Excerpted from “The Necessity of Strife,” Chapter 2 of Hitler’s Second Book. The whole chapter includes these subjects: Territorial conquest is necessary for a people’s security and healthy growth—Morality of conquest: no one owns any part of the Earth—Birth control eugenically unsound—Spartan exposure logical—Emigration sacrifices best elements—Increase in productivity of no help competitively—Export trade vanishing as other nations modernize—Necessity of strife.
A Folk’s struggle for existence is first and foremost determined by the following fact: Regardless of how high the cultural importance of a Folk may be, the struggle for daily bread stands at the forefront of all vital necessities.
In general, the merely material interest will rise in exact proportion as ideal spiritual outlooks are in the process of disappearing. But the bread which a Folk requires is conditioned by the living space at its disposal. A healthy Folk, at least, will always seek to find the satisfaction of its needs on its own soil. Any other condition is pathological and dangerous, even if it makes possible the sustenance of a Folk for centuries.
The increase of population can be balanced only through an increase, that is, an enlargement, of living space.
Yet the regulation of the relation between population and territory is of tremendous importance for a nation’s existence. Indeed, we can justly say that the whole life struggle of a Folk, in truth, consists in safeguarding the territory it requires as a general prerequisite for the sustenance of the increasing population.
The sword was the path breaker for the plough. And if we want to talk about human rights at all, then in this single case war has served the highest right of all: it gave a Folk the soil which it wanted to cultivate industriously and honestly for itself, so that its children might some day be provided with their daily bread.
For this soil is not allotted to anyone, nor is it presented to anyone as a gift. It is awarded by Providence to people who in their hearts have the courage to take possession of it, the strength to preserve it, and the industry to put it to the plough.
Hence every healthy, vigorous Folk sees nothing sinful in territorial acquisition, but something quite in keeping with nature. The modern pacifist who denies this holy right must first be reproached for the fact that he himself at least is being nourished on the injustices of former times.
Finally, The present distribution of possessions on the Earth has not been designed by a higher power but by man himself. Anyone who would banish this struggle from the Earth forever would perhaps abolish the struggle between men, but he would also eliminate the highest driving power for their development…
The rule of six thousand Spartans over three hundred and fifty thousand Helots was only thinkable in consequence of the high racial value of the Spartans. But this was the result of a systematic race preservation; thus Sparta must be regarded as the first Völkisch State. The exposure of sick, weak, deformed children, in short their destruction, was more decent and in truth a thousand times more humane than the wretched insanity of our day which preserves the most pathological subject, and indeed at any price, and yet takes the life of a hundred thousand healthy children in consequence of birth control or through abortions, in order subsequently to breed a race of degenerates burdened with illnesses…
The present day European dreams of a living standard which he derives as much from the potentialities of Europe as from the actual conditions prevailing in America. International relations between nations have become so easy and close through modern technology and the communication it makes possible, that the European, often without being conscious of it, applies American conditions as a standard for his own life.
Regardless of how, for example, the land is distributed in Germany, whether in large or in small peasant holdings, or in plots for small settlers, this does not alter the fact that there are, on the average, 136 people to one square kilometre. This is an unhealthy relation. It is impossible to feed our Folk on this basis and under this premise. For the distress is not the result of a wrong kind of land distribution, say, but the consequence of the inadequate amount of space, on the whole, at the disposal of our nation today.
The more pure capitalist interests begin to determine the present economy, the more the general viewpoints of the financial world and the stock exchange achieve a decisive influence here, the more will this system of branch establishments reach out and thus artificially carry out the industrialisation of former commodity markets and especially curtail the export possibilities of the European mother countries. Today many can still afford to smile over this future development, but as it makes further strides, within thirty years people in Europe will groan under its consequences.
Since all great nations today are industrial nations, the so called peaceful economic conquest of the world is nothing but the struggle with means which will remain peaceful for as long as the stronger nations believe they can triumph with them, that is, in reality for as long as they are able to kill the others with peaceful economics. For this is the real result of the victory of a nation with peaceful economic means over another nation. Thereby one nation receives possibilities of survival and the other nation is deprived of them. Even here what is at stake is always the substance of flesh and blood, which we designate as a Folk.
The danger to a Folk of economic activity in an exclusive sense lies in the fact that it succumbs only too easily to the belief that it can ultimately shape its destiny through economics.
A special danger of the so called peaceful economic policy, however, lies above all in the fact that it makes possible an increase in the population, which finally no longer stands in any relation to the productive capacity of its own soil to support life.
This overfilling of an inadequate living space with people not seldom also leads to the concentration of people in work centres which look less like cultural centres, and rather more like abscesses in the national body in which all evil, vices and diseases seem to unite.
Above all, they are breeding grounds of blood mixing and bastardisation, and of race lowering, thus resulting in those purulent infection centres in which the international Jewish racial maggots thrive and finally effect further destruction.
Precisely thereby is the way open to decay in which the inner strength of such a Folk swiftly disappears, all racial, moral and folk values are earmarked for destruction, ideals are undermined, and in the end the prerequisite which a Folk urgently needs in order to take upon itself the ultimate consequences of the struggle for world markets is eliminated.
They have no strength to break the chains of the enemy, and no inner value with which to bear their fate with dignity. Once they believed they could live, thanks to their peaceful economic activity, and renounce the use of violence. Fate will teach them that in the last analysis a Folk is preserved only when population and living space stand in a definite natural and healthy relation to each other…
Politics is the art of carrying out a Folk’s struggle for its earthly existence.
Foreign policy is the art of safeguarding the momentary, necessary living space, in quantity and quality, for a Folk.
Domestic policy is the art of preserving the necessary employment of force for this in the form of its race value and numbers.