Nov 2, 2015

Against Global Governance: The Biological Foundation of Adolf Hitler's Foreign Policy

via Ur-Fascist Analytics

Ur-Fascist Analytics Editor's Note: Hitler's vision of the future entailed a reunion of German lands and peoples and a securing of their future existence; the latter would be achieved through autarky, or independence in resources, materials, and agriculture through living space gained from a defunct U.S.S.R. In the process, a compact in Europe would allow SS and Wehrmacht forces to sustain European dominion the world over. The ideological foundations of Hitler's vision included a view of the world as a perpetual conflict between biological types and nations or peoples as superorganisms locked in an evolutionary struggle for living space.

In 1920, Hitler formed the National-Socialist movement from the German Worker's Party. In 1923, he began writing Mein Kampf, wherein he laid out his vision of the future:

  1. Reunite lost German peoples and lands within a unified Reich.
  2. Secure the existence of the German people through autarky.
Everything that Hitler undertook from 1933 through 1945 aimed at both. The first goal would be largely realized by 1939, with many former lands, including Austria, regained. In this time he tried to secure an Anglo-German alliance and a compact with Europe that would avoid harm to their Empires.[1] With Germany not constrained by concerns of a war on multiple fronts, it could embark on an aspiration that reached back to the Middle Ages: New soil in the East. A defeated U.S.S.R. would yield all the soil that Germany ever needed.

Mussolini's vision for Italy extended primarily to the Mediterranean and Africa: Fascist Italy had few, if any, Continental ambitions that did not relate directly to Italian security. Mussolini wanted autarky, or national autonomy, for Italy just as Hitler had wanted it for Germany. The only potential problem was Italy's initial support for clerical-fascist Austria, but this obstacle was removed when Mussolini finally supported Hitler's desire to reunite Austria with the Reich. This was gratitude for Germany's continuing support of Italian foreign policy.[2]

There was no real conflict with Britain, except those issues that Britain was determined to make an issue. The British had a global Empire whose power was commercial, naval, and colonial. Britain's vital imperial assets were in far flung places like Africa, the Americas, India and the Pacific. Unfortunately, British statesmen viewed a Continental balance of power as essential to what it thought was peace, and never recognized Hitler's desired free hand in the East. Sir Oswald Mosley criticized British policy, believing it ensured a conflict:

If any potential conflict of interest lay between Italy and Germany, even fewer existed with Britain and Germany. The British Empire was a global entity, and its power was commercial, naval, and colonial. Britain's imperial assets were in far flung areas like Africa, the Americas, India, and the Pacific. The only cause of dispute between Britain and Germany was those that Britain insisted on seeing, but were not real. Sir Oswald Mosley captured this idea when he argued that Britain was obliged to recognize Germany's colonial interests:

In fact, the only policy which can logically produce another explosion on the Western frontiers of Germany is the denial of expansion; not only on her Eastern frontiers but in her limited though necessary and natural colonial ambitions. Yet Financial-Democratic policy could not be more perfectly designed to promote that explosion than by the dual policy of denying Germany colonial outlet and of circumscribing her in the East by a menacing Democratic-Soviet alliance.
In other words, he was saying, Germany was a European nation and had as much right to "colonial ambitions" and gaining "colonial outlet" as Britain, France, or any European nation that already had an Empire. And as Hitler and Mosley both clearly saw, the Empire that Hitler sought lay in the East, and did not converge or overlap with any part of the Empires of Europe. Hitler was a man of his times, and Mosley, Hitler, and Mussolini all knew that imperial expansion was natural and desirable; as Mussolini himself had stressed:

For Fascism, the tendency to empire, that is to say the expansion of nations, is a manifestation of vitality, its contrary (the stay-at-home attitude) is a sign of decadence. Peoples who rise, or who suddenly flourish again, are imperialistic; peoples who die are peoples who abdicate.
Pursuit of "vital space" [spazio vitale] in Italian Fascism or "living space" [lebensraum] in German fascism, or National-Socialism, is, for fascism, a reflection of the reality of nations and peoples as biological entities pursuing nourishment for their natural growth. Hitler was keen to undertake a colonial policy that did not threaten the interests of other European Empires. An Empire won at the expense of the Soviet Union would not only grant Hitler living space the German people needed for its life, but eliminate a common enemy.

Indeed, "appeasement" ran two ways, for Hitler. Much has been made, and mocked, about Chamberlain's policy toward Hitler, but little is made either of Churchill's later appeasement of Stalin or, more significantly, Hitler's willingness to modify German policy for the interests of Europe in general and Britain in particular. Hitler had no desire to go to war with Britain, viewing it as a "crime against the race." Churchill knew this, which is why, after Britain gave Poland the war guarantee, he mockingly said: "Hitler's path to the East is closed."

