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The Metapolitics of Arktos – Morgan

The Metapolitics of Arktos

By John Morgan

 

The following is the text of a speech delivered by Arktos Editor-in-Chief John Morgan at Identitarian Ideas VII in Stockholm, Sweden on 7 November 2015.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for having me back. It’s great to be back in Sweden. The fact that Sweden, a country which has come to be identified with the most extreme forms of liberalism, has managed to develop one of the most thriving nationalist movements in Western Europe is a fact that is inspirational to activists all over Europe and North America. So it’s an honor to be addressing some of those who made that happen here today.

I want to say a few words about the project that Daniel Friberg and I have dedicated most of our time, energy, and dedication towards over the past few years – specifically, what it is that we are trying to do with Arktos. As many of you are no doubt aware, Daniel Friberg and I, and also Mick Brooks who is here with us today, founded Arktos Media six years ago, at the end of 2009. Since then we’ve published over 100 unique titles in eight languages. For the first four years of our operations, we were based in India as a way of reducing our overhead costs, but since the beginning of 2014 we’ve been based in Budapest, Hungary in order to make it easier to connect with our core readership.

I imagine a question that exists in many people’s minds is, why are we doing all of this, and what are we trying to accomplish? This is something that really needs to be clarified, since many people have been more than happy to answer this, uninvited, on our behalf. To name but a few theories I’ve come across online, I’ve learned that Arktos is a Christian publishing company, a neo-pagan publishing company, a Eurasianist publishing company, an American conservative publishing company, a liberal publishing company, and a fascist publishing company. Likewise I’ve read that Arktos is “controlled” by American paleoconservatives like Paul Gottfried, by the Kremlin, by the CIA, by the Ukrainian nationalists, by the Indian government, by the international Zionist conspiracy, by Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents, and my personal favorite, by the Soviet KGB. It’s unfortunate that I need to do this, but for the purposes of clarity, I state for the record that none of these is in fact true.

While several of those ideas are obviously crazy, and some of them clearly designed as a pathetic attempt to try to discredit us, I think part of the confusion stems from the fact that Arktos is involved in so many different types of projects. Indeed, while we are often thought of as a political publishing house, only perhaps half of our books could be described as overtly political in nature, and we have always envisioned Arktos as being much more than merely a political venture. Many are works of pure philosophy or literature, or relate to various forms of traditional spirituality. In terms of political thought, we have published many works from the European “New Right” school, but we have also published works from both Christian and non-Christian perspectives (including works related to Hindu nationalism), by the identitarians, by Alexander Dugin of Russia’s Eurasia Movement, and by American and English conservatives.

The truth is that there is no single ideological, philosophical, religious, or any other system of belief that we are trying to propagate through Arktos. As I once expressed it, what Arktos is trying to do could perhaps be summarized as trying to find alternatives to modernity – which basically means alternatives to the current liberal order based on individualism and materialism and the dominance of the state over every aspect of the lives of its people, and which runs contrary to anything traditional or communitarian, that has spread everywhere across the world. This can take many forms. Some of our authors would like to see us return to the ways of life of some previous age. Some of them, such as Mr. Faye, advocate for nationalists embracing the most radical forms of new technology and radical social thought and producing a new synthesis with the traditional values that first made our civilization great that will represent something entirely new in Europe. Many of them fall somewhere in between.

Arktos’ idea is that we should take a broad approach to the desire to seek an alternative to liberalism. While we think that each and every one of our authors has something valuable to contribute to this quest, we do not seek to win converts to any particular cause or way of thinking, especially since it remains unclear at this stage as to which ideas will take root in order to bring about the revival of the West. Rather our books should be seen as points of inspiration to hopefully inspire a challenge to new ways of thinking, even if it may sometimes take the form of opposition in some regards, among our readers. Adopting a specific belief system would limit what we can do and also limit the number of people to whom we can appeal.

We do not even see ourselves as being exclusively a “Right-wing” publisher. Indeed, the dichotomy of Left and Right seems today as something outdated and meaningless, particularly as many mainstream Rightists today are essentially liberals and thus not on our side, and some Leftists share many of our concerns about the modern world and liberalism. I would suggest that the dichotomy of liberal and anti-liberal is a more useful classification today. This is something we embrace in Arktos. We seek to create an alternative to liberalism, but not necessarily a new ideology, and we are open to anyone who has something useful to contribute.

Of what importance is this intellectual work in a struggle which is primarily taking place in the real world, one may ask? I would answer that the political struggle is only the outward form of a battle that is really more cultural, and culture rests on what lies within the soul of each individual who participates in it. In order to build individuals willing to sacrifice the comforts of modern life for the sake of an ideal, a solid sense of identity and purpose must first be present. This is the essence of metapolitics: it is the attempt to redefine culture, or one might more accurately say in the case of nationalists and traditionalists an attempt to restore culture, by making a particular set of suppositions seem entirely natural to the people in a society. One can find out more about this in the books New Culture, New Right by Michael O’Meara andAgainst Democracy and Equality by Tomislav Sunic. This is what the Left has been doing so well over the past half century. In fact, the entire West today is in the grip of a radical political ideology which has set the average individual against the traditions of his forefathers, against the needs of his community, and even against the interests of himself and his people. It is quite amazing, in fact. Two centuries ago it would have seemed like something strange, if not insane. And yet by establishing control over the cultural institutions of our nations, the radical liberals have managed to convince the vast majority of people that the mode of life we are in today is something completely normal, and in fact superior to anything that came before it, when in fact we are in a time in which Western man is more alienated from his society and his fellow man than ever before.

Therefore, what we need to do is to imitate their example in our own way. This means waging war on the cultural as well as the political level. It may be difficult to discern on the surface how books of political philosophy, or on spirituality or literature, help in this endeavor. And yet I would argue that it is very difficult to motivate people simply using straightforward political arguments, and certainly not merely by criticizing society as it is (something the Right is all too good at). Something positive is needed as well. People need a vision of the future that can inspire them and give them something not only to fight for, but to give them motivation in their daily lives. I believe that books remain the best way of instilling this sort of vision in people. And given the enthusiastic response we’ve received from many of our readers over the years, I think this strategy is working.

As should be clear by now, there is no single label that one could apply to Arktos with any accuracy, given the vast range of ideas that we engage with. If I had to pick one, however, I would borrow the term “true Right,” which was first coined by the Italian traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola, who defined it as “those principles which were accepted and seen as normal by every well-born person everywhere in the world prior to 1789.” I can think of no better definition than that. It is obviously very different from the false Right that participates in the meaningless spectacle that passes for politics throughout much of the West today. Of course, one could point out that Arktos benefits from many of the features of the world of globalist liberalism: given the sort of technology that our operations rely on, such as the Internet and easy international travel, it would have been unimaginable even just 15 years ago. But I believe it is possible to use the tools of modernity against it, in an effort to reform it.

The other question that I frequently get is why Arktos is based in such exotic locales as India and Hungary. In the case of India, where we were based for the first five years of our corporate existence, the short answer is simply that we needed to be in a place where we could afford to operate with the meager funds we had at our disposal in our early days. Although at the same time it was good to be in a place where daily life is still for the most part an expression of the traditional spirit rather than a liberal one. But after doing this for a while, we began to grew tired of the many challenges that everyday life in India presents (imagine what it’s like to try to get somebody to come out and fix your Internet in a country where you don’t know the language and where cows and other livestock are wandering in the street outside your apartment), and we also had a growing desire to strengthen our connection to where most of our readers are.

Given the fact that our profits had been steadily increasing from the beginning, by 2014 we finally had enough funds to make this a reality. So, why Hungary, you may ask? Part of it is certainly the fact that it is possible to operate inexpensively there as well, and also simply because those of us on the Arktos staff have been charmed by the country’s beautiful aesthetics and culture, and its excellent cuisine, among other aspects. But we were also drawn to it due to the fact that Hungary has established itself as the greatest opponent to liberalism in the European Union today. Indeed, Hungary’s current Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, who has recently garnered a great deal of praise due to his handling of the migrant crisis, gave a speech last year in which he called for Hungary to become what he termed an ‘illiberal democracy’, citing China, Turkey, and Russia as examples. Indeed, we have made fruitful contacts with people in Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party; the more radical nationalist party, Jobbik; and even with the Magyar Munkáspárt, or Hungarian Workers’ Party, which is the Communist party. It is important to stress that the latter party, while Communist in name, could more accurately be described as a National Bolshevik party, meaning that it combines elements of nationalism with Communism; while it retains Communist economic ideas, it remains a staunch opponent of immigration and globalism. Such syntheses are not unusual in Hungarian politics; indeed, Marton Gyöngyösi, the International Secretary of Jobbik, said to me recently that many of the parties in Hungary today, and even in other countries, escape easy classification along the Right/Left spectrum, and similar to what I said earlier, he suggested that liberal and non-liberal is a more constructive way of understanding European politics today.

