Two: The National Socialist
STRONG MAN IS MIGHTIEST ALONE
THE ABOVE I have already mentioned the existence of a Working
Federation of German Folkish Associations and in this place
would like to discuss very briefly the problem of these working
however, is usually false.
is interesting and in my eyes important for the better understanding
of this question to attain clarity as to how associations, clubs,
and the like can arise which all claim to pursue the same goal.
In the nature of things, it would after all be logical that
one goal should be advocated by only one association,
and that, reasonably speaking, several associations should not
pursue the same goal. Without doubt that goal had first been
envisaged by one association. One man somewhere proclaims a
truth and forms a movement which is intended to serve the realization
of his purpose.
an association or a party is founded which, according to its
program, should either bring about the elimination of existing
evils or the achievement of a particular state of affairs in
such a movement has been called to life, it possesses a certain
practical right of priority. It should really be obvious
that men who mean to fight for the same goal should join into
such a movement and thereby add to its strength, thus better
to serve the common purpose. Especially every active mind must
feel that the premise for any real success in the common struggle
lies in such a coordination. Therefore, reasonably, and presupposing
a certain honesty (much depends on this, as I shall later demonstrate),
there should be only one movement for one goal.
this is not the case can be attributed to two causes. One of
these I might designate as almost tragic, while the second is
miserable and to be sought in human weakness itself. But most
fundamentally, I see in both only facts which are suited to
enhancing the will as such, its energy and intensity, and, through
this higher cultivation of human energy, ultimately to make
possible a solution of the problem in question.
tragic reason why in the solution of a single task we usually
do not content ourselves with a single association is the following:
Every deed in the grand manner on this earth will in general
be the fulfillment of a desire which had long since been present
in millions of people, a longing silently harbored by many.
Yes, it can come about that centuries wish and yearn for the
solution of a certain question, because they are sighing beneath
the intolerable burden of an existing condition and the fulfillment
of this general longing does not materialize. Nations which
no longer find any heroic solution for such distress can be
designated as impotent, while we see the vitality of
a people, and the predestination for life guaranteed by this
vitality, most strikingly demonstrated when, for a people's
liberation from a great oppression, or for the elimination of
a bitter distress, or for the satisfaction of its soul, restless
because it has grown insecure - Fate some day bestows upon it
the man endowed for this purpose, who finally brings the long
it lies entirely in the essence of so-called great questions
of the day that thousands are active in their solution, that
many feel called, indeed, that Fate itself puts forward many
for selection, and then ultimately, in the free play of forces,
gives victory to the stronger and more competent, entrusting
him with the solution of the problem.
it may be that centuries, dissatisfied with the form of their
religious life, yearn for a renewal, and that from this psychic
urge dozens and more men arise who on the basis of their insight
and their knowledge believe themselves chosen to solve this
religious distress, to manifest themselves as prophets of a
new doctrine, or at least as warriors against an existing one.
too, assuredly, by virtue of a natural order, the strongest
man is destined to fulfill the great mission; yet the realization
that this one is the exclusively elect usually comes
to the others very late. On the contrary, they all see
themselves as chosen and having equal rights for
the solution of the task, and their fellow men are usually able
least of all to distinguish which among them - being solely
endowed with the highest ability - deserves their sole support.
in the course of centuries, often indeed within the same period,
different men appear and found movements to fight for goals
which, allegedly at least, are the same or at least are felt
to be the same by the great masses. The common people themselves
harbor indefinite desires and have general convictions, but
cannot obtain precise clarity regarding the actual nature of
their aim or of their own desire, let alone the possibility
of its fulfillment.
tragedy lies in the fact that these men strive for the same
goal in entirely different ways, without knowing one another,
and hence, with the highest faith in their own mission, consider
themselves obligated to go their own ways without consideration
fact that such movements, parties, religious groups, arise entirely
independent of one another, solely from the general will of
the times to act in the same direction, is what, at least at
first sight, seems tragic, because people incline too much to
the opinion that the forces scattered among the different ways,
could, if concentrated upon a single one, lead more quickly
and surely to success. This, however, is not the case. For Nature
itself in its inexorable logic makes the decision, by causing
the different groups to enter into competition with one another
and struggle for the palm of victory, and leads that movement
to the goal which has chosen the clearest, shortest, and surest
how should the correctness or incorrectness of a road be determined
from outside unless free course is given to the play of forces,
unless the ultimate decision is withdrawn from the doctrinaire
opinion of human know-it-alls and entrusted to the infallible
logic of visible success, which in the end will always render
the ultimate confirmation of an action's correctness!