But Churchill opened up that same path for Stalin. British policy, under Jewish influence and Churchill's pro-war bloc, ultimately allowed Bolshevism a path to central Europe instead of allowing National-Socialism a path to the heart of Stalin's Communist empire.

Neoconservatives and popular historians peddling the "Good War" myth enjoy claiming that Churchill had some special insight into Hitler's real intentions. They claim that only Churchill knew of the magnitude of Hitler's ambitions and the threat he posed. There is some truth in this claim, in that Churchill knew both from Mein Kampf and especially from his meeting with Ribbentrop in 1937 that Hitler was determined to confront and defeat the U.S.S.R. But it is untrue that Hitler menaced the British Empire or sought to expand Westward.

Hitler had already implicitly relinquished many of the Western and Northern lands that had once been part of Germany: Hitler did not aspire to regain Alsace and Lorraine from France, Eupen or Malmedy from Belgium, or Northern Schleswig from Denmark. This was because he preferred a compact with the West. It was only when Britain and France declared war on Germany, and more immediately refused to make peace, that Hitler moved West.

Churchill also knew that Hitler had no desire nor plan to "dominate the world." Hitler saw the world as ruled by a basic constellation of powers: The United States as handmaiden of the Americas, the British Empire as master of the seas and oceans of the world, the Empires of Europe as overseer of Africa, Central Asia, and the Far East, and Germany as steward of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Hitler's foreign policies, though centered on reunifying and securing the existence of Germans, were carried out with this vision in his mind.

The future conflict with the Soviet Union was to be an ideological war, a war in which a basic threat to the future of Europe and its Empires and the livelihood of the German people was to be confronted and defeated. In the wake of this defeat of the U.S.S.R., Germany would colonize territories extending to the areas of Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad; a border at the Volga would set the permanent boundary with the East. This living space would give the German people a lease on life, secure their existence, and strengthen Europe.

At a more fundamental level, Hitler appreciated underlying biological realities that underlay the relations of peoples and nations and drove them into conflicts. Disavowing the economic reductionism of both Marxism and plutocracy, Hitler viewed communities in general and nations in particular as biological entities driven by racial, ethnic, and ecological interests. The world is a perpetual conflict not strictly between classes, but between distinct biological types. Biological types emerged in natural history and vied for vital living space.

Hitler's biological understanding grew out of a combination of personal instinct, observation, and the diffusion of knowledge in the wake of the Darwinian revolution. He grasped from the latest geological perspectives the fluidity and inconstancy of geological forms, change that unfolded over extremely long periods of time. From the most recent biological perspectives his own observations and instincts were sharpened, and he came to understand that when novel types emerge and compete, they are shaped by evolutionary dynamics.

Though much has been made of the Social Darwinism of Hitler's time, Hitler did not hold to the Spencerian derivation of it that pitted individuals against one another. Hitler believed that competition between individuals and nations worked out for the good of a people, and this in turn does and should result in the betterment of the whole. Spencer was willing to accept the prolonged suffering of individuals, but Hitler's eugenics and euthanasia policies were intended to render such suffering ephemeral, or end it, for interests at many levels.

Hitler's view of peoples and nations is reflected in his use of terms, and the contextual use in which they are placed. For example, his use of 'organism' underlies his view of nations and peoples as biological entities in their own right. In Mein Kampf, Hitler says:

The instinct for the preservation of one's own species is the primary cause that leads to the formation of human communities. Hence, the state is a racial organism, not an economic organization. The difference between the two is so great as as to be incomprehensible to our contemporary so-called 'statesman.'  
In this passage from Vol. I, Ch. XII, Hitler uses 'organism' to refer to social unities:

Further, the creation of subordinate organisms must depend on whether or not those persons can be found who are qualified to take the leadership of them.
In another passage, later in the same chapter, Hitler uses the term to refer to embryonic or nascent political movements, relative to the strength of their internal cohesion:

All those movements which owe their expansion to a so-called combination of similar organisms, which means that their growth is due to a policy of external compromise, are like plants whose growth is forced in a hothouse. They shoot up externally but lack that inner strength which enables the natural plant to grow into a tree that will withstand the storms of centuries.
In this passage from Vol. 2, Ch. II, Hitler uses 'organism' to refer to the nation and its state, and not merely to social unities and social movements, as was the case before.

