to consider when reading the excerpt from Mein Kampf
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Source: www.stormfront.org/books/mein_kampf/index.html. A
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On 1 April 1, 1924, I entered upon my prison
term in the fortress of Landsberg am Lech, as sentenced by the People's
Court in Munich on that day.
Thus, after years of uninterrupted work,
an opportunity was for the first time offered me to embark upon a task
which many had demanded and which I myself felt to be worth while for the
movement. I decided to set forth, in two volumes, the aims of our movement,
and also to draw a picture of its development. From this it will be possible
to learn more than from any purely doctrinaire treatise.
At the same time I have had occasion to
give an account of my own development, in so far as this is necessary for
the understanding of the first as well as the second volume, and in so
far as it may serve to destroy the foul legends about my person dished
up in the Jewish press.
I do not address this work to strangers,
but to those adherents of the movement who belong to it with their hearts,
and whose intelligence is eager for a more penetrating enlightenment. I
know that men are won over less by the written than by the spoken word,
that every great movement on this earth owes its growth to great orators
and not to great writers.
Nevertheless, for a doctrine to be disseminated
uniformly and coherently, its basic elements must be set down for all time.
To this end I wish to contribute these two volumes as foundation stones
in our common edifice. Landsberg am Lech, The Author
Personality and the Conception of
the Folkish state
The folkish National Socialist state sees
its chief task in educating and preserving the bearer of the state. It
is not sufficient to encourage the racial elements as such, to educate
them and finally instruct them in the needs of practical life; the state
must also adjust its own organization to this task.
It would be lunacy to try to estimate the
value of man according to his race, thus declaring war on the Marxist idea
that men are equal, unless we are determined to draw the ultimate consequences.
And the ultimate consequence of recognizing the importance of blood, that
is, of the racial foundation in general, is the transference of this estimation
to the individual person. In general, I must evaluate peoples differently
on the basis of the race they belong to, and the same applies to the individual
men within a national community. The realization that peoples are not equal
transfers itself to the individual man within a national community, in
the sense that men's minds cannot be equal, since here, too, the blood
components, though equal in their broad outlines, are, in particular cases,
subject to thousands of the finest differentiations.
The first consequence of this realization
might at the same time be called the cruder one: an attempt to promote
in the most...
This task is cruder because it can be recognized
and solved almost mechanically. It is more difficult to recognize among
the whole people the minds that are most valuable in the intellectual and
ideal sense, and to gain for them that influence which not only is the
due of these superior minds, but which above all is beneficial to the nation.
This sifting according to capacity and ability cannot be undertaken mechanically;
it is a task which the struggle of daily life unceasingly performs.
A philosophy of life which endeavors to
reject the democratic mass idea and give this earth to the best people
that is, the highest humanity must logically obey the same aristocratic
principle within this people and make sure that the leadership and the
highest influence in this people fall to the best minds. Thus, it builds,
not upon the idea of the majority, but upon the idea of personality.
Anyone who believes today that a folkish
National Socialist state must distinguish itself from other states only
in a purely mechanical sense, by a superior construction of its economic
life that is, by a better balance between rich and poor, or giving broad
sections of the population more right to influence the economic process,
or by fairer wages by elimination of excessive wage differentials has not
gone beyond the most superficial aspect of the matter and has not the faintest
idea of what we call a philosophy. All the things we have just mentioned
offer not the slightest guaranty of continued existence, far less of any
claim to greatness. A people which did not go beyond these really superficial
reforms would not obtain the least guaranty of victory in the general struggle
of nations. A movement which finds the content of its mission only in such
a general leveling, assuredly just as it may be, will truly bring about
no great and profound, hence real, reform of existing conditions, since
its entire activity does not, in the last analysis, go beyond externals,
and does not give the people that inner armament which enables it, with
almost inevitable certainty I might say, to overcome in the end those weaknesses
from which we suffer today.
To understand this more easily, it may
be expedient to cast one more glance at the real origins and causes of
human cultural development.
