What is Fascism? The word Fascism gets thrown around quite a bit in our modern political landscape, it’s a word that is feared but isn’t really understood in its context. The definition of Fascism has become viewed through a right-wing lense, it’s something that has become a word to use towards people who have rightest views, yet most ‘Fascists’ of the old days didn’t consider themselves fully on the right.
Gottfried Feder was one of the main economic theorists of the National Socialist state, he was the main economic influencer of Adolf Hitler and of many early policies that the National Socialists put forward in their campaigns. His main contribution was the idea that financial capital and industrial capital were two different things in social life, and that usury was inherently bad for the people. There is a movie called Zeitgeist which has introduced a lot of people to the problems of usury, Gottfried Feder pointed it out before the alternative media of today.
Everyone should check out his book called Manifesto for the Abolition of Interest Slavery, it’s a long and fairly intricate read but it’ll really broaden your horizons when it comes to economic thought, especially if you’re on the left side of things, I’m sure that Marx-Lenin-Stalin had the same ideas about financial capital/usury, but I’ve never seen anything really mentioned in their writings.
This reprint comes from his book The German State on a National and Socialist Foundation, we hope you enjoy.
The National Political Foundations
No state without power and, without authority, no government. Nothing is more self-evident, and more immediately obvious to common sense. One must attribute it to the entire neglect of our public thought if, among us in the government circles, one still believes today that one is able to rule at all with a total lack of military and political power.
Power without an instrument of power is unthinkable; political power and military means of power condition each other mutually just as intimately as economy and morality may not be separated. In order to regain lost power there is only the sole means of creating a military instrument of power.
How frightfully our poor fatherland has been punished because it has abjured the idea of power and given itself to the pacifistic fanfare we experience now daily and hourly. “To prevent a worse situation” we have ourselves surrendered and destroyed our weapons, “to prevent a worse situation” we have signed the Versailles dictate, “to prevent a worse situation” the Berlin government has said yes and amen to everything that was demanded of us, “to prevent a worse situation” we have allowed every malice, every humiliation, every exploitation to be enacted against us. With this shameless catchword of cowardice and abjectness the German people have been led into ever deeper misery. We fulfilled what was demanded of us, and a minister who wished to be German, Dr. Rathenau, dared to declare publicly: There is no absolute inability to fulfill, it is only a matter of how deep a people may be allowed to fall into distress!! This means in other words- although the words of Rathenau are already clear enough: the German nation is completely defenseless, it is politically completely powerless, intellectually it has been almost stultified, it can just continue to work. It has allowed itself to be burdened with such a gigantic burden of guilt that the members of the Chosen People can, on these reparations, forever lead a glamorous work-free life in all the countries of the world at the cost of German work. But now there exists the danger that even the enormous workforce of the Germans may break under the fantastic burden. Therefore the Germans must be kept alive constantly through stimulants and precisely in this way be maintained at the limit of thier physical performance capacity that they may work summoning all strength always in the deceptive hope that they might one day free themselves from their burdens. “It is only a matter of how deep a people may be allowed to fall into distress!” This was the political sentiment of the Minister Rathenau so celebrated by all republicans.
If we recalled this paradigm of modern German statecraft it was only to confirm this so frightful example lying so close to us of a defenseless and weapon-less nation having to simply put up with everything, even every derision. Against this is valid for us the belief in an externally powerful state which alone can guarantee peace and freedom. We dispense with historical reasons, this is not the task of a manifesto but a matter for the historian.
The counterpart of the idea of externally directed power politics is the internally directed rigid constitutional state. We came rather close to this ideal condition in the Bismarckian power state but in the fields that concerned the financial system and the unlimited recognition of private property and the demands that were derived therefrom our legal ideas stood fully under the capitalistic idea.
It requires no special emphasis that in terms of internal politics National Socialism stands unconditionally on the standpoint of the law insofar as everybody should be equal before the law and there should be no differences in social orders. But an essential transformation must be realized with respect to the basic idea of the law which signifies to the German an inner need, a voluntary subordination to the higher interests of the whole, whereas the prescriptions of the law valid among us today appear simply as a commandment of power and indeed as commandments of a power that does not stand in the service of the whole but, precisely in relation to the questions of property, has placed the protection of property before the protection of the person. The question of the new ordering of the public law will have to be discussed further in greater detail in another section.
