A New English Translation by Thomas Dalton
New for 2022, from Clemens & Blair, LLC. (326 pp., unabridged)
New English translation of the classic work by Adolf Hitler. This is a complete and unedited translation of Volume Two of Mein Kampf, in modern and highly readable American English. This is the first such effort since the 1940s, and it far surpasses all existing versions. This edition includes a detailed Introduction, section headings, helpful footnotes, bibliography, and useful index.
Mein Kampf is the autobiography and articulated worldview of one of the most consequential leaders in world history. It is also one of the most maligned and least understood texts of the 20th century. A major problem in the Anglophone world has been the poor state of English translations. Both the Mannheim and Murphy editions are poor efforts, awkwardly phrased, and replete with archaic British wording; they are simply painful to read. This new translation is clear, lucid, and highly readable—and yet true to the original. And, unlike every other edition, this version has authentic section headings embedded in the text, which serve to both organize Hitler’s ideas and to parse long sections of text into manageable units.
This new, 2022 edition offers updates to the original translation and corrects minor errors. The Dalton translation will become the standard reference for this famous work.
2022; paperback and hardcover; 326 pp.
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THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST MOVEMENT
1. WORLDVIEW AND PARTY 13
2. THE STATE 28
3. SUBJECTS AND CITIZENS 76
4. PERSONALITY AND THE FOLKISH STATE-CONCEPT 80
5. WORLDVIEW AND ORGANIZATION 90
6. STRUGGLE IN EARLY TIMES: SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SPOKEN WORD 101
7. CONFLICT WITH THE RED FRONT 117
8. THE STRONG MAN IS MIGHTIEST ALONE 144
9. BASIC IDEAS REGARDING THE MEANING AND ORGANIZATION OF THE S.A. 153
10. THE MASK OF FEDERALISM 187
11. PROPAGANDA AND ORGANIZATION 212
12. THE TRADE UNION QUESTION 228
13. GERMAN POST-WAR ALLIANCE POLICY 239
14. GERMANY’S POLICY IN EASTERN EUROPE 273
15. THE RIGHT TO EMERGENCY DEFENSE 300
WORLDVIEW AND PARTY
On 24 February 1920, the first great mass meeting of our young movement took place. In the Banquet Hall of the Munich Hofbräuhaus, the 25 theses of our new party program were explained to an audience of nearly 2,000 people; each thesis was enthusiastically received.
Thus we made the public aware of those first principles and lines of action by which the new struggle would abolish a mass of confused and obsolete ideas and opinion—things that had led to obscure and pernicious ends. A new force now appeared among the timid and feckless bourgeoisie. This force was destined to resist the triumphant advance of the Marxists and, at the last minute, bring the wheel of destiny to a halt.
It was self-evident that this new movement could gain the significance and support that are necessary pre-requisites in such a gigantic struggle only if it succeeded from the very outset in awakening a sacred conviction in the hearts of its followers. This was not a case of introducing a new electoral slogan into the political field, but rather that an entirely new worldview—one of fundamental significance—had to be promoted.
1.1 Bourgeois ‘Program Committees’
One must recall the wretched viewpoints that were normally patched together to form the usual so-called Party Program, and how they were brushed up or remodeled from time to time. We must carefully investigate the motives that inspired the average bourgeois ‘program committee’ if we are to properly evaluate these programmatic monstrosities.
Those people are always influenced by one and the same concern when they introduce something new into their program, or modify something already contained in it: the results of the next election. The moment these parliamentary artists have the first glimmering of a suspicion that their darling public may be ready to kick up its heels and escape from the harness of the old party wagon, they begin to paint the shafts with new colors. On such occasions, the party astrologists and horoscope readers—the so-called ‘experienced men’ and ‘experts’—come forward. For the most part they are old parliamentary hands whose ‘rich political schooling’ has furnished them with ample experience. They recall previous occasions when the masses showed signs of losing patience, and they now foresee a similar menace arising once again. Resorting to their old prescription, they form a ‘committee.’ They go around among the darling public and listen to what’s being said. They dip their noses into the newspapers and gradually begin to sense what it is that their darlings, the broad masses, wish for—and what they reject, and what they hope for. Every trade or business group, and every class of employees, is carefully studied and their innermost desires are investigated. Even the ‘evil slogans’ of the dangerous opposition are now suddenly looked upon as worthy of reconsideration, and it often happens that these slogans, to the great astonishment of those who originally coined and circulated them, now seem to be quite harmless and indeed appear among the dogmas of the old parties.
