Mein Kampf Chapter 15
War is Good!
By Richard E. Noble
This Chapter is entitled the development of the National Socialist German Worker's Party, and Adolf here gives a little background and goes into more specifics of how it all started and what principles and theories will be employed in its development.
Adolf first divides his country into two distinct classes. The overthrown and defeated and presently cowering ruling class and the great mass of the working population. He goes on to explain that Germany did not lose the war because of a lack of arms and that their present condition isn't due to a lack of arms, but to a lack of will and spirit.
"...Therefore, the question of regaining Germany's power is not, perhaps, how can we manufacture arms, but how can we produce that spirit which enables a people to bear arms? ..."
This is the continuation of his fight against pacifism, and the spirit circulating about the world at the time that War and Militarism should never be championed again as a means and method for solving political problems. I can see no other explanation for Adolf's attitude other than he had gone to war in the war to end all wars. He had learned to fight and kill, and he loved it. I can't say whether he enjoyed the risking of his own life or the taking of other lives, but there can be no doubt that in the midst of all of the blood and gore, Adolf found glory. I am not a good one to try and describe this feeling. I have never understood it at all, but maybe Robert Service can give us a better insight with this poem he wrote after his experiences as a Red Cross driver in the Baltics during World War I. It is entitled "The Song of the Soldier Born".
Give me the scorn of the stars and a peak defiant;
Wail of the pines and a wind with the shout of a giant;
Night and a trail unknown and a heart reliant.
Give me to live and love in the old, bold fashion.
A soldier's billet at night and a soldier's ration;
A heart that leaps to the fight with a soldier's passion.
For I hold as a simple faith there's no denying;
The trade of a soldier's the only trade worth plying;
The death of a soldier's the only death worth dying.
So let me go and leave your safety behind me;
Go to the spaces of hazard where nothing shall bind me;
Go till the word is War--and then you will find me;
Then you will call me, and claim me because you will need me;
Cheer me and gird me and into the battle-wrath speed me...
And when it's over, spurn me and no longer heed me.
For guile and a purse gold-greased are the arms you carry;
With deeds of paper you fight and with pens you parry;
You call on the hounds of the law your foes to harry.
You with your "Art for its own sake," posing and prinking;
You with your "Live and be merry," eating and drinking;
You with your "Peace at all hazard," from bright blood shrinking-
Fools! I will tell you now; though the red rain patters,
And a million of men go down, its little it matters...
There's the flag upflung to the stars, though it streams in tatters.
There's glory gold never can buy to yearn and to cry for;
There's a hope that's as old as the sky to suffer and sigh for;
There's a faith that out-dazzles the sun to martyr and die for.
Ah no! it's my dream that War will never be ended;
That men will perish like men, and valour be splendid;
That the Flag by the sword will be served, and honour defended.
That the tail of my fights will never be ancient story;
That though my eye may be dim and my beard be hoary,
I'll die as a soldier dies on the Field of Glory.
So give me a strong right arm for a wrong's swift righting;
Stave of a song on my lips as my sword is smiting;
Death in my boots may-be, but fighting, fighting.
I would imagine that this song would have Adolf on his feet. Is this attitude a part of the problem, or a part of the solution? Having men who are willing to stand guard at the risk of their lives for the security and protection of their country has to be a part of the solution. But having men who think that peace is a state of cowardice, and that a world at peace is not the proper condition of Civilization, has got to be a part of the problem. Nazism, Fascism, and the Japanese theological form of Fascism all taught that War, violence, killing and brutality were all a proper part of the rightful development of Civilization.
But, when viewing history should one be shocked that this notion is a derivation of the facts? Charlemagne, Attila, Constantine, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Adolf etc. and the list goes on. So, in truth, the radical idea is not the notion of world domination held in check by violence but a world living in a state of peaceful compromise and cooperation.
With the advancements in weaponry, the old notion of conquest and control by forceful domination has been somewhat checked. The fear of nuclear war has led to limited war. Limited war has led to strategic, computer, and surgical warfare. But as far as I know tactical nuclear weapons are already in development, and possibly tactical, biological weaponry may be in the future. Not too long ago, I heard of what was called a nuetron bomb - a bomb that only killed people and did not destroy buildings and facilities. So there seems to be a future to war. The question is will there be or is there a future for peace? And if peace is the goal, how is it to be promoted?
