Page:Addresses to the German nation.djvu/160

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EIGHTH ADDRESS
WHAT IS A PEOPLE IN THE HIGHER MEANING OF THE WORD, AND WHAT IS LOVE OF FATHERLAND?


110. The last four addresses have answered the question: What is the German as contrasted with other peoples of Teutonic descent? The proof to be adduced by all this for our investigation as a whole is completed when we examine the further question: What is a people? This latter question is similar to another, and when it is answered the other is answered too. The other question, which is often raised and the answers to which are very different, is this: What is love of fatherland, or, to express it more correctly, what is the love of the individual for his nation?

If we have hitherto proceeded correctly in the course of our investigation, it must here be obvious at once that only the German—the original man, who has not become dead in an arbitrary organization—really has a people and is entitled to count on one, and that he alone is capable of real and rational love for his nation.

The problem having been thus stated, we prepare the way for its solution by the following observation, which seems at first to have no connection with what has preceded it.

111. Religion, as we have already remarked in our third address, is able to transcend all time and the whole of this present sensuous life, without thereby causing the