So the committees meet to ‘revise’ the old program and draw up a new one (these gentlemen change their convictions just the way that a soldier changes his shirt in war—when the old one is lice-ridden!). In the new program, everyone gets his share. The farmer gets protection for his agriculture. The industrialist is assured of protection for his products. The consumer is protected for his purchases. Teachers are given higher salaries and civil servants will have better pensions. Widows and orphans will receive generous assistance from the State. Trade will be promoted. Tariffs will be lowered and even taxes, though they cannot be entirely abolished, will be almost so. It sometimes happens that one section of the public is forgotten or that one of the public demands fails to reach the ears of the party; this is also hurriedly patched onto the whole, should there be any space available for it. Finally it’s believed that the anxieties of the whole petty bourgeois and their wives are laid to rest, and they beam with satisfaction once again. And so, inwardly armed with faith in the goodness of God and the impenetrable stupidity of the electorate, the struggle for what’s called the ‘reconstruction’ of the Reich now begins.
When election day is over and the parliamentarians have held their last public meeting for five years, when they can leave their job of training the masses and can now devote themselves to higher and more pleasant tasks—then the program committee is dissolved and the struggle for the progressive reorganization of public affairs once again becomes merely a business of earning one’s daily bread: which is called a parliamentarian attendance fee.
Every morning, the honorable deputy wends his way to the House. Though he may not enter the Chamber itself, he gets at least as far as the front hall where the attendance lists are kept. As a part of his onerous service to the people, he signs his name, and in return receives a small payment as a well-earned reward for his unceasing and exhausting labors.
After four years—or sooner if there should occur some critical period during which the parliamentary body faces the danger of being dissolved—these gentlemen suddenly become seized by an irresistible desire to act. Just as the grub-worm cannot help growing into a butterfly, these parliamentarian caterpillars leave the great Pupae House and flutter out on new wings among the beloved public. They address the voters once again, give an account of the enormous labors they have accomplished, and emphasize the malicious obstinacy of their opponents. They don’t always meet with grateful applause, however; occasionally the foolish masses throw rude and bitter insults in their faces. When this public ingratitude reaches a certain degree, there’s only one way out: The party’s prestige must be polished up again. The program has to be revised. The committee is called into existence once again. And the swindle begins anew. Once we understand the granite stupidity of our public, we shouldn’t be surprised at the outcome. Led by the press and blinded once again by the enticing new program, the ‘bourgeois’ as well as the ‘proletarian’ herds of voters faithfully return to the common stable and re-elect their old deceivers.
The people’s man and labor candidate now changes back again into a parliamentarian caterpillar and fattens on the leaves of the State, only to be transformed once again, in four more years, into a glittering butterfly.
There is hardly anything more depressing than watching this process in sober reality and to be an eyewitness of this repeatedly recurring betrayal.
1.2 Marxism and Democratic Principles
On such a spiritual ground, it’s impossible for the bourgeois camp to develop the necessary strength to carry on the fight against the organized power of Marxism.
Indeed, they have never seriously thought of doing so. Though these parliamentary quacks of the white race are generally recognized as mentally inferior men, they are shrewd enough to know that they could not seriously entertain the hope of being able to use the weapon of Western democracy to fight a doctrine—namely, Marxism—which employs this very democracy for its own end. Democracy is exploited by the Marxists for the purpose of paralyzing their opponents and gaining a free hand for themselves, in order to put their own methods into action. When certain groups of Marxists use all their ingenuity for the time being to give the impression that they are inseparably attached to the principles of democracy, it’s good to recall the fact that, on critical occasions, these same gentlemen showed no regard for the democratic principle of majority rule! Such was the case in those days when the bourgeois parliamentarians, in their monumental small-mindedness, believed that the security of the Reich was guaranteed because it had an overwhelming numerical majority in its favor; meanwhile the Marxists didn’t hesitate to suddenly grasp power, backed by a mob of loafers, deserters, party bosses, and Jewish journalists. That was a slap in the face of the democracy that so many parliamentarians believed in. Only those credulous parliamentary wizards of a bourgeois democracy could have believed that the Marxist world-plague, and the brutal determination of its carriers, could for a moment—now or in the future—be banished by the magical formulas of Western parliamentarianism.
Marxism will march shoulder to shoulder with democracy until it succeeds in indirectly winning the support of even the nationalist world that it strives to root out. But if the Marxists ever came to believe that there was a danger that, from this witch’s cauldron of our parliamentary democracy, a majority vote might be concocted that could seriously attack Marxism—even if only on the basis of its ruling majority—then the whole parliamentarian hocus-pocus would be at an end. Instead of appealing to the democratic conscience, the standard bearers of the Red International would immediately emit a furious rallying-cry among the proletarian masses, and the ensuing fight would take place not in the sedate atmosphere of Parliament but in the factories and the streets. Then democracy would be finished at once; that which the intellectual agility of the parliamentarian apostles had failed to accomplish would now be successfully carried out by the crowbar and the sledgehammer of the exasperated proletarian masses, just as in the fall of 1918. At a single blow, they would awaken the bourgeois world to the madness of thinking that Jewish world domination could be opposed by means of Western democracy.
