We call ourselves nationalists and do not fear incurring the hatred of the educated and uneducated plebs, all these opportunists of spirit and matter. For that which they hate, what goes against the rotten flow of progress, liberalism and democracy, has one advantage – It is not universal. We do not demand anything universal. We reject it – starting with universal truths and human rights and ending with universal education and compulsory military conscription, universal suffrage and universal ignobility which is a necessary result of the previous point. Universal qualities and demands are qualities and demands of the mass, and the greater their universality the less is their value. To acknowledge yourself as part of the mass means to claim credit for owning purely physical properties of gravity, and to extol the notion of humanity means to place some essential value in simple belonging to a particular mammalian species. The universal is weighted, measured and calculated, what is special is evaluated and prized. To desire the universal means to be blind to any special value in oneself, making one at best an objective, measured, rational, scientifically “fair”. To desire the special means to have standards, to feel responsibility of blood, to follow spiritual impulse.
Modern nationalism thirsts what is special – such is the primary feeling of the new generation which is sick to its stomach with vapid Enlightenment talk. Modern nationalism does not wish to measure with universal rulers, it wants to set its own standards based on spiritual strength. It has no intentions of proving its rights using scientific methods like Marxism. It utilizes the canvas of life itself, on which any science relies in the first place. It does not wish to measure and ration rights but demands only the right of life to live. Nationalism is unthinkable without this right, and it will inevitably limit all other rights. Nationalism does not wish to make peace with the rule of the mass, but demands the dominance of identity, whose supremacy is made up of inner content and living energy. It wants neither equality, nor impartial justice, nor freedom that is summed up in empty claims. It wishes to get drunk on joy and its joy is to be itself, and not something else. Modern nationalism does not wish to float in the airless space of theories, it does strive for “free thinking” but desires to gain strong ties, order, to grow roots in society, blood and soil. It does not wish for socialism of opportunities, it longs for socialism of duty, for that rigid stoic world that the individual man must sacrifice himself to.
The father of that nationalism is war. What our literary figures and intellectuals say about it has no meaning to us. War is the experience of blood, thus it is only important what men have to say about it. The infamous Intellectuals Manifesto neither canceled war nor that which the war gave birth to. It is like a vane – it turns with the wind. And if insignificant people of large or small scale use war as the measure of all things to measure themselves then it is a purely psychological issue.
The core of German youth had experienced war firsthand and not in coffee-shops or behind a writer’s table in a warmly heated office. They’ve been to hell and back – yet even from hell the Faustian Man does not return empty handed. Barbusse and his ilk can see whatever they like – we managed to gaze at something greater! We did not just bring negation back with us. Only having seen the power of matter did we understand the power of an idea. Only having discovered for ourselves the fruitfulness of sacrifice did we understand the value of man and the difference of ranks between people. We saw the white flame of will burning brighter than the flames of fire. Grenades, gas clouds and tanks – it may all appear as something horrifying to cowards but what we valued more than this external shell was the gloomy background from which silently emerges the figure of a man hardened in storms of steel, facing his era. We anticipate that the new type of man will soon appear in all peoples of Europe same as how the war had touched not only Germans and how the newly birthed by war nationalism did not appear solely in Germany. We see everywhere a great energy powered by blood, which has already taken hold of peoples or is laying the groundwork through struggle, ready to take on new forms. So let us rejoice and speak to others: “Be such as you are!” For it is far more and pleasing for us to live in a world full of meaning than to drown in liquid gruel devoid of any character, form or uniqueness.
However, we have the unquestionable right to be proud of one thing – that war has affected us more than anyone else. We, the defeated by this horrible spectacle, will require much time to contemplate it and thus we also have the right to hope that the new crop will reap the richest harvest.
War is our father, it conceived us, the new tribe, in the scorching womb of trenches and we proudly acknowledge our kinship. Thus our values will be the values of heroes, of warriors but never of merchants who are ready to measure the whole world with their yardstick. We do not mule over benefit and practical gain, we have no need of comfort, we only require that which is necessary – that which fate desires.
The German frontliner marches in columns on the right, left and center. Give him time to determine the direction of the march, but let each do it on their own. Only then will it become apparent that we are all moving in the same direction. So long as we haven’t figured ourselves out we will not be able to internally overcome the resistance of our world. Our flag is neither red, nor black-red-gold, nor black-white-red; it is the flag of a new, vast reich that resides in our hearts, attaining in them its gestalt. The day will come when we will be able to unfurl it. Our common tradition is war, great sacrifice. So let us comprehend the meaning of this tradition!
Many more works will follow this book that I welcome as a brother, comrade and friend. In them we will attempt to describe the fundamentals of modern nationalism. The positions of doctrinaires, liberals and reactionaries are all equally foreign to our youth, it does not wish to be infected with the spirit of that turnip revolution. In the most horrifying landscapes of the world our youth had conquered for itself the knowledge that old paths have been walked to their end and new paths await it. The first stage of preparations is complete, a new one begins.
We welcome blood that was not burned out by the flames of war but turned into heat and fire! What managed to survive will be of use in the new struggle. We welcome those who come – those in whom the old school coincides with depth! The march begins, soon the ranks will link. We welcome the dead – their spirit sternly calls out to our conscience. No, you have not perished in vein! Germany, we welcome you!