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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

JULIUS EVOLA-MEN AMONG THE RUINS [Book]


MEN AMONG THE RUINS
Gli uomini e le rovine

Postwar Reflections of a 
Radical Traditionalist 





JULIUS EVOLA 



Translated by Gui do Stucco 

1. Revolution Counterrevolution — Tradition 112 

2. Sovereignty — Authority — Imperium 122 

3. Personality — Freedom — Hierarchy 133 

4. Organic State — Totalitarianism 148 

5. Bonapartism — Machiavellianism — Elitism 156 

6. Work — The Demonic Nature of the Economy 165 

7. History — Historicism 178 

8. Choice of Traditions 182 

9. Military Style— "Militarism"— War 193 

10. Tradition — Catholicism — Ghibellinism 204 

11. Realism — Communism — Anti bourgeoisie 217 

12. Economy and Politics Corporations — Unity of Work 224 

13. Occult War — Weapons of the Occult War 235 

14. Latin Character — Roman World — Mediterranean Soul 252 

15. The Problem of Births 266 

16. Form and Presuppositions of a United Europe 274 
Appendix: Evola's Autodifesa (Self-Defense Statement) 287 


====================================================================

One 

REVOLUTION 

COUNTERREVOLUTION 

TRADITION 



Recently, various forces have attempted to set up a defense and a resistance in the 
sociopolitical domain against the extreme forms in which the disorder of our age 
manifests itself. It is necessary to realize that this is a useless effort, even for the sake of 
merely demonstrative purposes, unless the disease is dealt with at its very roots. These 
roots, as far as the historical dimension is concerned, are to be found in the subversion 
introduced in Europe by the revolutions of 1789 and 1848. The disease must be 
recognized in all of its forms and degrees; thus, the main task is to establish if there are 
still men willing to reject all the ideologies, political movements, and parties that, 
directly or indirectly, derive from those revolutionary ideas (i.e., everything ranging 
from liberalism and democracy to Marxism and communism). As a positive counterpart, 
these men should be given an orientation and a solid foundation consisting of a broad 
view of life and a stern doctrine of the State. 

Strictly speaking, the watchword could then be counterrevolution; however, the 
revolutionary origins are by now remote and almost forgotten. The sub-version has 
long since taken root, so much so as to appear obvious and natural in the majority of 
existing institutions. Thus, for all practical purposes, the formula of "counterrevolution" 
would make sense only if people were able to see clearly the last stages that the world 
subversion is trying to cover up through revolutionary communism. Otherwise, another 
watchword is to be preferred, namely reaction. To adopt it and call oneself 
"reactionary" is a true test of courage. For quite some time, left-wing movements have 
made the term "re-action" synonymous with all kinds of iniquity and shame; they never 
opportunity to thereby stigmatize all those who are not helpful to their cause and who 
do not go with the flow, or do not follow what, according to them, is the "course of 
History." While it is very natural for the Left to employ this tactic, I find unnatural the 
sense of anguish that the term often induces in people, due to their lack of political, 
intellectual, and even physical courage; this lack of courage plagues even the 
representatives of the so-called Right or "national conservatives," who, as soon as they 
are labeled reactionaries, pro-test, exculpate themselves, and try to show that they do 
not deserve that label. 

What is the Right expected to do? While activists of the Left are "acting" and 
carrying forward the process of world subversion, is a conservative sup-posed to refrain 
from reacting and rather to look on, cheer them on, and even help them along the way? 
Historically speaking, it is deplorable that a "reaction" has been absent, inadequate, or 
only half-hearted, lacking people, means, and adequate doctrines, right at the time when 
the disease was still at an embryonic stage and thus susceptible to be eliminated by 
immediate cauterization of its infectious hotbeds; had that been the case, the European 
nations would have been spared untold calamities. 

What is needed, therefore, is a new radical front, with clear boundaries drawn 
between friends and foes. If the "game" is not over yet, the future does not helong to 
those who share in the hybrid and crumbling ideas predominant even in groups that do 
not belong to the Left, but rather to those who have the courage to espouse 
radicalism — namely, the radicalism of the "absolute negations" or of "majestic 
affirmations," to use expressions dear to Donoso Cortes. 

Naturally, the term "reaction" intrinsically possesses a slightly negative con-notation: 
those who react do not have the initiative of action; one reacts, in a polemical or 
defensive way, when confronted by something that has already been affirmed or done. 
Thus, it is necessary to specify that reaction does not consist in parrying the moves of 
the opponent without having anything positive to oppose him with. This misperception 
could be eliminated by associating the formula of "reaction" with that of "conservative 
revolution," a formula in which a dynamic element is evident. In this context 
"revolution" no longer signifies a violent overthrow of a legitimate established order, 
but rather an action aimed at eliminating a newly emerged disorder and at 
reestablishing a state of normalcy. Joseph De Maistre remarked that what is needed, more 
than a "counterrevolution" in a polemical and strict sense, is the "opposite to a revo- 
lution," namely a positive action inspired by the origins. It is curious how words evolve: 
after all, revolution, according to its original Latin meaning (re-volvere), 
referred to a motion that led again to the starting point, to the origins. There-fore, the 
"revolutionary" force of renewal that needs to be employed against the existing situation 
should be derived from the origins. 

However, if one wants to embrace the idea of "conservatism" (i.e., a "conservative 
revolution"), it is necessary to proceed with caution. Considering the interpretation 
imposed by the Left, the term "conservative" is as intimidating as the term "reactionary." 
Obviously, it is necessary to first establish as exactly as possible what needs to be 
"preserved"; today there is very little that deserves to be preserved, especially as far as 
social structures and political institutions are concerned. In the case of Italy, this is true 
almost without exception; to a lesser degree it was valid for England and France, and 
even less for the nations of central Europe, in which vestiges of higher traditions 
continued to exist even on the plane of everyday life. In fact, the formula conservative 
revolution" was chosen by German intellectuals immediately after World War I, even with 
very recent historical references. 2 As far as everything else is concerned, we must 
acknowledge the reality of a situation that is an easy target for the polemics of the Left, 
according to which conservatives are not the champions of ideas, but rather of the 
interests of a particular economic class (i.e., the capitalist one), which organized itself 
politically in order to perpetuate, for its own advantage, what is alleged to be merely a 
regime of privileges and social injustices. Thus, it has become all too easy to lump 
together conservatives, "reactionaries," capitalists, and bourgeoisie; in this way, a "faux 
target," to use a military term employed in artillery barrages, was successfully chosen. 
More-over, the same tactic was employed at a time when the avant-garde of world 
subversion did not yet wave the flag of Marxism and communism, but instead were 
represented by liberalism and by constitutionalism. The efficacy of this tactic was due to 
the fact that yesterday's conservatives (not unlike the contemporary ones, even though 
the former were of an undeniably higher caliber) limited themselves to defending their 
sociopolitical positions and the material interests of a given class, of a given caste, 
instead of committing themselves to a stout defense of a higher right, dignity, and 
impersonal legacy of values, ideas, and principles. This was indeed their fundamental and 
most deplorable weakness. 

Today we have sunk to an even lower level; therefore, the "conservative idea to be 
defended must not only have no connection with the class that has replaced the fallen 
aristocracy and exclusively has the character of a mere economic class (i.e., the 
capitalist bourgeoisie) — but it must also be resolutely op-posed to it. What needs to be 
"preserved" and defended in a "revolutionary 
fashion" is the general view of life and of the State that, being based on higher values and 
interests, definitely transcends the economic plane, and thus every-thing that can be 
defined in terms of economic classes. In regard to these values, what refers to concrete 
orientations, positive institutions, and historical situations is just a consequence; it is not 
the primary but rather the secondary element. If things were set up in this way, by 
absolutely refusing to set foot in the field where the Left trains its aim on the faux 
target, its polemics would be rendered totally ineffective. 

Moreover, what is needed is not to artificially and coercively perpetuate particular 
forms tied to the past, despite having exhausted their vital possibilities and being out of 
touch with the times. For the authentic revolutionary conservative, what really counts is 
to be faithful not to past forms and institutions, but rather to principles of which such 
forms and institutions have been particular expressions, adequate for a specific period 
of time and in a specific geographical area. And just as these particular expressions ought 
to be regarded as changeable and ephemeral in themselves, since they are connected to 
historical circumstances that are often unrepeatable, likewise the corresponding 
principles animating them have a value that is unaffected by such contingencies, as they 
enjoy a perennial actuality. New forms, corresponding in essence to the old ones, are 
liable to emerge from them as if from a seed; thus, even as they eventually replace the 
old forms (even in a "revolutionary" manner), what remains is a certain continuity amid 
the changing historical, social, economic, and cultural factors. 

In order to ensure this continuity, while holding fast to the underlying principles, it 
is necessary to eventually throw away everything that needs to be discarded, instead of 
stiffening, panicking, or confusedly seeking new ideas when crises occur and times 
change: this is indeed the essence of the true conservative spirit. Therefore, 
conservative spirit and traditional spirit are one and the same thing. According to its 
true, living meaning, Tradition is neither servile conformity to what has been, nor a 
sluggish perpetuation of the past into the present. Tradition, in its essence, is something 
simultaneously meta-historical and dynamic: it is an overall ordering force, in the 
service of principles that have the chrism of a superior legitimacy (we may even call 
them "principles from above"). This force acts through the generations, in continuity of 
spirit and inspiration, through institutions, laws, and social orders that may even display 
a remarkable variety and diversity. An analogous mistake to the 
one I have just condemned consists of identifying or in confusing the various 
formulations of a more or less distant past with the tradition itself. 

Methodologically, in the quest for reference points, a given historical form must be 
considered exclusively as the exemplification and more or less faithful application of 
certain principles: this is a perfectly legitimate procedure, comparable to what in 
mathematics is called the shift from the differential to the integral. In such a case there is 
no anachronism or regression; nothing has been turned into an idol, or made absolute, that 
was not already so, since this is the nature of principles. Otherwise it would be like 
accusing of anachronism those who defend certain peculiar virtues of the soul merely 
because the latter are inspired by some person in the past, in whom those virtues were 
exhibited to a high degree. As Hegel himself said, "It is a matter of recognizing in the 
apparitions of temporal and transitory things, both the substance, which is immanent, 
and the eternal, which is actual. " 

With this is mind, we can see the ultimate premises of two opposing attitudes. The 
axiom of the revolutionary-conservative or revolutionary-reactionary mentality is that 
the supreme values and the foundational principles of every healthy and normal 
institution are not liable to change and to becoming: among these values we may find, 
for instance, the true State, the imperium, the auctoritas [authority], hierarchy, justice, 
functional classes, and the primacy of the political element over the social and economic 
elements. In the domain of these values there is no "history," and to think about them in 
historical terms is absurd. Such values and principles have an essentially normative 
character. In the public and political order they have the same dignity as, in private life, 
is typical of values and principles of absolute morality: they are imperative principles 
requiring a direct, intrinsic acknowledgment (it is the capacity for such an 
acknowledgment that differentiates existentially a certain category of beings from 
another). These principles are not compromised by the fact that in various instances an 
individual, out of weakness or due to other reasons, was unable to actualize them or to 
even implement them partially at one point in his life rather than another: as long as such 
an individual does not give up inwardly, he will be acknowledged even in abjection and 
in desperation. The ideas to which I am referring have the same nature: Vico called them 
the natural laws of an eternal republic that varies in time and in different places." Even 
where these principles are objectified in a historical reality, they are not at all 
conditioned by it; they always point to a higher, meta-historical plane, 
which is their natural domain and where there is no change. The ideas that I call 
"traditional" must be thought of along the same lines. 

The fundamental premise always revealed, more or less distinctly, in the 
revolutionary mentality is the total opposite. The truths it professes are historicism and 
empiricism. According to the revolutionary mentality, "Becoming" rules in the spiritual 
realm as well: everything is believed to be conditioned and shaped by the age and by the 
times. According to the revolutionary mentality, there are no principles, systems, and 
norms with values independent from the period in which they have assumed a historical 
form, on the basis of contingent and very human aspects such as physical, social, 
economic, and irrational factors. According to the most extreme and up-to-date 
trajectory of this deviant mind-set, the truly determining factor of every structure, and 
of what resembles an autonomous value, is the contingency proper to the various forms 
and development of the means of production, according to its consequences and social 
repercussions. 

In chapter 7 I will discuss at greater length the historicist thesis I have merely outlined 
here, in order to clarify the fundamental and unbridgeable gap between the two 
premises. It is therefore useless to engage in a discussion when this gap is not 
acknowledged as given, a priori. The two views are as irreconcilable as the patterns of 
thought behind them. The former is the truth upheld by the revolutionary conservative, 
and by any group that, in the political realm, can be properly characterized as part of an 
authentic "Right"; the latter is the myth upheld by world subversion, the common 
background of all its forms, no matter how extreme, moderate, or watered down they 
may be. The previous considerations concerning the method and the meaning of some 
historical references also have a practical value. As a matter of fact, in a nation there is 
not always a sufficient living traditional continuity, whereas referring to existing or 
relatively young institutions may serve directly as a reference to the corresponding 
ideas. Conversely, it may happen that, when the continuity is broken, the previous 
procedure is adopted: then one must look to other eras, but only in order to derive from 
them ideas that are valid per se. This is especially the case for Italy. In previous books 
of mine I have often wondered what could actually be "preserved" in this country. In 
Italy we find no basis of political forms that have been preserved sufficiently intact from 
a traditional past; this is due mainly to the fact that such a past is lacking and that, unlike 
in major European states, in Italy there was no secular and continuous unitary formation 
connected to a symbol and to a central, dynastic political power. More specifically, in 
Italy there is no trace of a strong ideological legacy (not even as the legacy of a few) 
that would enable people to feel everything connected with the ideologies that arose with 
the French Revolution as extraneous, unnatural, and destructive. In fact, it was precisely 
these ideologies, in various forms, that propitiated the unification of Italy, continued to 
prevail in the unified Italy, and multiplied in the most virulent forms after the Fascist 
era. Thus, there is a hiatus and a vacuum — and, in the case of Italy, the reference to 
traditional principles will necessarily have an ideal rather than a historical character. And 
even if we refer to historical forms, we should only acknowledge them to be the mere 
basis for an integration that will immediately leave them behind, having in mind ideas 
instead; the historical distance being (as in the case of the ancient Roman world, or 
certain aspects of medieval civilization) too great for that reference to serve any other 
purpose. 

Such a circumstance does not represent a disadvantage from all points of view — for 
instance, if the ideas to which I allude were implemented by a new movement, they 
would appear in an almost pure state, with only a minimum of historical dross. 

Unfortunately, Italian representatives of these principles will not be able to benefit 
from what some states, especially the central European ones, displayed as a residual 
historical positive basis or as a predisposition for a conservative revolution; the positive 
counterpart of this disadvantage is that if the formation I have in mind will come into 
existence, it will be endowed with an absolute and uncompromising character. Precisely 
because there is no material support still alive emanating from a traditional past and 
made concrete in historical forms that are still valid, the conservative revolution in Italy 
must emerge as a pre-dominantly spiritual phenomenon, based on a pure idea. 
However, since the present world looks more and more like a world of ruins, sooner or 
later the same line of action will assert itself everywhere: in other words, people will 
realize that it is useless to lean on what still has vestiges of more normal institutions, 
but which is compromised by several negative historical factors, and that it is imperative 
to go back to the origins and to start anew from them, as if they towered over history, 
moving ahead with pure forces along the path of an avenging and reconstructive 
reaction. 

It may be useful to make another brief consideration of the term "revolution" applied 
in a particular context, namely in relation to the fact that in various 
national right-wing movements opposed to the present system we find a yearning to be 
"revolutionary." This tendency, after all, was present in the movements of the most 
recent past, considering the choice of designations such as "Fascist revolution, 
revolution of the Brown Shirts, and "revolution of or-der" (e.g., Salazar's movement in 
Portugal). Naturally one should ask: revolution against what? Revolution in the name 
of what? In any event, every word has its "soul" and one should be careful not to be 
unconsciously influenced by it. I have made it clear, from my perspective, that one 
could speak of "revolution" only in a relative sense — as Hegel used to say, a "negation 
of the negation" — in reference either to an attack against something that has a negative 
character or to a number of changes, whether violent or not, aimed at reinstating 
normalcy, just as a person who has fallen down gets up again, or an organ-ism is freed 
from degenerative growths by halting the spread of cancerous cells. Thus, it is necessary 
to prevent the hidden "soul" of the term "revolution" from influencing even those who 
are not Leftists, leading them away from the right course when they claim to be 
revolutionaries, in a sense that diverges from the one I have just indicated, in virtue of 
being somehow positive. 

The danger may consist in appropriating, more or less implicitly, foundational 
premises that are not different from those of one's opponents, espousing the idea that 
"history marches on" and that it is necessary to be open to the future by creating new 
things and formulating new principles: in that case the "revolution" becomes an aspect 
of a forward direction, a course that would then imply breaking points and upheavals. 
There are some who believe that in this fashion the revolutionary spirit acquires a 
greater dignity and as a myth exercises a greater power of suggestion. I believe this 
amounts to a capitulation; it is then difficult, even without being aware of it 
consciously, not to espouse the progressive ideology according to which every new thing 
represents something more and better than what preceded it. 

We already know what the true foundation of progressivism is: the mirage of 
technological civilization, the lure exercised by some undeniable material and industrial 
progress that, however, is appreciated without paying much attention to its negative 
drawbacks, which often affect other, more important and valuable domains of human 
life. Those who are not subject to the pre-dominant materialism of our times, upon 
recognizing the only context in which it is legitimate to speak of progress, will be on 
guard against any orientation in which the modern "myth of progress" is reflected. In 
ancient times the matter 
was very clear. In Latin, the word denoting subversion was not revolutio (which had a 
different meaning, as I have explained before) but rather seditio, or eversio, or civilis 
perturbatio, or rerum publicarum commutatio. Thus, the term "revolutionary, in its 
modern meaning, was rendered with circumlocutions such as remit novarum 
studiosus, or fautor; namely one who aims at and promotes new things. According to 
the traditional Roman mentality, "new things" were automatically regarded as negative 
and subversive. 

Thus, in regard to "revolutionary" ambitions it is necessary to clear the 
misunderstanding and to choose between the two aforementioned opposing positions, 
which determine two likewise opposing styles. Again, on the one hand there are those 
who acknowledge the existence of immutable principles for every true order and who 
abide by them, not allowing themselves to be swept along by events. Such people do not 
believe in "history" and in "progress" as mysterious super-ordained entities, but instead 
attempt to dominate the forces of the environment and lead them back to higher, stable 
forms: according to them, this is what embracing reality amounts to. On the other hand 
there are those who, having been "born yesterday, have nothing in die past, who believe 
only in the future and are committed to a groundless, empirical, and improvised action, 
deluding themselves that they are able to direct events with-out knowing or 
acknowledging anything that rises above the plane of matter and contingency; such 
people devise many systems, the end result of which will never be an authentic order, 
but instead a more or less manageable disorder. The "revolutionary" vocation belongs to 
this second line of thought, even when it does not directly serve the interests of 
unadulterated subversion. In this context, the lack of principles is supplied with the myth 
of the future, through which some dare to justify and sanctify recent destructions that 
have occurred, since in their view they were necessary in order to move ahead and to 
achieve new and better horizons (any trace of which, I am afraid, it is difficult to point 
out). 

Once things are clearly seen in these terms, it is necessary to thoroughly examine 
one's "revolutionary" ambitions, all the while aware that if these ambitions are kept 
within their legitimate limits, one would then be a part of history's demolition squad. 
Those who are still standing upright in this world of ruins are at a higher level; their 
watchword is Tradition, according to the dynamic aspect I have just made evident. When 
circumstances change, when crises occur, when new factors come into play, where the 
previous dams begin 
to crack, these people know how to retain their sangfroid and are capable of letting go 
of what needs to be abandoned in order that what is truly essential may not be 
compromised. These people know how to move on, upholding in an impassive way the 
forms that are proper to the new circumstances, knowing how to assert themselves 
through them; their goal is to reestablish and maintain an immaterial continuity and avoid 
a groundless and adventurous course of action. This is the method of the true 
dominators of history, which is very different from and more virile than that of the 
merely "revolutionary." 

I will end this series of considerations with a particular application for them. Since, as 
I have said, Italy lacks an authentic "traditional" past, there are some who, in their attempt 
to organize themselves against the avant-garde of world subversion, and in order to 
claim some concrete and historical basis, have found a reference point in the principles 
and institutions of the Fascist era. I wish to uphold the following fundamental principle: 
if the "Fascist ideas" still deserve to be defended, they should not be defended simply 
insofar as they are "Fascist," but rather insofar as they have represented a particular form 
of the apparition and affirmation of ideas that were older and more elevated than Fascism, 
ideas that have the character of "constants," so that they may found again as integral 
parts of a great European political tradition. To cherish these ideas not according to this 
spirit, but solely because they are "revolutionary, original, and proper only to Fascism, 
would amount to belittling them, adopting a limiting perspective, and making difficult a 
much needed task of clarification. To those for whom everything begins and ends with 
Fascism, including those whose political horizons are confined by the mere polemics 
between Fascism and antifascism and who have no other reference point beside these 
two poles — these people would hardly be able to distinguish the best potential of the 
Italian world of the past from some of its aspects that were affected by the same evils 
that it is necessary to fight against today.' 

Thus, when I will later discuss ideas for which the Italy and Germany of yesterday 
fought, I will always do so within revolutionary-traditional parameters; I will take the 
utmost care to limit as much as possible any contingent reference to the past and to 
emphasize the principles' pure ideal and normative character, which is not connected to a 
particular period or movement. 

=============================================================================

Two 

SOVEREIGNTY 
AUTHORITY 

IMPERIUM 

The foundation of every true State is the transcendence of its own principle, namely the 
principle of sovereignty, authority, and legitimacy. This essential truth has been 
variously expressed in the course of history; if this truth was not recognized, the 
meaning of everything that belongs to political reality would be misunderstood, or at 
least distorted. Through the multifaceted variety of these forms we always find as a 
"constant" the notion of the State as the intrusion and the manifestation of a higher 
order, which is then actualized in a power. Therefore, every true political unity 
appears as the embodiment of an idea and a power, thus distinguishing itself from every 
form of naturalistic association or "natural right," and also from every societal 
aggregation determined by mere social, economic, biological, utilitarian, or 
eudemonistic factors. 

In previous eras it was possible to speak of the sacred character of the principle of 
sovereignty and power, namely of the State. For instance, the ancient Roman notion of 
imperium essentially belonged to the domain of the sacred. This notion, in its specific 
meaning, even before expressing a system of territorial, supernational hegemony, 
designated the pure power of command, the al-most mystical power and auctoritas 
inherent in the one who had die function and quality of Leader: a leader in the religious 
and warrior order as well as in the order of the patrician family, the gens, and, 
eminently, of the State, the res public-a. In the Roman world, which was intensely 
realistic (or, I should say, precisely because it was intensely realistic), the notion of this 
power, which is simultaneously auctoritas, always retained its intrinsic character of 
bright force from above and of sacred power, beyond the various and often spurious 
techniques that conditioned its access in different periods.' 
It is possible to deny the principle of sovereignty; but if we acknowledge it, it is also 
necessary to recognize its attribute of absoluteness. A power that is also auctoritas 
(aeterna auctoritas [eternal authority], as the Romans would say) must necessarily have 
in itself the decreeing power of something that represents the ultimate application. A 
power and authority that are not absolute, are not real authority or real power, as De 
Maistre made very clear. Just as in the order of natural causes, likewise in the political 
domain it is not possible to regress in-definitely from condition to condition; the series 
must have its limit in one point, which is characterized by the unconditioned and by an 
absoluteness in the act of deciding. This will also be the point of stability and of 
consistency, the natural center of the entire organism; if it lacks this, a political 
association would be merely an aggregate, an unstable formation. Conversely, the 
above-mentioned power refers to a transcendent order that alone can ground and 
legitimize it in terms of a sovereign, autonomous, and underived principle that is the basis 
of every right without being subject to another right. These two aspects and two 
necessities mutually condition each other in reality; in doing so they express the nature 
of the pure political principle of the imperium and also the figure of the one who, as true 
Leader, must embody and represent it. 

