Advice on how to unite in Europe’s moment of crisis.
Translated by Michael O’Meara
The following is excerpted from Guillaume Faye, Why We Fight (Arktos, 2011), ‘Preface and Precaution’.
The worst wars are the undeclared ones. They break out quietly, like an uneasy breeze, and are the harshest, most deadly.
Europe today faces the greatest danger in her history, a danger threatening the very existence of her civilisation. For she is at war and doesn’t even know it. She may sense the danger, but refuses to see it, burying her head in the sand, like the ostrich, hoping to conjure it away.
We Europeans are rapidly and massively being occupied and colonised by peoples from the South and by Islam. We are subject to America’s economic, strategic, and cultural New World Order. The two march hand in hand. We are emasculated by ideologies of decline and by those of a facile optimism, we are menaced by a regression of culture and education toward primitivism and by the faint simulation of prosperity.
Europe is the sick man of the world. It’s obvious in her demographic decline, in her physiological devirilisation, and in the reigning ideology of ethnomasochism, imposed by politically correct censors and the controlled media. We are gnawed at from within and attacked from without. We are set upon by assailants, occupiers, and collaborators, who make up the majority of the political, media, and intellectual classes, whether of the Right or the Left. The people have yet to see it because their shopping carts are still full. And though everyone may secretly suspect that the war has begun, the majority denies it, because for the moment no one has the courage to fight it. For the moment . . .
The deepening crisis and the march toward the enveloping chaos are requisite to an awakening and a revolt. And we haven’t seen anything yet. The tragedy is still early in its first act.
Like every war, the defenders’ freedom of expression is compromised. There is no use complaining: such are the rules of the game. Throughout Europe, we possess immense resources. Nothing yet is lost and pessimism is no option.
In history it’s always struggling minorities who make the difference, not the amorphous masses. And it’s no longer a matter of Left or Right either, but whether you’re part of the resistance.
Given the tragedy bearing down on Europeans and the futile disputes dividing identitarians, there’s an evident need for a worldview powerful enough to rally the Continent — to rally our great fatherland, that family of kindred spirits, however politically fragmented, which is united on the essentials, favouring thus the defence of our civilisation and our imperilled identity, but especially favouring the principles of our regeneration.
Everywhere, one awaits a mobilisation based on a clear, federating discourse of resistance and reconquest — free of outdated ideas, sectarianism, and the paralysis of nostalgia. Never before has the urgency for such a discourse been so great. What matters most at this point is a unifying ideological platform that goes beyond sectarianism in the sincerity and lucidity of its reflections. When the house is on fire, domestic disputes are put on hold.
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An ideological regrounding is necessary — a regrounding that is both a synthesising affirmation of a general doctrine and, at the same time, a rigorous definition of concepts, arguments, and propaganda. This is why the following manifesto takes the form, in large part, of a ‘dictionary’.
Doctrinal confusion, phony debates, artificial oppositions, intellectual approximations and misunderstandings, sectarian skirmishes, the blunting of ideas for respectability’s sake — they have gone on for far too long. What’s needed is a clear line. A strongly formulated minimum around which the largest number of sensibilities and wills can coalesce.
We have entered a period when things no longer need to be said in half-measures, as we amuse ourselves with ‘two-faced discourses’. What we need now is radical thought — not in the guise of extremist gestures, but in getting to the root of things. The truth is always a winner and it’s the most effective ruse.
The time has come for identitarianism, in the broadest sense, to reaffirm itself as the most lucid and ambitious form of thought. The identitarian view of the world is simply more realistic and better adapted to the future than the dominant egalitarian and cosmopolitan ideology, which affects everyone from soft Rightists to the craziest neo-Trotskyites. All the facts, whether historical, geopolitical, demographic, ethnic, economic, or social, substantiate the identitarian and inegalitarian view of the world. Its vision — the sole authentically rebellious and dissident form of thought — is bound to prevail everywhere in Europe, for once the Twenty-first century succumbs to the approaching crises, the slate will be wiped clean — as ideological revisions, unexpected designations, and surprising radicalisations arrive with the force of circumstances.
Beware of False Friends
Throughout Europe, young resisters and dissidents need to be wary not only of cooptation by the system, but also by those posing as defenders of European identity, the so-called ‘artisans of renewal’. I’m thinking here of those de Gaulle described as ‘kids jumping about crying: Europe! Europe! Europe!’,1 talking of ‘renaissance’, but all the while defending decadent, permissive, censorious values that envisage Europe as a sort of ‘tolerant’ Disneyland, open to all the world, an ethnopluralist pandemonium — without a defining identity, an internal order, or a will to power. The ideological lure of such discourses is great, especially if conveyed in intellectually pretentious language. It’s of utmost importance, though, that we resist such pseudo-identitarians, whose conformity and craving for respectability surreptitiously camouflage multiracial and multicultural dogmas in the form of a ‘European idea’ that actually dissociates Europe from her ‘imperial idea’.
