Tag Archives: Socialism

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)

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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.

 

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From the German Conservative Revolution to the New Right – Tudor

“From the German Conservative Revolution to the New Right” by Lucian Tudor (PDF – 261 KB):

From the German Conservative Revolution to the New Right – Tudor

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Tudor, Lucian. “From the German Conservative Revolution to the New Right.” In: Lucian Tudor, From the German Conservative Revolution to the New Right: A Collection of Essays on Identitarian Philosophy, pp. 136-165. Santiago, Chile: Círculo de Investigaciones PanCriollistas, 2015.

Note: This essay has the same title as the book in which it was published and should not be confused with the book itself. It is, however, the most defining and comprehensive essay in Tudor’s book.

 

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Tradition, Modernity, & Confucian Revival in China – Worsman

“Tradition, Modernity, and the Confucian Revival: An Introduction and Literature Review of New Confucian Activism” by Richard Worsman (PDF – 611 KB):

Tradition, Modernity, and the Confucian Revival – Richard Worsman

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Worsman, Richard. “Tradition, Modernity, and the Confucian Revival: An Introduction and Literature Review of New Confucian Activism.” History Honors Papers, Paper 14. Connecticut College. 2012. <http://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=histhp >.

 

Notes: For further reading on the issue of tradition and modernity in China and various ideas of “modernisation without Westernisation,” see Between Tradition and Modernity: Philosophical Reflections on the Modernization of Chinese Culture by Li Zonggui (Oxford: Chartridge Books Oxford, 2015). Also, a collection of studies and perspectives on this process in various Asian countries can be found in Cultural Identity and Modernization in Asian Countries: Proceedings of Kokugakuin University Centennial Symposium (Tokyo: Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University, 1983. <http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/cimac/index.html >.)

An academic study over-viewing the theory and development of the process called “modernization without westernization” in Asia can be found in “Modernization without Westernization: Comparative Observations on the Cases of Japan and China and their Relevance to the Development of the Pacific Rim” by Stuart D.B. Picken (NUCB Journal of Economics and Information Science, Vol. 48, No. 2 (2004), pp. 171-179, <http://www.nucba.ac.jp/themes/s_cic@cic@nucba/pdf/njeis482/14PICKEN.pdf > [Alt.]). On the general idea of “modernisation without Westernisation” from a Neo-Eurasianist perspective, see the article “Modernization without westernization is the first step to reject imperialism” by Antonio Grego.

 

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The State – Sombart

The State

By Werner Sombart

 

It is obviously established in God’s plan of the world that the destiny of mankind is to be realized within the sphere of political associations.

The political association is that in which a majority of persons seeks to defend and vindicate its existence in its totality against another majority. It rests, as Carl Schmitt has aptly expressed it, upon the friend-enemy relationship. It represents the pro-con principle in society, just as the family realizes the pro-with principle. As the family is adjusted from within, the political association is adjusted from without. If the political association owes its existence to a majority of elements which disjoin mankind, the family owes its existence to a majority of the groups. Without ‘the others’ there could be no political association.

The tasks in which the ideas of the political association are manifested are as follows: (1) The external maintenance of the association in its unity and composition for the struggle against other political associations; (2) the development of those inclinations, capacities, and virtues which constitute the public, and in this sense, the political person; (3) the perfection and cultivation of peculiar values for the association in respect of body, soul, and spirit. The idea of the political association presupposes, as a historically-constructed principle, the value of group-wise separation of values and their realization. The higher spiritual values, in particular, are only brought out in particular groups, that is, in the political associations, which then become the bearers of all cultural development.

In them humanity is unfolded according to its differences, but in them the individuals are also drawn together in harmonious structures. So that both humanity and the individual nature realize their consummation in these intermediate forms which then in their development and in their struggle against one another become the real makers of what we call history.

We designate the general, comprehensive political association by a new word – ‘state’. But the thing is very old; the state, as we are to understand it here, is as old as mankind. All theories which give the state an ‘origin’ and which assume a pre-state condition are false.

In my manner of speaking [1], the state is an ideal (having ideas) association (together with family and religious association), by which I mean to say that the meaning of the state lies in the realm of the transcendental, that its purport cannot be significantly explained from an empirical, that is, ‘rational’ standpoint or from the viewpoint of an interest. That an individualistic-rational explanation of the state is excluded, the following considerations will show:

1. The ‘origin’ of ideal associations is irrational. First, in general, because they do not originate, as real associations do, but are always already in existence. Even if we regard the Puritan emigrants in America as founding a ‘new’ state, they did it as members of an existing association – England. But even then, if one would here speak of the ‘origin’ of a state, it would still not be in the sense of a rationally established association, resulting from the free decision of persons of age, since the newly established state , according to its very nature, always includes individuals who were not asked, but forced to become members: children, insane, the dead.

2. The range of problems, the peculiar kind of achievements of our association, transcend every conceivable sphere of individual interest and, therefore, do not admit of being established in its entirety by any particular interest. First of all, it is not a question of circumscribed tasks, which would be the case in every rational association, but one of endless relations. The aims lie beyond individual interests: what concern to the individual is the preservation of the species or the continuance and growth of the nation, if it implies nothing but a continuous struggle? Why should one participate in the creation of works whose completion he himself will not live to see? Why should one, as an individual, trouble oneself about the welfare of others and not only about the welfare of one’s kind, whose interests one may have occasion to promote from some utilitarian consideration, but also concern oneself with the welfare of the dead, the minors, the unborn?

3. The position of the members of a political association in relation to the organization is fundamentally different from any other relation anywhere: in all other cases the position of a member constitutes a claim; in the ideal association, it is a sacrifice, and, in fact, a sacrifice unto death. But the sacrifice necessarily presupposes a super-individual something – call it an idea – for which man sacrifices himself. It is senseless to have one individual sacrifice himself for another; the mother for the child, the warrior for the civilian. The idea may be abstract: liberty, faith, science (here too, it must be anchored in the transcendental, that is, it must be a real idea, so that the sacrifice may not appear frivolous). Or it may be a concrete idea, as it is represented in an association. Then, by that very fact, this association is characterized as having ideas, that is, its meaning points beyond this world.

I do not hesitate to call this conception of the state a genuine, German conception, and I regard the opinion, now so frequently held, that the idea of the state as represented here is foreign to German nature, as false. It certainly was first very clearly proclaimed by Germans in conscious contrast with the individualistic-rational conception of the state which came from the West.

I am thinking of the time at the end of the Eighteenth Century, when Herr von Schlözer, in his Allgemeinen Staatsrecht, could write: ‘The state is a device, men made it for their welfare, as they devised, among other things, fire-insurance.’ At that time there arose, among the romantics, the first opponents of this subaltern state-conception, who, for the first time, with strong emphasis, opposed it with another conception, namely, the German.

