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Robert Steuckers discusses the influence of the Greek philosophical tradition on the intellectual journey of Guillaume Faye and his vision for a postmodernity that would lead to a premodern restoration based on a solid mythical foundation of European societies, alluding to a return to a political form free of the Christian, Scholastic, Cartesian and Kantian cangue, and to re-establishing the trifunctional structure of Indo-European societies.

The idea of coupling the Greek mythological and philosophical tradition with the futurist impulse agitated Guillaume Faye’s mind from when I met him and worked with him between 1979 and 1987. These were the most fruitful years of his intellectual journey. Guillaume Faye was deeply influenced by his Greek and Latin teachers during high school. He had read Plato and claimed to follow Aristotle’s realism. He supplemented his readings with an immersion in the works of Mircea Eliade, Walter Otto and Georges Dumézil. Faye was also a disciple of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Locchi, who was the real mentor of what was later called, by journalistic simplification, the ‘New Right’. Without Locchi, it would not have been what it is, despite the ostracism unjustly suffered by the Italian thinker after 1979, the year of his definitive withdrawal. For Locchi, the true European idea, unfortunately, repressed by modernity, rests on a solid mythical foundation, notably the trifunctional structure of Indo-European societies, highlighted by the work of Georges Dumézil, and which the Germans of the 19th century more simply called the triplet of Lehr-, Wehr- und Nährstände (teaching, defence, and agricultural professions).

Locchi, a very fine musicologist, believed that from Bach onwards, European music contributed to breaking down and fragmenting the suffocating blanket under which the ‘European myth’ was trapped. For Locchi, Richard Wagner, through the Wort- und Tondichtung (the art of combining music and spoken word) of his operas, provided the decisive hammer blows to free the European myth from its centuries-old prison, and to finally bring about a structuring of European societies in accordance with the content of this myth and, consequently, to re-establish a political form entirely free of the Christian, Scholastic, Cartesian and Kantian cangue.

Reasoning beyond the quarrel between Wagner and Nietzsche, Locchi drew from Nietzsche’s work all the elements likely to support his liberating thesis, while Pierre Chassard, who would also be ‘purged’ and ostracised in the ranks of the ‘New Right’, castigated, in his work on Nietzsche, the incapacitating Platonisms that had weakened Europe in the centuries following the collapse of the ancient world. Faye loved Plato’s Republic but did not want to leave the Europeans of the second half of the 20th century to vegetate in the cave and be content with shadows on its walls. The return of the European myth, the return to the sun of the Europeans trapped in the cave, the philosophy with Nietzsche’s hammer that shattered the worm-eaten idols of the old, sick Europe: these were the aspirations of the Locchi/Faye duo and also of Chassard, who soon returned to the Eifel where he had made his home.

The synthesis proposed by Faye was hardly ever made explicit in writing, except for a small pamphlet of rare density, which his ‘comrades’ had neglected and despised, having judged it worthy of the wastepaper basket. I saved this typescript from destruction, and my friend Jean-Marie Simar, from Liège, produced a modest edition, handmade with the first personal computers. In it, Faye noted that modernity, that of the Enlightenment of the 18th century, was coming to an end and that a postmodernity was about to emerge that would put an end to all the blockages, all the incapacitating Platonisms and all the forms of decline that the Enlightenment and the egalitarian ideology of the French Revolution had imposed on our peoples. Armin Mohler, on the basis of Wolfgang Welsch’s work, also thought that a radically different postmodernity from the Enlightenment would emerge following the disappearance of the Iron Curtain. This did not happen. The postmodernity we are served as a main course today is worse than the worst of the Enlightenment. For Faye, at the time he wrote his manuscript, which was to be boycotted, there was an implosion of modernity, a return to tribal and communal forms (as his friend the philosopher Michel Maffesoli noted), a disagreement between the self-proclaimed proponents of the Enlightenment (Adorno, Horkheimer, Habermas, Lévy, etc.), etc. Faye and Mohler, each in their own corner, believe that the postmodern movement of disintegration of modernity can be driven in the direction of a kind of premodern restoration, implying the restoration of the political (des Politischen) according to the definition given by Carl Schmitt and Julien Freund (by the way, a friend of Faye).