Anything can be found in today’s supermarket of pseudo-rebellion: the anti-racist viaticum; a post-’682 ‘anti-utilitarian’ Leftism; a multicultural, multi-confessional, multi-anything ethnopluralism that discovered, thirty years later, the theses of American communitarians (somehow taken to be anti-American); an anti-liberalism derived from Bourdieu3 and his friends; or else, at the other extreme, an ultra-free-marketism and a naïve, disarming idolatry of Americanism.
Even among regionalists one finds the cosmopolitan ideology of the far Left, which, in its pretence of fighting French Jacobinism, resolutely ignores the European character of the regionalist identity it defends.
We need, thus, to watch out for false defenders of European identity, those who have only formally broken with the Greens, Cohn-Bendit,4 or José Bové.5 For their fraudulent discourse is a simulacrum, which functions in the following manner: in the name of a repetitive, dogmatic, and badly argued anti-Americanism that invokes a convenient, neo-Marxist and economically superficial anti-liberalism, they pose as dissidents; they even label themselves European federalists, though they resist all thought of a powerful, imperial Europe; they pretend to be anti-globalists, proponents of the enrooted — identitarians — but at the same time they are ‘open to all cultures’, partisans of the ‘cause of all peoples’, and effectively pro-immigrant; they profess to be ‘anti-progressive’, but in the spirit of a vaguely realist ‘sense of history’, they judge every idea of Europe’s ethnic reconquest as unrealistic; they say they are pagan, Christian, pagan-Catholic, or agnostic, depending on the restaurant, but applaud Islam’s advance in the name of ecumenism — doing so, though, more out of conformity and ignorance than deception, etc. The most dangerous of these types are the pseudo-pagans, who systematically confuse things with their sophism and tolerant-mad polytheism — that is, with their anarchy. Sad to say, not a few Right-wing intellectuals have been snared in this way.
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The mechanism is simple: they mount a phony opposition to the system, attacking superficial aspects of it, but never challenge its foundation. The threats presently facing Europe — notably, Europe’s colonisation by the Third World and Islam, devirilisation, the decay of values, the Africanisation of culture, demographic decline, bureaucratic fiscalism and the metastasis of the regnant social democracy, triumphant homophilia — are prudently ignored by these fake resisters, who lack any geopolitical, strategic, economic, ethnic, or cultural vision of resistance — who lack a will to power. The principal enemy, everywhere known, isn’t even mentioned.
These phony oppositionists excuse themselves by claiming to be thinking, but ‘to think is not enough’, as Jules Renard says, ‘you must think of something’.6
There’s another danger, the inverse of these: a nostalgic, pessimistic discourse steeped in sectarianism and impotence, marginality, and inept resistance. This is the logic of history’s eternal losers, vanquished in advance, embittered and discouraged, seeing themselves as the last line of defence, rather than the first. Every resistance not arising on a foundation of reconquest is destined to fail.
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We should also be wary of certain spiritual, metaphysical, and so-called ‘philosophical’ tendencies. Wary especially of those impostors who call themselves ‘theologians’ in the confines of their office . . . though a spiritual renewal is absolutely necessary — for the sake of Europe’s rebirth — and against materialistic narcissism, which is the primal cause of her present tragedy.
Spirituality is not spiritualism. It isn’t something to be decreed or instrumentalised, like a computer program. I’m a devoted reader of Evola,7 particularly of his extraordinary political and social-philosophical texts, but take heed of ‘Evolianism’ (and the even more dangerous ‘Guénonism’)8 that turns away from practical, tangible issues. Reflection must serve action and is not to be confused with metaphysical tautologies. I particularly address this warning to my Italian friends.
Distrust is no less warranted in respect to that artificial and instrumentalised ‘paganism’ that threatens to succumb to either a New Age disconnected from any worldly struggle, or worse, in the name of a badly understood polytheism, to xenophilia and a catastrophic ‘Love of the Other’. I should add that I have long considered myself a pagan, fully pagan, allied to traditional Catholicism, and a friend of Hinduism, but a fierce adversary of the desert’s totalitarian monotheisms.
A similar prudence is needed in respect to Catholic charismatic spirituality, with its enervating mysticism, and particularly its destructively pacifist dismissal of ethnicity and the will to power.
