Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Volume Two - The National Socialist Movement
Chapter IV: Personality and the Conception of the Folkish State

If the principal duty of the National Socialist People's State be to educate and promote the existence of those who are the material out of which the State is formed, it will not be sufficient to promote those racial elements as such, educate them and finally train them for practical life, but the State must also adapt its own organization to meet the demands of this task.
It would be absurd to appraise a man's worth by the race to which he belongs and at the same time to make war against the Marxist principle, that all men are equal, without being determined to pursue our own principle to its ultimate consequences. If we admit the significance of blood, that is to say, if we recognize the race as the fundamental element on which all life is based, we shall have to apply to the individual the logical consequences of this principle. In general I must estimate the worth of nations differently, on the basis of the different races from which they spring, and I must also differentiate in estimating the worth of the individual within his own race. The principle, that one people is not the same as another, applies also to the individual members of a national community. No one brain, for instance, is equal to another; because the constituent elements belonging to the same blood vary in a thousand subtle details, though they are fundamentally of the same quality.
The first consequence of this fact is comparatively simple. It demands that those elements within the folk-community which show the best racial qualities ought to be encouraged more than the others and especially they should be encouraged to increase and multiply.
This task is comparatively simple because it can be recognized and carried out almost mechanically. It is much more difficult to select from among a whole multitude of people all those who actually possess the highest intellectual and spiritual characteristics and assign them to that sphere of influence which not only corresponds to their outstanding talents but in which their activities will above all things be of benefit to the nation. This selection according to capacity and efficiency cannot be effected in a mechanical way. It is a work which can be accomplished only through the permanent struggle of everyday life itself.
A philosophy of life which repudiates the democratic principle of the rule of the masses and aims at giving this world to the best people – that is, to the highest quality of mankind – must also apply that same aristocratic postulate to the individuals within the folk-community. It must take care that the positions of leadership and highest influence are given to the best men. Hence it is not based on the idea of the majority, but on that of personality.
Anyone who believes that the People's National Socialist State should distinguish itself from the other States only mechanically, as it were, through the better construction of its economic life – thanks to a better equilibrium between poverty and riches, or to the extension to broader masses of the power to determine the economic process, or to a fairer wage, or to the elimination of vast differences in the scale of salaries – anyone who thinks this understands only the superficial features of our movement and has not the least idea of what we mean when we speak of our Weltanschhauung. All these features just mentioned could not in the least guarantee us a lasting existence and certainly would be no warranty of greatness. A nation that could content itself with external reforms would not have the slightest chance of success in the general struggle for life among the nations of the world. A movement that would confine its mission to such adjustments, which are certainly right and equitable, would effect no far-reaching or profound reform in the existing order. The whole effect of such measures would be limited to externals. They would not furnish the nation with that moral armament which alone will enable it effectively to overcome the weaknesses from which we are suffering today.
In order to elucidate this point of view it may be worth while to glance once again at the real origins and causes of the cultural evolution of mankind.
The first step which visibly brought mankind away from the animal world was that which led to the first invention. The invention itself owes its origin to the ruses and stratagems which man employed to assist him in the struggle with other creatures for his existence and often to provide him with the only means he could adopt to achieve success in the struggle. Those first very crude inventions cannot be attributed to the individual; for the subsequent observer, that is to say the modern observer, recognizes them only as collective phenomena. Certain tricks and skilful tactics which can be observed in use among the animals strike the eye of the observer as established facts which may be seen everywhere; and man is no longer in a position to discover or explain their primary cause and so he contents himself with calling such phenomena 'instinctive.'
In our case this term has no meaning. Because everyone who believes in the higher evolution of living organisms must admit that every manifestation of the vital urge and struggle to live must have had a definite beginning in time and that one subject alone must have manifested it for the first time. It was then repeated again and again; and the practice of it spread over a widening area, until finally it passed into the subconscience of every member of the species, where it manifested itself as 'instinct.'
This is more easily understood and more easy to believe in the case of man. His first skilled tactics in the struggle with the rest of the animals undoubtedly originated in his management of creatures which possessed special capabilities.
There can be no doubt that personality was then the sole factor in all decisions and achievements, which were afterwards taken over by the whole of humanity as a matter of course. An exact exemplification of this may be found in those fundamental military principles which have now become the basis of all strategy in war. Originally they sprang from the brain of a single individual and in the course of many years, maybe even thousands of years, they were accepted all round as a matter of course and this gained universal validity.
Man completed his first discovery by making a second. Among other things he learned how to master other living beings and make them serve him in his struggle for existence. And thus began the real inventive activity of mankind, as it is now visible before our eyes. Those material inventions, beginning with the use of stones as weapons, which led to the domestication of animals, the production of fire by artificial means, down to the marvellous inventions of our own days, show clearly that an individual was the originator in each case. The nearer we come to our own time and the more important and revolutionary the inventions become, the more clearly do we recognize the truth of that statement. All the material inventions which we see around us have been produced by the creative powers and capabilities of individuals. And all these inventions help man to raise himself higher and higher above the animal world and to separate himself from that world in an absolutely definite way. Hence they serve to elevate the human species and continually to promote its progress. And what the most primitive artifice once did for man in his struggle for existence, as he went hunting through the primeval forest, that same sort of assistance is rendered him today in the form of marvellous scientific inventions which help him in the present day struggle for life and to forge weapons for future struggles. In their final consequences all human thought and invention help man in his life-struggle on this planet, even though the so-called practical utility of an invention, a discovery or a profound scientific theory, may not be evident at first sight. Everything contributes to raise man higher and higher above the level of all the other creatures that surround him, thereby strengthening and consolidating his position; so that he develops more and more in every direction as the ruling being on this earth.
