Editorial Note: This contribution to Open Revolt is sure to cause controversy and discussion. The author is not an active member of our movement but is clearly an authority on Traditionalism in general and Evola specifically. We do not necessarily agree or disagree with what he presents and welcome any well-written and researched responses.
For Europe from Vancouver to Vladivostok!
EVOLA: Basic Errors of National-Bolshevism and Eurasianism
In his well-documented “Hindu Spirituality” (Albin Michel, 1947), Jean Herbert set himself the task “of giving to those who don’t know India a truthful general picture of the atmosphere in which Hindus live, and of rectifying, for those who have already studied Hinduism, many of the false ideas generally accepted in the West”.
Not all the ideas generally accepted in the West about Hinduism are false, yet. For instance, the Indian system of castes (chaturvarnya) corresponds to a division of society in four (chatur) castes (varna) : the brâhmanas, on whom religious duties, the keeping and the transmission of sacred texts, and all that which has a sacerdotal character, are incumbent. The kshatriyas, the warriors, are in charge of imposing order (dharma) and of defending it, if necessary by violence. The function of the third caste, the vaishyas’, is to increase, to manage and, to a certain extent, to use material wealth in any of its form: they are thus in charge of agriculture, banking, business, and charity. It falls upon the kshatriyas to distribute the material wealth they create. The function of the fourth caste, the shudras’, is to carry out manual work.
Bearing this in mind, this passage of Dugin’s “Julius Evola and Russian Traditionalism” is absurd: “(…) Evola has wrongly identified, according to the logic of the non-revolutionary Right, traditional castes with the classes of Western society. In this respect, we should bear in mind the extremely important warning of George Dumezil about the fact that, in traditional Indo-European, thus Ary*n, society, workers belonged to the third caste, and not to the fourth caste. Besides, merchants (that is proto-capitalists[sic]) did not belong in any way to the system of castes in that society and all the functions of distribution of goods and of money were the prerogative of the warriors, of the kshatriyas. This means that the merchants class does not correspond in any way to the structure of Ary*n society and was historically superimposed on it as a result of cultural and racial mixing. Therefore, the antibourgeois struggle of socialists has implicitly a traditional and Indo-European dimension.”
When one washes with Marxist soap, no wonder one cannot rinse oneself off. Dugin got it all wrong. As stressed by Evola in “Synthesis of a Racial Doctrine” , far from being the result of a cultural and racial mixing as seems to be suggested here, castes were established by Ary*ns in India to prevent racial and cultural mixing. The merchants caste or, as Dugin put it, the “merchants class”, far from having been “superimposed” on the structure of Ary*n society as a result of “cultural and racial mixing”, was integrated organically into it, just as Sabines, the representatives of the third function, were integrated by early Romans, the representatives of the two first functions, into Roman society, as explained by Dumézil in “From Mythology to History” (in Archaic Roman Religion).
Dumézil, however, was wrong in considering that “in traditional Indo-European, thus Ary*n, society, workers belonged to the third caste, and not to the fourth caste”. His mistake lies in his assumption that the society of the Middle Ages was divided in three orders, namely the Church, the Nobility and the Third Estate. It was actually divided, just as Ary*n traditional society, in four castes, or orders, as shown unequivocally by K.F. Werner in “Birth of the Nobility”, who also shows that the doctrine of the tripartition of Feudal society was concocted by the Church, which, to this effect, distorted facts and related legal documents; this complete fabrication was so persuasive that many authors of that time, such as, for instance, Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales, were completely fooled. In Northern Europe, however, the traces of the existence of four estates were more difficult to erase: as is known, until 1865, the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament, comprised representatives of the four estates: the Nobility, the Clergy, the Burghers and the Peasantry.
If the mistake is made to consider that Feudal society was divided in three orders, it is clear that “workers” are wrongly seen as belonging to the third caste. Yet, they corresponded to the fourth class. Thus, Evola has rightly identified traditional castes with the classes of Western society, whose parody they are, and Dugin placed the “workers” in the third class in an absurd attempt to justify the revolution of the proletariat from a traditional standpoint.
Like many exegetes of Evola’s work, Dugin does not always manage to correctly assess the influence exercised on Evola by various authors. For instance, Evola acknowledged that he was influenced by some aspects of Guénon’s work, but, contrary to what Dugin suggests, he wasn’t influenced in any way by the French metaphysician’s views on the Hyperborean question. Some of Dugin’s interpretations of the ideas presented by Evola, such as his equation of the Ghibellinism of the “last Ghibelline” with the Orthodox concept of the ‘Third Rome’, are close to being tendentious, unless it is their unclarity that makes us find them tendentious. Leaving this aside, Dugin has found “mistakes” and “contradictions” in Evola’s work, and has set himself to awaken the dormant “leftist” he supposes to be within Evola, of which the latter was unaware.
