Quotes From Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (Translated by Ralph Mannheim)
I wouldn't look at this book as a teaching aide but he did make quite a few interesting points and observations along the way. The man was very determined in what he wanted to achieve. There are many truths that are relevant to this day and considering that the first volume was written in 1925 and the second in 1926 the relevance is remarkable.
I've created a list of quotations that struck me. It's not a mantra though. Some of them are true, some fall short of the mark and others were incorrect. My remarks are in brackets.
A man does not die for something which he himself does not believe in.
Isn’t every deed of genius in this world a visible protest of genius against the inertia of the mass?
Sooner will a camel pass through a needle’s eye than a great me be “discovered” by an election. [Hitler had little time for politicians.]
The world is not for cowardly peoples. [He thought that you must fight for your existence.]
If the struggle for a philosophy is not led by heroes prepared to make sacrifices, there will, in a short time, cease to be any warriors willing to die. [This can be administered to any faith in the world.]
The man who is fighting for his own existence cannot have much left for the community.
The greatest revolutions in this world have never been directed by a goose-quill! [Hitler's belief was that people listened to great speakers and were motivated by them and never by great writers.]
To change a thing means to recognise it first. [Poignant.]
The aim of studying history is not to forget its lessons when the occasion arises for its practical application, or to decide that the present situation is different after all, and that therefore its old eternal truths are no longer applicable; no, the purpose of studying history is precisely its lesson for the present.
Peoples who can sneak their way into the rest of mankind like drones, to make other men work for them under all sorts of pretexts, can form states even without any definitely delimited living space of their own.
… The preservation of the existence of the species presupposes a spirit of sacrifice in the individual. [You could relate this to trade unions, community groups, etc.]
The urge to preserve the species is the first cause for the formation of human communities; thus the state is a national organism and not an economic organisation.
A man does not die for business, but only for ideals.
Enthusiasm once scotched cannot be reawakened at will. [How true. If you take away someone's enthusiasm don't expect it to return when you want it to.]
Any philosophy, whether of a religious or political nature – and sometimes the dividing line is hard to determine – fights less for the negative destruction of the opposing ideology than for the positive promotion of its own.
Care should be taken not to regard the masses as stupider than they are.
Any attempt to combat a philosophy with methods of violence will fail in the end, unless the fight takes the form of attack for a new spiritual value.
Good care should be taken not to deny things that just happen to be true. [Truthful, for sure.]
Generations of rabble without honour deserve no freedom.
Where the destiny and existence of a people are at stake, all obligation towards beauty ceases.
Even propaganda is no more than a weapon, though a frightful one in the hand of an expert.
The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasise the one right which it has set out to argue for.
The broad mass of a nation does not consist of diplomats, or even professors of political law, or even individuals capable of forming a rational opinion; it consists of plain morals, wavering and inclined to doubt and uncertainty.
All advertising, whether in the field of business or politics, achieves success through the continuity and sustained uniformity of its application. [Look at advertising today in the media and realise how true this is.]
Though human though can apprehend truths and set up crystal-clear aims, complete fulfilment will fail due to the general imperfection and inadequacy of man.
From a certain vanity, which is always a cause of stupidity, the great mass of politicians will keep far removed from all weighty plans for the future, in order not to lose the momentary sympathy of the great mob. [I can agree with this observation as politicians, on the whole, seem only interested in popularity and not doing what is necessary.]
(On forward-thinking politicians) Great men are only the marathon runners of history; the laurel wreath of the present only touches the brow of the dying hero.
A man who is prepared to stand up for a cause will never and can never be a sneak or a spineless lickspittle. Anyone who is really serious about the preservation and furtherance of an institution will cling to it with the last fibre of his heard and will not be able to abandon it if evils of some sort appear in the institution.
Cringers and lickspittles do not let themselves be knocked dead for their master.
Today, when the ballot of the masses decides, the chief weight lies with the most numerous group, and this is the fist: the mob of the simple or credulous.
In the uniformity and constant repetition of instruction lies tremendous power. [Brainwashing still holds its relevance.]
For an institution which is no longer resolved to defend itself with all weapon has practical purposes abdicated. [If you can't fight for something it's not worth fighting for.]
The vices of the parents are revealed in the sickness of the children. [True.]
In all cases where the fulfilment of apparently impossible demands or tasks is involved, the whole attention of a people must be focussed and concentrated on this one question, or though life and death actually depended on its solution.
The great mass of the people cannot see the whole road ahead of them without growing weary and despairing of the task.
