race. Therefore this Law takes in all
spheres of sociological, political and economic science which have a
bearing on the main end in view.

The instinct for the preservation of one's own species is the primary
cause that leads to the formation of human communities. Hence the State
is a racial organism, and not an economic organization. The difference
between the two is so great as to be incomprehensible to our
contemporary so-called 'statesmen'. That is why they like to believe
that the State may be constituted as an economic structure, whereas the
truth is that it has always resulted from the exercise of those
qualities which are part of the will to preserve the species and the
race. But these qualities always exist and operate through the heroic
virtues and have nothing to do with commercial egoism; for the
conservation of the species always presupposes that the individual is
ready to sacrifice himself. Such is the meaning of the poet's lines:

UND SETZET IHR NICHT DAS LEBEN EIN,
NIE WIRD EUCH DAS LEBEN GEWONNEN SEIN.

(AND IF YOU DO NOT STAKE YOUR LIFE,
YOU WILL NEVER WIN LIFE FOR YOURSELF.)

[Note 10. Lines quoted from the Song of the Curassiers in Schiller's
WALLENSTEIN.]
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« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2008, 01:04:32 am »

The sacrifice of the individual existence is necessary in order to
assure the conservation of the race. Hence it is that the most essential
condition for the establishment and maintenance of a State is a certain
feeling of solidarity, wounded in an identity of character and race and
in a resolute readiness to defend these at all costs. With people who
live on their own territory this will result in a development of the
heroic virtues; with a parasitic people it will develop the arts of
subterfuge and gross perfidy unless we admit that these characteristics
are innate and that the varying political forms through which the
parasitic race expresses itself are only the outward manifestations of
innate characteristics. At least in the beginning, the formation of a
State can result only from a manifestation of the heroic qualities I
have spoken of. And the people who fail in the struggle for existence,
that is to say those, who become vassals and are thereby condemned to
disappear entirely sooner or later, are those who do not display the
heroic virtues in the struggle, or those who fall victims to the perfidy
of the parasites. And even in this latter case the failure is not so
much due to lack of intellectual powers, but rather to a lack of courage
and determination. An attempt is made to conceal the real nature of this
failing by saying that it is the humane feeling.

The qualities which are employed for the foundation and preservation of
a State have accordingly little or nothing to do with the economic
situation. And this is conspicuously demonstrated by the fact that the
inner strength of a State only very rarely coincides with what is called
its economic expansion. On the contrary, there are numerous examples to
show that a period of economic prosperity indicates the approaching
decline of a State. If it were correct to attribute the foundation of
human communities to economic forces, then the power of the State as
such would be at its highest pitch during periods of economic
prosperity, and not vice versa.

It is specially difficult to understand how the belief that the State is
brought into being and preserved by economic forces could gain currency
in a country which has given proof of the opposite in every phase of its
history. The history of Prussia shows in a manner particularly clear and
distinct, that it is out of the moral virtues of the people and not from
their economic circumstances that a State is formed. It is only under
the protection of those virtues that economic activities can be
developed and the latter will continue to flourish until a time comes
when the creative political capacity declines. Therewith the economic
structure will also break down, a phenomenon which is now happening in
an alarming manner before our eyes. The material interest of mankind can
prosper only in the shade of the heroic virtues. The moment they become
the primary considerations of life they wreck the basis of their own
existence.

Whenever the political power of Germany was specially strong the
economic situation also improved. But whenever economic interests alone
occupied the foremost place in the life of the people, and thrust
transcendent ideals into the back.-ground, the State collapsed and
economic ruin followed readily.

If we consider the question of what those forces actually are which are
necessary to the creation and preservation of a State, we shall find
that they are: The capacity and readiness to sacrifice the individual to
the common welfare. That these qualities have nothing at all to do with
economics can be proved by referring to the simple fact that man does
not sacrifice himself for material interests. In other words, he will
die for an ideal but not for a business. The marvellous gift for public
psychology which the English have was never shown better than the way in
which they presented their case in the World War. We were fighting for
our bread; but the English declared that they were fighting for
'freedom', and not at all for their own freedom. Oh, no, but for the
freedom of the small nations. German people laughed at that effrontery
and were angered by it; but in doing so they showed how political
thought had declined among our so-called diplomats in Germany even
before the War. These diplomatists did not have the slightest notion of
what that force was which brought men to face death of their own free
will and determination.

As long as the German people, in the War of 1914, continued to believe
that they were fighting for ideals they stood firm. As soon as they were
told that they were fighting only for their daily bread they began to
give up the struggle.

Our clever 'statesmen' were greatly amazed at this change of feeling.
They never understood that as soon as man is called upon to struggle for
purely material causes he will avoid death as best he can; for death and
the enjoyment of the material fruits of a victory are quite incompatible
concepts. The frailest woman will become a heroine when the life of her
own child is at stake. And only the will to save the race and native
land or the State, which offers protection to the race, has in all ages
been the urge which has forced men to face the weapons of their enemies.

The following may be proclaimed as a truth that always holds good:

A State has never arisen from commercial causes for the purpose of
peacefully serving commercial ends; but States have always arisen from
the instinct to maintain the racial group, whether this instinct
manifest itself in the heroic sphere or in the sphere of cunning and
chicanery. In the first case we have the Aryan States, based on the
principles of work and cultural development. In the second case we have
the Jewish parasitic colonies. But as soon as economic interests begin
to predominate over the racial and cultural instincts in a people or a
State, these economic interests unloose the causes that lead to
subjugation and oppression.

The belief, which prevailed in Germany before the War, that the world
could be opened up and even conquered for Germany through a system of
peaceful commercial penetration and a colonial policy was a typical
symptom which indicated the decline of those real qualities whereby
States are created and preserved, and indicated also the decline of that
insight, will-power and practical determination which belong to those
qualities. The World War with its consequences, was the natural
liquidation of that decline.

To anyone who had not thought over the matter deeply, this attitude of
the German people--which was quite general--must have seemed an
insoluble enigma. After all, Germany herself was a magnificent example
of an empire that had been built up purely by a policy of power.
Prussia, which was the generative cell of the German Empire, had been
created by brilliant heroic deeds and not by a financial or commercial
compact. And the Empire itself was but the magnificent recompense for a
leadership that had been conducted on a policy of power and military
valour.

How then did it happen that the political instincts of this very same
German people became so degenerate? For it was not merely one isolated
phenomenon which pointed to this decadence, but morbid symptoms which
appeared in alarming numbers, now all over the body politic, or eating
into the body of the nation like a gangrenous ulcer. It seemed as if
some all-pervading poisonous fluid had been injected by some mysterious
hand into the bloodstream of this once heroic body, bringing about a
creeping paralysis that affected the reason and the elementary instinct
of self-preservation.

