Arktos Journal – Arktos https://arktos.com Fri, 15 Feb 2019 16:08:09 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 Inertia in Motion: Critical Reflections on Conservatism – Part 2 https://arktos.com/2019/02/15/inertia-in-motion-critical-reflections-on-conservatism-part-2/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/15/inertia-in-motion-critical-reflections-on-conservatism-part-2/#view_comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:53:33 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5999 Reactionism

It is by now almost universally acknowledged that the ‘conservative right’ is ‘reactionary’. This term, as indeed both ‘conservative’ and ‘right’ itself, are all foundlings of the French Revolution; but, in distinction to the latter two, ‘reactionary’ was the only one coined by an enemy of the attitude in question.1 It is therefore all the more astonishing that the term should today be passively accepted both by men of the right, who seem insensitive to the slander which it contains,2 not to mention the extent to which it actually turns matters on their head: for the true conservative is and must be deeply and continually active, even ‘revolutionary’ in his willful conservation of a world subject to change; while the leftist, the Marxist, the ‘liberal’ is ever and always responding to, recoiling from, reacting to the ‘evils’ or the ‘injustices’ or the inequalities he finds pre-existing in the social order surrounding him. This is however not the place to submit a full critique of this term, its ill intent, its twisting of the truth or its manifold unhappy consequences. We are rather interested in exploring that part of the right which really has been reactive, and which deserves, in full right and for good and ill, this bad moniker.

For in point of fact the wholly negative reaction to the activities of subversive agents and groups was perceived as one possible solution to the problem sketched in the first part of this essay, of the disparate and heterogeneous nature of the right. If the right could not be united on the basis of what it wanted to conserve, then certainly it could be united on the basis of what it wanted to resist?

Thus one bypassed altogether the evident difficulty of the necessary inconsistency at the heart of the conservative right by pointing to that element of it which seemed unambiguously and ecumenically its own: namely, its mistrust of change. And indeed the right has historically had a kind of tacit negative acceptation. One understands that the leftist, be he the outright revolutionary or merely the abetting or sympathetic bourgeois bystander, is for something, has a positive vision of society toward which he is actively and in some cases tirelessly working. The conservative, meanwhile, is the eternal nay-sayer who ‘stands athwart history, yelling Stop’ even while history, utterly unfased, simply proceeds apace, pushing this stubborn protester before him as though he had been made of straw.

The conservative is the eternal nay-sayer who ‘stands athwart history, yelling Stop’ even while history, utterly unfased, simply proceeds apace, pushing this stubborn protester before him as though he had been made of straw.

There are, it should be obvious, deep and abiding problems with this attitude of mere resistance, which have in the long run cost the conservative practically everything he held dearest.

In the first place, such opposition is powerfully hindered by the fact that it tends to rely on instinctual or emotional aversion to change. Since it is already accepted from the start that no philosophical defence can broadly be made of conservatism as such, save that which merely points emphatically to this or that local state of affairs, the conservative bases his opposition on his desire and his sentiment, rather than on his intellect, his will, or his spirit. He is thus in many cases, and in many essential cases, unable to formulate sophisticated or profound counter-arguments to the sleepless deconstructive inventiveness of the left. And since it is (as the banality rightly has it) much easier to destroy than to build, and also appreciably simpler to change than to conserve, insofar as he who would change the status quo has all the powers of entropy, complacency, laziness, greed and envy as his constant allies, the leftist has been continually favoured in this ‘historical dialectic’; only that rather than bringing about a progressive and eternally ascending social order, as his myth has it, he has in fact been the prime spur downward, toward the nether and even the infernal regions of the world.

The leftist is always able and most willing to provide philosophical or analytical justification for his labour of dismantling, because the entire complex of modernity is almost a bag of tools fit for breaking aging edifices apart. The conservative, meanwhile, is relegated to playing a constant game of catch-up, and must be ever wary to capture the most recent bit of leftist philosophastering so as to refute it as quickly as he can. But he, as opposed to the leftist, is a poor reactionary, since in point of fact he moves ever from a starting position of often simple and even simple-minded love.3 Moreover, the relentlessness of the assaults on that love are destined sooner or later to wear away at his bulwarks. He is like a prince in a castle surrounded by enemies with thousands of tiny catapults and cannons, confident that they, being so small, will never break through to him; but though their work is slow, it is myriad and ceaseless, so that the prince and all his men are liable sooner or later to see the grand garrisons crumbling beneath so many tiny blows, or to grow themselves feeble and weary, indifferent or distracted, in so endless a war of attrition.

That is already a grave problem for the ‘reactionary conservative’; but it is a problem whose consequences are protracted over lengthy periods of time, and so which are largely imperceptible in the moment, and available to a man only in long retrospect. This is indeed one of the most formidable, because most invisible, of the advantages the left enjoys today: its actions and successes have been spread over the face of many centuries, so that one almost cannot perceive them at all until a very late stage; and even then one only glimpses them in hindsight and fragment, and cannot understand their enormity without a degree of ‘historical sense’ – the same historical sense that the left, in its fervent dogma of constant scientific and social progress, relentlessly suppresses or poisons. The conservatives have therefore been like men in a boat upon a tranquil and sluggish river, waters which only gradually begin to gain in speed, so imperceptibly that the somnolent passengers of the craft, lulled by its gentle going into believing themselves motionless, do not so much as notice that they are actually moving steadily along – until all at once they awaken to find themselves already in the grip of the rapids, and heading fast and inexorably toward a raging cataract.

Another, and no less decisive, aspect of this problem is to be found in the appeal of the ‘progressive left’ to the mind and spirit of youth, and the corresponding degree to which the reactionary conservative right has until recently absolutely failed to rally the passions of lively, energetic, idealistic and enthusiastic young people to its cause. The left frames its task in grandiose historical terms, employing language and images which are aimed at eliciting the fire of young souls. The reactionary conservative right has by and large limited itself to attempting to quench these same flames, to tame the wild passions of the riled young, and to suppress their explosive vitality, which of course does nothing but drive the young elsewhere. These conservatives are like the man who stopped up a geyser only to stand in amazed bewilderment when it burst out with quickened vigour in an altogether different place. Thus is added an almost comical, and absolutely historically unusual and even unnatural, generational aspect to the struggle between the progressive and the conservative: we have indeed lived with this for so long that we take for granted that the young person, at a certain point in his adolescence, is bound to ‘rebel’ against his stern old forebears, and to express his ‘rebellion’ in the most obvious and abrasive of ways, by taking up habits, dress and notions which are abhorrent or even anathema to the older generation. But although it is an eternal part of the human drama that this or that son will rise to disobey his father, there is absolutely nothing normal in this state of affairs; its present generality is largely a consequence of the decision on the part of the old right to play the part of the stodgy ‘reactionary’.

The results of this dynamic are far-reaching indeed. In the first place, the left has, practically since the dawn of its revolutionary period,4 been able to count on fresh new recruits for its battles (be they pitched battles on real and bloodied fields, or merely the various socio-cultural frays of the ‘culture war’), renewed each decade by the advent of the latest generation to majority. The sheer force of this advantage in terms of lively manpower already gives the left such an edge over the right that it is truly marvellous to think that the progressives were not able to crush their enemies much more quickly than they did. But of course, one must also consider the fact that the young revolutionary or idealist does sooner or later come of age, and enters an adulthood which, with its various familial responsibilities and inescapable financial burdens, is liable to temper his heat, and force somewhat more conservative views upon his maturing mind. This would seem to balance everything out even to the conservative right’s favour, insofar as there are many more middle-aged and elderly persons in the world than youths. The problem, of course, is that a middle-aged or elderly conservative who was baptized and raised in the fires of revolutionary fervour is unlikely to have escaped from them entirely unscathed; almost to a certainty, he will bear with him some residue of his old ‘ideals’ in this or that sentimental attachment to this or that figure or policy or tendency, in this or that loyalty to this or that pseudo-revolutionary vision or visionary, or in the softness he bears toward the latest generation of ‘young rebels’; he will carry this in his heart, and it will act there, albeit wanly and partially, toward the realization of a world he once strove for with all his powers and at the risk of his very reputation, well-being or even life. If he himself no longer harbours similar desires for such a world, he will at least be that much fonder toward them when they appear in the next generation’s young.

Thus the progressive left channels the most willing and most zealous portion of humanity into its own ends, and gains enormously therefrom; and all the while the reactionary conservative looks on in wondering disapproval, murmuring haplessly of the ‘good old days’ which he is already half incapable of remembering and utterly unable to resurrect, and the curious fractiousness of these ‘young upstarts’ whom he is incapable of enticing to his cause.

For the final and overarching failure of the reactionary conservative is his renunciation from the first of a clearly definable, emotionally and intellectually invigorating, and universally binding vision, aim, or cause to which he can make definitive reference in all the various aspects of his attempt at salvation. He is affected by a historical malaise: this vision was granted in all societies before the modern by the notion of the unattainable political ideal. The ‘just city’ or the ‘best regime’, the ‘city of God’ or the ‘Utopia’ governed the expectations and the aims of premodern institutions, statesmen and aristocrats. This ideal, to be clear, was an ideal in an older sense: it was understood that it was practically unattainable in almost all concrete and real cases, and to that extent it was understood that it would be a rash and unforgivable folly to overturn society so as to attempt to realize it; yet it stood as the constant point of reference, the True North of all political navigation, and the standard against which the real polities could be judged and stabilized.

All of this has been abandoned in the Modern Era, which indeed was premised on its abandonment; this abandonment is the reason for the feverish instability of the most recent centuries. Yet the political forms which were offered in substitute for these ‘imaginary principalities’ (as they were derisively called by the first father of this modern trend) in the end secretly implied their own ideal forms, which have since the beginning of modernity engaged and invigorated the progressives. This came, however, with a concommitant change in the sense of the word ‘ideal’ itself. The ideal was no longer the unearthly measure and weight, the divine standard against which the real could be evaluated; the ideal became that which was realizable on Earth: the republic or the commune, the New Atlantis or Crystal Palace, or the anarchical socialist ‘utopia’ which, in abuse of the original sense of the word, was actually and in point of fact to become a pantopia, a universally established ‘new world order’. In the wake of this momentous philosophical change, the very notion of an ideal was subsequently abandoned by the conservative in good reactionary fashion. The reactionary conservative pays for this renunciation with the very thing he sought to preserve by means of it: over the long course of generations, lapping like erosive waves upon his shores, the charm of local customs, beliefs, usances and tongues is finally swallowed irrevocably into the monstrous rising tide of universal Enlightenment liberalism, until the last conservative stands upon the merest strip of what was once a broad and well-loved strand, his back against a stone wall and his eyes gazing numbly over the boundless sea that will soon claim him, too: its final victim.

The principles of the conservative are not ecumenical in the same way as the principles of the left; they do not provide the ground for a broad and globally unified culture: for all culture is a kind of fertile and seminal controversy made possible by rigidly established boundaries of belief, credence, ‘value’ and morality.

A scene from what stands only apparently on a different plane encapsulates this pluricentennial drama: Brahms, stolid defender of the past glories of classical music, and Mahler, representative par excellence of the quest for novelty in an increasingly exhausted epoch, were once strolling by a stream, discussing the fate of music in their day. The elder man, shaking his leonine beard, was lamenting the decadence of the new music and the decline of the old, when the clean-shaven Mahler, turning to him with a wry smile on his fine lips, took the arm of his august companion and indicated the stream below them, saying, ‘Look, Herr Doktor: there goes the last wave!’

Whatever might be said for the question of which of them had the sounder sense and juster argument, it is painfully evident which of them had the more persuasive one.

Formalism and the Hollow Core

The inherent and inescapable weaknesses in the reactionary position have come to light in recent years with such immediacy and generality that they can no longer be ignored or denied. Conservatism itself, we may say, is the representative of these internal flaws: it has utterly failed at its single task, has let everything fritter through its fingers, has come at last to a final and wretched end crushed beneath the march of history. To be merely conservative today, in some parts of the West, is almost to demonstrate one’s lack of integrity. Indeed, even any retrenchment on the part of a shamelessly reactionary position today (as for instance the self-proclaimed Neo-Reactionaries, or the so-called ‘Neo-Nazis’, or certain paleoconservative segments of the American Alt Right) has the scent of something desperate and hopeless clinging to it, and seems always to be jumping back into a time of the not-so-distant past which itself was already deeply and thoroughly compromised. Either this, or it stands in continual expectation of some imminent social collapse from which it will, by mechanisms and organizations that no one has even fully articulated much less set in place, rebuild the rubble into a beautiful new order. Awareness of this inadequacy has led to a widespread sense that a universal reconstitution of positive principles is desperately needed on the ‘right’: this task is identical with the creation of a culture of the Right.5

But any such reconstitution must come to grips with the general problem of the conservative position, as noted above. These positive principles rest most obviously on the specific and local traditions of a given town, region, people, or at most country. They are not ecumenical principles in the same way as the principles of the left; therefore, they do not provide the ground for a broad and globally unified culture: for all culture is a kind of fertile and seminal controversy made possible by rigidly established boundaries of belief, credence, ‘value’ and morality. Culture, to take the term as literally as we may, really is like a field or a garden, which if it be not properly walled will become the fruitless feeding ground for the beasts, subject of constant erosion by wild winds and rains. Attempt has therefore been made to find principles which are at once global and local – principles which can be adopted by the Right here, there, or anywhere, but simultaneously provide space for and work toward the preservation of local customs. Thus, the right began to embrace such concepts as localism, nationalism, sovereignty, capitalism6 etc., hoping to derive therefrom the principles fit to constitute itself as an international force capable of countering and conquering the left.

This is the latest, almost last-ditch effort on behalf of a historically faltering right, and it has up to now succeeded at many points where the old right clearly failed. Its most recent and most spectacular triumph can be seen in the rise of what is known as ‘populism’, which has brought to power across the West a whole line-up of ‘right-leaning’ intellectual figureheads and political leaders, many of whom have managed to attain to positions of strong or even central influence, and who really do represent an active and potentially effectual counter to the centuries-long entrenchment and actualization of the left.

The concept of ‘populism’ itself, however, reveals the limitations and the inherent dangers to such a tack. In the first place, ‘populism’ has always been an element of modern political regimes, has indeed been the guiding practical medium of all modern ‘revolutions’ and ‘reforms’ until very recent years. This indicates that ‘populism’ as a force, not to speak of the ideas of nationhood and sovereignty upon which it rests, cannot be counted on by the Right to yield the results that we would seek. And indeed, that very statement suggests a deeper problem: namely, that the results that we seek are informed by something other than those concepts to which the right has begun to make reference. Nationalism, souverainism, regionalism, and populism are not positive principles of political action, but rather merely the framework within which those principles can find space to grow, to be practised and established in concrete and visible form. They are thus fundamentally inadequate to the task of providing the ground for a culture of the Right; indeed they can be turned as well against such fertilization as toward it. The populist tide which today rises to lift us up upon its crest can as easily tomorrow swallow us into the undercurrent or dash us against the reefs. This all the more easily the more successful it first seems to be.

That these concepts and historical developments are useful to us, we must not deny; but we must recognize their limitations, which have even recently begun to make themselves felt. To name but two examples of this: both the Scottish and the Catalan independence movements, by the broad and abstract conception of the ‘right’ hereabove indicated, would be movements ‘of the right’, insofar as they sought to preserve regional differences (conservatism) and to break apart larger hegemonies (anti-globalism, anti-anti-identitarian-nationalism). However in both cases the end aim with this movement was precisely to afford to local potentates more power in augmenting immigration flows, opening the economy as wide as a circus and committing the same erosive work of the globalist hegemony at an accelerated rate. Formally, these movements were ‘of the right’; but if one leaves the matter here, with some vague reference to the ‘ethnic rights of the people’ (‘rights’ which evidently will abolish themselves in their exercise), one has essentially given up the ghost, and allowed that the ‘right’ is as meaningless and empty a term as it had appeared to be at the start.

It should come as no surprise that this effort finally culminates in the to-all-appearances sincere and unironic adoption on the part of certain ‘men of the right’ of a kind of classical nationalism, which insists on the ‘democratic rights of the people’ to choose the form of government they will, and the ‘sovereign rights of nations’ to exist according to the institutions and laws determined by the popular will, etc., without reflecting for a moment that these are precisely the same formulations which the left initially used to dispose of European aristocracy, to shatter the temporal and truly conservative influence of European Christianity, and to produce the ‘egalitarian liberal’ societies which today almost mark the burial of the spirit of Europe and all her better history and destiny.

The ‘extreme right’ is utterly unable to answer the question of how a generation of revolutionaries trained in indecency, slovenliness and immorality can possibly hope to produce a fundamentally decent, ordered and moral society, even should they come out victorious.

Indeed, to the extent that the right has begun to focus on vessel and not vintage, it has opened itself up to all manner of dangerous infiltrations from the left, which has never once hesitated to take advantage of such opportunities. Or what – do we expect the sinister half of the ‘political spectrum’ will fail to take advantage of an opened door, when it has hitherto entered by the keyhole? The left has insinuated itself into every crack and flaw and lacuna in the defence of old ideals since the beginning of modern times: it was by precisely such subtle but constant mechanical work that the humanistic agitators, weasels and moles of the last century were even able to burst asunder the great bastion standing against Modernism in Europe, the Catholic Church, first by treating aspects like the liturgy and architecture, the language and regalia, the sacraments and the ecclesiology itself as merely formal elements of ‘Church history’, and then by filling these ‘formalities’ with dogma of its choosing. Formalism, though at this historical juncture is of great service to us and must be used to the fullest extent possible to stave off the rising advance of the left, to curb its wilder projects, and to buy ourselves space and time for the necessary metapolitical work of the right, cannot suffice as a long-term project for the Right.

Right and Tomorrow

Even as Julius Evola half a century ago diagnosed, the innermost problem with all attempts to constitute a culture of the Right in our day is the lack of positive points of orientation which are at once capable of establishing real political forms, and eliciting wide agreement throughout the various special forms and local manifestations of the Right. The hobgoblin of the right, which can be glimpsed leering out of all its books and speeches, its deeds and political gestures, is none other than its eclecticism, and its consequent superficial reactionism and empty formalism. The Right faces a unique and complex task in our day, and it is still very much an open question as to whether it will, or even can, succeed in meeting it: it must find unity in its diversity, such as is capable of unambiguously establishing the former and the nourishing the latter.7

Both the reactionary and the formalist, while they take their practical bearings by that locality which they would preserve and make to flourish, nonetheless take their intellectual bearings first and foremost negatively, in contradistinction to that which they oppose: they look first to the philosophies, ideologies and intellectual works of the left, and then define themselves in consequence.

This is due in part to the widespread recognition of the fact that the left in our day is really the triumphant party to this dispute, and has been leading victory after victory throughout the West practically unopposed for the last several generations. (Anyone with deeper vision yet can easily perceive that the ‘left’ has really been succeeding now for the past several centuries.) It is quite in the natural order of things that the remnants of true resistance within an invaded country should consider their tactics in light of the fact that they have been essentially surrounded by their enemy, and should indeed glean whatever they can of their enemy’s strategies in order to attempt a last-minute turnabout.8 To that extent, we can only encourage the men of the Right to look more carefully at the work of the left in the past decades and indeed centuries.9

Nevertheless, the trouble comes when this reflective work becomes the primary or unique approach of the ‘right’ to the ‘left’. The ‘right’ makes itself into nothing but the negator of the left’s audacious and visionary movements; it becomes the mirror image of the left, and one which is even ‘time-delayed’, stutteringly following its image and eternally arriving a moment too late. The left thus stands as the centre of gravity, not to say of attention, of ‘history’ itself. More than that: the negative approach to the left forces the ‘right’ to exist wholly within the worldview and intellectual sphere delineated by the left, at a moment in which nothing is more badly needed than transcendence of the same.

On the practical level, given that their only universally valid and generally visible point of reference is the left itself, the formalist and the reactionary alike can easily be accused of ‘extremism’ with respect to the norm imposed by the left; and thus there is a constant resistance on the path toward the ‘right’; those who come our way are often the kind who thrive on the scandal, the shocking quality, the violent energy of extremism. A kind of reverse filter is put into place, through which only a certain type of man – and not always, it is needless to say, the most self-mastered, self-possessed or virtuous type – is encouraged to shift, while all those who feel themselves to be in any way attached to concepts like decency or traditional forms of etiquette and manners and morals – a great many of whom are actually deeply conservative in their beings – are actively repelled. One sees this all too often at the ‘extreme periphery’ of the ‘right’: a kind of insistent, often petulant and sometimes even proud vulgarity which in many cases embraces blasphemy and obscenity, and which is utterly unable to answer the question of how a generation of revolutionaries trained in indecency, slovenliness and immorality can possibly hope to produce a fundamentally decent, ordered and moral society, even should they come out victorious.

It is evident that such a ‘right’ can be neither pure nor effective. It is confused about its true position in the world from the start; it is reduced to the situation of mere apologia, mere polemicism. It cannot stand and deliver boldly and confidently in the world, because it must always and everywhere continuously (and often enough resentfully) point to its enemy as being the true centre of political action, the real ‘unmoved mover’ of Modernity. It is hobbled from the start by the chains of that ideology it would throw from itself, and all its action has the horrible rattle of a slave attempting, and failing time and again, to win his freedom.

I will have more to say in the future about what can be done to remedy the deep deficit which all of this indicates; at present, however, and in conclusion of the present essay, it seems only fitting to close on the same note with which modern conservatism itself must bow out from the stage of history: modern conservatism, which has been so thoroughly reactionary, as its last act in this world must naturally react – against itself. One hears the death knell already in the terms that have been used with regard to it: paleoconservatism, conservative revolution, neoconservatism: but a conservatism which looks to the very distant past (which is already dead and can no longer be conserved) or to the new, to the future (which must slay the present) is no longer conservative at all.

The death of conservatism, to which we are present witnesses, leaves a gaping political void within the realm of the political. This void is rife with dangers, but also with novel possibilities. Opportunity has come for the first time in centuries to step beyond the political schema invented wholesale and violently imposed by the fathers of modernity – to step beyond the meretricious ‘left-right spectrum’ and its rigid Enlightenment confines, to step beyond the false ‘progressive-conservative’ dichotomy, to step beyond the spurious distinction between the ‘real and the ideal’ which has shackled the ‘realist’ right even as it liberated the ‘idealist’ left, and to find our way to a rightly holistic vision of the world, of politics and society – a vision as new as it is old, upon which a true and positive culture of the Right might one day come to grow and to thrive – not despite its rich diversity of customs, ethe and ethne, but on account of it.

References

1We owe its first use to the letters of one Lazare N. M. Carnot, a man whose agitations in an agitated period can best be summed up by referring to the title he was unofficially awarded after the Revolution: ‘Organizer of Victory’. His use of the term can be found in his ‘Reply of L. N. M. Carnot: Citizen of France to the Report Made on the Conspiracy of the 18th Fructidor, 5th Year’. The term ‘right’ was naturally adopted by both sides of the dispute in deference to the physical (and traditionally justified) position occupied by the defenders of the crown in the French Assembly; for some brief reflections on the justice of this term, see the last section of my essay ‘What is the Deep Right?’ We owe the term ‘conservative’, meanwhile, to a man who was in many ways very much a prototype of the conservative as we have here painted him: François-René de Chateaubriand, a great popularizer of Catholicism, who, however, too often fell prey to the temptation to defend the Church by secretly harmonizing it with humanistic and Enlightenment principles – deplorable seeds of which endeavour we have seen springing up in horrid strangling vines most recently, and most inexorably, with Vatican II.

2Of no group is this truer than the ‘Neo-Reactionaries’, who have engaged the dubious wisdom of accepting terms of abuse as their own proud self-labels. Surely, this can be done to great profit; but one must perceive as well that the nub of criticism remains in these terms. A Yankee is as much a Yankee today, and for the very same reasons, as he was when that term was used exclusively by the Southerners to insult and patronize him. Similarly, the Neo-Reactionary accepts his role as a secondary player in the great game of politics, a mere bystander to the event itself who then attempts (perhaps) to intervene. It is no accident that men who would accept such a label should by and large relegate themselves to the shadowy periphery of the internet, contenting themselves with largely anonymous commentaries (often of great brilliance, learning and depth), and should seem to all appearances to be quite ready to wait until the breakdown of civilization itself before they make any real attempt to alter things. Curiously then, the deeper one goes with ‘reactionism’, the more that idea seems to practically correspond to mere resignation.

3It is indeed my considered position that the conservative is much more revolutionary, in the true ‘Evolian’ sense, while the leftist or progressive is actuated fundamentally by a reactionary tendency in the truest meaning of the word. I have made this point in various places, and have dedicated a portion of a recent essay to it: see the segment ‘The Left as Reactionary’ in ‘Sex, Gender and Nature’.

4Inaugurated, of course, by the American and French Revolutions, continued in the Revolutions from 1848 to 1871 (not to speak of the Russian Revolution beginning in 1917), and finally cinched at the close of the Long War of 1914 to 1991, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In point of fact, all of these events can be carried back to a single root: the attempt, and indeed the eventually successful attempt, of revolutionary Enlightenment humanism to seize political and social power exclusively for itself in modern times.

5We owe the term itself to none other than Julius Evola; we will discuss his groundbreaking contribution to this problem in a future essay

6Capitalism in particular is, to be sure, one of the first instances of this kind of movement, and indicates most clearly its problematic aspect. For as has become abundantly clear, capitalism is much more the friend of liberalism and the principles of the left than of those of the right, as is demonstrated by the fact that the majority of the greatest beneficiaries of capitalism – the capitalists themselves, with their teeming billions – are almost to a one men of the left, and have intermingled capitalism in Cultural Marxism for a truly potent brew, capable of sending the better part of modern societies into a kind of dream-like and somnambulant state, which permits these monsters of mammon to have the better of the laws and orders which exist expressly to stop such in the first place. Evola briefly treats this problem on pages 306 to 307 of the Recognitions (Arktos, 2017); Kerry Bolton has also lain bare the dynamics of this development in his Revolution From Above (Arktos, 2011).

