- The following is a transcript of a presentation by Matt
Koehl to students of a senior Political Science class at a high school
in Worthington, Ohio, on January 11, 2005...
- Good morning.
- I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to
discuss with you a few ideas, which I hope will prove both stimulating
- This morning I would like to talk about the good society.
More specifically, I would like to discuss the economic and social aspects
of a good society.
- What should these be? What are the signs of such a society?
Let's take a look...
- Among other things in such a society, we would want a
stable and prosperous economy, one with full employment and living wages.
We would want affordable housing, whether in the purchasing or renting
of a home. We would want a system of health care accessible to everyone,
regardless of economic circumstance. We would want generous provision for
disability, maturnity leave and retirement. We would want free access to
college education and vocational training for any qualified applicant.
We would want a healthy farming community, one which favors small family
farms over large agribusiness conglomerates.
- We would want the kind of public safety where one didn't
have to live in gated communities to feel secure, and where one could walk
down the street of any city at any time, day or night-without fear of being
mugged, assaulted, or worse. We would want rigorous protection of the environment
under a regime that is more concerned about the condition of our forests,
our earth, our air and our waters than about corporate profit and pollution.
- These are some the things we would want - for every citizen
of our good society.
- Today, we have NONE of these things. Why? Do these expectations
of a good society sound unreasonable, or utopian?
- I say to you that they are not - as is proven by the
fact that there once was a society which had all of these things and more.
- This society first came to my attention when I had the
opportunity to meet and talk to people who had the privilege of living
in such a society. In talking about their experience, they invariably described
it as the happiest and most memorable time of their lives, and they looked
back upon it with deepest fondness.
- The society I am talking about was none other than -
Pre WWII National Socialist Germany under Adolf Hitler.
- I would like to take a few moments to describe and summarize
some of the social and economic achievements of this remarkable society.
In so doing, I think it will help to explain why the people I have just
mentioned felt the way they did.
- * * *
- But first, we have to go back and consider the condition
of Germany following the First World War.
- There was mass starvation in the land. There was a vindictive
peace treaty-the Treaty of Versailles-which imposed humongous reparations
on the German people and caused great suffering. There was runaway inflation,
and money became worthless. People were actually living in hovels and going
- After that came the Great Depression, in which 7 million
Germans were thrown out of work and the economy collapsed.
- UNEMPLOYMENT & THE ECONOMY
- Then Hitler came to power in 1933. Immediately he set
about turning things around. His first challenge was that of unemployment,
as well as that of restoring Germany's ruined agriculture.
- The problem was aggravated by the fact that the German
economy was bankrupt. It didn't have gold reserves. It had no foreign credit.
At the same time, it was suffering under the burden of crushing reparations
payments. It seemed like situation impossible.
- But that didn't stop Hitler.
- "Okay," he said. "We don't have gold.
But we do have workers willing to work. They will be our gold."
- He then came up with a very simple solution to put it
all together. He launched a program of public works: flood control, repairing
public buildings and private residences and constructing new ones, building
roads, bridges, canals, port facilities, but most notably the famous Autobahn-the
first extensive superhighway system in the world. In so doing, he was able
to put millions back to work.
- How did he pay for it all? The treasury was broke. Foreign
bankers wouldn't give him any credit.
- What he did was simply go around the international banks
and create his own banking system, based-not on the gold standard or some
other superfluous metal-but on the productivity of the German worker himself:
He introduced the work standard.
- Here's how it worked. The projected cost of the various
public works programs was fixed at $1 billion Reichsmarks. An exact number
of non-inflationary bills of exchange, called Labor Treasury Certificates,
were then issued against that cost.
- The workers were then paid; and with their new purchasing
power, they began to spend their earnings in shops and businesses across
the country, which in turn enabled these to create more jobs and hire more
- With this as a stimulus, the German economy gradually
took off. Within two years, the core unemployment problem was licked, and
the country was back on its feet. And all of this with a solid, stable
currency and no debt or inflation.
