Tag Archives: Marxism

Liberalism’s Time is Up – Andersen

Liberalism’s Time is Up

By Joakim Andersen

 

A Review of Daniel Friberg’s The Real Right Returns: A Handbook for the True Opposition (London: Arktos, 2015).

***

We live in interesting times, times in which the political and ideological consensus which has been dominant for more than 50 years is coming apart at the seams. During this period of transition, the liberalism of the Left appears not only incapable of solving the growing mass of problems, it is also obvious to ever more people that it has been part of creating them. The opposition has every reason to scent victory.

Even so, massive challenges await. To take but one example, what is our alternative to the crumbling system? Who are ‘we’? And, to quote a famous twentieth century revolutionary, ‘what is to be done?’ If these questions are not answered satisfactorily, we run the risk of passing up the historic opportunity that is now becoming visible with increasing clarity.

Daniel Friberg and the New Right

‘To constitute a metapolitical vanguard, and hence a vital part of the broader initiative to set Europe straight again: this is the primary mission of the Swedish New Right.’ — Daniel Friberg

Anyone ready to ask the right questions and answer them had better acquaint themselves with Daniel Friberg. For ten years, he has been one of the driving forces behind the Swedish think-tank Motpol, as well as the CEO of the publishing company Arktos Media. He has been essential to the emergence of the Swedish New Right, as well as a prime contributor to the worldview of the global Right through Arktos’ strategic translations of de Benoist, Faye, and Dugin, amongst others, into English. This suggests that in Friberg we have encountered a rare man with an unusual combination of strategic ability, vision, and political sensitivity. In other words, Friberg could be described as a skilled metapolitician. This should make it interesting to gain further insight into his views concerning history and the future. This insight is offered by the recent anthology The Real Right Returns.

Already in the title, Friberg hints at his choice of ‘we’, while also distancing himself from the current form of ‘Right wing’ politics. If the Real Right returns, then obviously Angela Merkel, Anna Kinberg Batra, and Nicolas Sarkozy do not belong to the Right. These politicians are Social Liberals motivated by class egoism, and for decades they and their ilk have been prone to adopt both americanised and radical Left-wing viewpoints. Such a ‘Right’ is not Friberg’s. The Right of which he speaks is rather the European one, especially the so-called ‘New Right’.

After the Second World War, the True Right of Europe faced a crisis. It was often viewed as being associated with the losing side, while two extra-European superpowers occupied Europe and shaped her societies in accordance with their own interests. Among the most interesting responses to this situation can be found in the New Right, an initiative begun by a group of French intellectuals to break the Left’s and the false Right’s grip on society. Leading among these thinkers was and is Alain de Benoist, but around him could be found other notable scholars and writers such as Guillaume Faye.

Metapolitics

‘Mass immigration, sexual liberalism, and many other negative political and cultural choices cannot be fully explained by the activities of the Left alone, but without the Frankfurt School and similar projects it is unlikely, if not inconceivable, that they would have taken the shapes they did.’ — Daniel Friberg

The New Right undertook a deep analysis of how it was that viewpoints and groups once seen as extreme and marginal could have achieved such a hold over European politics and culture. Among others, they turned to certain Leftist theoreticians, in particular the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci had developed useful theories concerning concepts such as how to secure power over the minds of the people, while diverging sharply from Marx and rather approaching Georges Sorel. Gramsci studied the role of the struggle of ideas in securing this power, also called the ‘positional warfare’ of cultural politics, and how to win it.

Gramsci developed a practical conceptual apparatus, utilising terms such as hegemony, organic intellectuals, and historical blocs. Partly inspired by him during their ‘long march through the institutions’ during the ’60s, the Left had usurped control of language, culture, the educational system, and the media over the course of the twentieth century. The aim of the New Right was to use the valuable insights of Gramsci to achieve something similar, but under another banner altogether. The New Right realised that successful politics presupposes metapolitical victories, meaning that one has already profoundly influenced what people believe to be right and true, which words they use, and how they identify themselves. Friberg describes metapolitics thusly:

‘Metapolitics can be defined as the process of disseminating and anchoring a particular set of cultural ideas, attitudes, and values in a society, which eventually leads to deeper political change. This work need not – and perhaps should not – be linked to a particular party or programme. The point is ultimately to redefine the conditions under which politics is conceived, which the European cultural Left pushed to its extreme.’

In The Real Right Returns, Friberg offers valuable insights and advice regarding metapolitics. Among other things, one needs a positive, conscious, and coherent alternative to the liberalism that has brought Europe to the brink of the abyss. Such an alternative is described in the book, which touches on topics such as society, Europe, gender roles, economics, and more.

Friberg does not use the strategy of Gramsci and the New Left as a straightforward blueprint. He has major differences of opinion with them, among which is their view of mankind. The Right’s view of man is marked by an ambition to always strive for improvement and to be true to one’s self. This means that ‘the personal is political’, and hence the book contains advice directed at male as well as female readers, with men being called upon to improve their physique and self-defence capabilities and to learn the gentlemanly virtues.

This all makes sense. Gramsci speaks of ‘organic intellectuals’, and of the value of intellectuals who act on behalf of the workers. For the Right, the mission is of a similar nature; we combine Gramsci with Vilfredo Pareto, who taught us that our primary task is the creation of an elite. For such an elite, Friberg’s perspective and advice are valuable, and the optimistic tone of the text as a whole may be even more so. No depressing defeatism and no belief that ‘all is lost’ can be found in The Real Right Returns. To Friberg, the future is ripe with possibilities, and the enemy is hardly worth taking seriously. He has analysed him, and drawn the conclusion that his time is up. This makes for many a poignant and entertaining turn of phrase, making the book a breath of fresh air.

Historical blocs

‘Revolutionary upheavals have wrought havoc on the European continent for over two hundred years. The insanity ends now. The reaction is coming, step by step, and we will follow Julius Evola’s recommendation to “cover our enemies with scorn, rather than chains”.’ — Daniel Friberg

A central term in Gramsci is historical bloc. He used it to designate an alliance of groups united by certain hegemonic ideas. One good example of this would be the historic Workers Movement of Sweden and other European countries, which is now dissolving since its members no longer view it as representing their interests. Our task today is nothing less than the creation of a similar (but better) historical bloc, which can lead the resistance to replace the current establishment, and thereafter lead Europe for a long time to come.

Gramsci viewed the historical bloc as an alliance of groups, and what Friberg offers in The Real Right Returns are mainly suggestions of the type of ideas that could permeate such an alliance. He outlines how we ended up in today’s crisis, describing the metapolitics of the ‘Left’ during the twentieth century, as well as even more fundamental cultural reasons for its success. Friberg’s description is unusually accurate, and should be acceptable to a broadly-defined Right. The same could be said for the alternative he presents under the heading ‘Points of Orientation’. This alternative differs from both socialism, with its focus on class, and liberalism, with its focus on the individual. Friberg is conscious of the importance and value of things such as culture, identity, and ethnicity.

A historical bloc of the Right would be wise to be guided by the clever French axiom Pas d’Ennemis à Droite, ‘no enemies on the Right’. Discussions and criticism is natural, and can be challenging in a positive way and part of relationships within the Right, but such disagreements are or should be something completely different from simple enmity or hostility.

I suspect that the utilisation of the word Right will be a cause for some controversy. Is this not a term that excludes, among others, the sensible Left that still exists? In terms of the history of ideas, however, the word ‘Right’ is certainly the correct designation for those such as Friberg. Furthermore, it is also a moniker all but abandoned by bourgeois conservatives, and it is virtually just sitting there, waiting to be adopted. With a clear definition of who you are and what you want, you have better chances of collaborating with others. Even so, within the Real Right one can also find strains of thought that are comparable to the organic solidarity of certain types of socialism; many early anti-capitalists were conservative.

The mainstream ‘Left’ of today has failed fatally insofar as its goal was another economic system, or even in terms of an understanding of contemporary history. Friberg writes:

‘Despite its firm grip on the public debate in Sweden (for example), in practice the Left achieves little more than to fill the role of global capitalism’s court jester. Despite this, it continues to succeed in its other main goal, which has been to prevent Europe’s native populations from defending themselves against a political project that undermines their right to political self-determination. Toward this end, sentimentality was substituted for Marxist historical analysis.’

Those among the Left who share this assessment, and I know they exist, should consider whether the Real Right might not be a better partner for collaboration than either the ‘Left’ or the ‘Right’.

In conclusion, this is a valuable and very readable book. Friberg describes the background that put us here, in an unprecedented cultural, demographic, and existential crisis for Europe and her peoples. But he does not collapse into defeatism or pessimism, but states with a duly substantiated optimism that ‘the success of our ideas is not just possible. It is certain’.

Friberg also outlines the positive alternative and the worldview which should guide the struggle against the decaying system which dominated the twentieth century. He gives practical advice for male and female readers alike, as well as for anyone victimised by the death-throes of a dying monopoly of opinion-mongers (the media scaffolding of the dissidents).

Perhaps the discussion of metapolitics is the most valuable aspect of the book. In metapolitics, what Sloterdijk calls the politics of language is a central part. A small word such as ‘racism’ can make informed debate on issues such as immigration impossible (which, of course, was always the purpose of its introduction). We must also wage the war of language, and to this end the book contains a metapolitical dictionary in which Friberg defines useful terms such as ‘the right to difference’, ‘White flight’, ‘egalitarianism’, ‘ethnomasochism’, and ‘identity’.

In brief, this is a book to be recommended.

 

—————

Andersen, Joakim. “Liberalism’s Time is Up.” RightOn, 3 November 2015. < https://www.righton.net/2015/11/03/liberalisms-time-is-up/ >.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative

Interview with Fenek Solère – Macek (Editor)

Interview with Fenek Solère by Daniel Macek, Editor of the New European Conservative

 

Introductory Note: The following is an original interview with Fenek Solère, an Anglophone representative of what is known as the ‘Identitarian Movement.’ We have conducted this interview via email and it is published here on our website New European Conservative for the first time. In this discussion, Solère provides his own particular interpretation of Identitarianism, its major concepts and thinkers, and related Right-wing movements. Of course, it should be noted that we don’t agree with all of Solère’s statements; this interview is not an expression of the official position of the New European Conservative, but rather of Fenek Solère’s personal studies and views. – Daniel Macek (Editor of the New European Conservative)

***

We are aware that you identify as an ‘Identitarian’ which refers to a Right-Wing movement historically connected with the Nouvelle Droite. It happens that different authors don’t always define this term in the same manner and disagree who exactly falls into this category. How do you define the term Identitarian and which thinkers or political leaders do you think can be included in it?

Identity itself is a complex subject. It is composed of many elements and operates on the individual and group level. Some aspects of individual identity you can choose, like the house where you live or the clothes you wear, which to a certain extent define your taste, project your personality or can be taken as an indication of your material circumstances. Other aspects like ‘genetic markers’ locate individuals within a particular group and are far less transient and require more radical interventions if you desire to alter or overcome them. For example, one’s gender or skin colour are pre-determined. Although weight and hair colour can be modified, your starting point is fixed, has is the shape of your skull, the size of your brain or the structure of your nasal bones and septal cartilage.

So for Identitarians of the Nouvelle Droite (ND), Neue Rechte and Nueva Derecha dispensation Human Bio-Diversity (HBD) is something to celebrate, as well as an essential bio-marker for identity. Thus, true Identitarianism mitigates the fear of the other by embracing the fact that we are different and that each group has distinct general attributes that fit them to the environment from which they originate and are reflected in the cultures they have created. Neue Rechte thinker Pierre Krebs stated: ‘The originality and richness of the human heritages of this world are nourished by their differences and their deviations’.

The ND’s notion of ethnopluralism is therefore set in stark contrast to the egalitarian and universalist view that man is an undifferentiated mass. Identitarians in general sympathizing with Alain de Benoist and Charles Champetier’s opinion, ‘that from the socio-historical viewpoint, man as such does not exist, because his membership of humanity is always mediated by a particular cultural belonging’. Identitarians conceive identity to be based on jus sanguinis, a belonging based on primordial, organic and biological factors linked to the soil and national territory, not the liberal left’s post-Second World War civil welfare-state citizenship of jus soli. The former being a pragmatic approach to our inherent and instinctive family, regional, religious, gender or ancestral predilections and prejudices and our perceived in and out groups. The latter being underpinned by supra-national bodies like the UN and EU, which seek to use liberal leftist national governments to erode and destroy European ethnic homogeneity. Whilst at the same time turning identity into a commodity that can be bought and sold. Thus contriving to make the current influx of migrants into a source of profit for cosmopolitan elite, the real 1%, that in turn helps them to perpetuate the modernist market forces that generate their power-base.

Fallacious egalitarian notions which depend on arguments like race is a social construct, need to be challenged whenever and wherever they are encountered. In avoiding so self-evident a truth and denying the right to difference out of some misplaced fear of breaching the new religion of political correctness, we do an immense disservice not only to decades of scientific research but also to thousands of years of evolution.

And just to state for the record, Identitarianism is not National Socialism or Fascism with another face as some academics like Tamir Bar-On in his works Where Have All The Fascists Gone (2007) and Rethinking the French New Right (2013) try to imply, using that familiar technique of guilt by association. A quick perusal of Michael O’Meara’s book New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe (2nd Ed. 2013) is a perfect antidote to such misinformation. Similarly, one could quote from Dr. Tomislav Sunic’s insightful and erudite essay ‘Liberal Double-Talk and Its Lexical and Legal Consequences’ in his book Post-Mortem Report (2010) to disabuse the gullible.

However, it cannot be denied that there is some overlap between Old Right and New Right thinkers, mainly within the spectrum of the Revolutionary Conservative tradition. But it seems to me that today’s Identitarians essentially take their lead from Alain De Benoist, Dominique Venner, Pierre Krebs, Guillaume Faye, Pierre Vial, Alexander Dugin and more recently the new wave of philosopher activists like Markus Willinger and his Generation Identity: A Declaration of War Against the 68’ers (2013).

Personally, I am a firm believer in ethnocultural identity, agreeing with the Italian Pasquale Stanislao Mancini (1817-1888) that ‘Man is born as a member of a family and the nation being the aggregate of families, he is a citizen of the nation to which his father and his family belong’. Or indeed, Mancini’s fellow countryman Giussepe Mazzini (1805-1872) who defined nationality as biological membership of a common community, sharing cultural characteristics such as language, an affinity with a defined territory, and the spiritual will to be part of such an entity. Which for me, once again, perfectly describes the parameters of an individual’s identity. After-all what Briton’s soul is not touched when he dreams of the face of the princess buried with her chariot in Wetwang in East Yorkshire; what Celt is not moved when he sees the Bronze Age Battersea shield or the burial chamber of the ancient Prince in Lavau; what Saxon when he reflects on the majesty of the Sutton Hoo helmet; what Gaul when he ponders the paintings of Lascaux and the Palaeolithic art in the Chauvet Cave; what Slav when he walks by the archaeological remains of cities like Sintashta and Arkaim on the windswept Steppe or stands inside the Lavra complex in Kiev; what German when he realizes that the 7000 year old Neolithic concentric circles at Goseck form an ancient sun observatory far older than Stonehenge; what Swiss when he thinks of La Tene art; what Estonian when he hears the music of Arvo Part; What Italian when he marvels at the fact his Roman ancestors designed and built the aqueduct at the Pont du Gard; what Greek as he stands in the shadows cast by the pillars of the Acropolis in Athens; what Serb’s pulse does not beat faster when he recites Jovan Sterija Popovich’s The Warriors Lament at Kosovo Field; and what Portuguese heart does not burst with pride when he reads the sublime understated poetry of Fernando Pessoa?

The White European ethnos should not be constrained by national boundaries. I agree with Guillaume Faye, ‘To each European his own fatherland, national and regional, chosen on the basis of intimate emotive affinities – And to all Europeans the Great Fatherland, this land of intimately related peoples’. Borders should be permeable to those who are entitled by hereditary and custom to continue the natural osmosis of centuries, to mingle within the related blood lines and wider gene-pool to which they belong. But that vast territory, those reservoirs of blood and precious strands of mitochondrial DNA should always be protected against the mass contamination of out-groups. Which is why, as per Willinger (2013), ‘We Europeans shouldn’t fight one another over petty disagreements’. For there is a very clear and present danger, the enemy are pounding at the Gates of Vienna once more and we should rally to defend the citadel.

 

The term Identitarianism also seems to imply a movement limited to concerns about ‘identity’ (its root word), yet anyone who looks into it can see that Identitarians are typically concerned with far more issues than just the problem of identity. Do you think the name may pose a problem when presenting Identitarian theory to the public?

Our Identity is formed by a common European heritage. It is therefore axiomatic that we concern ourselves with the full range of issues that might give advantage or pose a threat to the continuation of that identity.

If one takes geography as a starting point it is clear that Europe is blessed with high mountains that form defensible natural barriers, riven with deep river valleys that flow into balmy Mediterranean bays and benefits greatly from an indented northern coastline. All these topographical features are key factors in the development and subsistence of small regional communities that could not only survive but also thrive and develop distinct and recognizable cultures of their own.

European identity is a rich matrix of differentiated communes of varying sizes, taking multifarious forms such as city-states, duchies, republics, nations and empires. Each to a greater or lesser extent benefiting from the ready availability of cultivatable land and navigable rivers that in turn provide trade routes to the world beyond.

Based on the Greek roots of Western liberty, defined by Herodotus as ‘a free people’, meaning a people who enjoy national independence and the Roman concept of libertas meaning all citizens treated equally before the law, by the 15th century there were over 500 self-governing entities operating within the land-mass that now falls under the aegis of the European Union.

It would therefore require a mass inversion of human character or a Great Replacement of the population, to borrow Renaud Camus’ terminology, before a psychology formed by centuries of rugged individualism and self-determination could be overturned.

And who would want to change it in the first place? Europe’s history is already a vibrant example of diversity in people, art, language, ideas and even technologies. These features in and of themselves fuelling the economic and political competition between the various inhabitants and nation states comprising the European homeland, leading to what the economic Historian Eric Jones describes has ‘the European miracle’. A dynamism that was sadly lacking in the heavily centralized models of governance adopted by Ming and Manchu China, the Mughal India and the Ottoman Empire.

We are what we have created. And we have created who we are.

One senses such pride in Pericles’ funeral oration of 431 B.C. where he spoke of the freedom, democracy and equality of his native Athens: ‘Thus, choosing to die resisting, rather than to live submitting, they fled only from dishonour’.

Are we so much less than they?

Europe is perhaps the greatest knowledge creating region in the world. We are the descendants of people that with the Emperor Constantine’s move from Rome to Constantinople in 324 A.D, effectively de-coupled Church and State, making it extremely difficult for an Islamic style Theocracy to become established in Europe; divested the King or Emperor of the claim to Godliness and thus placed limitations on temporal authority; developed the concept of individual liberty and communal responsibility; inherited many of the positive features of the Roman Republic, surviving through the Latin literate elite, which nurtured the notions and values of institutions like the senate, a republic, a constitution, a regulated system of jurisprudence and ultimately democracy.

We have created a civil society replete with private enterprise, state welfare, a free church, universities, guilds and freedoms of association beyond the control of the state apparatus. Therefore, we as Identitarians, concern ourselves with issues wider than the theme of identity. Our ideology needs to be all encompassing. But our approach to those issues, be they concerning personal freedom, means and forms of expression, the right to practice a particular religion, employment, economics, culture, art, the environment, foreign policy and defense should be defined through the lens of identity.

It seems to me a simple matter of political expediency to ensure that Identitarianism is presented has the best way to guarantee personal and group self-interest. And people create a culture. An Algerian may live in Paris but that does not make him Renoir’s nephew; a Trinidadian may sleep in a bedsit in Walthamstow but that does not mean he is a descendant of one of Henry V’s brave bowmen at Agincourt; and a Turk may run a kebab stall in Munich but that does not make him Bavarian. Our identity is our culture. Our culture is our identity. And culture and demographics is destiny.

Most identitarians advocate democracy of some sort, but there is some disagreement about what form of democracy should be used as a model (republic, direct democracy, mixed democracy) and whether there should be an aristocratic or elitist element in the government. What political structure do you yourself think Identitarians should aim for?

It is for individual peoples operating on the regional and national level to decide what form of democracy best serves their particular needs and circumstances. This will be greatly influenced by history, geography and socio-economic factors. The ability of a citizen to exercise their right to vote has been hard won and should be defended. It is a privilege that was denied to the majority of our forebears. For example before the 1832 Reform Act in Britain, only 1.8% of the adult population was eligible to vote. The Reform Act itself only increased that to 2.7%. By 1867 the franchise was extended to 6.7% and after 1884 to 12.1%. It was only in 1930 that women became fully enfranchised in the United Kingdom. America was little different, with only white land-owning males allowed to vote in the decades immediately after the American War of Independence and still only 5% able to vote in the years between 1824-1848. It therefore concerns me that with the increasing democratization we see today, little thought has been given to how someone qualifies to vote in the first place and the duties and responsibilities that come with such a right.

There are now for example vast numbers of politically illiterate people living in Europe, originating from continents and countries with either no tradition of democracy, or one rife with corruption, nepotism and Potemkin-style show elections. These people are more often than not accompanied by numerous dependents, who despite living off Western welfare, still do not speak the language of their host countries after generations of co-habitation. These willfully non-assimilating communities also currently qualify to vote in our elections.

And this is exactly why unsavoury individuals like Green Party MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit openly advocates for more immigrants to enter Germany : ‘We, the Greens have to make sure to get as many immigrants as possible into Germany. If they are in Germany, we must fight for their right to vote, we need to change this Republic’. Sentiments which on reflection give a whole new meaning to French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville’s thesis, espoused in his seminal text Democracy in America (1835/1840), about how modern democracy could lead to tyranny by the majority.

But what majority?

It is relatively simple to organize support along racial, ethnic or religious lines. And once a particular ethnic group or coalition holds the balance of power, it tends to ensure its own interests take priority. Barak Obama’s second term of office was greatly assisted by garnering 93% of the ‘black vote’ and 71% of the ‘Latino vote’ and 73% of the ‘Asian vote’. I predict we will see similar voting patterns emerging in the French Presidential elections of 2017. In this regard Western liberal democracy is being used both consciously and subconsciously as a Trojan Horse. Michael Doyle in his book Ways of War and Peace (1997) says of Immanuel Kant, the Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at Konigsberg University and author of the Critique of Pure Reason (1781): ‘Kant distrusted unfettered, democratic majoritarianism, and his argument offers no support for a claim that all participatory polities – democracies – should be peaceful, either in general or between fellow democracies. Many participatory polities have been non-liberal. For two thousand years before the modern age, popular rule was widely associated with aggressiveness (by Thucydides) or imperial success (by Machiavelli)… The decisive preference of the median voter might well include ethnic cleansing against other democratic polities’.

Britain, the so-called Mother of Democracy, is a case in point. Recognising the tendency for people to vote for those who share their own ethnicity, are sympathetic to their in-group interest, or sometimes just plainly anti-white, led to the steep rise in both black and Muslim political representation in both the Conservative and Labour Parties over the last two decades. Such cynical attempts to pander to these hordes of new voters in order to win elections will however prove pyrrhic. With such notorious characters as Diane Abbott and Bernie Grant barely able to disguise their racial animus with comments like ‘white people love playing divide and rule, we should not play their game’ in the former case, and celebrating the murderous Broadwater Farm riots of October 1985 in the latter instance, by claiming ‘the police got a bloody good hiding’. And these are not isolated incidents. Grant, who was of Ghanaian extraction passing on the mantle of his black dominated constituency to David Lammy, who up until recently was a potential Labour mayoral candidate for London, whose platform included giving a mass amnesty for all illegal immigrants. Some media pundits are already touting with James Bond like certainty that Chuka Umunna, current Labour Shadow Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills, will be Britain’s Obama of the 2020’s. And this is perfectly credible following Labour’s inevitable meltdown in the wake of ultra-Left Jeremy Corbyn’s election to the leadership, a replay of the shambolic steerage of the party under Michael Foot from 1980 to 1983.

But these cases, although rightfully shocking, are a lot less insidious than that epitomized by the Muslim community. Such as with Dr. Mohammad Naseem, who holds a senior position in the Islamic Party of Britain funding the Respect Party, that so flagrantly exploited The Anti-War Coalition to advance Muslim interests in Britain. The machinations of such people giving us an insight into our democratic dilemma. For they very clearly mobilized the fast growing Muslim block vote to defeat the Labour incumbent Oona King (herself a black ethnic) in Bow & Bethnal Green in 2005 and then overturned a substantial Labour majority in Bradford West in the 2012 General Election, returning George Galloway, with a 10, 140 majority. A success that was nearly replicated in Birmingham constituencies like Sparkbrook and Small Heath and the East End of London, in West Ham and East Ham. Locations where similar voting blocks are already beginning to distort the UK’s cherished democracy.

It is noticeable that Galloway publicly congratulated the Muslim Public Affairs Committee for his success in Bradford West. But that should not surprise us because the co-founder of Respect is Salma Yaqoob, an associate of Abjul Miah, an activist in the Islamic Forum of Europe, which calls for the imposition of Sharia in Europe. Yaqoob, along with elected fellow councilor for Birmingham Mohammad Ishtiaq, revealed their political sympathies when they remained seated with arms folded, showing utter contempt, during the award of the George Cross medal to L/Cpl Matt Croucher who had so valiantly thrown himself on top of a Taliban hand-grenade in order to protect his comrades. Such acts of support for terrorism inspiring others, resulting in the Respect Party taking 5 further seats on Bradford Council between 2012-2015.

Then there is the widespread investigations of electoral fraud perpetrated by Muslims in Scotland and Birmingham. The corruption of the first directly elected Muslim Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Bangladeshi born Lutfur Rahman and the expense abuses of the first ever Muslim woman elected to the British Parliament, the so-called Baroness Pola Uddin to consider. Given that Labour have now nominated Sadiq Khan for their candidate for London Mayor and the fact that London is fast becoming a majority non-white city, things do not bode well for democracy in the United Kingdom. Especially when the politically slick Khan presents himself as a moderate by criticizing the Labour leader for failing to sing the National anthem at formal state events and insists that he will fight anti-Semitism and support gay marriage as part of his global appeal to the rainbow coalition of minorities, which is set to eclipse the white heterosexual community in the capital within a decade.

So my response to what form of democracy Identitarians should advance is very simple and should be applied to the whole of Europe, North America, Canada, Australia etc. For it seems to me, to turn Alexis de Tocqueville slightly on his head, we are actually ruled by a pernicious minority, rather than majority, who do seek to keep us, as de Tocqueville rightly asserts as perpetual children, overseeing us like a shepherd might a flock of animals. Where de Tocqueville’s prescience is undeniable is in his identification of how the majority can be swayed, stating: ‘The majority has enclosed thought within a formidable fence. A writer is free inside that area, but woe to the man who goes beyond it, not that he stands in fear of an inquisition, but he must face all kinds of unpleasantness in every day persecution. A career in politics is closed to him for he has offended the only power that holds the keys’.

In order to overcome this position and to reclaim the majority position within the existing democratic process radical steps are required:

 

  • The immediate withdrawal of the franchise from all personages who cannot prove descent from citizens of the state where they currently reside prior to 1950, or at least three full generations;
  • Exemption to the above to be granted only in the case of migrant persons of full European heritage who have migrated legally and have themselves been previously resident in nations where there is a tradition of democracy;
  • The above caveat to be suspended in the case of Slavic peoples who have been subject to Communist Dictatorship;
  • The end of the right of prisoners with serious criminal convictions such as terrorists or those who have been sentenced for electoral misdemeanors or abuse of public office from exercising the right to vote;
  • All members of proscribed religio-terrorist organizations to be prevented from participating in the franchise or proselytizing in the public realm;
  • The cessation of all funding for organizations that promulgate multiculturalism, foreign community cohesion, etc. and the initiation of actions to reclaim all monies spent or unspent from the budget holders of such organizations;
  • The suspension from office of all elected officials who do not meet the familial descent criteria identified above;
  • The seizure of all assets obtained by said elected officials and full and thorough investigations conducted of their personal and business interests and their voting records by an independent panel;
  • The removal from the statute books of the legal notion of civil citizenship;
  • The term ethnic citizenship to be enshrined in all codified laws pertaining to the states in question;
  • The repatriation of all criminal, long term unemployed and economically inactive personages who fail to meet the first criteria stated above;
  • The funded repatriation, using international or foreign aid budgets, of all people failing the familial descent criteria, as per above, to their original ethnic homelands. Following the purchase of the ticket, the remainder of the balance per individual or family unit to go to the receiving countries;
  • The above policy to be in force for a period of five years only, after which, there will be no budget allocated either in regard to foreign aid or repatriation, unless in instances of natural disaster, humanitarian assistance or expended in the national or Western interest;
  • A tiered structure of residency to be introduced providing certain privileges based on factors like longetivity of residence, tax contributions and recognition of public service;
  • The deportation of all Asylum Seekers and refugees who fail to meet the UN’s own criteria of the ‘passage to the nearest safe country’;
  • The removal from public office, university chairs and the welfare infrastructure of all officials who have supported by word or deed the political, economic and cultural ethnocide of people of European identity in their own homelands;
  • The return of the death penalty for all serious crimes including treason;
  • The establishment of a Pan-Atlantic Court to preside over tribunals relating to the above.

 

What are your personal religious views, and how do you think religious revival will occur in conjunction with Right-Wing revolutions?

I was born into a High Anglican family but greatly sympathize with Julius Evola’s description of himself as a Catholic Pagan. I think it was the English Philosopher Thomas Hobbes who called Catholicism ‘the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire sitting crowned upon its grave’. I am drawn to the ceremonial, the beauty of the music and the mystery of the liturgy but cannot abide the current trend in Christianity towards the promulgation of pacifism and the worship of the stranger. First and foremost I sense there is a deep and unacknowledged smugness and condescension underlying this faux charity. Secondly, our Christian values are being misused by a fifth column to undermine Western Civilization, in what I think is a war of moral position, to thwart attempts by Europeans to defend their homeland from a tsunami style invasion from the Global South. Ironically, these new arrivals are mostly non-Christians (Muslims) who have come from failing states and societies where Christians are killed for their religious beliefs, their priests and nuns butchered, places of worship desecrated and their church spires burnt to cinders. So I do not think we need a latter day Nostradamus to predict what is coming.

My personal belief system can never incorporate conversion by the sword as per Charlemagne’s massacre at Verden of 4,500 Saxons, or his enforcement in 785 AD of the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae which reads: ‘If any one of the race of the Saxons or hereafter any concealed among them shall have wished himself unbaptized, and shall have scorned to come to baptism and shall have wished to remain a pagan, let them be punished by death’. Such stern sentiments captured also in lines from a contemporary poet who wrote the Paderborn Epic: ‘What the contrary mind and perverse soul refuse to do with persuasion/ Let them leap to accomplish when compelled by fear’.

Neither can I easily tolerate the venal sectarian aspects of events like the English Reformation that led to the martyrdom of Catholic men like Thomas More (1478-1535), author of Utopia (1516) and Edmund Campion (1540-1581); or the long list of Protestants whose deaths are recorded in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563), Scholars like William Tynedale, who translated the Bible into English and wrote The Obedience of Christen Men (1528); the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris in 1572, which set the tone for the French Wars of Religion between the Calvinist Protestants and their Catholic rivals; and the Thirty Years War in Central Europe which by conservative estimates reduced the civilian population of Germany by up to 40% and allowed Sultan Osman the Second to extend Ottoman influence, which was only stopped by a military confederation of Lithuanian and Polish forces at the battle of Chocim in 1621.

For me, such introspection and divisive religious self-indulgence should never be repeated. Christianity after all has never been as uniform as many think and there were numerous primitive forms prior to the transformation of the church under Emperor Constantine the Great. Many people will be familiar with the Gnostic alternative that competed with Orthodox Christianity. Also, there are the Coptic, Armenian, Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches. Then there are the heretical variations such as Arianism, Donatism, the Albigensians and the Bogomils. One of the earliest translations of the Gospels into the Northern European languages was done by a Goth named Ulfilas, an adherent of Arianism. Then in 835 AD an anonymous poet synthesized the four gospels into an alliterative Beowulf style poem and this is analysed in G. Ronald Murphy’s The Heliand (1992) and The Saxon Saviour: The Germanic Transformation of the Gospel in 9th Century Heliand (1995), where the Gospels are removed from the dry climes of Judea to the dark forests and stormy seas of the European Northlands.

Which leads me to theological and cultural figures like Jakob Wilhelm Hauer (1881-1962), Mathilde Ludendorff (1877-1966) and Sigrid Hunke (1913-1999). The latter, the winner of the Schiller prize for German Cultural Works in the European Spirit and author of From the Decline of the West to the Rise of Europe (1989), herself being influenced by such heretics as Pelagius, Johannes Scotus, and Meister Eckhart, and in her turn influencing ND thinkers like Pierre Krebs and his work Undying Heritage (1981) as well as Alain de Benoist and his On Being a Pagan (1982).