During the years 1912-1914 I used to ponder perpetually on those
problems which related to the policy of the Triple Alliance and the
economic policy then being pursued by the German Empire. Once again I
came to the conclusion that the only explanation of this enigma lay in
the operation of that force which I had already become acquainted with
in Vienna, though from a different angle of vision. The force to which I
refer was the Marxist teaching and WELTANSCHAUUNG and its organized
action throughout the nation.

For the second time in my life I plunged deep into the study of that
destructive teaching. This time, however, I was not urged by the study
of the question by the impressions and influences of my daily
environment, but directed rather by the observation of general phenomena
in the political life of Germany. In delving again into the theoretical
literature of this new world and endeavouring to get a clear view of the
possible consequences of its teaching, I compared the theoretical
principles of Marxism with the phenomena and happenings brought about by
its activities in the political, cultural, and economic spheres.

For the first time in my life I now turned my attention to the efforts
that were being made to subdue this universal pest.

I studied Bismarck's exceptional legislation in its original concept,
its operation and its results. Gradually I formed a basis for my own
opinions, which has proved as solid as a rock, so that never since have
I had to change my attitude towards the general problem. I also made a
further and more thorough analysis of the relations between Marxism and
Jewry.

During my sojourn in Vienna I used to look upon Germany as an
imperturbable colossus; but even then serious doubts and misgivings
would often disturb me. In my own mind and in my conversation with my
small circle of acquaintances I used to criticize Germany's foreign
policy and the incredibly superficial way, according to my thinking, in
which Marxism was dealt with, though it was then the most important
problem in Germany. I could not understand how they could stumble
blindfolded into the midst of this peril, the effects of which would be
momentous if the openly declared aims of Marxism could be put into
practice. Even as early as that time I warned people around me, just as
I am warning a wider audience now, against that soothing slogan of all
indolent and feckless nature: NOTHING CAN HAPPEN TO US. A similar mental
contagion had already destroyed a mighty empire. Can Germany escape the
operation of those laws to which all other human communities are
subject?

In the years 1913 and 1914 I expressed my opinion for the first time in
various circles, some of which are now members of the National Socialist
Movement, that the problem of how the future of the German nation can be
secured is the problem of how Marxism can be exterminated.

I considered the disastrous policy of the Triple Alliance as one of the
consequences resulting from the disintegrating effects of the Marxist
teaching; for the alarming feature was that this teaching was invisibly
corrupting the foundations of a healthy political and economic outlook.
Those who had been themselves contaminated frequently did not realise
that their aims and actions sprang from this WELTANSCHAUUNG, which they
otherwise openly repudiated.

Long before then the spiritual and moral decline of the German people
had set in, though those who were affected by the morbid decadence were
frequently unaware--as often happens--of the forces which were breaking
up their very existence. Sometimes they tried to cure the disease by
doctoring the symptoms, which were taken as the cause. But since nobody
recognized, or wanted to recognize, the real cause of the disease this
way of combating Marxism was no more effective than the application of
some quack's ointment.

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« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2008, 01:05:23 am »

CHAPTER V



THE WORLD WAR


During the boisterous years of my youth nothing used to damp my wild
spirits so much as to think that I was born at a time when the world had
manifestly decided not to erect any more temples of fame except in
honour of business people and State officials. The tempest of historical
achievements seemed to have permanently subsided, so much so that the
future appeared to be irrevocably delivered over to what was called
peaceful competition between the nations. This simply meant a system of
mutual exploitation by fraudulent means, the principle of resorting to
the use of force in self-defence being formally excluded. Individual
countries increasingly assumed the appearance of commercial
undertakings, grabbing territory and clients and concessions from each
other under any and every kind of pretext. And it was all staged to an
accompaniment of loud but innocuous shouting. This trend of affairs
seemed destined to develop steadily and permanently. Having the support
of public approbation, it seemed bound eventually to transform the world
into a mammoth department store. In the vestibule of this emporium there
would be rows of monumental busts which would confer immortality on
those profiteers who had proved themselves the shrewdest at their trade
and those administrative officials who had shown themselves the most
innocuous. The salesmen could be represented by the English and the
administrative functionaries by the Germans; whereas the Jews would be
sacrificed to the unprofitable calling of proprietorship, for they are
constantly avowing that they make no profits and are always being called
upon to 'pay out'. Moreover they have the advantage of being versed in
the foreign languages.

Why could I not have been born a hundred years ago? I used to ask
myself. Somewhere about the time of the Wars of Liberation, when a man
was still of some value even though he had no 'business'.

Thus I used to think it an ill-deserved stroke of bad luck that I had
arrived too late on this terrestrial globe, and I felt chagrined at the
idea that my life would have to run its course along peaceful and
orderly lines. As a boy I was anything but a pacifist and all attempts
to make me so turned out futile.

Then the Boer War came, like a glow of lightning on the far horizon. Day
after day I used to gaze intently at the newspapers and I almost
'devoured' the telegrams and COMMUNIQUES, overjoyed to think that I
could witness that heroic struggle, even though from so great a
distance.

When the Russo-Japanese War came I was older and better able to judge
for myself. For national reasons I then took the side of the Japanese in
our discussions. I looked upon the defeat of the Russians as a blow to
Austrian Slavism.

Many years had passed between that time and my arrival in Munich. I now
realized that what I formerly believed to be a morbid decadence was only
the lull before the storm. During my Vienna days the Balkans were
already in the grip of that sultry pause which presages the violent
storm. Here and there a flash of lightning could be occasionally seen;
but it rapidly disappeared in sinister gloom. Then the Balkan War broke
out; and therewith the first gusts of the forthcoming tornado swept
across a highly-strung Europe. In the supervening calm men felt the
atmosphere oppressive and foreboding, so much so that the sense of an
impending catastrophe became transformed into a feeling of impatient
expectance. They wished that Heaven would give free rein to the fate
which could now no longer be curbed. Then the first great bolt of
lightning struck the earth. The storm broke and the thunder of the
heavens intermingled with the roar of the cannons in the World War.

When the news came to Munich that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been
murdered, I had been at home all day and did not get the particulars of
how it happened. At first I feared that the shots may have been fired by
some German-Austrian students who had been aroused to a state of furious
indignation by the persistent pro-Slav activities of the Heir to the
Habsburg Throne and therefore wished to liberate the German population
from this internal enemy. It was quite easy to imagine what the result
of such a mistake would have been. It would have brought on a new wave
of persecution, the motives of which would have been 'justified' before
the whole world. But soon afterwards I heard the names of the presumed
assassins and also that they were known to be Serbs. I felt somewhat
dumbfounded in face of the inexorable vengeance which Destiny had
wrought. The greatest friend of the Slavs had fallen a victim to the
bullets of Slav patriots.

