Sunday, April 09, 2006
Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler
Chapter 2 - Part 4
by Richard E. Noble
“… One thing we must and may never forget; here, too, a majority can never replace the Man. It is not only always a representative of stupidity, but also of cowardice. Just as a hundred fools do not make one wise man, an heroic decision is not likely to come from a hundred cowards …”
If in that first sentence, Adolf is saying that the rights of the majority should not supersede the rights of the individual, then I don’t think that he is criticizing our American Democracy. The American People have been arguing and fighting for this principle for a couple of centuries. This statement may be meant as more of a slam against the notion of communism than American Democracy. But, I have read this criticism against the basic concept of democracy. In which case, I would agree that this is a problem that all the citizens of any democracy should be guarded against.
And a coward is, of course, anyone who relinquishes his opinions, or the course of his actions to the will of the majority. I guess that would make almost all of us, living in democratic societies, cowards - I would suppose. One could certainly argue that the decisions of one intelligent man are often better than the opinions of ten thousands morons, but who is to say, in a world of ignorance, who is the intelligent man with the wise opinion? Adolf felt that “wise man” to be himself, I for one, do not see the resemblance. For my part, I always thought that playing “Follow the Leader” was a children’s game. I listen to my leader and follow my personal conscience. On occasion, my leaders and my Country have not been happy with this idea but ... “so it goes”.
Another sign of cowardice is, obviously in Adolf’s opinion, the inability on the part of a group to make a firm decision. But, once again, making a wrong but firm decision should not be the goal of good leadership either.
“… by far the greatest bulk of the political ‘education’ which in this case one may rightly define with the word ‘propaganda’ is the work of the press ... This rabble, however, manufactures more than two thirds of the so called ‘public’ opinion and out of its foam rises the parliamentary Aphrodite ...”
Well yes. And the solution is to take over the institution and print your own propaganda?
We have a different solution. We say that everybody can print whatever propaganda they want. It is rather chaotic at times, but seems to work. But whether it works or it doesn’t work, what are the alternatives? Certainly the suppression of all opposing arguments is not the way to go. Until we come up with something better, I think that we will, in the name of freedom, be forced to continue stumbling along with the hope that as even the ugly can appreciate beauty; we, the ignorant, will be able to recognize wisdom and truth.
And obviously we have here an example of the written word influencing people to a point of Adolf’s distraction. I thought that writing was hogwash, Adolf?
Adolf hated newspapers, but not enough to inhibit him from starting and maintaining his own newspaper under the directorship of one of his old World War I buddies. His newspaper was around a long time and made good money.
“… It is easier for a camel to go through the head of a needle than that a great man is ‘discovered’ in an election ...”
And then by what other methods do we discover a great man? By his ability to stand up on a soap box on a corner and tell us of his greatness, or to write a book, like Mein Kampf, or to be powerful enough to beat us all into submission? I assume that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt etc. were not all that impressive to our friend Adolf. I suppose himself, Mussolini, Franco, Mao, Stalin would be considered much greater. Even Popes are elected by Cardinals - I would guess that they don’t measure up either. Of course, we all know by now that the greatest men are those who assume their power by force and violence rather than elections and consensus - according to Mr. Adolf. But, you know, even Adolf was first elected to office in a German democratic state. I guess that would substantiate his point and not mine.
“...Why does one elect five hundred if only a few of them have sufficient wisdom to define their attitudes towards the most important matters? ...”
This criticism is right out of Plato dialogues. It could be a quote. One answer might be; In order to give us, as a society, greater chance of sifting out the great ones.
I would yield here to Tom Paine’s “The Rights of Man”, to counter any argument in favor of divinely inspired kings or inherited wisdom. I wonder if Adolf had been exposed to Plato and Socrates? These type arguments are right out of Plato’s dialogues. It is truly easy to criticize and poke fun at the expense of democracy, but very, very difficult to devise something better - even better than our inadequate version of democracy. As Winston Churchill once said, if I may paraphrase; Certainly the democratic government is the worst form of government yet concocted - except for all the others.
“… This institution can be pleasing and valuable only to the most mendacious sneaks who carefully shun the light of day, where as it must be loathsome to every honest and straightforward fellow who is ready to assume personal responsibility...”
Why? Why more so in a democracy than any other form of Government? And if we are going to talk about “mendacious sneaks”, once again I think our hero Adolf, would come out a leader in that category by anyone’s standards.
“… this system is opposed by the true Germanic democracy there will be no voting by a majority on single questions, but only the decision of the individual who backs it with his life and all he has...”
He likes a representative democracy as opposed to a true democracy? I think not. He likes the system where the ruler comes about by his ability to knock all others down, or defeat them in the streets with clubs and sticks, or guns and bullets.
Prisons around the world and throughout history are full of these type individuals - people who are willing to take the law into their own hands at the risk of their own life.
It is courage and valor for an individual to stand up at the peril of his life in a kill or be killed fashion to his country’s enemies, but it is treason and terrorism to take the same course against one’s friends, neighbors, countrymen and family. This is what nationhood, patriotism, democracy, peaceful decent, public protest, passive resistance, civil disobedience and love thy neighbor are all about.
“… But in general it should never be forgotten that not the preservation of a state or a government is the highest aim of human existence, but the preservation of its kind…”
Adolf would have made a much greater statement above, if he could have changed ‘its kind’ to ‘human kind’.
