SS Creed – Volume Two: Western Decadence

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Translated from an original SS publication: one double issue (8/9, 1942) of the SS magazine Germanische Leithefte, which was aimed primarily at non-German volunteers of the Waffen-SS. These articles deal with the western over-emphasis on the freedom of the individual going back to the French revolution 1789 – which is contrasted to an ethnically higher standing German concept of freedom – and with English hypocrisy. The original illustrations are also included. 

Details

SC. 51pp. 

One does not believe one’s eyes to again see a state celebrated as a “voluntarily undertaken society”, based in favor of the rights of the individual; and one grasps the core, when one then hears the learned man rant against the German view of the state as an “organically grown structure”, to which one may and should thus attribute organic functions. For Allen, every state is an “artifical institution”, emerging from “practical needs”, without any moral significance; the individual joins, quits, each according to need; in truth we are all really citizens of the world, and national barriers fall. We thus have on the one side the flat rationalism of the logically worked out “human rights”, on the other side the attempt, based on scientific analysis, to further organize the historically given state organism, goal-consciously, methodically.

England has long resisted; but it has now been pulled into the orbit created by the French revolution and races toward the same political anarchy. In the lands on this side and on the other side of the ocean things also do not look much better (1915). In the middle of the surf stands Germany: opposed to anarchy and the individualistic states splintered into their basic components, as the result of historical events a wonderfully and richly structured state, in which the ideal of community grew from the need of the situation, thriving to strength and giving birth to genius. The chasm between the two ideals is insurmountable. It gapes at every point, as soon as one looks closer. One can just examine the concept of freedom: one understands by freedom the born right of every individual for arbitrariness, the other a possession which must first by acquired by each through the fulfillment of duties, a possession, which, as the German poet says, must be daily won anew in “common drive”. The animal is subject to no law; is it therefore free? Is it not (if not protected by man) subject day and night to arbitrariness?

Freedom, as we understand it, can only be bestowed by a community; it only has any meaning at all insofar as it is born within a community. Whither the other theory leads, we see not only in the guillotine, as well as the pistol, to which Jaurès fell victim, we also see it in all of England’s present politics:Freedom for the lie, freedom for swindle, freedom for violation of international law, indeed freedom for any shameful deed, if only endless money is to be earned in the process. This is the necessary result – the unavoidable one – of that theory of unbridled freedom of the individual. We thus have to choose: to choose between the idea of the French revolution and the German ideal of an organic and hence also organized state. The one side declares: We make ourselves free from the law of nature, each of us rules himself sovereign and only bends insofar as he must; the other side: In that we subordinate ourselves to the eternal laws of nature, we succeed in directing our goals as moderately as possible, we civilize, we spiritualize the necessary; on the path of obedience and service we educate people to freedom. An example: A young man inherits a property, upon which stand among other things twenty-thousand grown oaks. In the state of arbitrariness he tells himself: I can use that!, goes forth and has them all cut down; one calls that “freedom” there. In the state of community he will never be allowed to do that; rather the forestry office will tell him: you may only cut down the number of trees I tell you, and only after ten years again so many; for the state allows no rupture between past and future, the state thinks of the coming generations, the freedom of today must not extend so far as to damage the freedom of tomorrow; your thoughtless cutting down of trees also changes the area’s climatic conditions, brings a hundred injuries. I know areas in northwestern Scotland where only few sheep with effort find food, wastelands, where one walks for hours without glimpsing a hut; in Napoleon’s time it was densely populated. That is the result of senseless clearing of forest, in part the intentional expulsion of the population for the sake of increasing the wild land.

So lives the individual through the revolutionary concept of freedom. Opposed to it rises the ideal of community, the state. Just as genuine morality only exists in the relationship of people among each other, so does freedom, according to the German view, only emerge in the mutual relationships of a community, yes, of a community beyond the life of the individual. The Englishmen who now bravely sacrifice their lives, do it for a daily wage of 15 shillings – they call it “freedom” that they may choose to do it or not; the Germans sacrifice their lives out of love for the fatherland, in the interests of coming generations, they sacrifice it for the community felt to be sacred, whose soul and heart stretch around the world, whose visible and indispensable body, however, is the state. In the course of a centuries long struggle – with weapons and with spirit – Germany has gradually won this precious possession, freedom. This German freedom is a completely original product; mankind has known nothing similar previously. Characteristic to German freedom is the conscious priority of the community: all individual parts within the Reich maintain their independent, unique kind, but nonetheless overcome themselves to make themselves integrate into the whole, just as each individual person from childhood on overcomes himself in favor of the totality: that is the first step along the path to freedom. This freedom, yes, this one can hope to endure! For the first time in the history of the world freedom as encompassing, enduring manifestation becomes possible at all: one should note that above all! “Freedom is not arbitrariness, rather veracity”, said Richard Wagner.

England, however, understands by freedom only the right of might, and indeed the right of might for itself alone; one will not be able to show a single spark of spiritual life from its huge colonial empire: All are just cattle holders, slave holders, wares accumulators, miner exploiters, and everywhere the rule of that unconditional arbitrariness and brutality, which England’s most popular modern poet, Rudyard Kipling, has the audacity to glorify as the highest energy and highest glory of the English folk.”

So wrote H. S. Chamberlain in 1915. It must be added that the present National Socialist state is not an end in itself, rather is a means to an end, and has the task to serve the folk, that means to serve life.