The Hour Of Decision: Part Three


III. The White World-Revolution.

This, then, is the look of the age of world wars, at the beginning of which we find ourselves standing. But behind it appears the second element of the mighty upheaval, the World Revolution. What does it want? In what does it consist? What does the word at very bottom mean? We are as far from understanding its full content today as from grasping the historical significance of the first world war, which lies behind us. It is not, as half of us think, a question of the threat to economic existence from the Bolshevism of Moscow, nor, as the other half think, of the "liberation" of the working class. These are only surface questions. In the first place, this revolution is not a merely impending threat. We are in the midst of it, and not since yesterday or today, but since more than a century ago. It crosses the "horizontal" struggle between states and nations by a "vertical" between the ruling classes of the white nations and the others, and in the background the far more dangerous second part of this revolution has already set in - the whites in general are under attack by the collective mass of the "coloured" population of the earth, which is slowly becoming conscious of its community.

This struggle is being waged not only between strata of humanity but also between strata of the spiritual life right down to the individuals. Almost every one of us has this opposition of thought and feeling in him, though without being conscious of it. That is why so few arrive at seeing clearly on which side they stand. But that very fact shows the inward necessity of this decision, which reaches far beyond one's personal desires and activities. There is very little to be gained out of the catchwords derived from the way of thinking that prevails at the moment - such as Bolshevism, Communism, class struggle, capitalism, Socialism - each of which is believed by the user to convey the exact meaning of the problem simply because he is unable to see deep down into the facts. The same thing has occurred in all former Cultures at the equivalent stage, little as we know of the details. [1]

(1. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 419 et seq., 451 et seq.)

But in the case of the Classical Age we do know enough. The climax of the revolutionary movement lies in the period between the Gracchi and Sulla, but the struggle set in a good century earlier with C. Flaminius, whose agrarian law of 232 Polybius rightly describes [2] as the beginning of the demoralization of the masses. This development was only temporarily interrupted and diverted by the war against Hannibal, towards the end of which slaves were drafted to the "citizen" army. From the time of the murder of the Gracchi and of their great opponent, the younger Scipio Africanus, the power of ancient Roman tradition to preserve the State dwindled rapidly. Marius, a man of the lower classes, and not even of Roman origin, created the first army that was based, not on universal conscription, but on the recruitment of paid volunteers who were personally attached to him, and proceeded with this army to launch a pitiless and sanguinary attack on the fundamental relationships in Rome. The older generations, trained for centuries in the statesmanship and sense of moral responsibility that had given Rome its position as a world power, were to a large extent exterminated. The Roman Sertorius attempted to found a rival state in Spain with the aid of the barbarous races there, and Spartacus roused the slaves of Italy to wipe out all that Rome meant. The war against Jugurtha and the Catilinarian Conspiracy revealed the deterioration of the ruling classes themselves, whose uprooted elements were prepared at any moment to appeal to the country's enemy and the mob of the Forum in support of their sordid financial interests. Sallust was perfectly right - it was for the sake of cash, whereof the mob and the rich speculators were equally greedy, that the honour and greatness of Rome, its race and its idea, went down in ruin. But this cosmopolitan mass of people which had swarmed into the city from all sides was - just as is the case now - not mobilized and organized from within to fight for its "right" of self-government, its "liberation" from the oppression of the ruling classes, but from without, as a means to the ends of business politicians and professional revolutionaries. From these circles there emerged - as today - the "dictatorship from below," which is the inevitable final result of radical democratic anarchy. Polybius, with his experience of statesmanship and his keen eye for the trend of events, foretold this with certainty thirty years before C. Gracchus.

"So when they begin to lust for power and cannot attain it through themselves or their own good qualities, they ruin their estates, tempting and corrupting the people in every possible way. And hence when by their foolish thirst for reputation they have created among the masses an appetite for gifts and the habit of receiving them, democracy in its turn is abolished and changes into a rule of force and violence. For the people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others, and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others, as soon as they find a leader who is enterprising but is excluded from the honours of office by his penury, institute the rule of violence; and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch." [3]

"And for this change [for the worse] the populace will be responsible when on the one hand they think they have a grievance against certain people who have shown themselves grasping, and when, on the other hand, they are puffed up by the flattery of others who aspire to office. For now, stirred to fury and swayed by passion in all their counsels, they will no longer consent to obey or even to be the equals of the ruling caste, but will demand the lion's share for themselves. When this happens the state will change its name to the finest sounding of all, freedom and democracy, but will change its nature to the worst thing of all, mob-rule." [4]

(2. Polybius, The Histories, II, 21.)

(3. Ibid., VI, 9.)

(4. Ibid., VI, 57.)

This dictatorship is for the white races of today not a mere threat: we are already completely under its sway and moreover so submerged and so assured of its normality that we do not even notice it. The "dictatorship of the proletariat" - that is, of its profiteers the trade unions and party officials of all tendencies - is an accomplished fact, whether governments are actually formed by them or, owing to the timidity of the "bourgeoisie," are dominated by them. This condition was what Marius aimed at, but failed to obtain, owing to entire want of statesmanlike ability. But what he lacked his nephew Caesar possessed, and in full measure. He brought the terrible period of the revolution to an end by his form of "dictatorship from above," which set the unlimited authority of a superior personality in the place of partisan anarchy. It was a form to which he gave his name for all time. His murder and its consequences could not affect it in any way. From his reign onward, the struggle is waged no longer for gold or to gratify class hatred, but solely for the possession of absolute power.

With the fight between "Capitalism" and "Socialism" it has nothing to do. On the contrary, the class of big financiers and speculators, the Roman equites (a term which since Mommsen has quite erroneously been translated "knights"), always had a perfectly good understanding with the populace and its organizations, the voting clubs (sodalicia) and the armed bands like those of Milo and Clodius. [5] They supplied money for elections, insurrections, and bribes, and C. Gracchus in return handed over to them the provinces for unlimited exploitation under State protection. There they spread incredible misery by plundering, usury, and the selling of whole towns into slavery. To crown all, they took possession of the law-courts, where they were able to sit in judgment on their own crimes and acquit each other. They, for their part, promised the dictator everything, only to drop him and his well-meant reforms as soon as they had secured their own advantages. This alliance between stock exchange and trade unions exists now as then. It is part of the natural evolution of such periods, arising as it does from a common hatred of State authority and of the leaders of productive economy, the two obstacles in the way of the anarchic principle of effortless money-making. Marius - a political simpleton like so many popular leaders - and his backers Saturninus and Cinna, thought no differently from Gracchus; and therefore Sulla, the dictator of the nationalist side, after the storming of Rome organized a terrible butchery among the financiers, from which as a class they never recovered. After Caesar they completely disappeared from history as a political element. Their existence as a political power was intimately bound up with the age of democratic party-anarchy and did not survive it.

(5. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 455 et seq.)

This revolution of more than a century in duration has fundamentally nothing to do with economics. It is a long disintegration-period in the life of the Culture as a whole, considered as a living body. The inward form of the life falls to pieces, and with it goes the power to give it outward expression through the creative works which collectively form the history of states, religions, and arts, after that power has matured to its extreme limits. The individual man with his private existence follows the trend of the whole. His doings, his attitude, intention, thought, experience, inevitably form an element, however small, in this development. If he confuses this with purely economic questions, it is already a sign of the decay that is going forward within himself too, whether he feels and knows it or not. It goes without saying that economic forms are just as much a part of civilization as states, religions, ideas, and arts. [6] But what is commonly meant by economics is not the forms of economic life that grow up and wither independently of human will, but the material product of economic activity, which nowadays is simply equated in the meaning to civilization and history, and the decline of which is regarded, materialistically and mechanically, as the "cause" and content of the world catastrophe.

(6. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 472 et seq.)

The scene of this revolution of life, its foundation, and, at the same time, its expression, is the Megalopolis which is found arising in the Late period of all Cultures. [7] Into this world of stone and petrifaction flock ever-growing crowds of peasant folk uprooted from the land, the "masses" in the terrifying sense, formless human sand from which artificial and therefore fleeting figures can be kneaded: parties, organizations modelled on program and ideal, but in which that inherent power of growth that the course of the generations had saturated with tradition, and that most of all expresses itself in the fruitfulness of all life - the instinct for the permanence of family and race - is extinct. An abundance of children, the chief sign of a healthy race, becomes tiresome and absurd. [8] This is the gravest sign of the egoism of the Megalopolitans, who have themselves become atoms, of the egoism which is the opposite not of present-day collectivism - between these two there is no difference; a pile of atoms is no more alive than a single one - but of the urge to live on in the blood of posterity, in the creative care for it, in the lastingness of the name. Cold intelligence, on the other hand, that solitary bloom, the weed of the pavements, sprouts in incredible masses. It is no longer the thrifty deep wisdom of old peasant families, which remains true as long as the stock to which it belongs endures, but the mere intelligence of the day, of the daily papers, ephemeral literature, and national assemblies, the bloodless intellect whose criticism gnaws away everything that is left standing of the genuine - that is, the naturally grown - Culture.

(7. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 99 et seq.)

For the Culture is a growth. The more perfectly a nation represents, shows the true stamp and style of, its Culture - and amongst the noblest creations of a Culture are its nations themselves - the richer its organic disposition by status and rank, and the more genuine the respect of distances between ranks, from the strong-rooted peasantry to the urban patriciate. Here the high level of form, tradition, training, and custom, innate superiority in the ruling families, circles, and personalities, signify the life, the destiny of the whole. A society in this sense remains untouched by "rational" classifications and visions, or else it has ceased to exist. Above all, it is constituted according to rank and not "economic classes." The latter, the material, English point of view - which has developed with and by the growth of Rationalism since Adam Smith and was formulated in a shallow and cynical system by Marx a century or so ago - is not made any more right by the fact that it has won out to this moment, when it dominates the entire thought, vision, and will of the white nations. It is a sign of the decline of society, and nothing more. Before this century is through, men will ask themselves in amazement how this valuation of social forms and degrees on the basis of employer and employed - that is, according to the amount of money that the individual has or intends to have as fortune, income, or wages - ever came to be taken seriously. For under this standard it is the mere amount of money that counts, not the social position in which it was acquired and turned into a real possession. It is the standpoint of proletarians and parvenus, who are at bottom one and the same type, the same weed of a metropolitan pavement - from the thief and tub-thumping agitator to the speculator in stocks or party advantage.

But "society" implies having Culture, having "form" down to the last detail of manners or thoughts, a "code" that has been built up by long discipline over whole generations, a strict moral outlook on life which penetrates the whole of existence with a thousand unspoken and rarely conscious obligations and ties, but through them forms all members of society into a living unit - often irrespective of national frontiers, as was the case with the nobility of the Crusades and that of the eighteenth century. This it is that determines rank; this is what is meant by belonging to "society." Among Germanic races it is called, almost mystically, honour. This honour was a force which permeated the lives of whole generations. Personal honour was only the sense of the unqualified responsibility of the individual for the social honour, the professional honour, the national honour. The individual shared the life of the community, and the existence of the others was at the same time his own. Whatever he did, the responsibility was shared by all who came after him, and in those days it was not only a man's spirit that died when he was dishonoured, when his own or his family's sense of honour had been mortally wounded, whether by his own fault or a stranger's. Everything that we call duty, the basis of all genuine rights, the original substance of every sort of dignity, may be traced back to honour. The peasantry and every kind of handicraftsman, the merchant and the officer, the civil servant and the prince of ancient lineage - all have their honour. Those who have it not, those who "see no point in" maintaining the decencies vis-à-vis themselves as well as others, are "vulgar." This is the opposite of nobility, according to the code of every true society; and not poverty or want of money, as envious beings suppose today, when all instinct for superior living and feeling has been lost and the public manners of all "classes" and "parties" are equally debased.

Into the old aristocratic society of Western Europe, which by the end of the eighteenth century had reached a level of existence and refinement of form which could not be surpassed and was already becoming fragile and sickly in certain respects, the successful Anglo-Puritan bourgeoisie thrust its shoots in the eighteen-forties. Its ambition was to vie with the nobility in its mode of life and if possible be merged into it. In this absorption of new currents of human life one sees how strong these forms of ancient growth were. The planters in Spanish South America and English North America had long since formed a true aristocracy on the model of the Spanish grandee and the English lord. The second of these groups was annihilated in the Civil War of 1861 and replaced by the parvenus of New York and Chicago and their revenues from capital milliards. Later, from 1870 onwards, the new German bourgeoisie spread itself into the strict life of the Prussian officer and official class. But this is the very essence of social existence: that that which rises to higher rank by its own ability and its inward force must be disciplined and ennobled by this rigid form and its unconditioned ethic if it is thenceforth to represent it and hand it down to posterity in sons and grandsons. A live society renews itself perpetually by precious blood which pours into it from below and from outside. The capacity of the living form to take in, refine, and assimilate, without becoming unsure in the process, is a test of its strength. But as soon as this form of life becomes anything but self-evident, or even takes notice of critics who dispute the need for its existence, it is all up with it. For then one loses sight of the necessity of a structure that assigns to every sort of person and human activity their place in the life of the whole - the realization of the essential unlikeness, inequality, of the parts that is identical with organic formation. One ceases to have a clear conscience as to one's own rank and forgets how to meet subordination as a matter of course, but to the same extent the lower orders forget, only as a consequence of this, to practise this subordination and to recognize it as necessary and justified. Here, as always, revolution begins from above, only to make way presently for revolts from below. "Universal" rights have from time immemorial been given to those who had not even thought of claiming them. But society rests upon the inequality of men. That is a natural fact. There are strong and weak natures, natures born to lead or not to lead, creative and untalented, honourable, lazy, ambitious, and placid natures. Each has its place in the general order of things. The more significant the Culture, the more it resembles the structure of a noble animal or vegetable body and the greater are the differences between its constituent elements - the differences, not the contrasts, for these are only introduced by reasoning. No good retainer dreams of regarding peasants as his equals, and every foreman who knows his job refuses to allow unskilled labourers to address him on terms of equality. This is the natural feeling in human relations. "Equal rights" are contrary to nature, are an indication of the departure from type of ageing societies, are the beginning of their irrevocable decline. It is a piece of intellectual stupidity to want to substitute something else for the social structure that has grown up through the centuries and is fortified by tradition. There is no substituting anything else for Life. After Life there is only Death.

And that, at bottom, is the intention. We do not seek to alter and improve, but to destroy. In every society degenerate elements sink constantly to the bottom: exhausted families, downfallen members of generations of high breed, spiritual and physical failures and inferiors. One has only to glance at the figures in meetings, public-houses, processions, and riots; one way or another they are all abortions, men who, instead of having healthy instincts in their body, have only heads full of disputatiousness and revenge for their wasted life, and mouths as their most important organ. It is the dregs of the great cities, the genuine mob, the underworld in every sense, which everywhere constitute the opposition to the great and noble world and unite in their hatred of it: political and literary Bohemia, wastrel nobility (Catiline and Philippe Égalité, Duke of Orleans), shipwrecked academicians, adventurers and speculators, criminals and prostitutes, loiterers, and the feeble-minded, mixed with a few pathetic enthusiasts for some abstract ideal. A mushy desire for revenge for some bad luck that has spoilt their lives, the absence of any instinct of honour and duty, and an unlimited thirst for money without work and for rights without responsibilities bring them together. It is from this befogged milieu that the heroes of the moment of all popular movements and Radical parties arise. Here the word "Liberty" takes on the bloody significance that it has in the declining ages. What is meant is: liberation from all the bonds of civilization, from every kind of form and custom, from all the people whose mode of life they feel in their dull fury to be superior. Pride and quietly borne poverty, silent fulfilment of duty, renunciation for the sake of a task or conviction, greatness in enduring one's fate, loyalty, honour, responsibility, achievement: all this is a constant reproach to the "humiliated and insulted."

For, once more be it said, the opposite of noble is not poor, but vulgar. The debased thought and feeling of this underworld makes use of the uprooted masses of great cities who no longer trust their own instincts, in order to achieve their own ends and gratify their desires of revenge and destruction. That is why this helpless crowd is so persistently inoculated by the spoken and written word with "class consciousness" and "class hatred"; and why the ruling classes - the "rich" and "powerful" - are shown, in direct inversion of their real significance, as criminals and exploiters, until finally the accusers offer themselves as saviours and leaders. All the "people's rights," the discussion of which was started from above by sick consciences and loose Rationalist thinking, are now demanded as a matter of course from below by the "disinherited," never for the people; for they have always been given to those who had never thought of asking for them and do not know what to do with them. Neither is it desired that they should, for these "rights" are not meant for the "people," but for the dregs of self-designated "people's representatives"; and out of these a Radical bloc is formed whose trade is to fight against the formative forces of the Culture and puts the masses in tutelage by means of the franchise, freedom of the press, and terrorism.

Thus is born Nihilism, the abysmal hatred of the proletarian of higher form of every sort, of culture as its essence, of society as its upholder and historical product. That anyone should have "form," master it, feel comfortable with it, whereas the common person feels fettered by it and unable to move freely under it; that tact, taste, a sense for tradition, should be things that belong to highly cultivated beings by inheritance; that there are circles in which a sense of duty and renunciation are not absurd, but lend distinction: all this fills the Nihilist with a dull fury which in earlier times crept away into corners and there foamed at the mouth in the manner of Thersites, but is now widely diffused in the white nations as an actual world-outlook. For the Age has itself become vulgar, and most people have no idea to what extent they are themselves tainted. The bad manners of all parliaments, the general tendency to connive at a rather shady business transaction if it promises to bring in money without work, jazz and Negro dances as the spiritual outlet in all circles of society, women painted like prostitutes, the efforts of writers to win popularity by ridiculing in their novels and plays the correctness of well-bred people, and the bad taste shown even by the nobility and old princely families in throwing off every kind of social restraint and time-honoured custom: all of these go to prove that it is now the vulgar mob that gives the tone.

But while one half of the world smiles at the well-bred forms and ancient customs, because it no longer regards them as inherently imperative and does not suspect that it is a question of "to be, or not to be," the other half is unchaining the hatred that burns to destroy, the envy of everything that is not available to all, that is prominent and must be pulled down. Not only tradition and custom, but every kind of refinement - beauty, grace, taste in dress, easy good manners, elegance of speech, control of one's limbs, education and self-discipline - irritate the vulgar soul till its blood boils. A finely formed face, the light and dainty step of a slim foot on the pavement, are contradictions of democracy. The preference of otium cum dignitate to boxing matches and six-day races, the appreciation of fine arts and poetry, even the delight in a well-kept garden of flowers and rare fruits are things to be burnt, smashed, or stamped out. Culture, because of its superiority, is the enemy. Its creations cannot be understood or inwardly assimilated; because they are not available for all they must be annihilated.

