goes, but that from the practical business point of view it was incompetent, I can only give the following reply: What other country in the world possessed a better-organized and administered business enterprise than the German State Railways, for instance? It was left to the Revolution to destroy this standard organization, until a time came when it was taken out of the hands of the nation and socialized, in the sense which the founders of the Republic had given to that word, namely, making it subservient to the international stock-exchange capitalists, who were the wire-pullers of the German Revolution.
The most outstanding trait in the civil service and the whole body of the civil administration was its independence of the vicissitudes of government, the political mentality of which could exercise no influence on the attitude of the German State officials. Since the Revolution this situation has been completely changed. Efficiency and capability have been replaced by the test of party-adherence; and independence of character and initiative are no longer appreciated as positive qualities in a public official. They rather tell against him.
The wonderful might and power of the old Empire was based on the monarchical form of government, the army and the civil service. On these three foundations rested that great strength which is now entirely lacking; namely, the authority of the State. For the authority of the State cannot be based on the babbling that goes on in Parliament or in the provincial diets and not upon laws made to protect the State, or upon sentences passed by the law courts to frighten those who have had the hardihood to deny the authority of the State, but only on the general confidence which the management and administration of the community establishes among the people. This confidence is in its turn, nothing else than the result of an unshakable inner conviction that the government and administration of a country is inspired by disinterested and honest goodwill and on the feeling that the spirit of the law is in complete harmony with the moral convictions of the people. In the long run, systems of government are not maintained by terrorism but on the belief of the people in the merits and sincerity of those who administer and promote the public interests.
Though it be true that in the period preceding the War certain grave evils tended to infect and corrode the inner strength of the nation, it must be remembered that the other States suffered even more than Germany from these drawbacks and yet those other States did not fail and break down when the time of crisis came. If we remember further that those defects in pre-War Germany were outweighed by great positive qualities we shall have to look elsewhere for the effective cause of the collapse. And elsewhere it lay.
The ultimate and most profound reason of the German downfall is to be found in the fact that the racial problem was ignored and that its importance in the historical development of nations was not grasped. For the events that take place in the life of nations are not due to chance but are the natural results of the effort to conserve and multiply the species and the race, even though men may not be able consciously to picture to their minds the profound motives of their conduct.