The juridical view of sovereignty (the so-called "State of right," cf. Kelsen), no matter 
what form it embodies, refers only to a caput mortuum, namely the condition proper 
to a dead political organism, which lives in a mechanical fashion and is characterized by a 
latency or an absence of its center and original generating force. If order, the form that 
triumphs over chaos and disorder (thus the law and the right), is the very substance of 
the State, all this has its sufficient reason and ultimate justification only in the above- 
mentioned transcendence. Thus it was rightly said: "princeps a legibus solutes" — namely, 
the law does not apply to the one who acts as Leader, just as Aristotle stated concerning 
those who, being themselves the law, have no law. In particular, the positive essence of 
the principle of sovereignty has rightfully been recognized in the power of making 
absolute decisions, in exceptional or emergency situations, beyond any duties and 
discussions, whenever the existing right and laws are suspended or their suspension is 
required.' In such instances and circumstances, one can witness the new arising and 
manifestation of the absolute power from above, which, though it remained invisible 
and silent in every other period and at other times, nevertheless should not cease to be 
present wherever the State remains steady in its generating principle, or wherever the 
State is a living organism and not a mechanical thing or a mere routine.' The 
"exceptional 
powers" and a "dictatorship" are devices of necessity, or the "life belt" that is required 
in such circumstances when the awaited awakening of the central principle of the State 
does not occur. In the same way, a dictatorship is not a "revolutionary" phenomenon; it 
represents legitimacy but it does not constitute a new political principle and a new right. 
In the best period of the Roman civilization, the dictatorship was conceived and allowed 
as a temporary remedy; far from replacing the existing order, it was its reintegration. In 
every other regard, dictatorship equals usurpation. 

The State is not the expression of "society. "The basis of sociological positivism, 
namely the social or "communal view of the State, is the index of a regression and 
naturalistic involution. It contradicts the essence of the true State, inverting every proper 
relationship; it divests the political dimension of its proper character, original quality, and 
dignity. The "anagogical" end (namely, of a power drawing upward) of the State is thus 
completely denied. 

The political domain is defined through hierarchical, heroic, ideal, anti-hedonistic, 
and, to a degree, even anti-eudemonistic values that set it apart from the order of 
naturalistic and vegetative life. Authentic political ends are mostly autonomous ones 
(i.e., not derived from something else): they are connected to ideas and interests 
different from those of peaceful living, pure economics, and physical well-being, 
pointing to a higher dimension of life and a separate order of dignity. This opposition 
between the political and the social domains is fundamental. It has the value of a 
"category"; the more it is emphasized, the more the State is animated by a metaphysical 
tension, displaying solid structures and representing the faithful image of a superior type 
of organ-ism. In fact, the superior functions in such an organism are not the expression of 
its biological and vegetative part; aside from cases of obvious degradation, these 
functions are not even at the service of this part. Rather, these superior functions carry 
on an activity that may eventually assert itself over the physical life in order to direct it 
toward ends, actions, or disciplines that the mere physical life cannot explain or justify. 
All this has an analogical application concerning the relationships that, in a condition of 
normalcy, must exist between political order and "society." 

The differentiation between the political and the physical domains was well 
articulated in the origins (i.e., the traditional past). It was also found in various primitive 
societies, in which some primordial meanings appeared in a purity that would be vainly 
sought in the shallow and crumbling sociologies of our times. 

According to an old view, the State derives from the family: the same 
principle responsible for shaping the family and the gens, having been integrated and 
extended, allegedly gave rise to the State. Whether or not this is the case, it is possible, 
from a logical point of view, to trace the origins of the State to a naturalistic plane only by 
committing an initial mistake: to assume that in ancient civilized areas, and especially 
those populated by Indo-European civilizations, the family was a unity of a purely 
physical type, and that the sacred, together with a well-articulated hierarchical social 
system, did not play a decisive role in it. Even if we were to rely on the findings of 
modern investigations, thanks to the evidence marshaled by Fustel de Coulanges, there 
should be no doubts about this matter. But if the family is thought of in naturalistic terms, 
or in the terms in which it presents itself today, the generating principle of the properly 
political communities must be traced to a context that is very different from the one 
typical of the family: it must be traced to the plane of the so-called Mannerbunde. 7 

Among several primitive societies, the individual, up to a certain age, being regarded 
as a merely natural being, was entrusted to the family and to maternal tutelage, since 
everything related to the maternal, physical aspect of existence fell under the maternal- 
feminine aegis. However, at a certain point what happened, or better, what could happen, 
was a change of nature and status. Special rites, known as "rites of passage, which were 
often preceded by a period of detachment and isolation, and which were accompanied by 
harsh trials, generated a new being according to a scheme of "death and rebirth" who 
alone could be regarded as a "man." In fact, prior to this initiation, the member of the 
group, no matter what his age, was believed to belong to the same category that in- 
cluded women, children, and animals. Once the transformation occurred, the individual 
was incorporated into the Mannerbund. It was this Mannerbund, in which the 
qualification of "man" had simultaneously an initiatory (i.e., sacred) and a warrior 
meaning, that wielded the power in the social group or clan. This Mannerbund was 
characterized by special tasks and responsibilities; it was different from all other societies 
to which other members of the tribe belonged.' 

In this primordial scheme we find the fundamental "categories" differentiating the 
political order from the "social" order. First among these is a special chrism — namely, 
that proper to "man" in the higher sense of the word (vir was the term employed in 
Roman times) and not merely of a generic homo: this condition is marked by a spiritual 
breakthrough and by detachment from the naturalistic and vegetative plane. Its 
integration is power, the principle of command belonging to the Mannerbund. We 
could rightfully see in this one of the 
"constants" (i.e., basic ideas) that in very different applications, formulations, and 
derivations are uniformly found in the theory or, better, in the metaphysics of the State 
that was professed even by the greatest civilizations of the past. Following the processes 
of secularization, rationalization, and materialization, which have become increasingly 
accentuated in recent times, those original meanings became obscured and attenuated; 
and yet, wherever they are entirely obliterated, even though they exist in a transposed 
form, without an initiatory or sacred background, there no longer is a State or a political 
class in the specific, traditional sense. In reference to this, someone was able to say that 
the "formation of a ruling class is a divine mystery ; in some cases, though, it could be a 
"demonic mystery" (e.g., the tribunes of the people; demagogy; communism), but never 
something that could be defined in mere social or, worse yet, economic factors. 

The State is under the masculine aegis, while "society" and, by extension, the people, 
or demos, are under the feminine aegis. Once again, this is a primordial truth. The 
maternal domination, from which the political-virile principle subtracts itself, was also 
understood as the domination of Mother Earth and the Mothers of life and fertility, 
under whose power and tutelage existence was believed to unfold in its physical, 
biological, and collective-material aspects. The common mythological background is 
that of the duality of the luminous and heavenly deities, who are the gods of the 
political and heroic world on the one hand, and of the feminine and maternal deities of 
naturalistic existence, who were loved by the plebeian strata of society on the other 
hand. Thus, even in the ancient Roman world, the idea of State and of imperium (i.e., of 
the sacred authority) was strictly connected to the symbolic cult of the virile deities of 
heaven, of light and of the super-world in opposition to the dark region of the Mothers 
and the chthonic deities. The same ideal line runs through the themes found in primitive 
societies (i.e., Mannerbunde), up to the central, bright motif of the Olympian-state 
tradition of the Classical world and several superior Indo-European civilizations. 

Later on in history this line leads, if not to the imperium, to the divine right of 
Kings; where there were no groups created by the power of a rite, there were Orders, 
aristocracies, political classes defined by disciplines and dignities that cannot be reduced 
to social values and economic factors. Then the line was broken, and the decadence of 
the State idea — parallel to the degeneration and the obfuscation of the pure principle of 
sovereignty and authority — ended with the inversion through which the world of the 
demos and the materialized 
masses emerged on the political horizon, engaging in the struggle for power. Such is the 
primary meaning of any democracy in the original sense of the term, and of every kind 
of "socialism": in their essence they are both anti-State, and represent the degradation 
and contamination of the political principle. Both democracy and socialism ratify the 
shift from the masculine to the feminine and from the spiritual to the material and the 
promiscuous. This is an involution, the basis or counterpart of which is an involution 
occurring within the individual himself, expressed by the inner triumph of faculties and 
interests connected to the naturalistic, obtuse, and merely vitalistic part of the human 
being. According to the correspondences already acknowledged by Plato and Aristotle, 
injustice — namely, the distortion and the external collective subversion — always 
reflects the internal subversion: that which is present in a given human type that has 
prevailed in a given civilization. 

Today there are political forms in which such a fall of level and inversion are very 
clear and unmistakable; they are expressed in unequivocal terms in the political and 
ideological platforms of political parties. In other cases this is a less noticeable 
phenomenon; in regard to them, it will be helpful to make the following clarification. 

The previously mentioned gap between the political idea of State and the physical 
idea of "society is found again in the opposition that exists between State and nation. The 
notions of nation, fatherland, and people, despite their roman-tic and idealistic halo, 
essentially belong to the naturalistic and biological plane and not the political one; they 
lead back to the "maternal" and physical dimension of a given collectivity. Wherever 
these concepts were emphasized and bestowed with the dignity of a primary element, this 
has always happened in a revolutionary or even polemical function toward the concept 
of the State and the pure principle of sovereignty. With the passage from the expression 
"by grace of God" (as approximate and stereotypical as it was, it still designated the true 
right "from above") to that of "by will of the nation," what really occurs is the above- 
mentioned inversion, which is not a shift just from an institutional structure to another, 
but also from one world to another world, separated by an unbridgeable hiatus. 

A brief historical overview will clarify this regressive meaning of the myth of the 
nation. The origin of this myth should be traced to the deviation proper of those 
European States that, while acknowledging the political principle of the pure, higher 
sovereignty, assumed the form of "national States." This 
phenomenon had an essentially antiaristocratic (i.e., anti-feudal), schismatic, and anti- 
hierarchical function, vis-a-vis the European ecumene, in that it re-fused to 
acknowledge the superior authority of the Holy Roman Empire and conferred an 
absolute anarchical character to the particular political units over which the individual 
princes ruled. These princes, after they ceased to receive support "from above," sought 
their support "from below" and pursued a policy of centralization destined to occasion 
their downfall, since a more or less form-less and inarticulate human conglomerate 
increasingly gained preeminence. Thus they shaped the structures that eventually ended 
in the hands of the "nation" first understood as the Third Estate, and later on in the hands 
of the nation understood as the "people" and the masses. This shift, as it is well known, 
was brought about by the French Revolution. In the French Revolution the "nation" 
emerged in an exclusively demagogical function; since then, national-ism allied itself 
with revolution, constitutionalism, liberalism, and democracy, becoming the symbol of 
the revolutionary movements that from 1789 to 1848, all the way to 1918, were 
responsible for subverting whatever remained of traditional Europe's preceding order. 
These "patriotic" ideologies were responsible for the upheaval in virtue of which a given 
naturalistic factor (such as that of belonging to a particular stock and historical society) is 
transformed into something mystical and assumes a supreme value; in this context the 
individual matters only as citoyen and as Venfant de la patrie. The cumulative unity of 
citizens eventually detracts from authority, undermines or subordinates every higher 
principle to itself (i.e., to the "will of the people"), beginning with the principle of 
sovereignty. 

We know what high consideration the social matriarchate held in Marxist 
historiography; it was regarded as the primordial social constitution and the original 
state of justice, which were ended by the institution of private property and by the 
political forms associated with it. However, the regression from the masculine to the 
feminine is equally visible in the previously mentioned revolutionary ideologies. The 
image of the fatherland as Mother, as Land of which we are all children and before 
which we are all equals and brothers, clearly recalls that physical, feminine-maternal 
order from which "men" separate themselves in order to create the virile and luminous 
order of the State, while the physical order, per se, has a pre-political character. Moreover, 
it is a very significant fact that country and nation have prevalently been allegorized 
through feminine figures, even among peoples whose land had a neuter or masculine, 
rather 
than a feminine, name. 9 The sacred character and inviolability of "nation" and of 
"people" are merely the transposition of features attributed to the Great Mother in 
ancient plebeian gynecocracies and in societies that ignored the virile and political 
principle of the imperium. Thus, it has rightfully been suggested by Bachofen and by 
Steding that "men" uphold the idea of State, while feminine natures, which are 
spiritually matriarchical, side instead with "father-land," "nation," and "people." This 
casts a sinister light on the nature of the influences that have been predominant in the 
political history of the West, beginning with the French Revolution. 

An additional insight could be gained by considering this problem from yet a different 
perspective. An idea also embraced by Fascism was that the nation exists and has an 
awareness, a will, and a superior reality only in service of the State. This idea has a 
specific historical confirmation, especially in reference to what Vico called "the right of 
heroic peoples" and the origin of the main European nations. Even though "fatherland" 
certainly means "land of the fathers," the term could have acquired this meaning only a 
very long time ago, since the historical fatherlands and nations known to us, almost 
without exception, have been established in lands that were not the primordial ones, and, 
in any event, in areas wider than the original ones. Their establishment occurred 
through conquests and aggregative and formative processes that presuppose the conti- 
nuity of a power, of a principle of sovereignty and of authority, as well as the bond of a 
group of men sharing the same idea and loyalty, pursuing the same goal, and obeying 
the same inner law reflected in a specific political and social ideal. Such is the generating 
principle and the basis of every great nation. Understood in naturalistic terms, the 
political nucleus therefore relates to the nation in the same manner as the soul (as 
"entelechy") is related to the body: it shapes it, unifies it, and makes it partake of a 
higher life. In reference to this, we could say that a nation exists and overcomes 
geographical and even ethical boundaries wherever we find the reproduction of the same 
"inner form," namely the consecration or the imprint bestowed by the higher political 
force and its representatives. Thus it would be absurd, for instance, to call ancient Rome 
a "nation" in the modern sense of the word: one could refer to it as a "spiritual nation or 
as a unity defined by the Roman man." The same applies to the creations of the Franks 
and the Germans, as well as the Arabs who spread Islam, just to cite a few examples. 
Maybe the most significant case is the Prussian State, which originated from a knightly 
Order (a classic example of a 
Mannerbund), namely the Order of Teutonic Knights, which later on became the 
structure and the "form" of the German Reich. 
Only when the tension decreases do differences become attenuated and the group of 
men gathered around the supra-ordained symbol of sovereignty and authority weakens 
and crumbles; only then may that which is a by-product and an artificial creation (i.e., 
the "nation") become autonomous and separate it-self, thus acquiring the appearance of 
a living entity in its own right. Then what emerges is the "nation" as people, 
collectivity, and mass — namely, that which such a concept has increasingly signified 
since the French Revolution. When a sovereignty is no longer allowed other than one 
that is the expression and the reflection of the "will of the nation," it is almost as if a 
creature over-took its creator. From the political class understood as an Order and a 
Mannerbund shift occurs to demagogues and to the so-called servants of the nation," 
to the democratic ruling classes who presume to "represent" the people and who acquire 
for themselves various offices or positions of power by flattering and manipulating the 
masses. The natural and fatal consequence of the above-mentioned regression is the 
inconsistency and, most of all, the cowardice of those who, in our time, constitute the 
"political class." It has rightly been said that in previous times there has never been a 
sovereign so absolute that he could silence an eventual opposition of the nobility and 
clergy; 10 yet today no-body dares to blame the "people" and they refuse to believe in the 
"nation," or at least are openly defiant toward it. However, this does not mean 
preventing the ruling classes from playing with, deceiving, and exploiting the people as 
their Athenian demagogic counterparts did and as, in more recent times, courtesans 
used to do with degenerate and vain sovereigns; this happens because the demos, 
which is feminine by nature, will never have its own, clear will. The real difference 
between then and now lies in the cowardice and servile attitude of those who today no 
longer have the moral stature of men or of representatives of a higher legitimacy and 
authority from above. At most, we find what Carlyle referred to when he spoke of a 
"world of domestics that yearns to be ruled by a pseudo-hero" and not by a real master; 
I will return to this idea in chapter 4, when discussing the phenomenon of 
Bonapartism. 

Action through myths, namely through formulas lacking any objective truth and 
that appeal to the sub-intellectual dimension and passions of individuals and the 
masses, is the inseparable counterpart of the aforementioned political climate. In the 
most characteristic modern trends, the notions of 
country and nation display to an eminent degree the quality of myths, susceptible to 
receiving the most varied contents depending on which way the wind blows and on the 
political parties, with the only common denominator being the denial of the political 
principle of pure sovereignty. 

We may add that the system that was established in Europe through the advent of 
democracies (i.e., the majority system based on universal suffrage) is characterized from 
the start by the degradation of the ruling class. In fact, the majority, being free from 
every restriction and qualitative clause, is necessarily on the side of the lower social 
strata; in order to win the favors of these strata and be elected to office by their votes, it 
will always be necessary to speak the only language they understand and to give priority 
to their predominant interests (which are naturally the most coarse, material, and 
illusory), always promising but never demanding." Thus, every democracy is also a 
school of immorality, an offence to the dignity and inner code of conduct that ought to 
be the trademark of a true political class. 

I wish now to continue to discuss the genesis of the great European nations in service 
of the political principle, in order to derive some orientations. The substance of every 
true and stable political organism is something resembling an Order, a Mannerbund in 
charge of the principle of the imperium, comprising men who see loyalty as the basis of 
their honor (as the saying of the Saxon Code goes)." But in time of crisis and of an 
overall moral, political, and social disintegration (as is the case in our day and age), a 
generic reference to the "nation" does not suffice for reconstructive work unless such an 
idea assumes a revolutionary overtone, including elements of a properly political order, 
weakened to various degrees. The "nation" will always be a promiscuous entity; in the 
above-mentioned situation what needs to be done is to emphasize the fundamental 
duality of the origins: on the one side stand the masses, in which, besides changing 
feelings, the same elementary instincts and interests connected to a physical and 
hedonistic plane will always have free play; and on the other side stand men who 
differentiate themselves from the masses as bearers of a complete legitimacy and 
authority, bestowed by the Idea and by their rigorous, impersonal adherence to it. The 
Idea, only the Idea, must be the true fatherland for these men: what unites them and sets 
them apart should consist in adherence to the same idea, rather than to the same land, 
language, or blood. The true task and the necessary premise for the rebirth of the 
"nation" and for its renewed form and conscience consists of untying and separating that 
which only apparently, promiscuously, or collectively appears to be one entity, and in 
reestablishing a virile substance in the form of a political elite around which a new 
crystallization will occur. 

I call this the realism of the idea: realism because what are needed for this work 
are strength and clarity, rather than "idealism" and sentimentality. This realism, 
however, is opposed both to the coarse, cynical, and degenerate real-ism of politicians 
and to the style of those who abhor "ideological prejudices"; the latter, in fact, are 
capable only of reawakening a vague feeling of "national solidarity" (a herdlike spirit) 
by means that do not really differ from the general techniques employed to arouse the 
excitement of the masses. 

All this falls below the level of what politics is, in the virile, traditional sense; 
moreover, it is inadequate for the times. It is inadequate because a realization of the idea 
is already present on the opposite front. In fact, today we can witness the gradual 
formation of blocs that have the supernational character proper to units essentially based 
on political ideas, as barbaric as they may be. This is the case of communism, in which 
the aggregating and uniting factor beyond "nation" and "country" consists of being 
proletarian communists belonging to the Third International. This is also the case of 
democracy when it pretends to summon "crusades." The so-called Nuremberg ideology 
established certain principles — not at all the only conceivable ones — even though they 
are sup-posed to be categorically upheld, without regard to country or nation, according 
to the official formulation: "with precedence over the duty of obedience of the 
individuals toward the State to which they belong." 

In this way, too, we can see the insufficiency of the simple notion of "nation" as a 
guiding principle, and the need for its political integration, in terms of a higher idea that 
alone must be the standard, uniting and dividing factor. The essential task ahead requires 
formulating an adequate doctrine, upholding principles that have been thoroughly 
studied, and, beginning from these, giving birth to an Order. This elite, differentiating 
itself on a plane that is defined in terms of spiritual virility, decisiveness, and 
impersonality, and where every naturalistic bond loses its power and value, will be the 
bearer of a new principle of a higher authority and sovereignty; it will be able to 
denounce subversion and demagogy in whatever form they appear and reverse the 
downward spiral of the top-level cadres and the irresistible rise to power of the masses. 
From this elite, as if from a seed, a political organism and an integrated nation will 
emerge, enjoying the same dignity as the nations created by the great European political 
tradition. Anything short of this amounts only to a quagmire, dilletantism, irrealism, and 
obliquity. 

=========================================================================

Three 

PERSONALITY 

FREEDOM 

HIERARCHY 



The beginning of the disintegration of the traditional sociopolitical structures, or at least 
whatever was left of them in Europe, occurred through liberalism. Following the stormy 
and demonic period of the French Revolution, the principles espoused by the Revolution 
first began to act under the guise of liberal-ism; thus, liberalism is the origin of the 
various interconnected forms of global subversion. 

It is therefore necessary to expose the errors on which this ideology is based and 
especially those of the "immortal principles" by which it is inspired. This is necessary 
not only from a doctrinal point of view, but also from a practical one. Nowadays the 
intellectual confusion has reached such an extent that liberalism, which according to 
ancient regimes and the Church was synonymous with antitradition and revolution, is 
portrayed by some as a "right-wing" movement, bent on protecting human dignity, 
rights, and freedom against Marxism and totalitarianism. The following considerations 
are aimed at exposing this misconception. 

The essence of liberalism is individualism. The basis of its error is to mistake the 
notion of the person with that of the individual and to claim for the latter, 
unconditionally and according to egalitarian premises, some values that should rather be 
attributed solely to the former, and then only conditionally. Because of this 
transposition, these values are transformed into errors, or into something absurd and 
harmful. 

Let us begin with the egalitarian premise. It is necessary to state from the outset that 
the "immortal principle" of equality is sheer nonsense. There is no need to comment on 
the inequality of human beings from a naturalistic point of 
view. And yet the champions of egalitarianism make equality a matter of principle, 
claiming that while human beings are not equal de facto, they are so de jure: they are 
unequal, and yet they should not be. Inequality is unfair; the merit and the superiority of 
the liberal idea allegedly consists of not taking it into account, overcoming it, and 
acknowledging the same dignity in every man. Democracy, too, shares the belief in the 
"fundamental equality of anything that appears to be human." 

I believe these are mere empty words. This is not a "noble ideal" but some-thing 
that, if taken absolutely, represents a logical absurdity; wherever this view becomes an 
established trend, it may usher in only regression and decadence. 

Concerning the first point, the notion of "many" (i.e., a multiplicity of individual 
beings) logically contradicts the notion of "many equals." First of all, ontologically 
speaking, this is due to the so-called "principle of undiscemibles," which is expressed in 
these terms: "A being that is absolutely identical to an-other, under every regard, would 
be one and the same with it." Thus, in the concept of "many" is implicit the concept of 
their fundamental difference: "many" beings that are equal, completely equal, would not be 
many, but one. To uphold the equality of the many is a contradiction in terms, unless we 
refer to a body of soulless mass-produced objects. 

Second, the contradiction lies in the "principle of sufficient reason," which is 
expressed in these terms: "For every thing there must be some reason why it is one thing 
and not another." Now, a being that is totally equal to another would lack "sufficient 
reason": it would be just a meaningless duplicate. 

From both perspectives, it is rationally well established that the "many" not only 
cannot be equal, but they also must not be equal: inequality is true de facto only because 
it is true de jure and it is real only because it is necessary. That which the egalitarian 
ideology wished to portray as a state of "justice" is in reality a state of injustice, 
according to a perspective that is higher and beyond the humanitarian and democratic 
rhetorics. In the past, Cicero and Aristotle argued along these lines. 

Conversely, to posit inequality means to transcend quantity and admit quality. It is 
here that the two notions of the individual and the person are differentiated. The 
individual may be conceived only as an atomic unit, or as a mere number in the reign of 
quantity; in absolute terms, it is a mere fiction and an abstraction. And yet it is possible 
to lean toward this solution, namely to minimize the differences characterizing the 
individual being, emphasizing mixed and uniform qualities (what ensues from this, 
through massification 
and standardization, is a uniformity of paths, rights, and freedoms) and conceiving this 
as an ideal and desirable condition. However, this means to de-grade and to alter the 
course of nature. 