My own brand of faith is heavily influenced by writers like G.K Chesterton, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Myth-makers who introduced me to Christian ideals by using stories within landscapes I recognized and with characters whose thoughts and actions resonated with the pagan past that loomed behind the Christian veneer. Churches being built on the sacred groves of the druids; Christian festivals using fertility symbols like fir trees and eggs; and the Green Man, tongue lolling, eyes leering out from the carved oak that furnishes our great cathedrals from Reims to Canterbury.

With regards to the simultaneous resurgence of Right Wing Revolutions and religious revival, I think you have only to look at the ripe tradition of committed Christians who have led or participated in movements we define today as Right-Wing to find the answer. In the Slavic world you have Conservative and Orthodox intellects like Gogol, Dostoevsky, Ivan Ilyin and Solzhenitsyn. From Romania there was Corneliu Z. Codreanu, who was a member of the Brotherhood of the Cross before forming The Legion of the Archangel Michael. Clerical reactionary movements have a history of success in both Slovakia and Croatia. Italy was 99% Catholic when the classic form of Fascism came to power. Franco’s Spain shared a similar religious majority and Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera’s Falange was almost messianic in character.

Then there are French Catholic Counter-Revolutionary and Counter-Enlightenment thinkers like Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) and Louis Gabriel Ambroise de Bonald (1754-1840). These were rapidly followed by Catholic priest and political theorist Hughes-Felicite Robert de Lamennais (1782-1854); Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand (1768-1848), author of The Genius of Christianity (1802); and Pierre-Simon Ballanche (1776-1847) who developed a theology of progress. Then there was the Action Francais, National Catholicism and integral traditionalism of Charles Maurras (1868-1952); Maurice Barres (1862-1923) author of the Faith of France (1918); General George Ernest Boulanger (1837-1891); George Bernanos (1888-1948), author of Under Satan’s Sun (1926) and The Diary of a Country Priest (1936); Paul Deroulede (1846-1914), Founder of National League of Patriots; and Edward Drumont, Founder of the Nationalist League of Patriots. All wonderfully complemented by the Christian modernist philosopher Maurice Blondel (1861-1949) and Jean Ousset, a political idealist of Catholic sentiment.

And these Christian men do not stand alone. I was touched by the young women of Renouveau Francais in their firm stance against the toxic FEMEN coven outside Notre-Dame de Paris and likewise the humour and talent of the young girl band Les Brigandes with their tongue in cheek but poignant songs such as Cannabisation Nationale, Chevaucher le Dragon and The Great Replacement. Therefore, like the resurgent interest in Orthodoxy following the fall of the Soviet Union, I foresee a central role for religion in fomenting change in a post-liberal World.

 

What are your views on the connection between ecological theory and present Right-Wing Movements such as Identitarians? What steps do you think we should take to deal with environmental problems?

I believe the ideological tenets of the Radical Right are ecology based. In both ethos and action we should regard ourselves as stewards, not materialist defilers of the natural environment. It was Moritz Arndt, a nineteenth century German nationalist who wrote The Care and Conservation of Forests in 1815. His student, Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl, went on to author Field and Forest in 1853, a landmark text in which he declared: ‘We must save the forest, not only so that the ovens do not become cold in winter, but also that the pulse of life of the German people continues to beat joyfully, so that Germany remains German’.

Indeed, I understand it was Ernst Haekel, founder of the German Monist League who first coined the word ecology in 1867. This influencing Walther Darre, an agronomist by profession, who led the National Socialist Blood & Soil programme. Darre himself emerged from the Artaman League, founded by Willibald Hentschel. The word Artaman itself being a hybrid expression meaning agriculture-man and the League being a central pillar of the Nackt-Kultur movement which found expression in the Wandervogel youth groups of the period.

My thinking echoes that of sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1936), whose classic work Community and Society (2013 ed.) introduced the concepts of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft into the philosophical and sociological lexicon, and Hans Freyer (1887-1969), who in parallel with Tönnies, debated the notions of people (or Volk to borrow the German term) and the place they inhabit (heimat/home) and their interactions to form an organic entity in and of itself. There is in my opinion a positive co-dependency between the two; A Gemeinschaft (Community) which exists not only the interconnectedness and interdependence between the people themselves but also in the interaction of the community and the natural world. This is intrinsically linked with the Bio-centrism or Lebensphilosophie (Philosophy of Life) of Ludwig Klages. In other words, Gaia nurturing the character and temperament of the people, inspiring what the Germans term the Volksgeist (Folk-Spirit). And this sits alongside and works in harmony with the biological influence that guides the disparate genetic trajectories of the various races that make up mankind as a whole.

And the German Right was not alone in this regard. In St. Petersburg Ivan Parfenevich Borodin’s culture-aesthetic conservationism was heavily influenced by the German Romantics. Also, in England there was a long tradition of concern with population control, epitomized by Thomas Malthus’s An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798). During the first half of the twentieth century there were a myriad of groups like the English Mistery, the English Array, John Hargrave’s Kibbo Kift and H.J. Massingham’s Council for the Church and Countryside that included various intellectuals such as Nietzschean philosopher Anthony Ludovici, Rolf Gardiner, Lord Lymington, historian Arthur Bryant, poet laureate Sir John Betjeman, British Union of Fascists activist and gentleman farmer Bob Saunders and Major-General J.C.F. Fuller. Gardiner himself went on to found the Soil Association and was intimately involved with Montague Fordham’s Rural Reconstruction Movement which focused on organic farming and Kinship in Husbandry. The latter met in Merton College Oxford in 1941.

Then there were the numerous noted writers in this field. Some examples being Henry Williamson, author of the children’s classic Tarka the Otter (1927), Lady Eve Balfour who wrote The Living Soil (1943) and Jorian Jenks, Editor of the Soil Association’s Journal Mother Earth and his own books, Spring Comes Again (2012 ed.), From the Ground Up (1950), The Stuff Man’s Made Of (1959) and The Land and the People (2003 ed.).

So there is a depth and richness to the Right’s engagement with ecological matters that the faddist (and more often than not socialist) orientated Green Parties across Europe wish to obscure. Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier’s book, Eco Fascism: Lessons from the German Experience (2011) traces this lineage in very precise terms. Another perfect example being Patrick Wright’s book The Village that Died for England (1995) about Tyneham in Dorset, which captures the originality and seriousness with which the British Right approached the preservation and conservation of the environment decades before the Greens came to prominence in the United Kingdom.

Indeed, looking to current thinking in this sphere one is inevitably drawn to advocates like Pentti Linkola in Finland and his work Can Life Prevail (2009); John Seymour (1914-2004) a leading figure in the Self-Sufficiency movement; the radical antiquarian John Michell; Edward Abbey, famous for his groundbreaking Desert Solitaire (1968); Carey McWilliams’ Ill Fares the Land: migrants and migratory labour in the United States (1945); David Foreman, the Founder of Earth First and author of Confessions of an Eco-Warrior (1991) who has spoken on numerous anti-immigration platforms; and Richard Hunt, who established Alternative Green, author of To End Poverty, the Starvation of the Periphery by the Core (1998), whose memory has been defamed with the sobriquet eco-fascist.

For in order to smear the philosophy of Deep Ecology it has now become necessary to besmirch the reputations of some of its leading proponents. Green anarchist Murray Bookchin, who wrote Post Scarcity Anarchism (1971) and the Ecology of Freedom (1987) argued that these people are ‘barely disguised racists, survivalists and macho Daniel Boones’. Harvard educated Theodore J. Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber and his 1995 Manifesto entitled Industrial Society and Its Future, perfectly fitting this narrative.

Regardless of such slanders and the Left’s attempts to hijack some of the Right’s core agenda it is immensely reassuring to see this tradition continue with political parties like Golden Dawn in Greece, dedicating time and resources to green issues and animal welfare. Ultimately, I see identitarian and nationalist militants operating in the tradition of the Wehrbauer, peasant soldiers, defending the land that has fed and nourished our communities for millennia.

 

What is your position on the classic sociological problem of individualism versus communitarianism? Some philosophers see individualism as the fundamental cause of socio-cultural decay. Do you agree with this?

Individualism is to a large extent a fundamental characteristic of Western society. The conundrum of individualism versus communitarianism being so deeply embedded in Western Tradition, that we can trace collectivist themes emerging in Plato’s Republic and a more individualist approach being adopted in the stance of the Greek Sophists.

This divergence grew even wider with the development of a private property owning class in places like England around 1200, so that by the 17th century a yawning chasm existed, allowing political philosophers like Thomas Hobbes to speak openly in terms of the new homo-economicus. Which in due course led to Adam Smith’s laissez-faire economics, personified by his text The Wealth of Nations (1776) and Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism arguing that ‘the free expression of individual wills and interests provide natural harmony and maximal efficiency’. While the origins of Epistomelogical individualism can be traced back to the thinking of British Empiricists like David Hume who wrote A Treatise of Human Nature (1739) and John Locke, who developed his Theory of the Mind, which to an extent formed the modern concept of identity, both rejecting priori truths, instead giving precedence to individual experience in the accumulation of knowledge.

And the British were not alone in such thinking. The French intellectual Rene Descartes, author of Meditation on First Philosophy (1641) and Principles of Philosophy (1644) also endorsed epistemological individualism from a rationalist perspective. This tendency reached a climax with influential thinkers like Kierkergaard, Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre.

Whereas those of the more collectivist orientation include Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his Social Contract (1762), in the early nineteenth century Hegel, who considered the nation-state as the highest embodiment of social morality and of course Karl Marx who, along with Freidrich Engels, himself author of The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884) put forth his own collective treatise in the form of The Communist Manifesto (1848). Since World War Two Germany, France and Holland are examples of countries that have attempted to bridge the divide between the individual and socialist collectivism, paving the way for the welfare state.

Like Hegel, Marx and de Tocqueville I see civil society as an ecosystem that facilitates individuals to use their talents for private entrepreneurship but also to come together in groups to achieve shared objectives.

In both cases sensitive and unambiguous regulation is required to ensure that excesses are constrained. As a critic of unfettered individualism, I do see the value in freedom of association, yet, I tend to agree with de Tocqueville that individualism is best served when ‘self-interest is properly understood’.

Communities function at the optimal level when there are common bonds, in the form of recognizable identity and an acknowledged purpose, in the shape of a culture, to promulgate. Individuals operating within such parameters know that their activities may advance their own agenda but there will be interventions should self-interest begin to harm the public good. The challenge is to define that point and apply it sensitively. If we do not, we will end up with tyranny or worse the atomized and dysfunctional society epitomized by Michel Houellebecq, the dissipated and disgruntled misanthrope who wrote Soumission (2015). As per Fareed Zakaria in his book The Future of Freedom, Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad (2003): ‘Supporters of free markets often make the mistake of thinking of capitalism as something that exists in opposition to the state. When it is time to pay taxes, this view can seem self-evident. But the reality is more complex. Although in the twentieth century many states grew so strong as to choke their economies, in a broader historical perspective, only a legitimate, well-functioning state can create the rules and laws that make capitalism work. At the very least, without a government capable of protecting property rights and human rights, press freedoms and business contracts, anti-trust laws and consumer demands, a society gets not the rule of law but the rule of the strong. If one wanted to see what the absence of government produces, one need only look at Africa – it is not a free-market paradise’.

So let us take a moment and consider the question from a psychological perspective. Can we really say collectivists are closely linked individuals who view themselves primarily as parts of a whole, be it a family, a network of workers, a tribe, or a nation? And if so, are such people motivated by the norms and duties imposed by the collective entity they identify with? The reverse being that Individualists are motivated by their own preferences, needs and rights, giving priority to personal rather than group goals?

Are people so easily categorized? Or can their conduct vary according to different stimuli, like threat or opportunity, in turn causing their behavior and attitudes to fluctuate between these polar opposites?

It seems to me that psychology may not be universal. There is potential for culture specific predispositions. And if so, what effect does this have on thought and actions? Does it explain the Muslim residents of the Belgian suburb of Molenbeek beeping their horns in support of the killing of 200 innocent Parisians on Friday 13th 2015? And if collectivism and individualism is viewed through the diffusing prisms of culture and race, does that not reveal itself in the crime rates, family abandonment, levels of self-esteem, feelings of entitlement, and overall behavioral patterns from one group to another?

I would hazard a guess that it does. And if my assumption is correct, it is yet another example where multiculturalist diversity is self-evidently proven not to be a source of strength but in fact a terrible weakness.

 

There are a lot of differing positions among Right Wingers about the philosophy of gender and what the differences between the social roles of men and women should be. What are your thoughts on this matter?

It is true that the Right is a broad church in most matters but it seems to me that our Achilles’ heel is the way our opponents present us as misogynistic. This gender divisive meme has been successfully reinforced with highly selective media coverage, mostly focusing on the shaved heads and swastika tattoos of those understandably angry and disenfranchised white males who cling to what they perceive has a defiant and revolutionary identity. Their views and attitudes treated with contempt and disdain, their social status as losers projected in a way that makes them unattractive to the fairer sex.

And of course this is both deliberate and not without a grain of truth, which is why it is credible and so successful. It is further exploited by television pundits who are very careful about who they select to represent identitarian sentiments in interviews on the street or in the studio. How often have we seen the intellectual mismatch between Right and Left through the distorting camera lens? Well-meaning people, male and female alike, speaking nothing but rational common sense being belittled by some guru orating smugly about the benefits of multiculturalism from the safety of a tree-lined university campus miles from the inner-city?

But this is all changing with the rise of erudite and media savvy women like Marie Le Pen and Marion Marechal Le Pen of the French National Front, Krisztina Morvai and Dora Duro of Hungary’s Jobbik Party, Beata Szydlo of the Polish Law & Justice Party, Kristiina Ojuland, founder of the Estonian People’s Unity Party and Italians like Vittoria Brambilla, Daniela Santanche and Giorgia Meloni of the People’s Freedom Party, La Destra and Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) respectively. The glass ceiling has been shattered so to speak and the long history of socially conservative women contributing to traditionalist or nationalist movements which I wrote about in my ‘Matriarchs in the Mannerbund’ article is gaining momentum once again. Just take a look at the young women in Renouveau Francais, the girl band Les Brigandes and the female militants of Generation Identitaire. There is also a sizable demographic of youthful, middle aged and senior ladies amongst the crowds in Katowice, Tallinn and Dresden. Women standing alongside their men protesting against the immigration invasion. And there we have our answer to the mainstream media promulgating the image of pretty blonde German girls holding up banners at Munich Railway Station reading ‘We Welcome Refugees’. A proper analysis of the rape and sexual abuse statistics highlighting the role played by non-Europeans particularly in the UK, France, Sweden and Norway may enlighten some of our ‘sisters’ who cling to the naïve notion of universal brotherhood.

As for myself, I believe in the full engagement of women within all social and professional spheres based on their capability and inclination. I have said many times, I am not threatened by independent and talented women. Rather the opposite, I find them attractive and interesting. Here I am thinking of role models and archetypes with a philosophical inclination, but they could be from any field of human endeavor, people like Perictione, mother of Plato; Myia, the Pythagorean philosopher who lived around 500 BC; Tullia d’Aragon (1510-1556), who wrote Dialogues on the Infinity of Love (1552); Lady Anne Conway, whose thinking influenced Leibniz and who authored Principles of the most Ancient and Modern Philosophy (1690); Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1623-1673) and her book The Blazing World (1666); Lady Damaris Cudworth Masham (1659-1708) who wrote A Discourse Concerning the Love of God: Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian Life (1696); G.E. Anscombe (1919-2001) a committed advocate for Roman Catholicism who debated C.S. Lewis and introduced the term ‘consequentialism’ into the language of analytic philosophy; Marilyn McCord Adams, American philosopher of the Episcopal Church and philosopher of religion, who published What sort of Human Nature (1999) and Wrestling for Blessing (2005); Patricia Smith Churchland, who specializes in Neuro-philosophy and medical and environmental ethics; and Professor Rae Langton, a Fellow of Newnham College Cambridge, who was recently ranked the fourth most influential woman thinker of modern times.

However, unlike the admirable talents already mentioned I freely admit I resent those who use the scorpion sting of anti-male hate to influence others. This form of politicized feminism is particularly unctuous and I recognize in that strain of thought an agenda to demean motherhood and to undermine those women who wish to be the guardians of the hearth and nurturers of the next generation. Here I am thinking of Feminist theorists like Judith Butler who wrote Gender Trouble (2006); Nancy J. Hirschmann, author of Gender, Class and Freedom in Modern Political Theory (2007); Sandra Harding, who tried to introduce the gender war into science with her work Is There a Feminist Method?; Nancy Tuana, Editor of Feminism and Science (1989); Sara Kiesler’s Gender and Democracy in Computer Mediated Communications; Amy Sheilds Dobson’s Post- Feminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media and Self-Reconstruction (2015); and Jos/Xe9 Medina, who was responsible for the truly awful The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epimestic Injustice and Resistant Imaginations (2012).

Personally, I would certainly favour a natalist approach by European governments to their own indigenous populations and the opposite approach taken to so-called refugees and economic migrants who are currently siphoning off monies to promulgate their own genes, that would be better spent on our own people.

In my opinion, we have for far too long undervalued the role of women in society and seen the family and children has a costly burden when in reality they are our salvation. After all, do we really expect the average Somalian, Syrian or Roma refugee to have sufficient intelligence and diligence to hold down a regular job, generate added value for our society and pay taxes to keep us in our old age? At present the vast majority of such people are welfare dependent or in low wage jobs, suppressing the salary levels across Europe and America and sending what they can home to buy houses in the Balkans or support their families until they can get visas to join their menfolk and then themselves jump on to the European gravy-train.

Are we not better off producing our own children and paying women of European heritage, who so desire, a living wage, to become mothers? So yielding a harvest of high IQ offspring that is far more likely to underpin our future economic growth and have sufficient empathy for their genetic forebears to shoulder the burden their grandparents represent in the twilight of their lives? The traditional family unit may not be ideal for all and relationships blossom and decline but the seed of our future hope must be white and planted deep in the fertile wombs of European women.

 

How do you see the connection between the Traditional School (represented by authors such as Guenon, Evola ,etc.) and Identitarianism? What theory of Tradition do you follow?

I am a great admirer of Rene Guenon (1886-1951) and Julius Evola (1898-1974). Both these traditionalist thinkers have greatly influenced my own views on metapolitics and provide rich repositories of knowledge to nourish the Identitarian ideology which is currently taking shape in Europe and beyond.

Guenon’s The Crisis of the Modern World (1927) is almost his manifesto, or call to arms, for Traditionalists and is only bettered in my humble opinion by his Reign of Quantity and Signs of the Times (1945). What both works offer the reader is an antidote to the vacuous relativism of modernity, something other intellects like Frithjof Schuon, Mircea Eliade, Martin Lings, Titus Burckhardt and Ananda K. Coomaraswamy have recognized in their own works, acknowledging Guenon as the re-founder of Western Esotericism using Eastern ideas. His critique originating from the perspective of ancient wisdom and tradition.

As for Baron Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, the core of his theories circulate around the fact that mankind is presently living in the Kali Yuga or Dark Age and the underlying tension in his writing is the attempt to find a method to effect a primordial rebirth. I avidly devoured his Revolt Against the Modern World (1934), Men Amongst the Ruins (1953) and his Metaphysics of War (2011, Ed. Arktos), the latter being a collection of essays he wrote during the 1930’s and 1940’s rejecting pacifism and an attempt to re-awaken heroic ideals through the act of war. His argument that the Warrior is someone who is more than a paid mercenary of the current oligarchy and should transcend the political and economic towards a higher spiritual calling certainly appeals to my sense of honour. Within his corpus of writings Evola strives to give examples in the form of Sigismund, King of Hungary and his wife Barbara of Celeje’s Order of the Dragon, a militant Christian force that faced the Ottoman Turks and who counted amongst their ranks such notable characters as Vlad Dracul and members of Elizabeth Bathory’s family.

Evola himself generated many disciples and followers for his Heathen Imperialism (2007, Ed.) and what he called the spiritual element of race rather than pure biological reductionism. Some examples being the Italian Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari and CasaPound; the Spanish Falange Espanola; the Swiss militant Armand Amaudruz’s Nouvel Ordre; and the French Troisieme Voie (Third Way). Perhaps the clearest statement of intent coming from a spokesman of the Ordine Nuovo when he stated: ‘Our work since 1953 has been to transpose Evola’s teachings into direct political action’.

For readers who favour a more Esoteric approach to their engagement with tradition, Evola’s The Yoga of Power (1992, Ed.) and The Heremetic Tradition (1995, Ed.) offer a separate access point to his thought which is equally satisfying depending upon your personal preferences. Here, his antecedents or sympathisers are the German Psycho-therapist Karlfried Graf Durkheim who taught gestalt psychology at the Bauhaus in Dessau; occultists like the Swedish founder of the Dragon Rouge, Thomas Karlsson and fellow Italian Massimo Scaligero, author of The Logos and the New Mysteries; and Miguel Serrano, to whom Evola once confessed that Metternich, the State Chancellor of the Austrian Empire (1773-1859), was his conservative ideal.

 

You have once mentioned Alexander Dugin as an influence. What do you think the relationship between Identitarianism and Dugin’s theories of Neo-Eurasianism and the Fourth Political Theory is, or what should it be like?

Well, actually I am a Slavophile in the tradition of Gogol, Dostoevsky and Ilyin rather than a Neo-Eurasianist, but I first came across Alexander Dugin while I was living on Naberezhnaya, in a 19th century apartment overlooking the Moika Canal, in St Petersburg. I remember my girlfriend at the time would read excerpts from Elementy and Milyi Angel to me as we sat in the pale White Nights sunlight on a wrought iron balcony just meters away from where Pushkin died in 1837.

She had just finished writing her dissertation on the mystical Yuzhinskii Circle founded by Yuri Mamleyev in the 1960’s, and into which Dugin was inducted around 1980. Through her I was introduced to the thinking of Yevgeny Golovin and socialized with students who had attended Dugin’s classes when he was the Professor of Sociology at the prestigious Lermontov Moscow University department of Sociology and International Relations. Mamleyev himself having gone on to teach at Cornell and the Sorbonne. It was while he was associated with the Yuzhinskii Circle that Dugin’s thought became grounded in traditionalism, translating both Evola’s Pagan Imperialism (1928) and Rene Guenon’s The Crisis of the Modern World (1942) into Russian.

As a consequence it seems to me that Dugin’s brand of neo-Eurasianism, like Identitarianism, is intrinsically linked to the Traditionalist School which has its origins in characters like the Catholic scholar Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), one of the leaders of the Philosophia Perennis (Perennial Philosophy) and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494), whose short but eventful life was to leave an indelible mark on the history of Europe. At the tender age of 23 Mirandola proposed to defend his 900 Theses on religion, philosophy and magic against all those who wished to debate him. His Oration on the Dignity of Man became the unofficial Manifesto of the Renaissance.

Dugin referencing the debt in his own Manifesto of the Eurasianist Movement: ‘Eurasianism implies a positive re-evaluation of the archaic, the ancient. It fervently refers to the past, to the world of Tradition. The development of cultural process is seen by Eurasism in a new reference to the archaic, to the insertion of ancient cultural motives in the fabric of modern forms. The priority in this area is given back to the national creativity, to the sources of national creativity, to the continuation and revival of traditions’. This certainly resonates with my thinking on European Identitarianism.

Eurasianism also shares with Identitarianism the notion that identity itself is bound up with specific geography and sacred space: ‘In principle, Eurasia and our space, the heartland Russia, remain the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois revolution’. Dugin in unison with the thinkers of the European New Right standing in stark opposition to the nihilism of modernity and what the French philosophers like Alain de Benoist have termed Mondialism.

Therefore Dugin shares the Identitarian concern with the current monopoly of liberalism in all its guises and its imposition of stifling conformity. His attack on the negative aspects of the Atlanticist West and its consumer led values is just as valid as that of Alain Soral, author of Understanding Empire: Global Government Tomorrow or the Revolt of the Nations (2011). Soral’s book takes the starting point of Tradition to bolster the survival of cultures and peoples from Viscount Melville Sound in Canada’s Arctic North to Madagascar in the Indian Ocean and from San Diego in the Pacific West to Jakarta in the East.

In this regard I recognise strains consistent with Identitarianism in the Eurasianist attempt to debate beyond the frameworks of recent history and discard the clichés of failed ideologies in pursuit of a new one. Like Identitarianism, Dugin’s Eurasianism is an attempt to find an antidote to the crisis of postmodernity, trying to shake up the status quo and offer a fresh political model that avoids the lethargy and gridlock that Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) so deftly describes in his own works, particularly The Illusion of the End (1994).

Likewise, Eurasianism greatly benefits from the activism of the Eurasian Youth Union which had at one point nearly 50 offices across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and operates like Generation Identitaire in many respects.

So for me Dugin is in the right camp when it comes to recognizing that integration into Global Society means to lose one’s own identity. In effect we risk becoming identikit humans, a new proletariat in the service of the New World Order.

There are however a number of points where I take specific issue with Dugin. And in that regard I am in interesting company, namely, Dmitri Vasiliev of Pamyat (Memory) and Eduard Limonov of the National Bolshevik Party. The first concern being that he believes ‘Civilizations are cultural and religious communities – not ethnic national ones’ (The Fourth Political Theory, p. 165, Arktos Books, 2012). For me the attributes of an ethnicity and its physical environment are key factors in the gestation of civilization and culture. Also, his proposal for an alliance between the Orthodox and Islamic worlds in opposition to The West seems to me both naïve and misplaced. The two faiths in the first place are inimical to each other and already delineate to a great extent the competition for the same sacred space between racial phenotypes.

It also reflects what some describe has his paranoia about The West’s motives and intentions which, coupled with the overstated Prophet-like ‘end of the world’ Joachimite hermeticism of his expressions, erodes his credibility: ‘The meaning of Russia is that through the Russian people will be realized the last thought of God, the thought of the end of the world… Death is the way to immortality. Love will begin when the world ends. We must long for it, like true Christians…We are uprooting the accursed tree of knowledge. With it will perish the Universe…’ (Dugin quoted in Stephen Shenfield’s Russian Fascism – Traditions, Tendencies, Movements, p. 193, 2000).

And his aggressive response to a question posed by Megan Stack in September 2008 on the ever closer relationship of the West to Ukraine, effectively seeing it ‘as a declaration of war. As a declaration of psychological, geopolitical, economic and open war’, strike me as short-sighted. I much prefer Guillaume Faye’s vision of a Europe extending all the way to Trans-Siberia.

Then there is also the very real danger that Dugin’s ideas can be over-simplified. When he states ‘that ideocratic Russia’, meaning the Slavic World and Eurasia, is irretrievably antagonistic to the plutocratic ‘island’ of the Anglo-Saxon West, he correctly describes, from his perspective, the fundamental clash between mammon and traditionalism. What he fails to appreciate is the rapid resuscitation of the longing for identity in the West and the long term corrosive effects that Mammon, in the form of hydrocarbon wealth, is having on the Orthodox soul and the Central Asian mindset. I lived in Astana for two years, skating with Kazakhs on the frozen Ishim and saw at first hand the Gulag complex in Karaganda, visiting the L.N. Gumliyov University named after the great Eurasianist historian, ethnologist and anthropologist who wrote Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere of the Earth (1978) and Ancient Rus and The Great Steppe (1989). Ask the fair skinned Russians how they are now treated by their Kazakh neighbours, recently filled with a resurgent pride in their Turkic origins, building mosques on an unprecedented scale. Dugin may, might I suggest, just be turning a blind eye to the underlying instincts that drive mankind?

And speaking of Gumilyov, he, like Konstantin Leontyev and Nikolay Danilevsky believed in a Russian-Super-ethnos opposed to Catholic Europe, which in effect lay the groundwork for Dugin’s later Eurasian worldview. Gumilyov’s fame relying largely on the thesis of passionarity which in essence is the theory of the life-cycle of civilization through its initial development, leading to its climatic, inert and convolution phases. Fundamentally, he diagnosed Europe as entering a phase of deep inertia while the passionarity of the Arabic world is high. To passionarity, in my view, one could also add fecundity.

So although there are many synergies between the Identitarian and Eurasian philosophies and there is of course merit in dialogue and pragmatic alliance it is also a plain and self-evident truism that there are fundamental differences that it may be impossible to overcome. Our challenge is to try.

 

The theory of Multipolarism and harmony between autonomous cultures has been identified as an important aspect of New Rightism/Identitarianism. However, there are a few Identitarian authors who deviate from the multipolar line and seek to advocate hostility and conflict with foreign ethnic groups and civilizations, similar to old fashioned nationalists. How do you think this problem should be dealt with?

To return to Dugin for a moment, I have sympathy for his assertion that ‘When there is only one power which decides who is right and who is wrong and who should be punished and who not, we have a form of dictatorship. This is not acceptable. Therefore we should fight against it. If someone deprives us of our freedom, we have to react and we will react’. He continues, ‘The American Empire should be destroyed’, and like him I have no doubt that ‘at one point, it will be!’

But what America is he talking about?

I would hazard a guess that his ire is not directed at farmers in Wisconsin. In fact, I doubt if he is talking about Americans per se but in fact the plastic America of Wall Street and Hollywood, those parasitic elements that have so distorted what Dugin terms the Atlanticist sphere, corporate cosmopolitans like the Brookings Institute for example feeding like vampires under a cloak of hegemonic liberalism. And is that not what politicians and commentators like Paul Wolfowitz and Norman Podhoretz represent? Their star-spangled masks slipping occasionally because they do not represent American interests but that of another select group. Because for them money has no homeland and the liberal democracy they wish to force upon the world is illusory. Dugin actually implies as much, ‘Spiritually, globalization is the creation of a grand parody, the Kingdom of the Anti-Christ. And the US is the centre of its expansion’.

And remember Michael O’ Hanlon, a Senior Fellow at the afore mentioned Brookings Institute, an organisation funded by JP Morgan, Chase & Amp, Goldman Sachs, Google, Facebook, Pepsi and Coca Cola, wrote Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy towards Iran (2009) and more recently Deconstructing Syria: A New Strategy for America’s Most Hopeless War.

And why? Could it be that President Assad was fast developing his 4 Seas Strategy to turn Syria into a trade hub between the Black, Mediterranean, Arabian and Caspian Seas? Could it be that Syria is a sovereign state with a national bank that is not owned by the Rothschilds? And what of Ukraine? Has no one noticed the land grab being perpetrated for the rich black earth west of the Dnieper whilst attention is being focused on Russian aggression in Donetsk? Here again, George Soros plays with his democratic marionettes while bullets fly and cash registers bulge.

So let’s take a closer look at this rivalry between Globalism and Multipolarism. Was the world really divided between the Free West and the Communist East after the death of Stalin? Some argue that both sides were being run by the same people, our globalist masters, and that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the consequence of those same self-serving masters deciding that the eastern experiment had run its course and was no longer worth sustaining. In fact, ironically, the free market of the West served as a better method of destroying pluricultural and organic communities than all the forced collectivisations and centralized bureaucracies in the East. Hence the Ceausescu regime had to fall in Romania, Gorbachev needed to give way to Yeltsin and the German Democratic Republic merge with the Federal Republic so that twenty five years later Angela Merkel could welcome Syrian refugees with open arms into the very heart of Europe. Like Solzhenitsyn said: ‘Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colours and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention’.

And this essence of distinctiveness is what the Globalists despise. Except when it applies to them. For in their eyes there should only be one form of imperialism – that of the internationalist and mercantilist class. The same class that acts with arrogant impunity, uses its immense wealth and nearly unlimited influence against our racial, national and individual interests, simply because we, the drones they employ, need a paycheck every month to pay our mortgages, clear our credit card bills, purchase petrol at the pump and buy a coffee at Starbucks when we shop at the Mall. A Mall full of shops they own, brimming with merchandise that they tell us we must consume.

What we need is a multi-polar world to re-distribute power, global responsibility and wealth. Multipolarism emphasizes national sovereignty and the differentiation of races and cultures. And this decentralization should extend not just to nations but to regions, local communities and individuals.

It seems to me that Globalism encourages servile dependency, whereas Multipolarism strikes right at the heart of the multiculturalist hegemony. We must first slay the dragon that threatens us all, regardless of where we are from or what prejudices or grievances we may harbor between races, religions and nations. Once the fog of globalism has lifted we will be in a better position to judge the real rather than manufactured opportunities and threats we pose to each other. For the Globalist agenda is fundamentally anti-human. They have thrown up a smokescreen of lies and half-truths to effect a divide and rule strategy. It is for identitarians to see beyond this and guide our communities to a better understanding of the true value of a diverse world, especially when peoples are anchored in their own clearly defined natural environments.

 

Guillaume Faye is a popular reference among Identitarian activists, but some of the theories he has expressed in his later works seem to deviate from typical Identitarian positions (his support for authoritarian government, capitalism, the two-tier economic theory, etc.) How do you feel about the direction of Faye’s thought?

