XXX. NATIONAL SOCIALISM (CONTINUED)
THE emergence of the huge German totalitarian State has effectuated a terrific realignment in the international sphere. It has become very plain that there is now no bourgeois force in Eastern Europe capable of stopping the German advance towards the East. The pressure upon Austria, Hungary, and Eastern Europe has immeasurably increased.
Immediately after the World War, the French imperialists attempted to forge from the fragments of Europe some sort of counter-weight east of Germany. The newly created smaller nations were to be at the same time a wall against Russian communism and a steel ring around Germany. As a wall, the smaller nations were able to hold their ground, but as a ring, they have been broken to pieces. France has come to realize that nothing can take the place of the solid mass of Russians as its supporters. The fragments from Finland to Roumania are after all but fragments, and cannot replace Russia.
It was felt, too, that Italy could be a counter-weight to German ambitions in Austria, in Hungary, and in the Balkans, but that counterweight, too, has been taken away and, there has been substituted the increasing possibility of Germany and Italy’s working together. A further point that is becoming increasingly clear is that Central Europe belongs to Germany.
As Germany goes, so must go the rest of Central and Eastern capitalist Europe. Already Germany has been able to break up the Polish-French alliance and lay the basis for cracking the Little Entente. Following the war, France and Britain were able to lead in continental affairs only because Germany was dismantled and disarmed, but the fateful law that politics must eventually follow economics has manifested itself in Europe as well. Not forever would the economically weaker countries like France and England drain the lifeblood of German capitalism.
At least before 1914, these two countries could rely on Czarist Russia. Now there is no such reliance. The advent of the Russian Revolution ended the old European balance of power. Now that Germany is taking advantage of this lack of equilibrium, France and England must work feverishly and desperately to restore a capitalist regime in Russia to counterbalance Germany. Whether they can succeed in doing so depends upon whether the workers or the bureaucrats within Russia prevail. Should the workers maintain the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, it is inconceivable that they will fight for French and British imperialism. Thus, not only Germany, but France and England as well, each in her own way, must work for the breakdown of the workers’ rule in Russia. If this breakdown cannot be procured peacefully, it must be accomplished through war.
The depreciation of the power of the former victorious countries is rendered more acute by the provisions of the Versailles Treaty which Balkanized Europe and cut it up into little fragments. The newly created countries of East Europe now are forced to beg for peace with the Germans. Torn between Russian communism on the one hand and German fascism on the other, the ruling classes of these countries, whether Polish, Lettish, or Bulgarian, etc., can choose only one course, fascism. Hence, in all the small countries of Eastern Europe, fascistic development is taking place with extraordinary rapidity. In the Baltic, this is aided by the fact that the ruling classes of these provinces are of German extraction, trained by German culture, and holding the deadliest hatred for Russian communism.
The policy of French and British imperialism has been to establish around the Soviet Union a cordon sanitaire, linked by a chain of military dictatorships armed to the teeth against Russia. Thus it is precisely these Eastern countries which Germany is winning over to its side, countries, which, ever since the World War, have been thoroughly prepared for battle, mobilized, financed, and armed by the Versailles powers themselves. The irony of fate decrees that these militarist powers join Germany. All that remains for England and France are the relatively peaceful and disarmed countries, such as Scandinavia and Holland, on the one hand; on the other hand, whatever militarist support the former victors may secure consists of such nations as Czecho-Slovakia or Jugo-Slavia, which are isolated from each other and are too weak to fight alone.
The victory of German fascism is of great importance in winning an alliance with Poland. The Polish ruling class knows well that it stands in the line of fire between Russian communism and German fascism, and that it will be forced to take sides in the coming war. Without hesitation it has chosen Germany. The Germans, in return for united action against the Soviet Union, offer the enormously rich territory of the Ukraine to Poland; thus the old Polish Empire is to be reconstituted. Poland may realize also well that, once Germany wins the war against Russia, its own independence would be in an extremely precarious state, but Poland has no choice in the matter, and rather hopes that, with the downfall of Russian communism, a new Polish alliance can spring up that would block German pretensions to swallow Poland. As the Polish population numbers thirty-five million, and as, with the aid of the French, they have built up a respectable military machine, Poland’s alliance with Germany is decisive for future politics.
The increase of pressure that German fascism can place upon Austria has resulted in the complete isolation of Czecho-Slovakia. There is no question that as a military force Czecho-Slovakia’s power has become considerably reduced, especially when within that country there are over three million Germans who form a strong force ready to break up the ruling class of that country from within. Added to this is her economic dependence upon German trade. Hence, whether we look at the economic or the political situation, internally or externally, the position of Czecho-Slovakia is extremely weak. Apparently doomed as an independent nation and race, her future under capitalism is a dismal one.
The struggle for a new German Empire coincides with the struggle against international communism as embodied in the Soviet Union. This is the logical continuation of the extermination of the German Communist Party. The Hitler movement carries forward under present day conditions the highest dreams of the Pan-German movement, with its famous directive "Drang nach Osten." With one and the same stroke, German imperialism can silence the menace of communism and can carve out a territory for itself.
The idea that this is the historic destination of German fascism is buttressed by the fact that there is no other capitalist force in Europe strong enough to break the Soviet Union. England and France, the victorious powers of Versailles, with the benign support of America, all tried to break that huge mass, the workers and peasants of Russia, but failed. It is the punishment of those who fail to be cast into the discard of history. Having failed to break the power of the Soviet Union, by that fact alone France and England gave up their historic roles in Europe. Their failure was a sign that communism had now become so strong that, to defeat it, an entirely new set-up was necessary. To overwhelm the Soviet Union there must be launched against it, first, not small industrial countries, but the most powerful countries of Europe; second, not a Europe divided into defeated and victorious powers, but a Europe entirely united; third, not countries accustomed to democratic pacifism with its waste and inefficiency, but countries that can be mobilized as a unit under the military; fourth, not a haphazard attack only through the flank, North and South, or by means of a navy, but the most awful direct military avalanche known to history, hurled by an immense army at the heart of Russia—Moscow. This combination alone can accomplish the victory, and only Germany can forge this mighty chain of events. To put it another way, capitalism, sick unto death, must call upon its greatest and most highly developed power in Europe to take the leadership in the struggle against communism and the Soviet Union.
Here, then, is the basic reason why German Nazism believes with such fervid intensity in the godliness of its destiny, that it alone can form a united front of Europe for the destruction of communism. Thus Hitler appears to his protagonists as a veritable St. George arming himself against the dragon, as a Siegfried going forth to battle for right and truth. Nazi propaganda literally wallows in an orgy of mystic impressionism to this effect.
Only Nazism can organize the countries nearest the Soviet Union and already under military dictatorships into a united front. It leaves to England and to France all the liberal, democratic, socialistic countries which are of little or, at most, secondary value in the struggle. That country which carries on the task of breaking communism and the Soviet Union is bound to receive the support of all those militarist dictatorships which have been formed on the border of the Soviet Union and which have no reason for their present separate existence except the struggle against Russia and the forces generated there.
What is more, Germany, by its decisive actions against international communism, is bound to earn the undying gratitude of every ruling class that is tottering and unstable. In wiping out communism, Germany is a rival to no one, but is rather the armed knight fighting the battles for all capital. Should Germany fail, it means the end of the leadership of capitalist Europe in history, either because of the victory of communism or because of exhaustion, the initiative then passing to America.
