The German danger
- Yg. 1926, No. 43 -
The most dangerous moment of the domestic political situation in Germany lies probably in the fact that we have a republic, but no or far too few republican citizens. We have a form but no content; a barrel, but no wine.
The Reichswehr is a thoroughly bourgeois affair. It could be harmless if the bourgeoisie were. The Swiss militia is a bourgeois-peasant institution, without any socialist component, and yet it is a haven of freedom. The Swiss citizen wants to be free, the German citizen not. That's the snag.
The German citizen has had no history since the Thirty Years' War. While Swiss history deals with the life, work, development of the citizen and the peasantry, German history has been a history of the princes since that unfortunate incision into all political events, the Thirty Years' War. The German army, in whatever form it was, was an instrument of the dynasties. The people have always been the material of their masters. These gentlemen have changed 1918. But the people have remained material.
How is someone who has been a subject for centuries to become a free citizen in a few years? In their own interest, the churches carefully cultivated the subject of the German and, if it seemed necessary to them, maintained it by force. In the days of the greatest German revolution, in the Peasants' War, Luther showed his anti-social and thoroughly reactionary heart when he stood by the princes and against the peasants. He was a forerunner of those steel helmet pastors who were distant from Christ, when he shouted his "Beat the peasants to death!" To the bloodthirsty royal servants. “Kill the peasants!” At that time that was like “Kill German freedom! Beat the German people to death! "
And both of them were thoroughly beaten to death. Where is the Protestant Church in Germany today? Is it on the side of freedom? And our civil education through centuries? What was the talk of in our school books and those of our fathers, grandfathers and ancestors? The free man, but always only the loyal subject, has never been the German bourgeois ideal and the highest civic educational goal of the school. Then the young German stepped out into the world. That means, unfortunately, he did not step into the world, but into the confines of his professional activity. Here the exaggerated belief in authority in education was transformed into the practical fear of one's superior. It is not the character, and usually not even the professional performance, that determines the “career” (the term that suppresses those German dreams!), But rather docility, obedience, willing abandonment of one's own personality. The subject has won every race for success in Germany.
So it was in the army, in the civil service, even in commercial and technical enterprises. In the end, only the proletarians had a feeling for freedom. But also only because and as long as he had nothing to lose.
But a democratic republic can not be built on the proletarian antithesis of ownership.
The bourgeoisie has always failed in Germany. It has had the courage to die in dozens of wars, but it has never had the courage to live. And that's because it consists of subjects. Even today. The subject is immortal in Germany. And as long as he is, we won't have a real republic. [...]
Because Germans are subjects, they cannot rule themselves. This is as natural as anything can be taken for granted. The citizen did not make the revolution. He suddenly woke up in a republic. And was very scared. And out of fear he became a democrat. Rosa so that the reds won't hurt him. In Munich I even knew many people from the “good” society who were USP followers. Just out of fear! They later became Hitlerians. Also out of fear. The German citizen stood with shaky legs on each of the successive floors of circumstances. And only got really angry when someone ran into his wallet, someone who could be shot. But when the so-called state did this during inflation, the citizen only cried instead of defending himself and fell for all the bears that were hung up on him. [...]
The German subject has created anti-republican judges and public prosecutors, an anti-republican Reichswehr, anti-republican high school and university professors, and 80 percent anti-republican civil servants. He created an anti-republican republic because he didn't abolish anti-republican persons. Where has a bourgeois will for a republic been shown? Where has the courage been shown to approach the enemies of the republic and throw them headlong out of all offices and positions? And if the administration cart had been bumpy for a few years, what would it have done? Better on the bumpy road of a politically honestly wanted state than in the sofa-soft dirt that we have driven so far. [...]
1926, 43 Franz Carl Endres