It is unjust to the Vienna government of that time to blame it now for
the form and tenor of the ultimatum which was then presented. In a
similar position and under similar circumstances, no other Power in the
world would have acted otherwise. On her southern frontiers Austria had
a relentless mortal foe who indulged in acts of provocation against the
Dual Monarchy at intervals which were becoming more and more frequent.
This persistent line of conduct would not have been relaxed until the
arrival of the opportune moment for the destruction of the Empire. In
Austria there was good reason to fear that, at the latest, this moment
would come with the death of the old Emperor. Once that had taken place,
it was quite possible that the Monarchy would not be able to offer any
serious resistance. For some years past the State had been so completely
identified with the personality of Francis Joseph that, in the eyes of
the great mass of the people, the death of this venerable
personification of the Empire would be tantamount to the death of the
Empire itself. Indeed it was one of the clever artifices of Slav policy
to foster the impression that the Austrian State owed its very existence
exclusively to the prodigies and rare talents of that monarch. This kind
of flattery was particularly welcomed at the Hofburg, all the more
because it had no relation whatsoever to the services actually rendered
by the Emperor. No effort whatsoever was made to locate the carefully
prepared sting which lay hidden in this glorifying praise. One fact
which was entirely overlooked, perhaps intentionally, was that the more
the Empire remained dependent on the so-called administrative talents of
'the wisest Monarch of all times', the more catastrophic would be the
situation when Fate came to knock at the door and demand its tribute.

Was it possible even to imagine the Austrian Empire without its
venerable ruler? Would not the tragedy which befell Maria Theresa be
repeated at once?

It is really unjust to the Vienna governmental circles to reproach them
with having instigated a war which might have been prevented. The war
was bound to come. Perhaps it might have been postponed for a year or
two at the most. But it had always been the misfortune of German, as
well as Austrian, diplomats that they endeavoured to put off the
inevitable day of reckoning, with the result that they were finally
compelled to deliver their blow at a most inopportune moment.

No. Those who did not wish this war ought to have had the courage to
take the consequences of the refusal upon themselves. Those consequences
must necessarily have meant the sacrifice of Austria. And even then war
would have come, not as a war in which all the nations would have been
banded against us but in the form of a dismemberment of the Habsburg
Monarchy. In that case we should have had to decide whether we should
come to the assistance of the Habsburg or stand aside as spectators,
with our arms folded, and thus allow Fate to run its course.

Just those who are loudest in their imprecations to-day and make a great
parade of wisdom in judging the causes of the war are the very same
people whose collaboration was the most fatal factor in steering towards
the war.

For several decades previously the German Social-Democrats had been
agitating in an underhand and knavish way for war against Russia;
whereas the German Centre Party, with religious ends in view, had worked
to make the Austrian State the chief centre and turning-point of German
policy. The consequences of this folly had now to be borne. What came
was bound to come and under no circumstances could it have been avoided.
The fault of the German Government lay in the fact that, merely for the
sake of preserving peace at all costs, it continued to miss the
occasions that were favourable for action, got entangled in an alliance
for the purpose of preserving the peace of the world, and thus finally
became the victim of a world coalition which opposed the German effort
for the maintenance of peace and was determined to bring about the world
war.

Had the Vienna Government of that time formulated its ultimatum in less
drastic terms, that would not have altered the situation at all: but
such a course might have aroused public indignation. For, in the eyes of
the great masses, the ultimatum was too moderate and certainly not
excessive or brutal. Those who would deny this to-day are either
simpletons with feeble memories or else deliberate falsehood-mongers.

The War of 1914 was certainly not forced on the masses; it was even
desired by the whole people.

There was a desire to bring the general feeling of uncertainty to an end
once and for all. And it is only in the light of this fact that we can
understand how more than two million German men and youths voluntarily
joined the colours, ready to shed the last drop of their blood for the
cause.

For me these hours came as a deliverance from the distress that had
weighed upon me during the days of my youth. I am not ashamed to
acknowledge to-day that I was carried away by the enthusiasm of the
moment and that I sank down upon my knees and thanked Heaven out of the
fullness of my heart for the favour of having been permitted to live in
such a time.

The fight for freedom had broken out on an unparalleled scale in the
history of the world. From the moment that Fate took the helm in hand
the conviction grew among the mass of the people that now it was not a
question of deciding the destinies of Austria or Serbia but that the
very existence of the German nation itself was at stake.

At last, after many years of blindness, the people saw clearly into the
future. Therefore, almost immediately after the gigantic struggle had
begun, an excessive enthusiasm was replaced by a more earnest and more
fitting undertone, because the exaltation of the popular spirit was not
a mere passing frenzy. It was only too necessary that the gravity of the
situation should be recognized. At that time there was, generally
speaking, not the slightest presentiment or conception of how long the
war might last. People dreamed of the soldiers being home by Christmas
and that then they would resume their daily work in peace.

Whatever mankind desires, that it will hope for and believe in. The
overwhelming majority of the people had long since grown weary of the
perpetual insecurity in the general condition of public affairs. Hence
it was only natural that no one believed that the Austro-Serbian
conflict could be shelved. Therefore they looked forward to a radical
settlement of accounts. I also belonged to the millions that desired
this.

The moment the news of the Sarajevo outrage reached Munich two ideas
came into my mind: First, that war was absolutely inevitable and,
second, that the Habsburg State would now be forced to honour its
signature to the alliance. For what I had feared most was that one day
Germany herself, perhaps as a result of the Alliance, would become
involved in a conflict the first direct cause of which did not affect
Austria. In such a contingency, I feared that the Austrian State, for
domestic political reasons, would find itself unable to decide in favour
of its ally. But now this danger was removed. The old State was
compelled to fight, whether it wished to do so or not.

My own attitude towards the conflict was equally simple and clear. I
believed that it was not a case of Austria fighting to get satisfaction
from Serbia but rather a case of Germany fighting for her own
existence--the German nation for its own to-be-or-not-to-be, for its
freedom and for its future. The work of Bismarck must now be carried on.
Young Germany must show itself worthy of the blood shed by our fathers
on so many heroic fields of battle, from Weissenburg to Sedan and Paris.
And if this struggle should bring us victory our people will again rank
foremost among the great nations. Only then could the German Empire
assert itself as the mighty champion of peace, without the necessity of
restricting the daily bread of its children for the sake of maintaining
the peace.

As a boy and as a young man, I often longed for the occasion to prove
that my national enthusiasm was not mere vapouring. Hurrahing sometimes
seemed to me to be a kind of sinful indulgence, though I could not give
any justification for that feeling; for, after all, who has the right to
shout that triumphant word if he has not won the right to it there where
there is no play-acting and where the hand of the Goddess of Destiny
puts the truth and sincerity of nations and men through her inexorable
test? Just as millions of others, I felt a proud joy in being permitted
to go through this test. I had so often sung DEUTSCHLAND ÜBER ALLES and
so often roared 'HEIL' that I now thought it was as a kind of
retro-active grace that I was granted the right of appearing before the
Court of Eternal Justice to testify to the truth of those sentiments.