Despite what people may think or say about his recent and more idiosyncratic positions, such as his endorsement of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations thesis, a term the American borrowed from Albert Camus (1946) and Bernard Lewis writing in The Atlantic Monthly (1990), but which actually stretches back to the French Colonial Experience of the Belle epoch; and the historical debacle in 1986 with Alain de Benoist, where Faye sided with the Yann-Ber Tillenon, Tristan Mordelle and Goulven Pennaod faction, there can be no question of the significance of Guillaume Faye to the New Right and the broader Identitarian movement. He is however clearly more of an Ethno-nationalist than a Communitarian. And whether we follow P.A. Taguieff’s approach regarding the right to difference which he defined as differentialist racism, using the notion of cultural incompatibility rather than skin colour as the criterion for expulsion, or we stick to the hardline racial origins argument, matters little in the end. What does matter, is the fact that ethnic communitarianism has led to ghettos or rather immigrant strongholds from which whites have been ethnically cleansed and from out of which they launch raids against us. Molenbeek in Belgium is just one example. The situation is replicated in the UK, France, Germany, Holland and Sweden.

In Faye’s books, Archeofuturism (2010), Why We Fight: A Manifesto of the European Resistance (2011), Convergence of Catastrophes (2012) and Sex and Deviance (2014) we have, regardless of their quirks and foibles, essential reading materials for all New Right militants, sponsors and sympathisers. These texts provide an interesting and holistic doctrine, which can act as an ideological synthesis, lifting the Right above its current sectarianism to form a common European front against those Faye identifies as the enemies assailing us and attitudes infecting us. An example being: ‘The present dominant values (xenophilia, cosmopolitanism, narcissism, homophilia, permissiveness, etc.) are actually anti-values of de-virilising weakness, since they deplete a civilization’s vital energies and weakens its defensive or affirmative capacities’.

There is of course a debate to be had whether or not he has identified all the culprits and whether he has exonerated some that deserve special attention? But one cannot dispute his stance on mass immigration and the Islamic antagonism to the Western world. What is however questionable are his criticisms of Alain Soral and Christian Bouchet, who he thinks too sympathetic to Islam, while his own detractors in the National Revolutionary Movement in France accuse him of being too pro-Jewish and a National-Zionist. In response he wrote The New Jewish Question (2007). And I am sure Faye will take the opportunity to further review his thinking in this regard when he takes a closer look at the funding mechanisms for Islamic State, the reasons for the destabilization of Syria and the ISRAAID Foundation’s blatant encouragement of economic migrants to penetrate European borders through Greece, Serbia and Croatia.

Certainly de Benoist, when interviewed in 2000 seemed to indicate that he thought Faye was too extreme. But Faye does attract admirers through his work with the Rivarol Journal and his continued association with the national pagan community via Terre et Peuple. With his PhD from Science Po, his journalistic experience gained from his time with Figaro Magazine, Paris-Match and VSD and his sustained contribution to the Nouvelle Droite throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s he clearly deserves his place in the pantheon of Pro-European thinkers alongside Alain de Benoist, Robert Steuckers, Pierre Vial and Dominique Venner.

Personally, I think he has a lot to say to us in this coming decade of internecine racial conflict. It is highly likely that we will be referring to his books and recognizing the fulfillment of his predictions in much the same way as we look today upon Jean Raspail’s seminal work Camp of the Saints (1973).

 

So far you have written one book, the novel titled The Partisan, which portrays Identitarian revolutionaries in a future scenario rising against the threat of an Islamic state in France. Describe for our audience the structure and nature of The Partisan, and how will this compare to future books you plan to write?

The Partisan is a love story. The love between two people, the love of those two people for the militants they call comrades and the love of those patriots for their Motherland. It is an antidote to the cynicism that is injected into our youth from birth. The self-loathing that is facilitated through the teaching of so-called progressive and post-colonial history. It is a recognition that our streets are filled with violent non-assimilating aliens that hate the fact they are not us. Intemperate Gambians, trickster Nigerians, smiling Cameroonians joining with the clandestine columns of Muslims from North Africa that have been marching towards France ever since Charles De Gaulle betrayed the pied-noirs in Algeria and executed Organisation Armee Secrete (O.A.S.) heroes like Roger Degueldre; A man who had earned the Croix de Guerre for his bravery in Indo-China, fought at Dien Bien Phu, before transferring to the elite 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment and was made a Knight of the Legion d’Honneur. The same man who on the day of his execution at Fort d’Ivry on the 7th July 1962 witnessed three of the officers appointed to lead the firing squad refuse to give the order to fire. With only one of the eleven men actually shooting upon the target. For as Delguerde’s O.A.S. comrade rightfully said of the Algerian conflict: ‘It was a war fought in terms of religion and race. We were attacked because we were European – not French but European’.

Does that sound familiar?

And if so, what about the ominous description given by another O.A.S. leader Jean-Jacques Susini speaking of Algiers after the so called liberation by the F.L.N.: ‘I saw a city die, not in its stones but in its humanity. I was walking along a street one day. I was going to buy some Assimil records in Italian, because I intended to seek exile in Italy. All of a sudden, I recalled a time in the distant past when I was a child and I would walk along the same street with my grandfather. Then the street had been alive, teeming with people, both European and Moslem. Stores were open, and there was a certain feeling of happiness, of intensity of life. However, now I was walking on the same street in July 1962. Stores were closed. The Europeans had left, and the Moslem crowds were very dense, because the F.L.N. had scheduled its independence day celebrations. Suddenly I had the feeling that even if the monuments and buildings hadn’t changed, even if Algiers hadn’t been bombarded, the city was dead somehow in human terms. The population was no longer the same. Thus, there was something which had died. It wasn’t the presence of Moslems which bothered me. What bothered me was that there were only Moslems. There wasn’t one European. And these Moslem crowds were not the same ones that I had been used to seeing when I was a child. In those days the crowds were peaceful and went about their daily errands. These crowds were excited, mobilized. The F.L.N. had brought tens of thousands of them into the city in trucks that day for the independence celebrations. Yes, these were crowds that were excited’.

And this description, which could now so easily be applied to Paris, is the backdrop to my novel The Partisan. Gone are the days when we can turn the other cheek. Ethnic war is on the horizon and the book I have written is a fast paced violent and sexy fiction, which is meant to entertain and stimulate our people to respond to the struggle that is coming. The reader follows Sabine, the central character, through a futuristic French landscape that is being subject to the will of Allah and the slash of the sharia scimitar.

The intention is that the reader identifies with her experiences, recognizes and sympathises with her ideological development, moving ever closer to The New Resistance that is formed to oppose this 21st Century Occupation and the oppression of the descendants of Vercingetorix, Count Roland, Charles Martel, Godfrey of Bouillon, Charles of Anjou, Joan of Arc, Maurice de Saxe, Lafayette, Napoleon and Philip Petain.

My desire is for The Partisan to be in the vanguard of a new generation of Identitarian literature. It is the first of a series of books I have planned that will cover scenarios from Paris to St. Petersburg and Valletta to Vilnius. I am hoping my writing will be one of the many sparks that helps light a blaze across this continent. For as Ernest Hemingway said: ‘Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can happen in war’.

Thank you for the interview.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative

Identitarianism, a Catalyst for Ethnogenesis in Europe – Solère

The Myth of Eternal Return: Identitarianism, a Catalyst for Ethnogenesis in Europa Nostra?

By Fenek Solère

 

Origin & Actions:

The European Identitarian Movement went viral with Generation Identitaire’s Declaration of War broadcast in October 2012. A groundbreaking move that very quickly achieved over 100,000 internet ‘hits’ in France alone, it’s popular message attracting adherents in Germany, Spain, Britain, Greece and Italy. Translations into other European languages soon followed. Alongside equally well-produced internet videos such as that made by Sweden’s SDU Youth Wing, which in turn stimulated further interest from as far afield as the United States, Australia and South America.

The Swedish Salute to the European Youth, which like its French predecessor was brilliantly scripted, ran as follows:

This is a salute from the Swedish youth to our European brothers and sisters.

Europe belongs to us.

Europe has given birth to strong and free nations with rich and thriving cultures. We have always held our heads up high and been proud of our heritage and history.

In just the last few decades this has all changed. The free nations of Europe are being enslaved by the EU. The politicians are giving away our sovereignty to bureaucrats in Brussels. An insane experiment with multiculturalism and mass immigration is tearing apart our previously united nations.

Europe is bleeding.

We have had enough. We are the generation that refuses to be silenced. We are the generation who loves the nation and who will defend it. Join us in the fight to regain our freedom against the European Union.

For a Europe of nations and for the freedom of all peoples.

So what was it that so captivated the imaginations of those already committed to our cause and drew hundreds more new activists into the scene? Perhaps it was the technically impressive Hi Def camera work? Maybe it was the choice of music, which proved so poignant and moving?

Or could it simply have been the laser guided missiles shooting out of the mouths of the earnest young faces of the militants staring back at us in the black and white footage, their words a rallying call to youth and a direct challenge to the enemies of Europe?

Let us take a moment to recall some of the heartfelt sentiments of the French original and the realities of the world they touched upon:

‘We are Generation Identity.

We are the generation of those who get killed for a sidelong glance, a cigarette refused, or a style that bothers someone.’

  • A 120 page report called No-Go-Zones in the French Republic: Myth or Reality? highlighted numerous French neighborhoods’ where the police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order or even enter without risking confrontation, coming under attack from projectiles, or the threat of fatal shootings.
  • A foreign television presenter trying to investigate the issue of lawlessness in the banlieues is warned ‘I do not recommend this. Not even we French dare to go there anymore. But nobody talks about this in public, of course. Nor do those who claim ‘long-live multiculturalism’ and ‘Paris is wonderful’ dare enter into the suburbs’.

‘We are the generation of ethnic fracture, of the total failure of integration, the generation of forced crossbreeding.’

  • In October 2011 a 2,200 page report entitled ‘Banlieue de la Republique’ (Suburbs of the Republic) found that Seine-Saint-Denis and other Parisian suburbs were fast becoming ‘separate Islamic Societies’ cut off from the French state, where Islamic Sharia Law was displacing French Civil Law’.
  • Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, quoted in the Brussels Journal in 2009: ‘If the French people don’t interbreed of their own free-will, it will be necessary for the Republic to resort to even more forcible measures…’
  • In April 2013 a black immigrant to France who had deliberately targeted and violently raped fifteen white women said in his defense ‘when I came to France I was angry at white people…’ then, telling his victim, ‘I know you like it…’ He clearly stated in the courtroom, his motivation: ‘I wanted to humiliate white people…’

‘We are the doubly-punished generation: condemned to bail out a system of social support too generous with aliens to serve its own people.’

  • The long term cost of Muslim immigration to Europe is almost incalculable. It is estimated that around 80% of Muslims live on welfare in the West. Some salient points of reference are: In 1993 official French Government figures indicated that unemployment in the migrant dominated Parisian suburbs alone was running at 500,000; that in 1995 3 billion Euros were earmarked in the French Fiscal Year for ‘Urban Policy’ (a euphemism for migrant support); In Denmark, although the Muslim population is currently only 5%, they consume over 40% of the Danish Welfare Budget; the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Turks take billions more out of the German Welfare Budget than they put in; and that 50% of the Muslim population residing in the United Kingdom is considered economically inactive. Such indicators do not include the stress these migrants put on societal infra-structure like schools, hospitals, housing and the prison system. The latter of which is where they are consistently over-represented.

‘We are the generation of victims of the generation of May 68’ers – the ones which claimed to liberate us from the weight of tradition, knowledge, and authority in the schools, but which first of all liberated itself from its own responsibilities.’

  • The Soixantehuitards asserted they were motivated by issues such as equality and justice, sexual liberation, ecology, feminism and devising a new egalitarian school and university curricula. They positioned themselves against the old reactionaries of De Gaulle’s epoch but in effect hijacked the system and created positions of power for themselves. While endlessly mouthing the platitudes above, they gave France over to the most misogynistic faith on the globe, a heritage capable of stoning women for adultery, for condoning and encouraging paedophilic marriages and treating women as second class citizens.

‘We have closed your history books to find our own memory once again.’

  • Supposed intellectuals like Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Henri Weber, Andre Glucksmann, Daniel Bensaid and Bernard-Henri Levy greatly influenced the post ’68 intellectual climate in France. The latter individual producing The Genius of Judaism, not so much as a philosophical system but as a guide for living, and ardently defended both Roman Polanski and Dominique Strauss Kahn in the wake of sexual scandals involving child molestation and rape.
  • In response to the New Philosophers listed above the Groupement de Recherche et d’Etudes pour la Civilisation Europenne (GRECE), founded in Lyon in 1968, have long contested the intellectual space the Left attempt to inhabit, challenging the efforts to exclude Nouvelle Droite thinkers, men like Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye, Jean Cau, Louis Rougier, Thierry Maulnier and Julien Freund have forced their entry into the public realm. Co-habiting, with the Left, the TV studios and newspaper columns, leading to all sorts of controversies in the ‘hot summers’ of 1979 and 1993 when the Left became apoplectic as Nouvelle Droite writers appeared in Le Figaro and when Le Monde published ‘The Appeal to Vigilance by Forty Intellectuals’ in July 1993, in order to oppose the ‘resurgence of anti-democratic currents of Far Right thought in French and European intellectual life’.
  • Over time, these so called ‘fascist’ intellectuals have been joined by populist and mainstream writers like cyber-punk science fiction author Maurice Dantec, who wrote the award winning books Red Siren (2004), Babylon Babies (2005), Grand Junction (2009) and Satellite Sisters (2012). In 2006 Dantec penned Le Sanglot de L‘Hommage blanc (Tears of the White Man) and The Tyranny of Guilt (2010) about the narcissistic and destructive sacralization of Third World peoples in the West and the mirage of multiculturalism across Europe. A theme that Michel Houellebecq was later to use in his novel Submission (2014).

‘We have stopped believing that Abdul is our brother, the planet our village and humanity our family. We have discovered that we have roots and ancestors – and thus a future.’

  • According to Lucienne-Bui Trong, a government official responsible for the Towns and Suburbs Department at the Renseignements generaux (General Intelligence), over one thousand neighborhoods including 226 in the Ile-de-France; 89 in in the Provence-Cote d’Azur; 62 in Rhone Alpes; and 69 in Nord-Pas-de-Calais are classified as ‘violent’. With over four hundred specifically identified as ‘very violent’, meaning not only that firearms are present and being used but that a systematic strategy to keep the police out is a known modus operandi of the immigrant gangs.

‘Our only inheritance is our blood, our soil, and our identity. We are the heirs of our destiny.’

  • Despite a law of 1872 that prevents the French conducting a census that makes distinctions between citizens based on ethnic background, it is known that the non-indigenous French population increased over fifty times since the end of World War Two; the birthrate of immigrants is three to four times higher than the real French; between 2006-2008, 40% of the babies born in France were of immigrant origin; the immigrant demographic under thirty doubled in the last two decades, resulting in predictions that the Muslim population will reach 16 million by 2016.

‘We have turned off the television to come out into the streets. We have painted our slogans on the walls, chanted ‘Youth Power’ into our megaphones, waved high our flags emblazoned with the lambda: the lambda, which decorated the shields of the glorious Spartans, is our symbol. Don’t you understand what it represents? It means that we will not retreat, we will not give up. Weary of your cowardice, we shall not refuse any battle, any challenge.’

  • The Identitarians have entered the public consciousness through high visibility ‘happenings’ in iconic locations such as the 20th October 2012 rooftop protest at the Grand Mosque at Poitiers, the storming of the Socialist Party headquarters in Paris and their compatriots of the Identitaire Bewegung, seizing the EU Fundamental Rights building in Vienna.
  • Within minutes of taking the Mosque in Poitiers, the Identitarians issued the following Press Statement from their operation base atop the building and simultaneously on the Generation Identitaire website:

Generation Identity calls for reconquest! A hundred youth, young men and women from all over France, have just entered the future Grand Mosque and occupied the roof. Across the front façade, facing the minaret, we have unfurled a banner with a clear message: ‘Immigration, mosque construction: REFERENDUM!’ By this, its first major act, Generation Identity intends to place itself in the front line of the fight for our identity.

Then, supplying a historical context:

It will soon be 1,300 years since Charles Martel stopped the Arabs at Poitiers following a heroic battle which saved our country from Muslim invasion. It happened on the 25th October 732. Today, we have reached 2012 and the choice is still the same: live free or die. Our generation refuses to see its nation and identity disappear amid indifference; we shall never be the Indians of Europe. From this place, symbolic of our past and of our ancestors’ courage, we launch an appeal to remember and fight!

And then their vision for the future:

We want no more non-European immigration and no more construction of Mosques on French soil. From the first waves of African immigration and from the ‘family reunion’ law adopted in 1976, our people have never been consulted about the presence of those they have been forced to live with. Mass immigration has radically transformed our country: according to the most recent study of the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, 43% of those between the ages of 18 and 50 in the Ile-de-France are of immigrant background. A nation can recover from an economic crisis or a war, but not from the replacement of its population: without the French, France will no longer exist. It is a question of survival: this is why each nation has the absolute right to choose whether it wants to accept foreigners and in what proportion.

And challenging the so-called Social Democracy of the Liberal Left:

Since this right has been refused us, and since our generation is paying the price in the street through intimidation by foreign riff-raff, we declare: enough! We shall no longer retreat! We demand a national referendum on immigration and the construction of Muslim houses of worship in France. We shall not leave until we have been heard and satisfied.

Making their Call to Arms:

Aware that our fight is only beginning, we call upon all young Europeans to become the heirs of their destiny and join the vanguard of a youth risen to its feet.

Let all Europe hear our call: here and now RECONQUEST!            

This was far from an isolated case. The movement continues to be extremely active on the internet and social networks such as Facebook and Youtube. All over Europe copy-cat events highlighting opposition to immigration have begun to spread. On 30th October, representatives of the Identitarian Movement were physically present at the inter-cultural week in Frankfurt. In early December, 50 sympathisers of the Identitarian Movement met once again in Frankfurt, this time without their French comrades, as a clear sign of their intent to begin independent activities. Actions like pork soup kitchens for the poor and destitute were set up in the street, EU flags were taken down from public buildings and protests against halal slaughter were conducted outside Muslim owned restaurants. In the Netherlands, where it is known as Identitair Verzet, the movement chained the gates to a predominantly immigrant school in Rotterdam. In Scandinavia, it operates under the title Nordiska Forbundet or Nordic Alliance. Following a visit in April 2014 to Prague by Philippe Vardon and Jean David Cattin, Identitarianism has been active in the Czech Republic, and also commenced activity in Slovakia in the same year.

On the 31st May 2015 the Austrian Identitarian movement occupied the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna. This was quickly followed by the release of a video to promote their June 2015 Sommerfest rally with the words:

Everyone sees, hears and feels it. We are going to be strangers in our own neighborhood, our own city and our own country. The Great Replacement is going to happen. Our politicians and the elites sow the seeds for this fatal development. They demolish our identity and take away the right of feeling native in our own country. To import voters and cheap labour. Putting the politics and economic future of our people and every European people at risk. But we are defending ourselves. We are the youth that stops retreating. We will rally on the 6th June in Vienna, against the Great Replacement. And understand we are ready to fight for our future…

‘You are the “Thirty Glorious Years,” pension fund liabilities, SOS Racism, “diversity,” family reunification, sexual liberation and Bernie Kouchner’s sacks of rice. We are 25 percent unemployment, public debt, the explosion of multicultural society, anti-white racism, broken families and a young French soldier killed in Afghanistan.’

  • SOS Racisme was set up in 1984 and has been led by black ethnic advocates such as Harlem Desir, Algerian born Malek Boutih and Dominique Sopo. It actively tries to engage the youth against French Nationalists or Identitarians by organizing rock concerts like those in the name of so-called Egalitarianism in 2011.
  • FEMEN protests like their No More Pope and A Fascist Suicide (mocking the personal sacrifice made by Dominique Venner) in February and May 2013 at Notre-Dame-de-Paris were challenged by the brave young women of the Renouveau Francais who publicly declared, Femme, Mais Pas Fem’ Haine!’  
  • Bernard Kouchner was born in Avignon to a Jewish father and a protestant mother, becoming active in the French Communist Party and spending time in Cuba fishing and drinking with Fidel Castro in 1964. He was appointed Minister of Health and later Minister of Foreign Affairs in Francois Fillon’s government in 2007. He is closely associated with Arab Spring sponsor George Soros.
  • French unemployment has risen consistently since 2012, averaging around 10% among the general population and 23% among the youth. The highest level ever recorded in the 5th
  • The French Government’s debt to GDP ratio rose 30% between 2006 and 2015.
  • The epidemic of divorce in France, especially in the urban areas runs at 55%. Although high, this compares favourably when considered alongside Belgium 71%, Portugal 68%, Hungary 67%, Czech Republic 66%, Spain 61% and Estonia 58%.
  • In July 1990, Act 90-615, known as the Gayssot Act, made it possible to enforce stiffer than normal prison sentences and more substantial fines on people who had ‘offended’ certain privileged groups or who it could be proved had been motivated to harm or insult individuals or said groups on the grounds of race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation.
  • Studies show that one in five native French have been victims of Anti-White Racism, the title of a controversial book written by Tarik Yildiz in 2012.
  • A young Generation Identitaire militant called Pierre Cassen is quoted saying, ‘The French people are increasingly living in fear. They fear the imposition of Islamic law and the organized violence against any French person including the police’.
  • French forces in Afghanistan took heavy casualties in the Uzbin Valley ambush in 2008

‘You will not convince us with a condescending glance, youth employment programs and a pat on the shoulder: for us, life is a struggle.’

  • The French government lethargically peddle youth employment schemes for the out of work and low skilled young adults. Also, on the job training and payroll subsidies in the hope of removing young people from the unemployment statistics
  • In terms of economics the Identitarians believe in appropriate economic protection, eco-friendly localism as opposed to the global free-market run by multinational racketeers. They perceive that protectionism and localism are pre-requisites for Europe’s ability to transcend the current global dichotomy with the USA on one side and China on the other.

‘We don’t need your youth policies. Youth is our policy.’

  • We are Generation Identity (Arktos 2013) opens with a quote from Georges Bernanos, a French Catholic writer: ‘The fever of youth is what maintains the rest of the world at a normal temperature. When youth grows cold, the rest of the world’s teeth chatter’.  

‘Don’t deceive yourselves: this is not a mere manifesto, it’s a declaration of war.’

  • In a speech delivered to the Identitarian Convention of Orange (Provenance) by Arnaud Delrieux, quoted in We are Generation Identity, in the section, A Force to Be Reckoned With, he says, ‘…We are the first generation to have been left to fend for ourselves in suburbs gangrened with foreign riff-raff and anti-White racism. We have also seen that the system grants us no concessions. It has placed our spokesmen under house-arrest, going so far as to forbid them from any participation in identitarian political activity. A charming lesson in democracy’.

‘We are tomorrow; you are yesterday.’

  • And again, quoting Delrieux, ‘To give youth effective political representation, Generation Identity sets itself no limits. The fight for Reconquest is everywhere, and we want everywhere to be masters in our own house.

‘We are Generation Identity!’

And who could doubt it?

So, given the above, it is hardly surprising that the ethos and energy of Identitarianism glavanised whole sections of the European Youth Movement. And this Movement is not, as per its enemies wishes, filled with hot air, or dependent on vapid spectacle. Instead, it is grounded, as we will see, on a solid, if still evolving, ideological base, rooted in tradition and born out of a coherent intellectual legacy stretching back over many years.

Instinct & Ideology:

So does the Identitarian Movement really represent an entirely new paradigm amongst the contemporary European right? Using what F. Stieger (2014) calls its ‘open source ideology’, the content of its web pages are easily copied and pasted by similar groups. It has gained identifiable support both from the soft and hard Right. Researchers working in the field of political science find it difficult to categorize the Movement within the old/new right parameters, which is a reflection of the chameleon-like metamorphosis Identitarianism undergoes in different environments.

But nevertheless the mainstream media’s nefarious narrative, is of course, a remorseless attempt to characterize the Identitarian Movement as a single issue pressure group warning of the threat of the Islamization of Europe, and this is intended to hamstring it by associating it with the most negative connotations from recent European history. Some German scholars even try to present the Identitarian Movement as a greater risk than neo-Nazism because its antidemocratic elements are hidden behind a search for identity. M. von Lupke said that ‘The public is thus able to recognize its true motives and objectives only with difficulty’ (2013).

Acknowledging that the Identitarian Movement, to a greater extent, builds upon a positive approach: a search for common identity, traditions and roots, academe insidiously suggests there is a ‘dark underbelly’, such as the claim made in 2013 by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Bremen that the Bremen branch of the Identitarian Movement was led by people with extreme right-wing leanings. And the Radical Boys Brux using the Lambda symbol on their website and Revolta was given as a justification for such a claim. This, despite the fact that public facing Identitarian members use the following slogan ‘0% racism 100% identity’.

But Identitarianism is so much more than its opponents’ worst nightmare. It is a groundswell of emotion that cannot so easily be defamed. It defends the nation at all costs, idealizing it as an organic pre-modern community based on homogeneity and exclusivity. In this regard the movement explicitly opposes the European Union’s policies in relation to mass immigration, asylum and integration. To an educated observer, it is clear that their instincts and actions are steeped in the philosophies expounded by nineteenth and early twentieth thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Ferdinand Tönnies, Friedrich List, Paul de Lagarde and Julius Langbehn. The more politically astute will also recognize the influence of German Conservative Revolutionary scholars such as Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, Othmar Spann, Adam Muller, Hans Freyer, Ludwig Klages, Oswald Spengler, Edgar Julius Jung, Karl Haushofer and Werner Sombart.

The latter grouping, especially, having established a coherent integralist perspective, which emphasized a holism and cultural particularism, is a fertile source of inspiration for Identitarians. The logic of the Conservative Revolutionaries’ critique of the dangers of the individualistic liberal capitalist societies which they saw developing in the wake of the First European Civil War (1914-18) is similar to the Identitarians’ disdain of the EU Super-State.

Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, for example, said: ‘We may be victims of catastrophes which overtake us, of revolutions which we cannot prevent, but tradition always re-emerges’. And Identitarianism is indeed , tradition, re-emerging in a modern youthful form.

Anticipating the plight of Europe a century hence, Othmar Spann, it could be argued, almost wrote the precursor to Markus Willinger’s Generation Identity: A Declaration of War Against the 68’ers (2013) and A Europe of Nations (2014), rationalizing in his Der wahre Staat (The True State, 1972 ed.) that ‘Mankind can reconcile itself to poverty because it will be and remain poor forever… but to the loss of estate, existential insecurity, uprootedness and nothingness, the masses of affected people can never reconcile themselves’.

Hans Freyer, in his turn, was a strong advocate of Volksgeist (folk spirit) and author of Revolution von Rechts (Revolution from the Right, 1925). He contested that: ‘Man is free when he is part of a concrete collective will, which takes responsibility for its history… a will that binds men and endows their private existence with historical meaning’. Predicting the inevitable rise of Identitarian type organizations through time, he said: ‘A new front is forming from the Right…’ and there can be little doubt, as we have seen through their words and deeds that the Identitarians are all about ‘cleaning house’.

So, complementing the cultural pessimist prognosis of Oswald Spengler, that ‘Strong and unspent races are not pacifistic. And to adopt such a position is to abandon the future, for the pacifist ideal is a static, terminal condition that is contrary to the basic facts of existence,’ it must be stressed that Generation Identity and their affiliated groups are anything but static, but are to say the least, pro-active, mobile and opinionated in regard to the future they wish to create.

And their literature reflects this vibrancy. Works such as Generation Identity: A Declaration of War Against the 68’ers (2013), written by Markus Willinger in a succinct digestible style, with a foreword by Philippe Vardon, a veteran of Nissa Rebela, talks of the current generation as the foremost victims of the derailing of Western society by the political, journalistic and academic pseudo-elites, and how it falls upon this same generation to turn the tide.

Consistently offering a counter-balance to foreign and unnatural influences, the author, over forty one chapters, provides a fresh view of the world, free of the narrow and prejudiced constraints of the dominant mind-set of the previous seventy or so years:

Nazism was racist, so you wanted to be anti-racist. Nazism was nationalist? Naturally, you became internationalist. It was militaristic, fascistic and imperialistic and so you became anti-military, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist. If Nazism promoted a belief in the traditional family, you had to damn that as well. Your efforts to reject the extremist ideology of National Socialism led you to create your own extremist ideology. We are the first generation since 1933 to have truly overcome National Socialism. We neither define ourselves in terms of it, nor in terms of opposing it.

In a surgical indictment of big business, Identitarians accurately identify the corrosive impact of the mobility of cheap labour, or rather welfare recipients, from the Third World, and the socialist block vote it represents, which effectively means that opposition to the immigrant invasion cannot be limited to the individual nation-state but must be elevated to a joint continental response.

Predictably, their call for a unified Europe and their articulation of ideas about the national and ethnic uniqueness of all Europeans, especially in Willinger’s second text, A Europe of Nations (2014) initially gave succor to their opponents, who cat-called from their salons that the Identitarian vision of a ‘new millennium of great political blocs’, was just another expression of racism and xenophobia.

However, refusing to be silenced, from the very first sentence of Willinger’s well-circulated text, the Identitarians clearly assert their goals, and spit their contempt for the establishment’s worn-out and clichéd Orwellian Truth-Speak by demanding: ‘The European Union is Dead.’ Their subsequent description of the Union as a ‘patch-work Frankenstein’ and a ‘morbid monstrosity that its creators were attempting to breathe life into’, is reminiscent of the old Jewish legend of The Golem of Prague, and must have touched a few raw nerves among the bureaucrats of Brussels. Especially when, as in the story of the young boy who pointed out that the Emperor had no clothes, the plain facts of the case are indisputable:

Europe suffers under your Union as much as we do. You seek to transform this proud continent into a second America and rob its people of their freedom.

You don’t serve Europe; your one and only master is the European Union, and that makes you the enemies of the European peoples against whom you’ve arrogantly declared war.

You hate the peoples of Europe. Recognise at last, that they stand in the way of your Union, threaten it in its entirety, and will one day bring it crashing down.

Beneath the Moloch you created, beneath your standardized bureaucracy lies the true Europe, buried in the rubble.

The Europe of freedom and diversity. The Europe of Brothers and sisters. The Europe you want us to forget, and that you try to conceal – yet it remains.

Still and quiet, it waits for the day when we free it from its chains, when it can return to its rightful place in the world.

To this Europe we are true, the Europe of our ancestors and children; we believe in it and we will fight for it.

For a free and strong Europe.

For a Europe of nations.  

In defiance of the global capitalists and the supporters of the current multi-cultural melting-pot, more reminiscent of The Tower of Babel than the image perpetuated by the output of the Hollywood Movie Moguls in blockbusters like the eponymous 1980’s Kids from Fame, the Identitarians shout starkly and loudly:

Europe is Europe…We Europeans love our identity and our individuality…We want to be and remain who we are…A European Super-State is an unnatural chimera…For millennia, we Europeans have fought one another, yet we had the strength and vitality to create a culture that is unique in the world. I am not referring to the recent decades of creeping stagnation, but rather to the legacy of the Renaissance, which was Europe’s brightest hour…The continuous competitive pressure made us Europeans great. In those days, no state could afford to be ruled over by mediocre politicians like yourselves…Weak and senile states, which have become the rule in today’s Europe, wouldn’t have survived five years back then. They would have renewed themselves or been conquered

And such defiant rhetoric is deeply imbued with the thoughts and ideas of thinkers from a range of traditions within the post ‘45 New Right. One can see the mentorship of metapolitical commentators like Armin Mohler, Karlheinz Weissmann, Gerd-Klaus Kaltenbrunner, Pierre Krebs, Alain de Benoist, Julien Freund, Dominique Venner, Robert Steuckers, Guillaume Faye, Giorgio Locchi, Tomislav Sunic, Alexander Dugin and Sebastian J. Lorenz. Thinkers from as far afield as Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Croatia and Russia. All united in a common cause, to defend the intrinsic value of identity in the face of sterile modernity.

For, the New Right thesis, just like that of the Identitarians, is that modernity is characterized by the fact it creates shallow people who are promiscuous in their values, attitudes, political affiliations, jobs and lifestyle choices. They argue that social division and atomization of this type is being exploited by those with vested interests, the gurus of soft despotism that seek to impose a culture of self-censorship and political correctness. A classic example being the case of the Finnish Journalist Tuomas Muraja, of the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, who contacted the friend of a Finnish rape victim, who had indicated that the assault had been done by a non- Finn, calling her a racist, bigot and criminal for making accusations against immigrants. He then threatened her with a prison sentence and warned her against making future accusations against immigrants. A not dissimilar situation to that faced by another Finnish female who was raped by five Somali men on a train station, who then received very light sentences from court officials, two of whom were not indigenous Finns, and a third, who was a native-born Finn but held well known communist sympathies.

So, it is not surprising then that both the New Right and the Identitarians hold cynical views about cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism. Instead, they embrace ethnopluralism, which negates any hierarchy between races. It is concept based on the acceptance of the existence of different cultures, nations or societies in the world and each one’s intrinsic value.

