Pain is the universal substance which is given and the Will to Struggle is its concomitant. Thus, the struggle, say, of a herd of elephants against a common enemy is predicated upon the same fundamental law of morality as the resistance of the Allies at the Marne, and the feeling of the disgrace of surrender has its roots in the same universal recognition of the law of struggle. Indeed, the lower animals never surrender. As a matter of fact, nobody surrenders. One is first overcome and the formal act of surrender is a recognition of the fact and a maneuver to evade avoidable punishment. [Hyman Segal, Law Of Struggle, p. 45]
So prevalent is the concept of ages that even a cursory reader of traditionalist literature will know about them, the four ages or yugas. All ages, it is said, must fulfill their cycle, and this should be accepted as fact. There is nothing one can do to stop the fulfillment of an age, as it is of a cosmic metaphysical nature. The traditionalist advice seems at first glance to be that one should live a traditionalist life and build a traditionalist family or even a traditionalist society that shall be as “men standing among ruins.” Traditionalism seeks to find people that are of sufficient moral character to be worthy of rebuilding the world after the age is fulfilled and societal collapse has occurred.
The acceptance of the coming unraveling of the world seems at first glance defeatist, precisely because no one can be sure to survive the unraveling. The best one can hope for, it seems, is to have enough people to survive and transmit the traditionalist mindset into the new age, relying purely on a numerical chance. But this interpretation of traditionalism is lacking. Accepting the unraveling of the world as the age fulfills is something other than surrendering to life itself. The traditionalist view is not one of defeat or surrender, but one of steadfast dedication to eternal values and heroïcally facing whatever is coming, no matter what that might be. Surrender is cowardice, and the noble spirit knows that instead of surrendering, the fulfillment of duty is one of the ultimate values man must strive for, as man has a duty to transmit into the new age the wisdom of the traditionalist worldview.
Sadly, in our age, any appeal to eternal intransient values can scantly find any fertile soil to grow roots in. If we are going to counter rampant white cowardice and defeatism, we must pursue a different avenue. For our age, we need a more practical explanation of why defeatism and surrender are immoral. In order to find and bolster a truly anti-defeatist attitude, we should appeal to more natural arguments against defeatism that are very powerful and irrefutable.
As Segal outlines in the opening quote, surrender is abnormal. In fact, there is in the entirety of nature no mentionable occurrence of the act of surrendering. All life has been endowed with an immutable will to struggle, to get away from pain. Life in nature does not surrender, it is overcome. Man is different from animals insofar as he can scheme and plan beyond the acceptance of defeat. He will succumb to the stronger and plea for mercy, so that he may keep his life.
It follows that if courage, persistence, endurance, and kindred virtues are virtues in struggle, the outstanding vice is weak-spiritedness or cowardice as exemplified in surrender. The great virtue of struggle is to struggle, the great vice is to surrender. This applies through the whole gamut of existence from the embattled nation fighting against subjugation, the besieged garrison, the maiden defending her honor, captains of finance and industry, small and great, in their nerve-racking tugs-of-war, the laborer faithful to his monotonous grind, the athlete in his sport, the fighting beasts of the forest, and, I doubt not, the mutual resistance of the so-called inanimate elements who only yield to the superior onsets of their kind. [Hyman Segal, Law Of Struggle, p. 51]
Man innately knows that this acceptance of defeat is cowardly, and it has historically always been regarded as such, because the same impulses that drive the animal world still greatly motivate us. It is this instinct not to surrender that enables man to cling to a worthless and wretched life, while he would be better off dead. The amount of misery man can endure is enormous, even if there is no immediate hope of rescue from the suffering. It is the innate unwillingness to accept the condition of surrender that keeps the poorest of the poor going. Even in the most underdeveloped places in the world, where people literally live in sewage and in landfills, the natural inertia of the will to struggle keeps surrender at bay. The people living in such conditions do not surrender, even if death would be better than staying alive, because it is against nature.