One thing was clear to me from the very beginning, namely, that in the
event of war, which now seemed inevitable, my books would have to be
thrown aside forthwith. I also realized that my place would have to be
there where the inner voice of conscience called me.

I had left Austria principally for political reasons. What therefore
could be more rational than that I should put into practice the logical
consequences of my political opinions, now that the war had begun. I had
no desire to fight for the Habsburg cause, but I was prepared to die at
any time for my own kinsfolk and the Empire to which they really
belonged.

On August 3rd, 1914, I presented an urgent petition to His Majesty, King
Ludwig III, requesting to be allowed to serve in a Bavarian regiment. In
those days the Chancellery had its hands quite full and therefore I was
all the more pleased when I received the answer a day later, that my
request had been granted. I opened the document with trembling hands;
and no words of mine could now describe the satisfaction I felt on
reading that I was instructed to report to a Bavarian regiment. Within a
few days I was wearing that uniform which I was not to put oft again for
nearly six years.

For me, as for every German, the most memorable period of my life now
began. Face to face with that mighty struggle, all the past fell away
into oblivion. With a wistful pride I look back on those days,
especially because we are now approaching the tenth anniversary of that
memorable happening. I recall those early weeks of war when kind fortune
permitted me to take my place in that heroic struggle among the nations.

As the scene unfolds itself before my mind, it seems only like
yesterday. I see myself among my young comrades on our first parade
drill, and so on until at last the day came on which we were to leave
for the front.

In common with the others, I had one worry during those days. This was a
fear that we might arrive too late for the fighting at the front. Time
and again that thought disturbed me and every announcement of a
victorious engagement left a bitter taste, which increased as the news
of further victories arrived.

At long last the day came when we left Munich on war service. For the
first time in my life I saw the Rhine, as we journeyed westwards to
stand guard before that historic German river against its traditional
and grasping enemy. As the first soft rays of the morning sun broke
through the light mist and disclosed to us the Niederwald Statue, with
one accord the whole troop train broke into the strains of DIE WACHT AM
RHEIN. I then felt as if my heart could not contain its spirit.

And then followed a damp, cold night in Flanders. We marched in silence
throughout the night and as the morning sun came through the mist an
iron greeting suddenly burst above our heads. Shrapnel exploded in our
midst and spluttered in the damp ground. But before the smoke of the
explosion disappeared a wild 'Hurrah' was shouted from two hundred
throats, in response to this first greeting of Death. Then began the
whistling of bullets and the booming of cannons, the shouting and
singing of the combatants. With eyes straining feverishly, we pressed
forward, quicker and quicker, until we finally came to close-quarter
fighting, there beyond the beet-fields and the meadows. Soon the strains
of a song reached us from afar. Nearer and nearer, from company to
company, it came. And while Death began to make havoc in our ranks we
passed the song on to those beside us: DEUTSCHLAND, DEUTSCHLAND ÜBER
ALLES, ÜBER ALLES IN DER WELT.
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« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2008, 01:06:36 am »

After four days in the trenches we came back. Even our step was no
longer what it had been. Boys of seventeen looked now like grown men.
The rank and file of the List Regiment (Note 11) had not been properly
trained in the art of warfare, but they knew how to die like old soldiers.

[Note 11. The Second Infantry Bavarian Regiment, in which Hitler served
as a volunteer.]

That was the beginning. And thus we carried on from year to year. A
feeling of horror replaced the romantic fighting spirit. Enthusiasm
cooled down gradually and exuberant spirits were quelled by the fear of
the ever-present Death. A time came when there arose within each one of
us a conflict between the urge to self-preservation and the call of
duty. And I had to go through that conflict too. As Death sought its
prey everywhere and unrelentingly a nameless Something rebelled within
the weak body and tried to introduce itself under the name of Common
Sense; but in reality it was Fear, which had taken on this cloak in
order to impose itself on the individual. But the more the voice which
advised prudence increased its efforts and the more clear and persuasive
became its appeal, resistance became all the stronger; until finally the
internal strife was over and the call of duty was triumphant. Already in
the winter of 1915-16 I had come through that inner struggle. The will
had asserted its incontestable mastery. Whereas in the early days I went
into the fight with a cheer and a laugh, I was now habitually calm and
resolute. And that frame of mind endured. Fate might now put me through
the final test without my nerves or reason giving way. The young
volunteer had become an old soldier.

This same transformation took place throughout the whole army. Constant
fighting had aged and toughened it and hardened it, so that it stood
firm and dauntless against every assault.

Only now was it possible to judge that army. After two and three years
of continuous fighting, having been thrown into one battle after
another, standing up stoutly against superior numbers and superior
armament, suffering hunger and privation, the time had come when one
could assess the value of that singular fighting force.

For a thousand years to come nobody will dare to speak of heroism
without recalling the German Army of the World War. And then from the
dim past will emerge the immortal vision of those solid ranks of steel
helmets that never flinched and never faltered. And as long as Germans
live they will be proud to remember that these men were the sons of
their forefathers.

I was then a soldier and did not wish to meddle in politics, all the
more so because the time was inopportune. I still believe that the most
modest stable-boy of those days served his country better than the best
of, let us say, the 'parliamentary deputies'. My hatred for those
footlers was never greater than in those days when all decent men who
had anything to say said it point-blank in the enemy's face; or, failing
this, kept their mouths shut and did their duty elsewhere. I despised
those political fellows and if I had had my way I would have formed them
into a Labour Battalion and given them the opportunity of babbling
amongst themselves to their hearts' content, without offence or harm to
decent people.

In those days I cared nothing for politics; but I could not help forming
an opinion on certain manifestations which affected not only the whole
nation but also us soldiers in particular. There were two things which
caused me the greatest anxiety at that time and which I had come to
regard as detrimental to our interests.

Shortly after our first series of victories a certain section of the
Press already began to throw cold water, drip by drip, on the enthusiasm
of the public. At first this was not obvious to many people. It was done
under the mask of good intentions and a spirit of anxious care. The
public was told that big celebrations of victories were somewhat out of
place and were not worthy expressions of the spirit of a great nation.
The fortitude and valour of German soldiers were accepted facts which
did not necessarily call for outbursts of celebration. Furthermore, it
was asked, what would foreign opinion have to say about these
manifestations? Would not foreign opinion react more favourably to a
quiet and sober form of celebration rather than to all this wild
jubilation? Surely the time had come--so the Press declared--for us
Germans to remember that this war was not our work and that hence there
need be no feeling of shame in declaring our willingness to do our share
towards effecting an understanding among the nations. For this reason it
would not be wise to sully the radiant deeds of our army with unbecoming
jubilation; for the rest of the world would never understand this.
Furthermore, nothing is more appreciated than the modesty with which a
true hero quietly and unassumingly carries on and forgets. Such was the
gist of their warning.