7It is interesting to note that this is a problem faced, not only by the political Right, but also by the whole of Europe itself. Europe, torn between the evident necessity of cultivating her abundant rich diversity of custom, language and ethos on the one hand, and politically unifying so as to protect her very future on the other, can be seen as a kind of real-world complement to the spiritual and metapolitical crisis of the right. The causes of this echo between the two would be interesting matter for speculation.

8We mention in the safe umbrage of the footnote that one of the great tasks confronting the metapolitical work of the Deep Right in our day of emergency is that of determining which tactics and strategies of Modernity we can adopt as our own, first without compromising our honour, and second without compromising our aims.

9Here, to wit, are some of the questions that should be posed in this regard. Several of them have received the beginning of some response, but several of them seem to be largely neglected even to this day: How did the left, practically, intellectually, psychologically and organizationally, manage the infiltration of practically all the standing institutions of the West in the seventeenth and especially eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? To what extent is this outstanding triumph the result of conscious unity and deliberate strategy, to what extent the result of accidental factors, either within the revolutionary movements or within the regimes and hierarchies that they sought to overthrow, and to what extent the result of a ‘dialectic of history’, albeit one that moves in the opposite direction to that ascribed to it by the believers of progress? What was the role of the philosophical revolution of the Enlightenment in preparing for the practical upheavals of Modernity, and can it feasibly be undone or commandeered? Insofar as we owe the revolution of Modernity to accidental causes within the societies and regimes of the West, what account can be given for the existence of these weaknesses — how can they be strengthened in the present and sutured in the future? Nearer our own day: Why has the old right proved so dramatically incapable of turning this rising flood? (The present essay, it will be seen, falls primarily on this query.) What are the ethnic, cultural, ethocal preconditions on the one hand, and the practical, intellectual, propagandic and institutional methods on the other, that have led to the recent initial successes of the Right in some countries, and their utter failure in others? And wherever the right conditions are lacking, how can this dearth be supplemented in the short term or rectified over time?

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Inertia in Motion: Critical Reflections on Conservatism – Part 1 https://arktos.com/2019/02/14/inertia-in-motion-critical-reflections-on-conservatism-part-1/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/14/inertia-in-motion-critical-reflections-on-conservatism-part-1/#view_comments Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:14:40 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5990 In his final book Recognitions,1 Julius Evola spends several chapters reflecting on the idea of a ‘culture of the Right’ – a culture which, as he notes, is largely wanting in comparison to that of the left. The question naturally emerges as to why this should be so. It goes without saying that, even if the left-right spectrum is a merely historical and historically contingent development, as I have elsewhere proposed, the ‘right’ nonetheless was coeval with the ‘left’, and had every bit as much time to develop its own positive worldview and culture as the left. I have in prior essays noted its extraordinary failure in this regard, and given a cursory account of the same;2 but it would be worth our while to attempt to understand the failure of the ‘right’ at the philosophical level – where it rightly belongs. Such knowledge is essential for the preparation of a legitimate culture of the Right, which is as badly needed in our own day as it was half a century ago, when Evola himself wrote on this problem.

With the passage of time, the growing remoteness of pre-Enlightenment epochs and the growing fragmentation, isolation and inauthenticity of their remnant forms, the opposition which the conservative right was capable of exerting against the left became proportionally feeble and inadequate.

To begin, the ‘right’ of modern times has always and everywhere been conservative.3 It has defined itself, and been defined by its allies and enemies alike, as an attempt to maintain the status quo of the present moment, or that of a very recent past. It has seldom attempted to alter society, save as such change should be retrograde a single lone step, but has rather striven to keep society still and firm upon a fixed point. It has been wedded essentially to love of what is, or nostalgic regard for what was in immediate memory.

In the earliest days of the totally artificial ‘left-right’ divide, which is to say the decades immediately following the ‘liberal’ revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the conservative looked to a society which had until yesterday been aristocratic or monarchical; the earliest ‘right’ was thus organically associated with these higher regimes, or more to the point, with the failure and overturning of late forms of these regimes. Such a right could offer sound and ready critique of the growing Enlightenment avalanche, by referring to those stable pillars which yet resisted that onslaught, or which still existed with tolerable vividness to human memory. There were still visible traces of a rigorously non-Enlightenment society upon which to found both opposition to the Enlightenment, but also a positive view of what might be used to replace Enlightenment schema. But with the passage of time, the growing remoteness of those epochs and the growing fragmentation, isolation and inauthenticity of their remnant forms, the opposition which the conservative right was capable of exerting became proportionally feeble and inadequate.

But that, while grave, is the lesser part of the problem. More decisive was this: that many if not all of those original men of the ‘right’ took as their primary reference point the last bastion of a failing kingdom. They aimed at reproducing aristocratic and monarchical models which were already on their last leg, which were already falling, already internally compromised if not outright rotten; and this weakness of the last pre-Enlightenment orders was often enough reflected in a certain infirmity within the early ideologues or intellectuals of the ‘right’ – particularly men like Burke or Burckhardt, who made a powerful show of contrariness but were already inwardly men of modernity in any number of essential respects. These men were aiming at a society which had died yesterday; but it had died yesterday precisely because it had for some generations been moribund and bed-ridden, consumed by the disease they wanted to extirpate. They should have flung themselves back into a nobler and healthier past, but they were prohibited in this by their temperament and the temperament of an age, that already-entrenched modernistic apologia which denigrates all epochs before the Renaissance as being antiquated and nescient. Even the terms used by the contemporary historiography – terms like ‘Dark Ages’ or ‘Middle Ages’ – indicate that any pre-modern period is simply not worth taking seriously, with the single partial exception of Roman or Greek Antiquity: but even these were the Ancients as the humanists had interpreted them, and certainly not as men like Averroes, Avicenna, Boethius or Thomas Aquinas had interpreted them. The early thinkers of the ‘right’ thus found themselves often enough inscribed within a kind of cursed circle, which doomed almost all of their acts and works to eventual inadequacy and ineffectuality.

Nonetheless, it might seem to an onlooker – and indeed it has many times been claimed or insinuated in recent years especially – that the men of past generations, the Maistres and Tocquevilles, the Cortéses and even the Burkes, were more ‘of the right’ than their contemporary analogues. But in truth this is not the case: they are every bit as much ‘of the right’, as the ‘right’ has been understood in all of modern times. To be sure, one would like the contemporary ‘men of the right’ to stand a little bit more against the contemporary left, as those older generations still knew how to do; and this can and must be urged particularly against many of our present-day ‘conservative’ politicasters, who have sold their souls for a pittance and will stand to all of posterity, if they still stand at all, as foremost representatives of the society of blackguards and scoundrels to which they made themselves the ignominious lickspittles. Be this as it may, standing against is but the half, and the lesser half, of any war, be it military, political, cultural, or ideological. First and foremost, one must stand for: and as the ‘right’ has never, on the whole, stood for anything at all, how could it be expected to resist its largely unified enemy even an inch? As Evola states in Chapter 37 of Recognitions, ‘A Right which reduces itself to generic nationalism and to the defense of those values proper to a bourgeois society … is naught but a very approximate Right’ (Recognitions, p. 282).

The problem can be formulated in this way. The ‘right’, throughout all of modernity, has been conservative; that means, it has held faith with the local ways, customs, laws and religious traditions most immediately surrounding it. But these ways, customs, laws and traditions are obviously incompatible with any number of other contemporary ways, customs, laws and traditions surrounding them. Thus, the conservative in one part of the world or of Europe, or even in some cases of one and the same nation, finds himself standing in practical opposition to the conservative of another part. The conservative’s resistance, insofar as it is rooted in a positive vision, must make reference to the specific and immediate, the ‘here and now’; and that means he cannot mount any counter-initiative which does not accord with merely local prejudices.

Every man of the ‘right’ has been thrust back on a purely limited and specific tradition, which must defend itself as much from the special traditions of other conservatives, as from the left itself. This has fundamentally weakened him and his cause.

Several simple examples of this dilemma will suffice from out of the plethora that might be called forth. Today, the conservative of Catalonia (which obviously is but a noteworthy exemplar of any number of identifiable linguistically or ethocally distinct regions even now existing in the nations of Europe) stands for the preservation of the Catalan dialect and Catalan customs, for their teaching in schools and their transmission to the new generations, as their special and most characteristic heritage; the conservative of Madrid, however, stands for the continuation of Spain as a common national unit, which demands the unambiguous favouring of a common language and a common and consistent set of customs over and above any local or regional sub-forms. Again: a conservative of Serbia or Holland can still make reference to what remains of the monarchy or aristocracy as the basis for his conservatism; but a conservative of Italy or America can at best make reference to a document, and what is more a republican document, the ‘constitution’. Or again: an American conservative (at least up until the very recent past) would tend to prefer a reduction in the size of the state and a diffusion of central authority over the whole web of American federalism; while conservatives of any number of specific European traditions might well seek precisely the opposite: a centralization of authority, the localization of authority in a single city or even individual. Or to take a final example from the recent past: the conservative of many parts of Germany of yesterday stood for the continuation of the Protestant faith, which was his special heritage; while a conservative of England might have stood for the continuation of the Anglican faith, and a conservative of Spain or Italy, the Catholic faith, and a conservative of France, the faith of liberté, égalité, fraternité4each of which proposes a vision of man and God distinct from and in many ways incompatible with the others.

Thus, while a man of the left has been able, no matter where and in what time he found himself, to point to relatively stable and unchanging principles – and indeed ideals – of the left, every man of the ‘right’ has been thrust back on a purely limited and specific tradition, which must defend itself as much from the special traditions of other conservatives, as from the left itself. This has weakened him, and his cause, in two fundamental respects. First, it has made it impossible to mount any unified front of the ‘right’, any Internationale even remotely similar to that which communism was able to organize during the Cold War. The conservative must rely merely and almost exclusively on whatever local powers, support, finances etc. he is able to raise, which are dwarfed by the hegemonic and leviathan-like monolith of the left.5 Secondly, no intellectual movement has ever been possible for the ‘right’ as it has been for the left; the right has been necessarily and unalterably lacking in a culture, because it lacked even a unified and consistent soil within which such a culture might be cultivated. While the left is able, by a process which is entirely automatic wherever it is not premeditated, to consolidate its efforts and to mount lengthy and insidious campaigns in academics, politics, religion, art etc., the conservative is necessarily limited to sporadic efforts here and there, which, entirely despite whatever value they might possess individually, have no real point of contact with those which arise elsewhere, and  consequently tend to be drowned in the flood of ‘progress’.

Both of these failings have haunted the right. The former has led to insurmountable difficulties in its attempts to install itself politically and socially, even on the local and national level, not to speak of the European or international scale, in which its attempts have been either non-existent or else risible in both form and outcome.6 The latter, on the other hand, has made it impossible for the ‘right’ to entrench itself in academia, literature and art with even a fraction of the same discipline, patience, constancy and consistency as the left, thus leaving the entire wing of a key part of this battleground almost entirely unmanned; and those few individuals who have been talented and brave enough to make some stab into this by now abandoned and hostile landscape have been left to their own devices, and have finished not rarely surrounded by enemy hosts, in financial ruin, social ostracism, insane asylums, prisons and suicide.7

It is evident that the latter problem, the problem of the intellectual and interior deficit of the Right, is actually precedent to the former: so long as the Right lacks in a legitimate and generalized culture of its own, which is nourished by other wells than those the left has tapped – a culture based first and foremost on the cultivation and the self-discipline and the self-mastery of the individual, on spiritual development, on hierarchy within and without, all attempts the Right makes to unify on the political level will be beset by paralyzing setbacks, controversies and infighting.

In recent decades some novel stabs have been made in this direction. We cannot even so much as outline these attempts here in their particular manifestations; suffice it to say that some of them have been more successful than others, and some, more to the point, have been sounder than others. Some have perceived our plight, and the causes thereof, with tolerable clarity, while others have dedicated themselves with astounding resoluteness and blind tenacity to committing precisely the same errors as those made by their fathers and forefathers, which led us, step by implacable step, into the impasse which presently entraps us.

In the second part of this essay, we will limit ourselves to identifying two of the major traps into which nearly all of these movements have fallen, and to diagnosing one of the primary reasons for this error on their part, which will bring us back to the question of the ‘left-right political spectrum’, and the insidious undermining that that idea has performed beneath the development of a true Right.

References

1 Julius Evola, Recognitions (Arktos 2017), Chapters 36–38 in particular.

2See ‘What is the Deep Right?’, comment section of which contains a very capable defence of the conservative attitude by Arktos author Peter King, who also submitted a recent and very compelling essay on the same, ‘Here and Now’. Mr. King’s comments and essay can be taken as a clarion and useful counterpoint to everything herewith offered.

3 The exception of a brief and well-known historical period spanning some several decades of the past century will surely be brought against me as a counter-example here. For the moment, I can only reassert what I have elsewhere argued: namely, that those states of the first half of the 1900s which truly offered an alternative, not just to Communism, but also to Western ‘liberal’ democracy, in point of fact had nothing essential to do with the ‘political right’ as it was understood from the special viewpoint of ‘liberal’ democracy. The represented instead practically the only political, social and practical attempt at offering an alternative to Enlightenment schema; the degree to which they failed in this endeavour, and the extent to which they were actuated by principles which led them to adopt specious, atrocious, self-destructive or enslaving practices and policies, is matter for another essay.

4I proffer this last example, of course, halfway tongue in cheek – but only halfway. For in point of fact, as has already been indicated, one of the fundamental problems of ‘conservatism’ in the contemporary period is its utterly unconscious, not to say unconscionable, adoption of ‘liberal’ principles. The ‘right’, in its defence of the status quo, has often enough been the defender of the earliest forms of ‘liberal’ societies, and has sought to keep these precisely as they were; but this is like to a gardener who goes about constantly seeding flowers and weeds haphazardly, and then spends the rest of his life tearing the weeds out wherever they spring up, and moreover lamenting the fact, until he has grown too tired of his battle to persist in it, concluding at last in his dotage that the weeds, being the hardier growths, surely deserve to thrive.

5Some will argue that I am overstating the unity of the left with this description, and will rise at once to furnish example upon example to demonstrate internal fragmentation and infighting within the left. I will not for a moment call these into question, nor will I suggest that they should not be strongly capitalized upon, by driving wedges wherever we find such cracks in leftist discourse, using precisely these inner conflicts as points of leverage for our own ideas. Nonetheless, these conflicts are incidental, not essential, to the left, and the simplest and at once most elegant proof of this is that the entire world has been drifting ever more rapidly ‘leftward’ practically since the dawn of Modernity, in blissful neglect of any ‘interior fragmentation’ of the left.

6It would seem that the recent rise of populism has made possible a truer nationalistic and internationalistic effort on the part of the Right, and truly it gives ground for some cautious optimism. Nonetheless, as we will later discuss, this populism must not be confounded for a veritable revolution of the Right; it is based on any number of transient and even leftist principles which will out, sooner or later, and which must be addressed if the ‘populist wave’ of these present days is not to subside once more or even produce a powerful undertow in precisely the opposite direction.

7Suffice it to nominate the justly celebrated examples of Ezra Pound, Knut Hamsun and Francis Parker Yockey. Kerry Bolton in his definitive biography of this last figure, Yockey: A Fascist Odyssey (Arktos, 2018) dedicates an entire section to similar scapegoats led to the slaughter on behalf of the contemporary ‘right’, pp. 371–390.

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Folkright: An Ancient Teutonic Institution https://arktos.com/2019/02/13/folkright-an-ancient-teutonic-institution/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/13/folkright-an-ancient-teutonic-institution/#comments_reply Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:20:19 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5986 The world finds itself today at a fork in the road. We can take the path toward globalism which uses cultural Marxism to subdue the masses into a lobotomized march toward ethnic homogenization, or we can assert our right to exist as unique ethno-cultures and demand the ability to preserve and protect that which makes us unique. Ultimately, globalism will destroy all world cultures, so the impetus to double down on cultural identity is in no way a ‘racist’ impulse. However, these rootless international elites have long been burrowed within the societies of the West. Ergo, Western culture is simultaneously their guinea pig, their first victim, and their launchpad to spread outward into the wider world. Ethnic-Europeans are among the first in the world to wake up to the threat that these entities pose. This realization is coupled with the understanding that we are the prime target, and most at risk of losing ourselves in the immediate. But, because we are the first to feel the pinch and speak out for our survival, our enemies hurl accusations of ‘supremacy’ against us in an attempt to undermine our struggle via means that come directly from Saul Alinsky’s famous Rules for Radicals, the handbook for cultural subterfuge. While many are waking up to this reality, too many who believe they understand the situation are oblivious to just how long this has been underway. Indigenous European culture has, indeed, been under direct onslaught for centuries. If we are engaging in a rescue mission to save ourselves, it is all for naught if we fail to be informed by our own indigenous cultural customs and ancient worldview.

Anglo-Saxon Tribal Culture

Anglo-Saxon culture is greatly misrepresented when described as ‘Christian’, even after nominal conversion. Many scholars of the period have described the ‘conversion’ process as more of a ‘Germanization’ of Christianity rather than a ‘Christianization’ of these Germanic people. Indeed, the notion that the Anglo-Saxons were ‘Christian’ in the way that we consider the meaning of the term today becomes utterly preposterous when one looks with any degree of objectivity at what was going on in Anglo-Saxon England. What we find in ‘Christian’ Anglo-Saxon England is a society wherein ancient pagan fertility rites were still being enacted by both the public and the ‘church’ clergy, and supposedly ‘Christian’ earls and other nobility were still swearing oaths by ‘the Thunderer’. Most importantly for our discussion is that the Anglo-Saxons were still operating under the old Indo-European (Aryan) mode of tribal social structure.

Although the history books will say that the Anglo-Saxons were ‘Christian’ at the time of the Norman Invasion, the truth of the matter is that they were operating under an Aryan-Teutonic tribal social structure, still engaging in pagan practices.

The Aryans seeded cultures in Europe, India, and Persia. They can be broken down into the Indo-European and Indo-Iranian branches. The Indo-Europeans then sub-divided into the majority of linguistico-cultural groups we know in Europe today; i.e. Germanic, Celtic, Slavic, etc. Indo-European culture was markedly different than the kind of society that was ushered in after the Christian invasion and subversion of European society. Aryan society was not classless. In fact, we had a society with a caste system not unlike the Hindu varna system. However, the roles and position of the commoner versus the nobility was strikingly different than what we imagine. Our view of aristocracy and peasantry is informed by the Christian feudal system, which was literally the upending of traditional European worldview and the enslavement of Europeans. The Indo-Europeans operated under what has been termed a ‘tripartite’ caste system. In reality, there were four classes: the slaves, the freemen, the nobility, and the king-priest class. There was some level of social mobility, but particulars vary by each sub-culture. The class we are particularly interested in for this discussion is the freeman class.

Christianity did not properly saturate Europe until indigenous Europeans were conquered and enslaved into the feudal system. The Christian ideology was essentially a brainwashing tool to enforce submission to this new system. Although the history books will say that the Anglo-Saxons were ‘Christian’ at the time of the Norman Invasion, the truth of the matter is that they were operating under an Aryan-Teutonic tribal social structure, still engaging in pagan practices. The gods of their ancestors were still prevalent within their cultural milieu, and, significantly, the Anglo-Saxons fought under the traditional dragon banner whilst the conquering Normans fought under the flag of the cross. The reason that Saint George was subsequently named the patron saint of England is because it is literally the story of the ‘cross’ slaying the ‘dragon’. In other words, St. George’s cross, the modern flag of England today, celebrates the enslavement of the English people. The Normans were notorious castle builders. What modern tourists often forget as that these castles were not built for any fairytale-inspired whimsy, but they were used logistically to enforce the new feudal system and keep the Anglo-Saxons under the thumb of their new Norman overlords. But, crucially, people also forget that the same figures who built those castles also built the cathedrals – and for the same purpose.

Folkright and Teutonic Society

Folkright was a cultural norm embedded into Anglo-Saxon law, essentially the Old English ‘common law’, with roots in ancient Teutonic tribal society. Teutonic culture, although there were variations depending on the specific tribe and the time period, generally followed the typical Aryan caste system. The general class of freemen were the ‘karl’ class, the Anglo-Saxon linguistic variant being called ‘ceorl’. Under Anglo-Saxon law, the rights of free men (and women) were enshrined in a cultural institution known as ‘folkright’, folcriht. The system of folkright ensured that the nobility’s power did not allow for tyranny and that all free men were guaranteed ‘unalienable’ rights under the protection of the law. (There is reason to view the American founding father’s intention as an attempt to revive ancient Teutonic society based on Old English common law). Dictionary.com defines ‘folkright’ as ‘a law or right of the people as opposed to that of the privileged classes’, and Merriam-Webster says, ‘the right of the people under the customary laws and usages especially in early England’. Germanic society has been called ‘egalitarian’ by some scholars in comparison to the Christian feudalism that would ensue. In truth, it was not without class structure and hierarchy. But, the rights of freemen were considered unalienable and it protected all freemen (which also meant women) under the rule of law. The Encyclopedia of European Peoples says that ‘folkright’ granted free commoners ‘many personal rights’ such as ‘his right to bear arms, to attend and air grievances at local courts.’ It continues on, ‘folkright consisted of the collective will of the people as embodied in rules and laws that had been established over time.’ It also says that ‘the relationship between king and commoner bypassed coercive power wielded by local lords.’ This is an allusion to the old Aryan concept of sacral kingship.

Prior to Christian feudalism, to be a ‘ceorl’ would have been a point of the pride, indicating that one belonged to the free class which was imbued with rights and protection under the law. With the instatement of Christian feudalism, the term evolved to the insult we are more familiar with, ‘churl’.

While Aryan society did maintain a caste system, as we can see, not only were the rights of the commoner enshrined in law and cultural custom, but the king-class was duty-bound to the commoners who made up the bulk of society. This system meant that nobility did not operate on the basis of wealth and a superiority of privilege that can easily result in tyranny. The ‘regular Joe’ was protected under the law and the highest office in the land had obligations to his tribesmen, just as the freemen were obligated to their king. Feudalism went hand-in-hand with Christendom. It was a system that held contempt for the old mores of honour and rights of all men and women. Interestingly, the word ‘churl’, most commonly known from Shakespearean speech as a derogatory term for a low-born peasant, is actually derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘ceorl’, meaning the ‘karl’, or freeman, caste. So, we can see that under the Norman-Christian feudal system, the common man became an object of contempt for the ruling class.

In a book called The Constitutional History of Medieval England: From the English Settlement to 1485 published in 1937, scholar J. E. A. Jolliffe discusses how ‘folkright’ was intermingled with tribal notions of ‘blood-ties’. Just as the king was obligated to the freemen of the tribe, the larger tribe was, itself, made up of a network of kinship. He says that this kind of society ‘throws the whole weight of habit against the forces of free economy and individualism, and ignores landed or other wealth as a criterion of rank or authority. Not until the exclusive reverence for descent has been sapped by centuries of economic and political experience, is the way clear for the rudiments of feudalism and the territorial state’ (p. 5). Essentially, this kind of kinship-based tribal society with fundamental rights of free-men had to be eradicated to make way for Christian feudal enslavement. He continues,

From the assumed community of descent a common inheritance of law was deduced. Law was an attribute of the stock, and every member of it was born into folkright, a complex of privilege, status, and obligation coming to him with his father’s blood and his material inheritance of land and goods. Such a man was said to be folk-free. … Ideally, in the theory of society held by the northern world as a whole, folkright endowed the individual with all that was necessary for the completeness of life – a sufficiency of land equal in amount among equals in rank, and the status of his immediate ancestors, noble, free, or half-free. An equal law gave him a sure process of defence in folkmoots, where his landright and his person were defended by common right, and by judgment of his neighbours.

If this sounds utopian, it is important to understand that this is the worldview we European folk lived by under our indigenous ethnos. The loss of such a worldview owes its demise directly to the Christianity thrust upon us from the new elite class for the purpose of our own enslavement. To understand how closely linked the Christian church was with this new form of government, it is helpful to look at a book called Feudal Germany, by James Westfall Thompson, 1928. He explains:

In the Middle Ages the church was much more than a religious institution. It was a political, civil, social, economic institution of portentous power and of vast dimension. Its proprietary nature involved it in the network of the feudal régime to a degree which requires some effort of historical imagination to realize. Bishops and abbots were feudal lords, and the machinery of the church was intricately interwoven with the machinery of feudal government (p. 3).

Though Thompson is speaking about the Carolingian dynasty on the European continent a few centuries prior to the Norman Invasion, it is important to note that he is describing the same system. William the Bastard brought feudalism into Britain after it had been firmly established upon the European continent and simply continued on with the suppression of the indigenous Teutonic way of life. He continues:

In the tumultuous laboratory of the ninth century the old order of things was broken up and a new civilization came out of the crucible. Feudalism emerged as a complete political, economic, and social polity, and the feudal states of France, Germany, and Italy came into being,’ (p. 5).