“… The instinct of self-preservation of the oppressed ... is always the most sublime justification for their fighting with all weapons ... Human rights break State rights.”
And here we have him justifying his own right to overthrow the State. But I would imagine that the Marxist Jews, whom Adolf hates so bitterly, are also advocates of the notion that ‘human rights break states rights’. Adolf is clearly an inconsistent individual, but like all defenders of the establishment and revolutionaries alike they find something to be correct and proper when they do it, and improper when the enemy or rival performs the same tactic.
“… If a man is not ready and able to fight for his existence, Providence has already decreed his doom ... the world is not intended for cowardly nations ...“
Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Socrates and Martin Luther King would not have made his list of heroes. There is a difference between being “ready to fight” and being “ready to kill” – and to kill possibly innocent civilians and non-combatants, to say nothing about means and methods of killing even enemies.
“... The bespectacled theorist, however, would rather die for his doctrine, than for his people ...”
This seems to me to be a direct slur at a particular individual. I wonder who? Trotsky, maybe? Did Karl Marx wear glasses? But it is clear that he does not admire intellectualism. At the end of his ‘reign’, Hitler is quoted as saying, that if the German people lose the war then it is obvious that Providence has deemed them unfit. Does not a statement such as this make him also a man of theory as opposed to one of his people? If he were a man of his people wouldn’t he sacrifice himself for whatever improved the lot of his people? In the end, he tells his people if they lose, it is their fault - not his. They did not fight hard enough, or courageous enough.
"... for let it be said to all knights of the pen and to all the political dandies, especially of today; the greatest changes in this world have never yet been brought about by a goosequill! ...”
So then, why are you writing this book? Believe it or not Adolf, today this book is all that remains of you and your philosophy. If you only spoke and didn’t write, you would probably be in the myth category, as with all the other great speakers who chose to speak and not write. Name one great movement in history that does not have a body of writing to support and define it?
“… Here one can really not serve two masters. In this, I consider the foundation or the destruction of a religion essentially more important than the foundation or destruction of a State, let alone a party …”
Not a defender of the individual in this area. Support for the group or the ‘sniveling masses’ is more important than one’s individual concept of God, Truth, personal salvation or eternal damnation. The State is Adolf's God. But more important than the State is the ‘Rights of the Oppressed’, and of course Aldolf's personal right to overthrow the State himself. What happened to “the Man”?
“… in order to achieve any success, one must not present, for purely psychological reasons, two enemies to the masses ... It is part of the genius of a great leader to make adversaries of different fields appear as always belonging to one category only ... as soon as the wavering masses find themselves confronting too many enemies, objectivity at once steps in ... Therefore, a number of essentially different enemies must always be regarded as one, in such a way that in the opinion of the mass of one’s own adherents the war is being waged against one enemy alone. This strengthens the belief in one’s own cause and increases one’s bitterness against the attacker...”
Again, we have no concern here about a righteous cause, or the truth of a matter, only the method for manipulating people to your side. Certainly more of a psychological approach than a philosophical one. Adolf does not seem to be nearly as concerned about truth and justice, as he is about the problem of ‘winning’. He is obviously more of a politician than he believes himself to be.
This tactic seems to be a very popular one. Karl Marx started it with the hateful “Capitalist”; Ayn Rand took it up with her Religious “Witch Doctors” and “Monopolistic Governments”; Tom Paine had somewhat the same idea with his “Kings and Royal Families”; today’s Republicans have been very successful with their “Liberal” scapegoat; Hitler, of course, had his “Jew”; Clarence Darrow and the leftists of today have “Society”; and most of us just for general usage have “They” or “Them”, a group whom we are constantly redefining, but you all know who “they” are. The truth is never so simple as being defined by one culprit or cause; but there is no doubt here, Adolf is correct. The masses like a simple enemy and all enemies defined under one banner are much easier for anyone to organize behind - keep it simple, stupid. One can readily see how Adolf applied this concept to “the Jew”. We will see this concept exemplified more and more throughout this work.
“...1 detested the conglomerate of races that the realm’s capital manifested; all its racial mixture of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Ruthenians, Serbs and Croats and among them all, like the eternal fission fungus of mankind - Jews and more Jews …”
It is interesting. I will bet that if we had a crowd of all of the different ‘races’ mentioned above, we couldn’t successfully pick two of one kind out in a row, out of any crowd.
Today, I think most anthropologist agree that there is only one race and that is the Homo sapien. Genetically, we are all mongrels with cultural, regional and national similarities or dissimilarities. Genetic research has discovered that a person with black skin my have more white genetic inherited links than he has black - and this applies to all colors and types. At best, your immediate ancestors might show on the surface but on the inside, your “flesh and blood” is universal, international, and most likely “inter racial”.
And there we have chapter three. Not much respect for democratic principles; religion and all else, secondary to the survival of the State; not much respect for Germany’s neighbors; a system of principles for manipulating the masses, or at least public opinion; a theory on what impresses ‘little’ minds; a rather hardy disrespect for the masses in general; not a lot of praise here for the press, either.
[This is part of a continuing series appearing on this blog – if you would like to read more Analysis of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf; click on “search this blog” for previous entries listed under Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler. This has been my fifth entry]