Instead of catching these fellows by their long ears and dragging them
to some ditch and looping a cord around their necks, so that the
victorious enthusiasm of the nation should no longer offend the
aesthetic sensibilities of these knights of the pen, a general Press
campaign was now allowed to go on against what was called 'unbecoming'
and 'undignified' forms of victorious celebration.

No one seemed to have the faintest idea that when public enthusiasm is
once damped, nothing can enkindle it again, when the necessity arises.
This enthusiasm is an intoxication and must be kept up in that form.
Without the support of this enthusiastic spirit how would it be possible
to endure in a struggle which, according to human standards, made such
immense demands on the spiritual stamina of the nation?

I was only too well acquainted with the psychology of the broad masses
not to know that in such cases a magnaminous 'aestheticism' cannot fan
the fire which is needed to keep the iron hot. In my eyes it was even a
mistake not to have tried to raise the pitch of public enthusiasm still
higher. Therefore I could not at all understand why the contrary policy
was adopted, that is to say, the policy of damping the public spirit.

Another thing which irritated me was the manner in which Marxism was
regarded and accepted. I thought that all this proved how little they
knew about the Marxist plague. It was believed in all seriousness that
the abolition of party distinctions during the War had made Marxism a
mild and moderate thing.

But here there was no question of party. There was question of a
doctrine which was being expounded for the express purpose of leading
humanity to its destruction. The purport of this doctrine was not
understood because nothing was said about that side of the question in
our Jew-ridden universities and because our supercilious bureaucratic
officials did not think it worth while to read up a subject which had
not been prescribed in their university course. This mighty
revolutionary trend was going on beside them; but those 'intellectuals'
would not deign to give it their attention. That is why State enterprise
nearly always lags behind private enterprise. Of these gentry once can
truly say that their maxim is: What we don't know won't bother us. In
the August of 1914 the German worker was looked upon as an adherent of
Marxist socialism. That was a gross error. When those fateful hours
dawned the German worker shook off the poisonous clutches of that
plague; otherwise he would not have been so willing and ready to fight.
And people were stupid enough to imagine that Marxism had now become
'national', another apt illustration of the fact that those in authority
had never taken the trouble to study the real tenor of the Marxist
teaching. If they had done so, such foolish errors would not have been
committed.

Marxism, whose final objective was and is and will continue to be the
destruction of all non-Jewish national States, had to witness in those
days of July 1914 how the German working classes, which it had been
inveigling, were aroused by the national spirit and rapidly ranged
themselves on the side of the Fatherland. Within a few days the
deceptive smoke-screen of that infamous national betrayal had vanished
into thin air and the Jewish bosses suddenly found themselves alone and
deserted. It was as if not a vestige had been left of that folly and
madness with which the masses of the German people had been inoculated
for sixty years. That was indeed an evil day for the betrayers of German
Labour. The moment, however, that the leaders realized the danger which
threatened them they pulled the magic cap of deceit over their ears and,
without being identified, played the part of mimes in the national
reawakening.

The time seemed to have arrived for proceeding against the whole Jewish
gang of public pests. Then it was that action should have been taken
regardless of any consequent whining or protestation. At one stroke, in
the August of 1914, all the empty nonsense about international
solidarity was knocked out of the heads of the German working classes. A
few weeks later, instead of this stupid talk sounding in their ears,
they heard the noise of American-manufactured shrapnel bursting above
the heads of the marching columns, as a symbol of international
comradeship. Now that the German worker had rediscovered the road to
nationhood, it ought to have been the duty of any Government which had
the care of the people in its keeping, to take this opportunity of
mercilessly rooting out everything that was opposed to the national
spirit.

While the flower of the nation's manhood was dying at the front, there
was time enough at home at least to exterminate this vermin. But,
instead of doing so, His Majesty the Kaiser held out his hand to these
hoary criminals, thus assuring them his protection and allowing them to
regain their mental composure.

And so the viper could begin his work again. This time, however, more
carefully than before, but still more destructively. While honest people
dreamt of reconciliation these perjured criminals were making
preparations for a revolution.

Naturally I was distressed at the half-measures which were adopted at
that time; but I never thought it possible that the final consequences
could have been so disastrous?

But what should have been done then? Throw the ringleaders into gaol,
prosecute them and rid the nation of them? Uncompromising military
measures should have been adopted to root out the evil. Parties should
have been abolished and the Reichstag brought to its senses at the point
of the bayonet, if necessary. It would have been still better if the
Reichstag had been dissolved immediately. Just as the Republic to-day
dissolves the parties when it wants to, so in those days there was even
more justification for applying that measure, seeing that the very
existence of the nation was at stake. Of course this suggestion would
give rise to the question: Is it possible to eradicate ideas by force of
arms? Could a WELTANSCHAUUNG be attacked by means of physical force?

At that time I turned these questions over and over again in my mind. By
studying analogous cases, exemplified in history, particularly those
which had arisen from religious circumstances, I came to the following
fundamental conclusion:

Ideas and philosophical systems as well as movements grounded on a
definite spiritual foundation, whether true or not, can never be broken
by the use of force after a certain stage, except on one condition:
namely, that this use of force is in the service of a new idea or
WELTANSCHAUUNG which burns with a new flame.

The application of force alone, without moral support based on a
spiritual concept, can never bring about the destruction of an idea or
arrest the propagation of it, unless one is ready and able ruthlessly to
exterminate the last upholders of that idea even to a man, and also wipe
out any tradition which it may tend to leave behind. Now in the majority
of cases the result of such a course has been to exclude such a State,
either temporarily or for ever, from the comity of States that are of
political significance; but experience has also shown that such a
sanguinary method of extirpation arouses the better section of the
population under the persecuting power. As a matter of fact, every
persecution which has no spiritual motives to support it is morally
unjust and raises opposition among the best elements of the population;
so much so that these are driven more and more to champion the ideas
that are unjustly persecuted. With many individuals this arises from the
sheer spirit of opposition to every attempt at suppressing spiritual
things by brute force.

In this way the number of convinced adherents of the persecuted doctrine
increases as the persecution progresses. Hence the total destruction of
a new doctrine can be accomplished only by a vast plan of extermination;
but this, in the final analysis, means the loss of some of the best
blood in a nation or State. And that blood is then avenged, because such
an internal and total clean-up brings about the collapse of the nation's
strength. And such a procedure is always condemned to futility from the
very start if the attacked doctrine should happen to have spread beyond
a small circle.

