The Social-Democrats have profited very much by recognizing this truth. They took the broad masses of our people who had just completed military service and learned to submit to discipline, and they subjected this mass of men to the discipline of the Social-Democratic organization, which was no less rigid than the discipline through which the young men had passed in their military training. The Social-Democratic organization consisted of an army divided into officers and men. The German worker who had passed through his military service became the private soldier in that army, and the Jewish intellectual was the officer. The German trade union functionaries may be compared to the non-commissioned officers. The fact, which was always looked upon with indifference by our middle-classes, that only the so-called uneducated classes joined Marxism was the very ground on which this party achieved its success. For while the bourgeois parties, because they mostly consisted of intellectuals, were only a feckless band of undisciplined individuals, out of much less intelligent human material the Marxist leaders formed an army of party combatants who obey their Jewish masters just as blindly as they formerly obeyed their German officers. The German middle-classes, who never; bothered their heads about psychological problems because they felt themselves superior to such matters, did not think it necessary to reflect on the profound significance of this fact and the secret danger involved in it. Indeed they believed. that a political movement which draws its followers exclusively from intellectual circles must, for that very reason, be of greater importance and have better grounds. for its chances of success, and even a greater probability of taking over the government of the country than a party made up of the ignorant masses. They completely failed to realize the fact that the strength of a political party never consists in the intelligence and independent spirit of the rank-and-file of its members but rather in the spirit of willing obedience with which they follow their intellectual leaders. What is of decisive importance is the leadership itself. When two bodies of troops are arrayed in mutual combat victory will not fall to that side in which every soldier has an expert knowledge of the rules of strategy, but rather to that side which has the best leaders and at the same time the best disciplined, most blindly obedient and best drilled troops.
That is a fundamental piece of knowledge which we must always bear in mind when we examine the possibility of transforming a Weltanschauung into a practical reality.
If we agree that in order to carry a Weltanschauung into practical effect it must be incorporated in a fighting movement, then the logical consequence is that the programme of such a movement must take account of the human material at its disposal. Just as the ultimate aims and fundamental principles must be absolutely definite and unmistakable, so the propagandist programme must be well drawn up and must be inspired by a keen sense of its psychological appeals to the minds of those without whose help the noblest ideas will be doomed to remain in the eternal, realm of ideas.
If the idea of the People's State, which is at present an obscure wish, is one day to attain a clear and definite success, from its vague and vast mass of thought it will have to put forward certain definite principles which of their very nature and content are calculated to attract a broad mass of adherents; in other words, such a group of people as can guarantee that these principles will be fought for. That group of people are the German workers.
That is why the programme of the new movement was condensed into a few fundamental postulates, twenty-five in all. They are meant first of all to give the ordinary man a rough sketch of what the movement is aiming at. They are, so to say, a profession of faith which on the one hand is meant to win adherents to the movement and, on the other, they are meant to unite such adherents together in a covenant to which all have subscribed.
In these matters we must never lose sight of the following: What we call the programme of the movement is absolutely right as far as its ultimate aims are concerned, but as regards the manner in which that programme is formulated