Thus Adam Müller permits himself to be heard as follows: ‘The state is not merely a manufactory, a homestead, an insurance association, or a mercantile society; it is the intimate union of all the physical and spiritual needs, all the physical and spiritual wealth, all the inward and outward life of a nation to a great, energetic and infinitely mobile and animated whole.’

The thoughtful statesman, Baron vom Stein, accepts this conception in almost the same words when he writes in his Memoir of November 25, 1822: The state is ‘no agricultural or factory association, but its purpose is religio-moral, spiritual, and corporative development; through its organization it should form not only an artistic and industrious, but also an energetic, courageous, moral, and spiritual people.’

To permit still another romanticist to speak in this connection, I will quote Novalis to show with what depth and clarity he expressed the German idea of the state in poetic glorification, denying all that the apostles of happiness, on the other hand, had philosophized into the state in their attempt to make it an insurance company: ‘All culture springs from the relations of men to the state . . . Man has attempted to make the state a cushion for indolence, whereas the state should be just the opposite. It is an armature of all activities; its purpose is to make man absolutely strong and not absolutely weak, to make him not the laziest but the most active being. The state does not relieve man of trouble, but rather increases his troubles infinitely; of course, not without also infinitely increasing his strength.’

This is the conception of the state which Fichte, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Schleiermacher, and Hegel, each incorporated in a special philosophic system and which then, gradually, under the influence of liberalistic development, grew pale. Prussian ‘Conservatives’ and German ‘Socialists’ only, remained loyal to it. I call to mind in this connection men such as Lorenz von Stein, Rodbertus, and by no means least, Ferdinand Lassalle, who in the time of the bleakest Manchester period, under the spell of his teacher, Fichte, represented the idea of the state in eloquent words, when he explained: ‘The state is this unity of individuals in a moral whole, a unity which increases a millionfold the power of all individuals who are included within this union . . . The purpose of the state is, therefore, to bring the human being to a positive development and a progressive development; in other words, to bring human determination, that is, the culture of which the human race is capable, into actual being.’

‘However wide a gulf separates you and me from one another, my lords!’ – thus he apostrophized his judges at the conclusion of his famous defense before the Supreme Court – ‘opposed to this dissolution of everything moral, we stand hand in hand! The ancient vestal fire of all civilization, the State, I will defend with you against those modern barbarians’ (of the Manchester school).

To be sure, all this is true only if we regard the state not as an ‘organization,’ an ‘apparatus,’ or anything else that is formal, which is all too often the case (this perversion of the facts was precisely the trick by the aid of which liberalistic thought wished to devalue the inconvenient idea of the state), but see what it really is – a union of living persons. What it really and truly is, then, will be clear when we realize that there are three views (aspects), that is, that it appears to us, on closer examination, in a three-fold form, namely: (1) as a unity-nation-polis, (2) as an entirety-commonwealth-politeia, (3) as a multiplicity-association-koinonia.

This three-fold substantiality corresponds to a three-fold collectivity of the state: to (1) population, to (2) society, to (3) the personal orbit.

The German Reich is such a political grand-union or state at the present time. And this German Reich, and this only, is also the field of German Socialism. The idea of Socialism, as I have already said, is most closely connected with the idea of the state. And it would imply a complete departure from this idea to remove its activities to the interstate or superstate field. Since Socialism is a social order, it must confine its activities within the area of the state, that is, within the orbit in which the order is consistently placed. The concepts of Socialism and the state, therefore, necessarily belong together; Socialism is possible only within the boundaries of the state, but a unified, properly organized, strong state is also possible only on the basis of Socialism.

Note:

[1] I have developed my theory of association in an article, “Grundformen des menschlichen Zusammenlebens,” in Handwörterbuch der Sociologie, 1931.

 

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Excerpt from: Sombart, Werner. A New Social Philosophy. Translated by Karl F. Geiser. New York: Greenwood Press, 1969. Text retrieved from: <http://www.hyperion-journal.net/the-state.html >.

 

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Wagner as Metapolitical Revolutionary – Bolton

Richard Wagner as Metapolitical Revolutionary

By Kerry Bolton

 

Karl Marx reserved a special place of contempt for those he termed “reactionists.” These comprised the alliance that was forming around his time among all classes of people, high-born and low, who aimed to return to a pre-capitalist society. These were the remnants of artisans, aristocrats, landowners, and pastors, who had seen the ravages of industrialism and money-ethics then unfolding. Where there had once been craft, community, village, the marketplace, and the church, there was now mass production, class war, the city, and the stock exchange.

Rather than deploring capitalism, as one might suppose, Marx regarded this as an indispensable phase in the “wheel of history,” of the historical dialectic, which would through a conflict of thesis and antitheses result in a socialist and eventually a communist society. This was the inevitable unfolding of history according to Marx, based on as struggle for primacy by economic interests: class struggle, where primitive communism, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and communism represented a linear progression. Hence, anything that interfered with this process was “reactionism.”[1]

Capitalism itself would go through a stage of increasing internationalisation and concentration, whereby increasing numbers of bourgeois would be dispossessed and join the ranks of the proletariat that would make a revolution to overthrow capitalism.[2] Hence, Marx sought to overthrow the traditions and ethos of pre-capitalist society, and, given that dialectics means that the new “synthesis” incorporates elements of what it has overthrown, Marxian-socialism, as “reactionist” historians such as Oswald Spengler[3] and Julius Evola[4] have pointed out, was itself an aspect of capitalism.[5]

Marx came into a revolutionary milieu comprised of varying elements but which generally took inspiration from the French Revolution of 1789, with an emphasis on the “rights of man” that provided a reformist façade for the rise of the bourgeoisie. Hence these revolutionaries of the mid-19th century regarded themselves as “democrats” fighting for equality. However, they also saw the nation-state and the sovereignty of peoples as the liberating factor from princes, kings, dynasties, and empires that were seen as placing themselves above “the people.” Hence, nationalism became the revolutionary force of the century, albeit at times intended, like Jacobinism, as a prelude to a “universal republic.”

Volk and Nation as Revolutionary Forces

The German Revolution moved in a völkisch direction, where the Volk was seen as the basis of the state, and the notion of a Volk-soul that guided the formation and development of nations became a predominant theme that came into conflict with the French bourgeois liberal-democratic ideals. J. G. Fichte had laid the foundations of a German nationalism in 1807–1808 with his Addresses to the German Nation. Although like possibly all revolutionaries or radicals of the time, beginning under the impress of the French Revolution, by the time he had delivered his addresses to the German nation, he had already rejected Jacobinism, and his views became increasingly authoritarian and influenced by the Realpolitik of Machiavelli.

