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The Scientific Study of Ideology
Richard A. Koenigsberg
Hitler's Ideology: A Study in Psychoanalytic Sociology

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According to Robert Hazen and James Trefil (1991/2009), science is organized around certain central concepts (or pillars) that support the entire structure. There are a limited number of concepts (or laws) that “account for everything we see in the world around us.”

Science begins with the assumption that human beings can grasp the regularities of the universe, and even “uncover the basic, simple laws that produce them.” The scientific endeavor seeks to discover general laws that exist and “govern everything in the physical world.”

From the beginning, my aspiration was to discover regularities or laws governing the formation of ideologies. In Hitler’s Ideology (1975/2007), I stated that I hoped that my book would constitute the “foundation for a new science.” My objective was to understand the “psychological roots of cultural ideas, beliefs, and values, particular insofar as these have been embodied in the central ideologies of civilized societies.” I hoped to achieve this goal through a series of empirical studies—“working from the ground up” in order to establish a “base which is solid, and can be built upon.”

Below is Table 18, “Sacrifice,” that appeared in Hitler’s Ideology—providing a sense of how I set about doing my work.

Statement Number Statement Source
Book Page
1 The preservation of the existence of a species presupposes a spirit of sacrifice in the individual. MK 151
2 The sacrifice of personal existence is necessary to secure the preservation of the species. MK 151
3 The state-forming or even state-preserving forces are the ability and will of the individual to sacrifice himself for the totality. MK 151
4 A man does not die for business, but only for ideals. MK 152
5 Only the struggle for the preservation of the species and the hearth, or the state that protects it, has at all times driven men against the spears of their enemies. MK 153
6 The young regiments had not gone to their death in Flanders crying "Long live universal suffrage and the secret ballot," but crying "Deutschland uber Alles in der Welt." MK 199
7 The most precious blood (in World War I) sacrificed itself joyfully, in the faith that it was preserving the independence and freedom of the fatherland. MK 201
8 In the sacred ground the best comrades slumbered, still almost children, who had run to their death with gleaming eyes for the one true fatherland. MK 201
9 When in the long war years Death snatched so many a dear comrade and friend from our ranks, it would have seemed to me almost a sin to complain-after all, were,they not dying for Germany? MK 204
10 The Aryan willingly subordinates his own ego to the life of the community and, if the hour demands, even sacrifices it. MK 297
11 This state of mind, which subordinates the interest of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture. MK 298
12 In giving one's life for the existence of the community lies the crown of all sacrifice. MK 298
13 By idealism we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man. MK 298
14 True idealism is nothing but the subordination of the interests and life of the individual to the community. MK 299
15 Any man who loves his people proves it solely by the sacrifices which he is prepared to make for it. MK 426
16 What made men die was not concern for their daily bread, but love of the fatherland, faith in its greatness, a general feeling for the honor of the nation. MK 437
17 The idea of military service now dawned on (my lads in terms of) the living consciousness of the duty to fight for the existence of our people by sacrificing the life of the individual, always and forever, at all times and places. MK 491
18 More than once, thousands and thousands of young Germans have stepped forward with self-sacrificing resolve to sacrifice their young lives freely and joyfully on the altar of the beloved father land. MK 631
19 To be "social" means that every individual acts in the interest of the community of the people, (and to be) to such an extent convinced of the goodness of this community as to be ready to die for it. S-I 15
20 To be "national" means to act with a boundless and all-embracing love for the people and, if necessary, even to die for it. S-I 15
21 Only he has a right to live who is prepared to work for the community. S-I 62
22 The National Socialist Party looked to those idealists who are ready if necessary to sacrifice their own existence to the eternal life of people and of Reich. S-I 142
23 You are nothing, your nation is everything. S-I 402
24 Life for you German boys and girls must mean sacrifice. S-I 547
25 We all are but servants in this great task of the German nation. S-I 664
26 We would subordinate our own ego to the demands of Germany. S-I 664
27 Nobody can do more than sacrifice himself for his people, and to that sacrifice we must ever pledge ourselves. S-I 664
28 Let us pledge ourselves at every hour, on every day, only to think of Germany, of people and Reich, of our great nation. S-I 664
MK: Hitler, A. (1962). Mein Kampf (R. Mannheim trans.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
S-I: Baynes, N. H. (Ed.). (1942). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler. New York: Oxford University Press.