Pacifism has failed. Jesus' notion of turning the other cheek to one's enemies, barely survived his generation and is hardly a part of Christianity today. Peace through war and total domination as Adolf and others have referred to Pax Romana, and the Pax Britannica, has had its positive moments. Wilson's League of Nations and The United Nations seems like the only logical route. It would also seem that the perfect guide line for such an alternative would be the formation of the United States. But, in truth, the United States has really failed at its notion of a co-operative government operating among independent states based on discussion and compromise, when in 1860 it burst into its murderous state of internal destruction that we label the Civil War. There certainly can be no debate that certain participants in this conflict were denied their right to independence. But the period from 1700 to 1861 would certainly be worth looking into and reviewing at least on intent and theory. The idea of everybody minding their own business, sounds good, but isolationism has yet to be recognized as a successful alternative, and there are those who contend that its practice has only led to greater catastrophe - World War II being their major example. Adolf's notion that there must be one overall plan and that everyone must agree to it does seem to be correct. The world needs a plan and it must be a plan that can be accepted by small and large, prosperous and not so prosperous. It must have a way of discussing and settling disputes, and an agreement for quelling and settling disruptions. We do have a United Nations, and a body of developing international law. So far that seems to be it. Like the workings of our 'Democratic' government here at home its operation is not only dubious and cumbersome but frustrating. Its operation needs very special people and certainly a very special system of maintenance. Why we are still finding out about peoples legitimate gripes by mass riots in the streets, is an area that must be worked on. Also trying to establish more 'democracy' and representation as opposed to less, would certainly be a good direction to take.
Let's us now return to those wonderful days of yesteryear, thank God, they are yesteryear and not the present or our future! We can hope anyway.
"... there remains the preliminary winning over of the great masses of our people for the ideas of our national independence as the presupposition for everything ... Only short-sighted narrow-mindedness, as unfortunately is often found in the circles of our businessmen, can fail to acknowledge that in the long run there can be no economic rise for them also, and with this no economic profit, as long as the inner national solidarity of the nation is not restored ... If the German unions had ruthlessly guarded the interests of the workers during the war, they would have extorted a thousand times, by strike, the demands of the workers from the then dividend-hungry employers, even during the war, but if, as regards the considerations of the national defense, they had acknowledged their German nationality just as fanatically, and with the same ruthlessness, they would have given to the fatherland what is due the fatherland, then the war would not have been lost..."
Well, this is kind of interesting. Adolf seems to be ridiculing the 'dividend-hungry short-sighted, unpatriotic behavior of German employers along with the workers. In the foot note below it states - Hitler never went farther than this in criticizing the capitalist system, after his release from prison. - I can only say that it is too bad that Hitler wasn't kept alive (and in prison, right next to his good buddy Hess in Spandow) long enough to read about the exploits of his German friend and fellow nationalist Capitalist in the book "The Arms of Krupp" written by marine veteran William Manchester. He would also probably like to know the real causes of the post World War I inflation that bankrupted Germany's middle and lower classes, just as I do not think it would inspire many patriotic thoughts to investigate the war time financial records of many American businessmen before and during World War II.
Hitler's lack of invective towards Capitalism led to a schism within his own party. The footnote goes on;
--Scheringer and Strasser charged that Hitler had sold out for money. Therewith the question as to how the Nazi Party was financed had been raised, but no satisfactory answer has ever been given. During its early years, funds were obtained from Munich friends, from the Reichswehr, and probably from White Russians who had access to foreign money. Whence came the stream of gold that poured through White Russian fingers is indeed, one of the unsolved mysteries of post-war History. Certain organizers, e.g. Kurt Luedecke (cf, I knew Hitler) have supplied other hints as to the sources whence support came. In later years abundant aid came from German industry and landed interests. Then the approved formula for contributions was a so called loan, for which a receipt was issued. The actual lender remained unknown, the money passing through the hands of some real or imaginary association. How much Italian cash was furnished is not known. Evidence was introduced by the districts attorney's office in Munich to show that Mussolini had helped to finance the putsch of 1923.--
This is a subject that I would like to deal with further. Information now, after fifty years is coming out involving prominent businessmen, politicians, diplomats, government and banking officials in the U.S., Great Britain, and France, that may have been more than deeply involved in the financial rise of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. It is also becoming more and more obvious that the real enemy was never Nazism, but in reality Communism. And in this battle to prevent Communism, Hitler was supported and financed, possibly created. World War II was precipitated, and then followed by Korea and Vietnam for the same reasons.