Thus “pacific-democratic” capitalism, having failed to destroy the Soviet Union by force, has left the task open to aggressive militarist capitalism and has forfeited its leadership over capitalist Europe today. If Briand cannot form his United States of Europe, Hitler will not fail in creating the necessary united front against the Soviets.
Great Britain cannot stop the mobilization of forces by Germany, even if it so desires. England at present is in no position for warlike adventures; she is heavily laden with pacifism because she has already seized all she can possibly gorge and is now definitely deteriorating industrially in comparison with Germany, Russia and the United States. Her principal task is to maintain her position and retain her possessions intact.
Great Britain has nothing to gain from an exhausting war. Any war which will tax her strength must weaken her hold upon her colonies and stimulate the colonial peoples to revolt. The British army, too, is primarily a colonial army that can govern subject backward peoples; it is not preeminently an army capable of supporting itself against the great powers in Europe, Germany, Russia and France, or against Japan. With the development of aviation and the submarine, Great Britain has become increasingly vulnerable to attack. No longer is the English Channel a barrier protecting the tight little Isle.
Finally, the labor movement of Great Britain is a force with which to reckon, since the workers will struggle in one way or another against being used as cannon fodder. The British capitalists are not deluded by patriotic splurges of the labor bureaucracy such as its petitions during the Ethiopian War for England to apply sanctions in a military sense. The question is, can the labor leaders control their rank and file in time of war? Once the war starts, not the labor officials but the plain worker will have his say in stentorian tones that may deafen the genteel.
The British capitalists, too, must desire the end of communism. They understand by now that a navy alone, even though it be the mightiest in the world, is completely unable to batter down large masses of people in huge land formations. The military backbone of every large-scale attack must be an army; in this, Britain must yield above all to Germany. The British realize, too, that the rise of the Russian Revolution has effected a tremendous stirring in Asia, striking at the British Empire’s weakest spot. The successive ferments in Persia, India, and the Near East, the revolution in China, all have drawn their strength from the trend of forces let loose by the Russian Revolution.
Finally, and what is generally overlooked, the great land development in Siberia and Eastern Russia is pulling the center of economic gravity more and more away from the normal trade routes controlled by Britain. Naturally, therefore, the British capitalists for a long time took the lead as the implacable enemies of the Soviet Union, and did their utmost to destroy it. Unable to accomplish this, they cannot prevent the Germans from attempting the task which must be done if the present order is to live. Great Britain cannot do other than wish Germany God-speed in the task of destroying the Soviet Union.
Naturally, what Great Britain desires is not only the destruction of the Soviets, but the complete exhaustion of Germany as well. Then capitalism could be re-installed in Russia, and the alliance of Great Britain, France, and Russia to encircle Germany could be recreated. Should Germany, in its coming war, destroy the Soviet Union too quickly, then, with the re-installation of capitalism in Russia, there would be no alternative but for France and England to enter the war against Germany to deprive her of the fruits of victory and to re-establish the old balance of power.
Similar calculations prevail in France. France, too, must profess a pacifism, a pacifism that flows from the fact that the re-armament of Germany was destined to smash the hegemony of French imperialism on the European continent. A second-rate industrial country as compared with Germany, England, or Russia today, France was able to play a political, role after the war entirely out of proportion to its real economic weight. This was attributable largely to the fact that Germany had been defeated and disarmed, and Russia had turned soviet. So long as France was able to drain hundreds of millions in reparations from Germany and to transmit this gold to the puppet countries of Eastern Europe, rebuilding their armies and filling their treasures with the loot, it was able to maintain the myth that no one could contest French imperialist might on the continent. This illusion has been shattered. The terrific effect of the crisis on France and the end of reparations have stopped the flow of gold to its mercenary henchmen, while, at the same time, the re-armament of Germany, and its professed destiny of attacking the Soviet Union, was bound to collect around Germany the countries left scattered and helpless. The situation is such that France, in self-preservation, must end its pacifist theories and at once prepare for military struggle.
Thus, the final arbiter in the international European arena today is Germany. And yet, with all the boasting of Hitler that the fascist regime will endure a thousand years, the mystical character of its philosophy is proof enough that the German ruling class has come on the scene too late to make progressive history. The lust for power poignantly expressed by German theoreticians is made more intense by the fact that, with all its power, Germany never has been able to make history for itself. For centuries it was the stamping ground of superior powers which used Germany as a scene for its battles, wrecking the country and mutilating the character of its population. Whatever was progressive came from France and the West. Whatever was reactionary came from Austria, Russia, and the East. Germany was a hectograph impressed with the indelible writings of other powers. In the realm of emotions and affections, she yielded to the French; in experimental empiricism, to the English; in practical power, to the Americans; in mysticism, to the Russians; in intellect, to the Jews. In what realm could Germany prove superior? All that remained for her was wish and imagination; in short, German philosophy. With such a head, the German ruling class, with all its organizing ability, could create only a social moron, an immense perfect body with a dwarfed and atrophied psyche.
Pan-Germanism always was threaded with mystical and medieval theories of race and blood. Before the War, these were expressed by such writers as Ludwig Woltmann, Lasson, and also the Englishman, Chamberlain. The German dreams for power were put into spicy, racy language by that other “writer with blood,” Nietzsche. The Junker theoretician has always loved to pose as a “writer with blood,” spilling his heart’s stream on the printed page in most impetuous and poignant fashion. These are the sighs of day-dreamers desiring power, so near and yet so far!
It is interesting to contrast the racial views of the German Junkers which prevailed before the War, and immediately after, with the present day racial theories expressed by the bourgeois industrialists through the Nazis.
The central thesis was well expounded by Chamberlain who wrote: "…our whole civilization and culture of today is the work of one definite race of men, the Teutonic." (*1) According to this writer, the “Aryan” included, also, the Celt and the Slav and other races of Northern Europe; while Pan-Germanism could flirt with Ireland and cast eyes at Asia, it could not glorify France and Russia. Thus it is the “Teuton,” not the “Aryan,” who is supreme.
The antithesis to the Teuton Junker, “that blond beast” who could rise above good and evil and reach the status of superman, was the Jew. The Jew alone was strong enough to give the German a real battle. The Jews, too, like the Teutons, had understood the basic principles of biology so as to produce a race capable of achieving world power. These principles were, first, original derivation from a strong stock which, second, fuses itself with several others to form a powerful mixture, although, third, the mixture definitely and appropriately must be limited; fourth, this mixed group permits only inbreeding with, fifth, a careful selection of offspring. According to Chamberlain, in order to overcome all other nations, the Jew had determined to make them into mongrels by traveling all over the world, seducing and bastardizing the population. The Jews themselves, however, cleverly refused to adulterate their own stock and laid down religious laws preventing the sons of Jews from marriage with goyem, non-Jews.
Strongly affirming the vast superiority of Christianity over Judaism, Chamberlain called upon the Teutonic race to throw off the Jew and bring forth the light of Christ into the world. The intense Christianity of Chamberlain was in definite accord with the religiousity of a Kaiserthum that pretended always to be in intimate telepathic communication with The Almighty.