Let’s start with the “mistakes”.
In many places in his work, Evola states unambiguously that the classes of the modern world cannot be identified purely and simply with castes. This doesn’t prevent Dugin from affirming that “Evola has wrongly identified, according to the logic of the non-revolutionary right, traditional castes with the classes of Western civilisations.”
According to Dugin, “the political history of the 1980’s and 90’s shows that Communism was not the ultimate form of the decadence of the castes. Thus, Evola was wrong in foreseeing the victory of the Soviets, and, therefore, in taking a radically anti-Communist stand, and in not acknowledging the paradoxical, and, in a way, traditional, aspect of the Revolution.” First, where on earth did Evola foresee “the victory of the Soviets”? If current so-called nationalist and so-called traditionalist Europeans showed as much interest in Evola’s work as they do in the publications of intellectuals such as Dugin, anthologies such as Fenomenologia della sovversione (Phenomenology of Subversion) could be published in English rather soon, and such nonsense would be exploded instantly (needless to say that there is a reason why “National-Bolshevik” and “Eurasianist” literature is so popular, and, we may add, fashionable, these days). What Evola foresaw, to a certain extent, was the mutation of Communism, which has been taking place, precisely, since the 1980’s and 1990’s, via the so-called “glasnost” movement, and he saw that this would lead, sooner or later, to a synthesis of communism and capitalism, whose structural resemblance he showed in Revolt Against the Modern World. In this respect, we refer you to L’Empire écologique, a book published in 1999 by Pascal Bernardin, a former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy, in which it is shown that, although Communism as a regime has ended, and one no longer talks about great historical laws which make the proletariat the instrument and vehicle of Progress, Communism as a spirit is still alive, and has merely mutated into a new form.
By the way, what is the “social-democracy” which has been asserting itself throughout European countries for 30 years or more, if not a by-product of Marxism, as developed into the form of the welfare state by successive experiments in the gynaecocratic kingdom of Sweden from the 1960’s on? An official ideology, based on “human rights”, raised to the rank of a religion, to which everyone is supposed to adhere; a “one- thought” system, fragmented into a rainbow of artificial political parties (see the Protocols regarding the delusory “left/right” opposition in democracies); a system of psychological and psychic terror imposed on the whole population in an alle gegen alle spirit (the encouragement of all forms of denunciation by political schemers and officials); anti-racist laws – by the way, Stalin’s 1936 constitution, whose influence on the constitution of post-WW2 European countries is greatly underestimated, was the first in Europe to regard “racism” as a crime); the grip on the media by the leaders of the “one-thought” system; these, among others, are the elements of what some democrats, such as Carl Friedrich, call “the new totalitarianism”, though they fail to reflect that this is simply the result of the melting of the capitalist and communist dogmas into one another, a melting in which the latter may play the preponderant part, insofar as this so-called “New World Order”, based as it is on the economic plane, necessitates the centralised leadership of the economy.
Nowadays, states are subjected to international organisations, such the WTO, the OECD, the World Bank, and the IMF. It is not by chance that, in “Sulle premesse di un ‘antibolscevismo positivo’” (“Presuppositions of ‘Positive Anti-Bolshevism’”), Evola distinguished between two forms of totalitarianism: “There are two meanings to the concept of totalitarian organisation: it may be conducted in the name of the spirit, or in the name of matter; in the name of what is superior to man, or in the name of what, as mere collectivism, is inferior to man, is sub-personal. This is the difference between the great super-states of solar and traditional antiquity, and Bolshevik ideal. Bolshevik totalitarianism is organisation according to the principles proper to the lower social classes, their material needs, and the obtuse myth of labour.” Just as the “one-thought” system, to which some democratic scholars accuse modern democracies of having given birth, is a parody of the unity of thought and action which should exist among the representatives of a ruling aristocracy based on blood, so, Bolshevism, in its Leninist form or in its Stalinist form, is a grotesque caricature of a traditional regime. Manifestly, Dugin hasn’t incorporated into his thought the concept of “parody”, which was developed in such a masterly way by Guénon. One can only wonder why.