He is describing the destruction of the Aryan way of life and forced subjugation of the European people under Christian feudalism. Thompson continues on to explain that although Charlemagne’s dynasty had attempted to control the church, very quickly, the church was in control of the state:

With the break-up of the Carolingian empire in the ninth century, the relations of state and church began to be reversed. Hitherto the state had controlled the church. Now the church began to control the state. The amalgamation of church and state became more complete than before, and the church saw to it that it was well repaid for its services to the government, (p. 5)

The establishment of the church intertwined with government was also intimately connected with the establishment of the banking system as we know it.1 Thus, the new ‘elites’, the church, and the monetary system were working in sync with one another. The feudal enslavement of Europeans was a system by which the nobility enriched themselves off of the work of serfs, who were not much better off than slaves. There was no longer a system of protection of the rights of freemen against the tyranny of the nobility. This is whence the modern idea of aristocracy versus peasantry derives. Prior to Christian feudalism, to be a ‘ceorl’ would have been a point of the pride, indicating that one belonged to the free class which was imbued with rights and protection under the law. With the instatement of Christian feudalism, the term evolved to the insult we are more familiar with, ‘churl’. One can almost see the snarling grin of our overlords as they hurl our ancient Aryan caste title at us with a sneer, spitting upon the ground toiled upon by our ancestors.

When we look at the events in the world today, more and more people are waking up to the realization that something is terribly wrong. But, as we continue to live as economic slaves to the system we are locked into, most people are too absorbed in the weekly grind to give their time, energy, and attention to the kind of deep study it entails to fully grasp what is going on, who is behind it, and just how long it has been happening. As mentioned at the outset of this discussion, Aryan society maintained a caste system – but one wherein the upper echelons were as oathed and obligated to the commoners as the commoners were to the upper castes. Each caste performed a duty to their folk in an honour-based tribal mentality. The priest tier was known to the Celts as the Druids and to the Hindus as the Brahmins. Teutonic society surely had an equivalent, or several roles which fell within that class tier. It is important to remember that in this context, the ‘priest’ class denotes scholars and bards as much as religious teachers. When our society was usurped, this class was the first to be targeted for complete annihilation. A restoration of our true ethnos would mean a complete overhaul in worldview and economic system that reinstates our ancient institution of folkright.

But, the common freeman, still enslaved by the elite banking system, cannot be relied upon or expected to put in the kind of time and study necessary to teach himself, let alone the masses, about our indigenous culture. No, for this we do need our own Druid-Brahmin tier to arise once again. Unfortunately, systems have long been in place to stop the ceorls from seeking their own authentic folkways. Christianity and its cousins (liberalism, cultural Marxism, Americanisms like Mormonism etc.) are all ideologies used keep the ceorls in a mind-cage of psychological conditioning designed to keep the freeman in a state that is not free. It is exactly the scenario described in Plato’s ‘Parable of the Cave’, wherein a person of great learning comes with a torch to lead the enslaved cave-dwellers into the light – but they cannot accept that reality is other than the shadows they have been watching dance upon the wall of the cave.

Folkright was once our unalienable right. The only thing keeping us from restoring our status as Teutonic free-folk is our stubborn refusal to leave the cave. Aryanism is in our blood. Teachers are amongst us to guide us back home again. Our own Druid-Brahmin ‘upper-caste’ were not the ‘elites’ who spat on us as they sneered ‘churl’ as an insult upon the formerly free man. No, those were aristocrats handed their position of power directly by Christian feudalism and the banking monstrosity it established. And, this system still pulls the strings today. Bring back the Teutonic Gothi and Gythja (priest/priestess) and allow them to guide us back to our own indigenous ethnos built around the blood-ties of kith, kin, clan, and tribe – and restore the folkright to its rightful place. Let the folkright never be taken from us again!

References

Dumézil, Georges. Mithra-Varuna. New York: Zone Books, 1988.

Goodson, Stephen. ‘The Hidden Origins of the Bank of England’. The Barnes Review XVIII.5 (2012): 5–14.

Herbert, Kathleen. Looking for the Lost Gods of England. Anglo-Saxon Books, 1994. Print.

Jolliffe, J. E. A. The Constitutional History of Medieval England: From the English Settlement to 1485. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1937. Print.

Jolly, Karen Louis. Popular Religion in Late Saxon England. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1996. Print.

Mason, Carl Waldman and Catherine. ‘Folkright’. Mason, Carl Waldman and Catherine. Encyclopedia of European Peoples (Regional History on File). NY: Facts on File, 2006. 321. Print.

Thompson, James Westfall. Feudal Germany. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1928. Print.

Footnotes

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Culture, Ritual and Sacrifice – Part 2 https://arktos.com/2019/02/12/culture-ritual-and-sacrifice-part-2/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/12/culture-ritual-and-sacrifice-part-2/#comments_reply Tue, 12 Feb 2019 11:52:55 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5977 Everything we have said presupposes that culture in today’s anti-culture modernity is readily understood in any kind of robust fashion. But what exactly is culture? Or, more to the point, how do we understand the manifestation of culture in any given society?

To answer this question appeal to two concepts is necessary, concepts which in today’s world have been suspiciously placed in radically hostile opposition to one another. I am speaking, of course, about the concepts of individualism and collectivism. It is a consequence of the logic of modernity and the clever language war played upon the average man that these two concepts are presently viewed phenomenologically as standing in a kind of war against one another. It is common to see those taking up the sides of this debate, and whether one champions the absolute primacy of the individual and his ability to prefigure and then carry out his own destiny entirely from within his being, or whether one champions the absolute primacy of the whole to prefigure and then carry out its destiny as a whole with little concern to the needs or desires of its constituent parts, both parties to the debate feel as if they must view the opposing viewpoint as an existential threat requiring total destruction. But this is a false dichotomy, insofar as these two concepts are understood as being ‘at each others’ throats in a constant war of all individuals against all collectives (a subtle irony if one thinks about it). It is far more on the mark to stipulate that these two concepts are integral to a larger and more holistic understanding of both one’s place in the universe as an individual on the one hand, and one’s place in the universe as an individual who is a constituent member of a whole on the other.

To ignore man’s need to struggle and overcome produces an essential deficiency which causes him to rot and decay.

Let us imagine that there were only one thinking being to exist on the planet. We’ll call this thinking being ‘John’, and we’ll observe him from an outside viewers’ position. John walks all around the planet searching and being curious about his outside world. Sometimes he turns his reflective and curious gaze back upon himself throughout his travels, wondering if he’ll ever meet anyone who shares similar qualities to himself as a thinking thing. John keeps a map of everywhere he’s travelled so as to never travel the same place more than once; it is a big planet, and he’s only got so much time before his life comes to an end. John never comes across another John, nor anything else like him. He dies alone as the only John to exist on the planet.

Does the concept of an individual make sense in this example? What about the concept of a collective? The answer is that neither of these things makes sense, because each requires the other at an experiential and phenomenal level. One may choose to be an individual only against the backdrop of a collective, or the idea of a collective. And collectives only makes genuine sense against the backdrop of the notion and being of individuality. Moreover, mere ideas about collectives have to actually exist as legitimate real organisms operating in the world before the ideas themselves can have any motivating power.

This is not to say that John could not create the fantastic idea of a collective. He certainly could. And it’s reasonable to believe he would create fantasies along his travels. Fantastical thinking is a peculiar hallmark of the human condition, and story-telling about fantastical worlds and events is a hallmark of human history across cultural and ethnic boundaries. We might even reasonably observe the phenomenon of people actually conceptualizing part of their identity against ideas they’ve created, either as individuals or members of a larger whole. But such an observation would also require the recognition that when individuals do commit to such an action, they do it with the concurrent belief that such fantastic scenarios have the quality of truth behind and within them. A Christian’s identity as an individual Christian who, upon living a virtuous life as a faithful Christian, will ascend into the realm of heaven to be seated at the right hand of the father assumes both the hand and the rest of the father as well as heaven are a substantive place where real and genuine being manifest themselves. As well, European pagans share a similar phenomenological belief when it comes to Valhol (Valhalla). The same, too, may be said of Muslims and any other religious group. The key aspect here is that many of the conceptions of these ‘otherworldy’ places share curious, and not coincidental, similarities with our physical earth and the communities within which we exist. To take just one supporting example, Asgard, in the Nordic mythos, is strikingly similar to the average organization of Nordic communities across ancient Scandinavia.

So, even if John created a fantasy about collectives (and also called them collectives), it would be absurd to think that his fantastic idea about collectives would resemble anything like ours, given his lack of any referential existential component to base it on. It rather seems that such an idea would not occur to him at all. This is all to say that in our actual world, and not in the fictional world of John, collectives exist, individuals exist, and the two only have salience because they both exist, and are not interlocked in the kind of conflict modernity has tricked us into believing is their natural state. John certainly is an individual in the arithmetical sense; he is just one numerical representation of the kind of thing John is – in fact he is the only numerical representation of the kind of thing John is. But we are not reducible to mere numerical representations as the final analysis of what it is to be the kind of things we are. Humanity is not a statistical spreadsheet. As individuals we belong to our larger groups (ethnic, religious, political, social, etc.). And we understand ourselves as collectives by reflecting on the constituent parts which make up our collective whole.

This ‘collective whole’ is what we call culture. Culture is both the individual and the collective, but only when the two are understood to be an infinite and continuous infiltration and ex-filtration of the collective into the individual and the individual into the collective. This is the way in which modernity manifests as an anti-culture: it attempts to divide these concepts and to make them perfectly distinct from one another, ignoring their interpenetration. Thus, when we come to understand the effects modernity has on culture, and the conclusions of the radical notion that individuality and collectivism are engaged in a hostile conflict with each other (which notion suits the technological and materialistic pursuits of the logic of modernity), we may understand that culture in consequence becomes non-existent, and, given a long enough time, even the word ‘culture’ will cease to be a word which impinges any genuine experiential meaning upon our consciousness. Without this understanding of these two concepts, any group which seeks a revival of legitimate metaphysics will ultimately fail in their pursuit of genuine metaphysics – and culture.

There is one final aspect, as we see it, which is absolutely necessary for the men and women of the future to bear in mind when seeking to forge new frontiers and build new foundations. We speak of the idea and activity of sacrifice and ritual. Sacrifice exists as a means to keep one’s own ability to generate a surplus in check. Surplus leads to contentment and decay, but also to increased incentive for large-scale conflict. On both an individual level and communal level the act of sacrifice functions similarly to the function of maintaining an equilibrium between predatory animals and their prey; in instances where human habitation has displaced the traditional natural relationship between predator and prey in ecological environments sans human occupation, the local human settlements take up the role of the natural mechanism of animal population regulation. However, in the case of the individual and his community, the ‘predatory animal’ becomes the inborn ability to accumulate a surplus of stored resources, where a surplus of stored resources can be thought of as a surplus of labour (i.e. potential labour in reserve). In decaying communities this ‘potential labour in reserve’ can quickly become ‘wasted’ labour, whose function and use extends only so far as to satiate the licentious wants and desires of a decadent ruling caste, be that caste explicit or implicit.

It is reasonable to ask why a surplus of stored resources has the potential to manifest as both an individual as well as a communal pathology – politically or socio-culturally – and indeed one possible answer has been alluded to above, albeit rather superficially. We might speculate that another possible answer might be found in the relationship which exists between man and nature. Man is born, from a prior essential existence, into a material existence fraught with struggle. Struggle exists all around him. Indeed, struggle is part of his essence. To ignore man’s need to struggle and overcome produces an essential deficiency which causes him to rot and decay. By sacrificing a portion of their own store of resources, men and communities create the conditions which continuously give meaning and purpose to their existence. In doing so, men and communities keep the noxious odour of decadence and material stagnation in the form of ‘wasted labour’ leading to decadence at bay. All existence is a sacrifice – a trade-off – of some kind. It is exceedingly important in today’s modern age, where almost all considerations of past, present, and future are seen through the lens of material and economic interests, to view the act of ritual sacrifice as our ancestors would have viewed it:

[the] association of the elite with crafts and long-distance trade can not merely be understood as a materialistic and economic phenomenon, but also in terms of qualities and values prevailing within a cosmological frame. … The elite was involved in a process by which resources from outside were brought into their society, where they were subsequently transformed, both materially and symbolically, in order to meet local ideological needs.1

This view is important for various reasons, especially in today’s modern context when economics and economic considerations have become their own peculiar set of ‘ideological needs’, imposing actions which must be undertaken in order to fulfil these presumed ‘needs’. If one wishes to break free of modern pathology, then ceasing to grant economics and economic considerations a place among one’s primary pursuits is paramount. Given this, calls for a ‘redistribution of wealth’ from the decadent elite to the beleaguered ‘have nots’ which has become so fashionable – especially from the camp of the decadent elites themselves – are unsatisfactory. This is not because one lacks care for those beleaguered masses with their extreme material poverty (though certainly some do lack care for them) but rather because such a redistribution fails to take into account, and therefore fails to cure, the deeper disease which creates this rabble class of genuinely and legitimately discontented peoples. It further has the unsavoury side-effect of creating a feeling of alienation, suspicion, and discontent among the largest mass of people whose ‘wealth’ is redistributed: the so-called middle class. By and large, these are a class of people who have been the beneficiaries of the hard labours of their ancestors and who have inherited their wealth, but who have been judicious in their own actions with regard to this wealth through their own respectable work ethic, and have carved out a relatively comfortable existence between the failing masses of the material poor and the decadent smaller mass of material elites. They rightfully see this redistribution as a kind of theft, while also seeing the failures of the lower-income rabble as a manifestation of some inherent worthlessness or inadequacy. This latter opinion can be the result of a pernicious ideology created as a wedge to drive dissent and hatred between these two classes, or it can be seen as a way for the middle class to distance itself from the rabble class, usually so as to attain psychological comfort. Whatever one may say of these various phenomena, the reality is such as it is. Redistribution of wealth from the elite scapegoats to the rabble class as a means to suppress the increasing discontent of the rabble class does create animosity among the middle class against the rabble class where there was likely none, or at least very little, before.

Having children and watching them grow into beautiful vessels of our specific culture is quite literally the one thing which modernity can never take away from us.

In the modern age in the ‘West’, where ritual, magic, religious custom, and spiritual existence are all dwindling, such attempts at putting a band-aid on a severed limb have manifested in all the predictable outcomes we see playing before our eyes. Further, such attempts fail to grasp the true nature and reason of why and how a limb has been severed in the first place, where such a recognition would lead to adequate remedies of the true problem instead of half-measures meant to take the leftover good arm and stitch it onto the other. The problem still remains, except it has been made worse. Surplus labour is still being accumulated, left to ‘rot’ away in the hands of decadent elites, whose own wealth goes relatively untouched (though it takes on different forms through their actions – e.g. ‘liquid’ debt is turned into temples of debt in the form of massive mansions, opulent trinkets as social status signals etc.) and indeed is increased through this pernicious and misleading ‘redistribution of wealth’. Non-governmental organizations and governmental organizations create programmes to redistribute wealth while taking ‘their cut’ from the top in substantial fees, overheads, and lavish ‘necessities’ in the forms of five-star hotels and dinners, etc. The gods of modernity have demanded ritual sacrifice of the middle class in the name of the rabble class, but in reality this is a sacrifice in name only. Thus, in a sense, ritual never disappears, but only changes its form and the way it is viewed by ritual leaders and the participants. True ritual and sacrifice in the West, however, is a thing of the past. As has been stated above, that which was the object of ritual sacrifice in the past (surplus) as an actual sacrifice, such that the surplus becomes no longer viable as a thing to be used, does not exist. Debt, as the single most visible representation of ‘wealth’ today, through fiat currency, is increasing, where the sacrifice of this currency is made by one group for the functional use by another.

The question now, most visible to the reader, should be where we ought to engage in ritual so as to sacrifice our own capital (in its various forms), in order to avoid the rot which modernity, forcing us to internalize her logic of material decadence, continuously produces in us. This ‘rot’ can be seen most readily in the calls by the global elites for Europeans to abandon the arduous and resource-intensive practice of having and raising children. It is not enough, as was outlined in the first section of this essay, to understand the cosmological ontology of the concepts metaphysics and culture. Just as one’s evolutionary fitness is determined by one’s ability to pass on a genetic legacy, one’s cultural and metaphysical fitness is determined by one’s ability to pass on a metaphysical and cultural legacy. It should be obvious that modernity’s agenda in convincing Europeans to abandon both these aspects by avoiding conceiving and raising children to be the stewards of their culture and metaphysics, is to completely destroy the entire meaning of being European in both the genetic and cultural sense. Having and raising children forces us to sacrifice some degree of our own mental, spiritual, and material resources in the most profound and primal way possible for a man and woman. This truth transcends all temporal, metaphysical, political, and social boundaries. In this sense, having children and (proudly) watching them grow into beautiful vessels of our specific culture is quite literally the one thing which modernity can never take away from us. And, in the environment we find ourselves, such an act is more revolutionary than a hundred Enlightenment massacres. As such, we will find, when venturing into future history, that the nexus of all our cultural and spiritual considerations will have this single truth at its core. Of primary concern for our people in the future will be how communities organize themselves to facilitate the prospect of young couples, and their extended families, may undertake the most primal, revolutionary, and noble pursuit we have in our arsenal of existence, which has never been – and never may be – taken from us if we have the strength to wield it.

There will undoubtedly be critics of this view. One can already hear the internalized defeat injected into these critics by modernity, protesting that such an act is doomed to fail due to the massive social and political organizations infecting the institutions traditionally responsible for educating our children. One can hear the cries of detractors lamenting the absolute feat of almost godly strength and will required to circumvent these organizations and the undermining propaganda meant to instil a modern material rot in our children before they ever reach the age when they themselves are capable of creating, and then stewarding, the next generation of cultural torch-bearers. But then, these are exactly the kinds of men and women we do not wish to see in the future. They are free to succumb to modernity and live a life of relative material and spiritual ease, knowing they will never have to fight against the indoctrination camps at home when raising their own children, nor will they ever have to go without, so that their children may go with. It must be stated that if we do not take risk, we certainly deny ourselves the possibility of failure – but so too the chance of success.

We must also admit the prospect of great pain to which we open ourselves by potentially seeing our own children fall victim to modernity and become agents of a system we seek to step over. But the father does not shirk from conflict, knowing that if he wins his sons might one day face similar conflicts. Nor does the mother forgo motherhood, knowing her daughters will experience the same pain in their own lives. The prospect and act of parenthood gives meaning and purpose to the act of rebuilding a new culture and metaphysics and requires a crucial component which our ancestors had, but which is now denied in any meaningful way to the deracinated masses of modernity. Simply the act of saying ‘these are the values we create and ones which we will live by’ should be enough to step over both these naysayers. All life is a trade-off, and sacrifice and suffering are simply that which brave men and women come to terms with, rather than letting those realities convince them of the virtue of self-inflicted and self-serving cultural suicide. Faith in our own abilities to counteract the degenerative effects of modernity, which wait with bated breath to seize our children, and an undying certainty that we wish to see future generations of Europeans who look, think, feel, and believe like us – and thus have a robust connection to their own heritage and culture – is enough to shut down the arguments from those who hate us, as well as those who doubt us. In so doing, we shall ensure that the culture and metaphysics we seek to build anew for the future both exists and may continue to exist in the faithful hands of our children. Indeed, without both of these neither is possible, and any attempt at one without the other will ultimately lead to the annihilation of both.

References

1 Lotte Hedeager, ‘Central Places For Acquisition and Transformation,’ in The Viking World, by Neil Price and Stefan Brink (New York, NY: Routledge, 2012)

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Culture, Sacrifice and Ritual – Part 1 https://arktos.com/2019/02/11/culture-sacrifice-and-ritual-part-1/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/11/culture-sacrifice-and-ritual-part-1/#comments_reply Mon, 11 Feb 2019 14:38:23 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5969 Metaphysics is the framework from which one’s self understands reality and one’s place within this reality. It is fundamentally a conscious reflection of one’s unified being, passed through the lens of one’s specific genetic and environmental legacy. A robust metaphysics, as a conscious self-reflecting and living organic infrastructure, enables one to more adequately perceive the exterior world, to find genuine meaning within such a world, and to maintain a vision for one’s trajectory into future history. This consciousness-inducing framework renders meaning and a sense of place to one’s self: where one’s self derives from and how one’s self fits within family, community, region, nation, and lastly the extant world. But this assumes that the questions of where metaphysics comes from and how it arises from this origin have already built-in answers. Unfortunately, in the modern world, this assumption has proven to be quite erroneous given the trajectory of modernity and her pernicious effects on European histories and cultures. Regrettably, through the erosion of our European culture and histories, a once robust and well-defended metaphysics has been lost. In the face of the awesome technical assaults modernity has made against traditional European metaphysics, those who turn their mind’s eye towards rebuilding a new metaphysics against the backdrop of modernity, men and women seeking to lead a metaphysical renaissance throughout Europe, must first investigate the cosmology of the general category of metaphysics as a term used to describe the phenomenon of how one comes to be conscious of one’s being and consequently how one evaluates the external world through the lens of his peculiar being. It is only through such an investigation, and with the knowledge gained thereby, that one may be secure in knowing where one is seeking to go, what one is seeking to build, and finally how best to defend it. It is the aim of this essay to launch such an investigation.

Defending the harmony of the individual and the community becomes a matter of primary importance for any self-reflective society with a robust metaphysics, even while it simultaneously seeks to wield this metaphysical force as a way to reach ever greater transcendent heights.

If we understand genetics to be the ‘soil’ with which the environment interacts, then it should not be a controversial claim to state that the fruit of this interaction is what we call ‘culture’. The cultures of our ancestors in Europe produced complex, and sometimes incoherent or irreconcilable, views of their place within the world and their peculiar environments in an effort to ‘make sense of it all’. The ‘all’ in this phrase is the individual as such, the individual as a member of a peculiar community, and the community as a peculiar thing within the world. The tensions of these three distinct concepts, in the right conditions unify within the self of the individual in a firm and stable world-view to produce a unique and colourful ‘culture’.

Notice, however, that were one to replace the word ‘culture’ with ‘metaphysics’ in this last sentence, its general sense would not be fundamentally altered. This is the first point to be made: as culture is more readily produced and refined within a given community or society, the metaphysical, being of this culture, is also simultaneously produced and refined. It is, however, only at a certain point within the development of this culture that those who are producing and refining it begin to turn their attention inward towards themselves. Beginning to use those faculties which previously produced and subsequently refined their culture as a unique totality of composite members, it is at this point that the metaphysics of this specific culture transcends its affinity and similarity with culture as such, and becomes something entirely its own. Once a society has reached the point where it reflects upon itself as a totality, and simultaneously accepts the image it sees in this reflection, that society may be said to have produced its first genuine metaphysical framework with which to view the world – but, more importantly, with which to view also itself.

Crucially, there must be no inner disharmony with respect to how individuals within the society reflect upon themselves as individuals and as members of their community on the one hand, and how they reflect on themselves as a community as a totality on the other. If disharmony does exist here, a rabble class of individuals begins to manifest itself and the concept of a class as an antagonistic entity begins to manifest as well. If, instead, the individuals find an inner and outer harmony between how they view themselves in relation to their community and their community in relation to the outside world, what has been famously described as a ‘spirit of the age’ arises. Assuming that there exists such a harmony as this, defending this harmony becomes a matter of primary importance for any self-reflective society with a robust metaphysics, even while it simultaneously seeks to wield this metaphysical force as a way to reach ever greater transcendent heights.

Culture is the answer to this issue of defence. Not only does a genuine production and refinement of culture begin to cultivate the seeds of a genuine metaphysics, but it is also the shield with which those possessing this spiritual monument and totem, this society, defends their spiritual well-being. But culture is also the mechanism with which this spiritual well-being may also be destroyed. Thus, we see that culture is that key component from which a society springs forth into the world and falls back into the soil, returning to its origins. Culture is the shield by which we defend our unique way of life, but it can also be the sword that severs our own throats – even if the hand which holds it is forced by another. Especially if our hand is forced by another. Here arises the second point: in the desire to establish a future metaphysics which nurtures our spiritual well-being, our attention ought to be on the production of a new future-culture which will facilitate the eventual production of this desired future-metaphysics.

No amount of appeals to institutional and legal systems, since they have thus far been responsible for producing this anti-culture, will allow any new genuine cultures to spring forth; for they consider all such cultures as potentially hostile to their own reign and hegemonic anti-cultural regime.

Certain truths about the anti-culture we live in today – which we call modernity – should lay bare the fact that no amount of appeals to institutional and legal systems, since they have thus far been responsible for producing this anti-culture, will allow any new genuine cultures to spring forth; for they consider all such cultures as potentially hostile to their own reign and hegemonic anti-cultural regime. Thus, appeals to this anti-cultural Leviathan only serve to alert the Leviathan itself that new movements are afoot which will eventually seek the overthrow of the anti-cultural regime, and does so before these movements are of sufficient physical, mental, and spiritual health to resist the volleys of attacks that will inevitably be carried out against them. The psychology of the right-dissident in modernity also reveals that the tactics of mass appeal – tactics uniquely suited to and utilized by the left-leaning agents of modernity – are insufficient and will eventually produce their own kind of spiritual exhaustion within the right-dissident, while simultaneously creating the conditions in which any movement to utilize these tactics can predictably be said to walk the path of eventual failure. Instead, what is required of the right-dissident is a Jüngerian psychology of the Anarch fused with an Evola-esque heroic attitude by which right-dissidents may freely move within the confines of the anti-culture of the Leviathan, unaffected both mentally and physically. Simultaneously, these agents of the right-dissident movement must also be on the lookout for prospective initiates into their desired new culture. Men of this quality will simultaneously exist above the spiritual and physical decadence of modern anti-culture while also existing organizationally beneath it.

It is important to maintain that this new order of men and women will not exist in this state in perpetuity. Men and women such as these should have the qualities and characteristics which seek to lead, command, and care for the mass of people who have been characterized – understandably – in a rather vulgar manner. It is not the purpose of this new elite to live in the shadows forever. Nor should it be their desire to wash their hands of those with whom they share common kinship and ethnic bonds, for the simple fact that these latter are still unaware, and still under the sway, of the unhealthy effects of modern anti-culture. Thus, in taking the first step towards rebuilding a new metaphysics through a revitalizing of a new culture, these future men and women as over-goers and under-livers have sowed the seeds necessary for the beginnings of a new culture. This through the very act of becoming the Anarch and the Mountain Climber, while also seeking out their fellow future kinship-elites.