It is to be noted that with Chamberlain “pure” race did not exist; the directions on his medicine box plainly stated that the strong race began with the strong stock intermixed with others, the stock was carried to its point of genius through interbreeding, the highest product of which was the hero, or individual genius (read, Junker). Chamberlain also warned against confusing the Teutonic race with blond hair and fair features, since many rulers of Germany and many eminent militarists, such as von Moltke, came from a stock with black hair and aquiline noses, Chamberlain, as well as the other pan-Germanists, however, insisted on the complete fusion of nation and race, the race being the biological basis for the nation. In this he was at one with other sociologists (*2) and with the definite political drift of the day.
With Hitler, race theories change. The term “Aryan” to him no longer includes Celt or Slav, but is restricted primarily to the German and Scandinavian peoples. Besides, Hitler’s task no longer is to fight “Latin” France but to fight Russia. Thus theories of race become convenient instruments, depending upon diplomatic and military exigencies. With Hitler, racial theory serves the following functions: first, to be used as a mask in order to crush communism, which is denounced as a Jewish theory; second, to weld together the German nation into a monolithic whole, bound together by a belief in blood brotherhood; third, to enable Germany to attempt to bring into her fold the twelve to fifteen million Germans living outside of Germany proper, in Alsace, Lorraine, Czecho-Slovakia, Poland, the Baltic Provinces, the Danube, and above all, in Austria. The Nazi racial theories go hand in hand with the pressure for Anschluss with Austria, for the formation of a magnificent German Empire of eighty million souls.
In accord with these new purposes, the Jew is made to now occupy a different place. No longer does he represent a typical strong people to be followed as a model for the Teuton in the utilization of biological principles for the maintenance of power in history. Now the Jew is the model mongrel, the very opposite to what the true German must strive to be. He is the outcast, the Ishmael, the devil.
The views of fascism on race are excellent demonstrations of the senile idiocy to which capitalism has been reduced. Unlike Chamberlain, Hitler violently affirms the purity of the Teutonic stock. It is blood purity (in contrast to Chamberlain’s inbreeding) which is the chief method of maintaining the nation’s virility. (*3) It is not convenient for Hitler to remember that the Thirty years’ War so exhausted Germany, reducing the population of thirteen million to three million, as to compel the King of Prussia to open his lands to all types of immigrants. If ever there was an “impure” race, the Germans have exemplified it. Patently, fascist science is marked by its colossal impudence as well as its charlatanry and demagogy.
According to Hitlerism, all “races” have been indelibly set into eternal patterns from the beginning of time, and so they will remain. The theories of Hitler, Rosenberg, (*4) and similar fascist leaders would mean that forever races must be at war against each other, one conquering the other. There is no evolution in history, simply action and reaction, a constant re-shifting of the same eternal pieces on God’s checkerboard, according to which player at the moment was operating under the star of destiny. The normal state is that of war, eternal conquest and subjection. There is to be no interconnection between races, no borrowing, no amalgamation, no fusing, no synthesis into a larger whole. Forever and eternally the blood wash is to erect complete caste walls between races. Were such a situation really to come about, it would mark indeed the end of the civilized world.
Nothing illustrates better the ideological bankruptcy of a ruling class than a philosophy that bases political power upon speculations of biology and astral theories of destiny. With Hitler, the failure of nations to conquer markets is reduced to congenital defects in the racial bloodstream. The same sort of theory leads bankrupts to commit suicide; with Hitler, it has the opposite purpose: he relies on the “pure” bloodstream of the Germans to overcome economic bankruptcy.
In Germany, doctrines of race and breeding naturally have gone hand in glove with theories of eugenics and prescriptions for breeding supermen. The fascists have practiced sterilization of the so-called unfit on a wide scale. In 1934 alone there were two hundred thousand such cases reported in Germany. The causes sufficient to justify sterilization included not only those traceable to hereditary defects, such as congenital feeble mindedness, but also chronic alcoholism and melancholomania which may be induced by environmental influences. In this way, sterilization has become a weapon in the hands of the State to terrorize the population and wipe out Nazi enemies.
The difference between the Nazi movement and the protagonists of the former Prussian State also can be seen by contrasting the views of the Hitlerites with those of Nietzsche. Many points, however, are identical, as where Nietzsche emphatically opposes the movement for the extension and democratization of education, calling rather for the limitation of education and concentration upon the few, the best. (*5) This method would produce the proper leaders or geniuses. Nietzsche, being far removed from practical life, insisted that institutions for teaching culture were the very opposite to those teaching how to succeed in life (*6) and that true culture lay above the sphere of necessity and the struggle for existence. This point of view, of course, cannot be the position of the Nazi in a period when Germany is struggling precisely for its life and existence. It could only be the theory of the edel Junkers, sportsmen.
Nietzsche denounced democracy and praised the rule of a strong hero. “Later generations will be greatly disgusted, when they come to treat the movements of the period in which no living man ruled, but shadow-men on the screen of public opinion……" (*7) But Nietzsche’s anti-democracy was inseparably part of his antipathy to labor. The rule of the people or of labor was impossible from the point of view of this aristocratic artist and man of letters.
Nietzsche agreed with the Greeks who saw no dignity in labor and who despised it. (*8) Since it was impossible for any man fighting for bare existence to become an artist, labor was a disgrace. Slavery was justifiable because art could exist only through slavery recognized by an all-powerful State. “If the Greeks perished through their slavery, one thing is still more certain: we shall perish through the lack of slavery. To the essence of Culture slavery is innate.” (*9) “Culture, which is chiefly a real need for art, rests upon a terrible basis: the latter however makes itself known in the twilight sensation of shame. In order that there may be a broad, deep, and fruitful soil for the development of art, the enormous majority must, in. the service of a minority, be slavishly subjected to life’s struggle, to a greater degree than their own wants necessitate.” “Accordingly, we must accept this cruel sounding truth, that Slavery is the essence of Culture.” (*10)
Nietzsche viewed with the utmost disgust the fact that so miserable were the slaves that they idealized their very slavery with peans of praise for the “dignity of labor” and the “dignity of man.” The expressions of Nietzsche, so apropos of the sword-rattling militarists of Germany in the days of the Kaiser, sound very hollow to the Nazis of today. Although both Nietzsche and the Nazis would support the Prussian State in its maximum development, the State today faces conditions entirely different from those of the Kaiser’s time. The theories of Nietzsche would cost Hitler his head. Hitler is receiving his support not from a group of sporting, dueling landlords who have never labored in their life, but from the heads of factories to whom labor is everything.
In his views on religion, Nietzsche even today influences a portion of the Nazis. Chamberlain was an intense Christian and attacked the Jew as anti-Christ. Nietzsche showed that Christianity was only a development of Judaism, that the heart of the New Testament was in the Old, and that Protestantism was thoroughly logical in going back to Jewish authority. The essence of Christianity was servility, and this was learned from the Jew. If Chamberlain “proved” that Christ was not a Jew but an Aryan, Nietzsche demonstrated that Christ could be only a Jew, and that the Jew, through Christ, had Judafied the world, tearing down the original pagan spirit of the Teuton and rendering him subservient to Rome. (*11)
From multitudinous angles, Nietzsche made devastating attacks against the morality of Christianity, with its tenets of an avenging God, general sinfulness, eternal damnation, redemption, etc. He declared: “The imagination of many Christian saints was filthy to an extraordinary degree … . " (*12) He swept aside the esthetics of Christianity to show its essential vanity, and affirmed, “He that humbleth himself wishes to be exalted,” (*13) that men are grateful in proportion as they are revengeful.
