By Karl Radl
The popular conception of National Socialism is often that of a monolithic weltanschauung with one goal and a single expression: the creation of the Third Reich. From this perspective it follows logically that since the Third Reich collapsed in 1945, National Socialist thought stopped evolving in 1945 and that modern National Socialists are attempting to create a carbon copy of the Third 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 say, “critical theory” and “feminism,” National Socialism does not seek to reform specific bits of state policy as if it were a legislative pressure group, but rather seeks to completely rebuild the state.
Naturally, it will use elements of the old to create the new, but unlike most other political ideologies that have existed, National Socialism openly acknowledges the need to reserve the right to tear down the state in its entirety to facilitate the creation of a new order. This is because in any given geographic area and at any given time different solutions may be required, and it is fully recognized that there is no “one size fits all” blueprint that can be parachuted in.
This brings us to 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. There was also the Catholic National Socialism of Belgium’s Rexist and Croatia’s Ustasa movements. Per Engdahl’s Swedish National Socialism and Anton Mussert’s Dutch National Socialism openly endorsed Protestantism rather than Catholicism.
Even within the Third Reich’s borders and the NSDAP itself there were major differences in views on National Socialism. Joseph Goebbels had a 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 instead of a Führer.
Many critics of National Socialism, both from the right and left, forget 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 evolved his ideas and principles. Only in the second book does Hitler tell his reader what those ideas and principles actually are – evolution is baked into the clay of the ideological core of National Socialism.
Thus, National Socialism has had – and continues to have – many variants. The different soils it is placed in will result in either an existing adaptation being favored 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, say, Fascism or Marxism, because the need to evolve based upon the requirements of the situation it finds itself in is at the core of the ideology itself. Liberalism, Libertarianism, Anarchism, Fascism, Marxism and the host of other political ideologies that are out there have difficulty accomplishing 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. Many of these ideologies see themselves as “end of history” philosophies that can be implemented, unmodified, anywhere, at any time, and in any situation. This creates an ideological inflexibility that is an important reason why they have historically (and currently) failed so badly when implementation has been attempted. 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 struggling to extirpate a dozen different heretical sects, National Socialism is a tree from which a dozen different branches grow. Dependent on the situation, each of these outgrowths can be used to implement National Socialism without recrimination or accusations of heresy.
What makes National Socialism… well… National Socialism is that it is based on and informed by nature itself, embodied by the human and physical landscape it resides in, always striving to evolve and adapt to fit the particular situation and time in order to build a state that truly works in concert with its “blood and soil.”