The concept of ethnopluralism itself has a long pedigree. For example Carl Schmitt, a major influence on de Benoist, promoted ethnopluralism as a part of identitarian democracy (identitare Demokratie). Schmitt fundamentally opposed pluralism of interests and pluralistic democracy, instead promoting a democracy based on identity. Schmitt defined himself as an opponent of the ethos of the universalism of human rights. He saw homogeneity as a perquisite for promoting the interests of the state and nation. The link to Identitarianism cannot be more clear.

Both the Nouvelle Droite and the Identitarians see themselves as rebirth movements. And I would contend that the Nouvelle Droite is the mid-wife and the Identitarians are the newborn, fresh and pure off-spring, cleansed of the Left-Liberal dogma that has led to Europe’s current decline.

They seek an alternative modernity, favouring some scientific and technical developments, but not all, whilst rejecting what they define as the negative cultural aspects of modernity, which leads to what Charles Champetier and de Benoist see as a One-World system of production and reproduction, all intrinsically part of the hyper-moralism of universal human rights, masking the underlying attack on national and regional uniqueness. They describe this situation as a loss of ‘transcendent value, meaning, or purpose’ (from La Nouvelle Droite de l’ an 2000).

Benoist goes one step further by suggesting that human beings do not exist in the form of universal and abstract entity and cannot be separated from their particular society and social groups. And that if they do will become useless and dysgenic. Modernity destroys ties of individuals with family, locality, corporative or religious communities. The reality is of course that modernity has made people more lonely and vulnerable. This can be ‘cured’ the New Right diagnose by a return to communities rooted in their culture and geographic space, in a return to communities and organic society committed to the land. Feelings we see embedded in the Identitarian principles alluded to by Willinger.

Out of this arises the notion of a post-modernist radical right which emphasizes respect to differences which must be viewed in juxtaposition of universalistic racism and also as an ‘opposite to racist anti-racism’. Here, de Benoist draws parallels between genocide caused by racially orientated actions and the current slow ethnocide by so-called anti-racists.

The above assertion reinforced by Javier Ruiz Portella and Alvaro Mutis in their El manifesto contra la muerte del espiritu y la tierra (Manifesto against the Death of the Spirit and the Land) authored in 2011, who believe that modernistic materialism is the murder weapon the ruling oligarchy has chosen for killing the spiritual rights of the people and causing what de Benoist describes in his ‘Terrorism, State of Emergency’ as the ‘disenchantment with the world’. This, according to Ernst Jünger, a literary doyen of the New Right and author of Storm of Steel (1920) is the moment of ‘greatest danger’. And that the best response to such a situation, itemized in de Benoist’s book Vu de droite (1979) was the restoration of:

  • an aristocratic conception of the human being;
  • an ethical framework founded on honour, rather than the concept of sin and shame as per the Judeo-Christian faith;
  • a heroic attitude towards the challenges of human existence;
  • the exaltation and sacralization of the world;
  • attention to beauty, the body, and health;
  • the obliteration of notions such as ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’;
  • the union of aesthetics and morality.

Alain de Benoist continues in the same vein:

What is the greatest threat today? It is the progressive disappearance of diversity from the world. The leveling-down of people, the reduction of all cultures to a world civilization made up of what is most common. It can been seen already how from one side of the planet to the other the same types of construction are being put up and the same mental habits are being ingrained. Holiday Inn uniformity and Howard Johnson are the templates for the transformation of the world into a grey uniformity. I have travelled widely, on several continents. The joy which is experienced during a journey derives from seeing differentiated ways of living which are still well rooted, in seeing different people live according to their own rhythm, with a different skin colour, another mentality-from recognizing they are proud of their difference. I believe that this diversity is the wealth of the world, and that egalitarianism is killing it. For this it is important not just to respect others but to keep alive everywhere the most legitimate desire there can be: the desire to affirm a personality which is unlike another, to defend a heritage, to govern oneself in accordance with what one is. And this implies a head-on clash with a pseudo-antiracism which denies differences and with a dangerous racism which is nothing less than the rejection of the Other, the rejection of diversity (de Benoist, Vu de droite, 1979).

Whereas de Benoist’s intellectual rival, within the Right milieu at least, Guillaume Faye, who’s written corpus includes Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post Catastrophic Age (Arktos 2010),Why We Fight: Manifesto of the European Resistance (Arktos 2011),Convergence of Catastrophes (Arktos 2012) and Sex and Deviance (Arktos 2014), adopts a more militant approach. His well-articulated world-view, from what he describes as an ‘archaic’ perspective, and by this he means from the ancient Greek etymon arche, signifying ‘starting impetus’, or ‘foundation’ and ‘beginning’, rather than archaic as in ‘ancient’, beautifully illustrates this congruity of thought. Has does his proposed solutions to Europe’s problems summed up in his work Why We Fight:

  • Europe is no longer sovereign and politically and militarily assertive;
  • It must realize that it is at ‘war’ with other civilizations, particularly the Muslim world;
  • Europe is ‘sick’, ‘occupied, and being ‘colonized’ by the USA and the peoples of the poor South;
  • Europeans should support an ‘archeo-futurist’ vision, which fuses traditional pre-modern and modern values in a post-modern mode;
  • White people should seek to restore the belief in ‘rooted’ identities world-wide as homogenization equals ‘death and sclerosis’;
  • That Identities are always in a state of flux and ‘becoming’;
  • That the politically incorrect notion of bio-politics, or a politics of survival should underpin the biological and demographic imperatives of ethnic groups;
  • We should adjust to an elitist politics as an antidote to the ‘unjust’ selection of the capitalist ‘law of the jungle’;
  • Europe should adopt a revolutionary tone, recognizing that the current period is an interregnum. Whereby we rise like a Phoenix from the ashes’;
  • Recognize that only ethnic civil war will resolve Europe’s problems of Third World colonization;
  • A revolution will take place led by an activist minority. It will lead to a ‘re-evaluation of all values’ and a radically new society along Nietzschean lines. Nietzsche rather than Marx (Faye insists) is the real revolutionary of our times;
  • The creation of a new, noble aristocracy, one that serves the people through war is the pragmatic approach to the current situation;
  • The notion of the Nietzschean ‘will to power’ is the driving force of history.

And I cannot imagine the intellects behind Identitarianism, or indeed their rank and file militants and members, contradicting much of the above. This justifies to my mind that the movement in general is ideologically aligned with the broader New Right, Traditional and New Wave Nationalist schools of thought, shorn of the swastika and unencumbered by neo-Nazi baggage.

Conclusion:

So Identitarians give voice to the concerns of many young and ‘awakened’ indigenous Europeans. Their clarion call for a renewal of European national identities echoes through the streets of towns and cities as far apart as Lviv and Derry. Through the winding alleys of the ancient villages of the Pyrenees. Across the valleys and wide flat steppe to the suburbs of the cities of the East. But they also back up their grand-eloquence with pragmatism. They sponsor various training camps, where they receive lectures on historical subjects with particular relevance today, like the Siege of Malta by the Ottomans in 1565. They organize sports clubs, cultural organizations, charity associations, rock bands and publishing houses. The French movement has endeavored to establish ‘bastions’ that showcase their Movement. In Nice, for example, in a district where Identitarians live, they have opened shops and started local institutions developing a form of neighborhood autonomy, parents’ associations and retailers’ associations. And they extended this further by forming Solidarite Identities (SOLID) which is a humanitarian organization providing aid and support to nations in their struggle for survival, maintaining culture and safeguarding identity. It collects funds and materials and goes to areas where local inhabitants need help. SOLID’s activity helps support the freedom of nations who wish to be autonomous and rooted in their land. For this reason it helps the Serbian minority in Kosovo and the Boers in South Africa. The common denominator is a will to live in the country of one’s forebears, according to one’s own rules, laws and traditions. The major enemy from their perspective is capitalism, which destroys ethno-cultural eco-systems.

The Idendititarians have also called out traitors and collaborators alike, recognizing just like Marcus Tullius Cicero, that:

A nation can survive its fools and even their ambitions. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor, he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the souls of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.

And do we not see the Curriculum Vitaes of Merkel, Hollande, Sarkozy, Blair, Cameron, Van Rompuy, Barroso, and Johansson in Cicero’s description? Make no mistake, these people are in the pay of higher forces than the democratic institutions they claim to represent.

But as we have seen from the ‘happenings’ highlighted across Europe, the support for Identitarian ideals are growing and are transnational, reflecting the youth’s scorn and rejection of the liberal power-structure. And their ‘fighting community’, as they define it, is focused on winning the political battle they have begun.

The Movement has meeting houses and training camps from Nice to Bordeaux and from Parigi to Paris. Strong links have been forged with youth groups of similar dispositions in Flanders, Catalonia, Northern Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Generation Identitaire’s spokesman Alban Ferrari said in an interview in October 2012, following the overwhelming success of the Declaration of War video,

From Paris to Bucharest, from Stockholm to Athens, young people, heirs of a tremendous common civilizational background, are inevitably looking in the same direction. It is simply a question of survival… As the vanguard of European youth, we are in the front lines facing the ravages of immigration, which has partly been a consequence of the galloping globalism of the last forty years. The rise of Islam in France is the logical consequence of this population flow, which was never desired by the people but encouraged by the internationalist Left and big business… We are young people living in the real world, to borrow a religious expression, who have chosen the love of our people and our neighbours as our vocation. We are secondary school and university students and young working people integrated in this society by force of circumstance. We wish to be together, of course – but without them.

And what could be more natural? Identitarianism is essentially a grass roots movement, committed to a unified Europe, ‘But a different Europe. A Europe in which every people can choose its own path without Brussels giving it orders on how to live…’ They want a Europe ‘where the lazy and corrupt politicians and governments aren’t subsidized, but rather thrown out of their offices…’

It is time, they demand, for the decadents of Brussels and Strasbourg to step aside and ‘make way for a new Europe. For a Europe of nations…’ As opposed to the Janus faced Europe the Soixantehuitards created in homage to Richard Coudenhove-Kalgeri, who put in place the founding principles of European Union, writing in his book Praktischer Idealismus: ‘The man of the future will be of mixed race. The races and classes of today will gradually disappear due to the elimination of space, time and prejudice. The Eurasian Negroid race of the future, similar to the ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples and the diversity of individuals. Instead of destroying Judaism, Europe, against its will, refined and educated these people, driving them to their future status as leading nation, through the artificial revolutionary process. It is not surprising that the people who escaped the ghetto prison became the spiritual nobility of Europe’.

In the face of such a despicable, cowardly and silent genocide, what are Europeans supposed to do? Well Generation Identitaire have an answer. Underpinning the Identitarian ideological viewpoint is the notion that ‘Europe’s people are at war, a clandestine and undeclared war’, but a war nonetheless. They maintain ‘this war is more important for determining Europe’s fate than any other conflict this continent has ever seen. It is a struggle for Europe itself, for Europe’s cities, streets, and homes, for our meadows, mountains, and lakes. It’s a struggle for our homeland and they claim we’re losing…’ And they are right!

So was our future foretold in the fictionalized account of Jean Raspail’s Camp of the Saints (1973)? To return to Willinger’s A Europe of Nations:

Every day, Africans pour across the Mediterranean. Every day, Arabs and Asians pass through the Greek border; airplanes land hourly in our cities, bringing in even more…Europe is being over-run bit by bit. Bit by bit, our continent is being robbed of its identity and is being turned into an extension of Africa and Asia. Bit by bit, we Europeans are becoming a minority in our own cities and nations…

And in identifying the parasitic entities that have fed and are now killing their host, they say:

You’ve committed many errors during your years of rule, some out of greed, others out of naivety, and some out of stupidity. But for your worst wrong-doing there is no excuse: you opened Europe’s borders and not only tolerated, but actively promoted the mass immigration of Africans and Asians into our countries. This is unforgivable. Yet there can be no doubt that you were fully aware of the consequences of your actions.

And that goal, openly admitted by Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack straw and David Blunkett, the hierarchy of the former British Labour government, was nothing less than the replacement of the British population. The intention was, to quote Neather in a 2009 interview with the Home Affairs Editor of the Telegraph, Tom Whitehead, to ‘rub the Right’s nose in diversity’. And of course, similar approaches were in play, and still are, all across the European Union, in order to fulfill Coudenhove-Kalgeri’s New Morgenthau Plan, extended beyond post-war Germany, and now intended to apply to the whole of Europe.

For this crime, there can only be one punishment. And it is simultaneously ironic and fitting that it should be conducted in the time-honoured French tradition. A lonely walk, accompanied by a drum roll, while the guilty wait in line for the cold caress of Madame Guillotine.

 

Additional Notes:

  • The Swedish Democrats gained 5.7% of the votes in the 2010 elections, succeeding in gaining representation in the Swedish parliament;
  • Some commentators argue that Muslim men think of themselves as a conquering army and that white women are their ‘war-booty’. According to a 2014 Report there were between 5000 and 7000 gang rapes a year in the Parisian banlieues. These involve ‘tournantes’ meaning ‘pass-arounds’ . Two girls in Fontenay-Sous-Bois were subjected to a rape involving up to 50 boys at a time. 77.6% of rapes in Sweden are committed by immigrant Muslims. 2 out of three rapes in Oslo are committed by Muslims. Child-rape in the immigrant infested city of Malmo increased significantly since 2005. The overwhelming number of rapes in Stavanger in Norway in the last 3 years have been committed by Muslims. Despite this, feminists like cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian, remain silent on what is clearly a ‘rape epidemic’ stretching from Rotherham in the North of England to the suburbs of Rome;
  • The most conservative official estimates agree that the Muslim population of Europe will be at least 10% by 2050;
  • In 1968 Paris was overtaken by mass protests including agitating students, sympathetic locals, celebrated intellectuals and factory workers. ‘Our generation enjoyed an unprecedented optimism,’ said Henri Weber, a socialist member of the European parliament, ‘We were Promethean!’;
  • Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a sociology student at the University of Nanterre, is now a Green Party member of the European Parliament;
  • Henri Weber, is a Socialist Party representative for North-West France;
  • Andre Glucksmann,is a philosopher and writer;
  • Daniel Bensaid, leader of the Trotskyite Movement in France;
  • Bernard-Henri Levy, media personality known as BHL, and author;
  • The Research and Study Group for European Civilization (GRECE): the principal Think Tank of the French Right founded to promulgate theoretical and cultural issues such as ethno-pluralism, the preservation of the Indo-European legacy and the philosophy of Conservative Revolutionary thinkers;
  • Alain de Benoist, Founder member of GRECE and acclaimed leader of the Nouvelle Droite;
  • Guillaume Faye, journalist and writer. Linked to GRECE until 1986 when he split from de Benoist and is now more actively associated with Piere Vial’s Terre et Peuple;
  • Jean Cau, former secretary to Jean Paul Satre, turned pagan, heavily influenced by Durer and Wagner and the writings of Paul Morand;
  • Louis Rougier, French philosopher and epistemologist;
  • Thierry Maulnier, journalist, essayist and dramatist;
  • Julien Freund, influenced by Carl Schmitt and author of numerous works including Political Essence (1965);
  • In July 1979 Left leaning writers such as Thierry Pfister in Le Monde raised the alarm about the fact that the Nouvelle Droite had begun to gain traction in the media. Within weeks over 500 articles by people like Raymond Aron condemning this development began to appear. Anti-racist and Jewish groups such as the Mouvement Contre le racisme et l’ amite entre les people, refused to share a platform with de Benoist and his ilk. This was repeated in the summer of 1993. The left claiming the New Right were undertaking ‘a big seduction campaign targeting democratic personalities, some of whom are known as leftists’. More than 1500 ‘intellectuals’ throughout Europe signed the appeal;
  • Maurice Dantec, is a writer and musician living in Montreal;
  • Michel Houellebecq, award winning author, film-maker and poet. Most intriguingly he wrote a critically acclaimed biographical essay on H.P. Lovecraft;
  • The Mayor of Marseilles called upon the French Government to have the army come into his city to deal with immigrant gangs, where two thirds of the homicides committed in France occur;
  • Within the last few weeks Albanians have been seen to be financially exploiting Africans clambering on to lorries heading for the Channel Tunnel;
  • The Lambda flag was taken from the blazon painted on the shields of the Greek Hoplites;
  • Identitaire Bewegung, conduct ‘hard-bass’ actions and are the subject of a typical academic case study by Brigit Sauer and Stephanie Mayer, sponsored by the EU, entitled: ‘A European Youth against Europe? Identity and Europeanes in the Austrian Identitarian Discourse’ (University of Leicester, 2014);
  • Renaud Camus, originally coined the phrase the Great Replacement and since 2010 has campaigned against immigration;
  • Dominique Venner, French historian, journalist and essayist with close links to the anti-Gaullist OAS, Jeune Nation (Young Nation) and later GRECE. He committed suicide to draw attention to the threat posed by modernity to the Occident in Notre-Dame-de-Paris on the 21st May 2015;
  • Renouveau francais, a Catholic nationalist movement which faced down FEMEN and Gay Pride marches in Paris;
  • George Soros, like Nicholas Sarkozy is a Hungarian Jew. He is a business magnate, founder of the Open Society Foundation and paymaster for the various Colour Revolutions across the Arab world and the attempted Orange revolution in Ukraine;
  • The Gaysott Act was enacted to make it impossible to deny The Holocaust and to remove scholar Robert Faurisson from his university Chair;
  • Georges Bernanos, author and soldier of a Catholic and Monarchist disposition, his most famous novel being Under Satan’s Sun (2012 ed.)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher, cultural critic and author of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, beyond Good and Evil and the Antichrist;
  • Ferdinand Tönnies, sociologist and philosopher who wrote books on community and civil society;
  • Friedrich List, developed the National System of Innovation and author of the National System of the Political (1837);
  • Paul de Lagarde, polymath, biblical scholar and orientalist who tried to establish a German religion. He wrote: ‘Germany is the totality of all German feeling, German thinking, German-willing Germans, every one of us is a traitor if he does not consider himself personally accountable in every moment of his life for the existence, fortune and future of the Fatherland, and each is a hero and a liberator if he does’;
  • Julius Langbehn, Far right art historian and poet who published 40 Lied in 1891;
  • Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, admirer and translator of Dostoevsky, he was a major influence on the Jungkonervativen (Young Conservatives) and author of Das Recht der Jungen Völker, (The Right of Young Nations, 1918) and Das Dritte Reich (1923);
  • Othmar Spann, Austrian conservative philosopher, sociologist and economist of anti-liberal and anti-socialist persuasion. He argued for a corporate state and joined the Militant League for German Culture in 1928;
  • Adam Muller, a publicist, political economist and state theorist, and part of the German counter-enlightenment;
  • Hans Freyer, author of Der Staat (1926). He held similar views to Spann in opposition to the Enlightenment;
  • Ludwig Klages, philosopher and psychologist, heavily involved in the Mystic Circle of Alfred Schuler and the poet Stefan George;
  • Oswald Spengler, famous historian and philosopher of history itself. He wrote, Prussianism and Socialism (Arktos, 2012 ed.) which described an organic nationalist brand of socialist authoritarianism;
  • Edgar Julius Jung, lawyer and leader of the Conservative Revolutionary movement and opponent of the Nazis. His body was found in a ditch on the outskirts of Oranienburg in July of 1934;
  • Karl Hausofer, German military commander, geographer, geo-politician and mentor to Rudolf Hess;
  • Werner Sombart, an economist and social activist, one of the leading social scientists in Europe in the early decades of the 20th Century;
  • The Tower of Babel, being the biblical legend from the Book of Genesis which explains the origin of different languages;
  • The Kids From Fame, an American movie and TV serial which advocated   multiculturalism predominantly between 1982-87;
  • Armin Mohler, Swiss born author of the Conservative revolution in Germany 1918-32;
  • Karl-Heinz Weissman, a leading figure of the German New Right;
  • Gerd-Klaus Kaltenbrunner, educated at the University of Vienna, conservative publicist, writer and expert on Prester John and Meister Ekhart. He won the Konrad Adenauer prize of the German Foundation;
  • Pierre Krebs, graduate of Law from Montpellier and founder of the Thule Seminar;
  • Robert Steuckers, Belgian former student of Armin Mohler, widely recognized as an authoritative voice of the intellectual European Right;
  • Giorgi Locchi, essayist and journalist influenced by Faye and Krebs;
  • Tomislav Sunic, diplomat, professor and writer of Croatian origin. His well-respected works, Homo Americanus: Child of the Post-Modern Age (2007) and Against democracy and Equality (1990, 2002, and 2011 editions) are considered core texts within the New Right;
  • Alexander Dugin, Russian academic, poet, New Right Eurasianist, author of The Fourth Political Theory (Arktos 2012), Putin Versus Putin (Arktos 2014), and Last War of the World Island: The Geopolitics of Contemporary Russia (Arktos 2015);
  • Sebastien J. Lorenz, Spanish contributor to the Nueva Derecha;
  • Carl Schmitt, jurist and political theorist. Author of The Concept of the Political (1996 ed.), Constitutional Theory (1928) and The Theory of the Partisan (1963);
  • Javier Ruiz Portella, Editor of Iconoclast;
  • Alvaro Mutis, Latin American committed to white Christianity;
  • Ernst Jünger, warrior, writer and intellect. Holder of the Iron Cross for service in The First European Civil War and author of books like The Marble Cliffs (1939) and The Glass Bees (1957);
  • Cicero, lawyer, orator philosopher and political theorist, called the ‘righteous pagan’;
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel, leading figure in German politics since 2005;
  • Francois Hollande, President of France and leader of the French Socialist Party;
  • Francois Sarkozy, former president of France between 2007-12;
  • Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997-2007. Now a controversial figure, resulting from his dubious role in involving the UK in the Iraq War, his pursuit of bureaucratic positions in the EU and the Middle-East and advancing his Foundation’s interests in highly questionable ways;
  • David Cameron, current British Prime Minister who claims direct descent from Emile Levita, a German Jewish financier;
  • Herman Van Rompuy, a Belgian Prime Minister and the first President of the European Council;
  • Jose Manuel Barroso, former Maoist activist in Portugal who went on to be the President of the European Commission;
  • Morgan Johansson, Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration. He said: ‘All societies can create freedom for a minority. But freedom for the majority can only be realized in an equal society’;
  • Richard Coudenhove-Kalgeri, Founder and President for 49 years of the pan-European Union. He also supported Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points;
  • Jean Raspail’s fictional work Camp of the Saints is now a considered a prophetic text in right wing circles;
  • Jack Straw, former British Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary under Tony Blair’s Labour government. He is famous for saying ‘the English have no culture’;
  • David Blunkett, British Home Secretary after Jack Straw;
  • The Morgenthau Plan was proposed by the US Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau. It was to be imposed on Germany after its capitulation in 1945. It was pre-figured on partitioning Germany, destroying its industrial base, rapid de-population, encouraging miscegenation and preventing Germany from ever rising to power again. Franklin D. Roosevelt said of the Plan: ‘Too many people here and in England hold the view that the German people as a whole are not responsible for what has taken place. That it was only the Nazis that are responsible. That unfortunately is not based on fact. The German people must have it driven home to them that the whole nation has been engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decencies of modern society’.

 

Indicative Reading in Print:

T. Bar-On, ‘The French New Right’s Quest for Alternative Modernity, Fascism’, Journal of Contemporary Fascist Studies 1(1), pp.18-52 (2012)

T. Bar-On, ‘Fascism to the Nouvelle Droite: The Dream of Pan-European Empire’, Journal of Contemporary European Studies 16 (3), pp. 327-45 (December, 2008)

T. Bar-On, Rethinking the French New Right: Alternatives to Modernity (Routledge, 2013)

T. Bar-On, Where Have All the Fascists Gone? (Ashgate, 2007)

Z. Bauman, Liquid Modernity (Cambridge, 2000)

L. Bell & C. Flood (Editors), Political Ideologies in Contemporary France (London, 1997)

A. de Benoist, Vue de droit (Copernic, 1979)

A. de Benoist, Carl Schmitt Today: Terrorism, “Just” War, and the State of Emergency. Translated by A. Jacob. Edited by T. Ridderdale & J.B. Morgan (Arktos, 2013)

A. de Benoist, Beyond Human Rights: Defending Freedoms. Translated by A. Jacob (Arktos, 2011)

A. de Benoist, On the Brink of the Abyss: The Imminent Bankruptcy of the Financial System (Arktos, 2015)

A. de Benoist, Beyond Human Rights: Defending Freedoms (Arktos, 2011)

A. de Benoist & A.C. Champetier, Manifesto for a European Renaissance. Translated by M. Bendelow & F.J. Greene (Arktos, 2012)

A. de Benoist. ‘What is Sovereignty’ (Telos no. 14, 1999)

H. Betz, Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe (New York, 1994)

M. Berman, All That Is Solid Melts into Air (New York, 1982)

N. Bissoondath, Selling Illusions: The Myth of Multiculturalism (Penguin, 2002)

M. Blinkhorn (Editor), Fascists and Conservatives: The Radical Right and the Establishment in Twentieth Century Europe (London, 1990)

S. M. Borthwick, ‘Historian of The Future: An Introduction to Oswald Spengler’s Life and Works for the Curious Passer-by and the Interested Student’ (The Institute for Oswald Spengler Studies, 2011)

M. Caiani, D. della Porta, C. Wagemann, Mobilizing on the Extreme Right: Germany, Italy and the United States (Oxford University Press, 2012)

L. Cheles, R. Ferguson and M. Vaughan (Editor), The Far Right in Western and Eastern Europe (Longman, 1995)

L. Cheles (Editor), The Far Right in Western and Eastern Europe (Longman, 1991)

N. Chomsky, The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many (Berkley, 1994)

G. Cohen, The New Right: Image and Reality (Runnymede Trust, 1986)

K. Friedrich, ‘A Conservative Revolution Against Hitler: Edgar Julius Jung’s Analysis and Criticism of the Total State’ (in Totalitarianism and Challenge of Democracy, edited by A. Jablonski & W. Piasecki, 1992)

G. Faye, Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post Catastrophic Age (Arktos, 2010)

G. Faye, Why We Fight: Manifesto of the European Resistance (Arktos, 2011)

G. Faye, Convergence of Catastrophes (Arktos, 2012)

H. Freyer, Theory of the Objective Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Culture (Ohio University, 1998)

A. Giddens, Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics (Stanford University, 1994)

P. Gottfried, Carl Schmitt: Politics and Theory (New York, 1990)

R. Griffin, Fascism’s New Faces (and new facelessness) in the ‘post-fascist’ epoch, Deliberation, Knowledge (2004)

J. J. Haag, Othmar Spann and the Politics of Totality: Corporatism in Theory and Practice (PhD Thesis, Rice University, 1969)

J. Habermas, The Historians’ Debate and the New Conservatism (Boston MIT Press, 1989)

M. Heidegger, Basic Writings (New York, Harper Collins, 1993)

J. Herf, Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (Cambridge University Press, 1984)

P. Ignazi, The Extreme Right Parties in Western Europe (Oxford University Press, 2006)

L. E. Jones, ‘Edgar Julius Jung: The Conservative Revolution in Theory Practice’ (American Historical Association, 1988)

E. Jünger, The Storm of Steel. From the Diary of a German Storm-troop Officer on the Western Front. Translated by B. Creighton (Chatto & Windus, 1929)

E. J. Jung, ‘Germany and the Conservative Revolution’, in The Weimar Republic Sourcebook, Edited by Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg (University of California Press, 1995)

E J Jung, ‘People, Race, Reich’ in Europa: German Conservative Foreign Policy 1870-1940. Edited by Alexander Jacob (University of America Press, 2002)

E. J. Jung, The Rule of the Inferiour (New York, 1995)

L. Klages, The Biocentric Worldview (Arktos, 2013)

K. von Klemperer, Germany’s New Conservatism: Its History and Dilemma in the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 1968)

P. Krebs, Fighting for the Essence: Western Ethno-suicide or European Renaissance? (Arktos, 2012)

R. Levitas (Editor), The Ideology of the New Right (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1986)

S. M. Lipset, Political Man: The Social Bases of Political Movements (New York, 1960)

A. Mammone, ‘The Transnational Reaction to 1968: Neo-Fascist Fronts and Political Cultures in France and Italy’, Contemporary European History 17, pp. 213-36, (2009)

T. McCulloch, ‘The Nouvelle Droite in the 1980s and 1990s: Ideology and Entryism, the Relationship with the Front National’, French Politics and Society 4, pp. 158-78, (2006)

M. Minkenberg, Trends and Patterns of the Radical Right in Europe: East and West (Workshop on International Developments in Right Wing Extremism, Southern Poverty Law Centre and Friedrich Ebert Stifung, Montgomery, Alabama, 30th April – 2 May, 2012)

M. van den Bruck, Germany’s Third Empire. Translated by E.O. Lorimer (Arktos, 2012)

C. Mudde, Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

J. Z. Muller, The Other God that Failed: Hans Freyer and the Deradicalization of German Conservatism (Princeton, 1988)

E. Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism (Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1965)

M. O’Meara, New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe (Bloomington, 2004)

P. Piccone, ‘Confronting the French New Right: Old Prejudices or a New Political Paradigm?’, Telos 98-9, Winter/Spring pp. 3-23, (1993/94)

R. B. Pippin, ‘Nietzsche’s Alleged Farewell: The Pre-modern, Modern, and Postmodern Nietzsche’, in Higgins and B. Magnus (Editors), Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations (Cambridge University Press, pp. 252-78, 2004)

K. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (Routledge and Kegan, 1962)

K. Ringer, The Decline of the German Mandarins: The German Academic Community, 1890-1933 (University Press of New England, 1990)

C. Schmitt, The Concept of the Political: Expanded Edition (Chicago, 2007)

W. G. Simpson, Which Way Western Man? (Noontide Press, 1986)

W. Sombart, Economic Life in the Modern Age (New Brunswick, 2001)

O. Spann, Der wahre Staat (1921)

O. Spann, Types of Economic Theory (George Allen & Unwin, 1930)

O. Spengler, The Decline of the West, 2 Volumes (New York 1928)

O. Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life (New York 1963)

A. Spektorowski, ‘Ethno-regionalism, Multicultural Nationalism and the Idea of a European Third Way,’ Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 7, pp.41-61 (2007)

F. Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology (University of California, 1974)

Z. Sternhell, Neither Right Nor Left: Fascist Ideology in France, translated by David Maisel, (Princeton, 1996)

M. Steyn, ‘Why the Fascists Are Winning in Europe’, Maclean’s (22nd June) , pp.28-30 (2009)

W. Struve, Elites Against Democracy: Leadership Ideals in Bourgeois Political Thought in Germany, 1890-1933 (Princeton, 1973)

T. Sunic, Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right, 3rd Edition (Arktos, 2011)

P. Taguieff, ‘The New Right’s View of European Identity’, Telos 98-99, Winter/Spring pp. 34-54 (1993-4)

C. Taylor, The Malaise of Modernity (Ontario, 1991)

F. Tönnies, Community and Society (London and New York, 2002)

L. Tudor, From the German Conservative Revolution to the New Right: A Collection of Essays on Identitarian Philosophy (Identitas/Círculo de Investigaciones PanCriollistas, 2015)

A. Umland, ‘The European New Right: Neo-or – Fascist?’, Patterns of Prejudice 43 (2009)

We are Generation Identitaire, translated by F. Roger Devlin and Edited by John B. Morgan (Arktos, 2013)

M. Willinger, Generation Identity: A Declaration of War Against the 68’ers (Arktos, 2013)

M. Willinger, A Europe of Nations (Arktos, 2014)

R. Woods, The Conservative Revolution in the Weimar Republic (New York, 1996)

R. Woods, Germany’s New Right as Culture and Politics (Routledge, 2007)

 

Online Reading:

Warren, I.B. ‘The European New Right: Defining and Defending Europe’s Heritage – An interview with Alain de Benoist’, Journal of Historical Review 14 http://www.vho.org/GB/Journals/JHR/14/2/warren28.html#ref12

Johnson, M. R. (n.d.) ‘The State as the Enemy of the Ethnos’. http://www.freespeechproject.com/807.html

New Imperium – Altermedia – http://uk.altermedia.info/general/new-imperium_177.html

N. Fligstein, A. Polykova, W. Sandholtz, W. ‘European Integration, Nationalism and European Identity’. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 50. No. S1, pp. 106-122B (2014)

Brenakedislam.com (2013) GENERATION IDENTITAIRE Movement: First France, then Germany and the Netherlands. Accessible at: http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/06/22generation-identitaire-movement-first-france-then-germany-now-in-the-netherlands

Generace Identity (Czech Republic). Official website: http://generace-identity.cz/

D. Halikiopoulou, K. Nanou, S. Vasilopoulou, ‘The Paradox of Nationalism: The Common Denominator of the Radical Right and Radical Left Euroscepticism’. European Journal of Political Research, 51, pp. 504-539 (2012). http://extremisproject.org/2012/11/the-paradox-of-nationalism-the-common-denominator-of-radical-right-and-radical-left-euroscepticism/

F. Steiger, ‘Die Identitaire Bewegung – Open Source – Ideologie aus dem Internet’. Accessible at: http://www.netz-gegen-nazis.de/artlike/die5E2%80%9Eidentit%C3%Are-bewegung%E2%80%9C-open-source-ideolie-aus-dem-internet-9343

B. Balibar, ‘Europe Is a Dead Political Project’, The Guardian (25th May) http://ww.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/25/eu-crisiscatastrophic-consequences

 

Websites: 

 

————–

Note: This article has been personally provided for original publication on the New European Conservative by the author.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative

Femmes Fatales – Solère

Sisters of Salome: Femmes Fatales, Left & Right

By Fenek Solère

 

Left/Right dichotomies in the representation of female militants in the movies The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) and A Student named Alexander (2011).