Johann Gottfried Herder had previously sought to establish the concept of the Volk-soul, and of each nation being guided by a spirit. This was a metaphysical conception of race, or more accurately Volk, that preceded the biological arguments of Wagner’s friend Count Arthur de Gobineau in his seminal racial treatise, The Inequality of the Human Races, which was to impress Wagner decades later. Herder’s doctrine is evident in Wagner’s, insofar as Herder stated that the Volk is the only class, and includes both King and peasant, and that “the people” are not the same as the rabble, heralded by Jacobinism and later Marxism. Herder upheld the individuality and separation of nations, that had fortuitously been separated by both natural and cultural barriers, and that these nations manifested innate differences one from the other, including in their religious outlooks.

Wagner’s rejection of the French ideals in favour of the Germanic, as one might expect, can be traced to aesthetic sensibilities, and his stay in Paris gave him a distaste for the “exaggerations” of French music.[6] In France Wagner was acquainted with Jews whom he came to distrust and said of this period that it had promoted his consciousness as a German:

On the other hand, I felt strongly drawn to gain a closer acquaintance of German history than I had secured at school. I had Raumer’s History of the Hohenstaufen within easy reach to start upon. All the great figures in this book lived vividly before my eyes. I was particularly captivated by the personality of that gifted Emperor Frederick II, whose fortunes aroused my sympathy so keenly that I vainly sought for a fitting artistic setting for them. The fate of his son Manfred, on the other hand, provoked in me an equally well-grounded, but more easily combated, feeling of opposition. . . .

Even at this time it delighted me to find in the German mind the capacity of appreciating beyond the narrow bounds of nationality all purely human qualities, in however strange a garb they might be presented. For in this I recognised how nearly akin it is to the mind of Greece. In Frederick II, I saw this quality in full flower. A fair-haired German of ancient Swabian stock, heir to the Norman realm of Sicily and Naples, who gave the Italian language its first development, and laid a basis for the evolution of knowledge and art where hitherto ecclesiastical fanaticism and feudal brutality had alone contended for power, a monarch who gathered at his court the poets and sages of eastern lands, and surrounded himself with the living products of Arabian and Persian grace and spirit–this man I beheld betrayed by the Roman clergy to the infidel foe, yet ending his crusade, to their bitter disappointment, by a pact of peace with the Sultan, from whom he obtained a grant of privileges to Christians in Palestine such as the bloodiest victory could scarcely have secured.[7]

This seemingly universalistic ideal of “humanity” is however at the root of his suspicion of the Jews as possessing traits inimical to “humanity.” Herder, Fichte, and other founders of German Idealism, including Kant, had taken the same view, their German nationalism including a certain universalism that saw the Germans as having a messianic world mission, just as the British, Jews, and Russians[8] have all held themselves to be bearers of a world mission vis-à-vis the whole of humanity. It was in Frederick however, that Wagner “beheld the German ideal in its highest embodiment.” “If all that I regarded as essentially German had hitherto drawn me with ever-increasing force, and compelled me to its eager pursuit, I here found it suddenly presented to me in the simple outlines of a legend, based upon the old and well-known ballad of ‘Tannhauser.’”[9]

Dresden Revolt and Bakunin

Having returned to Dresden from Paris in 1842, Wagner secured a position as a conductor at the Royal Theatre, a profession that failed to enthuse him over the course of seven years. However, it was here that the arch-revolutionist of anarchism, the Russian noble, Mikhail Bakunin, despite being a fugitive, sat in the audience at the public rehearsal of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Wagner, who wrote:

At its close he walked unhesitatingly up to me in the orchestra, and said in a loud voice, that if all the music that had ever been written were lost in the expected world-wide conflagration, we must pledge ourselves to rescue this symphony, even at the peril of our lives. Not many weeks after this performance it really seemed as though this world-wide conflagration would actually be kindled in the streets of Dresden, and that Bakunin, with whom I had meanwhile become more closely associated through strange and unusual circumstances, would undertake the office of chief stoker.[10]

Wagner had met Bakunin in 1848, while the Russian was a fugitive from the Austrian authorities, in the house of a friend, the republican leader August Röckel. Wagner described the visage of Bakunin when they first met: “Everything about him was colossal, and he was full of a primitive exuberance and strength. I never gathered that he set much store by my acquaintance. Indeed, he did not seem to care for merely intellectual men; what he demanded was men of reckless energy.”[11]

Bakunin looked to his fellow Slavs as what we might call the new barbarians, who could regenerate humanity, “because the Slavs had been less enervated by civilization.”[12] He could cite Hegelian dialectics at length and was committed to the destruction of the old order, and saw in the Russian peasant the best hope of starting a world conflagration. The destructive urge of the Russian giant bothered Wagner. Bakunin cared nothing for the French, although having started his ideological journey by reading Rousseau, like many radicals of the time, nor for the ideals of republicanism or democracy. Wagner however, feared that such forces of destruction, once unleashed, would annihilate all culture, and that nothing could arise again:

Was any one of us so mad as to fancy that he would survive the desired destruction? We ought to imagine the whole of Europe with St. Petersburg, Paris, and London transformed into a vast rubbish-heap. How could we expect the kindlers of such a fire to retain any consciousness after so vast a devastation? He used to puzzle any who professed their readiness for self-sacrifice by telling them it was not the so-called tyrants who were so obnoxious, but the smug Philistines. As a type of these he pointed to a Protestant parson, and declared that he would not believe he had really reached the full stature of a man until he saw him commit his own parsonage, with his wife and child, to the flames.[13]

Bakunin was untempered fury, Wagner a contemplative aesthete who was to dwell for decades on the course of revolution as a means to a higher state of humanity, and who was ultimately to influence the course of history more so than his Russian friend.