1.3 Worldview Against Worldview
As I have said, only a very credulous mind could think of complying with the rules of the game when he has to face a player for whom those rules are nothing but a mere bluff or a means of serving his own interests—which he will quickly discard when they are no longer to his advantage.
All the parties that profess so-called bourgeois principles look upon political life as, in reality, a struggle for seats in Parliament. The moment that their principles and convictions are of no further use in that struggle, they are thrown overboard like sand ballast. And the programs are constructed in such a way that they can be dealt with in a like manner. But such a practice has a correspondingly weakening effect. The parties lack the great magnetic attraction that alone draws in the broad masses; these masses always respond to the compelling force that emanates from absolute faith in the ideas put forth, along with the fanatical fighting courage to defend them.
At a time in which the one side, armed with all the weapons of a thousand-times criminal worldview, makes an attack against the established order, the other side will be able to resist only when it draws its strength from a new faith, which in our case is a political faith. This faith must replace the weak and cowardly command to defend with the battle-cry of a courageous and ruthless attack. If our present movement is accused, especially by the so-called national bourgeois cabinet ministers—the Bavarian Center, for example—of heading towards a ‘revolution,’ we have only one answer to those political midgets: We are trying to make up for that which you, in your criminal stupidity, failed to do. By your parliamentarian cattle-trading, you helped to drag the nation into the abyss; but we, by our aggressive policy, are setting up a new worldview, one that we shall defend with indomitable devotion. Thus we are building the steps upon which our nation may once again ascend to the temple of freedom.
Hence during the founding time of our movement, we had to take special care that our militant group, which fought for a new and exalted political faith, shouldn’t degenerate into a mere society for the promotion of parliamentarian interests.
The first preventive measure was to create a program that would, by itself, tend towards developing a certain inner greatness that would scare away all the small and weak minds of our present party politicians.
The fatal defects that finally led to Germany’s collapse [in 1918] offer the clearest proof of how correct we were in considering it absolutely necessary to set up programmatic goals that were sharply and distinctly defined.
Because we recognized these defects, we realized that a new conception of the State had to be formed. This in itself became a part of our new world-conception.
1.4 The ‘Folkish’ Concept
In the first volume of this book, I have already dealt with the term ‘folkish.’ I said then that this term is insufficiently precise to allow the formation of a solid fighting community. All kinds of people, with all kinds of divergent opinions, are parading around under the ‘folkish’ banner. Therefore, before I address the purposes and aims of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, I want to establish a clear understanding of what is meant by the concept ‘folkish’ and explain its relation to our party movement.
The word ‘folkish’ doesn’t express any clearly specified idea. It may be interpreted in several ways, and in practice it’s just as vague as the word ‘religious,’ for instance. It’s difficult to attach any precise meaning to this latter word, either as a theoretical concept or in practical life. The word ‘religious’ acquires a precise meaning only when it’s associated with a distinct and definite form through which the concept is put into practice. To call a man ‘deeply religious’ is fine phraseology; but generally speaking, it tells us little or nothing. There may be a few people who are content with such a vague description, and there may even be some to whom the word conveys a more or less definite picture of the person’s soul.
But since the masses of the people are neither philosophers nor saints, such a vague religious idea will mean nothing for them other than to justify each person thinking and acting according to his own inclination. It won’t lead to that effectiveness by which an inner religious yearning is transformed when it leaves the sphere of purely metaphysical ideas and conforms to a clearly outlined faith. Such a belief is certainly not an end in itself, but the means to an end; yet it’s a necessary means for attaining the end. This end, however, is not merely something ideal, but rather, it’s eminently practical. We must always bear in mind the fact that, generally speaking, the highest ideals always correspond to the deepest necessities of life, just as the nobility of the most sublime beauty is ultimately justified by that which is best suited to its purpose.
1.5 From Religious Feelings to Dogmatic Beliefs
By helping to lift man above the level of mere animal existence, faith certainly contributes to grounding and securing his existence. Taking humanity as it exists today, and considering the fact that present religious beliefs have been established through education in way that promotes practical moral standards, if we now abolished religious teaching and didn’t replace it by an equivalent, the result would be to undermine the foundations of human existence. Therefore we may safely say that man doesn’t live merely to serve higher ideals, but that these ideals, in turn, supply the necessary conditions for human existence. And thus the circle is closed.
