himself, is a representative of this sublime idea, even though he may never become conscious of the profound meaning of his own activity.
Everything that may be said of that kind of work which is the fundamental condition of providing food and the basic means of human progress is true even in a higher sense of work that is done for the protection of man and his civilization. The renunciation of one's own life for the sake of the community is the crowning significance of the idea of all sacrifice. In this way only is it possible to protect what has been built up by man and to assure that this will not be destroyed by the hand of man or of nature.
In the German language we have a word which admirably expresses this underlying spirit of all work: It is Pflichterfüllung, which means the service of the common weal before the consideration of one's own interests. The fundamental spirit out of which this kind of activity springs is the contradistinction of 'Egotism' and we call it 'Idealism'. By this we mean to signify the willingness of the individual to make sacrifices for the community and his fellow-men.
It is of the utmost importance to insist again and again that idealism is not merely a superfluous manifestation of sentiment but rather something which has been, is and always will be, a necessary precondition of human civilization; it is even out of this that the very idea of the word 'Human' arises. To this kind of mentality the Aryan owes his position in the world. And the world is indebted to the Aryan mind for having developed the concept of 'mankind'; for it is out of this spirit alone that the creative force has come which in a unique way combined robust muscular power with a first-class intellect and thus created the monuments of human civilization.
Were it not for idealism all the faculties of the intellect, even the most brilliant, would be nothing but intellect itself, a mere external phenomenon without inner value and never a creative force.
Since true idealism, however, is essentially the subordination of the interests and life of the individual to the interests and life of the community, and since the community on its part represents the pre-requisite condition of every form of organization, this idealism accords in its innermost essence with the final purpose of Nature. This feeling alone makes men voluntarily acknowledge that strength and power are entitled to take the lead and thus makes them a constituent particle in that order out of which the whole universe is shaped and formed.
Without being conscious of it, the purest idealism is always associated with the most profound knowledge. How true this is and how little genuine idealism has to do with fantastic self-dramatization will become clear the moment we ask an unspoilt child, a healthy boy for example, to give his opinion. The very same boy who listens to the rantings of an 'idealistic' pacifist without understanding them, and even rejects them, would readily sacrifice his young life for the ideal of his people.
Unconsciously his instinct will submit to the knowledge that the preservation of the species, even at the cost of the individual life, is a primal necessity and he will protest against the fantasies of pacifist ranters, who in reality are nothing better than cowardly egoists, even though camouflaged, who contradict the laws of human development. For it is a necessity of human evolution that the individual should be imbued with the spirit of sacrifice in favour of the common weal, and that he should not be influenced by the morbid notions of those knaves who pretend to know better than Nature and who have the impudence to criticize her decrees.
It is just at those junctures when the idealistic attitude threatens to disappear that we notice a weakening of this force which is a necessary constituent in the founding and maintenance of the community and is thereby a necessary condition of civilization. As soon as the spirit of egotism begins to prevail among a people then the bonds of the social order break and man, by seeking his own personal happiness, veritably tumbles out of heaven and falls into hell.
Posterity will not remember those who pursued only their own individual interests, but it will praise those heroes who renounced their own happiness.