Such is the trend of Nihilism. It occurs to no one to educate the masses to the level of true culture - that would be too much trouble, and possibly certain postulates for it are absent. On the contrary, the structure of society is to be levelled down to the standard of the populace. General equality is to reign, everything is to be equally vulgar. The same way of getting money and the same pleasures to spend it on: panem et circenses - no more is wanted, no more would be understood. Superiority, manners, taste, and every description of inward rank are crimes. Ethical, religious, national ideas, marriage for the sake of children, the family, State authority: all these are old-fashioned and reactionary. The picture of the streets of Moscow shows the goal, but let no one suppose that it is a spirit from Moscow that has conquered here. Bolshevism's home is Western Europe, and has been so ever since the English materialist world-view, which dominated the circles where Voltaire and Rousseau moved as docile pupils, found effective expression in Jacobinism on the Continent. The democracy of the nineteenth century already amounted to Bolshevism: it lacked only the courage of its logical conclusions. It is only a step from the Bastille and the equality-demanding guillotine to the ideals and street-fighting of 1848, the year of the Communist Manifesto, and only a second step from there to the fall of Western Tsarism. Bolshevism does not menace us, it governs us. Its idea of equality is to equate the people and the mob, its liberty consists in breaking loose from the Culture and its society.

There is one other thing that belongs of necessity to a ripe Culture. That is property, the thought of which causes delirious outbursts of envy and hatred from the vulgar-minded. Property, that is, in the original sense: old and permanent possession, inherited from forefathers or acquired over long years by the heavy and devoted work of the owner and cherished and increased for his sons and grandsons. Wealth is not the mere background of superiority, but, above all, the result and expression of it, a function not only of the way in which it has been acquired, but also of the ability needed to shape and use it as a true cultural element. Let it for once be said outright, though it is a slap in the face for the vulgarity of the age: property is not a vice, but a gift, and a gift such as few possess. For it, too, is the product of long training through generations of distinction; occasionally it is acquired in families that have worked their way upward - by self-education on a groundwork of sound and strong race-character, but practically never by original talent alone, without some precondition of educated environment and past example. It is not a question of how much one has, but of what one has and the way in which one has it. Mere quantity as an end in itself is vulgar. One can have, and will to have, property as a means to power - this is a subordinating of economic successes to political aims, and it affirms the ancient experience that money belongs with leadership in war and State. This was Caesar's conception when he conquered and plundered Gaul, and that of Cecil Rhodes when he got the mines of South Africa into his hands in order there to found an empire after his own heart. No poor nation can have great political successes, and so long as it regards poverty as virtue, and riches as sin, it does not deserve any. This was the fundamental though only half-conscious meaning of the old Germanic expeditions by sea and land, for with the booty acquired, ships were built and followers enlisted. This type of will-to-power is hallmarked by a royal generosity. It is the opposite of greed and miserliness and equally remote from parvenu prodigality and womanish love of one's neighbour. But this is beside the point. I am speaking of property-owning in so far as it implies the tradition of a Culture. It signifies inward superiority, it marks a distinction from whole classes of people. Not much is needed: a small well-preserved homestead, a worthy craft reputably practised, a tiny garden bearing evidence of cultivation by loving hands, a miner's spotless home, a few books or reproductions of classical art. The point is that these objects should be transformed into a personal world, should bear the stamp of the owner's personality. True possessions are soul, and only through that soul Culture. To estimate them by their money value is, however you look at it, either an incomprehension or a desecration. To divide them after the owner's death is a sort of murder. That was the Germanic conception of inheritance: morally an indissoluble unit, permeated by the soul of the dead owner who had administered it, and not a divisible sum. But who realizes this? Who today has eyes and feeling for the inward, almost metaphysical difference between property and money? [9] True estates are those with which one is inwardly bound up, as is a Germanic warrior with the arms which he takes to the grave with him as his property, a farmer with the farm on which his forefathers worked, a merchant of the old type with his firm which bears the family name, a true craftsman with his workshop and his calling; something, in a word, whose values cannot be expressed in words but only in a close tie, the breaking of which means death. That is why real "property" in the deeper sense is always immovable. It clings to the owner. It consists of things and is not merely invested [10] in them like "fortune," which can only be defined quantitatively and has actually no home. Families who are making their way upward, therefore, seek a family seat as the original form of real estate, and those who are descending in the scale try to turn it into cash. And herein lies one of the differences between Culture and Civilization.

(9.The Decline of the West, II, pp. 480 et seq.)

(10. Politische Schriften, pp. 138 et seq., 269.)

But "money" is an abstraction, [11] a pure sense of values in market language, which can only be measured mathematically by some currency or other. Its sole charm lies in the fact that one can come into it overnight - whether by gambling and burglary or by political deals and speculation with sums that one does not possess - or again can throw it away from one moment to the next. On this point proletarians and parvenus are in agreement, and here too there is an inner relationship between Bolshevism and Americanism. The money that a Radical politician or a speculator manages to get, he insists on displaying. The palaces of the newly-enriched Jacobins, the smart financiers who began with the French tax-farmers of the eighteenth century, and the American millionaires, tell their own tale; and just so was it in ancient Rome, where the display of all-too-quickly amassed wealth evoked the satire of Martial, Juvenal, and Petronius. Everything of course is really spent by such owners upon themselves, even when they "found" something, "give" lavishly, or provide someone else with a subsidy: the spectator is to them the essential. Let the whole world know, or what good is it? They enjoy the spending as spending. They like to play the Maecenas, because they have heard of its being "done," but they get no further than being what in Munich is called a Wurzen, a snobbish patron, a copy of the Roman Trimalchio. They fill their house with things they are unable to appreciate; it is only the price that matters. The art-dealers one and all batten on them now as in Caesar's time. [12] But the most unmeaning "wasters" and debauchees are nevertheless to be found in obscure taverns, where unclean gains and party salaries are drunk and gambled away, and not in the town-houses of old patricians and the country estates of old families. But because culture, the tradition of enjoyment which knows how to make much out of little, is lacking and cannot be had for money, jealousy of this kind of superiority torments all vulgar-minded people. This must be said again and again, and particularly in these days when "national" revolutionaries rave like mendicant friars about universal poverty and squalor - in delightful agreement with the Marxists, who declare the possession of any sort of wealth to be criminal and immoral and war upon everything that has this superiority in things of high culture and any who surpass others in the ability to acquire, maintain, and worthily use property, and that from envy of such ability, which they themselves completely lack. High culture is inseparably bound up with luxury and wealth. Luxury, that matter-of-course environment of things of culture that belongs spiritually to one's personality, is a premiss of all creative periods. The birth of a great art, for instance, is not possible at the present time because the true artistic life died out with the last century. Then it had its home in "society," where connoisseurs and the creators of important works could meet, and not among art-dealers, art-critics, and snobs, the "people" or the "public." And wealth, collected in the hands of the few and among the ruling classes, is amongst other things the foundation for the training of generations of leading minds through the example of a highly developed environment without which there is no healthy economic life and no development of political talent. An inventor himself can be poor, but in a beggarly people there are no great tasks to bring his gifts to maturity; often, indeed, he is not even conscious of possessing them. It is the same with the ability of statesmen and artists. That is why Germans have since 1648 been a world-remote people of theoreticians, poets, and musicians, for these alone can thrive on no money. They confused, and still today confuse, romantic visions with actual policy, for one need not pay a price for visions - except success. But wealth is a relative conception. To be "not too well-off" in England in 1770 corresponded to being very rich in Prussia. And poverty likewise: the Prussian nobility at its prime was poor, and therefore in comparison with England poor in statesmanlike qualities; for these are bred, with few exceptions, in the life of the great world; but although poor, it did not feel itself as living in poverty. [13] The absence of any considerable property or income is no misfortune or misery, so little does its presence signify happiness in the ordinary sense. Not the fact itself but a certain brooding over it, the sense of differences as contrasts, and jealousy, turn it into a misfortune. To feel miserable one must first be brought to loathe one's humble lot, and this has from all time been the demagogue's interest. In the Nuremberg of Dürer, say, the plain man enjoyed without envy the splendour of the upper classes. Something of the glitter of his own city was reflected in him; he considered that his life-course depended upon it and was sure he could never feel happy anywhere else. It is precisely the labourers and the craftsmen, with their uneducated reasoning, who are conscious that property means above all responsibility, care, and work. But from the eighteenth century, when the Rationalist view of life, history, and human destiny began to prevail, envy - which is quite foreign to the nature of good and industrious workers, was systematically cultivated by the underworld of democratic politicians and by writers of the moment such as Rousseau, who by this means earned money or satisfied their morbid feelings. The desire for other people's property - which is called "stolen goods," regardless of the work and ability put into it - was developed into a world outlook and produced appropriate politics from below.

(11. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 481 et seq.)

(12. Friedländer, Römische Sittengeschichte (1920), III, pp. 97-117.)

(13. Nor, of course, of poverty as an advantage - as some people need telling again and again. Loud praise of poverty is precisely as suspicious as scorn of riches; it is a cloak for anger at one's own inability to put an end to it.)

It was only then that the social revolution began to have the economic tendency which found expression in agitators' theories, and this tendency was concerned not with the organization and aims of the economic system, but with the monetary value of its investments and products. Contrasts between rich and poor were created, in order to start the struggle between them. The idea was that "everything" available for turning into money should be shared out or held in common; if possession of it could not be obtained, it was to be destroyed so that others should not continue to possess it. From this way of feeling and thinking, not of the lower orders of society, but of their self-nominated spokesmen, everything arose that in the Classical Age was called the equal distribution of goods, and today is called class war and Socialism. It is the struggle from the above and the below of society, and it is fought between leaders of nations and leaders from the underworld to whom the working classes are but objects and means for their own aims. Ageing society puts up only a feeble defence; its born enemies, however, continue to attack ruthlessly, until the rising Caesarism of the proletarian dictatorship makes an end of the Gracchan and Catilinarian tendencies.

We have thus obtained the premisses on which to set out the full extent, aims, duration, and logical outcome of the "white" revolution. No one has as yet ventured to do this; and indeed the attempt may have been impossible until the consequences of the first world war had brought us to the threshold of the decisive decades. Scepticism (Skepsis), the first requirement for the historic outlook, for history seeing through itself - just as contempt for humanity is the essential requirement for a profound knowledge of it - does not stand at the beginning of things.

This revolution does not commence with the materialistic Socialism of the nineteenth century, still less with the Bolshevism of 1917. It has been "in permanence" (to borrow one of its current phrases) since the middle of the eighteenth century. It was then that Rational criticism, proudly named the philosophy of Enlightenment, [14] began to turn its attention from the theological systems of Christianity and the traditional world-philosophy of the scholars - which was nothing more than theology without the will to system - to the facts of actuality, the State, society, and finally the evolved forms of economics. It commenced by depriving the concepts of nation, right, government, of their historical content, and interpreting the difference of rich and poor quite materialistically as a moral contrast, which was insisted upon by the agitators rather than honestly believed. At this point "Political Economy" came in, a materialistic science - founded about 1770 by Adam Smith in association with Hartley, Priestley, Mandeville, and Bentham - that had the presumption to regard men as appurtenances of the economic situation [15] and to "explain" history in the light of prices, markets, and goods. To it we owe the conception of work, not as the content of life and calling, but as the commodity in which the worker trades. [16] The whole history of the formative passions and the creative characters of strong personalities and races is ignored - the will, focused on commanding and ruling, on power and booty; the inventive urge, hatred, revenge, pride in personal strength and its successes; and equally, on the other side, jealousy, laziness, the poisonous emotions of the inferior. And there remain nothing but the "laws" of money and prices, which find expression in statistics and graphs.

(14. The Decline of the West, II, p. 305.)

(15. Ibid., p. 469.)

(16. Politische Schriften, pp. 79 et seq.)

At the same time there set in the flagellantism of the decaying, all-too-witty society, which could applaud the satires on its own absurdities. The admirers of The Marriage of Figaro by Monsieur "de" [17] Beaumarchais, performed in spite of the royal veto at the Château Gennevilliers to the simpering court nobility; of the novels of Monsieur "de" Voltaire, devoured in the highest circles from London to Petersburg; of Hogarth's drawings, Gulliver's Travels, and Schiller's Robbers and Intrigue and Love (the only inspired works that exist in revolutionary literature) - were anything but a lower-class public. As to what was written by the intellectuals of high society itself, the Letters of Lord Chesterfield, the Maxims of La Rochefoucald, and Système de la nature of Baron D'Holbach, it is all so very clever in style as to be unintelligible outside that circle - and it should be remembered that reading and writing were by no means universal among even the middle classes. [18]

(17. Not only these literary bluffers from the petite bourgeoisie, sons of Caron the watch-maker and Arouet the revenue officer respectively, but even "de" Robespierre was still at the time of the National Assembly thus aping nobility. They wished to be counted as belonging to the society which they were destroying: a characteristic trait of all revolutionaries of this order.)

(18. Likewise the Socialist plays and novels of the eighties and those written by Bolshevists after 1918, which those against whom the attack was launched pay to see or read in every capital in Western Europe.)

All the better were the professional demagogues, who had learnt nothing but speech-making and pamphlet-writing, able to see the value of these works as a source for first-rate catchwords with which to stir up the masses. In England disturbances began in 1762 with the case of Wilkes, who was condemned for insulting the Government in the press, and thereupon elected again and again to the House of Commons. At meetings and in systematic riots the war-cry was: "Wilkes and Liberty," rioting for the cause of freedom of the press, universal suffrage, and even a republic. In that period Marat had written, in England and for Englishmen, The Chains of Slavery (1774). The revolt of the American colonies in 1776 and their proclamation of the universal rights of man and the Republic, their trees of liberty and associations were in reality the outcome of English movements during these years. [19] From 1779 onward there arose the clubs and secret societies which spread over the whole country, aimed at revolution, and from 1790, headed by Fox and Sheridan, sent congratulatory addresses, letters, and advice to the Convention and the Jacobins. Had not the reigning English plutocracy been far more vigorous than the cowardly court of Versailles, revolution would have broken out in London earlier than in Paris. [20] The Paris clubs, particularly the Feuillants and Jacobins, were nothing but copies of the English in their programs, their organization of branches all over France, and the form of their agitation; while the English in turn translated "citoyen," the French form of address between members, into "citizen" and the newly-coined "citizeness," and adopted, further, the phrase, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" and the designation "tyrants" for kings. Since then, and even in our own time, this remains the form which preparation for revolution takes. It was in those days that there arose the "universal" demand for freedom of the press and of public meetings as a means thereto - the central demand of political Liberalism, the desire to be free from the ethical restrictions of the old Culture. Yet the demand was anything but universal; it was only called so by the ranters and writers who lived by it and sought to further private aims through this freedom. But the older society itself, obsessed as it was by esprit, the "educated" classes corresponding to the philistines of the nineteenth century - that is, the very victims of this freedom - exalted it into an ideal which stood above any criticism of its background. Today, when both the hopes of the eighteenth and the results of the twentieth century lie before us, we may be permitted to discuss it. Freedom from what, for what? Who financed the press and the agitation? Who gained by it? These liberties have shown themselves everywhere in their true light: as a means to be used by Nihilism in levelling society, and by the underworld in inoculating the masses of the great cities with the particular opinion - it has none of its own - which promises the best result for its aims. [21] This is why these liberties, of which universal suffrage is one, are checked, suppressed, and completely inverted, once they have done their work and given the power into the hands of their exploiters. It was so in Jacobin France in 1793, in Bolshevist Russia, and in Germany's trade-union Republic of 1918. When were there more suppressions of newspapers, in 1820 or in 1920? Liberty has always been the liberty of those who wish to obtain the power, not to abolish it.

(19. The Loyalists - i.e., Americans not in favour of the Republic - emigrated at this time more or less of their own free will into Canada.)

(20. It did not come to this in Germany because there was no real capital with its equipment of agitators, literary hacks, and professional criminals. The ideologies were there. We need only recall Georg Forster and others, who in Mainz and later in Paris appeared as Jacobins and died for their opinions. In 1793 the political clubs on Anglo-French models had to be suppressed by an Imperial law.)

(21. "No one clamours for freedom of the press but him who seeks to misuse it." - Goethe.)

This active Liberalism progresses from Jacobinism to Bolshevism logically. These are not in opposition of thought and will, but are the Early and the Late form, the beginning and the end, of one single movement. It began about 1770 with sentimental "social-political" tendencies: the structure of society according to class and rank was to be destroyed; and there was to be a "Return to Nature," to the uniformity of the herd. The place of class was to be taken by that which has no class: money and intelligence, counting-house and lecturer's chair, arithmeticians and clerks; in place of form-ordered existence, life without form, manners, obligations, respect. It was only about 1840 that this "social-political" tendency passed into an "economic-political" one. The scapegoats are now no longer the aristocrats, but the possessors, from peasant to entrepreneur. The disciples of the movement are promised, not equal rights, but the privilege of the unpropertied; not freedom for all, but the dictatorship of the city proletariat, the "workers." But this represents no change of a world outlook - which was, and still is, materialistic and utilitarian - but solely a change in revolutionary methods. The professional demagogues now mobilize a different section of the nation for class war. At first, about 1770, peasants and craftsman were approached with some hesitation, both in England and France. The cahiers of small-town and country deputies in 1789, which were supposed to represent the "Cry of the Nation," were composed by professional ranters [22] and were not understood at all by the greater part of the electorate. These classes were too deeply rooted in tradition to be unconditionally available as means and weapons. Without the mob from the eastern suburbs - the fists of the capital, always handy - the Reign of Terror in Paris would have been impossible. It is not true that the problem was one of economic necessities. Rates and taxes were sovereign rights. Universal suffrage was intended as a blow against the structure of society. Hence the failure of the Convention: peasantry and craftsmen were no reliable following for professional demagogues. They possessed a native sense of respect and self-respect. They had too much instinct and too little town-intelligence. They were industrious and had learnt something; besides, they wished to leave the farm or the workshop to their sons. No permanent effect could be made upon them by programs and catchwords.

(22. A. Wahl, Studien zur Vorgeschichte der französischen Revolution (1901), p. 24.)

