Mein Kampf Chapter 15
By Richard E. Noble
"... Among a hundred so-called speakers there are hardly ten who would be in a position to speak today with the same effect to an auditorium composed of street sweepers, locksmiths, sewer cleaners, etc.., and to give on the following day a lecture of necessarily the same intellectual content to university professors and students. But among a thousand speakers there is perhaps only a single one who is able to speak before locksmiths and university professor alike in a form which is equally satisfactory to both sides or even impassions them towards a sweeping storm of applause. But one must keep before one's eyes that if it is to spread even the most beautiful thought of a sublime idea, it has to make use of small and smallest minds..."
Well, golly gee, don't you feel privileged that Adolf needs both university professors and you of the small mind? Or are you of the 'smallest' mind category? Or are you a part of the elitist club who agrees with this statement, and understands exactly what Adolf is saying here? Obviously those of us of the 'small' mind, and the 'smallest' mind category do not see ourselves as such, but only view our unfortunate brothers and sisters to be of this category. I have never read of any protestors carrying signs out side of the German beer hall where Adolf was speaking, reading--We of the small and smallest minds of Germany object! But why should they? Didn't Adolf say that he needed them?
I feel in truth, and it is why I have taken on this research, that it was not a coalition of small and smallest minds that were responsible for Adolf's success. As the foot note on this page points out -- These assertions may be correct. On the other hand, it is also possible to assume - as many do - that Hitler's triumph was not due to the 'stupid masses' which come to hear him speak, but to the intellectual reconstruction which the nationalist intelligentsia placed on Pan-German Socialism --
On a personal note, this is another insight into Adolf's personality. There is no doubt in my mind that, as I have said earlier, Adolf was stage struck after that first speech. He is really tooting his own horn here. He claims here, not only to be a genius who has the ability to communicate to the noblesse-noblegee, but he also has the 'common' touch. Well, I don't know. He is certainly no Tom Paine in my book. His message overall, certainly isn't to the common minded. He is an unabashed elitist, courageously championing the opinions and ideas of the rich and famous, and powerful, one of which he would very much like to become. This seems obvious.
His message to the poor and small minded, I think, was very simple. He told them that they were being screwed; he told them who was screwing them; and that if he were given the power they would be back to work in the blink of an eye; and that their country would be restored in the eyes of the world to its rightful position of dignity and honor.
I personally think that the feelings of the poor can be summed up simply. They want food on their table, a roof over their head, and a position in life that will provide them with hope for the future, if not for themselves, for their children. The nation that can meet this basic requirement will be able to maintain itself internally.
"...The goal of the political reform movement will never be reached by a work of enlightenment or by influencing the ruling powers, but only by the gaining of the political power..."
This seems to me to be a 'stab in the back' to the very people who have been and will in the future pave Adolf's path to infamy. But, maybe at this stage of the game Adolf's path is still in the hands of the common stupid masses.
"...The young movement is anti-parliamentarian, that means in general, it rejects a principle of a decision by the majority, by which the leader is degraded to the position of the executive of the will and the opinion of the others..."
Where did it ever creep into my mind that Adolf was a populist, or a man of the people? Right here he discredits the main tenet of the principle of Democratic rule. For my vote, if there is anywhere that our American democracy has gone wrong, it is in the area of too little democracy, certainly not too much. But Adolf sees it in entirely the opposite direction. He sees it ... one man, one rule. Opposition should not be coddled but destroyed. And if the one man ruler turns out to be wrong, he should be destroyed by his people. If they are able to get him, I might add. I don't know about you, but if I have learned anything from this study, it is that I do not like the notion of a one man power structure. This even begins to make me question the notion of our presidency. How many unfortunate incidents, I wonder, in the American past can be traced to an over zealous and too powerful president, or single government official? This would be an interesting topic for investigation.
"...He who wants to be the leader bears, with the highest unrestricted authority, also the ultimate and the most serious responsibility. He who is not able to do this or is too great a coward to bear the consequences of his activity is unsuitable to be the leader. Only the hero is chosen for this..."
