Excerpted from “Race And Will In The Struggle For Power,” Chapter 3 of Hitler’s Second Book. The whole chapter includes these subjects: Weapons on hand no gauge of national strength—National will the decisive factor—Old German army as source of people’s will and discipline—National-Socialist mission to revitalize national will—Blood and folk values superior to internationalism—Leadership superior to mass democracy.
What is ultimately decisive in the life of a Folk is the will to self preservation, and the living forces that are at its disposal for this purpose. Weapons can rust, forms can be outdated; the will itself can always renew both and move a Folk into the form required by the need of the moment.
The fact that we Germans had to give up our arms is of very slight importance, insofar as I look at the material side of it. And yet this is the only thing our bourgeois politicians see.
But even there the major misfortune is not the elimination of the organisation as the bearer of the weapons we possess, but rather the abolition of an institution for the training of our Folk to manliness, which was possessed by no other State in the world, and which, indeed, no Folk needed more than our Germans. The contribution of our Old Army to the general disciplining of our Folk for the highest achievements in all fields is incommensurable.
This is also the reason for the fierce hatred of the typical capitalistically inclined Jews against an organisation in which money is not identical with position, dignity, to say nothing of honour, but rather with achievement; and in which the honour of belonging among people of a certain accomplishment is more greatly appreciated than the possession of property and riches.
At any rate, in the times of Kaiser Wilhelm I, there was no understanding for such events. Nevertheless, all in all, the Germany Army at the turn of the century was the most magnificent organisation in the world, and its effect on our German Folk one that was more than beneficial.
The breeding ground of German discipline, German efficiency, forthright disposition, frank courage, bold aggressiveness, tenacious persistence and granite honourableness. The conception of honour of a whole profession slowly but imperceptibly became the general patrimony of a whole Folk.
The real lack of weapons lies in our pacifistic democratic poisoning, as well as in internationalism, which destroys and poisons our Folk’s highest sources of power.
For the source of a Folk’s whole power does not lie in its possession of weapons or in the organisation of its army, but in its inner value which is represented through its racial significance, that is, the racial value of a Folk as such, through the existence of the highest individual personality values, as well as through its healthy attitude toward the idea of self preservation.
In coming before the public as National Socialists with this conception of the real strength of a Folk, we know that today the whole of public opinion is against us. But this is indeed the deepest meaning of our new doctrine, which as a world view separates us from others.
The importance of the blood value of a Folk, however, only becomes totally effective when this value is recognised by a Folk, properly valued and appreciated.
Folks who do not understand this value or who no longer have a feeling for it for lack of a natural instinct, thereby also immediately begin to lose it.
Blood mixing and lowering of the race are then the consequences which, to be sure, at the beginning are not seldom introduced through a so called predilection for things foreign, which in reality is an underestimation of one’s own cultural values as against alien Folks.
Once a Folk no longer appreciates the cultural expression of its own spiritual life conditioned through its blood, or even begins to feel ashamed of it, in order to turn its attention to alien expressions of life, it renounces the strength which lies in the harmony of its blood and the cultural life which has sprung from it.
It becomes torn apart, unsure in its judgement of the world picture and its expressions, loses the perception and the feeling for its own purposes, and in place of this it sinks into a confusion of international ideas, conceptions, and the cultural hodgepodge springing from them. Then the Jew can make his entry in any form, and this master of international poisoning and race corruption will not rest until he has thoroughly uprooted and thereby corrupted such a Folk. The end is then the loss of a definite unitary race value and as a result, the final decline.
For this reason, international mindedness is to be regarded as the mortal enemy of these values.
Majorities have never wrought creative achievements. Never have they given discoveries to mankind. The individual person has always been the originator of human progress.
Once a Folk installs the majority as the rulers of its life, that is to say, once it introduces present-day democracy in the western conception, it will not only damage the importance of the concept of personality, but block the effectiveness of the personality value. Through a formal construction of its life, it prevents the rise and the work of individual creative persons.
For this is the double curse of the democratic parliamentary system prevailing today: not only is it itself incapable of bringing about really creative achievements, but it also prevents the emergence and thereby the work of those men who somehow threateningly rise above the level of the average.
In all times the man whose greatness lies above the average measure of the general stupidity, inadequacy, cowardice, and arrogance too, has always appeared most threatening to the majority. Add to this that, through democracy, inferior persons must, almost as a law, become leaders, so that this system applied logically to any institution devaluates the whole mass of leaders, insofar as one can call them that at all.
This resides in the irresponsibility lying in the nature of democracy. Majorities are phenomena that are too elusive to be grasped so that they can somehow be charged with responsibility. The leaders set up by them are in truth only executors of the will of the majorities.
Compare the army organisation, oriented to the highest degree toward authority and responsibility of the individual person, with our democratic civil institutions, especially in relation to the results of the leadership training on both sides, and you will be horrified.
The pitiful lack of really great leading minds among the German Folk finds its most simple explanation in the desolate disintegration which we see before us through the democratic parliamentary system which is slowly corroding our whole public life.
Nations must decide. Either they want majorities or brains. The two are never compatible. Up to now, however, brains have always created greatness on this Earth, and what they created was again destroyed mostly through majorities.
That present State leaders pay little attention to this viewpoint is partly due to the nature of democracy, to which they owe their very existence, but secondly to the fact that the State has become a purely formal mechanism which appears to them as an aim in itself, which must not in the least coincide with the interests of a specific Folk.
Folk and State have become two different concepts. It will be the task of the National Socialist Movement to bring about a fundamental change here.