Official modernity, for the Nietzschean Faye, is the ‘Christianomorphic consciousness’, i.e. the consciousness that is marked by all sorts of gnosticisms that Christianity conveyed until their secularisation by the English and French Enlightenment of the 18th century and that the Church, at times, fought by claiming, via Thomism, a return to Aristotle’s realism, but while drying up the thought of the Stagirite. These Gnostic forms were superimposed on a pagan unconscious that remained, especially in the popular folklore of our countryside. But the Christianomorphic consciousness and the subjugated pagan unconscious arrive, says Faye, at a point of dissociation by encountering a pre-pagan/pre-neolithic unconscious. The dissociation takes place by creating: 1) a modern techno-scientific consciousness (based on natural-scientific postulates, not assimilable to Cartesian or Scholastic logic) and innervated by the political and Roman pagan unconscious, obeying the imperative to create political power: 2) the Western mass consciousness, heir to the Christianomorphic consciousness while constituting a new avatar of it, no longer religious (except in the United States in the Protestant sects) but ideologised (we would say today politically correct). This consciousness is opposed to the ideals of power of European techno-science, as evidenced by the ideas of Horkheimer, Adorno and Habermas, who saw in it a ‘neo-fascism’.

In this same context of dissociation, the pre-Neolithic unconscious will inform 1) modern consciousness, giving it vitality, as Faye will explain in his work entitled Archeofuturism because his archeofuturism is indeed a form of vitalism, inspired moreover by the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset who spoke of ‘vitalist constructivism’; 2) the Western mass consciousness to which this pre-Neolithic unconscious will bring a neo-primitivism, heir to the hippy mentality and certain Californian sects known as ‘New Age’. Among the impacts of the return of the pre-Neolithic unconscious, we must add the theory of nomadism, revalorised by Bernard-Henri Lévy and Jacques Attali, who will use it to support their version of modernity and Western liberalism. The pre-Neolithic period was indeed nomadic, based on hunting and gathering. The nomadism of modern consciousness, in its positive and European sense, is an abstract nomadism: it implies voluntary dislocation in the spirit of adventure, which Faye calls ‘adventurous dislocation’, that of the pioneers, explorers, soldiers of fortune, etc. On the other hand, nomadism in the ‘Western mass consciousness’ is a cosmopolitan commodity nomadism or a forced nomadism, especially in mass immigration. This forced or cosmopolitan nomadism is the ideal of Lévy and Attali. This forced nomadism also has the characteristic of being created from scratch to perfect the pathological aspiration to abstraction that the Enlightenment has conveyed since its advent in European thought. This nomadism thus aims at the erasure of all anchorages, the general uprooting, the uprooting deinstallation, not only in the phenomenon of South-North migrations but also in the distribution of indigenous populations (in Europe as in Africa) who have experienced or are experiencing the rural exodus to the cities and then the exodus of urban migrants to small towns and villages (the neo-ruralism that France is experiencing today). The nomadism of the Western mass consciousness implies the manufactured advent of a generalised wandering, perpetually sung as an unsurpassable ideal by the media ideology.

Archeofuturism therefore constitutes a system of thought, and Faye, on the basis of numerous readings, indicates the foundations on which future generations will have to build.

This is how the Western Cosmopolis is constructed, making the West a “non-place” without anchorage or roots. In Germany, Hans-Dietrich Sander called it Entortung. The planetary project of Cosmopolis and Entortung aims at the disappearance of all oikos, of all space centred on itself, administered and managed by a community of rooted people. The disappearance of all oikos implies the death of all real economy (oikos/nomos) since everything will be de-territorialised and de-contextualised, according to the very wishes of Mrs Thatcher who peremptorily and repeatedly affirmed: ‘There is no society.’ We are experiencing the effects of this assertion, repeated over and over again today in all European countries. However, Faye saw resistance in Mediterranean Europe (like Ernst Jünger before him), in Greece through the Orthodox Church, and in Central and Eastern Europe before the fall of the Iron Curtain. But there was a sneaky danger that resistance would be folklorised. The residues of our roots were indeed ‘folklorised’ (for example, television in the Basque country was happy to show American soap operas such as Dallas in Basque!)

