The Political Entrepreneur

IMG_0319As I have already stated, one of the key deficiencies of just about every book about Adolf Hitler is that incorrectly (if at all) identifies his professional occupation. Hence it is absolutely necessary to remedy this completely unacceptable situation.

Fortunately, it is not difficult at all as his professional occupation is actually pretty obvious. Adolf Hitler was a political entrepreneur. This occupation is both very similar to and very different from a commercial entrepreneur (a far better known occupation) and a social entrepreneur.

A commercial entrepreneur creates an organization (a business or a commercial entity) to make money (ideally – a lot of money) by either producing or selling a tangible product or offering a certain service.

A social entrepreneur (a non-profit & non-government entity) to solve a certain social problem (feed the hungry, educate orphans, find shelter for homeless, etc.). A political entrepreneur creates a political organization (usually a political party) to obtain political power in the city, state/province or in the whole country. And then use this power to achieve certain personal or political objectives.

Obviously, the job of a political entrepreneur is the most difficult one. The easiest job is the one of a commercial entrepreneur as it is relatively easy to unite even vastly different individuals into an organization when you have but one goal – to make money.

Uniting individuals around a social objective is far more difficult because any social goal is more complicated than an actually simple goal of making money (the latter is often very successfully accomplished by not very bright individuals, to put it mildly).

An even more difficult job (far more difficult, actually) is to unite individuals around a political program – because the latter, by its very nature is far more complex than any plan for solving a social program. In fact, just about any political program (even at a local level) must include solution for several social problems (among other issues).

Selling a product or service is not that difficult (many highly successful salespeople are not very bright individuals, to put it mildly). Selling a solution to a social problem (it has to be “sold” to sponsors other wise the social entrepreneur will not get funds necessary for solving this problem) is much more difficult.

But selling a political program (and often political ideology that comes with it) to prospective party members, sponsors, allies, voters, etc. is the most difficult job of all.

Consequently, a political entrepreneurs (including Adolf Hitler, obviously) are the elite, the best of the best, the cream of the crop of the “entrepreneurial species” (sometimes it does feel that entrepreneur – any entrepreneur – belongs to a species significantly different from “regular” Homo Sapiens).

It is not uncommon for an entrepreneur (even the most successful one) to be a misfit, and outcast, an outsider, a castaway, even. Rejected by the world he lives in (it is still practically always a “he”), such an entrepreneur compensates for this rejection by creating his very own world – his organization (a business venture, a non-profit organization or a political party).

From this perspective, Adolf Hitler was the most successful entrepreneur in modern history as he created from scratch not just a political party, but a whole unique civilization (the Third Reich). And not just created but made it a political, economic and military superpower – and achieved genuinely miraculous results both in the civilian life.

Although Mussolini did create a unique Fascist State in Italy, it was too small and kept too much “baggage” (monarchy, power of the Catholic Church, etc.) to qualify for being a civilization. The same was true for other Fascist and totalitarian regimes in Europe – in Spain, Portugal, etc.

And Joseph Stalin did not actually create a genuinely unique Soviet civilization, but took the system already created by Lenin and Trotsky (mostly) and developed it into a global superpower. Consequently, he was a highly successful statesman (government manager), but definitely not a political entrepreneur.

Actually, Adolf Hitler was one the most successful political entrepreneurs in human history. Only two others – Genghis Khan and Prophet Mohammad measured up. Both created political ideologies (Islam is not just a religion but a political ideology as well) and used these ideologies to build the mightiest empires in human history.

Saint Paul the Apostle essentially created the Christian Church, but it was not a political organization. Although it did take over (in a way) of the Roman Empire, it did not create that empire. Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Tamerlane and others built enormous empires, but did not create new ideologies – and thus new civilizations.

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 and 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 with just a high school certificate!

The fact that Adolf Hitler was a political entrepreneur, explains – easily and naturally – both his meteoric rise and his spectacular downfall; his miraculous successes and his enormous failures; his almost mystical insights and his colossal blunders.

During his meteoric rise, Adolf Hitler was a great leader. Possibly the greatest leader of the XX century (Joseph Stalin was more an emperor than a leader) – if not of the whole modern history. Visionary, charismatic, inspirational, confident, emphatic leader. The true Führer.

In addition, during the same period he was a genuinely great manager (an extremely rare combination). Outstanding in every way. Definitely one of the greatest CEOs of a major nation in the XX century.

He assembled a very impressive team of highly competent professionals, set the general goals, provided the necessary authority, general guidance and motivation… and gave them almost complete freedom in how to reach these goals. And they performed a general miracle, pulling off the quantum leap unparalleled in modern history.

And then he fell. Quite a few factors contributed to his downfall; the most important being probably the #1 reason of entrepreneurial failure. The inability and unwillingness (the latter being far more important than the former) of the entrepreneur in question to make the necessary changes to his or her management system when the old one stop working.

And it inevitably does – when the system under their management reaches the “critical mass of complexity”. Hence in a way, the entrepreneur in question becomes the victim of his or own success.

That’s exactly what happened to Adolf Hitler. He started committing strategic blunders even before the outbreak of World War II (Anti-Comintern Pact with Imperial Japan, Plan Z for the Kriegsmarine, etc.).

The war predictably (and radically) increased the frequency and severity of his blunders (Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Operation Sea Lion, invasion of Crete instead of Malta, North African campaign, etc.), but things went really (and irreversibly) downhill after the invasion of the Soviet Union in June of 1941.

First, the Blitzkrieg failed (100% due to strategic blunders committed by The Führer), then the Holocaust happened (lunacy par excellence) and then it was blunder after blunder, disaster after disaster – until on May 8th, 1945 the Third Reich ceased to exist.

Another fundamental reason for his spectacular ultimate failure was the inevitable consequence of his transfiguration. Which gave him access to enormously powerful spiritual energies (Vril?).

These energies became the “fuel” that he used (IMHO more unconsciously than consciously) to achieve genuinely miraculous results – political, economic, military, social, cultural, etc.

However, these energies were way too powerful for a “regular” human body. To protect the latter, one must perform (on a daily basis) intensive and extensive physical, mental and spiritual exercises. Which Adolf Hitler was either totally unaware of (most likely) or simply was way too lazy to perform.

Consequently, at some point (probably at the beginning of World War II) these energies began to gradually destroy his body and his mind (making him a victim of his own success and his unique super-human capabilities).

Which, combined with his certified bipolar disorder (which gave him access to these energies in the first place), his other health problems, highly destructive treatment designed and implemented by his personal physician and Hitler’s character deficiencies (pride, stubbornness, etc.) ultimately led to his downfall.

These adverse factors were magnified astonishingly by a highly distorted and thus grossly incorrect perception of the world (caused by the inherent flaws of Nazi ideology). As by his tunnel vision (which is the deficiency of just about every human being – and definitely every entrepreneur, not just a political one).

 

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