Winston Churchill points out numerous points at which, with the reflection of History, Hitler could have been stopped in his tracks. But these alternatives were never taken. Most Historians contend that this was due to the intensity of the Pacifist movement. In the U.S. we had both a Pacifist movement and an Isolationist movement. The question that occurs to me upon analysis is how much these movements were truly the cause for the lack of commitment on the part of all of the eventual Allies, and how much was truly due to fifth column activities and actual pro Nazi sympathies. The fact that after the War billions was spent by the victors, particularly the United States to rebuild the horrible nation of killers in Germany in Europe, as opposed to our devastated ally Russia and in the Pacific, equal amounts spent on the barbaric murders of Japan, as opposed to our 'friends' in China has to be our first 'clue' that something irrational has been going on here. Next we have a political purge in the U.S. to route out 'Communist' in McCarthyism. But we weren't at war with ‘communist’; we were at war with 'Nazis.' Wouldn't you think that if there was a purge of any political group it would have dealt with those who had just attempted to kill us all and conquer the world?
One must take a serious look at Neville Chamberlain. Winston Churchill an obvious loyal patriot to Britain and its government, has serious reservations with regard to the then prime minister who not only completely gave into all of Hitler's aggressions on the continent, but insanely refused help from both the United States and Russia to ameliorate the situation. Winston seems to be in complete shock when he writes in his book "The Gathering Storm":
"... On the other hand no event could have been more likely to stave off, or even prevent, war than the arrival of the United States in the circle of European hates and fears. To Britain it was a matter almost of life and death. No one can measure in retrospect its effect upon the course of events in Austria and later at Munich. We must regard its rejection - for such it was - as the loss of the last frail chance to save the world from tyranny otherwise than by war. That Mr. Chamberlain, with his limited outlook and inexperience of the European scene, should have possessed the self-sufficiency to wave away the proffered hand stretched out across the Atlantic leaves one, even at this date, breathless with amazement. The lack of all sense of proportion, and even of self-preservation, which this episode reveals in an upright, competent, well meaning man, charged with the destinies of our country and all who depended upon it, is appalling. One cannot today even reconstruct the state of mind which would render such gestures possible ..."
Chamberlain seems to have taken on the foreign policy of his country single handed. He dealt with Hitler privately. He made three trips where he dealt with Hitler personally and alone. And like Winston, I do not think that anyone can re-read these chronicles of events and not determine something very suspicious. Winston goes on to make even stronger statements with regard to Mr. Chamberlain, implying that his actions will have to bear up under the future scrutiny of time and history. Winston's words, at one point, I take as almost a challenge to future investigators of history, almost as a plead for historical justice. A justice that in Winston's position at the time was impossible to render. (See my later blog entitled Munich.)
I have three areas of interest that have now been stimulated by my present reading. One) the world in regard to anti-Semitism through the period of the twenties and thirties. Two) Nazi infiltration via third column activities throughout the world. Three) How and Who financed Adolf Hitler and his horrid theories of world slaughter and domination.
I am also concerned with the peril of one man leadership, not only with regard to the dictators but to the powerful men like Chamberlain and Roosevelt. I thought that with democracies we had found a solution to this obvious area of abuse. Seems not to be true even today.
And back to Adolf.
"... The great mass of a people consists neither of professors nor of diplomats. The small abstract knowledge it possesses directs its sentiments rather to the world of feeling ..."