‘Although typically villainous, or at least morally ambiguous, and always associated with a sense of mystification and unease, femme fatales have also appeared as heroines in some stories . . .’ — Mary Ann Doane

From the Levantine Lilith to the Celtic Morgan Le Fay; and from Theda Bara’s vamp in Hollywood’s A Fool There Was to Eva Green in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the notion of the fille d’Eve tantalizes us. In sociological terms the notion of diabolic women is potent with misogyny, witchcraft and the negative aspects of anima, how woman appears to man, from the Jungian viewpoint. To take the cinematic angle, licentious dames mean box office receipts, plain and simple. Roger Vadim’s And God Created Woman (1957), starring starlet Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue (1986) with Beatrice Dalle being just two cases that prove the point.

Stereotypes range from enchantress to succubus, haunting our consciousness in different guises, such as the spectral Cathy from Emily Brontë’s classic Wuthering Heights (1847) or the more malign character of Rebecca in Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 book of the same name. As Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) (1), Once mused, ‘The strange thing about woman — her pre-ordained fate — is that she is simultaneously the sin and the Hell that punishes it’. Indeed, a whole academic industry has grown up deconstructing such iconography with writers like Toni Bentley’s Sisters of Salome (2002); Bram Dijkstra’s Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture (1986); and Elizabeth K. Mix’s Evil by Design: The Creation and Marketing of the Femme Fatale in 19th-Century France (2006) leading the way.

Baudelaire’s own magnum opus Les Fleurs du Mal (1857) epitomizes the dichotomy perfectly. The schizophrenia embodied in his poetic creations, Jean Duval (Black Venus) and Apollonie Sabatier (White Venus), both mirroring and reinforcing some male fantasies about women’s sexuality in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. The dialectics of Serpent Culture and Snake Charmer sensuality, so beautifully carved in Auguste Clesinger’s (2) writhing milk white statue Woman Bitten by a Snake (1847), a representation of Apollonie Sabatier currently on display in the Musée d’Orsay, raises the question, is she squirming in agony or riding a paroxysm of pleasure from the venomous bite?

Moving beyond the arts, literature and film to the political milieu? What evidence do we have for Femme Fatale’s within the Left/Right dichotomy? There is certainly a colorful cast of charismatic characters to choose from: Inessa Armand, Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, Jiang Quing, Bernardine Dohrn, and Angela Davis to name but a few on the left-side. Unity Mitford, Savitri Devi, Alessandra Mussolini, Beate Zschape, Yevgenia Khasis, and Marine Le Pen, as examples from the right side of the aisle.

It is my intention to dismiss empathetic documentaries like Confrontation Paris, 68, The Weather Underground (2002) and hatchet-job investigative journalism like Turning Point’s Inside the Hate Conspiracy (1995) about America’s The Order without further comment. Instead arguing that there are few, if any, historically accurate, unbiased and insightful fictional or factional celluloid representations of female (or for that matter male) political militants in circulation. Instead, what we are served up are predictable stereo-types and clichéd cartoonesque parodies, completely aligned with the liberal left Euro-68 ethos, wherein, a mélange of well-meaning but misguided (and always attractive) socialist idealists try to change society for the better, juxtaposed with psychopathic rightist harridans, or male sexual inadequates, portrayed as vacuous outsiders, decidedly uncool and devoid of social capital.

Indicative examples of the genre being, from the left: The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1975), The Underground (1976), Running on Empty (1988), What to Do in Case of Fire (2002), Baader (2002), The Dreamers (2004), Guerilla — The Taking of Patty Hearst (2005), Regular Lovers (2005), Mesrine: Killer Instinct (2008), Che (2008), The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008), The Company You Keep (2012) and Something in the Air (2013). As opposed to the more objectionable characterizations of rightists in productions like The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Odessa File (1974), The Boys from Brazil (1978), Betrayed (1988), Siege at Ruby Ridge (1996), Brotherhood of Murder (1999), and A Student named Alexander (2011).

For the sake of argument I have been deliberately selective and will focus specifically on Uli Edels’s Baader Meinhof Complex and Enzo De Camillis’s fifteen minute short A Student named Alexander. Risking the approbation of cultural commentators by possibly extrapolating too general a hypothesis from too limited a sample, I nevertheless press my case, that the content, reaction and intent of both these films exemplify the paradox of Left/Right caricatures in the entertainment media.

Recipient of 6.5 million euros from various film boards and Golden Globe and Oscar nominee in the Best Foreign Film category, The Baader Meinhof Complex, rode the wave of resurgent seventies retro, a movie filled with baby boomer nostalgia for the late sixties and early seventies. Simpler times, when idealism meant Sartre, anti-Vietnam protest, Che Guevara posters, and smoking pot in bedsits listing to the sitar music of Ravi Shankar.

The movies all-star cast includes Martina Gedeck as Ulrike Meinhof, Moritz Bleibtreu as Andreas Baader, Johanna Wokalek as Gudrun Ensslin, and Alexandra Maria Lara as Petra Schelm. All of whom had already or were soon to appear in mainstream feature films like: The Lives of Others, Run Lola Run, The Good Shepherd, Pope Joan, North Face, Control, and Downfall.

The action begins with the 1967 Schah-Besuch mass street protest in Berlin against the Shah of Iran. Mohamed Reza Pahlavi’s supporters are depicted launching an unprovoked attack on the anti-Pahlavi elements, resulting in running battles and the shooting of Benno Ohnesorg in Krumme Strasse 66, by what appears to be a reactionary police officer, Karl-Heinz Kurras, but who was in reality a card-carrying member of the Communist Party acting as an undercover operative for the East German Stasi.

We are then treated to scenes where Maoist students hold packed meetings, intercut with footage of American warplanes strafing and bombing Vietnamese peasants. Rapidly followed by ‘Red’ Rudi Dutschke (3) of 2nd June Movement fame (named after the aforementioned riot) raising his clenched fist, the Messianic leader of the Gramscian ‘Long March through the Institutions’.

Dutschke is elevated to intellectual martyr status when he is mercilessly gunned down in the street by Josef Bachmann, portrayed by actor Tom Schilling, whose cinematic appearance is clearly meant to conjure images of a Hitler Youth or a die-hard Werewolf with a chronic nervous disposition. Which is ironic given that the Baader Meinhof gang and the various later incarnations of the Red Army Faction relied so heavily on a group linked to Heidelberg University, the Sozialistisches Patientiv Kollektiv (Socialist Patient Collective), an organization that sought to convince neurotics and the insane that they were not wrong, it was the system that was wrong, and social revolution was the cure.

‘Shooting is like fucking,’ screams Baader as Bernd Eichinger’s screenplay and Rainer Klausman’s hypnotic lens combine to present a seductive and fast paced cine-orgasm of free love, role model women for Second Wave feminism, cool people smoking cigarettes in coffee shops debating Marxist dialectics, driving around in BMWs, burning department stores, shooting up road signs, Robin Hood bank robbers sunning themselves topless in PLO training camps, liberating captives in a back glow of exploding gelignite and the swashbuckling rat-a-tat of 9mm shells.

Even the capture of Baader, Ensslin, and Meinhof for their egregious crimes are contextually ambiguous. Baader, in a scene more reminiscent of the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) than the original television footage of his stand-off with police; Meinhof, kicking and screaming in outrage, rather than the deflated, depressed, and played-out fantasist she was; and Ensslin, by pure chance, when a shop assistant notices a gun in her handbag. Another martyr is then injected into the story as Holger Meins (4) is depicted a la Bobby Sands (5), going on hunger strike and the subsequent trial in Stammheim (6), more Monty Python farce than a serious attempt to enact justice.

One is left in doubt as to where the audience’s sympathy is meant to lie. Especially, with our ever heroic protagonists making fun of the trial judges and gaining increasing support from those in attendance with their witty quips and stunning mind-games. Even The movie’s ending perpetuates the on-going myth that the ‘night of death’ was not triggered by the failure of the Mogadishu hijack (7) to negotiate their release but was in fact a pre-arranged multiple state murder made to look like simultaneous suicide. The movie culminating in a defiant cadre of young stern faced acolytes holding a graveside vigil, determined eyes set on continuing the struggle.

As a consequence, Christina Gerhardt writing in the Film Quarterly describes the movie thus: ‘During its 150 minutes, the film achieves action film momentum, bombs exploding, bullets spraying and glass shattering’. While Christopher Hitchens commenting in Vanity Fair refers to the movie’s ‘Uneasy relationship between sexuality and cruelty . . . an almost neurotic need to oppose authority’. A theme implied by Michael Bubach, son of Siegfried Bubach, the former Chief Federal prosecutor assassinated by the Red Army Faction in 1977, who’s summation of the feature pointed to the fact that the film ‘concentrates almost exclusively on portraying the perpetrators, which carries the danger that the viewer will identify too strongly with the protagonists’.

Examples of how this claim can be justified are so numerous that they would prove tedious to list. However, two personifications, beyond the central characters, stand out in particular, the first involving a chase sequence where Petra Schelm, portrayed by the beautiful Alexandra Maria Lara, is cornered and dies defiantly in a shoot-out with a horde of drone-like cops. The second is the murderous Brigitte Mohnhaupt, depicted by the stunning Naja Uhl, who is shown bedding Peter-Jurgen Boock, played by the teenage heart-throb actor Vinzenz Kiefer, before cold bloodedly slaughtering Siegried Bubach in his own home, organizing the ‘hit’ on Jurgen Ponto, Chairman of the Dresdner Bank of Directors, and the kidnap and murder of Hanns Martin Schleyer. Mohnhaupt, the leader of the second generation of the urban guerillas was also implicated in the 1981 attempt to kill NATO General Frederick Kroesen with a PRG-7 anti-tank missile. In fact, just the sort of unrepentant femme fatale we meet in her polar-opposite, the rightist Francesca Mambro in A Student Named Alexander, but who is treated in the diametrically opposite way.

In Enzo De Camillis’s 15 minute silver ribbon winning short, shown at the Roma Film Fest and lauded for its journalistic quality, the much maligned Mambro is portrayed by Valentina Carnelutti (8), who at least partially resembles Mambro. De Camillis, a blood relative of the Alexander in question, (so no conflict of interest there?) indicated his intent in making the movie was to ‘show young people what they do not know, to reflect on a period of history that should not be repeated’. So, following a showing at The House of Cinema to an audience of impressionable students, a discussion is initiated, moderated by Santo Della Volpe (9), who declares at the outset, that ‘The goal of the short is not to re-open old wounds or discussions on the years of lead (10), but to bring to light the issue of the victims that are set aside, of which we no longer speak’.

Really? Well, that is somewhat convenient given the long list of crimes committed by the Italian Brigate Rosse during the period in question. The most notorious being the ambush at Via Fani on the 16th March 1978 and the kidnap and murder of the President of the Christian Democrats, Aldo Moro. But it should also be remembered, especially given the context of De Camillis’s film, that the Left also killed activists from the right wing Italian Social Movement (MSI) and the University National Action group, like Miki Mantakas, murdered in Via Ottaviano in Rome in 1975, and Stephan and Virgilio Mattei, the sons of the MSI party District Secretary for Prati.

It is also a disingenuous claim given the vociferous presence of the Association of Families of victims of the massacre at Bologna train station of 2nd August 1980, whose demands echo down the decades through documentaries and dramas. The latter being the main event used to demonize Mambro and her then lover, now husband, Valerio Fioravanti (11). Although, they have long denied involvement in the Bologna attack, though freely admitting, like their Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (Armed Revolutionary Nuclei) NAR accomplices to other political killings, such as, the assassination of Judge Vittorio Occorsio (12) in 1976 and Magistrate Mario Amato (13) in 1980.

Fioravanti maintains that the bombing was the work of Libya, but the Italian government were reluctant to pursue that line of enquiry because of the state’s dependence on Libya’s oil and blamed neo-fascists instead. Mambro and Fioravanti also confessed to planning an attack on the then Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga (14), so one can hardly accuse them of hiding their intentions. When the initial 16 year prison term for Mambro was converted into house arrest in 1998, the Bologna Association’s President Paolo Bolognesi, described Mambro’s parole as ‘A disgrace. It is outrageous that this parole was granted to a terrorist who does not have the requirements, who was sentenced and has never expressed any feelings of detachment from her past’. This, despite the fact that the NAR, never claimed responsibility for the incident and there is substantive cause to believe that the Mafia Banda della Magliana gang (15) and prominent politician Licio Gelli’s (16) secretive Masonic Propaganda Due P2 Lodge (17) linked to the NATO’s Cold-War Operation Gladio architecture (18) had a hand in the incident.

The prosecution’s main witness against Mambro’s partner Fioravanti, Massimo Sparti, of the banda della Magliana, was even contradicted by his own son. ‘My father has lied about his part in the Bologna history’, he declared. Similarly the sinister presence of German terrorists Thomas Kram and Margot Frohlich, closely linked to both the PLO and Carlos the Jackal, who were in Bologna that very same day was never properly investigated. Coincidences like this and the possible link to the Ustica Massacre (19), when Aerolinea Itavia flight 870 was brought down by a missile, gave President Francesco Cossiga pause for thought, leading him to state on the 15th March 1991 that he felt the attribution of the Bologna Massacre to fascist activists may be based on misinformation supplied by the security services.

Returning to A Student named Alexander, unlike the Baader Meinhof Complex, the detail is nearly entirely on the victim, showing his cluttered bedroom, his journey by car to the art school in Piazza Risorgimento. No context is provided as to why Mambro and the NAR are robbing the Banca Nazionale on the 5th March 1982. Neither is reference made to the murder of her fellow MSI activists Franco Bigonzetti and Francesco Ciavatta, gunned down in the Acca Larentia by Left extremists, the Armed Squads for Contropotere Territorial, despite the fact that this led Mambro and her cohort to confront both their political opponents and the police in three days of shootings, stabbings and torching cars across Prenestino:

‘A few of us knew what this meant. Francesco Ciavatta was in our small circle. Our immediate reaction was shock, as if a relative had died. We looked at each other not knowing what to do. All around the city young militants flocked to us. The Italian Social Movement did not react. Kids like us were being used to keep order at meetings of Giorgi Almirante (20) , ready to take the blows and hit back . . . Acca Larentia marked the final break with the MSI . . . It could no longer be our home. For three days we shot at police and this marked the point of no return . . .’ — Francesca Mambro

Even, the circumstances of Alexander’s death are disputed. The movie depicts Mambro standing over the boy, firing into his head execution style, apparently mistaking him and his small umbrella for an armed plain clothes policeman. The counter argument is that he was killed in cross-fire as the NAR broke out of a police encirclement. A shoot out in which Mambro did not have in her possession the gun that was identified as the murder weapon and was herself very seriously wounded in the abdomen. She later recalls, hiding out in a garage, where a young doctor visits her and confirms ‘that it is only a matter of time . . . saying I could die . . .’

A discussion followed as to whether or not her compatriots should kill her there and then because she may talk under anesthetic but instead the NAR cell, led by Giorgio Vale (21), who went on later to found Terza Posizione (22), deposited her on the roadside outside an Emergency room.

When Mambro’s Rome based lawyer Amber Giovene challenged the authenticity of the way Mambro is depicted in the movie, claiming it ‘harmed her image’ she was met with a barrage of criticism. The case, overseen by prosecutor Barbara Sargent, was opened three months after the film opened and came like a bolt from the blue to the self-righteous director and the cultural association School of Arts and Entertainment. People in Bologna were whipped up into a state of frenzy, signing a petition in support of the film, which had already received a letter of commendation from the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. Expressions like censorship and statements like ‘You cannot stop a cultural work, you cannot stop history’, were bandied around with the usual air of moral indignation.

The 2013 Appeal notes relating to the accusation of defamation of Mambro’s character read: due to the benefit of the law, Francesca Mambro, who has never repented of her criminal and terrorist past, nor as ever wanted to work together to build the truth about serious events like the Bologna Massacre, will remain free. The request for the seizure of the short film is extremely serious because it sets a precedent on the freedom of cultural expression, journalism and news, and also because it opens the door to dangerous revisions and attempts to wipe clean historical memory’. The account continues: ‘A country without memory will never understand the present or the future’.

The double standards and contradictions exemplified in the differing responses to A Student Called Alexander and The Baader Meinhof Complex cannot be more stark. Memorialization of such actions are to be glamorized and mythologized if of the Left and censored and misrepresented if of the Right. The word revision is of itself loaded, implying an attempt to challenge supposedly known historical facts and is a term usually reserved for historians deviating from the legend of the Jewish Holocaust. Indeed, it seems that anything that transgresses the Left’s self-serving narrative is to be expunged, cast down the Orwellian memory hole, or twisted beyond all recognition.

Roberto Natale, the auteur of such movie classics as Kill Baby Kill and Terror Creatures from the Grave, also reiterated before his recent demise, that ‘there is a right and duty to tell. Art strengthens the record and citizens need to know. We journalists are on the side of those who stubbornly continue to speak against the custom in our country to silence uncomfortable voices, instead of being willing to speak. This short film has to circulate and be seen in schools, but not only in Rome’.

So, is the movie meant to educate or perpetuate the questionable conviction of Mambro for that specific crime? Be re-assured De Camillis states:

I tell you a story, I do not give you a political speech. I want to get out of games of this type. The short film I made for a number of reasons that I think are important. It is a warning to our politicians. Right now, if you do not listen to the needs of young people, you risk terrorism, perhaps we have already. We remember the riots in San Giovanni in Rome in October (23), the bullets that came in envelopes and the letter bombs.

Then specifically commenting on the release of Francesca Mambro, but of course not being invested in any way, De Camillis adds:

I will not even enter into legal issues because one relies on the judgment of the judiciary already formulated in 1985. But a citizen reflecting on the penalties imposed on others for far less serious offenses fully expatiated are still in prison. Mambro was guilty of 97 murders and was sentenced to nine life sentences. Yet, she walks outside, lives 400 meters from my house, and I may happen across her path by accident. There is a whisper that this story has resurfaced because of my family bonding and friendship with Alexander . . . Who was Alexander Caravillani? He was a boy of 17, he ran with the times, had a girlfriend, and harbored all the fantasies of a 17-year-old. He was not political, nor left or right. He passed in front of the bank, was simply crossing the street, going to school when he was shot, his short umbrella tumbling from his jacket, leading Mambro to believe he was a plain clothes policeman. Then she came back and put a bullet in his head. For that, she was sentenced to life imprisonment.

This is a story, he insists once again, to preserve the history of the years of lead.

And if that is indeed the case, why not tell the story of one of the murdered MSI Youth Front members, Sergio Ramelli, 18; Francesco Cechin, 19; and Paolo Di Nella, 20, contemporaries of Alexander Caravillani and Mambro, who met their deaths by beating, shooting, and stabbings from Leftist brigands like the Autonomus Workers in the late ’70s and early ’80s? But of course, that will never happen. It does fit their agenda.

On February 11th 2012, De Camillis in direct contradiction to his supposed non-political stance is quoted, ‘Today, the city of Rome is right’, referring to the ‘post fascist’ Mayor Gianni Alemanno (24), MSI Youth Front veteran and graduate of Campo Hobbit (25), who was elected in April 2008 to the sound of Fascist-era songs and shouts of ‘Duce’. ‘Who are those who have called me to present the short film?’ asked Camillis, ‘They are Alemanno’s allies, Berlusconi’s Il Popolo della Liberta (26) . . . When it all came out I was in silence and I decided to just promote it, as I always do. But in the face of this attack, I mean to defend it at all costs. It is a ‘cultural action’ like opposition to gagging journalists. This is a way to silence not only the news but also the authorship of the image’.

There is clearly no intention of admitting even the possibility of bias or inaccuracy. De Camillis and his people are intent on staking their claim to the moral high ground. The following day, Mambro’s lawyer responded: ‘I write in the name and on behalf of the my client Francesca Mambro about the article published yesterday . . . I understand the presentation of the short film flatters the author. But I do not understand the claim that Mambro came back and shot him in the head. I do not know if Mr. De Camillis’s draws from insider sources? Caravillani, unfortunately died in the firefight because a bouncing bullet caused his immediate death. A bullet from an assault rifle that Mambro had never had in her possession, either as she entered the bank or as the NAR shot their way out. The scene is constructed in a way that will definitively condemn Mambro’. When Caravillani was struck, the judges concluded, it was because the young man, after he had run, suddenly found himself in the trajectory of shots fired between the various agents . . . Unfortunately, even the trailers of the short graphically depict Mambro in the disputed manner, astride a guy lying on the ground, shooting the coup de grace . . . I am sure, that in the name of the need to preserve the memory of the years of lead, both you and the newspaper for which he writes would give an account of this correction’. My personal advice is not to hold your breath for a retraction. Smear and distortion is their modus operandi.

Sentenced, for the killing of 9 individuals between May 1980 and March 1982, and the alleged involvement in the massacre of the Bologna bombing on 2nd August 1980, Mambro served 16 years in prison. Sometimes sharing a cell with Anna Laura Braghetti (27), of the Brigate Rosse, then after 1998 home detention until the 16th September 2008 when she was granted parole on the basis of ‘repeated and tireless dedication to reconciliation and peace with the victims’ families (28). Parole was ended on September 16th 2013 when the sentence was disposed of . . .’

So to end has I began with a quote from a French man of letters, Alexandre Dumas (29), author of The Three Musketeers, ‘she is purely animal; she is the babooness of the Land of Nod; she is the female of Cain: Slay her!’ Or at least besmirch her reputation and disparage her cause so that no one will want to emulate her.

Notes

  1. Along with Edgar Allan Poe, Baudelaire identified counter enlightenment philosopher Joseph de Maistre as his maître a penser and adopted aristocratic views. He argued ‘There are but three things worthy of respect: the priest, the warrior and the poet. To know, to kill and to create . . .’
  2. Auguste Clesinger (1814-1883), French sculptor who created Bacchante, the Infant Hercules Strangling Snakes, Nereid, and Sappho, was an Officier de la Legion d’honneur.
  3. Rudi Dutschke (1940-1979), disciple of Rosa Luxemburg and critical Marxist, survived Josef Bachmann’s attack, but drowned as consequence of having an epileptic fit in the bath.
  4. Holger Meins, seized with Baader and Jan Carle-Raspe on the 1st June 1972, went on hunger strike, dying a mere 39kg in weight. He is a central character in the movie Moses und Aron by Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet (1974). Followed by a documentary about Meins called Starbuck — Holger Meins by Gerd Conradt (2002).
  5. Bobby Sands (1954-81), a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) died whilst on hunger strike in HM Maze Prison. During the course of his protest he was elected to the British Parliament as an Anti-H Block candidate. He has been depicted in various films including Some Mother’s Son (1996) and Hunger (2008) and is celebrated in songs like Christy Moore’s The People’s Own MP’.
  6. Stammheim is a high security prison in Stuttgart.
  7. Four militants of the Commando Martyr Halime hijacked Lufthansa flight 181 on the 13th October 1977. The plane was stormed in Somalia by GSG-9 elite counter-terrorism units in an operation code-named Feuerzauber (Fire Magic).
  8. Valentina Carnelutti was trained at the Theatre Active in Rome and the Mime Theatre Movement. She has also appeared in the movies Martina Singapore (1995), Ridley Scott’s Hannibal (2001) and The Best of Youth (2003).
  9. Santo Della Volpe is a professional journalist who covered the first Gulf War and is a managing editor on Italy’s TG3.
  10. The term “Years of Lead” was used to describe the socio-political turmoil in Italy between the 1960s to the 1980s. It is thought that the reference originated from a movie called Marianne and Julianne by Margarethe Von Trotta. The Italian title was Anni di Piombo, literally years of lead. A later linked feature called The German Sisters (1981) became a classic of new German cinema, sympathetic to Gudrun Ensslin and dedicated to women’s civil rights.
  11. Born in 1958, Giuseppe Valerio ‘Giusva’ Fioravanti, was a former child actor, who became a leader in the NAR and has been romantically linked with Mambro since 1979. While serving his prison sentence he made a documentary on Rome’s Rebibbia prison, Piccoli Ergastoli, Little Life Sentences (1997).
  12. Occorsio Vittorio (1929-1976) oversaw the trial of those indicted for the Piazza Fontana bombing.
  13. Maria Amato was an Italian magistrate assassinated by NAR member Gilberto Cavallini in 1980.
  14. Francesco Cossiga, Italy’s 42nd Prime Minister and 8th President between 1985-1992.
  15. The Banda della Magliana was a criminal network operating out of Lazio, named after the district from where most of their leaders originated. Their activities included the murder of the banker Roberto Calvi, the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi and the attack on John-Paul II.
  16. Licio Gelli, an Italian financier, heavily involved in the Banco Ambrosiano scandal and the venerable master of the P2 Lodge.
  17. The Propaganda Due (P2) Lodge was under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Italy implicated in numerous crimes and mysteries, often referred to as a ‘state within the state’.
  18. Operation Gladio was the code-name for NATO’s ‘stay behind’ activity should the Warsaw Pact mount an invasion of western Europe. The name Gladio came from the word gladius, a type of short Roman sword.
  19. The Ustica Massacre is still a subject of some controversy. Whether or not a French naval aircraft brought the plane down with a missile, or a bomb was set off in the toilet as evidenced by forensic experts, it is known that the Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffi was in the same airspace at the time. Linking the Ustica and Bologna incidents became common in some conspiracy circles.
  20. Giorgio Almirante (1914-1988) studied under Giovanni Gentile, the eminent pro-Fascist philosopher and wrote for the Rome-based fascist journal Il Tevere. He once described Julius Evola as ‘Our Marcuse, only better’. Almirante was suspected of safe-housing Carlo Cicuttini, a MSI leader in the Monfalcone area and later a member of the Ordine Nuovo, a suspect convicted in absentia for his part in the Peteano di Sagrado killings. Almirante and his rival Pino Rauti often clashed bitterly on the tactics and methodology used by the Italian Right.
  21. Giorgi Vale was killed in a shoot-out with police.
  22. The Terza Posizione emerged from the national student’s movement under Roberto Nistri, who was imprisoned from 1982 to the early 2000s.
  23. The San Giovanni Riots of the 15th October were violent street protests by Black Bloc Left extremists.
  24. Gianni Alemanno was born in Bari in 1958. He is a former secretary of the MSI’s Youth Wing, who entered the Chamber of Deputies representing Lazio, serving as Rome’s 63rd Mayor between 2008-2013 and a Minister of Agriculture under Silvio Berlusconi. He is married to Isabella Rauti, the daughter of Pino Rauti.
  25. Campo Hobbit was named after Catholic writer J. R. R. Tolkien’s first novel. It was an alternative cultural and musical ‘happening’ linked to Elemire Zolla who wrote The Arcana of Power 1960-2000. Held in various locations, the first in Montesarchio, it boasted its own Manifesto and became a ‘field school’ for the Italian New Right and thinkers like Pino Rauti and Marco Tarchi.
  26. Berlusconi’s Il Poplo della Liberta was closely aligned with Gianfranco Fini’s conservative National Alliance and Umberto Bossi’s Lega Nord.
  27. Anna Laura Braghetti owned the apartment where Aldo Moro was imprisoned. She is also the subject of her own book Prisoner which influenced Marco Bellocchio’s film Good Morning, Night (2003).
  28. Mambro currently works for the Italian NGO Hands off Cain, an association campaigning against the death penalty linked to the Libertarian Radical Party.
  29. Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870). It was said of Dumas, that his ‘tongue was like a windmill — once set in motion, you never knew when it would stop, especially if the theme was himself’ — Watts Phillips, English illustrator, playwright and novelist.

 

——————

Solère, Fenek. “Sisters of Salome: Femmes Fatales, Left & Right.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 7 May 2015. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/05/sisters-of-salome/ >.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative

Dostoevsky on Socialism – Lossky

Dostoevsky on Socialism

By Nikolai Onufriyevich Lossky

Translated by Mark Hackard

 

Translator’s Note: Philosopher Nikolai Onufriyevich Lossky (1870-1965) gives us a fine analysis of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s complex views on socialism. While Dostoevsky supported just economic arrangements for workers and the peasantry, he also vehemently rejected the atheism and materialism that underpinned so many socialist ideals. Russia’s great writer was truly a prophet, right down to foreseeing famine, cannibalism and the deaths of 100 million people that would characterize twentieth-century Communism. Let it be noted that the sponsors of this “experiment” were the forces of international capital, the same liberal oligarchs who control the West to this day.

***

“I could never understand the notion,” says Dostoevsky, “that only one-tenth of people should attain higher development, and the remaining nine-tenths should serve only as a means and material to that goal while themselves remaining in darkness. I don’t want to think and live in any way but with the faith that our ninety million Russians (or however many will be born) will all someday be educated, humanized and happy.”(Diary of a Writer, 1876, Jan.) In Dostoevsky’s notebooks, the thought of these unhappy nine-tenths of humanity is repeated many times. From the years of his youth to the end of his life, he was concerned over questions of social justice, the necessity of securing every person the means for developing a spiritual life, the protection of the dignity of the human person and a defense against arbitrary rule.

In his novels, Dostoevsky speaks much of the wounds inflicted upon man’s soul by the offenses resulting from social and economic inequality. In Diary of a Writer, he write much about the cruel force of capital, about a proletariat exhausted by poverty and labor, etc. Dolinin says that “Like a true follower of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky dreams of achieving harmony on earth through love,” but he himself “stirs up class struggle in his every stroke whenever he begins to speak of the oppressed past and present, in the West and in Russia.”

The most influential movement from the nineteenth century to our day, one that has tried to enact social justice in full measure, is socialism. And Dostoevsky’s attitude to socialism will be the subject of our chapter. Dostoevsky himself was a participant in the socialist movement as a member of Petrashevsky’s Circle, and for that he was almost subject to execution and endured eight years of hard labor and exile. Inasmuch as Dostoevsky spiritually matured, within him there developed an ever-growing hatred for that type of socialism which was most widespread from the second half of the nineteenth century up to our time, a hatred namely for revolutionary atheist socialism based upon a materialist worldview morally and religiously unfounded. For Dostoevsky the highest value was the individual human person and his free spiritual development. Yet revolutionary socialism focuses all its attention upon material goods and neither values the individual person nor cares for the freedom of spiritual life.

In Dostoevsky’s reading, the spiritual makeup of the bourgeois and the materialist socialist is homogeneous: both value material goods above all else. “The present socialism,” write Dostoevsky, “in Europe and here in Russia, removes Christ everywhere and cares foremost about bread, summons science and asserts that the reason for all human calamities is one – poverty, the struggle for existence, ‘society.’” These socialists, “in my observation, in their expectation of a future arrangement of society without personal property, love money terribly in the meantime and value it even to the extreme, but namely in accordance with the idea they attach to it.” (Dostoevsky’s wonderful letter to V.A. Alekseev on the three temptations offered by the devil to Christ, June 7th, 1876, No. 550)

Beforehand there was a moral formulation of the matter: “There were Fourierists and Cabetists, arguments and debates over various quite refined things. But now the leaders of the proletariat have already done away with all this” and the struggle is governed by the slogan, “Ote-toi de là que je m’y mette” (“Get out of here, I’m taking your place”). Any means therein are counted as permissible: the ringmasters of materialist socialism say they do not consider them, the bourgeoisie, capable of becoming brothers to the people, and therefore they simply move against them with force, while brotherhood is denied outright:

‘Brotherhood will be formed from the proletariat later, and you – you are one hundred million souls condemned to extermination and nothing more. You are finished for the sake of humanity’s happiness.’ Others among the ringmasters directly say that they need no brotherhood whatsoever, that Christianity is nonsense and that the future of humanity will be designed on a scientific basis. (Diary of a Writer, 1877 Feb.)

If the moral foundations of society’s structure are rejected, then social unity will prove unachieveable. “How shall you unite men,” asks Dostoevsky, answering Gradovsky with regard to the latter’s article containing criticism of the author’s Pushkin Speech, “to reach your civil goals if you have no basis in a great and initial moral idea?” Dostoevsky at once points to this initial great idea: all moral principles, he says, “are based upon the idea of personal absolute self-perfection ahead, in the ideal, for this holds everything within, all aspirations and all cravings, and, it would be, thence derive all of our civil ideals. Just try and unite men into a civil society with the only goal of ‘saving our tummies.’ You’ll get nothing but the moral formula of Chacun pour soi et Dieu pour tous. With such a formula, no civil institution will last long.” (Diary of a Writer, 1877, Feb.) On the contrary, Dostoevsky’s short formula composes the whole essence of the Christian worldview. The Christian ideal of personal absolute self-perfection leads to the Kingdom of God, in which every member loves God more than himself and all people created by God as himself.

