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We are publishing this excerpt in honour of Julius Evola’s birthday (May 19, 1898).

Excerpt from Metaphysics of Power by Julius Evola (Arktos, 2021).


There exists an aristocratic spirit and then there exist its various manifestations, tied to time and to space. These manifestations, as such, have a contingent character, they possess a specific genesis, a development, eventually a corruption and a twilight. The aristocratic spirit however is superior and prior to every one of these. It corresponds to a degree of reality, to a primordial function in the whole. It therefore has a superhistorical, and one can even say metaphysical nature. As such, it persists beyond birth and beyond the decline of the historical aristocracies which incarnate it more or less perfectly in a given period and in the cycle of a given civilisation and a given race.

Like the idea of the Regnum and of order, or of tradition, so the aristocratic idea contains in itself its own consecration and legitimation. Already the twilight has fallen within the inner man when there rises the supposition that it is ‘history’ which creates a Regnum, an aristocracy or a tradition, and that these things are justified and have their worth on the basis of contingent factors, or factors of utility or of purely material domination, or of suggestion. History and, in general, all merely human things, can offer at most the dynamis, the deep force which forms a Regnum and manifests an aristocratic spirit in any given circumstances. But in its deepest essence, this manifestation is enveloped in a mystery: it is the mystery which affirms itself wherever the higher paths meet the lower, wherever correspondences are realised between the highest heights of human ascent and the issuance of influences which are more than human. These points of interference are the fateful moments of history. They are the points in which symbol becomes reality and reality becomes symbol, in which spirit transforms into power and power transfigures into spirit.


One of the most common tactics of the secret forms of global subversion is the substitution of the person for the principle. Wherever one aims at decomposing a traditional order, these forces spy out the moment in which a certain kind of decadence becomes manifest in the historical representatives of the fundamental principles of this same order. This is the most opportune point for subversive action: everything is done so that the process brought against individual persons might extend itself imperceptibly to the principles which these persons represent, so that the principles themselves are afflicted with the same discredit and are therefore thought to be obsolete, in need of substitution by others which are more or less saturated in subversion. This tactic has been long adopted against a certain traditional European aristocracy. The undeniable degenerescence of a part of this aristocracy was the most useful tool possible for an attack against the aristocratic spirit itself: it brought with it, not the request that this decadent aristocracy be shriven of its authority and substituted with another which might be equal to its animating idea, and from which alone it might draw its authority and its raison d’être, but rather the disavowal of the idea itself, to the profit of lower forces and ideas.

This was, moreover, naught but an episode in a much broader process of subversion and involution, which it would be well here to briefly recapitulate. Let us recall the four fundamental degrees of the ancient Aryan social hierarchy: the spiritual lords, the warrior aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, and the workers.

Let us recall the four fundamental degrees of the ancient Aryan social hierarchy: the spiritual lords, the warrior aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, and the workers.

The degeneration of the first degree did not bring it about that the unworthy spiritual lords might be substituted by other worthy representatives of the same principle, but it rather became the precious pretext by means of which the second degree, the warrior aristocracy, was brought to usurp and to assume the authority which was legitimate only to the first. Subsequently, the degeneration of a part of the warrior aristocracy did not have as its consequence an uprising aiming at its restoration, but rather a second usurpation, this time operated by the third estate, which substituted itself for the warrior nobility as a bourgeois plutocracy. Finally the degeneracy of the system of the third estate, of the bourgeois and of capitalism, did not lead to a timely elimination of the diseased and parasitic excrescences of this system, but, once again, a process against the principle itself was brought about by it, favouring the attempt at a further usurpation on the part of the fourth estate, of the materialised and proletarised world of the masses (Marxism, Bolshevism).


From this brief historical reprisal, it will also be clear that the knowledge of the essence and of the importance of the aristocratic principle is fundamental in the struggle against subversion, and that it is fundamental for a correct orientation above all in times of change, like that in which we presently find Western Civilisation to stand.