People associated with all of these parties have expressed enthusiasm for the work that Arktos is doing, and we in turn have been inspired by their commitment and originality in pursuit of a better Hungary. They are actually enacting the sort of metapolitics that Arktos is also working with in its own way, and with great success, as indicated by the fact that two-thirds of Hungary’s voters selected either Fidesz or Jobbik in the last election. Hungarian politicians are also frequently visionary in how they understand how Hungary’s struggle against liberalism must fit into the struggle of similar parties across the globe. To cite an example close to home, in 2013, while we were still in India, we facilitated a meeting between representatives from Jobbik and the BJP, the Hindu nationalist party which was swept to power on a tide of enthusiasm from voters the following year. And I think it is correct that if we are to defeat our liberal globalist enemy, we ourselves must adopt an alternative form of globalism, seeking alliances and common ground with individuals and groups who share our desires everywhere, even outside of Europe. While we stand for the traditions and interests of our own people, we must put aside our differences and open ourselves to those taking a similar approach from among other peoples. The narrow, ethnocentric viewpoint is a relic of the past. Only together, by working with nationalists and traditionalists everywhere, can we succeed. Toward this end, Arktos seeks to represent as many of these facets of the struggle as possible, which is one reason why we have published several books pertaining to the traditions of India, for example.

Some of you may wonder what our most popular titles are. Generally, our bestselling titles tend to be those by Guillaume Faye, whom you met here today; Alain de Benoist, the founder and leader of the French New Right movement, and the inventor of the concept of Right-wing metapolitics; Alexander Dugin, the Russian philosopher and geopolitician, and former advisor to Vladimir Putin; the Italian traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola, who sought to re-establish the mindset and wisdom of the ancient world amidst the ruins of the modern world; Markus Willinger, the Austrian identitarian author; Brian Patrick, a professor at the University of Toledo who specializes in the science of propaganda and the American gun rights movement; and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who is India’s most popular yoga guru today. Recent titles that have done well also include Dominique Venner’s The Shock of History. Venner was a renowned historian and veteran paratrooper of the Algerian War and the OAS who infamously committed suicide in Notre Dame Cathedral in May 2013 as a protest against mass immigration and the increasing liberalization of France, and he actually wrote The Shock of History specifically for Arktos as a means of introducing his worldview to the audience outside of France, so we were quite honored to be the ones to present that in English. And I would be amiss if I didn’t mention The Real Right Returns by my friend and colleague Daniel Friberg, which became an instant bestseller; in fact it sold more copies in the first three days of this month than any other book of our has sold in any three-day period to date. And soon we will be publishing a Swedish translation of How to be a Conservative by the English author Roger Scruton, who is the most important philosopher of conservatism today. (I understand that the Chairman of the Sweden Democrats is a fan of Scruton.)

What I think Arktos’ success indicates is that we are presenting a message that resonates with people. People in Europe and America are getting tired of the same old slogans presented by liberals that go against what everyone sees with their own eyes. They haven’t been able to come up with anything new since the 1960s; they just keep harping on the same old tired clichés that are falling into ruin around them. The attempt of liberals to convert the world into a gigantic shopping mall where everyone is the same is ending in failure. Intellectual and cultural vigor is passing, if it hasn’t already passed, to the Right. We can see this in the rising popularity and electoral success of Rightist parties across Europe. This is a trend we can ride. The future belongs to us. In Arktos and Motpol, and similar organizations, we are forging a new vision for the West. Many difficult challenges yet lie ahead of us, but we shouldn’t despair; rather, we should welcome the fact that we are presented with an opportunity for adventure. Please join us as we forge a new world.

 

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Morgan, John. “The Metapolitics of Arktos.” Speech delivered at the “Identitarian Ideas VII” Conference, held in Stockholm, Sweden, 7 November 2015. Text of transcript retrieved from <https://www.righton.net/2015/11/22/the-metapolitics-of-arktos/ >.

 

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Creation of Intellectual Eurasianism – Vona

Thoughts on the Creation of Intellectual Eurasianism

By Gábor Vona

Leader of the Hungarian political party “Jobbik” (For Better Hungary)

 

“Actually, the truth is that the West really is in great need of »defense«, but only against itself and its own tendencies, which, if they are pushed to their conclusion, will lead inevitably to its ruin and destruction; it is therefore »reform« of the West that is called for instead of »defense against the East«, and if this reform were what it should be—that is to say, a restoration of tradition—it would entail as a natural consequence an understanding with the East.” — René Guénon [1]

1. Euroatlantism and Anti-Traditionalism

Today’s globalized world is in crisis. That is a fact. However, it is not quite clear what this crisis is. In order to get an answer, first we need to define what globalization means. For us, it does not mean the kind of public misconception which says that the borders between the world’s various economic and cultural spheres will gradually disappear and the planet becomes an organic network built upon billions of interactions. Those who believe in this also add that history is thus no longer a parallel development of great spheres, but the great common development of the entire world. Needless to say, this interpretation considers globalization as a positive and organic process from the aspect of historical development.

From our aspect, however, globalization is an explicitly negative, anti-traditionalist process. Perhaps we can understand this statement better if we break it down into components. Who is the actor, and what is the action and the object of globalization? The actor of globalization — and thus crisis production — is the Euro-Atlantic region, by which we mean the United States and the great economic-political powers of Western Europe. Economically speaking, the action of globalization is the colonization of the entire world; ideologically speaking, it means safeguarding the monopolistic, dictatorial power of liberalism; while politically speaking, it is the violent export of democracy. Finally, the object of globalization is the entire globe. To sum it up in one sentence: globalization is the effort of the Euro-Atlantic region to control the whole world physically and intellectually. As processes are fundamentally defined by their actors that actually cause them, we will hereinafter name globalization as Euroatlantism. The reason for that is to clearly indicate that we are not talking about a kind of global dialogue and organic cooperation developing among the world’s different regions, continents, religions, cultures, and traditions, as the neutrally positive expression of “globalization” attempts to imply, but about a minor part of the world (in particular the Euro-Atlantic region) which is striving to impose its own economic, political, and intellectual model upon the rest of the world in an inorganic manner, by direct and indirect force, and with a clear intention to dominate it.

As we indicated at the beginning of this essay, this effort of Euroatlantism has brought a crisis upon the entire world. Now we can define the crisis itself. Unlike what is suggested by the news and the majority of pub­lic opinion, this crisis is not primarily an economic one. The problem is not that we cannot justly distribute the assets produced. Although it is true, it is not the cause of the problem and the crisis; it is rather the consequence of it. Neither is this crisis a political one, that is to say: the root cause is not that the great powers and international institutions fail to establish a liveable and harmonious status quo for the whole world; it is just a consequence as well. Nor does this crisis result from the clashes of cul­tures and religions, as some strategists believe; the prob­lem lies deeper than that. The world’s current crisis is an intellectual one. It is a crisis of the human intellect, and it can be characterized as a conflict between tradition­al values (meaning conventional, normal, human) and anti-traditionalism (meaning modern, abnormal, subhu­man), which is now increasingly dominating the world. From this aspect, Euroatlantism — that is to say, global­ism — can be greatly identified with anti-traditionalism. So the situation is that the Euro-Atlantic region, which we can simply but correctly call the West, is the crisis it­self; in other words, it carries the crisis within, so when it colonizes the world, it in fact spreads an intellectual virus as well. So this is the anti-traditionalist aspect of the world’s ongoing processes, but does a traditionalist pole exist, and if it does, where can we find it?