Only about 1840 did the pamphlet-and-platform demagogy of Western Europe, [23] whose development had proceeded on uniform lines, discover a better medium for their ends in the uprooted mass of men who had gathered round the North-European coal area [24] - the type of the industrial worker. It is time we were clear in our own minds about one fact which has been completely smothered in the mist of the party politicians' wars: it was not the "economic distress," into which "capitalism" has brought the "proletariat," that led to the rise of Socialism, but the professional agitation which created this "clear-eyed" outlook on things, just as it had drawn an utterly false picture of the distressed peasant class before 1789 [25] - purely because it was hoped thereby to get a whole-hearted following. And the uneducated and half-educated middle class believed in this picture and does so to this day. The word "worker" has been surrounded by a halo since 1848, without consideration of its meaning and the limits of its application. And the "working class," which does not exist in the economic structure of a single nation [26] - for what have miners, sailors, tailors' apprentices, metalworkers, waiters, bank officials, ploughmen, and scavengers in common with one another? - becomes a political reality, an attacking party, which has split all "white" nations into two armies, of which the one has to feed, and to give its blood for a host of party agents, tub-thumpers, newspaper-writers, and "people's representatives," who pursue their own private aims. That is the purpose for which it exists. The contrast between Capitalism and Socialism - words for which, all this time, literature has searched in vain for a definition, for catchwords are not to be defined - is not derived from any reality, but is purely a built-up challenge. Marx introduced these terms into the English engineering industry, he did not draw them from it; and even so he could only do it by ignoring the existence of all the people engaged in agriculture, commerce, traffic, and administration. This picture of the time had so little to do with the world of reality and its inhabitants that, in theory, the South even became separated from the North: the boundary lay somewhere about the line Lyon-Milan. In the Latin South, where one needs little to live on and does little work, where there is no coal and therefore no industrialism, where thought and feeling are racially different, there developed anarchist and syndicalist tendencies whose wish-picture was the dissolution of the great national organisms into systemless, small self-sufficing groups, Bedouin-like swarms occupied in doing nothing. But in the North, where hard winters mean harder work and make such work not only possible but essential, where from time immemorial the battle has been against hunger and cold combined, there arose out of the Germanic will-to-power, and its urge to large-scale organization, systems of authoritarian Communism which aim at a proletarian dictatorship over the whole world. And, simply because in the nineteenth century the coalfields of these northern lands had attracted an assemblage of people and of national wealth of a hitherto unheard-of order of magnitude, a very different impetus was given to demagogy both within them and outwards from their boundaries. The high wages of English, German, and American factory-workers triumphed, precisely because they were anything but "starvation rates," over the low wages of the land-workers in the South, and only because of this "capitalistic" superiority of party means did Marxism triumph over the theories of Fourier and Proudhon. The peasantry had already ceased to exist for all of them. As a weapon in the class war it had small value, not merely because it was not available on the pavements at any and every moment, but also because its traditions of property and labour were contrary to the views of theory. It was therefore ignored by the catchwords of the Communist program. Bourgeoisie and proletarian - that is the picture one can take in, and the simpler one is, the less one notices how much there is left outside this scheme.

(23. Its celebrated leaders belonged one and all to the bourgeois class. Owen, Fourier, Engels were entrepreneurs; Marx and Lassalle "academics"; Danton and Robespierre had been lawyers, Marat a physician. The rest were literary men and journalists. There was not a single working man among them.)

(24. Politische Schriften, pp. 331 et seq.)

(25. Promptly abandoned when it was found not to have the desired result. In reality, in Louis XVI's time the peasant was better off in France than anywhere else in Europe.)

(26. The Decline of the West, II, p. 479.)

Every demagogy forms its program according to the section of the nation which it hopes to mobilize for its purpose. In Rome, from Flaminius to C. Gracchus, it was the Italian peasant farmers who wanted land, so that they might till it. Hence the division of the Gallic area south of the Po by the former and the demand for the division of the ager publicus by the latter. But Gracchus went under because the peasants, who had moved into Rome in masses to vote, had to go home again for the harvest. After this experience the demagogy of the type of Cinna and Catiline had to rely upon slaves and, above all, instead of on industrious journeymen (like demagogy in the Greek cities from Cleon's time) upon the unskilled populace of mixed origins which prowled about the streets of Rome and asked to be fed and amused: panem et circenses. And precisely because, for the next century, these masses had to be won over by ever-increasing expenditure, they grew, even after Caesar, to a size which made them a standing danger to the Government of the world empire. The lower the type of such a following, the more usable it is. For this reason has Bolshevism, ever since the Paris Commune of 1871, made far less effort to influence the skilled, industrious, and sober worker than the work-shy rabble of the cities which is ready at any time to plunder and murder. For this reason also have the ruling trade-unionist parties in Germany, from 1918 right into the peak years of unemployment, been careful to allow no legal differentiation between the workless and the work-shy. At that time, while assistance was being given to the supposedly unemployed, there was a dearth of workers, especially on the land, and no one seriously tried to remedy it. The sickness-relief funds were misused by thousands as a means of evading work. Unemployment in its early stages was positively fostered by Marxism. The concept "proletarian" excludes all joy in work. A worker who knows his job and is proud of his achievement has no qualifications for proletarianism. He is a drag on the revolutionary movement. He has to be proletarianized, demoralized, before he is of use to it. That is the true Bolshevism by which this Revolution will reach its climax, but by no means its close.

It is characteristic of the superficial way in which the whole "white" world thinks that this Bolshevism is regarded as a Russian creation, threatening to conquer Europe. Actually, it was born in Western Europe, and born indeed of logical necessity as the last phase of the liberal democracy of 1770 and the last triumph of political Rationalism - which is to say, of the presumptuous intention to control living history by paper systems and ideals. Its first outbreak on a large scale, after the July conflicts of 1848, was the Paris Commune of 1871, which came near to mastering the whole of France. [27] Only the army prevented it [28] - that and the German policy which gave the army its moral support. It was then, and not in Russia in 1917, that out of the facts of a besieged capital were born the workers' and solders' councils which Marx (a simpleton in practical matters) ever afterwards commended as the possible form for a Communist government. It was then that the mass slaughters of opponents were carried out which cost France more lives than the whole of her war against Germany. It was then that the work-shy rabble were in power, and not the working class: deserters, criminals and bullies, literary men and journalists, with among them, as always, many foreigners: Poles, Jews, Italians, and even Germans. But it was a specifically French form of revolution. There was no mention of Marx, but all the more of Proudhon, Fourier, and the Jacobins of 1792. A loose alliance of the large cities (that is, of their lowest classes) was to overthrow and conquer the open country and provincial towns - a notion typical of Latin anarchy. Something similar had been attempted in 1411 by the butcher Caboche with the militarily organized Parisian populace, and the same idea was copied faithfully in Petersburg in 1917 with just such another "Western" populace and with the same catchwords. The "Asiatic" side of this Russian revolution, however, which hardly emerged at the time and has still not succeeded in overcoming the Western Communistic forms of Soviet rule, found its earliest expression in Pugatchev's insurrection (1772-75), which seized the whole of the Upper Volga region and even for a time Moscow, putting Tsarism itself in peril. The fanatically religious [29] peasantry, including whole Cossack tribes, killed everything in the way of representatives of Petrine, European-made Russia who fell into their hands - officers, officials, and, above all, the new nobility. They would have treated the representatives of the Soviet bureaucracy in the same way, and their descendants would gladly have it happen today - perhaps they will really do it tomorrow. Hatred of this foreign type of government, against which the Moscow of these days is less and less able to defend itself, is very old; it goes back to the insurrection of the "Strelitz" against Peter the Great. Democrats and Socialists from the West cannot appreciate a feeling so alien to their own way of thinking. It marks the contrast between the real Bolshevism, which seethes underground among all "white" nations and has produced these very democrats and Socialists, and that other form, the hatred which is piling up among all the coloured populations of the world against the whole white civilization, its revolutionary currents with the rest.

(27. The insurrection broke out also in Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Le Creusot, Narbonne - these all, very significantly, in the South.)

(28. Chapter II, Section 7.)

(29. "It was God's will that Russia should be chastised by me, His humble tool," said Pugatchev, when brought before his judges.)

And now what is the attitude of "society" in the West-European Civilization since 1770, and particularly since 1848, towards the fact of this revolution from below, which has long since reached the stage of scorning and deriding its Liberal beginnings and the concessions they have won, such as freedom of the press, of unions, and of meeting, finally universal suffrage - after exploiting them to the furthest limits of disintegration? By "society" we mean here that which is now generally called the "middle classes" in England and "bourgeoisie" on the Continent - the peasants being, as usual, ignored. [30] It is a chapter of shame that here presents itself to the historian of the future. Built up though it was on the basic human facts of rulership, grade, and property, society met the Nihilist attack upon these with submission, "understanding," acclamation, and support. This intellectual suicide was the common fashion of last century.

(30. The use of citoyen and bourgeois in France since 1789 is the actual expression of this will of town against country.)

It must be stated again and again that this society, in which in our own time the transition from Culture to Civilization is taking place, is sick, sick in its instincts and therefore in its mind. It offers no defence. It takes pleasure in its own vilification and disintegration. From the middle of the eighteenth century it has broken up more and more into Liberal and Conservative circles - the latter representing merely the opposition set up in desperate self-defence against the former. On the one side there is a small number of people who, possessed of the true political instinct, see what is going on and whither it is leading and exert themselves to prevent, moderate, or divert accordingly; people of the kind who formed Scipio's circle in Rome (and whose outlook inspired Polybius' historical work), and, again, Burke, Pitt, Wellington, and Disraeli in England, Metternich, Hegel, and Bismarck in Germany, and Tocqueville in France. They sought to defend the conserving forces of the old Culture - State, monarchy, army, consciousness of standing, property, peasantry - even in cases where they had reason to object, and are therefore cried down as "reactionary." This word, which the Liberals invented, is thrown back at them now by their Marxian pupils, in that they try to prevent the logical outcome of their actions: such is our reputed progress. On the other side stands almost everything that has the urban intelligence or, if not, at least looks up to it as the badge of superiority in the conditions of today and in terms of the power of the future - the future that is already the past.

At this point journalism becomes the dominant expression of the time. It is the critical esprit of the eighteenth century diluted and lightened for intellectual mediocrity - and let us not forget that age means to part, to dissect, to disintegrate. Drama, poetry, philosophy, even science and history [31] are turned into leading articles and feuilletons written with an unashamed bias against everything that is conservative and has formerly inspired respect. "Party" becomes the Liberal substitute for rank and State; revolution, in the form of periodic mass elections fought by all available means of money, brains, and even - after the Gracchan method - physical violence, is exalted into a constitutional process; government, as the meaning and duty of State existence, is either opposed and derided or degraded to the level of a party business. But the blindness and cowardice of Liberalism goes further still. Tolerance is extended to the destructive forces of the city dregs, not demanded by them. In Western Europe Russian Nihilists and Spanish anarchists are gushed over in "good" society with revolting sentimentality and passed on from one fashionable hostess to another. In Paris and London, above all in Switzerland, both they and their undermining activities are carefully protected. The Liberal press rings with maledictions of the prisons in which the martyrs of liberty languish, and not a word is dropped in favour of the countless defenders of the State, down to the simple soldier and policeman, who are blown into the air, crippled by bullet-wounds, or slaughtered in the exercise of their duty. [32]

(31. Think of Haeckel, for instance. And Mommsen's Roman History is a pamphlet of a man of '48 against "Junkers and parsons," with a completely misleading representation of the inner development of Rome. Eduard Meyer was the first to write an unbiassed history of these events in his Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Gracchen and Caesars Monarchie und das Prinzipat des Pompejus.)

(32. When Schopenhauer left a sum in his will for the dependants of soldiers who fell in Berlin in 1848 - no one else would have given a thought to these victims of the Revolution - literary men, headed by Gutzkow, cried out at so scandalous an action. It was the same spirit which inspired the sympathy expressed with the Bolshevist mass-murderer Trotsky when the "bourgeois" governments of Western Europe refused State protection to enable him to visit a watering-place.)

The concept of the proletariat, created of deliberate intention by Socialist theoreticians, has been accepted by the middle classes. Actually it has nothing to do with the thousand branches of strict and skilled labour - from fishing to book-printing, from tree-felling to engine-driving - and is scorned and felt as a disgrace by industrious, trained workers. It was intended solely to secure the amalgamation of these workers with the city mob for the purpose of overthrowing the social order. But Liberalism centred political thought upon it by employing it as though it were an established concept. Under the name Naturalism there arose a pitiable school of literature and painting which exalted filth to aesthetic charm, and vulgar feeling and thinking to a binding world-view. "People" no longer meant the community of the whole nation, but that section of the city masses which set up in opposition to this community. The proletarian appeared as the hero on the stage of the progressive bourgeoisie, and with him the prostitute, the shirker, the agitator, the criminal. From this time onward it has been "modern" and superior to see the world from below, from the perspective of a bar-parlour or a street of ill repute. The cult of the proletarian arose during that period, and in the Liberal circles of Western Europe, not in 1918 in Russia. A fatal notion of things, half false and half stupid, began to pervade educated and semi-educated minds: "the worker" becomes the real person, the real nation, the meaning and aim of history, politics, public care. The fact that all men work, and moreover that others - the inventor, the engineer, and organizer - do more, and more important, work is forgotten. No one any longer dares to bring forward the class or quality of his achievement as a gauge of its value. Only work measured in hours now counts as labour. And the "worker," with all this, is the poor unfortunate one, disinherited, starving, exploited. The words "care" and "distress" are applied to him alone. No one has a thought left for the countryman's less fertile strips of land, his bad harvests, his losses by hail and frost, his anxiety over the sale of his produce; or for the wretched existence of poor craftsmen in strongly industrialized areas, the tragedies of small tradesmen, fishermen on the high seas, inventors, doctors, who have to struggle amid alarms and dangers for each bite of daily bread and go down in their thousands unheeded. "The worker" alone receives sympathy. He alone is supported, cared for, insured. What is more, he is made the saint, the idol, of the age. The world revolves round him. He is the focus of the economic system and the nurseling of politics. Everybody's existence hinges on him; the majority of the nation are there to serve him. The dull lump of a peasant, the lazy official, the swindling tradesman, are legitimate targets for mirth, not to mention judges, officers, and heads of businesses, who are the popular objects of ill-natured jest; but no one would dare to pour the same scorn on "the working man." All the rest are idlers, egoists; he is the one exception. The whole middle class swings the censer before this phantom. No matter what one's own achievements in life may be, one must fall on one's knees before him. His being stands above all criticism. It was the middle classes who successfully "put over" this notion of him, and the very business-like "representatives of the people" continue to sponge upon this legend. They dinned it into the wage-earners until they believed it; until they felt themselves to be really ill-treated and wretched, until they lost all sense of proportion with regard to their output and their importance. Liberalism vis-à-vis the demagogic trend is the form of suicide adopted by our sick society. With this perspective it gives itself up. The merciless, embittered class war that is waged against it finds it prepared to capitulate politically, after having helped spiritually in the forging of the enemy weapons. Only the Conservative element - weak as it was in the nineteenth century - can, and in the future will, hinder the coming of this end.

Who is it, then, who has flattered and organized this mass of wage-earners in the cities and industrial areas, provided them with catchwords, driven them by cynical propaganda into the class war against the majority of the nation? It is not the industrious and highly trained workman, the "vagabond," as he is contemptuously called in the Marx-Engels correspondence. In a letter to Marx on the 9th May 1851 Engels speaks of the democratic Red and Communistic mob, and on the 11th December 1851 writes to him: "What is the rabble good for if it forgets how to fight?" The manual worker is merely a means to the private ends of professional revolutionaries. He is to fight for the satisfaction of their hatred of the conservative forces and their thirst for power. [33] If only workers were to be recognized as representatives of the workers, the benches of the Left would be very empty in all parliaments. Among the originators of their theoretical programs and leaders of revolutionary campaigns there is not one who actually worked for years in a factory. [34] The political Bohemia of Western Europe in which Bolshevism grew up from the middle of the nineteenth century was composed of the same elements which went to the making of the revolutionary Liberalism of 1770. Whether the February Revolution of 1848 in Paris was for "Capitalism" or that of June against it, whether "Liberty and Equality" were to be secured for the middle class in 1789 or for the lower orders in 1793 and 1918, the aims of the inciters of these movements and their ultimate motives were in fact all exactly the same; and no different is the situation in Spain today, and perhaps that in the United States tomorrow. It is from the intellectual "mob," with the failures from all academic professions, the spiritually unfit and morally inhibited, at its head, that the gangsters of Liberal and Bolshevist risings are recruited. Their "dictatorship of the proletariat" - which is to say, their own dictatorship with the help of the proletariat - is to be their revenge on those who are happy and successful, as a last means of appeasing the morbid vanity and vulgar greed for power which alike arise from unsettled self-respect, the final expression of depraved and misdirected instincts.

(33. Friedrich Lenz has demonstrated in Staat und Marxismus (1921, 1924) that it was only on these grounds that Marx attacked the states of the Holy Alliance, particularly Prussia and Russia, before he became a Socialist in 1843; and that he was still willing, at a much later date, to drop his own Communistic theory of the industrial proletariat and replace it by a rising of the peasants for the better success of his plan to destroy Tsarism.)

(34. What mostly happened, in fact, was that the worker who "worked his way up" by industry and ability rose to the management of a business. Bebel branded this in his fury as a betrayal of the working classes. In his opinion the only conscious aim of the worker should be to arrive by way of a party secretaryship at mass-leadership.)

Among all these jurists, journalists, schoolmasters, artists, and technicians one is apt to overlook one type, the most sinister of all: the sunken priest. Religion is the personal relation to the powers of the world around us, expressed in a world view, in pious usages and the personal attitude of renunciation. A church is the organization of a priesthood which fights for its temporal power. It brings the forms of religious life, and therewith the people who cling to them, under its power, and it is therefore the born enemy of all other forms of power: State, rank, or nation. During the Persian Wars the priesthood of Delphi agitated on behalf of Xerxes and against the national defence. Cyrus was able to conquer Babylon and overthrow Naboned, the last king of the Chaldees, because the priesthood of Marduk was in league with him. The histories of ancient Egypt and ancient China are full of examples of the sort, and in the West there was only occasionally truce between monarchy and church, throne and altar, nobility and priesthood, when an alliance between them against a third party promised to be advantageous. "My kingdom is not of this world" is the deep saying which is true of every religion and is betrayed by every church. But every church from the very fact of its existence falls in with the conditions of historical life; it thinks in terms of political power and material economy; it wages war in diplomatic and military fashion, and shares with other institutions of power the consequences of youth and age, rise and decay. Above all, in respect of conservative policy and tradition in State and society, it is not honest and qua church cannot be so. All young sects are at bottom hostile to State and property, class and rank, and are attracted to universal equality. [35] And the policy of any church that has grown old, conservative as it may be with regard to itself, is always being tempted to become in relation to State and society Liberal, democratic, or Socialistic - that is, levelling and destructive - as soon as the struggle between tradition and the mob sets in.

(35. And every revolutionary movement, on the contrary, has the quite unintentional and often unobserved tendency to take on the forms of a cult. The cult of Reason in the French Revolution is one example, Lenin's mausoleum another.)

All priests are human beings, and hence the fate of churches becomes dependent upon the human material of their continuously changing personnel. Even the strictest selection - and it is as a rule masterly - cannot prevent vulgar instincts and vulgar thought from becoming frequent and even predominant in times of social degeneration and revolutionary demolition. In all such times there is a priest-rabble which drags the dignity and faith of the church through the mud of party politics, allies itself with the revolutionary forces, and, by sentimental talk about loving one's neighbour and helping the poor, eggs on the underworld to set about destroying the social order - that order with which the church is irrevocably and fatally bound up. A religion is that which the soul of the faithful is. A church is worth just so much as the priest-material of which it is composed is worth.