Today, our renewing movements have aligned themselves spiritually and materially against bourgeois civilisation and the bourgeois spirit, against the plutocracy, against capitalism. They will the end of the ‘bourgeois epoch’. There are however two paths toward the negation of the bourgeoisie and toward bringing the end of the ‘bourgeois’ epoch which are not only different from one another, but even antithetical. In following the first, the bourgeoisie with all its derivations is overcome so as to give way to the dominion of the masses. From the other point of view, the true overcoming of the bourgeoisie marks the return of an aristocratic idea, which is to say the idea from which, on account on the one hand of the degeneration of a part of its representatives, on the other hand by way of usurpation, the hegemony of the bourgeois and of the idols of the bourgeois — capital, gold, the faceless economy without fatherland — took its place.

This same alternative might clarify a further point of view. Our renewing movements undeniably have certain aspects of ‘totalisation’ and of socialisation, which are externally similar to those that are proper also to the social Marxist-communist ‘ideal’. How much validity does that absurd supposition possess to the effect that, albeit by different roads, our movements pertain to the end of a cycle, to which is proper precisely a regress from that which is differentiated, qualitative, and personal to the anonymity of the collective? To respond to this question we must first clarify that the phenomenon of totalitarianism and of statal concentration has two contrary meanings, depending on the ‘direction’ and the type of regime of the society which has preceded it. But, in this respect, today the essential testing stone is the new aristocratic idea.

Let us suppose for a moment that the order existing prior to the ‘localisation’ is that of a well-society articulated — not artificially, but by a natural vocation — in strata, which are not closed and antagonistic, but which are the orderly agents of concert in a hierarchical whole: let us furthermore imagine that the differentiation and the anti-collectivism of such a society are expressed through a certain redistribution of power and of sovereignty, in a certain redistribution of functions and of particular rights, over which however there reigns a central authority, reinforced rather than diminished in its pure, immaterial principle precisely on account of this partial decentralisation. If centralism and totalitarianism are affirmed in such a society, this would signify a destruction and a disarticulation, the regression of the organic into the amorphous. To absolutistically concentrate every power in the centre would be akin, in such a case, to wishing to directly refer every function and every activity of the body to the brain, which amounts to realising the condition of those inferior animals which are constituted only by a head and by an unarticulated and undifferentiated body. This and nothing else is the sense of anti-aristocratic and levelling absolutism, such as was pursued methodically, under the pressure of various circumstances, by the kings of France above all.

It is no accident that it was precisely in France, through the Jacobin revolution, where there first emerged the demagogy and the advent of the third estate. The absolutistic kings, enemies of the aristocracy, literally dug their own graves. While on the one hand their dignity secularised and lost its original consecration in the centralisation, hollowing and disarticulating the State, setting a bureaucratico-statal superstructure in the place of virile forms, directed by authority, by responsibility and by partial, personal sovereignty, they created a void around themselves, because the vain court aristocracy no longer signified anything, and the military aristocracy was by then devoid of any direct relations with the country. Having destroyed the differential structure which acted as a medium between the function and the sovereign, there remained nothing but the nation as mass, detached from the sovereign and from his secularised sovereignty. With a single blow, the revolution easily swept away that superstructure and placed power into the hands of the pure masses. This is an example of the first, involutive direction of the process of totalitarising the state.

The question is altogether different when the antecedent to the process of authoritarian concentration is not an organic, hierarchical and differentiated order, but rather a society in dissolution, as is the case in the modern epoch. Liberalism, democracy, rationalism, and internationalism had reduced the nations to the state of unstable masses that were about to disperse in every direction and to reach the bottom of the slope, represented by Marxism and Communism. In the face of such a state of affairs, the first and most urgent task was evidently that of creating by all means available a dyke, a break, to neutralise the centrifugal tendency with a centripetal political force. This is precisely the sense which should be ascribed to the process of totalisation of our movements of renewal. After having acquitted this first task, that which will immediately present itself is the task of newly articulating this nation which has been brought back to itself, unified under the insignia of myths and various symbols: it is a matter of withdrawing it from all forms of collectivism, and giving birth to a stable hierarchical structure, well formed, with clear emphasis given to the principle of the personality and, moreover, of true spiritual authority.

But to recognise this means also to recognise that it is precisely the aristocratic idea, as a direction, which differentiates the two cases: it is this idea on the basis of which currents which belong historically to the end of a cycle are neatly differentiated from other currents which already represent the principle of resurrection and of reconstruction beyond internationalism and the collectivistic collapse.


The modern world knows a great many counterfeits of elitism, from which we must distance ourselves. The aristocratic spirit is essentially anti-intellectualistic.

