By Karl Radl
National Socialism is often conceived of, like Christianity or Marxism, as a monolithic weltanschauung that had one goal and expression: the creation of the Third Reich. From this perspective it logically follows that since the Third Reich collapsed in 1945, therefore National Socialist thought stopped evolving in 1945 and simply tries to create a carbon copy of Third Reich in the coming Fourth Reich in the vein of ‘Nazi Revival’ films and series such as ‘The Odessa File’ and ‘Kessler’.
In a sense, the view that the goal of National Socialism today is to create the Fourth Reich is correct because National Socialism does indeed seek to embody its revolutionary social conceptions in the form of a state. Unlike proponents of ‘critical theory’ and ‘feminism’, National Socialism does not seek to reform specific bits of state policy as if it were a pressure group like the National Rifle Association, but rather seeks to completely rebuild the state.
Naturally, it will use elements of the old to create the new, but unlike every other political ideology that has ever existed (except maybe anarchism), it openly acknowledges the need to reserve the right to tear down the state in its entirety in order to create the new order. This is because in any given geographic area and time a different solution may be required; there is no ‘one size fits all’ blueprint that can be parachuted in.
This brings us nicely into the fact that National Socialism has had many different expressions, even during the limited existence of the Third Reich. There was the classic Hitlerian National Socialism as expressed in the NSDAP’s Party Programme, but there was also the Catholic National Socialism of Belgium’s Rexist and Croatia’s Ustasa movement. There were Per Engdahl’s Swedish National Socialism and Anton Mussert’s Dutch National Socialism that openly endorsed Protestantism rather than Catholicism.
Even within the Third Reich’s borders and the NSDAP itself there were major differences with Joseph Goebbels having modernist socialist vision of the Third Reich, Heinrich Himmler and Richard Walther Darre envisioned a neo-pagan rural civilization based upon colonies of neo-Spartan warrior-farmers, while Alfred Rosenberg imagined creating a Race-based senate to govern the Third Reich rather than a Fuhrer.
The point is simple in that many critics of National Socialism – both from the right and left – assume that it is a monolithic ideology that expired in 1945 with the surrender of the Third Reich. What they forget is that evolution is at the very heart of National Socialism – remember that the first book of Mein Kampf is not a statement of Hitler’s political ideas but rather a narrative of how he had evolved his ideas and principles; only in the second book does Hitler tell his reader what those ideas and principles actually are – and baked into the clay of its ideological core, so-to-speak.
Thus, National Socialism has had – and continues to have – many variants and whatever soil in which you wish to place it will result in either an existing adaptation being favoured, or a new variant of National Socialism being created by the struggle between the blood and the soil of the given people and the unique political situation of the time.
National Socialism can and will adapt to any situation anywhere, unlike Fascism or Marxism, because the need to evolve based upon the requirements of the situation it finds itself in is at the core the ideology itself. Liberalism, Libertarianism, Anarchism, Fascism, Marxism and the host of other political ideologies that are out there have trouble doing this.
This is because evolution is not part of their ideological make-up and is often just grafted on to the ideology as an afterthought. The reason for it is because all of these ideologies see themselves as ‘end of history’ philosophies that can be implemented anywhere, at any time and in any way. This creates an ideological inflexibility that is an important reason why they have historically (and currently) failed so badly when implementation has been attempted because they demand that nature fit ideology rather than ensure that ideology is derived from nature.
It is this basis in nature that is so powerful within National Socialism: rather than being a Church with a dozen different heretical sects within it that it tries to extirpate, National Socialism is a tree from which a dozen different branches grow and one can use one or the other dependent upon the situation without recrimination or accusations of heresy.
What makes National Socialism… well… National Socialism is the desire to evolve and adapt to fit the situation and time, as well as the fact that it is based upon and informed by nature itself as embodied in both the human and physical landscape and the results of the application of the scientific method.