2. Eurasianism as a Geopolitical Concept

Geographically speaking, Eurasia means the continental unity of Europe and Asia, which stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific. As a cultural notion, Eurasianism was a concept conceived by Russian emigrants in the early 20th century. It proved to be a fertile framework, since it has been reinterpreted several times and will surely continue to be so in the future as well. Nicolai Sergeyevich Trubetskoy is widely considered as the founder of Eurasianism, while Alexandr Dugin is referred to as the key ideologist of the concept. Trubetskoy was one of the greatest thinkers of the Russian emigration in the early 20th century, who attempted to redefine Russia’s role in the turbulent post-World War I times, looking for new goals, perspectives, and meanings. On the one hand, he rejected Pan-Slavism and replaced the Slavophile ideology with a kind of “Turanophile” one, as Lajos Pálfalvi put it in an essay.[2] He tore Russian thinking out of the Eastern Slavic framework and found Genghis Khan as a powerful antetype, the founder of a Eurasian state. Trubetskoy says that it was the Khan’s framework left behind that Moscow’s Tsars filled with a new Orthodox sense of mission after the Mongol occupation. In his view, the European and Western orientation of Peter the Great is a negative disruption of this process, a cultural disaster, while the desirable goal for Russia is to awaken as a part of Eurasia.

So Eurasianism was born as a uniquely Russian concept but not at all for Russia only, even though it is often criticized for being a kind of Great Russia concept in a cultural-geopolitical disguise. Ukrainian author Mikola Ryabchuk goes as far as to say that whoever uses this notion, for whatever reason, is basically doing nothing but revitalizing the Russian political dominance, tearing the former Soviet sphere out of the “European political and cultural project”.[3] Ryabchuk adds that there is a certain intellectual civil war going on in the region, particularly in Russia and also in Turkey about the acceptance of Western values. So those who utter the word “Eurasianism” in this situation are indirectly siding with Russia. The author is clearly presenting his views from a pro-West and anti-Russian aspect, but his thoughts are worth looking at from our angle as well.

As a cultural idea, Eurasianism was indeed created to oppose the Western, or to put it in our terms, the Euro- Atlantic values. It indeed supposes an opposition to such values and finds a certain kind of geopolitical reference for it. We must also emphasize that being wary of the “European political and cultural project” is justified from the economic, political, and cultural aspects as well. If a national community does not wish to comply, let’s say, with the role assigned by the European Union, it is not a negative thing at all; in fact, it is the sign of a sort of caution and immunity in this particular case. It is especially so, if it is not done for some economic or nationalistic reason, but as a result of a different cultural-intellectual approach. Rendering Euro-Atlantic “values” absolute and indisputable means an utter intellectual damage, especially in the light of the first point of our essay. So the opposition of Eurasianism to the Euro-Atlantic world is undeniably positive for us. However, if we interpreted Eurasianism as mere anti-Euro-Atlantism, we would vulgarly simplify it, and we would completely fail to present an alternative to the the anti-traditionalist globalization outlined above.

What we need is much more than just a reciprocal pole or an alternative framework for globalization. Not only do we want to oppose globalization horizontally but, first and foremost, also vertically. We want to demonstrate an intellectual superiority to it. That is to say, when establishing our own Eurasia concept, we must point out that it means much more for us than a simple geographical notion or a geopolitical idea that intends to oppose Euro-Atlantism on the grounds of some tactical or strategic power game. Such speculations are valueless for me, regardless of whether they have some underlying, latent Russian effort for dominance or not. Eurasianism is basically a geographical and/or political framework, therefore, it does not have a normative meaning or intellectual centre. It is the task of its interpretation and interpreter to furnish it with such features.

3. Intellectual Eurasianism – Theories and Practice

We have stated that we cannot be content with anti-Euro-Atlantism. Neither can we be content with a simple geographical and geopolitical alternative, so we demand an intellectual Eurasianism. If we fail to provide this intellectual centre, this meta-political source, then our concept remains nothing but a different political, economic, military, or administrative idea which would indeed represent a structural difference but not a qualitative breakthrough compared to Western globalization. Politically speaking, it would be a reciprocal pole, but not of a superior quality. This could lay the foundations for a new cold or world war, where two anti-traditionalist forces confront each other, like the Soviet Union and the United States did, but it surely won’t be able to challenge the historical process of the spread of anti-traditional­ism. However, such challenge is exactly what we consider indispensable. A struggle between one globalization and another is nonsensical from our point of view. Our problem with Euro-Atlantism is not its Euro-Atlantic but its anti-traditionalist nature. Contrary to that, our goal is not to construct another anti-traditionalist framework, but to present a supranational and traditionalist response to the international crisis. Using Julius Evola’s ingenious term, we can say that Eurasianism must be able to pass the air test.[4]

At this point, we must look into the question of why we can’t give a traditionalist answer within a Euro-Atlantic framework. Theoretically speaking, the question is reasonable since the Western world was also developing within a traditional framework until the dawn of the modern age, but this opportunity must be excluded for several reasons. Firstly, it is no accident that anti-traditionalist modernism developed in the West and that is where it started going global from. The framework of this essay is too small for a detailed presentation of the multi-century process of how modernism took roots in and grew out of the original traditionalist texture of Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian thinking and culture, developing into today’s liberal Euroatlantism. For now, let us state that the anti-traditionalist turn of the West had a high historical probability. This also means that the East was laid on much stronger traditionalist foundations and still is, albeit it is gradually weakening. In other words, when we are seeking out a geopoliti­cal framework for our historic struggle, our choice for Eurasianism is not in the least arbitrary. The reality is that the establishment of a truly supranational traditionalist framework can only come from the East. This is where we can still have a chance to involve the leading polit­ical-cultural spheres. The more we go West, the weaker the centripetal power of Eurasianism is, so it can only expect to have small groups of supporters but no major backing from the society.

The other important question is why we consider traditionalism as the only intellectual centre that can fecundate Eurasianism. The question “Why Eurasia?” can be answered much more accurately than “Why the metaphysical Tradition?”. We admit that our answer is rather intuitive, but we can be reassured by the fact that René Guénon, Julius Evola, or Frithjof Schuon, the key figures in the restoration of traditionalist philosophy, were the ones who had the deepest and clearest understanding of the transcendental, metaphysical unity of Eastern and Western religions and cultures. Their teaching reaches back to such ancient intellectual sources that can provide a sense of communion for awakening Western Christian, Orthodox, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist people. These two things are exactly what are necessary for the success of Eurasianism: a foundation that can ensure supranational and supra-religious perspectives as well as an intellectual centrality. The metaphysical Tradition can ensure these two: universality and quality. At that moment, Eurasianism is no longer a mere geopolitical alternative, a new yet equally crisis-infected (and thus also infectious) globalization process, but a traditionalist repsonse.

We cannot overemphasize the superior quality of in­tellectual Eurasianism. However, it is important to note here that the acquisition of an intellectual superiority ensured by the traditionalist approach would not at all mean that our confrontation with Euroatlantism would remain at a spiritual-intellectual level only, thus giving up our intentions to create a counterbalance or even dominance in the practical areas, such as the political, diplomatic, economic, military, and cultural spheres. We can be satisfied with neither a vulgar Eurasianism (lacking a philosophical centre) nor a theoretical one (lacking practicability). The only adequate form for us is such a Eurasianism that is rooted in the intellectual centre of traditionalism and is elaborated for practical implementation as well. To sum up in one sentence: there must be a traditionalist Eurasianism standing in opposition to an anti-traditionalist Euroatlantism.

The above also means that geopolitical and geographical positions are strategically important, but not at all exclusive, factors in identifying the enemy-ally coordinates. A group that has a traditionalist intellectual base (thus being intellectually Eurasian) is our ally even if it is located in a Euro-Atlantic zone, while a geographically Eurasian but anti-traditionalist force (thus being intellectually Euro-Atlantic) would be an enemy, even if it is a great power.

4. Homogeneousness and Heterogeneousness

If it is truly built upon the intellectual centre of metaphysical Tradition, intellectual Eurasianism has such a common base that it is relevant regardless of geographical position, thus giving the necessary homoge­neousness to the entire concept. On the other hand, the tremendous size and the versatility of cultures and ancient traditions of the Eurasian area do not allow for a complete theoretical uniformity. However, this is just a barrier to overcome, an intellectual challenge that we must all meet, but it is not a preventive factor. Each region, nation, and country must find their own form that can organically and harmoniously fit into its own traditions and the traditionalist philosophical approach of intellectual Eurasianism as well. Simply put, we can say that each one must form their own Eurasianism within the large unit.

