Adolf Hitler on 'State and Economy'

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2018-05-11 00:46

Continuing with passages from Mein Kampf, 2017 Thomas Dalton translation. See here.

This is a great passage on why a strong state is not built on an economic basis, but on a racial, ethnic basis. Likewise, the state does not exist as an economic unit, but as a community of kindred beings.


The deeper reasons why it was possible to foist upon the people this absurd notion of “peacefully conquering the world through commerce” lay in the generally sick condition of the whole body of German political thought. This also shows how it was possible to put forth the maintenance of world peace as a national aim. [Wilsonianism]

The triumphant progress of technical science in Germany, and the marvelous development of German industries and commerce, led us to forget that a powerful state was the necessary prerequisite of that success. On the contrary, certain circles went even so far as to promote the theory that the state owed its very existence to these phenomena—that it was, above all, an economic institution and should be structured according to economic interests. Therefore, it was held, the state was dependent on economic structure. This condition of things was praised as the healthiest and most natural arrangement.

But the truth is that the state, in itself, has nothing whatsoever to do with any definite economic conception or development.

It's not a collection of contracting parties within a defined and limited space for the purpose of serving economic ends. The state is a community of living beings who have kindred physical and spiritual natures. It's organized for the purpose of assuring the preservation of their own kind, and to help towards fulfilling those ends assigned by Providence. Therein, and therein alone, lay the purpose and meaning of a state. Economic activity is one of the many auxiliary means that are necessary for the attainment of those aims. But economic activity is never the origin or purpose of a state—except where it has been founded on a false and unnatural basis.

And this alone explains why a state per se doesn't necessarily need a certain delimited territory. This becomes necessary only among those people who are ready to carry on the struggle for existence by means of their own work. People who can sneak their way into the human body politic and, like parasites, make others work for them, can form a state without possessing any specific territory. This is chiefly applicable to that parasitic nation which, today more than ever, preys upon the honest portion of mankind: the Jews.

The Jewish State has never been delimited in space. It has been spread all over the world, without any borders whatsoever, and has always been constituted by only one race. That's why the Jews have always formed a State within a State. One of the most ingenious tricks ever devised has been to make this state sail under the flag of 'religion,' thus assuring it of the religious tolerance that Aryans are always ready to grant. But the Mosaic religion is really nothing else than the doctrine of the preservation of the Jewish race. It therefore takes in all spheres of sociological, political, and economic knowledge that have any bearing on this function.

The instinct for the preservation of one's own species is the primary cause that leads to the formation of human communities. Hence the state is a racial organism, and not an economic organization. The difference between the two is so great as to be incomprehensible to our contemporary so-called 'statesmen.' That's why they like to believe that the state may be constituted as an economic structure, whereas the truth is that it has always resulted from the will to preserve the species and the race.

But these qualities always exist and operate through the heroic virtues, and have nothing to do with commercial egoism. The preservation of the species always presupposes that the individual is ready to sacrifice himself. Such is the meaning of the poet's lines:

If you do not stake your life,
You will never win life for yourself. ~Schiller

Individual sacrifice is necessary in order to ensure the preservation of the race. Hence, the most essential condition for the establishment and maintenance of a state is a certain feeling of solidarity, one grounded in an identity of character and species, and in a willingness to defend these at all costs. For a people with their own territory, this results in a development of the heroic virtues. With a parasitic people, it will develop the arts of subterfuge and malignant cruelty […].

At least in the beginning, the formation of a state can only result from a manifestation of the heroic qualities. And the people who fail in the struggle for existence—that is, those who become vassals and are thereby condemned to vanish—are those who do not display the heroic virtues, or who fall victim to the trickery of the parasites. And even in this latter case, the failure is not so much a lack of intelligence but rather of courage and determination—which then tries to conceal itself beneath a cloak of humanitarianism. [This is what has happened to Germans since 1945 -cy]

The qualities that are employed for the foundation and preservation of a state have therefore little or nothing to do with economics. And this is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the inner strength of a state only very rarely coincides with its economic prosperity. On the contrary, there are many examples showing that such prosperity indicates the approaching decline of a state. If it were correct to attribute the foundation of human societies to economic forces, then the power of the state would be at its peak during periods of economic prosperity, and not vice versa.


Whenever German political power was particularly strong, the economic situation also improved. But whenever economic interests dominated the life of the people, and pushed transcendent ideals into the background, the state collapsed; and economic ruin followed soon thereafter.

If we ask about those forces that are necessary for the creation and preservation of a state, we find them under one single heading: The capacity and readiness of the individual to sacrifice for the common welfare. [This doesn't happen in a multi-racial or multi-ethnic community as in the U.S. today.-cy] That this has nothing at all to do with economics can be proved by observing the simple fact that man doesn't sacrifice himself for material interests. In other words, he will die for an ideal, but not for a business.

As long as the German people, in 1914, continued to believe that they were fighting for ideals, they stood firm. As soon as they were told that they were fighting only for their daily bread, they began to give up the struggle.

Our clever 'statesmen' were astounded at this change of attitude. They never understood that as soon as man is called upon to struggle for purely material causes, he'll avoid death as best he can: clearly, death and the enjoyment of the material rewards are quite incompatible. The frailest woman will become a heroine when the life of her own child is at stake. And only the will to save the species and the hearth—or the state that protects them—has, in all ages, compelled men to face the weapons of their enemies.