At the beginning of the French Revolution we have, besides the swarm of degenerate abbés, who for years had mocked at authority and rank in their writing and preaching, the runaway monk Fouché and the renegade bishop Talleyrand, both of them regicides and thieves en grand, Napoleonic dukes and traitors to their country. From 1815 onward the Protestant priest tends to become more and more a democrat, Socialist, and party politician. Lutheranism, which is hardly a church, and Puritanism, which is not one at all, have neither of them as such promoted any destructive policy. The individual priest went on his own account among "the people" and into the workers' party, spoke in electoral assemblies and parliaments, wrote on "social" questions, and ended as a demagogue and Marxian. The Catholic priest, however, who was more firmly attached to his church, pulled it over with him. It became woven into the party agitations, at first as an effective medium and finally as a sacrifice to this policy. A Catholic trade-union movement with Socialist-Syndicalist tendencies existed in France as early as Napoleon III's reign. In Germany the first example of such arose after 1870, inspired by the fear that the "Red" trade unions would gain sole power over the masses in the industrial areas. And it at once came to an understanding with these. All workers' parties are dimly aware of their common cause, however much the executive groups may hate each other.

Truly, it is a long time since Leo XIII's view of world politics commanded a following, and a true prince of the church like Cardinal Kopp ruled over the clergy in Germany. At that period the church was conscious of being a conservative force, and it knew well that its fate was bound up with that of the other conservative forces - State authority, monarchy, the social order, and property - that it stood, in the class war, unconditionally against the Liberal and Socialist forces, on the "Right," and that its prospect of outlasting the revolutionary age depended upon doing so. But the change has come quickly. Spiritual discipline is shaken. The activities of the mob element in the priesthood tyrannize over the church right up to the highest positions, and those who hold them are forced to keep silence to hide their impotence from the world. Church diplomacy, formerly directed from above in so distinguished a manner, and exercising its tactical judgment over things decades ahead, gives way increasingly to the vulgar methods of day-to-day politics, to party democratic agitation from below, with its contemptible dodges and specious argumentation. Thought and action are on the level of the cosmopolitan underworld. The traditional striving for temporal power is reduced to petty ambition in the direction of election successes and alliances with other "mob" parties for the sake of material results. The mob element in the priesthood, once severely curbed, now prevails, with its proletarian way of thinking, over the really worthy section of the clergy that considers the soul of a man to be worth more than his vote and takes metaphysical problems more seriously than demagogic raids upon economic life. Tactical mistakes, such as the Spaniards made in imagining they could separate the destinies of throne and altar, would not have been made a few decades back. But since the end of the World War the church - in Germany above all, where, being an ancient power of rigid traditions, it had to pay heavily in prestige with its own adherents by descending to street level - has sunk to class wars and association with Marxism. There is in Germany a Catholic Bolshevism which is more dangerous than the anti-Christian because it hides behind the mask of a religion.

Now, all Communist systems in the West are in fact derived from Christian theological thought: More's Utopia, the Sun State of the Dominica Campanella, the doctrines of Luther's disciples Karlstadt and Thomas Münzer, and Fichte's State Socialism. What Fourier, Saint-Simon, Owen, Marx, and hundreds of others dreamed and wrote on the ideals of the future reaches back, quite without their knowledge and much against their intention, to priestly-moral indignation and Schoolmen concepts, which had their secret part in economic reasoning and in public opinion on social questions. How much of Thomas Aquinas' law of nature and conception of State is still to be found in Adam Smith and therefore - with the opposite sign - in the Communist Manifesto! Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism. All abstract brooding over economic concepts that are remote from any economic experience must, if courageously and honestly followed out, lead in one way or another to reasoned conclusions against State and property, and only lack of vision saves these materialist Schoolmen from seeing that at the end of their chain of thought stands the beginning once more: effective Communism is authoritative bureaucracy. To put through the ideal requires dictatorship, reign of terror, armed force, the inequality of a system of masters and slaves, men in command and men in obedience - in short: Moscow. But there are two sorts of Communist. The one, the credulous type, obsessed by doctrine or feminine sentimentality, remote from and hostile to the world, condemns the wealth of the wicked who prosper and also, at times, the poverty of the good who do not prosper. This lands him either in vague Utopias or throws him back upon asceticism, the monastic life, Bohemia, or vagabondism, which proclaims the futility of all economic effort. But the other, the "worldly" type with the realist political outlook, hopes through its followers to destroy society, either from envy or revenge, because of the low place assigned in it to their personality and talents, or, alternatively, to carry away the masses by some program or other for the satisfaction of his own will-to-power. But this, too, likes to hide itself under the cloak of some religion.

Marxism is indeed a religion, not in the sense of its founder, but in that which his revolutionary following has imparted to it. Like any church it has its saints, apostles, martyrs, fathers, bible and mission. Like any church it has dogmas, heresy-tribunals, an orthodoxy and a scholasticism, and, above all, a popular moral - or rather two, for believers and unbelievers. And does it make any difference that its doctrine is materialistic through and through? Are those priests who agitate on economic questions any less so? What are, actually, Christian trade unions? Christian Bolshevism, neither more nor less. Since the beginning of the Rationalist age - that is, since 1750 - there is materialism both with and without Christian terminology. As soon as one mixes up the concepts of poverty, hunger, distress, work, and wages (with the moral undertone of rich and poor, right and wrong) and is led thereby to join in the social and economic demands of the proletarian sort - that is, money demands - one is a materialist. And then the pressing inward need for a high altar is supplied by the party secretariat, for a poor-box by election funds - and the trade-union official becomes the successor to St. Francis.

This materialism of the Late megalopolis is a practical cast of thought and action, whatever the "faith" may be that accompanies it. It is the mode of regarding history and public and personal life "economically" and of looking upon economics, not as a thing of vocations and the content of lives, but as the method by which with the least exertion the most money and pleasure can be secured: panem et circenses. Most people nowadays do not realize at all how materialistic they are in themselves and their thought. They may be zealous in prayer and confession and have the word "God" for ever on their lips, [36] they may even be priests by calling and conviction, and yet be materialists. Christian morality is, like every morality, renunciation and nothing else. [37] Those who do not feel it to be so are materialists. "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" means: do not regard this hard meaning of life as misery and seek to circumvent it by party politics. But for proletarian election propaganda the precept is certainly not suitable. The materialist prefers to eat the bread that others have earned in the sweat of their face, the peasant, the craftsman, the inventor, the captain of industry. But the famous "eye of a needle," through which many a camel passes, is not too narrow for the "rich man" only; it is equally narrow for the man who extorts bigger wages and shorter working hours by means of strikes, sabotage, and elections - and for him, too, who engineers these for the sake of his own power. It is the utility-moral of the slave-souls: slaves, not because of their situation in life - for that we are all without exception, from the destiny of being born at a particular time and place - but because to regard the world from below is mean. Does one regard the state of being rich with envy or with contempt? Does one acknowledge the man who has by personal superiority worked his way up to the rank of a leader - from locksmith's apprentice, say, to founder and owner of a factory - or hate him and try to pull him down? That is the test. But this materialism, to which renunciation is incomprehensible and absurd, is nothing but egoism of individuals and classes, the parasitic egoism of inferior minds, who regard the economic life of other people, and that of the whole, as an object from which to squeeze with the least possible exertion the greatest possible enjoyment: panem et circenses. Such people look upon personal distinction, industry, success, joy in achievement as wickedness, sin, and treason. It is the moral of class war, which lumps all this together under the name Capitalism (which had from the first a moral significance) [38] and sets it up as a target for proletarian hate, while on the other side it aims at welding the wage-earners into one political front with the underworld of the great cities.

(36. The very prevalence of this fashion in speech and writing today shows that the word has become a catchword, an empty concept, and anything but the expression of religious renewal and inner experience. There are profound religions and great men's religious convictions that are atheistic, pantheistic, or polytheistic, in China, India, the Classical world, and in the West today. The old Germanic word god was a neuter plural and was only turned into a masculine singular by Christian propaganda. The ways in which we seek to interpret the impenetrable mystery of the world around and the fact we do it have nothing to do with the order of the religious view and attitude. But here there is confusion of "religious" with "confessional," the acknowledgment of certain doctrines and precepts, and with "clerical," the recognition of the claims of a priesthood. In reality the profundity of a religion depends upon the personality of him in whom it lives. Without lay piety even a definitely priestly religion is non-viable.)

(37. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 272 et seq.)

(38. Politische Schriften ("Preußentum und Sozialismus"), pp. 77 et seq.)

Only the "worker" is permitted and commanded to be an egoist, not the peasant or craftsman. He alone has rights instead of obligations. The others have obligations and no rights. He is the privileged class whom the others have to serve by their labour. The economic life of the nation exists for him and must be organized solely with a view to his comfort, whether it falls to pieces in the process or not. That is the world outlook - fashioned by the "people's representative" class and by academic riff-raff from professor to priest - by which the lower orders of society are demoralized in order that they may be mobilized in the interests of the leaders' hatred and thirst for power. For this reason Socialists of higher quality and conservative ways of thinking, like Lassalle, supporter of monarchy, and Georges Sorel, who looked upon the defence of fatherland, family, and property as the noblest task of the proletariat (and of whom Mussolini has said that he owes more to him than to Nietzsche) are difficult to reconcile with Marx and are therefore never quoted according to their true intent.

Among the many sorts of theoretical Socialism or Communism it is, of course, the lowest, and in its ultimate intentions the most dishonest, that has won the day; the one which has been most ruthlessly directed towards acquiring power over the masses for the professional revolutionaries. We may call it Marxism or not as we please. It is equally unimportant which theory supplies the catchwords for propaganda or behind which non-revolutionary world-outlook it conceals itself. The practical thought and intention is all that matters. He who is vulgar thinks, feels, and acts vulgarly and will not be changed by donning priestly robes or waving national flags. Whoever founds or leads trade unions or Labour parties anywhere in the world today [39] is almost of necessity bound to succumb very quickly to the Marxist ideology, which slanders and persecutes all political and economic leadership, the social order, authority and property, under the collective concept of Capitalism. He will at once find among his followers the now traditional conception of the economic system as class war, and will be forced to depend upon it if he wishes to remain a leader. Once for all, proletarian egoism, with its aims and methods, is the form in which the "White" Revolution has been working itself out for almost a century, and it makes little difference whether it calls itself a social or a Socialist movement and whether its leaders insist on being Christians [40] or not. The floraison of world-improvement theories fills the first ascending century of Rationalism from the Contrat social (1762) to the Communist Manifesto (1848). [41] In those days men believed, like Socrates and the Sophists, in omniscience of human reason and its ability to control destinies and instincts and to order and direct historical life. Even in the Linnaean system the human being took rank as homo sapiens. The beast in man, which gave a forceful reminder of its existence in 1792, was forgotten. Never were people further removed from the scepticism of the true judge of history and the wise man who in all ages knows that "man is wicked from his youth up." It was thought that the nations could be organized according to doctrinaire programs with a view to their ultimate bliss, and at any rate the readers of the materialistic Utopias believed in them - though how far the writers did is another matter.

(39. This applies to the Left wing of the very national English Labour Party and to German National Socialism as much as to Spanish anarchist clubs and American and Japanese trade unions, little as they wish, at times, to hear Marx mentioned.)

(40. The leader of the Catholic Miners' union said, speaking at Essen on the 18th January 1925: "Social ideas establish themselves either by way of reform or by way of force. This is not intended as a threat, but as an established fact, and if a revolution does come again, I do not think that the heads of the German business leaders will be saved." The Catholic unions have repeatedly, with the applause of the "atheistic" ones, demanded the expropriation of mining property and industrial establishments at today's valuation - that is, without compensation. This is the expropriation of the expropriators of the Communist Manifesto (cf. the pamphlet: Christentum oder Klassenkampf? by F. Holtermann, Berlin). The growing discontent of the worthier section of the clergy against the priestly elements which helped to develop Catholic Bolshevism and drive it into an alliance with Social Democracy, is so great and has spread so extensively from them to the peasantry and middle classes that the formation of a German National Church - such as the famous Vicar-General of the bishopric of Konstanz, von Wessenberg, tried to establish at the time of the Vienna Congress - is not beyond the bounds of possibility.)

(41. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 453 et seq.)

But after 1848 all this came to an end. One of the reasons why the Marxian system became the most effective was that it was the last. Anyone who today draws up political or economic programs for the salvation of "mankind" is out of date and tiresome. He is near to becoming ridiculous. But the upsetting effect of such theories on blockheads - who in Lenin's estimation amount to ninety-five per cent of all humanity - is still very great (and is actually on the increase in England and America), except in Moscow, where there is only a pretence, for political purposes, of believing in it.

The classic "political economy" of 1770 and the equally old materialistic, or "economic," conception of history, both of which deduce the destinies of millennia from the concepts of "market," "price," "goods," belong fundamentally to this same category. They are inwardly related, in many ways identical, and lead inevitably to dreams of a Third Empire such as the nineteenth-century faith in "progress" looked for as in some way the end of history. It was the materialistic travesty of the conceptions of a Third Kingdom held by great Gothic Christians like Joachim de Floris. [42] It was to establish perfect bliss on earth, the fool's paradise of all the poor and wretched, who more and more came to be identified with "the worker." It was to bring with it the end of anxiety, the dolce far niente, and eternal peace; and the road to it was to be made by class war and the abolition of property, the breaking down of interest-slavery, State Socialism, and the destruction of all masters and plutocrats. It was triumphant class egoism, labelled "welfare of mankind" and raised morally to heaven.

(42. The Decline of the West, I, p. 363.)

The ideal of the class war [43] appears first in 1789 in the famous propaganda pamphlet of Abbé Sieyès - again a Catholic priest! - on the Third Estate, which was to level the two above it. From this young-revolutionary Liberal form it developed logically into the Bolshevist late form of 1848, which transferred the struggle from the political to the economic domain, not for the sake of economic life, but for the purpose of securing political aims by its destruction. If "middle-class" ideologists discover any difference between idealism and materialism in this connexion, they must be unable to see through the foreground of catchwords into the depths of the ultimate aims, which in the one and the other case are absolutely the same. All class-war theories have been drawn up with the object of mobilizing the masses of the large cities. The "class" which could be used for fighting had first to be created. The aim was described in 1848, when the first experience of revolutions lay well behind, as the dictatorship of the proletariat, but that first experience might equally have been called the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie - for that is all that Liberalism sets out to be. It is the ultimate meaning of constitutions, republics, and parliamentarism. But in reality what was meant in each case was dictatorship of the demagogues, and the demagogues' intention was in part, by the aid of a systematically demoralized mob, to annihilate nations out of pure revenge and in part to gratify their thirst for power by enslaving them.

(43. Politische Schriften, pp. 74 et seq.)

Every ideal is born of someone who has need of it. The ideal of the Liberal, as of the Bolshevist, class war was created by people who had either striven unsuccessfully to gain admittance to a higher class of society than their own or found themselves in one to whose ethical standard they could not rise. Marx is a "failed bourgeois," hence his hatred of the bourgeoisie. And the same applies to all the other lawyers, writers, professors, and priests: they had chosen a profession to which they were not called. This is the moral premiss of professional revolution.

The ideal of class war is, as we all know, an overthrow. Not the construction of anything new, but the destruction of what exists. It is an aim without a future. It is the will-to-nothing. Utopian programs are designed only for the spiritual bribery of the masses. The only serious intention is in the object of the bribery, the creation of class as a fighting force by means of systematic demoralization. Nothing is a better welder than hate. We ought, though, to speak of class envy rather than class hatred. For in hatred there is a silent acknowledgment of the opponent, while envy is the crooked glance from below up to something higher, which remains uncomprehended and unattainable and must therefore be pulled off its perch, sullied and despised. The vision of the proletarian future, therefore, embraces not only the happiness of the many, [44] which consists in happily doing nothing - once more, panem et circenses - and perpetual peace in which to enjoy it, free from all anxiety and responsibility; but also, and primarily, with typical revolutionary bad taste, the opportunity of gloating over the unhappiness of the few, of the once mighty, the wise, the aristocratic, and the rich. [45] Every revolution proves it. It is only half the fun for the lackeys of yesterday to gorge at their masters' table; their masters must also wait upon them.

(44. The Liberal formula: "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" derives from the English materialists of the eighteenth century, among whom were devout theologians of the stamp of Paley and Butler. It developed logically into the Bolshevist formula of the reign of the proletarian masses. There is no longer any talk of innate differences of rank. Only quantity matters, quantity of happiness and of happy people. Qualities do not count.)

(45. This too is an ideal of Christian theology, which it counts it among the joys of paradise that one may watch the tortures of the damned: "Beati in regno coelesti videbunt poenus damnatorum, ut beautitudo illis magis complaceat." - Thomas Aquinas.)

The target of class war, which about 1789 had been waged against "tyrants" (kings, squires, parsons), began about 1850 - for by that time the political struggle had been transferred to the economic sphere - to be "Capitalism." It is hopeless to try to define this catchword - for such it is. It is no product of economic experience, but is meant to have a moral, not to say semi-Christian implication. [46] It is intended to express the essence of economic evil, the great sin of superiority, the devil disguised as economic success. In certain middle-class circles it has even become a term of abuse for everyone who is disliked, every person of rank, successful entrepreneurs and tradesmen as well as judges, officers, and scientists, or even peasants. It denotes everyone who is not a "worker" or labour leader, everyone who has not failed through inferior ability. For all malcontents, for the spiritual mob, it serves as one comprehensive label for those who are strong and sound.

(46. Politische Schriften, pp. 77 et seq.)

"Capitalism" is in no sense a form of economy or a "bourgeois" method of making money. It is a way of looking at things. There are economists who have discovered it in the time of Charlemagne and in the most primitive villages. Since 1770 economists have regarded the economic system, which is really one side of nation's historical existence, from the standpoint of the English merchant. [47] The English nation was at that time engaged in monopolizing world commerce. Hence its reputation as a "nation of shopkeepers." But the merchant is only a middleman. The existence of economic life is a premiss of his own activity in making himself the centre of gravity around which others, in the role of producers and consumers, revolve. This position of power is what Adam Smith describes, his "science." And that is why economics to this day starts from the viewpoint of prices and envisages goods and markets instead of economic life and active human beings. And this is why, henceforth, and especially since the rise of Socialist theory, labour also counts as goods, and wages as its price. In a system of this sort there is no room either for the work of the higher executive and inventor or for that of the peasant. All one sees is manufactured goods - and oats or pigs. It will not be long before peasants and craftsmen have been quite forgotten and the division of mankind into categories will - as with Marx - result in two only: the wage-earner and the others, the "exploiters."

(47. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 469, 483-4. Even Sombart (Der moderne Kapitalismus, 1919, I, p. 319) describes the purport of every economic system as being organization for economic traffic.)

Thus arose the artificial division of "humanity" into the two classes, producers and purchasers, [48] which in the hands of class-war theorists are falsely contrasted as capitalists and proletarians, bourgeoisie and labour, exploiters and exploited. Of the trader, however, the real capitalist, one hears nothing. The manufacturer or the farmer is the visible enemy, because he accepts hired labour and pays wages. The notion is senseless, but effective. The stupidity of a theory has never prevented its being effectively used. Criticism appertains to the author of a system - the believer in invariably uncritical.

(48. Sombart says in the same passage: "Capitalism is an organization for economic traffic in which invariably two different groups of the population, bound together by the market, co-operate: the owners of the means of production, who also control them (economic subjects), and the mere workers (economic objects)." But this, though "Liberal," is already half-way to Marx. It applies neither to the peasants nor to craftsmen.)