The archeofuturist ideology that should logically follow from the thought left fallow by dear Guillaume Faye is a difficult path: for, on the surface, continents of thought that are very different from one another are called upon to intermingle in an idea that restores the Political, the double concept of power and autarky.

Archeofuturism therefore constitutes a system of thought, and Faye, on the basis of numerous readings, indicates the foundations on which future generations will have to build. On the one hand, it is a question of preserving the Greek and Roman mental reflexes of ancient paganism, both in its mythological (Iliad) and philosophical (Plato, Aristotle) aspects, as well as the Celtic, Germanic and Slavic reflexes that we still know from mythology; on the other hand, it is a question of relying on the vitalism of these ancient virtues and retaining only the propensity for adventure from the pre-Neolithic nomadism. For the rest, given the change of scale between the Greek polis, the Roman empire and the current civilisational areas, it is advisable to think of energy independence, economic autarky and military power on a continental level (as Jean Thiriart also wanted). Faye’s first conference, which I attended in Lille in 1975, dealt with the energy independence of Europe, a subject of the utmost topicality, today in 2022! In this sense, Faye was a futurist disciple of Clausewitz. For Clausewitz, who essentially reasoned based on the Roman adage ‘Si vis pacem, para bellum’ (If you want peace, prepare for war), energy and food autarky, the excellence of the industrial fabric, and the production of technical goods of the highest quality were all guarantees of political independence. Clausewitz reasoned from the Prussian state, perhaps anticipating a Germany extended to the Zollverein area: two centuries after him, it is appropriate to think of the ‘great space’ (Carl Schmitt) on the basis of the same autarkic assets. Faye’s vision of the great space (including Russia/Siberia) was also influenced by the writings of the economist François Perroux (author of a remarkable book on national independence following the anti-American de Gaulle of the 1960s). Perroux had theorised the idea of a great continent for Latin America and had advocated energy autarky, which was the aim of de Gaulle’s French nuclear programme. Secondly, the creation of a large Euro-Russian and therefore Euro-Siberian space, in which the roots would be protected, encouraged and preserved, required the organisation of a system of rapid and terrestrial communications (sheltered from Anglo-Saxon fleets). Faye was fascinated by railway projects: the Paris-Orleans aerotrain, an aborted project of de Gaulle’s France, the broad gauge railway of National Socialist Germany, which was to join Berlin to Teheran, the Soviet Baikal-Amur-Magistral project. He is said to have approved Xi Jinping’s plans for the new Silk Road, the Belt & Road Initiative. In the appendix to his book on archeofuturism, there is a short story, now translated into English, which highlights his archeofuturist vision of the future: rooted Breton communities, capable of producing original Celtic-inspired music and organising a food economy in the Armorican land, an imperial body that arbitrates disputes arising between rooted communities, represented by Commissioner Oblomov; a high-flying technology with a train or hyperloop system that allows ultra-fast travel between Brittany and Sakhalin Island in the Pacific.

The archeofuturist ideology that should logically follow from the thought left fallow by dear Guillaume Faye is a difficult path: for, on the surface, continents of thought that are very different from one another are called upon to intermingle in an idea that restores the Political, the double concept of power and autarky. It is, however, the perfect antidote to the dominant ideology of the American-centric West. It intends to preserve the roots, calls for autarky and thus European and Russian independence, refuses the designation of enemies by the media inspired by American think tanks, and rejects the anti-technicism of the Greens, now Washington’s best allies. A work to be translated and distributed as widely as possible.

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Robert Steuckers

Robert Steuckers was born in Uccle in January 1956. After secondary school in the Latin-Sciences option (1967–1974), he studied German and English at university and at the College of Translators and Interpreters between 1974 and 1980. He did his military service in the Belgian army from 1982 to 1983 and then opened a translation office in Brussels (1983–2003) before taking up several teaching posts (2003–2021) and finally retiring.

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