Nature amounts to struggle and those that will not struggle shall perish. It is a universal law of nature. A gazelle never just stops to give itself intently to the leopard. It will run and run until its lungs are about to burst to get away from pain, manifested in this case by the leopard. Either the gazelle gets away or it is overcome by the leopard. There is no surrender. So utterly powerful is this instinct that, in man, it invariably produces disgust of those who surrender and abandon the struggle, and for those that do surrender, shame shall be their companion for life. Many an army veteran has uttered the words: Why am I alive and all my comrades dead? This stems from the feeling of not having struggled hard enough, in other words, of having surrendered.
But, it may be argued, does not the suicide likewise disprove the Will to Struggle, since by taking his life he cuts off his capacity for further endeavor? This is not the case, however. The suicide is confronted by the overwhelming desire to avoid the immediate pain as he knows it. The act of suicide is an act of struggle to free him from that pain. Granted that it is of a lower order of struggle, it is still struggle. The fact that by this deed, this struggle, he cuts off all possibilities of further struggle, may be a powerful deterrent, but, however true, it is only matter by way of speculation. He obeys his Will to Struggle in its immediate relation to his present pain, which for the purposes of any analysis of Will, is all that he is bound to do. It is not a renunciation of struggle, much as he himself may believe it to be; it is the assumption of a lower standard of struggle to counteract the immediate sense of pain. [Hyman Segal, Law Of Struggle, p. 21]
If we talk of surrender, we must consider suicide. Suicide is widely considered the ultimate surrender. It is, however, nothing of the sort. It is much more like a reflexive retraction from pain. If we put our hand on a hot stove, we retract our hand, irrespective of the consequences. For instance, if we are holding a cup of hot tea and accidentally put our hand on the hot stove, we will retract our hand, even though we are holding the hot tea. We might get burned by the tea, but the reflex is automatic and leaves no room for considerations of consequent harm. The hand must be retracted, as far as the body is concerned. Suicide is just like the reflexive retraction of the hand. It is the reflexive retraction from extreme pain, and the resulting death is, like being burned by the tea, the unconsidered consequence of the retraction. It could be argued that the desire to get away from such extreme pain can kill you before you even can surrender.
It follows that with such an organization of the world, whatever is in aid of struggle is a virtue or good, and whatever retards or defeats struggle is a vice and bad. [Hyman Segal, Law Of Struggle, p. 52]
That which complies with the natural order of the law of struggle is acting according to the entire design of nature. As it goes against everything that nature dictates, surrender is, in short, immoral.
In all his writings, Evola makes clear that he certainly did not care much for the masses and envisaged a world where the upper caste should impose its morality on the immoral masses. I don’t necessarily disagree with his views, but in the present epoch, I feel it is more expedient to show the masses, as they are presently impervious to metaphysics, a morality that is simple and observable in nature. A system of morality based entirely on the simple dictum, “All that is conducive to struggle is good, all that impedes it is bad.” High standards of struggle must be set and the masses can be elevated on the principles found in the natural order of struggle.
Defeatism is surrender. To bend the knee and simply allow the world to overcome oneself is immoral. It is natural; in fact, it is law to fight until the death. This is true for the individual as well as for a people. So it must be made clear to the white indigenous peoples of Europe that their silent surrender to the destruction of our peoples is immoral. In fact, the acceptance of this defeated position is even worse, and worthy of contempt only, than the acts of the rotten governments that inflict the current crimes on our people.
Surrender is, and shall always be, unnatural and cowardly. All who accept defeat in the hopes of bargaining a subservient life from the usurper, begging like a dog for the leftover scraps thrown at them, are worthy of the utmost loathing. In fact, anyone who so utterly degrades himself can no longer be called human, for being human is to be and act according to the (Holist) natural order and the law of struggle. By surrendering, one places oneself outside of nature, and by the act of surrendering, accepts one’s destruction and eradication from nature, for nature has no room for those that surrender. Only the ones that actively struggle shall prevail.
There is a class of fighters to whom the observance of the highest standards of struggle is of equal importance with the things for which they strive. High standards, in fact, take precedence with this class. They summarize their allegiance to these standards by the word ‘honor.’ Inasmuch as we are creatures of struggle, however, it is ofttimes very difficult to live up to the dictates of honor. We meet this difficulty in sport, discussion, in our business undertakings and in war. But tho the decisions in honor’s behalf may come hard, the fact does not belie its existence. [Hyman Segal, Law Of Struggle, p. 56]