As we said above, this is an intellectual challenge that requires an able intellectual elite in each region and coun­try who understand and take this challenge and are in a constructive relationship with the other, similar elites.

These elites together could provide the international intellectual force that is destined to elaborate the Eurasian framework itself. The sentences above throw a light on the greatest hiatus (and greatest challenge) lying in the establishment of intellectual Eurasianism. This challenge is to develop and empower traditionalist intellectual elites operating in different geographical areas, as well as to establish and improve their supranational relations. Geographically and nationally speaking, intellectual Eurasianism is heterogeneous, while it is homogeneous in the continental and essential sense.

However, the heterogeneousness of Eurasianism must not be mistaken for the multiculturalism of Euroatlantism. In the former, allies form a supranational and supra-cultural unit while also preserving their own traditions, whereas the latter aims to create a sub-cultural and sub-national unit, forgetting and rejecting traditions. This also means that intellectual Eurasianism is against and rejects all mass migrations, learning from the West’s current disaster caused by such events. We believe that geographical position and environment is closely related to the existence and unique features of the particular religious, social, and cultural tradition, and any sudden, inorganic, and violent social movement ignoring such factors will inevitably result in a state of dysfunction and conflicts. Intellectual Eurasianism promotes self-realization and the achievement of intellectual missions for all nations and cultures in their own place.

5. Closing Thoughts

The aim of this short essay is to outline the basis and lay the foundations for an ambitious and intellectual Eurasianism by raising fundamental issues. We based our argumentation on the obvious fact that the world is in crisis, and that this crisis is caused by liberal globalization, which we identified as Euroatlantism. We believe that the counter-effect needs to be vertical and traditionalist, not horizontal and vulgar. We called this counter-effect Eurasianism, some core ideas of which were explained here. We hope that this essay will have a fecundating impact, thus truly contributing to the further elaboration of intellectual Eurasianism, both from a universal and a Hungarian aspect.

Notes:

[1] René Guénon: The Crisis of the Modern World. Translated by Marco Pallis, Arthur Osborne, and Richard C. Nicholson. Sophia Perennis: Hillsdale, New York. 2004. Pg. 31-32.

[2] Lajos Pálfalvi: Nicolai Trubetskoy’s impossible Eurasian mission. In Nicolai Sergeyevich Trubetskoy: Genghis Khan’s heritage. (in Hungarian) Máriabesnyő, 2011, Attraktor Publishing, p. 152.

[3] Mikola Ryabchuk: Western “Eurasianism” and the “new Eastern Europe”: a discourse of exclusion. (in Hungarian) Szépirodalmi Figyelő 4/2012.

[4] See: Julius Evola: Handbook of Rightist Youth. (in Hungarian) Debrecen, 2012, Kvintesszencia Publishing House, pp. 45–48.

 

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Vona, Gábor. “Thoughts on the Creation of Intellectual Eurasianism.” Journal of Eurasian Affairs, vol.2, no.1 (May 2014). <http://www.eurasianaffairs.net/some-thoughts-on-the-creation-of-intellectual-eurasianism/ >.

 

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Interview with John Morgan – Leonard

A Blaze through the Gloom; an Interview with Arktos Media’s John Morgan by Nathan Leonard

 

Introductory Note: One of the byproducts of living in this highly technological age is that we are so constantly flooded with information from such a variety of media around us that we often become confused. Although our ability to communicate ideas has developed a phenomenal reach, when we stop to examine much of the information that takes up our time, we find that it is composed of fleeting ideas which are designed for short-term consumption of passing fads in which we get caught up for a short time and then remember later with nostalgia and a dash of ironic disdain. Much of what is promoted to us is a commercial transaction in some form or another. This is why it doesn’t last. Yet, part of our identity becomes intrinsically tangled in every shallow trend that sweeps us away.

John Morgan is Editor-in-Chief of Arktos Media, which publishes books that ask deeper questions about our identity and that challenge us to think differently about our role in history. Arktos has utilized innovations of globalism to provide information much different than what usually bombards us on a daily basis; ideas that cannot be blown away by winds of change for they are established in the very nature of life itself. We were fortunate to conduct the following interview with Mr. Morgan by way of email correspondence. – Nathan Leonard (from Heathen Harvest), 7 July 2014.

***

Heathen Harvest: Thank you for accepting this interview, John. To start, what does the name “Arktos” mean, and how does it relate to the types of books Arktos publishes?

John Morgan: Arktos is a centaur in Greek mythology. It is also the Greek word for bear, and was additionally the Greek name for the constellation of Ursa Major (Ursa is Latin for bear), which contains the Big Dipper, and which can guide one toward the North Star. Arktos was also the root of the word “arctic”. We wanted a name that was evocative of the ancient European tradition and also of “northernness”, to borrow a term coined by C. S. Lewis to describe Wagnerian art. While in Arktos we are interested in all traditional cultures, we do see ourselves as being primarily rooted in our own European heritage, and we could think of nothing more poetic than Arktos to convey that. Also, it is much less of a mouthful than Integral Tradition Publishing, which was the name of the company some of my colleagues and I had previously! As one can see from perusing the sorts of books we have published to date, many of them deal with aspects of myth and tradition, both European and otherwise.

HH: Arktos will be co-sponsoring the 2014 Identitarian Congress in Budapest this October. What is this event going to be about?

JM: We’re still working on the overall theme, as we haven’t confirmed all the speakers and participants yet. Essentially, we want to discuss the issues that unite all traditionalists, nationalists and identitarians across North America and Europe. There are so many groups, movements and thinkers across the world that are pursuing similar goals, but they rarely have the opportunity to gather in one place to compare notes and ideas, and simply to network. So, our event will be an attempt to fill that need. We also want to explore the idea of Europe as something beyond the petty nationalisms of the past, which led to the tragedy of 1914 (among others), the consequences of which are still being seen today, and also beyond the type of liberalism that has been imported here from the United States. All of our speakers will be addressing these issues, albeit in very different and unique ways.

HH: Why is Budapest the location for the conference? Is it related to your living there? Is there a movement toward traditional thinking there?

JM: The fact that Arktos is now based here was certainly a factor, yes, since it means that my colleagues and I can take care of some of the advance logistical work involved. However, on a broader level, Budapest, and Hungary more generally, is an ideal location for a gathering of traditionalists and nationalists, since Hungary is probably the country with the most vitality in relation to those fields at the present time, and certainly in Europe. Ideas that are often dismissed out of turn in other Western countries are still being openly discussed and taken seriously here. Not to mention the fact that Budapest is one of the most beautiful capital cities in Europe. So, in every way, this was really the ideal location for an event of this nature.

HH: How did you first get into publishing?

JM: For a long time, I had realized that there was a great need for someone to provide an outlet for ideas such as those of the European New Right, the Conservative Revolution, and traditionalism, among others, in English. Prior to Arktos, such resources were few and far between, and often hard to find. In 2006, some friends who felt the same need managed to raise some capital, which allowed us to start our first venture, the aforementioned Integral Tradition Publishing, at the end of that year. We merged Integral Tradition Publishing into Arktos at the end of 2009, as part of a continuation of our goals. It wasn’t really something I had imagined happening, much less being a part of, prior to that time, so the fact that we were able to get this project off the ground and make it work, and that I’ve been able to dedicate most of my time to it over the past five years, is something I’m quite proud of.

HH: Are there any specific writers that inspired you in the establishment of Integral Tradition Publishing or Arktos, perhaps because you wanted them to have a wider exposure or to be introduced to English language audiences?

JM: Certainly. Going into it, we very much wanted to see more of Julius Evola’s works in English, as well as books by Alain de Benoist (only one of his books had been translated prior to Arktos), Guillaume Faye, and Alexander Dugin (the latter two of which were completely untranslated before we started). All of those authors are now in our catalog. There was already quite a bit of Evola in English before Arktos, but there was still a great deal of material left to do, particularly his political writings, which were largely unavailable before we went to work. As for Benoist, Faye and the other thinkers of the European New Right, I find it unbelievable that no one had attempted to translate them before. Benoist in particular – he’s been writing for half a century, and it’s amazing that no one got to him before us. I strongly suspect it’s due to him being called a “Rightist” (a label he rejects). If he had been a French Marxist, I’m sure everything down to his grocery lists would have been translated long ago.

HH: Are you personally a writer? If so, do you plan to publish any books in the future?

