certain psychological considerations had to be taken into account. Hence, in the course of time, the opinion may well arise that certain principles should be expressed differently and might be better formulated. But any attempt at a different formulation has a fatal effect in most cases. For something that ought to be fixed and unshakable thereby becomes the subject of discussion. As soon as one point alone is removed from the sphere of dogmatic certainty, the discussion will not simply result in a new and better formulation which will have greater consistency but may easily lead to endless debates and general confusion. In such cases the question must always be carefully considered as to whether a new and more adequate formulation is to be preferred, though it may cause a controversy within the movement, or whether it may not be better to retain the old formula which, though probably not the best, represents an organism enclosed in itself, solid and internally homogeneous. All experience shows that the second of these alternatives is preferable. For since in these changes one is dealing only with external forms such corrections will always appear desirable and possible. But in the last analysis the generality of people think superficially and therefore the great danger is that in what is merely an external formulation of the programme people will see an essential aim of the movement. In that way the will and the combative force at the service of the ideas are weakened and the energies that ought to be directed towards the outer world are dissipated in programmatic discussions within the ranks of the movement.
For a doctrine that is actually right in its main features it is less dangerous to retain a formulation which may no longer be quite adequate instead of trying to improve it and thereby allowing a fundamental principle of the movement, which had hitherto been considered as solid as granite, to become the subject of a general discussion which may have unfortunate consequences. This is particularly to be avoided as long as a movement is still fighting for victory. For would it be possible to inspire people with blind faith in the truth of a doctrine if doubt and uncertainty are encouraged by continual alterations in its external formulation?
The essentials of a teaching must never be looked for in its external formulas, but always in its inner meaning. And this meaning is unchangeable. And in its interest one can only wish that a movement should exclude everything that tends towards disintegration and uncertainty in order to preserve the unified force that is necessary for its triumph.
Here again the Catholic Church has a lesson to teach us. Though sometimes, and often quite unnecessarily, its dogmatic system is in conflict with the exact sciences and with scientific discoveries, it is not disposed to sacrifice a syllable of its teachings. It has rightly recognized that its powers of resistance would be weakened by introducing greater or less doctrinal adaptations to meet the temporary conclusions of science, which in reality are always vacillating. And thus it holds fast to its fixed and established dogmas which alone can give to the whole system the character of a faith. And that is the reason why it stands firmer to-day than ever before. We may prophesy that, as a fixed pole amid fleeting phenomena, it will continue to attract increasing numbers of people who will be blindly attached to it the more rapid the rhythm of changing phenomena around it.
Therefore whoever really and seriously desires that the idea of the People's State should triumph must realize that this triumph can be assured only through a militant movement and that this movement must ground its strength only on the granite firmness of an impregnable and firmly coherent programme. In regard to its formulas it must never make concessions to the spirit of the time but must maintain the form that has once and for all been decided upon as the right one; in any case until victory has crowned its efforts. Before this goal has been reached any attempt to open a discussion on the opportuneness of this or that point in the programme might tend to disintegrate the solidity and fighting strength of the movement, according to the measures in which its followers might take part in such an internal dispute. Some 'improvements' introduced to-day might be subjected to a critical examination to-morrow, in order to substitute it with something better