Hence all inventions are the result of the creative faculty of the individual. And all such individuals, whether they have willed it or not, are the benefactors of mankind, both great and small. Through their work millions and indeed billions of human beings have been provided with means and resources which facilitate their struggle for existence.
Thus at the origin of the material civilization which flourishes today we always see individual persons. They supplement one another and one of them bases his work on that of the other. The same is true in regard to the practical application of those inventions and discoveries. For all the various methods of production are in their turn inventions also and consequently dependent on the creative faculty of the individual. Even the purely theoretical work, which cannot be measured by a definite rule and is preliminary to all subsequent technical discoveries, is exclusively the product of the individual brain. The broad masses do not invent, nor does the majority organize or think; but always and in every case the individual man, the person.
Accordingly a human community is well organized only when it facilitates to the highest possible degree individual creative forces and utilizes their work for the benefit of the community. The most valuable factor of an invention, whether it be in the world of material realities or in the world of abstract ideas, is the personality of the inventor himself. The first and supreme duty of an organized folk community is to place the inventor in a position where he can be of the greatest benefit to all. Indeed the very purpose of the organization is to put this principle into practice. Only by so doing can it ward off the curse of mechanization and remain a living thing. In itself it must personify the effort to place men of brains above the multitude and to make the latter obey the former.
Therefore not only does the organization possess no right to prevent men of brains from rising above the multitude but, on the contrary, it must use its organizing powers to enable and promote that ascension as far as it possibly can. It must start out from the principle that the blessings of mankind never came from the masses but from the creative brains of individuals, who are therefore the real benefactors of humanity. It is in the interest of all to assure men of creative brains a decisive influence and facilitate their work. This common interest is surely not served by allowing the multitude to rule, for they are not capable of thinking nor are they efficient and in no case whatsoever can they be said to be gifted. Only those should rule who have the natural temperament and gifts of leadership.
Such men of brains are selected mainly, as I have already said, through the hard struggle for existence itself. In this struggle there are many who break down and collapse and thereby show that they are not called by Destiny to fill the highest positions; and only very few are left who can be classed among the elect. In the realm of thought and of artistic creation, and even in the economic field, this same process of selection takes place, although – especially in the economic field – its operation is heavily handicapped. This same principle of selection rules in the administration of the State and in that department of power which personifies the organized military defence of the nation. The idea of personality rules everywhere, the authority of the individual over his subordinates and the responsibility of the individual towards the persons who are placed over him. It is only in political life that this very natural principle has been completely excluded. Though all human civilization has resulted exclusively from the creative activity of the individual, the principle that it is the mass which counts – through the decision of the majority – makes its appearance only in the administration of the national community especially in the higher grades; and from there downwards the poison gradually filters into all branches of national life, thus causing a veritable decomposition. The destructive workings of Judaism in different parts of the national body can be ascribed fundamentally to the persistent Jewish efforts at undermining the importance of personality among the nations that are their hosts and, in place of personality, substituting the domination of the masses. The constructive principle of Aryan humanity is thus displaced by the destructive principle of the Jews, They become the 'ferment of decomposition' among nations and races and, in a broad sense, the wreckers of human civilization.
Marxism represents the most striking phase of the Jewish endeavour to eliminate the dominant significance of personality in every sphere of human life and replace it by the numerical power of the masses. In politics the parliamentary form of government is the expression of this effort. We can observe the fatal effects of it everywhere, from the smallest parish council upwards to the highest governing circles of the nation. In the field of economics we see the trade union movement, which does not serve the real interests of the employees but the destructive aims of international Jewry. Just to the same degree in which the principle of personality is excluded from the economic life of the nation, and the influence and activities of the masses substituted in its stead, national economy, which should be for the service and benefit of the community as a whole, will gradually deteriorate in its creative capacity. The shop committees which, instead of caring for the interests of the employees, strive to influence the process of production, serve the same destructive purpose. They damage the general productive system and consequently injure the individual engaged in industry. For in the long run it is impossible to satisfy popular demands merely by high-sounding theoretical phrases. These can be satisfied only by supplying goods to meet the individual needs of daily life and by so doing create the conviction that, through the productive collaboration of its members, the folk community serves the interests of the individual.