JM: I sometimes enjoy writing, although I haven’t published much apart from a short story that I wrote many years ago. I’ve occasionally written essays for Counter-Currents and a few other websites. I would like to write something more substantial in the future, yes, although my Arktos work takes up a lot of my time and energy as it is. But one of these days, yes, I would like to do something of my own.

HH: The recent election results of Members of European Parliament were described as “a political earthquake” because some members of nationalist or “Euroskeptic” parties gained seats. Do you think this represents a major shift in European thinking? What will the impact of the elections be?

JM: It’s a positive sign, to be sure, but no, I don’t think this indicates a “major shift”. If you look at most of the parties that did well – the National Front in France, Wilder’s Freedom Party, UKIP – these are liberal parties that merely have a degree of “acceptable” nationalism and anti-immigrationism as part of their platform. They don’t represent the values of the “true Right”, as Evola phrased it. Plus, as others have observed, Euroskeptic parties have a tendency to do better in the European elections than they do in the national ones, since everyone knows that the European Parliament has little in the way of real power, so they feel more comfortable doing “protest voting” in it. It’s doubtful you will see these parties do as well in their respective national elections. A French friend of mine told me that he is sure that most of the people who voted for the National Front did so as a protest vote rather than out of a real passion for their platform. So, yes, it’s good that Europeans decided to send a message of discontent to Brussels, but I’m wary of getting too excited about this just yet.

The party I find the most relatable to my own perspective in Europe today is Jobbik. They did manage to get 15% of the vote here in Hungary, but that’s actually down from the 20% they got in the national elections just last month, no doubt because part of their platform is to get Hungary out of the EU and thus many of their supporters don’t bother voting. But still, they will be sending three MEPs to parliament again, which is good.

HH: Along these same lines, are you aware of any emerging artistic movements in Europe (literary, musical, visual, or otherwise) characterized by traditionalist, nationalist, or identitarian sentiments?

JM: Unfortunately, no, not many, although that doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any, but just that I don’t know of any. If there’s something in a language other than English, I may just not know about it. There certainly isn’t much in English, as I’ve looked. The Mjolnir magazine from the UK, which just released its inaugural issue, which contains fiction, poetry and art consistent with our principles, is a step in that direction. Apart from that, no, I can’t think of anything. There are some individual artists and bands working here and there, of course, like Michael Moynihan and Annabel Lee in the U.S., but I wouldn’t call that a movement, and I think that’s a problem. People on the Right are very good at complaining, and of coming up with brilliant critiques of the world as it is, but they aren’t very good at proposing alternatives or of describing exactly what it is they want. A thriving alternative culture could provide that. I always find it discomforting when I go to a Rightist Website and find photos of the “great White men” of the past, which usually includes people such as Goethe and Beethoven, but it always consists entirely of people who are dead. Where are the great artists of our movement today? They are few and far between, and those that there are are shrouded in obscurity. (The American novelist Tito Perdue, who has been published by Arktos, is one of them, in my opinion.) We shouldn’t seek to turn our culture into a museum piece, where we just talk about how great our forefathers were. We need to get creative and produce new and original visions, and that’s something I hope to continue to provide an outlet for through Arktos.

HH: Liberalism controls the arts. I have met some artists who downplay their non-liberal political or philosophical leanings for fear of potential negative consequences. To what extent do you think a traditionalist art movement is stifled by the dominant ideologies of today? Do you think there are historical examples comparable to the present situation that may be instructive in undermining these systems of control?

JM: It depends on what you mean by “traditionalist”. If you’re using it in the sense of the school of Guénon and Evola, then no, I see nothing obstructing artists from utilizing those forms, ideas and symbols. The recently-deceased Sir John Tavener, who produced several works of music openly based on the writings of Frithjof Schuon and René Guénon, as well as works derived from the Orthodox Christian tradition, and who is one of the most highly regarded modern composers in the world, indicates that there is no inherent bias in the “establishment” against that sort of traditionalism. However, if you’re using the word “traditionalist” in the broader sense which also includes things related to conservatism (in the best sense of that term) and the political Right, then yes, I don’t think it’s news to anyone that there is a strong bias against them in the mainstream artistic establishment.

The recent debacle involving the artist Charles Krafft is a reminder of that, as if we needed one. But my response to that is, so what? We’re living in an age in which putting up a website or self-publishing a book are only a few mouse-clicks away. It’s obvious that, because of innovations in technology, everything is becoming much more decentralized and that the “authorities” in the various fields have become much less important in deciding what gets disseminated or what becomes popular. There’s no reason why anyone who has a particular idea or vision can’t get it out there somehow. That’s one of the few advantages, for people of our mentality, in living in a time like this. You can put just about anything out there and find an audience. Even the aforementioned Charles Krafft has said that his business has actually gone up since the “scandal” erupted, since his new-found notoriety has gotten him a customer base he never would have had otherwise. So, no, you may not see million-dollar grants from foundations going to artists who embrace unpopular forms and ideas anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many, many other avenues and opportunities for expression open to people, if they only want to make use of them. I think the only problem is a lack of creative people in “the movement”, such as it is, or at least of creative people willing to engage with it in a substantive manner. There are some exceptions, of course. If you want to “undermine the systems of control”, there’s nothing stopping you. Technology has already given us that ability.

HH: Can you explain more fully the distinction between traditionalism as a school of Guénon and Evola versus traditionalism in the broader sense of conservatism and the political Right? For instance, you mentioned earlier that Alain de Benoist rejects his characterization as a Rightest, so how is he to be classified? On the other hand, in what sense should we understand Evola’s “Fascism Viewed from the Right”?

JM: This is something that should be readily apparent to anyone who has read either Guénon or Evola, but I’ll attempt to summarize. There can be no connection between modern-day party politics and Tradition in the sense in which Guénon and Evola understood it. For a traditionalist, only one form of government can be traditional: a monarchy in tandem with a traditional priesthood (traditional meaning from a legitimately revealed source). This, of course, was how all civilizations everywhere in the world were governed prior to 1789, but there can be nothing traditional about any other form of politics, even if elements of it can be utilized. So, conservatism, as it’s understood in the United States today, has no connection to traditionalism, even if here and there we might find some overlap, such as in a concern over certain values. As for the Right, it depends on which Right we’re talking about. When it comes to the “Right” of Republicans and libertarians, of course not, since they are the opposite of everything traditional. Even the European New Right is in no way a “traditionalist” movement, even though its thinkers have derived some inspiration from the traditionalists.

Evola himself sometimes used the term “true Right” to describe his own views, which he once defined as being those principles which were considered correct and normal everywhere in the world before 1789. Guénon, for his part, was completely uninterested in the politics of his day, and there’s no indication that he ever engaged with politics in any way, since he regarded everything of modern extraction to be unworthy of anything apart from rejection to the furthest extent possible. Evola, as is well-known, was a critic of Italian Fascism during its reign, although he himself was never a Fascist, and both during and after the Fascist period he always said that he had only ever supported Fascism insofar as it represented traditional principles – which he felt it largely failed to do. In Evola’s later life, of course, he held that apoliteia was the only sensible course – complete disengagement from the political world, except insofar as how it might be beneficial to an individual’s self-development, by engaging in a manner that was disinterested in any result that might follow from such activity. So, in Evola titling his book Fascism Viewed from the Right, he was making it clear that he was analyzing Fascism from the perspective of the “true Right”, not from that of the Right of our time – a point he makes quite clear in the book itself.

I myself am not advocating this position, as I don’t consider myself to be a traditionalist in the same sense as I described above. However, I always make this distinction because I think there is a lot of confusion about the term, and people often use it in a muddled or confused way these days. There are other perfectly valid uses of the word “traditionalism”, of course, but if one is attempting to use it in the sense that Guénon or Evola did, one must keep what I have just reiterated in mind in doing so.

As for Benoist rejecting the Rightist label, it is factual that the name “New Right” has never been applied by Benoist’s Groupement de Recherche et d’Études pour la Civilisation Européenne to itself, but was foisted upon them by hostile French journalists during the 1970s. Benoist himself has written that he regards himself as being, not neither Left nor Right, but rather both Left and Right. Which makes sense, because he has derived a great deal of inspiration from Marxist and other Leftist intellectuals, as well as from the Rightist tradition. I think it’s important for those who oppose civilization as it is currently constituted to bear in mind that there is just as much opposition to liberalism on the radical Left – among some Marxists, anarchists, ecologists, and postmodernists – as on the radical Right. One shouldn’t limit oneself by imposing artificial barriers to thought and ideas based solely on labels.