I have two criticisms of this statement. Adolf didn't act too heroically in his bunker on that day when he blew his brains out rather than, stand up in the name of his people and 'their' cause and defend his principles to the very end, as did many other great historic leaders. If the ultimate test of a man's leadership and courage is his bravery in standing up to the consequences of his acts and leadership, and taking the responsibility for his failures as well as the credit for his victories, Adolf certainly can not be considered a hero even by his own standards. He should have been standing at attention and saluting his colors in the face of his enemy an immanent death, as Anwar Sadat. Or with his pistol drawn and his sword brandishing over his head right up until the allies shot him down. But rather than face his conquerors like a man of courage and leadership, he hid himself in an underground shelter and timorously blew his brains out rather than face the public rebuke of the world and its peoples, who by his own principle of 'might is right' had proved him to be in error and not worthy of the crown of world conqueror that he had so vociferously placed upon his own head.
My second criticism, I've made before, but I will make it again. I think the principle of leadership is a fallacy in this regard. If because of your inadequate leadership men have died, even your life is not sufficient payment to such a debt or mistake. In other words, such responsibility of leadership is not within the jurisdiction of any would be leader. As a leader, you can only live with, or die defending your mistakes. No amount of contrition or sacrifice will repay even one parent the loss of a son or daughter caused by your inadequacy. So a boast of accepting such a responsibility as a prerequisite or requirement of one who seeks power or authority is idle and more or less pure bravado. Such responsibility is really not available.
"...Progress and the culture of mankind, however, are not products of the majority, but they rest exclusively upon the genius and the energy of the personality..."
Here again Ayn Rand might be in agreement, but I have doubts. Even most men who are responsible for some of the greatest discoveries of the human species have a more humble view of their circumstances than this elitist concept. This whole idea may in fact be the product of misguided endeavors or interpretations of History as recorded and advanced by historians themselves. I am, myself, a great fan of biography and autobiography and certainly such personalization is advantageous in stimulating interest in a topic or subject matter, but to say the whole direction of the world was the product of one man at one point in any given time would be hard to defend. Even harder to defend is the notion that mankind is making progress at all. What we often call 'great' and 'genius' in our evaluations, I would call 'alternative'. Most of Mankind's 'progress' I would term as alternative or lateral as opposed to truly dynamic and vertical. In other words, with all of our so-called greatness is mankind, as a whole, any better off than it was at the time of the Roman Empire? Are there fewer people starving today than there were then? Is there less killing and murder today as then? Do fewer people die today needlessly than was the case then? Is the state of world governments any better than it was then? Has the character or spirituality of man become more sophisticated and mutually advantageous to the human race than it was then? Even if we take into account population increases, and deal in percentages, are these things any better than they were then? I think not.
"...An ingenious idea originates in the brains of a man who now feels himself called upon to transmit his knowledge to the rest of mankind; he now preaches his views and gradually he gains a certain circle of followers..."
Is there any doubt here who Adolf is talking about? So Adolf has an ingenious idea, and he is transmitting it to us. I feel so privileged. How could the German people tolerate this obnoxious son of a bitch? We are now on page 481 of book one of Mein Kampf, and I am still asking myself, what is the brilliant idea that Adolf is trying to transmit? I've heard all about the Jews but, this is not new and certainly not ingenious. This is certainly not Einstein's theory of relativity. This is not Euclid and his new geometry. This is not Pasteur and 'germs'. This is not Newton and gravity, or calculus. This is not even the Hula Hoop. What the hell do we have here?
Basically what we have here is really my inspiration for tackling this challenge - a challenge to which I felt that I was suited. We have an average man, of average abilities, average intelligence, and below average income tackling the philosophy, teachings, arguments and problems of the entire world - a task for which neither of us is or was equipped. A more intelligent man than I would never do what I am doing here, and he would not do it for the very reason that he is too smart to lower himself to debate on this level. I certainly respect any intelligent man who feels this way, but arguing with the Adolfs of the world has been my life. I've lived in the streets, in the woods and under the bridges. I've worked in the factories, in the backs of the fancy restaurants, and I've swept, and swabbed the decks and mopped the floors and emptied the garbage all over America. And my conclusion is that the Adolfs are everywhere. Everywhere! And it isn't enough to simply say - you're wrong about that, man - You've got to take this big mouth page by page, word for word and push every stupid statement back down his throat. But you can't be crude about, or you show the 'class' that you come from. So let's go on analyzing the self proclaimed German Genius.