For all practical purposes, the pure individual belongs to the inorganic rather than to 
the organic dimension. In reality, the law of progressive differentiation rules supreme. In 
virtue of this law, the lower degrees of reality are differentiated from the higher ones 
because in the lower degrees a whole can be broken down into many parts, all of which 
retain the same quality (as in the case of the parts of a noncrystallized mineral, or those 
parts of some plants and animals that repro-duce themselves by parthenogenesis); in the 
higher degrees of reality this is no longer possible, as there is a higher organic unity in 
them that does not allow itself to be split without being compromised and without its parts 
entirely losing the quality, meaning, and function they had in it. Therefore the atomic, 
unrestricted (solutus), "free" individual is under the aegis of inorganic matter, and 
belongs, analogically, to the lowest degrees of reality. I 3 

An equality may exist on the plane of a mere social aggregate or of a primordial, 
almost animal-like promiscuity; moreover, it may be recognized wherever we consider not 
the individual but the overall dimension; not the person but the species; not the "form" 
but "matter" (in the Aristotelian sense of these two terms). I will not deny that there are 
in human beings some aspects under which they are approximately equal, and yet these 
aspects, in every normal and traditional view, represent not the "plus" but the "minus"; in 
other words, they correspond to the lowest degree of reality, and to that which is least 
interesting in every being. Again, these aspects fall into an order that is not yet that of 
"form," or of personality, in the proper sense. To value these aspects and to emphasize 
them as those that truly matter is the same as regarding as paramount the bronze found 
in many statues, rather than seeing each one as the expression of distinct ideas, to which 
bronze (in our case, the generic human quality) has supplied the working matter. 

These references clarify what is truly a person and personal value, as op-posed to the 
mere individual and the mere element belonging to a mass or to a social agglomerate. 
The person is an individual who is differentiated through his qualities, endowed with his 
own face, his proper nature, and a series of at-tributes that make him who he is and 
distinguish him from all others — in other words, attributes that make him fundamentally 
unequal. The person is a man in whom the general characteristics (beginning with that 
very general 
characteristic of being human, to that of belonging to a given race, nation, gender, and 
social group) assume a differentiated form of expression by articulating and variously 
individuating themselves. 

Any vital, individual, social, or moral process that goes in this direction and leads to 
the fulfillment of the person according to his own nature is truly ascending. Conversely, 
to give emphasis and priority to that which in every being is equal signifies regression. 
The will to equality is one and the same with the will to what is formless. Every 
egalitarian ideology is the barometric index of a certain climate of degeneration, or the 
"trademark" of forces leading to a process of degeneration. Overall, this is how we 
should think about the "noble ideal" and the "immortal principle" of equality. 

After establishing this first point, it is easy to recognize the errors and mis- 
understandings associated with other liberal and revolutionary principles. 
To begin with, I find it odd that the title "natural right" has been given to that which 
appears to be the most unnatural thing conceivable, or to that which is proper to primitive 
societies. The principle according to which all human beings are free and enjoy equal 
rights "by nature" is truly absurd, due to the very fact that "by nature" they are not the 
same. Also, when we go to an order that is not merely naturalistic, being a "person" is 
neither a uniform quality or a quality uniformly distributed, nor a dignity equal in 
everybody, being automatically derived from the mere membership of the single 
individual in the biological species called "mankind." The "dignity of the human 
person," with everything that this expression entails, and around which the supporters of 
the doctrine of natural law and liberals rally, should be acknowledged where it truly 
exists, and not in everybody. And even where this dignity truly exists, it should not be 
regarded as equal in every instance. This dignity admits different degrees; thus, justice 
means to attribute to each and every one of these degrees a different right and a different 
freedom. The differentiation of right, and the hierarchical idea in general, derives from 
the very notion of a person, since this notion, as we have seen, is inconceivable without 
referring to the difference, to the form, and to the differentiating individuation. Without 
these presuppositions, the respect for the human person in general is only a superstition, 
or rather one of the many superstitions of our time. In the domain of the person there is 
nothing on which the idea of a universal right could be based, or of a right that, as the 
doctrine of natural law claims, is to be enjoyed by everyone without discrimination." 
Anybody who has the conscience and the 
dignity of a "person" cannot help but feel offended when that which is sup-posed to be 
one's own law becomes a law binding everybody else (as is the case in Kant's categorical 
imperative). Conversely, ancient wisdom believed in the principle suum cuique 
tribuere, to each his own. According to Plato s view, too, the highest responsibility of the 
Guardians is to ensure that justice (under-stood in this sense) prevails. 

Hence, the conundrum facing those who uphold the principle of "equality": 
equality can exist only among equals, namely among those who are objectively at the 
same level and who embody an analogous degree of "personhood," and whose freedom, 
right, and also responsibility are not the same as those characterizing other degrees, 
whether higher or lower. "Brotherhood," too, which was included among the so-called 
"immortal principles" as a sentimental complement to the other two abstract principles 
(freedom and equality), is subject to the same restrictions: it is insolent to impose it as a 
norm and universal duty in indiscriminate terms. In the past, precisely thanks to the 
acknowledgment of the hierarchical idea, "peers" and "equals" were often aristocratic 
concepts: in Sparta, the title homoioi ("equals") belonged exclusively to the elite in power 
(the title was revoked in cases of misconduct). We find an analogous idea in ancient 
Rome, among the Nordic peoples, and during the Carolingian and the Holy Roman 
Empire periods. Moreover, in the days of old, the title "peers" was attributed to English 
lords. 

The same applies to freedom, the first term of the revolutionary triad. Freedom must 
he understood and defended in the same qualitative and differentiated manner as the 
notion of "person": everybody enjoys the freedom he de-serves, which is measured by 
the stature and dignity of his person or by his function, and not by the abstract and 
elementary fact of merely being a "human being or a citizen (as in the much 
acclaimed droits de Vhomme et du citoyen). Thus, according to the Classical saying 
libertas summis infimisque aequanda, freedom ought to be equally distributed above 
and below. It has been rightly remarked that "there is not one freedom, but many 
freedoms. There is no general, abstract freedom, but there are articulated freedoms 
conformed to one's own nature. Man must not generate within himself the idea of a 
homogenous liberty, but rather that of the whole of such differentiated and qualified 
liberties. "15 The other freedom, which is upheld by libertarianism and by natural law, is 
a fiction just like the idea of "equality." Practically speaking, it is only a revolutionary 
weapon: freedom and equality are the catchwords certain social 
strata or groups employed in order to undermine other classes and to gain preeminence; 
having achieved this task, they were quickly set aside. 

Again, in regard to freedom, it is important to distinguish between the freedom to do 
something and the freedom for doing something. In the political domain, the former is a 
negative freedom that corresponds to the absence of bonds while remaining itself 
formless. It generally culminates in arbitrariness and in anomie, and where it is granted 
to everybody, in an egalitarian and democratic fashion, it becomes an impossibility. 
Where there is equality there cannot be freedom: what exists is not pure freedom, but 
rather the many individual, domesticated, and mechanized freedoms, in a state of 
reciprocal limitation. Paradoxically, that kind of freedom could approximately be 
realized in the system that is most opposite to liberal preferences: namely, in the system in 
which the social question is resolved in such a way as to guarantee certain privileges for 
a small group, at the cost of the total subjugation of everybody else. If carried to its 
extreme consequences, the figure of a tyrant would then be the most perfect 
concretization of this concept or ideal of formless freedom. 

The freedom for doing something that is connected to each one's own nature and 
specific function is quite another thing. This freedom mainly signifies the power to 
actualize one's potential and to achieve one's particular perfection within a given political 
or social context; it has a functional and organic character, and is inseparable from an 
immanent and unmistakable end. It is characterized by the Classical saying "Be yourself 
" and thus by quality and by difference; this is the only true freedom, according to justice 
and to right. In the Classical view, as it was expressed by Aristotle, Plato, and Plotinus, 
the only institution conformed to justice is the one in which everybody has, does, and 
realizes what is proper to himself. Catholicism itself, during the golden age of 
Scholasticism (an age that is reviled today by progressive and liberal Catholics as 
"feudal" and "obscurantist"), upheld the same truth and ethics. The foundations of me- 
dieval Catholicism's social doctrine were the idea of "proper nature," which varies with 
every being; the freedom in terms of such nature as willed by God"; and the adherence 
to one's condition within a socially organic and differentiated system. Luther, too, 
upheld this doctrine. More recently, Benedetto Croce has written about the modern 
"religion of freedom, though what he is referring to should rather be called the 
"fetishism of freedom." 

In the same order of ideas, we should consider the vexed question whether man 
comes before society or vice versa, and which of the two is the ultimate 
goal. From the traditional point of view, this question is definitely resolved by upholding 
man's rather than society's primacy. Every "social" thesis is a deviation connected to the 
same leveling and regressive tendency that I have criticized before — so much so, that 
individualism and anarchism have undoubtedly their good reasons and a much less 
degrading character when seen as reactions against such regressive tendency. Everything 
that is social, in the best of hypotheses, falls in the order of means and not in the order of 
ends. Society as an entity in itself is but a fetish and a personified abstraction; in reality, 
the plane proper to society is entirely material, physical, and subordinated. "Society" 
and "collectivity" are synonyms; if we exclude the individualistic interpretation of society 
as a sum of atoms coming together on the basis of a hypothetical contract, we are left 
with the idea that society is just a background before which the person is the positive, 
primary, and real thing. 

Moreover, there are cases in which I am willing to acknowledge the priority of the 
person even before the State. The statolatry of the modern age has nothing to do with 
the traditional political view; the impersonal State, when regarded as a heavy juridical and 
bureaucratic entity (e.g., Nietzsche's "cold monster"), is also an aberration. Every society 
and State is made of people; individual human beings are their primary element. What 
kind of human beings? Not people as they are conceived by individualism, as atoms or a 
mass of atoms, but people as persons, as differentiated beings, each one endowed with a 
different rank, a different freedom, a different right within the social hierarchy based on 
the values of creating, constructing, obeying, and commanding. With people such as these 
it is possible to establish the true State, namely an antiliberal, antidemocratic, and 
organic State. The idea behind such a State is the priority of the person over any abstract 
social, political, or juridical entity, and not of the person as a neuter, leveled reality, a 
mere number in the world of quantity and universal suffrage. 

The perfection of the human being is the end to which every healthy social 
institution must be subordinated, and it must be promoted as much as possible. This 
perfection must be conceived on the basis of a process of individuation and of 
progressive differentiation. In this regard we must consider the view expressed by Paul 
de Lagarde, which can be expressed approximately in these terms: everything that is 
under the aegis of humanitarianism, the doctrine of natural law, and collectivity 
corresponds to the inferior dimension. Merely being a "man" is a minus compared to 
being a man belonging to a given nation and society; this, in turn, is still a minus 
compared to being a "person," a quality 
that implies the shift to a plane that is higher than the merely naturalistic and "social" 
one. In turn, being a person is something that needs to be further differentiated into 
degrees, functions, and dignities with which, beyond the social and horizontal plane, the 
properly political world is defined vertically in its bodies, functional classes, corporations, 
or particular unities, according to a pyramid-like structure, at the top of which one would 
expect to find people who more or less embody the absolute person. What is meant by 
"absolute per-son" is the supremely realized person who represents the end, and the 
natural center of gravity, of the whole system. The "absolute person" is obviously the 
opposite of the individual. The atomic, unqualified, socialized, or standardized unity to 
which the individual corresponds is opposed in the absolute person by the actual 
synthesis of the fundamental possibilities and by the full control of the powers inherent 
in the idea of man (in the limiting case), or of a man of a given race (in a more relative, 
specialized, and historical domain): that is, by an extreme individuation that corresponds 
to a de-individualization and to a certain universalization of the types corresponding to 
it. Thus, this is the disposition required to embody pure authority, to assume the symbol 
and the power of sovereignty, or the form from above, namely the imperium. 

Going from humanity, through "society" or a collectivity based on natural law and 
the nation, and then proceeding in the political world all the way to a personality 
variously integrated, and finally to a dominating super-personality, means to ascend from 
lower degrees to degrees that are increasingly filled with "being" and value, each one the 
natural end of the previous one: this is how we should understand the principle according 
to which man is the end or the primary end of society, and not vice versa. 

By way of example we may refer to the hierarchical place proper to the "nation" 
when it has a positive and constructive, rather than a revolutionary, meaning. "Nation" 
is a plus in regard to "humanity." Thus, it is a positive and legitimate thing to uphold 
the right of the nation in order to assert an elementary and natural principle of difference 
of a given human group over and against all the forms of individualistic disintegration, 
international mixture and proletarization, and especially against the mere world of the 
masses and pure economy. Having set this demarcation as a protective fence, it is 
necessary to actualize inside it further degrees of differentiation that need to be 
implemented in a system of bodies, of disciplines and hierarchies, in virtue of which the 
State is created out of the substance of the nation. 
It should be noted that the above-mentioned hierarchical notion is based on, among 
other things, freedom understood in a further special and ethical sense. The freedom 
upheld by the antitraditional ideologies has an undifferentiated, nonfunctional and 
subversive character, as well as an external and al-most "physical" one. These ideologies 
usually ignore the emancipation of the single individual, which consists of being not so 
much free in relation to an external situation, whether real or imaginary, and in relation 
to others, as in being free toward oneself, namely toward the naturalistic part of one's 
self. Usually every dignity within qualitative hierarchies should be legitimated with this 
kind of freedom, without love for which one could not call oneself a person. With this 
kind of assumption, the political domain interferes with the ethical one ("ethical" in the 
spiritual, rather than moralistic, sense of the term). In this context what will be 
paramount is the virile quality of him who, in the case of conflict between opposite 
needs, knows how to assert the right of given principles and a given law over that which 
belongs to the naturalistic and material realm, whether in his case or that of others. Thus, 
family bonds or special affections will not limit such a person, nor will he be guided by 
the mere notions of utility and well-being, even if these notions were defined in social 
and collective terms. The personality is realized and consolidated along the path of the 
special "asceticism required by freedom understood in this way — namely, by inner 
freedom and control over oneself as a physical individual; likewise, the foundations of the 
hierarchical connections proper to that which can be rightly called "the natural right of 
heroic peoples" are not to be sought elsewhere. 

The first of these foundations is that the measure of what one can demand from 
others is dictated by the measure of what one can demand from oneself; he who does not 
have the capability to dominate himself and to give himself a code to abide by would not 
know how to dominate others according to justice or how to give them a law to follow. 
The second foundation is the idea, previously upheld by Plato, that those who cannot be 
their own masters should find a master outside of themselves, since practicing the 
discipline of obeying should teach these people how to master their own selves; thus, 
through loyalty to those who present themselves as the representatives of an idea and as 
the living approximations to a higher human type, they will remain as faithful as possible 
to their best nature. This has always been recognized in a spontaneous, natural way, and 
has created in traditional civilizations a special fluid, the vital sub-stance of the organic 
and hierarchical structures, long before people fell under 
the spell of the suggestions or shallow rationalism espoused by subversive ideologies. In 
normal conditions all this goes without saying; thus, it is absurd to say that the only way 
in which the highest degrees in the social hierarchy were able to retain control was to 
apply physical force, violence, and terror and that people obeyed only out of fear or 
servility, or for their self-serving purposes. To think so is to denigrate human nature 
even in its most humble representatives, and to suppose that the atrophy of every higher 
sensibility that characterizes most people in this final age has always and everywhere 
ruled supreme. 

Superiority and power need to go hand in hand, as long as we remember that power 
is based on superiority and not vice versa, and that superiority is connected with 
qualities that have always been thought by most people to constitute the true foundation 
of what others attempt to explain in terms of brutal "natural selection." Ancient primitive 
man essentially obeyed not the strongest members of society, but those in whom he 
perceived a saturation of mana (i.e., a sacred energy and life force) and who, for this 
reason, seemed to him best qualified to perform activities usually precluded to others. An 
analogous situation occurs where certain men have been followed, obeyed, and 
venerated for displaying a high degree of endurance, responsibility, lucidity, and a 
dangerous, open, and heroic life that others could not; it was decisive here to be able to 
recognize a special right and a special dignity in a free way. To depend on such leaders 
constituted not the subjugation, but rather the elevation of the person; this, however, 
makes no sense to the defenders of the "immortal principles" and to the supporters of 
"human dignity" because of their obtuseness. It is only the presence of superior 
individuals that bestows on a multitude of beings and on a system of disciplines of 
material life a meaning and a justification they previously lacked. It is the inferior who 
needs the superior, and not the other way around. 16 The inferior never lives a fuller 
life than when he feels his existence is subsumed in a greater order endowed with a 
center; then he feels like a man standing before leaders of men, and experiences the pride 
of serving as a free man in his proper station. The noblest things that human nature has 
to offer are found in similar situations, and not in the anodyne and shallow climate 
proper to democratic and social ideologies. 

We should note in passing the irrationalism of the so-called utilitarian sociology, 
which could have been valued only in a society of merchants: in this doctrine, the 
"useful" is regarded as the positive foundation of every socio-political institution. 
However, there is hardly anything more relative than the  
concept of "useful." "Useful" for what? In view of what? For if utility is restricted to its 
coarsest, most materialistic, calculating, and petty form, we must say that, whether for 
better or for worse, human beings rarely think and act by following the useful, 
understood in this narrow sense. Everything that has an emotional or irrational 
motivation has and will play a larger role in human conduct than that played by petty 
utility; if we did not acknowledge this fact, a great part of human history would be 
unintelligible. Among this order of non-utilitarian motivations (all of which lead man 
beyond himself), there is certainly a class that reflects higher possibilities, a certain 
generosity and a certain elementary heroic disposition; the above-mentioned forms of 
natural acknowledgment animating and sustaining every true hierarchical structure are 
de-rived from them. In these structures, authority as power may also play a part or, 
more specifically, it must have one. Thus, we can agree with Machiavelli's saying that 
where one is not loved one should at least be feared (feared, not hated). It is a 
distortion to begin from a mutilated and degraded image of man in general and believe 
that in all the historical hierarchies, other than strength, the principle of superiority and 
the direct and proud acknowledgment of the superior by the inferior did not play a 
relevant part. 17 Burke's saying that every political system that presupposes the existence 
of heroic virtues and of higher dispositions leads to vice and corruption is not so much 
an index of cynicism, but instead of short-sightedness about knowledge of the human 
species. 

The higher and more genuine legitimization of a true political order, and thus of 
the State itself, lies in its anagogical function: namely, in arousing and nourishing the 
individual's disposition to act and to think, to live, to struggle, and eventually to 
sacrifice himself for something that goes beyond his mere individuality. This 
disposition is so real that it is possible not only to implement it, but also to abuse it; 
thus, alongside currents in which the single individual is led beyond himself by 
something that is spiritual and metaphysical (as was the case in all the major traditional 
forms), we can see other currents in which a demonic element is responsible for 
promoting an individual's ecstasies (i.e., the experience of being "outside one's self"). 
What is at work here is not an anagogic power, but rather a catagogic power — namely, 
the power that acts in the revolutionary phenomenon and is concretized in every 
collectivist ideology. In both cases, a sociology adopting utilitarian and individualistic 
perspectives is refuted; it proves to be merely a sophisticated and intellectual construction, 
especially when we consider human nature in its reality and concreteness. 

The progress of one form of human organization over another is not measured by the 
fact that in it things are materially and socially fine and that the materialistic need of 
utility is satisfied to a higher degree; rather, progress is measured by the degree to which 
certain interests and criteria of evaluation have become differentiated and predominant 
in it. These criteria should rise above the mediocre concept of "utility," which happens 
to be the only perspective adopted by positivist sociology. 

Coming back to liberalism, I wish to say that it represents the antithesis of every 
organic doctrine. Since according to liberalism the primary element is the human being 
regarded not as person, but rather as an individual living in a form-less freedom, this 
philosophy is able to conceive society merely as a mechanical interplay of forces and 
entities acting and reacting to each other, according to the space they succeed in gaining 
for themselves, without the overall system reflecting any higher law of order or 
meaning. The only law, and thus the only State, that liberalism can conceive has therefore 
an extrinsic character in regard to its subjects. Power is entrusted to the State by sovereign 
individuals, so that it may safeguard the freedoms of the individuals and intervene only 
when these freedoms clash and prove dangerous to one another. Thus, order appears as a 
limitation and a regulation of freedoms, rather than as a form that freedom itself 
expresses from within, as freedom to do something, or as freedom connected to a quality 
and a specific function. Order, namely the legal order, eventually amounts to an act of 
violence because, practically speaking, in a liberal and democratic regime a government 
is defined in terms of a majority; thus, the minority, though composed of "free 
individuals," must bow and obey. 

The specter that most terrifies liberalism today is totalitarianism. It can be said that 
totalitarianism may arise as a borderline case out of the presuppositions of liberalism, 
rather than out of those of an organic State. As we shall see, in totalitarianism we have the 
accentuation of the concept of order uniformly imposed from the outside onto a mass of 
mere individuals who, lacking their own form and law, must receive one from the 
outside, he introduced in a mechanical, all-inclusive system, and avoid the disorder 
typical of a disorganized and selfish expression of partisan forces and special-interest 
groups. 

Events have recently led toward a similar solution, after the more or less idyllic view 
proper to the euphoric phase of liberalism and of laissez-faire economy has turned out to 
be simply a fancy. I am referring here to the view according to which a satisfactory social 
and economic equilibrium allegedly arises 
out of the conflict of particular interests: almost as if a preestablished harmony a la Leibniz 
would take care of ordering everything for the better, even when the single individual 
cares only for himself and is freed from every bond. 

Thus, not only ideally, but historically too, liberalism and individualism are at the 
beginning and at the origin of the various interconnected forms of modern subversion. 
The person who becomes an individual, by ceasing to have an organic meaning and by 
refusing to acknowledge any principle of authority, is nothing more than a number, a 
unit in the pack; his usurpation evokes a fatal collectivist limitation against himself. 
Therefore, we go from liberalism to democracy: and then from democracy to socialist 
forms that are increasingly inclined toward collectivism. For a long time Marxist 
historiography has clearly recognized this pattern: it has recognized that the liberal 
revolution, or the revolution of the Third Estate, opened a breach and contributed to 
erode the previous traditional sociopolitical world and to pave the way to the socialist 
and communist revolution; in turn, the representatives of this revolution will leave the 
rhetorics of the "immortal principles" and the "noble and generous ideas" to naive and 
deluded people. Since every fall is characterized by an accelerated motion, it is not 
possible to stop halfway. Within the system of the predominant ideologies in the West, 
liberalism, having absolved its preliminary task of disintegration and disorganization, has 
quickly been set aside — thus, the claim of some of its contemporary epigones to be able 
to contain Marxism, which represents the last link in the chain of causes, rings hollow 
indeed and is indicative of lack of wisdom. There is a saying from Tacitus that 
summarizes in lapidary style what has happened since the "liberal revolution": Ut 
imperium evertant, libertatem praeferunt; si perventerint, liberatem ipsam adgredientur — 
that is, "in order to overthrow the State (in its authority and sovereignty: i.e., imperium) 
they uphold freedom; once they succeed, they will turn against it too." Plato said: 
"Probably, then, tyranny develops out of no other constitution than democracy — from 
the height of liberty, I take it, the fiercest extreme of servitude. "19 Liberalism and 
individualism played merely the role of instruments in the overall plan of world 
subversion, to which they opened the dams. 