Bakunin deplored Wagner’s intention to write a tragedy entitled “Jesus of Nazareth,” and implored Wagner to make it a work of contempt towards a figure whom Bakunin regarded as a weakling, while Wagner saw in Jesus the figure of a Hero. Indeed, Wagner, who sought the redemption of man through the return to nature and the overthrow of the superficiality of a decaying civilization, a pantheist and a heathen who looked to ancient Greece, nonetheless placed a focus on Jesus as a revolutionary hero whose meaning was that of redemption from mammon. He was to state to the Dresden Patriotic Club in the revolutionary year of 1848 that God would guide the revolution against “this daemonic idea of Money . . . with all its loathsome retinue of open and secret usury, paper-juggling, percentage and banker’s speculations. That will be the full emancipation of the human race, that will be the fulfilment of Christ’s pure teaching.”[14]

Yet paradoxically, again Bakunin betrayed his own repressed aestheticism when he intently listened to Wagner play and sing The Flying Dutchman and applauded enthusiastically. Wagner saw in Bakunin a man conflicted with the “purest ideal of humanity” and “a savagery entirely inimical to all civilization.” Wagner’s ideal was “the artistic remodelling of human society.” However, Wagner’s fears subsided when he found that Bakunin’s plans for destruction were as utopian as Wagner’s reshaping of humanity by aesthetics, and for all the zeal, Bakunin had no real means or following.[15]

Bakunin was back with Wagner in 1849, after a brief sojourn to see if the Slavs could be incited, and it was in Dresden that both were involved in the city’s revolt against the King of Saxony. Wagner on his own account felt no great attraction to democratic politics, but assumed the role of revolutionary it seems through a dissatisfaction with life: “My feelings of partisanship were not sufficiently passionate to make me desire to take any active share in these conflicts. I was merely conscious of an impulse to give myself up recklessly to the stream of events, no matter whither it might lead.”[16]

Nonetheless, the German democratic revolution was seen by many, including Wagner, as the means of dismantling principalities for the purpose of creating a united German nation. It was where a dichotomy between the democratic and the völkisch revolutions arose, the first derived from French inspiration and Jewish intellectualism such as that of Heine, the second from the roots of Germany, and expressed by Fichte, Hegel, and Herder.

Wager had already issued a clarion call for “Revolution” in an essay by that name just prior to the May 1849 revolt in Dresden. Like Bakunin, his revolution was a call to instinct and to vitalism, antithetical to the intellectualism of Jewish socialists and democrats. It was a romanticism of revolt that sought the overthrow of states because they suppressed the instinct, the vitality of life that welled up from within the Volk soul. He saw revolution as a “supernatural force” and referred to it as “a lofty goddess.” Wagner wrote: “I [the revolution] am the ever rejuvenating, ever fashioning Life.” “Everything must be in a state of becoming.” “Life is law unto itself.”[17] Wagner’s ode to vital forces had no kinship with the theoretical dissertations of Marx.

Yet, Wagner’s appeal was also to the kings and princes. He saw the ideal of the King as being the first among the Volk, and not as a debased hereditary ruler representing a single class. Wagner’s idea of Kingship harkened to the primeval Germans who selected their kings from among the populace on the basis of their heroism. Like Herder, Wagner saw the populous as one class, the Volk, and what Wagner was really fighting against was a system that intervened between Volk and King. Wagner wrote a völkisch appeal for princes and people to unite against the East, albeit unpublished, possibly because it did not express the sentiments of certain Jewish liberal publishers: “The old fight against the East returns again today. The people’s sword must not rust / Who freedom wish for aye.”[18] He wrote in an article published in the Dresdener Anzeiger of the intrinsic value of Kingship, and posed the question as to whether all the issues debated by the democrats cannot nonetheless be met under the personage of the King?

I must own, however, that I felt bound to urge this king to assume a much more familiar attitude towards his people than the court atmosphere and the almost exclusive society of his nobles would seem to render possible. Finally, I pointed to the King of Saxony as being specially chosen by Fate to lead the way in the direction I had indicated, and to give the example to all the other German princes.[19]

What did inspire Wagner was the revolt in Vienna that had seen workers and students unite. Yet Wagner was repelled by the rhetoric and the demagoguery of the revolutionary movement, which he regarded as “shallow.” It was the abhorrence of an aesthete who is instinctively repelled by the mob and its leaders.[20] Referring to the Dresden revolutionary committee of which he was a member, Wagner wrote that the part he played “as in everything else, was dictated by artistic motives.”[21]

Wagner had made enemies of the Court petty officials who surrounded the King. The pressure mounted to deprive Wagner of his position as Conductor of the Royal Theatre in Dresden, although the King resisted those pressures, and Wagner assured himself that the King had understood him. However, he went for a short period to Vienna. Wagner returned to Dresden, more concerned with “theatrical reform” than with social reform.

At this time however, Wagner’s friend Röckel, released on bail from jail for his role in the revolutionary movement, began to publish a journal extolling the aims of the French anarchist theorist Proudhon, to which Wagner states he was completely converted. He regarded his aesthetic revolution as first requiring a cleansing revolt by the “socialists” and “communists.” In this he as always sought to eliminate mammon from life, and to place humanity on an aesthetic foundation.

Proudhon, as Röckel explained to him,[22] advocated the elimination of the role of the middleman, which again meant the elimination of the role of the Jew, whom Proudhon described as a typical mercantile race, “exploiting,” “anti-human,” and “parasitic.”[23] Indeed, many in the socialist movement, including even Jews such as Marx, saw the Jew as the eternal middleman and socialism as the means by which humanity, including the Jews themselves, could be emancipated from a money-god that had shaped the entirety of modern civilization. Marx expressed the attitude of many in the Young Germany movement in stating of the Jews in an article specifically on the matter:

What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time. An organization of society which would abolish the preconditions for huckstering, and therefore the possibility of huckstering, would make the Jew impossible. His religious consciousness would be dissipated like a thin haze in the real, vital air of society. On the other hand, if the Jew recognizes that this practical nature of his is futile and works to abolish it, he extricates himself from his previous development and works for human emancipation as such and turns against the supreme practical expression of human self-estrangement. We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time, an element which through historical development—to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed—has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily begin to disintegrate. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism. This is no isolated fact. The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart from him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews.[24]

Aside from Marx himself being a huckster motivated by self-interest and the “God of money,”[25] these sentiments were the common outlook of German radicals in the milieu in which Wagner worked and were to be expressed in similar terms a decade later by Wagner in his essay Judaism in Music, for which he has become irredeemable to many Jewish, Leftist, and liberal critics.

Wagner’s friend Bakunin saw Marx and Rothschild as part of “a single profiteering sect, a people of bloodsuckers, a single gluttonous parasite . . .”[26] Bakunin, started his career as a revolutionary with the Young Hegelians in Germany, with an article published in one of their journals in 1842, entitled “Reaction in Germany.” What Bakunin advocated for his fellow Slavs was a federated Slavic republic stretching across Europe, on the ruins of the Hapsburg melting-pot. Non-Slavic minorities would live under Slavic rule.

His grandiose aim did not find favor at the Congress of Slavic Nationalities that he attended in Prague in 1848. He appealed for collaboration among German, Hungarian, and Slavic radicals. He hoped for simultaneous revolts in Bohemia, Hungary, and the German states. Paradoxically, what the chief proponent of anarchism sought was a totalitarian authority and the suppression of “all manifestations of gabbing anarchy” across the federated Slav bloc. Such were the ideals of a current of the European revolution which fermented side-by-side and fought along with Jewish intellectuals, neo-Jacobins, and bourgeois democrats, most of whom regarded for one reason or another the nation-state and/or the Volk as the means of securing freedom against dynasties and empires.