"Capitalism" and "Socialism" are both of an age, intimately related, produced by the same outlook and burdened with the same tendencies. Socialism is nothing but the capitalism of the lower classes. [49] The Manchester Free Trade doctrine of Cobden and the Communist system of Marx were both born in 1840 and in England. Marx even welcomed free-trade Capitalism. [50]

(49. What I described in Preußentum und Sozialismus, and what has always been misunderstood, was Socialism as an ethical attitude, not as a materialistic, economic principle.)

(50. He said in 1847: "Generally speaking, the protectionist system today is conservative, whereas the Free Trade system has a destructive effect. It destroys the former nationalities and renders the contrast between proletariat and bourgeoisie more acute. In a word, the Free Trade system is precipitating the social revolution. And only in this revolutionary sense do I vote for Free Trade." - (Appendix to Elend der Philosophie.))

"Capitalism from below" wishes to sell its goods - namely, paid labour - at as high a price as possible, without regard to the purchasing power of the buyer, and to supply as little as possible. Hence the hatred of Socialist parties for quality-work and piece-work and their efforts to do away where possible with the "aristocratic" distinction between the payment of skilled and unskilled labour. They wish to force up the price of manual work by means of strikes - the first general strike took place in England in 1841 [51] - and, finally, by expropriating the factories and mines, to place the fixing of wages in the hands of the bureaucracy of the labour leaders, who at this stage will be in control of the State. For that is the under-meaning of State ownership. "Capitalism from below" describes the property that talented and superior people have worked to acquire as "stolen," in order to get enough fists clenched for it to be appropriated without work. This, then, is the origin of the class-war theory, economically constructed with a view to the worker's vote and politically designed for the benefit of the labour leader. It was a short-range aim. Inferior minds can see no further than the morrow in their outlook on the future, and they act accordingly. Class war was meant to bring destruction and nothing else. It was to clear away the forces of tradition, both political and economic, to give scope to the revenge and dominion of the forces of the underworld. What lies in store beyond that victory, when class war has long passed away, no one in these circles has troubled to inquire.

(51. That the Marxian strike has, however, no economic aims, but a political purpose, becomes evident to most people only through the experience of a general strike. German Socialists have often enough said that it is the lost strikes rather than the successful ones which are of interest to the party; they stoke the fires of hate and weld the "class" closer together.)

Thus after 1840 the real and infinitely complicated economic life of the white nations was subjected to annihilating attack from two sides. Attack from above, by the league of financiers and speculators, "high finance," pervaded it with its bonds and credits and boards of directors, making the administrative work of professional entrepreneurs (among whom were numerous former employees who had worked their way up by their industry and talent) dependent upon its intentions and interests. The actual economic employer sank to being the slave of the financier. He might be working for the success of a factory while it was being ruined by a gamble on the stock exchange of which he knew nothing. [52] Attack from below, by the unions fashioned by the labour leaders, which set to work slowly but surely to destroy the economic organism. The theoretical weapon of the one is the scientific "Liberal" economics, which forms public opinion on economic questions and brings its arguments and decisions to bear on legislation; the weapon of the other is the Communist Manifesto, the principles of which are likewise used to influence the legislature by the "Left" of all parliaments. And both represent the principle of the "International," which is purely Nihilistic and negative. It is directed against the bounds set by the historical forms - and every form, every structure, is a setting of bounds - of the nation, the State, and the national economies whose sum is world economy. All these stand in the way of both high finance and professional revolutionaries. Therefore they are repudiated and marked for destruction.

(52. Politische Schriften, pp. 138 et seq., 305 et seq.)

But both types of theory are now out of date. All that could be said has long been said, and both theories have been so thoroughly discredited since 1918 by their prophecies, whether concerning New York or Moscow, that although they continue to be quoted, no one believes in them. The world revolution began under the shadow of them. It has perhaps reached its height today, but is far from being at an end, for it is assuming forms that are free from all theoretical twaddle.

And now at last it is possible to record the "successes" which the World Revolution has achieved. For the Revolution has reached its goal. It no longer menaces, it triumphs. It has won. And if its supporters argue the contrary to others or to their own horrified consciences, this is but one more case of the fate that eternally in human history pursues the fighter - the realization, with cruel distinctness, that the goal reached is quite different from that aimed at, and, in most cases, that it was not worth the trouble.

The success this time is enormous. It is for all white nations so terrifying that no one sees, or dares to see, all its implications; the originators have not the courage to acknowledge it as their work, neither has the remnant of "society," as it survives among the middle classes, the courage to confront them with the fact. The first part of the way from Liberalism to Bolshevism was traversed in fighting against the political forces. Today these are destroyed, devoured, crushed. Once more, as in the Rome of the Gracchi, we are shown that everything that the few big and strong beasts of prey, the statesmen and conquerors, have created through the centuries can be gnawed away in a short time by the mass of small animals, the human vermin. The old and honourable forms of the State lie in ruins. They have been replaced by formless parliamentarism, a dust-heap of what was once authority, art of governing and wisdom of State. And on it the parties, those hordes of business-politicians, scramble for the booty. Dynastic sovereignty has been replaced by election that each time brings new hordes of the unfit into State affairs.

And among these parties it is everywhere Labour and its trade unions (pursuing political aims with economic means, and economic means with political means), with their pooling of leader-material programs and methods of agitation, that have set the fashion for all. All seek to win over the masses of the great cities, pelt them with the same senseless hopes, and whip them on with the same accusations. Hardly a party now dares to suggest that it represents any other section of the nation but the "worker." Whether from cowardice or from hope of successes at the poll, they treat him almost without exception as a privileged class. In all countries they have succeeded in demoralizing him, turning him into a most exacting, discontented, and therefore unhappy creature, putting him in the melting-pot with the rabble of the streets to produce a like-minded unit, a "class," to breed from him the type of the proletarian in spirit - which by the mere fact of its existence guarantees revolutionary success, which despises industriousness and achievement as a betrayal of the "cause," and whose highest ambition it is to become a leader of the masses and pillar of the Revolution.

It makes no difference whether these class-war fronts have taken the form of bureaucratic parties or trade unions, such as the Marxian, Catholic, and National unions in Germany and similar ones in England; whether they have the Latin form of anarchist and Socialist clubs as in Barcelona and Chicago, or whether they exist, as once in Russia and now in America, in underground movements and only rally visibly at the moment of action. One and all they consist of controlling groups of professional demagogues and a sheeplike following which has to serve the scarcely comprehended ultimate aim and be sacrificed to it. The governments have long ago become their executives, either because the mass-leaders themselves possess the parliamentary power or because their opponents, hypnotized by the "worker" ideology, lack courage to think and act for themselves.

They reign supreme in economics also, in this case using political means for a political object. And this object has never been lost sight of: class war against the organic forces and forms of economic life known as Capitalism. Since 1848 the ultimate aim is its annihilation, and this has now been achieved. The world-economic crisis of this year and a good many next years is not, as the whole world supposes, the temporary consequence of war, revolution, inflation, and payment of debts. It has been willed. In all essentials it is the product of the deliberate work of the leaders of the proletariat. Its roots lie far deeper than is thought. Its effects are only to be overcome in long, hard battles against everything that is popular today, and much of this can never now be undone. Courage to see what is actually happening would be the initial requirement, and I fear that the stock of this is very low. At no time has the whole world shown such cowardice before the general opinion of parliaments, parties, speakers, and writers. They are all on their knees before the "people," the masses, the proletariat, or whatever they may call that which blindly and unsuspectingly serves as weapon for leaders of the World Revolution. The reproach of being "the enemy of the worker" causes every politician to blanch.

But who, then, really won the World War? Certainly not any State, neither France nor England nor America. Nor white "Labour," though it did to a great extent pay for it: first with its blood on the field, then with its standard of life in the economic crisis. It was the noblest victim of its leaders. It was ruined for their ends. The labour leader won the War. That which in every country is called the Labour party and the trade union, but is in reality the trade union of party officials, the bureaucracy of the Revolution, gained the mastery and is now ruling over Western Civilization. It has driven the proletariat from strike to strike, from street-fight to street-fight and has itself proceeded from one devastating parliamentary resolution to another, either in virtue of its own power or because of the terror of the beaten middle classes. The governments, everywhere in the world, have since 1916 become more and more rapidly dependent on them and are obliged to obey their orders if they do not wish to be overthrown. These brutish inroads into the structure and meaning of economic life they must either allow to be made or make them themselves. Such attacks are wholly in the interests of the lowest grade of labour, the merest "hands," and take the form of extravagant raising of wages and reduction of working hours, of devastating taxes on the profits of management, on old family property, on industry, and on the peasantry. The sack of society has been accomplished. It was the reward of the mercenaries in the class war. The natural centre of gravity of the economic body, the economic judgment of the real experts, was replaced by an artificial, non-expert, party-political one. The equilibrium was destroyed and the structure collapsed. But this had for decades been the openly avowed intention of Western Bolshevism, and so economic catastrophe was a tactical victory, little as Labour had suspected or intended it. This overthrow of capitalism, prefigured ever since 1840 and enthusiastically lauded by Bebel, this "Last Judgment" on the bourgeoisie, ought, it is true, to have automatically brought about the longed-for dictatorship of the proletariat (that is, of its creators and leaders).

It has not done so, we think - and yet, has it not? Quite apart from Moscow, what but this was the trade-union Republic in Germany? Is not economic, bureaucratically administered Socialism the reigning ideal in the national Labour parties of Germany, England, and even Italy? Have not the men with creative economic ideas, the promoters of private economic enterprise, been sacrificed to this dictatorship on the platform of the world-economic ruin? The economic leader, the expert in economic life, has been ousted by the party leader, who, if he know nothing of economics, knows all there is to know about demagogic propaganda. He rules as a bureaucrat in the drafting of economic legislation, which has displaced the free decisions of the man who knows, as leading spirit in countless committees, courts of arbitration, conferences, cabinet meetings and whatever the forms of his dictatorship may call themselves, and even in the Fascist ministry of Corporations. He is out for State Socialism, for the elimination of private initiative, for economic "planning" - all of which mean the same thing: Communism. No matter if the "worker" be sacrificed with the "boss," the professional "labour leader" has at last the desired power in his hands and is able to avenge the underworld against those who, by the accident of birth which endowed them with talents and natural superiority, were called to see things from above and to govern.

I am well aware that most people will refuse with horror to admit that this irrevocable crashing of everything that centuries have gone to build was intentional, the result of deliberate working to that end. But so it is; there is proof of it. The process began as soon as the professional revolutionaries of Marx's generation had realized that, in North-West Europe, the dependence of industry on coal had become the vital factor of economic life. The bare existence of the growing masses of the nations depended on its flourishing. As regards England, this was already the case; as to Germany they were hopeful, and the doctrinaires who viewed the world diagrammatically as bourgeoisie and proletariat assumed as a matter of course that the same development must take place everywhere. But how did it stand with Spain and Italy, which had no coal? Or even with France, not to mention Russia? [53] It is amazing how narrow the horizon of these theologians of the class war was and remained, and how little this has been realized until our day. Did they ever include Africa, Asia, or Latin America in the sphere of their economic researches and prophecies? Did they waste one thought on the coloured workers of tropical colonies? Were they aware that these were omitted and why they had to be omitted? They talked of the future of "humanity," and instead of taking the whole planet into their field of vision they stared fixedly at a few European countries, whose State and society they intended to destroy.

(53. In the preface to the second Russian edition of the Communist Manifesto (1882) Marx and Engels set up a theory of evolution which entirely contradicts that expressed in Capital. Here the road to definitive Communism is, all at once, to run by way of the reputed village Communism of the peasants, the mir, instead of through an absolute domination of the bourgeoisie. There was in Russia neither bourgeoisie nor proletariat in the Western European sense, and the two demagogues therefore adapted their "conviction" to the masses whom they wished to mobilize against the Petrine State. The labour leaders of Moscow, on the contrary, proceeded, in the interests of the Western "truth," to fight the peasants for the sake of a working class which hardly existed.)

In the case of these, however, they saw that this would be possible if they paralysed the vitality of industry, and the systematic attack upon it began with the attempt to make its organized working impossible. This was done in the first place by forcibly reducing the daily hours of wage-earners in factories (at first in them only) in contrast to the higher work of executives, inventors and engineers. [54]

(54. This intellectual work can never be limited to a definite number of hours. It pursues and tyrannizes over its victims during their periods of rest, on their travels, and in their sleepless nights. It makes a real rest from thought and real relaxation impossible and uses up the most able men of the time. No worker for wages breaks down from overstrain or mental collapse. But among these others it happens in innumerable cases. So much for the demagogues' picture of the gourmandizing, idle bourgeois!)

In the eighteenth century the working day amounted to more than twelve hours, though without it being legally fixed, this being the usual practice among Nordic peasants and artisans. At the beginning of the nineteenth century it was limited in England to twelve hours, and about 1850 was again reduced by the Ten-Hour Bill, which incidentally was fiercely opposed by the workers themselves. [55] When the bill was finally passed, it was acclaimed in revolutionary circles as a victory for the working class and rightly, as the crippling of industry. The blow, it was believed, would be fatal. From that time the trade unions of all countries undertook to exert increasing pressure to reduce the working day still more and to extend the rule to all wage-earners. Towards the end of the century the limit was nine hours, and at the end of the World War eight hours. Today, as we approach the middle of the twentieth century, the forty-hour week is the minimum of the revolutionary demand. Since at the same time the ban on Sunday work is more strictly enforced, the individual worker delivers only half of the original, possible, and natural quantum of what he has to sell - namely, labour. And thus the "worker," who according to the Marxian doctrine is the only one who works, has become, to a great extent unwillingly, the one who works the least. What profession would tolerate so slight an output?

(55. Because they did not wish to be prevented from making full use of their working power, as every tailor might do. This healthy instinct still forces its way up, in spite of all Labour agitations, as is seen is the desire for overtime work and subsidiary occupations.)

This was the fighting method of the strike in a disguised, slowly penetrating form. It first took on meaning through the fact that the price for this form of goods, the weekly wage, was not only not reduced, but was forced steadily upward. Now, the "value," the actual product of the work done, is not an independent quality. It is a result obtained from the organic whole of industrial labour, in which the administrative work of controlling and regulating operations, the obtaining of materials, the marketing of products, the thinking out of costs and yield, of lay-out and equipment, and of new possibilities, are of far greater importance. The total output depends upon the order and amount of head-work, not hand-work, that is put into it. If there is no yield, if the product is unsaleable, then the work put into the process has been valueless and ought really not to be paid for at all. This is what happens to the peasant and the craftsman. But through the activities of the trade unions the hourly wage of the handworker has been removed from the unit of the organism. It is settled by the party leader, not by the economic leader, and if the latter does not and cannot consent to it, it is enforced by strikes, sabotage, and pressure on parliament. In the last hundred years it has risen by a great deal in proportion to the earnings of peasants and craftsmen. Everyone actively employed in the economic system is dependent for his gain on the economic situation - everybody except the wage-earning workman. He has a claim to the wage-level that is fixed inorganically and fought for by party-political means, even when it can only be maintained by allowing works to fall into decay, cutting out profits altogether, and selling goods at less than cost price - until the factories themselves give in, and a malicious feeling of triumph runs through the ranks of the labour leaders who have once more won a victory on the road to their eventual goal.

Today, when the birth of the class-war theory is nearly a hundred years behind us and no one any longer really believes in it, it seems doubtful whether these leaders are still conscious of the end for which all this work of destruction was originally designed and started. There is, however, a tradition and method which over long years has grown up among them by which they are bound to work unceasingly for reduction of work and increase of wages. It is this which proves their ability in the eyes of the Party. And if today the original dogmatic meaning is forgotten and the good conscience of the believer is lacking, the effect is still there, though it may be traced back to other causes: a new means of agitation, the finding of a new sin against the working class which may be fathered upon Capitalism.

Once the doctrine of "surplus value" had power to sway the undeveloped reasoning of the masses: the whole output of industrial production was equal to the value of executive manual labour and had to be allotted accordingly. What the manufacturer deducted from it - for upkeep of the works, payment for raw materials, salaries, interest: the "surplus value," in fact - was robbery. The administration, the inventors, the engineers, all did no work whatever; and if they had done, mental work such as theirs, which was a kind of doing nothing, had no real value. It was the same "democratic" tendency which scorned and would have destroyed quality of any sort, and thought only in terms of quantity, even in manual work. The "aristocratic" distinction between skilled and unskilled labour had to be abolished. Both should receive equal payment. Piece-work and superior production were branded as betrayal of the cause. This attitude has triumphed, and post-War Germany in particular is its triumph. It has eliminated competition among the workers, stifled the impulse to attain higher levels of skill, and thereby reduced the total output. That all this was Nihilism, the will-to-destruction, we see from the practice prevailing in Moscow today. There the situation of 1840 was re-established in every respect as soon as "the goal" had been realized: long working hours, low wages; the widest possible gulf - wider even than in America - between the payment of skilled and unskilled work, and the importation of foreign engineers to replace their own - who had been killed off, as, according to the doctrine of the Communist Manifesto, they merely exploited the worker without doing anything: their worth was not realized until later.

The idea that the worker had a right to the "full value" of his work, which was equated with the total yield of the undertaking, persisted until the end of the century. This at least set a natural limit for the wage-demands. But side by side with and out of it arose, from about the seventies onward, the far from theoretical method of forcing up wages by the political pressure of the workers' organizations. It was no longer a question of the limits fixed by the economic system to this exploitation in favour of the one class, but only of the limits of political, parliamentary, revolutionary power. In almost all "white" countries, about the turn of the century and in Germany most conspicuously after 1918, there existed, side by side with the constitutional Government a subsidiary one consisting of trade unions of every variety. Its task was primarily to feed the electorate with wages and purchase the right to do so from the "bourgeois" powers by granting them permission to govern. The "working-class vote," handled as such by all party leaders, had become the decisive factor for everything to which parliaments dared to commit themselves. Thus the political wage, for which there were no longer any natural, economic limits, became an established fact. The wage-tariffs, which the State was bound to support, were fixed by the party, not calculated economically, and the high tariff of trade unions became a right which no bourgeois party or government dared to touch or call in question. The political wage soon outdistanced the "full value" of the work. It drove industry in the "white" countries to desperate measures of self-help and self-preservation and so landed it in the tangled situation of which the result is the world-economic catastrophe now before us. Wage-Bolshevism, working through strikes, sabotage, elections, and government crises, drained so much blood from the economic life of nations - not Germany's alone - that fevered efforts had to be made to make good these losses by every imaginable device.