The culture which these men and women create must give vitality to the feeling of transcendent being and ways of living which produce transcendent values. However, these values ought not be susceptible to evolving into those Kantian noumenal values whose inner nature exists on an unknowable and untouchable plane. These values should transcend the mere material and mechanical and necessitate a desire for such a state of being. Values such as these would not wholeheartedly reject the material and mechanical; rather they would make the material and mechanical subordinate to the immaterial and natural. This culture should praise strength – artistic, mental, and physical – and a desire to overcome one’s flaws, instead of inverting one’s flaws into virtues. The objectivity of beauty and a recognition that beauty as a remedy for the terrible valueless state of our external world would be a primary driving force in the culture these men and women create. The recognition that certain soils produce better conditions for the cultivation of beauty, and through these soils, too, better conditions for cultures to manifest themselves more readily, would also be a guiding light of this future culture. Preservation of these soils, and the embrace of values which cannot be turned against culture (via the corruption of culture into an anti-culture) would also form a foundational pillar of this future society. Ambassadors of this society in the future would be only those men who have proven themselves to be the utmost defenders of their society through the love and commitment they have demonstrated for their society as such. Along with this, recognition would be required that as certain conditions change it is necessary for the culture to change, in order to keep the true nature of the external world within full view of their metaphysics; moreover, those responsible for conducting this change would have to be the aforementioned ambassadors. For it cannot be stated that those who venture out into the world to see and seek new and other cultures could ever return without the desire to replace and subvert their own, supposing they have any seed of hatred or disharmony in their hearts for their own culture to begin with.

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Eastward Turning https://arktos.com/2019/02/08/eastward-turning/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/08/eastward-turning/#view_comments Fri, 08 Feb 2019 14:30:59 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5961 The awareness of the crisis of the West – awareness which cannot help but touch anyone who is even remotely conscious of the character of the times in which we live – implies immediately and imperatively the need to find a solution to that crisis. In any time of percieved crisis, attempt is inevitably made to address the crisis on its own level: an economic crisis is addressed economically or at best politically; a social crisis is addressed socially or at best ‘culturally’; a personal crisis is addressed personally – say, through ‘self-improvement’ or psychiatry, or, in higher and better times, spiritually or religiously. Yet in times of real crisis, this action on the level of the crisis itself does not suffice, for a true and severe crisis implies that the problems which bring about the crisis in fact transcend the level of the crisis itself; hence its nature as a a true and severe crisis. To remain on the level of the crisis is thus to condemn oneself to suffer its full consequences unabated.

In times of real crisis, action on the level of the crisis itself does not suffice, for a true and severe crisis implies that the problems which bring about the crisis in fact transcend the level of the crisis itself.

Whatever else may be said of the crisis of the West, it is by now clear that it is a real crisis, a crisis which is fully of this dire degree and extent. It has manifestations in politics, economy, society, religion, culture, and philosophy; but to keep to any one of these particular domains is to guarantee that we will do nothing more than aggravate the problems we would resolve.

The depth and severity of the crisis lead many to look for its solution, not to say resolution, outside of the West. It is felt by these seekers that the crisis touches us at so profound a point, at a place so deep, so fundamental, in our histories and our traditions, that the only possibility left to us is to escape the borders of our history and tradition altogether, and to try to find consolation or solace or succour in the traditions or practices or histories of other parts of the world. And because the one part of the world to possess traditions in any way comparable in their depths, heights, and splendour to that of the West, lies to the East,1 a tendency has arisen in recent years, in the social, the artistic, the philosophical, the religious or spiritual, and even (though to a lesser extent) the political, to ‘turn to the East’.

This is a problem of extraordinary breadth and gravity; in the present article we can do no more than indicate a number of difficulties inherent to these tendencies. In the critique that follows, it should be understood that we do not mean that the difficulties indicated are applicable to every man of the West. There have been, there are now, and there will be yet exceptional individuals who truly possess, through some native and probably connate affinity on their part, a kind of ‘Eastern vocation’: a true capacity to penetrate some one of the cultures of the East and to understand it more or less as a man born within it would. Instances could be named of these exceptional individuals, such as George Gurdjieff, René Guénon, Alexandra David-Néel and the mysterious (but evidently quite real) protagonist of Somerset Maugham’s biographical novel The Razor’s Edge, ‘Larry Darrell’. These individuals will follow their own path quite despite what we might write here, and they will be right to do so. But they cannot have any bearing on the wider question of the West and its special relation to the East, which is what immediately concerns us.

The first and most immediate difficulty with any ‘turn to the East’ regards especially the Far East or Oriental traditions, and is evident to any man of any sensibility whatsoever who looks on the Western manifestations of this philosophy or practice. It almost goes without saying that the better part of these meditation rooms, Zen temples, dojo, and societies of the Hare Krishna which have sprung up everywhere in the West in recent decades are of the most disconnected and nontraditional quality with respect to their authentic points of origin.2 The many practitioners of democratized Buddhism or watered-down Yoga or pragmaticized martial arts in our contemporary West by and large interpret their practices, not even through the lens of the West, which would be distorting enough in this case, but through the lens rather of modern liberalism specifically, which results in a new ‘practice’ of the blandest and most inauthentic kind.3 Failing to understand themselves, how could they possibly understand that which is radically different from them?

Therefore, before one can possibly address the value of a ‘turn to the East’, one must first articulate how such a turn is even possible – a turn which does not, that is to say, simply misrepresent and disfigure that which it would import.

The deeper problem here can be articulated as follows. A Westerner generally seeks the East in order to rectify what he perceives to be some deep contradiction or inadequacy in the West; he looks to the East therefore as to a clarification, a remedy, or a supplement. Were he satisfied with the West and ‘at home’ in the West, he should see no need to go so far abroad for ethical rules or disciplines or daily practices. Yet he will usually look to the East, not through the eyes of the East, but through the eyes of the West; he grasps most surely that which he most intimately and implicitly recognizes and understands, that which is most familiar to him. But this necessarily means the part of the East which is most ‘Western’ or most visible to Western eyes and most accessible to Western interpretation. The West in turning to the East therefore only aggravates its own difficulties by seizing upon itself once again, by making the long journey to the Orient only to bring back – the Occident.

This misdirection has become easier in our day than ever before, because the ‘turn to the East’ on the part of the West has been pre-empted by a prior ‘turn to the West’ on the part of the East. Great portions of the East today are unrecognizable with respect to what they were yesterday; the Orient in particular is not what it was. Enormous regions of the East have adopted Western economical and political forms, even in many cases social and religious and cultural habits and mores. The West in turning to the East, if it is not capable of truly intricate, long, and careful examination of the East, is liable to find only itself, mirrored imperfectly and in as distorted a manner. Worse still, it might even settle on this distorted reflection as though it were ‘the authentic East itself’, embracing what is in fact its own foreign corruption as though it were an exotic nostrum capable of curing its every ill. The West is liable, that is to say, to bring back from its ‘Eastern expedition’ only a convoluted and unrecognizable reflection of itself, which will do nothing to aid it and everything to goad it further to its ruin.

The West, before it can understand the East, must understand itself; and so the old inscription etched into the very doorway of Delphi itself holds as much for us modern Westerners as it did for our most antique forefathers.

It is clear that the West, if it is to gain anything of value from the East, must then seek that in the East which differs from the West. For if the West brings back only that which is most Western in the East, it will neither resolve its own difficulty, nor does justice to the Eastern traditions to which it seems to want to pay homage. The West must then thoroughly and profoundly understand that portion of the East it faces, before it attempts to evoke or embody any aspects of the same within the sphere of its crisis. To understand the East means to understand the ways in which the East both agrees with and differs from the West; but this cannot be accomplished save as the West understands itself first with adequate comprehensivity. The ‘turn to the East’ cannot be accomplished then without a prior and inward turn into the West, a deep and ruthless investigation of what it means to be a Westerner, and what is the particular nature of the West, and, finally, in what the crisis of the West consists. That man who seeks to comprehend Confucius before he has set himself to unriddling the Platonic Socrates; that man who studies Buddhism or Hinduism or Islam before he has attempted to get to the bottom of Catholicism or Protestantism or Christianity or the old Pagan faiths; that man who learns Sanskrit to read the Vedas rather than learning Greek or Latin, Aramaic or Hebrew to read the Bible and the Classics – such a one may well be a fine scholar, may well have something legitimate to add to the academic or scientific review of these topics, may have any number of interesting and relevant lessons to teach us from what he has learned: but before the doors marked with the sign of the crisis of the West, he must be regarded as an intruder and an outsider.

The West, before it can understand the East, must understand itself; and so the old inscription etched into the very doorway of Delphi itself holds as much for us modern Westerners as it did for our most antique forefathers: γνῶθι σεαυτόν must govern our paths as much as it did theirs.

Therefore, before speaking of a ‘turn to the East’, we must then undergo a relentless, tireless and above all ruthless cultural, historical, and philosophical examination of ourselves and our spirit and our traditions, beginning with their first and eldest roots and working up to that period which has constituted our present Era, the Modern Era. The necessity for this has been imposed on us, as we have said, by the crisis of the West. We may be called, then, the students of this crisis, or, to use another term which at this moment signifies practically the same thing, but from its positive aspect, philoccidentals.

We restate then the problem. To comprehend any crisis, as we have said, imposes the obligation of transcending the plane on which the crisis occurs, lest one move forever within the crisis – lest one fail, that is to say, to com-prehend or under-stand the crisis at all. To comprehend the crisis means to step past its circumference, means to proceed past the limits of the crisis to perceive the crisis from above or underneath or beyond the crisis. But the awareness of this necessity, and of the enormous difficulty it implies, is identical to the insight or intuition that it is necessary in some way to ‘escape from the West’ in order to save the West – is akin, that is to say, to the very movement toward the East, the very ‘turn to the East’, which we have been discussing. It appears that we cannot understand or save the West save as we transcend it, and it would appear that the only place we can go to look upon it ‘from the heights’, or at least from a similar level, is the East; yet we have also realized that we cannot go to the East save as we first understand or save the West. We thus appear to be caught in the direst of impasses, a cul-de-sac whose only exit is presently being closed off by a host of enemies on the one hand, and at the end of which stands an ominous magical portal of uncertain destination, which might for all we know be naught other than a ‘magic mirror’.

Let us then return. We have concluded that we must penetrate as deeply into the West, the history and the nature of the West, as we can before aught can be accomplished. Let us begin with one of the most evident elements of that history and that nature. We have spoken of a ‘turn to the East’, which implies a turn away from the West. We have spoken even of flight from the West, of escape from the West: but this very movement, this ‘flight’ and ‘turning’, is the furthest thing possible from the spirit of the West, which is and has always been a warrior’s spirit, a spirit of undaunted and most courageous confrontation of enemy and reality alike. The very movement which compels us to seek deliverance in some foreign land, is itself one of the clearest and most unambiguous and exigent signs of our inner crisis. Then we could do not better than, in the truest spirit of the West, turn face and confront this situation, to seize it with both hands, even if we, like Beowulf, thus set upon the drake that is destined to destroy us. Not flight, but battle is what is wanted in our straits; like Leonidas and his Spartans we stand at this flaming gate, and do not cede though the outcome be grim. If the crisis of the West must result in the demise of the same, then at least let us make it a Western death, that whatever remains of our scion may call it an honourable and glorious death, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι, ‘obedient to their laws’.

Yet the first point that we must confront in our facing of the Western crisis is the element of hopelessness which has been contained in it from the first, and which has up till now, even in this very essay, coloured our view. The very tone of our investigations so far has been governed by what is almost the presupposition that the West has entered into a crisis of such profundity that it cannot escape it save by escaping itself – implying therefore that the crisis of the West is a comprehensive crisis, a crisis which encompasses the West, and thus a crisis which cannot be superseded save as we supersede the West. That is to say, it implies that the entirety of the West, in all its traditions, its modes and manners, is implicated in this crisis. Yet the West has always been multifarious before it has been unitary, and has derived much of its enormous and hitherto inexhaustible strength from the variety and diversity (if we may be permitted to reclaim a word which has been recently much abused) of its geography, its climes, its societies, its histories, its arts, cults, and traditions. To suppose that there is no point within the West from which we can regard the crisis of the West from outside that crisis, is already a supposition redolent of desperation and resignation. But these traits are not becoming to the sons of the West. No man has told us that there is no living part yet of this tree, no healthy sinew in this diseased body, no pure spot left in a largely tainted spirit. Let us cast despair from us, and, with the full-throated cry of O Freunde, nicht diese Töne! let us begin again.

We have spoken of confronting the crisis of the West. The first task that stands before us, then, is in defining, before anything, in what the crisis of the West consists. Is it the crisis of Western modernity? But we can then begin to resolve it by returning to the roots of modernity, and further back yet, to antiquity. Is it the crisis of Western religiosity, the ‘death of God’? But then it is ours as men of Western piety (recalling that pius was the epithet even of Virgil’s Aeneas) to verify that God has truly died, and not rather, as seems much more likely given human contingency, our mere faith in God; and if the latter, how this might be rekindled even in a day of such impiety as ours. Is it the crisis of modern philosophy in particular? Then we can look to the ancient. Is it the crisis of Western philosophy as such? But then we can turn to Western religiosity, Western mysticism, Western poetry and art. Only if all of these strands of the West have proven frayed, only if all the many qualities of the West have fallen into desuetude and decay, can we as Westerners possibly be justified in turning our backs on our own culture to seek out another.

Much rather than a ‘turn to the East’ we should hope for and actively encourage a ‘Russian turn’, a movement in all sincerity, charity and friendliness, to our good neighbours of the Middle World.

There are questions involved in this that suffice to a generation of intent and dedicated men. We cannot answer these questions here; we can do no more than pose them, with the understanding that their articulation is already much, insofar as it indicates a way forward to us, who have become but lost and wandering – a specific realm within which we can begin to exert our Western explorer’s and conqueror’s spirit in resolution of our Western crisis.

As for the ‘turn to the East’ – this much is certain about it. In its fullest form, as an attempt to regenerate the West with the living waters of a foreign fount, it is premature, and rendered impossible by its prematurity. It is a movement of desperation, a movement which reeks too often of surrender.4 This is not in any way to belittle the traditions of the East (it is even to defend their primacy as traditions – of the East), nor is it to condemn those individuals we have already mentioned, who are drawn hence by some inexorable imperative within their souls. But these individuals are already in some sense not Westerners; while we who pose these questions, we who do not feel our fibres vibrate in accord with the tonalities of Oriental scales or the vibrations of Hindu chanting or the call of the muezzin from his morning tower – we whose centre of gravity is eternally here, on this ‘Asian peninsula’, this ‘peninsula that juts out from the great mass of Asia without a break and is ridiculously called a continent’5 – we still are Westerners. Then let us keep faith with the West, though this finally mean our demise in its defense. Only as we have performed this basic act of turning Westward does it become licit to us, and indeed perhaps even desirable, to turn Eastward.

A final word has to be said regarding a nation whose conspicuous absence in the above remarks will have been noted by attentive readers. For there is a land which stands, as it were, ‘between East and West’, or better say which straddles the boundary between them, and which to this day retains a degree of insulation against the crisis which afflicts the Eurosphere. We speak, of course, of Russia. Russia has always been an ‘in-between land’, and up to this day, despite its hoary and venerable age, despite the great tragedies and darknesses which have descended on it in times past, despite the wars that have bloodied its streets and rivers and the hideous despotic leviathan which drank its spirit like a vampire over the bulk of the last century, seems to be one of the youngest nations currently living, and one to which a kind of promise and anticipation is spring-like clinging, despite the ice and hoarfrosts of its northern climes. The Long War of the nineteenth century, which seems to have exhausted Europe physiologically, generationally and spiritually, somehow did not do as much to the Russians. We may wonder: will they rise from those ashes still in greater splendour, as Europe once did from barbarian invasions and the fatal grasp of the Black Death?

That, of course, is the particular drama and destiny of the Russians, and to the extent that the course of it relies on their decision and their determination, it cannot affect us. It goes without saying, of course, that we should do all in our power to see to it that the Russians are able to follow this destiny of theirs, and that we should fight, wherever possible, the tampering and meddling of our ‘liberalizing’, globalizing Western statecraft in the special concerns of the Russians. But it is not ours to decide the form that ‘Holy Mother Russia’ will take today or tomorrow. What is very emphatically ours is to learn from and to inform those of our Russian brethren who are the agents of that decision, as has long been the prerogative given to both of us by the historical rapport between our peoples. Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev, Gogol, Solzhenitsyn, Bulgakov, Nabokov – only to mention but a handful of the better known authors from the weighty list of Russian letters – whatever one might think of these men and their ideas or works, it is at least clear that a Westerner coming to them for the first time is far from wholly ‘in the dark’, as he will sometimes inevitably feel when he approaches the works of the Far East. (That is at once their charming and their forbidding quality.) There is an element of kinship, of mutual understanding, a certain commonality of aims and ideals, and a simultaneous subtle divergence of vision and view. One ‘knows’ these Russians, even in translation, even when for their heights one cannot wholly comprehend them; and to the degree that they spiritually elude one’s grasp, they elude it by a tantalizing hair’s breadth, the mere width of a shadow. Russia is at once like us and different from us; and that opens a realm of new possibilities for both of us along the lines of self-knowledge. Too often do we neglect the blessing that we have in such a neighbour: to look long and intently at Russia is a little like gazing into a mirror which is at once a mirror and a window; one sees ‘oneself’, but also an ‘other’; one looks deep into one’s own soul, as it were, from different eyes.

Supposing then we really must and without fail step beyond the borders of Europe and look back at the West for a while from ‘outside’ if we are ever to begin to resolve our crisis: in such a case, much rather than a ‘turn to the East’ we should hope for and actively encourage a ‘Russian turn’, a movement in all sincerity, charity and friendliness, to our good neighbours of the Middle World.

One way or another, and wherever we may turn in this wide world in search of answers to the riddles posed by our own nature, let this much remain ever true: that we Westerners go abroad only so that we may return home once again, and to look upon everything that we know so well – this fountain, this garden, this grove; this old stone wall, this cross hanging upon the door and our hound and eagle waiting for us loyally at our worn but sturdy gate – to look upon all of this, that we know so intimately well, as if we had never once before lain our eyes upon it.

References

1For the purposes of this essay, the term ‘East’ is to be taken in its broadest possible connotation as indicating ‘all that which lies east of Europe’, geographical boundaries of which ‘continent’ can be established more or less with the Ural mountains. Herein, therefore, the ‘East’ can be taken also to include the Middle East, and hence the Islamic civilizations, and is to be taken in contradistinction to the ‘Orient’, which comprises the great civilizations of the so-called Far East, namely, Japan, China and India. Even this last, of course, is an unforgivably wide geography to attempt to encompass in a single appellation; so much as to suggest that Japan, China and India really have a great deal in common with one another is to betray a rather green ignorance of the quality of those nations, so that to speak of an even more generalized ‘East’, which includes also the Arabic nations and tribes, which themselves enjoy similar inner richness and variety, is surely in some sense to commit a crime of remarkable superficiality. I hasten to say at once, then, that this word ‘East’, as it is meant in the present context, is simply intended to provide a term capable, in the most generic way possible, of indicating the real alternatives to Western culture, and should not be taken to carry with it any special positive evaluation of the content or quality of the traditions or cultures involved. It is also needless to say, I hope, that my words here are not levelled against those who have a merely aesthetic interest in Eastern cultures, nor at those who simply have a healthy curiosity or even fascination with what is exotic and noble about them: I am addressing rather those who bend their very ways of life around foreign models that they do not, and in most cases cannot, fully understand. It should also be mentioned in passing regarding the ‘Orient’ that while Japan, China, India, Vietnam, etc. are extraordinarily different in their specific cultural and social forms, on a wide view they tend to have more in common with one another than they do with any of the nations that are commonly taken to pertain to the West, and in this (albeit rather indefinite and loose) respect can be considered a unitary cultural whole which can legitimately be contrasted to the Occident. The term exists thanks to the distant and ‘Gestalt’ view of Westerners; but such a view, though it surely is lacking in a million points of detail and finesse, nonetheless does capture something true about the overall colour, shape and character of that which it looks upon. As for Russia, some words will be dedicated to its special situation at the close of the present essay.

2This is not to deny that there might be legitimate and authentic instances of all these schools or places of worship in the West; the author’s knowledge of such is hardly categorical, and moreover is limited mainly to his experiences in the United States, in which there is good reason to suspect these manifestations are more superficial and disconnected than they might be in parts of Europe. Nonetheless, the critique made here – that a man born in the West who has never spent any goodly number of years living in the East, and living there in the right way – can hardly be expected to own any deep connection to Eastern traditions, no matter what part of the East they pertain to. The same caveat we have expressed above should also be held here, however, insofar as there might well exist exceptional individuals who are able to ‘divine’ the spirit of foreign traditions from afar. But once more, we are dealing here with the rule and not the exception.

3It will be evident that for all manner of present historical reasons, this critique does not apply with the same incisiveness to the ‘Near East’ and the Islamic traditions which are prevalent there. A ‘turn to Islam’ is really possible today in the West in a manner in which it has never hitherto been; and while the present essay is not dedicated to special consideration of that problem, it will suffice to note here that this proximity and accessibility of Islam is actually to be regarded as part and parcel of our crisis, rather than as any effective solution thereto. Whatever good can be said of certain schools of Islam in particular – and despite the recent, and wholly understandable, broad demonization of Islam on the part of many thinkers of the Right, there is good that can be said of them – it is or should be clear that the importation of Islam into the West as the religion of the West would mark the culmination of a battle which has been waging, with greater or lesser heat, for a thousand years; it would mark, that is to say, the replacement of the West with the Near East, the supplantation rather than the supplementation of our traditions – not so much a touch of grace as the coup de grace.

4 We mention here, at the foot of the text, as it were, a last thought regarding this, our West, our Western spirit: this spirit has always and everywhere been a spirit of adventure and, to use a word much beloved of our enemies, appropriation. The West has been the broadest and most comprehensive spirit of any the world has seen. This breadth is represented by those two great achievements that the West and the West alone has brought to the world: philosophy and art, which have been exalted through Western religion. The nature of these as comprehensive modes, which have ever sought, and ever succeeded, in encompassing whatever they encounter in the world, has led to the Western ascendency over all other portions of the globe. If the crisis of the West lies within these forms themselves – and there is some reason to fear that this might be the case – that crisis must be brought to a head. We must then embrace this aspect of the West, in all its ambiguity and greatness. In this spirit, the ‘turn to the East’ is thus not only possible but perhaps even desirable, so long as it is undertaken in accord with Western standards, in the tradition of the West – in a movement, that is to say, of spiritual imperialism, as it were, which does not hesitate to impose its own form on the gold it finds abroad, and loves to bring back the treasures it finds there so as to adorn these Occidental kingdoms.

5 Two parallel formulations of Europe taken respectively from Fernand Braudel’s A History of Civilizations (trans. Richard Mayne, New York: Penguin Books, 1993), p. 304, and Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn to Decadence (Perennial, 2001), p. 3. Barzun on the basis of this observation speaks unambiguously of the West, which is a term that itself conceals a great many difficulties. For a critique, see Alain de Benoist’s afterword to Tomislav Sunic’s Homo Americanus. It would appear that both ‘Europe’ and ‘West’ are terms infused with problems of clear definition and interpretation. This points us emphatically, however, to the true ‘uniqueness of the West’. The observation regarding the geographical vagueness of the idea of Europe, for instance, which is so evidently true from the merely geographical overview of Europe, begs the question of why Europe should have ever been called a continent at all; and it is clear that the only justification for this transcends geography and enters into the realms rather of sociology, anthropology, politics and culture. Europe has been considered a continent for no other reason than for its clear uniqueness of ethos and ethnos. It is a cultural unit before anything else, and always has been. This lends clear justification, however, to the use also of the term ‘West’ and ‘Western’, which indicates precisely that culturo-spiritual element which unites all the various scion of Europe. This secret and inner unity of so many and so evidently various peoples and nations, paradoxically renders the division of the European continent from the rest of the globe more, and not less valid, notwithstanding the fact that geographically one can present only the feeblest excuse for such a distinction.

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From JQ to IQ – Part 2 https://arktos.com/2019/02/07/from-jq-to-iq-part-2/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/07/from-jq-to-iq-part-2/#comments_reply Thu, 07 Feb 2019 12:12:11 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5954 Söhne des Bundes

What is commonly known as the ‘Jewish people’ represents the oldest surviving historical people on Earth, but in the Holy Scriptures of the three Abrahamic religions this people is more correctly described as the ‘Children of Israel’ (Hebrew Bnei Yisra’el, Arabic Banī ’Isrā’īl). The term ‘Israel’1 is the consecration name of the Biblical patriarch Jacob, who became the ancestor of the twelve ‘Tribes of Israel’. The Children of Israel are bound by the covenants of their ancestors, including the Abrahamic Covenant and the Mosaic Covenant; they are the Bnei Brit, the ‘Sons of the Covenant’. One of these tribes was the Tribe of Juda, explaining the origin of the English ethnonym ‘Jewish’. Because not all of the ‘Jews’ alive today belong to the Tribe of Juda, they are more correctly known as ‘Israelites’: the name of the modern nation-state of Israel is to be preferred to the term ‘Jewish State’. It is important to distinguish between an ‘Israelite’ from an ‘Israeli’: whereas the former indicates a direct or a formally adopted (converted, assimilated) descendant of Jacob, the latter indicates a citizen of the modern State of Israel. Most Israelis are also Israelites, but the two terms are far from synonymous: many descendants of the Arab and Druze peoples that lived in the British mandate territory of Palestine have Israeli citizenship, without having been converted to or assimilated into the ‘Jewish people’.