That is why in this case, as with all other growths, the doctrine can be
exterminated in its earliest stages. As time goes on its powers of
resistance increase, until at the approach of age it gives way to
younger elements, but under another form and from other motives.

The fact remains that nearly all attempts to exterminate a doctrine,
without having some spiritual basis of attack against it, and also to
wipe out all the organizations it has created, have led in many cases to
the very opposite being achieved; and that for the following reasons:

When sheer force is used to combat the spread of a doctrine, then that
force must be employed systematically and persistently. This means that
the chances of success in the suppression of a doctrine lie only in the
persistent and uniform application of the methods chosen. The moment
hesitation is shown, and periods of tolerance alternate with the
application of force, the doctrine against which these measures are
directed will not only recover strength but every successive persecution
will bring to its support new adherents who have been shocked by the
oppressive methods employed. The old adherents will become more
embittered and their allegiance will thereby be strengthened. Therefore
when force is employed success is dependent on the consistent manner in
which it is used. This persistence, however, is nothing less than the
product of definite spiritual convictions. Every form of force that is
not supported by a spiritual backing will be always indecisive and
uncertain. Such a force lacks the stability that can be found only in a
WELTANSCHAUUNG which has devoted champions. Such a force is the
expression of the individual energies; therefore it is from time to time
dependent on the change of persons in whose hands it is employed and
also on their characters and capacities.

But there is something else to be said: Every WELTANSCHAUUNG, whether
religious or political--and it is sometimes difficult to say where the
one ends and the other begins--fights not so much for the negative
destruction of the opposing world of ideas as for the positive
realization of its own ideas. Thus its struggle lies in attack rather
than in defence. It has the advantage of knowing where its objective
lies, as this objective represents the realization of its own ideas.
Inversely, it is difficult to say when the negative aim for the
destruction of a hostile doctrine is reached and secured. For this
reason alone a WELTANSCHAUUNG which is of an aggressive character is
more definite in plan and more powerful and decisive in action than a
WELTANSCHAUUNG which takes up a merely defensive attitude. If force be
used to combat a spiritual power, that force remains a defensive measure
only so long as the wielders of it are not the standard-bearers and
apostles of a new spiritual doctrine.

To sum up, the following must be borne in mind: That every attempt to
combat a WELTANSCHAUUNG by means of force will turn out futile in the
end if the struggle fails to take the form of an offensive for the
establishment of an entirely new spiritual order of' things. It is only
in the struggle between two Weltan-schauungen that physical force,
consistently and ruthlessly applied, will eventually turn the scales in
its own favour. It was here that the fight against Marxism had hitherto
failed.

This was also the reason why Bismarck's anti-socialist legislation
failed and was bound to fail in the long run, despite everything. It
lacked the basis of a new WELTANSCHAUUNG for whose development and
extension the struggle might have been taken up. To say that the serving
up of drivel about a so-called 'State-Authority' or 'Law-and-Order' was
an adequate foundation for the spiritual driving force in a
life-or-death struggle is only what one would expect to hear from the
wiseacres in high official positions.

It was because there were no adequate spiritual motives back of this
offensive that Bismarck was compelled to hand over the administration of
his socialist legislative measures to the judgment and approval of those
circles which were themselves the product of the Marxist teaching. Thus
a very ludicrous state of affairs prevailed when the Iron Chancellor
surrendered the fate of his struggle against Marxism to the goodwill of
the bourgeois democracy. He left the goat to take care of the garden.
But this was only the necessary result of the failure to find a
fundamentally new WELTANSCHAUUNG which would attract devoted champions
to its cause and could be established on the ground from which Marxism
had been driven out. And thus the result of the Bismarckian campaign was
deplorable.

During the World War, or at the beginning of it, were the conditions any
different? Unfortunately, they were not.

The more I then pondered over the necessity for a change in the attitude
of the executive government towards Social-Democracy, as the
incorporation of contemporary Marxism, the more I realized the want of a
practical substitute for this doctrine. Supposing Social-Democracy were
overthrown, what had one to offer the masses in its stead? Not a single
movement existed which promised any success in attracting vast numbers
of workers who would be now more or less without leaders, and holding
these workers in its train. It is nonsensical to imagine that the
international fanatic who has just severed his connection with a class
party would forthwith join a bourgeois party, or, in other words,
another class organization. For however unsatisfactory these various
organizations may appear to be, it cannot be denied that bourgeois
politicians look on the distinction between classes as a very important
factor in social life, provided it does not turn out politically
disadvantageous to them. If they deny this fact they show themselves not
only impudent but also mendacious.

Generally speaking, one should guard against considering the broad
masses more stupid than they really are. In political matters it
frequently happens that feeling judges more correctly than intellect.
But the opinion that this feeling on the part of the masses is
sufficient proof of their stupid international attitude can be
immediately and definitely refuted by the simple fact that pacifist
democracy is no less fatuous, though it draws its supporters almost
exclusively from bourgeois circles. As long as millions of citizens
daily gulp down what the social-democratic Press tells them, it ill
becomes the 'Masters' to joke at the expense of the 'Comrades'; for in
the long run they all swallow the same hash, even though it be dished up
with different spices. In both cases the cook is one and the same--the
Jew.

One should be careful about contradicting established facts. It is an
undeniable fact that the class question has nothing to do with questions
concerning ideals, though that dope is administered at election time.
Class arrogance among a large section of our people, as well as a
prevailing tendency to look down on the manual labourer, are obvious
facts and not the fancies of some day-dreamer. Nevertheless it only
illustrates the mentality of our so-called intellectual circles, that
they have not yet grasped the fact that circumstances which are
incapable of preventing the growth of such a plague as Marxism are
certainly not capable of restoring what has been lost.
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« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2008, 01:07:24 am »

The bourgeois' parties--a name coined by themselves--will never again be
able to win over and hold the proletarian masses in their train. That is
because two worlds stand opposed to one another here, in part naturally
and in part artificially divided. These two camps have one leading
thought, and that is that they must fight one another. But in such a
fight the younger will come off victorious; and that is Marxism.

In 1914 a fight against Social-Democracy was indeed quite conceivable.
But the lack of any practical substitute made it doubtful how long the
fight could be kept up. In this respect there was a gaping void.

Long before the War I was of the same opinion and that was the reason
why I could not decide to join any of the parties then existing. During
the course of the World War my conviction was still further confirmed by
the manifest impossibility of fighting Social-Democracy in anything like
a thorough way: because for that purpose there should have been a
movement that was something more than a mere 'parliamentary' party, and
there was none such.