HH: Earlier you mentioned Charles Krafft as an artist affiliated with the Right, yet Krafft’s style could be called Pop Art or Post-modern, which seems contradictory to the ideals of traditionalism. Another example might be the paintings of the late Jonathan Bowden. Similarly, I’ve thought it paradoxical that industrial music and noise seem to open a door to martial imagery and “old” values like courage and honor. Do you have an opinion about how this almost hypermodern art relates to the “New Right” and anti-modernism? How would you define great art?

JM: I would agree about Charlie’s style, although to my knowledge he’s never called himself a traditionalist. I don’t even know if he would call himself a “Rightist”, for that matter. I cited him as an example since what happened to him shows what can happen if you use themes or motifs in your art that are not officially sanctioned by the establishment’s critics (unless “ironically”, of course), and most especially if you have disapproved friends or affiliations, as Charlie does. But no, it would be ridiculous to call Charlie’s art “traditionalist”, although he does sometimes incorporate traditional elements into his work, from Buddhism and Hinduism in particular. The same goes for Bowden’s art (and I like some of it). At the same time, personally I am not someone who thinks that we have to see Tradition as a static thing that has to be constantly reiterated in the same way and in the same style as it has before. Artistic forms, like reality itself, are constantly evolving and changing, and we shouldn’t always fear the new (although neither should we accept it unreservedly). For example, two of the greatest traditionalist (in a non-doctrinal sense) artists of recent decades for me would be the filmmakers Andrei Tarkovsky and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg. They were operating in a medium which is entirely a product of modernity in every way, and which, let’s face it, 99% of the time is used for degenerative purposes. And both of them, Syberberg in particular, are not only filmmakers, but avant-garde filmmakers who used highly unorthodox methods of a style that were often similar to that of the heights of “liberal” cinema (Surrealism, the French New Wave, and so forth). And yet for me, Tarkovsky’s Stalker, Nostalgia, and The Sacrifice, as well as Syberberg’s Parsifal, rank as some of the most spiritual works of art I have ever experienced. I think they communicate the essence of what Tradition is, even though they are entirely modern in conception and assume a form that is non-traditional. If something can convey such an experience of meaning, or open up new vistas of meaning and new ways of viewing reality, then it’s good in my judgment, even if it may be unorthodox. The modern itself can be used to undo, or perhaps alter is more accurate, itself.

HH: What types of books has Arktos been publishing recently? Are there any that you believe to be particularly noteworthy?

JM: Arktos has been a bit slow the past few months, although that’s about to pick up dramatically. Of recent titles, The Dharma Manifesto is quite interesting. This is an attempt to apply Vedic principles to the political situation in America today by a noted Hindu teacher, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya, and is unique of its kind. We also reprinted the complete run of H. P. Lovecraft’s The Conservative, a political and cultural journal he edited and contributed to that’s not very well-known and has been unavailable for a long time. We’ve been issuing editions of Markus Willinger’s Generation Identity in other languages, as that was one of our most popular books in English and German last year. We also have published a number of books by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar through an agreement with his Art of Living Foundation. Sri Sri is one of the most popular gurus in India at present, and we are pleased to be able to make his books more accessible in the West. Also, my friend Brian’s book Zombology: Zombies and the Decline of the West (and Guns) will be out soon. That’s a study of the sociopolitical implications of the zombie phenomenon, what it says about our contemporary culture and how it has manifested, particularly in relation to American gun culture. We also have new books by Alexander Dugin (Putin vs. Putin, his critique of Putin as a leader), Alain de Benoist (On the Brink of the Abyss, his book on the 2008 financial crisis), Guillaume Faye (Sex and Perversion, his study of modern sexuality), and some titles by the well-known writer on Paganism, Richard Rudgley, among many others, coming out soon.

HH: We look forward to reading some of those. Thank you for the interview.

JM: Thanks for having me. We’re doing this work for people like you!

 

—————-

Morgan, John B. “A Blaze through the Gloom; an Interview with Arktos Media’s John Morgan.” Interview by Nathan Leonard. Heathen Harvest Periodical, 7 July 2014. <http://heathenharvest.org/2014/07/07/a-blaze-through-the-gloom-an-interview-with-arktos-medias-john-morgan/ >.

 

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What Eastern Europe Can Teach the West – Morgan

What Eastern Europe Can Teach the West

A report from Ukraine and Hungary

By John Morgan

 

Introductory Note: Our audience should keep in mind that this article was written on May 2, 2014, and was written from a limited perspective. Therefore, it does not take into account the many negative consequences of the Ukrainian revolution which occurred in later months due to the anti-Russian chauvinism of the Western Ukrainian government. However, despite this issue, John Morgan presents many valid points on philosophical and strategic matters, and it is for that reason that we choose to republish it here. – Daniel Macek (Editor of the “New European Conservative”)

***

Before I begin, I want to make a disclaimer. I’ll be discussing a number of groups that I’ve had contact with, but I don’t want that to be seen as an unqualified endorsement of any of their programs or policies. I think that all of them are interesting, but I’m not here to act as a spokesman or promoter for any of them.

I’ll begin by describing two scenes that I witnessed in January of this year. The first was in Kiev, in the Ukraine, the night I first arrived, as I was approaching the Maidan, or Independence Square, in the center of the city. From far away, I could smell the smoke wafting from the many barrel fires used by those camped out on the Maidan for warmth and for cooking. As I got closer, I could hear the sounds from the speakers attached to the stage that had been set up by the revolutionaries. As I was to learn later, the revolutionary committee maintained a 24/7 schedule on the Maidan. Whether one ventured there at 4:00 in the afternoon or 4:00 in the morning, there was always something happening: either a speaker, a musical performance, a patriotic drama, or some such thing. This was true of the entire Maidan: It was just as bustling in the middle of the night as during the middle of the day. The protesters wanted to make sure that the government understood that their rage was not a passing phenomenon.

When I reached the square, I could see that it had been transformed into an enormous, self-sufficient city of tents and other makeshift structures. This miniature city-within-a-city extended for many blocks in both directions, to the barricades that had been hastily set up against the police the previous month and that were still being guarded by volunteers. Occupy Wall Street had nothing on these guys. Hundreds of activists had been living there for over a month, in the middle of winter, and would continue to do so for many weeks thereafter, knowing full well that the police might attack them at any moment and possibly even kill them. Some of them are still camped there as I speak. Flags and patriotic slogans festooned everything. There was no doubt in my mind, as I surveyed the scene, that change was inevitable.

The other image I want to convey is something I saw only a few days later, in Budapest, Hungary. I was invited to the Annual Congress of the nationalist party Jobbik, or the Movement for a Better Hungary, the only party in Hungary today that stands as a serious rival to the ruling Center-Right party, Fidesz. The Congress was held in an indoor sports arena on the western outskirts of the city.

When I arrived, the first startling fact was that, unlike most events of a similar nature that I’d attended in Western Europe or the U.S., there were no protesters. It came as a surprise to me that views considered “extreme” in the West are usually considered normal in the East. The second startling thing was the size of the audience. This wasn’t a hundred or so people, as is typical for nationalist-related events I attend. This was an entire arena that could seat thousands. In addition to the bleachers, the floor had been filled with chairs. Both were filled to capacity.

The day’s program consisted of speakers and musical acts, with many of the speakers and performers beginning their presentations with the cry of “Talpra, Magyar!” which was always echoed by the audience. This means, “Arise, Hungarians!” and are the opening words of the poem, “National Song,” that was written by the Hungarian poet Sandor Petofi for the 1848 revolution. The enthusiasm of the participants was palpable: They were motivated to save their people. And this is no marginal phenomenon. Three months later, in the national parliamentary elections, Jobbik went on to win over 20 percent of the vote and establish itself as the second-most powerful party in the nation.

My immediate reaction to the events both in Kiev and Budapest was the same: “Something like this could never happen in Western Europe or the United States.” But the main thing that these experiences taught me is that concern for the future of our people, which I was accustomed to seeing consigned to the margins of society, is no fringe subculture in Eastern Europe. There, nationalism—by which I mean genuine nationalism, and not what masquerades under that name in America today under the auspices of Fox News and such—is still very much a mainstream phenomenon.