The aristocratic spirit being prior and superior to any single one of its manifestations, a deep comprehension of that spirit is presupposed by the problem of any concrete aristocratic formation. We must in any case bear in mind that, so far as its reconstruction is concerned, we are not dealing with a merely political class, connected more or less to the administrative or legislative body of the State. It is rather a question of a prestige and an example which, connected to a very clear stratum, must be able to form an atmosphere, crystallise a higher style of life, awaken special forms of sensibility, and thus give the tone to a new society. We might think therefore of a kind of Order, according to the virile and ascetic meaning that this term had in the Ghibelline Middle Ages. But it would be better still to recall the most ancient Aryan and Indo-Aryan societies, wherein, as is known, the elite was not in any way materially organised, nor drew its authority from its representing any given tangible power or any given abstract principle, but nonetheless firmly maintained its rank and gave the tone to the corresponding civilisation by means of a direct influence issuing from its essence.

The modern world knows a great many counterfeits of elitism, from which we must distance ourselves. The aristocratic spirit is essentially anti-intellectualistic. In the first place, we must take a clear position against the so-called ‘aristocracy of thought’. The superstitious cult of ‘thought’ belongs typically to the same bourgeois civilisation which we combat; it invented this cult and it diffused it for specific polemical reasons. In order to rid itself of the last remnants of the aristocracy of blood and of spirit, the bourgeois civilisation, after having consolidated itself with the advent of the third estate, invented the right of the ‘true’ aristocracy, the aristocracy of ‘thought’, a great many of whose members were the ‘noble’ princes prepared necromantically by Masonic Enlightenment. The return to a true aristocratic civilisation presupposes the overcoming of this bourgeois myth.

What is this ‘aristocracy of thought’? It can be reduced for the most part to the famous ‘intellectuals’, to the creators of ‘philosophies’ which are as brilliant as they are arbitrary, to the poets, the literati, the humanists. In short, to those people more or less that Plato, in consideration of the true lords and the true ‘sages’, rightly wished to banish from his State — which was in no way, as is vulgarly believed, a utopian model, but rather reflected that which traditionally was always held to be normal in political orders. It suffices to merely speak aloud the idea that an elite of intellectuals, of humanists, of thinkers, all of whom might also be in terms of their characters cowards and little more than petty bourgeoisie, should stand at the zenith of a civilisation, in order to perceive how entirely absurd and anachronistic such an idea really is, not only in the face of the problem of the true aristocratic spirit, but even already with respect to the anti-intellectualism and the virilism proper to the current European movements of renewal.


Having thinned out the smoke of the progressivist and scientistic Enlightenment, we must also gain some distance from an ‘aristocracy of thought’ conceived of as being composed of scientists, inventors and technicians. All of these are doubtless useful and indispensable elements for any society of the modern type, and the new idea of the State, taking the place of the current demo-parliamentary one, will certainly affirm the principle of various competencies in the field of the political element itself. At the same time it is however evident that not even this scientistic aristocracy can represent the suitable substance for the central nucleus of a new civilisation, beyond the civilisation of the bourgeoisie and collectivism. Indeed, such a thought is much closer to Marxism and Bolshevism: namely, that an elite of technicians, intent upon resolving purely material problems, can enlighten a collectivised humanity, putting themselves at its service, and guiding it toward a new paradise, going so far as to demand for their service a superior degree of recognition.


Nor is there even any identity between the aristocratic spirit and any idea which is generically authoritarian and dictatorial. Already the very existence today of a term like the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ proves the necessity of specifying what one means by dictatorship and authoritarianism. There have been some who have sought to demonstrate that the phenomenon of elitism, which is to say a ruling minority, is a fatal element of history. One author — Pareto — speaks in this regard of a ‘circulation of the elites’, with one group of elites substituting another, each emerging through a technique of dominion which is more or less analogous to that employed by the last, making use of various ideas which, in this context, are less authentic ideas than they are myths, carefully prepared centres of crystallisation for suggestive irrational forces.

In this regard, elitism would appear to be a purely formal concept: a certain stratum is elite insofar as it is in power, and is able to exercise a certain influence over power. The normal conception on the other hand is that a certain stratum should be in power, that it should be given to it to exercise a determinate influence, precisely insofar as it is elite, meaning a selected group (elite stems from eligo) having in itself a superiority, a prestige and an authority which are inseparable from given immutable principles, by a given style of life, by a given essence.

