Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampf
Hitler Describes What National Socialism Means:
“I am a German nationalist. This means that I proclaim my nationality. My whole thought and action belongs to it. I am a socialist. I see no class and no social estate before me, but that community of people who are linked by blood, united by a language, and subject to a same general fate.”
Hitler’s Secret Book, 44.
Other German nationalist parties were “not socialistic enough to win the masses”:
“Out of the failure of the one movement and the miscarriage of the other, I for my part sought to find the causes, and came to the certain conviction that, quite aside from the impossibility of bolstering up the state in old Austria, the errors of the two parties were as follows:
“The Pan-German movement was right in its theoretical view about the aim of a German renascence, but unfortunate in its choice of methods. It was nationalistic, but unhappily not socialistic enough to win the masses. But its anti-Semitism was based on a correct understanding of the importance of the racial problem, and not on religious ideas. Its struggle against a definite denomination, however, was actually and tactically false.
“The Christian Social movement had an unclear conception of the aim of a German reawakening, but had intelligence and luck in seeking its methods as a party. It understood the importance of the social question, erred in its struggle against the Jews, and had no notion of the power of the national idea.
“If, in addition to its enlightened knowledge of the broad masses, the Christian Social Party had had a correct idea of the importance of the racial question, such as the Pan-German movement had achieved; and if, finally, it had itself been nationalistic, or if the Pan-German movement, in addition to its correct knowledge of the aim of the Jewish question, had adopted the practical shrewdness of the Christian Social Party, especially in its attitude toward socialism, there would have resulted a movement which even then in my opinion might have successfully intervened in German destiny.
“If this did not come about, it was overwhelmingly due to the nature of the Austrian state.
“Since I saw my conviction realized in no other party, I could in the period that followed not make up my mind to enter, let alone fight with, any of the existing organizations. Even then I regarded all political movements as unsuccessful and unable to carry out a national reawakening of the German people on a larger and not purely external scale.”
Mein Kampf, 122.
Ernst Hanstaengl - Hitler
“Where he [Hitler] had me, and in the course of time millions of others, completely confused is that he did not give vital words the same meaning as we did. When I talked of National Socialism, I meant it in the old Friedrich Naumann sense, a fusion of all that was best in the traditional and socialist elements of the community. Hitler was not thinking along the lines of a patriotic confederation of this sort at all. We all knew, but overlooked the deeper implications of the fact, that the first flowering of his personality had been as a soldier. The man speaking up on the platform was not only a superb orator, but also a former army instructor who had succeeded in winning the minds of fellow servicemen tainted by the November revolution. When he talked of National Socialism, what he really meant was military Socialism, Socialism within the framework of military discipline or, in civilian terms, police Socialism. At what point along the line his mind took the final shape it did, I do not know, but the germ was always there. He was not only a great orator, but taciturn and secretive to a degree, and he seemed to have an instinctive sense of what not to say in order to mislead people concerning his true intentions” (70-71).
Otto Dietrich - Hitler
Hitler’s Socialist Goals – The Socialist Efficiency Principle:
“Hitler told the people that national recovery would be achieved only by social measures, and that socialist aims could be attained upon a nationalistic basis. The National concept he preached was the creation of the classless state by establishing a Volksgemeinschaft, a racial community of the people, by eliminating the evils of the party system, and by solving the Jewish problem. The governing principle of this national folk community was to be: ‘The common good comes before the good of the individual.’ In foreign policy its aim was the revision of the Versailles Treaty.
“The socialistic concept developed by Hitler started from the question: by what principle can social justice and harmony of economic interests best be achieved, given the natural differences among men? Hitler’s answer was: the socialist efficiency principle, by establishing equality of conditions in economic competition, will produce the most just and at the same time the most successful solution. Consequently he demanded equal opportunities for all, abolition of all privileges of birth and class, breaking the educational monopoly of the propertied class, elimination of unearned income, the ‘smashing of bondage to interest,’ and the dethronement of gold since gold is a ‘nonproductive economic factor.’ In his economic thinking, work, which creates more work, replaced gold; instead of capitalistic interest he urged economic productivity by the people” (22-3).
All socialist pretentions were jettisoned as soon as Hitler came to power:
“The primary fact is, however, that immediately after taking power Hitler threw overboard all his political and social ballast” (232).
Some of these pretentions included –
Abolition of privileges to birth. Meritocracy instead, which means everyone would have to prove their merit or value through struggle – not privilege.
Breaking the educational monopoly of the propertied (privileged) class.
Elimination of unearned income (rent seeking).
Doing away with usury or interest.
Elimination of the gold standard for monetary policy.
Otto Dietrich, Hitler, 22-23; 173.
Kurt Ludecke - I Knew Hitler
Ludendorff on why nationalism and socialism:
“But from the first it was obvious that he understood us. Agreeing that only a popular movement which offered the people a national and social program could reclaim the farmers and workers from Marxism and succeed in building up a new Germany, Ludendorff expressed himself as warmly in sympathy with Hitler’s aims” (57).