What Is Happening in Ukraine

I don’t want to discuss the politics of the Ukrainian situation in great detail, since there has already been so much written and said about it. The one comment I’ll make is that, outside of Ukraine, it is always framed as a dispute over geopolitics: Russia or the EU. I can say only that, while that was certainly a catalyst, that was not the main issue for most of the people I talked to. For them, the Maidan movement was about getting rid of the Yanukovich regime, which was seen pretty much universally, as far as I could tell, as corrupt, anti-democratic, and self-serving. And certainly, the activists I talked with were more interested in ensuring the existence of an independent Ukraine as opposed to one that was merely a vassal of Washington, Brussels, or Moscow.

I was invited to speak to the Kiev revolutionary council by some friends in the nationalist party Svoboda, or “Freedom,” who were familiar with my work with Arktos. In the last election in 2012, Svoboda won more than 10 percent of the national vote, and is likely to do much better in the upcoming election, so, like Jobbik, it is more than a marginal phenomenon. Svoboda’s platform is one of anti-liberalism and anti-Communism, as well as opposition to immigration, and it calls for a return to spiritual and traditional values. (As a side note, I’ll mention that I was informed that the term “European values” is code for “traditional values” in Ukraine, which is understood to mean those values that prevailed before Communism and, later, liberal rule.)

My speech was held in the Kiev city council building, which is just off the Maidan. Members of Svoboda had stormed and occupied the building a month earlier, in early December, and it had been converted into a revolutionary headquarters. Different areas of the building had been assigned to the various political parties involved in the Maidan, and Svoboda itself occupied the main hall. Once the guards at the entrance let me in, I was greeted by the strong smell of a building in which many men were living, but which obviously hadn’t been cleaned for some time. I went there several times, both during the day and at night, and people were always busy at work on something related to the Maidan. For me, it was a unique, inspirational experience to be at the nerve center of a revolution in progress.

In the main hall, chairs had been set up auditorium style so that those volunteering on the Maidan could sit and rest during breaks. Films were projected on a screen at the front of the hall, most of them about activists who had been tortured or killed by the police. Off to one side of the hall, next to a Christmas tree, was a collection of sleeping bags, where Svoboda’s volunteers got some rest whenever they could.

Many of these people came from other parts of Ukraine, and had been away from their families and friends for weeks, just to serve the cause of the Maidan. The walls were adorned with the flags of the various parties, as well as the image of Stepan Bandera, the founder of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists that had opposed the Soviets in the mid-twentieth century, and who continues to serve as an inspiration to nationalist activists today. Once again, I was impressed by the austerities these people were willing to undergo for the sake of their people.

My own talk was on “European Values and European Patriotic Movements.” In essence, I said that the most important issue facing the Maidan wasn’t Ukraine’s geopolitical orientation, but rather how best it could orient itself to combat liberalism. To underscore my point, I outlined some of the many horrors that liberalism has wrought in North America and Western Europe in recent decades. My talk seemed to be well-received, and many people approached me afterwards with questions. It became apparent that while some Ukrainians still aspire to the mirage of the lifestyle that they imagine we have here in America and Western Europe, many of them also understand that America today represents something that should be avoided at all costs.

I’ll mention another anecdote from that evening. After my talk, a rumor started to spread through the Maidan that the police were going to storm it that very night. This turned out to be false, but we had no way of knowing that. An old man who had listened to my speech approached me and asked, “Aren’t you afraid of being beaten?” At first I laughed, but upon reflection, I realized that what he was suggesting was a real possibility. As one of my Ukrainian friends had told me, “Once they find out you have an American passport, they’ll let you go, but if they come charging in here with truncheons they’re not going to bother to ask you first.”

I realized that I had never had to think about such a thing before. I’ve been publicly associated with what could be loosely termed the “New Right” for about seven years now, but I’d never had to worry about much more than being heckled by antifa or getting an occasional nasty e-mail. But here I was faced with the prospect of actual, physical violence. Had the police attacked that night, would I have been able to stand firm, as so many others did at the Maidan, in the face of the possibility of being injured or killed? I hope and believe that the answer is yes, although I have no way of knowing for certain until the moment actually comes.

This brought home for me the fact that activism for us in the West tends to be something very abstract, a battle waged in the pages of journals or in online comments sections rather than on the streets. In the East, it still has a very palpable, existential character, with real and immediate consequences. I think this is something that we would do well to keep in mind as we go about our activities. Identity is not an idea, but something we embody and live, and as such, it should be something visible in the world around us, insofar as we have the ability to affect it. The struggle in the world of ideas is important, certainly, but ultimately this is not merely a debate, but an attempt to reshape and redefine the world—a world that is always going to fight back.

No matter how one looks at it, there are certainly aspects of what has been happening in Ukraine since the revolution that are worrisome—as in any revolution, I suppose. Nevertheless, when viewed from the perspective of European nationalism, I think the fact that, regardless of whatever one thinks of the ends they were pursuing, thousands of ordinary Ukrainians were willing to give up their time and comforts for the sake of living in tents for months, and to risk their lives for the sake of their nation—and certainly without the sense that they were being manipulated by outside forces—is something that should inspire anyone looking for real nationalist activism in the world today.

The Story of Jobbik

The story of Jobbik is much less dramatic, since it is a traditional political party pursuing power through the democratic process in Hungary, and the political situation there is quite stable at the moment. What makes Jobbik particularly interesting is the degree of its success and the ideas it propagates. Thus far I have encountered nothing like it in European politics. Jobbik was founded just over a decade ago, in 2003, and when it fought its first election in 2006, it won less than 2 percent of the vote. As I mentioned before, in this month’s election Jobbik won more than 20 percent of the vote, which, in terms of sheer numbers, ranks it as the most successful nationalist party in Europe apart from the National Front in France.

I believe Jobbik has attained this success by appealing to the growing dissatisfaction of many Hungarians with their membership in the European Union, since exiting the EU is one of the planks of the party’s platform. Increasingly, Hungarians are beginning to see the EU as nothing more than a way for the major Western European powers to amass cheap labor while Hungarians see few benefits in return. Likewise, many Hungarians, especially in the countryside, are beginning to worry about the gradual erosion of their traditional values and customs. Jobbik stands for a return to those values, and plans to increase incentives for Hungarians who are working abroad to come home, and to ensure that immigration, which is currently not a major factor in Hungarian society, stays that way. Jobbik also makes an issue out of the international capitalist system, which it claims is the primary force eroding all cultures and traditions in the world today. Jobbik favors a return to a more locally-based economic model.

Much of the rest of Jobbik’s program is highly unorthodox. Jobbik favors stronger ties with Turkey, Russia and Germany, all of which have been Hungary’s historical enemies, but which Jobbik sees as essential for constructing a bulwark against the continuing encroachment of American and Western European liberalism, under the auspices of NATO and the EU. Notable in this regard is Jobbik’s close cooperation with the Eurasia Movement in Russia of Professor Alexander Dugin, which is worth discussing in its own right.

Professor Dugin has long been an unofficial adviser to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, in addition to his prodigious work as an author (my own Arktos publishes his books in English) and as a professor at Moscow State University. All of his work is directed at combating the prevalence and proliferation of liberalism throughout the world, and is unique in that he is one of the few to attempt to apply the ideas of the European “New Right,” as embodied by such thinkers as Alain de Benoist, to geopolitics. The spiritual traditionalism and perennial philosophy that was originally taught by figures such as René Guénon and Julius Evola is also central to his thought. Many of Jobbik’s writings, programs and public statements show the influence of Professor Dugin and his work.

One of the most controversial aspects of Jobbik’s program is its desire for alliances with Asia and the Middle East, and the Islamic world in particular. Jobbik views the anti-Islamic stance assumed by many other nationalist parties in Europe as an error. Jobbik’s leader, Gábor Vona, said in a widely publicized statement last year that the Islamic world is the best hope in the world today to combat liberalism—although what is usually left out is the rest of that sentence, in which he said, “and I say that as a Catholic.” This statement alarmed many, but it has usually been misrepresented, since Mr. Vona has made it clear elsewhere that he doesn’t favor immigration from Islamic countries into Europe, doesn’t favor the Islamicization of Europe, and doesn’t think Turkey belongs in the EU.