Now we turn briefly to the questions of the external state form. A final decision on this question is in no way urgent. It can in general be solved only after a quite basic purging of our internal political conditions. The only possible way to this internal political purging seems to us to be exclusively through a dictatorship which with total determination cuts off and burns the sources of decomposition and disease in our national body.
The demands that we place on such a leader are extraordinarily high; a passionate love for his people, an unbending will, a virtual somnambulisitic certainty in all his decisions must distinguish him. That his intellectual capacities must rise above the average is self-evident, but knowledge and capacities in the different fields are not the decisive factor. Knowledge and learning can be realized by others- How many men there are of high knowledge, great clarity of thought, of great intuition, the finest artistic talent- but if the last thing is lacking in them, the passionate will, the unswerving impulse, based on the deepest moral seriousness, then they will never stride forward at the head of nations, as trailblazers and leaders to new heights. we think of religious geniuses like Christ and Luther, Savonarola and Mohammed, statesmen like Bismarck and Cromwell, generals like Friedrich the Great and Yorck, etc. The dictator must be completely free of all unnecessary restrictions and hesitations, for him there cannot be any inevitabilities, for it must be he who makes history and he seizes with a daring determined hand when his his hour strikes, he embodies the longing of the nation, and therefore he never errs and is borne by the fanatic love of those to whom his deed brings liberation.
He must be able to hate, so strongly and ruthlessly as he loves his people and his sacred task. In relation to his assistant and colleagues he stands as the first among free and equal people.
This old German idea forms the foundation of this iron connection between the leader and his friends for the sake of the cause.
He is the leader because he has proved himself, and so long as he proves himself.
Every power seems as it were redoubled by his presence, he draws forth every latent energy, Showing to each his own peculiar talent, yet leaving all to be what nature made them, and watching only that they be naught else, in the right place and time (Schiller, Wallenstein)
He is strict and hard with regard to himself, he orients himself according to his own laws. He has time for and listens to everybody, but he is quite able to differentiate between the important and the unimportant. For the accomplishment of his goal he may not be afraid of blood and war, he may not rest and relax until his goal is reached, then he secures his creation further as far as this is humanly possible, but he can himself withdraw, as the dictator Sulla did, and thereby secures his work in a twofold manner in that he operates from a distance but still does not force everything through his strong personality to be measured by extraordinary standards; on the other hand, a freer and more independent following will be able to develop if the Titan does not constantly determine the political daily life but remains the leader in the spiritual sense. Such a brilliance of action and will distinguish the dictator who will again lead Germany to a height. If then the way out of the mire is found through the accomplishment of an extraordinary leader, the internal and external preconditions for an independent national life will have been regained, then the nation may once again decide regarding the external form of the state.
Our view of the future state form will be essentially influenced by the manner in which certain forms of the public life, especially the suffrage and popular representation deriving therefrom, will be constituted. We could certainly think of the possibility of a healthy republican state form, rather as in ancient Rome. Indeed, almost all historical memories in Germany point to the monarchical state form. Now, with the monarchical state form is in no way inseparably bound the dynastic idea. On the contrary, it seems that only too often dynastic interests have developed greatly to the harm of nations. Another factor admonishes us to extreme caution in the question of a possible reintroduction of the monarchic state form- the consequence of heritabilitity among dynasties. In the painful history of the German people one may find repeatedly that the third generation after a significant ruler has squandered the heritage of its forefathers, damaged the honour and worthiness of the nation, lost the position of power of the empire, and destroyed the peace and welfare of the citizens. What the German imagines when he speaks of the advantages of the monarchy especially under a hereditary ruling house is always the thought of those to whom history has given the epithet “the Great”. We think thereby of Charles the Great, Otto the Great, Frederick the Great, and the few who are ranked on a par with these real rules; but just a fleeting memory of the gallery of incapacity, indolence, selfishness, prodigality, fantasy, distance from the people, and other dangerous characteristics that are bound with the names of Louis the Pious, Otto the 3rd, Wenceslaus, Charles VI, Friedrich Wilhelm III, Wilhelm II suffices to recognize clearly that the dynastic state form in no way includes a guarantee of the welfare of the nation.