The Western Tradition may have been strongly influenced by the Jewish Tradition, but it also differs from it in essence, in terms of philosophical dynamics, ethical direction as well as psycho-historical experience.

Scientific research has unearthed various non-Israelite references to the historical Israelite presence in the Near East, some of them dating back to the Late Bronze Age. Most famous of these are the New Egyptian Merneptah Stele (13th century B.C.), the New Assyrian Kurkh Monolith of Shalmaneser III (9th century B.C.) and the royal Moabite Mesha Stele (9th century B.C.). This makes the history of the Israelites the oldest continuously attested national history on Earth. Through the Bible, the foundational document of Western Christianity, the transmission and interpretation of this history also provides the oldest continuous ‘narrative’ thread of Western civilization, leading back across its historical dawn into pre-Classical times. The religiously privileged transmission and interpretation of the Israelite historical narrative have created a decisive imprint on the Indo-European/Christian world of Western civilization as well as the Semitic/Islamic world of Middle Eastern civilization. Both the Christian Holy Bible (which incorporates Israelite scripture as the ‘Old Testament’) and the Islamic Holy Recitation (which effectively constitutes an ‘update’ on the Biblical Tradition) are strongly focussed on the remembrance and (re-)interpretation of the Israelite historical narrative and the Israelite religious covenant.

The historical origin and formal structure of the Christian and Islamic Traditions are effectively incomprehensible without substantial insight into their Israelite cultic, cultural and linguistic Vorlage, or ‘template’. This Israelite background must be considered as vitally important in shaping contemporary Western as well as Middle-Eastern civilization, especially in terms of religion and ethics: the religious and ethical expressions of both civilizations are significantly shaped by the Israelite ‘archetypes’ that precede them.

It should be emphatically stated, however, that this does not in any way justify the politically correct and intellectually fashionable identification of Western civilization with any ‘Judeo-Christian tradition’: the Western Tradition may have been strongly influenced by the Jewish Tradition, but it also differs from it in essence, in terms of philosophical dynamics, ethical direction as well as psycho-historical experience. The ‘Two Thousand Years Together’2 of the European and Israelite peoples that followed the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD (the ‘Diaspora’ – Hebrew Galūt) confirms this existential difference: despite having a shared historical epoch, a shared geographic space and some biological ‘cross-fertilization’, both sides have essentially retained distinctly separate identities. No self-aware Israelite will view himself as a Gentile and no self-aware Gentile will view himself as an Israelite; in those few individual cases where natural and human-made calamities creates confusion, a mutual consensus on the boundary line between the two ‘sides’ is quickly found.

On the Israelite side, the Orthodox Rabbis serve as the guardians of a boundary line that has been historically considered desirable on both sides: they guard the doubly physico-spatial and psychologico-spiritual borders of the Israelite nation with clearly defined rules for ‘liminal’ cases.3 They are charged with the responsibility of handling ‘borderline cases’ such as mamzerim, hitsonim and gerim – legal concepts that are mostly translated in a rather simplistic fashion as ‘bastards’, ‘apostates’ and ‘converts’. They decide who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’; they also set the minimum rules for ‘belonging’ to the Israelite nation. Thus, the easiest way for non-Israelites to determine who is an Israelite is to obtain a minimal insight into the Israelite Law, as defined and maintained by the Orthodox Rabbis. Essentially, this means that only those individuals can be defined as Israelites, or ‘Jewish’, who are either born from a Jewish woman, recognized as such (i.e. registered as a community member or traceable to that community in the female line), or who have passed the giyur procedure outlined for ‘converts’ as defined by the Orthodox Rabbis.

The latter ‘conversion’ procedure includes the minimal elements of extensive education, total social immersion, male circumcision, ritual cleansing and a change of name; it can be better described as ‘assimilation’, normally requiring many years and enormous stamina on the part of the candidate. Actively discouraged by the Israelite and the non-Israelite authorities across the Christian West and the Islamic East, ‘conversion’ to and from Judaism remained a very rare phenomenon across the centuries. On the hand, the Orthodox Rabbis conducted a very restrictive policy of discernment and discouragement towards giyur candidates: enforcing hyper-perfectionist orthopraxy, interposing procedural delays and prolonging social liminality. Active discouragement of conversion candidates remains the norm even in the secular environment of the postmodern West: in countries with a relatively ‘high’ number of candidacies, conversion can be virtually impossible.4

Before the recent Western separation of state and church, on the other hand, the Christian authorities tended to enforce even more stringent rules to maintain the high wall between the Western and Israelite nations: the Jewish religion was tolerated to the extent that ethnic Israelites were born into it, but it was actively fought off as a religious ‘option’ for Gentiles that were not born into it. In fact, Gentiles that converted to Judaism were burnt at the stake deep into the Modern Era: notorious cases include Nicolas Antoine (1632) and Count Walentyn Potocki (1749).5

The Orthodox Rabbis have effectively supplemented their standard explicitly positive definition of the Israelite nation with an extra implicitly negative definition: members of the Israelite nation that are recognized as such by the Orthodox Rabbis can still be ‘rejected’ whenever and wherever they convert to another religion or fall into doctrinal heresy. Such apostates are ritually and socially rejected (ritually as min, or ‘heretic’, and socially as meshumad, or ‘destroyed’); they are formally and informally expelled (formally through a herem, or ‘anathema’, and informally through various forms of shunning). Examples of controversial figures that were subjected to formal expulsion include Baruch Spinoza, Shabbatai Zvi and Leon Trotsky. An instructive glimpse of the process of informal expulsion may be found in the famous musical/movie ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (episode ‘Chavaleh’).

A contemporary legal reflection of this negative definition may be found in the ‘Law of Return’ of the modern Jewish State: its 1970 amendment (Article 2, Section 4a) explicitly states that the standard right of Israelites to Israeli citizenship does not apply to those Israelites that have converted to another religion.6 In such cases, the negative definition takes precedence over the positive definition of Israelite ethnicity. Thus, the secular law of the modern Jewish State effectively adopts the canonical law of old Christian Europe, which equates Israelite converts to Christianity with those who are born into the Christian faith.

In its narrow sense, the ‘Jewish Question’ only truly arises in the wake of Europe’s 18th century Enlightenment, which finds its Israelite equivalent in the Jewish Haskalah. The interrelated 18th-century and early-19th-century phenomena of spreading secularism, separation of church and state and nation-state formation gave rise to intellectual and ideological attempts at a purely materialist-functional (judicial, liberal) and purely materialist-determinist (biological, racial) definitions of the concept of ‘nation’. All of these attempts are finally shipwrecked on the rocky ‘Jewish Question’. As the mutual beneficial ‘armistice lines’ maintained by rabbinical and ecclesiastical authorities are gradually erased, historically materialist thinkers and authorities are faced with the impossible task of reducing traditionalist categories to modernist law. The failure of civic nationalist ‘assimilation’ (roughly the time span covered by the lives of Heinrich Heine and Gustav Mahler) is followed by the failure of racially nationalist ‘segregation’ (roughly the time span covered by the lives of Theodor Herzl and David Ben-Gurion). The end phase of the Thirty Year European Civil War, a.k.a. the ‘Second World War’, and the monumental horror of the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ mark the final failure of both experiments.

Individual assimilation successes and local segregation successes aside, by 1945 the ‘Jewish Question’ reached an Endlösung, or ‘Final Solution’, that had two dramatic features: (1) the destruction of Traditional Judaism and a substantial Jewish ethnic presence in Europe and (2) the foundation of Israel as a modern Jewish State in the Middle East. From a culturo-historical perspective, these twin results represent a ‘knock out’ victory of modernist ‘deconstruction’ over traditionalist authenticity: the authentic Jewish Tradition – an ethnically distinct nation living according to a transcendentally defined covenant – loses its physical substance in Europe, a loss that has to be compensated through an artificially territorialized nation-state in the Middle East. But the course of history cannot be reversed: its geopolitical consequences must be dealt with in a realistic fashion.

The very real existence and the entirely legitimate security concerns of the modern state of Israel are key elements in contemporary global geopolitics, but these elements only partially overlap with the continued existence of the Jewish Tradition. Since the foundation of the modern Jewish State, its politics are characterized by a ferocious and unequal struggle between the hilonim, the ‘mundane’ that pursue secular ‘values’ and economic ‘prosperity’ on the Western model, and the datim, the ‘religious’ that cling to the remnants of the Jewish Tradition. Outside of Israel, the scattered Diaspora remains of the Jewish Tradition – primarily concentrated in the United States of America – are existentially threatened by the same deluge of ‘secularization’ and ‘mixed marriages’ that is wiping out the Christian Tradition throughout the Western world. ‘Jewish’ communities throughout the Western world are now subject to the same immense centrifugal forces of sectarianism (‘liberal Judaism’), acculturation (‘cultural Judaism’) and oikophobia (‘experimental Judaism’) by which the Christian Tradition and the Western peoples are being ‘deconstructed’.

The collective (the nation) – never the ‘secular’, ‘progressive’ and ‘liberated’ individual of the ‘post-historical’ West – is held to be morally ‘liable’, historically ‘tainted’ and metaphysically ‘guilty’.

The predicament of Diaspora Judaism is well illustrated by the example of the situation in the author’s native Netherlands. Here, the true object of any attempt at a comprehensive JQ ‘conspiracy theory’ is now reduced to a mere handful of individuals within the hostile elite. For lack of an indigenous noble and patrician pedigree,7 these people may pride themselves on their supposedly ‘Jewish’ ancestry, but they are mostly unwilling to live up to – or even to respect – the basic rules of the authentic Jewish Tradition. At closer inspection, their genealogies tend to fall short of kosher status: many of them delude themselves into believing that having a Jewish father or unregistered Jewish grandmother suffices to call oneself part of the Chosen People. And even in those cases where the painstaking genealogical research of Orthodox Rabbis results in ‘recognition’ of Jewish status, these Rabbis will immediately add the caveat that such status comes at a price. It is a price that few of these merely ‘biological Jews’ will be willing to pay, viz. the obligation to comply with the 613 mitzvot, or ‘commandments’, of the Law, elaborated in the deepest details of painstaking orthopraxy and enforcing a nearly superhuman degree of discipline, erudition and piety.8

Noblesse oblige. Or, as another Israelite stated it 2000 years ago: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).

Conclusion: In the post-SecondWorldWar West there remains only a handful of true Israelites. They can be identified by respecting two complementary rules, viz. (1) the judgement of the Orthodox Rabbis andnot or(2) the wish to be identified as such by the individual in question. Citizens of the Western states that are not ‘Jewish’ by this twin standard, but still wish to be identified as such, are welcome to apply for the giyur, or ‘conversion’, procedure of the Orthodox Rabbis, but should be considered Gentiles by the patriotic-identitarian movement till the completion of that procedure. The patriotic-identitarian movement proceeds from the assumption that every human being should be proud of his own authentic identities, his ethnicity included: no Israelite should have to hide behind the fake identity of the secular ‘world citizen’. Such deception not only feeds outlandish ‘conspiracy theories’: it is also contrary to the self-assertive precepts of the authentic Jewish Tradition. The handful of true Israelites that remain in exile in the lands of the West after the Great Deluge of the 20th century and that have not availed themselves of the Israeli Law of Return, should be granted unconditional rights of abode and citizenship and they should be afforded the full protection of the lawa protection that is shamefully lacking in the contemporary ‘multicultural’ West. The patriotic-identitarian of the West does not view these remaining Israelites as a ‘problem’let alone a ‘danger’. The patriotic-identitarian movement does not fear themand they have no need to fear it.

‘Justified and Ancient’

For lack of any substantial Jewish ethnic presence in the wake of the Second World War, the ‘Jewish Question’ has effectively ceased to be relevant in contemporary Europe: the tragedy of that war has ‘solved’ it once and for all. Again, the effects of that ‘solution’ are well illustrated by the situation in the author’s native Netherlands. Even if they deviate in their particulars, the lessons of Dutch history indicate the overall patterns of Europe’s ‘Final Solution’ of the JQ – and the manner in which it has mortgaged European psycho-history.

Of the perhaps 100,000 Jews that lived in Amsterdam – the Jewish mokem allef, or (Yiddish) ‘first city’, in the Netherlands – less than ten per cent survived the deportations conducted by the German occupation authorities between June 1942 and September 1944. With the deportees, an entire way of life and an entire urban culture was destroyed. Only a few lost survivors found their way back into the empty little streets and ransacked little houses of the old Jewish Quarter after Liberation Day 1945. The last slanting old houses and crooked alleyways were finally flattened during the inner city ‘refurbishments’ of the 1980s, which served to replace these unwelcome memories with modern architectural monstrosities such as the new city hall and yuppie apartments. It was at that time – the time of the new neoliberal regimes, Margaret Thatcher in Britain, Ronald Reagan in America and Ruud Lubbers in the Netherlands – that the last scraps of historical conscience and common decency were finally abandoned by the new Dutch soixante-huitard ‘fake elite of narcissist frauds’.9

Irrespective of the individual fates of the disappeared Dutch Jews – a macabre Untergang in the ‘bloodlands’ of Eastern Europe or an arduous return to the Promised Land – the surviving Dutch Gentiles were left with a sense of helplessness and discomfort. Helplessness: in the same way that the Dutch armed forces had been unable to halt the mighty German war machine, so the Dutch civil authorities had been able to halt the ruthless German deportation mechanism. Discomfort: among the highly disciplined and law-abiding Dutch Gentiles there remained a nagging feeling of having morally failed their Jewish compatriots, for only in the ‘Good Soldier Schweyk’ Czech territories had the Holocaust machinery been more efficient than in the Netherlands.

The dead of the martyred peoples of the 20th century are justified in and by their sacrifice: what is left of them, justified and ancient, is no more than a hint and a name. It is up to the living to learn from their history and to practice righteousness.

This instinctive collective feeling of ‘survivor’s guilt’ fitted seamlessly into the wider panorama of the Dutch war experience, which was characterized by widespread collaboration with the occupying power, equally widespread ‘war profiteering’ and ‘black market racketeering’ and a near-universal attitude of ‘weather vane’ servility. This moral low was almost immediately followed by another when the Netherlands’ former wartime ally America blackmailed it into surrendering its 350-years-old East Indies colonial empire. At the first hints of being excluded from the ‘Marshall Plan’10 fleshpots of Egypt,11 the Dutch government abandoned the most elementary notions of responsibility, loyalty and honour towards the hundreds of thousands of its faithful subjects – Dutch and native, civilian and military – that lived in and fought for the Dutch East Indies. Queen Wilhelmina refused to preside over the shameful ceremonial abandonment East Indies debacle and abdicated. This double experience of post-Holocaust and post-colonial ‘survivor guilt’ is not limited to the Netherlands: in various forms, it affects many Western European countries.

Throughout Europe, this sad historical background has effectively resulted in a series of historiographical ‘taboos’. These taboos are central to the collective ‘victim cult’ that still prevails across Europe. The moral failure and painful consciousness of individuals are experienced at a collective level, where they are projected on – abstract, unrealistic, unattainable – ‘universal values’. The collective past – history itself – becomes entirely unpalatable: a retrograde projection of self-loathing spreads out from the Holocaust and Decolonization into deeper past, into pre-modern history (‘slavery’) and finally into pre-history (‘patriarchy’). In the process, the collective (the nation) – never the ‘secular’, ‘progressive’ and ‘liberated’ individual of the ‘post-historical’ West – is held to be morally ‘liable’, historically ‘tainted’ and metaphysically ‘guilty’. The deepest and most impossible collective guilt remains conveniently reserved for the German people, the most ‘criminal people’ on Earth, but the phenomenon finally extends to the whole of Western civilization.12 In the course of the soixante-huitard slide into undiluted cultural nihilism, this psycho-historical conditioning takes on increasingly sadomasochistic characteristics. The ‘Holocaust Cult’ – deliberately exploited by the complementary phenomenon of the ‘Holocaust Industry’13 – is one of the key elements of this conditioning: it provides a convenient ‘lightning conductor’ for Europe’s psycho-historical trauma. The Holocaust Cult allows for a collective sadomasochistic projection: the archetypically ‘good’ (but passive!) Children of the Covenant are subjected to the ultimate revenge fantasies of the archetypically ‘evil’ (but active!) ‘Others’. It is a compensatory mechanism that can be understood by anybody familiar with elementary ‘Freud for Dummies’ material, but it is no less dangerous if left unchecked.

Under the aegis of fully fledged cultural nihilism and postmodern globalist ‘deconstructionism’, the sado-masochistic intellectual and emotional ‘role playing’ games of the soixante-huitards are transformed into real-life exercises. Undoubtedly, this psycho-historical mechanism provides much of the impetus for the postmodern exercises in industrial ecocide (destruction of natural beauty), bio-industrial animal cruelty (destruction of natural innocence), social implosion (destruction of family life), transgender transhumanism (destruction of gender identity) and ethnic replacement (destruction of group identity). The recent resurfacing of the JQ at the ‘Alt-Right’ fringe of the patriotic-identitarian movement can be partially understood as a compensatory reaction to the Holocaust Cult, which takes centre stage in the sadomasochistic ‘deconstruction’ discourse of the hostile elite. This JQ ‘overreaction’, however, only serves to ‘feed’ the psycho-historically driven sadomasochistic mechanism: it merely reinforces the dynamic flow of sadomasochistic ‘role-playing’. Thus, the real – non-mythical, non-cultic – Holocaust of the Jewish people is reduced to a mere instrument in the ritual self-chastisement of the Western peoples. This instrumentalization not only distorts the historical record – but it also demeans the memory of the dead.

The psycho-historical conditioning that accompanies the rise of cultural nihilism and universalist ‘deconstructionism’ casts an ever-deepening shadow over the post-war generations of the West. The Cultural-Marxist identity deconstruction of the ’60s and ’70s gives way to the ‘second generation trauma’ pathology of the ’80s and ’90s, only to metastasize into the militant ‘social justice warrior’ oikophobia of the ’00s and ’10s. The final destination of this psycho-historical trajectory is entirely predictable: it is the physical realization of self-mutilation and self-annihilation. The broad outlines of this final destination are becoming increasingly clear throughout the postmodern West: industrial ecocide, technological transhumanism, social implosion and ethnic replacement. These torments are clearly not inflicted on the European peoples by European Jewry: European Jewry no longer exists, it has gone up in smoke. Thus, the culturo-historical JQ should be a subject for free investigation and free discussion, but any forward projection of the JQ that goes beyond psycho-historical ‘trauma therapy’ into the realm ‘conspiracy theory’ represents an attempt at grasping the shades of a past that will not return. Many peoples have disappeared into the abyss of history; European Jewry fell into it and will not return.

On 30 January 1939 German Chancellor Adolf Hitler stated the following:

Wenn es dem internationalen Finanzjudentum in und ausserhalb Europas gelingen sollte, die Völker noch einmal in einen Weltkrieg zu stürzen, dann wird das Ergebnis nicht der Sieg des Judentums sein, sondern die Vernichtung der jüdische Rasse in Europa!

When international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe would once more succeed in pushing the peoples [of the world] into a world war, then the result will not be the victory of Jewry, but the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe!

His prediction of the final fate of European Jewry has come true. In the 1930s Hitler was still able to plausibly identify the hostile elite of his time as ‘other’ by means of a classical anti-Semitic scapegoat projection. Given the fact that there still existed a substantial Jewish presence in Europe and Germany, he could still plausibly project the (liberal-Marxist) evil of the (proto-globalist) hostile elite of his time on ‘Jews’. It should be noted that, even at that time, Hitler was already forced to use the qualifications ‘international’ and ‘finance’, emphasizing the (international) non-territorial and (finance) non-ethnic character of the hostile elite. Even at that time, the Nazi scapegoating of the Jews was far from a simple process: it had to take account of tens of thousands of ‘exceptions’, ‘exemptions’ and ‘special cases’ (e.g. Ehrenarier, or ‘Honorary Aryans’, Geltungsjude, or ‘Assumed Jews’, and Frontkämpferprivileg, or ‘Front-line Fighters’ Privilege’).

After 1945, such a scapegoat projection is no longer possible: the hostile elite of contemporary Europe can no longer in any way be identified as ‘Jewish’ because European Jewry no longer exists in any substantial form. To the extent that more substantial ‘biologically Jewish’ elements remain present in the overseas Anglosphere, primarily in the United States, their overall ethnic identity has been degraded (‘diluted’ through intermarriage, ‘deconstructed’ through secularism) to the extent of rendering the term ‘Jewish’ utterly meaningless. These ‘mixed’ and ‘secular’ residues of the Chosen People may very well wish to call themselves ‘Jewish’ to claim a politically correct ‘blank cheque’ from history, but in their case the term lacks any meaningful content.

Thus, as stated in the previous section, the Western patriotic-identitarian movement, is now facing an enemy that can in no way be identified as ‘Jewish’ in any meaningful sense of the word. To call the Western hostile elite ‘Jewish’ is simply an honour it does not deserve. The Western hostile elite is now clearly and totally non-territorial and non-ethnic. It is, in fact, fiercely anti-territorial (‘globalist’) and anti-ethnic (‘universalist’). The hostile elite’s stated and consistent antipathy to the Zionist-Jewish national project and Israel as a Jewish State proves the point. The Jews of Europe have vanished from history – as have the Armenians of Anatolia and the Germans across the Oder and Neisse. The dead of the martyred peoples of the 20th century are justified in and by their sacrifice: what is left of them, ‘justified and ancient’,14 is no more than ‘a hint and a name’.15 It is up to the living to learn from their history and to practice righteousness. When the Western nations, now subject to the administrative misrule, social deconstruction and ethnic replacement policies of their anti-national hostile elites, realize that they yet remain nations endowed with identities, talents and rights, then they can also decide not to disappear into the abyss of history.

Any projection of the JQ onto the contemporary hostile elite of the Western nations represents a diversion, distraction and dead-end: the hostile elite is their own, not anybody else’s. Even so, the JQ can indirectly assist them in gaining better insight into their own psycho-historical traumas, traumas that the hostile elite is using against them. Such insight can create windows with new future perspectives: by harshly confronting them with the weight of these traumas and its paralysing taboos, it can create a light at the end of the tunnel of cultural nihilism. If the near-miraculous resurrection of the Jewish State in modern Israel can teach the Western nations something, it is this: that is possible to stage a ‘come-back’ against impossible odds. If recent studies of the long history of Israelite survival in a hostile world can teach them something, it is this: that a high IQ can provide a nation with amazing historical stamina. A sufficiently high dose of IQ can make them immune against the ‘politically correct’ trickery and ‘deconstructive’ psy-ops of their hostile elite – it can make them immune to the JQ as a diversion manoeuvre and a waste of time. The Western nations should not allow themselves to waver from true self-interests and authentic self-examination, because:

Wie het gedaan heeft, heeft het gedaan. En niet iemand anders.

Guilty is only the one that is truly guilty – and nobody else.

— Harry Mulisch16

References

1 The epithet ‘Israel’ contains multiple layers of meaning. Its origin is explained in Genesis 32: 24ff.

2 A ‘skewed’ reference to the title of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s work Two Hundred Years Together, which investigates the ‘JQ’ in the Russian context.

3 ‘Liminality’ is a cultural anthropological concept developed by Arnold van Gennep (1873–1957) to describe ritual and social ambiguity.

4 As is the case in the traditionally philo-Semitic Netherlands, where giyur candidates tend to move to Belgium to apply to the more reasonably inclined Rabbis of the Jewish community in Antwerp.

5 The ‘apocryphal’ status of the latter case illustrates the mutually controversial nature of the conversion phenomenon.

6 The literal text: ‘[E]xcept for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion’.

7 It should be noted that the historical Dutch elite, i.e. the elite that existed before the Machtergreifung of the soixante-huitards, consisted of two layers: (1) the nobility (which still exists as a ‘historical institution’ defined by the official Rode Boekje, ‘Red Book’, retaining its own legal statutes without prerogatives) and (2) the patricians (which is quasi-formally defined by the official Blauwe Boekje, ‘Blue Book’, registration of non-noble elite families). The former layer, which was kept very small by over two hundred years of republican rule (from 1579–1795 the Dutch Republic lacked a fons honorum) and a highly restrictive ennoblement procedure under subsequent monarchical rule, is very thin. The latter layer, which partially dates back to the semi-hereditary mercantile rulers of the Dutch Republic and which is somewhat more permeable, tends to consider itself co-equal with the nobility – a sentiment not shared by anybody else.

8 For an authentically Traditionalist Jewish perspective on the burden and predicament caused by the modernist illusion of merely ‘biological Judaism’, cf. the widely published pronouncements of Rav David Bar-Hayim of the Jerusalem Shilo Institute. E.g. his ‘Biological Jews’ interview published on YouTube, 08:40ff (‘people who are technically “Jews”, …[but] in no meaningful sense Jewish’).

9 A reference to the title of a Dutch political treatise written by Martin Bosma, second in command of Geert Wilders’ patriotic party PVV, De schijn-élite van de valsemunters (2010), made freely available by Bosma at https://gratis-boek.nl/martin-bosma-de-schijn-elite-van-de-valsemunters/ .

10 Between 1948 and 1951 Netherlands received over 1.1 billion dollars worth of material assistance from the United States, nearly as much as Italy and West Germany.