Thus, it is of paramount importance to recognize the continuity of the cur-rent that 
has generated the various political, antitraditional forms that are today at work in the chaos 
of political parties: liberalism, constitutionalism, parliamentary democracy, socialism, 
radicalism, and finally communism and Soviet-ism have emerged in history as degrees 
or as interconnected stages of the same 
disease. Without the French Revolution and liberalism, constitutionalism and democracy 
would not have existed; without democracy and the corresponding bourgeois and 
capitalist civilization of the Third Estate, socialism and demagogic nationalism would 
not have arisen; without the groundwork laid by socialism, we would not have witnessed 
the advent of radicalism and of communism in both its national and proletarian- 
international versions. The fact that today these forms often appear either to coexist or to 
be in competition with each other should not prevent a keen eye from noting that they 
sustain, link, and mutually condition each other, being only the expression of different 
degrees of the same subversion of every normal and legitimate institution. It necessarily 
follows that, when these forms clash, the one that will prevail will be the most extreme, 
or the one located on the lowest step. The beginning of the process is to be traced to the 
time when Western man broke the ties to Tradition, claiming for himself as an individual 
a vain and illusory freedom: when he became an atom in society, rejecting every higher 
symbol of authority and sovereignty in a system of hierarchies. The "totalitarian" forms 
that are emerging are a demonic and materialistic counterfeit of the previous unitary 
political ideal, and they represent "the greatest and most savage slavery," which, according 
to Plato, arose out of formless "freedom." 

Economic liberalism, which engendered various forms of capitalist exploitation and 
of cynical, antisocial plutocracy, is one of the final consequences of the intellectual 
emancipation that made the individual solutus — that is, lacking the inner, self-imposed 
bond, function, and limit that are found instead in every organic system's general climate 
and natural hierarchy of values. Moreover, we know that in more recent times, political 
liberalism has become little more than a system at the service of laissez-faire — namely, 
economic liberalism — in the context of a capitalist-plutocratic civilization; from this 
situation new reactions arose, pushing everything lower and lower, to the level of 
Marxism. 

The above-mentioned connections are also visible in the special sector of property- 
and wealth, especially when we consider the meaning of the change that occurred within 
it, following the institutions created by the French Revolution. By denouncing 
everything in the economic world that was still inspired by the feudal ideal as a cruel 
regime based on privileges, the organic connection (displayed mainly in various feudal 
systems) between personality and property, social function and wealth, and between a 
given qualification or moral nobility and the rightful and legitimate possession of goods, 
was broken. It was 
the Napoleonic Code that made "property" neutral and "private" in the inferior and 
individualistic sense of the word; with this code, property ceased to have a political 
function and bond. Moreover, property was no longer subject to an "eminent right," nor 
tied to a specific responsibility and social rank and subject to a "higher right." In this 
context, rank signified the objective and normal consecration in a hierarchical system that 
the superior one, as well as the personality formed and differentiated by a supra-individual 
tradition and idea, receives_ Property, and wealth in general, no longer had any duties 
before the State other than in fiscal terms. The subject of property was the pure and 
simple "citizen," whose dominant concern was to exploit the property without any 
scruples and without too much regard for those traditions of blood, family, and folk that 
had previously been a relevant counterpart of property and wealth. 20 

It was only natural that in the end the right to private property came to be disputed; 
whenever there is no higher legitimization of ownership, it is always possible to wonder 
why some people have property and others do not, or why some people have earned for 
themselves privileges and social preeminence (of-ten greater than those in feudal 
systems), while lacking something that would make them stand out and above 
everybody else in an effective and sensible manner. Thus the so-called "social 
question," together with the worn-out slogan "social justice," arose in those conditions 
where no differentiation is any longer visible other than in terms of mere "economic 
classes" (wealth and property having become "neutral" and apolitical; every value of 
difference and rank, of personality and authority having been rejected or undermined by 
processes of degeneration and materialization; the political sphere having been 
deprived of its original dignity). Thus, subversive ideologies have successfully and easily 
unmasked all the political myths that capitalism and the bourgeoisie have employed, in 
the absence of any superior principle, in order to defend their privileged status against 
the push and final violation by the forces from below. 

Again, we can see that the various aspects of the contemporary social and political 
chaos are interrelated and there is no real way to effectively oppose them other than by 
returning to the origins. To go back to the origins means, plainly and simply, to reject 
everything that in any domain (whether social, political, or economic) is connected to 
the "immortal principles" of 1789, as a libertarian, individualistic, and egalitarian 
thought, and to oppose it with the hierarchical view, in the context of which alone the 
notion, value, and freedom of man as person are not reduced to mere words or excuses 
for a work of destruction and subversion. 

=====================================================================

Four 



ORGANIC STATE 
TOTALITARIANISM 



One of the catchphrases that have become a rallying cry in the intellectual confusion of 
our contemporaries is antitotalitarianism. This catchphrase is employed mostly by 
democracies; the reference point that is upheld is basically the confused and formless 
view of the individual's freedom that I have criticized in the previous chapter. In this 
formula many different things are lumped together, as is shown by the distinction, 
expressed in very primitive terms, between a "right-wing" and a "left-wing" 
totalitarianism. But in the above-mentioned currents, it is clear that quite often 
"totalitarianism" is only a pretext. Just as communists and socialists find it useful and 
agreeable to brand anybody and anything that does not agree with their ideology with the 
label of "fascism," likewise the confusion about totalitarianism is employed in a tactical 
fashion by various parties in democratic regimes, and is exploited in order to try to 
discredit and to portray the traditional view of the true State in a heinous way. 

In order to put an end to this misunderstanding, it will be helpful to intro-duce a 
fundamental distinction between the totalitarian State and the organic State. In regard 
to the terminology I have adopted, I want my readers to know that it is not in order to 
make concessions to my opponents that I have refrained from categorizing the 
traditional political view that I uphold as "totalitarian." In this regard, I am already 
vindicated by the fact that totalitarianism is a recent and rather modern term, and as such 
it is inseparably connected to the situation of a world that in no way, shape, or form 
should be employed as a reference point. Therefore, it is better to let the word 
totalitarianism designate what the representatives of democracy mean by it, applying 
instead to the idea of organic State whatever positive meaning may be found, despite 
everything, in totalitarianism (understood in a general fashion). In this way both 
concepts will be defined and contrasted with each other in a sufficiently clear manner. 

The idea of the organic State was not born yesterday. This needs to be recalled both 
for those who have forgotten it and for those whose intellectual horizons are restricted 
to the polemics between "fascism and antifascism, as if nothing else ever existed 
previously in history. The idea of the organic State is a traditional one, and thus we can 
say that every true State has always had a certain organic character. A State is organic 
when it has a center, and this center is an idea that shapes the various domains of life in 
an efficacious way; it is organic when it ignores the division and the autonomization of 
the particular and when, by virtue of a system of hierarchical participation, every part 
within its relative autonomy performs its own function and enjoys an intimate con- 
nection with the whole. In an organic State we can speak of a "whole" — namely, 
something integral and spiritually unitary that articulates and unfolds itself — rather than 
a sum of elements within an aggregate, characterized by a disorderly clash of interests. 
The States that developed in the geographical areas of the great civilizations (whether 
they were empires, monarchies, aristocratic republics, or city-states) at their peak were 
almost without exception of this type. A central idea, a symbol of sovereignty with a 
corresponding, positive principle of authority was their foundation and animating force. 
Almost as if thanks to a spontaneous gravitation, men and social bodies found 
themselves working in synergy; though they retained their autonomy, they undertook 
activities that converged toward the same fundamental direction. Even contrasts and 
antitheses had their part in the economy of the whole; as they did not have the character 
of disorderly parts, they did not question the super-ordained unity of the organism, but 
rather acted as a dynamic and vivifying factor. Even the "opposition" of the early 
British parliamentary system was able to reflect a similar meaning (it was called "His 
Majesty's most loyal opposition"), though it disappeared in the later party-ruled 
parliamentary regime. 

Reading G. B. Vico and Fustel de Coulanges helps us to realize the power that the 
organic ideal had in antiquity. The main thing that emerges in ancient forms is that unity 
in them did not possess a merely political character, but rather a spiritual and quite often 
religious one, the political domain apparently being shaped and upheld by an idea or a 
general view that was also articulated in thought, law, art, customs, cult, and the form 
of the economy. A unitary spirit was manifested in a choral variety of forms, 
corresponding to the various possibilities of human existence; in this context, organic and 
traditional are more or less synonymous terms. The spirituality of the whole was that 
which occasioned the 
terminal and twilight phases of a given cycle of civilization. Among the most notable 
examples we may recall the forms of bureaucratic-governmental centralization that 
developed during the decline of the Roman, Byzantine, and Persian Empires; what 
ensued was eventually a definitive dissolution. 

Examples of this sort indicate the proper locus and meaning of "totalitarian" 
centralizations: they follow the crisis and the dissolution of previous unities of an 
organic nature, and the dissolution and turning loose of forces that were previously 
united by an idea in a differentiated civilization and in a living tradition. These forces are 
now mastered and brought together in a violent and extrinsic manner within an order, 
without any characteristic of true, recognized authority, and without anything connecting 
the single individuals from within. 

In the previous chapter I have suggested that totalitarian or semi-totalitarian systems 
often arise as an unavoidable reaction against the libertarian-individualistic disintegration. In 
other times, all this was reduced to the final, short-lived re-actions of an already 
doomed and senescent political organism. In the modern world, due to the 
predominance of materialistic, economic, and technological factors, this phenomenon 
may enjoy a certain stability (e.g., communism in the USSR), though the meaning 
remains the same. 

In fact, the best image to illustrate these processes is the analogy with living 
organisms: after enjoying life and movement, a stiffening sets in when they die that is 
typical of a body turning into a corpse. This state, in turn, is followed by the terminal 
phase of disintegration. Thus, in these totalitarian systems we may note two processes 
that, though they appear to run toward opposite directions, eventually converge into one 
and the same effect, and up to a point even permeate each other. Totalitarianism, though 
it reacts against individualism and social atomism, brings a final end to the devastation 
of what may still survive in a society from the previous "organic phase: quality; 
articulated forms, castes and classes, the values of personality, true freedom, daring and 
responsible initiative, and heroic feats. An organism of a superior type includes mul- 
tiple functions retaining their specific character and a relative autonomy, all the while 
mutually coordinating and integrating each other, converging into a superior unity that 
never ceases to be ideally presupposed. Thus, in an organic State we find both unity and 
multiplicity, gradation and hierarchy; we do not find the dualism of center and formless 
mass typical of a totalitarian regime. Totalitarianism, in order to assert itself, imposes 
uniformity. In the final analysis, totalitarianism rests and relies on the inorganic world of 
quantity to which individualistic disintegration has led, and not on the world of quality 
and of personality. In such a system, the authoritarianism we encounter is such as we may 
expect from a drill instructor or a pedagogue wielding a whip, if I may use an image dear 
to Toynbee. The attitudes that totalitarianism requires are: obedience, even though such 
obedience does not amount to acknowledgment and adhesion; conformism; and 
irrational forms of aggregation, among which it is possible to detect a fanatical, sinister, 
and blind capability of sacrifice. The whole system has an undefined character because it 
lacks a true authority; moreover, there is a lack of true commitment among people living 
in a totalitarian society; a lack of the sense of responsibility; and a lack of the dignity of 
free beings who acknowledge this authority and arrange themselves in one efficient 
formation. In this perspective, totalitarianism is a school of servility and a pejorative 
extension of collectivism: it acts not as an influence from above, capable of leading and 
unifying people, but rather as a formless power that has become crystallized in a center, 
in order to absorb, bend, mechanize, control, and impose uniformity on the rest of 
society. 

In these terms, two perspectives stand most visibly in irreducible antithesis: an 
antithesis that first of all must be understood as that of the spirits animating the two 
systems. 

This must be taken into account in regard to those special situations of an economic 
order that require a strengthened coordinating intervention, regulating the central 
powers, as happened recently. Even in these circumstances (in which, due to a 
congestion of forces and to a complexity of factors that are likewise difficult to control, 
the "managerial" mania must be assigned a relevant role) it is possible to retain the 
organic ideal as the shaping principle, in opposition to every totalitarianism; this will be 
shown later when I discuss the idea of corporatism. 

I wish to make one more comment in regard to the terminology used. Statolatry and 
statism are two expressions that have been recently used with polemical intent, as in the 
case of the term totalitarianism. Polemical remarks are pointless when aimed at 
criticizing the preeminence that legitimately be-longs to the political principle of the 
State over "society," "people," "national community," and, in general, over the entire 
economic and physical dimension of any human organization. To refuse to acknowledge 
this preeminence amounts to denying that very principle in its proper reality and 
function, in contrast to what appears to be a constant element in traditional thought. 
Thus, there is no need to employ the neologism "statism" (which has a negative 
connotation) in order to describe the aforementioned preeminence. 
terminal and twilight phases of a given cycle of civilization. Among the most notable 
examples we may recall the forms of bureaucratic-governmental centralization that 
developed during the decline of the Roman, Byzantine, and Persian Empires; what 
ensued was eventually a definitive dissolution. 

Examples of this sort indicate the proper locus and meaning of "totalitarian" 
centralizations: they follow the crisis and the dissolution of previous unities of an 
organic nature, and the dissolution and turning loose of forces that were previously 
united by an idea in a differentiated civilization and in a living tradition. These forces are 
now mastered and brought together in a violent and extrinsic manner within an order, 
without any characteristic of true, recognized authority, and without anything connecting 
the single individuals from within. 

In the previous chapter I have suggested that totalitarian or semi-totalitarian systems 
often arise as an unavoidable reaction against the libertarian-individualistic disintegration. In 
other times, all this was reduced to the final, short-lived re-actions of an already 
doomed and senescent political organism. In the modern world, due to the 
predominance of materialistic, economic, and technological factors, this phenomenon 
may enjoy a certain stability (e.g., communism in the USSR), though the meaning 
remains the same. 

In fact, the best image to illustrate these processes is the analogy with living 
organisms: after enjoying life and movement, a stiffening sets in when they die that is 
typical of a body turning into a corpse. This state, in turn, is followed by the terminal 
phase of disintegration. Thus, in these totalitarian systems we may note two processes 
that, though they appear to run toward opposite directions, eventually converge into one 
and the same effect, and up to a point even permeate each other. Totalitarianism, though 
it reacts against individualism and social atomism, brings a final end to the devastation 
of what may still survive in a society from the previous organic phase: quality, 
articulated forms, castes and classes, the values of personality, true freedom, daring and 
responsible initiative, and heroic feats. An organism of a superior type includes mul- 
tiple functions retaining their specific character and a relative autonomy, all the while 
mutually coordinating and integrating each other, converging into a superior unity that 
never ceases to be ideally presupposed. Thus, in an organic State we find both unity and 
multiplicity, gradation and hierarchy; we do not find the dualism of center and formless 
mass typical of a totalitarian regime. Totalitarianism, in order to assert itself, imposes 
uniformity. In the final analysis, totalitarianism rests and relies on the inorganic world 
of quantity to which individualistic disintegration has led, and not on the world of 
quality and of 
As far as the term statolatry is concerned, it is necessary to examine the effective 
basis of the two fundamental principles of imperium and auctoritas. There is a 
profound and substantial difference between the deification and absolutization of what 
is profane and the case in which the political reality derives its legitimization from 
reference points that are also spiritual and some-how transcendent. There is usurpation 
and fetishism in the former instance but not in the latter; only in the former instance it is 
legitimate to talk about "State worship." State worship falls in the same context of 
totalitarianism; its limit is the theology or the mysticism of the omnipotent totalitarian 
State, having as its background the new earthly religion of materialism. 

Conversely, the organic view presupposes something "transcendent" or "from 
above" as the basis of authority and command, without which there would 
automatically be no immaterial and substantial connections of the parts with the center; 
no inner order of single freedoms; no immanence of a general law that guides and sustains 
people without coercing them; and no supra-individual disposition of the particular, 
without which every decentralization and articulation would eventually pose a danger 
for the unity of the whole system. 

I must admit that nowadays, considering the climate of general materialization and 
desacralization, it is not easy to indicate solutions conforming to the latter perspective. 
But the fact remains that even in the modern political reality there are still remarkable 
residues that would be entirely absurd without a similar frame of reference. This is the 
case, for instance, with an oath. An oath transcends the categories of the profane and 
secular world. And yet we see that even in the modern, democratic, republican, and 
secular States there is the requirement and even the obligation to take an oath: as in the 
situation, for example, of judges, cabinet ministers, and even members of the armed 
forces. This is indeed absurd or even sacrilegious when the State, in one way or an- 
other, does not embody a spiritual principle: an oath in such a case would be an instance 
of State worship. Where the meaning of what an oath is all about has been completely 
lost, how can one be willing or required to swear such an oath, if the State is nothing 
more than what modern "enlightened" ideologies claim it to be? A mere secular 
authority — weltliche Obrigkeit, to employ a Lutheran expression — as such has no right 
to require an oath, no matter what the circumstances. Conversely, we find oaths to be a 
normal and legitimate essential element in the political organization of an organic and 
traditional type; an example is found with the oath of loyalty, which was regarded as a 
true sacrament, the sacramentum fidelitatis, in the feudal world. In Christianity, this type of 
oath represented the most terrible of all oaths: in the words of a historian, "it made 
martyrs out of those who gave their lives in order to remain faithful to it, just as it 
damned those who violated it. 

This is not without relation to a second point. In the communitarian and democratic 
views, we find the recurrent idea of sacrifice and of service; "altruism," the 
subordination and sacrifice of the single individual for the common good, all play a role 
in these views. Again, in this we have yet another instance of statolatry or at least of 
"sociolatry" or, in any event, of fetishism. We must ask what meaning these appeals have 
in the context of an organization, when its foundation is assumedly "positivist" and 
contractual. True, there are also forms of the capability to sacrifice oneself that are 
instinctive, heedless, irrational; some-times we even find this capability among animals. A 
classic example of this instinctive and naturalistic type is the sacrifice of a mother for her 
children. How-ever, these are dispositions that fall short of the sphere in which the 
concept of "person" is defined, and thus of the political sphere in its proper sense. 
Hofler has explained through an adequate comparison how things exist within this con- 
text: imagine a corporation, he writes, that truly represents a communion of interests on 
a purely contractual basis. In this type of organization (i.e., a corporation), to expect one 
of the stockholders to sacrifice himself to any degree for the common good and, worse 
yet, in favor of another stockholder would be regarded as absurd. This is because the 
foundation and the only sufficient reason of the system is the utilitarian interest of the 
single individual. 

However, things are just the same in a society or in a State lacking any spiritual 
consecration or a transcendent dimension: when in such a State appeals are made to act 
according to a principle other than a pure individual selfish interest, or subjective, 
affective or emotional motifs, they can only be a manifestation of fetishism, statolatry, or 
sociolatry. It is useless to employ surrogates such as the "Ethical State" (Hegel), with 
their confused dialectical identifications of the individual with die universal; these 
arc just speculative gables, 

since the whole is perceived through "secular" and "humanistic" lenses. Those who gain 
no comfort in empty words find no serious foundation in concepts like "immanent 
ethics" and "ethics based on the universal ; rather, they see in them a rhetoric in support 
of the system. Such people are also aware that this rhetoric or mysticism, when it 
develops into a coherent totalitarian system, is not as efficient as a well-designed 
system based on terror: in that case, everybody knows what he is dealing with — the fact that 
the "idealist" mythology created around innerly desacralized political forms is done away with 
can even be regarded as a purifying and realistic measure. 

Last but not least I wish to make a few comments about a formula that is often 
associated with totalitarianism in the polemics of a democracy: the one-party system. 
Fascism claimed that the State was the only party "governing the country in a 
totalitarian fashion." This is an unhappy or hybrid formula, to say the least, and it is a 
residue of the partisan-parliamentary view, though an in-stance of a higher order is also 
present within it. 

Strictly speaking, party means faction. In that case, "one party" is either a 

contradictory or an aberrant notion, almost as if a faction wished to be the whole or 

dominate the entire system. Practically speaking, the notion of "party" belongs to 

parliamentary democracies, and it signifies an organization that defends a given 

ideology against other ideologies upheld by other groups, to which the system 

recognizes the same right and the same legitimacy. In these terms, the "one-party 

system" is that which, in one way or another, whether democratically" or through the 

use of violence, succeeds in gaining control of the State and, once in a position of 

power, no longer tolerates other parties, using the State as a tool and imposing its 

particular ideology on the nation. 

In these terms, the idea of "one party" is doubtless problematic. But even in this 
example our opponents make sweeping generalizations: they do not consider the case of 
developments through which such negative and contradictory aspects may be rectified 
and a shift adopted from one system to another. Their criticism loses its weight where, 
instead of "party" we speak simply of a minority: since the idea that a group of people 
should control the State, not as a party, but as a minority or political elite, is something 
perfectly legitimate, if not a necessity for every political regime. So we must say that a 
party that becomes the "one and only party" should cease to be a "party" de facto. Then 
its representatives, or at least its most qualified ones, should present themselves and rule 
as some sort of Order, or as a specifically political class, not creating a State within the 
State, but rather protecting and strengthening the State's key positions; not defending 
their particular ideology, but rather embodying in an impersonal manner the very pure 
idea of the State. The specific character of this type of upheaval should be expressed not 
with the formula of the "one party," but rather with that of the antipartisan and organic 
State. This would mark the return to a traditional type of State, following a period of 
interregnum and transitional political forms. 

====================================================================

Five 

BONAPARTISM 

MACHIAVELLIANISM 

ELITISM 



R. Michels and J. Burnham are responsible for coining the term Bonapartism, 
designating a particular category of the modern political world. These authors suggest 
that the phenomenon of Bonapartism is a consequence that the democratic principle of 
popular representation (namely, the political criterion of majority and of the brute masses) 
may generate in given circumstances. In his Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the 
Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy (1915), Michels indicated both the 
technical and the psychological causes through which the iron law of oligarchies is 
reaffirmed even in the context of a system of democratic representation. It cannot be 
helped that, despite the formal institutions and the democratic doctrines, the effective 
power in democracies them-selves ends up in the hands of a minority, or of a small group 
that will become more or less independent from the masses after gaining power. The 
only distinctive feature lies in the idea that this oligarchy, in such a case, allegedly 
represents the "people" and expresses its "will"; this is what the famous formula of "the 
government of the people" amounts to. However, this turns out to be pure fiction and a 
myth when developments lead to so-called Bonapartism. 

The two above-mentioned sociologists suggest that once the principle of 
representation is legitimized, Bonapartism may be regarded as the extreme 
consequence, rather than the antithesis of democracy. Bonapartism represents a 
despotism based on a democratic view, which it denies de facto while fulfilling it in 
theory. Further on I will point out the ambiguity that derives from this in relation to the 
figure and the type of the leaders. 

Burnham, in his The Machiavellians, has correctly identified Bonapartism as a 
general tendency of our modern age: in this trend new forms of government 
emerge in which a small number of rulers or a leader pretend to represent the people and 
to speak and to act on behalf of them. And since he personifies the will of the people, 
which is conceived as the political ultima ratio, the leader ends up claiming for 
himself an unlimited authority and regarding all the intermediate political bodies and all 
the branches of government as completely dependent on the central power, which alone 
is believed to legitimately represent the people. Regimes of this type are often legalized 
democratically through the technique of the plebiscite: once this happens, the formula of 
the people's self-government or similar formulas (e.g., "the will of the nation," "the 
dictatorship of the proletariat," and "the will of the Revolution") are employed to destroy 
or ultimately to restrict those individual rights and those particular freedoms that were 
originally associated with the idea of democracy. Thus, Burnham noted that, 
theoretically speaking, the Bonapartist leader may be considered the perfect embodiment 
of the democratic type; in his despotism, it is as if the omnipotent people led and 
disciplined themselves. Modern autocracies are created at the sound of the hymns to the 
"workers," to the "people," or to the "nation." Thus, according to Burnham, the "century 
of the people," the "People's State," the "classless society," and "National Socialism" are 
euphemisms or cover-ups, the only and real meaning of which is the "century of 
Bonapartism. It is rather evident that, when the trend gains momentum and the political 
structures are stabilized, totalitarianism is the direct and final result. 

The historical antecedents of Bonapartism are well known: the popular tyrannies that 
arose in ancient Greece after the decline of previous aristocratic regimes; the tribunes of 
the people in ancient Rome; various princes and even condottieri (i.e., leaders of 
mercenary troops in the fourteenth through fifteenth centuries) who lived at the time of 
the Renaissance. In all of these cases we find an authority and a power lacking any higher 
consecration. This is more evident in the modern forms, in which the leaders pretend, 
more than in the previous forms, to speak and to act exclusively in the name of the 
people or of the collectivity, even when the practical result is an authentic despotism and 
a regime based on terror. 

