Thoughts about the Tasks of the Future
1926 June 15
Lying on a sickbed for a few weeks and months does have its good side . So much that in the trivialities of everyday life does not get a hearing now has the chance to rise slowly from the unconscious to the conscious mind where it is tested and is winged by imagination, so that it acquires form and gains life . In general, people often make the mistake of assuming that practical action—the incessant preoccupation with daily necessities—is not founded in the mind . They therefore like to set up an invidious comparison between the thinker and the doer ! It is true that the currents of the mind and the soul do not become conscious when one is resolutely grappling with the tasks of the day and trying, by freshly setting to work, to solve all questions in a practical way !
So it is a comfort every now and then to have the leisure to look beyond the tasks of the day and of the near future and to plumb the depths of the question toward whose solution we are resolutely dedicating our life's work . When would this be better than during the many lonely hours of the sickbed, when the hands of the clock seem to stand still and the night never to end—until it becomes finally, finally morning again ! This new dawn, the fact that again and again the dawn comes, is the deep consolation, is the blessed certainty which makes the night of the present bearable for us—and even if the hours, years, never seem to end—the dawn does come, my friends, and the sun comes, the light !
Such thoughts of the lonely nights, thoughts about the National Socialist tasks of the future—I will briefly survey them here—such thoughts have surely occurred to most of our friends in similar hours and in a similar way—thoughts which at the moment are not yet the subject of our work, but whose undercurrents are flowing, whose blood runs through our work .
I. The Spirit of the Economy
We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system ! And with my inclination to practical action it seems obvious to me that we have to put a better, more just, more moral system in its place, one which, as it were, has arms and legs and better arms and legs than the present one !
And yet it is not enough to change a system, to replace one economic system by another— necessary above all is a CHANGE OF SPIRIT ! The spirit which is to be overcome is the SPIRIT OF MATERIALISM ! ! We must achieve an entirely new kind of economic thinking, a kind of thinking which frees itself from the present conceptions rooted in money, in property, in profit and false success ! It is an indication of the Marxist, the false Socialism, that its way of thinking is exactly that of capitalism . For this reason I have said for years that the two form a spiritual unity, only with reversed signals ! National Socialism, which stems from organic life itself, casts aside the mendacious words of a theory remote from the world, as well as the dead ideas of a declining civilization !
We have to learn that in the economy of a people it is not profit. not gain, which are important—but only satisfying the needs of the members of this people ! ! This and nothing else is the task of a "national economics ! " We have to learn that the ideas "world trade"—"balance of trade"—"export surplus" are ideas of a declining epoch which have in the end reduced themselves ad absurdum, because they violate the eternal law of organic life and were born out of speculation, not out of necessity, not out of the soil ! We have to learn that it is a betrayal when speculative production, with all its means of touting and advertising, creates an artificial need, a betrayal of human labor, of human life ! For artificially stimulated covetousness creates ever-increasing aspirations, and increased aspirations double human slavery, which is slavery of the mind, which instead of the soul has taken up mastery over life ! What do people know today about life ? ! They run around and tire themselves out, torment themselves, strive and drudge like galley slaves—in order to lead a life of horrifying emptiness ! It is not that this new economic system which we want produces more. What is at stake is certainly not higher production, which Marxism demands, but the human soul ! ! And production, economy have only the one task: to meet the economic needs of individuals, rejecting goods which owe their demand only to artificial stimulation, rejecting also the prodding of "profit and gain" !
We have to learn that WORK IS MORE THAN PROPERTY ! ACHIEVEMENT IS MORE THAN DIVIDENDS ! ! It is the most unfortunate heritage of this capitalist economic system that all things are evaluated according to money, according to wealth, property ! The decline of a people is the inevitable result of the application of this standard, since selection according to property is the mortal enemy of race, of blood, of life ! We have never left a doubt that our national Socialism breaks this prerogative of the owner and that the liberation of the German worker shall also extend to SHARING PROFIT, SHARING PROPERTY AND SHARING ACHIEVEMENT! ! But it would mean measuring again with the old standards if one left it at that and did not stress that revolution of the spirit which guides us against the spirit of the present system ! We consciously oppose valuation according to property with VALUATION ACCORDING TO ACHIEVEMENT . This is the only valuation which we recognize ! ! We consciously place WORK higher than PROPERTY ! We focus on ACHIEVEMENT not dividends, and we recognize RESPONSIBILITY, not riches or splendor, as the crowning of human striving . That is a new world view, a new religion of economics . It establishes with certainty that the horrid rule of the golden calf is at an end and that the differences among individuals and the differences among rights—are differences in achievement, differences in degree of responsibility, differences which come from God and which are sacred ! !
II. The Spirit of Society and of the State
And just as our fight against the form of the capitalist economy is at the same time a fight against the spirit of this capitalist economy, which must he rooted out in its outward expression and in the heart of every individual; so our fight against the form of society and of the present state is also a life or death struggle against the SPIRIT of this society, this state : AGAINST LIBERALISM AND FALSE DEMOCRACY !
The spirit of our National Socialist idea has to overpower the spirit of liberalism and false democracy if there is to be a third Reich at all ! Deeply rooted in organic life, we have realized that the false belief in the equality of man is the deadly threat with which liberalism destroys people and nation, culture and morals. violating the deepest levels of our being ! National thinking gnaws at the basis of life itself, destroys the blood, destroys the sacred order which is based on the distance which is created by inequality and which has nothing in common with the present social structure ! For hierarchy, of which I am speaking here, depends exclusively on the achievements of the individual for the community . We have to reject with fanatical zeal the frequent lie that people are basically equal and equal in regard to their influence in the state and their share of power ! People are unequal, they are unequal from birth, become more unequal in life and are therefore to be valued unequally in their positions m society and m the state ! But this inequality in turn has only one standard can and must have only this one standard : the achievement of the individual for society, for the nation, for the state .
And thus I reach a demand which at first glance may seem utopian, but which results inevitably from what I have said, and which has occurred to various friends in a similar way . The demand for unequal distribution of rights according to achievement for the state requires the elaboration of a process of selection according to which such achievements are to be measured . In the folkish movement there is much talk about the emergence of a new group of leaders, and this demand touches what I said, but the ways which are recommended for a solution : these blood tests, Nordicization, and so forth, and so forth, appear to my practical mind somewhat dubious as to possibility, value and even effect ! Another way, however, a thoroughly German, Prussian way of which my friend Pfeffer reminded me on one occasion, is suited as no other : selection by the army !
This requires that military service be voluntary, a right and not a duty . The practical way would be that by law every German Citizen would have to serve the state for one year during this year he would not, as the supporters of a compulsory year of labor service want, build roads or do other mass work, but would learn a trade, so that there would not be a single German who had not had at least a year's training in a trade ! The selection of the best . however, would be reserved to the trade of arms, which would last for TWO years and therefore attract only those most willing to sacrifice and which would bring with it the mortal danger of war and therefore demand all the heroic virtues. Entrance is voluntary and not dependent on any force . Who doubts that those Germans who voluntarily apply for the army, which removes them from private life twice as long the civil service, which further does not, like the latter, include practical advantages for practical life, but on the contrary, after an infinitely more severe service, means danger to life in war-who doubts that these Germans would be the best of their people, the racial best, whose achievements for the state now and in the future would ...