Gregor Strasser

The Rise of National Socialism



Despite the unprecedented resistance of all the people involved in the Brüning system and of all the men in government, the elections of recent times have brought about the incessant and irresistible rise of the movement .  I think it is time for German officialdom to take off its party-shaded glasses and take a close look at where this rise comes from.

When people today say stubbornly that the rise of the National Socialists is merely the result of widespread dissatisfaction among the German people, then I must ask, where do all these dissatisfied people come from, why are they dissatisfied .  It must be the fault and the failure of the governing parties and of the government supported by them .

But that is not a sufficient explanation .  It is not even sufficient for me to say that the great reason for the rise of our movement is the newly awakened national feeling which, having been senselessly and extravagantly throttled for years, is naturally developing the more strongly now .  Here much more is involved.

The rise of the National Socialist movement is the protest of a people against a state which denies to folk comrades the right to work and the restoration of their natural subsistence .  It is the protest against a state which allows and makes possible an economic system which falsifies natural productivity, burns wheat, throws coffee into the sea, senselessly hoards staples, and all this only for the purpose of driving up prices and the profits of the stock market .

Gentlemen Communist, I have always liked polemics, and no one can say that I would avoid caustic political argument ;  yet now that I am going to talk about the problems of the German emergency, and especially about creating employment, I have the right to demand your respect .

We must firmly assert and firmly remember (the ability to do this is established in the innermost core and dunking of the German people) that the good Lord lets enough grow throughout the world to provide for the needs of all mankind .  If today’s world economy cannot distribute nature’s wealth justly, then this system is wrong and must be changed if the people is to live .

The German people protests against an economic order which thinks only in terms of money, profit and dividends and which has forgotten to think of work and achievement .

The great anticapitalist yearning (as I call it) which has gripped our people, which has already persuaded perhaps ninety-five percent of them, consciously or unconsciously, is interesting and valuable .  It is not in the least a rejection of that property which is morally justified, which has been acquired by labor and thrift .  It has above all absolutely nothing to do with the senseless, unproductive and destructive tendencies of the Comintern .  It is rather the protest of the working people against a degenerate system of economic thought .  It demands of the state that, in order to secure its own existence, it sever relations with the demons of gold, world economy, materialism ;  with the practice of thinking exclusively m terms of export statistics and Reichsbank discount; and that it find a way to ensure an honorable return for honest work .

This great anticapitalist yearning proves that we are confronting a great, a magnificent turning point :  the conquest of liberalism and the rise of a new kind of economic thought and a new attitude toward the state . . . .


The National Socialist Full-Employment Program


I have stated that unemployment and the provision of employment are the most urgent problems, and I want to take the opportunity here and now to bring to the attention of the German people the plans and ideas about these problems which we National Socialists have developed in the past months .  We have said for years that the following problems are at issue in Germany :  the improvement of the economic situation of the farmers—I say explicitly the farmers; the necessity of internal resettlement the reduction of migration to the city ;  the recovery of trade and the monetary system ;  the increase of internal production, which goes hand in hand with support for a closed economy ;  assurance of an adequate food supply ;  the organization of national labor ;  the establishment of an internal market with the cooperation of industry ;  the revision of our land law ;  and, perhaps most importantly, the proclamation of what I call the duty to work and the duty to provide food, that is, the obligation of the German folk comrade to devote all of his labor to the nation in the production of necessities .  We demand the rating and valuation of the individual according to the extent of his mobilized achievement .  Whether he works as a privy councillor or as an unskilled laborer is of no consequence .

When we turn to the provision of employment, to the actual full employment program, to the proposals of the greatest German party, we must be very clear in our minds about something which is in contrast to present thinking: There are in the world two eternal values from which stems everything we need, everything we have and everything we can create—these are natural resources and labor .  In other words, all statements like "Capital creates labor" are false .

Labor creates capital !

Two things are necessary before one can approach the provision of employment adequately, clarifying the whole situation of the people .  First, Article 163 of the Weimar Constitution must be changed .  I think it shows the conscious cowardice of the constituent assembly that in Article 163 they only adopted the phrase that every German should have the right to work .  This usage already expressed the inability and unwillingness of these people to direct the state and the economy according to organic principles and to give work to everyone who honestly wants to work .  Article 163 will have to be changed, in awareness of the full consequences of this change, to say that every German must have the right to work (italics added] .

Article 163 of the constitution, which regulates the right to work, must be completed by the second demand which I formulated earlier as the obligation to work, the utilization of labor for the general public .  From labor come life’s necessities :  food, housing, clothing, light and warmth .  Labor, not capital, is the wealth of a people ;  everything stems from labor.  Therefore, when confronting the problem of the provision of employment, the state must never ask, "Is there money for it ? "  There is only a single question to be asked :  "How should the money be used ? "  There is always money to provide employment, and the last resort is simply to expand credit, which is absolutely justified and productive in terms of the economy .  That is at least as right and justified as your silver inflation, and at least as feasible and at least as safe as your frozen Russian credits, and safer than the money (sic) you have used for the stabilization of the German banks .  In the provision of employment the question can only be where do we start ?  The point of departure has to be found .  On this the following should be said .  In satisfying the most important of human needs, the need for food, Germany is still dependent on foreign countries .  But in the last analysis a people which is dependent on foreign countries is never in the position to settle its international problems, the problems of freedom, according to its own liking .  In other words :  We must make possible the production on German soil of at least a subsistence for the whole people .  We should have done this already, before the present level of unemployment was reached ;  we should have done it in response to the Treaty of Versailles, which constricted our living space and thus automatically necessitated a reorganization of agricultural production.

Furthermore we need in Germany a large-scale housing and population policy, that is, the evacuation of the big cities .  The cities are already shrinking, which shows that the inherent power of the people, its unconscious sentiment, is beginning to go the natural, right, organic way .  I don’t need to explore this question and its ramifications any further .  In the last analysis the housing problem is the greatest social problem .  It is not possible in the long nm for a person who has to live in a humble, cold, dark hole of a big city apartment to have any sense of the political needs of his people, of the beauty of nature or of the valuable and even inexpensive ways in which he could improve his lot in life .  We must provide for this desire by building, to the largest possible extent, housing developments consisting of private dwellings ...

The direction in which free labor in Germany must move is thus plainly shown; it is prescribed for us by our own economy, by the needs of our people: increased production of foodstuffs and the achievement of a sound housing and construction policy, from which we proceed to an extraordinary stimulation of the labor market as such by payment of wages, thereby increasing purchasing power and also by providing materials, which in the last analysis always form a high percentage of wages .  In the building of a development of private homes, if one assessed each at 5,000 marks, sixty-five percent, including everything, is wages .  But wages provide the possibility of reemploying the unemployed .  Unemployment insurance then ceases.  Social security costs and all these things can then be paid for again by the employed worker himself .  An enormous burden on the treasury will be lifted .  But to do this we must reject in principle one rule which appears often in the dealings of the Economic Council (Reichswirtschaftsrat) :  I mean the slogan of misdirected capital .  There are still people, utterly infected with liberal thinking, who take the standpoint :  If I create more employment by means of expanded credit or by expanding the supply of money in one sector of the German economy, then this money will be lacking in another sector .  For today’s modern man this view is almost inconceivable, for labor creates new labor in an eternally continuous consistent progression .  Any employed person involves at least one further person—an economic principle which is generally acknowledged today !  Therefore there can be no misdirected capital ! ...