Behavior is right only inasmuch as it consciously or instinctively is guided by such a love, with which is closely connected love for impersonal absolute values – truth, beauty, etc. Not only personal individual relations, but also social ties, any social hierarchy, and any social subordination and command carried out in good conscience, should in finality ascend to the ideal of absolute good under God. This notion was naively but correctly expressed by Dostoevsky’s Captain Lebyadkin, who responded after listening to the arguments of the atheists: “If there is no God, then what kind of captain am I after this!” (Demons) In Russian philosophical literature, thought on the religious basis of social life is especially well developed in Vladimir Soloviev’s The Justification of the Good and in S. Frank’s book The Spiritual Foundations of Society.

Atheist socialists, having rejected the idea of unselfish moral duty and counting the drive for advantage and self-preservation as man’s only motive of behavior, at the same time demand that the citizen of the future society renounce “rights to property, family and freedom.” “Man can only be so designed through terrible violence, his placement under dreadful systems of spying and the continuous control of a most despotic power.” (Diary of a Writer, 1877, Feb.) In a society deprived of the spiritual ideal, people are such that, “give them bread, and they will become enemies to each other out of boredom.” (Letters, No. 550) “Never shall they be able to allot amongst each other,” says the Grand Inquisitor, and even the bread acquired by them will turn to stone in their hands.

Dostoevsky compares the project of building a society without a moral foundation, a society based only on science and upon imaginary scientific axioms like “the struggle for existence,” to the construction of the Tower of Babel; attempting to design something along the lines of an anthill, men will not create wealth, but rather will come to such ruin as to end in cannibalism. (1877, November) In Demons Shigalev developed the program for his anthill. “Proceeding from limitless freedom, I conclude,” he says, “with unlimited despotism.” Pyotr Verkhovensky relates that “he has every member of his [secret] society watching over the other and obligated to inform.” “All are slaves and in slavery are equal. In extreme cases, slander and murder, but mainly equality.”

Shigalev’s project seemed a caricature created through Dostoevsky’s antipathy toward atheist socialism. Now, however, we must admit that the Bolshevik Revolution enacted the Shigalev system and even very likely surpassed it. In Bolshevik socialism, spying has been reached the point that parents and children often do not trust one another. The Bolshevik despotism is more multidimensional and petty than the despotism of some African potentate; slander and murder are applied on the widest scale. There is not the slightest freedom of conscience under the Bolsheviks (for a teacher there is not even freedom of silence on religious matters), nor is there freedom of thought, freedom of print or legal guarantees defending the individual from arbitrary rule; the exploitation of workers by the state is carried out to a degree undreamed of by capitalists under the bourgeois regime.

Dostoevsky insistently repeats that revolutionary atheist socialism will lead to such devastation as to bring about anthropophagy. His prophecy was realized literally: in the USSR there were at least two periods of cannibalism, in 1920-21 as a result of famine caused by “War Communism,” and in 1933 as a result of famine caused by the rapid shift from individual agriculture to collective farms. A shocking picture of cases of cannibalism can be found in Soviet literature, such as in Vyacheslav Ivanov’s short story “Empty Arapia,” for example.

Conceiving clearly by which paths it’s likely impossible to arrive at the establishment of social justice, Dostoevsky himself neither developed a specific positive ideal of social order, nor did he adopt one from other thinkers. In 1849 during his interrogation, Dostoevsky confessed that socialist “systems,” just as Fourier’s system, did not satisfy him, but alongside this announced that he considered the ideas of socialism, under the condition of their peaceful achievement, “sacred and moral, and most importantly universal, the future law of humanity without exception.” Such a conviction Dostoevsky preserved until the end of his days. This is clearly visible from his article on the occasion of the death of George Sand in 1876. With deep emotion, Dostoevsky touchingly speaks of George Sand’s socialism, which was seeking to secure the spiritual freedom of the individual and was founded upon moral principles, “not upon the necessity of the anthill.” (1876, June) But at this time of his life, Dostoevsky required that social order definitively was based on Christ’s testament. He wrote to V.A. Alekseev in June of 1876:

Christ knew that by bread alone, one cannot bring man to life. If there will be no spiritual life, the ideal of Beauty, then man will languish and die, he will go mad and kill himself or descend into pagan fantasies. And as Christ in Himself and in His Word bore the ideal of Beauty, He then decided it better to imbue in souls the ideal of Beauty; having this at heart, all men will become brothers to one another and then, of course, working for one another, they will be wealthy. (No. 550)

Dostoevsky was by all appearances a supporter of a type of “Christian socialism,” but he says nothing specific about its economic and legal structure. He has only one mystical-economic position announced by him through the name of some kind of interlocutor of his, the “paradoxalist,” and it is a position he obviously approves. “A nation should be born and rise, in its vast majority, on the soil from which the bread and trees grow.”

In the land, in the soil, there is something sacramental. If you want humanity to be reborn for the better, almost making men from beasts, then endow them with land, and you shall achieve your aim. At the very least we have the land and the commune.

Speaking on France, the paradoxalist directly clarifies his thinking: “In my opinion, work in a factory: the workshop is also a legitimate business and will always be born alongside already cultivated land – such is its law. But let every worker know that he has somewhere a garden under the golden sun and grapevines, his own, or more likely, a communal garden, and that in this garden lives his wife, a glorious woman, not one picked up off the road.” “Let him at least know that there his children will grow with the earth, with the trees, and with the quail they catch; that they are at school, and school is in the field; and that he himself, having worked enough in his age, will arrive there to rest, and then to die.” The bases for development of such a system he located in Russia. “The Russian factory worker has still kept a connection with the countryside, and the Russian peasantry has the village commune.” (Diary of a Writer, 1876, July-August)

As is known, love for the village commune among Russian populists was tied to the dream that the habit of communal land ownership would ease the enactment of socialism for the Russian people. This dream was hardly reasonable, as land in the village commune was divided into plots cultivated by each family individually. At the present time under the Bolshevik regime, the shift from a family’s individual work over a delegated plot of land to the collective labor of the kolkhoz in communal fields is being accomplished extremely painfully.

Besides notions of each man’s connection to the land, Dostoevsky also has many considerations on a just social order, but they all concern only the moral and religious conditions for the appearance and preservation of such an order; on its actual structure he provides no information.

In the West, Dostoevsky says in his “Winter Notes on Summer Impressions,” liberty, equality and fraternity are declared as principles upon which life should be built. But where the bourgeoisie holds power, freedom is in the possession of the millionaire: he does as he wishes, and those without any millions are at their mercy. Such criticism of the bourgeois regime is expressed in various forms by Marxists and especially Bolsheviks. And Dostoevsky recognizes that in the capitalist system, freedom provided by the law to the citizen remains without the possibility of its realization among those classes of the populace who do not have the material means to enjoy it.

Dostoevsky characterizes the equality that concerns people in modern society as envious: it is comprised of the wish to degrade those spiritually superior. (Diary of a Writer, 1877, February) Instead of fraternity, Dostoevsky finds everywhere only fighting for one’s own equal value; genuine brotherhood, meanwhile, exists where the ego sacrifices itself for society, and society itself gives over all rights to the person. Such a genuine brotherhood exists foremost where internal freedom is achieved through overcoming one’s will, and there will be a noble equality free from envy for others’ spiritual gifts. In a society guided by such principles, there is no necessity to sacrifice all one’s property for the common benefit, even more so as even the renunciation of property by all the rich would be only “a drop in the sea” and would not destroy poverty.

One must do “what the heart orders.” If the heart “orders you to give away your estate, then give it away,” but there is no need for dressing up in homespun coats or adopting the “simple life” for this; “it is better to raise a peasant to your level of refinement.” “Only your resolve to do everything for the sake of active love is obligatory and important.” “We must be concerned more about light, the sciences and strengthening love. Then wealth will grow as a matter of fact, and genuine wealth.” Dostoevsky calls such a solution to the social question the Russian solution; it is based on the Christian ideal of life, and he considers the spirit of the Russian people that developed Russian Orthodoxy to be Christian in its preponderance. (Diary of a Writer, 1877, February)

Having become acquainted in Dostoevsky’s Pushkin Speech with similar thoughts of his on the conditions for resolving the social question, Professor Gradovsky penned a critical article; he said that Dostoevsky put forth a “mighty propagation of personal morality, but no hint of social ideals.” In other words, Gradovsky understood Dostoevsky as a follower of the notion that only “personal improvement in the spirit of Christian love” is needed, while forms of social order are irrelevant, for kind and loving people will fill any social form with good content.

Such a unidimensional social philosophy exists. In this sphere, there are two opposed doctrines. According to one, all of man’s shortcomings, his vices and crimes, are conditioned upon the imperfection of the social structure; it stands to perfect the social structure, and man’s behavior will become good. According to the other doctrine, quite to the contrary, correct behavior both in individual and social relations depends only upon personal morality, and forms of social order are irrelevant. Dostoevsky harshly rejected the first of these one-dimensional theories, and Gradovsky assumed that he must have been a representative of the opposite and also unidimensional doctrine. Vladimir Soloviev termed this one-sidedness “abstract subjectivism in morality.” In The Justification of the Good, he clearly and convincingly proves that subjective good is insufficient, and in addition a “collective incarnation” of good made from the perfection of the social order is necessary – and so human society would become “organized morality.” The state is never solely comprised of good people, and therefore it is necessary to organize such a social order that would promote the restraint of evil and the achievement of good.

Like Pushkin, Dostoevsky strikes us not only with the force of his artistic creation, but also with the force of his mind. Therefore it’s difficult to permit that he fell into such a crude unidimensional theory of “abstract subjectivism.” And he in fact was indignant over Gradovsky’s criticism and wrote him an answer in Diary of a Writer, in which he attempted to prove that he was free from the one-sidedness ascribed to him. Nonetheless, Dostoevsky is interpreted as a proponent of abstract subjectivism in our time, as well. We shall examine this question in detail.

Answering Gradovsky, Dostoevsky clearly says that religious and moral ideas, along with the improvement tied to them, serve as a point of departure in the search for a corresponding organization of society: due to these ideals, men will begin to search for “how they should organize themselves to preserve the jewel of great value they received, not losing anything from it, and find such a civil formula of common living that would help them advance to all the world the moral treasure they’ve obtained in all its glory.”

If the spiritual ideal of any nation begins to “shake and weaken,” alongside it “the entire civic rule” collapses. (1880, August) Not only that, even with the existence of well-organized social forms, morally unsuitable men contrive in certain cases to find the means to bypass the law and distort the spirit of social forms, from which, of course, it does not follow that these forms have no meaning. Dostoevsky therefore resolves to say that personal improvement is “not only the beginning of everything,” “but the continuation of everything and its outcome.” (Ibid) However tempting it may be to interpret these words in the spirit of abstract subjectivism, we must remember that they were written in the response to Gradovsky, where Dostoevsky removes himself from the professor’s reproach over one-sidedness, and by these words he only wants to express the notion that “social and civic ideals” are connected “organically to moral ideals,” and that it is impossible to divide them into “two halves” isolated from one another. (Ibid)

Consequently, Dostoevsky did not deny the necessity of a certain ideal of just social organization. Without a doubt, he had such an ideal or was searching for it. In which direction? By all appearances and as in his youth, in the direction of socialism, though neither revolutionary nor atheist, but Christian. As has been said, he hoped like the populists that a perfected order would evolve from the Russian village commune. He considered it necessary that every worker, and especially his wife and children, keep their ties to the land and have a garden, whether personal or communal. Especially valuing freedom, he was confident that the social ideals developed by Russia and deriving from “Christ and individual self-perfection” would be “more liberal” than those of Europe. (Ibid)

Dostoevsky also considers possible the preservation of property rights, and apparently even land and production rights, in the future order. It will be said, of course, “What kind of socialism is this?” In answering, we will remind the reader that there exist attempts to develop the ideal of a socialist order in which the right of personal property to the means of production would be preserved, though subjected to legal restrictions, due to which the economy would serve not the goal of personal enrichment, but the needs of society and the state. We shall point, for an example, to the work of Professor S. Gessen, “The Problem of Legal Socialism.” (Contemporary Notes, 1924-1928) One hardly has to keep the word socialism for signifying such a complex social order that combines valuable, practicable dimensions of the socialist ideal with valuable dimensions of individual management. However, we will not argue over words. It is only important that the creative efforts of many states such as the United States and Great Britain are directed toward the development of such a complex social order.

Looking at how difficult this process of developing a new system is and what kind of special knowledge, both theoretical and practical, it demands, we fully understand why Dostoevsky has no defined teaching on it. As a religious thinker and moralist, he confidently spoke of the religious and moral bases of a just order, but as a man of extraordinary intellect, he understood perfectly well that to elaborate a concrete doctrine on a new economic system and its legal forms was a matter for politico-economic specialists and practical social agents. Besides that, the actualization of these problems was premature in his time. Only fifty years after his death, due to the extreme primacy of technology, the rationalization of production, and the ever-decreasing number of workers needed for physical labor, the development of a new economic system became urgently necessary.

We examined Dostoevsky’s most important literary creations and became acquainted with his thoughts on central questions of worldview. Everywhere with him, we found as the basis Christ and His two commandments that compose the essence of Christianity – love for God more than for oneself and love for one’s neighbor as oneself. Therefore, we can call his worldview authentically Christian.

—————

Lossky, Nikolai Onufriyevich. “Dostoevsky on Socialism [Parts I and II].” The Soul of the East, 30 May & 7 June 2014. <http://souloftheeast.org/2014/05/30/dostoevsky-on-socialism-pt-i/ >; <http://souloftheeast.org/2014/05/30/dostoevsky-on-socialism-pt-i/ >.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative

Study of Sombart – Varsanyi

A Study of Werner Sombart’s Writings by Nicholas A. Varsanyi (PDF – 8.4 MB):

A Study of Werner Sombart’s Writings

————

Varsanyi, Nicholas A. A Study of Werner Sombart’s Writings. Ph.D. Thesis, Montreal, McGill University, 1963. File originally retrieved from: <http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=115298&local_base=GEN01-MCG02 >.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative

Jünger: Figure of the Worker Between Gods & Titans – Benoist

Ernst Jünger: The Figure of the Worker Between the Gods & the Titans

By Alain de Benoist

Translated by Greg Johnson

 

Armin Mohler, author of the classic Die Konservative Revolution in Deutschland 1918-1933, wrote regarding Ernst Jünger’s The Worker (Der Arbeiter) and the first edition of The Adventurous Heart: “To this day, my hand cannot take up these works without trembling.” Elsewhere, describing The Worker as an “erratic bloc” in the midst of Jünger’s works, he states: “The Worker is more than philosophy, it is a work of poetry.”[1] The word is apt, above all if we admit that that all true poetry is foundational, that it simultaneously captures the world and unveils the divine.

A “metallic” book—one is tempted to use the expression “storm of steel” to describe it—The Worker indeed possesses a genuinely metaphysical quality that takes it well beyond the historical and especially political context in which it was born. Not only has its publication marked an important day in the history of ideas, but it provides a theme of reflection that runs like a hidden thread throughout Jünger’s long life.

I.

Ernst Jünger was born on March 28th, 1895 in Heidelberg.[2] Jünger went to school in Hannover and Schwarzenberg, in the Erzgebirge, then in Brunswick and finally in Hannover again, as well as the Scharnhorst Realschule in Wunstorf. In 1911 he joined the Wunstdorf section of the Wandervogel.[3] That same year published his first poem, “Unser Leben,” in their local journal. In 1913 at the age of 16, he left home. His escapade ended in Verdun, where he joined the French Foreign Legion. A few months later, after a brief sojourn in Algeria, where his training began at Siddi bel Abbes, his father was able to persuade him to return to Germany. He resumed his studies at the Hannover Guild Institute, where he became familiar with the works of Nietzsche.

The First World War broke out on August 1st, 1914. Jünger volunteered on the first day. Assigned to the 73rd regiment of fusiliers, he received his marching orders on October 6th. On December 27th, he left for the front in Champagne. He fought at Dorfes-les-Epargnes, at Douchy, at Moncy. He became squad leader in August 1915, sub-lieutenant in November, and from April 1916 underwent officer training at Croisilles. Two months later, he took part in the engagements on the Somme, where he was twice wounded. Upon his return to the front in November, with the rank of lieutenant, he was wounded again near Saint-Pierre-Vaast. On December 16th he received the Iron Cross First Class. In February 1917, he became Stosstruppfuehrer (leader of an assault battalion). This is when the war bogged down while the human costs became terrifyingly immense. The French prepared Nivelle’s bloody and useless offensive on the Chemin des Dames. At the head of his men, Jünger fought hand to hand in the trenches. Endless battles, new wounds: in July on the front in Flanders, and also in December. Jünger was decorated with the Knight’s Cross of the Oder of the Hohenzollerns. During the offense of March 1918, he again led assault troops. He was wounded. In August, another wound, this time near Cambrai. He ended the war in a military hospital, having been wounded fourteen times! That earned him the Cross Pour le merite, the highest award in the German army. Only twelve subaltern officers of the ground forces, one the future Marshal Rommel, received this decoration during the whole First World War.

“One lived for the Idea alone.”

Between 1918 and 1923, in the barracks at Hannover, Jünger began to write his first books, inspired by his experiences at the front. In Storms of Steel (In Stahlgewittern), first published in 1919 by the author and in a new edition in 1922, was an immediate success. There followed Battle as Inner Experience (Der Kampf als inneres Erlebnis) (1922), Copse 125: A Chronicle from the Trench Warfare of 1918 (Das Wäldchen 125) (1924), and Fire and Blood (Feur und Blut) (1925). Very quickly, Jünger was recognized as one of the most brilliant writers of his generation, even though, as Henri Plard points out in “The Career of Ernst Jünger, 1920–1929,” in Germanic Studies, April–June 1978), he first became known primarily as a specialist in military problems thanks to articles on modern warfare published in Militär-Wochenblatt.

But Jünger did not feel at home in a peacetime army. It no longer offered adventure of the Freikorps. In 1923 he left the Reichswehr and entered Leipzig University to study biology, zoology, and philosophy. On August 3rd, 1925 he married the 19 year old Gretha von Jeinsen. She gave him two children: Ernst in 1926 and Alexander in 1934.

At same time, his political ideas matured thanks to the veritable cauldron of agitation among the factions of German public opinion: the disastrous Treaty of Versailles, which the Weimar Republic had accepted without batting an eye at any of its clauses, was everywhere felt to be an unbearable Diktat. In the space of a few months Jünger had become one of the principal representatives of the national-revolutionary movement, an important part of the Conservative Revolution which extended to the “left” with the National Bolshevik movement rallying primarily around Ernst Niekisch.

Jünger’s political writings appeared during the central period of the Republic (the “Stresemann era”), a provisional period of respite and apparent calm which ended in 1929. He would later say: “One lived for the Idea alone.”[4]

Initially, his ideas were expressed in journals. In September 1925, a former Freikorps leader, Helmut Franke, who has just published a book entitled Staat im Staate (Berlin: Stahlhelm, 1924), launched the journal Die Standarte which set out to “contribute towards a spiritual deepening of the thought of the Front.” Jünger was on the editorial board, along with another representative of “soldatic nationalism,” the writer Franz Schauwecker, born in 1890. Initially published as a supplement of the weekly magazine Der Stahlhelm, the organ of the association of war veterans also called Stahlhelm,[5] directed by Wilhelm Kleinau, Die Standarte had a considerable circulation: approximately 170,000 readers. Between September 1925 and March 1926, Jünger published nineteen articles there. Helmut Franke signed his contributions with the pseudonym “Gracchus.” The whole anti-revolutionary young right published there: Werner Beumelburg, Franz Schauwecker, Hans Henning von Grote, Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz, Goetz Otto Stoffregen, etc.

In Die Standarte Jünger immediately adopted a quite radical tone, very different from that of most Stahlhelm members. In an article published in October 1925, he criticized the theory of the “stab in the back” (Dolchstoss), which was accepted by almost all nationalists, namely that the German army was not defeated at the front but by a “stab in the back” at home. Jünger also emphasized that certain revolutionaries of the far left had fought with distinction in the war.[6] Remarks of this kind caused a violent uproar. Quickly, the leaders of Stahlhelm moved to distance themselves from the young writer who had agitated their side.

In March 1926 Die Standarte was closed. But it was revived a month later under the abridged name Standarte with Jünger, Schauwecker, Kleinau, and Franke as co-editors. At this time, the ties with Stahlhelm were not entirely severed: the old soldiers continued to indirectly finance Standarte. Jünger and his friends reaffirmed their revolutionary calling. On June 3rd, 1926, Jünger published an appeal to all former front soldiers to unite for the creation of a “nationalist workers’ republic,” a call that found no echo.[7]

In August, at the urging of Otto Hörsing, co-founder of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot Gold, the Social Democrats’ security force, the government, using the pretext of an article about Walther Rathenau, banned Standarte for five months. Because of this, Franz Seldte the leader of Stahlhelm “decommissioned” its chief editor, Helmut Franke. In solidarity, Jünger quit, and in November the two, along with Wilhelm Weiss, became the editors of another journal, Arminius. (Standarte, under different editorship, continued until 1929.)

En 1927, Jünger left Leipzig for Berlin, where he formed close ties with former Freikorps members and with the young “bündisch” movement. The latter, oscillating between military discipline and a very firm esprit de corps, tried to reconcile the adventurous romanticism of the Wandervogel with a more hierarchical, communitarian mode of organization. In particular, Jünger was closely connected to Wer­ner Lass, born in Berlin in 1902, who in 1924 had been the founder, with the old leader of the Rossbach Freikorps unit, of the Schilljugend (a youth movement named for major Schill, who was killed during the struggle for liberation against Napoleon’s occupation). In 1927, Lass left Rossbach and lauched Frei­schar Schill, a bündisch group of which Jünger rapidly became the mentor (Schirmherr). From October 1927 to March 1928, Lass and Jünger collaborated to publish the journal Der Vormarsch, created in June 1927 by another famous Freikorps leader, captain Ehrhardt.

“Losing the War to Win the Nation”

During this time Jünger had a number of literary and philosophical influences. During the war, the experience of the front enabled him to resolve the triple influence of such late 19th century French writers as Huysmans and Léon Bloy, of a kind of expressionism that still shows up clearly in Battle as Inner Experience and especially in the first version of The Adventurous Heart, and of a kind of Baudelairian dandyism clearly present in Sturm, an early novel recently published.[8]

Armin Mohler likens the young Jünger to the Barrès of Roman de l’Energie nationale: for the author of the Battle as Inner Experience, as for that of Scenes et doctrines du nationalisme, nationalism, a substitute religion, a mode of enlarging and strengthening the soul, results above all from a deliberate choice, the decisionist aspect of this orientation rising from the collapse of standards after the outbreak of the First World War.

The influence of Spengler and Nietzsche is also evident. In 1929, in an interview given to an English journalist, Jünger defined himself as a “disciple of Nietzsche,” stressing that Nietzsche was the first to challenge the fiction of an abstract universal man, “sundering” this fiction into two concrete, diametrically opposed types: the strong and the weak. In 1922 Jünger passionately read the first volume of The Decline of the West, then the second volume as soon as it was released in December of the same year, when he wrote Sturm.

However, as we shall see, Jünger was no passive disciple. He was far from following Nietzsche and Spengler in the totality of their positions. The decline of the west in his eyes was not an inescapable fate; there were other alternatives than simply acquiescing to the reign of “Caesars.” In the same way, if Jünger adopts Nietzsche’s questioning, it was first and foremost to bring it to an end.

Ultimately, the war represented the strongest influence. Jünger initially drew the lesson of agonism from it. The war must cause passion, but not hatred: the soldier on the other side of the trenches is not an incarnation of evil, but a simple figure of momentary adversity. It is because there is no absolute enemy (Feind), but only an adversary (Gegner), that “combat is always something holy.” Another lesson is that life is nourished by death and vice-versa: “The most precious knowledge that one acquired from the school of the war,” Jünger would write, “is that life, in its most secret heart, is indestructible” (Das Reich, I, October 1, 1930, 3).

Granted, the war had been lost. But in virtue of the principle of the equivalence of contraries, this defeat also demanded a positive analysis. First, defeat or victory is not the most important issue of the war. Fundamentally activistic, the national revolutionist ideology professes a certain contempt of goals. One does not fight to attain victory, one fights to make war. Moreover, Jünger claimed, “the war is less a war between nations, than a war between different kinds of men. In all the nations that took part in that war, there are both victors and vanquished” (Battle as Inner Experience).

Better yet, defeat can become the ferment of a victory. It represents the very condition of this victory. As the epigraph of his book Aufbruch der Nation (Berlin: Frundsberg, 1930), Franz Schauwecker used this stunning phrase: “It was necessary for us to lose the war to win the nation.” Perhaps remembering the words of Léon Bloy, “All that happens is worthy,” Jünger also says: “Germany was vanquished, but this defeat was salutary because it contributed to the destruction of the old Germany. . . . It was necessary to lose the war to win the nation.”

Defeated by the allied coalition, Germany will be able to return to herself and change in a revolutionary way. The defeat must be accepted as a means of transmutation: in a quasi-alchemical way, the experience of the front must be “transmuted” in a new experience of the life of the nation. Such is the base of “soldatic nationalism.”

It was in the war, Jünger continues, that German youth acquired “the assurance that the old paths no longer lead anywhere, and that it is necessary to blaze new ones.” An irreversible rupture (Umbruch), the war abolished all old values. Any reactionary attitude, any desire to retrogress, became impossible. The energy that had been unleashed in a specific fight of and for the fatherland, can from now on serve the fatherland in another form. The war, in other words, furnished the model for the peace. In The Worker, one reads: “The battle front and the Labor front are identical” (p. 109).

The central idea is that the war, superficially meaningless though it may appear, actually has a deep meaning. This cannot be grasped by rational investigation but only by feeling (ahnen). The positive interpretation that Jünger gives war is not, contrary to what is too often asserted, primarily dependent on the exaltation of “warrior values.” It proceeded from a political concern to find a purpose for which the sacrifice of the dead soldiers could no longer be considered “useless.”

From 1926 onwards, Jünger called tirelessly for the formation of an united front of nationalist groups and movements. At the same time, he sought—without notable success—to change them. For Jünger too, nationalism must be alchemically “transmuted.” It must be freed of any sentimental attachment to the old right and become revolutionary. It must take note of the decline of the bourgeois world apparent in the novels of Thomas Mann (Die Buddenbrooks) or Alfred Kubin (Die andere Seite).

From this point of view, what is essential is the fight against liberalism. In Arminius and Der Vormarsch, Jünger attacks the liberal order symbolized by the literati, the humanistic intellectuals who support an “anemic” society, the cynical internationalists whom Spengler sees as the true authors of the November Revolution and who claimed that the millions who perished in the Great War died for nothing.

But at the same time, he stigmatizes the “bourgeois tradition” invoked by the nationalists and the members of the Stahlhelm, these “petit bourgeois (Spiessbürger) who, because of the war, slipped into a lion’s skin” (Der Vormarsch, December 1927). Tirelessly, he took on the Wilhelmine spirit, the worship of the past, the taste of the pan-Germanists for “museology” (musealer Betrieb). In March 1926, he coined the term “neonationalism,” which he opposed to the “grandfather nationalism” (Altvaternationalismus).

Jünger defended Germany, but for him the nation is much more than a country. It is an idea: Germany is everywhere that this idea inflames the spirit. In April 1927, in Arminius Jünger takes an implicitly nominalist position: he states that he no longer believes in any general truths, any universal morals, any notion of “mankind” as a collective being everywhere sharing the the same conscience and the same rights. “We believe,” he says, “in the value of the particular” (Wir glauben an den Wert des Besonde­ren).

At a time when the traditional right preached individualism against collectivism, when the völkisch groups were enthralled with the return to the earth and the mystique of “nature,” Jünger exalted technology and condemned the individual. Born from bourgeois rationality, he explains, in Arminius, all-powerful technology has now turned against those who engendered it. The more technological the world becomes, the more the individual disappears; neonationalism must be the first to learn this lesson. Moreover, it is in the great cities “that the nation will be won”: for the national-revolutionists, “the city is a front.”

Around Jünger a “Berlin group” soon formed, where representatives of various currents of the Conservative Revolution met: Franz Schauwecker and Helmut Franke; the writer Ernst von Solomon; the Nietzschean anti-Christian Friedrich Hielscher, editor of Das Reich; the neoconservatives August Winnig (whom Jünger first met in the autumn of 1927 via the philosopher Alfred Baeumler) and Albrecht Erich Günther, co-editor with Wilhelm Stapel of Deutsches Volkstum; the national-Bolsheviks Ernst Niekisch and Karl O. Paetel; and of course Friedrich Georg Jünger, Ernst Jünger’s younger brother, who was also a recognized theorist.

Friedrich Georg Jünger, whose own development is of great importance to that of his elder brother, was born in Hanover on September 1, 1898. His career closely paralleled his brother’s. He too volunteered for the Great War; in 1916 he saw combat on the Somme and became the leader of his squad. In 1917 he was seriously wounded on the front in Flanders and spent several months in military hospitals. He returned to Hanover at the end of the hostilities, and after a brief period as a lieutenant in the Reichswehr, in 1920 he decided to study law, defending his doctoral dissertation in 1924.

From 1926 on, he regularly contributed articles to the journals in which his brother collaborated: Die Standarte, Arminius, Der Vormarsch, etc., and published in the collection Der Aufmarsch, edited by Ernst Jünger, a short essay entitled “Aufmarsch des Nationalismus” (Der Aufmarsch, Foreword by Ernst Jünger, Berlin, 1926; 2nd ed., Berlin: Vormarsch, 1928). He was influenced by Nietzsche, Sorel, Klages, Stefan George, and Rilke, whom he frequently quoted and to whom he dedicated a volume of his own poetry. The first study published on him, Franz Josef Schöningh, “Friedrich Georg Jünger und der preussische Stil,” in Hochland, February 1935, 476–77, connects him to the “Prussian style.”

In April 1928, Ernst Jünger entrusted the editorship of Der Vormarsch to his friend Friedrich Hielscher. Hielscher edited Der Vormarsch for a few months, after which the journal, published by Fritz Söhlmann, came under the control of the Jungdeutscher Orden (Jungdo) and took a completely different direction. On Hielscher, to whom he was very attached (and whom he called “Bodo” or “Bogo” in its notebooks), Jünger once said that he presented a curious “mixture of rationalism and naïveté.”

Born on May 31st, 1902 in Guben, after the Great War he joined the Freikorps, then he became involved in the bündisch movement, in particular the Freischar Schill of Werner Lass. In 1928, he published a doctoral thesis, Die Selbstherrlichkeit [Self-glory] (Berlin: Vormarsch, 1928), in which he sought to define the foundations of a German right based on Nietzsche, Spengler, and Max Weber. Moreover, he was, along with his friend Gerhard von Tevenar, passionate about “European social-regionalism” and sought to coordinate the actions of regionalist and separatist movements to create a “Europe of the fatherlands” on a federal model. Also influenced by the thought of Eriugena, Meister Eckart, Luther, Shakespeare, and Goethe, he wrote a “political theology of the Empire” entitled Das Reich (Berlin: Das Reich, 1931) and founded a small neopagan church that sometimes brought him closer to the völkisch movement.

Under the Third Reich, Hielscher played a directing role in the research services of the Ahnenerbe, while he and his students maintained close contact with the “inner emigration.” The Hitlerian regime reproached him in particular for “philosemitism” (cf. Das Reich, p. 332), ordering his arrest in September 1944. Thrown in prison, Hielscher escaped death only because of the intervention of Wolfram Sievers. After the war Hielscher published his autobiography Funfzig Jahre unter Deutschen [Fifty Years under Germans] (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1954), but the majority of its writings (the “liturgy” of his neopagan church, a verse version of the Nibelungenlied, etc.) remain unpublished. On its role in resistance against Hitler, see Rolf Kluth, “Die Widerstandgruppe Hielscher” [“The Hielscher Resistance Group”], Puis, December 7, 1980, 22–27.

A few months later, in January 1930, Jünger became co-editor with Werner Lass of Die Kommenden [The Coming], the weekly newspaper founded five years before by the writer Wilhelm Kotzde, who then had a great influence over the bündisch youth movement, particularly the tendency that had evolved toward National Bolshevism, with Hans Ebeling and especially Karl O. Paetel, who simultaneously collaborated on Die Kommenden, as well as Die sozialistische Nation [The Socialistic Nation] and Antifaschistische Briefe [Anti-Fascist Letters].

Regarded as one of the principal representatives, with Ernst Niekisch, of German National Bolshevism, Karl O. Paetel was born in Berlin on November 23rd, 1906. Bündisch, then national revolutionary, he adopted National Bolshevism about 1930. From 1928 to 1930 he edited the monthly magazine Das junge Volk [The Young People]. From 1931 to 1933 he published the journal Die sozialistische Nation.

Imprisoned several times after Hitler’s rise to power, in 1935 Paetel went to Prague, then Scandinavia. In 1939, he was stripped of his German nationality and condemned to death in absentia. Interned in French concentration camps between January and June 1940, he escaped, reached Portugal, and finally settled in New York in January 1941.