- Meanwhile, by comparison, the economies of the United
States, England and the other Western countries remained stagnant, with
millions out of work and living on the dole. Not until these countries
started to crank up their war industries were they able to solve their
- At the same time that Hitler was reviving Germany's economy
and putting millions back to work, he was also able to restore his country's
crippled foreign trade. Denied foreign credit and faced with an economic
boycott in England and America, Hitler came up with a very simple but ingenious
device: the barter system, in which equipment and commodities were exchanged
directly with foreign countries, circumventing the international banks.
- For example, if Germany had manufactured goods which
Argentina wanted, and Argentina had grain or beef which Germany wanted,
the two countries would simply draw up a contract and swap- without recourse
to an international middleman. He was cut out of the deal completely. Again,
this system of direct exchange occurred without debt or trade deficit-something
which upset some people.
- In a word, what Hitler did was smash the prevailing finance-
capitalist system of debt and usury-which, as we now know, was a primary
cause of World War II.
- By making a moral distinction between productive capital
and speculative capital, Hitler set himself on a collision course with
those international financial interests, whose ox he had gored and whose
very existence as parasites was now threatened by the success of the National
Socialist model. They were prepared to do anything-indeed, drag the entire
world into war-to maintain their parasitic existence and not allow other
countries to follow the National Socialist example.
- But that's another story for another time. I won't get
into it here.
- This, then, was the economic miracle which made all of
Hitler's other social programs possible, some of which I have already touched
- * * *
- THE FARMER
- I mentioned the restoration of the German farming community
as a high priority of the National Socialist government.
- This was more than a matter of mere economics. In National
Socialist thinking, a nation can prosper only if it has a sound rural population.
The traditional family farm is regarded as of prime importance, because
it concerns a way of life whose moral and spiritual values are vital to
the health and well-being of society as a whole.
- During the hard times in Germany before Hitler, many
farmes saw their lives ruined by falling commodity prices, exorbitant interest
payments, and foreclosure to unscrupulous Jewish land speculators. One
can image the desperation of these farmers, as they saw the loss of their
farms-many of which had been in the family for hundreds of years-and they,
too, were now forced to join the ranks of the unemployed.
- Hitler was determined to put an end to this misery and
injustice. Not only were these farms restored to their rightful owners,
but at the same time they were made productive and self-sustaining.
- And so Hitler created what was called the National Food
Estate, a public corporation which included not only the farmer himself,
but everyone else connected with the production, processing and distribution
of food: the canners, the millers, the bakers and middlemen, as well as
the local grocer.
- The Food Estate guaranteed the farmer a market for his
product at a reasonable fixed price-high enough to cover his costs of production
and prepare for the next harvest season, but low enough, so the customer
could always count on a fair price.
- By adjusting supply to consumer demand and allowing for
individual initiative and competition, but excluding speculation in commodities,
the food corporation was able to create a stable market, which assured
a dependable supply of food, upon which all parties-producer and consumer-could
- * * *
- THE WORKER
- Concerning the worker, Adolf Hitler himself had at one
time been a common day laborer, and he understood well the problems of
the ordinary workingman.
- He considered man to be more than a disposable economic
unit. He believed in the idea of the whole person, as a productive and
creative member of his people; that he should have meaningful work and
job security; and that he should be treated with dignity and respect-and
not be downsized, for example, and handed a pink slip as a Christmas present!
- He believed that work should not be a drudge but rather
a creative effort, a source of fulfillment and personal pride, and that
the dignity and honor of every workingman and woman should be respected.
- Accordingly, one of the first things he did after coming
to power was to order a clean-up of German factories. Drab, dreary plant
yards and coal piles were replaced with parks, swimming pools and other
amenities designed to humanize surroundings by providing a bright, clean,
cheerful environment, with plenty of sunshine and fresh air.
- One innovation introduced under National Socialism as
part of its efforts on behalf of working people was the KdF, the so-called
Strength Through Joy program.
- The idea behind this program was that those who worked
hard and produced should be rewarded, not only with a decent salary, but
also with special amenities that make life more pleasant and allow one
to recharge one's batteries.
- Under this program, ordinary workingmen and their families
were given special access to the arts, culture, popular entertainment and
sport. Above all, they were given the opportunity to travel, not only around
their own country but to other places as well. They could go on free, two-week,
overseas cruises, while in Germany itself they could take a lengthy holiday
for just 2 marks a day, including travel, meals and lodging.