Jobbik’s attitude is consistent with the metaphysical perspective of the aforementioned traditionalism of Guénon and Evola, which holds that all traditional religions share a common core and that all stand in opposition to liberalism and the excesses of the modern world. I don’t think it’s possible to understand Jobbik without some understanding of traditionalism. After Jobbik’s congress in January, I spoke with a man who was introduced to me as one of their top ideologues, who said to me, “Politics is nothing; traditionalism is everything!”

One of the party’s major magazines, Magyar Hüperión, contains translated essays by the central thinkers of traditionalism (including Guénon, Evola and Frithjof Schuon), along with articles on politics from a traditionalist perspective. Traditionalism is one of the major elements of Jobbik’s worldview, so one can understand Mr. Vona’s statements only in those terms. When he calls Islam one of the major forces that can combat liberal values—as can all traditional faiths—he does so in reference to Islam as a religion, rather than as a call for an alliance with the more radical and distasteful elements of political Islamism and jihad.

Why Not Here?

Why can’t nationalist movements be successful here? I think the answer is simply that the cultural foundations for such movements are still present in Eastern Europe while they have long since been eroded here. Whatever one may think about the Soviet Union, for half a century the Iron Curtain prevented Cultural Marxism and the worst excesses of liberalism from penetrating into the East. Thus, those societies remained ethnically cohesive and retained a strong sense of national identity, and even their religious institutions, while officially suppressed, only grew in strength by being cast into a dissenting role. Those are the factors upon which any sense of a national or ethnic culture must be founded. This is not to say that liberal trends that threaten to cancel out this advantage are not taking root in Eastern Europe. They are–particularly in the urban areas. But the rot hasn’t yet proceeded to the point where change has become impossible.

So the question is: What can Eastern Europe teach the West? Since the vital foundations of identity, culture and religion have already largely evaporated in any real sense, what is left for us? The situation is dire.

Nevertheless, I think Eastern Europe, and also what I have seen taking place in my own publishing house Arktos, can be instructive. My conclusion is that if any progress is to be made, we need to approach the problem culturally, and in terms of ideas, rather than politically. Any political movement is doomed to failure unless it can reflect the desires of a large number of its community. At the moment, what we are offering is not what most of our people desire. For that to change, we have to influence the culture. This is what the European “New Right” has been saying for nearly half a century now. Little attempt has been made to put this into practice, but I think this is the way forward. More importantly, I think we need to inspire the passions and imaginations of our people, which we have also been failing to do.

The Identitarian movement, which has been extremely popular among the youth in Europe in recent years is, in my view, the first spark of such a development. The Identitarians have shed the old language and hang-ups of conservatism without sacrificing its values, and are winning popularity by adopting many of the tactics of the radical Left: street-level activism, snazzy videos, and the like. In short, it’s cool. Also, the Identitarians have recognized what the core issue really is: identity, going beyond mere politics and ideology to something visceral. People can feel what it is to be a Hungarian or a Frenchman—it is something obvious. It’s not something that needs to be expressed in words or concepts.

Identitarianism is good for Europe, and I have hope for it; the problem is how to transfer it to the United States. What sense of identity do the majority of those of European descent have in America today? Perhaps here in the South, something still remains of the venerable Southern tradition that could still be revived. But the situation in the rest of the country seems hopelessly tragic.

Identity has become a matter of consumerism: your identity is the slogan on your shirt or which television series you like. Appeals to the benefits of the American identity of the 1950s or earlier, for most Americans today, is something as foreign and unappealing as asking them to assume the identity of ancient Egyptians. Some have suggested “white nationalism” as a solution to this problem. For me, this is insufficient, first because it’s a slippery concept in itself, and also because I find it hard to become enthusiastic about the idea that I’m “white.” A Hungarian or a Pole or a Swede has an entire history and tradition to look back on. “Whiteness,” to my mind, is too vague.

If Americans don’t have an identity to draw on, what remains? We still have the remaining factors of culture and religion to consider. Again, Eastern Europe is still rich in these things, and they are what form the basis of nationalist politics there. In America today, all we have is consumer culture and liberal platitudes. The heady days of America’s early years, which produced such wonders as Transcendentalism and the American Renaissance in literature, are long gone. And most of what passes for “religion” these days is either thoroughly compromised by liberalism or else thoroughly moronic—often both.

But what I have observed through my dealings with Arktos’ readers is that there is a great hunger, especially among young people, for new perspectives on culture, politics, and religion that are suffused with the authentic values of the traditional West, to give them something to aspire to. What they want, I believe, are new ideas and myths to inspire them and to give them a sense of purpose.

This does not mean merely conservatism in a new guise; what is wanted is more radical thinking, in the sense of going beyond the limits of what is normally considered Right-wing. In some cases, it may even involve synthesizing ideas and approaches more traditionally identified with the Left. Likewise, conservatism in the West has decayed to the point that even much of what would normally have been traditional or “Right-wing” in Western thought in previous eras now seems new and revolutionary if presented in the proper way.

It should be clear by now that the ideals that first took root in the 1960s and that have dominated our society ever since are becoming more and more shopworn. The reality that young people see around them today is full of evidence of the failures of the attempts to enact these ideals. More to the point, they are growing tired of hearing these same old catchwords trotted out again and again. I firmly believe that the cultural vigor of the West as a whole is passing, if it hasn’t already passed, from the Left to the Right. By this I don’t mean the Republican Right, which is just as liberal as its opposition, but rather what Evola termed the “true Right”—the Right founded on the timeless principles and traditions of our people.

If we continue to offer fresh perspectives in an intriguing manner, and if people continue to respond to them, I think the rest will follow. It is not enough to offer a critical, purely negative view of our civilization as presently constituted. We must offer a positive, constructive alternative vision of what we want that can be attractive to people, and that indicates to ourselves where we want to be heading.

In our own modest way in Arktos, we are trying to offer the appetizers to inspire a greater hunger in our people for a more authentic mode of living and being. Books about the realities of race and of social trends are important, and we must continue to promote them. However, I think it is even more important to offer new ideas in politics, culture, philosophy and religion, and also to produce more creative works that reflect our worldview: fiction, poetry, art, music, videos, and hopefully one day even fully-fledged films. Nothing can inspire people more than a creative vision with which they can readily identify. I hope many more groups will follow in Arktos’ footsteps in this regard.

I’ve mentioned religion, and I think I should delve into this briefly. This isn’t universal, but I have noticed a distinct attraction among many young people towards more traditional forms of spirituality and the sorts of books that Arktos publishes in this area. Traditionalism is certainly part of that. I think this is only natural, since religion at its best offers one of the last refuges of authenticity amidst a society that has become mostly plastic and virtual. And certainly many of the most highly motivated movements and activists I have known on the Right have drawn their sense of purpose, at least in part, from a sense of the spiritual.

This is particularly true of Jobbik. I think the sacred must be an integral part of any attempt to forge a new nationalist culture. This is not to say that we should attempt to propagate a specific religion, as I think such an effort could create divisions, but the cultivation of authentic forms of spirituality, provided that they are consistent with our own norms and values, is a worthy undertaking. A spiritual sense of purpose is the most highly effective way to inoculate oneself against the diseases and temptations of the liberal world.

Hopefully, all this will lead to something corporate America learned was the key to power decades ago: the creation of a subculture, and the identity that follows from that. And, given the right circumstances, a subculture can very quickly influence the prevailing culture. If this happens, it might not even be necessary to have a political movement as such—the perspectives we offer will become commonplace and second-nature—in effect, an identity, and society will be inevitably transformed as a result. I realize this may sound overly idealistic, but the power of ideas and cultural forms should never be underestimated.

In conclusion, then, I’ll say that what Eastern Europe has shown me is that the political struggle is only the outward form of a battle that is really more cultural, and culture rests on what lies within each individual who participates in it. In order to be willing to sacrifice the comforts of home and camp out in the freezing cold, or to risk being hit by a policeman’s baton, a solid sense of identity is required.

Unfortunately, what Eastern European nationalists are born and instilled with is something that we must strive to create for ourselves, if we want to form the basis of something capable of transforming the societies we live in. And once we have achieved that for ourselves, we will provide an example that others will strive to imitate. As that great politician Gandhi once said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” I think we can do this.

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Morgan, John. “What Eastern Europe Can Teach the West.” American Renaissance, 2 May 2014. <http://www.amren.com/features/2014/05/what-eastern-europe-can-teach-the-west/ >.

 

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