This is a reoccurring theme of Adolf's - tapping into the emotions and feelings of people. I begin more and more to look at Adolf as an artist more than a politician. In many ways he was performing theater. He was very concerned with setting and scene. He was enthralled with dialogue, or should I say monologue or soliloquy. He wanted most of all to persuade, and in this attempt he learned to use every avenue. Adolf makes me feel ashamed of many of my own inclinations. I have always been attentive to emotions. I have always enjoyed movies that affected me most emotionally. I have felt the same about music, and poetry, and literature, even History. But when I see how he has used this positive side of human nature to blind people to decency and compassion, it makes me want to abandon this 'technique' and use nothing but the utmost in reason and logic, but I fear this is impossible. To separate emotion from the human beast is to attempt to cut out his heart, and possibly his soul, if there be such a thing.
"... He who would win the great masses must know the key which opens the door to their hearts. Its name is not objectivity, that is weakness, but will power and strength ..."
Adolf has the prerequisite of all authoritarian personalities and structures. You either agree, or you are wrong. Even worse, you are the enemy and must be destroyed. Religion and I hate to keep picking on religious dogma but ... has this same problem. You must agree with the fundamentals of their theories, or you are the anti-Christ, or the devil, or possessed by evil. Adolf obviously wants his theories to be accepted as a Religion, and has studied their techniques. Or these techniques are a natural part of this type of personality.
"... the great masses ... what they want is the victory of the stronger and the annihilation or unconditional surrender of the weaker ..."
Is that what we want? Adolf was obviously not the kind of guy to place his bet on a long shot, or take up the side of the underdog. Adolf wants the annihilation of the weaker, and alone with that he also considers that love and objectivity are weaknesses. He also doesn't seem to have a high regard for 'mercy' either.
"... In the blood alone there rests the strength as well as the weakness of man ... without the clearest recognition of the race problem and, with it, of the Jewish question, there will be no rise of the German nation ... The race question not only furnishes the key to world history, but also the human culture as a whole ..."
It is interesting to note that the discoverer of blood plasma was a black man and at the time of his discovery his blood was deemed unacceptable as a source for plasma to be injected into whites. Makes one wonder, are we dealing here with a lunatic, or with hopefully the last hurrah of a dying philosophy.
"... Exactly as a worker sins against the spirit of a genuine people's community if, based on his power, he makes extortionate demands without consideration for the common welfare and the existence of a National economy, an employer breaks this community just as much if he abuses the national working strength by exploitation and inhumane business management, and makes millions out of its sweat. Then he has no right to call himself national, he has no right to moan about a peoples community, but he is a egotistical rascal, who, by introducing social discontent, provokes future fights which are bound to injure the nation in one way or another ..."
Now this is a point that has always caused me a problem. I was raised in a Mill town in Massachusetts named Lawrence. After the victory of World War II disaster struck my hometown. The textile mills who employed tens of thousands of workers closed up shop and moved. This action caused a depression in this area for one hundred and fifty thousand to five hundred thousand Americans. I could never understand even in my wildest moment of optimism and patriotism how this could have been permitted. I have heard a number of different explanations, but I have never found any of them satisfactory, especially with regards to the issue of patriotism that Adolf brings up here. In relation to the notion of patriotism, if the working people of a nation owe their loyalty and are expected to sacrifice their lives in the name of country in time of crisis, does the nation in the name of patriotism have any reciprocal obligations? Basically the answer to this question has been no, as far as I can see and understand. We are told that we live in a free enterprise system, and this notion of free enterprise and laissez-faire business seems to be the first of the Capitalistic commandments.
My personal experiences growing up in Lawrence, Mass. were to say the least unhealthy to the American spirit. My father was unable to find local employment, along with tens of thousands of others. The picture of what happens to a man and his family trying to survive chronic and prolonged unemployment described earlier in this work by Adolf, is an exact description of my growing up - alcoholism, argument, abuse, violence, to say the least, a very unhappy circumstance. When I relate the experiences of my youth to most people today, they don't get it. They don't understand. Their first reaction is to say that they have always been able to find some kind of work and if they were in such a situation they would have mowed lawns, washed windows or done something. And that does sound reasonable. But this shows me that they don't really understand the situation. There were so many unemployed in my neighborhood that employers were afraid to even put want ads in the paper. I remember one small grocery store owner put an ad in the paper for a clerk. The line of people applying for the job was so long that the newspaper put a picture of the people standing out in the streets stretching for blocks on the front page. My father finally found a job by returning to his war time occupation in the Merchant Marine which despite the talk of some was no bowl of cherries.