Thus Nietzsche would take us beyond good and evil, which are products of religion. His superman would soar from the empyrian heights, an eagle, alone, untinged by remorse or twinges of conscience. Men who are subject to qualms of conscience are not yet free. Nietzsche called for the development in Germany of a “free spirit” and by free spirit he meant not one free in the idealistic sense of Schopenhauer, in the sense of a will free from material circumstances, but rather a man who had taken possession of himself. (*14) Nietzsche broke from Schopenhauer, as he broke from the religious sentimentality of Wagner, although at one time he was a disciple of both. It is worth noting wherein Nietzsche and Max Stirner resemble each other in their struggle to “possess” themselves, and to be free from holy prejudices.
The views of Nietzsche were carried forward after the war by Oswald Spengler, but what is roseate optimism with Nietzsche, child of the Franco-Prussian victories of the Kaiser, is deep despair and gloom with Spengler, impressed with the defeat and the flight of the Kaiser. Spengler stems directly from Hegel, Goethe, and Nietzsche. He is proud that his philosophy is a German one, (*15) and he believes that only the Germans who gave birth to a Hegel can understand the real meaning of evolution. To him, as to Hegel, the source of the world is in the soul, and evolution is the unfolding of this soul. (*16) The unfolding of each soul took the form of a destiny for each culture. “It follows from the meaning that we have attached to the culture as a prime phenomenon and to destiny as the organic logic of existence, that each culture must necessarily possess its own destiny-idea. Indeed, this conclusion is implicit from the first in the feeling that every great culture is nothing but the actualizing and form of a single, singularly constituted (monolithic?) soul.” (*17)
In the period that followed the War, the whole embittered German aristocracy was filled with the gall and brimstone of the idea of r’evanche. A peace that spelled a dismembered and defeated Germany was an intolerable conception. They utterly detested the British theories of no more war, no more destruction of law, people, States or religions, no more danger, no conflicts, no more hate, nothing but unending comfort. This was a violation of all the eternal laws of life. Man was a fighter. To deprive him of war was to destroy him. "The animal of prey is the highest form of mobile life." It implies a maximum of freedom for self against others, of responsibility to self, of singleness of self, of extreme to necessity where that self can hold its own by only fighting and winning and destroying. It imparts a high dignity to Man, as a type, that he is a beast of prey.” (*18)
Spengler was particularly infuriated with those socialists who had adopted pacifist ideas, who refused to organize for revenge, and who ridiculed the Junker type of man as a beast of prey. Against the democracy of the masses, Spengler ventured to repeat the old belief that “there are men whose nature is to command and men whose nature is to obey,” (*19) and he demanded the rise of the real leadership which everyone must respect. “Men will no longer see nor understand, that leader’s work is the harder work, and that their own life depends upon its success.” (*20)
Spengler, like Nietzsche, made of reason a secondary factor, an inactive quantity. “The emphasis on emotion, experience, and inner feeling, has come to mean a glorification of man’s unconscious, intuitive life as against his conscious, rational life. The interest in the dynamic as opposed to the static, now results in a conception of the whole world as a continuous battle of forces, a more and more warlike ‘Will to Power."’ (*21) Spengler believed, however, that all systems develop in closed cycles, the last one marked by paralysis of the will and the rule of reason. The West had reached its cycle of reason, and, therefore, the state of maturity and decay. The World War had defeated Europe. Such defeatism, however, could be no part of the Nazi dream.
Up to a certain point, Hitler easily could go along with the nationalist Spengler, just as he could travel with the Junkers; when Spengler began to declare that the West was declining, that German civilization was ruined and could not recover, but was doomed to destruction, revealing as he did the hopeless cause of Kaiserthum, and his belief that the good days before the War, never would return, here Hitler would have to part company with Spengler. The work of Hitler must be of a Messianic character; by no means could he adopt the diseased pessimism of Spengler.
The present situation in Germany demonstrates how bitterly the struggle over philosophy and religion is being waged. The very fact that the class struggle has to assume a religious guise and that workers must express their interests through petty bourgeois church channels shows how far underground the social conflict had been driven. The church has been the traditional haven for the refugee. There is no question but that the religious controversies cover up in fact the struggle over deeper material interests, economic and political.
The religious question in Germany today is being fought out on four fronts, namely, the Jewish, the Catholic, the Independent Protestant, and the neo-Pagan. For the Nazis, it is a question of insuring complete nationalism preparatory to the struggle against the Bolsheviks. For centuries, Germany has been the battle ground on which various religious schools have fought. As far back as the sixteenth century, in England, and even prior to that, in France and Italy, politicians knew how to use the church for their own purposes. In Germany, however, where material belatedness coincided with a dearth of understanding of the physical forces governing the world, everything has always been stood on its head theoretically, and in the stuffy attic of religious metaphysics the German Philistine worked out eternal truths entirely devoid of practicality. Realistic thinkers too often were found only among the Jews. In this struggle to identify nationality with religion and vice versa, Germany has been trying to do only what England and France did centuries ago. Even so, its task is more difficult.
The struggle against the Catholic Church is, in the first place, a struggle by industrial capital of North Germany against the landlords, especially in the South. It is thus a struggle, on the one hand, of city against country, and, on the other hand, of the industrialist supporters of Hitler against the old-style type, mourning for the petty kingships such as existed in Catholic Bavaria. In this respect it is only another aspect of the general fight that has been waged between Hitler and Hugenberg, between the storm troops and the Stahlhelm, between the old federal regime and the new centralized one.
The Catholics, with their ultra-montane sympathies and their recollections of the old Holy Roman Empire, have been bound up closely with the politics of other countries, especially Austria and Italy, and have been committed too much to provincial federalism, with its semi-independent Bavaria and other kingdoms, to be of much service today. In smashing the Catholics, German fascism puts an end to the subordination of German policy to any foreign camarilla and sets out on its own. (*22) Furthermore, the breaking of the professional Catholic apparatus provides many State jobs to good Nazi henchmen. Simultaneously, Bavaria is transformed into a mere administrative and police district, and the whole country is centralized by Berlin. Thus does Hitler complete the scheme of Frederick the Great.
If Austria is to enter this scheme of things, it can be only as a vassal, with no friendly forces within capable of sympathizing with her special aims. The attack on the Catholics also has helped to straighten out the Western Front. In the important Ruhr region, so close to Catholic France, a completely inimical regime has been set up, and any sympathy for French culture and religion is blasted away. The Ruhr is made more safe for Berlin. No longer can the French divert themselves with dreams in which the Ruhr will be carved away from Germany and set up as a buffer State.
The Nazis cannot tolerate any apparatus dual to the forces in control of the State. The Catholics are too numerous in Germany and too well organized not to menace the national unity which has become the Nazi goal. Catholics have not been patriotic enough ever to understand that all German gold is to be kept in Germany for the use of the German State and is not to be shipped to another country via the Pope.