Even if, on the basis of its mass-theory, Marxism should prove itself capable of taking over and developing the present economic system, that would not signify anything. The question as to whether the Marxist doctrine be right or wrong cannot be decided by any test which would show that it can administer for the future what already exists today, but only by asking whether it has the creative power to build up according to its own principles a civilization which would be a counterpart of what already exists. Even if Marxism were a thousandfold capable of taking over the economic life as we now have it and maintaining it in operation under Marxist direction, such an achievement would prove nothing; because, on the basis of its own principles, Marxism would never be able to create something which could supplant what exists today.
And Marxism itself has furnished the proof that it cannot do this. Not only has it been unable anywhere to create a cultural or economic system of its own; but it was not even able to develop, according to its own principles, the civilization and economic system it found ready at hand. It has had to make compromises, by way of a return to the principle of personality, just as it cannot dispense with that principle in its own organization.
The folkish philosophy is fundamentally distinguished from the Marxist by reason of the fact that the former recognizes the significance of race and therefore also personal worth and has made these the pillars of its structure. These are the most important factors of its view of life.
If the National Socialist Movement should fail to understand the fundamental importance of this essential principle, if it should merely varnish the external appearance of the present State and adopt the majority principle, it would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground. For that reason it would not have the right to call itself a philosophy of life. If the social programme of the movement consisted in eliminating personality and putting the multitude in its place, then National Socialism would be corrupted with the poison of Marxism, just as our national-bourgeois parties are.
The People's State must assure the welfare of its citizens by recognizing the importance of personal values under all circumstances and by preparing the way for the maximum of productive efficiency in all the various branches of economic life, thus securing to the individual the highest possible share in the general output.
Hence the People's State must mercilessly expurgate from all the leading circles in the government of the country the parliamentarian principle, according to which decisive power through the majority vote is invested in the multitude. Personal responsibility must be substituted in its stead.
From this the following conclusion results:
The best constitution and the best form of government is that which makes it quite natural for the best brains to reach a position of dominant importance and influence in the community.
Just as in the field of economics men of outstanding ability cannot be designated from above but must come forward in virtue of their own efforts, and just as there is an unceasing educative process that leads from the smallest shop to the largest undertaking, and just as life itself is the school in which those lessons are taught, so in the political field it is not possible to 'discover' political talent all in a moment. Genius of an extraordinary stamp is not to be judged by normal standards whereby we judge other men.
In its organization the State must be established on the principle of personality, starting from the smallest cell and ascending up to the supreme government of the country.
There are no decisions made by the majority vote, but only by responsible persons. And the word 'council' is once more restored to its original meaning. Every man in a position of responsibility will have councillors at his side, but the decision is made by that individual person alone.
The principle which made the former Prussian Army an admirable instrument of the German nation will have to become the basis of our statal constitution, that is to say, full authority over his subordinates must be invested in each leader and he must be responsible to those above him.
Even then we shall not be able to do without those corporations which at present we call parliaments. But they will be real councils, in the sense that they will have to give advice. The responsibility can and must be borne by one individual, who alone will be vested with authority and the right to command.
Parliaments as such are necessary because they alone furnish the opportunity for leaders to rise gradually who will be entrusted subsequently with positions of special responsibility.
The following is an outline of the picture which the organization will present:
From the municipal administration up to the government of the Reich, the People's State will not have any body of representatives which makes its decisions through the majority vote. It will have only advisory bodies to assist the chosen leader for the time being and he will distribute among them the various duties they are to perform. In certain fields they may, if necessary, have to assume full responsibility, such as the leader or president of each corporation possesses on a larger scale.
In principle the People's State must forbid the custom of taking advice on certain political problems – economics, for instance – from persons who are entirely incompetent because they lack special training and practical experience in such matters. Consequently the State must divide its representative bodies into a political chamber and a corporative chamber that represents the respective trades and professions.
To assure an effective co-operation between those two bodies, a selected body will be placed over them. This will be a special senate.
No vote will be taken in the chambers or senate. They are to be organizations for work and not voting machines. The individual members will have consultive votes but no right of decision will be attached thereto. The right of decision belongs exclusively to the president, who must be entirely responsible for the matter under discussion.
This principle of combining absolute authority with absolute responsibility will gradually cause a selected group of leaders to emerge; which is not even thinkable in our present epoch of irresponsible parliamentarianism.
The political construction of the nation will thereby be brought into harmony with those laws to which the nation already owes its greatness in the economic and cultural spheres.

Regarding the possibility of putting these principles into practice, I should like to call attention to the fact that the principle of parliamentarian democracy, whereby decisions are enacted through the majority vote, has not always ruled the world. On the contrary, we find it prevalent only during short periods of history, and those have always been periods of decline in nations and States.
One must not believe, however, that such a radical change could be effected by measures of a purely theoretical character, operating from above downwards; for the change I have been describing could not be limited to transforming the constitution of a State but would have to include the various fields of legislation and civic existence as a whole. Such a revolution can be brought about only by means of a movement which is itself organized under the inspiration of these principles and thus bears the germ of the future State in its own organism.
Therefore it is well for the National Socialist Movement to make itself completely familiar with those principles today and actually to put them into practice within its own organization, so that not only will it be in a position to serve as a guide for the future State but will have its own organization such that it can subsequently be placed at the disposal of the State itself.

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