Overview of Alfred Rosenberg’s Essay, Nationalsozialismus
by Hadding Scott
The German people in the past had folkish (i.e. national) community. The folkish community has become divided as a consequence of the growth of an industrial proletariat in the age of the machine. National-Socialism is about the restoration of the folkish community.
The problems between the classes have been exacerbated by Marxism, a Jewish instrument of subversion.The current German intelligentsia, lacking the healthy instinct of Fichte and Arndt a century earlier, has aided Marxism.
The German upper classes are also at fault for neglecting German workers and driving them to the Marxists, and for being insufficiently nationalist themselves, for example marrying Jewish bankers’ daughters.
National-Socialism is a new movement that advocates the unity of all Germans. Like the bold fortress built by a mediaeval knight and his servants, the NSDAP will be the force around which the German people will rally.
While the main focus is a vertical unification of the German people, healing class divisions to restore a harmonious order within Germany, at the end Rosenberg drops the word Großdeutschland, Great Germany, which means the unification of Germany with Austria.
by Alfred Rosenberg
Völkischer Beobachter, 28 July 1921
(translated by Hadding Scott, 2011)
Upon a mountain, a knight with his servants constructed a proud fortress. All around this fortress gathered settlers seeking protection; houses were built, ramparts and walls erected, trenches dug. A community existed between knights and citizens: individuality and polity [Gemeinwesen].
From the jumble of little houses the cathedral stretches upward toward Heaven. A great artist has designed it. Thousands have hewn the stones, hundreds of thousands have sacrificed things of value for it, and then in this house they performed this prayer: personality and folk-soul.
The sense or recognition of the economic and spiritual community of the whole of a people, [combined with] the acknowledgment of the role of the individual within the community, is today called National-Socialism.
There have been class-struggles as far back in history as we can trace. Many a people has already perished from them. There have been class-struggles even in the German past, and neither will they disappear in the future. The existence of struggle everywhere is no misfortune. But in the consideration of one of life’s phenomena our spiritual attitude matters. If we recognize a folk as a kind of body [etwas Körperhaftes], we will try, not to bolster artificially the natural struggle of a particular part of it, but to give forms to it that more highly cultivate [züchten] and toughen [stählen] each of the parts. If I aim only at the immediate goals of one of the struggling parts, sooner rather than later a sickening of the whole must occur, which weakens the body, indeed can bring about its death.
The age of the machine brought conditions of life that created the soil for a doctrine that with consistent implementation signifies the ruin of entire peoples: Marxism. No peoples, no states, only classes: a worldview that stands far below that of a Zulu, but for the victim of the machine, the industrial laborer, nonetheless signified an idea, even if muddled. The traditionless proletarian, torn from his soil, alienated from nature, entered into world-history. The subjection to a brutal power, which he understandably saw embodied in the entrepreneur – indeed he could not observe the banker standing behind this man — prevented instinct from perceiving that this man was a folk-comrade. It is not the laborer’s fault if he succumbed to the seductive temptations of subversive Jewry! It is the fault of the German intelligentsia!
The Fichtes and Arndts appear to have died out. Intellectual scholars alienated from nature, with blue pencils in their hands, studied the fat books of Marx and his comrades, drew analogies from their foggy verbiage to Kant, Goethe, and Indian philosophy, drew off the stale Jewish spirit into bottles, and made Marxism socially acceptable [gesellschaftsfähig]. Other professors, and not infrequently Lutheran ministers, were masters of the chair and spoke in secret lodges about “humanity,” and about “liberty, equality, and fraternity.” Large parts of the German people that must have recognized what was developing [das Wuchshafte] nonetheless let themselves be embittered by the gigantic Marxist propaganda and strengthened their class-identity. Thus was the German folk split asunder. The year 1914 showed however, that in all Germans a spark was still alive that must have slumbered longingly in each one, so as to be able to blaze up into such a holy flame. But the decades had not been without effect. The misleaders of the people, having fallen silent for a short time, soon started in anew, and again the spirit was turned in a direction that finally precipitated the collapse of 9 November 1918. Faith to fight for a good cause was taken from the German and in him was cultivated a faith in slogans and ideas that were nothing but weapons of the trickery of our enemies. Never should the German people forget the names of the men that talked to them, amid the struggle over their destiny, about “international solidarity of the proletariat,” “League of Nations,” “conscience of the world,” etc!
The misfortune came, and bitter disappointment therewith.
Nothing is more unjustified at present than the satisfaction of the German-Nationals that the workers had perceived the stupidity of internationalism and were ultimately halfway “sensible.” These gentlemen should rather beat themselves on the breast and ask themselves what they did to strengthen the national feeling for the German worker! Did they go to him, Did they give him spiritual nourishment, enlightenment, or did they hand him over to outright troublemakers and Jewish deceivers? Have they regarded the worker as a folk-comrade of equal value, or have they not valued him all too often as a human being of the second or third rank? Have they at least within their class itself advocated the worthiness of their folk, or have they not married Jewish bankers’ daughters and contaminated the German people?
The recognition of their guilt in regard to the German folk has dawned upon many individuals among the conservatives, but certainly still not in the “nationalist parties.” They designate themselves even today as “bourgeois” in opposition to the “socialistic,” and the attempts of the German-Nationals to win the workers through a few old master bakers is a hopeless undertaking. As long as German conservatism does not openly and honestly swear a confession of guilt and vigorously take up the struggle against the Jewish and judaized parasitism outside and inside its ranks, and the struggle for German essence and interest in an all-encompassing sense, so long will it attract no manual laborer into its ranks. Like the Social-Democrats, the Conservatives are burdened with a heavy chain of class-tradition. They have forfeited the entitlement to be leaders; they must first win that for themselves.
Therefore a new movement is needed, which treats the whole German folk as an indissoluble unity, which accepts no class-antagonisms within the folk, for which the starting-point and final goal is what pertains to the folk, and which strives for a natural economic order instead of the current parasitic foreign bloodsucking. The unification of all genuinely productive persons of German blood and spirit, whether laborer, student, officer, civil servant, artist, or scholar, the gathering of all strugglers acting without regret for one Great Germany out of all strata of the German people: today that is called National-Socialism.
It will become the proud fortress, around which other Germans can build their houses. That is the way of the future! _______________1. Johann Gottlieb Fichte
(1762 – 1814) was an early German idealist philosopher and a founder of German nationalism. He became associate professor of philosophy at the University of Jena. In his Addresses to the German Nation (1808) he urged the Germans to have national pride, and warned against giving citizenship to Jews. Ernst Moritz Arndt
(1769 – 1860) was a German nationalist author and poet, and extraordinary professor at the University of Greifswald. Arndt became chairman of the history department in 1806 but had to flee to Sweden later that year for writing Geist der Zeit
, which urged Germans to rebel against Napoleon. Arndt also agitated for the abolition of serfdom, and was noted for some strong anti-Jewish statements. These are the kinds of scholars that Rosenberg says in 1921 seem to have died out.
2. Stuhlmeister is a Freemasonic title equivalent to worshipful master, designating the president of a lodge.
3. German-Nationals refers to members of the Deutschnationale Volkspartei, or DNVP, a nationalist and monarchist party favored by landowners and industrialists. Eventually, because of inadequate public support for this party of the nationalist rich, the DNVP aligned itself with the NSDAP.