The first step which outwardly and visibly
removed man from the animal was that of invention. Invention itself is
originally based on the finding of stratagems and ruses, the use of which
facilitates the life struggle with other beings, and is sometimes the actual
prerequisite for its favorable course. These most primitive inventions
do not yet cause the personality to appear with sufficient distinctness,
because, of course, they enter the consciousness of the future, or rather
the present, human observer, only as a mass phenomenon. Certain dodges
and crafty measures which man, for example, can observe in the animal catch
his eye only as a summary fact, and he is no longer in a position to establish
or investigate their origin, but must simply content himself with designating
such phenomena as 'instinctive.'
But in our case this last word means nothing
at all. For anyone who believes in a higher development of living creatures
must admit that every expression of their life urge and life struggle must
have had a beginning; that one subject must have started it, and that subsequently
such a phenomenon repeated itself more and more frequently and spread more
and more, until at last it virtually entered the subconscious of all members
of a given species, thus manifesting itself as an instinct.
This will be understood and believed more
readily in the case of man. His first intelligent measures in the struggle
with other beasts assuredly originate in the actions of individual, particularly
able subjects. Here, too, the personality was once unquestionably the cause
of decisions and acts which later were taken over by all humanity and regarded
as perfectly self-evident. Just as any obvious military principle, which
today has become, as it were, the basis of all strategy, originally owed
its appearance to one absolutely distinct mind, and only in the course
of many, perhaps even thousands of years, achieved universal validity and
was taken entirely for granted.
Man complements this first invention by
a second: he learns to place other objects and also living creatures in
the service of his own struggle for self-preservation; and thus begins
man's real inventive activity which today is generally visible. These material
inventions, starting with the use of stone as a weapon and leading to the
domestication of beasts, giving man artificial fire, and so on up to the
manifold and amazing inventions of our day, show the individual creator
the more clearly, the closer the various inventions lie to the present
day, or the more significant and incisive they are. At all events, we know
that all the material inventions we see about us are the result of the
creative power and ability of the individual personality. And all these
inventions in the last analysis help to raise man more and more above the
level of the animal world and finally to remove him from it. Thus, fundamentally,
they serve the continuous process of higher human development. But the
very same thing which once, in the form of the simplest ruse, facilitated
the struggle for existence of the man hunting in the primeval forest, again
contributes, in the shape of the most brilliant scientific knowledge of
the present era, to alleviate mankind's struggle for existence and to forge
its weapons for the struggles of the future. All human thought and invention,
in their ultimate effects, primarily serve man's struggle for existence
on this planet, even when the so-called practical use of an invention or
a discovery or a profound scientific insight into the essence of things
is not visible at the moment. All these things together, by contributing
to raise man above the living creatures surrounding him, strengthen him
and secure his position, so that in every respect he develops into the
dominant being on this earth.
Thus, all inventions are the result of
an individual's work. All these individuals, whether intentionally or unintentionally,
are more or less great benefactors of all men. Their work subsequently
gives millions, nay, billions of human creatures, instruments with which
to facilitate and carry out their life struggle. If in the origin of our
present material culture we always find individuals in the form of inventors,
complementing one another and one building upon another, we find the same
in the practice and execution of the things devised and discovered by the
inventors. For all productive processes in turn must in their origin be
considered equivalent to inventions, hence dependent on the individual.
Even purely theoretical intellectual work, which in particular cases is
not measurable, yet is the premise for all further material inventions,
appears as the exclusive product of the individual person. It is not the
mass that invents and not the majority that organizes or thinks, but in
all things only and al- ways the individual man, the person.
A human community appears well organized
only if it facilitates the labors of these creative forces in the most
helpful way and applies them in a manner beneficial to all. The most valuable
thing about the invention itself, whether it lie in the material field
or in the world of ideas, is primarily the inventor as a personality. Therefore,
to employ him in a way benefiting the totality is the first and highest
task in the organization of a national community. Indeed, the organization
itself must be a realization of this principle. Thus, also, it is redeemed
from the curse of mechanism and becomes a living thing. It must itself
be an embodiment of the endeavor to place thinking individuals above the
masses, thus subordinating the latter to the former.