In aiding the drain of gold from Germany, the Catholics, from fascism’s point of view, here tended to rival the Jews in their disintegrating tendencies. Under the Concordat of 1933, the Catholics are bound to obey the exchange laws of Germany; very rigid has been their enforcement and drastic the punishment, especially where Catholic priests and nuns have been involved. The Catholic organizations have too much wealth not to be tempting rewards for the marauding bands of Hitler, and now that the wealth of the workers’ organizations has been distributed, the rich Catholic institutions are the prizes next in order.
The attack on the Catholic Church in Germany seems also to be in line with the general separation from the middle class that Hitler has effected ever since he purged the Nazi ranks from Left extremists. The adherents of the Catholic Church were, in the main, middle class elements who had always been resentful of the great industrialists and who had believed to a certain extent that Hitler would take over the trusts and administer them for all the people. Among the Catholic middle class, disillusionment with Hitler has gone farther than in many other sections.
It must not be forgotten also that the Catholic Church had been the sponsor of the Catholic Centrist Party which had remained in power during the Second Reich. This party had coalized with the socialists and trade union forces to run the government. Catholic centrist liberalism had proved too conciliatory to Marxism. Catholic pacifism and turn-the-other-cheek propaganda too often had been invoked to calm the people and to prevent them from bursting forth against the Versailles Treaty and against oppressors at home. In the Catholic unions which the Church had formed among the workers the ideal had been set up of a socialism that should come about through complete harmony and peacefulness of all classes, with charity for all. Today Catholic internationalism, pacifism, and Christian unionism are no longer needed by the bourgeoisie of Germany. The German ruling class is preparing for the most frightful blood bath in history. All elements must be steeled to force, violence, and national hatred for all other groups. The Catholic Church finds itself completely out of step with modern Nazi Germany.
However, the job of uprooting the Catholic influence, now centuries old, from the mass of people is no small task. The totalitarian German State, in attempting to guide the subjects of new Germany in every walk of life, has been compelled to take cognizance of the powerful entrenchment of the Catholic Church in social affairs. Here, as in Italy, the struggle between fascism and Catholicism has taken place on questions of education and morality, particularly over such institutions as the Confessional, the control over the youth and special Catholic organizations.
Fascism understands well the power the priest wields through the institution of the Confessional, as well as all the latent treachery to the State which this institution involves, and has decided to annihilate it once and for all. Confessional organizations are no longer allowed to criticize or to oppose government measures or to introduce disunity in the Third Reich. All activities, except those strictly religious, are forbidden absolutely to Confessional societies. The Minister of the Interior has been especially severe with Catholic newspapers, Catholic social service leagues, Catholic youth, apprentice, labor, or educational organizations. Thus has Nazism striven to reach the backward elements most influenced by the Confessional and to bring them closer to the State. The youth have been torn from the jealous hands of the clergy. Education has become a complete monopoly of the government. Charitable organizations have been restricted and liquidated. The Church is confined to abstract dogma--dogma on which it can only choke to death.
Against the morality of the Catholic Church the Nazis are setting up their own morality; especially sharp is the fight on matters, such as sterilization, which involve questions of the immortality of the soul. The Catholics always have been opposed to all forms of sterilization; now, under the Concordat of 1933, they are bound to obey even these laws. Nazism means to press the fight until it is completely victorious.
The struggle against the Jew is only part of the struggle of the industrialists against the operation of finance capital. By means of an aggressive attack against “Jewish” capital, whether of Downing Street or of Wall Street, the new German rulers can rally into one solid mass the whole people, especially the rural elements of the middle class.
The attack on the Jew was profitable to the Nazis through bribes for protection, through liquidation of Jewish property, etc. Antisemitism meant a chance for the German storekeepers and other tradesmen to wipe out their cleverer Jewish competitors and to enrich themselves at the Jew’s expense. For the mystic German dolt, it meant an opportunity to filch the Jew’s professional clientele, to take patients away from doctors, students from teachers, clients from lawyers, and so forth.
Like the Catholic, the Jew has his own form of internationalism. Like the Catholic, the Jew, too, has been a pacifist in his own way. In economics he has often practiced the doctrines of laissez faire. Thus, the attack of the German totalitarian State against all forms of economic and political liberalism brought on the attack not only against the Catholic, but most sharply against the Jew as well. No wonder the Catholics have been considered an aid to the Jews in Germany. The Catholic has been attacked for introducing an alien morality into the German soul; the Jew has been assaulted for his materialist unmorality in which everything, including German honor, was available for cash.
The struggle against the Jew in Germany is symbolic of the desperate efforts by which the Nazis have attempted to unify the entire population around themselves. They wish no longer to be troubled by the ever-present religious complex that has torn Germany for so many centuries. Whatever elements they cannot assimilate they mean either to destroy or expel. With the Jews, such action is easy because they are politically helpless, and the Nazis like no better opponents than those who cannot fight. In eliminating the Jew, the Hitlerites again have raised their spurious cry of purity of race behind which used to be echoed the yells of Pan-Germanism of yesteryear, with its Deutschland uber Alles, and its policy of denouncing all other races as “pig-dogs.”
The real reason for the attack against the Jews is not so much that they are merchants or financiers or belong to a different race or religion, but because in the past they have played a leading role in labor and communist organizations. The pogrom against the Jew is traditionally part of the attack against “Jewish” Marxism and “Jewish” revolutionism. Fascism has as its very raison d’etre the incessant and ruthless struggle against the new social order of communism that is being born by the explosions within the old. True that without communism there would be no fascism. Also true that without a decaying social order giving birth to a revolutionary proletariat, there would be no need for the resistance of degenerate capitalism to take the form of fascism.
By attacking the Jew as revolutionist and communist, the Nazis lay the base for attacking Marxism as Jewish and thus prepare for a holy crusade against both German labor and communism of the Soviet Union. The fight against the Jew is the opening gun in the battle by Hitler against Russia. Here, however, the brave Nazis will face an enemy far more formidable; here, they will encounter, not a weakened minority group, but the iron front of the Soviet Union.
There is also the so called Protestant menace which the Nazis fight. The German Protestants have been divided into two chief churches, the Lutheran and the Calvinist, both of these in the main standing for individualism and laissez faire in economic and social life. With the rise of the totalitarian State under Hitler, these church organizations with their antiquated ideologies have been subjected to blow upon blow. Many Protestant pastors have been banished and others imprisoned. The Government has set up an official German Church called the German Christians, under the appointee of Hitler, Reichsbishop Mueller.
To resist this new attack both Calvinists and Lutherans have fused to form a United Calvin-Lutheran Church, thus bringing to an end the religious disharmony existing between them for A Protestant opposition to the decrees of German fascism also was organized. In order to bring all Protestants into line, Hitler decided to appoint a special officer to be the final authority in deciding all local disputes within the church, especially such matters pertaining to funds, property, the livings of the ministers, etc. Thus Nazism interferes intimately with all church matters and constantly threatens the confiscation of all independent church property should the Protestants fail to hew to the line.
Hitler means to wipe out every remnant of the old forces in Germany, to harry them to the end and to redress them behind his own State system. The Protestant churches have been too close to liberalism to be free from the heavy hand of the State. Too many Protestants were in the trade union ranks. Too many supported liberalism, feminism, and free-thinking. This no longer can be tolerated in modern Germany.
