Gottfried Feder (27 January 1883 – 24 September 1941) was a German civil engineer, a self-taught economist, and one of the early key members of the Nazi Party and its economic theoretician. It was one of his lectures, delivered in 1919, that drew Adolf Hitler into the party.
"Manifesto for the Abolition of Enslavement to Interest on Money" (1919)
- "Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft"
- Mammonism is the heavy, all-encompassing and overwhelming sickness from which our contemporary cultural sphere, and indeed all mankind, suffers. It is like a devastating illness, like a devouring poison that has gripped the peoples of the world.
- By Mammonism is to be understood: on the one hand, the overwhelming international money-powers, the supragovernmental financial power enthroned above any right of self-determination of peoples, international big capital, the purely Gold International; on the other hand, a mindset that has taken hold of the broadest circle of peoples; the insatiable lust for gain, the purely worldly-oriented conception of life that has already led to a frightening decline of all moral concepts and can only lead to more.
- This [mammonist] mindset is embodied and reaches its acme in international plutocracy. The chief source of power for Mammonism is the effortless and endless income that is produced through interest.
- The idea of interest on loans is the diabolical invention of big loan-capital; it alone makes possible the lazy drone's life of a minority of tycoons at the expense of the productive peoples and their work-potential.
- The only cure, the radical means to heal suffering humanity is the abolition of enslavement to interest on money.
- The abolition of enslavement to interest on money signifies the only possible and conclusive liberation of productive labor from the hidden coercive money-powers.
- The abolition of enslavement to interest signifies the restoration of the free personality, the redemption of man from slavery, from the curse whereby Mammonism has bound his soul.
- All state revenues flowing from direct and indirect sources pour constantly into the pockets of big loan-capital.
- Therefore we demand as a fundamental law of the state: ...
- The obligation for interest is replaced by the obligation to repay the principal; thus after 20 or 25 years, depending on the interest-rate, the lent capital is repaid and the debt retired. ...
- Through intensive enlightenment of the people, it is to be made clear to the people that money is and should be nothing other than a voucher for completed labor; that while every highly developed economy of course has need of money as a medium of exchange, the function of money also ends with that, and in no case should money be lent a supramundane power to grow of itself by means of interest, at the expense of productive labor.
- In our Mammonistic blindness we have unlearned how to see clearly that the doctrine of the sanctity of interest is a monstrous self-deception, that the gospel of the loan-interest that alone makes one blessed has entangled our entire thinking in the golden web of international plutocracy.
- All of our tax-legislation is and remains, so long as we do not have liberation from enslavement to interest, only a tribute-obligation to big capital, and not, as we would imagine, a voluntary sacrifice for the accomplishment of labor for the community.
- Liberation from enslavement to interest on money is the clear motto for the global revolution, for the liberation of productive labor from the chains of the supragovernmental money-powers.
- Mammonism is the sinister, invisible, mysterious reign of the great international money-powers. Mammonism is however also a mindset; it is the worship of these money-powers on the part of all those who are infected with the Mammonistic poison.
- Mammonism is the unlimited hypertrophy of the — in itself healthy — human drive for acquisition. Mammonism is the lust for money grown into a madness, which knows no higher goal than to pile money on top of money, which seeks with unequaled brutality to coerce all forces of the world into its service, and must lead to the economic enslavement, to the exploitation of the work-potential of all peoples of the world.
The German State on a National and Socialist Foundation (1923)
- translated by Alexander Jacob, London: UK, Black House Publishing, 2015
- But the capitalist idea of profitability actually becomes an economic nonsense in the branches of our economy that today rule everything, in the banking and stock-exchange system. The fact of the ruling position of the banks proves most strikingly the economic senselessness of the capitalist idea. With the ‘productions’ of the banks and stock-exchanges never yet has a child been fed, never yet has a freezing person been clothed, in general never has even the smallest requirement that is necessary for life been supplied.
- p. 28
- Usury and racketeering, as well as ruthless enrichment at the cost and harm of the people, will be punished with death.
- p. 54
- The introduction of a year of compulsory work for every German.
- p. 54
- Nationalisation of the Reichsbank Pub. Ltd. Co., and the central banks.
- p. 54
- Generous development of old age insurance through nationalisation of the life-annuity system. To every needy German national comrade an adequate pension will be guaranteed from a certain age or in the case of a premature occurrence of permanent inability to earn a living.
- p. 55
- Removal of the housing shortage through comprehensive new housing buildings throughout the Reich by means of the new non-profit Construction and Economic Bank to be created according to Art. 21.
- p. 55
- Suppression of all harmful influences in literature and the press, stage, art and cinema.
- p. 56
- Our anti-Mammonistic battle, which is ranged above the other two battle-fronts, is directed against the world-encompassing financial power, that is, against the permanent financial and economic bleeding and exploitation of our people through large loan capital. This battle however is, on the other hand, also a powerful intellectual struggle against the soul-destroying materialistic spirit of egoism and avarice with all its concomitant corrupting manifestations in all fields of our public, economic and cultural life.
- p. 57
- National Socialism like Anti-Semitism glimpses in the Jewish-materialistic spirit the primary root of the evil, but it also knows that this most powerful battle of world-history cannot remain standing in purely negative anti-Semitic demands, therefore the entire national- and economic programme of National Socialism rises far above the certainly ground-breaking but negative anti-Semitic battle by positively giving a creative constructive image of how the National Socialist state of work and performance should look. If this main goal is reached, then the National Socialist Party will be dissolved.
- p. 58
- But for National Socialism with this demand for social justice stands and falls the question of destiny for the German people, whether the German people can find its way to a noble nation, or whether it will eke out a miserable life in degradation and corruption as a fellaheen nation.
- p. 71
- In any case, legal tools must be created so that all these activities or enterprises that are directed against the national health in a physical or intellectual way may be suppressed. The same is true of the exploitation of the distress of the population through profiteering and usury.
- p. 81
- But that the state in general sees as right the sole means of accepting interest-bearing loans - thus debts, when it needs money and applies its other sovereign rights today only in an underhand manner to collect the incurred debts from the people, these are conditions for which one seeks in vain for a reasonable explanation. There is indeed no reasonable explanation for it, but only the fact that our entire thought even in national financial political matters is directed or corrupted in a private capitalistic manner.
- p. 104
- The interest slavery of the nation means the rule of the bank and stock-exchange. The breaking of interest slavery is by far the greatest task of National Socialism.
- p. 113
- The interest capitalistic inflation however is like a devouring fire which is not extinguished until it has consumed all the treasures of the world and made the whole of mankind interest-slaves of international finance—or until the interest slavery is broken.
- pp. 117-118
About Gottfried Feder
- Gottfried Feder gave the Nazi Party an ideology. Its essential points were paramount State ownership of land and the prohibition of private sales of land, the substitution of German for Roman law, nationalization of the banks and the abolition of interest by an amortization service. It was he, too, who inspired the Party with its doctrine of the distinction between productive and non-productive capital and of the necessity for destroying the ‘slavery of profits.’
- Konrad Heiden, A History of National Socialism, Methuem & Company, LTD, London: UK (1934) p. 7
- Nazi leaders almost without exception ensured that their ‘anti-capitalism’ remained highly selective. Their definition of capitalism and capitalists made it possible to exonerate some of Germany’s most rapacious and reactionary employers from the charge of profiteering.
- Robin Blick, Fascism in Germany (1975), Chapter 8