He has just discovered in his brain an ingenious idea, and is transmitting it to us, the stupid and more stupid, because he needs us to begin and proliferate his revolution - for it is us of the ranks of the ignorant and stupid masses that will form the basis of his revolution.
It is interesting to note here that in his time in Germany almost every time that there was a turn in the economy for the better Adolf and his German Nationalists took a turn for the worse. We might also add that wherever economies are weak, Communism is strong. The moral of this story seems to me to be - give a man a job that puts a roof over his head, food on the table for himself and those he loves, and thus put the sparkle of hope in his eye for his future or possibly the future of his children, and you might not change the bitter rhetoric, but at least the bone chilling rattle of death will be removed from his breathless voice. That seems to me to be step number one in basic government 101 - a step that we still have not come to grips with here in the U.S.A.
Another interesting 'idea' from the ranks of the poor and stupid. If you the social Darwinist Capitalist go into a poor village or even confront a poor unemployed laborer living under a bridge, and you say to him or them that the reason that they are in the position that they are is basically because they are genetically less equipped than their more prosperous brothers or fellow citizens; and that really they deserve no better than what they presently have because what they have is exactly what their abilities have proven that they deserve; and that they and their life position is living proof that God is truly in His heaven and all is right with the world; why are you surprised when they take up arms with the Communist and try to blow the hell out of the likes of you?
The communist philosophy says to these people, don't worry we will not have a class of obnoxious, overbearing Capitalist social Darwinists. We will have one class and we will all work together to satisfy the needs of all of us. We will take from each according to his ability, and we will give to each according to his need. Freedom? What is freedom to those who are starving? Freedom? What is freedom to those who are dying? Freedom? Freedom is only important to those who still have something to lose. Freedom? Freedom has put your sons into the disgrace of poverty and unemployment and your daughters into prostitution. What do you want, freedom for the few or food for everyone? Does it take a Solomon to make this decision?
Again here Adolf with all of his talk of loyalty and his need of the common man and the masses, what did he do when it came to choosing between his loyal brown shirts and the German Army regulars? When the big boys, the Junker Generals, the industrialists and bankers, the powerful at the top told him that either he gets his band of para-militarists under control or he looses his opportunity to become one of the potential ruling class. Well, it is simple; he has a gangster style massacre. His old friends and associates who in the beginning bounced the Commies out of the beer halls where he was speaking; the men who had worked at no pay; the guy who had gotten the scars and the broken noses on Hitler's behalf, were executed. Even his good buddy and war hero veteran Rhoem was arrested, thrown into a cell, given a gun and told to shoot himself by the Fuhrer himself. Winston in his "The Gathering Storm" says that Rhoem gave Adolf back his gun and told Adolf to do his own dirty work. He was then machine gunned to the point of non-recognition. So much for Adolf and his German style loyalty.
Next Adolf decided that if he is going to have a movement of any serious consequence, like the Roman Empire had Rome, and other religions had their Mecca and Jerusalem, his movement must have a symbolic city, and that city would be ... Munich.
"...Formation of local groups only after the authority of the central leading group in Munich may be looked upon as unconditionally recognized..."
O.K., now we have the official Mecca, what comes next?
"...Just as an Army has no value in its organizing without its officers, thus a political movement is just as useless without the appropriate leader.
For this there are two ways:
A) The movement has at its disposal the necessary financial means for the training and schooling of able heads for the future leadership.
This is the easier and the quicker way; but it requires great financial means, as this leader material is able to work for the movement only if it is paid.
b) The movement in consequence of lack of funds, is not in a position to instill appointed leaders, but has to depend on honorary officers at first.
This is the slower and the more difficult way.
The leadership of the movement must leave large fields uncultivated, provided there does not emerge from the followers a head who is able and willing to put himself at the disposal of the leaders, and to organize and to lead the movement in the particular field..."
Well, this seems obvious to me, Adolf needs a few good men. He has beat Kitchener and Uncle Sam to the poster board here. Adolf needs you, and if you happen to be rich and powerful, we have a position waiting for you in our officers’ corps. Apply to me, your basic natural born leader, to find out if you are acceptable. This line of persuasion can only have an appeal to the militarist, and authoritarian minded, and revolutionary. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't work very well. We use the same appeal for our R.O.T.C., and military Academy candidates. But we are in category (a) we have the funds to pay.