The true aristocratic spirit cannot have any traits in common with Machiavellian and demagogical forms of dominion, as occurred for instance in the ancient popular tyrannies and in the plebeian tribunals. Nor can it take as its basis the theory of the ‘overman’, if one thinks of this overman only as a power resting on the purely individual and naturalistic qualities of violent and fearful figures. In its deepest principle, the substance of the aristocratic spirit is rather ‘Olympian’; we have already said that it derives from a metaphysical order.

The basis of the aristocratic type is above all spiritual. The meaning of spirituality here has however little to do with the modern notion of spirituality: it is connected to an innate sense of sovereignty, to a disdain for profane, common, purchasable things, or anything born from ability, ingenuity, erudition or even genius — a disdain which closely resembles that of professed by the ascetic, differentiating itself from it however by its complete absence of pathos and resentment. One might state the essence of the true noble nature in this formula: superiority over that life which has become nature or race.

This superiority calmly stands above the inferior human part and permeates that part with itself; it translates into imperious dignity, in strength, in ‘line’, in calm and controlled bearing of soul, of word, of gesture.

This superiority, which has about it something ascetic, does not serve in the aristocratic type to create antitheses in his being: like a second nature, it calmly stands above the inferior human part and permeates that part with itself; it translates into imperious dignity, in strength, in ‘line’, in calm and controlled bearing of soul, of word, of gesture. It thus gives birth to a human type, whose calm, intangible strength stands in clear contrast with the strength of the ‘Titanic’ kind, the Promethean and telluric. If antiquity symbolically attributed a ‘celestial’, Uranian origin to all the principal lineages, the bearers of the aristocratic spirit, one should perceive in this a clear recognition of this ‘Olympian’ core of the aristocratic essence. We recall the ancient Aryo-Hellenic conception of the νοῦς, which stood over this essence like a calm and still light. Thus it is that, in the myth, Promethean wile and audacity counted nothing against the Olympian νοῦς: nor could the tragedy of men and even of heroes touch this νοῦς. And whoever participates in it — it was believed — is truly of the royal bloodline, and participates also in the divine community proper to the primordial state. The lineages that are tied to these men constitute of themselves the higher races, the super-races, those that have positively resolved the oscillation between the human condition and the condition of what is more than human, which originally was the preserve of certain terrestrial bloodlines. A reflection of these superhistorical meanings is ever preserved wherever in history there has been a realisation of a true aristocratic spirit.


Today there is much talk of race, and rightly so. But we must have care that we do not, by way of a generalisation, strip the notion of race of its power and empty it of its higher significance. Throughout history, the idea of race stood always in strict connection with the aristocratic idea, and this connection constantly impeded its materialisation in a kind of zoologism. To have race has always been fairly synonymous with aristocracy. The qualities of ‘race’ have always signified the qualities of the elite. They were opposed to the qualities of the vulgar man because they appeared, to a large degree, essential, innate, connected to higher meanings. To clarify these meanings, it is very important to distinguish between the various aspects of what is generally known as race. The first aspect is the race of the body, the second is the race as soul, the third is race as spirit. We are dealing with three very distinct manifestations of one and the same essence, to which correspond likewise distinct heredities, laws proper to each, given limitations. While in its first degree race is recognised in a given hereditary form of the physical figure, in the second it manifests in a given style of experience, and, in the third, in a given form of tradition.

In the highest form in which it appears, race is connected to a super-biological element, to gifts and forces such that in their purity might be realised and preserved only in an elite, and which in the mass are fatally dispersed. It can thus be said that while race is found in a diffuse manner in all the exponents of a given stock, it is realised in its higher degrees only in a given group, which, within that given stock, presents itself simultaneously as the most immediate substance for an incarnation of the aristocratic spirit. Here lives and is affirmed what we might well call the eternal race: the body of this manifestation is the tradition and the true exponents of the tradition, which represent the inner soul and the metaphysical core of biological race. Biological race, the race of the spirit, are in their turn the Olympian vein of the aristocratic lineage.

The qualities of pure blood on the other hand are dispersed and bastardised if they are crossed with an inferior type, even if it be of the same species.