so if different groups march toward the same goal on separate
paths, once they have become aware of the existence of similar
efforts, they will more thoroughly examine the nature of their
own way; where possible they will shorten it, and by stretching
their energy to the utmost will strive to reach the goal more
competition helps to cultivate the individual fighter, and mankind
often owes its successes in part to the doctrines that have
been derived from the ill fate of previous unsuccessful efforts.
so, in the fact of an incipient scattering of forces, which
arose through no conscious fault of individuals and at first
sight seemed tragic, we can recognize the means through which
in the end the best method was achieved.
see in history that in the opinion of most people the two roads
which it was once possible to take for the solution of the German
question and whose chief representatives and champions were
Austria and Prussia, Habsburg and Hohenzollern, should have
been joined together from the start; in their view, people should
have entrusted themselves with united strength to the one or
the other road. And then the road of the representative who
in the end proved more significant would have been taken; the
Austrian intention, however, would never have led to a German
then the Reich of strongest German unity arose from the very
thing which millions of Germans with bleeding heart felt to
be the ultimate and most terrible sign of our fratricidal quarrel:
the German imperial throne was in truth won on the field of
Königgrätz and not in the battles outside Paris as people
afterwards came to think.
thus the founding of the German Reich as such was not the result
of any common will along common paths, but the result of a conscious
and sometimes unconscious struggle for hegemony, from which
struggle Prussia ultimately issued victorious. And anyone who
is not blinded by party politics into renouncing the truth,
will have to confirm that so-called human wisdom would never
have made the same wise decision which the wisdom of life, that
is, the free play of forces, finally turned into reality. For
who in German territories two hundred years ago would seriously
have believed that the Prussia of the Hohenzollerns would some
day become the germ cell, founder, and mentor of the new German
Reich, and not the Habsburgs? And who, on the other hand, would
deny today that Destiny acted more wisely in this respect; in
fact, who today could even conceive of a German Reich based
on the principles of a rotten and degenerate dynasty?
the natural development, though after a struggle enduring centuries,
finally brought the best man to the place where he belonged.
will always be so and will eternally remain so, as it always
has been so.
it must not be lamented if so many men set out on the road to
arrive at the same goal: the most powerful and swiftest will
in this way be recognized, and will be the victor.
there is a second reason why often in the life of nations movements
of apparently the same nature nevertheless try to reach the
same goal in different ways. This cause not only is not
tragic, but is positively miserable. It lies in the sorry mixture
of envy; jealousy, ambition, and thievish mentality which unfortunately
we sometimes find combined in individual specimens of mankind.
as soon as a man appears who profoundly recognizes the distress
of his people and then, after he has attained the ultimate clarity
with regard to the nature of the disease, seriously tries to
cure it, when he has set a goal and chosen the road that can
lead to this goal - immediately small and petty minds take notice
and begin to follow eagerly the activity of this man who has
attracted the public eye. These people are just like sparrows
who, apparently uninterested, but in reality most attentive,
keep watching a more fortunate comrade who has found a piece
of bread, in hopes of suddenly robbing him in an unguarded moment.
A man need only embark upon a new road and all sorts of lazy
loiterers prick up their ears and sniff some worth-while morsel
which might lie at the end of this road. Then, as soon as they
have found out where it may be, they eagerly start out in order
to reach the goal by some other road, if possible a shorter
if a new movement has been founded and has received its definite
program, those people come and claim to be fighting for the
same goal; but, rest assured, not by honestly joining the ranks
of such a movement and thus recognizing its priority; no, they
steal the program and base a new party of their own upon it.
With all this, they are shameless enough to assure their thoughtless
fellow men that they had desired the same as the other movement
long before, and not seldom they thus succeed in placing themselves
in a favorable light, instead of winning universal contempt
as they deserve. For is it not a tremendous gall to aspire to
write on their own banner the task that another has written
on his, to borrow his programmatical principles, and then, as
though he had created all this, to go his own ways? And the
gall is especial/y manifested in the fact that the same elements
who have caused the split by founding their new movements do
the most talking as experience shows, about the need of unification
and unity as soon as they think they have observed that the
opponent has too much of a headstart to be overtaken.
so-called 'folkish splintering' is due to such a process.
be sure, the foundation in 1918-19 of a considerable number
of groups, parties, etc., designated as folkish, occurred through
the natural development of things through no fault of the founders.