Nazi socialism was not Marxist but rather an attempt to fix wealth inequality:
“The anti-capitalist yearnings which animate our people do not signify a repudiation of property acquired by personal labour and thrift. They have nothing in common with the senseless and destructive tendencies of the Internationale. But they are a protest against a degenerate economic system, and they demand from the State that it shall break with the demon GOLD, with the habit of thinking in export statistics and in bank discounts, and shall, instead, restore a system that gives an honest reward for honest work .... If today the economic system of the world is no longer capable of properly distributing the wealth of nature, then the system is false and must be changed. These anti-capitalist yearnings indicate the dawn of a new age: the conquering of Liberalism, the rise of new thoughts for economic life, and a new concept of the State” (57).
Hermann Rauschning - The Voice of Destruction
Hitler describes what his socialism means:
"’My Socialism,’ he is reported to have said, ‘is not the same thing as Marxism. My Socialism is not class war, but order. Whoever imagines Socialism as revolt and mass demagogy is not a National Socialist. Revolution is not games for the masses. Revolution is hard work. The masses see only the finished product, but they are ignorant, and should be ignorant, of the immeasurable amount of hidden labor that must be done before a new step forward can be taken. The revolution cannot be ended. It can never be ended. We are motion itself, we are eternal revolution. We shall never allow ourselves to be held down to one permanent condition.’
“Socialism, as the Party understood it, was not concerned with the happiness of the individual, but with the greatness and future of the whole people. It was an heroic Socialism—the community of solemnly sworn brothers-in-arms having no individual possessions, but sharing everything in common.
“But the first task was to create order, to re-arm and prepare for the war that was unavoidable, and that meant the bringing about of the best possible social and economic conditions for preparedness for battle. The German system from thenceforth would be that of the fortified military camp, and all thoughts of self and private needs must go.
"’And,’ he added, ‘the S.A. must prepare for a period of purgatory. But the time is coming when I shall fully recompense it and restore it to the highest honors. Because they too,’ and at this point his voice is alleged to have been choked with sobs, ‘they too have died for the greatness of our movement. They wanted everything for the best, but in their own stubborn way. Therefore they were doomed to err, and succumbed to the verdict under which all those must fall who do not learn to obey’" (175-76).
Hitler’s triangle as a symbol of the new social order:
“I asked Hitler the meaning of the triangle he had drawn for Ley, of the Labor Front, and a number of Gauleiter, in order to make the future social order clear to them. Evidently Hitler did not remember. Forster had not been able fully to explain it to me, I told him, but had been much impressed by it nevertheless. He said it made everything quite clear.
The Revolution of Nihilism
Alfred Rosenberg - Memoirs
“The comradeship transcending all classes and parties certainly was a great experience. It gave birth to Front Socialism. And to change this into National Socialism was the task of the soldier, orderly, and corporal Adolf Hitler, had set for himself” (135).
National Socialism fought against communism and Marxism. He writes, “. . . Hitler never permitted himself to be caught up in such demagoguery [as Furstenenteignung]. He declared that as long as private property was recognized as one of the foundations of national life, he would not yield, irrespective of how good or how bad the rulers of the various states had been” (132).
“To perpetuate class war was wrong. It would have to be eliminated. Thus he [Hitler] became an opponent of Marxism in all of its manifestations, and characterized it as a philosophy of government inimical to both the state and the working class.
“As far as the workers were concerned it was, therefore, a question of renouncing this doctrine [Marxism] as well as their opposition to both the farmer and the property owner. The middle classes, too, had every reason to revise their attitude. They had failed to provide the working classes in their hour of dire need with leaders conversant with their requirements and had left them to the tender mercy of international propagandists.
“German nationalism, Hitler believed, was hemmed in by the nobility, while an entirely false conceit separated the middle classes from the broad mass of the productive population. … To end Germany’s fratricidal strife he proposed to gather together all active nationalists of every party, and fighters for social justice from every camp, to form a new movement” (36).
Unite all fighters from every camp:
“To end Germany's fratricidal strife he proposed to gather together all active nationalists of every party, and fighters for social justice from every camp, to form a new movement” (37).
Otto Strasser - Hitler and I
Hitler explains “German Socialism” to Otto Strasser:
“’I am a socialist, and a very different kind of socialist from your rich friend Reventlow. I was once an ordinary workingman. I would not allow my chauffeur to eat worse than I eat myself. But your kind of socialism is nothing but Marxism. The mass of the working classes want nothing but bread and games. They will never understand the meaning of an ideal, and we cannot hope to win them over to one. What we have to do is to select from a new master-class men who will not allow themselves to be guided, like you, by the morality of pity. Those who rule must know that they have the right to rule because they belong to a superior race. They must maintain that right and ruthlessly consolidate it'” (106-7).
What the “nationalization” of industry in the 25 points program means:
“Let us note that the socialization or nationalization of property was the thirteenth point of Hitler's official programme.
“'Let us assume, Herr Hitler, that you came into power tomorrow. What would you do about Krupp's? Would you leave it alone or not?'
“'Of course I should leave it alone,' cried Hitler. 'Do you think me crazy enough to want to ruin Germany's great industry?'
“'If you wish to preserve the capitalist regime, Herr Hitler, you have no right to talk of socialism. For our supporters are socialists, and your programme demands the socialization of private enterprise.'
