Join Date: Mar 2007
Hitler's Ideas and Writings
Nepotism, in fact, is the most formidable protection imaginable : the protection of the ego. But wherever it has appeared in the life of a State—the monarchies are the best proof—it has resulted in weakening and decay. Reason : it puts an end to the principle of effort. In this respect, Frederick the Great showed himself superior to Napoleon—Frederick who, at the most difficult moments of his life, and when he had to take the hardest decisions, never forgot that things are called upon to endure. In similar cases, Napoleon capitulated. It's therefore obvious that, to bring his life's work to a successful conclusion, Frederick the Great could always rely on sturdier collaborators than Napoleon could. When Napoleon set the interests of his family clique above all, Frederick the Great looked around him for men, and, at need, trained them himself.
Despite all Napoleon's genius, Frederick the Great was the most outstanding man of the eighteenth century. When seeking to find a solution for essential problems concerning the conduct of affairs of State, he refrained from all illogicality. It must be recognised that in this field his father, Frederick-William, that buffalo of a man, had given him a solid and complete training. Peter the Great, too, clearly saw the necessity for eliminating the family spirit from public life. In a letter to his son—a letter I was re-reading recently—he informs him very clearly of his intention to disinherit him and exclude him from the succession to the throne. It would be too lamentable, he writes, to set one day at the head of Russia a son who does not prepare himself for State affairs with the utmost energy, who does not harden his will and strengthen himself physically.
Setting the best man at the head of the State—that's the most difficult problem in the world to solve.
In a republic in which the whole people is called upon to elect the chief of the State, it's possible, with money and publicity, to bring the meagrest of puppets to power.
In a republic in which the reins of power are in the hands of a clique made up of a few families, the State takes on the aspect of a trust, in which the shareholders have an interest in electing a weakling as President, so that they may play an important part themselves.
A hereditary monarchy is a biological blunder, for a man of action regularly chooses a wife with essentially feminine qualities, and the son inherits his mother's mildness and passive disposition.
In a republic that sets at its head a chief elected for life, there's the risk that he will pursue a policy of personal selfinterest.
In a republic where the Chief of State changes every five or ten years, the stability of the government is never assured, and the execution of long-term plans, exceeding the duration of a lifetime, is thereby compromised.
If one sets at the head of the State an old man who has with-drawn from all worldly considerations, he is only a puppet, and inevitably it's other men who rule in his name.
Thinking over all that, I've arrived at the following conclusions :
1. The chances of not setting a complete idiot at the head of the State are better under the system of free elections than in the opposite case. The giants who were the elected German Emperors are the best proof of this. There was not one of them of whom it can truly be said that he was an imbecile. In the hereditary monarchies, on the other hand, there were at least eight kings out of ten who, if they'd been ordinary citizens, would not have been capable of successfully running a grocery.
2. In choosing a Chief of State, one must call upon a personality who, as far as human beings can judge, guarantees a certain stability in the exercise of power for a longish while. This is a necessary condition, not only so that public affairs can be successfully administered, but in order to make possible the realisation of great projects.
3. Care must be taken that the Chief of State will not succumb to the influence of the plutocracy, and cannot be forced to certain decisions by any pressure of that sort. That's why it's important that he should be supported by a political organisation whose strength has its roots in the people, and which can have the upper hand over private interests.
In the course of history, two constitutions have proved themselves :
(a) The papacy, despite numerous crises—the gravest of which, as it happens, were settled by German emperors—and although it is based on a literally crazy doctrine. But as an organisation on the material level, the Church is a magnificent edifice.
(b) The constitution of Venice, which, thanks to the organisation of its Government, enabled a little city-republic to rule the whole eastern Mediterranean. The constitution of Venice proved itself effective as long as the Venetian Republic endured—that is to say, for nine hundred and sixty years. The fact that the Head of the Republic of Venice was chosen from amongst the families who composed the framework of the State (numbering between three hundred and five hundred) was not a bad thing. Thus power was allotted to the best man amongst the representatives of those families who were traditionally linked with the State. The difference between this system and that of hereditary monarchy is obvious. In the former, it was impossible for an imbecile or an urchin of twelve to come to power. Only a man who had pretty well proved himself in life had a fair chance of being appointed. Isn't it ridiculous, by the way, to think that a child of twelve, or even of eighteen, can rule a State? It goes without saying that, if a king is still a minor, power is provisionally gathered in other hands, those of a Council of Regents. But supposing the members of this Council disagree (and the more competent the councillors are, the greater are the risks of disagreement, in view of the complexity of the problems to be solved daily), then the absence is felt of the personality capable of taking a sovereign decision. A youth of eighteen cannot take a decision that requires deep reflection—that's difficult enough for a man who has reached full maturity! It's enough to imagine where King Michael of Rumania would be without the support of a man as remarkable as Field-Marshal Antonescu. As it happens, the young man is stupid. Moreover, he has been rotted by his spoilt child's upbringing, his father having entrusted him entirely to women during the most important period of his development. To sense the tragic nature of this abyss, it's enough to compare the development of any man who's ambitious to do something in life, with that of a prince by inheritance. Think of the amount of knowledge that a man of normal rank must acquire, of the desperate work he must do, without truce or rest, to succeed in having his own way. There is a tendency to believe, on the contrary, that one can prepare budding kings for the task that awaits them by keeping them amused. A third of their time is devoted to the study of foreign languages, so that they may be able to utter trivialities in several tongues; a second third to the sports of society (riding, tennis, etc.). The study of the political sciences takes only the last place. Moreover, the education they receive has no firmness. Their tutors are weakness itself. They resist the temptation to distribute the smacks their princely pupils deserve—for fear of calling down the disfavour of a future monarch. The result is obvious. That's how creatures like Michael of Rumania and Peter of Yugoslavia were formed.
As regards the government of Germany, I've come to the following conclusions:
1. The Reich must be a republic, having at its head an elected chief who shall be endowed with an absolute authority.
2. An agency representing the people must, nevertheless, exist by way of corrective. Its role is to support the Chief of State, but it must be able to intervene in case of need.
3. The task of choosing the Chief shall be entrusted, not to the people's assembly, but to a Senate. It is, however, important that the powers of the Senate shall be limited. Its composition must not be permanent. Moreover, its members shall be appointed with reference to their occupation and not individuals. These Senators must, by their training, be steeped in the idea that power may in no case be delegated to a weakling, and that the elected Fuehrer must always be the best man.
4. The election of the Chief must not take place in public, but in camera. On the occasion of the election of a pope, the people does not know what is happening behind the scenes. A case is reported in which the cardinals exchanged blows. Since then, the cardinals have been deprived of all contact with the outside world, for the duration of the conclave! This is a principle that is also to be observed for the election of the Fuehrer: all conversation with the electors will be forbidden throughout operations.
5. The Party, the Army and the body of officials must take an oath of allegiance to the new Chief within the three hours following the election.
6. The most rigorous separation between the legislative and executive organs of the State must be the supreme law for the new Chief. Just as, in the Party, the SA and the SS are merely the sword to which is entrusted the carrying-out of the decisions taken by the competent organs, in the same way the executive agents of the State are not to concern themselves with politics. They must confine themselves exclusively to ensuring the application of laws issued by the legislative power, making appeal to the sword, in case of need. Although a State founded on such principles can lay no claim to eternity, it might last for eight to nine centuries. The thousand-year-old organisation of the Church is a proof of this—and yet this entire organisation is founded on nonsense. What I have said should a fortiori be true of an organisation founded on reason.
(Table Talk, 3rd March 1942, at dinner)