The whole theory of Protestantism has been fought in a typical Nietzschean manner. The Nazis have loudly excoriated the Protestant religious dogma of original sin, to them an un-German doctrine. No weeping, no wailing over the past, but pure unadulterated joy must be the spirit in every German’s breast. There must be joy in labor, joy in working for the State. The Nazis order joy as one would order beer. A regular organization for the building up of German joy has been founded. The Independent Protestants are too melancholy and depressed; they seem to be always moping and giving comfort to the enemies of Germany. The original Germans never had any sin, original or otherwise, according to Nazi theories. Today the original sin in the religious world in Germany is to talk about original sin, and the poor Independent Protestants who wanted the joy of being miserable must now be miserable in their joy. They must not only endure Hitlerism, but like it as well.
But if all these religious schemes are to be discarded, what is to take their place? (*23) German fascism cannot turn to atheism, although by its attacks on the old religions, Nazism certainly works in that direction. Atheism is the anti-religious doctrine of revolution, of communism. Within the new German State, the Nazis are organizing their own religious vanguard, carrying forward the traditions of Fichte, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. One of the chief present theoreticians is Rosenberg. Rosenberg, while not an ardent Christian like Chamberlain, agrees that Christ was no Jew, but a Nordic who, as a revolutionist, brought not the olive branch but the sword. However, Christianity does resemble Judaism, in Rosenberg’s opinion, and in this he agrees with Nietzsche. Matthew was a Jewish fanatic, Paul a materialist rabbi, Tertulian an African jurist, and Augustine a mongrel half-breed.
Fascist theoreticians like Rosenberg have thundered against the Old Testament, against the Sermon on the Mount, against the doctrine of Grace, against the doctrine of original sin, and against the cross, that woeful symbol of torture. Instead of the cross, the swastika is to be substituted, which to Rosenberg stands for the ancient sign of the Sun God Against the internationalism of Christianity there must be created a religion of race and blood. The miserable moaning of the underdog must be changed into a pean of praise for the superman. Here, then, is a doctrine of might and of race that would take the Germans back to the Icelandic sagas and eddas and to the Niebelungen myths of the old Germanic Tribes.
This reversion from the present to the past can give no consolation to the German Philistine. In the deep past of the barbarian tribes, primitive communism ruled the day. Only then had the Germans made their own history, as barbarians and as communists.
But Rosenberg returns not to the primitive communism of the German tribes, a stage of society naturally associated with sagas and eddas, but to the superstitions of the medieval world. Abandoning the electric light and even the oil lamp, the fascists revert to the days of torch light and faggot. Turning away from “Jewish” intellectualism, Nazism can create only a mumbo-jumbo mysticism, reviving the medieval past. The fascists dare not face the future. This would lead them only to the gibbet and the gallows. They dare not go forward with evolution, but only back, back to the hysterical rituals of frightened ignorance. Yet it is precisely this substitution of emotion for intellect that will enable the Nazis to mobilize their cohorts into a holy crusade against communism. The old dies hard; sometimes blood clots form on the brain, and, in a mad brain storm, the diseased are convulsed in spasms until kind death releases them from their agonies. This is the case with German capitalism.
We turn now to the socialism embodied in National Socialism. The further history of Germany shows clearly how the bourgeoisie repudiated its socialistic promises to the middle classes and used them as dupes the moment the workers were crushed. For example, the Nazi program had demanded the preservation of a healthy middle class. To stave off ruin, the petty bourgeois storekeeper had urged the attack on the Jewish merchant, the department store, the foreign chain store, and the co-operative. This was his petty bourgeois socialism. How did it work out?
While it is true that the Jew was attacked, the wealthy Jew generally was able to escape. The Nazi movement was forced to take official cognizance of the fact that very often the Brown Shirt who came into the store and demanded that the owner support the Nazi movement or be put out of business was simply a racketeer who pocketed the extorted money for himself. When it became a question of abolishing the department stores, the Nazi regime found this action would lead to too much unemployment They have abandoned this part of the program, as they have also that in regard to various chain stores. There remained only the attack on the cooperatives.
When the Nazis took power, they liquidated the co-operatives as Marxist organizations, as they had similarly dissolved the trade unions and political parties of the workers, and confiscated their property. It should be borne in mind that the number of co-operative stores in Germany totaled fifty thousand, and that even in the depression year of 1932 they did half a billion dollars worth of business, or 5 per cent of the total of all retail trade in the country. No wonder the small shopkeeper felt himself driven to the wall, that he hailed with glee the seizure of the co-operatives. However, as soon as the Nazis took over these co-operative stores, they discovered that the co-operative indeed could become a wonderful nest egg for themselves. It seemed ridiculous that they should break up the co- operatives and turn them over to the little storekeeper, when they could run the stores themselves. Such a procedure would mean jobs for at least two hundred and fifty thousand, immense graft in terms of millions and economic power. So the Brown Shirt troopers took over the co-operatives and the little shopkeepers’ paradise crashed to earth again.
In the domain of agriculture, the Nazi program had called for an adequate system of land reform and the passage of a law which would provide expropriation without compensation of land for socially useful purposes, for the abolition of ground rent, and for the prohibition of speculation in land values. To the poor peasant, such a program indeed sounded revolutionary and socialistic. Compared to the phrases “expropriation without compensation,” “abolition of ground rent,” “prohibition of speculation,” how pale the “regular” socialists appeared!
Strangely enough, the points in the national socialist program closely repeated the demands of the French peasants organized by the Jacobins in the French Revolution. Whereas, however, the French peasantry went towards Liberal Radicalism in the nineteenth century, with slogans of “liberty, equality, democracy,” in the era of trustification, the same demands were put forth, not by the liberal democrats, but by the fascists with the slogans, “A place must be found for every German citizen,” “German blood must be rooted to the soil,” etc. The crying hunger for land remained, only the demagogy had changed. And whether under the Jacobins or the Nazis, the peasants’ demands remained unrequited.
Of course, no expropriation without compensation has occurred in Germany. The law which actually passed simply permits farmers to purchase at a heavy price a certain portion of the land from the Junkers. In short, the actual accomplishment is the same which the Czar provided in 1861 when he graciously freed the serfs—at a price. The Junkers will part with their worst lands at the highest possible evaluation ascertained by the government under their influence; only those Junkers will sell who are bankrupt and need the ready cash for their political aims, thus profiting doubly by the legislation; the farmers will be sunk into debt from which they will never recover, while the funds of the State enter into the pockets of their enemies. Very charmingly the East Pomeranian Junkers have decided to “sacrifice” 20 per cent of their land holdings to the farmers. “Better the concession from above than the seizure from below.” By controlling completely the land sales’ the Junkers bind the peasants to the yoke of oppression more firmly than before.
The theory of the Nazis is that an agricultural middle class is the backbone of the nation and that every effort must be made to remove it from the commercialization of capitalism. For centuries the ignorant peasantry has dreamed of a system of private property without the contradictions of private property. This idiocy fascism has raised into a system. Instead of removing the peasant from the commercialization of capitalism, Hitler has chained him the more securely to the landlords. There was passed, for example, in September 1933, the Hereditary Homestead Law which, in addition to defining the racial and social status of the farmer and the size of the farm subject to the new law, provided that the qualified owner cannot be dispossessed for debt; his crops cannot be seized for private debt, the farm must pass undivided to a single heir according to local custom. Here, again, is to be noted how socialistic this law sounds; no dispossess for debt, no seizure of crops for private debt, etc. It appeared as though a veritable peasant utopia, flavored with all the romance of feudalism, had been achieved. Even a law declaring that henceforth the hereditary farmer was to be considered a true nobleman was passed.
