The Colored World-Revolution
From The Hour of Decision (1933)
The Western Civilization of this century is threatened, not by one, but by two world revolutions of major dimensions. In both their real compass, their profundity, and their workings have so far escaped recognition. The one comes from below, the other from without: class war and race war. The one now lies to a large extent behind us, although its decisive blows — in the Anglo-American zone, for instance — are probably still to come. The other first became definite in the World War, and it is rapidly acquiring direction and form. In the next few centuries both will fight side by side, possibly as allies: it will be the severest crisis through which the white peoples will have to pass in common — whether united or not — if they intend to have any future.
Such a “revolution from without” has set itself up against each of the past Cultures also. It has arisen invariably among the hopeless downtrodden races of the outer ring — “savages” or “barbarians” — who were exploited without means of redress by the unassailable superiority of a group of Culture-nations which had reached high maturity in their political, military, economic, and intellectual forms and methods. This “colonial style” is present in every High Culture. But such hatred did not exclude a secret contempt for the alien life-form, which, as it gradually became more familiar, was scoffingly analyzed and in the end boldly evaluated according to the limits of its efficacy and no more. They, the outsiders, saw that many things could be imitated, and that others either could be rendered innocuous or were not so potent as had been supposed in the first panic (Jugurtha’s judgment of Rome). They looked on at the wars and revolutions occurring within this world of ruling nations and were perforce initiated into the mysteries of armaments (the Libyans and “seafaring nations” by the Egyptians of the New Empire, the Germans by Rome, the Turks by the Arabs, and the Negroes by France), economics, and diplomacy, and thus came at last to question the reality of the foreigners’ superiority. And once they detected a weakening in those foreigners’ resolution to command, they began to reflect on the possibilities of attack and victory for themselves. Thus it was in China in the third century B.C., when the barbarous peoples north and west of the Hwang Ho and south of the Yangtze-kiang were drawn into the decisive battles of the great powers, and in the Arabian world of the time of the Abbassids, where Turkish-Mongolian races appeared first as mercenaries and then as masters. And thus it was in the Classical Age above all, where we have an exact picture of events, which resemble at every point those towards which we are irrevocably moving.
The Barbarian attacks on the Classical world begin with the Celtic movements after 300 B.C., which invariably had Italy as their objective. In the decisive battle of Sentinum (295), Gallic races supported the Etruscans and Samnites against Rome, and they were also employed with success by Hannibal. About 280, other Celts conquered Macedonia and northern Greece, where, in consequence of internal political struggles, all State power had ceased to exist, and they were checked only at Delphi. In Thrace and Asia Minor they founded Barbarian empires over a Hellenized and partially Hellenic population. Somewhat later in the East of Alexander the Great’s decayed empire, the Barbarian reaction against the Hellenic culture set in, forcing it by innumerable insurrections (Eduard Meyer, Blüte und Niedergang des Hellenismus in Asien ) to give ground step by step. Thus, from about 100 B.C. a Mithridrates, in alliance with South Russian “savages” (Scythians and Bastarnae) and counting upon the ever-increasing determination of the Parthians to push from Eastern Iran towards Syria, had reasonable expectations of destroying the Roman State, in the chaotic condition to which class wars had reduced it. Not until it reached Greece was his advance stopped. Athens and other cities joined him, as well as certain Celtic races which were still established in Macedonia. In the Roman armies there was open revolution. Individual sections fought against each other, and the commanders killed each other in the very presence of the enemy (Fimbria). It was then that the Roman army ceased to be a national body and transformed itself into a personal retinue of individuals. The soldiers that Hannibal had led against Rome in 218 were not really Carthaginians, but drawn in the main from the wild races of the Atlas mountains and southern Spain. And with those Rome had later, from 146 onward, to wage a terrible and never-ending struggle. (It was the losses of these wars that brought the Roman peasantry to revolt in the Gracchan disturbances.) With these same peoples, later still, the Roman Sertorius attempted to found a State in opposition to Rome. After 113 B.C. there came the Celtic-Germanic onset of the Cimbri and Teutones, which was only repulsed after whole Roman armies had been wiped out by the revolutionary leader, Marius, and he again had just returned from his victory over Jugurtha, who had armed Northern Africa against Rome and by bribing the Roman politicians had for years prevented any counteraction. About 60 B.C. there came a second Celtic-Germanic movement (Suevi, Helvetii), to forestall which Caesar conquered Gaul, and at the same time Crassus was defeated and killed by the Parthians. But that was the end of reaction by expansion. Caesar’s plan for reconquering the Alexandrian Empire and thereby removing the Parthian menace was never carried out. Tiberius had to set back the frontier in Germany after it had proved impossible to replace the troops annihilated in Varus’ defeat and the first great insurrection of the frontier legions had taken place on the death of Augustus. Thenceforward the policy was that of systematic defence. But the army was taking in more and more Barbarians. It became an independent power. Germans, Illyrians, Africans, Arabs, sprang up as leaders, while the men of the Imperium sank into the Fellahdom of “perpetual peace.” And when the great attacks came from North and West, it was not the civil population alone that treated with the invaders and passed voluntarily into a subject relation to them: the Late pacifism of a tired Civilization.
