Van den Bruck Arthur Moeller - Germany's Third Empire

Author : Van den Bruck Arthur Moeller
Title : Germany's Third Empire
Year : 1934

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Prefatory letter to Heinrich von Gleichen. Dear Gleichen, This book contains an analysis of the political parties. It is addressed to Germans of every party. It discusses their ideologies, and their party types. The attempt this books makes was not possible from any party standpoint; it ranges over all our political problems, from the extreme Left to the extreme Right. It is written from the standpoint of a Third Party, which is already in being. Only such an attempt could address itself to the nation while attacking all the parties; could reveal the disorder and discord into which the parties have long since fatefully fallen and which has spread from them through our whole political life; could reach that lofty spiritual plane of political philosophy which the parties have forsaken, but which must for the nation’s sake be maintained, which the conservative must preserve and the revolutionary must take by storm. Instead of government by party we offer the ideal of the THIRD EMPIRE. It is an old German conception and a great one. It arose when our First Empire fell; it was early quickened by the thought of a millennium; but its underlying thought has always been a future which should be not the end of all things but the dawn of a German age in which the German People would for the first time fulfil their destiny on earth. In the years which followed the collapse of our Second Empire, we have had experience of Germans; we have seen that the nation’s worst enemy is herself: her trustfulness, her casualness, her credulity, her inborn, fate-fraught, apparently unshakable, optimism. The German people were scarcely defeated - as never a people was defeated before in history - than the mood asserted itself: "We shall come up again all right!" We heard German fools saying: "We have no fears for Germany!" We saw German dreamers nod their heads in assent: "Nothing can happen to me!" We must be careful to remember that the thought of the Third Empire is a philosophical idea; that the conceptions which the words "Third Empire" arouse - and the book which bears the title - are misty, indeterminate, charged with feeling; not of this world but of the next. Germans are only too prone to abandon themselves to self-deception. The thought of a THIRD EMPIRE might well be the most fatal of all the illusions to which they have ever yielded; it would be thoroughly German if they contented themselves with day-dreaming about it. Germany might perish of her Third Empire dream. Let us be perfectly explicit: the thought of the Third Empire - to which we must cling as our last and highest philosophy - can only bear fruit if it is translated into concrete reality. It must quit the world of dreams and step into the political world. It must be as realist as the problems of our constitutional and national life; it must be as sceptical and pessimistic as beseems the times. ...

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