Bakunin’s internationalism was but a phase that begun with the founding of the Internationale in 1864 and ended with his disillusionment with the “masses” in 1874; his internationalist-anarchism had comprised merely ten years of his life.[27] At the time of his friendship with Wagner, as they walked about Dresden in tumult, with Prussian troops advancing, Bakunin was a Pan-Slavic anti-Semite.

On May 1, 1849 the Chamber of Deputies of Saxony was dissolved, and Röckel, having been a Deputy, now lost his legal immunity. Wagner supported Röckel in the continuation of his journal, Volksblatt, which also provided a meagre income for Röckel’s family. While Röckel escaped to Bohemia, revolution broke out in Dresden, as Wagner busily worked on Volksblatt. It was in his position as a journalist that Wagner observed the revolutionary proceedings and the loss of control of the bourgeois liberal theorists to the mob. On May 3 bells rang out from St. Anne’s church tower as a call to take up arms. On Wagner’s account, he seems to have been driven by the enthusiasm of the moment. He recounts that he looked on as though watching a drama unfold until, caught up with the zeal of the crowd, he transformed from spectator to actor:

I recollect quite clearly that from that moment I was attracted by surprise and interest in the drama, without feeling any desire to join the ranks of the combatants. However, the agitation caused by my sympathy as a mere spectator increased with every step I felt impelled to take.[28]

While the King of Saxony and his Government and officials fled, the King of Prussia ordered his troops to march on Dresden. At this time news reached Dresden that an uprising had taken place at Württemberg, with the support of the local soldiery. Wagner saw the prospect of an invasion from Prussia as an opportunity to appeal to the patriotic sentiments of the Dresden soldiers, and Volksblatt presses came out with an appeal in bold type: “Seid Ihr mit uns gegen fremde Truppen?” (Are you on our side against the foreign troops?). The appeal was ineffectual. The initial attitude of Bakunin, who emerged from his hiding place to causally wander about the barricades, smoking a cigar and deriding amateurism of the revolutionary efforts, was that the revolt was chaotic, and he saw no point in remaining to support the doomed insurrection. However a provisional government was formed, while news was coming from throughout Germany that other cities were in revolt.[29]

On May 6 the Prussian troops fired on the market square. The heroic actions of a single individual to remain, unarmed, atop the barricades while everyone fled, rallied the defenders and they thwarted the Prussian advance. This heroism was now enough for Bakunin to throw in his lot with the revolt. The revolt lasted a few weeks, before which Wagner had already left Dresden, and started making arrangements for the performance of Tannhäuser at Weimar.

Wagner’s participation in the revolt seems to have been primarily as a propagandist and he, like Bakunin, did not see much substance in it. While Bakunin was inspired by an individual act of heroism, for Wagner he had been enthused by the sight of a well formed people’s militia on the march: the forerunner of a regenerated Volk.

Wagner was regarded as one of the primary leaders of the revolt and fled to Switzerland and from there to Paris. Here again he become acquainted with the Jews as middlemen in the music world, whom he had come to distrust previously in that city. He then went back to Zurich, where he wrote the pamphlets Kunst und Revolution (Art and Revolution) and Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft (The Artwork of the Future). Back in Paris, Wagner started writing for a German radical journal, for which he prepared a lengthy essay, Kunst und Klima (“Art and Climate”) and then went back to Zurich.[30]

With the support of many German aristocrats and other well-placed individuals, Wagner returned to Germany via Weimar. In 1863, after petitioning Saxony, he was amnestied and permitted to resettle in Dresden.[31]

Those who see Wagner “selling-out” his socialist principles for the sake of royal patronage fail to understand that his “socialism” was not some type of class struggle for the rule of the proletariat, but was for a unified Volk from out of which would emerge a Hero-King-Redeemer. He maintained his closeness to many princes and princesses, counts and countesses, until finally securing the patronage of King Ludwig of Bavaria.[32]

“Communism”: Gemeinsamkeit

If Wagner was in 1849 still making allusions to a universalistic creed that was existing uneasily within the German völkisch freedom movement, having in 1841 written of “love for Universal Man,”[33] the same year (1849) he was articulating a conception of art that was thoroughly völkisch. In The Art-Work of the Future Wagner explains the völkisch basis of art, and in so doing the intrinsically “socialist” character of art not as an expression of the artist’s ego, but the artist as expressing the Volk-soul.

Ultimately his ideas were pantheistic and heathen, seeing Nature as the basis of human action, and the artificial civilization that had subjugated Nature as the object for revolt: “The real Man will therefore never be forthcoming, until true Human Nature, and not the arbitrary statutes of the State, shall model and ordain his Life; while real Art will never live, until its embodiments need be subject only to the laws of Nature, and not to the despotic whims of Mode.”[34]

Part III of his essay is devoted to “The Folk and Art,” which in his essay on Revolution and Art just shortly before, is relegated to being subsidiary to the “universal man.” The Volk now assumes the central role as the “vital force.” The Volk were all those, regardless of class, who rejected ego and considered themselves part of a “commonality.”[35] The subversion of this is the desire for “luxury,” and the subordination of the state and the Volk to capital, industry and the machine.

This alienation of man from Nature, observed Wagner, leads to “fashion,” where the “modern artist” creates a “freshly fangled fashion,” or “a thing incomprehensible,” by resorting to “the customs and the garb of savage races in new-discovered lands, the primal fashions of Japan and China, from time to time usurp as ‘Mannerisms,’ in greater or in less degree, each several departments of our modern art.”[36]

It is with socialism or “communism” that Wagner repudiated the great enemy of the art of the future: the individual aliened from the Volk. What is translated into English as “communism” was rendered in German as Gemeinsamkeit,[37] meaning “commonality,” hence we can discern something quite different between Wagner’s “communism” and what is today understood as “communism.”