Yet for whole centuries it was possible to make a systematic defense against these conditions, because the orbis terrarum of the Roman Empire was an enclosed area with frontiers that could be guarded. The position of the present Imperium of the white nations, which embraces the whole globe and includes the colored races, is far more difficult. White humanity has scattered itself to all quarters in its ungovernable urge to infinite distance: over both Americas, South Africa, Australia, and innumerable strategic points between. The Yellow-Brown-Black-Red menace lurks within the field of the white power. It penetrates into and participates in the military and revolutionary agreements and disagreements of the white powers and threatens one day to take matters into its own hands.
What, then, does the “colored” world include? Not only Africa, the Indians — as well as the Negroes and half-breeds — of the whole of America, the Islamic nations, China, and India extending to Java, but, above all, Japan and Russia, which has again become an Asiatic, “Mongolian” State. When the Japanese beat Russia, a ray of hope shot up all over Asia: a young Asiatic State had, by Western methods, forced the greatest power of the West to its knees and thereby destroyed the aureole of invincibility which surrounded Europe. It was as a beacon, in India, in Turkey, even in Cape Colony and the Sahara. So it was possible to pay back the white peoples for all the pains and humiliations of a century! Since then the profound cunning of the Asiatics has been thinking out methods inaccessible to European thought and superior to it. And now Russia, after suffering in 1916 its second great defeat, from the West, has removed its “white” mask, to the mocking satisfaction of its ally England, has again become Asiatic with all its soul, and is filled with a burning hatred of Europe. It took with it the experiences of Europe’s internal weakness and used its knowledge to invent new and crafty methods of fighting, which it has instilled into the whole of the earth’s colored population, with the idea of a common resistance. This, side by side with the triumph of Labor-Socialism over Society among the white nations, is the second real consequence of the World War which brought us no nearer to understanding any one of the actual problems of world policy and has settled none. This war was a defeat of the white races, and the Peace of 1918 was the first great triumph of the colored world: symbolized by the fact that today it is allowed to have a say in the disputes of the white states among themselves in the Geneva League of Nations — which is nothing but a miserable symbol of shameful things.
That Germans abroad should be ill-treated by colored people at the orders of English and French was not a surprisingly novel procedure. This method began in the Liberal Revolution of the eighteenth century: in 1775 the English enrolled men of Indian race to attack, burn, and scalp the American republicans, and it should not be forgotten how the Jacobins mobilized the Negroes of Haiti for the “Rights of Man.” But that colored men from all over the world should be massed on European soil to fight for whites against whites, that they came to know the secrets of the most modern war-methods and the limits of their efficacy, and were sent home with the conviction of having beaten white powers, all this fundamentally altered their view of the world’s power-distribution. They came to feel their own common strength and the weakness of the others; they began to despise the whites as erstwhile Jugurtha despised mighty Rome. It was not Germany that lost the World War; the West lost it when it lost the respect of the colored races.