Tradition comes from the term tradere, which means to transmit. In this regard there seem to be no limits for the content of the concept; anything which has been transmitted can be called tradition. From a higher point of view, matters stand otherwise. Indeed, transmission presupposes continuity, an identity of the contents, which is in its turn inconceivable without a certain overcoming of the temporal condition. There can thus be no talk of tradition in the higher sense wherever this content is not tied to something metaphysical and supertemporal. Tradition can have various forms of expression and of manifestation, conditioned by different circumstances, and these forms can often be mutable, sometimes apparently contradictory. But if this is not to be mere routine, the mechanical transmission of stratified customs, habits and ideas that become ever more opaque and subject to deformation, there must subsist, beyond exterior forms of expression, a deeper and more continuous vein, and men who have full, clear knowledge of this vein. There must be, therefore, an esoteric of the tradition which can take nothing for its natural basis of not those elements which are simultaneously the exponents of the aristocratic spirit. Here, at bottom, there is a reciprocal conditionality: tradition serves as the basis for the aristocratic spirit just as it serves as the basis of the tradition, which in its turn expresses the eternal race or the eternity of the race.

In this whole the apex and the most interior and subtlest force of a tradition and of the men of a tradition together constitute in a certain way the supernational element of a nation and the over-race of a race. From this there issues the possibility of an understanding and a solidarity under the ensign of the true aristocratic spirit, which the traditional past has always demonstrated in the order of peoples of common origin and which is reflected in certain familiar and racial customs of the previous European aristocracy. It is known that in the raising of animals, ‘pure blood’ is not always represented by that animal to arise from parents of the same species but might be also the product of a crossbreed between different parents, on the condition, however, the both parents are of identical class and identical purity. The qualities of pure blood on the other hand are dispersed and bastardised if they are crossed with an inferior type, even if it be of the same species. In the intuition of an analogous law from this, working on a higher plane, the system of super-national marriages between various dynasties and various aristocratic European families is carried out — a crossbreeding, that is, according to the principle of quality.

Even if this system has its darker side, nonetheless, at the bottom of it there stands a reflection of a higher truth: the principle of the communality of bloodlines on the basis of the race of spirit; unity and homogeneity through the zeniths, not through promiscuities which are attenuated through the zeniths, but through hierarchical culminations, on the basis of the metaphysical and eternal element potentially contained in each of them and inseparable from the substance of the qualified representatives of the true aristocratic spirit.


So far as contemporary racism is concerned, there exists a double possibility of interpretation which is absolutely analogous to that indicated for the phenomenon of totalitarian concentration: and in this case, too, the criterion for judgement is given by the aristocratic spirit.

Some have believed that the contemporary political racism can be considered as a chapter of ‘humanism’, in the more general sense of the word as a conception of the world and of life, at the centre of which stands essentially man. Beginning from the so-called Renaissance, we have seen the systematic action of the tendency to transfer to man the mystique of the divine, and, incredibly, this has happened all the more so, the more that man ceased to be considered as a privileged being of creation, that he came to be studied no longer on the basis of his origin and his supernatural destination, but rather as one among many natural, and in the end even animal, species. Thus pure anthropology, which in origin signified the science of man in general, in his physical and spiritual completeness, ended up taking on a new meaning: it was no longer the science of man as such, but of man as a being of nature, to whom classification methods could be applied similar to those of zoology and botany: it was a natural science of man. But at the same time the aforementioned tendency to divinise man was at work: it is to be seen already in work in the deist and Enlightenment-Masonic cult of ‘humanity’, developing so far as the Bolshevic mystique of the collective man and of technological messianism; but, according to the authors just alluded to, it appears also in much different tendencies, such as the tendency to divinise man as a substance of a given nation, of a given lineage, or indeed as a biological reality, as blood and race.

This interpretation, however, works only for certain extremist forms of racism, which, though they have an exclusively ‘scientific’ character in the modern materialistic and positivistic sense of the term, depart from the scientific field to promote a mysticism sui generis. But this is not the case for the whole of racism. Already beginning from de Gobineau its at bottom aristocratic foundation is indeed visible: racism affirmed itself in the modern world as a reaction against the morass of democratic egalitarianism and against the materialistic and antiqualitative climate which, at bottom, is proper to the climate in which scientism itself was incubated: and, by a curious inversion, racism was supposed to borrow various of its arms from this kind of scientism, and to seek in it its pretext. It is quite possible to discriminate and identify in racism the higher tendency just now indicated, understanding by this the principle of revolt against an internationalistic, levelling, rationalistic and plebeian society, and to sense in the return to the idea of race — and above all the idea of the superior race or the over-race — the renewal of a spiritual and aristocratic heritage which we have forgotten or irresponsibly dissipated.