- THE ENVIRONMENT
- As someone who believed fervently in the laws of Nature,
Hitler introduced the first comprehensive measures to protect the environment,
including so-called scrubbers to eliminate pollution emissions from coal-burning
- His critics said it could't be done. But Hitler said,
"Do it"-and it was done!
- Hitler also ordered affordable housing, especially for
young married couples. Neat, sturdy houses, with garden space around them,
were built, which they could then purchase for 600-1,000 RM at no interest
and minuscule monthly payments.
- The best part was that a quarter of the mortgage was
canceled with the birth of each child, so that after their fourth child
a couple would be home free! How's that for child- and family-friendly?
- Older homes and apartments were refurbished and upgraded,
and there were no slums, such as we see in America's inner cities.
- HEALTH CARE
- No German had to worry about the expense of getting sick
or injured. Under National Socialism there was universal health care at
no cost. No weaseling, chiseling HMOs. No welching under the government
of Adolf Hitler, which made the health and well-being of its citizens a
- German hospitals offered the finest care and had the
most modern equipment, surpassing even that in the United States. Patients
had a right to choose their own doctor and hospital, and even the poorest
were assured full medical treatment. They could stay up to one year in
the hospital-with a special allowance of pocket money! If they were still
on the sick list after that, they could remain indefinitely with public
- SOCIAL SECURITY
- The same went for retirement. German's citizens didn't
have to worry about a Social Security system going broke or their retirement
- COLLEGE EDUCATION
- College education was free for all qualified applicants,
regardless of financial circumstance or family background. The same applied
to vocational and technical schools. Students didn't have to worry about
tuition or loan repayments. Those things were unknown in Hitler's Germany.
- PUBLIC SAFETY
- In National Socialist Germany there was never concern
about public safety and rampant crime, such as we have today in America.
One could walk the streets of any German city or town any time, day or
night, without fear of being knocked in the head, killed or raped.
- And, I might add, the number of police per capita in
what some have described as a "police state" was but a small
fraction of what we see in America today!
- * * *
- This, then, is a brief snapshot of a society which we
today come nowhere close to matching, but one which stands as a model for
what a well-run, progressive and orderly society should look like.
- In coming years, as you face the challenges of an increasingly
sick and dysfunctional society, I sincerely hope that you will pause from
time to time to think about the way a good and decent society should function,
as shown by this timeless example.
- Thank you.
- For a rare glimpse of this extraordinary society, see
Stanley McClatchie's Look to Germany, the 248-page album with 300 vivid
photographs, in which the author presents his first-hand observations of
the miracle that was Pre-World War II National Socialist Germany. See what
life was really like under Hitler.
- We also recommend The Truth in Money Book, the clear-cut,
easy-to-understand, no-nonsense, 262-page analysis by engineers Theodore
Thoren and Richard Warner, amply illustrated with charts and graphs, in
which the authors cut through all the myths and mumbo-jumbo about money
and present a plan-similar to Hitler's-for dealing with the inevitable
crisis posed by an unsustainable economic system based on smoke and mirrors
and counterfeiting by the Federal Reserve and other institutions of High
- The cost of Look to Germany is $34 postage paid. That
of The Truth in Money Book is $19 postage paid. Both titles are available
from: NS Publications, Box 188, Ottawa Lake MI 49267. Please note - You
may save $4 by ordering both books for just $49.
- From Perney
- Matt Koehl's article, "The Good Society," which
appeared on your site this evening is a tremendously powerful, eye-opening
piece. A must read for every brain-dead American. Thank you.
From Althea Morgan
- Jeff -
- Thanks for posting this highly-informative piece of history.
It's a lot easier to understand how and why the German people supported
Hitler now. It's a shame it is so hard to study history in an honest and
From Douglas Yates
- Matt Koehl is living in a fantasyland. Pushing this half-baked
history at high school students without the benefit of an alternative perspective
is irresponsible. Visit http://www.john-loftus.com/
or the site listed below the following quote for an unvarnished and highly
accurate rendition of how the Third Reich built banking and industrial
partnerships with major western corporations.