The importance of this shift in the political center of gravity was first realized in Moscow. In Western Europe it is still not realized. The white ruling nations have abdicated from their former rank. They negotiate today where yesterday they would have commanded, and tomorrow they will have to flatter if they are even to negotiate. They have lost the feeling of the self-evidence of their power and are not even aware that they have lost it. In the “revolution from without” they have ceded the choice of the hour, to America and, above all, to Asia, whose frontier now lies along the Vistula and the Carpathians. For the first time since the siege of Vienna by the Turks they have again been put on the defensive, and they will have to commit great forces, both spiritual and military, into the hands of very great men if they intend to weather the first mighty storm, which will not be long in coming.
In Russia in 1917 both Revolutions, the White and the Colored, broke out together. The one, the shallow, urban Revolution of Labor-Socialism, rhetorical and literary through and through, with its Western faith in party and program, its littérateurs, academic proletarians, and Nihilistic agitators of the Bakunin type, and its alliance with the dregs of the great cities, killed off Petrine society, which was predominantly Western in origin, and staged a noisy cult of the “working man.” The technics of the machine, so alien to and hated by the Russian soul, became all at once a god and the meaning of life. But below all this the other Revolution of the muzhik, the village, the true Asiatic form of Bolshevism, was doggedly, silently rising, big with promise. The peasant’s eternal hunger for the land, which drove all the soldiers back from the front to take part in the great land-distribution, was the first expression of it. Labor-Socialism soon discovered the danger. After an initial alliance it used the hatred nursed by all urban parties, whether Liberal or Socialist, for the peasantry to wage war against this conservative element, which, in history, has invariably outlasted all the political, social, and economic formations of the city. It dispossessed the peasants, reintroduced in fact the serfdom and compulsory labor which Alexander II had abolished in 1862, and by its hostile and bureaucratic administration of agriculture — every Socialism, when it passes from theory to practice, soon becomes choked in bureaucracy — carried matters so far that today the fields are allowed to run wild, the abundant live-stock of the past has shrunk to a fraction, and starvation of the Asiatic order has become a permanent condition that only a weak-willed race, born to an existence of slavery, could endure.
But here “white” Bolshevism is rapidly on the wane. The Marxian face is only worn for the benefit of the outside world, for Southern Asia, Africa, America, where it is desired to let loose and direct rebellion against the white powers. A new Asiatic stratum of rulers has taken over from the Semi-Westerns. It again lives in the villas and palaces around Moscow, keeps its staff of servants, and already permits itself to indulge in a barbaric luxury worthy of predatory Mongolian khans of the fourteenth century. Here is “wealth,” in a new form that can be paraphrased in proletarian circumlocutions.
There will also be a return to peasant property, to private property in general. The fact of serfdom does not preclude this, and it can be done; for the army, and no longer the civilian “party,” has the power. The soldier is the one creature who does not go hungry in Russia, and he knows why this is so and for how long. This power is unassailable from abroad on account of the geographical extent of its empire, but it attacks itself. It has mercenaries and allies all over the world, disguised like itself. Its strongest weapon is the new revolutionary, truly Asiatic diplomacy which acts instead of negotiating, from below and from behind, by means of propaganda, murder, and insurrection, and this gives it a vast advantage over that of the white countries; for these, in spite of their politically-minded advocates and journalists, have not yet quite lost the aristocratic style that derives from the Escorial and counts Bismarck as its last great master.
Russia is the lord of Asia. Russia is Asia. Japan belongs to Asia only geographically. From the ethnographical point of view it undoubtedly stands closer to the eastern Malayans, the Polynesians, and certain Indian peoples on the west side of America. But on the sea it is what Russia is on land: lord of a wide domain in which Western powers no longer count. England is not even remotely master of “her” Empire to the same extent, even in the colored “Crown”-colonies. Japan extends her influence over a wide radius. It is felt in Peru and on the Panama Canal. The alleged blood-relationship between Japanese and Mexicans has on occasion been emphasized and toasted on both sides (L. Stoddard, The Rising Tide of Color (1920), pp. 131 et seq.). In Mexico, in the beginning of 1914, leading Indian circles plotted the “Plan of San Diego,” having for its object the invasion of Texas and Arizona by an army of Indians, Negroes, and Japanese. The white population was to be massacred, the Negro states were to become independent, and a greater Mexico was to arise as a State for the pure Indian race. (In Mexico City there stands a statue of the last Aztec emperor, Guatemozin. No one would dare to put up one of Cortez.) Had this plan been carried into execution, the World War would have started with a completely different distribution of the powers and been based on other problems. The Monroe Doctrine, in the form of dollar-imperialism, pointed towards Latin America, would have been wiped out by it. Russia and Japan are today the only active forces in the world. Through them Asia has become the decisive element in world happenings. The white powers are actuated by its pressure in their dealings and do not even know it.