Consequently, the organization must not
only not prevent the emergence of thinking individuals from the mass; on
the contrary, it must in the highest degree make this possible and easy
by the nature of its own being. In this it must proceed from the principle
that the salvation of mankind has never lain in the masses, but in its
creative minds, which must therefore really be regarded as benefactors
of the human race. To assure them of the most decisive influence and facilitate
their work is in the interest of the totality. Assuredly this interest
is not satisfied, and is not served by the domination of the unintelligent
or incompetent, in any case uninspired masses, but solely by the leadership
of those to whom Nature has given special gifts for this purpose.
The selection of these minds, as said before,
is primarily accomplished by the hard struggle for existence. Many break
and perish, thus showing that they are not destined for the ultimate, and
in the end only a few appear to be chosen. In the fields of thought, artistic
creation, even, in fact, of economic life, this selective process is still
going on today, though, especially in the latter field, it faces a grave
obstacle. The administration of the state and likewise the power embodied
in the organized military might of the nation are also dominated by these
ideas. Here, too, the idea of personality is everywhere dominant its authority
downward and its responsibility toward the higher personality above. Only
political life has today completely turned away from this most natural
principle. While all human culture is solely the result of the individual's
creative activity, everywhere, and particularly in the highest leadership
of the national community, the principle of the value of the majority appears
decisive, and from that high place begins to gradually poison all life;
that is, in reality to dissolve it. The destructive effect of the Jew's
activity in other national bodies is basically attributable only to his
eternal efforts to undermine the position of the personality in the host-peoples
and to replace it by the mass. Thus, the organizing principle of Aryan
humanity is replaced by the destructive principle of the Jew. He becomes
a ferment of decomposition among peoples and races, and in the broader
sense a dissolver of human culture.
Marxism presents itself as the perfection
of the Jew's attempt to exclude the pre-eminence of personality in all
fields of human life and replace it by the numbers of the mass. To this,
in the political sphere, corresponds the parliamentary form of government,
which, from the smallest germ cells of the municipality up to the supreme
leadership of the Reich, we see in such disastrous operation, and in the
economic sphere, the system of a trade- union movement which does not serve
the real interests of the workers, but exclusively the destructive purposes
of the international world Jew. In precisely the measure in which the economy
is withdrawn from the influence of the personality principle and instead
exposed to the influences and effects of the masses, it must lose its efficacy
in serving all and benefiting all, and gradually succumb to a sure retrogression.
All the shop organizations which, instead of taking into account the interests
of their employees, strive to gain influence on production, serve the same
purpose. They injure collective achievement, and thus in reality injure
individual achievement. For the satisfaction of the members of a national
body does not in the long run occur exclusively through mere theoretical
phrases, but by the goods of daily life a that fall to the individual and
the ultimate resultant conviction that a national community in the sum
of its achievement guards the interests of individuals.
It is of no importance whether Marxism,
on the basis of its mass theory, seems capable of taking over and carrying
on the economy existing at the moment. Criticism with regard to the soundness
or unsoundness of this principle is not settled by the proof of its capacity
to administer the existing order for the future, but exclusively by the
proof that it can itself create a higher culture. Marxism might a thousand
times take over the existing economy and make it continue to work under
its leader- ship, but even success in this activity would prove nothing
in the face of the fact that it would not be in a position, by applying
its principle itself, to create the same thing which today it takes over
in a finished state.
Of this Marxism has furnished practical
proof. Not only that it has nowhere been able to found and create a culture
by itself; actually it has not been able to continue the existing ones
in accordance with its principles, but after a brief time has been forced
to return to the ideas embodied in the personality principle, in the form
of concessions; even in its own organization it cannot dispense with these
The folkish philosophy is basically distinguished
from the Marxist philosophy by the fact that it not only recognizes the
value of race, but with it the importance of the personality, which it
therefore makes one of the pillars of its entire edifice.. These are the
factors which sustain its view of life.