Hence the supreme purpose of the ethnic state is to guard and preserve those racial elements which, through their work in the cultural field, create that beauty and dignity which are characteristic of a higher mankind. As Aryans, we can consider the state only as the living organism of a people, an organism which does not merely maintain the existence of a people, but functions in such a way as to lead its people to a position of supreme liberty by the progressive development of the intellectual and cultural faculties.
But Hitler emphasizes that the vital function of the state and the nation is the preservation of the racial basis from which the life of a people, and all its propensities, springs:

... a State may be called bad if, in spite of the existence of a high cultural level, it dooms to destruction the bearers of that culture by breaking up their racial uniformity. For the practical effect of such a policy would be to destroy 307 those conditions that are indispensable for the ulterior existence of that culture, which the State did not create but which is the fruit of the creative power inherent in the racial stock whose existence is assured by being united in the living organism of the State.
Therefore, "life" is found not only in individual organisms, or their organs and cells, but also in the groups that individual organisms form: When they converge together, they form social and ecological unities, and these are vital unities. This obtains, whether such a vital unity is a local state, a movement, or a nation. Life can be found at many different levels: For Hitler, "life" is a dynamic functional organization that results when cells group into organisms, or organisms group into nation-organisms and identify and cultivate propensities.

The identification and cultivation of propensities within an "organism" is important for Hitler: When Hitler says that a nation-organism, which for Hitler is a "racial organism," is alive, he means that it is actively identifying, sustaining, and developing the internal and external interests of that nation-organism. Internal interests include the racial, ethnic, and biological potential of citizens and communities. External interests include the relation of a people with neighbors. Included in both is the "space" a people occupies, and its need for it.

In his Second Book, Hitler develops two important points relating to biological entities that also relate, in crucial ways, to his idea of the nation-organism.[3] First, nation-organisms are subject to the same biological and physical laws and principles as individual organisms. Second, he develops a general perspective on the centrality of living space to individual organisms and nation-organisms; pursuit of living space is central to biological entities, individuals and groups, and is directly linked to outcomes of evolutionary conflict:

But that which is true for individual human beings is also true for peoples. A people, collectively, is only a large number of more or less equal individual beings. Its strength lies in the quality of the individuals who form it and in the type and extent of the uniformity of these qualities. The same laws that determine the life of the individual, and to which it is subject, are therefore valid for the people. Self-preservation and continuity are major impulses for any kind of behavior, as long as such a body can lay claim to healthiness.
If the self-preservation instinct and its two goals of self-preservation and continuity represent the most basic force for every creature on this Earth, but the possibility of satisfaction is limited, then the logical result is struggle, in all its forms, for the possibility of preserving this life - in other words, satisfying the self-preservation instinct.
The types of creatures on this Earth are countless, and on an individual level their self-preservation instinct as well as the longing for procreation is always unlimited; however, the space in which this entire life process plays itself out is limited. It is the surface area of a precisely measures sphere on which billions and billions of individual beings struggle for life and succession. In the limitation of this living space lies the compulsion for the struggle for survival, and the struggle for survival, in turn, contains the precondition for evolution.
The fascist belief in perpetual struggle now finds a clear correlate in a biological reality in which every biological entity is placed. Space and the occupation of space grant individual organisms and nation-organisms the necessary domain for their growth. Hitler's views on the nation-organism and the National-Socialist view of "space" are partly indebted to Karl Haushofer, a German general and geopolitical strategist: The nation as an organic whole, autarky, living space, and the difference in the interests of sea and land powers.

Haushofer had stressed that nations pursuing autarky, or independence in resources, must aspire to power on land and at sea. In emphasizing Germany as a land power, and aspiring to an alliance with Britain that recognized its primacy as a sea power, Hitler departed from Haushofer in this one respect. After 1935, Hitler declined to build up the German navy to the amounts and strengths permitted by the Anglo-German naval treaty, only departing from it once British refusal to recognize Germany's eastern aspirations finally settled in.[4]

"Living space" still occurs casually in biological contexts, but it has no precise use; it evokes, but is not identical with, "niche" and "habitat." It implies space for nourishment and growth (growth itself being a relative term to different types and species).[5] It is a relative term, as the size and form of organisms varies considerably. It is just as meaningful to speak of the human body as "living space" for bacteria as it is to speak of dwellings as "living space" for animals or geographic expanses as "living space" for nations.

It is difficult to exaggerate the significance of the Soviet Union's historical role in weakening European imperialism and hastening the process of decolonization. The U.S.S.R. assumed the leadership of nations that aspired to end European world domination. This began in the 1920s and 1930s, but quickened its pace after World War II. The U.S.S.R. gave political, moral, economic and strategic support to "liberation" movements over the world. And the pace and intensity of Soviet influence only intensified after World War II ended.


