blow demands another step in the progressive abolition of the sovereign rights of the individual states, so as not to allow the germs of opposition to rise up into activity or even to exist.
The chief characteristic difference between the policy of the present Reich and that of former times lies in this: The old Reich gave freedom to its people at home and showed itself strong towards the outside world, whereas the Republic shows itself weak towards the stranger and oppresses its own citizens at home. In both cases one attitude determines the other. A vigorous national State does not need to make many laws for the interior, because of the affection and attachment of its citizens. The international servile State can live only by coercing its citizens to render it the services it demands. And it is a piece of impudent falsehood for the present regime to speak of 'Free citizens'. Only the old Germany could speak in that manner. The present Republic is a colony of slaves at the service of the stranger. At best it has subjects, but not citizens. Hence it does not possess a national flag but only a trade mark, introduced and protected by official decree and legislative measures. This symbol, which is the Gessler's cap of German Democracy, will always remain alien to the spirit of our people. On its side, the Republic having no sense of tradition or respect for past greatness, dragged the symbol of the past in the mud, but it will be surprised one day to discover how superficial is the devotion of its citizens to its own symbol. The Republic has given to itself the character of an intermezzo in German history. And so this State is bound constantly to restrict more and more the sovereign rights of the individual states, not only for general reasons of a financial character but also on principle. For by enforcing a policy of financial blackmail, to squeeze the last ounce of substance out of its people, it is forced also to take their last rights away from them, lest the general discontent may one day flame up into open rebellion.
We, National Socialists, would reverse this formula and would adopt the following axiom: A strong national Reich which recognizes and protects to the largest possible measure the rights of its citizens both within and outside its frontiers can allow freedom to reign at home without trembling for the safety of the State. On the other hand, a strong national Government can intervene to a considerable degree in the liberties of the individual subject as well as in the liberties of the constituent states without thereby weakening the ideal of the Reich; and it can do this while recognizing its responsibility for the ideal of the Reich, because in these particular acts and measures the individual citizen recognizes a means of promoting the prestige of the nation as a whole.
Of course, every State in the world has to face the question of unification in its internal organization. And Germany is no exception in this matter. Nowadays it is absurd to speak of 'statal sovereignty' for the constituent states of the Reich, because that has already become impossible on account of the ridiculously small size of so many of these states. In the sphere of commerce as well as that of administration the importance of the individual states has been steadily decreasing. Modern means of communication and mechanical progress have been increasingly restricting distance and space. What was once a State is to-day only a province and the territory covered by a modern State had once the importance of a continent. The purely technical difficulty of administering a State like Germany is not greater than that of governing a province like Brandenburg a hundred years ago. And to-day it is easier to cover the distance from Munich to Berlin than it was to cover the distance from Munich to Starnberg a hundred years ago. In view of the modern means of transport, the whole territory of the Reich to-day is smaller than that of certain German federal states at the time of the Napoleonic wars. To close one's eyes to the consequences of these facts means to live in the past. There always were, there are and always will be, men who do this. They may retard but they cannot stop the revolutions of history.
We, National Socialists, must not allow the consequences of that truth to pass by us unnoticed. In these matters also we must not permit ourselves to be misled by the phrases of our so-called national bourgeois parties. I say 'phrases', because