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strength of the state
How little the state-forming and state-preserving qualities are connected with economics is most clearly shown by the fact that the inner strength of a state only in the rarest cases coincides with so-called economic prosperity, but that the latter, in innumerable cases, seems to indicate the state's approaching decline. If the formation of human societies were primarily attributable to economic forces or even impulses, the highest economic development would have to mean the greatest strength of the state and not the opposite.
Belief in the state-forming and state-preserving power of economics seems especially incomprehensible when it obtains in a country which in all things clearly and penetratingly shows the historic reverse. Prussia, in particular, demonstrates with marvelous sharpness that not material qualities but ideal virtues alone make possible the formation of a state. Only under their protection can economic life flourish, until with the collapse of the pure state-forming faculties the economy collapses too; a process which we can observe in so terrible and tragic a form right now. The material interests of man can always thrive best as long as they remain in the shadow of heroic virtues; but as soon as they attempt to enter the primary sphere of existence, they destroy the basis for their own existence.
Always when in Germany there was an upsurge of political power, the economic conditions began to improve; but always when economics became the sole content of our people's life, stifling the ideal virtues, the state collapsed and in a short time drew economic life along with it.
If, however, we consider the question, what, in reality, are the state-forming or even state-preserving forces, we can sum them up under one single head: the ability and will of the individual to sacrifice himself for the totality. That these virtues have nothing at all to do with economics can be seen from the simple realization that man never sacrifices himself for the latter, or, in other words: a man does not die for business, but only for ideals. Nothing proved the Englishman's superior psychological knowledge of the popular soul better than the motivation which he gave to his struggle. While we fought for bread, England fought for 'freedom'; and not even for her own, no, for that of the small nations. In our country we laughed at this effrontery, or were enraged at it, and thus only demonstrated how empty headed and stupid the so-called statesmen of Germany had become even before the War. We no longer had the slightest idea concerning the essence of the force which can lead men to their death of their own free will and decision.
In 1914 as long as the German people thought they were fighting for ideals, they stood firm; but as soon as they were told to fight for their daily bread, they preferred to give up the game.
And our brilliant 'statesmen' were astonished at this change in attitude. It never became clear to them that from the moment when a man begins to fight for an economic interest, he avoids death as much as possible, since death wo lid forever deprive him of his reward for fighting. Anxiety for the rescue of her own child makes a heroine of even the feeblest mother, and only the struggle for the preservation of the species and the hearth, or the state that protects it, has at all times driven men against the spears of their enemies.
The following theorem may be established as an eternally valid truth:
Never yet has a state been founded by peaceful economic means, but always and exclusively by the instincts of preservation of the species regardless whether these are found in the province of heroic virtue or of cunning craftiness; the one results in Aryan states based on work and culture, the other in Jewish colonies of parasites. As soon as economics as such begins to choke out these Instincts in a people or in a state, it becomes the seductive cause of subjugation and oppression.
The belief of pre-war days that the world could be peacefully opened up to, let alone conquered for, the German people by a commercial and colonial policy was a classic sign of the loss of real state-forming and state-preserving virtues and of all the insight, will power, and active determination which follow from them; the penalty for this, inevitable as the law of nature, was the World War with its consequences.
For those who do not look more deeply into the matter, this attitude of the German nation-for it was really as good as general-could only represent an insoluble riddle: for was not Germany above all other countries a marvelous example of an empire which had risen from foundations of pure political power? Prussia, the germ-cell of the Empire, came into being through resplendent heroism and not through financial operations or commercial deals, and the Reich itself in turn was only the glorious reward of aggressive political leadership and the death defying courage of its soldiers. How could this very German people have succumbed to such a sickening of its political instinct? For here we face, not an isolated phenomenon, but forces of decay which in truly terrifying number soon began to flare up like will-o'-the-wisps, brushing up and down the body politic, or eating like poisonous abscesses into the nation, now here and now there. It seemed as though a continuous stream of poison was being driven into the outer most blood-vessels of this once heroic body by a mysterious power, and was inducing progressively greater paralysis of sound reason and the simple instinct of selfpreservation .
As innumerable times I passed in review all these questions, arising through my position on the German alliance policy and the economic policy of the Reich in the years 1912 to 1914-the only remaining solution to the riddle became to an ever-increasing degree that power which, from an entirely different view point, I had come to know earlier in Vienna: the Marxist doctrine and philosophy, and their organizational results.
For the second time I dug into this doctrine of destruction- this time no longer led by the impressions and effects of my daily associations, but directed by the observation of general processes of political life. I again immersed myself in the theoretical literature of this new world, attempting to achieve clarity concerning its possible effects, and then compared it with the actual phenomena and events it brings about in political, cultural, and economic life.
Now for the first time I turned my attention to the attempts to master this world plague.
I studied Bismarck's socialist legislation 1 in its intention struggle, and success. Gradually I obtained a positively granite foundation for my own conviction, so that since that time I have never been forced to undertake a shift in my own inner view on this question. Likewise the re lation of Marxism to the Jews was submitted to further thorough examination.
Though previously in Vienna, Germany above all had seemed to me an unshakable colossus, now anxious misgivings sometimes entered my mind. In silent solitude and in the small circles of my acquaintance, I was filled with wrath at German foreign policy and likewise with what seemed to me the incredibly frivolous way in which the most important problem then existing for Germany, Marxism, was treated. It was really beyond me how people could rush so blindly into a danger whose effects, pursuant to the Marxists' own intention, were bound some day to be monstrous. Even then, among my acquaintance, just as today on a large scale, I warned against the phrase with which all wretched cowards comfort themselves: 'Nothing can happen to us!' This pestilential attitude had once been the downfall of a gigantic empire. Could anyone believe that Germany alone was not subject to exactly the same laws as all other human organisms?
In the years 1913 and 1914, I, for the first time in various circles which today in part faithfully support the National socialist movement, expressed the conviction that the question of the future of the German nation was the question of destroying Marxism.
In the catastrophic German alliance policy I saw only one of the consequences called forth by the disruptive work of this doctrine; for the terrible part of it was that this poison almost invisibly destroyed all the foundations of a healthy conception of economy and state, and that often those affected by it did not themselves realize to what an extent their activities and desires emanated from this philosophy srhich they otherwise sharply ejected.
The internal decline of the German nation had long since begun, yet, as so often in life, people had not achieved clarity concerning the force that was destroying their existence. Sometimes they tinkered around with the disease, but confused the forms of the phenomenon with the virus that had caused it. Since they did not know or want to know the cause, the struggle against Marxism was no better than bungling quackery.
Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler: Chapters Below.
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