11 Exodus 16:3.

12 Cf. Wolfheze, Alba Rosa, 21ff.

13 A reference to the work of Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (2000).

14 From the cryptomnesia of ‘The KLF’ (1991).

15 Isaiah 56:5 – this is the etymology of the Israeli national sanctuary Yad va-Shem.

16 A quotation from Harry Mulisch’s novel De aanslag (1968), translated to English as The Assault, widely considered one of the greatest works written by the greatest post-war writer of the Netherlands. It should be noted that Mulisch (1927–2010) had a highly complex understanding of the JQ, inspired by his war-time experiences (his mother was Jewish, but survived the war in the German-occupied Netherlands because his father worked for the Nazi occupation authorities).

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From JQ to IQ – Part 1 https://arktos.com/2019/02/06/from-jq-to-iq-part-1/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/06/from-jq-to-iq-part-1/#view_comments Wed, 06 Feb 2019 14:15:14 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5942 Event Horizon’

On the edge – in some respects across the boundary – of the patriotic-identitarian movement, there still remains a ‘question’ that many consider to have been either answered already, or else rendered altogether undesirable: in ‘tainted’ old-right jargon it is known as die Judenfrage1 and in ‘fashionable’ Alt-Right jargon it is commonly referred to as the ‘JQ’, the ‘Jewish Question’. In certain respects, the recent revival of interest in the JQ is justified: for new scientific disciplines that analyse bio-evolutionary group strategies and ethnogenic processes, ‘Judaism’ represents a particularly rewarding study object due to a uniquely well-documented history spanning many centuries. These studies are gradually revolutionizing contemporary understanding of the doubly biological and cultural-historical phenomenon of ‘ethnic identity’: they are adding new bio-(epi)genetic and social-psychological perspectives to old perspectives based on religious dogmatism, material determinism and political correctness.2 They allow for an enhanced understanding – and substantial ‘correction’ – of ‘anti-Semitism’ as a largely sub-rationally and sub-consciously operating, but logically reducible and rationally traceable, phenomenon. But this new – ‘postmodern’ – JQ also involves a degree of risk: the high complexity of the ‘Crisis of the Postmodern West’,3 most acutely visible in the deliberate ethnic replacement of the indigenous peoples of the West by the politically ‘untouchable’ hostile elite of the West, creates the temptation of simplistic ‘mono-causal’ explanation and ‘quick-fix’ scapegoat identification. The premature identification of the hostile elite that is presiding over the present Crisis of the Postmodern West through one-stop ‘ethnical profiling’, and the ‘classic’ stratagem of postulating a ‘Jewish World Conspiracy’, is not only a predictable intellectual pitfall, but it also represents a potentially fatal childhood disease to the new-born patriotic-identitarian movement.4

For the fledging patriotic-identitarian movement it is important to emphatically distance itself from the facile projection of the diseases, weaknesses and degeneracy of one nation – or group of nations – on any other nation. It has the educational task of pointing to the fact that the socio-psychological diseases of the Western nations – institutional oikophobia, self-destructive matriarchy, collective narcissism – result from the degeneracy of these nations themselves. From that perspective, the negative influences of certain literally alien elements – the massive socio-economic burden of fraudulent ‘asylum seekers’, criminal ‘refugees’ and import ‘jihadists’ – represent nothing but side-effects of dangerous defects in the natural immune system of the Western nations themselves. In other words: the dramatic rise of such invasive ‘vectors’ is primarily due to the critical condition of the body politic of the Western nations themselves.

The historico-materialist ideology and consistently deconstructive technique of the hostile elite are entirely incompatible with the authentic Jewish Tradition.

Thus, the patriotic-identitarian is obliged to emphatically reject the notion that the Crisis of the Postmodern West is caused by any kind of ‘Jewish’ conspiracy. It is undoubtedly true that the operations of the hostile elite are partially conspiratorial in nature, as in the nebulous role of ‘shapeshifting’ societies such as ‘Bilderberg’ and ‘Davos’. But the identification of the hostile elite as – even predominantly – ‘Jewish’ is self-evidently absurd. The psycho-historical aetiology as well as the socio-pathological character of the hostile elite point to a functional ‘(d)evolutionary’ adaptation of relatively recent origin as well as a generalized and resolutely anti-ethnic direction.5 The historico-materialist ideology and consistently deconstructive technique of the hostile elite are entirely incompatible with the authentic Jewish Tradition; they are, in fact, diametrically opposed to it in more than one sense.6

Above all else, the hostile elite is committed to a program of anti-tradition, anti-identity and anti-ethnicity: it thinks of itself as exempt from the laws of nature and it claims the right to demolish all authentic traditions, identities and ethnicities through deconstruction by every means possible, both psychological and physical. The postmodern hostile elite is quintessentially anti-nomianist (i.e. committed to the rejection and inversion of all forms of law): because it rejects tradition, identity and ethnicity (life forms that its members are existentially unable to ‘carry’ themselves), it also rejects – and reverses – all the forms of law that uphold these life forms. It cannot be ‘Jewish’, because the Jewish Tradition requires a very high degree of deference to traditional authority, meta-historical self-identification and ethnic solidarity.7

It would be very interesting to investigate the technical – probably highly ‘mixed’ – ethnic allegiance of the top membership of the hostile elite: the reason that the hostile elite is so rabidly opposed to the notion of ethnicity – let alone its own ethnic ‘registration’ – might very well be that it fears its own exposure as a méti-métèque mélange that leaves it with no solid pied-à-terre anywhere on Earth. Any notion of authentic ethnicity and ethnic ‘sphere sovereignty’8 is naturally repulsive to an elite that lacks any ethnic substance itself: obviously, the deepest existential root of the hostile elite’s ‘universalism’, ‘cosmopolitanism’ and ‘globalism’ is its own dramatic lack of rootedness. The Jewish people most emphatically do not lack in rootedness: it may have been historically subjected to a long Exile, but they have never given up on their ‘right of return’ and their dream of a renewed ‘Golden Jerusalem’.9

The only – highly artificial – way in which the hostile elite could possibly be labelled ‘Jewish’ is by defining the whole globalist postmodern New World Order as a ‘Jewish’ project. Such a label, however, not only misrepresents the authentic Jewish Tradition – in form as well as content – but it also denigrates the autonomous role of the Western peoples within this New World Order. Labelling the New-World-Order project as ‘Jewish’, means that the Western peoples, who have consistently supported and lived with this project for many decades, are degraded to the status of brainless and spineless livestock. Such a reductio ad absurdum is bound to give rise to a cynical question: do peoples that sink to the level of ‘cattle’ actually deserve better than to be treated as such?

But, as guardian of Western civilization, the patriotic-identitarian movement is bound to reject the implicit assumption that any people, from the most ‘primitive’ tribe to the most highly ‘civilized’ nation, deserves the label ‘cattle’ or ‘cattle farmer’ – let alone the label ‘good’ or ‘bad’. The semi-Manicheist ‘angels’-vs.-‘demons’-role pattern that historically pervades anti-Semitism – generally characterized by unreasonably dogmatic schemes – structurally fails to recognize the sovereign responsibility of each people in determining its own fate. Any substantial association of the brand-new patriotic-identitarian movement with anti-Semitic primitivism must be regarded as a counter-productive anachronism. Within the patriotic-identitarian movement, which must remain ‘lean and mean’ in order to survive and thrive, there simply is no room for any burdensome residue of political primitivism. It is therefore bound to reject anti-Semitism in the same breath as ‘old-right’ racism and libertarian ‘populism’.

The patriotic-identitarian movement can only be effective if it bases itself on a vision of future that is at the same time authentically rooted and radically progressive: an ‘archeofuturist’ vision that decisively moves beyond old reflexes, old thought patterns and old mannerisms. From that perspective, dogmatic anti-Semitism actively harms the patriotic-identitarian movement: to the degree that it does stem from deliberate subversion (as a diversion manoeuvre and a divide-and-rule tactic), it must be rejected as a waste of time.

Even so – or rather, because of this it is important to emphasize the correct treatment of the JQ, preferably in a succinct manner that puts it into ‘political quarantine’. Such treatment involves recognition of the legitimacy of all JQ-related issues – a recognition that is entirely lacking in the contemporary politically correct consensus which is deliberately fostered by the (self-)censorship of the system media and academic establishment. The Cultural-Marxist hostile elite of the West has succeeded in achieving a ‘thought police’ consensus in the – increasingly narrow – public debate: doctrinal mantras and psy-op manipulation now dominate journalism, education and the arts to a degree unmatched since the Gleichschaltung that characterized the mid-20th century experiments of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism. Thus, the patriotic-identitarian movement must recognize the legitimate need for a confrontation with the psycho-historical taboos that the Cultural-Marxist ‘thought police’ have pronounced on many key issues in Western history – including those issues that relate to the JQ. It is important to emphasize, however, that an assault on these taboos does not automatically equal militant ‘revisionism’: the patriotic-identitarian movement should seek to break out of these taboos, rather than to align itself with one side or another in the various historical conflicts that are covered by these taboos.

The widening gulf between rulers and ruled can easily result in a revolutionary upheaval – or even worse: in a complete breakdown in law and order and societal collapse.

Examples of these taboos include the diplomatic background to the Second World War, the technical modalities of the Holocaust, the heterogeneous ideology of National Socialism and – last but not least – the historical phenomenon of Adolf Hitler (contra reductio ad Hitlerem). As the historical distance is increasing, the need for an open and honest discussion of these taboo topics is increasing as well. The increasingly anachronistic and artificial efforts of the hostile elite to maintain its hopelessly outdated historiographical standard meta-narrative and to enforce a digitally endangered cordon sanitaire around these topics are counterproductive: they merely serve to undermine public trust in academic standards, journalistic integrity and political authority. In combination with the increasingly obvious excesses of ‘hidden agenda’ policies such as ethnic replacement and social deconstruction, the hostile elite’s insistence on maintaining these taboos is opening a fatal divide between rulers and ruled – to the point of causing spontaneous collective protests and uncontrollable mass movements. The increasing frequency of entirely unpredictable ‘electoral upsets’ – ‘Brexit’, ‘Trump’ – and ‘protest movements – gilets jaunes, ‘Chemnitz’ – indicate a build-up of critical mass. These phenomena indicate that the widening gulf between rulers and ruled can easily result in a revolutionary upheaval – or even worse: in a complete breakdown in law and order and societal collapse. The very real prospect of a sudden regression to atavistic tribalism should be of particular concern to the immigrant minorities of the West: once deprived of state-enforced protection, they will face a backlash that will wipe away their decades-old privileges in a matter of days.

As sole heir to the values of Western civilization, the patriotic-identitarian movement is obliged to – try and – anticipate, control and channel this backlash. It is thus obliged to engage in an open and ‘therapeutic’ discussion of the various psycho-historical taboos that plague the Western peoples: the JQ touches on some of these taboos. Facilitating an open debate on the various psycho-historical traumas of the Western peoples will enable the patriotic-identitarian movement to break through the narrowing ‘event horizon’ that is imposed on Western civilization by its hostile elite.

It should be remembered, however, that such a truly civilized debate is something entirely different than the ‘lightning rod’ of the all-levelling Gutmensch dialogue that presently dominates the public sphere under the aegis of the Cultural-Marxist system media. The real purpose of such a truly civilized debate is nothing less than to stave off the looming violent ‘Final Solution’ to the Crisis of the Postmodern West by means of a preventive but peaceful ‘spring cleaning’. This requires the patriotic-identitarian movement to engage in a head-on confrontation with – and a radical elimination of – the decades-old pseudo-intellectual and sub-human filth of Cultural Marxism.

(*) Organizational note: Before the postmodern JQ can be effectively addressed from the perspective of the rising patriotic-identitarian movement, it is necessary to more precisely define that perspective. For convenience’s sake, that perspective will here be named, admittedly somewhat imprecisely, ‘ethno-nationalist’: its definition will be provided in the next two paragraphs, entitled ‘A City upon a Hill’ and ‘Die fröhliche Wissenschaft’. The third paragraph, entitled, ‘Söhne des Bundes’, will specify the actual study object of the JQ: it serves to remind the reader of the correct definition of the ‘Jewish People’as opposed to the various historically incorrect and politically distorted definitions that prevail in the sub-intellectual contemporary ‘public debate’ as a result of Cultural-Marxist ‘identity deconstruction’. The fourth and final paragraph, entitled ‘Justified and Ancient’, will conclude this essay with a provisional ‘viewpoint’ for patriotic-identitarian movementa point of reference for all those that recognize the need for ‘wrapping up’ the past and concentrating on the future.

A City upon a Hill’

The patriotic-identitarian movement of the West is committed to the absolute (non-abstract, non-intellectual, non-negotiable) right of every nation to the maximal dosage of authentic identity, political autonomy and territorial sovereignty that that nation wishes to have – to the extent that this is concretely compatible with the effectively exercised rights of other nations. Thus, the patriotic-identitarian movement emphatically rejects the pharisaic arguments of ideologically distorted ‘jurisprudence’ of ‘international law’. Instead, it affirms the dictates of natural law, i.e. the biologically compelling realities of ethnicity in the real world of earth-bound allegiances: it affirms the a priori right of all nations to a ‘place under the sun’. Such a physical place – that root and no other – is always unique: it determines and defines the uniqueness of the nation that inhabits and/or derives from it – it is directly related to it physical, psychological and spiritual properties in the deepest possible sense. The specific geopolitical rootedness and the specific socio-economic biotope – the place that provides its ‘bio-evolutionary niche’ as well as its ‘mythopoeic home’10 – determine the unique combination of physical, psychological and spiritual properties that define a nation as a nation.

These properties interact with the nation’s specific ‘place under the sun’ in subtle and profound ways that modern science has barely begun to understand (initially as ‘evolutionary adaptation’), but that pre-modern historians instinctively grasped (as symbolic markers and cultural mirrors).11 The specific jargon with which this subtle reality was expressed in the Western social sciences of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, physically as Blut und Boden, or ‘blood and soil’, psychologically as Heimat, or ‘homeland’, spiritually as Weltachse, or ‘world axis’, and culturo-historically as Kulturkreis, or ‘cultural field’, are now effectively banned from academic and public discourse as ‘politically contaminated’ by their – largely misunderstood – usage during the political experiment of the ‘Third Reich’. Even so, they remain useful as signposts in the scientific reconstruction of the experiential realities that they reflect.

The right of the Western nations to exist as ethnically and historically distinct peoples in autonomous regions and sovereign states is an absolute standard from which the patriotic-identitarian movement can tolerate no deviation.

But it is above all the right to protect these realities – the collective lives – that remains unchanged: the right to protect authentic collective identity is absolute in the most concrete sense of the word: in the final analysis, it entirely supersedes legal argumentation, philosophical relativism and ideological deconstruction.12 In this sense, any ‘international law’ that insists on fixed institutions and norms constitutes a contradictio in terminis: a nation’s right to exist is no more relative than a woman’s right to motherhood and a child’s right to be born.

The absolute quality of a nation’s right to exist is reflected in the consistently transcendentally referential ‘origin myths’ of the world’s nations: it may be possible – to a certain extent – to ‘objectively’ (scientifically) study the origins of a nation through bio-evolutionary and cultural-historical analyses, but the birth of a nation is always ‘subjectively’ (psychologically) experienced as Divine Providence. Thus, divinely ordained ‘creation’ and ‘election’ are universally recurring – explicitly stated or implicitly assumed – standard themes in such ‘origin myths’, from the orally transmitted totemic birth categories of the Brazilian Bororo described by Claude Lévi-Strauss to the ‘City upon a Hill’ vision13 of the American Founding Fathers. Thus, the identity of nations can be better grasped by theologians and cultural anthropologists than by biologists and geneticists. It needs to be said again: every nation’s right to exist is absolute: its right to national identity, national autonomy and national sovereignty are merely limited by the equally absolute rights of other nations.

Conclusion: The right of the Western nations to exist as ethnically and historically distinct peoples in autonomous regions and sovereign states is an absolute standard from which the patriotic-identitarian movement can tolerate no deviation. The patriotic-identitarian movement respects the aspiration of the Jewish nation for its rights to be measured by the same standard. To the extent that elements of the Jewish nation remain in exile among the Western nations, the first-born rights of the indigenous peoples of West must, within reason, prevail over those of all resident aliensincluding over those of the Jewish exiles. But to the extent that the Jewish nation is now reasserting territorial sovereignty in its Promised Land, it should be awarded full recognition and support for its legitimate aspirations to statehood.

Die fröhliche Wissenschaft’

Every physical attack, bureaucratic derogation and ideological subversion of a nation’s absolute right to exist automatically falls within the category of – synchronically experienced and diachronically documentable – absolute evil. Thus, the collective experience of any attempt at genocide, premeditated or otherwise, falls within the category of the most extreme psycho-historical trauma that a nation can be subjected to: as a collective experience, its impact is comparable to the individual experience of an assassination attempt. A permanently hyper-reactive ‘Pavlov reaction’ is bound to characterize any nation that has been subjected to such trauma. Such ‘bottleneck’ moments are bound to permeate the historical identity of that nation, to the extent of shaping its entire religious and mythical experience – the Polish ‘Miracle at the Vistula’ (1920), the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ (1941–45) and the Abkhazian War of Independence (1992–1993)14 are recent examples of such moments.

Inevitably, any nation’s history is most profoundly shaped and focussed on its most elementary ‘life cycle moments’: its (mysterious) birth, its (traumatic) crises and its (pre-cognized) death. Thus, written history can only be subjective: no historian can pretend to ‘rise above’ his own particular Sitz im Leben, or ‘setting in life’. The historian is always part of a physical nation, a historical continuum and a spiritual tradition, even if – rather: especially if – he empathically rejects and opposes these allegiances. ‘Objective history’ does not – cannot – exist: historiography is automatically defined and functionally contextualized by the historian’s Sitz im Leben. Any claim to ‘objectivity’ immediately betrays a ‘hidden agenda’: it signifies an – ultimately very transparent – attempt at promoting an ideologically functional discourse. Thus, the claim to ‘scientific objectivity’ by the contemporary Western discipline of ‘academic history’ is a mere façade that serves a specific programme of politically-correct ‘deconstruction’: as a collective project, it is no more than a hireling in the pay of the neo-liberal/Cultural-Marxist hostile elite.

From a Traditionalist perspective, the only authentic form of history is history with long-term existential relevance to a specific audience with a specific identity, i.e. history that supports authentic identity by providing it with an absolute historical continuity. Such history – fashionably reduced to the status of a mere ‘narrative’ by postmodern ‘deconstruction’ – necessarily exceeds the boundaries of ‘known’ facts and present-day ‘event horizons’, because it necessarily contains various teleological and anagogic reference points beyond (past) facts and (contemporary) experiences. It has, in fact, the status of ‘meta-narrative’: it has ‘added value’ in terms of a nation’s collective psycho-historical conscience. It even defines the nation in terms of its supra-historical destiny, as in the projections of the Japanese Kokutai, or ‘body politic’, and the Jewish ‘Chosen People’. This means that there are many histories that are all valid at the same time: there are as many authentic histories as there are authentic nations.

Given the vital importance of the collective psycho-historical conscience in the life of a nation, it is obvious that every ‘universalist’ discourse that claims ‘objective’ validity above and beyond the specific history of a specific nation is potentially detrimental to that nation. Knowledge of the histories of other nations may be functionally valuable in a limited way – e.g. in diplomacy and cultural studies – but such knowledge can never be allowed to replace or supersede national history. By definition, national history serves as an absolute measure and criterion by which all other forms of history should be read and interpreted – these other forms include the universalist ‘world history’ that the hostile elite claims to derive from ‘objective science’ through culture relativist ‘deconstruction’. The fact that many national histories are all valid at the same time does not reduce them to relatively valid ‘narratives’: this simultaneous validity merely enhances – through contrasts and shades – the mythopoeic, aesthetic and spiritual experience of national history as a lived gay saber (Nietzsche’s fröhliche Wissenschaft, or ‘joyful wisdom’).

Conclusion: The specific histories of the Western nations represent uniquely privileged meta-narratives and therefore constitute absolute reference points for the metapolitical and political public discourse of these nations. Neither the alternative histories that are valid for other nations nor the ‘universalist’ historiographical ‘deconstructions’ that are practised by the hostile elite, can diminish the absolute valueand validityof such national history. By the same token, the patriotic-identitarian movement respects Jewish history as an absolute standard for the Jewish nation and it emphatically rejects the ‘cultural appropriation’ of Jewish history that is practised by anti-Semitic ideologues. To practice history through the lens of the ‘Jewish world conspiracy’ is bound to misrepresent the historical self-image of the Jewish nationand to diminish the national histories of the Western nations by infusing them with undignified ‘victimhood’.

References

1 The German term originally refers to the social-historical dispute between Bruno Bauer (Die Judenfrage, 1843) and Karl Marx (Zur Judenfrage, 1844); the theme only took on a political dimension with the rise of the Zionist movement (the subtitle of Theodor Herzl’s milestone publication Der Judenstaat, ‘The Jewish State’, actually reads Versuch einer modernen Lösung der Judenfrage, ‘An Attempt at a Modern Resolution of the Jewish Question’).

2 Cf. the theses of Jim Penman and Kevin MacDonald, which are built on the pioneering work of Edward Wilson.

3 Here the Crisis of the Postmodern West is interpreted in a Traditionalist sense, i.e. as the latest phase of the larger historical complex that René Guénon described as la crise du moderne. For a historiographical ‘update’ of this theme, cf. Alexander Wolfheze, The Sunset of Tradition and the Origin of the Great War (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2018).

4 For a basic sketch of the strategic position of the new patriotic-identitarian movement, cf. Alexander Wolfheze, Alba Rosa. Ten Traditionalist Essays about the Crisis in the Modern West (London: Arktos, 2019) 231ff.

5 For a summary aetiological analysis of the hostile elite, cf. ibidem, 147ff.

6 For a summary analysis of the ‘Inversed Tradition’ in the Jewish context, cf. Wolfheze, Sunset, 104ff.

7 In this regard, it is interesting to note the alleged parentage of at least two former American top diplomats, Madeleine Albright and John Kerry, in the extremist anti-nomianist sect of the Jewish heretics known as the Frankists.

8 A reference to the Traditionalist concept of soevereiniteit in eigen kring, ‘sphere sovereignty’, which stipulates differentiated authority and responsibility; it was an important element of Neo-Calvinist thought and strongly reflected in the work of Dutch statesman Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920).

9 A reference to the ‘unofficial’ Israeli anthem Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.

10 A reference to the hypotheses of Dutch orientalist Henri Frankfort (1897–1954) and French ethnologist Lucien Lévy-Bruhl (1857–1939).

11 A reference to the work of Flemish poet Jacob van Maerlant (ca. 1230–1300), e.g. his highly symbolic Spieghel historiael, ‘Mirror of History’. Profound reflections on this pre-modern ‘being in the world’ can be found in the work of Dutch historian Johan Huizinga (1872–1945), e.g. in his Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen, ‘The Waning of the Middle Ages’.

12 German legal philosopher Carl Schmitt (1888–1985) has investigated the interface between ‘natural law’ and ‘institutional law’, most importantly through his concepts of Nomos and Katechon. A recent evaluation of Schmitt’s work is found in Robert Steuckers’ Sur et autour de Carl Schmitt. For a review, cf. Alexander Wolfheze, ‘From the Arsenal of Hephaestus’, Geopolitica.

13 Matthew 5:14: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

14 For a historical evaluation of the Abkhazian War of Independence in the context of the Umvolkung strategy of the Western hostile elite, cf. Alexander Wolfheze, ‘The Devouring’, Erkenbrand.

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Maurice Barrès – Translation of a Homily https://arktos.com/2019/02/04/maurice-barres-translation-of-a-homily/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/04/maurice-barres-translation-of-a-homily/#comments_reply Mon, 04 Feb 2019 13:54:11 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5928 For an Anthology of Writers That Have Fallen to the Enemy

In memoriam

In the aftermath of the 1870 war, a great poet who has sometimes risen to the sublime and who has lost his way in other days in thousands of incredible verses of platitude, old Auguste Barbier1 wrote, as if speaking to himself, the following lines:

In the unhappy days when the whole of Germany
Rushed on France as a savage warrior,
A great number of French of all ages and rank
Did for her own salvation offer of their blood.
Either north, under Paris, or along the Loire,
By immolating themselves for her they found glory:
They were magistrates, painters, sculptors,
Scholars, rentiers, and even actors,
But unfortunately! and my heart sadly regrets it,
The Muse did not see a single poet fall.2

A poor document, where the author of the Iambes seeks in vain to find the sun of his youth!

And yet, under this winter, do you not feel reverie, a meditation which only lacks the heat for it to rise, draw the eyes, raise the souls?

The Muse did not see a single poet fall,

murmur the vanquished of 1870, and we, at the hour when I write these lines, after nineteen months of war, have inscribed on the stele of our corporation two hundred and ten dead to the enemy.

Under this winter, do you not feel reverie, a meditation which only lacks the heat for it to rise, draw the eyes, raise the souls?

Among them several great poets can already been recognized, and others that have fallen are revealed. Yesterday, the author of the Matins lumineux, Georges Ducrocq,3 became the lieutenant of the chasseurs à pied,4 and he wrote to me from the Argonne: ‘I confess that I now prefer to all others the morale of these men who throw themselves into a funnel and are killed there to gain a few inches of land on the enemy. An obscure war in which no one is grateful to us, war without brilliancy and without reward. Whatever! You do not breathe, you do not live, you only see the depths of souls under fire.

Sometimes we have respectfully recognized what source of poetry sprang into the souls of our friends by reading their sacred confidences through death. The portrait that, on the eve of being killed himself, Paul Drouot,5 grandson of the Sage of the Grande Armée,6 drew for us of this other sage, the commander Madelin,7 whom he had just seen die on the battlefield; the notebook of nobility and pain that Marcel Drouet8 bequeathed us by falling under Verdun; François Laurentie’s Journal9 is more austere, and gives us the soul of the Territorial, like Drouet, the soul of the young soldier. Here are texts loaded with experience on which French thought, for years, will make its meditation.