The right of personal freedom recedes before the duty to preserve the race. [Can't agree with this quotation but you can see where he was headed with regards to the Aryan race.]
Prostitution is a disgrace to humanity, but it cannot be eliminated by moral lectures, pious intentions, etc; its limitation and final abolition presuppose the elimination of innumerable preconditions. The first is and remains the creation of an opportunity with human nature – particularly for the man, as the woman in any case is only the passive part. [Try telling a woman today that she's only plays a passive role in life - she'll probably hit you.]
There is no freedom to sin at the cost of posterity and hence of the race. [Another quote aimed at racial purity which is not so agreeable.]
If the power to fight for one’s own health is no longer present, the right to live in this world of struggle ends.
It is the business of the state, in other words, of its leaders, to prevent a people from being driven into the arms of spiritual madness. [True, to some extent.]
The meaning and purpose of revolutions is not to tear down the whole building, but to remove what is bad or unsuitable and to continue building on the sound spot that has been laid base.
It was better to be a little old-fashioned, but honest and loyal, than enlightened and modern, but of inferior character and, as is often seen today, ignorant and incompetent. [Can agree with this one.]
There are some truths which are so obvious that for this very reason they are not seen or at least recognised by ordinary people.
Struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance, and therefore a cause of its higher development. [Think of our kids today. They have everything that they want and do not have to struggle for it. I don't think that they will be better people because of it. You must have struggle to appreciate that which you have.]
The fall of man in paradise has always been followed by his expulsion. [Hitler had some deep Christian views.]
In the monotony of everyday life even significant men often seem insignificant, hardly rising above the average of their environment; as soon, however, as they are approached by a situation in which other lose hope or go astray, the genius rises manifestly from the inconspicuous average child, not seldom to the amazement of all those who had hitherto seen him in the pettiness of bourgeois life – and that is why the prophet seldom has any honour in his own country.
The spark of genius exists in the brain of the truly creative man from the hour of his birth. True genius is always inborn and never cultivated, let alone learned.
A man can change his language without any trouble – that is, he can use another language; but in his new language he will express the old ideas; his inner nature is not changed.
After the death of his victim, the vampire sooner or later dies too.
Give a coward ten pistols and if attacked he will not be able to fire a single shot.
Faith is harder to shake than knowledge, love succumbs less to change than respect, hate is more enduring than aversion, and the impetus to the mightiest upheavals on this earth has at all times consisted less in a scientific knowledge dominating the masses than in a fanaticism which inspired them and sometimes in a hysteria which drove them forward. [True.]
If propaganda renounces primitiveness of expression, it does not find its way to the feeling of the broad masses.
Propaganda must be adjusted to the broad masses in content and in form, and its soundness is to be measure exclusively by its effective result.
In a mass meeting of all classes it is not that speaker who is mentally closest to the intellectuals present who speaks best, but the one who conquers the heart of the masses.
Germanic democracy: the leader is elected but then enjoys unconditional authority. [Don't think that there would be too many people that would agree with this statement.]
Any man who wants to be leader bears, along with the highest unlimited authority, not only within its own ranks, but for an entire state. Anyone who is not equal to this or is too cowardly to bear the consequences of his acts is not fit to be leader; only the hero is cut out for this. [And Hitler thought of himself in this regard?]
As worthless as an army in all its organisational forms is without officers, equally worthless is a political organisation without suitable leader.
The future of a movement is conditioned by the fanaticism, yes, the intolerance, with which its adherents uphold it as the sole correct movement, and push it past other formations of a similar sort. [You'll never get anywhere if you don't fight for what you believe in. The Jews have this trait and Hitler, although he loathed the Jew, seemed to admire them in their fight for their beliefs and ideals.]
The greatness of every might organisation embodying an idea in this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its will against all others. If an idea in itself is sound and, thus armed, takes up a struggle on this earth, it is unconquerable and every persecution will only add to its inner strength.
Terror is not broken by the mind, but by terror. [How prophetic. Methinks of USA vs Iraq today.]
Anyone in this world who does not succeed in being hated by his adversaries does not seem to me to be worth much as a friend. [Relate this to the political sphere - if you don't hate your opponent how can you have respect for them?]
A people of scholars, if they are physically degenerate, weak-willed and cowardly pacifists, will not storm the heavens, indeed they will not even be able to safeguard their existence on this earth.
A decayed body is not made the least more aesthetic by a brilliant mind.
