chapter  4
12 Pages

NATIONAL SOCIALISM VERSUS HEGEL

Consequently, Rosenberg, like all the other National Socialist spokesmen, turns against 'the State' and denies its supreme authority. 'Today we view the State no longer as an independent idol before which men must kneel. The State is not even an end, but is only a means for preserving the people,' • and 'the authority of the Volkheit is above that of the State. He who does not admit this fact is an enemy of the people . . .' 1

Carl Schmitt, the leading political philosopher of the Third Reich, likewise rejects the Hegelian position on the state, declaring it incompatible with the substance of National Socialism. Whereas the political philosophy of the last century had been based upon a dichotomy between state and society, National Socialism substitutes the triad of state, movement (the party), and people (Volk). The state is by no means the ultimate political reality in

Alfred Rosenberg's statement sets the stage for the National Socialist rejection of Hegel's political philosophy. He says Hegel belonged to the line of development that produced the French Revolution and the Marxian critique of society. Here, as in many other instances, National Socialism reveals a far deeper understanding of the realities than many of its critics. Hegel's state philosophy held to the progressive ideas of liberalism to such an extent that his political position became incompatible with the totalitarian state of civil society. The state as reason-that is, as a rational whole, governed by universally valid laws, calculable and lucid in its operation, professing to protect the essential interest of every individual without discrimination-this form of state is precisely what National Socialism cannot tolerate.