If the National Socialist movement did
not understand the fundamental importance of this basic realization, but
instead were merely to perform superficial patchwork on the present-day
state, or even adopt the mass standpoint as its own then it would really
constitute nothing but a party in competition with the
Marxists; in that case, it would not possess
the right to call itself a philosophy of life. If the social program of
the movement consisted only in pushing aside the personality and replacing
it by the masses, National Socialism itself would be corroded by the poison
of Marxism, as is the case with our bourgeois parties.
The folkish state must care for the welfare
of its citizens by recognizing in all and everything the importance of
the value of personality, thus in all fields preparing the way for that
highest measure of productive performance which grants to the individual
the highest measure of participation.
And accordingly, the folkish state must
free all leadership and especially the highest, that is, the political
leadership, entirely from the parliamentary principle of majority rule,
in other words, mass rule, and instead absolutely guarantee the right of
the personality. From this the following realization results:
The best state constitution and state form
is that which, with the most unquestioned certainty, raises the best minds
in the national community to leading position and leading influence.
But as, in economic life, the able men
cannot be appointed from above, but must struggle through for themselves,
and just as here the endless schooling, ranging from the smallest business
to the largest enterprise, occurs spontaneously, with life alone giving
the examinations, obviously political minds cannot be ' discovered.' Extraordinary
geniuses permit of no consideration for normal mankind.
From the smallest community cell to the
highest leadership of the entire Reich, the state must have the personality
principle anchored in its organization.
There must be no majority decisions, but
only responsible persons, and the word ' council ' must be restored to
its original meaning. Surely every man will have advisers by his side,
but the decision will be made by one man.
The principle which made the Prussian army
in its time into the most wonderful instrument of the German people must
some day, in a transferred sense, become the principle of the construction
of our whole state conception: authority of every leader downward and responsibility
Even then it will not be possible to dispense
with those corporations which today we designate as parliaments. But their
councilors will then actually give counsel; responsibility, however, can
and may be borne only by one man, and therefore only he alone may possess
the authority and right to command. Parliaments as such are necessary,
because in them, above all, personalities to which special responsible
tasks can later be entrusted have an opportunity gradually to rise up.
This gives the following picture: The folkish
state, from the township up to the Reich leadership, has no representative
body which decides anything by the majority, but only advisory bodies which
stand at the side of the elected leader, receiving their share of work
from him, and in turn if necessary assuming unlimited responsibility in
certain fields, just as on a larger scale the leader or chairman of the
various corporations himself possesses.
As a matter of principle, the folkish state
does not tolerate asking advice or opinions in special matters say, of
an economic nature of men who, on the basis of their education and activity,
can understand nothing of the subject. It, therefore, divides its representative
bodies from the start into political and professional chambers.
In order to guarantee a profitable cooperation
between the two, a special senate of the elite always stands over them.
In no chamber and in no senate does a vote ever take place. They are working
institutions and not voting machines. The individual member has an advisory,
but never a determining, voice. The latter is the exclusive privilege of
the responsible chairman.
This principle absolute responsibility
unconditionally combined with absolute authority will gradually breed an
elite of leaders such as today, in this era of irresponsible parliamentarianism,
is utterly inconceivable. Thus, the political form of the nation
will be brought into agreement with that law to which it owes its greatness
in the cultural and economic field.
As regards the possibility of putting these
ideas into practice, I beg you not to forget that the parliamentary principle
of democratic majority rule has by no means always dominated mankind, but
on the contrary is to be found only in brief periods of history, which
are always epochs of the decay of peoples and states.
But it should not be believed that such
a transformation can be accomplished by purely theoretical measures from
above, since logically it may not even stop at the state constitution,
but must permeate all other legislation, and indeed all civil life. Such
a fundamental change can and will only take place through a movement which
is itself constructed in the spirit of these ideas and hence bears the
future state within itself. Hence the National Socialist movement should
today adapt itself entirely to these ideas and carry them to practical
fruition within its own organization, so that some day it may not only
show the state these same guiding principles, but can also place the completed
body of its own state at its disposal.