Essay:If it ever seems like the alt-right is too small, weak, disorganized, etc., to win, remember the humble beginning of the German Labour Party

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Hitler writes:

What were the qualifications which I could bring to the accomplishment of such a task? The fact that I was poor and without resources could, in my opinion, be the easiest to bear. But the fact that I was utterly unknown raised a more difficult problem. I was only one of the millions which Chance allows to exist or cease to exist, whom even their next-door neighbours will not consent to know. Another difficulty arose from the fact that I had not gone through the regular school curriculum.

Too many people disqualify themselves from leadership, thinking they don’t come from the right background. All you really need is talent and drive. In Hitler’s case, that drive came from his anger at what the Jews had done to Austria and Germany.

After two days of careful brooding and reflection I became convinced that I must take the contemplated step. It was the most fateful decision of my life. No retreat was possible. Thus I declared myself ready to accept the membership tendered me by the German Labour Party and received a provisional certificate of membership. I was numbered seven.

Having balls is a force multiplier.

During the initial phase of our movement our greatest handicap was the fact that none of us were known and our names meant nothing, a fact which then seemed to some of us to make the chances of final success problematical. Our most difficult task then was to make our members firmly believe that there was a tremendous future in store for the movement and to maintain this belief as a living faith; for at that time only six, seven or eight persons came to hear one of our speakers.

Consider that only six or seven poor devils who were entirely unknown came together to found a movement which should succeed in doing what the great mass-parties had failed to do: namely, to reconstruct the German Reich, even in greater power and glory than before. We should have been very pleased if we were attacked or even ridiculed. But the most depressing fact was that nobody paid any attention to us whatever. This utter lack of interest in us caused me great mental pain at that time.

When I entered the circle of those men there was not yet any question of a party or a movement. I have already described the impression which was made on me when I first came into contact with that small organization. Subsequently I had time, and also the occasion, to study the form of this so-called party which at first had made such a woeful impression. The picture was indeed quite depressing and discouraging. There was nothing, absolutely nothing at all. There was only the name of a party.

In that kind of situation, the presence of a gifted leader who stays in the fight and doesn’t give up makes all the difference. How did he manage to overcome depression and discouragement, rather than letting it consume him and push him into sullen apathy and inactivity? How did he persevere when it seemed like the group wasn’t making progress?

When you’re in a situation like that, usually your friends and family will say, “The fact that you’re not making much headway shows that you should just give up and go do something else.” Probably what kept Hitler going was a knowledge of his own power to change the world:

I talked for thirty minutes, and what I always had felt deep down in my heart, without being able to put it to the test, was here proved to be true: I could make a good speech. At the end of the thirty minutes it was quite clear that all the people in the little hall had been profoundly impressed.

By speaking, he was able to get followers, which probably bolstered his morale and strengthened him to continue. This is why it’s so powerful when someone is able to be both a theoretician and a leader. The theoretician normally doesn’t see the results of his theory in his lifetime (and maybe no one will even notice or care about his theories), but if he’s a leader, then he can probably bring about some results.

How are such great men produced? Is it something innate, or the result of their surroundings? Hitler writes:

Probably my whole future life was determined by the fact that I had a professor of history who understood, as few others understand, how to make this viewpoint prevail in teaching and in examining. This teacher was Dr. Leopold Poetsch, of the Realschule at Linz.

Who knows how many potential Hitlers are out there, awaiting a teacher like Leopold Poetsch? But it was Poetsch’s teachings, combined with Hitler’s experiences in Austria, and in World War I, and many other influences, that helped mold him into the man he became. As society degenerates, then, it will perhaps create conditions suitable for the next Hitler to germinate.