From all these the NSDAP had slowly crystallized out as the
victor by 1920. The basic honesty of those individual founders
could be proved by nothing more splendidly than by the truly
admirable decision taken by many to sacrifice their own obviously
less successful movements to the stronger one; that is, to disband
them or fuse them unconditionally.
applies especially to the chief fighter of the German-Socialist
Party (Deutsch-Sozialistische Partei) of those days in
Nuremberg, Julius Streicher. The NSDAP and the DSP had arisen
with the same ultimate aims, yet absolutely independently of
one another. The main fighter for the DSP, as I have said, was
Julius Streicher, then a teacher in Nuremberg. At first he,
too, had a holy conviction of the mission and the future of
his movement. But as soon as he could recognize the greater
power and superior growth of the NSDAP clearly and beyond all
doubt, he ceased his activity for the DSP and the Working Federation,
and called on his adherents to join the NSDAP, which had issued
victoriously from the mutual struggle, and to fight on in its
ranks for the common goal. A decision as grave from the personal
point of view as it was profoundly decent.
no form of split has remained from this first period of the
movement; the honorable intention of the men of those days led
almost entirely to an honorable, straight, and correct conclusion.
we designate today as 'folkish splintering' owes its existence,
as we have already emphasized, exclusively to the second of
the two causes I have cited: ambitious men who previously had
no ideas, much less goals of their own, felt themselves 'called'
at the very moment in which they saw the success of the NSDAP
programs arose which from start to finish were copied from ours,
ideas were put forward which had been borrowed from us, aims
set up for which we had fought for years, roads chosen which
the NSDAP had long traveled. By every possible means they sought
to explain why they had been forced to found these movements
despite the NSDAP which had long been in existence; but the
nobler the alleged motives, the falser were their phrases.
truth a single reason had been determining: the personal ambition
of the founders to play a role to which their own dwarfish figure
really brought nothing except a great boldness in taking over
the ideas of others, a boldness which elsewhere in civil life
is ordinarily designated as crooked.
was no conception or idea belonging to other people, which one
of these political kleptomaniacs did not rapidly collect for
his own business. And those who did this were the same people
who later with tears in their eyes profoundly bemoaned the 'folkish
splintering' and spoke incessantly of the 'need for unity,'
in the secret hope that in the end they would so outwit the
others that, weary of the eternal accusing clamor, they would,
in addition to the stolen ideas, toss the movements created
for their execution to the thieves.
if this proved unsuccessful, and if, thanks to the small intellectual
dimensions of their owners, the new enterprises did not prove
as profitable as they had hoped, they usually reduced their
prices and considered themselves happy if they could land in
one of the so-called working federations.
who at that time could not stand on his own feet joined in such
working federations; no doubt proceeding from the belief that
eight cripples joining arms are sure to produce one gladiator.
if there were really one healthy man among the cripples, he
used up all his strength just to keep the others on their feet,
and in this way was himself crippled.
have always regarded fusion in so-called working federations
as a question of tactics; but in this we must never depart from
the following basic realization:
the formation of a working federation weak organizations are
never transformed into strong ones, but a strong organization
can and will not seldom be weakened. The opinion that a power
factor must result from an association of weak groups is incorrect,
since the majority in any form whatsoever and under all presuppositions
will, as experience shows, be the representative of stupidity
and cowardice, and therefore any multiplicity of organizations,
as soon as it is directed by a self-chosen multiple leadership,
is sacrificed to cowardice and weakness. Also, by such a fusion,
the free play of forces is thwarted, the struggle for the selection
of the best is stopped, and hence the necessary and ultimate
victory of the healthier and stronger prevented forever.
Therefore, such fusions are enemies of natural development,
for usually they hinder the solution of the problem being fought
for, far more than they advance it.
can occur that from purely tactical considerations the top leadership
of a movement which looks into the future nevertheless enters
into an agreement with such associations for a short time as
regards the treatment of definite questions and perhaps undertakes
steps in common. But this must never lead to the perpetuation
of such a state of affairs, unless the movement itself wants
to renounce its redeeming mission. For once it has become definitely
involved in such a union, it loses the possibility and also
the right of letting its own strength work itself out to the
full and thus overcome its rivals and victoriously achieve the
goal it has set itself.
must never be forgotten that nothing that is really great in
this world has ever been achieved by coalitions but that it
has always been the success of a single victor. Coalition successes
bear by the very nature of their origin the germ of future crumbling,
in fact of the loss of what has already been achieved. Great,
truly world-shaking revolutions of a spiritual nature are not
even conceivable and realizable except as the titanic struggles
of individual formations, never as enterprises of coalitions.
thus the folkish state above all will never be created by the
compromising will of a folkish working federation, but solely
by the iron will of a single movement that has fought its way
to the top against all.
HERE TO DISCUSS THIS BOOK