Thus, wherever racism shows traces of its humanistic-materialistic component alone, it very well might occur that, in its extremistic forms, its ideal place falls toward the end of a cycle: having lost the sense of metaphysical reality and of the divine element of man, a certain part of Western civilisation has come to consider man in and of himself — and, subsequently, man as a simple animal species, or, bringing him back to race, to a racial species — as an entirely biological reality; this civilisation thus formed a new mysticism for itself. But wherever racism resists the other component — that aristocratic component which, as we have recalled, exercised a clear influence on the early theoreticians of the ‘masculine’, ‘diurnal’ and ‘active’ races in the general myth of the dominating Aryan, Nordic-Aryan and Aryo-Roman race — whenever this comes to pass, the historical place of racism is very different and might fall at the beginning of a new reconstructive cycle: though it borrows the arms of the modern sciences to defend the race of the body, racism here has the possibility of using these arms against the materialistic, democratic and rationalistic conception proper to the last phases of Western decadence. By affirming, against that conception, the value of the blood, of the tradition, of the race, and intends to re-establish differences and hierarchies, racism can have the meaning of a restoration and a renewal of higher values.

It is the aristocratic spirit, moreover, which conditions this higher possibility of modern racism and, rightly, it is the organic and profound union already mentioned between concepts of race and of degrees of rank within the race, of tradition and of the esoteric of tradition, and, finally, of a virile and spiritual elite, adherent to the ancient Aryan ideal of the Olympian spirit.


The fundamental function of a true aristocracy is to give the ‘tone’ to a civilisation, less through direct action than by means of a ‘catalytic’ action, which is to say an action exercised by simple presence. This idea must not however result in any dualism, giving birth to the supposition that those who have political power must not be exponents of the aristocracy in question and that, in their turn, those who are exponents of this aristocracy must not have any political power. We must rather consider the function of the representatives of the true aristocratic spirit as also a political function, and clarify it with some brief considerations.

Whoever truly has power and is conscious of being worthy of it, whoever feels himself to be truly superior, also realises that every kind of vanity and of personalism abase him.

There are far too many people who still today think it to be essential for political qualification that one has a fundamental lack of principles, if not even of character — that one possesses a plasticity and a ductility before the most contingent external circumstances, a realism of low grade. We believe rather that where one cannot find principles and spiritual values, one cannot speak of a true ruling class, not even in the political sense. Now, the part of the new aristocracy of the new State, in this respect, must be that of giving to all the sense of terra firma, of an immutable centre, superior to transient affairs and to contingencies, from which it naturally must not however withdraw, but over which it must assert itself so as to bring them back, with the fittest means, to the desired directions. Without this, no faith can be founded in a nation, no educational and formative work in the higher sense can be undertaken: because not even the use of myths suffices for this task, which is to say, of ideas which are not valuable for their intrinsic content so much as for their confused, irrational and subrational power of suggestion.

By way of the participation of the representatives of the true aristocratic spirit in the political ruling class, ethical and spiritual values, harmonised amongst themselves and well-founded, should therefore enter into a position of equilibrium with material and social values. Thus those superior values would come to permeate the entirety of man, to give an orientation to his activity and to render possible the formation and the uninterrupted formation of gifts of character and of ‘race’, of which the ruling political class should be the first to give the example. These gifts are loyalty, sincerity, the sentiment of honour, courage of not only a physical sense, but also intellectual and moral, the force of decision. But to all of this should be added the tendency to an authentic style, a lack of vanity, a virile and dignified impersonality.

We would like to introduce this expression: the ascesis of power. These should be the effects of the aristocratic spirit on the ruling political elements. To give the sense of this power, we must make their distinction from wealth evident. The political power that, by this path, tends to secure for itself also a spiritual power, must affirm its full independence from every power which is tied to wealth. It must have, therefore not wealth, but something more: power over wealth.