This pressure consists in the activity of the Colored, racial Revolution, which is already using the White Revolution of the class war as its tool. We have already referred to the backgrounds of the economic catastrophe. After the revolution from below in the form of Labor-Socialism had with its weapon, the political wage, made the breach, colored economy, headed by Russia and Japan, pressed in with the lower wage, and it is now proceeding to complete the destruction.
(When we hear that in Java Japan sells bicycles for less than $3 and electric light bulbs for less than two cents, while white countries have to ask four times as much even to cover the cost to themselves; when the little Javanese peasant with his wife and family offer the self-harvested sack of rice at half the cost which the modern planter with his white officials is obliged to demand, then indeed we get a glimpse into the abysses of this struggle. Since Western technique is no longer secret and can be copied to perfection, the contrast is no longer in the method of construction, but only in the cost of that production.)
To this must be added political-social propaganda in enormous quantities, the true Asiatic diplomacy of our day. It pervades all India and Japan. It has led in Java and Sumatra to the erection of a race front against the Dutch and the disintegration of army and navy. It pays court, all the way from Eastern Asia, to the highly gifted Indian race living from Mexico to Chili, and it inculcates for the first time in the Negroes a community-feeling that is being directed against the white ruling nations.
Here, too, the White Revolution has since 1770 been preparing the soil for the Colored one. The literature of English Liberals like Mill and Spencer, whose trains of thought reach back into the eighteenth century, supplied the “world outlook” to the higher schools in India. And thence the way to Marx was easy for the young reformers themselves to find. Sun-Yat-Sen, the leader of the Chinese Revolution, found it in America. And out of it all there arose a revolutionary literature of which the Radicalism puts that of Marx and Borodin far into the shade.
Like the North American revolt against England, the independence movement in Spanish America, dating from Bolivar (1811), is unthinkable without the Anglo-French revolutionary literature of 1770 — plus the example of Napoleon. At first it was exclusively a struggle between whites, between the landowning Creole aristocracy, which had lived in the country for generations, and the Spanish bureaucracy, which kept up the lordly principle of colonial subordination. Bolivar, a pure-blooded white like Miranda and San Martín, conceived the plan of erecting a monarchy that would be supported by a purely white oligarchy. The Argentinian dictator, Rosas, a powerful figure in the “Prussian” style, also stood for this aristocracy against the Jacobinism which soon spread from Mexico to the extreme South, finding support in the anti-clerical Masonic lodges and demanding universal equality, even of race. With this began the movement of Indians, pure and half-breeds, not only against Spain, but against white blood generally. It has gone on without intermission, and today it is nearing its goal. Humboldt, even so far back, remarked the pride in Iberian descent exhibited there, and the tradition of a Visigothic and Basque ancestry is still found in Chile’s aristocratic families. (And from the forcibly converted Arabs and Jews — the Marranos — known by their strictly Catholic names, such as Santa Anna, Santa Maria, San Martín.) But the greater part of this aristocracy died out or found its way back to Europe during the reign of anarchy which began in the middle of the nineteenth century, and now policy is dictated by the “caudillos,” warlike demagogues from the coloured population. Among them are pure-breed Indians of great talent like Juárez and Porfirio Díaz. Apart from Argentina, the proportion of the upper classes which is white, or calls itself so, is from a quarter to one tenth of the population. In certain states the doctors, advocates, teachers, even officers, are exclusively Indians, who feel themselves akin to the half-breed proletariat of the towns (the “mechopelo”) in the hatred with which white property inspires them, whether it is in the hands of Creoles, Englishmen, or North Americans. In Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, Aymara is the second official and educational language. There is open practice of a cult based on the alleged Communism of the Incas, which receives encouragement from Moscow. The race ideal of a pure Indian rule is perhaps on the verge of realization.