That which expresses the inclination of the German to monarchy is the need of the German for a leader, and the readiness to subordinate himself to a leader. Precisely this last characteristic is perhaps an especially typical characteristic of the German, we know only too well this trait of the German character in its good and bad aspects. The loyalty unto death allowed him fight for and win the most powerful victories, it allowed him to follow even foreign flags; but it includes also very much lack of independence among the weaker types to the point of worthlessness and slavishness, love of things foreign and lack of judgement.
The question regarding the succession is therefore, in Germany itself, not hard to solve. The much harder question lies in the problem of the leader.
The selection of the leader has up to now been more ore less always left to pure chance. The princely marital bed is indeed in no way a guarantee of the intellectual capacity and of the necessary character traits that are by all means to be demanded of a monarch. And if we remember the modern German economy, where mere membership in the party decides on the qualification for the highest official posts, we must give this question special attention.
The difficulty lies, in any case, in the safeguarding of the moral and character qualities of the one in whose hands the destiny of the people should be laid. While however a dictator takes the leadership upon himself from himself, as the bearer of the national longing, a future leader must emerge actually from the conscious will of the nation as the best and most suited. Thereby it may remain completely open whether the highest worth should be united in one person or whether the state leadership should be constituted of two or more. In any case, one thing stands firm for us, that the one entrusted with the leadership of the highest state affairs, whether it be crowned heads or a consular duumor triumvirate, the highest responsibility will, in the best possible case, be anchored in the constitution. Highest responsibility will therefore be the most essential national political foundation that will distinguish the National Socialist state from the previous forms of rule.
A special aspect of the national political foundations of the National Socialist state is the demand for a nationalist state in which the members of foreign countries and races are excluded from the leadership of the state affairs as well as from the assumption of public offices.
The great lesson of the whole of German history can be summarized in the fact that Germany was always poor, weak and miserable when its rulers pursued foreign interests and when the narrow small concerns of the individual provinces and cities were placed above the common affairs of the Reich; and likewise was Germany always strong and powerful when it was united and its rulers thought and felt in a German way and the provinces and cities felt as members of the great common fatherland. Closing of the nation externally with all freedom and diversity internally. This is the correct idea of a German state. The Bismarck Reich already came very close to this ideal of the idea of the German state, only that our racial brothers in German Austria still remained outside of the Reich.
The unification of all German tribes in a closed national state is therefore our most distinguished national political goal. Internal politically the federative and federal character of the larger provinces as it was produced historically is to be maintained or rebuilt. The national political base lines in this respect are the following: All functions of the Reich in which it is a question of the power political position of the German Reich with regard to foreign countries are matters of the Reich. These are the Foreign Office, embassies and consulates, the passport system, the control of foreign trade, the customs system, and, above all, the army and navy. Internal politically, on the other hand, the idea of the most far-reaching independence of the individual provinces or federal states is to be fostered. Financial independence is the precondition for the independent existence of the nation, so the tax legislation will have to be delegated mainly to the provinces.
The legislation for the civil-, trade-, and the penal law will be regulated by the law of the Reich, but subordinated in practice to the provincial justice and police authorities.
In a similar way the transport institutions will certainly be regulated according to the directives of the law of the Reich but they will nevertheless remain, in their finances and administratively and operationally, under the provincial sovereignty.
That the freedom of religion should remain fully upheld by the constitution requires no special mention; on the other hand, religions whose writings are not written fully in the German language and accessible to everybody and whose content contain doctrines dangerous to the state will not enjoy this protection.
The constitutional form of the basic socialist character of the Reich is stressed especially in the field of labour law as well as in the fields of illness-, accident-, old age- and disability insurance and will be better implemented than happens today.