Otto Weininger described the figure of the great politician as one who is a despot 
and at the same time a worshiper of the people, or simultaneously a pimp and a whore, 
which is something people instinctively perceive. Though it is certainly wrong to apply 
such a view to every type of political leader, it nevertheless captures the essence of 
Bonapartism. What occurs here is an inversion 
of polarity: the leader has a value only by relating to the collective group, to the masses, 
establishing with them — namely, with the lower end of society — an essential 
relationship. This is why, despite all, or should I say, precisely because of it, we are still 
within the boundaries of "democracy." While the traditional view of sovereignty and 
authority is characterized by the distance from the people, and the feeling of distance 
induces in the inferiors a sense of veneration, a natural respect and disposition to 
obedience and loyalty toward the leaders, in the phenomenon I am describing the 
opposite is true: what we find instead is the abolition of, and even an intolerance for, any 
distance. The Bonapartist leader is and cares to he regarded as a "son of the people, 
even when the reality is different. He ignores the traditional principle according to 
which the wider the base is, the higher the pinnacle should be. He is enslaved to the 
complex of "popularity": thus, he attends all those rallies from which he may derive the 
feeling, illusory though it may be, that the people follow and approve him. In this case, 
it is the superior that needs the inferior, instead of the other way around. Of course, there 
is a counterpart to this: at least during the phase when he rises to power, the prestige of 
the Bonapartist leader depends on the fact that the masses perceive him to be close to 
them or as "one of us." In a similar situation the "anagogic" power (i.e., drawing upward), 
which is the essence and the reason for existence in every true hierarchical system, is ex- 
cluded a priori. So what we are left with is what Weininger described with a crude 
expression: mutual prostitution. 

To clarify this point we should recall that any power, in order to last, always needs the 
support of the foundation, which is constituted by a collective feeling; whether directly 
or indirectly, it needs to win certain social strata over to its side. But in the above- 
mentioned situation, things are otherwise. Various faculties of the human being react to 
political phenomena according to the nature of what we may call the corresponding 
"center of crystallization." In other words, here as elsewhere, what matters is the law of 
elective affinities, which may be formulated in this manner: "Like awakens like; like 
attracts like; like rejoins like." The nature of the principle on which the auctoritas is 
based is very important, and acts as the test of the elective affinities and as a determinant 
factor in the process of crystallization. The process has an anagogic character and causes 
the integration of the individual when the center of the system, or its fundamental 
symbol, is such that it appeals to the higher faculties and possibilities of the human 
being and awakens and moves these faculties, 
acting as a reference point for them, in the adhesion and in the acknowledgment of the 
collectivity. Thus, there is a substantial difference between the adhesion on which a 
political system of a warrior, heroic, or feudal type is based (the foundation of which is 
both sacred and spiritual) and the adhesion found in movements led by a tribune of the 
people, a dictator, or a "Bonapartist" leader. In the latter case, which I regard as 
negative, the leader appeals to the lowest and almost pre-personal levels of human 
beings, flatters them, manipulates them, and makes sure that any higher sensibility is 
stifled by them. This is also a reason that the leader presents himself in a democratic 
manner as a "son of the people," and not as the embodiment of a higher humanity and the 
bearer of a higher principle. Thus, this phenomenon has a regressive character, insofar 
as the values of the personality are concerned. The single individual in these collective 
movements or systems is restricted not so much in this or that exterior freedom (which 
is, after all, of little consequence) but rather in the inner freedom — the ability to free 
himself from his lowest instincts, which, as I have said, the general climate tends to 
foster, elevate, and flatter. 

We should also note the relevant difference that exists whenever an acknowledgment 
is obtained and a certain prestige is acquired through promising or demanding. In the 
lowest, modern forms of democracy, we exclusively find the first: the prestige of the 
leaders is consolidated not so much on the basis of a high ideal tension (as was the case 
in the early forms of Bonapartism, which had a partially revolutionary and partially 
military character), but rather on the basis of "social" or "economic" promises, of factors 
and myths appealing to the purely physical aspect of the demos. This happens not only 
with the Marxist leaders in "left-wing totalitarianism"; various solutions of the "social 
question," materialistically considered, are one of the fundamental ingredients in the 
modern techniques employed by popular leaders in general, which is some-thing that 
suffices to qualify the level and moral stature of such leaders. 

The notion of dictatorship is usually associated with totalitarianism and 
Bonapartism. In this way we are led to consider the mistake incurred by some views 
that strive to be antidemocratic but nonetheless have only a very distorted 
understanding of aristocracy. According to traditional thought, it is necessary to 
distinguish clearly between the symbol, the function, and the principle, on the one hand, 
and man as an individual, on the other hand; starting from this premise, what matters is 
that a man be valued and recognized in terms of the idea and the principle he upholds, 
and not vice versa. In the situation of the 
dictator and the tribune of the people, we have the other alternative, that of a power 
leaning only on a person and on his action upon the irrational forms of the masses. 

In the last century, under the influence of evolutionism, some views of aristocracy and 
the elites emerged that were based on "natural selection"; these views were plagued by a 
major misunderstanding of what was typical of ancient hierarchical societies, as even a 
purely historical investigation has shown. Later, what emerged was the romantic- 
bourgeois theory of "hero worship," compounded by the most problematic aspects of 
Nietzsche's theory of the Ubermensch. With all this, we are still in the domain of forms 
of individualism and naturalism that are unable to formulate any doctrine of true, 
legitimate authority. And yet most people, even when they admit the notion of aristoc- 
racy in principle, ultimately settle for a very limited view of it: they admire an 
individual for being exceptional and brilliant, instead of for being one in whom a tradition 
and a special "spiritual race" shine forth, or instead of whose greatness is due not to his 
human virtues, but rather to the principle, the idea, and a certain regal impersonality 
that he embodies. 

The Machiavellian model of the "prince" and its derivatives are confined to the plane 
of individualism. Machiavelli's "prince" does not lower himself as far as the leaders of 
modern demagogy and democracy: naturally, he does not believe in the "people" and 
does not care to become acquainted with the passions and elementary reactions of the 
masses in order to use them to his advantage and to exercise an adequate method of 
governing. However, his authority no longer comes "from above": its foundation is mere 
strength, which is the virtus of the prince. Power, as pure power of a man, is the 
ultimate end; everything else, spiritual and religious factors included, is only a means to 
be employed without any scruples. An intrinsic superiority does not come into play at 
all: Machiavellianism cares only for political skills, combined with individual gifts of 
shrewdness and strength (the well-known image Machiavelli employs is that 

of a breed between a fox and a lion). Here the leader dues not, consider die 
higher faculties that can be reawakened, in certain conditions, in his subjects; he 
harbors contempt and a fundamental pessimism toward people in general, on the basis 
of an alleged political realism. This prevents the Machiavellian despot from 
prostituting himself: he is far from being a dupe of the means that he employs in order to 
gain power or to retain it. Deceit, lies, and acting skills contribute to keep the prince in 
power. 21 And yet this does not mean that in 
such a context there is no room for the concept of a true aristocracy and an effective 
authority. Once this view is developed, it leads to "dictatorial" forms, which are 
characterized by an individual preeminence and by a formless power, and to an era that 
has been called one of "absolute politics." 

Machiavellianism maybe regarded as an application of the method of modern 
physical sciences to the sociopolitical plane. The modern and profane sciences are 
committed in principle to abstract from everything that has characteristics of quality and 
individuality in nature, and concern themselves only with its purely material aspect; 
thus, they provide a body of knowledge that affords, through various techniques, a wide 
control over things. Machiavellianism does exactly the same in regard to social and 
political forces: once it operates an analogous abstraction from the qualitative and 
spiritual factor and a necessary reduction to that which is physical and material in the 
individual and in collectivity, it bases its domain on a mere technique. 

This is the essence of Machiavellianism. Now, in the modern forms of 
Bonapartism — especially those connected to dictatorial totalitarianism — we may detect a 
mixture of the Machiavellian notion of the "prince" and the notion of the demagogue 
who is the son of democracy, insofar as an inverted mysticism conferring on the leader a 
"charismatic" character here has as its counterpart a perfected technique. This technique 
is unscrupulous and sometimes even demonic, considering the means it employs to 
establish power and to control the irrational forces of the masses: it amounts to "absolute 
politics," which ignores the potential value of man as free personality. The 
Machiavellian leaders them-selves ignore that respect for oneself and for one's dignity 
that is the requirement for any aristocratic superiority. 

Aside from Napoleon III, the term Bonapartism naturally recalls Napoleon 
Bonaparte, a figure who would be unfairly judged if we did not distinguish two aspects of 
his personality: the political and the military. When dealing with Bonapartism as a 
political category, I have considered only the first aspect, according to which Napoleon, 
rather than as a military leader, appears as the son of the French Revolution: the spirit of 
the revolution was essentially developed and actualized, rather than denied, in the 
"imperial" fulfillment. Concerning the military aspect, I have nothing to say against the 
prestige that a leader may acquire on the battlefield: on the contrary, such prestige has 
nothing to do with democracy or with demagogy, but instead is connected with heroic 
factors and, as it is with everything that pertains to the military dimension, it 
integrates the very notion of hierarchy, as long as this prestige does not go beyond its 
proper sphere. I wanted to make this point in order to distinguish the higher notion of 
authority and aristocracy from its problematic surrogates and by-products. 

The ancient world offers a good example in this regard. In ancient Rome, as well as 
among Germanic people and other civilizations, a clear distinction was made between 
the rex on the one hand and the dux or imperator on the other hand; the latter was 
essentially conceived as a military leader who was qualified, through some purely 
individual gifts, to perform certain tasks. In similar terms, which differ only concerning 
the field of application, the same distinction existed between the leader and the one who 
was invested with exceptional, though temporary, powers in order to restore control over 
a difficult or emergency .situation. Originally the "dictator" was defined in these terms, 
and a particular tradition or political idea was connected to him as well as to the dux. 
The nature, function, and prestige of both types were different. Some laws, like the ones 
that existed among ancient Germans, contemplated the choice of the rex not among those 
who distinguished themselves for certain human qualities (as was the case in the choice 
of a dux and a heretigo) but instead among those who descended from a "divine" line: 
such laws should not be attributed to a "mythological" and anachronistic mentality. This 
idea may be demythologized and even formulated in terms of a simple typological 
contrast. The essential is the leader's "upward" rather than "downward" reference: it is 
necessary that in him something superhuman and not-human shine forth, regardless of 
what form (usually dictated by the historical circumstances and milieu) this element of 
"immanent transcendence" may assume. This element is different from what is proper to 
the "hero" or to the military or dictatorial leader. To employ an Oriental expression, we 
may speak of two forms of authority, attributed to those who win or assert themselves 
without needing to struggle and to those who win or assert themselves after a struggle. 
In the former instance, what asserts itself in a natural way is essentially an Olympian 
element, or an "actionless activity," that is exercised not through material channels, but 
rather in a spiritual way. In the latter instance, we are still on a high plane if we are 
dealing with a dux or a military leader (especially if trained in a strict tradition, as was the 
case, in modern times, with Prussian officers) but we sink to a lower level when we deal 
with political interferences in the sense of dictatorial usurpations. Eventually the bottom 
is reached with the emergence of the Bonapartist 
leader, who is a mixture of a demagogical tribune in a democracy and a Machiavellian 
figure who is an expert in a degrading and cynical technique of power. 

I hope I have introduced sufficient reference points to distinguish between the 
different types of leader and the varieties found in two spiritually antithetical systems. 

"Aristocracy" is an indeterminate concept. Literally speaking, "the best ones" is a 
relative term. "Best" in terms of what, in view of what? There are indeed "best" 
gangsters, "best" technocrats, "best" demagogues, and so on: thus, it is obviously 
necessary to specify the basis of the values shaping a society or a civilization and giving 
it its specific character. In different cases, then, we are going to have very different 
"aristocracies" and elites. 

This shows the limits of Pareto's sociology in regard to the law of circulation of the 
elites, as it was formulated by Pareto himself. The starting point is the acknowledgment 
of the fatal character of elitism and of the iron law of the oligarchies. But in Pareto 
everything remains on a formal plane, because in the changes that the constant 
phenomenon allows for, the qualitative, spiritual factor is not considered. The elite 
considered here has the character of an abstract category, and in the "circulation" or 
change of the guard that occurs there is no consideration for the specific meanings and 
changes of value, but rather consideration is given to processes of an almost mechanical 
and indifferent social dynamism. In essence, Pareto limited himself to studying the part 
variously played by those that he called the "residues of the persistence of aggregates" 
and the "residues of combinations" — in other words, the conservative forces and the 
innovative, progressive, and revolutionary forces — yet all the while, without specifying 
what is to be preserved and what is to be introduced. With the exhaustion of the vital 
possibilities of a given dominant class, a circulation of elements occurs (an ascent of 
some and a descent of others) beyond which the phenomenon of the elites is preserved. 
Here "elite" is understood in a general way, as an abstract category. This is related to the 
methodology proper to Pareto, which attributes to every principle, idea, value, or 
doctrine the mere character of "derivation," namely of secondary and dependent 
character, of something that does not have a determining force in itself, but instead vari- 
ously expresses elementary, uniform, and irrational tendencies ("residues"), which alone 
are believed to be efficient. 

As I see it, things are totally different because the primary and most important 
element is not represented by the existence of the abstract phenomenon of the "elites" in 
power, beyond the rotation or change-of-guard of the single elites, but vice versa, by the 
change of values and meanings that occurs when an elite is followed by another, and 
when it is one elite rather than another that occupies the center and shapes the whole 
system. 
The considerations I have made so far concerning these transformations, and thus 
concerning the varieties of elitism, are meant as a clarification. From a historical 
perspective, the shift from one form of elite (or "aristocracy" in general) to another has 
obeyed a specific law, the law of regression of the castes, 
which I will not dwell upon here, having described it in detail in my principle 
work, Revolt Against the Modern World. 22 Here it will suffice to say that there are four 
stages: in the first stage, the elite has a purely spiritual character, embodying what may 
be generally called "divine right." This elite expresses an ideal of immaterial virility. In 
the second stage, the elite has the character of warrior nobility; at the third stage we find 
the advent of oligarchies of a plutocratic and capitalistic nature, such as they arise in 
democracies; the fourth and last elite is that of the collectivist and revolutionary leaders 
of the Fourth Estate. 

===============================================================================

Six 



WORK 

THE DEMONIC NATURE 

OF THE ECONOMY 



I have previously discussed the analogy that exists between the single individual and a 
collective entity, and the legitimacy that this analogy was accorded in the ancient past. I 
have also remarked that in modern times the dimension of sociopolitical organization has 
descended from a plane in which the vital, material part is subordinated to higher 
faculties, forces, and goals, to a plane in which this higher dimension is lacking or, 
worse yet, through an inversion, deprived of its own dimension and subordinated to 
inferior functions, which in the single individual correspond to the merely physical 
plane. The counterpart of this, in the State, is the economy. I will now consider the 
phenomenon in question from the perspective of this particular aspect. 

Sombart's thesis that we are living in the age of the economy expresses in an accurate 
manner the above-mentioned anomaly. He is referring, first of all, to the general type of 
an entire civilization. All the exterior aspects of power and of technical-industrial 
progress of contemporary civilization do not detract from its involutive character — rather 
they depend on it, because all this apparent "progress" has been realized almost 
exclusively in terms of the economic interest, insofar as this interest has overshadowed all 
others. Nowadays it is possible to speak of a demonic nature of the economy, because in 
both individual and collective life the economic factor is the most important, real, and 
decisive one. Moreover, the tendency to converge every value and interest on the 
economic and productive plane is not perceived by Western man as an unprecedented 
aberration, but instead as something normal and natural, and not as an eventual 
necessity, but as something that must be accepted, willed, developed, and praised. 
As I have said before, when the right and primacy of interests higher than those of 
the socioeconomic plane are not upheld, there is no hierarchy, and even if there is one, 
it is only a counterfeit; this is also true when a higher authority is not accorded to those 
men, groups, and bodies representing and defending these values and interests. In this 
case, an economic era is already by definition a fundamentally anarchical and 
antihierarchical era; it represents a subversion of the normal order. The materialization 
and the soullessness of all the domains of life that characterize it divest of any higher 
meaning all those problems and conflicts that are regarded as important within it. 

This subversive character is found both in Marxism and in its apparent nemesis, 
modern capitalism. Thus, it is absurd and deplorable for those who pretend to represent 
the political "Right" to fail to leave the dark and small circle that is determined by the 
demonic power of the economy — a circle including capital-ism, Marxism, and all the 
intermediate economic degrees. 

This should be firmly upheld by those who today are taking a stand against the forces 

of the Left. Nothing is more evident than that modern capitalism is just as subversive as 

Marxism. The materialistic view of life on which both systems are based is identical; 

both of their ideals are qualitatively identical, including the premises connected to a 

world the center of which is constituted of technology, science, production, 

productivity," and "consumption." And as long as we only talk about economic classes, 

profit, salaries, and production, and as long as we believe that real human progress is 

determined by a particular system of distribution of wealth and goods, and that, generally 

speaking, human progress is measured by the degree of wealth or indigence — then we 

are not even close to what is essential, even though new theories, beyond Marx-ism and 

capitalism, might be formulated. 

The starting point should be, instead, a firm rejection of the principle formulated by 
Marxism, which summarizes the entire subversion at work today: The economy is our 
destiny. We must declare in an uncompromising way that in a normal civilization the 
economy and economic interests — understood as the satisfaction of material needs and 
their more or less artificial appendices — have always played, and always will play, a 
subordinated function. We must also uphold that beyond the economic sphere an order 
of higher political, spiritual, and heroic values has to emerge, an order that neither 
knows nor tolerates merely economic classes and does not know the division between 
"capitalists" and "proletarians"; an order solely in terms of which are to be defined the 
things worth living and dying for. We must also uphold the need for a true hierarchy 
and for different dignities, with a higher function of power installed at the top, namely 
the imperium. 

But where is the battle waged today in these terms? The "social question" and 
various "political problems" are increasingly losing any higher meaning, and are being 
defined on the basis of the most primitive conditions of physical existence, conditions that 
are then made absolute and removed from any higher concern. The notion of justice is 
reduced to this or that system of distribution of economic goods; the notion of 
civilization is measured mostly by that of production; and the focus of people's attention 
tends to be on topics such as production, work, productivity, economic classes, salaries, 
private or public property, exploitation of the workers, and special-interest groups. 
According to supporters of capitalism and to Marxists, nothing else exists or matters in 
this world. According to Marxists, everything that exists is regarded as a "su- 
perstructure" and as a derivative; supporters of free-market economy are not inclined to 
be as drastic, though their standard and main concern is always the economy. 

All this is proof of the true pathology of our civilization. The economic factor 

exercises a hypnosis and a tyranny over modern man. And, as often occurs in hypnosis, 

what the mind focuses on eventually becomes real. Modern man is making possible 

what every normal and complete civilization has always regarded as an aberration or as a 

bad joke — namely, that the economy and the social problem in terms of the economy 

are his destiny. 

Thus, in order to posit a new principle, what is needed is not to oppose one 
economic formula with another, but instead to radically change attitudes, to reject 
without compromise the materialistic premises from which the economic factor has been 
perceived as absolute. 

What must be questioned is not the value of this or that economic system, but the 

value of the economy itself. Thus, despite the fact that the antithesis between capitalism 

and Marxism dominates the background of recent times, it must be regarded as a 

pseudo-antithesis. In free-market economies, as well as in Marxist societies, the myth of 

production and its corollaries (e.g., standardization, monopolies, cartels, technocracy) 

are subject to the hegemony of the economy, becoming the primary factor on which the 

material conditions of existence are based. Both systems regard as "backward" or as 

"underdeveloped" those civilizations that do not amount to "civilizations based on labor 

and production" — 

namely, those civilizations that, luckily for themselves, have not yet been caught up in the 

feverish industrial exploitation of every natural resource, the social and productive 

enslavement of all human possibilities, and the exaltation of technical and industrial 

standards; in other words, those civilizations that still enjoy a certain space and a 

relative freedom. Thus, the true antithesis is not between capitalism and Marxism, but 

between a system in which the economy rules supreme (no matter in what form) and a 

system in which the economy is subordinated to extra-economic factors, within a wider 

and more complete order, such as to bestow a deep meaning upon human life and foster 

the development of its highest possibilities. This is the premise for a true restorative 

reaction, beyond "Left" and "Right," beyond capitalism's abuses and Marxist subversion. 

The necessary conditions are an inner detoxification, a becoming "normal" again 

("normal" in the higher meaning of the term), and a renewed capability to 

differentiate between base and noble interests. No intervention from the outside can 

help; any external action at best might accompany this process. 

In order to resolve the problem, it is necessary, first of all, to reject the "neutral" 

interpretation of the economic phenomenon proper to a deviated sociology. The very 

economic life has a body and soul of its own, and inner moral factors have always 

determined its meaning and spirit. Such spirit, as Sombart has clearly shown, should be 

distinguished from the various forms of production, distribution, and organization of 

economic goods; it may vary depending on individual instances and it bestows a very 

different scope and meaning on the economic factor. The pure homo oeconomicus is a 

fiction or the by-product of an evidently degenerated specialization. Thus, in every 

normal civilization a purely economic man — that is, the one who sees the economy not as 

an order of means but rather as an order of ends to which he dedicates his main 

activities — was always rightly regarded as a man of lower social extraction: lower in a 

spiritual sense, and furthermore in a social or political one. In essence, it is necessary to 

return to normalcy, to restore the natural dependency of the economic factor on inner, 

moral factors and to act upon them. 

Once this is acknowledged, it will be easy to recognize the inner causes in the actual 
world (which have the economy as their common denominator) that preclude any 
solution that does not translate into a steeper fall to a lower level. I have previously 
suggested that the uprising of the masses has mainly been caused by the fact that every 
social difference has been reduced to those that 
exist between mere economic classes and by the fact that under the aegis of 
antitraditional liberalism, property and wealth, once free from any bond or 
higher value, have become the only criteria of social differences. However, 
beyond the strict limitations that were established within the overall hierarchical 
system prior to the ascent of the economy, the superiority and the right of a 
class as a merely economic class may rightly be contested in the name of 
elementary human values. And it was precisely here that the subversive ideol- 
ogy introduced itself, by making an anomalous and degenerative situation into an 
absolute one and acting as if nothing else had previously existed or could exist 
outside economic classes, or besides external and unfair social conditions that are 
determined by wealth alone. However, all this is false, since such conditions 
could develop only within a truncated society: only in such a society may the 
concepts of "capitalist" and "proletarian" be defined. These terms lack any 
foundation in a normal civilization, because in such a civilization the counterpart 
constituted by extra-economic values portrays the corresponding human types as some- 
thing radically different from what today is categorized as "capitalist" or "proletarian." 
Even in the domain of the economy, a normal civilization provides specific jus- 
tification for certain differences in condition, dignity, and function. 23 

Moreover, in the contemporary chaos it is also necessary to acknowledge 
what is caused by an ideological infection. It is not entirely correct to say that 
Marxism arose and took hold because there was a real social question that needed 
to be addressed (at best this may have been the case during the early stages of 
the industrial revolution); the opposite is true — to wit, that for the most part the 
social question gains precedence in today's world only as a result of the 
presence of Marxism. The social question artificially arises through the con- 
certed effort of agitators, those who are engaged in "rekindling class conscious- 
ness. Lenin did not assign to the Communist Party only the task of supporting 
"workers' movements" where they arose spontaneously, but rather the task of 
creating and organizing them everywhere and by every means. Marxism gives 
rise to the proletarian and class mentality where it previously did not exist, 
stirring excitement and creating resentment and dissatisfaction in those societies 
where the individuals still lived in the station allotted to them by life. In those 
societies an individual contained his need and aspirations within natural limits; 
he did not yearn to become different from what he was, and thus he was 
innocent of that Entfremdung ("alienation") decried by Marxism. Incidentally, we 
should recall that Marxism proposes to overcome this alienation 
through something worse — namely, the "integration (or, we should say, disin- 
tegration) of the person into a collective entity (i.e., the "people,' or "the party')." 