Of course, the word ‘religious’ implies various ideas and beliefs; for example, the immortal soul, its future existence in eternity, the belief in the existence of a higher being, and so on. But all these ideas, no matter how firmly the individual believes in them, may be critically analyzed by anyone, and accepted or rejected accordingly; at that point, the emotional concept or yearning has been transformed into an active force that’s governed by a clearly-defined doctrinal faith. Such a faith supplies, above all, the fighting factor that clears the way for a recognition of basic religious views.
Without a clearly-defined belief, religious feeling, with its vague and multifarious forms, would not only be worthless for the purposes of human existence but might even contribute towards a general disintegration.
The situation with the word ‘religious’ also applies to the term ‘folkish.’ This word also implies certain fundamental ideas. Though these ideas are very important indeed, they assume such vague and indefinite forms that they cannot hold greater value than mere opinions until they are integrated into the structure of a political party. In order to give practical force to the ideals arising from a worldview and to respond to the logical consequences of such ideals, mere feeling and inner will are of no use; in the same way, freedom cannot be won by a universal yearning for it. No, only when the idealistic longing for independence is organized in such a way that it can fight for its ideals with military force, only then can the urgent wish of a people be transformed into a potent reality.
Any worldview, though a thousand-fold right and supremely beneficial to humanity, will be useless for the maintenance of a people until its principles become the rallying point of a militant movement. And in turn, this movement will remain a mere party until it has brought its ideals to victory and transformed its party doctrines into the new foundations of a State that gives shape to the national community.
If a spiritual conception of a general nature is to serve as the basis of future development, then the first prerequisite is to form a clear understanding of its nature, character, and scope. Only on such a basis can a movement be founded that will be able to draw the necessary fighting strength. From general ideas, a political program must be constructed, and a general worldview must by imprinted by a definite political faith. Since this faith must be directed towards practical ends, it must not only serve the general ideal as such, but it must also take into consideration the means that have to be employed for the triumph of the ideal. Here the practical wisdom of the statesman must come to the assistance of the abstract idea, which is correct in itself. Thus an eternal ideal, as a guiding star to mankind, must be adapted to the weaknesses of humanity so that its practical effect won’t be frustrated at the very outset due to general human inadequacy. The searcher for truth must here go hand in hand with one who has a practical knowledge of the human soul, so that we may select from the realm of eternal truths and ideals those which are best-suited to the capacities of human nature, and give them practical form.
The most important task of all is to take abstract and general principles, derived from a worldview based on a solid foundation of truth, and to transform them into a militant community of members who have the same political faith. This community must be precisely defined, rigidly organized, and of one mind and one will; only then do we have the possibility of successfully carrying out the idea. Therefore, out of a mass of millions who feel the truth of these ideas, and even may understand them to some extent, one man must arise. This man must be able to expound general ideas in a clear and definite form and, from the world of vague ideas shimmering before the minds of the masses, he must formulate granite principles. He must fight for these principles as the only true ones, until a solid rock of common faith and common will emerges above the troubled waves of miscellaneous ideas.
Such action is justified by its necessity; and the individual will be justified by his success.
1.6 Marxism versus Race and Personality
If we try to penetrate to the inner meaning of the word ‘folkish,’ we arrive at the following conclusions: The current political conception of the world is that the State, though it possesses a creative, culture-creating force, has nothing to do with racial considerations. The State is considered rather as something resulting from economic necessity, or at best, the natural outcome of political forces. Such a conception, together with all its logical consequences, is not only mistaken about basic racial forces, but it also underestimates the individual. A denial of racial differences with respect to their culture-creating powers must also extend the same error to the valuation of the individual. The assumption of racial equality becomes the basis for a similar way of viewing nations and individuals. And international Marxism is nothing but the application, by the Jew Karl Marx, of a pre-existing worldview to a definite profession of political faith. Without the foundation of this widely-diffused infection, the amazing success of this doctrine would have been impossible. In reality, Karl Marx was the one among millions who, in a slowly decomposing world, used his keen insight to detect the essential poisons; he then extracted and concentrated them, with the skill of a wizard, into a solution that would bring about the rapid destruction of the independent nations of this earth. And all this was done in the service of his race.
Marxist doctrine is the concentrated extract of the mentality that underlies the present generally-accepted worldview. For this reason alone, it’s out of the question, and even ridiculous, to think that our so-called bourgeois world can offer any effective resistance. This bourgeois world is infected with all those same poisons, and its general worldview differs from Marxism only in degree and in the person who holds it. The bourgeois world is Marxist, but believes in the possibility of rule by a certain group of people (the bourgeoisie), while Marxism itself systematically aims at delivering the world into the hands of the Jews.