It was not until several decades later that Wagner seems to have concluded that race differences preclude the desirability of states in constant flux according to external circumstances and that the folk should be a stable unit rather than a phase along the evolution to “Universal Man.” Hence, with his friend Count Arthur de Gobineau, author of the seminal Inequality of the Human Races, which made race a physical rather than a metaphysical question, being a major new influence on his thinking, Wagner explained in an essay “Hero-dom and Christendom,” in his magazine Bayreuther Blätter, that racial mixing among “noble” and “ignoble” races results in the irredeemable fall of the noble. For Wagner the noblest of all races was the “white.” Now Wagner wrote that the “uniform equality” of humanity, which he had once dreamt of as evolving into “Universal Man” under the leadership of the free German, “is unimaginable in any but a horrifying picture.”[38]

In 1850 Wagner published Judaism in Music, an important treatise in understanding his revolutionary ideas. Since the distinct characteristics of an object can be most clearly understood by comparing it with another object, the character of the German Volk was most evident by comparing it with the perceived traits of the Jews in their midst. Wagner alludes to this in a later essay, when stating that one can most readily state what is “German” by comparison with what is Jewish.[39] Judaism in Music was also the treatise that marked Wagner as a seminal leader of modern German “anti-Semitism” as a forerunner of National Socialism.

As noted, Wagner’s views on Jews were fairly typical of the ideologues of German Idealism, and of anti-capitalist radicals such as Proudhon, Bakunin, and Marx, the common belief being that Jews had detached themselves from “humanity,” and that the liberation of humanity from Jewishness would also emancipate the Jews.

As Wagner explained in Judaism in Music, he is only concerned with the Jews in culture rather than in politics or religion. As far as politics goes, with reference to Herr Rothschild as being “Jew of the Kings” rather than being content as “King of the Jews,” Wagner referred to the previous “Liberalism” of himself and his fellow radicals as “a not very lucid mental sport,” that failed to understand the true character of the Volk; and likewise, for all the radicals’ declaration on emancipating the Jews in theory, their remained an instinctive revulsion in practice.

So far from needing emancipation, the Jew “rules, and will rule, so long as Money remains the power before which all our doings and our dealings lose their force.”[40] Hence, being the middleman and the moneychanger, Jewish influence in the arts turns culture into an “art-bazaar.” While Wagner could still talk of the “Universal Man,” he nonetheless also refers in 1850 to something “disagreeably foreign” about the Jew no matter to which European nationality he belongs. While speaking the language of the nation in which he dwells, he nonetheless “speaks it always as an alien.”

Wagner had just a year previously written of Volk communities as subjected to change as per external circumstances, as a natural and desirable historical development, but here writes of a community as an enduring historical bond, and not as “the work of scattered units.” This is a development from his prior anarchistic definitions of communities as pragmatic rather than enduring: “only he who has unconsciously grown up within the bond of this community, takes also any share in its creations.”[41]

The Jew however has developed as a people, “outside the pale of any such community,’ as “splintered, soilless stock” whose communal attachment is to their God Jehova. Hence, the Jewish contribution to music, vocally, has been “a creaking, squeaking, buzzing snuffle,” “an intolerably jumbled babbler.” It is modern society based on money that has emancipated the Jew and therefore brought the Jew into the arts.

By 1850 then, Wagner had largely disposed of any former universalistic ideals, in favor of a völkisch doctrine. Over the next few decades, having recognized the folly of previous types of radicalism, he had fully embraced a völkisch ideology that remained rooted wholly in his first calling as an artist. Wagner’s ideal remained the elevating of humanity, led by the Germans, to higher levels of Being, of that which defines what is human, towards man-as-artist manifesting his creativity and appreciation for creativity within the context of the Volk community. Hence, the following year he wrote of his transcendence of the current isms: “I am neither a republican, nor a democrat, nor a socialist, nor a communist, but–an artistic being; and as such, everywhere that my gaze, my desire and my will extend, an out and out revolutionary, a destroyer of the old by the creation of the new.”[42]

His aesthetic ideals did not temper his zeal for revolution, but enhanced them, writing to a friend, “the bloodiest hatred for our whole civilization, contempt for all things deriving from it, and longing for nature . . . only the most terrific and destructive revolution could make our civilized beasts ‘human’ again.”[43]

His “anarchism” was the type of the free Germanic Volk who did not tolerate tyrants and whose concept of “freedom” was that of communal, Volk freedom, and not the egotism of the individual, a type of “anarchism” nonetheless that was postulated by Bakunin and later by Kropotkin, that states that communities are organically formed by free association from instinct, and not imposed by laws. “The same Wagnerian spirit favouring in music the revolt of emotional inspiration against classical rules favours in politics the revolt of instinctive Volk against law,” writes Peter Viereck.[44] By 1865 he had repudiated the widespread revolutionary spirit of 1848, as “a Jewish importation of French rationalism,” Viereck states.[45] Wagner explained his rejection of the prior era of revolt, writing in 1876 that,

I have no hesitation about styling the subsequent revolutions in Germany entirely un-German. “Democracy” in Germany is purely a translated thing. It exists merely in the “Press;” and what this German Press is, one must find out for oneself. But untowardly enough, this translated Franco-Judaico-German Democracy could really borrow a handle, a pretext and deceptive cloak, from the misprised and maltreated spirit of the German Folk. To secure a following among the people, “Democracy” aped a German mien; and “Deutschthum,” “German spirit,” “German honesty,” “German freedom,” “German morals,” became catchwords disgusting no one more than him who had true German culture, who had to stand in sorrow and watch the singular comedy of agitators from a non-German people pleading for him without letting their client so much as get a word in edgewise. The astounding unsuccessfulness of the so loud-mouthed movement of 1848 is easily explained by the curious circumstance that the genuine German found himself; and found his name, so suddenly represented by a race of men quite alien to him.[46]

While critics claim that Wagner reneged on his former revolutionary ideas to curry favor with the aristocracy, his greatest patron being King Ludwig of Bavaria, his great English admirer, the Germanophilic English-born philosopher, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who married Wagner’s daughter Eva, said of the maestro that he remained a revolutionist from 1840 to the day of his death, on the basis that you cannot separate corrupt society from corrupt art.[47]

Wagner’s revolutionary “freedom” was the innate German instinct for freedom; not the French, nor the English nor the Jewish conceptions of humanism and liberalism, of freedom for commerce and for parliaments. That völkisch freedom could as well be served in the ancient institution of a King if that King embodied the völkisch spirit. The Wagnerian leader is a nexus with the divine and the highest embodiment of the Volk. Wagner referred to this leader who would liberate the Germans as a Volk, rather than as a class of money interests, as a “hero,” as the “folk-king” and as the legendary “Barbarossa,” the German’s King Arthur who awakens from a slumber when his people are most endangered. Wagnerians looked for the Germanic Messiah, the reborn Barbarossa as the saviour of Germany.