Whoever truly has power and is conscious of being worthy of it, whoever feels himself to be truly superior, also realises that every kind of vanity and of personalism abase him: these are artificial and fictitious forms of having worth before oneself and before others, and he has no need of them. They have nothing to do with an Aryan, Nordic-Aryan and Romano-Aryan style of life. Thus it is that a new anti-intellectualistic ruling group might form up, ascetic and heroic, almost feudal and barbaric in its hardness and insouciance of forms, silent, compact and impersonal as an Order, but precisely for this reason realising a superior form of personality, one that is not improvised but which justifies itself with a ‘tradition’ and with a ‘race’ experienced in their deeper and more transcendent values.

The forces of this elite must not lose contact with the various planes of the national life. Its task will be that in the framework of various political, national and international problems, the most precise realisation of temporal ends proceeds apace with the adherence to the fundamental ideas of their respective traditions and with respect to those essential values on which human dignity is founded and the very notion of personality.

An ancient Nordic saying has it that ‘Let him who is lord be a bridge to us’ — that is, a connection between two shores, between two worlds, to comprehend in himself the nature of both.

It would thus be a question also of an action of inner edification, not dissimilar to that carried out, in civilisations of another nature, by the administrators of a given faith: with this difference, however, that there was in those cases the negation of every one-sided and lacerating dualism. In the modern world there surely prospers a rich throng of political myths, and the word ‘mystique’ itself is used in the most diverse and peregrine occasions. However, leaving aside clichés, we are living in an epoch in which it is not easy to give to men the sense of the deepest reason for which they work, for which they should set themselves beneath a discipline, for which they generate, for which they strain themselves and for which they often offer themselves up for sacrifice or for a heroic death. In this field our leaders should, by means of word, example, action, and every way possible, offer an example; they should show a path; they should infuse a higher transfiguring meaning into every form of life and of action of the new, anti-bourgeois and anti-collectivistic man.

We recall a view that was classical and Aryan long before it was taken up and in a certain degree altered by the predominant Western faith: there exist two States, the one great and comprehending at once both the human forces and the divine forces — qua dii atque homines continentur— and the other in which one is bound to destiny from one’s birth. ‘There are beings who simultaneously serve the one and the other state, others only the lesser, others only the greater’ (Seneca). An ancient Nordic saying has it that ‘Let him who is lord be a bridge to us’ — that is, a connection between two shores, between two worlds, to comprehend in himself the nature of both. The original, pre-Christian sense of the term pontifex is the same: ‘maker of bridges’ — as meant as well the term which designated, in the ancient Indo-Aryan civilisation, the function that the totality of the spiritual lords bore in themselves.

This function remains the same for every array of men, which in any given point during history goes to incarnate the aristocratic spirit in its high power. This is at the same time an ethical function: the ascesis of power, the testimony to a higher human type. This is also a political function, because it is the duty of the lords to show how holding fast to any given post in the temporal state can assume at the same time the meaning of a holding fast on the front of the inner and transcendent State, for which one might combat in every exterior enemy the same enemy that is to be conquered in oneself, and, finally, for which also the nations, connected by one and the same destiny and by a common origin, might realise in themselves a unity in honour and in fidelity, above every particularistic ambition, every wild will to power and every pitfall lain by the secret forces of global subversion.

In this last aspect we find another reason for which the comprehension of the aristocratic spirit takes on a character of particular currency today — why it, rather than nourishing a flaccid conservatism, incites us to a return to the living tradition, why it does not instill sterile nostalgia for an exhausted past but excites a will which reaches toward a constructive future. From the considerations which we have briefly carried out here, one might even be led to the persuasion that a new manifestation of the aristocratic spirit, in a form fit to our times, in a substance still dynamic and volcanic and agitated by the tragic events of a necessary work of demolition which is yet in course, is a condition for preventing every negative, collectivising and materialising tendency, and for clarifying in an ever more precise way positive tendencies — those for which our movements have without doubt the meaning of a re-ascent, of reconstruction and of reanimation of the highest Aryan-European heritage.

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Racial Civil War
The Path of Cinnabar

Translated by John Bruce Leonard

Julius Evola

Julius Evola (1898-1974) was Italy's foremost traditionalist philosopher, as well as a metaphysician, social thinker, and activist. Evola was an authority on the world's esoteric traditions and one of the greatest critics of modernity.

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