In the United States, he publishes from 1946 on the newspaper Deutsche Blatter [German Pages]. The same year, with Carl Zuckmayer and Dorothy Thompson, published a collection of documents on the “inner emigration”: Deutsche innere Emigration. Dokumente und Beitrage. Anti­nationalsozialistische Zeugnisse aus Deutschland [German Inner Emigration. Documents and Contributions. Anti-National Socialist Testimonies from Germany] (New York: Friedrich Krause, 1946).

He also devoted several essays to Jünger: Ernst Jünger. Die Wandlung eines deutschen Dichters und Patrio­ten [Ernst Jünger: The Transformation of a German Poet and Patriot] (New York: Friedrich Krause, 1946); Ernst Jünger. Weg und Wirkung. Eine Einfuhrung [Ernst Jünger: Way and Influence. An Introduction] (Stutt­gart, 1949); Ernst Jünger. Eine Bibliographie [Ernst Jünger: A Bibliography] (Stuttgart: Lutz and Meyer, 1953); Ernst Jünger in Selbst­zeugnissen und Bilddokumenten [Ernst Jünger in his Own Words and Pictures] (Reinbek near Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1962).

After having launched a new newspaper, Deutsche Gegenwart [Geman Present] (1947–1948), Paetel returned to Germany in 1949 and continued to publish a great number of works. Decorated in 1968 with the Bundesverdienstkreuz [Federal Service Cross], he died on May 4th, 1975. His personal papers are today in part in the archives of the Jugendbewegung (Burg Ludwigstein, Witzenhausen) and in part in the “Karl O. Paetel Collection” of the State University of New York, Albany. On Paetel, see his history of National Bolshevism: Versuchung oder Chance? Zur Geschichte of the deutschen Nationalbolschewismus [Temptation or Chance? Toward a History of German National Bolshevism] (Göttingen: Musterschmid, 1965) and his posthumous autobiography, published by Wolfgang D. Elfe and John M. Spalek: Reise ohne Urzeit. Autobiography [Journey without Beginning: Autobiography] (London: World of Books and Worms: Georg Heintz, 1982).

Jünger also collaborated on the journal Widerstand [Resistance] founded and edited by Niekisch since July 1926. The two men met in the autumn of 1927, and a true friendship is quickly rose between them. Jünger wrote: “If one wants to put the program that Niekisch developed in Widerstand in terms of stark alternatives, it would be something like this: against the bourgeois for the worker, against the western world for the east.” Indeed, National Bolshevism, which has multiple tendencies and varieties, joins the idea of class struggle to a communitarian, if not collectivist, idea of the nation. “Collectivization,” affirms Niekisch, “is the social form that the organic will must adopt if it is to affirm itself vis-à-vis the fatal effects of technology” (“Menschenfressende Technik” [“Man-Eating Technology”] in Widerstand, 4, 1931). According to Niekisch, in the final analysis, the national movement and the communist movement have the same adversary, as the fight against the occupation of the Ruhr appeared to demonstrate, and this is why the two “proletarian nations” of Germany and Russia must strive for an understanding. “The liberal democratic parliamentarian flees from decision,” declared Niekisch. “He does not want to fight, but to talk. . . . The Communist wants a decision. . . . In his roughness, there is something of the hardness of the military camp; in him there is more Prussian hardness than he knows, even more than in a Prussian bourgeois” (“Entscheidung” [“Decision”], Widerstand, Berlin, 1930, p. 134). These ideas influenced a considerable portion of the national revolutionary movement. Jünger himself, as seen by Louis Dupeux, was “fascinated by the problems of Bolshevism”—but was never a National Bolshevik in the strict sense.

In July of 1931, Werner Lass and Jünger withdrew from Die Kommenden. In September, Lass founded the journal Der Umsturz [Overthrow], which he made the organ of the Freischar Schill and which, until its disappearance in February 1933, openly promoted National Bolshevism. But Jünger was in a very different frame of mind. In the space of a few years, using a whole series of journals as so many walls for sticking up posters—it was, as he would write, a milk train, “that one gets on and gets off along the way”—he traversed the whole field of his properly political evolution. The watchwords he had formulated did not have the success that he hoped for; his calls for unity were not heard. For some time, Jünger felt estranged from all political currents. He had no more sympathy for the rising National Socialism than for the traditional national leagues. All the national movements, he explained in an article of Suddeutsche Monatshefte [South German Monthly] (September 1930, 843–45), be they traditionalist, legitimist, economist, reactionary, or National Socialist, draw their inspiration from the past, and, in this respect, are “liberal” and “bourgeois.” Divided between the neoconservatives and the National Bolsheviks, the national revolutionary groups no longer commanded respect. In fact, Jünger no longer believed in the possibility of collective action. (In the first version of The Adventurous Heart, Jünger wrote: “Today one can no longer make collective efforts for Germany” [p. 153]). As Niekisch was to emphasize in his autobiography (Erinerrungen eines deutschen Revolutionärs [Memories of a German Revolutionary] [Cologne: Wissenschaft u. Politik, 1974, vol. I, p. 191), Jünger intended to trace a more personal and interior way of dealing with the current situation. “Jünger, this perfect Prussian officer who subjects himself to the hardest discipline,” wrote Marcel Decombis, “would never again be able to fit in a collectivity” (Ernst Jünger [Sapwood-Montaigne, 1943]). His brother, who had abandoned his legal career in 1928, evolved in the same direction. He wrote on Greek poetry, the American novel, Kant, Dostoyevsky. The two brothers undertook a series of voyages: Sicily (1929), the Balearic Islands (1931), Dalmatia (1932), the Aegean Sea.

Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger continued, certainly, to publish some articles, particularly in Widerstand. (In total, Ernst Jünger published eleven articles in Standarte, twenty-eight in Arminius, twelve in Der Vormarsch, and eighteen in Widerstand. Like his brother, he collaborated on Widerstand until its prohibition, in December 1934.) But the properly journalistic period of their engagement was over. Between 1929 and 1932, Ernst Jünger concentrated all his efforts on new books, starting with the first version of Das abenteuerliche Herz (The Adventurous Heart, 1929), then the essay “Die totale Mobilmachung” (“Total Mobilization,” 1931), and finally Der Arbeiter. Herrschaft und Gestalt (The Worker: Domination and Figure), published in 1932 in Hamburg by the Hanseatische Ver­lagsanstalt of Benno Ziegler and reprinted many times before 1945.

Notes

  1. Preface to Marcel Decombis, Ernst Jünger et la “Konservative Revolution” (GRECE, 1975), 8.
  2. The son of Ernst Georg Jünger (1868–1943), a chemist and assistant to research chemist Viktor Meyer. He had one sister and five brothers, two of whom died very young.
  3. In 1901, a right-wing student named Karl Fischer organized the students at the gymnasium of Steglitz, near Berlin, into a movement of young protesters with idealistic and romantic tendencies, to whom he gave the name “Wandervogel” (“birds of passage”). This movement, subsequently divided into many currents, gave birth to the Jugendbewegung (Youth Movement) and became widely known. In October 1913, the same year Jünger joined, the Youth Movement organized (alongside the commemoration of the hundredth birthday of the “Battle of the Nations” near Leipzig) a great meeting at Hohen Meissner, close to Kassel. There several thousand young “Wandervogel” discussed the problems of the movement, which was pacifist, nationalist, and populist in orientation. On the eve of the First World War, the Jugendbewegung counted approximately 25,000 members. After 1918, the movement could not regain its old cohesion, but its influence remained undeniable. On the Wandervogel, cf. epecially Hans Bliiher, Wandervogel. Geschichte einer Jugendbewegung, 2 vol. (Berlin-Tempelhof: Bernhard Weise, 1912–1913); Fr. W. Foerster, Jugendseele, Jugendbewegung, Jugendziel (München-Leipzig: Rotapfel, 1923); Theo Herrle, Die deutsche Jugendbewegung in ihren kulturellen Zusammenhängen (Gotha-Stuttgart: Friedrich Andreas Perthes, 1924); Heinrich Ahrens, Die deutsche Wandervogelbewegung von den Anfängen bis zum Weltkrieg (Hamburg: Hansischer Gildenverlag, 1939); Werner Kindt, ed., Grundschrif­ten der deutschen Jugendbewegung (Dusseldorf-Köln: Eugen Diederichs, 1963); Bernhard Schnei­der, Daten zur Geschichte der Jugendbewegung (Bad Godesberg: Voggenreiter, 1965); Walter Laqueur, Die deutsche Jugendbewegung. Eine historische Studie (Köln: Wissenschaft und Politik, 1978); Otto Neuloh and Wilhelm Zilius, Die Wandervogel. Eine empirisch-soziologische Untersuchung der frühen deutschen Jugendbewegung (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1982).
  4. Journal, vol. 2, April 20th, 1943.
  5. The Stalhelm association had been founded at the end of 1918 by Franz Seldte, born in Magdeburg in 1882, in reaction to the November revolution. His orientation to the right was intensified the moment the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June of 1919. After the assassinnation of Walther Rathenau, in 1922, Stahl­helm was dissolved in Prussia but the ban was lifted the following year. In 1925, it had around 260,000 members. In 1933, Seldte was named Minister of Labor in Hitler’s first cabinet. The National Socialist regime went on to force Stahlhelm’s integration into the Natio­nalsozialistischer Deutscher Frontkampferbund (NSDFB). Theodor Duesterberg, Seldte’s assistant since 1924, who had immediately abandoned his functions, was arrested and imprisoned in June 1934. In 1935, the “liquidation” of Stahlhelm was complete. Cf. on this subject: Wilhelm Kleinau, Sol­daten der Nation. Die geschichtliche Sendung des Stahlhelm (Berlin: Stahlhelm, 1933); Franz Seldte, ed., Der NSDFB (Stahlhelm). Geschichte, Wesen und Aufgabe des Frontsoldatenbundes (Berlin: Frei­heitsverlag, 1935); Theodor Duesterberg, Der Stahlhelm und Hitler (Wolfenbüttel-Hannover: Wolfenbütteler Verlags­anstalt, 1949); and Volker R. Berghahn, Der Stahlhelm-Bund der Frontsol­daten (Düsseldorf: Droste, 1966).
  6. Ernst Jünger, “Die Revolution,” Die Standarte, 1, October 18, 1925.
  7. Cf. Louis Dupeux, Strategie communiste et dynamique conservatrice. Essai sur les difjerents sens de l’expression «national-bolchevisme» en Allemagne, sous la Republique de Weimar, 1919–1933 (Honore Champion, 1976), p. 313.
  8. Cf. Henri Plard, “Une oeuvre retrouvée d’Ernst Jünger: Sturm (1923),” Etudes germaniques, October-December 1968, 600–615.

 

Source: Alain de Benoist, “Ernst Jünger: La Figure du Travailleur entre les Dieux et les Titans,” Nouvelle Ecole No. 40 (Autumn 1983): 1161.

—————

De Benoist, Alain. “Ernst Jünger: The Figure of The Worker Between the Gods & the Titans.” Originally published in three parts at Counter-Currents Publishing. Part 1: 6 April 2011. Part 2: 13 April 2011. Part 3: 26 July 2011. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/04/ernst-junger-the-figure-of-the-worker-part-1/ >; < http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/04/ernst-junger-figure-of-the-worker-part-2/ >; < http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/07/ernst-junger-the-figure-of-the-worker-between-the-gods-the-titans-part-3/ >.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative

Against the Armies of the Night – O’Meara

Against the Armies of the Night: The Aurora Movements

By Michael O’Meara

 

The single greatest force shaping our age is unquestionably globalization.

Based on the transnationalization of American capital and the worldwide imposition of American market relations combined with new technologies, globalization has not only reshaped the world’s national economies, it’s provoked a dizzying array of oppositional movements, on the right and the left, that, despite their divergent ideologies and goals, seek to defend native or traditional identities from the market’s ethnocidal effects.

In the vast literature on globalization and its various antiglobalist movements, Charles Lindholm’s and José Pedro Zúquete’s The Struggle for the World (Stanford University Press, 2010) is the first to look beyond the specific political designations of these different antiglobalist tendencies to emphasize the common redemptive, identitarian, and populist character they share.

The “left wing, right wing, and no wing” politics of these antiglobalists are by no means dismissed, only subordinated to what Lindholm and Zúquete see as their more prominent redemptive dimension. In this spirit, they refer to them as “aurora movements,” promising a liberating dawn from the nihilistic darkness that comes with the universalization of neoliberal market forms.

Focusing on the way antiglobalists imagine salvation from neoliberalism’s alleged evils, the authors refrain from judging the morality or validity of the different movements they examine — endeavoring, instead, to grasp the similarities “uniting” them.

They abstain thus from the present liberal consensus, which holds that history has come to an end and that the great ideological battles of the past have given way now to an order based entirely on the technoeconomic imperatives specific to the new global market system.

The result of this ideologically neutral approach is a work surprisingly impartial and sympathetic in its examination of European, Islamic, and Latin American antiliberalism.

Yet, at first glance, Mexico’s Zapartistas, Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, Alain de Benoist’s Nouvelle Droite, Umberto Bossi’s Northern League, the incumbent governments of Bolivia and Venezuela, and European proponents of Slow Food and Slow Life appear to share very little other than their common opposition to globalism’s “mirage of progress.”

Lindholm and Zúquete (one an American anthropologist, the other a Portuguese political scientist) claim, though, that many antiglobalist movements, especially in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East, “share a great deal structurally, ideologically, and experientially,” as they struggle, each in their own way, to redeem a world in ruins.

The two authors accordingly stress that these oppositional movements do not simply resist the destructurating onslaught of global capital.

Since “the global imaginary [has] become predominant, linking oppositional forces everywhere,” they claim antiglobal oppositionalists have adopted a grand narrative based on “a common ethical core and a common mental map.” For the “discourses, beliefs, and motives” of jihadists, Bolivarian revolutionaries, European new rightists, European national-populists, and European life-style rebels are strikingly similar in seeking to inaugurate the dawn of a new age — defined in opposition to global liberalism.

For all these antiglobalists, the transnational power elites (led by the United States) have shifted power away from the nation to multinational corporations, detached in loyalty from any culture or people, as they promote “hypergrowth, environmental exploitation, the privatization of public services, homogenization, consumerism, deregulation, corporate concentration,” etc.

The consequence is a world order (whose “divinities are currency, market, and capital, [whose] church is the stock market, and [whose] holy office is the IMF and WTO”) that seeks to turn everything into a commodity, as it “robs our lives of meaning [and sells] it back to us in the form of things.”

As the most transcendent values are compelled to prostrate themselves before the interests of capital, the global system disenchants the world — generating the discontent and alienation animating the antiglobal resistance.

From the point of view of the resistance, the power of money and markets is waging a scorched-earth campaign on humanity, as every country and every people are assaulted by “the American way of life,” whose suburban bourgeois principles aspire to universality.

* * *

In their struggle for the world, antiglobalists prophesy both doom and rebirth.

On the one hand, the Armies of the Night — the darkening forces of globalist homogenization, disenchantment, and debasement — are depicted as an “evil” — or, in political terms, as a life-threatening enemy.

Globalization, they claim, disrupts the equilibrium between humanity, society, and nature, stultifying man, emptying his world of meaning, and leaving him indifferent to the most important things in life.

In opposing a global order governed by a soulless market, these antiglobalists attempt to transcend its individualism, consumerism, and instrumental rationalism by reviving pre-modern values and institutions that challenge the reigning neoliberal consensus.

As one Zapartista manifesto puts it: “If the world does not have a place for us, then another world must be made. . . . What is missing is yet to come.”

At the same time, antiglobalists endeavor to revive threatened native or traditional identities, as they deconstruct modernist assaults on local culture that parade under the banner of progress and enlightenment. They privilege in this way their own authenticity and extol alternative, usually indigenous and traditional, forms of community and meaning rooted in archaic notions adapted to the challenges of the future. Even when seeking a return to specific communal ideals, these local struggles see themselves as engaging not just Amerindians or Muslims or Europeans, but all humanity — the world in effect.

Globalization, the authors conclude, may destroy national differences, but so too does resistance to globalization. The resistance’s principle, accordingly, is: “Nationalists of all countries, unite!” — to redeem “the world from the evils of globalization.”

* * *

If one accepts, with Lindholm and Zúquete, that a meaningful number of antiglobalization movements share a similar revolutionary-utopian narrative, the question then arises as to what these similarities might imply.

The first implication, in my view, affects globalist ideology — that is, the recognition that globalism is itself an ideology and not some historical inevitability.

As Carl Schmitt, among others, notes, liberalism is fundamentally antipolitical. Just as Cold War liberals tried to argue the “end of ideology” in the 1950s, neoliberal globalists since the Soviet collapse have argued that we today, following Fukuyama, have reached the end of history, where “worldwide ideological struggle that calls forth daring, courage, imagination and idealism” has become a thing of the past, replaced by the technoeconomic calculus of liberal-market societies, conceived as the culmination of human development.

In a word, liberal “endism” holds that there is no positive alternative to the status quo.

The strident ideologies and ideas of liberalism’s opponents have already dislodged this totalitarian fabrication — as The Struggle for the World, respectable university press publication that it is, testifies.

Lindholm and Zúquete also highlight globalization’s distinct ideological nature, as they contest its notion of history’s closure.

A second, related implication touches on the increasing dubiousness of right-left categories. These illusive designations allegedly defining the political antipodes of modernity have never meant much (see, e.g., the work of Marc Crapez) and have usually obscured more than they revealed.

Given the antiglobalists’ ideological diversity, right and left designations tell us far less about the major political struggles of our age than do categories like “globalist” and “antiglobalist,” “liberal” and “antiliberal,” “cosmopolitan” and “nationalist.”

Future political struggles seem likely, thus, to play out less and less along modernity’s left-right axis — and more and more in terms of a postmodern dialectic, in which universalism opposes and is opposed by particularism.

A third possible implication of Lindholm/Zúquete’s argument speaks to the fate of liberalism itself. Much of modern history follows the clash between the modernizing forces of liberalism and the conservative ones of antiliberalism. That the globalist agenda has now seized power nearly everywhere means that the “struggle for the world” has become largely a struggle about liberalism.

Given also that liberalism (or neoliberalism) ideologically undergirds the world system and that this system has been on life-support at least since the financial collapse of late 2008, it seems not unreasonable to suspect that the fate of liberalism and globalism are themselves now linked and that we may be approaching another axial age in which the established liberal ideologies and systems are forced to give way to the insurgence of new ones.

But perhaps the cruelest implication of all is the dilemma Lindholm/Zuqúete’s argument poses to U.S. rightists. For European new rightists, Islamic jihadists, and Bolivian revolutionaries alike, globalization is a form not only of liberalization but of “Americanization.”

And there’s no denying the justice of seeing the struggle against America as the main front in the worldwide antiglobalist struggle: for the United States was the world’s first and foremost liberal state and is the principal architect of the present global system.

At the same time, it’s also the case that native Americans — i.e., European Americans — have themselves fallen victim to what now goes for “Americanism” — in the form of unprotected borders, Third World colonization, de-industrialization, political correctness, multiculturalism, creedal identities, anti-Christianism, the media’s on-going spiritual colonization — and all the other degradations distinct to our age.

One wonders, then, if a right worthy of the designation will ever intersect an America willing to fight “Americanism” — and its shadow-casting Armies — in the name of some suppressed antiliberal impulse in the country’s European heritage.

————–

O’Meara, Michael. “Against the Armies of the Night: The Aurora Movements.” The Occidental Observer, 16 June 2010. <http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/O’meara-Globalization-Lindholm-Zuquete.html >.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Georges Sorel – Benoist

Georges Sorel

By Alain de Benoist

Translator Anonymous

 

Although violence is always the order of the day, the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Georges Sorel would have passed unnoticed if Éditions Marcel Rivière did not have the idea of republishing Réflexions sur la violence [Reflections on Violence] (Paris: Éditions Marcel Rivière, 1973).

“Sorel, enigma of the twentieth century, seems to be a transplant of Proudhon, enigma of the nineteenth,” wrote Daniel Halévy in his Preface to M. Pierre Andreu’s book, Notre maître, M. Sorel (Paris: Grasset, 1953). Enigma, indeed: an ideologue built like a giant, ears flat against his skull, strong nose, clear eyes, white beard. Enigma: this tenacious socialist who was ill at ease with the Russian Revolution, sympathetic to the Action Française, and an admirer of Renan, Hegel, Bergson, Maurras, Marx, and Mussolini.

Georges Sorel was born at Cherbourgon November 2, 1847. He was doubly Norman: by the Manche and the Calvados. His first cousin, Albert Sorel, would become the historian of the Empire and of the Revolution.

A graduate of the École polytechnique, an engineer of bridges and roads, Sorel devoted himself to social problems only after 1892. His books, which are hardly read any more, have nevertheless retained their value—notably Les illusions du progrès [The Illusions of Progress], Réflexions sur la violence [Reflections on Violence], De l’Église et de l’État [On Church and State], De l’utilité du pragmatisme [The Utility of Pragmatism], La décomposition du marxisme [The Decomposition of Marxism], D’Aristote à Marx [From Aristotle to Marx], La ruine du monde antique [The Ruin of the Ancient World], Le procès de Socrate [The Trial of Socrates], etc.

Published for the first time in 1908, Réflexions sur la violence has therefore been republished in 1973, in the collection “Études sur le devenir social,” whose director is M. Julien Freund, a professor at theUniversity ofStrasbourg.

The book immediately appeared as a fundamental work of revolutionary syndicalism.

Hostile to parliamentary socialism and to Jean Jaurès, whom he accused of being nourished with bourgeois ideology, Georges Sorel opposed to them what he called the “new school.” He saw in the strike the essential form of social protest. It is by means of the general strike that society will be divided into enemy factions, and the bourgeois state will be destroyed. The strike is “the most devastating manifestation of individualist force in the insurgent masses.”

The strike implies violence. Contrary to the socialists of his time (Proudhon excepted), Sorel did not oppose work to violence. He refused to gloss over the “desire for peace of the workers.” Violence was for him an act of war. “An act of pure struggle, similar to that of armies on campaign,” he wrote.

“This assimilation of the strike to war is decisive,” indicates M. Claude Polin in the Preface of the new edition of Réflexions sur la violence, “for everything that war touches is done without hate and without the spirit of vengeance: in war, one does not kill the vanquished; one does not subject noncombatants to the same woes that armies may suffer on the field of battle.” Which explains why Sorel reproved the “violence-vengeance” of the revolutionaries of 1793: “It is necessary not to confound violence with bloodthirsty brutalities that make no sense.”

In the Beginning Was Action

Taking up the distinction, henceforth classic, between “just” and “unjust” war, he opposes bourgeois violence to proletarian violence. The latter possesses, in his eyes, a double virtue. Not only must it assure the future revolution, but it is the sole means possessed by the European nations, “stupefied by humanitarianism,” to regain their former energy.

The struggle of classes is therefore a clash of wills that are firm but not blind. Violence becomes the manifestation of a will. At the same time, it exercises a kind of moral function: it produces an “epic” state of mind.

“Violence,” Soreldeclared to his friend Jean Variot, “is an intellectual doctrine: the will of powerful brains which know what they want. True violence is what is necessary to follow ideas to their end” (Propos de Georges Sorel [Paris: Gallimard, 1935]).

Sorel would have approved this line from Goethe: “In the beginning was action.” For him, the man who acts, whatever he does, is always superior to the man who submits: “True violence displays, first and foremost, the pride of free men.”

To restore energy to the contemporary world, a “myth” is necessary, that is to say, a theme that is neither true nor false, but which acts powerfully upon the mind, mobilizes and incites it to action.

Georges Sorel saw 19th-century Prussia as the heir of ancient Rome.

In praising the “Prussian virtues,” he adopts a tone that is evocative of Moeller van den Bruck (Der preussische Stil). “Sorel, the artisan, had the cult of work done well,” remarks M. Claude Polin, “and work done well constitutes an end in itself, independent of the benefits that one draws from it. This disinterestedness is the quality of violence: there is, at the base of Sorel’s thought, this intuition that all work is a struggle and especially all work done well, and even that work is done well only if it is a struggle. This idea goes back to the intuition of the essentially promethean character of work. All true work is a transformation of things that entails the necessity of transforming oneself and others with oneself.”

Gradually, Sorel finished by denouncing democracy (the “veritable dictatorship of incapacity”) combining the accents of a Maurras, a Bakunin, and a Secrétan.

The dictatorship of the proletariat seemed equally delusional to him: “It is necessary to be very naïve to suppose that the people who profit from demagogic dictatorship will readily abandon its advantages.” He rejects in passing the vanguard role that intellectual Bolshevism claims to play: “All the future of socialism resides in the autonomous development of workers’ syndicates” (Matériaux pour une théorie du prolétariat). “Marx was not always very well inspired,” he continued. “His writing ended up repeating a lot of the utopian socialists’ rubbish.”

This conception of action is in complete opposition to “vanguardist” theories (for example, Trotskyism). But it is found in the propositions of revolutionary syndicalism and anarcho-syndicalism.

Finally, if Sorel defended the proletariat with such tenacity, it was not through sentimentalism, like Zola, nor due to a petty bourgeois feeling of guilt, nor even because he felt a “class consciousness.” It is because he was convinced that within bourgeois society, it was only from the people that one could still restore the energy that the ruling classes had lost. Conscious of the “illusions of progress,” he ascertained that societies, like men, are mortal. To this fatality, he opposed a will to live, of which violence is one of its manifestations.

Today, Sorel would denounce mercantile society as much as the leading dissidents of the New Left. “Marcuse would represent in his eyes,” writes M. Polin, “the typical example of man degenerated by the wide-eyed belief in progress, deceived by progress because he understands nothing and expects everything, incapable of putting his hope anywhere but in exacerbated and radicalized progress, in this dream of an abundance so automatic that it delivers Happiness and makes possible the random satisfaction of the most crazed passions: incapable, in a word, of comprehending that the source of evil is in the soul of man devirilized by the economic faith.”

The Name of the Old Antioch

Starting from 1907, Georges Sorel was the architect of a rapprochement between the anti-democrats of the Right and the Left. The organ of this rapprochement was the Revue critique des idées et des livres, where the nationalist Georges Valois published the results of his inquiry on the monarchy and the working class.

In 1910 the review La Cité française appeared, then from 1911 to 1913, L’Indépendance. One finds there the signatures of Georges Sorel, Jean Variot, Édouard Berth, and Daniel Halévy, as well as those of the brothers Tharaud, René Benjamin, Maurice Barrès, and Paul Bourget.

In 1913, the journalist Édouard Berth, author of Les Méfaits des intellectuels, saluted in Maurras and Sorel “the two masters of the French and European regeneration.” But, in September 1914, Sorel wrote to him: “We have entered an era that can be quite well characterized by the name of the old Antioch. Renan has very well described this metropolis of courtesans, charlatans, and merchants. We will very soon have the pleasure of seeing Maurras condemned by the Vatican, which will be the just punishment of his escapades. And what could correspond to a royalist party in a France that would be wholly occupied with enjoying the easy life of Antioch?

“Sorel,” explains the sociologist Gaëtan Pirou, “reproached Maurras for being too democratic, a reproach which, at first glance, can appear paradoxical. In reality, what Sorel wanted to say is that Maurras, positivist and intellectualist, had repudiated democracy only under its political aspect and not in its philosophical foundation” (Georges Sorel [Paris: Marcel Rivière, 1927]).

National Revolutionaries

Sorelwould influence Barrès and Péguy as well as Lenin. The latter, however, would denounce him as a “foggy thinker” in Materialism and Empirio-criticism.

After France, observed M. Alexandre Croix in La Révolution prolétarienne, Italy would be “the promised land of Sorelianism.” From the start, Sorel exercised a great influence on the Italian syndicalist school directed by Arturo Labriola, the future Italian minister of labor (1920–1921). Labriola, from 1903, translated L’avenir socialiste des syndicats in the Avanguardia of Milan. One of his lieutenants, Enrico Leone, wrote the Preface to the first version of the Réflexions, which would appear in 1906 in Italy under the title Lo sciopero generale e la violenza (The General Strike and Violence).

Subsequently, Sorel also influenced Vilfredo Pareto, Benedetto Croce, Giovanni Gentile, and, by the intermediary of Hubert Lagardelle, Benito Mussolini.

In Germany, Sorelianism found a kind of continuation in the national revolutionary and national communist currents that manifested themselves, under Weimar, in the mid-1920s. (Cf. Michael Freund, Georges Sorel: Der revolutionäre Konservatismus [Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1932 and 1972].)

When Soreldied in 1922, the monarchist Georges Valois, in L’Action française, and the socialist Robert Louzon, in La Vie ouvrière, paid him tributes marked with the same admiration. Several weeks later, Mussolini, making his entry into Rome, declared to a Spanish journalist: “It is to Sorel that I owe the most.”

The Soviet government and the Fascist state proposed on the same day to assume the maintenance of his tomb.

Bibliographical Note

M. Jules Monnerot, in a collection of articles entitled Inquisitions (José Corti, 1974), has published a remarkable essay on “Georges Sorel ou l’introduction aux mythes modernes” (pp. 7–47). In it, he characterizes the “coherence of the Sorelian approach” as a constant search for the “sublime,” this term defining the source, collective and individual, “of the psychological motivations that are invincible at a given historical moment—invincible in the event.” For Sorel, the sublime is a “psychic sustenance” indispensable to Occidental societies. When it disappears, decadence appears. “The entire secret of Sorel’s passage from revolutionary syndicalism, then to activist nationalism, then to a kind of Bolshevism or European national socialism that death did not allow him to fully develop,” writes M. Monnerot, “the whole secret of Sorel’s work seems summed up in this phrase he wrote: ‘The sublime is dead in the bourgeoisie.’ . . .”

Since the beginning of the century, several books have been dedicated to Sorel, notably (in France) by Pierre Lasserre, Georges Goriély, Victor Sartre, J. Rennes, P. Angel, Édouard Berth, Gaëtan Pirou, Jean Variot, René Johannet, etc. In Italy, M. Paolo Pastori has recently published a short anthology of “anti-democratic” Sorelian texts: Le illusioni della democrazia (Rome: Giovanni Volpe, 1973).

Published for the most part by Marcel Rivière, Sorel’s works have become almost completely impossible to find. But several collections of texts are currently in preparation.

Source: Alain de Benoist, Vu de droite: anthologie critique des idées contemporaines (Paris: Le Labyrinthe, 2001 [1977]), pp. 275–78.

—————

De Benoist, Alain. “Georges Sorel.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 2 November 2012. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/11/georges-sorel/ >.

Note: See in Swedish the commentary on this article by Joakim Andersen: <http://www.motpol.nu/oskorei/2014/11/16/lastips-alain-de-benoist-om-georges-sorel/ >.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative

Vilfredo Pareto – Alexander

Vilfredo Pareto: The Karl Marx of Fascism

By James Alexander

Italian contributions to political and social thought are singularly impressive and, in fact, few nations are as favored with a tradition as long and as rich. One need only mention names such as Dante, Machiavelli, and Vico to appreciate the importance of Italy in this respect. In the twentieth century too, the contributions made by Italians are of great significance. Among these are Gaetano Mosca’s theory of oligarchical rule, Roberto Michels’ study of political parties, Corrado Gini’s intriguing sociobiological theories, and Scipio Sighele’s investigations of the criminal mind and of crowd psychology. [1] One of the most widely respected of these Italian political theorists and sociologists is Vilfredo Pareto. Indeed, so influential are his writings that “it is not possible to write the history of sociology without referring to Pareto.” [2] Throughout all of the vicissitudes and convulsions of twentieth-century political life, Pareto remains to this day “a scholar of universal reputation.” [3]

Pareto is additionally important for us today because he is a towering figure in one of Europe’s most distinguished, and yet widely suppressed, intellectual currents.That broad school of thought includes such diverse figures as Burke, Taine, Dostoyevsky, Burckhardt, Donoso Cortés, Nietzsche, and Spengler and stands in staunch opposition to rationalism, liberalism, egalitarianism, Marxism, and all of the other offspring of Enlightenment doctrinaires.

Life and Personality

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was born in Paris in 1848. [4] He was of mixed Italian-French ancestry, the only son of the Marquis Raffaele Pareto, an Italian exiled from his native Genoa because of his political views, and Marie Mattenier. Because his father earned a reasonably comfortable living as a hydrological engineer, Pareto was reared in a middle-class environment, enjoying the many advantages that accrued to people of his class in that age. He received a quality education in both France and Italy, ultimately completing his degree in engineering at the Istituto Politecnico of Turin where he graduated at the top of his class. For some years after graduation, he worked as a civil engineer, first for the state-owned Italian Railway Company and later in private industry.

Pareto married in 1889. His new spouse Dina Bakunin, a Russian, apparently loved an active social life, which was rather in conflict with Pareto’s own love of privacy and solitude. After twelve years of marriage Dina abandoned her husband. His second wife, Jane Régis, joined him shortly after the collapse of his marriage and the two remained devoted to one another throughout the remainder of Pareto’s life.