Maurice Barrès

And behind these stars, which before the war we did not know, there are nebulae, barely pale, a vague whiteness of adolescence, which begin to send to us their light and their heat. I have on my table the letters of Leo Latil,10 the purest younger brother of Maurice de Guérin,11 those of Jean Rival,12 aspirant of chasseurs, the pages of François Baudry,13 Raymond Cottineau,14 Louis-René Rivière,15 the chasseur à pied Michel Pénet,16 chasseur alpin Louis Vaton,17 Paul Vial,18 Jacques Brunel de Pérard,19 and Roger Couturier,20 a seventeen-year-old employee, presented and glorified by his mother herself:

Be blessed, my child, who knew how to die well.

These teenagers devote themselves to France and death with so much good will that to see them, filled with pain and respect, the most mediocre of us feels transformed. With these radiant children, the spirit rises to a higher existence where only beauty, holiness and glory reign. Earthly life is being depopulated to increase the ideal universe.

A fact which paints in a terrible way the damage suffered by the French letters21 is the state in which we see a young ardent and brilliant magazine, superbly nationalist, the Revue critique,22 now bloodied with twenty-seven glorious wounds.23

Young men who had come together to work together on the notion of order suddenly rose to the enthusiasm of the sacrifice: ‘We were forty collaborators…’ writes my friend Jean Rivain;24 ‘[T]hirteen are dead, eleven wounded, three missing.’ And on our great schools of art and science, measure the gaps! The secretary of the School of Fine Arts writes to me: ‘Of our students properly speaking, eighty fell on the field of honour and, beside them, thirty-three aspiring students’; 119 young brothers of Henri Regnault.25 Ernest Lavisse,26 whom I question, answers me; ‘Six grades went directly from the school to the fire, i.e. 293 students: eighty-seven were killed; seventeen have long since disappeared and we have no hope of finding them again; 101 were wounded, twenty-four are prisoners.’ I know a young man who has just received in the trenches his nomination of normalien.27 He is called to replace those who, at the last examination, had passed before him. How strikingly sad is this recruitment of France under the rain of death!

Be blessed, my child, who knew how to die well!

I should have had to inquire in several ways at the bar, in the faculties, in all the specialist schools, in the colleges, but when the time comes, we will draw it up, this golden book of intellectuals; today, I want only to throw a kind of prayer, a cry, an exclamation of gratitude and wonder as I pass the palace of half-collapsed youth.

We admire and we are astonished.

Why, in this war, has Intelligence been at the forefront? How has this spirit of sacrifice arisen in the beloved children of the Charities and Muses? Whence comes that, in its worst danger, our country can thus rely on the most unanimous generation it has ever produced?

On the day of the victory of Jena, 14th October, 1806,28 Chateaubriand,29 having completed examining the battlefields immortalized by the Tasso around Jerusalem, was awaiting at Jaffa the boat of Egypt; and, innocently celebrating his fatigue, he did not look once to the French army that would enter Berlin. … Baudelaire congratulated Pierre Dupont30 for having been able, with the money from his first book of verse, to escape military service: ‘He is redeemed from slavery by poetry, he wrote. What an honour, what a consolation for having forced the Muse to play a useful, immediate role in his life!’ Without doubt Vauvenargues31 and Vigny,32 all animated by the great feelings of military honour and the proudest independence under the harness of the discipline, are better accorded with the sublime vocations that flourish at this hour around us, but both breathe something austere into the gloom, while a joyous flame, an enthusiastic and clear reason all pervade the writer-soldiers of 1914–1916.

Nothing preceding. It is something unheard of that has just appeared in French letters. We love the young Sophocles, at the age of sixteen bathed in azure, when he sings the paean, with a full voice and on the lyre, in the middle of the choir of teenagers, to celebrate the victory of Salamis; but think of the thousand young men, trembling with pride, who, on the 31st July, 1914, grouped themselves in the courtyard of Saint-Cyr; there were the two promotions of Montmirail33 and the Croix du Drapeau; listen! Here they pronounce the famous oath, which one can only admire with all his heart, and that it is also necessary to hate: the oath to go to the fire wearing white gloves, the casoar on one’s head.34 One of them, Jean Allard-Méeus,35 declaims his two poems of youth and of war, and then, fifteen days later, the magnificent child fell at nineteen, his forehead and his heart broken by two bullets.

Whatever was beautiful in the world? The adolescents of Plato, the young Christian martyrs, the squires of the twelfth century, waiting for the sacrament of chivalry, Marie-Louise of the Emperor? But today we see the classes of 1914, 1915, 1916, and 1917.

By this time of eternal rain, André Peraté36 said to me yesterday ‘Do you remember the print of Raflet? Behind a bank of grass lies a ditch full of water where a whole squad, rifle in hand, is pushed to its belly.’

A grognard37 almost turns around to tell us (I do not have the legend before my eyes):38 ‘It is six o’clock in the evening, the enemy does not doubt that we are there, we will surprise him tomorrow, at five o’clock in the morning.’ It is pretty, but our children, who are their grandchildren,39 are joking in the same tone, and they have been in the ditches since November 1914. In the spring of 1915, I said to one of them that the enthusiasm of the young class was sublime; the awakening of nature, the announcement of the great offensive intoxicated us. All the ardour that we would have spent for a friend, for large walks, we used to excite ourselves for our leaders and for the troueé.40

How pure and what mystery for those who think in silence over their formerly less-than-beautiful twenty years! Why are young souls, at certain times, full of divinity? The formation of souls, their abrupt advent at the necessary hour, where did it come from? Why Péguy,41 why Psichari,42 why Leon de Montesquiou,43 why François Laurentie, that his brother Gabriel follows a few months in the death, why Guy de Cassagnac,44 why Pierre Leroy-Beaulieu,45 why Joseph Lotte,46 why Paul Drouot, why Lionel des Rieux,47 why Pierre Gilbert,48 why Marcel Drouet, why Joseph Iludault,49 why Despax,50 why Jean-Marc Bernard,51 why Charles Dumas,52 why Charles Perrot,53 why André Lafon,54 why Henry du Roure55 and Charles Duroure,56 why Alain-Fournier?57 May they forgive me as their equal, that at this minute I do not count myself. Why do young cenacles58 and young schools speak of singing bells? Why are all our colleges seething with impatience? Why this fraternal emulation of priests and teachers? Why do intellectuals run, whatever their creed, to death, and how do all confessions compete less than heroic sacrifices? An obscure child, Léo Latil, from the trenches of Alsace where he will die, can write with joy to his friends this unforgettable phrase: ‘The spiritual element dominates everything in this war.’

Mens agitat molem, mens divinior.

The corporation of French writers must multiply the testimony of their piety towards these poets, these thinkers, these novelists, these spirits, who fell with their guns in the face of the enemy, and who put in the families of Pascal, Corneille, of Racine, Moliere, Chateaubriand, Balzac, Lamartine, and Hugo, an unprecedented glory. ‘The list which you keep up to date’, I wrote, ‘from the very first hour, of the Bulletin des Ecrivains of 1914, is as venerable as the morocco registers where we keep at the Academy the signatures of classic geniuses.’

Already, under the Dome, speaking in the name of the most illustrious Company that exists in our country, Mr. Étienne Lamy, perpetual secretary of the l’Académie française, praised the writers killed by the enemy, and this year again we will place our crowns on their graves.

For their families, the Société des gens de lettres59 has had an admirable medal struck, Credidi, propter quod locutus sum and mortuus: I have attested what I believed by my word and by my death; such is the legend that reads on both sides, struck by Henri Nocq. On one side, the Marseillaise by Rude60 calls to France arms by throwing a cry of faith and hope; both arms extended, all in flames, she flies above our 75-gun; on the reverse, Victory sits with the most noble expression of sadness on a tomb and protects it with her large wings. Her head bent, she presses her face on her left hand; it is the familiar gesture of ancient art to represent the thoughtful pain. Her right hand is allowed to fall, holding the immortal crown. On the tomb, an open book, a sword, and a kepi61 characterising the writer-soldier. In the distance, in the background, radiates a cross, symbol of hope.

The Muse followed these soldiers; as soon as one of them slips to the ground, she seizes the hero in her divine arms and carries him away among the stars.

This serious and charming work will demonstrate to future centuries our piety towards our brothers, but our homage would be incomplete if we neglected to collect and disseminate their works. The Larousse House will publish the Anthologie des écrivains morts pour la patrie. My old League comrade62 Gustave Voulquin had come to talk to me about this idea; Carlos Larron realised it; I accepted the honour of presenting it to the public.

Do we want to believe that these verses and prose that we collect are all equally admirable? No matter! The blooming genius of some completes these others that still had to emerge, and some meditations sketched on the field of battle testify for those who died silently. Each of them has his own drama and figure; yet their sacrifice is common, and not one escapes the admiration with which we surround their holy cohort.

To these beginners, to these mixed masters, we resolved to offer the feast they had loved in their lifetime, and, grouped around them in a circle, we look at them, we listen to them, painful and charming figures, who already have become slightly mysterious to us who knew them personally. Half returned in the shadow, these souls gently radiate; purified by death, they are united with the ideal they pursued in our midst. There they are, all our friends, raised to the dignity of exemplars, and living an existence more intense than their first. They loved solitude, beautiful verses, music and glory. When the bells rang, they left this garden concert without hesitation to run to the duty of all, to the simple utility. They adjourned beauty, abandoned poetry, and thought to open a parenthesis in their lives; but the Muse followed them; as soon as one of them slips to the ground, she seizes the hero in her divine arms and carries him away among the stars. Having become the solid core of a cloud on fire; our friends move away calling our dreams. Thus begins a cult.

Subsequently, we will do better than this documentary collection; we needed immediately a repertory which gave names, dates, titles of books, and whose margins could receive our pious annotations; but, in order to be commented upon with a sovereign authority by those who are counted in this register, we await their companion of fatigue and virtue; both are equal. The dead man among his brothers in arms is only the primus inter pares; and the question which we address to these faces covered with shadow, the ghosts will solve them, ‘Why is it that the great souls are more numerous at certain times than others? How has France found in 1914 precisely the sons she needed, why, in this war, the eminent dignity of the spirit?’ Our friends on their return will tell us better still (because, mixed with this tragedy, they convert it into blood and nourishment): it is by acting that they have instructed us. In their work, the threads of will and honour have been struck in such a way that they will not stop vibrating and will give the tone to religious and political thought, to art, to action, to total life. They will come back with spiritual power. They will dispossess, peacefully, those they have just saved. ‘Who made you leaders?’ the powerful of yesteryear will ask them with horror. They will answer: ‘The delegation of the dead, our fellow soldiers.’

All is not buried in the glorious little cemetery of the Front. The heroes of Debout les Morts!63 covered with the mud of the trenches, painted for me one day, in unforgettable terms, the strength and magnificence of the feelings born on a field of battle: ‘To two beings who together stand shoulder to shoulder with death,’ it said to me, ‘who risked their life for each other, it seems that their two existences are now intertwined, united, have become so confused as to no longer be able to separate from each other…’ The survivors will act faithfully to the locations of the dead and their place, they will be their fellows, their doubles.

To the man who, leafing through this obituary, this register in which we inscribe the names of the dead, the day of their glory, and their legacy to posterity, would believe it to be the discouragement of French thought, let us reply that by the virtue of sacrifice comes coronation.

References

1 Henri Auguste Barbier (29th April, 1805 – 13th February, 1882) was a French poet and playwright. Heavily inspired by the July Revolution of 1830, in which King Charles X was overthrown, his most famous works were a series of poems known collectively as the Iambes (1831) that railed against the evils of the period.

2 It is unclear which poem this extract is taken from; suffice to say that, sadly, the rhyme has been lost in its translation:

Dans les jours malheureux où l’Allemagne entière

Se rua sur la France en sauvage guerrière,

Bon nombre de Français de tout âge et tout rang

Firent pour son salut offrande de leur sang.

Soit au nord, sous Paris, ou le long de la Loire,

En s’immolant pour elle ils trouvèrent la gloire :

C’étaient des magistrats, des peintres, des sculpteurs,

Des savants, des rentiers, et même des acteurs,

Mais, hélas ! et mon coeur tristement le regrette,

La Muse n’a pas vu tomber un seul poète.

3 Georges Ducrocq (5th July, 1874 – 29th September, 1927) was a French poet, explorer and writer who travelled to the Far East, the Caucasus, Russian Turkmenistan, Siberia, Mongolia, Korea, Iran and China. His work Matins lumineux was written in 1907.

4 The chasseurs à pied originated in the French Imperial Army as the light infantrymen. During the First World War, each infantry division contained at least one battalion of chasseurs à pied or chasseurs alpin. They excelled in speed and marksmanship.

5 Paul Drouot (21st May, 1886 – 9th June, 1915) was a French poet and writer who was killed during the First World War. The same year of his death, he received the Archon-Despérouses award, a poetry award created in 1834 by the Archon-Despérouses Foundation. He was killed by a shell outside of the church of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. It is important to note that he insisted on a front-line position, despite the fact that his fragile health could have easily allowed him to serve in a rear-station position. Barrès published a eulogy for Druout in L’Echo de Paris on the 23rd June, 1915.

6 Drouot was in fact the great-nephew of General Drouot, who accompanied Napoleon to the island of Elba.

7 Barrès appears to be referring to Commander Léon Madelin, who was killed on the 8th May, 1915 by a bullet to the throat whilst leading the chasseurs of the 3rd Battalion on a charge at Neuville-Saint-Vaast. Drouot’s heroism during this charge earned him his promotion, which was sadly short-lived.

8 Marcel Drouet (1888 – 4th January, 1915) was a French writer and poet who was killed in action at Consenvoye, Woëvre. His Carnet de guerre contains a mixture of correspondence and reflections upon the war.

9 François Laurentie (24th July, 1874 – 12th January, 1915) was a French historian. He died fighting at Pas-de-Calais.

10 Léopold Latil (10th Mary, 1890 – 27th September, 1915) was a French poet who was described by his friends as being a very tender man, whose letters written between November 1914 and September 1915 were published in 1916 along with letters by his comrades in a collection entitled Lettres d’un soldat. He was firstly shot in the arm the night of his death, and refused evacuation. The second attack on his trench a few hours later would prove fatal. He died near the Navarin farm, just north of Souain, Grande-Est. The ‘brotherhood’ with Maurice de Guérin described by Barrès is not one of blood but of style and spirit.

11 Georges-Maurice de Guérin (4th August 1810 – 19th July, 1839) was a French poet whose work revolved around an almost pagan celebration of nature. He died of consumption at twenty-eight, and none of his works was published during his lifetime.

12 Jean Rival (1895 – 20th July, 1915) was a French writer who was killed at Linge, Vosgues.

13 No information about this individual could be found.

14 Raymond Cottineau (16th January, 1893 – 2nd October, 1915) was a French poet who wrote under the name Jean l’Hiver. A law student in Bordeaux prior to the war, he wrote La beau sacrifice, 1914 whilst hospitalized in Parthenay, which was honoured by the French Academy in 1915. He was killed in action at Hooge.

15 No information about this individual could be found. Searches were made of the French war dead records which contained multiple individuals of this name, however there was no mention of any of these fallen being a writer or poet. It is likely that this information, unlike in Cottineau’s case, was simply not recorded.

16 Michel Pénet (22nd August, 1895 – 29th May, 1915) was a budding French writer and poet who was killed in the trenches at La Harazée. Barrès eulogises him in his 1917 publication Les diverses familles spirituelles de la France. His letters were published posthumously.

17 Louis Vaton (22nd October, 1893 – 1st March, 1915) was a highly-decorated soldier, being part of the Croix du Drapeau (1913–1914, a prestigious military school founded by Napoleon I in 1802) and being awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery. He was badly wounded in the head at Soultzeran, and he died of his wounds in hospital. It is unknown if his writings were ever published.

18 Military records indicate that no less than twelve people of this name died in the First World War, including a student and a chasseur alpin; however, it is sadly impossible to pinpoint the person to whom Barrès refers.

19 Jacques Brunel de Pérard (16th August, 1893 – 26th September, 1914) was a French journalist and literary critic, who founded the Imperia publication, a monthly magazine dedicated to politics and literature.

20 Roger Couturier (15th October 1897 – 23rd July, 1915) was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery, dying of his wounds in the ambulance. His dying words were reported as being ‘That my blood serves the victory of France’. His mother collected his letters and diary in a small publication entitled Un soldat de la Grande Guerre.

21 Barrès is here likely referring to those known as ‘men of letters’, as in, educated literateurs.

22 The full title of this publication is La Revue critique des idées et des livres, and was founded in 1908 by Jean Rivain and Eugène Marsan. The ideas of the Catholic-Monarchist group Action Française were highly influential in its writing.

23 Here Barrès is lyrically alluding to the twenty-seven members of the Revue’s staff who were killed in between 1914 and 1918.

24 Jean Rivain (14th November, 1883 – 23rd Mary, 1957) was a French writer and editor of La Revue critique. The ideas of Charles Maurras (primary philosopher of Action Française) and of Italian Fascism influenced him profoundly.

25 Henri Regnault (31st October, 1843 – 19th January, 1871) was a French painter in the Orientalist movement. Again, the brotherhood Barrès alludes to is one of artistic lineage rather than blood.

26 Ernest Lavisse (17th December 1842 – 18th August, 1922) was a prominent French historian specialising in both modern history and the Holy Roman Empire.

27 The normalien indicates a student or alumnus of the ‘Normal’ schools, often teachers in training of civil servants.

28 The battle of Jena on the plateau west of the river Saale was fought between Napoleon I and Frederick William III of Prussia. The Prussian army suffered a comprehensive defeat.

29 Françoise-René de Chateaubriand (4th September 1768 – 4th July 1848) was a French historian, politician and writer, and is recognized as the founder of French literary Romanticism.

30 Pierre Dupont (23rd April, 1821 – 24th July, 1870) was a French poet and song-writer, and was exiled from France for seven years due to his becoming the poet-laureate of the French socialist cause.

31 Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues (6th August, 1715 – 28th May, 1747) was a French moralist and writer was a friend of Voltaire, whose aphorisms received posthumous fame in the 19th century.

32 Alfred de Vigny (27th March, 1797 – 17th September, 1863) was a French poet and playwright, who became a foremost voice in the field of French Romanticism.

33 This refers to the battle of Montmirail (11th February, 1814) fought by Napoleon. The relevance here is unclear, but may allude to the battle being used in military mythology for propagandist and motivational purposes for new recruits of the Military School of Saint-Cyr.

34 This also refers the white gloves and a type military hat, upon which white feathers hang down. The reference to the Croix de Drapeau is important here as the ‘Oath of 1914’ was taken by those who were part of this military school, wearing white cloves and casoar hat.

35 Jean Allard-Méeus (23rd November, 1891 – 22nd August, 1914) was a French poet and officer in the Military School of Saint-Cyr, who promoted the Croix de Drapeau and the Montmirail. He was also a member of Action Française, and a promoter of the French retaking of Alsace and Lorraine, about which he dedicated on of his poems. He was killed in action at Pierrepont.

36 André Peraté (11th February, 1862 – 30th September, 1947) was a prominent French art historian and curator of the Versailles Museum.

37 Grognard was a slang term for an old soldier, originating in the Imperial Guard of Napoleon I, 1804.

38 This is a confusing turn of phrase, possibly meaning that the old soldier speaks over his shoulder.

39I.e. he grognard’s generation .

40 A troueé is a pass, and Barrès may here be obliquely referring to the Battle of the troueé de Charmes, an offensive fought between the 24th and 26th August, 1914 between French and German forces which the French won.

41 Charles Péguy (7th January, 1873 – 5th September, 1914) was a French poet and essayist. Initially dedicated to socialism and nationalism, he became a practicing Roman Catholic in later life. He died from a bullet to the head near Villeroy.

42 Ernest Psichari (27th September, 1883 – 22nd August, 1914) was a French author, soldier and religious philosopher. Having converted to Catholicism in 1913, he was killed the following year at Rossignol during the Battle of the Frontiers, defending the position of French gunners between the German lines and the Semois River.

43 Léon de Montesquiou (14th July, 1873 – 25th September, 1915) was a French aristocrat, royalist, nationalist and essayist. Having adopted the royalist cause in 1901, he became heavily involved in Action Française and grew to play a leading role within the group. He died at Souain whilst leading his section on an assault on German lines.

44 Guy Granier de Cassagnac (26th December, 1882 – 20th August, 1914) was a French journalist, novelist and playwright, son of noted Bonapartist, political journalist and duelist Paul Granier de Cassagnac. He died in combat at Fonteny.

45 Pierre Leroy-Beaulieu (25th September, 1871 – 17th January, 1915) was a French writer and politician, and the son of noted economist Paul Leroy-Beaulieu. A captain of the artillery reserve, he was wounded in the head by a bullet and later died of his wounds in hospital.

46 Joseph Lotte (18th February, 1875 – 27th December, 1914) was a French Catholic writer, who founded the Bulletin des professeurs catholiques de l’Université in 1910. He was also a friend of Charles Péguy. He died in combat at Blangy-les-Arras.

47 Lionel des Rieux (20th November, 1870 – 27th February, 1915) was a French poet of the Romanesque school. A close friend of Charles Maurras, he joined Action Française around 1900 and contributed to its periodical. He was killed in battle at Neufchâteau.

48 Pierre Gilbert Crabos (14th June, 1884 – 8th September, 1914) was a French journalist, critic and writer dedicated to the Royalist movement. He was involved in the Cercle Proudhon which formed in 1911, with the aim of bringing revolutionary monarchist, nationalist and syndicalist thinkers together in order to convert them to the neo-Royalist cause. A disciple of Charles Maurras, he was a member of Action Française. He died in the defence of Vitry-le-Françoise.

49 No information regarding this individual could be found.

50 Émile Despax (14th September, 1881 – 17th January, 1915) was a French poet who also held posts such as secretary to the Minister of the Colonies and the chief-of-staff to the Governer of Indo-China. He was killed in combat at Moussy-sur-Aisne.

51 Jean-Marc Bernard (4th December, 1881 – 9th July, 1915) was a French poet and member of Action Française. He died in battle.

52 Charles Dumas (1881 – 7th November, 1914) was a French writer, killed in action. No further information could be found.

53 Charles Perrot (1887 – 13th October, 1914) was a French writer, killed in action. No further information could be found.

54 André Lafon (17th April, 1883 – 5th May, 1915) was a French author, and the first laureate of the Grand prix de littérature de l’Académie française in 1912. Through his work as a military ambulance manager he contracted scarlet fever and died in hospital.

55 Henry du Roure (19th August, 1883 – 21st September, 1914) was a French Catholic writer and secretary general of the Le Sillon movement created by Marc Sangnier. Le Sillon aimed to bring Catholicism in line with French Republican ideals to prevent the spread of Marxism and anti-clericalism. Founded in 1894, it dissolved in 1910. Du Roure was killed in action at Limey.

56 No information on this individual could be found.

57 Henri-Alban Fournier (3rd October, 1886 – 22nd September, 1914), known by the pseudonym Alain-Fournier, was French writer. He authored one book, Le grand meaulnes (1913) which is considered to be a classic of French literature. He was killed one month after joining the army, near Vaux-lès-Palameix, and his body remained unidentified until 1991.

58 A cenacle refers to a supper room, typically associated with the Last Supper, but it also refers to a coterie of writers.

59 The Société des gens de lettres is a French writers’ foundation established in 1838 by Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas and George Sand.

60 François Rude was an artist who sculpted the La Marseillaise relief that can still be found on the Arc de Triomphe.

61 A kepi is a French military cap.

62 Barrès is here referring the Ligue des Patriotes, a nationalist League founded in 1882. It was dissolved in 1899 but was reformed in 1914 with Barrès as its leader.

63 Debout les Morts! was a short film made in 1916, directed by André Heuzé. It is apparently based on a novel by Spanish author Vicente Blasco Ibáñ, however I have been unable to locate title of this work.

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Fatherlands and Peoples: Nietzsche and the European Problem https://arktos.com/2019/02/01/fatherlands-and-peoples-nietzsche-the-european-problem/ https://arktos.com/2019/02/01/fatherlands-and-peoples-nietzsche-the-european-problem/#view_comments Fri, 01 Feb 2019 13:47:07 +0000 https://arktos.com/?p=5915 Reading Nietzsche, one cannot avoid the impression that no philosopher prior, and but few since, has ever perceived at once so clearly and so deeply the European problem. That problem might be summarized briefly and superficially thus: Europe is simultaneously unity and multitude. There is a ‘European spirit’ as there is not, for instance, an African, an Asian, a pan-American spirit: and hence there is a singular Europe. But at the same time Europe is composed of numerous and often conflicting languages, numerous ‘cultures’ or ethe, deriving from numerous historical, genealogical, linguistic roots. The Europeans are one people with many fatherlands; or put otherwise, the Europeans are becoming a people with a single fatherland, a process which is endangered by the continual menace of relapsing into a divisive ‘petty nationalism’. In its unity, Europe may attain to a promise it could never dream in its fragmentation. But its unity seems to come at the price of its ‘diversity’, its excellent richness of customs and ways. Nietzsche addresses this problem nowhere so thoroughly as in Book VIII of Beyond Good and Evil.1 Indeed, in this book he proposes a solution to the problem of Europe. But the problem has changed fundamentally since Nietzsche’s descent into madness, and decisively since World War II. We must seek then to give a brief exposition of Nietzsche’s view, and of the changes in light of which that view must be reconsidered in whole or in part.