We must realize how comprehensive is the term "political wage" before we can estimate the pressure of this wage-dictatorship on the economic life of nations. Reaching out far beyond money payment, it embraces concern for the "worker's" whole existence, the burden of which is taken from him to be loaded on to "the rest." "The worker" has become a pensioner of society and of the nation. Every human being has, like every animal, to defend himself against the incalculable workings of destiny - or to submit to them. Each has his own personal cares, full responsibility for himself, and must inevitably make his own decisions in all dangers threatening himself and his aims. No one dreams of relieving, at the expense of others, farmers from the consequences of bad harvests, cattle disease, fire, and failing markets; or artisans, doctors, engineers, tradespeople, and scientists from the threat of economic ruin and unfitness for work owing to insufficient qualifications, sickness, or accident. Each of these has to deal with such things himself and at his own expense or else bear the consequences and beg or go under in any other way he pleases. Such is life. The craving to insure oneself, against old age, accident, sickness, unemployment - in short, against fate in every conceivable form - which is a sign of shrinking vitality, beginning from Germany has now embedded itself in one way and another in the mentality of all "white" nations. The victim of misfortune cries out to others without any will to help himself. But there is a difference which denotes the victory of Marxian thought over the original Germanic, individualist instincts of delight in responsibility and of the personal struggle with fate, the amor fati. All the rest in seeking to evade or to meet the unforeseen do so according to their own resolve and in their own strength; it is only the "worker" who is spared this decision. He alone can rest assured that others will think and act for him. The degenerating effect of this freedom from all responsibility, which is seen similarly in children of very rich parents, [56] has overtaken the whole working class, especially in Germany: at the first sign of any distress, appeal for help is made to the State, the party, society, or, in any case, "others." We have forgotten how to take decisions ourselves and to live under the stress of real anxiety.

(56. The result is the preposterous importance attached to minor anxieties - the "problems" of fashion or of cooking, of married or unmarried lovers' quarrels, and, above all, of boredom, which leads to weariness of living. Vegetarianism becomes a sport, and erotic taste a "world outlook." One commits suicide if one cannot have the desired evening frock or lover, or because one cannot agree about a dinner or an outing.)

But this means a further burden laid on the higher work in the community for the benefit of the lower. For this part of the political wage also - insurance of every kind against fate, the building of workers' dwellings (no one thinks of demanding these for farm labourers), the construction of playgrounds, convalescent homes, libraries, and the special terms for food, railway journeys, and amusements - is all paid for directly or indirectly by taxation of "the rest" for the working man. This in fact is an essential part of the political wage, and it receives very little thought. At the same time the national wealth of which we are given the amount in figures is an economic fiction. It is calculated - as "capital" - from the yield of economic undertakings or from the market prices of interest-bearing shares, and it falls with these when the value of the working factories is threatened by the burden of high wages. A factory that is thus made to close down is, however, of no more value except for the scrap-heap. Under the dictatorship of the trade unions, Germany's economic system had in the four years 1925-29 to meet an extra load of 18,225,000,000 marks annually in respect of increased wages, taxes, and grants for social purposes. [57] This means one-third of the national income spent one-sidedly. One year later the sum had grown to far beyond twenty milliard marks. What are two milliards for reparations compared with this? It endangered the financial position of the Reich and the currency. Its drag on the economic system was not even taken into account when the effects of wage-Bolshevism were in question. It was the expropriation of the whole economic system in the interests of one class.

(57. Report of the Langnamverein, 1929, p. 6.)

There is higher work, and lower: nothing can deny or alter this truth. It is the expression of the fact that Culture exists. The higher the stage of development in a Culture, the more powerful its creative force, the greater the difference between determining and subordinate actions of all kinds; whether political, economic, or artistic. For Culture is ordered, intellectualized life, a maturing and self-perfecting form, which calls for an ever higher grade of personality. There is work for which one must have an inner call, and other work that one must do, because one can do nothing better to earn a living. There is work for which only a few men of superior rank are competent, and other work which is valuable only in terms of duration and volume. Whichever it is, one is born to it. That is fate. It cannot be altered either by Rationalist or by sentimental-romantic equality-talk.

The global output of work for which the Western Culture is responsible, which is identical with it, becomes greater every century. At the time of the Reformation it amounted to many times what it had been in the age of the Crusades, and it grew to immense size in the eighteenth century, in response to the dynamism of creative leaders' work, which had of necessity made the demand for the lower type of mass labour greater and greater. But it is for that very reason that the proletarian revolutionary - who sees Culture from below and, not possessing it himself, is unable to understand it - seeks to destroy it, to do without "quality" work, or any work even. If there are no more men having Culture - to his mind they are a luxury and superfluity - there will be less work, and, above all, inferior work which anyone can do. I once read in a Socialist paper that when the money-millionaires have been abolished, the brain-millionaires must be sent after them. Real creative work is a vexation to such people. They hate its superiority and envy its success, whether the result takes the form of power or of wealth. The charwoman of a hospital is of more importance to them than the principal physician; the ploughman is worth more than the farmer who improves the grain and breeds pedigree cattle, the stoker more than the inventor of the engine. A transvaluation of economic values - to use a Nietzschean phrase - has come about, and as, in the eyes of the masses, any value translates itself into money, into pay, the lower-grade mass labour ought to be better paid than the higher work of outstanding personalities - and this is being brought about.

There have been consequences that no one yet has really understood. This "white" worker, whom Labour party leaders and a cowardly middle class vie with each other in flattering and spoiling, is becoming a luxury animal. Do let us leave out idiotic comparisons with millionaires who are "well off" - it is not a question of people who live in palaces and keep armies of servants. Take an modern industrial worker's private cost of living in comparison with that of a yeoman. About 1840 the mode of living was much the same for both. Today the former works far less than the other, but the manner in which the peasant - whether in Pomerania, Yorkshire, or Kansas - lives, feeds, and clothes himself contrasts so pitifully with what a metal worker, from the Ruhr area to Pennsylvania, spends on his keep and above all on his amusements that the latter would immediately strike at the suggestion that he should ever again take up this way of life with twice the work, and perpetual anxiety over bad harvests, markets, and debts into the bargain. That which appears as the minimum for existence and is regarded as "poverty" in the great Northern cities would seem extravagant in a village an hour's journey away - not to mention the style of living in the area of South-European land-Communism, where the simplicity of coloured races still exists. But this luxury of the working classes is a fact, and who pays for it? Not the work that is done. Their output is not worth so much by a long way. It is others who have to work, all the rest of the nation, to meet it. There are fools - and if Ford was serious in what he said and wrote, he is one of them - who believe that the workers' increased purchasing-power will preserve the level of economic life. But did those unoccupied masses in Rome after the Gracchan period do so? People talk of the home market without considering what this really is. Let this new dogma of the "white" trade unions be tested: pay the worker, not in money, but in the products of his own labour: in locomotives, chemicals, and paving-stones, and let it be his business to sell them.

He would not know what to do with them. He would be horrified to find how little these things are worth. It would also transpire that the same degree of Culture, the same intellectualized taste, is needed for the intelligent spending of money as for earning it by superior achievement. Luxury can be elegant or vulgar, and no one can alter the fact. It is the difference between a Mozart opera and a musical comedy, but the luxury wage is definitely not the complement of a refined craving for luxurious conditions. It is only the purchasing power of a higher rank of society that makes quality industry possible. The lower orders merely feed an entertainment industry, as in ancient Rome.

But this vulgar luxury of great cities - little work, much money, and still more amusement - exercised a fatal influence upon the hard-working and simple men of the open country. They learnt to know of needs of which their fathers would never have let themselves dream. Self-denial is hard when one has the opposite before one. The flight from the land set in: first the farm-hands and maids went, then the farmers' sons, and in the end whole families who did not know whether or how they could hold the paternal heritage in the face of all this distortion of economic life. It has been the same in all Cultures at that stage. There is no truth in the belief that Italy became depopulated after Hannibal's time by the large landed estates. It was the "panem et circenses" of cosmopolitan Rome that did it, and it was only when the land had lost its population and became worthless that the farming of large estates by means of slaves developed. [58] Otherwise it would have become a wilderness. The depopulation of the villages began in England in 1840, in Germany in 1880, in the Middle West of the United States in 1920. The peasant is tired of working without wages when the town offers him wages without work. So away he goes - to become a "proletarian."

(58. The Decline of the West, II, p. 106.)

The worker himself was innocent in the matter. He does not feel his mode of life to be luxurious; quite the contrary. He became wretched and dissatisfied like every unearning privileged person. That which yesterday was the object of extravagant desires has today become a matter of course and by tomorrow will be a state of distress calling loudly for help. The labour leader spoilt his man when he appointed him a praetorian of the class war. At the time of the Communist Manifesto he was to be made morally a proletarian to this end; now he is encouraged, to the same end, to hope that he will one day no longer be one. But in the one case as in the other the unjustified level of the political wage has led to more and more things becoming indispensable.

But can this wage, which has become an independent quantity alongside those of economics, possibly be paid any longer? What with? By whom? Close inspection shows that the conception of economic profits has undergone an imperceptible change under the pressure of the forcing up of wages. Only a healthy economic life can be productive. There is a natural, unforced profit as long as the wages involved in a process are functionally dependent on it. Once this becomes an independent, a political, quantity, an uninterrupted blood-letting which no living body can stand, there begins an artificial, morbid way of estimating economic operation, a race between the market, which must keep on top if the whole is not to collapse and bleed away, and the hurrying advance of wages with the accompanying taxes and the social contributions which are indirect taxes. The feverish tempo of increasing production comes chiefly from this secret wound in the economic life. The incitement to buy luxuries is diffused by every form of advertisement; the foreign market among coloured peoples is extended and imposed by force. The economic imperialism of the great industrial states, which uses military means to secure market areas and keeps them to their role as such, is intensified by the urge to self-preservation of the heads of industry, who have to hold their own under the perpetual political-wage pressure of Labour. From the moment that a real or apparent "recovery" of industry occurs in any part of the "white" world, the trade unions put in new wage-claims in order to secure for their followers profits which actually are non-existent. In Germany, when the reparations payments were suspended, it was at once assumed that these "savings" must go to benefit the working class. The natural result of luxury wages was an increase in the cost of production - and correspondingly a fall in the value of money - and here, too, there was political intervention, in that selling-prices were maintained or lowered by statute to secure the purchasing-power of the wages. Thus, the repeal of the Corn Laws in England about 1850 was a disguised form of wage-increase. Its effect was to sacrifice the agricultural labourer to the industrial worker, and since then this has been attempted or actually carried out everywhere, owing in part to the absurd economic pronouncement of bankers and other "experts" that the world should be divided into agrarian and industrial countries in order to obtain a practicable organization of "world economy." What, in these circumstances, was to become of the peasant class in industrial countries no one inquired. It was the mere object in Labour politics, the enemy to the monopoly interest of Labour. All Labour organizations are hostile to the land-workers, whether they admit it or contest it. Similarly the price of coal and iron was fixed under parliamentary pressure without regard to the cost of extraction, though this is bound up with these very wages; all sorts of special prices for the working classes were also insisted upon, and these had then to be made good by a rise in the normal prices for "the rest." If this damaged or even ruined the market, that was the private affair of the entrepreneurs, and the more their position was shaken, the more triumphant the trade unions felt themselves.

One result of the effects of this class war was the increasing need of productive industry for "credit," for "capital" - that is to say, for imaginary money values, which are there only as long as one believes in their existence and when the least doubt arises dissolve into nothingness in the form of a crash on the stock exchange. It was a despairing attempt to replace the lost real values by phantom values. The hey-day of a new and wily banking method had set in, by which enterprises were financed and at the same time controlled by the banks, which not only gave credit, but created it on paper, a ghostlike, homeless, and airy finance-capital. Old family properties have been more and more rapidly converted into joint-stock companies, made fluid, so that the money thus raised might fill the gaps in the circulation of expenditure and receipts. The indebtedness of productive industry - for shares are at bottom nothing but a debt - grew to fabulous proportions, and when the necessity of paying interest on it, as well as wages, began to look threatening for the latter, the final weapon of the class war was brought out: the demand for expropriation of the works by the State. By this means wages to be definitely withdrawn from the economic balance-sheet and regarded as State salaries, which will be fixed by the governing Labour parties at will and for which the means of the rest of nation will be commandeered by fiscal Bolshevism.

The final, decisive results of this folly of luxury wages have become increasingly apparent since 1900. The growing desolation of the agricultural countryside brought ever greater crowds into the sphere of the panem et circenses of the cities and tempted industry to enlarge its undertakings - no misgivings as to the disposal of the products having yet arisen. Between 1900 and 1914 fifteen million of countryfolk from South and East Europe migrated to the United States, where the farming population was already on the decrease. [59] In the North of Europe there was internal migration to the same amount. In the mining area of Briey, for instance, there were in 1914 more Polish and Italian than French miners. And then Nemesis overtook this development from a side which the class-war leaders had never taken into account, and had indeed never noticed.

(59. The pure farming population came to a standstill about 1900, declined by 100,000 from about 1910 onward, by half a million from 1920, and by a million from 1925.)

Marx both admired and hated the industrial system of the "white" countries of the North as the masterpiece of the bourgeoisie. He had eyes only for the home of it in England, France, and Germany, and his successors accepted this provincial horizon as the orthodox premiss of all tactical considerations. But the world was bigger than that, was something more than an area which meekly and obediently absorbed the exports of little Northern Europe. The mass of white workers lived not by industry itself but by the industrial monopoly of the Northern great powers. Only on the basis of this fact could the political wage be paid without leading to immediate catastrophe. But outside and beyond the class war of the working class with society within the field of the white nations, a race struggle of quite other dimensions raised its head; no labour leader had foreseen it, and no one to this day has realized, or dared to realize, the fateful relentlessness of its advance. The competition of white workers among themselves had been suppressed by trade-union organization and wage-tariffs. The difference that had grown up since 1840 between the standard of living of the industrial worker and the land-worker presented no dangers, as all the politico-economic rulings - customs, taxes, statutes - were unilateral, made by the industrial side against the agricultural. But in the new struggle it was the coloured worker's standard of living which competed with the luxury wage of the white working-class.

Coloured wages are a quantity of a different order and different origin from those of the white. They are dictated, not demanded, and are kept down if necessary by force of arms. This is not called "reaction" or "injustice to the proletariat," but colonial policy; and the English worker, at least, has been quite agreeable to it, having learned to think imperially. In demanding the "full" value of the proceeds as the workers' wages, Marx tried to suppress one fact which it would have been more honest to note and take account of: the proceeds of the Northern industries include the cost of tropical raw materials - cotton, rubber, metals - and this in turn includes the low wages of coloured labour. The overpayment of white labour therefore depends upon the underpayment of coloured labour. [60]

(60. Similarly, the purchasing-power of white wages is increased by the fact that the home agriculture has to face the competition of supplies produced on coloured wages, while it is itself tied to high scales of wages and expense generally.)

Soviet Russia prides itself on the tactics of undercutting by which it attacks the vitality of the "white" economic system: namely, the setting back of its own working-class - if necessary by starving them or (as in Moscow in 1923) shelling them. But as a matter of fact the method had been in process of development for a long time, and without any forcing, all over the globe. And it struck with terrific effect, not so much on the quality of Western industrialism as on the very existence of the white working-class. Were the Soviets so dogma-blinded as not to see this, or were they heralds of the will-to-annihilate of the Asiatic race-consciousness that is awakening and means to exterminate the Western Culture-peoples?

In the South African mines, whites and Kaffirs work side by side: the whites for eight hours at the rate of two shillings an hour, the Kaffirs for twelve hours at the rate of one shilling a day. This grotesque disproportion is maintained by the white trade-unions, which veto any attempt of the coloured workers to organize themselves and bring pressure to bear on their political parties to prevent the ejection of the whites, lock, stock, and barrel, although this is the obvious course. But this is only one example of the general situation between white and coloured labour all the world over. Japanese industry is driving its white competitors out of the field in every part of Southern and Eastern Asia by its low wages and has already made its appearance on the European and American market. [61] Indian textile goods are seen in London. And in the midst of this a fearful thing is happening. As late as 1880 the only exploited coal measures lay in Northern Europe and North America. Now they have been discovered and opened up in every continent. White Labour's monopoly of coal has vanished. And what is even more serious, industry has freed itself to a very large extent from dependence on coal through water-power, oil, and electrical power-transmission. It is now free to move about, and it does so. What is more, it moves everywhere away from the domain of white trade-union dictatorships into countries with low wages. The dispersion of Western industry has been in full swing since 1900. The mills of India were established as branches of English factories, with the idea of getting "nearer the consumer." Such was the original intention, but the West-European luxury wage has led to a very different result. In the United States industry has migrated more and more from Chicago and New York to the Negro areas in the South, and it will not halt at the Mexican frontier. There are growing industrial areas in China, Java, South Africa, South America. The flight of highly developed techniques to the colour areas continues, and the white luxury-wage is beginning to be rather theoretical, since the work by which it is earned is no longer wanted.

(61. At the beginning of 1933 the wage of the sixty-hour week in the Japanese textile industry was about $1.68, and that of the forty-eight hour week in Lancashire about $8.50.)

Even by 1900 the danger was immense. The structure of the "white" economic system was already undermined. It threatened to break down at the first world-historical upheaval under the load of the political wage, the reduced hours of work that men would stand, the saturation of all foreign markets, and the emergence of foreign industrial areas which were outside the jurisdiction of white Labour-parties. Only the unbelievable peace after 1870, which was diffused over the "white" world by its statesmen's dread of making incalculable decisions, [62] maintained the universal delusion vis-à-vis the catastrophe that was approaching with sinister speed. The gloomy presages of its coming were not noticed or not seriously considered. A fateful, shallow, almost criminal optimism - the faith in unswerving progress, as expressed in figures - dominated the leaders of Labour and of industry alike, not to mention the politicians, and found support in the morbid inflation of the fictitious finance-capital which all the world took to be real property, real and indestructible money value. But even by 1910 individual voices had been heard recalling that the world was in process of being satiated with the products of industry, including those of industrialized large-scale farming. Here and there proposals were made for an agreement between the powers upon a voluntary quota system of production, but there was no response. No one believed in any serious dangers. No one wanted to believe in them. And in any case the premisses were unsound, as such propositions came from one-sided observers who saw the economic system as an independent quantity and not as the expression of something far stronger, the policy of the creeping world-revolution which had forced economics into wrong forms and tendencies. The causes lay too deep to be even touched by inquiries into crisis and trade-cycle problems. And it was already too late. One more short breathing-space of self-delusion was permitted: the preparation for the World War, which claimed innumerable hands, or at any rate withdrew them from production work, as soldiers of the standing armies or as workers in war industries.

(62. See Chapter I, Section 3; Chapter II, Section 7.)