With the view of the prospects of living space and the reality of the Soviet Union as the core of a world threat, Hitler singled out the U.S..S.R. as the focus of his ambition [7]:
And so we National-Socialists consciously draw a line beneath the foreign policy tendency of our pre-War period. We take up where we broke off six hundred years ago. We stop the endless German movement to the south and west, and turn our gaze toward the land in the east. At long last we break of the colonial and commercial policy of the pre-War period and shift to the soil policy of the future.

If we speak of soil in Europe today, we can primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states.

Here Fate itself seems desirous of giving us a sign. By handing Russia to Bolshevism, it robbed the Russian nation of that intelligentsia which previously brought about and guaranteed its existence as a state. For the organization of a Russian state formation was not the result of the political abilities of the Slavs in Russia, but only a wonderful example of the state-forming efficacy of the German element in an inferior race. Numerous mighty empires on earth have been created in this way. Lower nations led by Germanic organizers and overlords have more than once grown to be mighty state formations and have endured as long as the racial nudeus of the creative state race maintained itself. For centuries Russia drew nourishment from this Germanic nucleus of its upper leading strata. Today it can be regarded as almost totally exterminated and extinguished. It has been replaced by the Jew. Impossible as it is for the Russian by himself to shake off the yoke of the Jew by his own resources, it is equally impossible for the Jew to maintain the mighty empire forever. He himself is no element of organization, but a ferment of decomposition. The Persian empire in the east is ripe for collapse. And the end of Jewish rule in Russia will also be the end of Russia as a state. We have been chosen by Fate as witnesses of a catastrophe which will be the mightiest confirmation of the soundness of the folkish theory.
Our task, the mission of the National-Socialist movement, is to bring our own people to such political insight that they will not see their goal for the future in the breath-taking sensation of a new Alexander's conquest, but in the industrious work of the German plow, to which the sword need only give soil.
Through the living space gained from a defeated Soviet Union, Germany would have all that it required for autarky to be realized: The fertile fields of Ukraine, vast natural resources, and living space from which generations of German farm families could grow. In the process, the focus of world opposition to Europe's Empires and European colonialism would be defeated. World communism may have been brought to an end before it could expand into Asia, Africa, or Latin America, much less find itself in the very heart of Europe itself.
It is difficult to exaggerate the role the Soviet Union has played historically in decolonization, the implosion of Europe's Empires, and the demographic implosion of European peoples. From the 1920s and 1930s, the Soviet Union not only projected itself as the guiding force in global "liberation" from European rule, but increasingly actively supported decolonization by giving economic, moral, political, and material support to Third World movements. After World War II, it played a leading role in promoting Third World self-assertion.
The above analysis should not be taken as discourse on the actual, historical invasion of the Soviet Union, in Operation Barbarossa, which commenced on 22 June, 1941. Rather, the foregoing concerns Hitler's prewar views on the future possibility of an invasion. Hitler did not want war with Britain or the West. When Hitler finally did invade the Soviet Union after nearly two years of fighting in the West, American involvement had intensified and many of the elements of Hitler's prewar vision had been superseded by unfolding reality.

There are necessary political derivatives of Hitler's prewar goals. Many balk at colonialism and imperialism, even in contemporary nationalist circles. It has become fashionable for a certain subspecies of nationalism to reject Hitler's vision in the same breath that it rejects British or French imperialism. However, "universal nationalism" is not universal, and those people of European descent who are children of colonialism should be grateful for it. Objective patterns of interests are very often imperceptible, even with hindsight.

Notes:
1. "The German people will have no right to engage in a colonial policy until they shall have brought all their children together in the one state. When the territory of the Reich embraces all the Germans and finds itself unable to assure them a livelihood, only then can the moral right arise, from the need of the people to acquire foreign territory. The plough is then the sword; and the tears of war will produce the daily bread for the generations to come."
2. In 1935, the "Stresa Front" of Britain, France, and Italy collapsed, due in part to Britain's signing the Anglo-German Naval Agreement with Hitler. Also, the Western democracies all imposed sanctions on Italy for invading Abyssinia in Africa. Hitler, alone, remained neutral and refused to condemn Italy. After 1936, Germany and Italy were formal allies.
3. Adolf Hitler, Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf, translated by Krista Smith, Enigma Books: New York, 2003, page 8.
4. It was only after the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, and even then only after the war with America became a nominal war, rather than the de facto war Roosevelt had waged against Hitler before then, that Hitler finally began truly entertaining the decline and death of his British enemy. His vision of an alliance had persisted well into the war.
5. "Growth" means something different depending on what type of biological entity you are talking about and at what level: "Growth" in bacteria refers to population growth, not growth in the size and shape of individual bacteria, whereas "growth" in animals, plants, and fungi refers to an increase in bodily shape, mass, and proportions.
6. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 2, Ch. XIV, "Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy."

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