Within a few weeks the political debris and the social prejudices which had been accumulating through a thousand years of German history were removed and cleared away.
May we not speak of a revolution when the chaotic conditions brought about by parliamentary-democracy disappear in less than three months and a regime of order and discipline takes their place, and a new energy springs forth from a firmly welded unity and a comprehensive authoritative power such as Germany never before had?
So great was the Revolution that its intellectual foundations are not even yet understood but are superficially criticized by our contemporaries. They talk of democracies and dictatorships; but they fail to grasp the fact that in this country a radical transformation has taken place and has produced results which are democratic in the highest sense of the word, if democracy has any meaning at all.
With infallible certainty we are steering toward an order of things in which a process of selection will become active in the political leadership of the nation, as it exists throughout the whole of life in general. By this process of selection, which will follow the laws of Nature and the dictates of human reason, those among our people who show the greatest natural ability will be appointed to positions in the political leadership of the nation. In making this selection no consideration will be given to birth or ancestry, name or wealth, but only to the question of whether or not the candidate has a natural vocation for those higher positions of leadership. That was a fine principle which the great Corsican enunciated when he said that each one of his soldiers carried a marshal’s baton in the haversack. In this country that principle will have its political counterpart. Is there a nobler or more excellent kind of Socialism and is there a truer form of Democracy than this National Socialism which is so organized that through it each one among the millions of German boys is given the possibility of finding his way to the highest office in the nation, should it please Providence to come to his aid.
And that is no theory. In the present National Socialist Germany it is a reality that is considered by us all as a matter of course. I myself, to whom the people have given their trust and who have been called to be their leader, come from the people. All the millions of German workers know that it is not a foreign dilettante or an international revolutionary apostle who is at the head of the Reich, but a German who has come from their own ranks.
And numerous people whose families belong to the peasantry and working classes are now filling prominent positions in this National Socialist State. Some of them actually hold the highest offices in the leadership of the nation, as Cabinet Ministers, Reichsstatthalter and Gauleiter. But National Socialism always bears in mind the interests of the people as a whole and not the interests of one class or another.
The National Socialist Revolution has not aimed at turning a privileged class into a class which will have no rights in the future. Its aim has been to grant equal rights to those social strata that hitherto were denied such rights. We have not ruined millions of citizens by degrading them to the level of enslaved workers. Our aim has been to educate slaves to be German citizens. One thing will certainly be quite clear to every German; and this is that revolutions as acts of terror can only be of short duration. If revolutions are not able to produce something new they will end up by devouring the whole of the national patrimony which existed before them. From the assumption of power as an act of force the beneficial work of peace must be promptly developed. But those who abolish classes for the purpose of putting new classes in their place sow the seeds of new revolutions. The bourgeois citizen who has the ruling power in his hands today will become a proletarian if he is banished to Siberia tomorrow and condemned to enforced labor there. He will then yearn for his day of deliverance, just as did the proletarian of former times, who now thinks that his turn has come to play the despot. Therefore the National Socialist Revolution never aimed at bringing in one class of the German people and turning out another. One the contrary, our objective has been to make it possible for the whole German people to work, not only in the economic but also in the political field, and to guarantee this possibility by organizing the various classes into one national unit.
The National Socialist Movement, however, limits its sphere of internal activity to those individuals who belong to one people and it refuses to allow the members of a foreign race to wield an influence over our political, intellectual, or cultural life. And we refuse to accord to the members of a foreign race any predominant position in our national economic system.
In this folk-community, which is based on the bond of blood, and in the results which National Socialism has obtained by making the idea of this community understood among the public, lies the most profound reason for the marvelous success of our Revolution.
Confronted with this new and vigorous ideal, all idols and relics of the past which had been upheld by dynastic interests, tribal affiliations and even party interests, now began to lose their glamour. That is why the whole party system of former times completely collapsed in a few weeks, without giving rise to the feeling that something had been lost. They were superseded by a better ideal. A new movement took their place. A re-organization of our people into a national unit that includes all those whose labour is productive simply pushed aside the old organizations of employers and employees. The symbolic emblems of the recent past, which was a period of disintegration and disability, were banished, not–as in 1918 or 1919–through a resolution voted by a committee appointed to invent a new symbol for the Reich, as if the choice were to depend on the results of a prize competition. But all these old emblems were now displaced by that flag which symbolized the militant period of the National Socialist Movement and which was borne by us on the day of Germany’s resurgence. Since that day it has become the consecrated symbol of his national resurgence on land and sea and in the air.
There could be no more eloquent proof of how profoundly the German people have understood the significance of this change and new development than the manner in which the nation sanctioned our regime at the polls on so many occasions during the years that followed. So, of all those who like to point again and again to the democratic form of government as the institution which is based on the universal will of the people, in contrast to dictatorships, nobody has a better right to speak in the name of the people than I have.
Among the results of this phase of the German Revolution I may enumerate the following: –
(1) Since that time there is only one trustee of supreme power among the German people and that trustee is the whole people itself.
(2) The will of the people finds its expression in the Party, which is the political organization of the people.
(3) Therefore there is only one legislative body.
(4) There is only one executive authority.
Anybody who compares this state of affairs with the condition of Germany before January 1933 will realize what a tremendous transformation is indicated by these few short statements.
But this transformation is only a result that has followed from carrying a fundamental axiom of the National Socialist doctrine into practical effect. This axiom is that the only reasonable meaning and purpose of all human thought and conduct cannot be to create or to maintain structures, organizations or functions made by men, but only to preserve and develop the innate character of the people itself; for Providence has given us this character as the groundwork of all our constructive efforts. Through the successful issue of the National Socialist Movement the people as such was placed above any organization, construction or function, as the sole element that is always there and will permanently abide.
The meaning and purpose which Providence had in mind when it created the different races cannot be investigated by us, human beings, and no theory about it can be laid down. But the meaning and purpose of human organizations and of all human activities can be measured by asking what value they are for the maintenance of the race or people, which is the one existing element that must abide. The people–the race–is the primary thing. Party, State, Army, the national economic structure, Justice etc, all these are only secondary and accidental. They are only the means to the end and the end is the preservation of this nation. These public institutions are right and useful according to the measure in which their energies are directed towards this task. If they are incapable of fulfilling it, then their existence is harmful and they must either be reformed or removed and replaced by something better.
It is absolutely necessary that this principle should be practically recognized; for that is the only way in which men can be saved from becoming the victims of a devitalized set of dogmas in a matter where dogmas are entirely out of place, and from drawing dogmatic conclusions from the consideration of ways and means, when the final purpose itself is the only valid dogma.