In Africa it is the Christian missionary — above all, the English Methodist — who in all innocence, with his doctrine that all men are equal before God and that wealth is sinful, plows the soil on which the Bolshevist envoy sows and reaps. And from the North and the East the missionary of Islam follows up his tracks with great success, penetrating in these days as far as the Zambesi in Nyassaland. Where a Christian school stood yesterday, a mosque stands tomorrow. The warlike, manly spirit of this religion is more intelligible to the Negro than the doctrine of pity, which merely takes away his respect for the whites; and the Christian priest is suspected above all because he represents a white ruling race, against which Mohammedan propaganda, political rather than dogmatic, directs itself with cool decision. (But there is also an Ethiopian Methodist Church, which is anti-European and from its home in the United States carries out mission work that leads to revolts, as for instance in Natal in 1907 and in Nyassaland in 1915.)
This general Colored Revolution over the whole earth marches under the disguise of very varied tendencies: national, economic, social. It directs itself now against the white governments of colonial empires (India) or of its own land (the Cape), now against a white upper stratum (Chile), now against the power of the pound or the dollar — any alien economic system, in fact. It may even be found opposing its own financial world for doing business with the whites (China), or its own aristocracy or monarchy. Religious motives also contribute: hatred of Christianity or of any form of priesthood and orthodoxy whatever, of manners and customs, world outlook, and moral. But ever since the Boxer Revolution in China, the Indian Mutiny, and the revolt of the Mexicans against the Emperor Maximilian, there will be found, deep down, everywhere one and the same thing: hatred of the white race and an unconditional determination to destroy it. As to whether age-old, weary Civilizations like the Indian and the Chinese can preserve order without foreign rule, nobody cares. All that matters is whether they are in a position to throw off the white yoke, and that is the case. Who will be the next sovereign over the colored powers — Russia, Japan, or some great adventurer with an armed host at his back — will be decided later, or perhaps not at all. The ancient Egyptian Civilization changed its rulers many times after 1000 B.C. — Libyans, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans. It was never again capable of self-government, but always equal to a new and victorious revolt. And whether even one of the many other aims is being or will be realized is for the moment quite beside the point. The great historical question is whether the fall of the white powers will be brought about or not. And on this point the overwhelming unity of resolve that has formed itself may well give us something to think about. What resources of spiritual and material power can the white world really muster against this menace?
Very few, it would seem at the first glance. For one thing, its peoples are weary of their Culture. Spiritual substance has consumed itself in the fire of high form and the striving after inward perfection. In very many cases only the glow is left, in many only ashes, but it is not so everywhere. The less a nation has been called upon to lead in the whirlwind of history in the past, the more has it retained of the chaos which may become form. And when the storm of great events rushes over it, as in 1914, hidden sparks suddenly burst into flame. Precisely in the Germanic race, the strongest-willed that has ever existed, great possibilities lie sleeping.
But in speaking of race, it is not intended in the sense in which it is the fashion among anti-Semites in Europe and America to use it today: Darwinistically, materially. Race purity is a grotesque word in view of the fact that for centuries all stocks and species have been mixed, and that warlike — that is, healthy — generations with a future before them have from time immemorial always welcomed a stranger into the family if he had “race,” to whatever race it was he belonged. Those who talk too much about race no longer have it in them. What is needed is not a pure race, but a strong one, which has a nation within it.
This manifests itself above all in self-evident elemental fecundity, in an abundance of children, which historical life can consume without ever exhausting the supply. God is, in the familiar words of Frederick the Great, always on the side of the big battalions, and now if ever this shows itself. The millions who fell in the World War were the pick of all the white world had in the way of race, but the test of race is the speed with which it can replace itself. A Russian once said to me: “The Russian woman will make good in ten years what we sacrificed in the Revolution.” That is the right instinct. Such races are irresistible. The trivial doctrine of Malthus, preached everywhere today, which extols barrenness as progress, only proves that these intellectuals have no “race,” not to mention the idiotic idea that economic crises can be surmounted by an atrophied population. It is just the other way round. The “big battalions,” without which there is no world policy, give protection, strength, and internal riches to the economic life also.
