What I am about to say does not concern the ordinary man of our day. On the contrary, I have in mind the man who finds himself involved in today’s world, even at its most problematic and paroxysimal points; yet he does not belong inwardly to such a world, nor will he give in to it. He feels himself, in essence, as belonging to a different race from that of the overwhelming majority of his contemporaries. ~ Julius Evola.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Friedrich Nietzsche - The Only Counter Measure


With regard to the political Hellenic world

I will not remain silent about those present day phenomena in which I believe I detect dangerous signs of atrophy in the political sphere, equally worrying for art and society. If there were to be men placed by birth, as it were, outside the instinct of nation and state, and thus have to recognize the state only to the extent they conceive it to be in their own interest: then such men would necessarily imagine the state's ultimate aim as being the most undisturbed co-existence possible of great political communities, in which 'they', above all, would be permitted by everyone to pursue their own purposes without restriction. With this idea in their heads, they will promote that policy that offers greatest security to these interests, whilst it is unthinkable that, contrary to their intentions, they should sacrifice themselves to the state purpose, led perhaps by an unconscious instinct, unthinkable because they lack precisely that instinct.

All other citizens are in the dark about what nature intends for them with their state instinct, and follow blindly; only those who stand outside this know what 'they' want from the state, and what the state ought to grant them. Therefore it is practically inevitable that such men should win great influence over the state, because they may view it as means, whilst all the rest, under the power of the unconscious intention of the state, are themselves only means to the state purpose. In order for them to achieve the full effect of their selfish aims through the medium of the state, it is now, above all, essential for the state to be completely freed from those terrible, unpredictable outbreaks of war, so that it can be used rationally; and so, as consciously as possible, they strive for a state of affairs where war is impossible. 

To this end, they first have to cut off and weaken the specifically political impulses as much as possible and, by establishing large state bodies of equal importance with mutual safeguards, make a successful attack on them, and therefore war in general, extremely unlikely: whilst on the other hand they try to wrest the decision over war and peace away from the individual rulers, so that they can then appeal to the egoism of the masses, or their representatives: to do which they must in turn slowly  dissolve the monarchical instincts of the people. They carry out this intention through the widest dissemination of the liberal-optimistic world view, which has its roots in the teachings of the French Enlightenment and Revolution i.e. in a completely un-Germanic, genuinely Romanesque, flat and unmetaphysical philosophy. I cannot help seeing, above all, the effects of the fear of war in the dominant movement of nationalities at the present time, and in the simultaneous spread of universal suffrage, indeed, I cannot help seeing those truly international, homeless, financial recluses as really those whose fear stands behind these movements, who, with their natural lack of state instinct, have learnt to misuse politics as an instrument of the stock exchange, and state and society as an apparatus for their own enrichment. 

The only counter measure to the threatened deflection of the state purpose towards money matters from this quarter is war and war again: in the excitement of which 
at least so much becomes clear, that the state is not founded on fear of the war-demon, as a protective measure for egoistic individuals, but instead produces from within itself an ethical momentum in the love for fatherland and and prince, indicating a much loftier designation. If I point to the use of revolutionary ideas in the service of a self-seeking, stateless money-aristocracy as a dangerous characteristic of the contemporary political scene, and if, at the same time, I regard the massive spread of liberal optimism as a result of the fact that the modern money economy has fallen  into strange hands, and if I view all social evils, including the inevitable decline of the arts, as either sprouting from that root or enmeshed with it: then you will just have to excuse me if I occasionally sing a paean to war. His silver bow might sound terrifying; but even if he does swoop in like the night, he is still Apollo, the just god who consecrates and purifies the state. But first, as at the beginning of the Iliad, he shoots his arrows at mules and dogs. Then he actually hits people and, everywhere, pyres with corpses blaze. So let it be said that war is as much a necessity for the state as the slave for society: and who can avoid this conclusion if he honestly  inquires as to the reasons why Greek artistic perfection has never been achieved again?"

From  "The Greek State" (1871)

Monday, 2 December 2013

Dominique Venner - The Sacredness of Nature

Our myths and rites tried to establish a convergence between the works of man and images of an ordered cosmos. 
Thus, the circular arrangement of the solar temple at Stonehenge mirrored the order of the world, symbolized by the journey of the sun, its eternal return at the end of night and winter - an image of the ring of life that joins birth to death, and of the eternal cycle of the seasons.
Likewise, the Greek temples were born from the sacred groves of our Hyperborean ancestors. Strabo says that the "poets embellish things, calling all sacred precincts 'sacred groves'", even if they are bare of trees." Archaeological research has shown that the columns of the Greek archaic temples were made from tree trunks. The analogy between temple and sacred forest stirs us. It was in the consecrated woodlands that the roughly hewn effigies of divinities were first placed. Pausanias lists the varieties of trees that best suited sacred copses: oak trees, ashes, plane trees, olive trees, pine trees, cypresses. Echoing more ancient authors, Varro also tells us that a temple is "a space bounded by trees." The sacred grove formed the surrounding enclosure, the peristasis of the divine realm. It gave rise to the peristyle characteristic of the Greek temple of the classical period. The latter is a stylized evocation of the primordial forest, the dwelling place of the gods of the Greek pantheon. Architecture represents the place in divine space ('numen inest', as Ovid calls it) where sacredness gathers. The outer colonnade is an image of vegetation, its trunks rising from the ground to form, under the light of the sun, a place where men and gods converge. At Olympia, the venerable temple of Hera, built in the eighth century B.C.E., allows us to directly observe the 'petrification' of the external portico, initially built in wood, its logs then progressively replaced by Doric stone columns. That is how a kind of stylized forest followed the sanctuaries when they abandoned the realm of untamed nature and began instead to occupy the centre of cities.

Despite the rifts within the ancient European order introduced by biblical interpretations, the construction of Romanic and Gothic churches continued to follow the old symbolism. Built over ancient sacred sites, they also safeguarded their continuance (1). They were still 'oriented' towards the rising sun, and their carvings teemed with a fantastic bestiary. Rising imposingly, the stone forest of the Romanic and Gothic naves were still a transposition of the ancient sacred forests.

(1) In 1711, four pillars called "nautes", from the first century C.E., were discovered under the choir of the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. They represented the Celtic divinities once celebrated in a Gallo-Roman temple, on the site of which the Christian cathedral was built twelve centuries later.

Translated by Giuliano Adriano Malvicini