Speaking of parody, please consider the words of S. Kurginyan, one of the main ideologists of the post-Marxist revival of communism, and the principal political adviser to the pro-Communist forces in the Soviet leadership which organised the failed putsch of August 1991, and tried to maintain the Soviet Union as a communist superpower: “We regard communism not only as a theory, but as a new metaphysics, which leads to the creation of a new, global religious teaching… It contains many fundamental features vitally important for civilisation, features of a new world religion with its own saints and martyrs, apostles and creed… Among the indisputable predecessors of communism we identify Isaiah and Jesus, Buddha and Lao Tzu, Confucius and Socrates… Today there is no alternative to the communist meta-religion…” Gennady Zyuganov, the strongest contender for Russian political and ideological leadership in Russia today, says similarly: “From the standpoint of ideology and world view, Russia is the keeper of the ancient spiritual tradition: its fundamental values are collectivism (sobornost), the supreme power of the State (derzhavnost), sovereignty, and the goal of implementing the highest ‘heavenly’ ideals of justice and brotherhood in earthly reality.” In a single sentence, expressions with a religious meaning – “spiritual tradition”, “sobornost”, and “heavenly ideals”, merge together with “derzhavnost”, and “statehood”, taken from the vocabulary of nationalism, and with “collectivism” and “brotherhood”, the key words of Communist cant.
As for the “contradictions” Dugin professes to find in Evola, we are a little perplexed. On one hand, Dugin tells us that “Evola’s exoteric ideas and his political opinions were in perfect harmony”, and, on the other hand, he says that “the ‘metaphysical left’ in Evola could not find its consistent doctrinal manifestation on a political level, and the ‘anarchic’ and ‘esoteric’ aspect remained subordinated, in a rather contradictory way, to his fidelity to political ‘reaction'”. Whatever Dugin meant here, he should be asked what his grounds were for equating the Left Hand Path with “the left-wing” and the Right Hand Path with “the right-wing”. Obviously, they cannot have been Traditional grounds, even by Duginist standards. Even the Trimondis acknowledged that the seat of Vajrayana Buddhism has always been a theocracy, ruled by a right-wing-oriented Lamaism. The equation between the Left Hand Path and “the left-wing” and the Right Hand Path and “the right- wing” may have arisen from the brain of ideocrats and Fyodorovians, but it has no traditional foundation whatsoever, and cannot have any, since what are called nowadays “left-wing” and “right-wing” obviously didn’t exist in the countries where the concepts of Left Hand Path and Right Hand Path originated. Besides, what makes Dugin assume that, because Evola wrote a book on the LHP, namely The Yoga of Power, he actually followed the LHP? One could just as well claim that, because Evola wrote a book on the RHP, namely The Doctrine of Awakening, he followed the RHP. In fact, the path followed by Evola, if such people follow paths at all, is none of our business.
From those considerations on Evola’s “mistakes” and “contradictions” according to Dugin, the reader will see why the dormant “leftist” that he supposes to be within Evola, of which, it goes without saying, the latter was himself unaware, exists only in his imagination. Before risking to say that “his absolute nonconformism towards modern Western reality, his radical criticism of bourgeois values relate him to certain left-wing currents”, Dugin should have asked himself in what name Evola opposed radically, not so much bourgeois values as such, but their being taken as supreme points of reference in modern civilisation; he should have read again the passages in which Evola explained that he criticised bourgeois values in the name of higher values, those of any truly aristocratic civilisation, and not in the name of lower values, as those “left-wing currents” do. The reader who has understood this fundamental point in Evola’s work will be able to confute easily the various other specious arguments brought forward by Dugin to try to accredit the existence of a “leftist Evola”.
This confusion between the “irrational” and the “supra-rational” characterises National-Bolshevik thought, all its mistakes are likely to derive from it. As far as we are concerned, these are more than just “mistakes”: signs of the times, and, beyond this, suggestions spread skilfully in certain circles by the forces of subversion in the context of the occult war.
In Unknown Sources, Dr Hakl quotes an author for whom “some esoteric doctrines, such as that of the cancellation of the I, can easily be interpreted along dehumanising lines”. Evola would not have disagreed. Generally speaking, “(…) the technical conditions, as we may call them, needed to achieve any positive success in the direction of ‘evil’ are not different in kind from those needed, for example, to attain sainthood” (The Doctrine of Awakening)
In particular, Evola stressed that, “In Bolshevism, a reasoned method, and a precise action which marshals all means and sticks at nothing, apply themselves to freeing the individual from his ‘I’, and from his illusion of the ‘I’. This is analogous to an ascesis, or to a general catharsis, such as would produce a return to the principle of absolute reality and the most determined impersonality, but diabolically inverted, leading not upwards but downwards, not towards the supra-human but towards the sub-human, not towards what is organic but towards what is mechanical, not towards spiritual liberation but towards social slavery.” (“Sulle premesse di un ‘antibolscevismo positivo’”, La Vita Italiana, January 1937). This was clearly foreseen by Dostoyevsky.