A woman of race does not desire to be a “companion” or a “lover,” but a mother; and not the mother of one child, to serve as a toy and distraction, but of many: the instinct of a strong race speaks in the pride that large families inspire, in the feeling that barrenness is the hardest curse that can befall a woman and through her the race. Out of this instinct arises the primitive jealousy which leads one woman to take away from another the man whom she covets as the father of her children. The more intellectual jealousy of the great cities, which is little more than erotic appetite and looks upon the other party as a means of pleasure, and even the mere fact of considering the desired or dreaded number of children who are to be born, betrays the waning of the race urge to permanence; and that instinct for permanence cannot be reawakened by speeches and writing. Primitive marriage, or whatever other deep-rooted folk-custom has ever been practiced to sanctify procreation, was anything but sentimental. A man wants stout sons who will perpetuate his name and his deeds beyond his death into the future and enhance them, just as he has done himself through feeling himself heir to the calling and works of his ancestors. That is the Nordic idea of immortality. These peoples have known no other and desired none. It is the source of that tremendous yearning for fame, the wish to live on among posterity through one’s work, to see one’s name perpetuated on monuments or at the least held in honorable memory. For this reason the inheritance idea is inseparable from Germanic marriage. When the notion of property crumbles away, the meaning of the family fades into nothingness. He who lays hand on one attacks the other too. The idea of inheritance, which is inherent in the life of every farm, every workshop, every old-established firm, and all inherited callings (that is why there are generations of officers, judges, and clergy. It is the basis of all nobilities, patriciates, and guilds), and has found its highest symbolical expression in hereditary monarchy, is the guarantee of strong race-instincts. Not only is it untouched by Socialism; its very existence signifies Socialism’s downfall.
But the decay of the white family, the inevitable outcome of megalopolitan existence, is spreading, and it is devouring the “race” of nations. The meaning of man and wife, the will to perpetuity, is being lost. People live for themselves alone, not for future generations. The nation as society, once the organic web of families, threatens to dissolve, from the city outwards, into a sum of private atoms, of which each is intent on extracting from his own and other lives the maximum of amusement — panem et circenses. The women’s emancipation of Ibsen’s time wanted, not freedom from the husband, but freedom from the child, from the burden of children, just as men’s emancipation in the same period signified freedom from the duties towards family, nation, and State. The whole of Liberal-Socialistic problem-literature revolves about this suicide of the white race. It has been the same in all other Civilizations (The Decline of the West, II, pp. 103 et seq.).
The consequences lie before us. The colored races of the world have up till now been twice as strong numerically as the white. But about 1930 Russia had an annual excess of births of four million, Japan of two million; and India, between 1921 and 1931, increased her population by thirty-four million. In Africa the extraordinarily prolific Negro population will increase still more enormously now that European medicine has been introduced to check disease, which was so strong a selective factor. In contrast to this, Germany and Italy have a surplus of births of less than half a million, England — the country of publicly encouraged birth control — less than half this amount, and France and the old-established Yankee element in the United States none at all. (This applies equally to the white element in South Africa and Australia.) This Yankee element, until now the dominant “race” of Germanic stamp, has been rapidly dwindling for some decades. The increase of population comes entirely from the side of the Negroes and emigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe since 1900. In France some Departments have lost over a third of their population in the last fifty years. In certain cases the birth-rate is only half the death-rate. There are small towns and villages which are almost empty. From the South there is an influx of Catalonians and Italians as land-workers. Poles and Negroes are found in every grade, even the middle classes. There are black clergymen, officers, and judges. It is these prolific immigrants, accounting for a tenth of the population, who alone keep the number of “Frenchmen” up to anything approaching the old level. But the genuine Frenchman will soon be no longer master in France. The apparent increase of the white population all over the world, little as it is in comparison with the volume of the colored increase, rests upon a temporary illusion: the number of children grows ever smaller, and only the number of adults increases, not because there are more of them, but because they live longer.