I am not espousing an "obscurantism" for the benefit of the "ruling classes"; as 
I have stated previously, I dispute the superiority and the rights of a merely 
economic class living in a materialistic fashion. Nevertheless, we need to side 
against the idea or myth of so-called social progress, which is another of the 
many pathological fixations of the economic era in general, and not the legacy 
of leftist movements alone. To this effect, the eschatological views of Marxism do 
not differ very much from the "Western" views of prosperity: both 
Weltanschauungen [worldviews] essentially coincide, as do their practical 
applications. In both Marxism and free-market economies we find the same 
materialistic, antipolitical, and social view detaching the social order and people 
from any higher order and higher goal, positing what it is "useful" as the only 
purpose (understood in a physical, vegetative, and earthly sense); by turning the 
"useful" into a criterion of progress, the values proper to every traditional 
structure are inverted. In fact, we should not forget that the law, meaning, and 
sufficient reason for these structures have always consisted in references for man 
to some-thing beyond himself and beyond the economy, wealth, or material 
poverty, all these things having only a secondary importance. Thus, it can 
legitimately be claimed that the so-called improvement of social conditions 
should be regarded not as good but as evil, when its price consists of the 
enslavement of the single individual to the productive mechanism and to the 
social conglomerate; or in the degradation of the State to the "State based on 
work," and the degradation of society to "consumer society"; or in the 
elimination of every qualitative hierarchy; or in the atrophy of every spiritual 
sensibility and every "heroic" attitude. Hegel wrote, "Happiness is not to be 
found in the history of the world [in the sense of material comfort and social 
prosperity]; even the few happy periods found here and there are like white 
pages." But even at an individual level, the qualities that matter the most in a 
man and make him who he is often arise in harsh circumstances and even in 
conditions of indigence and injustice, since they represent a challenge to him, 
testing his spirit; what a sad contrast it is when the human animal is granted a 
maximum of comfort, an equal share in a mindless and bovine happiness, an 
easy and comfortable life filled with gad-gets, radio and TV programs, planes, 
Hollywood, sports arenas, and popular culture at the level of Reader's Digest. 

Again, spiritual values and the higher degrees of human perfection have 
nothing to do with either the presence or the absence of socioeconomic prosperity. The 
notion that indigence is always a source of abjection and vice — and that "advanced" 
social conditions represent its opposite — is the fairy tale told by materialistic 
ideologies, which contradict themselves when they up-hold the other myth, according to 
which the "good guys" are on the side of the people and the oppressed workers and all 
the "bad guys" are to be found on the side of the wealthy classes, which are corrupt and 
exploitative. Both of these are fairy tales. In reality, true values bear no necessary 
relation to better or worse socioeconomic conditions; only when these values are put at 
the fore-front is it possible to approximate an order of effective justice, even on the 
material plane. Among these values are: being oneself; the style of an active 
impersonality; love of discipline; and a generally heroic attitude toward life. Against all 
forms of resentment and social competition, every person should acknowledge and love 
his station in life, which best corresponds to his own nature, thus acknowledging the 
limits within which he can develop his potential; and should give an organic sense to his 
life and achieve its perfection, since an artisan who perfectly fulfills his function is 
certainly superior to a king who does not live up to his dignity. Only when such 
considerations have weight will this or that reform carried out on the socioeconomic 
plane be conceived and implemented without any negative consequence, according to 
true justice, with-out mistaking the essential for the accessory. Unless an ideological 
detoxification and a rectification of attitudes is carried out, every reform will be only 
superficial and fail to tackle the deeper roots of the crisis of contemporary society, to 
the advantage of subversive forces. 

It has been reported that in a non-European country, which could boast an ancient 
and rich past, an American company, upon realizing the scarce participation of local 
inhabitants who had been hired for a certain project, believed that the right way to 
motivate them consisted in doubling their pay. The result was that a majority of the 
workers cut their working hours in half. Believing the initial pay was enough to satisfy 
their natural and normal needs, those people thought it was absurd to spend more time 
than necessary to procure their pay. It has also been reported that Renan, after visiting 
an industrial exposition, left, saying: "There are so many things in life that I can do 
perfectly well without! " 

Compare these two views with contemporary Stakanovism, economic "activism," 
"civilization of wealth," and "consumer society" and its applications. These 
two examples, better than any abstract consideration, supply us with the criteria to 
distinguish between two fundamental attitudes, the former healthy and normal, the latter 
deviant and pathological. 

In the case of the first anecdote, some might adduce the usual prejudices about the 

alleged laziness or indolence of races that are not as "dynamic" and "goal-oriented" as 

the Western ones. Such comparisons are artificial and unilateral. In fact, it is enough to 

abstract from the notion of "modern civilization" (which is no longer exclusively 

"Western") to find even here, in Italy, the same view of life, inner attitude, and emphasis 

on profit and work. Prior to the advent in Europe of what textbooks call "mercantile 

economy (the term is very appropriate, because it describes the tone given to the entire 

economy by the figures of the merchant and the moneylender), from which capitalism 

rap-idly developed, the fundamental criteria of the economy were that the acquisition of 

external goods had to be restricted and that work and the quest for profit were justifiable 

only in order to acquire a level of wealth corresponding to one's status in life: this was 

the Thomist and, later, the Lutheran view. 

The ancient corporative ethics shared this perspective: in this ethics the values of 
personality and quality were given priority, and the amount of work was always in 
relation to a specific level of natural needs and to a specific vocation. The fundamental 
idea was that work was meant not to bind man, but to free him and allow the pursuit of 
worthier interests, once the demands of existence were satisfied. No economic value was 
cherished enough to sacrifice one's independence to it, nor was the quest for the means of 
subsistence deemed worthy to consume one's entire life. Overall, the above-mentioned 
truth was acknowledged — that human progress must be defined not on an economic and 
social level, but rather on an inner plane; in other words, progress does not consist in 
leaving behind one's ranks "to become successful," or in increasing the amount of work 
in order to gain a position that one is not qualified for. At a higher level, the formula 
substine et abstine ["keep back, but stand firm"] was an axiom of wisdom that echoed 
through the Classical world; one of the possible interpretations of the Delphic saying 
"Nothing in excess" could also be applied to this order of considerations. 

Therefore, all these were Western views too: they were the views of European man 
when he was still healthy, before he was bitten by the tarantula, so to speak, or not 
yet dominated by an insane restlessness that was destined to distort every criterion of 
value and to lead to the paroxysms of contemporary 
civilization. The "demonic nature of the economy" has developed from this distortion, 
following a chain of processes: thus, morally speaking, the responsibility falls squarely 
on the shoulder of the individual. The turning point was the advent of a view of life that, 
instead of keeping human needs within natural limits in view of what is truly worthy of 
pursuit, adopted as its highest ideal an artificial increase and multiplication of human 
needs and the necessary means to satisfy them, in total disregard for the growing slavery 
this would inexorably constitute for the individual and the collective whole. The limit 
of this deviation consists of the inner situation out of which the forms of industrial 
capital-ism have developed: here the activity aimed at profit and at production has 
turned from a means to an end, ensnaring man's heart and soul, condemning him to a 
nonstop race and an unlimited growth of frantic activity and production. This race is 
imposed from the outside, because to stop, in the economic system, means to regress or 
even to be undermined and swept away. In this race, which is not "activism" but pure 
and senseless restlessness, the economy puts thousands of workers in "chains" just as it 
does the ambitious entrepreneur, the "producer of goods, and the "owner of the means 
of production," occasioning concordant actions and reactions that in turn generate 
increasingly wider spiritual destruction. The background of the "selfless" love of that 
American politician who put as the basis of his international political program the 
"economic improvement of the most underdeveloped countries of the world" can be seen 
in this light: its meaning consists of completing the new barbaric invasions (the only 
ones worthy of this name), and generating an obsession with economic concerns in 
some peoples whom so far have been spared the "tarantula's bite" — all this because the 
growing amount of capital seeks to be utilized and invested and the degenerated 
productive mechanism seeks wider and new markets for its overproduction. Lenin saw 
clearly through all this and how, in such upheavals, one of the traits of "dying 
capitalism" consists of digging its own grave, being forced by the mechanism it set in 
motion to unleash (through industrialization, proletarianization, and Europeanization) 
forces that eventually will react against it and against the white man's societies: the 
representatives of "progress" are not aware of it, and so the process snowballs. In the 
socialist systems that claim to be the rightful heirs of a capitalism doomed to perish 
because of its inner contradiction, the enslavement of the single individual is reaffirmed 
rather than alleviated; it is sanctioned no longer simply de facto, but de jure as well. In 
socialist regimes this enslavement obeys a collective 
imperative. If the great entrepreneur devotes his entire self to economic activity, turning 
it into some kind of drug that has a vital importance to him — the consequence of an 
unconscious self-defense mechanism, for he suspects that if he ceased the activity he 
would see the emptiness surrounding him and feel the utter horror of a life devoid of 
meaning2 4 — in the ideologies of the opposing side an analogous situation is made to 
correspond to an ethical imperative. This imperative is also accompanied by anathemas 
and repressive measures against those who intend to raise their heads and reclaim their 
freedom from everything that is work, production, productivity, and social ties. 

At this point it is necessary to denounce another pathological fixation of the economic 
age, or one of its fundamental slogans: I am referring to the modern superstition of 
work that has become common to both left-wing and right-wing movements. Just like 
the notion of "the people," "work" too has become one of those sacred cows and 
intangible entities that modern man dares only to praise and exalt. One of the 
characteristics of the economic era, considered in its most plebeian and shallow aspect, 
is this kind of self-inflicted sadism that consists of glorifying work as an ethical value and 
as an essential duty, and in conceiving every form of activity as some kind of work. A 
future and perhaps more normal mankind will regard the notion in which the means 
becomes an end as a peculiar perversion. Thus, work ceases to signify something that is 
imposed only in view of the material needs of existence, and to which no more room 
should be given than is required according to the individual and the status of his rank; 
on the contrary, work is absolutized and seen as a value in itself, and is associated 
simultaneously with the myth of paroxysmal and productive activity. Moreover, we 
come to a real inversion. The term work has always designated the lowest forms of 
human activity, those that are more exclusively conditioned by the economic factor. It is 
illegitimate to label as "work" anything that is not reduced to these forms; rather, the 
word to be used is action: action, not work, is what is performed by the leader, the 
explorer, the ascetic, the pure scientist, the warrior, the artist, the diplomat, the 
theologian, the one who makes or breaks a law, the one who is motivated by an 
elementary passion or guided by a principle. But while every normal civilization, thanks 
to its upward orientation, intended to bestow a character of action, creation, and "art 
even upon work (see, for instance, the corporations in the ancient world), exactly the 
opposite is happening in the present economic civilization: even action (or what-ever is 
still worthy of the term) is increasingly attributed the character of "work" 
(i.e., an economic and proletarian character), almost out of a masochistic plea-sure in 
degradation and contamination. 

Thus, we have gone as far as formulating the "ideal" of a "State based on work" and 
fantasizing about a "humanism of work," even in milieus that profess to be anti- 
Marxist. Giovanni Gentile began to glorify the "humanism of culture" as a "glorious 
stage in the emancipation of man" — which must be seen as the liberal, individualistic- 
intellectual phase of world subversion. Gentile said that this stage is insufficient 
because "it was still necessary to recognize the worker's high dignity that man had 
previously discovered in intellectual activity. Thus, according to him, "there is no 
doubt that the social upheavals and the parallel socialist upheavals of the twentieth 
century have created a new humanism: the humanism of work, the establishment of 
which as an actual and concrete reality is the real task and responsibility of our century." 
The logical development of the liberal deviation, which I have previously documented, 
is here expressed in very clear terms. This "humanism of work" is one and the same 
with the "integral humanism" or "realist humanism" or "new humanism" proclaimed by 
communist intellectuals," and the "ethical character and "high dignity" attributed to 
work are only a meaningless fiction attempting to make man forget every higher 
interest and gleefully accept his obtuse and meaning-less organization in barbaric 
structures: I say "barbaric" because they do not recognize anything besides work and 
hierarchies of production. The most peculiar thing is that this superstitious and insolent 
cult of work is proclaimed in an era in which the irreversible and relentless 
mechanization eliminates from the main varieties of work whatever in them still had a 
character of quality, art, and the spontaneous unfoldment of a vocation, turning it into 
something in-animate and devoid of even an immanent meaning. 

Thus, those who rightfully invoke a "deproletarization" delude themselves if they 
see in this only a social problem. The task ahead, first of all, is to deproletarize the 
view of life; if this task is not accomplished, everything remains distorted and tied up. 
The proletarian spirit, the quality that is spiritually proletarian, 26 subsists when no higher 
human type than the "worker" is conceived; when one describes "the ethical character of 
work"; when one praises "society" or the "State based on work"; when one does not have 
the courage to take a resolute stand against all these new contaminating myths. 

An ancient image, taken from a Buddhist text, is that of a man running breathlessly 
under the burning sun. At a certain point this man may ask himself: 

"Why am I running? What if I were to slow down?" and then, walking more slowly, he 

asks: "Why am I walking in this heat? What if I paused under a tree?" — and in doing so 

he may come to see that his previous running was caused by a foolish and feverish state 

of mind. Such an image indicates the inner transformation, or metanoia, required to 

strike at the heart of the "hegemony" of work and to regain inner freedom: this, however, 

not in order to shift to a renunciatory, Utopian, and miserable civilization, but in order to 

clear every domain of life of insane tensions and to restore a real hierarchy of values. 

Here the fundamental point is to be able to recognize that there is no external 
economic improvement or social prosperity worthy enough (and the temptations of 
which should not be absolutely resisted) when its counterpart is an essential limitation of 
freedom and of the space necessary for everyone to realize his possibilities beyond the 
dimension conditioned by matter and by the needs of ordinary life. 

Moreover, this does not apply only to the single individual, but to the collective 

whole and the State as well, especially when its material resources are limited and 

foreign economic forces are pressuring it. Here autarchy may be an ethical precept, 

because what weighs more on the scale of values must be the same for a single individual 

and for a State: it is better to renounce the allure of improving general social and 

economic conditions and to adopt a regime of austerity than to become enslaved to 

foreign interests or to become caught up in world processes of reckless economic 

hegemony and productivity that are destined to sweep away those who have set them in 

motion. 

The overall contemporary situation is naturally such that my considerations mean 
nothing less than swimming against the current; while this does not affect their intrinsic 
value, it must nonetheless be acknowledged that the single individual cannot react and 
subtract himself from the overall mechanism of the economic era other than in a restricted 
and limited way, and also given certain more or less privileged conditions. A general 
change may occur only if a super-ordained power intervenes. After acknowledging the 
fundamental principle of the primacy and sovereignty of State over economy, the State 
can then pro-duce an action of limiting and ordering the economic domain; this action 
will be able to facilitate what derives from the essential and unavoidable factor, that of the 
detoxification, the change of mentality, and the return to normalcy for people who have 
learned anew what is sensible activity, right effort, values to he upheld, and loyalty to 
oneself. Only on such a basis can one simultaneously 
be a protester in an integral and legitimate sense, and an "achiever" in a higher sense. 

I will again discuss the relationship between State and economy. Here I want to 
recall Nietzsche s words as a parting shot regarding the social question: "The workers 
shall live one day as the bourgeois do now — but above them, distinguished by their 
freedom from wants, the higher caste: that is to say, poorer and simpler, but in 
possession of power. A differentiation on this basis will act as the principle for the 
rectification of the inversion I have lamented, and as the principle for defense of the idea 
of the State and for the resurgence of a different type of dignity and superiority. Such 
dignity and superiority must be consolidated and validated beyond the world of the 
economy, through a continuous struggle, both inner and outer, through the confirmation 
of one's being and the conquest of each moment. 

===============================================================================

Seven 



HISTORY 
HISTORICISM 



At the end of chapter 1, when discussing the premises proper to the revolutionary- 
conservative idea, I declared my intention to return to the topic of historicism. I will do 
so in this chapter, also in order to introduce the topics that I will analyze later (e.g., 
choice of traditions; the third dimension of history; domestic clarifications [concerning 
Italy]). What I will say may cause a few difficulties for those who have not renounced 
the historicist mind-set. 

We should begin by noticing that the emphasis given to the notion of "history" is 
recent and alien to every normal civilization; much more so is the personification of 
history into some kind of mystical entity that is the object of a superstitious faith, as are 
many of the other personified abstractions that have become fashionable in an age that 
claims to be "positivist" and "scientific." Many people are accustomed to writing History 
with a capital H, just as in the past the first letter of a name of a deity was capitalized. 

The first and more general meaning of historicism refers to the collapse or disastrous 

shift from a civilization of being (characterized by stability, form, and adherence to 

super-temporal principles) to a civilization of becoming (characterized by change, flux, 

and contingency). 28 This should be our starting point. In a second phase, values have 

been inverted, and this caving-in has come to be seen as a positive thing that not only 

should not be resisted, but also should be accepted, extolled, and willed. On this basis, 

the ideas of History, "progress," and "evolution" have been intimately associated with 

one another; thus, historicism has often appeared as an integral part of the progressive 

and enlightened nineteenth century, constituting the background of rationalist, scientific, 

and technological civilization. 

Aside from this, historicism in a specific sense is the basic view of the philosophy, 
originally inspired by Hegel, that was represented in Italy by the 
philosophers Benedetto Croce and Giovanni Gentile. I will now expound upon the spirit 
and the "morality" of the latter type of historicism. 

As it is known, Hegel saw a coincidence between the spheres of reality and of 
rationality, hence his famous axiom: Everything that is real is rational, and everything 
that is rational is real." I will not examine this problem from a meta-physical 
perspective, or sub specie aeternitatis [from the perspective of eternity]. However, it is 
certain that from a concrete and human point of view this axiom is dubious for two 
reasons. The first reason is that, in order for it to be useful, one would first have to know 
directly, a priori, and in a determinate way what must be called "rational" and used as the 
order or the law that History and every event are always supposed to reflect. The 
disagreement among historicists on this issue is significant: the truth is that each one of 
them is inspired by his own subjective speculations, on the level of college philosophy; 
what is truly lacking here is even the most modest bird's-eye view that is required to 
grasp not only what lies beyond the world of phenomena, but also what is hidden behind 
the most evident causes of historical upheavals. The second reason is that (even if we 
were to believe in what this or that philosopher postulates as "rational ) in the course of 
ordinary experience it is not possible to detect the complete identity of the rational and the 
real; thus, we may wonder if one affirming this identity calls some-thing "real" because it 
is rational, or vice versa, if he calls something "rational" only because it is merely real, or 
because it presents itself as factual reality. 

Even without engaging in an appropriate philosophical critique — as I have done 
elsewhere, when I criticized so-called "transcendental idealism"29 — this suffices to 
expose the ambiguous and ephemeral character of historicism. It is precisely because we 
live in the world of becoming, which is characterized by a rapid change of events, 
circumstances, and forces, that on the one hand historicism reduces itself to a passive 
philosophy of the fait accompli" and a theory that bestows a "rationality" on everything 
that has successfully asserted itself; 30 on the other hand, historicism may equally 
promote "revolutionary" claims when one does not want to acknowledge the real as 
"rational." In this case, in the name of "reason" and "History," interpreted to one's 
advantage, a condemnation is passed on what is. A third solution is still possible, as a 
mixture of the previous two — namely, to label everything as "anti-History" that seeks to 
assert itself or that tends to realize or to restore an order other than the existing one, yet 
without succeeding except to justify it and to lend a "rationality" to it, in the case of its 
victory and assertion, since by then it has become "real." 

Thus, depending on the situation, historicism may be equally on the side of a second- 
rate conservatism or that of revolutionary Utopias, or, as probably occurs more often, on 
the side of those who know how to adapt to changing circumstances, shifting allegiance 
according to which way the wind blows. Thus, "History" and "anti-History" become 
slogans devoid of any concrete content that may be used in both senses, according to 
personal preferences, in the con-text of a dice game that representatives of this view call 
"dialectics" or "historical dialectics." 

The typical example of this was the development that occurred in Germany, out of 
the premises of Hegelian historicism, of both a theory of authority and of the absolute 
State on the one hand (a worthless theory behind a system that, being rooted in 
traditional values, had no need whatsoever for a philosophical justification), and of the 
Marxist revolutionary and "dialectical" ideology on the other. A more recent example, 
in Italy, is the enmity between Gentile and Croce, both of whom were committed 
historicists. However, Gen-tile, by assuming as rational what asserted itself in the 
political arena, bestowed the character of "historicity" upon Fascism, putting his 
philosophy at its service. Conversely, Croce, due to his personal and ideological 
preferences, thought the "rational" corresponded to liberal anti-Fascism; thus, he 
stigmatized the Fascist order, although it was "real," as being "antihistorical." After the 
wind changed direction, many people who were yesterday's Fascists awoke a few years 
later as anti-Fascists; these turncoats may be regarded as the representatives of the third 
possibility — becoming up-to-date about what "History" and its "rationality" will desire 
from time to time. 31 

These brief references show what historicism amounts to. It is essentially a formless, 

useless, and vain philosophy, at times even cowardly and opportunistic; it is either 

unrealistic or coarsely realistic, depending on the circumstances. But aside from the 

lucubrations of historicism as a philosophy and the corresponding mental deformity of 

which a sector of Italian academic culture is guilty, 

we must expose the myth of History with the capital II, especially when this myth 
fosters the narcosis of those who are not aware of the forces they have surrendered to, 
and when it helps those who want the current to become more rapid, any opposition to 
cease, and the last dams to be broken; appealing to the "sense of history," these people 
stigmatize every attitude different from their own as "antihistorical" or "reactionary." 
This type of historicism, when it is not a senseless hallucination of ship- 
wrecked people, is obviously the smokescreen behind which the forces of world 
subversion operate. Surprisingly enough, even among those who yearn to re-store the 
old order there are some who are not aware of this; they are unable to reject the 
historicist myth in all of its forms, failing to acknowledge that it is men who make or 
undo history, if given the opportunity. We must be opposed to any consecration and 
rationalization of the status quo and must deny any acknowledgment of the forces or 
currents that have assumed power. We should recall that the anathema of being 
"antihistorical" and "outside of history" is cast against those who still remember the way 
things were before and who call subversion by its name, instead of conforming to the 
processes that are precipitating the world's decline. 

Having made this clear, man is restored to a fundamental freedom of movement; at 
the same time, the groundwork is laid for a possible investigation aimed at judging the 
effective influences that have promoted this or that upheaval in history. In regard to the 
first point, what I have said will constitute the introduction to the next topic, the choice 
of traditions. Having overcome all historicism, we are rid of both the idea that the past is 
something that mechanically determines the present and the concept of a teleological, 
evolutionary, and transcendental law that, for all practical purposes, leads us back to 
determinism. Then, every historical factor will appear to have a conditioning role, but 
never a determining role. The possibility of an active attitude toward the past will be 
safeguarded, especially the possibility to uphold everything that is inspired by super- 
temporal values. 

After these general references, I wish to examine some historical problems 
concerning Italy. 

=============================================================================

Eight 

CHOICE OF TRADITIONS 



In the case of every historical nation it is not always possible to speak of "tradition" in the 
singular, if this term is understood according to the most current meaning, and not 
according to the higher meaning that I have previously discussed. In almost every 
instance, the processes that have unfolded within a nation in the course of centuries have 
a complex character, and are influenced by multiple factors and trends that sometimes 
have been harmonious and at other times have clashed and neutralized one another. 
What was a predominant force at a certain time may have shifted later into a latent form, 
and vice versa; only an obsolete "historicism" can he so presumptuous to reduce every- 
thing to a linear development. And just as historicism is characterized by the passive 
acceptance of the status quo, which it sanctions with the myth of an "ideal necessity of 
history" or with similar formulas, likewise it regards a nation as a temporal unit that 
does not allow revisions. On the contrary, a more open-minded outlook is able to 
recognize multiple and at times even contrasting possibilities in the history of a nation, 
possibilities that in some way reflect just as many "traditions." Such an outlook realizes 
the specific importance such an acknowledgment has from a practical point of view, as 
what is required is a choice of traditions, especially at turning points and in times of 
crisis (when it is necessary to react, command, and organize on the basis of a central 
idea the forces of a people who are wavering and falling apart). It is necessary to choose 
the ideas in one's past that are perceived as more congenial by the men who, at such 
times, are entrusted to begin a new cycle. 