Even in 1848 Wagner sought a King who would embody the Volk; a King who would be “the first of the Volk” and not merely representative of a class, and he sought to elevate the King of Saxony to that position, rather than to overthrow him.[48] He was a “republican” in a very definite sense, not of wishing to overthrow the King, but of the king leading the res publica, the public–the people–the Volk–as a unitary whole. Such a “folk-king” must transcend class and selfish interests. Here we see that Wagner could have no time for the banalities of parliament or of class war. Such matters as parliaments, constitutions and parties were divisive to the völkisch organism, undermined the authority of the folk-king, and reduced the Volk to separate constituents rather than maintaining a unitary organic state.[49] However Wagner drew a distinction between King and Monarchy, because a monarchy is a hereditary class that does not arise from the Volk, and indeed we see how monarchies might disintegrate over centuries, where they are based on birth rather than achievement, and that birth-lineage often becomes degenerate and effete, perhaps with no recourse other than through revolution, which more generally throws up a rulership that is worse. Wagner looked to the primeval Germanic Kinship drawn from selection among free men, which was the rule of Herodom, the divine Hero[50] often the plot of his operas.

In his essay Art and Revolution Wagner introduced his remarks by an admission of his own muddled thinking at the time of the Dresden revolt. He sought to amalgamate the ideas of Hegel, Proudhon, and Feuerbach into a revolutionary philosophy. “From this arose a kind of impassioned tangle of ideas, which manifested itself as precipitance and indistinctness in my attempts at philosophical system.”[51]

Wagner explains what he means by his frequent references to “communism,” not wishing to be misconstrued as being a supporter of the Paris Commune, as was then frequently supposed, but as a term meaning the repudiation of “egos.” Wagner explains that by “communism” he means the collectivity of the “Volk,” “that should represent the incomparable productivity of antique brotherhood, while I looked forward to the perfect evolution of this principle as the very essence of the associate Manhood of the Future.” This Germanic conception was antithetical to the Jacobin, liberal-democratic mind of the French.[52] He regarded Germany as having a mission among the nations, by virtue of a “German spirit,” to herald a new dawn of creativity that renounced egotism and the economics that was being driven by it.[53] Quoting Thomas Carlyle[54] on the epochal impact of the French Revolution and the “spontaneous combustion” of humanity, Wagner saw this mission of the “German race” as one of creation rather than destruction and the “breaking out of universal mankind into Anarchy.”[55] In Art and Revolution Wagner addressed the question of the impact of the late 1840s European revolt on the arts, and where the artist had been in the era preceding the tumult. It was the “Hellenic race,” once overcoming its “Asiatic birthplace,” which birthed a “strong manhood of freedom,” most fully expressed in their god Apollo, who had slain the forces of Chaos, to bring forth “the fundamental laws of the Grecian race and nation.” It was in Greece, including Sparta, where art and state and war-craft were an organic entity.[56] The Athenian “spirit of community” fell to “egoism” and split itself along a thousand lines of egoistic cleavage.”[57] The degradation of the Roman world succumbed to “the healthy blood of the fresh Germanic nations,” whose blood poured into the “ebbing veins of the Roman world.” But art had sold itself to “commerce.” Mercury, the God of commerce, had become the ruler of “modern art.”

This is Art, as it now fills the entire civilised world! Its true essence is Industry; its ethical aim, the gaining of gold; its aesthetic purpose, the entertainment of those whose time hangs heavily on their hands. From the heart of our modern society, from the golden calf of wholesale Speculation, stalled at the meeting of its cross-roads, our art sucks forth its life-juice, borrows a hollow grace from the lifeless relics of the chivalric conventions of mediaeval times, and—blushing not to fleece the poor, for all its professions of Christianity—descends to the depths of the proletariat, enervating, demoralising, and dehumanising everything on which it sheds its venom.[58]

In ancient Greece, by contrast, art belonged to the entire populace; not to a single class. The contrast between Greek and modern education shows the differences between a Volk and a state of classes educated for commerce:

The Greeks sought the instruments of their art in the products of the highest associate culture: we seek ours in the deepest social barbarism. The education of the Greek, from his earliest youth, made himself the subject of his own artistic treatment and artistic enjoyment, in body as in spirit: our foolish education, fashioned for the most part to fit us merely for future industrial gain, gives us a ridiculous, and withal arrogant satisfaction with our own unfitness for art, and forces us to seek the subjects of any kind of artistic. . . .[59]

The task was not to restore the Greek or anything else from the past, but to create new art, freed from commerce:

From the dishonouring slave-yoke of universal journeymanhood, with its sickly Money-soul, we wish to soar to the free manhood of Art, with the star-rays of its World-soul; from the weary, overburdened day-labourers of Commerce, we desire to grow to fair strong men, to whom the world belongs as an eternal, inexhaustible source of the highest delights of Art.[60]

Only the “mightiest force of revolution”[61] can overthrow the money despotism and inaugurate the free “republic” where the whole populace partakes of the art that expresses its spirit. This however, was not a revolution of “the windy theories of our socialistic doctrinaires,” who sought to level and proletarianize until there is no possibility of art. The aim was not universal proletarianization, as per Karl Marx, but what Wagner called “artistic manhood, to the free dignity of Man,”[62] emancipated from the economic treadmill.

Bayreuth as the Center of the German Revolution

Wagner’s redemption of humanity, having found a patron in Ludwig of Bavaria, became centred on Bayreuth, where Wagner’s pageants could be performed and a journal published, the Bayreuther Blätter, that would articulate the political and aesthetic ideals implicit in those operas. Wagner proceeded with a metapolitical strategy decades before the Italian Communist theorist Gramsci formulated his strategy of the “long march through the institutions” and subtlety redirecting a society by first changing its culture.[63]

These ideas, together with the racial doctrines of de Gobineau, were intended to permeate German society, emanating from a cultural and meptapolitical center, Bayreuth, intended as the microcosm of a völkisch classless society. The festival house at Bayreuth was what Wagner’s son-in-law Chamberlain called in 1900 “a standard for armed warriors to rally around” in their revolt against corruption.[64]

Under the Second Reich of Bismarck, Bayreuth became a center of pilgrimage for those seeking “what Wagner’s Meistersinger chorus calls ‘the holy German art.’” The Second Reich relied on Bayreuth to give it an historical and mythic cult connecting the Golden Age of Frederick Barbarossa with that of Bismarck. Without Bayreuth the Bismarckian Reich would have been nothing more than a Prussian state edifice. Wagner Societies throughout Germany propagated the ideas emanating from Bayreuth.

Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Wagner’s son-in-law, whose racial history[65] championed the Holy Grail of Germandom, expounded mystically in Wagner’s operas, was the direct link between Wagner and the Third Reich. It seems likely that Wagner would have viewed with enthusiasm the mass parades of armed Volk, the purging of the arts, the breaking of usury, and the mantle of virtual kingship assumed by a war veteran from out of the people.