But a strong race requires not only an inexhaustible birth-rate, but also a severe selection process, which is provided by the resistances to living represented by misfortune, sickness, and war. Nineteenth-century medicine, a true product of Rationalism, is from this point of view also a phenomenon of age. It prolongs each life whether this is desirable or no. It prolongs even death. It replaces the number of children by the number of greybeards. It promotes the world outlook of panem et circenses by estimating the value of life by the number of its days, not by their usefulness. It prevents the natural process of selection and thereby accentuates the decay of the race. The number of incurable mental cases in England and Wales has increased during twenty years from 4.6 to 8.6 per thousand. In Germany the number of the feeble-minded is almost half a million, in the United States over a million. According to a report sponsored by ex-President Hoover, the youth of America has a record of 1,360,000 with hearing impaired or “so defective in speech that they require remedial treatment and training,” 1,000,000 with “weak or damaged hearts,” 675,000 presenting “behavior problems,” 450,000 “mentally retarded to such a degree that they require special education,” 300,000 cripples, and 60,000 “blind or in need of sight-saving instruction.” But added to these are the terrible numbers of abnormal people of every description, mental, spiritual, and physical, the hysterical, moral, and nerve cases who can neither beget nor bear healthy children. Their number is unobtainable, but we can gauge it by the number of doctors who live by them and the mass of books that are written about them. From this degenerate crop comes the revolutionary proletariat, with its hatred born of grievances, and the drawing-room Bolshevism of the aesthetes and literary folk, who enjoy and advertise the attractiveness of such states of mind.
It is a well-known fact that important persons are seldom first children and almost never only ones. The marriage that is poor in offspring is a menace not only to the quantity but to the quality of the race. What a nation needs quite as badly as a healthy race is the existence of an élite to lead it. But an élite such as that formed by the overseas civil service in England and the officer-corps in Prussia — or, for that matter, the Catholic Church — which unwaveringly, and in total disregard of money or origins, upheld its ethic and made good in difficult situations, becomes impossible when the available material rises nowhere above the average. Life’s selection must have taken precedence of it; only then can the class selection take place. A strong stock demands strong parents. Something of the barbarism of the past ages must still be present in the blood beneath the strict form of an old Culture, ready to surge up in difficult times, to save and to conquer.
Barbarism is that which I call strong race (I repeat: race that one has, not a race to which one belongs. The one is ethos, the other – zoology), the eternal warlike in the type of the beast-of-prey man. It often seems to have ceased to exist, but it is crouching in the soul ready to spring. Given a big challenge =- and it is on top of the enemy. It is dead only when Late urban pacifism, with its weary desire for peace at any price, short of that of its own life, has rolled its mud over the generations. That is the spiritual self-disarmament, following on the physical, which comes of unfruitfulness.
Why is the German people the least exhausted of the white world, and therefore the one on which may be placed the most hope? Because its political past has given it no opportunity to waste its precious blood and its great abilities. This is the one blessed aspect of our wretched history since 1500: it has used us sparingly. It turned us into dreamers and theoreticians in matters of world policy, made us ignorant of the world, narrow, quarrelsome, and provincial; but that can be got over. It was no organic defect, no inherent lack of ability — the days of the Holy Roman Empire are there to show that. Good blood, the foundation of every kind of intellectual as well as physical superiority, there was and still is. Great history is exacting. It devours the racially best elements. It devoured ancient Rome in a few centuries. The Nordic migrations, which had come to standstill in Southern Europe a thousand years before, set in again on the grand scale on the discovery of America, taking oceans in their stride. Vigorous Spanish families, of predominantly Nordic origin, migrated in numbers to the new continent, where they could fight, explore, and rule. By about 1800 the best aristocracy of the Spanish stamp was there and vigorous life had died out in the mother country. Similarly the class in France whose vocation was to rule was used up by high policy from Louis XIII onwards — and not by that alone, for high Culture must be paid for dearly too. And the Anglo-Saxon has been used up even more by the British Empire. What there was of higher material there did not find its way into counting-houses and minor official posts, but followed the Viking urge to a life of danger and wandered to all parts of the globe, either meeting its end in innumerable adventures and wars or succumbing to the effects of climate, or remaining abroad to establish, as in North America, the foundation of a new ruling class. What was left became “conservative,” by which in this case is meant uncreative, full of unproductive hatred of everything new and unforeseen. Germany, too, has lost a great deal of its best blood in foreign armies and to foreign nations. But the provincialism of its political conditions tuned down the ambitions of young talent to service at small courts, in small armies and administrations. (Except in the Habsburg State, which likewise diluted and wasted the German stock within its boundaries.) These settled down to form a healthy and prolific middle class. The nobility remained for the most part a superior peasantry. There was no high society and no fullness of life. “Race,” in the people, was asleep, waiting for the call of a great age. But in this people there lies, notwithstanding the devastation of the last decades, a store of excellent blood such as no other nation possesses. It can be roused and must be spiritualized to meet the stupendous tasks before it. The battle for the planet has begun. The pacifism of the century of Liberalism must be overcome if we are to go on living
How far in fact have the white nations advanced towards pacifism? Is the outcry against war an intellectual gesture or a serious abdication from history at the cost of dignity, honor, liberty? Yet life is war. Can we dismiss its meaning and yet retain it? That is what the craving for the peace of fellahdom, for protection against everything that disturbs the daily routine, against destiny in every form, would seem to intimate: a sort of protective mimicry vis-à-vis world history, human insects feigning death in the face of danger, the “happy ending” of an empty existence, the boredom of which has brought in jazz music and Negro dancing to perform the Dead March for a great Culture.