Drab reality has proved far different from the romantic phrases. The hereditary farmer now is not allowed to divide his land, nor to give it to anyone but a single heir. This has had a tremendous effect on the countryside. It has reconstituted in the village the old patriarchal conditions calculated to discipline the peasants, and make them even more docile to the aims of the Junkers. All children, from the youngest to the oldest, must now obey the father. Agricultural workers cannot migrate without special passes. Rebellious youth cannot seek work elsewhere. Around the village have been forged immensely heavy chains entrapping the masses of agrarians.
The fact that the peasant cannot alienate his land or sell it means, of course, that he cannot mortgage it. This means, in turn, that he cannot borrow money for the inauguration of necessary mechanical improvements. Thus the peasant is bound to an old technique of production that prevents ;scientific advancement. If the modern German State tolerates this system, it is because it does not need the production of the peasant so much as it requires his thorough military personal support. On the other hand, the very large estates, especially in East Prussia, Pomerania, and the Baltic regions, are free to develop agricultural technique to the highest degree. Science is for the rulers, not the masses.
All the economic measures trumpeted as being for the benefit of the agrarian masses have really been to the advantage of the Junkers and the large estate owners. Typical and significant has been the scandal of the Osthilfe in which it was revealed that hundreds of millions of marks had been swindled from the government by the Junkers headed by Hindenburg himself. The money was supposed to have gone to the Eastern farmers who were hurt by the World War and its results; instead it went almost entirely into the pockets of the former aristocracy. Hindenburg, incidentally, was present to help himself to a grant of land equal to five hundred thousand acres.
Prohibitive tariffs have raised the price of fats and oils, butter, margarine, and other products used by the poor people of Germany. This has entailed a great increase in the cost of living for city workers and others while the profit thereof had gone directly into the pockets of the large estate owners, for they alone could raise enough dairy products to profit from the tariff. The promises that the Nazis made to the poor peasants to reduce the rate of interest and to maintain it at 3 per cent have not been carried out. On the other hand, prices of food stuffs are fixed by government interference and through the compulsory organization of the farmers who are thus imprisoned in the hands of the Junkers.
By these measures, the industrialists won the support of the aristocratic agrarian elements and could fuse them into the National Socialist Party. And while the wealthy, both of city and country, were lining their pockets, the Nazi State was endowing the peasant with the title of political nobility, one of the many ways in which the national socialists hoped to separate the agrarian from the city worker and to pit one against the other.
Certain promises of socialism were made to the city workers also. It had been promised that industry would be controlled in such a manner that the workers would not be thrown out of work, and that they would have something of a voice, therefore, in the production system. Workers’ councils would be maintained, standards improved. What has happened in fact has been the smashing of the trade unions, the lowering of wages, and the drastic curtailment of unemployment insurance and other social measures. In some places the right to discharge employees temporarily was curtailed, but the power was simply shifted to the Nazi apparatus which formed its own organizations in the factory, as Mussolini had done in Italy.
Significantly enough, the Italian example of organizing workers into unions separate from employers has not been repeated in Germany. The employer himself and all his agents meet directly in the same room with the workers, with the idea that the factory hands form a family of which the employer is the father, or Fuehrer. Although the workers had understood the real situation from the beginning, this was a relatively rude awakening for the professional man or technician who had believed that in supporting the Nazis he was attaining a new social order wherein the factory would be turned over to the scientist for unhindered development. Instead, tax exemptions were granted to owners who replaced obsolete machinery, or repaired their buildings, or hired more workers. Sometimes the amount of the subsidy allotted to manufacturers for hiring a worker was higher than the wages paid that worker!
Similarly have the illusions of unemployment vanished. The official figures, undoubtedly exaggerated, show a marked reduction in the number of unemployed. But if unemployment has been reduced, it has been by the following methods: First, several hundred thousand workers have been forced to flee the country. Others, numbering perhaps many more, have been too terrorized to apply for relief and have been stricken off the lists. Tens of thousands have been arrested and placed in concentration camps. Simultaneously, the attack was made against the Jews and they, too, were driven out of the jobs and professions which had been theirs. It should be borne in mind that while the Jews number only five hundred thousand in Germany, still with the definition of a Jew as a person who has Jewish blood in the third generation, the number affected is closer to one million five hundred thousand.
A terrific drive was also started to oust women from all occupations, with the slogan “Woman’s place is in the home.” Moreover, youth, from sixteen to twenty-five, including many who, taken from jobs, have been sent into labor service camps and registered as employed. In parts of the country a special compulsory labor service has been established. Public works have been inaugurated on an enormous scale. In this way the official unemployed figures have been reduced. Finally, the enrollment of two and one-half million storm troopers, many of them fed, clothed, and maintained in barracks, has also been used to lower the official figures of the registered unemployed. Through such means, Hitler is able to propagandize the world that unemployment in Germany has been curtailed drastically. In reality, the condition of the masses has grown worse.
No wonder the mass of unemployed youth and lower middle classes that had battered down with its fists all the obstacles blocking Hitler’s advent to power should have resented deeply his abandonment of the original program of socialism. These elements were strong particularly in the militant storm trooper groups, whose head was Roehm and whose theoretician was Gregory Strasser. As their discontent grew more serious and took the form of conspiracies against der Fuehrer, the leaders of the national socialists had to decide whether they meant to go the way of socialism or of nationalism. The issue was no more in doubt with Hitler than with Mussolini. In the case of Mussolini, it had taken him three years, from the seizure of power in 1922 to the Matteoti murder, to consolidate his position well enough so as to break from the petty-bourgeois mass and to reduce them to impotence. In the case of Germany, this was done in a much shorter time. The storm troops’ control over the army was reduced, Roehrn and many others were shot, the ranks of the Nazi storm troopers were completely purged, and the lower orders were made to realize that, once and for all, the question “Who rules whom?” was definitely solved. The second Hitler revolution in 1934 gave full and complete power to the heavy industrialists.
The Nazi blood purge did not realize the hopes of the socialist and communist leaders that Hitler would be overthrown. These mock heroes who had fled Germany and were spending their leisure in Paris or reporting to the functionaries in Moscow had to realize bitterly that their day of influence was over. Thanks to these bureaucrats, too thoroughly had the workers’ movement been destroyed, too conscious was the proletariat of their betrayal for them ever to be able to rebuild their apparatus and revive their influence again. Many of these socialists and communists turned renegades and made their peace with fascism.
In line with its goal of complete State regulation, control of all forms of life within the nation, and the subordination and discipline of the individual, Nazism has enforced a policy for women that has taken them out of the factory and office jobs and put them back in the kitchen. Here again the fascist movement has revealed itself as thoroughly reactionary. The slogan “Back to the home” at one stroke has turned the clock back one hundred years for Germany’s womankind. (*24) The role of women has been laid out officially for them; they are to be the home-makers, the bearers and rearers of numerous children of pure, unadulterated German stock, to be enrolled in the ranks of der Fuehrer’s army.