During these years Pareto acquired a deep interest in the political life of his country and expressed his views on a variety of topics in lectures, in articles for various journals, and in direct political activity. Steadfast in his support of free enterprise economic theory and free trade, he never ceased arguing that these concepts were vital necessities for the development of Italy. Vociferous and polemical in his advocacy of these ideas, and sharp in his denunciation of his opponents (who happened to be in power in Italy at that time), his public lectures were sufficiently controversial that they were sometimes raided and closed down by the police, and occasionally brought threats of violence from hired thugs. Making little headway with his economic concepts at the time, Pareto retired from active political life and was appointed Professor of Political Economy at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1893. There he established his reputation as an economist and sociologist. So substantial did this reputation eventually become that he has been dubbed “the Karl Marx of the Bourgeoisie” by his Marxist opponents. In economic theory, his Manual of Political Economy [5] and his critique of Marxian socialism, Les Systèmes socialistes, [6] remain among his most important works.

Pareto turned to sociology somewhat late in life, but he is nonetheless acclaimed in this field. His monumental Treatise on General Sociology, and two smaller volumes, The Rise and Fall of the Elites and The Transformation of Democracy, are his sociological masterworks. [7] Subsequently, we will consider the nature of some of the theories contained in these books.

The title of Marquis was bestowed on Pareto’s great-great-great- grandfather in 1729 and, after his father’s death in 1882, that dignity passed to Pareto himself. He never used the title, however, insisting that since it was not earned, it held little meaning for him. Conversely, after his appointment to the University of Lausanne, he did use the title “Professor,” since that was something which, he felt, he merited because of his lifetime of study. These facts point to one of the most dominant characteristics of this man — his extreme independence.

Pareto’s great intelligence caused him difficulties in working under any kind of supervision. All of his life he moved, step by step, towards personal independence. Because he was thoroughly conscious of his own brilliance, his confidence in his abilities and in his intellectual superiority often irritated and offended people around him. Pareto, in discussing almost any question about which he felt certain, could be stubborn in his views and disdainful of those with divergent opinions. Furthermore, he could be harsh and sarcastic in his remarks. As a result, some people came to see Pareto as disputatious, caustic, and careless of people’s feelings.

In contrast, Pareto could be generous to those he perceived as “underdogs.” He was always ready to take up his pen in defense of the poor or to denounce corruption in government and the exploitation of those unable to defend themselves. As author and sociologist Charles Powers writes,

For many years Pareto offered money, shelter, and counsel to political exiles (especially in 1898 following the tumultuous events of that year in Italy]. Like his father, Pareto was conservative in his personal tastes and inclinations, but he was also capable of sympathizing with others and appreciating protests for equality of opportunity and freedom of expression [8]. Pareto was a free thinker. In some respects, he is reminiscent of an early libertarian. He was possessed of that duality of mood we continue to find among people who are extremely conservative and yet ardent in their belief in personal liberty. [9]

Since he was an expert in the use of the sword, as well as a crack shot, he was disinclined to give way before any threats to his person, a mode of behavior he considered cowardly and contrary to his personal sense of honor. More than once he sent bullies and thugs running in terror. [10]

Pareto suffered from heart disease towards the end of his life and struggled through his last years in considerable ill health. He died August 19, 1923.

Les Systèmes socialistes

A lifelong opponent of Marxism and liberal egalitarianism, Pareto published a withering broadside against the Marxist-liberal worldview in 1902. Considering the almost universal respect accorded the more salient aspects of Marxism and liberalism, it is regrettable that Pareto’s Les Systèmes socialistes has not been translated into English in its entirety. Only a few excerpts have appeared in print. In an often quoted passage that might be taken as a prophetic warning for our own age, Pareto writes:

A sign which almost invariably presages the decadence of an aristocracy is the intrusion of humanitarian feelings and of affected sentimentalizing which render the aristocracy incapable of defending its position. Violence, we should note, is not to be confused with force. Often enough one observes cases in which individuals and classes which have lost the force to maintain themselves in power make themselves more and more hated because of their outbursts of random violence. The strong man strikes only when it is absolutely necessary, and then nothing stops him. Trajan was strong, not violent: Caligula was violent, not strong.When a living creature loses the sentiments which, in given circumstances are necessary to it in order to maintain the struggle for life, this is a certain sign of degeneration, for the absence of these sentiments will, sooner or later, entail the extinction of the species. The living creature which shrinks from giving blow for blow and from shedding its adversary’s blood thereby puts itself at the mercy of this adversary. The sheep has always found a wolf to devour it; if it now escapes this peril, it is only because man reserves it for his own prey.

Any people which has horror of blood to the point of not knowing how to defend itself will sooner or later become the prey of some bellicose people or other. There is not perhaps on this globe a single foot of ground which has not been conquered by the sword at some time or other, and where the people occupying it have not maintained themselves on it by force. If the Negroes were stronger than the Europeans, Europe would be partitioned by the Negroes and not Africa by the Europeans. The “right” claimed by people who bestow on themselves the title of “civilized’ to conquer other peoples, whom it pleases them to call “uncivilized,” is altogether ridiculous, or rather, this right is nothing other than force. For as long as the Europeans are stronger than the Chinese, they will impose their will on them; but if the Chinese should become stronger than the Europeans, then the roles would be reversed, and it is highly probable that humanitarian sentiments could never be opposed with any effectiveness to any army. [11]

In another portion of this same work that calls to mind the words of German philosopher Oswald Spengler, Pareto similarly warns against what he regarded as the suicidal danger of “humanitarianism”:

Any elite which is not prepared to join in battle to defend its position is in full decadence, and all that is left to it is to give way to another elite having the virile qualities it lacks. It is pure day-dreaming to imagine that the humanitarian principles it may have proclaimed will be applied to it: its vanquishers will stun it with the implacable cry, Vae Victis [=”woe to the vanquished”]. The knife of the guillotine was being sharpened in the shadows when, at the end of the eighteenth century, the ruling classes in France were engrossed in developing their “sensibility.” This idle and frivolous society, living like a parasite off the country, discoursed at its elegant supper parties of delivering the world from superstition and of crushing l’Infâme, all unsuspecting that it was itself going to be crushed. [12]

Marxism

A substantial portion of Les Systèmes socialistes is devoted to a scathing assessment of the basic premises of Marxism. According to historian H. Stuart Hughes, this work caused Lenin “many a sleepless night.” [13]

In Pareto’s view, the Marxist emphasis on the historical struggle between the unpropertied working class — the proletariat — and the property-owning capitalist class is skewed and terribly misleading. History is indeed full of conflict, but the proletariat-capitalist struggle is merely one of many and by no means the most historically important. As Pareto explains:

The class struggle, to which Marx has specially drawn attention, is a real factor, the tokens of which are to be found on every page of history. But the struggle is not confined only to two classes: the proletariat and the capitalist; it occurs between an infinite number of groups with different interests, and above all between the elites contending for power. The existence of these groups may vary in duration, they may be based on permanent or more or less temporary characteristics. In the most savage peoples, and perhaps in all, sex determines two of these groups. The oppression of which the proletariat complains, or had cause to complain of, is as nothing in comparison with that which the women of the Australian aborigines suffer. Characteristics to a greater or lesser degree real — nationality, religion, race, language, etc. — may give rise to these groups. In our own day [i.e. 1902] the struggle of the Czechs and the Germans in Bohemia is more intense than that of the proletariat and the capitalists in England. [14]

Marx’s ideology represents merely an attempt, Pareto believes, to supplant one ruling elite with another, despite Marxist promises to the contrary:

The socialists of our own day have clearly perceived that the revolution at the end of the eighteenth century led merely to the bourgeoisie’s taking the place of the old elite. They exaggerate a good deal the burden of oppression imposed by the new masters, but they do sincerely believe that a new elite of politicians will stand by their promises better than those which have come and gone up to the present day. All revolutionaries proclaim, in turn, that previous revolutions have ultimately ended up by deceiving the people; it is their revolution alone which is the true revolution. “All previous historical movements” declared the Communist Manifesto of 1848, “were movements of minorities or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.” Unfortunately this true revolution, which is to bring men an unmixed happiness, is only a deceptive mirage that never becomes a reality. It is akin to the golden age of the millenarians: forever awaited, it is forever lost in the mists of the future, forever eluding its devotees just when they think they have it. [15]

Residues and Derivations

One of Pareto’s most noteworthy and controversial theories is that human beings are not, for the most part, motivated by logic and reason but rather by sentiment. Les Systèmes socialistes is interspersed with this theme and it appears in its fully developed form in Pareto’s vast Treatise on General Sociology. In his Treatise, Pareto examines the multitudes of human actions that constitute the outward manifestations of these sentiments and classifies them into six major groups, calling them “residues.” All of these residues are common to the whole of mankind, Pareto comments, but certain residues stand out more markedly in certain individuals. Additionally, they are unalterable; man’s political nature is not perfectible but remains a constant throughout history.

Class I is the “instinct for combinations.” This is the manifestation of sentiments in individuals and in society that tends towards progressiveness, inventiveness, and the desire for adventure.

Class II residues have to do with what Pareto calls the “preservation of aggregates” and encompass the more conservative side of human nature, including loyalty to society’s enduring institutions such as family, church, community, and nation and the desire for permanency and security.

Following this comes the need for expressing sentiments through external action, Pareto’s Class III residues. Religious and patriotic ceremonies and pageantry stand out as examples of these residues and will include such things as saluting the flag, participating in a Christian communion service, marching in a military parade, and so on. In other words, human beings tend to manifest their feelings in symbols.

Next comes the social instinct, Class IV, embracing manifestations of sentiments in support of the individual and societal discipline that is indispensable for maintaining the social structure. This includes phenomena such as self-sacrifice for the sake of family and community and concepts such as the hierarchical arrangement of societies.

Class V is that quality in a society that stresses individual integrity and the integrity of the individual’s possessions and appurtenances. These residues contribute to social stability, systems of criminal and civil law being the most obvious examples.

Last we have Class VI, which is the sexual instinct, or the tendency to see social events in sexual terms.

Foxes and Lions

Throughout his Treatise, Pareto places particular emphasis on the first two of these six residue classes and to the struggle within individual men as well as in society between innovation and consolidation. The late James Burnham, writer, philosopher, and one of the foremost American disciples of Pareto, states that Pareto’s Class I and II residues are an extension and amplification of certain aspects of political theorizing set down in the fifteenth century by Niccolò Machiavelli. [16] Machiavelli divided humans into two classes, foxes and lions. The qualities he ascribes to these two classes of men resemble quite closely the qualities typical of Pareto’s Class I and Class II residue types. Men with strong Class I residues are the “foxes,” tending to be manipulative, innovative, calculating, and imaginative. Entrepreneurs prone to taking risks, inventors, scientists, authors of fiction, politicians, and creators of complex philosophies fall into this category. Class II men are “lions” and place much more value on traits such as good character and devotion to duty than on sheer wits. They are the defenders of tradition, the guardians of religious dogma, and the protectors of national honor.

For society to function properly there must be a balance between these two types of individuals; the functional relationship between the two is complementary. To illustrate this point, Pareto offers the examples of Kaiser Wilhelm I, his chancellor Otto von Bismarck, and Prussia’s adversary Emperor Napoleon III. Wilhelm had an abundance of Class II residues, while Bismarck exemplified Class I. Separately, perhaps, neither would have accomplished much, but together they loomed gigantic in nineteenth-century European history, each supplying what the other lacked. [17]

From the standpoint of Pareto’s theories, the regime of Napoleon III was a lopsided affair, obsessed with material prosperity and dominated for almost twenty years by such “foxes” as stock-market speculators and contractors who, it is said, divided the national budget among themselves. “In Prussia,” Pareto observes, “one finds a hereditary monarchy supported by a loyal nobility: Class II residues predominate; in France one finds a crowned adventurer supported by a band of speculators and spenders: Class I residues predominate.” [18] And, even more to the point, whereas in Prussia at that time the requirements of the army dictated financial policy, in France the financiers dictated military policy. Accordingly, when war broke out between Prussia and France in the summer of 1870, the “moment of truth” came for France. Napoleon’s vaunted Second Empire fell to pieces and was overrun in a matter of weeks. [19]

Justifying “Derivations”

Another aspect of Pareto’s theories which we shall examine here briefly is what he calls “derivations,” the ostensibly logical justifications that people employ to rationalize their essentially non-logical, sentiment-driven actions. Pareto names four principle classes of derivations: 1) derivations of assertion; 2) derivations of authority; 3) derivations that are in agreement with common sentiments and principles; and, 4) derivations of verbal proof. The first of these include statements of a dogmatic or aphoristic nature; for example, the saying, “honesty is the best policy.” The second, authority, is an appeal to people or concepts held in high esteem by tradition. To cite the opinion of one of the American Founding Fathers on some topic of current interest is to draw from Class II derivations. The third deals with appeals to “universal judgement,” the “will of the people,” the “best interests of the majority,” or similar sentiments. And, finally, the fourth relies on various verbal gymnastics, metaphors, allegories, and so forth.

We see, then, that to comprehend Pareto’s residues and derivations is to gain insights into the paradox of human behavior. They represent an attack on rationalism and liberal ideals in that they illuminate the primitive motivations behind the sentimental slogans and catchwords of political life. Pareto devotes the vast majority of his Treatise to setting forth in detail his observations on human nature and to proving the validity of his observations by citing examples from history. His erudition in fields such as Greco-Roman history was legendary and this fact is reflected throughout his massive tome.

Natural Equilibrium

At the social level, according to Pareto’s sociological scheme, residues and derivations are mechanisms by which society maintains its equilibrium. Society is seen as a system, “a whole consisting of interdependent parts. The ‘material points or molecules’ of the system … are individuals who are affected by social forces which are marked by constant or common properties.” [20] When imbalances arise, a reaction sets in whereby equilibrium is again achieved. Pareto believed that Italy and France, the two modern societies with which he was most familiar, were grossly out of balance and that “foxes” were largely in control. Long are his laments in the Treatise about the effete ruling classes in those two countries. In both instances, he held, revolutions were overdue.

We have already noted that when a ruling class is dominated by men possessing strong Class I residues, intelligence is generally valued over all other qualities. The use of force in dealing with internal and external dangers to the state and nation is shunned, and in its place attempts are made to resolve problems or mitigate threats through negotiations or social tinkering. Usually, such rulers will find justification for their timidity in false humanitarianism.

In the domestic sphere, the greatest danger to a society is an excess of criminal activity with which Class I types attempt to cope by resorting to methods such as criminal “rehabilitation” and various eleemosynary gestures. The result, as we know only too well, is a country awash in crime. With characteristic sarcasm Pareto comments on this phenomenon:

Modern theorists are in the habit of bitterly reproving ancient “prejudices” whereby the sins of the father were visited upon the son. They fail to notice that there is a similar thing in our own society, in the sense that the sins of the father benefit the son and acquit him of guilt. For the modern criminal it is a great good fortune to be able to count somewhere among his ancestry or other relations a criminal, a lunatic, or just a mere drunkard, for in a court of law that will win him a lighter penalty or, not seldom, an acquittal. Things have come to such a pass that there is hardly a criminal case nowadays where that sort of defense is not put forward. The old metaphysical proof that was used to show that a son should be punished because of his father’s wrongdoing was neither more nor less valid than the proof used nowadays to show that the punishment which otherwise he deserves should for the same reasons be either mitigated or remitted. When, then, the effort to find an excuse for the criminal in the sins of his ancestors proves unavailing, there is still recourse to finding one in the crimes of “society,” which, having failed to provide for the criminal’s happiness, is “guilty” of his crime. And the punishment proceeds to fall not upon “society,” but upon one of its members, who is chosen at random and has nothing whatever to do with the presumed guilt. [21]

Pareto elucidates in his footnote: “The classical case is that of the starving man who steals a loaf of bread. That he should be allowed to go free is understandable enough; but it is less understandable that “society’s” obligation not to let him starve should devolve upon one baker chosen at random and not on society as a whole.” [22]

Pareto gives another example, about a woman who tries to shoot her seducer, hits a third party who has nothing to do with her grievance, and is ultimately acquitted by the courts. Finally, he concludes his note with these remarks: “To satisfy sentiments of languorous pity, humanitarian legislators approve ‘probation’ and ‘suspended sentence’ laws, thanks to which a person who has committed a first theft is at once put in a position to commit a second. And why should the luxury of humaneness be paid for by the unfortunate victim of the second theft and not by society as a whole? … As it is, the criminal only is looked after and no one gives a thought to the victim. [23]

Expanding on the proposition that “society” is responsible for the murderous conduct of certain people, with which viewpoint he has no tolerance, he writes:

In any event, we still have not been shown why people who, be it through fault of “society,” happen to be “wanting in the moral sense,” should be allowed freely to walk the streets, killing anybody they please, and so saddling on one unlucky individual the task of paying for a “fault” that is common to all the members of “society.” If our humanitarians would but grant that these estimable individuals who are lacking in a moral sense as a result of “society’s shortcomings” should be made to wear some visible sign of their misfortune in their buttonholes, an honest man would have a chance of seeing them coming and get out of the way. [24]

Foreign Affairs

In foreign affairs, “foxes” tend to judge the wisdom of all policies from a commercial point of view and usually opt for negotiations and compromise, even in dangerous situations. For such men profit and loss determine all policy, and though such an outlook may succeed for some time, the final result is usually ruinous. That is because enemies maintaining a balance of “foxes” and “lions” remain capable of appreciating the use of force. Though they may occasionally make a pretence of having been bought off, when the moment is right and their overly-ingenious foe is fast asleep, they strike the lethal blow. In other words, Class I people are accustomed by their excessively-intellectualized preconceptions to believe that “reason” and money are always mightier than the sword, while Class II folk, with their native common sense, do not nurse such potentially fatal delusions. In Pareto’s words, “The fox may, by his cunning, escape for a certain length of time, but the day may come when the lion will reach him with a well-aimed cuff, and that will be the end of the argument.” [25]

Circulation of the Elites

Apart from his analyses of residues and derivations, Pareto is notable among sociologists for the theory known as “the circulation of the elites.” Let us remember that Pareto considered society a system in equilibrium, where processes of change tend to set in motion forces that work to restore and maintain social balance.

Pareto asserts that there are two types of elites within society: the governing elite and the non-governing elite. Moreover, the men who make up these elite strata are of two distinct mentalities, the speculator and the rentier. The speculator is the progressive, filled with Class I residues, while the rentier is the conservative, Class II residue type. There is a natural propensity in healthy societies for the two types to alternate in power. When, for example, speculators have made a mess of government and have outraged the bulk of their countrymen by their corruption and scandals, conservative forces will step to the fore and, in one way or another, replace them. The process, as we have said, is cyclical and more or less inevitable.

Furthermore, according to Pareto, wise rulers seek to reinvigorate their ranks by allowing the best from the lower strata of society to rise and become fully a part of the ruling class. This not only brings the best and brightest to the top, but deprives the lower classes of talent and of the leadership qualities that might one day prove to be a threat. Summarizing this component of Pareto’s theory, a contemporary sociologist observes that practicality, not pity, demands such a policy:

A dominant group, in Pareto’s opinion, survives only if it provides opportunities for the best persons of other origins to join in its privileges and rewards, and if it does not hesitate to use force to defend these privileges and rewards. Pareto’s irony attacks the elite that becomes humanitarian, tenderhearted rather than tough-minded. Pareto favors opportunity for all competent members of society to advance into the elite, but he is not motivated by feelings of pity for the underprivileged. To express and spread such humanitarian sentiments merely weakens the elite in the defense of its privileges. Moreover, such humanitarian sentiments would easily be a platform for rallying the opposition. [26]

But few aristocracies of long standing grasp the essential nature of this process, preferring to keep their ranks as exclusive as possible. Time takes its toll, and the rulers become ever weaker and ever less capable of bearing the burden of governing:

It is a specific trait of weak governments. Among the causes of the weakness two especially are to be noted: humanitarianism and cowardice-the cowardice that comes natural to decadent aristocracies and is in part natural, in part calculated, in “speculator” governments that are primarily concerned with material gain. The humanitarian spirit … is a malady peculiar to spineless individuals who are richly endowed with certain Class I residues that they have dressed up in sentimental garb. [27]

In the end, of course, the ruling class falls from power. Thus, Pareto writes that “history is a graveyard of aristocracies.” [28]

The Transformation of Democracy

Published as a slim volume near the end of Pareto’s life, The Transformation of Democracy originally appeared in 1920 as a series of essays published in an Italian scholarly periodical, Revista di Milano. In this work, Pareto recapitulates many of his theories in a more concise form, placing particular emphasis on what he believes are the consequences of allowing a money-elite to dominate society. The title of this work comes from Pareto’s observation that European democracies in the 1920s were more and more being transformed into plutocracies. The deception and corruption associated with plutocratic rule would eventually produce a reaction, however, and lead to the system’s downfall. In Pareto’s words,

The plutocracy has invented countless makeshift programs, such as generating enormous public debt that plutocrats know they will never be able to repay, levies on capital, taxes which exhaust the incomes of those who do not speculate, sumtuary laws which have historically proven useless, and other similar measures. The principal goal of each of these measures is to deceive the multitudes. [29]

When a society’s system of values deteriorates to the point where hard work is denigrated and “easy money” extolled, where honesty is mocked and duplicity celebrated, where authority gives way to anarchy and justice to legal chicanery, such a society stands face to face with ruin.

Pareto and Fascism

Before we enter into the controversy surrounding Pareto’s sympathy for Italian leader Benito Mussolini, let us take pains to avoid the error of viewing events of the 1920s through the spectacles of the post-World War II era, for what seemed apparent in 1945 was not at all evident twenty years before. Inarguably, throughout the whole of the 1920s, Mussolini was an enormously popular man in Italy and abroad, with all except perhaps the most inveterate leftists. An American writer puts it as follows:

Postwar [First World War] Italy … was a sewer of corruption and degeneracy. In this quagmire Fascism appeared like a gust of fresh air, a tempest-like purgation of all that was defiled, leveled, fetid. Based on the invigorating instincts of nationalist idealism, Fascism “was the opposite of wild ideas, of lawlessness, of injustice, of cowardice, of treason, of crime, of class warfare, of special privilege; and it represented square-dealing, patriotism and common sense.” As for Mussolini, “there has never been a word uttered against his absolute sincerity and honesty. Whatever the cause on which he embarked, he proved to be a natural-born leader and a gluttonous worker.” Under Mussolini’s dynamic leadership, the brave Blackshirts made short shrift of the radicals, restored the rights of property, and purged the country of self-seeking politicians who thrive on corruption endemic to mass democracy.” [30]

If the Italian Duce was so popular in the 1920s that he received the accolades of the Saturday Evening Post [31] and the American Legion [32], and the highest praises of British and American establishment figures such as Winston Churchill [33] and Ambassador Richard Washburn Child, [34] how much more enthusiastic must have been Italians of Pareto’s conservative bent at that time. They credited Mussolini with nothing less than rescuing Italy from chaos and Bolshevism. The coming tragedies of the ’40s, needless to say, were far away, over a distant horizon, invisible to all.

Pareto invariably expressed contempt for the pluto-democratic governments that ruled Italy throughout most of his life. His rancor towards liberal politicians and their methods surfaces all through his books; these men are the object of his scorn and sharp wit. Pareto translator Arthur Livingston writes, “He was convinced that ten men of courage could at any time march on Rome and put the band of ‘speculators’ that were filling their pockets and ruining Italy to flight.” [35] Consequently, in October 1922, after the Fascist March on Rome and Mussolini’s appointment by the King as Prime Minister, “Pareto was able to rise from a sick-bed and utter a triumphant ‘I told you so!’.” [36] Yet, Pareto never joined the Fascist Party. Well into his seventies and severely ill with heart disease, he remained secluded in his villa in Switzerland.

The new government, however, extended many honors to Pareto. He was designated as delegate to the Disarmament Conference at Geneva, was made a Senator of the Kingdom, and was listed as a contributor to the Duce’s personal periodical, Gerarchia. [37] Many of these honors he declined due to the state of his health, yet he remained favorably disposed towards the regime corresponding with Mussolini and offering advice in the formulation of economic and social policies. [38]

Many years before the March on Rome, Mussolini attended Pareto’s lectures in Lausanne and listened to the professor with rapt attention. “I looked forward to every one,” Mussolini wrote, “…[f]or here was a teacher who was outlining the fundamental economic philosophy of the future.” [39] The young Italian was obviously deeply impressed and, after his elevation to power, sought immediately to transform his aged mentor’s thoughts into action:

In the first years of his rule Mussolini literally executed the policy prescribed by Pareto, destroying political liberalism, but at the same time largely replacing state management of private enterprise, diminishing taxes on property, favoring industrial development, imposing a religious education in dogmas….” [40]

Of course, it was not only Pareto’s economic theories that influenced the course of the Fascist state, but especially the sociological theories: “the Sociologia Generale has become for many Fascists a treatise on government,” [41] noted one writer at the time. Clearly, there was some agreement between Pareto and the new government. Pareto’s theory of rule by elites, his authoritarian leanings, his uncompromising rejection of the liberal fixation with Economic Man, his hatred of disorder, his devotion to the hierarchical arrangement of society, and his belief in an aristocracy of merit are all ideas in harmony with Fascism. Let us keep in mind, however, that all of these ideas were formulated by Pareto decades before anyone had ever heard of Fascism and Mussolini. Likewise, it may be said that they are as much in harmony with age-old monarchical ideas, or those of the ancient authoritarian republics, as with any modern political creeds.

Some writers have speculated that had Pareto lived he would have found many points of disagreement with the Fascist state as it developed, and it is true that he expressed his disapprobation over limitations placed by the regime on freedom of expression, particularly in academia. [42] As we have already seen, however, it was in Pareto’s nature to find fault with nearly all regimes, past and present, and so it would not have been surprising had he found reason occasionally to criticize Mussolini’s.

Neither Pareto nor Mussolini, it should be pointed out, were rigid ideologues. Mussolini once declared, perhaps a bit hyperbolically, that “every system is a mistake and every theory a prison.” [43] While government must be guided by a general set of principles, he believed, one must not be constrained by inflexible doctrines that become nothing more than wearisome impedimenta in dealing with new and unexplained situations. An early Fascist writer explained, in part, Mussolini’s affinity with Pareto in this respect:

“To seek!” — a word of power. In a sense, a nobler word than “to find.” With more of intention in it, less of chance. You may “find” something that is false; but he who seeks goes on seeking increasingly, always hoping to attain to the truth. Vilfredo Pareto was a master of this school. He kept moving. Without movement, Plato said, everything becomes corrupted. As Homer sang, the eternal surge of the sea is the father of mankind. Every one of Pareto’s new books or of the new editions of them, includes any number of commentaries upon and modifications of his previous books, and deals in detail with the criticisms, corrections, and objections which they have elicited. He generally refutes his critics, but while doing so, he indicates other and more serious points in regard to which they might have, and ought to have, reproved or questioned him. Reflecting over his subject, he himself proceeds to deal with these points, finding some of them specious, some important, and correcting his earlier conclusions accordingly. [44]

Though Fascist rule in Italy came to an end with the military victory of the Anglo-Americans in 1945, Pareto’s influence was not seriously touched by that mighty upheaval. Today, new editions of his works and new books about his view of society continue to appear. That his ideas endured the catastrophe of the war virtually without damage, and that they are still discussed among and debated by serious thinkers, is suggestive of their universality and timelessness.

Notes

  1. See, for example, W. Rex Crawford, “Representative Italian Contributions to Sociology: Pareto, Loria, Vaccaro, Gini, and Sighele,” chap. in An Introduction to The History of Sociology, Harry Elmer Barnes, editor (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), Howard Becker and Harry Elmer Barnes, “Sociology in Italy,” chap. in Social Thought From Lore to Science, (New York: Dover Publications, 1961), and James Burnham, The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom (New York: The John Day Company, 1943).
  2. G. Duncan Mitchell, A Hundred Years of Sociology (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1968), p. 115.
  3. Herbert W. Schneider, Making the Fascist State (New York: Oxford University Press, 1928), p. 102.
  4. Theory, Jonathan H. Turner, Editor (Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications, 1987), pp. 13-20.
  5. Appearing originally in 1909, the Manuele di economia politica has been translated into English: Ann Schwier translator, Ann Schwier and Alfred Page, Editors (New York: August M. Kelly, 1971).
  6. (Geneva: Librarie Droz, 1965). Published originally 1902-3. The book has never been fully published in English.
  7. The Treatise on General Sociology (Trattato di Sociologia Generale), was first published in English under the name The Mind and Society, A. Borngiorno and Arthur Livingston, translators (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Javanovich, 1935). It was reprinted in 1963 under its original title (New York: Dover Publications) and remains in print (New York: AMS Press, 1983). The Rise and Fall of the Elites: An Application of Theoretical Sociology (Totowa, New Jersey: The Bedminster Press, 1968; reprint, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, 1991) is a translation of Pareto’s monograph, “Un Applicazione de teorie sociologiche,” published in 1901 in Revista Italiana di Sociologia. The Transformation of Democracy (Trasformazioni della democrazia), Charles Power, editor, R. Girola, translator (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, 1984). The original Italian edition appeared in 1921.
  8. This term, “equality of opportunity” is so misused in our own time, especially in America, that some clarification is appropriate. “Equality of opportunity” refers merely to Pareto’s belief that in a healthy society advancement must be opened to superior members of all social classes — “Meritocracy,” in other words. See Powers, pp. 22-3.
  9. Powers, p. 19.
  10. Ibid., p. 20.
  11. Adrian Lyttelton, Editor, Italian Fascisms: From Pareto to Gentile (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), pp. 79-80.
  12. Ibid., p. 81.
  13. H. Stuart Hughes, Oswald Spengler: A Critical Estimate (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1952), p. 16.
  14. Lyttelton, p. 86.
  15. Ibid., pp. 82-3.
  16. James Burnham, Suicide of the West (New York: John Day Company, 1964), pp. 248-50.
  17. Pareto, Treatise, # 2455. Citations from the Treatise refer to the paragraph numbers that the author uses in this work . Citations are thus uniform in all editions.
  18. Ibid., # 2462.
  19. Ibid., # 2458-72.
  20. Nicholas Timasheff, Sociological Theory: Its Nature and Growth (New York: Random House, 1967), p. 162.
  21. Pareto, Treatise, # 1987.
  22. Ibid. # 1987n.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid., # 1716n.
  25. Ibid., # 2480n.
  26. Hans L. Zetterberg, “Introduction” to The Rise and Fall of the Elites by Vilfredo Pareto, pp. 2-3.
  27. Pareto, Treatise, # 2474.
  28. Ibid., # 2053.
  29. Pareto, Transformation, p. 60.
  30. John P. Diggins, Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972), p. 17. Diggins’ quotations in the cited paragraph come from the writings of an American Mussolini enthusiast of the 1920s, Kenneth L. Roberts.
  31. Ibid., p. 27.
  32. Ibid., p. 206. Mussolini was officially invited to attend the San Francisco Legion Convention of 1923 (he declined) and some years later was made an honorary member of the American Legion by a delegation of Legionnaires visiting Rome. The Duce received the delegation in his palace and was awarded a membership badge by the delighted American visitors.
  33. In an interview published in the London Times, January 21, 1927, immediately after a visit by Churchill to Mussolini, the future British Prime Minister said: “If I had been an Italian I am sure that I should have been wholeheartedly with you [Mussolini] from start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism.” See Luigi Villari, Italian Foreign Policy Under Mussolini (New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1956), p. 43.
  34. The United States Ambassador to Italy in the ’20s, Child dubbed Mussolini “the Spartan genius,” ghostwrote an “autobiography” of Mussolini for publication in America, and perpetually extolled the Italian leader in the most extravagant terms. Diggins, p. 27.
  35. Pareto, Treatise, p. xvii.
  36. Ibid.
  37. Franz Borkenau, Pareto (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1936), p. 18.
  38. Ibid., p. 20.
  39. Benito Mussolini, My Autobiography (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1928), p. 14.
  40. Borkenau, p. 18.
  41. George C. Homans and Charles P. Curtis, Jr., An Introduction to Pareto (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934), p. 9.
  42. Borkenau, p. 18. In a letter written to Mussolini written shortly before Pareto’s death, the sociologist cautioned that the Fascist regime must relentlessly strike down all active opponents. Those, however, whose opposition was merely verbal should not be molested since, he believed, that would serve only to conceal public opinion. “Let the crows craw but be merciless when it comes to acts,” Pareto admonished the Duce. See Alistair Hamilton, The Appeal of Fascism: A Study of Intellectuals and Fascism, 1919-1945 (New York: Macmillan Company, 1971), pp. 44-5.
  43. Margherita G. Sarfatti, The Life of Benito Mussolini (New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1925), p. 101.
  44. Ibid, p. 102.

A different version of the preceding article appeared in the Journal of Historical Review, 14/5 (September-October 1994), 10-18. The text presented here, however, includes some additional material; the JHR version is not yet online.

—————–

Alexander, James. “Vilfredo Pareto: The Karl Marx of Fascism.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 29 July 2011. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/07/vilfredo-pareto-the-karl-marx-of-fascism/ >.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under New European Conservative