Adolf Hitler on The State, part 5 - Selecting talent over social class

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2020-10-02 19:23

FROM MEIN KAMPF, CHAPTER TWO OF VOLUME TWO, pages 121-133 of the dual-translation. (See here for series introduction.)

Note the importance Hitler puts on "selection" in the Folkish State. It brings to mind (or it can bring to some minds) the use of "selection" in the forced labor-work camps during the war years 1941-45. In these labor camps, detainees were often lined up and 'selections' were made for the most appropriate workers to be sent on particular day jobs. This was also the purpose of the selection process at the time of entering a camp for the first time: then selections were made between those who could work and those who couldn't to be put into different barracks, and also for what type of work skills each entering detainee had. Much distortion has been made in "holocaust" literature of this German policy of selecting the best man or woman for the job at hand, rather than haphazardly assigning people where they might be of little value. Interesting, I think.


2.21 State selection of the fittest

[A]nother educational task awaiting the folkish State – to select the most competent heads from the mass of the nation and promote them … to put talent on the proper track. It must open the doors of higher State education to talent of every sort, no matter from what social class it may come.


Our intellectual classes are so segregated and fossilized that they lack a living connection with those beneath them. … [They] neither understand nor sympathize with the broad masses. Secondly, the intellectual classes lack the necessary willpower. … God knows we Germans have never lacked in scientific education, but we've always been lacking in willpower and decisiveness.


If instead of a Bethmann-Hollweg [German Chancellor during WWI -cy] we had had a rugged man of the people as our leader, the heroic blood of the common soldier wouldn't have been shed in vain. …

Here the Catholic Church offers an instructive example. Clerical celibacy forces the Church to recruit its priests not from their own ranks but increasingly from the masses of the people. … It's the cause of the inexhaustible strength that characterizes that ancient institution  … by [doing] thus … the Church not only maintains an instinctive bond with them but also assures itself of a sum of energy and active force that only exists in the broad masses. Hence the surprising youthfulness of this gigantic organism, its spiritual flexibilility, and its iron willpower.

2.22 Evaluation of Work

The folkish state's task … is to sift out and carefully assess those persons who are endowed with natural talents, and employ them in community service. … This applies not only to official positions but also to the intellectual leadership of the nation in all fields. … If two nations of equal strength compete, that nation will come out victorious that has entrusted its total intellectual leadership to its best talents; and that nation will lose whose government represents only a common feeding trough for privileged groups or classes, without regard to the in-born talents of its individual members. ...

The objection will immediately be raised that it's too much to expect the son of a higher civil servant, for instance, to work with his hands simply because some child of working-class parents seems more capable of a civil service job. … [T]he folkish State will have to take up a fundamentally different attitude towards the concept of manual labor. … The individual must be valued, not by the class of work he does, but by the form and quality of his achievement. This statement may sound monstrous in an age when the most brainless columnist is more esteemed than the most expert mechanic, merely because he pushes a pen. But … this false evaluation doesn't correspond to the nature of things, but rather was artificially introduced, and … is based on the generally diseased phenomena of our materialistic age.

[…] Certainly, the material reality of an invention may be greater than the service of an everyday workman, but it's also certain that the community needs each of those small services just as much as the greater. … all workmen become equal the moment each strives to do his best – in his own field.

In a rational State, care must be taken that each individual is given the kind of work that corresponds to his capabilities. […] Material reward may be given to him whose work has a corresponding benefit to the community; but ideal reward must lie in the public esteem granted to all those who serve the people with the powers that nature gave them, and which were developed by the national community. … Then it will be obvious that men shouldn't be given tasks that they are incapable of doing.


The present age … introduces universal suffrage, and chatters about equal rights, but can find no basis for this. … Equality cannot and does not depend on the work a man does, but only on the manner in which each one fulfills his special obligations. Thus, mere accident of nature is set aside as determining a man's worth, and the individual alone becomes the creator of his own importance.


[T]his would be the concern of the National Socialist movement: to put aside petty bourgeoisie thinking, and to join together and coordinate all those popular forces ready to become the vanguard of a new worldview.

2.23 Ideal and Reality

Of course, the objection will be made that … the lower prestige attached to physical labor is shown by its lower wages. And that these lower wages are in turn the reason why the manual worker has less chance to participate in the national culture. […]

[T]hat's the very reason why we must see that, in the future, there shouldn't be such a wide difference in wages. … All the greatest inventions … discoveries … revolutionary scientific work … the most magnificent monuments of human culture were never given to the world under the drive for money.


We aren't so simple as to believe that there will ever be a perfect age. But that doesn't absolve us from the duty to combat recognized defects, to overcome weaknesses, and to strive for the ideal. … I would remind [those faint-hearted ones today], if they were ever soldiers, of the time when heroism was the most convincing proof of the power inherent in idealistic motives. It wasn't concern for their daily bread that led men to die, but love of fatherland, faith in its greatness, and an all-round feeling for national honor. Only after the German people became estranged from these ideals and followed the material promises of the Revolution … did they sink into the purgatory of universal contempt and universal want.

That's why we must confront the calculators of the present materialist republic with a faith in an ideal Reich.

End of Chapter 2

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