Thursday, February 03, 2011

Mein Kampf: excerpted from vol. I chapter 8

Western men have become brainless sheep. They bleat how they’re told. Even for those white nationalists who are beginning to awaken to the realities of this age of treason, the name of Adolf Hitler rings a giant Pavlovian bell. But once we defrock ourselves from the sheep Hitler’s words become more commonsensical than what we expected... This translation of the unexpurgated edition of Mein Kampf was first published on March 21st, 1939 (no ellipsis added between unquoted paragraphs):

Chapter “The Beginning of My Political Activities”

At that juncture innumerable plans took shape in my mind. As the new Soviet Revolution began to run its course in Munich my first activities drew upon me the ill-will of the Central Council. In the early morning of April 27th, 1919, I was to have been arrested; but the three fellows who came to arrest me did not have the courage to face my rifle and withdrew just as they had arrived.

After another few weeks I received orders to attend a course of lectures which were being given to members of the army. This course was meant to inculcate certain fundamental principles on which the soldier could base his political ideas. For me the advantage of this organization was that it gave me a chance of meeting fellow soldiers who were of the same way of thinking and with whom I could discuss the actual situation.

In our small circle we discussed the project of forming a new party. The leading ideas which we then proposed were the same as those which were carried into effect afterwards, when the German Labour Party was founded. The name of the new movement which was to be founded should be such that of itself, it would appeal to the mass of the people; for all our efforts would turn out vain and useless if this condition were lacking. And that was the reason why we chose the name ‘Social-Revolutionary Party’, particularly because the social principles of our new organization were indeed revolutionary.

But there was also a more fundamental reason. The attention which I had given to economic problems during my earlier years was more or less confined to considerations arising directly out of the social problem. The attitude of the State towards capital would be comparatively simple and clear. Its only object would be to make sure that capital remained subservient to the State and did not allocate to itself the right to dominate national interests.

* * *

The important question is whether an idea is fundamentally right or not. The question of whether or not it may be difficult to carry it out in practice is quite another matter. When a man whose task it is to lay down the principles of a programme or policy begins to busy himself with the question as to whether it is expedient and practical, instead of confining himself to the statement of the absolute truth, his work will cease to be a guiding star to those who are looking about for light and leading.

The test of greatness as applied to a political leader is the success of his plans and his enterprises, which means his ability to reach the goal for which he sets out; whereas the final goal set up by the political philosopher can never be reached; for human thought may grasp truths and picture ends which it sees like clear crystal, though such ends can never be completely fulfilled because human nature is weak and imperfect. The more an idea is correct in the abstract, and, therefore, all the more powerful, the smaller is the possibility of putting it into practice, at least as far as this latter depends on human beings. The significance of a political philosopher does not depend on the practical success of the plans he lays down but rather on their absolute truth and the influence they exert on the progress of mankind. If it were otherwise, the founders of religions could not be considered as the greatest men who have ever lived.

This very wide difference between the functions of a political philosopher and a practical political leader is the reason why the qualifications necessary for both functions are scarcely ever found associated in the same person. This applies especially to the so-called successful politician of the smaller kind, whose activity is indeed hardly more than practising the art of doing the possible, as Bismarck modestly defined the art of politics in general.

If such a politician resolutely avoids great ideas his success will be all the easier to attain; it will be attained more expeditely and frequently will be more tangible. By reason of this very fact, however, such success is doomed to futility and sometimes does not even survive the death of its author. Generally speaking, the work of politicians is without significance for the following generation, because their temporary success was based on the expediency of avoiding all really great decisive problems and ideas which would be valid also for future generations.

To pursue ideals which will still be of value and significance for the future is generally not a very profitable undertaking and he who follows such a course is only very rarely understood by the mass of the people, who find beer and milk a more persuasive index of political values than far-sighted plans for the future.

The position of the constructive political philosopher is quite different. The importance of his work must always be judged from the standpoint of the future; and he is frequently described by the word Weltfremd, or dreamer. While the ability of the politician consists in mastering the art of the possible, the founder of a political system belongs to those who are said to please the gods only because they wish for and demand the impossible. They will always have to renounce contemporary fame; but if their ideas be immortal, posterity will grant them its acknowledgment.

Within long spans of human progress it may occasionally happen that the practical politician and political philosopher are one. The more intimate this union is, the greater will be the obstacles which the activity of the politician will have to encounter. Such a man does not labour for the purpose of satisfying demands that are obvious to every philistine, but he reaches out towards ends which can be understood only by the few. For the greater the work which a man does for the future, the less will he be appreciated by his contemporaries. His struggle will accordingly be all the more severe, and his success all the rarer. Such great men are only the Marathon runners of history. The laurels of contemporary fame are only for the brow of the dying hero.

To this group belong not only the genuinely great statesmen but all the great reformers as well. Beside Frederick the Great we have such men as Martin Luther and Richard Wagner.

* * *

When I heard Gottfried Feder’s first lecture on ‘The Abolition of the Interest- Servitude’, I understood immediately that here was a truth of transcendental importance for the future of the German people. The absolute separation of stock-exchange capital from the economic life of the nation would make it possible to oppose the process of internationalization in German business without at the same time attacking capital as such, for to do this would jeopardize the foundations of our national independence. I clearly saw what was developing in Germany and I realized then that the stiffest fight we would have to wage would not be against the enemy nations but against international capital. In Feder’s speech I found an effective rallying-cry for our coming struggle.

The struggle against international finance capital and loan-capital has become one of the most important points in the programme on which the German nation has based its fight for economic freedom and independence. For me and for all genuine National-Socialists there is only one doctrine: People and Fatherland. What we have to fight for is the necessary security for the existence and increase of our race and people, the subsistence of its children and the maintenance of our racial stock unmixed.

All ideas and ideals, all teaching and all knowledge, must serve these ends. It is from this standpoint that everything must be examined and turned to practical uses or else discarded.

* * *

Thus the judgment arrived at by Gottfried Feder determined me to make a fundamental study of a question with which I had hitherto not been very familiar. I began to study again and thus it was that I first came to understand perfectly what was the substance and purpose of the life-work of the Jew, Karl Marx. His Capital became intelligible to me now for the first time. And in the light of it I now exactly understood the fight of the Social-Democrats against national economics, a fight which was to prepare the ground for the hegemony of a real international and stock-exchange capital.

In another direction also this course of lectures had important consequences for me. One day I put my name down as wishing to take part in the discussion. Another of the participants thought that he would break a lance for the Jews and entered into a lengthy defence of them. This aroused my opposition. An overwhelming number of those who attended the lecture course supported my views. The consequence of it all was that, a few days later, I was assigned to a regiment then stationed at Munich and given a position there as ‘instruction officer’.

I took up my work with the greatest delight and devotion. Here I was presented with an opportunity of speaking before quite a large audience. I was now able to confirm what I had hitherto merely felt, namely, that I had a talent for public speaking.

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