Some people may object that Bolshevism was/is not an esoteric doctrine. We refer them to Dugin’s essay on “Cosmism”, which may allow them to realise that Bolshevism was/is suffused with materialist interpretations of esoteric doctrines, and, thus, that it was, in some respects, a parody of the latter.
Other people, especially National-Bolsheviks, may object, sincerely for some of them, that Bolshevism and National-Bolshevism are not the same thing. We can only refer them to the considerations brought forward by Evola on the Communist concept of Nation and of state. Besides, to quote a French expert of the history and of the ideas of the National-Bolshevik movement, even though it may seem exaggerate to state that National-Bolshevism has constituted the official ideology of the USSR, it cannot be denied that many ideological, military and even ecclesiastical circles have been deeply influenced by its doctrine. “National-Bolshevism, understood as a nationalisation of communist ideology, asserts the substantial continuity between Russia and the Soviet Union, at least after the defeat of internationalist forces (represented mainly by Trotsky, Zinoviev, etc.), and constitutes an intellectual phenomenon which has to be taken in consideration to understand the political and ideological monster represented nowadays by the alliance between Communists and Nationalists in an antidemocratic and anti-Western perspective”. It is interesting to note that this scholar, who doesn’t have any sympathy either for nationalism or for National-Bolshevism, considers their alliance as a “monster” from an ideological standpoint. In the early 1990’s, people could be seen brandishing portraits of the Tsar, pictures of Stalin and of Lenin, and icons, any old how, in the demonstrations which took place in the streets of the main Russian cities. Even in science-fiction movies, you don’t see French people brandishing enthusiastically portraits of General de Gaulle and portraits of General Pétain in the middle of the same demonstration in Paris. In 1933 Germany, the “browns” did not ally with the “reds”; most “reds” joined, spontaneously in many cases, the “browns”.
This allows us to bring to light another mistake of National-Bolshevism (and of Eurasianism), based on the slightly presumptuous assumption that what is possible in Russia, that is, for example, a “red-brown” alliance, is possible anywhere else, and not only possible, but desirable. On this basis, basically, the situation could be turned around: just as National-Bolsheviks and Eurasianists criticise the West for trying to “westernise” Russia, if a true and consistent European looked at things from his own standpoint, he could criticise them for wanting to “russify” the West; besides, he could make them notice that the West which tried to “westernise” Russia from the late eighteenth century by means of philosophical and cultural schemes based on the ideology of the Enlightenment was already a semiticised West, that their criticism of a West which they don’t see as semiticised might well be a by-product of “Enlightened Russia” without them being aware of it, and, finally, that the forces which are behind this attempt to “russify” the West have nothing in common with the Nordic forces which shaped Russia in the early Middle Ages. A true consistent European has nothing against the fact that National-Bolshevism and Eurasianism want to model the whole world on their own criteria, far from it; nor does he have anything against the fact that Dugin thinks that the Nordic man originates in the Siberian steppes, if this can make Eurasianists feel better: any people should assert itself. Yet, any true consistent European should oppose this model by any means and with all his might, in the name of a Nordic/Prussian-Roman world-outlook and tradition.
Addendum: Note on A. Dugin’s From Sacred Geography to GeopoliticsThis book deals a lot with geopolitics, not much with sacred geography; the concept of “sacred geography” seems to be used as a pretext for the expounding of geopolitical views and, in any case, doesn’t have much to do with what we know of this traditional science through the work of René Guénon and other authors. It seems to us that those views are greatly influenced by the Marxist environment theory as well as by H.P. Blavatsky theosophist “racial” theory. Hence statements such as : “Northern Tradition and its original population, ‘nordic autochtones’ since a long time do not represent any more a concrete historical- geographical reality. By common judgement, even the last remains of this primordial culture have disappeared from physical reality already some millennia ago”. From which it follows, from an historicist perspective, that it is useless to try to resuscitate it. Needless to say that this is in stark contrast with Evola’s doctrine of race. Not to mention that, as most of Dugin’s views based on “common judgement”, the one according to which “the last remains of this primordial culture have disappeared from physical reality already some millennia ago” is more than questionable: from the point of view of the race of the body, the Swedish people look the same as they were 2000 years ago.
Europe is Wherever We Set Our Feet.