As we have seen, whether Wagner’s views are explicitly the doctrinal antecedent for National Socialism per se is questionable. His views on race and Jews were quite typical of revolutionaries of the time, including those of non-Germans such as Proudhon and Bakunin. History has been kinder to these than to Wagner because, despite their revolutionary political commitment, and Wagner’s primary commitment to the arts, it was Wagner who has been the greater influence on history, attesting to the greater influence of the metapolitical over the political.

Notes

[1] Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), pp. 46-47.

[2] Marx, The Communist Manifesto, pp. 41, 44.

[3] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971), Vol. II, pp. 402, 506.

[4] Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, 2002), pp. 167-68.

[5] Cf. K. R. Bolton, “Marx Contra Marx: A Traditionalist Conservative Critique of the Communist Manifesto,” http://www.anamnesisjournal.com/issues/2-web-essays/43-kr-bolton K. R. Bolton, The Banking Swindle: Money Creation and the State (London: Black House Publishing 2013), “The Real Right’s Answer to Socialism and Capitalism,” pp. 152-74.

[6] Richard Wagner, My Life, Part I, http://www.wagneropera.net/MyLife/RW-My-Life-Part-1-1813-1842.htm

[7] Ibid.

[8] British = a civilizing mission, Jews = a domineering material mission, Russians = a metaphysical mission.

[9] Richard Wagner, My Life, Part I, op. cit.

[10] Ibid., Part II, http://www.wagneropera.net/MyLife/RW-My-Life-Part-2-1842-50.htm

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Cited by Paul Lawrence Rose, Wager: Race and Revolution (London: Faber and Faber, 1996), p. 52.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Wagner, “Revolution,” cited by Peter Viereck, Metapolitics: From Wagner and the German Romantics to Hitler (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2004), p. 109.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Richard Wagner, Part II, op. cit.

[20] K. R. Bolton, Artists of the Right (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012), inter alia.

[21] Richard Wagner, Part II, op. cit.

[22] Paul Lawrence Rose, p. 29.

[23] Ibid., p. 64.

[24] Karl Marx, “On the Jewish Question,” February, 1844 in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher; http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/

[25] K. R. Bolton, The Psychotic Left (London: Black House Publishing, 2013), pp. 70-100.

[26] Michael Bakunin, 1871, Gesammelte Werke, vol. 3 (Berlin, 1924), pp. 204-16.

[27] Max Nomad, Apostles of Revolution (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1939), “The Heretic: Michael Bakunin: Apostle of ‘Pan-Destruction’.”

[28] Richard Wagner, My Life, Part II, op. cit.

[29] Wagner, Part II, ibid.

[30] Wagner, Part II, ibid.

[31] Wagner, Part IV, http://www.wagneropera.net/MyLife/RW-My-Life-Part-4-1861-1864.htm

[32] Wagner, Part IV, ibid.

[33] Richard Wagner, “Art and Climate,” 1841, p. 264, http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagclim.htm

[34] Richard Wagner, The Art-Work of the Future, 1849, p. 72, http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagartfut.htm

[35] Richard Wagner, Art-Work, ibid., Chapter I, Part III.

[36] Richard Wagner, ibid., Part V, p. 88.

[37] Richard Wagner, ibid., Part V, p. 147.

[38] Richard Wagner, “Hero-dom and Christendom,” 1881, http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/waghero.htm

[39] Richard Wagner, “What is German,” 1876, http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagwiger.htm

[40] Richard Wagner, Judaism in Music, 1850, p. 82, http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagjuda.htm

[41] Richard Wagner, Judaism in Music, p. 85.

[42] Richard Wager, 1851, cited by Paul Lawrence Rose, op. cit., p. 177.

[43] Wagner, 1851, cited by Rose, ibid.

[44] Peter Viereck, op. cit., p. 108.

[45] Ibid., p. 109.

[46] Richard Wagner, What is German, op. cit., p. 167.

[47] Cited by Peter Viereck, ibid., p. 109.

[48] Peter Viereck, op. cit., pp. 111-112.

[49] Ibid., p. 112. Viereck calls all of this “monstrous sophistries.”

[50] Richard Wagner, Bayreuther Blatter, September 1881.

[51] Richard Wagner (1849) “Art and Revolution,” in The Art-Work of the Future, op. cit., Vol. 1, 1895, p. 26.

[52] Richard Wagner (1849) Art and Revolution, ibid, p. 29.

[53] Richard Wagner, ibid, p. 30.

[54] Thomas Carlyle, History of Frederick II of Prussia, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25808/25808-h/25808-h.htm

[55] Richard Wagner, Art and Revolution, op. cit., p. 30.

[56] Richard Wagner, ibid., p. 33.

[57] Richard Wagner, ibid., p. 36.

[58] Richard Wagner, ibid., p. 43.

[59] Richard Wagner, ibid., p. 48.

[60] Richard Wagner, ibid., p. 55.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Ibid., p. 57.

[63] Steven Yates, “Understanding the Culture War,” http://www.lewrockwell.com/yates/yates24.html

[64] Peter Viereck, op. cit., p. 115.

[65] Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (London: John Lane Company, 1911).

 

—————-

Bolton, Kerry. “Wagner as Metapolitical Revolutionary.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 20 May 2013. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/05/wagner-bicentennial-symposiumwagner-as-metapolitical-revolutionary/ >.

 

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Otto Strasser & National Socialism – Gottfried

“Otto Strasser and National Socialism” by Paul Gottfried (PDF – 714 KB):

Otto Strasser and National Socialism

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Gottfried, Paul. “Otto Strasser and National Socialism.” Modern Age, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Spring 1969), pp. 142-151. Retrieved from:  <http://www.mmisi.org/ma/13_02/gottfried.pdf >.

 

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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/ >.

 

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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

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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 >.

 

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Germany’s Third Empire – Moeller van den Bruck

Germany’s Third Empire by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck (PDF – 873 KB):

Germany’s Third Empire

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Moeller van den Bruck, Arthur. Germany’s Third Empire. London: George Allen And Unwin, 1934.

Notes: The print version of this book was translated by Emily O. Lorimer and went through three editions: The first edition was published by George Allen And Unwin (London, 1934), the second edition was published by Howard Fertig (New York, 1971), and the third edition was published by Arktos (London, 2012), including a new foreword and added bibliography by Alain de Benoist.

The online text of this book as used for this PDF file was retrieved from the Australian nationalist website: <http://home.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/moeller/index.html >; It has also been presented at the official Eurasia Movement website: <http://evrazia.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2068 >.

For an overview of Arthur Moeller van den Bruck’s life and ideas, see Lucian Tudor’s essay on him: <https://neweuropeanconservative.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/arthur-moeller-van-den-bruck-tudor/ >.

 

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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.

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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/ >.

 

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