Out of all political entrepreneurs in modern history, Adolf Hitler made the biggest professional Quantensprung – by far. He began his professional life as a day laborer – at the very bottom of the social ladder – and in 25 years propelled himself to the position of the absolute ruler of a global superpower. A superpower that he essentially created.
When he joined the DAP in 1919, it was the party in name only. It had only seven members, had no money, no infrastructure, no ideology to speak of, no leader. In short, nothing. Less than 15 years later, NSDAP (and Adolf Hitler personally) had essentially absolute power in Germany.
To achieve this genuine miracle, one needs to have not only an enormously powerful desire, ruthless determination, iron discipline, incredible dare, a will and nerves of steel and an unshakeable faith in oneself.
One also needs a genius-level talents of a leader, an orator, a manager and even of s systems engineer (to create from scratch a political party and to radically transform the existing state – a political, economic and social system – one needs systems engineering and reengineering skills).
Adolf Hitler had all of the above – and then some.
To achieve what Adolf Hitler has achieved, one must perform not just one, but the whole series of genuine miracles. First, you have to develop a political ideology that will be (1) attractive to the overwhelming majority of the population of the country in question – including, obviously, its political and economic elites; and (2) far superior to all other political ideologies in existence. In other words, the one that will have decisive and overwhelming competitive advantages.
Adolf Hitler did it by developing the National-Socialist ideology.
Then one must use this ideology to develop a political program. This program must also be attractive to the overwhelming majority of the population of the country in question – including, obviously, its political and economic elites; and far superior to all other political ideologies in existence.
Adolf Hitler develop exactly such a program. True, it was not develop from scratch – it was based on a program developed by one Rudolf Jung – one of the leaders of the German Bohemian National Socialist movement.
It is also true that Adolf Hitler did not create the “25 Points” (NSDAP program) solo, but in cooperation with other DAP leaders – Anton Drexler Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckart (to the latter he subsequently dedicated the second volume of Mein Kampf). However, it is indisputable that Hitler was firmly in charge of the adaptation project.
It is obvious that the program is but a starting point for political activities. For a political party (actually, for any organization) to succeed, it must have a proper (i.e. both realistic and attractive) statements of its mission, vision, strategies and strategic objectives. And strategic plans, of course.
Obviously, for a political party that intends to obtain absolute power, all of the above must be superior to what was offered by its competitors.
Adolf Hitler accomplished that, too – all of the above can be found in “Mein Kampf” – the “Bible of National-Socialism”. The term was coined not by Hitler, but by the abovementioned Rudolf Jung, who in 1919 completed his theoretical work Der Nationale Sozialismus.
In his introduction, he expressed the hope that his book would play the same role for National Socialism that Das Kapital had for Marxist socialism. It didn’t. It was too theoretical and the Nazi party needed the detailed instruction manual. Which was delivered by Adolf Hitler.
But it still is not enough. To make the party a powerful nationwide political force, you must facilitate its growth. Which must be both explosive (wildfire- or avalanche-style) and manageable (very efficiently manageable) at the same time.
To achieve this dual objective, you must develop and ruthlessly implement the fundamental principles of organizational engineering. The principles that will work – and work very well.
Adolf Hitler accomplished that, too. Quickly and efficiently. Very efficiently, in fact.
Now comes a really hard part. To commence the “political avalanche”, it is necessary to accumulate a “critical mass” of party members (at least several hundred) and party leaders (at least a couple of dozen). In other words, to create the core of the future enormous party machine.
To make it happen, three things are needed – oratorical skills (at that time there was nothing more powerful than a spoken word), a powerful and efficient propaganda system (leaflets, posters, pamphlets, newspaper ads, etc.) and a highly efficient leadership selection system.
Again, Adolf Hitler delivered all three.
Still, it is not enough. At that time, to be successful, the party propaganda machine needed a nationwide newspaper. Ideally, a daily newspaper. And it got one – the now-infamous Völkischer Beobachter.
True, Adolf Hitler did not play a leading role in the acquisition of this newspaper which was founded before the Great War as Münchener Beobachter. In 1918 it was acquired by the Thule Society and, in August 1919, got its now globally known name.
By December 1920, the paper was heavily in debt. The Thule Society was thus receptive to an offer to sell the paper to the Nazis for 60,000 Papiermark. Major Ernst Röhm, and Dietrich Eckart, persuaded Röhm’s commanding officer, Major General Franz Ritter von Epp, to purchase the paper for the NSDAP. It was never definitively established where Epp got the money, but it almost certainly came from secret army funds.
However, in 1921, Adolf Hitler, who had taken full control of the NSDAP earlier that year, acquired all shares in the company, making him the sole owner of the publication. He transformed Völkischer Beobachter into a highly efficient (probably the most efficient) tool of Nazi propaganda. Proving that he was – among his other talents – a highly gifted newspaper publisher.
To acquire political power in any country (especially in such a large one as Germany) one needs money. A lot of money. A whole lot of money. Which, in turn, requires an extensive and highly efficient fundraising system.
Adolf Hitler established exactly such a system. Not by himself, of course (mostly by hiring talented business- and financial managers such as Max Amann and Franz Xaver Schwarz) but there is no doubt that he was in charge of this all-important function.
He managed to create a well-balanced system of financing for the Nazi Party. This system included membership dues, income from publishing activities and donations obtained from wealthy individuals and corporations.
True, the necessary initial introductions were made by a well-connected playwright (and the member of the occult Thule Society) Dietrich Eckart, but they were just introductions – Adolf Hitler still had to sell himself, his ideology, his party, his vision and plans for Germany, etc. Hitler did an excellent job proving beyond the reasonable doubt that he was an excellent political salesman as well.
Obtaining a political power (even the absolute power) is one thing. Using it effectively (doing the right things) and efficiently (doing things right) is quite another.
Adolf Hitler used his power to facilitate a genuinely miraculous Quantensprung in a civilian life and to achieve no less miraculous victories on the battlefields of Russia, Europe and North Africa. Which proves beyond the reasonable doubt that he was a genius-level government manager and military commander.
And all of the above was accomplished by an individual who did not earn even a high school certificate!