“'That word “socialism” is the trouble,' said Hitler. He shrugged his shoulders, appeared to reflect for a moment, and then went on:
“'I have never said that all enterprises should be socialized. On the contrary, I have maintained that we might socialize enterprises prejudicial to the interests of the nation. Unless they were so guilty, I should consider it a crime to destroy essential elements in our economic life. Take Italian Fascism. Our National-Socialist State, like the Fascist State, will safeguard both employers' and workers' interests while reserving the right of arbitration in case of dispute.'
… ‘Profit-sharing and the workers' right to be consulted are Marxist principles. I consider that the right to exercise influence on private enterprise should be conceded only to the State, directed by the superior class'” (112-14).
Hitler only talked of socialism because that is what Germany wanted to hear:
“Adolf had not ceased to feel what the German people wanted. He talked of socialism, of Volksgemeinschaft, of peace, because his followers and the whole of Germany wanted socialism, Volksgemeinschaft, peace. But his acts were in flagrant contradiction to his
words, for his mad idea of European domination was exploited now by the clique of Pan-German industrialists, now by that of the Prussian Junkers, who used him, just as they had used the Kaiser before him, for the prosecution of their perennial aims.… Thus, in spite of his apparent evolution. Hitler's fundamental ideas have remained unchanged since he wrote Mein Kampf” (208; 211).
Hitler was a tool of the big industrialists:
“But his acts were in flagrant contradiction to his words, for his mad idea of European domination was exploited now by the clique of Pan-German industrialists, now by that of the Prussian Junkers, who used him, just as they had used the Kaiser before him, for the prosecution of their perennial aims” (208).
Hitler’s Socialism is National:
“'Our Socialism must be “national" in order to establish a new order in Germany and not to set out on a new policy of conquests.'
“'Yes,' said Gregor, who had been listening very seriously, 'from the Right we shall take nationalism, which has so disastrously allied itself with capitalism, and from the Left we shall take Socialism, which has made such an unhappy union with internationalism. Thus we shall
form the National-Socialism which will be the motive force of a new Germany and a new Europe'” (9).
The Jews and Socialism:
“'The Jew, you see, is above all adaptable. He exploits existing possibilities, but creates nothing. He makes use of socialism, he utilizes capitalism, he would even exploit National-Socialism if you gave him the chance. He adapts himself to circumstances with a suppleness of which, apart from him, only the Chinese is capable. Marx invented nothing. Socialism has always had three sides. Marx, in collaboration with the good German Engels, studied its economic side, the Italian Mazzini examined its national and religious implications, and Bakunin, a Russian, developed its Nihilist side, from which Bolshevism was born. Thus you see that socialism was not of Jewish origin at all'” (11).
Otto Strasser’s View of Nazi Socialism - State Feudalism:
“In the economic field it was opposed alike to Marxism and capitalism. We foresaw a
new equilibrium on a basis of state feudalism. The State was to be the sole owner of the land, which it would lease to private citizens. All were to be free to do as they liked with their own land, but no one could sell or sublet state property. In this way we hoped to combat proletarianization and to restore a sense of liberty to our fellow citizens. No man is free who is not economically independent” (81).
Hitler wanted a close relationship with reactionary forces – capitalism and industry:
[1931-1932] “Hitler, relieved of the millstone represented by the real revolutionaries among his followers [Otto Strasser and the northern Marxist socialists who left to create the Black Front], sailed full steam ahead towards the reactionary forces of the old regime. Nothing was left to stop him from contracting a close alliance with capitalism and heavy industry” (123).
Moeller van den Bruck - Germany's Third Reich
German Socialism is different from Marxist Socialism:
“In any case we know—and we must believe—that the German socialism which we have in mind must and will solve its problems on a higher plane than Marx’s: on a plane where the problems are not those of a class but of the nation” (75).
New Socialism versus Marxist Socialism:
“Socialism begins where Marxism ends. German socialism is called to play a part in the spiritual and intellectual history of mankind by purging itself of every trace of liberalism. Liberalism was the unholy power of the nineteenth century which undermined and destroyed the very basis of socialism, as it undermined and destroyed the very basis of every political philosophy and of every world-order. Liberalism is a product of occidentalism which still lurks in parliaments and calls itself democracy.
“To bring this German socialism to birth is not the task of Germany’s Third Empire.
“This New Socialism must be the foundation of Germany’s Third Empire” (76).
Martin Broszat - German National Socialism
National Socialism Is an Extreme Conservative Movement
“Volkish and Nazi ideology were identical. . . . Hitler expressed this when he wrote ” ‘The basic ideas of the National Socialist movement are volkish, and the volkish ideas are National Solcialist” (43).
Peter Merkl describes National Socialism as ‘’Volkish.’’ That ‘’is used to describe the German extreme rightest movements and radical splinter groups whose most significant characteristic was their opposition to the Western tradition—often to capitalism, to the democratic and republican ideas of the Weimar Republic, and especially to any foreign policy which meant German adjustment to the consequences of defeat in World War I or to international conciliation in general” (2-3).
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