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c) mk v1 ch. 3Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler

c) mk v1 ch. 3Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler

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10/07/2009

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Mein Kampf 
Volume 1, Chapter 3General Political Considerations Based on My Vienna PeriodToday it is my conviction that in general, aside from cases of unusual talent, a manshould not engage in public political activity before his thirtieth year. He should notdo so, because up to this time, as a rule, he is engaged in molding a general platform,on the basis of which he proceeds to examine the various political problems andfinally establishes his own position on them. Only after he has acquired such a basicphilosophy, and the resultant firmness of outlook on the special problems of the day,is he, inwardly at least, mature enough to be justified in partaking in the politicalleadership of the general public.Otherwise he runs the risk of either having to change his former position on essentialquestions, or, contrary to his better knowledge and understanding, of clinging to aview which reason and conviction have long since discarded. In the former case thisis most embarrassing to him personally, since, what with his own vacillations, hecannot justifiably expect the faith of his adherents to follow him with the sameunswerving firmness as before; for those led by him, on the other hand, such areversal on the part of the leader means perplexity and not rarely a certain feeling of shame toward those whom they hitherto opposed. In the second case, there occurs athing which, particularly today, often confronts us: in the same measure as the leaderceases to believe in what he says, his arguments become shallow and flat, but he triesto make up for it by vileness in his choice of means. While he himself has given upall idea of fighting seriously for his political revelations (a man does not die forsomething which he himself does not believe in), his demands on his supportersbecome correspondingly greater and more shameless until he ends up by sacrificingthe last shred of leadership and turning into a 'politician'; in other words, the kind of man whose only real conviction is lack of conviction, combined with offensiveimpertinence and an art of lying, often developed to the point of completeshamelessness.If to the misfortune of decent people such a character gets into a parliament, we mayas well realize at once that the essence of his politics will from now on consist innothing but an heroic struggle for the permanent possession of his feeding bottle forhimself and his family. The more his wife and children depend on it, the moretenaciously he will fight for his mandate. This alone will make every other man withpolitical instincts his personal enemy; in every new movement he will scent thepossible beginning of his end, and in every man of any greatness the danger whichmenaces him through that man.
 
I shall have more to say about this type of parliamentary bedbug.Even a man of thirty will have much to learn in the course of his life, but this willonly be to supplement and fill in the framework provided him by the philosophy hehas basically adopted. When he learns, his learning will not have to be a revision of principle, but a supplementary study, and his supporters will not have to choke downthe oppressive feeling that they have hitherto been falsely instructed by him. On thecontrary: the visible organic growth of the leader will give them satisfaction, forwhen he learns, he will only be deepening their own philosophy. And this in theireyes will be a proof for the correctness of the views they have hitherto held.A leader who must depart from the platform of his general philosophy as such,because he recognizes it to be false, behaves with decency only if, in recognizing theerror of his previous insight, he is prepared to draw the ultimate consequence. In sucha case he must, at the very least, renounce the public exercise of any further politicalactivity. For since in matters of basic knowledge he has once succumbed to an error,there is a possibility that this will happen a second time. And in no event does heretain the right to continue claiming, not to mention demanding, the confidence of hisfellow citizens.How little regard is taken of such decency today is attested by the general degeneracyof the rabble which contemporaneously feel justified in 'going into' politics. Hardly aone of them is fit for it.I had carefully avoided any public appearance, though I think that I studied politicsmore closely than many other men. Only in the smallest groups did I speak of thethings which inwardly moved or attracted me. This speaking in the narrowest circleshad many good points: I learned to orate less, but to know people with their opinionsand objections that were often so boundlessly primitive. And I trained myself,without losing the time and occasion for the continuance of my own education. It iscertain that nowhere else in Germany was the opportunity for this so favorable as inVienna.General political thinking in the old Danubian monarchy was just then broader andmore comprehensive in scope than in old Germany, excluding parts of Prussia,Hamburg, and the North Sea coast, at the same period. In this case, to be sure, Iunderstand, under the designation of 'Austria,' that section of the great HabsburgEmpire which, in consequence of its German settlement, not only was the historiccause of the very formation of this state, but whose population, moreover, exclusivelydemonstrated that power which for so many centuries was able to give this structure,so artificial in the political sense, its inner cultural life. As time progressed, theexistence and future of this state came to depend more and more on the preservationof this nuclear cell of the Empire.
 
If the old hereditary territories were the heart of the Empire continually driving freshblood into the circulatory stream of political and cultural life, Vienna was the brainand will in one. Its mere outward appearance justified one in attributing to this citythe power to reign as a unifying queen amid such a conglomeration of peoples, thusby the radiance of her own beauty causing us to forget the ugly symptoms of old agein the structure as a whole.The Empire might quiver and quake beneath the bloody battles of the differentnationalities, yet foreigners, and especially Germans, saw only the charmingcountenance of this city. What made the deception all the greater was that Vienna atthat time seemed engaged in what was perhaps its last and greatest visible revival.Under the rule of a truly gifted mayor, the venerable residence of the Emperors of theold regime awoke once more to a miraculous youth. The last great German to be bornin the ranks of the people who had colonized the Ostmark was not officiallynumbered among so-called Statesmen; but as mayor of Vienna, this capital andimperial residence, Dr. Lueger conjured up one amazing achievement after anotherin, we may say, every field of economic and cultural municipal politics, therebystrengthening the heart of the whole Empire, and indirectly becoming a statesmangreater than all the so-called 'diplomats' of the time.If the conglomeration of nations called 'Austria' nevertheless perished in the end, thisdoes not detract in the least from the political ability of the Germans in the oldOstmark, but was the necessary result of the impossibility of permanentlymaintaining a state of fifty million people of different nationalities by means of tenmillion people, unless certain definite prerequisites were established in time.The ideas of the German-Austrian were more than grandiose.He had always been accustomed to living in a great empire and had never lost hisfeeling for the tasks bound up with it. He was the only one in this state who, beyondthe narrow boundaries of the crown lands, still saw the boundaries of the Reich;indeed, when Fate finally parted him from the common fatherland, he kept onstriving to master the gigantic task and preserve for the German people what hisfathers had once wrested from the East in endless struggles. In this connection itshould be borne in mind that this had to be done with divided energy; for the heartand memory of the best never ceased to feel for the common mother country, andonly a remnant was left for the homeland.The general horizon of the German-Austrian was in itself comparatively broad. Hiseconomic connections frequently embraced almost the entire multiform Empire.Nearly all the big business enterprises were in his hands; the directing personnel,both technicians and officials, were in large part provided by him. He was also incharge of foreign trade insofar as the Jews had not laid their hands on this domain,

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