It is said of us that we are “sentimental politicians.” Certainly the sentiments that push us to act are beautiful, noble, and can provoke enthusiasm. But German politics should not be the result of an emotion. Its line must be fixed by objective reflection and calculation. Those who judge us thus savor, self contentedly, their objectivity and detachment. They truly believe to have advanced an argument against us. But they are fooled. Better than those men so cold and satisfied, we know that politics is an affair of detached reflection, that advances patiently, without faltering and remaining in reality. In contrast, we we also know that the force of the spirit, the vivacity of the heart, indignation, anger, these are factors that sometimes have a considerable impact. We are not so close to “realist politics” to be able to simply ignore the prior conditions, the possibilities, and the eventual effects of a hurricane of feelings. Our political calculations take into account this position. After all, we know that the essential is not the establishment of accounts. It mainly is to know with what passion, what violence, and what energy the conclusions of political reflections that lead – by weighing and examining the facts – will be put into practice. To treat the given affects as if they didn’t exist is not “realpolitik” but a regrettable poverty of spirit. Yet, it is very important to hold one’s distance towards psychological phenomena – one can be oneself in the theater – to be able to utilize them, to direct them, and to mobilize them as creative and constructive forces. If “sentimental politics” means: to recognize sentiments as facts that influence events, include them, as active forces, in the political stock, and not to renounce the profound emotion of the political man before his work – in this case, we are sentimental politicians. But then all the grand men of politics, having obtained success, have also been so.
In general, we think of a type of “non politics” when we speak of sentimental politics. But it is a politics that takes its desires as realities and that, thus, is more of a dream than a reality. We could say that its system is based on the idea of remaking the world and making it more beautiful. The image that it makes of man is always a bit stylized, indeed idealized. For it, the worker that has a “class consciousness” and the “revolutionary proletariat,” the patriot citizen and the altruistic bourgeoisie, the noble and human statesman of France, the generous England, and helpful American require it incontestably. It considers the vehicles that act on humanity are, generally, noble and that it is in the service of the good. In its opinion, only its own people, the German people, lacks a bit of the peaceful feelings and enthusiasm for justice. If it could be as “cultivated” as the French, as “pacifist” as the English, the day of reconciliation and of brotherhood of people would arrive. The adepts of “realist politics” cling to this representation with the force of despair. By reason of a certain weakness of their character, they cannot support an image of the world a bit more sober, stronger, frightening. With a headstrong determination, they believe that their representations are reality. He who does not follow hinders his conscience. No matter the cost, they must put it apart from the state to harm the power to find a peaceful sleep and certitude in their convictions. They neutralize it and qualify it as a chauvinism greedy for blood, of fascists harming men, of national-socialists, hostile to workers, of crazy and sentimental utopians, to thus deliver it to their general contempt.
We are intruders on the conscience of those who practice a “realist” politics and we want to be it. We, utopians? Never have those of the “political realists” thrown a look into the abyss of our doubts. Never have they tested the misery of our pessimism. A German today, who took our path, no longer sees anything rosily. The fruits of Locarno, whose cost was marketed with malice and that, ultimately, was too high, were not intended for him. We have a complete view of the German situation: it is terrible. We know to appreciate the relations of force to global politics. We resent with anguish the impotence and subjugation of our country that leaves no hope. No one understands better than us that at the present a liberation by way of war would signify annihilation and definitive disappearance. We even insist on the necessity of having the patience to make a long term work. Yet at the same time we tremble – and all the “realist politicians” are blind – before the danger of patience. What would happen if we began to habituate to the state of existence, if we accepted it as a normal state and if we supported its endurance, it would be permanent? If the little happiness and the slight liberty, which that state can offer, was a consolation and a compensation so great as to incite us to finally feel comfortable? That is the attitude of “realist politicians” in regard to the Dawes Plan, to the Pact of Locarno, and the admission to the League of Nations. Thus, they install themselves comfortably that it lets us think to escape. They obey such that rebel thoughts fill our hearts. They see a term where we can only begin. They permit themselves and they permit others to be apathetic, such that our opinion must amass and rally the greatest energies. We have the need of rebel forces exactly because Germany approved the Dawes Plan, because they submitted to Locarno. If we do not maintain these forces in life, we are going to rot under the accords of Dawes and Locarno. If we feel that they agitate us, then maybe even the admission to the League of Nations could not bring us harm.
By considering political affairs with the greatest objectivity possible, we are lead to state that it actually is the only means of making a German politics: it is necessary to watch the energies of the German peoples, to protect its will to resistance, so that it cannot be broken, and to not allow the resistance to be paralyzed. At the hour it is, individual and direct actions are not so timely. We do not have enough liberty to permit ourselves to act in a truly independent fashion.
We cannot predict what the global conjuncture will be. However, we are still not fantasists when we feel the approach of a favorable conjuncture for Germany turning in regards to Asia and Africa. The question is to know if, at this moment, we will be politically and psychologically prepared to seize the moment that will present itself in our favor and to intervene. In order to be prepared, we should, at present, to choose the orientation that will serve our designs, even if that does not translate to visible actions – given material impossibility – but by our convictions and the expression of our will. This orientation will be favorable to all who shake and sap the existence of the British Empire and the colonial empire of France, because the weakening of these powers is the prelude to the liberation and reestablishment of Germany. We are more patient than our “realist politicians” can be. We count on the grand spaces of time – only, we would would forget nothing. We are much more humble – no ephemeral mirage, no economic entente, spirit of Locarno or European union, can dampen our enthusiasm. There is only one thing we bear in our hearts, that counts for us, “sentimental politicians”: that the force to know to wait, and to know to utilize the moment, has not left our harried and trampled people.