"...The leadership proper not only demands will power, but also ability, whereby one has to ascribe a greater importance to will power and energy than to genius itself, and most valuable is a combination of ability, determination, and perseverance..."
This has got to stand out as one of the funniest lines in the book. Adolf is basically saying that he doesn't really need the best and the brightest for his new movement. You don't have to be a 'genius' to be a Nazi. Besides, the movement already as one genius, how many geniuses does one movement need, anyway? So, if you know how to do anything, or would like to learn how to do anything and you are willing to provide it or yourself to my movement free of charge, and you are willing to take whatever bullshit we are willing to hand out, you too can become a Nazi.
Again, this appeal is nothing new. Watch your TV. You will see and hear the same message, daily. So then, is the message wrong? Or is Hitler simply using a proper technique to foster a wrong cause? I am not of the Militarist inclination, but it had its appeal to me at one time. I've recently read a book by General Colin Powell. He basically said that he joined the R.O.T.C. and from that moment on was enthralled with the pursuit of leadership, and the military way of life. General Swartscoff expressed pretty much the same opinion. In this country we pay allegiance to the Military, Authoritarian, and for lack of a better word, Totalitarian minded, but we place our ultimate trust in a civilian, democratic government. The ultimate decision of this government will outweigh all of the decisions and opinions of all of the Military Generals. Truman fired MacArthur and we fired Truman. I don't know about you, but I like it that way.
"...The future of a movement is conditioned by the fanaticism, even more the intolerance, with which its adherents present it as the only right one and enforce it in the face of other formations of a similar kind..."
This point with fanaticism and intolerance, Adolf makes constantly throughout the book. This forceful type of domination is a basic part of Adolf's genetic make up or he has seen over and over that it works. He is not only going to fight fire with fire, he is going to fight fire with fire and a brick. He uses the words fanaticism as if it is a positive attribute, and without any question he does think that it is. Obviously Adolf, unlike Tom Paine, does not believe that he has the power of rightful reason on his side. An intelligent debate does not necessarily produce an intelligent result. So, bring a baseball bat to the podium or the audience.
Reflecting on the times during the 20's, it is hard for those like me to understand. There was constant turmoil in the street. Fights, poverty, and gunfire in the streets were the everyday circumstance. From what I have read Gandhi would not have found many followers in Munich or Berlin. Every day was a constant fist fight for those inclined. If you weren't inclined, you had better be ready to duck, hide and dodge.
Of course the 'other formations of a similar kind' is for the most part the Bolshevik movement.
"...The greatness of every powerful organization as the incorporation of an idea in this world is rooted in the religious fanaticism with which it intolerably enforces itself against everything else, fanatically convinced of its own right. If an idea is right in itself, and if thus armed it embarks on the struggle in this world, it is invincible and every persecution will lead to its inner strengthening..."
Well if this is true Adolf, merely telling everybody about it should be enough. What is with the baseball bats and bullets?
"...The greatness of Christianity was not rooted in its attempted negotiations of compromise with perhaps similarly constructed philosophical opinions of the old world, but in the inexorably fanatical preaching and representation of its own doctrine..."
Well, I think that Adolf and I read different history books. From what I can see Christianity is or has evolved exactly as he says that it didn't. What is curious to me about Christianity is 1) how did it go from a basically peaceful non-violent group, to eventually comprising over fifty percent of Constantine's army? 2) How did it go from a humble persecuted minority to a dominant persecuting majority? The story of Christianity is certainly not one of persistently repeated principle. 3) How did the religion of the peasantry and the poor under-class succeed in replacing the religion of the dominant Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians? Another question of interest to me is at what point in the history of Christianity did Christ shed his humanness and become God? To me the message of Christ changes when Jesus enters into the world of the divine. When he becomes divine the salvation of the human race becomes one of the next world, and his life ceases to be an example for salvation of the human race in this world, or is less important.