Then came the Great War, and with it - not caused by it, but merely no longer averted - the economic collapse of the white world. It would have come in any case, only more slowly and in less appalling forms. But this war was waged from the first by England, the home of practical Labour-Socialism, for the economic destruction of Germany, the youngest great power, the economic unit which was developing the most rapidly and on superior lines, and for her perpetual exclusion as a competitor in the world's markets. The more completely statesmanlike thinking foundered in the chaos of events, leaving only military and crude economic tendencies in the field, the more clearly everywhere emerged the sombre hope of ruining first Germany, then Russia, then the individual powers of the Entente, and finally the home industrial and financial position, and so of rescuing the home workers from the impossible situation. But even that was not the actual beginning of the catastrophe that followed, which developed out of the fact that, after 1916, the dictatorship of the working classes vis-à-vis State government had established itself, openly or secretly, in all white countries, whether actively engaged in the War or no, and that, although varying greatly in form and degree, it followed invariably the same revolutionary tendency. It overthrew or controlled all governments. It wormed its way into all armies and navies. It was - and rightly - more dreaded than the War itself. And after the War was ended, it worked up the wages of inferior mass-labour to a grotesque height and at the same time imposed the eight-hour day. When the workers came home from the War, there arose everywhere in the world, despite the enormous loss in human lives, the famous house-famine, due to the desire of the victorious proletarian to live under middle-class conditions - and his achievement of it. It was the pathetic symbol of the fall of all the ancient powers of class and rank. Seen from this aspect, the universal inflation of State finances and economic credits was for the first time understood for what it was: one of the most effective forms of Bolshevism, by which the ruling classes of society might be dispossessed, ruined, proletarianized, and as a result excluded from political government. Since then the world has been ruled by the low short-sighted thought of the vulgar man who has suddenly come into power. That was the victory! The destruction is complete, the future is almost hopeless, but the spirit of revenge upon society is appeased. Meanwhile things now appear as they are. The pitiless logic of history takes its revenge on the avengers - on the vulgar mentality, on the envious, the dreamers, the enthusiasts, who have been blind to the great and chilling facts of reality.

Thirty million white workers are workless today, in spite of the great war-losses and leaving out of account those other millions who are only partially occupied. This is not the result of the War, for half of them live in countries which took barely any part, or no part at all, in the War; neither is it the result of war debts or misguided currency manoeuvres, such as other countries can show. Unemployment stands everywhere in exact proportion to the height of the political wage-tariffs. It hits the individual countries in exact proportion to the respective numbers of white industrial workers. In the United States it is first the Anglo-Americans, whose labour is no longer required, then the East and South-East European immigrants, and finally, a long way behind them, the Negroes. It is just the same in Latin America and South America. In France the number is smaller, primarily because her Socialistic deputies know the difference between theory and practice and sell themselves with all speed to the reigning financiers instead of extorting wages for their constituents. But in Russia, Japan, China, and India there is no lack of work, because there are no luxury wages. Industry has fled to the coloured races, and in white countries only the labour-saving inventions and methods pay for themselves, because they relieve the wage-pressure. For decades now the increase of production with the same number of workers by means of technical refinements has been the ultimate means of enduring this pressure. Now it can no longer be borne, because the markets are lacking. Formerly the wages of Birmingham, Essen, and Pittsburgh provided the world standard, but now this is given by the coloured wage of Java, Rhodesia, and Peru. And to that must be added the levelling down of the aristocratic society of the white nations with their inherited wealth, their gradually acquired taste, their need of real luxury, which sets the example to others. The Bolshevism of the death duties and supertaxes levied at the dictates of envy - in England even before the War [63] - and the inflations which transformed whole fortunes into nothing have done their work thoroughly. But it is this genuine luxury that had created and maintained quality work, had allowed entire quality-industries to grow up, and had kept them alive. It tempted and educated the middle strata to greater refinement in its own demands. The greater this luxury, the more flourishing the economic system. Napoleon of old knew this. He did not concern himself with economic theories and was the better able to understand the economic life. It was from his court that the impulse came to revive the economic system which the Jacobins had destroyed, for a higher social order was again being formed - on the English model, it is true, because the old régime was murdered or ruined, save for some jejune and impoverished remnants. When the wealth that has accumulated among the ruling class is annihilated by the mob, when it becomes an object of suspicion and scorn, a danger to the owner, then the Nordic will to acquire property, will-to-power through property, ceases to create that wealth. Economic - spiritual - ambition dies out. Competition no longer pays. We sit in corners, go without things, and save - and this "saving," which always means the saving of other people's work, inevitably drives every highly developed economy to disaster. All this works together. Low-grade white labour is worthless, the labour mass in the Northern coal areas has become superfluous. It is the first great defeat of the white nations by the mass of the coloured nations - which embraces Russians, South Spaniards and South Italians, and peoples of Islam just as much as the Negroes of English-speaking America and the Indians of Latin America. It is the first menacing sign that the white world-supremacy is faced with the possibility of an overthrow by the forces of colour, as the result of the class war in its rear.

(63. Politische Schriften, pp. 264 et seq., 307 et seq.)

And no one withal dares to look into the real causes of this catastrophe, or down into its abysses. The white world is governed primarily by idiots - if it is governed at all, which one is entitled to doubt. Around the sick-bed of the white economic system stand ridiculous authorities who can see no further ahead than next year and from their narrow and long obsolete economic "capitalistic," "Socialistic" standpoints discuss minor palliatives. And finally: cowardice makes blind. No one speaks of the consequences of this century and more of the world revolution which has risen from the depths of our great cities and destroyed economic life - and not that alone. No one sees it, no one dares to see it.

The "working man" is, now as before, the idol of the world, and the "labour leader" is placed above criticism in deference to the tendency for which his existence stands. For all the loud abuse of Marxism, Marxism itself speaks in every word of it. Its most whole-hearted opponents are, all unwittingly, obsessed by it. And every one of us is a bit of a Socialist or Communist in the bottom of his heart. [64] Hence the universal unwillingness to admit the fact of the prevailing class-war and to deduce its consequences. Instead of ruthlessly opposing the causes of the catastrophe, so far as that is at all possible, we try to suppress the results, the symptoms - and not even to suppress them, but to whitewash, conceal, and deny them. There is not the beginning of any reconsideration of the revolutionary wage-level, but the new revolutionary demand for the forty-hour week, a further step on the way to Marxism, a further curtailment of white labour's output without reduction of income, a further rise in the cost of white labour, that is - for it is axiomatic that the political wage must not fall. No one dares to tell the mass of the workers that their victory has been their heaviest defeat; that labour leaders and Labour parties have led them to it for the sake of appeasing their own hunger for popularity, power, and well-paid posts; and that these are still far from the idea of releasing their victims and effacing themselves. But all the time the coloured races are working long and cheaply right to the limit of their working-capacity; in Russia under the knout, but elsewhere with the silent conviction that already they hold the hated white men, their masters of today - or of yesterday? - in their power.

(64. See Chapter III, Section 10.)

Then there is that catchword of "abolishing" unemployment, "providing" employment - that is to say, superfluous, useless work, since there is no longer any essential, profitable, useful work to be had in these conditions - and no one admits to himself that the cost of this production without a market, of these faked Potemkin villages in an economic wilderness, must some time be made good by means of "fiscal Bolshevism" (which includes provision of fictitious means of payment) from the relics of the healthy peasant class and urban society. Then, again, there is dumping, by means of systematic depreciation of the currency, whereby one particular country seeks to maintain a market for its products at the expense of others. This is at bottom a false and too easy miscalculation of real wages and real costs of production by which the buyer is deceived and of which, once more, what is left of the property of the rest of the nation has to bear the costs in the form of depreciation of values. But the fall of the pound, a huge sacrifice for England's pride, did not diminish the number of the unemployed - no, not by one man. There is only one form of dumping which has its natural roots in economic life and is therefore successful, the form of cheaper wages and greater output of labour. This is the basic reason for the destructive influence of Russian exports and of the factual superiority of "coloured" areas of production like Japan, whether they are engaged in industry or agriculture and whether they are killing white production by their own exports or by exporting themselves or by keeping home products so cheap as to exclude imports.

Finally there is the last desperate measure resorted to by the mortally stricken economies of nations: autarchy - or whatever big word may be chosen to describe this attitude of the dying animal. It manifests itself in the reciprocal putting down of economic barrages by political methods, by hostile tariffs, import prohibitions, boycotts, blockage of currency transfers, and everything else that has been or will be invented to establish a "state of siege" that almost represents actual war conditions and may one day put it into the heads of the militarily stronger powers that such gates may possibly be opened and economic capitulation enforced by a timely allusion to tanks and bombing squadrons. For, again be it said: the economic system is no self-contained kingdom; it is inseparably bound up with world politics; it is unthinkable without a strong foreign policy, and therefore, in the last resort, it is dependent upon the military strength of the country in which it lives or dies. [65]

(65. Politische Schriften, pp. 325 et seq.)

But what is the sense of defending a fortress if the enemy is within it, if treason in the form of class war leaves it doubtful whom and what one is really defending? Here lie the real and difficult problems of our time. But the raison d'être of grave questions is precisely that they should call forth the best efforts of the best brains. And when we see how, all the world over, they are whittled down, lied down, to the level of small fictitious problems, so that small men with small ideas and small expedients can make themselves important; when the "guilt" of the economic catastrophe is laid upon the War and the war debts, on inflation and currency difficulties, and when "returning to prosperity" and "ending unemployment" are all that people can find to say, and say unblushingly, about the finale of an overwhelming world-historical epoch - then may we well despair of the future. We live in one of the mightiest ages in all history, and no one sees, no one realizes it. We are experiencing a volcanic eruption that is without parallel. Night has set in, the earth trembles, and streams of lava are rolling down over entire nations - and we send for the fire-brigade! But this is the mob all over, mob rule in contrast to the handful of the thoroughbreds. It is the great individuals who make history, and whatever presents itself "en masse" can only be its object.

The world-revolution, however, is not over. It will outlast the middle, and possibly the end, of the century. It strides on unchecked towards its ultimate decisions with the historical ruthlessness of a great destiny which no past Civilization has been able to evade and to which all white nations of the present must inevitably succumb. Anyone who announces its end or believes that he has overcome it is simply incapable of understanding it. Its most forceful decades are only now setting in on us. Every leading personality in the age of the Gracchan Revolution - Scipio as much as his opponent Hannibal, Sulla no less than Marius - every great event, the fall of Carthage, the Spanish Wars, the revolt of the Italian allies, and the slave-revolts from Sicily to Asia Minor, are simply forms in which this deep inward crisis of society, the organic structure of the Culture-peoples, moves towards its fulfilment. It was the same in the Egypt of the Hyksos period, in the China of the "Contending States," and everywhere else in "contemporary" sections of history, [66] little as we may know about it. In this respect we are all slaves of history's "will," the organs of an organic happening, working with it and for it; and, as Schiller says, he who would set out to manage it prudently must himself train it towards its non-fulfilment. In this tremendous duel between major tendencies, which is being fought throughout the white world in wars, revolutions, strong personalities that are vessels of high success and deep tragedy, powerful but fugitive creations, the offensive comes at present from below, from the city masses, and the defensive from above is still feeble and lacks the good conscience which necessity brings. The end will be in sight only when the relation is inverted. And this is near at hand.

(66. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 410-11, 416, 427.)

In such times there are, under whatever names, two natural parties, two fronts in the class war, two internal forces and tendencies, and only two, no matter how many party organizations exist or whether such exist at all. There is proof of this in the progressive Bolshevization of the masses in the United States, in the Russian style that informs thoughts, hopes, and wishes. That is a party. [67] So far there is no focus of resistance against it in that country, which has no yesterday and perhaps no morrow. The brilliant episode of the dollar and dollar society, starting from the War of Secession in 1865, seems to be approaching its end. Will Chicago be the Moscow of the New World? In England the Oxford Union, which is the principal students' club of the most aristocratic university in the country, has passed by a sweeping majority the resolution: "that this House will in no circumstance fight for King and Country." What this signifies is the end of the mentality which has up till now reigned among all party-formations. It is not impossible that the Anglo-Saxon powers are beginning to fade out. And the West-European Continent? The country least troubled with this white Bolshevism is - Russia, which has no longer any "party," but a governing "horde" of the old Asiatic type under that name. Neither is there any longer faith in a program; there is only the fear of death - through being deprived of one's food-card or one's pass, banishment to a labour camp, bullet, or rope.

(67. Chapter III, Section 9.)

Vainly, in their cowardice, whole classes of society seek a conciliatory middle class between radical tendencies of "Right" and "Left." The age itself is Radical. It will have no compromises. There is no doing away with or denying the fact of the existing superiority of the Left, or the awakening will to a Right movement, which for the present has a footing only in close circles, in certain armies, and, among other places, in the English House of Lords. That is why the English Liberal party has vanished and why its heir, the Labour party, will also vanish in its present form. That is why the centre parties in Germany vanished without resistance. The will to the middle way is the senile wish for peace at any price, for a Switzerland of nations, for historical abdication, as if thereby the blows of history could be avoided. The opposition of graded social structure and town masses, of tradition and Bolshevism, of the higher existence of the few and the lower of mass labour (however labelled), is upon us. There is no third alternative.

But it is just as much an error to believe in the possibility of a single party. Parties are Liberal-Democratic forms of Opposition. They presuppose a counter-party. One party is as impossible in a State as is one State in a stateless world. The political frontier - of country or mentality - always separates two powers from each other. It is the infantile disease of all revolutions, this belief in a triumphant unity when in fact the problem of the age from which they themselves spring demands discord. Not in this wise are the great problems of history to be solved. They must and will mature and so pass on to new problems, new battles. The "Total State," an Italian catchword which has an international vogue, was realized by the Jacobins during the two years of the Terror. But as soon as they had annihilated the fallen powers of the old régime and founded the dictatorship, they split up themselves into Girondists and Montagnards, and the first-named of these occupied the place left vacant. Their leaders fell victims to the Left, but their successors in turn treated the Left in the same way. Then, with Thermidor, there set in the period of waiting for a successful general. It is possible to destroy a party in so far as it consists of an organization and a bureaucracy of salaried officials, but not one which is a movement, a spiritual and intellectual force. The struggle, which is a necessity of nature, is merely transferred within the surviving party, in which two fronts will be formed to carry it on. The fact may be gainsaid or covered up, but it is there.

This is true of Fascism and of every other of the many movements after the Fascist model that have arisen or (as, say, in America) are arising. Here every individual is confronted with an inevitable choice. It behoves him to know definitely where he stands, on the Right or the Left; otherwise the course of history, which is stronger than all theory and ideological dreaming, will decide for him. Conciliation is as impossible today as in the time of the Gracchi.

Western Bolshevism is dead nowhere - except in Russia. Its fighting organizations may be destroyed, but it lives on in new forms: as Left wing of the party which thinks it has conquered it; as a mentality as to the existence of which in their own thought individuals and masses alike are capable of complete self-deception; [68] and as a movement that breaks out suddenly one day in organized forms.

(68. Chapter III, Section 10.)

What do we mean by "Left"? Last century's catchwords such as Socialism, Marxism, Communism, are out of date; they no longer mean anything. We use them to avoid disclosing where we really stand. But the age demands clarity. "Left" is party, [69] is what believes in parties, for this is a Liberal form of the fight against high society, of class war since 1770, of the longing for majorities, for "all" to be in the running, for quantity instead of quality, for the herd against the master. But the true Caesarism of all declining Culture takes its stand upon small, strong minorities. "Left" is that which has a program, for a program presupposes an intellectual, Rationalistic, and Romantic belief in the power to control reality by abstractions. "Left" is the noisy agitation at the street corners and in public meetings, [70] the art of overthrowing city crowds by strong words and weak arguments: it was in the time of the Gracchi that Latin prose developed into that oratorical style which is good for nothing but the hair-splitting rhetoric which we find in Cicero. "Left" is the enthusiasm for mass in general as a foundation for one's individual power, the will to level everything distinctive, to equate the artisan with the people while casting derisive side-glances at the peasantry and bourgeoisie.

(69. The Decline of the West, II, pp. 449 et seq.)

A party is not only antiquated as a form; its basis is also a mass ideology that is already antiquated, it sees things from below, it runs after the thought of the majority. "Left" is, finally and above all, lack of respect for property - although no race has so strong an instinct of possession as the Germanic, and that precisely because it has been the strongest-willed of all historical races. Will-to-possession is the Nordic meaning of life. It controls and shapes our whole history, commencing from the conquering expeditions of semi-mythical kings down to the form of the family at the present day, which dies when the idea of property fades out. Where the instinct for this is lacking, "race" is not.

The great danger for the coming middle of our century lies in this, that we are prolonging the life of that which we could overthrow. It is a generation of semi-solutions and transitions. But as long as this is possible, the Revolution is not at an end. The Caesarism of the future will not persuade, it will conquer by force of arms. Only when all this has become self-evident - when we feel majorities to be a pretext, and despise them; when someone arises who is able to look down upon the mass, on party in every sense of the word, and on all programs and ideologies - only then will the Revolution have been overcome. Even in Fascism there exists the Gracchan fact of two fronts - on the left the lower-class town population and on the right the nation graded up from peasantry to ruling classes - but the fact is kept under by the Napoleonic vigour of one individual. This polarity is not, and cannot be, liquidated, [71] and it will emerge again, the moment when this iron hand leaves the helm, in the bitter struggle of his Diadochi. For Fascism is also a transition. It had its origin in the city mobs and began as a mass party with noise and disturbance and mass oratory. Labour-Socialist tendencies are not unknown to it. But so long as a dictatorship has "social service" ambitions, asserts that it is there for the "worker's" sake, courts favour in the streets, and is "popular," so long it remains an interim form. The Caesarism of the future fights solely for power, for empire, and against every description of party.

(71. Apart from the fact that in a Southern country that has a semi-tropical mode of life and a "race" to correspond, that is industrially weak and therefore has an undeveloped proletariat, the Nordic sharpness of opposition does not exist. In such a country as England, for instance, this kind of Fascism could neither arise nor maintain itself.)

Every ideological movement believes in the definitiveness of its achievements. It repudiates the idea that "after it" history should go on. It still lacks the Caesarian scepticism and contempt for humanity, the deep sense of the fleetingness of all phenomena. Mussolini's creative idea was grand, and it has had an international effect: it revealed a possible form for the combating of Bolshevism. But this form arose out of imitating the enemy and is therefore full of dangers: revolution from below, organized and participated in for the greater part by men from below; an armed party-militia, paralleled in Caesar's Rome by the bands of Clodius and Milo; the tendency to subordinate intellectuals and economic leadership to executive working-out because of an inability to understand it; to disregard other's property, to confuse the conceptions of nation and mass - in a word, the Socialistic ideology of last century.

This all belongs to the past. What anticipates the future is not the being of Fascism as a party, but simply and solely the figure of its creator. Mussolini is no party leader, although he was formerly a labour leader; he is the lord of his country. Probably his prototype Lenin would also have arrived at that point had he lived longer, for he certainly had a cool ruthlessness vis-à-vis his party and he had also the courage to lead the retreat from ideologies of every kind. Mussolini is first and foremost a statesman, ice-cold and sceptical, realist, diplomat. He does in very truth rule alone. He sees everything - and that is the rarest gift in an absolute ruler. Even Napoleon was isolated by his entourage. The most difficult victories of a ruler, and the most essential, are not those won over enemies, but those won over his own supporters, the praetorians, the "Ras," as they are called in Italy. That is the best of the born ruler. He who does not know this and has neither the power nor the courage for it swims like a cork on the waves, on the summit and yet impotent. The perfection of Caesarism is dictatorship - not the dictatorship of a party, but that of one man against all parties, and, most of all, above his own. Every revolutionary movement reaches its victory with a vanguard of praetorians - who are henceforth of no more use, but merely dangerous. The real master is known by the manner in which he dismisses them, ruthlessly and without thanks, intent only on his goal, to reach which he must first pick his men - and this he knows how to do. The French Revolution ran contrary to this in the beginning: no one had the power, everyone wanted it; everyone commanded, no one obeyed.