In opposition to this, the folkish worldview recognizes that basic racial elements are of the greatest significance for mankind.
In principle, the State is viewed as a means to an end, and this end is the conservation of the racial characteristics of humanity. Therefore on the folkish principle, we cannot accept racial equality, but rather we recognize their differences. In doing so, it separates races into superior and inferior worth. Based on this recognition, it feels bound to conform to the eternal will that dominates the universe, to promote the victory of the better and stronger and the subordination of the inferior and weaker. It serves the truth of the aristocratic principle underlying all Nature’s operations and it believes that this law is valid down to the last individual. It sees differences of value not only in the races but also in individual men. Out of the mass of men, it selects the importance of the individual, and thus it operates as an organizing principle, whereas Marxism acts to disorganize. It holds that humanity must have its ideals, because ideals are a necessary condition of human existence. But it denies that an ethical ideal has the right to prevail if it endangers the existence of a race that is the standard-bearer of a higher ethical ideal; in a bastardized and narrowed world, all ideals of human beauty and nobility, and all hopes for an idealized future for humanity, would be lost forever.
In this world, human culture and civilization are inseparably bound up with the presence of the Aryan. If he dies out or declines, then the dark shroud of a barbarian era will again envelop the earth.
In the eyes of a folkish worldview, to undermine the existence of human culture by destroying its carriers would be a deplorable crime. Anyone who dares to raise a hand against that highest image of God sins against the bountiful creator of this miracle, and collaborates in the expulsion from Paradise.
Hence the folkish worldview corresponds to the innermost will of Nature. It restores the free play of forces that will lead to a continuous higher breeding, until at last the best of humanity, through possession of the earth, will be free to act in every domain in and above it.
We all feel that, in the distant future, we will be faced with problems that can only be solved by a highest race of master human beings—those who have at their disposal the means and resources of the whole world.
1.7 Organization of a Party
It’s obvious that such a general sketch of the ideas implied in the folkish worldview can be interpreted in a thousand different ways. As a matter of fact, there is scarcely one of our recent political movements that doesn’t refer at some point to this conception of the world. But the fact that it still maintains its independent existence amidst all the others proves the difference in conceptions. Thus the Marxist worldview, directed by a unified central organization, is opposed by a hodge-podge of opinions that isn’t very impressive in the face of the solid front of the enemy. Victory cannot be achieved with such weak weapons! Only when the international worldview—politically organized by Marxism—is confronted by the folk idea, organized in an equally-systematic way, will the fighting energy be equal on both sides, with victory falling on the side of eternal truth.
But a worldview can only be comprehended when it’s precisely and definitely formulated. The function that dogma plays in religious belief is parallel to that which party principles play for a political party in the making.
Therefore it’s necessary to create an instrument by which the folkish worldview can fight, in the same way that the Marxist party organization clears the way for internationalism.
This is the goal pursued by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
Such a party formulation is a pre-condition for the victory of the folkish worldview. This is clearly proved by a fact that’s indirectly accepted by those who oppose a connection between party and worldview.
The folk conception must therefore be definitely formulated so that it may be organically incorporated into the party. This is a necessary prerequisite for the success of this idea. And that it is so is very clearly proved even by the indirect acknowledgment of those who oppose such an amalgamation of the folk idea with party principles. The very people who never tire of repeatedly insisting that the folkish worldview can never be the exclusive property of a single group because it lies dormant or ‘lives’ in millions of hearts, only confirms the simple fact that the general presence of such ideas has proven unable to prevent the victory of the enemy worldview—which is represented by a political party. If that were not so, the German people should have already earned a gigantic victory instead of finding themselves on the brink of the abyss. The internationalist ideology succeeded because it was organized as a political party in the manner of storm troops; the opposing worldview failed because it lacked a unified body to defend it. A worldview cannot fight and win by allowing unlimited freedom of interpretation, but only through the restricted and integrating form of a political organization.
I therefore considered it my special duty to extract from the extensive but vague contents of a general worldview the ideas that were essential, and to give them a more or less dogmatic form. In this way, these ideas are suited to the purpose of uniting together all those who are ready to accept them as principles. In other words: The National Socialist German Workers’ Party extracts the essential principles from the generally folkish conception of the world. On these principles it establishes a political doctrine that considers the practical realities of the day, the times, and the available human material and all its weaknesses. This doctrine makes possible the organization of great masses of people in a strictly integrated sense. And this organization is the main precondition for the victory of this worldview.