When these considerations are applied to Italy, we are confronted with a difficult 
problem, since multiple factors hinder the exercise of discrimination and choice. The 
greatest impediment lies in the existence of a "patriotic" historiography that, due to its 
partisan spirit, suggestions, and catchphrases, precludes the objective comprehension of 
many aspects of the past, and is often 
responsible for serious distortions. After all, the character of history that has generally 
been "fabricated" (and there is no other word for it) in the last century is not altogether 
different. Overall, such a history is nothing but the alibi that revolutionary liberalism, 
democracy, and the thinkers of Freemasonry and the Enlightenment have created for 
their own benefit; these movements were later followed by the interpretations proper to 
Marxist "historical materialism" and its revolutionary progressivism. 

Because of this situation, the choice of traditions in view of a true reconstruction is 
particularly difficult, since measures have already been taken to preclude the 
acknowledgment of certain values, to falsify the real meaning of some fundamental 
historical upheavals, and to ensure that only the direction chosen by the authors and 
popularizers of such historiography will prevail. This tactic is very apparent, especially in 
the case of Italy: to historically endow everything with a national character that in the 
past had a subversive and anti-traditional tendency so that, after establishing some 
taboos, people will scream "sacrilege" and mobilize a passionate "patriotic" reaction as 
soon as any other interpretation is put forth. 

Thus, things are not easy. It is necessary to have the strength to slow down a well- 
established tendency: according to this tendency, being "one of us" or belonging to "our 
history" automatically and indiscriminately places certain upheavals, people, and facts 
beyond criticism. This is necessary because, unfortunately, after Italy's more ancient 
history (connected to Roman civilization and its extension in time), we can say there is a 
"tradition" of the Italian past that fostered the subversive ideas that have shaped the later 
political world, a tradition therefore of which there is truly no grounds to be proud, but 
rather just the opposite. 

It is important to realize this by "deconstructing" the patriotic myth that was 
fabricated by the aforementioned historiography. In this context, I will limit myself to 
addressing briefly some specific points: the real meanings of the revolt of the Italian 
Communes, the Renaissance, the Risorgimento, and Italy's military intervention in 1915. 

It is commonplace to glorify the Italian civilization of the Communes and to bestow 
the meaning of a national awakening upon their rebellion against the Empire. Another 
myth has usually been associated with the latter, namely the anti-German myth, 
according to which the Germans have always been the nemesis of the Italian people. 
According to this view, the insurrection of the Communes allegedly represented the 
dawn of the new Italian national 
consciousness, or the first attempt on the part of Italy to break the yoke of centuries, 
become united, and extricate itself from the tyranny of the hated foreigner, the 
"barbarian" beyond the Alps. All this is sheer nonsense. 

The truth is that the national element played no role in the struggle, nor could it 
have. The conflict was not at all between two nations, but rather between two ideas and 
two supernational castes. Frederick I fought against the Communes not as a Teutonic 
prince but as "Roman" emperor, upholding the supernational and sacred principle of 
authority that was exclusively derived from his qualification and function. It was not in 
order to defend the interests of his lineage, which he rather neglected, but to prevent the 
lessening of the Empire's authority that Barbarossa took to the field, having been asked 
to do so by some Italian cities that were being oppressed and harassed by others: he did 
so, not really because it was his right, but because it was his unavoidable duty. 
Frederick understood his task to elevate the regal and imperial authority to its highest 
degree, vindicate the rights that were lost or had fallen into neglect, uphold the law, and 
reestablish order and peace. In the terms of the peace that he dictated, he referred to the 
principles of Roman law. If the Communes had remained loyal and retained the 
hierarchical position that belonged to them in the medieval ecumene, they would have 
enjoyed their space within the Empire, and would not have been opposed. What 
Frederick or any other representative of the Empire (whether Spanish, Italian, or 
French, instead of German) could not have tolerated was the Italian Communes' 
antihierarchical pretense of self-emancipation, becoming independent, taking up arms 
almost as if they were States within the State, and revoking their natural dependence on 
the higher caste — namely, that of the warrior and feudal nobility — all ac-cording to the 
spirit of a new civilization. This new civilization, tendentiously democratic and 
capitalist, was the same under which modern people have progressively denied every 
principle of legitimate authority (i.e., "from above"), thus becoming subjects of the 
various "kings" of a faceless and nationless finance and industry. In this sense Sombart 
has rightly called Florence "the New York of the Middle Ages." 

These were the real terms of the conflict. The Communes were the fore-runners of 
the revolution of the Third Estate, and thus the Communes' "tradition" found its natural 
development in the antitraditional world that arose with the French Revolution. Official 
historiography has placed great emphasis upon the battle of Legnano (A.D. 1176) not 
because it was a national event, and not even because it was a great military success 
(hardly so, if we read the terms of 
the peace that was signed), but precisely because it was raised to the value of a 
revolutionary symbol." 

Concerning what affects the national factor more closely, we must recall that 
Italians fought both on the side of the emperor and against him. On the side of the 
emperor we find almost the entire Italian nobility: the Ezzelino, Monferrato, and 
Savoia families; however, a prince of the same stock of Frederick, Henry the Lion of 
Bavaria, abandoned him at the decisive moment, thus becoming largely responsible for 
the upset at the battle of Legnano. As far as the Communes are concerned, I do not see 
why Lodi should be regarded as less Italian than its rival, Milan: Lodi preferred certain 
ruin rather than betraying the loyalty sworn to the emperor at a time when he certainly 
could not have come to the city's rescue. Thus, the war of the Communes was mainly a 
fratricidal war between Italians, between those Italians who remained loyal to the 
"Roman" symbol of the Empire (which Dante fully acknowledged, regarding it as a 
healthy principle for Italy itself) and the Italians who did not accept, or even denied, 
this symbol. 33 

Nor is it possible after the struggle against Barbarossa to see anything vaguely 
resembling Italy's awakening or its unification. Least of all is it possible to see what an 
unconditional adherence to the thesis of "our nation's history" would require: we do not 
see Italians capable of opposing the German prince in the name of the same idea, the 
same ideal, and the same "Roman" symbol of the emperor (Frederick himself was to 
describe with harsh words what the "Romans" of those days had been reduced to). 
We see nothing of the sort in all this. The League of Communes was not followed by a 
national unification, not even of the purely political, schismatic, and antiaristocratic 
type that was first exemplified in France by Philip the Fair. The Communes were 
followed by the Seignories, with their suspicious figures of petty, tyrannical princes 
and condottieri — while in Florence we could witness the unprecedented case of the 
elevation of a money-lending family to the status of a princely dynasty: thus, the 
Medici were entrusted with the political government of the city. Generally speaking, 
what ensues is political chaos, struggle, and turmoil — in the name not of the nation, 
but rather of the faction and the most extreme particularism. 

And yet all this does not matter to patriotic historiography, which cared only to 
sanction a "choice of traditions" espousing the forms of revolutionary, secular, and 
democratic thought that had inspired it. The fact that there was a Ghibelline Italy, to 
which the idea of the empire was not at all foreign, is briefly 
mentioned, without giving to it any national relevance, even though it represented a 
traditional and healthier Italy. 

I have devoted many pages in the past to the real meaning of the Italian 

Renaissance. In the present context I will limit myself to briefly highlighting whatever 

in it has more pertinence to the political sphere. Patriotic historiography perceives the 

Renaissance more accurately than the history of culture does, since the latter glorifies 

that period only from the humanistic and artistic points of view. Official historiography 

considers and extols these achievements as well, but it does so from a specific polemical 

orientation against the previous medieval civilization, which it depicts as "obscurantist," 

thereby failing to ac-knowledge its greatness and the high metaphysical tension that 

permeated it. Thus, according to such historiography, the same current runs from the 

Italian Renaissance to what later on became the Enlightenment, "free thought," and the 

"modern spirit" (that is, a rationalist and antitraditional spirit), just as a river flows into 

the ocean. Therefore, in the same sense in which Renaissance Italy becomes the mother 

of geniuses and artists, it also becomes the forerunner of subversion. And just as the 

Communes represent die first rebellion against an alleged political despotism, the 

civilization of the Renaissance likewise rep-resents the "discovery of man" and of 

freedom of the spirit in the creative individual, as well as the principle of the 

intellectual emancipation that constitutes the "basis of human progress." These are 

views in which different elements are mixed together. However, we cannot deny that 

the "efficacious direction" of the civilization of the Renaissance is largely subject to a 

similar interpretation; thus, from a traditional point of view, specific reservations should 

be made about all that is said about the Renaissance in exclusively praiseworthy terms 

from the standpoint of the history of the arts and culture. After all, it is not arbitrary to 

see a parallel between the individualism that is expressed in the more or less visible and 

genial creations of the artistic Renaissance and the individualism that raged in Italy 

during the same period (in the political dimension) in the regime of factions, rival cities, 

and condottieri, namely in a body 

of phenomena that bear witness to the absence of a unitary political force and a national 

consciousness. The legacy bequeathed to us by the "tradition" of the Renaissance, besides 

what belongs to art galleries, museums, and civic monuments, presents rather clear and 

not very edifying traits. Here, too, the perspectives have been distorted by a unilateral 

view. Thus, what the official historiography attributes to Italy s glory — the 

Renaissance — is also a phenomenon of which those who abide by traditional, more austere values 

should often be suspicious. 

When we come to the third example, the Risorgimento, we discover that the 
tendentious interpretations of a historiography of Masonic inspiration have been, and 
continue to be, applied with particular virulence: this Masonic historiography has tried 
to disguise its most cherished ideas with the alibi of a generic and rhetorical patriotism. 
It is necessary to distinguish within the Risorgimento the aspect of a national movement 
from the ideological aspect. We owe the unification of Italy to the Risorgimento. I am 
not here going to evaluate people and movements to which, thanks to a rather complex 
convergence of circumstances, Italy owed its unification and political independence. 
Things change, however, and very much so, when we consider the main ideas in the 
service of which all this was realized (eliminating, among other things, a federalist 
solution such as the one Bismarck utilized to build the German Reich), and which 
continued to predominate in Italian political life up to the Fascist era. 

From this latter perspective, the Risorgimento was only accidentally a national 

movement; it fell within the trend of revolutionary movements that sprang up in a group 

of States following the importation of the ideas of the Jacobin revolution. The 

revolutions of 184 8 and 1849 had the same features and followed the same 

watchwords in the Italian movements as those that arose in Prague, Hungary, Germany, 

and Hapsburg Vienna. Here we simply had many columns advancing in the service of a 

single international front, driven by liberal-democratic and Masonic ideology, a front 

whose leaders were often hidden from view. In a similar way, the contemporary 

communist insurrections taking place in various nations are many aspects of the action of 

the Third International and of the network of "cells" working for it. The representatives 

of what at the time was still traditional Europe regarded liberalism and Mazzinianism in 

the same way as today's liberal and democratic parties regard communism; the truth is 

that the subversive intentions of the former were not much different from the latter's, 

the main difference being that liberalism and Mazzinianism employed the national and 

patriotic myth at the early stages of the disintegrating action. 

There are significant documents (which have conveniently been utilized only in 
part), such as those gathered by the papal state police, which show the way things really 
were to those who are willing to explore the third dimension of the Italian history of that 
period. To the forces that were acting backstage and at an international level, Italy's 
unification and independence were rather 
of secondary importance; in any event they represented not the end but the means. The 
true end, which the Italian patriots and idealists did not need to know about (one of these 
chilling documents says that if they were too curious, "let the knife answer their 
questions"), was to deal mortal blows to Austria (which represented the imperial idea) 
and to the Church, to Rome. To this effect, it is significant that in the Masonic degree of 
the Kadosh Knight, the neophyte, as a way of sealing his oath, ritually stabs the tiara and 
the crown with a knife, these being the symbols of the double traditional authority. 34 The 
relationships that existed between Masonry and the Carbonari, which played a major 
role in the Risorgimento, are well known. Things in Italy did not go as planned, due to a 
number of factors, but the roles were not inverted either — the ideologies borrowed to 
unify Italy were not dispensed with after they fulfilled their function. They continued to 
be predominant in Italy, which was unified through a policy that today may be 
characterized as "possibilism," though the new State lacked its own idea, supra-ordained 
symbol, and formative force, for the monarchy appeared as little more than a 
superstructure, characterized almost by private" and merely representative features. The 
true test occurred in 1915, when Italy not only left the Triple Alliance, but also broke its 
neutrality by joining the Allies. 

Thus, we can see what the "tradition" of the Risorgimento amounts to. 
Apart from the absurd thesis of its alleged continuity with the spirit that in-formed the 
League of Italian Communes during the Middle Ages, we do not see what its "Italian" 
character allegedly consists of; if anything, we can discern French influences that later 
characterized an international revolutionary front. One need only examine the writings 
of that time, especially those inspired more or less directly by secret societies, to see that 
while there are frequent mentions of Italy and of the struggle against the foreigner, more 
emphasis was given to the exaltation of Jacobin principles of freedom and equality (i.e., 
the cause of the French Revolution) and to a relentless war "against tyrants" (this 

is most explicit in the oath of Carbonari neophytes), it being of little consequence 
whether the alleged tyrant was Italian or a foreigner. For the same ideological reason, we 
have seen that in the case of the medieval League of Communes, the Italians who fought 
on the side of the emperor according to "patriotic historiography" were either almost 
nonexistent or regarded as non-Italians. During the Risorgimento too, a war was waged 
mostly against a principle and a sociopolitical idea, though the "nation" was invoked. 
The anti-German myth itself, which views Germany as an oppressive foreign power 
and is an integral part of the Risorgimento's idea, is specious; if anything, the 
"foreigner" was not Germany, but rather the House of Austria and a dynastic stock that 
meant to order different peoples (Bohemians, Hungarians, Croats, as well as Italians) in 
a common geographical area, granting them a government with partial autonomy. 35 
After all, according to the "possibilism" of the realistic politics of the Risorgimento, the 
Franco-Prussian war represented a particularly important factor. Cavour himself said: 
"Alliance with Prussia is written in golden letters in the book of future history." 36 

Yet this was not the direction pursued by the forces that controlled the unified Italy 
at a deeper level. Even though they are seldom discussed, following the unification of 
Italy there were Italians who attempted to extricate the new State from French influences 
and from the currents inspired by Jacobinism. In this regard, the Triple Alliance could 
have played a decisive role if only the themes of realistic politics that had propitiated its 
inception had been integrated by a corresponding, resolute spiritual orientation. In 
effect, the Triple Alliance appeared for some time as the partial implementation of an 
incipient supernational coalition built on an ideological-traditional rather than merely a 
political foundation, in which the issues that shaped the Holy Alliance tried to assert 
themselves. In 1893, referring to the Triple Alliance, Wilhelm II suggested to the future 
Russian emperor Nicholas II the idea of a league of the three emperors (Germany, 
Austria, Russia), supported by Italy. This league was meant not only as a mutual 
safeguard for the territories and interests of the participating States, but especially as a 
united front against socialism, radicalism, and anarchism, or as the solidarity of the 
European authoritarian and monarchical States against the Marxist International and the 
revolutionary and liberal cur-rents that had their center in France. Nicholas II, in 1906, 
returned to this idea, approving the report of Count Lamsdorf, his foreign minister, in 
which the latter outlined the bases for an alliance and a crusade against the revolu- 
tionary, Judeo-Masonic threat, and against all the anti- Christian and anti-monarchical 
forces. According to this plan, the support of Germany and of the Vatican had to be won 
as well. 37 This idea could be traced back to Bismarck, who, in a note sent to Wilhelm I in 
1887 on the occasion of a visit from Alexander III of Russia, also wrote: The struggle 
today is not so much between Russians, Germans, Italians, and French, but rather 
between revolution and monarchy. The Revolution has conquered France, affected 
England, and is strong in Italy and in Spain. There are only three Emperors who can 
oppose it. . . . An 
eventual future war will have less the character of a war between governments, but more 
so that of a war of the red flag against the elements of order and preservation." 

These were prophetic words, just like the above-mentioned plans for defensive 
solidarity of those who, by upholding the principle of authority (which was then 
concretized in the monarchical form), had promoted the Triple Alliance. This bestowed 
on Italy as well the direction for its natural development as a strong, antirevolutionary 
State, following the clearing away of the dross and miserable ideological baggage from 
the previous period. Unfortunately, Italy took the Triple Alliance superficially, or as a 
mere diplomatic affair; this alliance did not act as the incentive for an inner creative 
development leading our nation to the same level as its allies. This alliance was not "felt," 
but rather sabotaged from within; the decision became clear at the time of testing, in 
1915. 

Even with regard to Italy's intervention in World War I (1915) we need to 

deconstruct the nationalistic alibi. We know that Italy, with opportune diplomatic 

negotiations, and even by remaining neutral, could have obtained what her new 

democratic allies were to grant her reluctantly at the end of the war. Likewise, it is clear 

that even in terms of mere "realistic" politics, in regard to the control of the 

Mediterranean, Italy's national interests could not be reconciled with those of France and 

England; thus, the Triple Alliance appeared as the only reasonable, coherent, and 

efficient choice. We see, then, that it was not national and realistic considerations that 

prevailed in 1914 and 1915, but rather the ideological "tradition" of the Risorgimento. 

This tradition, besides reviving anti-German feelings, portrayed the central empires as 

"fascist" avant la lettre, oppressive, and "aggressive" States and established the 

congruence of Italian "national interests" with the true Italian goals of World War I. 

These goals were proclaimed at an international secret Masonic congress (Paris, 1918), in 

these precise terms: the war was to be a crusade aimed at furthering the cause of 

democracy, which inherited the principles of the French Revolution, and eliminating the 

remnants of intolerable obscurantist regimes (those of Central Europe, as they still 

retained structures based on hierarchy, authority, and tradition, despite the increasing 

power of high finance and capitalism). 

Moreover, right at the time of Italy's intervention in the war on the side of the Allies, 
Italian Masonry voted an order of the day in which satisfaction was ex-pressed for this 
decision, because it corresponded to the ideas that Freemasonry had always upheld. Only 
at the last minute the text was modified for the sake of 
prudence, limiting itself to state that the Italian military intervention reflected the ideals 
for which the patriots and prophets of the Risorgimento, who were singled out as an 
example in the various lodges, had fought. 

Given these precedents, we cannot ignore the meaning that Fascism had: a break 
with the past, a different and bold choice of traditions, and the will to undertake a 
new direction, solely upon which the reference to Rome as a political symbol could 
he legitimized ( We dream of a Roman Italy, Mussolini once said). This direction was 
followed only after a last threat was thwarted, as Scottish Rite Masonry had initially 
hoped to use Fascism to reach its goals and thus had financed it at the time of the March 
on Rome, counting on Fascism's republican and generally leftist tendencies, which were 
eventually neutralized by Mussolini's later policy. The establishment of the Axis and 
the war against the democratic powers (I am not going to discuss here the problem of 
the war's timeliness, its lack of preparation, and blatant mistakes) was exactly what was 
needed in 1914, if only Italy had not been dominated by the wretched ideological 
legacy of the Risorgimento and of the international influences connected to it. Some 
have seen a sort of historical nemesis and a secret relation-ship between concordant 
actions and reactions in the fact that Italy, having won a war that it should not have 
waged (1915-18), lost the war that it should have waged (1940-45). There may be some 
truth in that view. 

In any event it is clear that Italy's defeat, or "liberation," marks a regression to the 
most problematic direction of its history — namely, to endeavors that are nothing to be 
proud of. Thus, it became possible to talk of a "Fascist parenthesis," almost as if the 
"constant" of the Italian tradition were to be interpreted in antitraditional terms and as 
if in Fascism there were no ideas to be found that were not internally conceived and 
that preexisted in various European nations as well. Such ideas, apart from die 
incidental designation of "Fascism" and what was added to it, will certainly continue 
to emerge in history, given a proper climate and an adequate inner attitude. Thus the 
so-called Resistance claimed for itself the glory of a "second Risorgimento"; the 
betrayed ally of 1943 (who was betrayed almost in the same terms as in 1915, even in a 
juridical context) was then labeled the "invading German," according to the trite anti- 
German myth. 

Because of the actual situation, it is necessary to get rid of the above-mentioned 
suggestions in regard to "our nation's history," and, having regained an insightful and 
accurate perspective, to again pose the problem of the choice 

=====================================================================

Nine 


MILITARY STYLE 

"MILITARISM" 

WAR 


As everybody knows, militarism is the bete noire of any democracy. The "fight against 
militarism" has been one of democracy's favorite rallying cries. This formula was 
associated with a hypocritical pacifism and with the attempt to legitimize the "just war," 
which was conceived merely in the terms of a necessary international police operation 
against an "aggressor." During the first half of this century, so-called Prussian militarism 
has been a thorn in the side of democracies, since they perceived it as the prototype of 
the phenomenon they deprecated. What we have here is a characteristic antithesis that 
does not refer to the relationships between groups of rival nations, but rather to two 
general views of life and of the State, and even to two distinct, irreconcilable forms of 
civilization and society. Historically speaking, such an antithesis is reflected in the 
opposition between the view of the Germanic-Prussian tradition and the view that first 
emerged in England and in America, and later in all democratic nations; the latter view 
is characterized by the predominance of economic and mercantile values and by their 
development in the context of capitalism. The origins of the former view can be traced to 
an ascetic warrior organization, the ancient Order of Teutonic Knights. 

In essence, the antithesis that I will discuss refers to the different relation-ship 
between the military and the bourgeois elements, and to the different meaning and 
function that the former is supposed to play in society and in the State. The view of 
modern democracies that first emerged in England, under the aegis of mercantilism, is 
that in society the primary element is the bourgeois type and the bourgeois life during 
times of peace; such a life is dominated by the physical concern for safety, well-being, 
and material wealth, with the 
cultivation of letters and the arts serving as a decorative frame. Thus, according to this 
view, the "civilian" or "bourgeois" element is usually, and as a matter of principle, 
entrusted with running the State. It is this human type that en-gages in politics; when 
politics — that is, international politics — must be continued with other means, to use the 
famous expression of Clausewitz, the armed forces are then employed. In this view the 
military and warrior element has the subordinated meaning of a mere instrument: it should 
have no particular influence or exercise any interference whatsoever in daily social life. 
Even if it is acknowledged that the military element has its own code of ethics, it is not 
desirable that this code be applied to the normal, overall life of a nation. The view I am 
referring to is closely associated to the humanitarian-liberal beliefs that true civilization 
has nothing to do with that tragic necessity and useless carnage called "war"; that a true 
civilization's foundations are not the warrior, but the "civic" and "social" virtues inspired 
by the "immortal principles"; and that "culture" and "spirituality" are expressed in the 
world of "thought," the sciences, and the arts, while everything that is related to war and 
military matters amounts to brute strength, to something materialistic and soulless. 

However, it seems that in this context one should speak of a "soldierly" rather than of 
a military or warrior element. In fact, the term "soldier" originally referred to a man who 
engaged in the armed profession for pay. It is a term that referred to the mercenary 
troops a town hired and supported in or-der to defend itself or to attack its enemies, since 
citizens did not engage in war, preferring instead to take care of their private business. 38 
Opposite to the "soldier" was the type of the warrior and the member of the feudal 
aristocracy; the caste to which this type belonged was the central nucleus in a 
corresponding social organization. This caste was not at the service of the bourgeois 
class but rather ruled over it, since the class that was protected depended on those who 
had the right to bear arms. 

Despite the mandatory draft and the establishment of standing armies, the role played 
by the military man in modern democracies is that of a mere "soldier." As I have said, 
modern democracies distinguish between military and civic virtues and emphasize the 
latter, upholding them as the most important ones in life. According o the most recent 
formulation of the corresponding ideology, armies should be used only as an 
international police force to maintain the "peace"; in most cases, this amounts to allowing 
wealthy nations to live undisturbed. Otherwise, aside from any pretense, what is repeated 
is the ex-ample of the East India Company and similar enterprises: the armed forces are 
used by modern democracies to impose or retain an economic hegemony; to gain new 
markets and to acquire raw materials; and to create new space for capital seeking 
investment and profit. No mention is made of mercenaries, and many nice and noble 
words are uttered, appealing to the ideas of country, civilization, and progress. And yet, 
all things considered, things do not change much: we still have the "soldier" working for 
the "bourgeois" or for the "merchant"; the "merchant," in the wider sense of the word, is 
the social type or caste that is at the forefront in this capitalist civilization. 