We need, in a word, to be alert to demobilising mysticisms, to a pretentious but hollow intellectualism, to easy refuge in a ‘spirituality’ or ‘philosophy’ whose attitudes, postures, and loopholes are ultimately tangential to the resistance.
I’m not at all disparaging spiritual or religious pursuits, which are one of the glories of European civilisation. Real spirituality, though, is possible only in combat. Few are those who find it in pure meditation. For the dangers of disembodiment are great and, in such cases, the most profound aspirations metamorphose into a form of prattle and a refuge from life’s conflicts, part of history’s flotsam. To give meaning to one’s life one must struggle and take risks for one’s ideals and especially for one’s people. From such engagements there arises a true spirituality — an inner flame, not another bourgeois decorum. I think Evola, Heidegger, and Abellio9 understood this, since their spirituality stemmed from their engagements.
Spirituality is the enemy and opposite of spiritualism, just as intelligence is the enemy and opposite of intellectualism, and philosophy is the enemy and opposite of philosophism. Spirituality grows out of biological and ontological struggle, it neither precedes nor continues, but is linked to it and is coupled to it, like a nest of vipers.
The word ‘divine’ refers, perhaps, to the end. But the divine is born only from the physical, concrete, practical ardour of men. It appears only if a humble, harrowing, but proud struggle has begun.
The physical and mental aptitude for struggle, the possession of a clear doctrine, the qualities of courage and resistance — are, for the moment, the stuff of fire and tragedy, far more important than any spiritualist soothsaying. Mens sana in corpore sano: a healthy mind in a healthy body. Let us not forget that Socrates was a hoplite and Xenophon a military magistrate.
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Sterile disputes and sectarian divisions divide and neutralise those who ought to be in solidarity with one another. This contrasts with the enemy, who, however protean, knows how to close ranks. Our disputes and divisions are superficial — and cause us to spar with those sharing similar beliefs — those having the same intuitive identitarian vision of the world, designating the same enemy, and implicitly defending the same people and aspiring to the same goals — but who are still attached to unclear ideas, emotional conflicts, badly posed debates (‘France’ or ‘Europe’, ‘sovereignism’ or ‘federalism’,10 ‘Catholicism’ or ‘paganism’, etc.). Without well-defined ideas, clear and unifying concepts, serene reflections, and a sense of urgency, it will be difficult to be understood and thus difficult to establish an effective ideological line. According to an old adage, whose origin I will not reveal, we need now to lay the basis, throughout Europe, for ‘a form of positive, wilful thought creative of order’.
1 From a presidential campaign interview given on 14 December 1965.
2 In May 1968, a series of strikes by radical Left-wing student groups in Paris were joined by a strike of the majority of the French work-force, shutting down France and nearly bringing down the government of Charles de Gaulle. Although the strikes ended in failure and had evaporated by July, they are still seen as the decisive moment when traditional French society was forced to give way to the more liberal attitude that has come to define France in subsequent years.
3 Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) was a prominent French anthropologist, philosopher and sociologist who studied social dynamics, and he opposed neo-liberalism and globalisation. He was also the foremost Marxist academic in France in his day.
4 Daniel Cohn-Bendit (b. 1945) is a leader of the French Green Party and has been a member of the European Parliament since 1994. He first came to prominence during the May 1968 student demonstrations in Paris.
5 José Bové (b. 1953) politician who has been an activist in agricultural causes such as organic farming, and has also opposed globalisation and Israel’s occupation of Palestine. He was elected to the European Parliament in 2009.
6 Jules Renard (1864-1910) was a French writer whose journals were well-known. This passage comes from The Journal of Jules Renard (New York: George Braziller, 1964), p. 117.
7 Julius Evola (1898-1974) was the most important Italian member of the traditionalist school, which is to say that he opposed modernity in favour of an approach to life consistent with the teachings of the ancient sacred texts. His most important book, available in English, is Revolt Against the Modern World.
8 René Guénon (1886-1951) was a French writer who founded what has come to be known as the traditionalist school of religious thought. Traditionalism calls for a rejection of the modern world and its philosophies in favour of a return to the spirituality and ways of living of the past (Guénon himself ended up living as a Sufi Muslim in Cairo). He outlines his attitude toward modernity in The Crisis of the Modern World, which is available in English.
9 Raymond Abellio (1907-1986) was the pen name of Georges Soulès, a French writer on mysticism. He worked for the Vichy government of occupied France and was the secretary general of the Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire, a French fascist party. After the war, he attempted to unite the forces of the far Left and Right in order to create a Eurasian Empire that would stretch from the Atlantic to Japan.
10 In the context of modern European politics, the conflict between notions of sovereignty and federalism is about the degree to which the various European nations should rule themselves independently, versus how much they should be subject to the authority of the European Union.