But this cannot, must not, be. The hare may perhaps deceive the fox, but human beings can not deceive each other. The colored man sees through the white man when he talks about “humanity” and everlasting peace. He scents the other’s unfitness and lack of will to defend himself. This is why a great educational effort is essential: what I have called “Prussian,” but which may, for all I care, call itself “Socialist” — what’s in a word? It must be education which rouses the sleeping energy not by schooling, science, or culture, but by living example, by soul discipline, which fetches up what is still there, strengthens it, and causes it to blossom anew. We cannot permit ourselves to be tired. Danger is knocking at the door. The colored races are not pacifists. They do not cling to a life whose length is its sole value. They take up the sword when we lay it down. Once they feared the white man; now they despise him. Our judgment stands written in their eyes when men and women comport themselves in their presence as we do, at home or in the lands of color themselves. Once they were filled with terror at our power — as were the Germanic people before the first Roman legions. Today, when they are themselves a power, their mysterious soul — which we shall never understand — rises up and looks down upon the whites as on a thing of yesterday.
But the greatest danger has not yet been even named. What if, one day, class war and race war joined forces to make an end of the white world? This lies in the nature of things, and neither of the two Revolutions will disdain the aid of the other simply because it despises its supporters. A common hate extinguishes mutual contempt. And what if some white adventurer — and there have been many such — whose wild soul cannot breathe in the hothouse of civilization and seeks to satiate its love of danger in fantastic colonial ventures, among pirates, in the Foreign Legion — should suddenly see this grand goal staring him in the face? It is through such natures that history springs her great surprises. The loathing of deep and strong men for our conditions and the hatred of profoundly disillusioned men might well grow into a revolt that meant to annihilate. This was not unknown in Caesar’s time. In any case: when the white proletariat breaks loose in the United States, the Negro will be on the spot, and behind him Indians and Japanese will await their hour. Similarly a black France would have little hesitation in outdoing the Parisian horrors of 1792 and 1871. And would the white leaders of the class war ever hesitate if colored outbreaks opened up a way for them? They have never been fastidious in the means they use. It would make no difference if the voice of Moscow ceased to dictate. It has done its work, and the work goes forward of itself. We have waged our wars and class wars before the eyes of color, have humiliated and betrayed each other; we have even summoned it to take part in them. Would it be anything to wonder if at last color were to act on its own account?
At this point advancing history towers high over economic distress and internal political ideals. The elemental forces of life are themselves entering the fight, which is for all or nothing. The prefiguration of Caesarism will soon become clearer, more conscious and unconcealed. The masks will fall completely from the age of the parliamentary interlude. All attempts to gather up the content of the future into parties will soon be forgotten. The Fascist formations of this decade will pass into new, unforeseeable forms, and even present-day nationalism will disappear. There remains as a formative power only the warlike, “Prussian” spirit — everywhere and not in Germany alone. Destiny, once compacted in meaningful forms and great traditions, will now proceed to make history in terms of formless individual powers. Caesar’s legions are returning to consciousness.
Here, possibly even in our own century, the ultimate decisions are waiting for their man. In presence of these the little aims and notions of our current politics sink to nothing. He whose sword compels victory here will be lord of the world. The dice are there ready for this stupendous game. Who dares to throw them?