According to Von Papen, women must exhaust themselves in child birth, preferably of sons. As one Nazi authoress, Maria Diers, put it: “Hitler does not need us women now, for the fight in which he stands demands spirit, courage and character. But women are not capable of the fight. We are only in the way.” In the declaration of the Women’s Order of the Red Swastika there appears the statement: “There is no higher or finer privilege for a woman than that of sending her children to war."(*25)
German women have been working outside the home for many years; since the crisis it was increasingly common for a woman to be the only breadwinner of the family. Behind the drive to oust women from jobs, therefore, has been the great fact of unemployment and the necessity of the Nazis to appear to be putting more men workers to work. The campaign to remove the women from industry began in the professions in the fall of 1933 and rapidly spread in scope through a series of decrees. Employed wives of men in the civil service had to relinquish their jobs in favor of men. Women in civil service posts were retired wherever possible. A drive against “multiple” earnings began, which meant that women wage workers of all sorts were pressed to give up their jobs to men, either to husband or fianc’e, or, if such were already employed, to some other man.
Women have been frowned upon in the professions wherein they were already established and practicing. Enrollment of young women students in the universities has been restricted to an exceedingly small percentage of the applications, thus automatically cutting off most of Germany’s present female generation from the possibility of an intellectual life and training for a profession. The situation in which women find themselves in Germany today repeats the position in which Jewish students in Czarist Russia were placed before the war, the conditions against which women have fought continually in all countries.
It should be stressed that sending woman back to the home under modern conditions is sending her to a miniature insane asylum. Formerly, when the home was the center of production, women could develop themselves in artistry and craftsmanship. Their work was then highly skilled and of great importance. But today women can be reduced only to the most menial unskilled work, which wearisome toil grows in proportion to its stultifying monotony. The test of a civilization is its treatment of women. Measured by that test, German fascism represents a dismal decay of civilization.
All the advances which the Feminist Movement made in the past hundred years have been practically erased in Germany. There is left to woman only the function of perpetual breeding of the race.
This had also been the recipe that Nietzsche had given Germany in keeping Greece as a model. “The women had no other mission than to produce beautiful, strong bodies, in which the father’s character lived on as unbrokenly as possible…. This kept the Greek culture young for a relatively long time…." (*26)
Women have been made to feel that they are of secondary importance, which must always be the militarist point of view. With Nietzsche it went so far as to induce him to praise homosexuality. “The erotic relation of men to youths was the necessary and sole preparation, to a degree unattainable to our comprehension, of all manly education. .…” (*27)
Accompanying the ousting of women from industry and their exclusion from the professions has been an ideological campaign to train the women to think of themselves as wives and mothers only, as helpers of men and rearers of children, out of place in the factory, office, or schoolroom. As Nietzsche again so aptly put it, “Man must treat woman as a possession, as confinable property, as they do in Asia. Her task is to charm and play for man, the conqueror.” (*28)
Marriage and child bearing, as in Italy, are given great encouragement in Hitler land. Government loans in the shape of vouchers for the purchase of furniture are made to engaged girls, who, of course, must give up their jobs to their fiance’s; 25 per cent of the loan is canceled upon the birth of each child. All sorts of home-building schemes are offered. Mass marriages take place, wherein scores or hundreds of couples are paired off at once. Prizes for large families are offered. The present adult generation being designed for speedy extinction via the trenches, replacements must be assured. Sports and Nazi sport organizations are encouraged for young women with a view to training them for healthy motherhood. In the meantime, they are regimented by the State and sent to work in the homes of the wealthy as housemaids and servants. Thus, the Nazi labor policy regarding women is to drive the working class women backward into isolation and ignorance.
Note, too, that the women are cut off from the working class at the point of production, where they could organize effectively with the men workers. In this way, the Nazis have divided the class which they fear the most, the proletariat, and have forced the young girls into the position of domestic servants where they can be isolated and broken down easily. Of course, in line with this is the destruction of all the political and social gains women had won, a loss all the greater as the German women were the most advanced in organization and in concessions wrung from the rulers.
The Hitler policy towards women proves the frailty of the achievement of feminism under capitalism and the impossibility for any specially suppressed group in society to free itself except through a fundamental change in the property relations; that is, through the proletarian revolution. Even the worst socialistic State, the Soviet Union, under the regime of Stalinism, is infinitely superior to this latest development of capitalism in its treatment of women.
However, there is one bit of consolation. This anti-feminist policy is bound to be but a temporary one in Germany. Once war breaks out, and the men are sent to the front to be consumed in wholesale fashion, the women again and in even larger numbers than before will be drawn back into the factories and the professions. Capitalism cannot long turn backward the wheel of evolution. Nor can it deter the development of women. Fascism can do nothing else but continue to grip the backward layers of society with its steel fingers and mold them into the army of producers that will be compelled to end this anti-social order forever.
1. H. S. Chamberlain: Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, I, Ixvii.
2. Compare L. Gumplowicz: Outlines of Sociology, and his theory of Rassenkamph, race war.
3. See, A. Hitler: My Battle, p. 121.
4. It is significant that the basic views were developed by Chamberlain, an Englishman, Hitler an Austrian, and Rosenberg a Balt. This, evidently, is the intellectual “self-sufficiency” of the Germans.
5. See, F. W. Nietzsche: On the Future of our Educational Institutions, pp. 12, 13. (Complete Works, III, Macmillan, 1911.)
6. This was also the view of Thorstein Veblen. See his The Higher Learning in America, p. 224 and following.
7. F. W. Nietzsche: Thoughts Out of Season, II, 105. (Complete Works, V.) Incidentally it was the Jew, Oscar Levy, who advanced the complete translation into English of Nietzsche’s works, taking pains to praise the Jew, Disraeli, as the best Nietzschean in England. “The Disraelian novels are in my opinion the best and only preparation for those amongst you who wish gradually to become acquainted with the Nietzschean spirit.” (The same, I, xx.)
8. See Nietzsche: Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays, p. vii. (Complete Works, IV.)
9. The same, p. viii.
10. The same, pp. 6, 7.
11. See Nietzsche, for example: Human, All-Too-Human, I, 122 and following. (Complete Works, VI, London, 1910.)
12. The same, I, 143.
13. The same, I, 88.
14. Nietzsche: Ecce Homo, p. 75.
15. Spengler, too, was an obscure school teacher.
16. This is also the point of view of Graf von Keyserling. See, for example, H. A. Keyserling: America Set Free.
17. O. Spengler: Decline of the West, I, 129.
18. O. Spengler: Man and Technics, p. 22.
19. The same, p. 63.
20. The same, p. 89.
21. W. H. Hale: Challenge to Defeat, p. 137.
22. “All the popes, who had common sense, have held no principles of religion but what favoured their aggrandizement.” (The Confessions of Frederick the Great, p. 41.)
23. According to Frederick the Great, “Religion is absolutely necessary in a state … but then it would not be very wise in a king to have any religion himself.” (The Confessions of Frederick the Great, p. 40.)
24. See V. Buch: “Hitlerism Turns the Clock Back for Women,” Class Struggle (Jan. 1935), Vol. V, No. I.
25. The above three statements are cited in J. Strachey: Menace of Fascism, p. 65.
26. F. W. Nietzsche: Human, All-Too-Human, I, 238.
27. The same, II, 237.
28. F. W. Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil, pp. 182, 187. (Complete Works, XII, Macmillan, 1914.)