- "To Germans burdened by reparations payments to
the victors of World War I, and threatened by hyperinflation, political
chaos, and a possible Communist takeover, Hitler, frenzied yet magnetic,
offered scapegoats and solutions. To the economically depressed he promised
to despoil Jew financiers, to workers he promised security. He gained the
financial support of bankers and industrialists with his virulent anti-Communism
and promises to control trade unionism."
- From Tom Marchetti
- Hi Jeff,
- There is a fascinating book that is well worth your time.
It is titled 'Into The Darkness' and written by Lothrop Stoddard in 1940.
Here is an Amazon review of it...
- A Perceptive Book -- Must Read
- Twentieth-century America's most perceptive, influential,
and prophetic writer on race -- Lothrop Stoddard -- spent four months in
late 1939-early 1940 covering National Socialist Germany, as its leaders
and its people girded for total war. Stoddard criss-crossed the Third Reich
to observe nearly every aspect of its political, social, economic, and
military life, and he talked with men and women from all walks of life,
from Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels to taxi drivers
and chambermaids. The result -- Into the Darkness -- is not only a classic
of World War II reportage, but a unique evaluation of Germany's National
- For Stoddard was no ordinary journalist. A Harvard Ph.D
in history, the author of The Rising Tide of Color and other works that
played a key role in the enactment of America's 1924 immigration act, fluent
in German and deeply versed in European politics and culture, Stoddard
brought to Into the Darkness a sophistication and a sympathy impossible
for William Shirer and a myriad of other journalistic hacks. To be sure,
the New England Yankee Stoddard was no supporter of the Hitler dictatorship,
but he was deeply interested in National Socialist policies, above all
in the social and the racial sphere. Reading Into the Darkness brings you
to hearings before a German eugenics court, to an ancestral farm in Westphalia,
to the headquarters of the National Labor Service, to German markets, factories,
medical clinics, and welfare offices, as keenly observed and analyzed by
- You'll read, too, of Stoddard's conversations with German
policy makers in all fields: Hans F. K. Guenther and Fritz Lenz on race
and eugenics; Walther Darré on agriculture; Robert Ley on labor;
Gertrud Scholz-Klink on women in the Third Reich; General Alexander Löhr
on the Luftwaffe's Polish campaign, as well as Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels
and many other leaders. And you'll travel with Stoddard to Slovakia, where
he interviews Monsignor Tiso, the national leader later put to death by
the Communists, and to Hungary, where the Magyars, still at peace, gaze
apprehensively at Soviet Russia.
- Into the Darkness (so named from the mandatory air-defense
blackout that Stoddard found so vexing) shines a torch of sanity and truth
against the vituperation of all things National Socialist that has been
practically obligatory for the past sixty years. Knowledgeable, urbane,
skeptical, and above all fair, Stoddard's book is a unique, an indispensable
historical document, a time capsule for truth, and a stimulating page-turner
for everyone interested in the Third Reich and the German people.
- From Erik D. Hilsinger
- Pretty timely to have all the pro-Hitler hoo-ha in time
for the second inauguration. Unfortunately people have not yet realized
whose foot is in the boot up their ass. The collusion of industry and
government with the willing help of organized religion has never satisfied
anyone for very long, and certainly not anyone with a concept of democracy.
Just watch how the religious right will fracture when state-run religious
policies are more frequently enacted. It will be like medieval Europe.
And can you imagine how great it will be when the last of the family farmers
band together to overthrow ADM, Cargill, Monsanto, and the other agribusiness
players who depend on taking over family farms, turning out the people,
and basically share cropping the land to people who don't own anything,
just run the equipment? And, of course, drink the toxic runoff and breathe
the malodorous whiffs of industrial feedlots.
- I'm more interested in how Katrina Leung, REpublican
activist and Chinese spy as well as sometime lover of the FBI agent tasked
with investigating Al Gore's fundraising, managed to get off so lightly,
as did Mr. FBI apparently. Maybe Prescott Bush got them a deal in exchange
for say, a Navy spy plane and discount US Dollar debt?