In its unity, Europe may attain to a promise it could never dream in its fragmentation. But its unity seems to come at the price of its ‘diversity’, its excellent richness of customs and ways.

The very title of Book VIII, ‘Peoples and Fatherlands’, gives us a sense of Nietzsche’s point of departure: he is concerned with the ethne of Europe and with the nations which gave birth to them, or to which they gave birth. Book VIII begins and ends with Wagner. Nietzsche writes in a musical way about his subject; his is a pan-European literature informed by Europe’s rich musical tradition – precisely the opposite influence of that which he ascribes to Europe’s latest musicians, who are ‘steeped in world literature’ (256). ‘Peoples and Fatherlands’ is divided into seventeen sections, with the central section (248) dedicated to the question of the ‘masculine and feminine’ in peoples. This returns us at once to the key word fatherlands (Vaterländer): Nietzsche is concerned above all with the masculine peoples of his Europe, foremost among them Germany. But Book VIII can also be broken into three distinct parts, divided by the book’s two shortest sections (243 and 249) and unified each of them by a common theme, thus revealing a second or true center, located in the question of writing (246). The first part (240–242) treats of the European present, the ‘today’ in Europe; the central part (244–248) treats of Germany; and the last and largest part (250–256) treats of Europe as a whole. In this last part, two sections are dedicated to the Jewish question, two to the English, one to France, and two to the relation of Germany and France, the key to the European question in Nietzsche’s day: crude, manifold, masculine Germany and super-refined, limpid, feminine France, through their marriage, might give birth to a united Europe, the ‘good European’ being at once the match-maker and the offspring of that matrimony. Their geographical proximity transforms this cultural problem into a question also of interbreeding. Nietzsche does not want to see Europe divide sharply into her constituent ‘identities’; though ‘Peoples and Fatherlands’ begins on a note of nationalism, it closes with the overcoming of the same. In section 251 he indicates the reason for his opposition to nationalism: the nation in Europe ‘is really rather a res facta than a res nata’, a thing made rather than a thing born. It, like Europe itself, is ‘not yet a race’, indicating at once that the centrality of race for Nietzsche, and also suggesting the thesis that races can be made. To attempt then a merely national race would be to squander opportunity. This is prelude to the idea of ‘Occidental Man’.

In Nietzsche’s review of the peoples of Europe, only France receives unambiguous praise – meaning the true France, the ‘France of taste’ beneath the ‘noisy twaddle of the democratic bourgeois’ (254). The qualities which Nietzsche ascribes to it would be lost in the ‘Germanization’ of Europe. Nietzsche thought the French would probably fail in their resistance to Germanic influences: they had ‘the good will to resist and spiritual Germanization – and a still better [noch besseres] incapacity to succeed!’ (Italics mine). But this ‘still better’ suggests that their acquiescence to Germany would not be altogether for ill: ‘for the spiritual flattening of a people, there is a compensation, namely, the deepening of another people’ (241). The better qualities of France might be transmitted to Germany; Germany might gain a ‘feminine’ aspect. The three French qualities in which the French could still take pride – and in consequence the three qualities Nietzsche might have wished upon the Germans – were her art, her ‘morals’, and her pan-European quality. France had a ‘dedication to form’, as contrasted with the tastelessness and formlessness of the German soul. The Germans ‘elude definition, and would on that account alone be the despair of the French’ (244). This was also their strength; but that is a strength which needs molding by the plasticizing powers of the human soul. The ‘moralistic culture’ of the French refers to the psychology of the French, their ability to ‘unriddle the soul’, which power the Germans lacked, but which together with German complexity might have become a quality of enormous potential. Finally, the French, for their geographical position, mark a halfway point between North and South, and are thus the natural precursors and curators of ‘good Europeanism’. This is revealed most viscerally in the music of Bizet, ‘who discovered a piece of the south of music.2 There is in Wagner’s Meistersinger, by contrast, ‘no beauty, no south, nothing of southern and subtle brightness of sky’ (240). In the last section of Book VIII, Nietzsche praises Wagner for going to Paris, and condemns him for returning to Rome. The South is equivocal; it means at once the ‘brightness of the Mediterranean sky’ and ‘the way to Rome’, i.e. to Catholicism and Christianity.3 The Germans can access the true South, the bright South, through France alone – the English cannot access it at all (254).

Nietzsche’s overriding concern is always united Europe – surely not the ‘European Union’ which we presently suffer (and which is as little a union as it is European), but the Europe of the ‘good Europeans’.4 This last formulation is used three times by Nietzsche, twice in quotation marks. Only the central use of the word is unambiguous or unironic – that in which Nietzsche expresses his hope that the good Europeans will ‘follow the sun’s example’ and move into the ‘constellation of Hercules’ (243). The good European unqualified, even as the German himself (240), is a creature of tomorrow, not today; he is the potential result of the present experiment in uniting Europe. He will, with luck, be more Herculean, stronger; he will be the ‘one stronger’ who ‘will become master over the strong’ (240). Nietzsche hoped for his issuance in particular from Germany, from the Gallicization of the German nature. Germany’s centrality for Nietzsche rested on three points. First, the German soul’s questionable ‘profundity’ – which meant for Nietzsche its variety and variegation, the diversity of its origins, the complexity of its pieces and parts. The Germans were a ‘people of the middle in every sense’ (244) which aligned them strikingly with the third virtue of the French; and they were manifold and formless, quality related to their pan-European music (245). Second, the masculinity of the German spirit was of interest to Nietzsche – the genius ‘which above all begets and wants to beget’ (248). This married it naturally to the feminine France; the two were to unite, though it was uncertain if they would do so happily (248). Finally, the barbarism of the German was of worth. ‘We Germans are still closer to barbarism than are the French’ – and it is clear Nietzsche does not speak here in simple and moralistic condemnation. For Europe requires, as ever has been her birthright and her special historical privilege, a new barbarism from within to bring her back from the effete mediocrity in which she wallows. But all of these hopes, this futurity of the Germans, were squandered in World War II. The war and its fallout have changed us, changed Europe, and made Nietzsche’s Germany of tomorrow impossible.

Germany can no longer lead the future of Europe, for Germany has been corrupted by shame at the sight of those of its traits which in Nietzsche’s eyes gave it promise.

Germany can no longer lead the future of Europe, for Germany has been corrupted by shame at the sight of those of its traits which in Nietzsche’s eyes gave it promise. It has been rendered simple, machine-like, democratic; it is ‘pan-European’ in the worst sense of embodying those purely negative qualities common to today’s ‘European’; nor would it ever countenance that which is or has been barbaric in it. Nietzsche said that the Germans are ‘frightening to themselves’ (244) – today their shame has rendered that fear absolute. Germany has been denatured and neutered – state which she might overcome with time. But time is precisely what we do not presently have. For the Second World War has completely changed the political landscape of our times, leading to the great danger that Europe might go under. Beyond this, one of the prime social consequences of the Second World War is the complete mutation of the Jewish question.

Nietzsche was throughout his life acutely aware of the Jewish question. In the present work he offers some of his most incisive commentary on it. The two sections dedicated to the Jews (250 and 251) introduce his reflections on ‘supra-Germanic’ Europe. This indicates the extreme importance of the Jews for Nietzsche. It is indeed striking that Nietzsche should grant two entire sections of ‘Peoples and Fatherlands’ to a people without a fatherland, while he dedicates only a single section exclusively to France. Europe, Nietzsche tells us, owes to the Jews ‘one thing that is both of the best and the worst’: the ‘grand style in morality’ (250). Strikingly, it is the artists who are most grateful for this, they who are masters of fiction and picturing. Intriguingly, he seems to trace the moral grand style to the Jews’ contempt of nature, including human nature (The Gay Science, 135 and 136). Nietzsche asserts that the Jews introduced style to Europe principally through Christianity, the vehicle of the ‘slave revolt in morality’ (195), the great revaluation of values effected by ressentiment against the ruling classes. We are permitted to wonder if they did not introduce into Europe as well the essential, and by now essentially European, preoccupation with morality and justice, planting this unique growth on soil that had already been well prepared by Athens – a growth which would in some way be consummated by the Catholic unification of Christian morality (supernatural virtue) with Greek philosophy (natural virtue). Nietzsche makes it clear elsewhere that even the ‘slave revolt in morality’ deepened the human, the European, soul (see On the Genealogy of Morals, first two essays, especially ‘First Essay’, Section 6). But it comes as well with its perils: it has brought pity to the heart and risks being harbinger of the Last Man. Therewith has come an incredible potential to Europe: ‘The fight against the Christian-ecclesiastic pressure of millennia… has created in Europe a magnificent tension of the spirit the like of which has never yet existed on Earth’ – a tension which the good Europeans feel (Preface. N.B., Nietzsche uses the phrase ‘good Europeans’ in this Preface without quotation marks). But none of this addresses the real Jewish question: what is a people without a fatherland to do with itself? Of the four possibilities such a people might attempt to realize – haughty segregation from their host peoples, rule over their host peoples, assimilation into their host peoples, or emigration to a newly formed fatherland – Nietzsche claimed the Jews of his day wished primarily to assimilate. Nietzsche believed, writing in 1886, that the Jews were ‘not working and planning for [mastery over Europe]’ (251, italics Nietzsche’s). The foremost threat to assimilation, Nietzsche believed, was precisely anti-Semitism, and in a clear instance of what he meant by his notion of ‘breeding’, he wonders what might issue from the mixing of the ‘hereditary art of commanding and obeying’ of the German nobility with the ‘genius of money and patience’, and the spirituality, of the Jew. It is in this context, indeed, that Nietzsche speaks for the first time of the ‘European problem’. As much as Nietzsche opposed the mere nationalism of his day (and with it surely also certain manifestations of ‘identitarianism’ in our own), he opposed still more the indiscriminate mixing of races. He willed the conscious creation of the ‘good European’, and he is clear that the bid for mastery of the Jews would complicate if not obviate this. But, not to speak of any prior changes in Europe, the Holocaust has of course forever altered the course of these events: it has been a stringent spur to the Jews to regroup and retrench, and a potent weapon for them to employ in their dealings with a West which has become to them eternally suspect and potentially dangerous. On the geopolitical scale today, Israel wants to rule in the West, to the extent that this will allow it to protect own interests; and so far as the United States are concerned today, it already does rule.

Nietzsche was no stranger to this possibility (see Dawn, 205). He tended to see in it even great promise, for he was acutely aware of the qualities of the Jews. But in all cases in which he speaks with optimism of such an event, he presupposes always a conscious mixing of the Jewish with the European – a wilful submersion, a painstaking assimilation of the one into the other – either toward the spiritualization of the latter or the ennobling of the former. What he did not foresee is that with the Jewish influence might come Israel’s influence over America – that greenest, most youthful and rambunctious and least spiritual and cultural of all the Western fatherlands. The specific form of Israeli rule thus has been exceptionally demeaning. It has accompanied the decimation of the old European aristocracies via the War, and the subsequent democratization of Europe, with the attendant success of capitalism – which could not do other than accent the Jewish ‘genius for money’ to the detriment of the superior spirituality or ‘moralism’ of Judaism. It is accompanied by the radical reorientation of the rapport between Europe and Israel: the shame and obsequiousness of the one, and the invincible mistrust and concealed will to power of the other. We who are confronted with this reality must battle it – particularly as it becomes increasingly clear that the present ‘ruling class’, which is as unrelated to the Jews as to Europe, has every intention of eliminating the peoples of the West, of eliminating us, by means of indiscriminate breeding with non-European peoples, whether as a form of revenge or precaution or greed, it is sometimes impossible to say. Far from representing the cultivation or emergence of a new European ruling class, this can represent only the absolute obliteration of its possibility. We have become almost totally powerless to stem the flood of non-Western peoples into Europe and America which has been prepared. A new project is urgently in order.

The healthy man atimes knows not the nature of health – until he falls prey to illness. In disease, in degeneration, the true standards become clear in a way they could not when they were merely presupposed; and in the present malady, perhaps even moribundity, of the West, we must relearn, or learn for the first time, our Occidental virtue, for the benefit of a future Occidental Man.

We cannot look for rebirth solely to the Germans nor to the French, the classic heart of Europe, for the simple reason that these two countries more than any others have been compromised by the by now indelible taint of the Holocaust. Try as we might to reclaim the World War II ‘narrative’, the shame is too deeply inscribed in the hearts of those peoples. They have learned with absolute obedience to equate democracy, liberalism, egalitarianism with the the loveable, the desirable, the good, and aristocracy, elitism, racialism with the hateable, the bad, that which should be avoided and medicated against like the plague itself. They suffer from profound moral paralysis. Those individuals who escape the pressure will be the rare few; as peoples the French and the Germans cannot be expected to lead. And this to speak only of the ‘moral’, not the psychological, physiological and generational damage done by the war. Something can be hoped from certain ‘fringe nations’ of Europe – as Hungary well demonstrates – and also from Italy, whose vital spiritual resilience, whose furbizia, whose realism in politicis et artibus and keenness of cynical and proud intellect renders her resistant to gross moralistic kant and to vergogna of the deeper or stupider kind. These countries might indeed become avenues for the rise of a new Europeanism or an Occidental ideal. But the scope of their action will be somewhat limited for a number of reasons, not least of all for the linguistic. For a sufficiently wide front it seems to me we must look instead to that source which Nietzsche for excellent reasons most scorned – namely, the Anglo-Saxon countries. The English and the Americans in particular represent the first shadows of a pan-European type. They are themselves, and ever more, the results of a wide admixing of the Europeans; they are a first attempt, blind, haphazard, unconscious, aimless, even misled, even deceived, to produce ‘Occidental Man’. More, they were the enemies of the Nazis and the Fascists in the War, which might given them, if only they knew to capitalize on it, a degree of immunization from the moralistic bludgeon of the Holocaust. That they have so far revealed no such immunity is due to a variety of factors, not least of all the originating role they played in the Enlightenment, but also to this: that, being the victors of a long and terrible battle, these peoples tend to demonize their enemies, both in retrospect and in prospect. The English, who suffered the war on their very shores, are more susceptible to this difficulty. The Americans are somewhat shielded, as ever, by the armour of distance. One can barely hope for any kind of political movement from these motherlands in a more favourable direction – so far as politics goes, it would be well to turn to the nations hereabove noted – but it seems to me one must for the time being place the political question on an altogether secondary plane. We must do what we may in politics, even while realizing that the prime field of our labour is for the nonce another: what is of the essence is rather the shaping of our peoples as peoples amidst the rubble which daily accumulates around them.

Nietzsche’s critique of the English applies even more acutely to the Americans, who are in large part but the extension and extremification of the English character and English ethos. Nietzsche says of the English that they are ‘gloomier, more sensual, stronger in will, and more brutal than the Germans’ (252). That is to say – they are more barbaric than the Germans. But the barbarism of the Germans is indicated by Nietzsche to be their quality, toward the reclamation of European vitality. It is therefore not wrongheaded to hope that this barbarism precisely might favour a liberation from the present moralistic labyrinth into which we have been plummeted – not by subtly seeking the route of escape, which is often beyond the power of those who would attempt it, but rather by bursting asunder the very walls. But this is of value only as it is supplemented: for the English suffer definite shortcomings which are particularly un-European. Nietzsche indicates two of the greatest: they are unphilosophical, and they are unmusical. They lack ‘power of spirituality, real profundity of spiritual perception’. This pushes them, by Nietzsche’s estimation, into the arms of a crude Christianity.

Western man has been strapped to a secret wheel of Ixion, subjected to the influence of elements foreign to his soul, which moreover have no love for him and which would gladly dilute him out of existence.

Nietzsche is speaking here surely not only of the masses, but also of the best souls to come of the English fatherland. Nor is he necessarily speaking of Christianity as a doctrinal credo: there is little enough ‘true faith’ in Locke, Hobbes, Smith, or Hume. Theirs is rather a tendency toward the Christian morality – ‘Rome’s faith without the word [Rom’s Glaube ohne Worte]’ (256). The root cause of this is a lack of profundity. Now, the English are indisputably a people of letters. Their great and special art has always been literature in its various forms, compared to which their few masters in the other arts (as Lord Leighton in painting and Purcell in music) appear few and far between. This cultural peculiarity is connected more to the language or the ethos than it is to the land, as is indicated by the fact some of the deepest writers in English in the past few hundred years have been primarily Irish and American. So far as the last group goes, one is obliged to mention Melville, Thoreau, Henry James, Faulkner, Wallace Stevens. But America has produced its great men despite itself, has almost exclusively scorned and misunderstood them, and often forced them into exile – abroad or at home. Nothing is so depressing for an American as reading the biographies of America’s greatest sons. But these Americans have shown the way despite all that stood against them: they have shown above all that a new kind of writing could arise precisely from the ground of the English tongue, which is rich and deep for the multiplicity of its origins. English is steeped in all the many destinies of Europe. English has become the lingua franca of the West by right, not by accident. It is the greatest task of those who write in this language today to work toward the acquisition of, perhaps even the creation of, the mastery of a grand style, deep as it is high, modelled perchance on the Greeks more than on the Latins, but in any case taking as its aim a new pan-European style. Santayana, that truly Spanish-American, and the Anglicized Pole Joseph Conrad also give some indications of what this might mean. The problem is of no mean importance – as Nietzsche indicates by pointing to the centrality of language and literature in the core, and also final, sections of his book.

So far as the Anglo-Saxon’s musical talents go – I confess, here the prospects grow grimmer yet. England has never been much blessed by the graces of music, America still less (fact reducible perhaps to the brutality of the American tongue), and both have on their conscience the aural plague, the vulgar sentimentality, the spiritual and aesthetic ugliness of ‘pop music’. Nonetheless, it speaks favourably of the English that they produced two of the great 20th-century composers capable of resisting the abstract, disembodied, bloodless ‘music’ of Schoenberg’s school – I mean Elgar and Britten. Hardly can we hope here for a ‘supra-European music’ of the kind that Nietzsche dreams in 255 – fully half of Elgar’s ‘In the South’, for instance, is every bit as much a misunderstanding as Schumann’s Manfred – but that to my mind reflects the wretched, the possibly irredeemable state of music today, which is due as much to our general cultural decadence. It may well be that Nietzsche’s diagnosis in The Case of Wagner is unhappily correct: as he puts it in the Second Postscript, ‘From the rule that corruption is on top, that corruption is fatalistic, no god can save music’, which he indicates is due to the rigorous physiological basis of music as an art. The ‘new music’, this contemporary hodgepodge, this muddy medley, this bog-like, colourless contemporary cacophony which appears to be the prime heir of our peerless classic tradition, is divorced utterly from the body. One can do anything with such music except dance to it. Even before Schoenberg, modern music called this its ‘liberation’. It is thus clear that before the redemption of music one needs a redemption of the people; one needs a new race, an Occidental race. The dangerous propensity of English and Americans to encourage interbreeding appears potentially favourable in this regard, if only it were done with a little intention and discrimination (traits, alas, which one can certainly not much hope from the contemporary Anglo-Saxon). For instance, the characteristic attraction of the Anglo-Saxon soul for the south, for Greece and la bella Italia, but also for the American Deep South, bespeaks to my eyes a certain residual soundness of instinct that we would do well to encourage. If there is any immediate hope for music, it is in literature, in precisely the opposite movement of which Nietzsche speaks in 256. There have already been gestures in this direction (consider Poe, Aldous Huxley, Yeats, Joyce), and the poetry especially of the English has often been of masterful sonority. English as a language is phonetically more feminine than many other languages. All of this can and should be contemplated by whomever would really compose in English.

There is a certain justice in the fact that the fate of Europe falls now disproportionately on Anglophones, if not Anglo-Saxons: it was the English and through them the Americans to introduce this ‘damnable Anglomania of modern ideas’ (253). It should then be theirs by right, if not by duty, to take it back. The requisites are theirs, in body and in tongue: one wants only the wakefulness, the spirit, the will, the vision. The English language itself might indicate the way to us toward the subverting of the Enlightenment through the preparation for the Occident. The influence of the rabble must be overcome first in our speech, through the same ruthless discrimination we would apply to the ethnic forces now assailing Europe and to the moral dissolution even now rending at our souls. We can prepare the way, for the first time consciously, for a High English. We have the possibility of making, not so much some Platonic ‘city in speech’, as a new European people in speech.

Well would it be for us to consider our plight artistically. A time is fast upon us in which the greatness of our task will have to be met with an a enormous inner strength, which, alas, we have too many reasons to doubt in ourselves.

For surely, these are not simple days, nor easy times. No meagre challenges face us. In our day, European democracy – better say, with greater precision, Enlightenment ‘liberalism’ – is drawing its ultimate conclusions. There are many ways of characterizing this fateful occurrence, but in the context of the European problem we might phrase it thus: the ‘Enlightenment’ has made Western man smallest and most fragmented at precisely that historical moment he has most need of being mightiest and most unified. He has been strapped to a secret wheel of Ixion, subjected to the influence of elements foreign to his soul, which moreover have no love for him and which would gladly dilute him out of existence. He is cowed by shame, belittled by unworthy appetites, demeaned by the ready ease of feeding them. He is surrounded each day the more by newcomers arrived from distant lands, who are physiologically haler (because simpler, crasser) and ideologically cleaner and more resolved than he. He has been uprooted at every turn, distanced from all those fertile values of fixed community by which he might have been nourished to strength. His high culture has been sterilized, his soul vulgarized, his heart slaked and his spirit slackened. The conditions are ripe for his utter and final extermination from this globe which he once ruled in the perfect naïveté of his right, and which he has in countless respects rendered more beautiful and nobler. But in these very conditions are precisely the conditions also for his renewal: namely, the danger and the pain to awaken his slumbering mind, the trial to test and harden these atrophied muscles, the enemies to unite him to his kith and kin in common cause – the very calamity in which his spirit may learn again to soar, lest it drown. A new birth is possible today, a birth by fire – if no longer for Irishman and Italians, Austrians and Gauls, then for something higher, something stronger yet.

We Occidentals, despite the last century, stand but at the urgent extremity of the situation foreseen by Nietzsche. The dragons about us, if they do not devour us in their flames, must perforce make of us knights again; they might spur us to rebuild our kingdom and our many castles, outposts, and watchtowers. This will have its cost, first and foremost in ‘identity’ – for we cannot go back altogether or all at once to the old rainbow-like divisions between a hundred tribes in which Europe could once count her riches and her wealth. The differences and distinctions between peoples and fatherlands have already given way. Whether we lament this fact – and there is much in it to lament – it stands before our very eyes as a fait accompli. Go whither you will in this our Occident: your ears will hear many languages, but your eyes will always see a single human type. Some variance, I allow, for broad phenotypes and customs – differences between North and South, between East and West – but everyone everywhere will dress alike, will speak alike in their various tongues and dialects, will think alike, will agree as to the fundamental things. Those inescapable and profound differences of manners and mores which might have persuaded our forefathers to war with one another have all but vanished. The fact is a certain kind of uniformity, hope or dream what you will for the morrow. And given the plight of the West – who at present could really hope or dream for anything else? I agree, it is in countless cases monotonous, poor, dull, tedious, even regrettable, even in some cases detestable – particularly in its present manifestation of the ‘consumer culture’ of our ‘good democrats’, in this slavish and abhorrent Americanization of Europe – and for anyone with nostalgia in his heart, the times are nigh intolerable. It is to be hoped that the old identities once more begin to root in the soul, and that one may look forward to a future European federation which unites, in large political formations, a great many and greatly different human communities throughout Europe. One may hope, that is, that Europe can find a way of preserving her truest diversity, without compromising her political and social solidarity. But let us console ourselves, if we cannot rejoice in all these changes, that this present razing in the common life of the European and indeed the Western masses, has perhaps made possible for the first time the spiritual unification of we higher Occidentals in a single front against the enemies which now menace us with obliteration –

That is yet a hope. It may remain but a hope; it may be that there is no tomorrow for this West, but already Europe has ‘gone under’ in such a way that she cannot rise again. There is no ‘today’ in the West, that much is clear. There is still less of a ‘today’ now, than there was in Nietzsche’s time, which already had reached such extremities that he occasionally permitted himself to doubt the future. And he had yet to gaze into the actual incarnate face of the Last Man. Can we say as much? But in truth, we do not know; for blessedly, the very question indicates that the matter has not been settled, that there is still some possibility for us, some promise yet left to Europe, some dream still rattling about in this hollowed Occident, which might lead us hither and over, which might grant us the fortitude, the valour, the power, to see Europa rise again – for the first time.

References

1All quotations herein, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the Kaufmann translation as found in Basic Writings of Nietzsche (New York: The Modern Library, 2000). Where it has seemed appropriate or helpful, I have interpolated the original German.

2Bizet’s operatic masterpiece Carmen was especially dear to Nietzsche; see especially The Case of Wagner, Preface and §§ 1–3. Nietzsche’s reference here to the ‘south of music’ is to the lightness, melody, brilliancy and unapologetic aesthetic beauty of Bizet’s music, which nonetheless did not neglect the deeper strain of the South, the feeling of destiny, even an ill and malevolent destiny. Bizet is like light on the surface of the water, which could not be quite so blindingly shimmering if its depths did not render it quite so dark.

3Nietzsche’s hostility to Christianity is problem for another place; but we might refer the reader to a very interesting essay on the subject by Alexander Illingworth: ‘Nietzsche: Antichrist or Prophet?’. Here, we limit ourselves to wondering to what extent Nietzsche’s anticlerical attitude was informed by the Lutheranism with which he was raised – and to what extent it actually did injustice to the spirit and being of the Catholic Church in particular.

4For further thoughts on the problem of Europe, see Alain de Benoist, ‘“Europe a Market” or “Europe a Power”?’. I have also written about this subject for Arktos Journal in my article ‘Whither Europe?

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