I frequently discussed that want with my intimate comrades. And it was
then that I first conceived the idea of taking up political work later
on. As I have often assured my friends, it was just this that induced me
to become active on the public hustings after the War, in addition to my
professional work. And I am sure that this decision was arrived at after
much earnest thought.




CHAPTER VI



WAR PROPAGANDA


In watching the course of political events I was always struck by the
active part which propaganda played in them. I saw that it was an
instrument, which the Marxist Socialists knew how to handle in a
masterly way and how to put it to practical uses. Thus I soon came to
realize that the right use of propaganda was an art in itself and that
this art was practically unknown to our bourgeois parties. The
Christian-Socialist Party alone, especially in Lueger's time, showed a
certain efficiency in the employment of this instrument and owed much of
their success to it.

It was during the War, however, that we had the best chance of
estimating the tremendous results which could be obtained by a
propagandist system properly carried out. Here again, unfortunately,
everything was left to the other side, the work done on our side being
worse than insignificant. It was the total failure of the whole German
system of information--a failure which was perfectly obvious to every
soldier--that urged me to consider the problem of propaganda in a
comprehensive way. I had ample opportunity to learn a practical lesson
in this matter; for unfortunately it was only too well taught us by the
enemy. The lack on our side was exploited by the enemy in such an
efficient manner that one could say it showed itself as a real work of
genius. In that propaganda carried on by the enemy I found admirable
sources of instruction. The lesson to be learned from this had
unfortunately no attraction for the geniuses on our own side. They were
simply above all such things, too clever to accept any teaching. Anyhow
they did not honestly wish to learn anything.

Had we any propaganda at all? Alas, I can reply only in the negative.
All that was undertaken in this direction was so utterly inadequate and
misconceived from the very beginning that not only did it prove useless
but at times harmful. In substance it was insufficient. Psychologically
it was all wrong. Anybody who had carefully investigated the German
propaganda must have formed that judgment of it. Our people did not seem
to be clear even about the primary question itself: Whether propaganda
is a means or an end?

Propaganda is a means and must, therefore, be judged in relation to the
end it is intended to serve. It must be organized in such a way as to be
capable of attaining its objective. And, as it is quite clear that the
importance of the objective may vary from the standpoint of general
necessity, the essential internal character of the propaganda must vary
accordingly. The cause for which we fought during the War was the
noblest and highest that man could strive for. We were fighting for the
freedom and independence of our country, for the security of our future
welfare and the honour of the nation. Despite all views to the contrary,
this honour does actually exist, or rather it will have to exist; for a
nation without honour will sooner or later lose its freedom and
independence. This is in accordance with the ruling of a higher justice,
for a generation of poltroons is not entitled to freedom. He who would
be a slave cannot have honour; for such honour would soon become an
object of general scorn.

Germany was waging war for its very existence. The purpose of its war
propaganda should have been to strengthen the fighting spirit in that
struggle and help it to victory.

But when nations are fighting for their existence on this earth, when
the question of 'to be or not to be' has to be answered, then all humane
and aesthetic considerations must be set aside; for these ideals do not
exist of themselves somewhere in the air but are the product of man's
creative imagination and disappear when he disappears. Nature knows
nothing of them. Moreover, they are characteristic of only a small
number of nations, or rather of races, and their value depends on the
measure in which they spring from the racial feeling of the latter.
Humane and aesthetic ideals will disappear from the inhabited earth when
those races disappear which are the creators and standard-bearers of
them.

All such ideals are only of secondary importance when a nation is
struggling for its existence. They must be prevented from entering into
the struggle the moment they threaten to weaken the stamina of the
nation that is waging war. That is always the only visible effect
whereby their place in the struggle is to be judged.

In regard to the part played by humane feeling, Moltke stated that in
time of war the essential thing is to get a decision as quickly as
possible and that the most ruthless methods of fighting are at the same
time the most humane. When people attempt to answer this reasoning by
highfalutin talk about aesthetics, etc., only one answer can be given. It
is that the vital questions involved in the struggle of a nation for its
existence must not be subordinated to any aesthetic considerations. The
yoke of slavery is and always will remain the most unpleasant experience
that mankind can endure. Do the Schwabing (Note 12) decadents look upon
Germany's lot to-day as 'aesthetic'? Of course, one doesn't discuss such
a question with the Jews, because they are the modern inventors of this
cultural perfume. Their very existence is an incarnate denial of the
beauty of God's image in His creation.

[Note 12. Schwabing is the artistic quarter in Munich where artists have
their studios and litterateurs, especially of the Bohemian class,
foregather.]

Since these ideas of what is beautiful and humane have no place in
warfare, they are not to be used as standards of war propaganda.

During the War, propaganda was a means to an end. And this end was the
struggle for existence of the German nation. Propaganda, therefore,
should have been regarded from the standpoint of its utility for that
purpose. The most cruel weapons were then the most humane, provided they
helped towards a speedier decision; and only those methods were good and
beautiful which helped towards securing the dignity and freedom of the
nation. Such was the only possible attitude to adopt towards war
propaganda in the life-or-death struggle.

If those in what are called positions of authority had realized this
there would have been no uncertainty about the form and employment of
war propaganda as a weapon; for it is nothing but a weapon, and indeed a
most terrifying weapon in the hands of those who know how to use it.

The second question of decisive importance is this: To whom should
propaganda be made to appeal? To the educated intellectual classes? Or
to the less intellectual?

Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people.
For the intellectual classes, or what are called the intellectual
classes to-day, propaganda is not suited, but only scientific
exposition. Propaganda has as little to do with science as an
advertisement poster has to do with art, as far as concerns the form in
which it presents its message. The art of the advertisement poster
consists in the ability of the designer to attract the attention of the
crowd through the form and colours he chooses. The advertisement poster
announcing an exhibition of art has no other aim than to convince the
public of the importance of the exhibition. The better it does that, the
better is the art of the poster as such. Being meant accordingly to
impress upon the public the meaning of the exposition, the poster can
never take the place of the artistic objects displayed in the exposition
hall. They are something entirely different. Therefore. those who wish
to study the artistic display must study something that is quite
different from the poster; indeed for that purpose a mere wandering
through the exhibition galleries is of no use. The student of art must
carefully and thoroughly study each exhibit in order slowly to form a
judicious opinion about it.

The situation is the same in regard to what we understand by the word,
propaganda. The purpose of propaganda is not the personal instruction of
the individual, but rather to attract public attention to certain
things, the importance of which can be brought home to the masses only
by this means.

Here the art of propaganda consists in putting a matter so clearly and
forcibly before the minds of the people as to create a general
conviction regarding the reality of a certain fact, the necessity of
certain things and the just character of something that is essential.
But as this art is not an end in itself and because its purpose must be
exactly that of the advertisement poster, to attract the attention of
the masses and not by any means to dispense individual instructions to
those who already have an educated opinion on things or who wish to form
such an opinion on grounds of objective study--because that is not the
purpose of propaganda, it must appeal to the feelings of the public
rather than to their reasoning powers.