Much of today's Christianity is almost devoid of any legacy of Jesus in relation to politics, or revolution, or personal social conduct. All that one has to do, according to many a modern day Christian is accept Jesus as God, and he will be saved. The example of Christ's life, his principle of behavior, the philosophy of his beliefs, the meaning for his actions, even the sacrifice of his life is transformed from an example to mankind of proper behavior and philosophic and social thought, to a primitive sacrificial blood right to the one true God. Jesus is no longer a man of ideas, a theologian and philosopher, a social reformer and thinker whose behavior should be studied as a guide and example for the behavior of future generations, but a lamb being brought to be martyred in a sacrificial rite offered at the temple to reestablish the Church as the door that one must pass through in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. So somehow, Jesus the radical or not so radical Church reformer was re-incorporated into the orthodoxy proper. For my money Jesus went from being a poor man picketing outside the temple for organized religion to take a position of decency and respect for the common man, and do away with much of the formality and hypocrisy of its temple managers; to a statue or icon placed on the alter inside the temple now to be once again worshiped in the good all fashioned way. So Jesus lost, and Organized Religion and dogmatic temple worship, won. How did this happen? And I wonder will they one day be able to do the same with science, and bring us back to those glorious days of yesteryear, where new discoveries in the world of science will have to be explained fitting under the umbrella of religious thought, and dogma, and those who do not conform will be burnt at the stake.
"...The movement has to promote the respect for the personality by all means; it must never forget that the value of all that is human is rooted in the personal value, and that every idea and every achievement are the results of the creative force of a man, and that the admiration for the greatness is not only a tribute of thanks to the latter, but that it also winds a unifying band around the grateful ... the person can not be replaced..."
Once again, let me point out that contrary to the mass of ever present propaganda the accomplishments of man are none that great. To get oneself all in a lather about electricity as opposed to the candle, or the pistol as opposed to the machine gun or the atom bomb while we still live on a daily basis with poverty, curable disease, death and suffering, a class of super wealthy living in luxury while millions of poor adults and children suffer for the want of a crust of bread; war disease, starvation, murder, suicide, rape, torture, and a constant string of never ending wars, a human must consider in practical explanation, that this is the ultimate in human rationalization and ego-maniacal thought and propaganda. Talk about schizophrenia? My goodness, sometimes I can hardly believe my ears. If man is going to survive into the future his socialization and morality and justice of thought will have to some how catch up and surpass his penchant for technology. Not only will man's aggressiveness need understanding and temperance in the future but so will society have to deal with the human ego and its propensity for rationalization and self-righteous ego enhancement.
So mankind has two big problems as I see them. He is not only belligerent, hostile and once engaged in combat destructive to the point of self annihilation. He is also pompous and haughty to the point of being an almost totally blind, ego-maniacal homicidal manic and from all practical moral and ethical evaluations, totally insane.
As a second point. Those of you who are proponents of the Ayn Rand School. You must see Adolf as a junior professor, or senior professor in this school of thought. I guess the question here is: was Adolf really a capitalist or a socialist? Obviously when it comes to 'individuality' Adolf is Capitalistic and Western. But what happens when Man's ingenious need for creativity and individuality challenges the 'State'? The State rules according to Adolf. The State rules even above religious right and beliefs. Is this a principle of Socialism, or democracy?
We here in our democratic state say that there must be a separation of Church and State. And if the Church brings its argument to the Supreme Court and loses, the State rules. I guess that the difference is that we, living in a democracy, consider that we are in effect the State. So when the Supreme court rules, we accept their verdict as the will of the people or the majority. A lot of these lines that we draw are academic aren't they? If we say that the opinion of the State rules over business. In other words, if the State has the last word, then this is Socialism. But this has been the way of even our government since the beginning. The Whiskey rebellion, the Civil war, anti-monopoly legislation, the Wagner act, the injunction. Hummm, I think that this is the material for another book.
"...If human hearts break and human souls despair, then the great conquerors of distress and worry, of shame and misery of spiritual bondage and physical coercion, look down upon them, out of the twilight of the past, and offer their eternal hands to the despairing mortals!
Woe to the people that is shamed to seizing them!.."
Boy, my first reaction here is to say is this poetry? - The twilight of the past, their eternal hands, hearts break and human souls despair. I'm telling you, he's got it, doesn't he? Again one would have to look in retrospect and ask one's self what Adolf knew about the heart break of others; about the millions that he murdered and placed into concentration camps. The great conquerors of distress? Who the hell are they? There are people in the past who conquered distress, worry, shame misery, spiritual bondage and physical coercion? This guy is talking about religion. Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Buddha and the like. But these people also conquered spiritual bondage, and physical coercion? This is it isn't it. Hitler is proclaiming himself the new Messiah, one with the greatest of all times. But, "woe to the people that is shamed of seizing his hand."