It was a horrible life for a married man with three small children, not to mention life threatening. And at this my Dad would have to get up money for bus fair to New York where he would have to sleep on the floor in a union hall for days and sometimes weeks trying to politic and beg for a job in a boiler-room on some antiquated tanker so frail that my father once said that if they scrapped the rust off some of these tubs, they would probably sink. I remember vividly the day when my Dad finally landed a local job. He applied for a job as attendant in a gas station. It was a new type of super self-service gas station, owned by a company called Merit. This particular gas station was opening about three or four blocks from my house, on Broadway. The line of unemployed men applying for this job stretched for a block or so, numbering certainly over a thousand individuals. I carried a lunch up to him at mid day, and he was only half way to the glass door of the tiny station where the interviewer was sitting. It was winter, and my Dad and the others had been there since day break.
This was probably around the year 1953, well past the date of the mills initial evacuation. My Dad was a nervous wreck. He was in his mid-forties and convinced that no employer wanted a man his age with three children when the street was filled with much younger, stronger men without his responsibilities. My Dad always told me in detail the stories of his successful or unsuccessful working endeavors. So I sat on the carpet floor in our tenement parlor looking up into my Dads eyes as he related to me the interviewer’s reactions, and felt the tears well up in my eyes as I watched him attempt to hold back his own tears of joy and frustration relating his success on that morning.
Years later when reading Das Capital by Karl Marx, particularly the passage where the employer points out his second floor window to his employee seeking a raise, the long line of unemployed wishing to have this man's job. It could not help but bring back to me memories of my youth growing up in the mill town of Lawrence and that morning, sitting on the carpet floor, balling, along with my Dad for his ability to finally land a job here at home. From then on we might have the opportunity to become friends, together.
My Father never told me if he was able to control his emotion in front of the interviewer, but my guess is that he not only filled out his application for the man but he literally begged and cried.
These were very hard times for my family and thousands of others. You may agree with the laissez-faire, or free market concept, but the emotional effect on me, as a child of this depression was traumatic. I'm in my late fifties now and I am still filled with bitterness and confusion. I have only recently been able to bring myself to the realization that all of my childhood unhappiness was not the fault of the Nation and its policies, but I'm still not totally sure. My only point here is that when we, as a Nation, have such a callous regard for the plight of the unemployed or as they say today the 'economically stressed,' you are creating the perfect breeding ground for the reactionary and the revolutionary.
For the most part of my life, I have always felt more justification in battling my own people, to the death if need be, on some picket line fighting for a man's right to a job here at home than on any battlefield in Asia or Europe. This I consider as a result of my experiences growing up as a child in an economic ghetto, in the mill town of Lawrence, Mass.
The philosophical question that Adolf brings up here is one that I have been asking all of my life. John F. Kennedy said "Don't ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." It seems to me that this has not been a request made of the poor in America but a social expectation, and for the most part in time of war, a demand. Where as for the better-off, the even better- off, the super better-off, and the outrageously better-off, it has been a matter of personal preference. The question has been and remains; does the Nation (not the capitalist, or the industrialist, or the individual) which demands commitment in the form of patriotism and loyalty on the part of its people have any obligations to its people?
If, Mr. Kennedy, I do for my country, what does my country do for me? Anything? A job maybe? Or is that asking too much? To 'bamb' this argument up to another level. Is duty, honor, loyalty and faith a one way obligation? Is all honor to be shown to God, and God to be saddled with not even a decent respect for his creations? Is there no right to even reasonable treatment? Our declaration of independence and our bill of rights says otherwise. And if you disagree, maybe you should be the one, "to love it or leave it!"