All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its
intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least
intellectual of those to whom it is directed. Thus its purely
intellectual level will have to be that of the lowest mental common
denominator among the public it is desired to reach. When there is
question of bringing a whole nation within the circle of its influence,
as happens in the case of war propaganda, then too much attention cannot
be paid to the necessity of avoiding a high level, which presupposes a
relatively high degree of intelligence among the public.

The more modest the scientific tenor of this propaganda and the more it
is addressed exclusively to public sentiment, the more decisive will be
its success. This is the best test of the value of a propaganda, and not
the approbation of a small group of intellectuals or artistic people.

The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the
imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in
finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the
attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. That this is
not understood by those among us whose wits are supposed to have been
sharpened to the highest pitch is only another proof of their vanity or
mental inertia.

Once we have understood how necessary it is to concentrate the
persuasive forces of propaganda on the broad masses of the people, the
following lessons result therefrom:

That it is a mistake to organize the direct propaganda as if it were a
manifold system of scientific instruction.

The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their
understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such
being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare
essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped
formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very
last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. If
this principle be forgotten and if an attempt be made to be abstract and
general, the propaganda will turn out ineffective; for the public will
not be able to digest or retain what is offered to them in this way.
Therefore, the greater the scope of the message that has to be
presented, the more necessary it is for the propaganda to discover that
plan of action which is psychologically the most efficient.

It was, for example, a fundamental mistake to ridicule the worth of the
enemy as the Austrian and German comic papers made a chief point of
doing in their propaganda. The very principle here is a mistaken one;
for, when they came face to face with the enemy, our soldiers had quite
a different impression. Therefore, the mistake had disastrous results.
Once the German soldier realised what a tough enemy he had to fight he
felt that he had been deceived by the manufacturers of the information
which had been given him. Therefore, instead of strengthening and
stimulating his fighting spirit, this information had quite the contrary
effect. Finally he lost heart.

On the other hand, British and American war propaganda was
psychologically efficient. By picturing the Germans to their own people
as Barbarians and Huns, they were preparing their soldiers for the
horrors of war and safeguarding them against illusions. The most
terrific weapons which those soldiers encountered in the field merely
confirmed the information that they had already received and their
belief in the truth of the assertions made by their respective
governments was accordingly reinforced. Thus their rage and hatred
against the infamous foe was increased. The terrible havoc caused by the
German weapons of war was only another illustration of the Hunnish
brutality of those barbarians; whereas on the side of the Entente no
time was left the soldiers to meditate on the similar havoc which their
own weapons were capable of. Thus the British soldier was never allowed
to feel that the information which he received at home was untrue.
Unfortunately the opposite was the case with the Germans, who finally
wound up by rejecting everything from home as pure swindle and humbug.
This result was made possible because at home they thought that the work
of propaganda could be entrusted to the first ass that came along,
braying of his own special talents, and they had no conception of the
fact that propaganda demands the most skilled brains that can be found.

Thus the German war propaganda afforded us an incomparable example of
how the work of 'enlightenment' should not be done and how such an
example was the result of an entire failure to take any psychological
considerations whatsoever into account.

From the enemy, however, a fund of valuable knowledge could be gained by
those who kept their eyes open, whose powers of perception had not yet
become sclerotic, and who during four-and-a-half years had to experience
the perpetual flood of enemy propaganda.

The worst of all was that our people did not understand the very first
condition which has to be fulfilled in every kind of propaganda; namely,
a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be
dealt with. In this regard so many errors were committed, even from the
very beginning of the war, that it was justifiable to doubt whether so
much folly could be attributed solely to the stupidity of people in
higher quarters.

What, for example, should we say of a poster which purported to
advertise some new brand of soap by insisting on the excellent qualities
of the competitive brands? We should naturally shake our heads. And it
ought to be just the same in a similar kind of political advertisement.
The aim of propaganda is not to try to pass judgment on conflicting
rights, giving each its due, but exclusively to emphasize the right
which we are asserting. Propaganda must not investigate the truth
objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side,
present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must
present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own
side.

It was a fundamental mistake to discuss the question of who was
responsible for the outbreak of the war and declare that the sole
responsibility could not be attributed to Germany. The sole
responsibility should have been laid on the shoulders of the enemy,
without any discussion whatsoever.

And what was the consequence of these half-measures? The broad masses of
the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public
jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned
judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who
are constantly wavering between one idea and another. As soon as our own
propaganda made the slightest suggestion that the enemy had a certain
amount of justice on his side, then we laid down the basis on which the
justice of our own cause could be questioned. The masses are not in a
position to discern where the enemy's fault ends and where our own
begins. In such a case they become hesitant and distrustful, especially
when the enemy does not make the same mistake but heaps all the blame on
his adversary. Could there be any clearer proof of this than the fact
that finally our own people believed what was said by the enemy's
propaganda, which was uniform and consistent in its assertions, rather
than what our own propaganda said? And that, of course, was increased by
the mania for objectivity which addicts our people. Everybody began to
be careful about doing an injustice to the enemy, even at the cost of
seriously injuring, and even ruining his own people and State.

Naturally the masses were not conscious of the fact that those in
authority had failed to study the subject from this angle.

The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and
outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than
by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple
and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the
negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth
and falsehood. Its notions are never partly this and partly that.
English propaganda especially understood this in a marvellous way and
put what they understood into practice. They allowed no half-measures
which might have given rise to some doubt.

Proof of how brilliantly they understood that the feeling of the masses
is something primitive was shown in their policy of publishing tales of
horror and outrages which fitted in with the real horrors of the time,
thereby cleverly and ruthlessly preparing the ground for moral
solidarity at the front, even in times of great defeats. Further, the
way in which they pilloried the German enemy as solely responsible for
the war--which was a brutal and absolute falsehood--and the way in which
they proclaimed his guilt was excellently calculated to reach the
masses, realizing that these are always extremist in their feelings. And
thus it was that this atrocious lie was positively believed.

The effectiveness of this kind of propaganda is well illustrated by the
fact that after four-and-a-half years, not only was the enemy still
carrying on his propagandist work, but it was already undermining the
stamina of our people at home.

That our propaganda did not achieve similar results is not to be
wondered at, because it had the germs of inefficiency lodged in its very
being by reason of its ambiguity. And because of the very nature of its
content one could not expect it to make the necessary impression on the
masses. Only our feckless 'statesmen' could have imagined that on
pacifists slops of such a kind the enthusiasm could be nourished which
is necessary to enkindle that spirit which leads men to die for their
country.

And so this product of ours was not only worthless but detrimental.

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