Mussolini is a master-man with the Southern cunning of the race in him, like the condottieri of the Renaissance, and is therefore able to stage his movement in entire consonance with the character of Italy - home of opera - without ever being intoxicated by it himself, though even Napoleon was not quite free from this weakness, and in the case of Rienzi, for instance, it was fatal. When Mussolini appeals to the Prussian archetype, he is right: he is far less closely related to Napoleon than to Frederick the Great, and even to Frederick's father.

I have now reached the point when the definitive word must be said about "Prussianism" and "Socialism." In 1919 I compared the two, the one a living idea and the other the catchword of a whole century, [72] and was - I am tempted to add: "of course" - not understood. People no longer know how to read - this great art, still known in the age of Goethe, has died out. They skim printed pages "mass-wise," and, as a result, the reader demoralizes the book. I showed that in the working class, as Bebel welded it into a powerful army, in its discipline and loyal subordination, its good comradeship, its readiness for the ultimate sacrifice, there still lived that Old-Prussian "style" which first proved itself in the battles of the Seven Years' War. What mattered then was the individual Socialist as a character, his "moral imperative," not the Socialism hammered into his head, which was a wholly un-Prussian mixture of foolish ideology and vulgar greed. I pointed out also that this type of being "in form" for a task was a tradition going back to the Teutonic Order, by which in the Gothic centuries - as again today - the frontier guard of the Faustian Culture was kept up against Asia. This ethical attitude, unconscious as is every genuine life-style, and therefore to be awakened and trained only by living example and not by talk and writing, stood forth in its splendour in August 1914 - the army had trained Germany - and was betrayed by the parties in 1918 when the State went under. Since then this disciplined will has again raised its head in the National movement; not in its programs and parties, but in the ethical attitude of an élite, as individuals; [73] and it is possible that, starting from this foundation, the German people may by perseverance be slowly trained for its difficult future. This is essential if we are not to succumb in the battles that lie ahead.

(72. Politische Schriften, pp. 1 et seq.)

(73. In 1924 I tried to describe this attitude in my Politische Pflichten der deutschen Jugend.)

But the shallow-minded cannot get away from the Marxian thought of last century. Throughout the world they think of Socialism not as a moral attitude of life but as economic Socialism, Labour Socialism, as a mass ideology with material aims. Program Socialism of every sort is thinking from below, building on base instincts, canonizing the herd-feeling which everywhere today lurks behind the slogan of "overcoming individualism"; it is the contrary of Prussian feeling, which has livingly experienced through exemplary leaders the necessity of disciplined devotion and possesses accordingly the inward freedom that comes with the fulfilment of duty, the ordering of oneself, command of oneself, for the sake of a great aim.

Labour-Socialism in every form, on the other hand, is, as I have already shown, [74] definitely English in origin. It arose, about 1840, simultaneously with the victory of the joint-stock company and the rootless "financial" form of capital. [75] Both were the expression of Free Trade Manchesterism: this "white" Bolshevism is capitalism from below, wage-capitalism, just as speculative finance-capital in respect of its method is Socialism from above, from the stock exchange. Both grew out of the same intellectual root: thinking in money, [76] trading in money on the pavements of the world's capitals, whether as wage-levels or profits on exchange rates makes no odds. There is no contradiction between economic Liberalism and Socialism. The Labour market is the stock exchange of the organized proletariat. The trade unions are trusts for forcing up wages on the lines followed by oil, steel, and bank trusts of the Anglo-American type, whose finance-Socialism penetrates, dominates, sucks, and controls them to the point of systematic expropriation. The devastating dispossessing effect of bundles of shares and bonds, the separation of mere "credit" from the responsible directive work of the entrepreneur, who no longer knows to whom his work actually belongs, has not received anything like adequate consideration. Productive economy is in the last resort nothing but the will-less object of stock-exchange manoeuvres. It was only the rise of the share system to domination that enabled the stock exchange (formerly a mere aid to economy) to assume the decisive control of economic life. Finance-Socialists and trust magnates like Morgan and Kreuger correspond absolutely to the mass-leaders of Labour parties and the Russian economic commissars: dealer-natures with the same parvenu tastes. From both sides, today as in the days of the Gracchi, the conservative forces of the State - army, property, peasant, and manager - are being attacked.

(74. Chapter III, Section 13; Politische Schriften, pp. 75 et seq.)

(75. Politische Schriften, pp. 139 et seq., 269.)

(76. The Decline of the West, II, p. 456.)

But the Prussian style demands not only a mere precedence of higher policy over economics; it demands that the economic life should be disciplined by a powerful State, which is the precondition of free initiative in private enterprise - for, whatever else it may be, it is not a mere super-party, complete with program and ready to press organization to the point of abolishing the idea of property (Eigentum); which, precisely among Germanic peoples, denotes freedom of the economic will, and lordship over that which is one's own. [77] "Disciplining" is the training of a racehorse by an experienced rider and not the forcing of the living economic body into the strait-jacket of an economic plan or its transformation into a press-the-button machine. "Prussian" is also the aristocratic ordering of life according to the grade of achievement. Prussian is, above all, the undisputed precedence of foreign policy, the successful steering of the State in a world of states, over internal policy, which exists solely to keep the nation in form for this task and becomes mischievous and criminal as soon as it begins to follow independently its own ideological aims. Herein lies the weakness of most revolutions, whose leaders, having risen through demagogy and learnt nothing else, are unable to find their way from thinking on party lines to thinking in terms of statesmanship. This was the case with Danton and Robespierre. Mirabeau and Lenin died too soon, Mussolini was successful. But the future belongs to the great fact-men, now that the world-improvers, who have preened themselves on the stage of world history since Rousseau, have vanished and left no trace.

(77. The Old-Germanic word eigan means to rule; not only to have something, but to be in absolute control of it.)

Prussian is, lastly, a character which disciplines itself, such as that of Frederick the Great, which he himself paraphrased as consisting in being the First Servant of the State. Such a servant is no lackey, but when Bebel opined that the German people had the soul of a lackey, he was right as far as the majority were concerned. His own party proved it in 1918. The lackeys of success are more numerous with us than elsewhere, although they have in all ages and all nations crowded the herd of humanity. It is a matter of indifference whether Byzantinism performs its orgies before money-bags, political success, a title, or merely Gessler's hat. When Charles II landed in England, there were suddenly no Republicans left. To be a servant of the State is an aristocratic virtue, of which few are possessed. If this is "Socialistic," it is a proud and exclusive Socialism for men of race, for the elect of life. Prussianism is a very superior thing which sets itself against every sort of majority- and mob-rule; above all, against the dominance of the mass character. Moltke, the great educator of the German officer, the finest example of true Prussianism in the nineteenth century, was thus constituted. Count Schlieffen summed up his personality in the motto: "Talk little, do much, be, rather than seem."

This idea of a "Prussian" existence will be the starting-point for the ultimate overthrowing of the World Revolution. There is no other possibility. I said, as far back as 1919: Not everyone is a Prussian who is born in Prussia; the type is possible anywhere in the white world and actually occurs, though rarely. It lies at the root of the provisional form of national movements everywhere - there is nothing definitive about them - and the question is to what extent it can be liberated from the quickly ageing, popular, party-democratic elements of Liberal and Socialist Nationalism that control it, for the time being. The silent national feeling of the English about 1900, which today has begun to waver, the boastful, shallow chauvinism of the French, so noisily in evidence in the Dreyfus Affair, were both of this order and found support, the one in the cult of the navy, the other in the army. America possesses nothing of this kind - "hundred-per-cent American" is a phrase - but she needs it if she is to endure as a nation at all after the approaching crash between crouching Communism and the high finance which is already undermined. The Prussian idea is opposed to finance-Liberalism as well as to Labour-Socialism. Every description of mass and majority, everything that is "Left," it regards as suspect. Above all, it is opposed to any weakening of the State and to the desecrating misuse of it for economic interests. It is conservative and "Right," and it grows out of whatever fundamental life-forces still exist in Nordic peoples: instinct for power and possessions; for possessions as power; for inheritance, [78] fecundity, and family, which three belong together; for distinctions of rank and social gradation, whose mortal enemy was (or is) Rationalism from 1750 to 1950. Present-day Nationalism is, together with the monarchical idea latent in it, a transition. It is a preliminary step towards Caesarism, no matter how far away that may seem. It is there that we find abhorrence of all Liberal and Socialist party systems, of every kind of popularity (which invariably compromises the object of it), of everything which rises up in masses and will have its say. This trait, though it may be buried deep under tendencies more in keeping with the age, has the future on its side - and the future's leaders. All really great leaders in history go "Right," however low the depths from which they have climbed. It is the mark of the born master and ruler. This applies to Cromwell and Mirabeau as much as to Napoleon. The riper the age, the more prospects does this road open up. The elder Scipio went under in the conflict between the traditions of his origins, which forbade an illegal dictatorship, and the historical position which he had obtained (without desiring it) through saving Rome from the Carthaginian danger. He died in a distant land. At that time the revolutionary movement was only just beginning to undermine the tradition-bound forms, so that the younger Scipio had still a very weak position against the Gracchi, but Sulla's was already a very strong one against Marius, and finally Caesar, who had begun as a Catilinarian, met with no more party opposition at all, for the Pompeians were not a party, but supporters of an individual. The World Revolution, strong as it may be at the beginning, ends, not in victory or defeat, but in resignation on the part of the forward-driven masses. Their ideals are not refuted, but merely become boring, and eventually no one can be excited about them. Anyone who talks about the end of the "bourgeoisie" writes himself down as still a proletarian, and the future is not for him. A "non-bourgeois" society can be maintained only by a Terror, and only for a few years at that, for presently people are sick of it - and incidentally the labour leaders will meanwhile have become new bourgeois. This is not a process that appeals to the taste of true leader-natures.

(78. From the inherited farm, workshop, or old-established firm to hereditary monarchy. The Republic has, from 1789, been a form of opposition to the hereditary idea, and nothing more.)

Socialism of every kind is today as antiquated as its first Liberal form and as everything else that is connected with party and program. The century of the worker cult, 1840 to 1940, is irrevocably ending, and those who acclaim "the worker" at this stage have no understanding of the time. This worker is stepping back into the whole of the nation, no longer its spoilt nurseling, but as the lowest grade in an urban society. The contrasts worked up in the class war will again become the permanent differences [79] of high and low, and will be accepted as such. It is the resignation of the Imperial period in Rome, the period in which there were no economic problems of this nature left. But how much can be destroyed and levelled down in the final stages of world anarchy! So much, indeed, that in certain white nations there will be no material left from which a Caesar could create his structure, his army - for armies will in future take the place of parties - and his State.

(79. Chapter III, Section 11.)

Is there, in that which in all white countries that took part in the War calls itself (vaguely enough) "Youth" and the "front-generation," [80] anything like a weight-carrying foundation for such men and for the tasks of the future?

(80. Does this mean the men who were twenty to fifty in 1918, or those who are twenty or thirty years old today?)

The profound shock of the Great War, which swept away everyone's lazy illusions of security and of progress being the meaning of history, is nowhere more evident than in the spiritual chaos left in its wake. The fact that we are not in the least aware of this and believe that we carry within us a new order is the best possible proof of its existence. To those who were born about 1890 the sight of a really commanding figure has been denied. The figures of Bismarck and Moltke, not to speak of those of other countries, had already vanished in the mists of a historical literature. They might have formed a standard for real greatness, but not without a living present; and the War produced not one important monarch, prominent statesman, or victorious battle-thinker at the decisive point. All the statues and street-names in the world will not change the fact. The result was a complete lack of the sense of authority among the millions who returned home on both sides. It was seen in youth's unrestrained criticism of everything that came to hand, of men and of things, while never a trace of self-criticism was seen. It laughed at yesterday without suspecting that its power persisted. Most of all, the chaos manifested itself in the way in which everyone screamed for a dictatorship on his own lines without knowing of any dictator or being able to recognize one, in the way in which a leader was chosen and worshipped one day and rejected the next - Primo de Rivera, d'Annunzio, Ludendorff - and the way in which leadership was a problem to be discussed, not a fact to be waited for and accepted from the moment it was there. Political dilettantism talked large. Everyone wrote to tell his future dictator what he ought to do. Everyone demanded discipline from other people, because he was incapable of disciplining himself. Because they had forgotten what a State's governor is, men became hysterical over programs and ideals and plunged in speech and writing into wild dreams of this and that imperative transformation - assuming quite as a matter of course that such were possible. The lack of respect for history has at no time been greater than in these years. That history had its own logic, on which all programs are shipwrecked, no one knew or would admit. But Bismarck attained his end because he had comprehended the course of history in his century and adapted himself to it. That was high policy, the art of the possible.

From the "youth" of Germany, England, Spain, all the white countries, who in their incomprehension hoped to "end" a two centuries' process of world change from below - and in the form of Bolshevism, of which they had such store in themselves - came the typical revolutionary outcry against "individualism." But they are all small individuals - very small - without talent or depth, but for that very reason obsessed by the convulsive need to be admittedly right. They therefore hated the superiority of people greater than themselves, men who could regard themselves with at least a tinge of scepticism. All revolutions are humourless - and this causes their fall. Petty obstinacy and lack of humour: that is the definition of fanaticism. They were quite unaware that leadership, authority, and respect on the one hand, and "Socialism" on the other, are irreconcilable. This anti-individualism is the theoretical fashion of the moment among the intellectuals-in-spite-of-themselves of all white countries. Yesterday it was individualism that was the mode, and as a matter of fact there is not so much difference between the two. Feeble as is this type of Geist, it is the only one they possess. It is the megalopolitan "literariness," nothing more, and anything but novel; for the Jacobins had already talked themselves hoarse over it. Lack of intelligence is not quite a good enough weapon wherewith to defeat Rationalism.

And in what does it consist, the "Socialism" of these heroes who take the field against the freedom of personality? It is the impersonal Asiatic collectivism of the East, the spirit of the great plains [81] in association with the Western levée en masse of 1792. And what in fact is it that is "in revolt"? The insignificant, with number as their sole power. There is a great deal of underground Slav in them; remnants of prehistoric races and their primitive reasoning; envy, too, of Russianness, whose undeveloped will exempts it from the torment which possesses inferior minds when they want something but do not know what, are obliged to want it and do not dare. He who has not the courage to be the hammer must be content to play the part of the anvil. The part is not without its consolations. The urge to be released from one's own will, to be submerged in the lazy majority, to know the happiness of a lackey's soul, to be spared the master's anxieties - all this is here disguised under big words. The Romanticism of the insignificant! The apotheosis of the herd-feeling! The last final way to idealize one's own dread of responsibility! This kind of hatred of individualism, arising out of cowardice and shame, is a mere caricature of that of the great fourteenth- and fifteenth-century mystics, with their anti-egoism, the "Lassen der Ichheit" of the "Theologie deutsch." [82] They were strong souls who livingly experienced the tremendous, truly Germanic solitude of the "I" in the world, and out of their torment conceived the burning desire to go up in God or the All or whatever they might call it, and which turned out in fact to be themselves. The strong, unbending "I" was their destiny. Every attempt to overstep its boundary merely showed that it had none. Today there is a simpler method: one turns "Socialist" and runs down the "I" of other people.

(81. The Decline of the West, II, p. 295, footnote.)

(82. Ibid., p. 292.)

One's own "I" gives no more trouble. The levelling out of brains is complete: one meets "in the mass," wills "in the mass," thinks "in the mass." Those who do not think with it, who think for themselves, are felt to be enemies. It is now the mass, and not the godhead, in which the lazy, stupid "I," suffering from all manner of inhibitions, "submerges" itself: and that, too, is "release." It is almost mystical. They knew that in 1792. It is the craving of the mob to run and act with the rest. But the Prussian "style" is renunciation by one's own free will, the strong "I" bowing before a great duty and task, an act of self-government, and, as such, the height in individualism that is possible in the present.

The Celtic-Germanic "race" is the strongest-willed that the world has ever seen. But this "I will - I will!" which fills the Faustian soul to the brim, which is the ultimate meaning of its being, and controls every expression of its Culture in thought, deed, and standards, awakened also the consciousness of the "I's" complete loneliness in endless space. Will and loneliness are in the last resort the same thing. Hence Moltke's taciturnity and, from another aspect, the need in Goethe's softer and more feminine nature for perpetual confessions before a self-chosen environment which pervades all his works. It was the yearning for an echo out of space, the suffering of a tender soul from the monologue of its existence. One may pride oneself on this loneliness or suffer from it; escape it one cannot. The religious man of "eternal truths," such as Luther, sighs for grace and salvation from this fate, fights it, even defies it. But the political man of the North develops out of it a gigantic defiance of reality: "Thy trust is in thy sword more than in Thor," says an Icelandic saga. If there is such a thing as individualism in the world, it is this of an individual defying the whole universe, his knowledge of his own unbending will, his delight in ultimate decisions and love of destiny itself even at the moment when it is breaking him. And being "Prussian" consists in bending of one's own free will. The worth of the sacrifice lies in the fact that it is hard. If a man has no "I" to offer up, he should not talk of loyalty. He merely runs along behind someone on to whom he has shifted the responsibility. If there is anything that should amaze us today, it is the poverty of the Socialist ideal by which it is hoped to save the world. This is no release from the forces of the past; it is the continuation of their worst tendencies. It is cowardice in the face of life.

True - truly Prussian - loyalty is what the world most needs in this age of great catastrophes. We can only lean on what offers resistance. It is on the realization of this that the true leader takes his stand. A leader who has risen from the masses must know, better than most, that masses, majorities, parties, are no genuine liegemen. They merely want advantages. They leave their leader in the lurch as soon as he demands sacrifices. If he thinks and feels as a product of the mass, history will treat him as a mere demagogue. It is the parting of the ways to Left and Right: the demagogue lives with the masses always as one of themselves; the born ruler can use them, but he despises them. He fights his most difficult battles, not against the enemy, but against the swarm of his all-too-devoted friends.

This is why armies, and not parties, are the future form of power; unselfish, devoted armies, such as Napoleon never possessed after Wagram. His old soldiers were reliable; not so his senior officers - and the value of any army depends in the first place on these. [83] They came to regard him not as the commander but as the perpetual giver. Once the required sacrifices outweighed the advantages, it was all up with the Grand Army.

(83. Chapter II, Section 7.)

It is high time that the "white" world, and Germany in the first place, should consider these facts. For behind the world wars and the still unfinished proletarian world-revolution there looms the greatest of all dangers, the coloured menace, and it will require every bit of "race" that is still available among white nations to deal with it. Germany, of all countries, is not an island, as the political ideologues who would make it the object of their programs seem to imagine. It is but a small spot in a great, fermenting world, though undoubtedly a spot in a decisive position. But it alone has Prussianism as a fact within itself. With this treasure of exemplary Being it may become the "educator" of the "white" world, and perhaps its saviour.




The Oswald Spengler Collection