Anyone who demands of Fate a guarantee of success automatically renounces all idea of a heroic deed. [Those that look for someone else to do the hard work and deliver their wants doesn't deserve to achieve anything.]
It is no longer a disgrace to be an honest manual worker, but it is a disgrace to be an incompetent official, stealing the daylight from his master and daily bread from honest people. Then it will be taken for granted that a man will not be allotted tasks to which he is not equal to begin with.
It is not the mass that invents and not the majority that organises or thinks, but in all things only and always the individual man, the person.
Political parties are inclined to compromises; philosophies never. [True.]
The strength of a political party lies by no means in the greater possible independent intellect of the individual members, but rather in the disciplined obedience with which its members follow the intellectual leadership.
Really great historical changes are not induced by the written word, but at most accompanied by it.
I must not measure the speech of a statesman to his people by the impression which it leaves in a university professor but by the effect it exerts on the people. And this alone gives the standard for the speaker’s genius.
Just as a courageous man can more easily conquer women’s hearts than a coward, a heroic movement will sooner win the heart of a people than a cowardly one which is kept alive only by police protection.
The first foundation for the creation of authority is always provided by popularity. But an authority which rests solely on this foundation is still extremely weak, uncertain, and shaky. Every bearer of such an authority based purely on popularity must, therefore, endeavour to improve and secure the foundation of this authority by the creation of power. In power, therefore, in force, we see the second foundation of all authority. It is already considerably more stable and secure, but by no means always stronger than the first. If popularity and force are combined, and if in common they are able to survive for a certain time, an authority on an even firmer basis can arise, the authority of tradition. If finally, popularity, force, and tradition combine, an authority may be regarded as unshakeable.
Times when a nation is rising are distinguished in fact exist only, by the absolute leadership of the extreme best part.
Times of a normal, even development or of a stable state of affairs are distinguished and exist by the obvious domination of the elements of the middle (class), in which the two extremes mutually balance one another, or cancel one another.
Times when a nation is collapsing are determined by the dominant activity of the worst elements. [Relate this to Germany's downfall in 1945 and what do you see?]
If you want to hold weak, wavering or actually cowardly fellows to their duty, there has at all times been only one possibility: the deserter must know that his desertion brings with it the very thing that he wants to escape. At the front a man can die, as a deserter he must die. Only by such a Draconic threat against any attempt at desertion can a deterring effect be obtained, not only for the individual, but for the whole army.
The lack of a great, creative, renewing idea means at all times a limitation of fighting force. Firm belief in the right to apply even the most brutal weapons is always bound up with the existence of a fanatical faith in the necessity of the victory of a revolutionary new order on this earth.
A movement that is not fighting for such highest aims and ideals will, therefore, never seize upon the ultimate weapon.
In an hour when a national body is visibly collapsing and to all appearances is exposed to the gravest oppression, thanks to the activity of a few scoundrels, obedience and fulfilment of duty towards them amount to doctrinaire formalism, in fact pure insanity, if the refusal of obedience and “fulfilment” of duty would make possible the salvation of a people from its ruin.
State power can only guarantee law and order when the content of the state coincides with the philosophy dominant at that particular time, so that violent elements possess only the character of individual criminal natures, and are not regarded as proponents of an idea in extreme opposition to the state views.
The aim of secret organisations can only be illegal. [And this meant what exactly in relation to the SS, the Gestapo and the SA?]
Anyone who disregards consequences resulting from undeniable facts cannot help but remain behind the times.
It would be absolutely mistaken to regard a wealth of theoretical knowledge as characteristic proof for the qualities and abilities of a leader.
The function of propaganda is to attract supporters, the function of organisation to win members.
A supporter of a movement is one who declares himself to be in agreement with its aims, a member is one who fights for them. [True.]
Being a supporter is rooted only in understanding, membership is the courage personally to advocate and disseminate what has been understood.
Understanding in its passive form corresponds to the majority of mankind which is lazy and cowardly. Membership requires an activistic frame of mind and thus corresponds only to the minority of men. [This makes sense.]
If a man believes he can enter into profitable connections with parasites, he is like a tree trying to conclude for its own profit an agreement with mistletoe.
Considered from the purely military angle, the relations would be simply catastrophic in case of war between Germany and Russia and Western Europe, and probably against all the rest of the world. The struggle would take place, not on Russian, but on German soil, and Germany would not be able to obtain the least effective support from Russia. [Well, take a look at history and what did we learn?]
Peoples are not freed by doing nothing, but by sacrifices. [True.]
Hitler's Mein Kampf