More specifically, the democratic view does not admit that the political class should 
have military traits and structure; this would be the worst-case scenario and amount to a 
real "militarism." In modern democracies, the members of the bourgeoisie must govern 
the affairs of the state as politicians and as representatives of a numerical majority. But, 
as is well known, in modern democracies the ruling class is often at the service of 
economic, financial, labor, or industrial interests and groups. 

This order of ideas is opposed by the truth professed by those who uphold the higher 
right of a warrior view of life, which has its own spirituality, values, and ethics. Such a 
view finds a specific expression in everything that has particular pertinence to war and 
the military profession, yet it is not reduced to or exhausted by it; it is susceptible to 
manifestation in other forms and domains as well, and to imparting an overall tone to a 
given, unmistakable type of socio-political organization. In this context the "military" 
values approximate the specifically "warrior" ones, and it is regarded as desirable that 
they join political and ethical values and supply the State with a firm foundation. The 
anti-political bourgeois view of what is "spirit" is rejected here, as are the humanistic- 
bourgeois ideals of so-called "culture" and "progress"; a limit to the bourgeoisie and the 
bourgeois spirit is established in the State's articulations and overall order. This does not 
mean that the military must manage the affairs of the state (with the exception of 
emergency cases, as recently happened in Spain, Turkey, and Greece, in order to contain 
the spread of subversion), but rather that virtues, disciplines, and feelings of a military 
type acquire preeminence and a superior dignity over everything that is of a bourgeois 
type. We may add that this view does not uphold the "barracks as an ideal," nor does it 
seek a strict regimentation of daily life (one of the traits of totalitarianism), which is syn- 
onymous with a stiffening and with a mechanical and obtuse discipline. Love for 
hierarchy; relationships of obedience and command; courage; feelings of 
honor and loyalty; specific forms of active impersonality capable of producing 
anonymous sacrifice; frank and open relationships from man to man, from one comrade 
to another, from leader to follower — all these are the characteristic, living values that are 
predominant in the aforementioned view. These are the values found in what I have 
called the Mannerbund. Everything that has exclusive pertinence to the army and 
warfare is only a detail in a wider order of things. 

However, this does not exclude that, when needed, heroic values are given a precise 
acknowledgment and that the phenomenon of war in this context has a different meaning 
from the merely negative one attributed to it by democracies and humanitarianism, as 
well as by a hypocritical "anti-imperialist" and pacifist communism; nor does it exclude 
that certain spiritual and even meta-physical dimensions are felt as real possibilities in 
this phenomenon. There is no antithesis, but rather identity between spirit and superior 
civilization on the one hand and the world of war and of warriors on the other, according 
to the general sense I have pointed out. 

We may note that, in a sense, the above-mentioned contrast of views on the meaning 
and role of the military reflects the contrast between two eras. I will not repeat what I have 
expounded elsewhere in a more detailed fashion, 39 namely how often in the traditional 
world we encounter the interpretation of life as a perennial struggle between 
metaphysical powers, between Uranian forces of light and order, on the one hand, and 
telluric, dark forces of chaos and matter on the other. Traditional man yearned to fight 
this battle and to triumph in both the inner and outer worlds. A true and just war on the 
external plane reproduced in other terms the same struggle that had to be waged within: it 
was a struggle against forces and people that in the external world presented the same 
traits as the powers the single individual needed to subjugate and dominate internally, 
until a pax triumphalis was achieved. 40 

From this follows an interdependence between the warrior idea and that of a certain 
"asceticism," inner discipline, and superiority toward or control of one's self that appears 
in various degrees in the best warrior traditions and remains on the military plane (in the 
specific sense of the term) with the authentic value of a culture, in the anti- 
intellectualist sense of development and mastery of one's self. Contrary to what the 
bourgeois and liberal polemics claim, the warrior idea may not be reduced to 
materialism, nor it is synonymous with the exaltation of the brutal use of strength and 
destructive violence. Rather, the 
calm, conscious, and planned development of the inner being and a code of ethics; 
love of distance; hierarchy; order; the faculty of subordinating the emotional and 
individualistic element of one's self to higher goals and principles, especially in the 
name of honor and duty — these are all elements of the warrior idea, and they act as the 
foundations of a specific "style" that has largely been lost. This loss occurred with the 
shift from the States that are regarded as "militaristic," in which all this corresponded 
to a long and stern tradition, to the democratic and nationalistic States, in which the 
duty observing in the armed forces has replaced the right to bear arms. Thus, the real 
antithesis is not between the "spiritual values" and "culture," on the one hand, and 
"militaristic materialism," on the other; the antithesis is between two ways of conceiv- 
ing what spirit and culture really are. We must resolutely oppose the democratic, 
bourgeois, and humanistic view of the nineteenth century, which, in correspondence 
with the advent of an inferior human type, has presented its interpretation as the only 
legitimate and unquestionable one. 

The truth is that there has been an entire cycle of civilization, especially in the Indo- 
European areas, in which elements, feelings, and structures of an analogous warrior 
type were determinant in all the domains of life, up to and including the domain of 
familiar and patrician right, whereas the factors of el naturalistic, sentimental, and 
economic character were limited. The hierarchical idea is certainly not exhausted in the 
hierarchy of a military or warrior type. The more original form of hierarchy is defined 
with essentially spiritual values (the Greek word for hierarchy means "sovereignty of 
the sacred," hieros). How-ever, it must be pointed out that in many civilizations even 
the hierarchies with a spiritual foundation either relied on hierarchies that were more 
or less warrior and military or reproduced their form, at least externally. Thus, when the 
original spiritual level could not be maintained, hierarchical structures of a warrior 
type constituted the armature of the major States, especially in the West. 41 

The Prussian spirit, the bete noire of democracies, should not be regarded as the 
anomaly of a certain people; on the contrary, in it we must see the same style that, 
thanks to a set of favorable circumstances, was preserved until recent times in German- 
speaking countries (as an "intolerable obscurantist residue, according to the 
progressive representatives of the modern era). The Prussian style did not apply only to 
the military: by defining itself as "Frederickianism," it shaped one of the most austere 
and aristocratic European military traditions, 
but also manifested its influence in everything that is service to the State, loyalty, and 
anti-individualism. This style educated a class of government officials according to 
principles very different from mere bureaucracy, petty clerical spirit, and the 
irresponsible and lazy administration of the affairs of the state. 42 Moreover, this style 
never failed to act in the economic sector, ensuring, at the onset of the industrial era, an 
intimate cohesion to great industrial complexes led by quasi- dynastic lines of 
entrepreneurs who were respected and obeyed by the workers almost in terms of military 
loyalty and solidarity. 

Thus, the antithesis between two eras is reflected in the polemics concerning the 
meaning of the military and warrior element: moreover, in it we see the polemics between 
the two components of a collective organism — the social and the political. 
Antimilitaristic democracy is the expression of "society," which, with its material ideals 
of peace or, at most, of wars waged to maintain peace, is opposed to the political 
principle — that is, to the principle of the Mannerbund, the shaping force of the State that 
has always depended on a warrior or military element, that cherished less material ideals, 
such as honor and superiority. Thus, what has transpired at an international level in the 
democratic ideology upheld during the two world wars is yet another aspect of the 
regressive phenomena and of the aggressive emergence of an inferior element. 

Aside from this, from a practical point of view we must acknowledge that in modern 
times, since the sensibility for purely spiritual values and dignities has become mostly 
atrophied among Western populations ("spiritual" in a traditional sense, not an 
"intellectualist" or "cultural" one), the model of a military hierarchy, though it is not the 
highest nor the original one, is almost the only one that can still supply the basis and act 
so as to emphasize hierarchical values in general, and thus save what can still be saved. 
That model still retains a certain prestige, and exercises a certain attraction on every 
human type that is not yet entirely disintegrated and "socialized." Despite any 
antimilitaristic propaganda culminating in the shallow, spineless, and gutless 
"conscientious objectors," there is a heroic dimension in the Western soul that cannot be 
totally extirpated. Maybe it is still possible to appeal to this dimension through an 
adequate view of life. 

In relation to this, a further consideration concerns a general attitude and a certain 
level of tension, which in many sectors of contemporary life become necessary, with the 
effect of minimizing the distinction between times of peace and times of war. I am not 
alluding to the political struggles among political 
parties, which are phenomena that relate only to a period of decadence and an absence 
of the idea of the State: I am alluding to all those aspects of modern life that, in order to 
be mastered and not to have destructive consequences on the individual, require a 
complete assumption of ones own position, so as not to refrain from turning risk and 
discipline into an integral part of one's way of being. In this case, too, we have an 
attitude opposite of the bourgeois man's. Obviously it cannot be required that such a 
climate of tension last permanently and remain in everybody, in the same degree: 
however, at the present time, in certain instances there is no other choice. It is on the 
basis of various capabilities of the individuals to conform to such a climate, to love 
such a climate, so that in every domain new selections and real, existential hierarchies 
can be determined; these hierarchies are such as to find a natural acknowledgment from 
every healthy human being. 

It is obvious that the nations in which such premises are sufficiently realized will be 
not only the ones better prepared for war, but also the ones in which war will acquire a 
higher meaning. Concerning the first point, it is the equivalent of what applies on the 
material plane, where the wartime efficiency of a nation is measured by the virtual 
potential for industries and peacetime economy to be suddenly converted into wartime 
industries and economy. There will be a certain continuity of spirit and attitude, a 
common moral denominator in peace and in war that facilitates the shift from one state 
to the other. It has rightly been affirmed that war shows a nation what peace has meant 
for it. The "military" education of the spirit has an independent value from "militarism" 
and from war; however, it creates the necessary potential so that, when a war breaks out, a 
nation is ready for it, and fights it with a sufficient number of men who reproduce in a 
new form the warrior type, rather than that of the "soldier." 

The entire order of ideas that has been discussed so far is thus ignored or falsified by 
the polemics against "militarism," just as in other cases (e.g., "totalitarianism") a false 
target is created. In reality, what is meant to be effaced and discredited is a world that 
the merchant and the bourgeois type abhor, hate, and regard as intolerable, even when it 
does not directly threaten democracy. Thus, it is convenient to focus on that which is 
only a degeneration of militarism, namely those situations in which a certain class of 
professional soldiers, of rather narrow views and limited competence, exercises an 
artificial influence on the politics of a nation, pushing it to the brink of war with the 
support of warmongering elements. Such situations can be definitely condemned 
without thereby compromising the value of the overall warrior view that I have discussed 
so far. However, this does not amount to espousing the democracies' theoretical pacifism 
and sharing their totally negative view concerning war and the meaning of battle. 

Contemporary democracies are caught in a contradiction that undermines their very 
physical existence. After trying to persuade the world that their last anti-European 
crusade was a "war against war," or the last war, now they need to rearm themselves, 
since they cannot defend their interests against the new "aggressors" with mere prayers 
and solemn proclamations issued by their leadership. Thus, this is the situation we are 
facing today: democracies theoretically continue to deprecate war; to conceive of war 
only in terms of "defense" and "aggression"; to abhor "militarism"; and almost to 
perceive the warrior as a criminal — and yet with such demoralizing and self-defeating 
ideological views, they arm themselves in order to confront their new opponents, namely 
the world of the Fourth Estate, organized by communism into one powerful bloc. The 
ideal for these democracies would be to find someone else to wage a war for them, as 
their "soldiers," limiting themselves to supplying weapons, am-munition, financing, and 
well-tested propaganda employing slogans such as "defense of the free world" and 
"defense of civilization." But such propaganda loses credibility day by day; moreover, we 
should not harbor too many illusions concerning the value of a technical and industrial 
superiority (unless it is to-tally overwhelming) when the counterpart of a moral factor 
and the warrior spirit is lacking in the fighting troops. 

Finally, it is not easy to find somebody naive enough to believe that he is fighting in 
the "last war" and to be so selfless as to risk or sacrifice his life for those who will come 
after him in the hypothetical, idyllic democratic age with-out wars. And so the situation 
arises in which one is forced to fight, while his entire bourgeois and democratic education 
makes him hate war and conceive it as the worst scourge or as something ushering in ruin 
and all sorts of miseries. The best possibility will be to fight out of desperation in order to 
save one's life or wallet, since plutocratic democracies today remind us of the situation of 
one who, confronted with the choice between his wallet and his life, prefers to risk his 
life rather than surrendering the wallet. We can see up what blind alleys the democratic 
"antimilitarism" leads today, when those who are fighting are the elements more or less 
directly threatened and pushed against the wall. The civilization of the merchant and the 
bourgeois who extols only the "civic virtues" and who identifies the standard of values 
with material well-being, 
economic prosperity, a comfortable and conformist existence based on one's work, 
productivity, sports, movies, and sexuality causes the involution and extinction of the 
warrior type and the hero; what remains is the military man as human material, whose 
performance on the battlefield is very problematic due to the above-mentioned absence 
of the inner factor — namely, a corresponding tradition and warrior view of life. 

However, we may wonder if, after the recent experiences, one has had enough, or 
if one should forget what a modern "total war" entails; moreover, we may recall the 
extreme technical nature of such a conflict, seeing it not as a war of man against man, but 
rather as a war of the machine, materiel, and everything devised by science harnessed 
for purposes of radical destruction against man. We may wonder, in such a war, what 
margin is left to the traditional type of the warrior and the hero. The reply is that what is 
at work here is what Asians call karma. Modern man has no other choice. We may well 
agree with Ernst Junger's views, according to which modern man, by creating the tech- 
nology to dominate nature, has signed a promissory note that is now due; for instance, 
this is the type of war in which technology turns against him and threatens to destroy 
him not only physically, but spiritually as well. 43 Thus, mankind must come to terms 
with its creation and compete with it. This is impossible unless a new inner dimension is 
created, which, in the case of war, will manifest itself in the form of a cold, lucid, and 
complex heroism in which the romantic, patriotic, instinctive element is absent, and in 
which, beside a more specific technical preparation, we find a sacrificial disposition: 
man's capability to face, and even to love, the most destructive situations through the 
possibilities they afford. These possibilities, in their elementary character, offer him the 
chance to grasp what may be called the "absolute person." All this, to a certain degree, 
will have to be applied to an entire nation, as in the modern "total war" the distinction 
between combatants and noncombatants is a relative one. 

It may be said that modern war will lead only to the transformation of the heroic 

disposition and that its increasingly technical nature will constitute a real test, so that 

this disposition may assume a quintessential form, be purified and almost 

deindividualized, joining particular and complex forms of control, lucidity, and 

dominion. This purely spiritual and naked assumption of heroism is probably the only 

one that is still possible. 

Obviously, in these terms heroism assumes an autonomous value as pure 
experience and individual realization. The circumstances of modern times seem such that 
those who still yearn to be warriors and heroes must place this value at the forefront. In a 
novel written during World War II, a character says: "It is a luxury to be able to fight for 
a just cause." This is a significant testimony concerning the deep, widespread mistrust 
toward the ideological background of the recent wars, a background shaped by many lies 
and much propaganda. Thus, wars will increasingly display the traits attributed to them 
by certain sociologists; such traits are similar to those of elementary and unavoidable natu- 
ral phenomena, and the result is the relativization of the meaning and value of the 
"cause in the name of which people fight on both sides. We might be inclined to suspect 
that to think in these terms may promote a demoralizing and defeatist attitude. This may 
be the case, but only in those who have a passive attitude toward the phenomenon of war 
and who are bourgeois in spirit. In other instances, it will be a matter of inverting the 
relationship from means to end: the value of the "cause" will consist in its susceptibility to 
become a mere means for the realization of the experience as "autonomous value." 
Beyond any destruction, ideology, and ideals," this realization will remain as an 
intangible and in-alienable thing. However, it is not the view of life endorsed by modern 
democracies that will propitiate this eventual inversion of perspectives. The times ahead of 
us, despite the euphoria for the second industrial revolution," make it very likely that to 
remain spiritually upright and to endure even after extreme trials and destructions will be 
possible only on such conditions. 

As a last point, I will note that the above-mentioned situation could some-what 
propitiate a return to the style that was proper to the warrior States and was lost in the 
age of democracies, revolutions, and nationalism. A warrior tradition and a pure military 
tradition do not have hatred as the basis of war. The need to fight and even to 
exterminate another people may be acknowledged, but this does not entail hatred, anger, 
animosity, and contempt for the enemy. All these feelings, for a true soldier, are 
degrading: in order to fight he need not be motivated by such lowly feelings, nor be 
energized by propaganda, smoky rhetoric, and lies. All these things have come into play 
with the plebeianization of war, since men who were shaped by an aristocratic warrior 
tradition have been collectively replaced by the "nation in arms," that is, the masses 
recruited indiscriminately through a mandatory draft. This happened right at the time 
when the traditional State began to decline and the national States arose, the latter 
animated by passions, hatred, and pride. In order to 
mobilize the masses, it is necessary to intoxicate or deceive them, with the consequence 
of introducing emotional, ideological, and propaganda factors into the war that have 
conferred and continue to confer on it a most heinous and deprecable character. 
Traditional States did not need all this. They did not create a chauvinist pathos and near 
psychosis in order to mobilize their troops and boost their morale. This was obtained by 
the pure principle of the imperium and by the reference to principles of loyalty and 
honor. Clearly defined goals were established for a necessary war, which was waged in a 
detached manner, hence without any room for hatred and contempt among combatants. 

We can see that in this regard the perspectives are inverted: in the age of 
democracies, even war is degraded and accompanied by an exasperation and radicalism 
that were unknown in the age of alleged "militarism" and the "military States." 
Moreover, wars appear increasingly unleashed by uncontrollable factors, precisely 
because of the passions and interests that predominate in democratic States, lacking a 
principle of pure sovereignty. The unavoidable consequence of this is that conflicts 
acquire an increasingly irrational character, they lead to what was least foreseen and 
willed, and their tragic balance is often negative, in terms of a "useless slaughter" or a 
further contribution to universal disorder. 

However, the extreme technical level of modern war and the growing dissolution of 
the fabric of the democratic myths may lead to a purification of war in those who, 
despite all, will be unable to avoid it. Where corresponding political factors are at work, 
we cannot exclude the possibility that the overall effect will be a partial return to 
normalcy. 

I have not discussed "nuclear war" in this context, for various reasons. First of all 
because it seems that thermonuclear weapons will have the long-term effect of a 
deterrent, keeping opposing blocs from taking the initiative, the consequence of which 
would be most severe and unforgiving. Second, the partial use of these weapons will 
necessarily entail, as a complement, the need for a war waged with conventional 
weapons; thus, the considerations I have made so far are still valid. The extreme case of 
a total nuclear war, which is usually depicted with apocalyptic overtones, may be 
ignored, because it would seal the destiny of a whole civilization, doomed in the cosmic 
balance. 

Nor should we consider here the alternative and Utopian idea of a "Global" or 
"Universal Government" that precedes the point when, after further collapses, the 
complete leveling of mankind has become a fait accompli. 

======================================================================

Ten 



TRADITION 

CATHOLICISM 
GHIBELLINISM 



In the previous chapters I have made numerous and explicit references to tradition and 

the traditional spirit. I have also given the term tradition a spiritual meaning, and not an 

empirical or factually historical one. Thus, some readers may be inclined to think that 

when I talk about tradition I am referring to religious traditions in general or to the 

Catholic-Christian tradition in particular. 44 This is incorrect. I do acknowledge that 

some traditional and conservative forces have been inspired by Catholicism, especially 

in the Latin countries, and that there was a time when Catholicism gave a special chrism 

to the principles of authority and sovereignty. However, when I am discussing tradition 

I refer to something wider, more austere, and more universal than mere Catholicism; 

only by being integrated into it could Catholicism claim a character of authentic 

traditionality. It must be made clear that being a traditionalist and being a Catholic are 

not at all the same thing. Paradoxical as it may seem to some, one who is a traditionalist 

only by virtue of being Catholic in the current, confessional sense of the term is only half 

a traditionalist. Let me repeat: the true traditional spirit is a category wider than what is 

merely Catholic. The development of this point would lead us away from the order of 

considerations I intend to pursue here: besides referring readers to what I have said in 

other works, 45 1 will limit myself to some considerations related to the political dimension 

and to recent times, in order to supply the reader with a general orientation. 

First of all, the true traditional spirit acknowledges a superior, metaphysical unity 
beyond the individual religious traditions, a unity of which they represent various 
historically conditioned expressions, more or less complete and "orthodox" (hence, a 
higher standard for "orthodoxy"). Despite the fact that 
every religious form has the right to claim a certain exclusivity in the area of its 
pertinence, the idea of this higher unity (although it is an "esoteric" truth — that is, not 
reserved for ordinary people, to whom it may be confusing) should be acknowledged by 
its most qualified representatives. Without it we would be stuck in a schismatic atomism 
and thus in such a relativism that the individual religious traditions would be utterly 
unable to establish the principle of their own authority. 

On the one hand, we must acknowledge that Catholicism has been one of the most 
exclusivist and not to say partisan traditions that ever existed, and thereby further 
removed from this super-traditional awareness; on the other hand, we must admit that 
the development of civilization and our knowledge in matters of the history of religions 
is such that this exclusivist position may not be maintained without the danger of 
discrediting the traditionalist Catholics who rigidly adhere to it. In effect, nobody with a 
higher education can really believe in the axiom "There is no salvation outside the 
Church" (nulla salus extra ecclesiam), meaning the great civilizations that have 
preceded Christianity (the still existing millennia old non-European traditions, such as 
Buddhism and Hinduism, and even relatively recent ones such as Islam) have not 
known the supernatural or the sacred, but only distorted images and obscure 
"prefigurations and that they amount to mere "paganism, polytheism, and "natural 
mysticism." In the recent Catholic council called Vatican II, this point of view has been 
somewhat revised — although with a certain reticence — and mention was made of 
"ecumenism." More specifically, it is difficult to find someone who still believes the 
Jewish people have been God's chosen people, and the only repository of true and 
perfect revelation, and who thus considers everything belonging to the luminous cycle 
of the great Indo-European civilizations and religions as nonexistent or relegated to a 
lower sphere. This is a matter not of "faith," but of either knowledge or ignorance. For a 
modern Catholic, to persist in the sectarian and dogmatic exclusivism about this matter 
would amount to being in the same predicament of one who wished to defend the views 
of physics and astronomy found in the Old Testament, which have been made obsolete 
by the current state of knowledge on these matters. The current state of knowledge in 
matters of comparative religion, mythology, and even ethnology requires a revision and 
an adequate widening of the intellectual horizons. Thus, everything I say in relation to 
"tradition" and to "traditional spirit" may or may not refer to Catholicism; if it does, it is 
only sub conditione 
[conditionally]. In general, the contemporary "traditional man" should be freer toward 
external bonds and forms, but also more firmly rooted in what is the common, 
unchanging, perennial foundation of every great historical tradition. 

Let us now turn to the particular problem of the relation between Catholicism and the 
political idea, and to the relationship between Catholicism and so-called Ghibellinism. 
The latter term has reemerged in Italy as well, in some political polemics, to designate 
the attitude of one who takes a position against a certain political Catholicism and 
clerical interferences in secular affairs, de-fending the authority and right of the 
political-State idea vis-a-vis the Church. However, considering the low level of 
contemporary politics, in this usage there is an unavoidable degradation of the meaning of 
"Ghibellinism." To denounce the abuse of this word is important for the entire order of 
ideas that I am expounding. This order of ideas would lack its own sufficient reason if 
the spiritual nature of the foundation of the true State and the system of its hierarchies 
were not adequately acknowledged; however, this would be impossible without facing 
the problem of the relationships between the principle of sovereignty and the religious 
principle in general. This is the problem of Ghibellinism. Concerning the nature of this 
tendency, it is sufficiently clarified only if we refer to the period in which it originally 
defined itself, the Middle Ages; (luring this period what mattered was to defend not the 
right of a political organization of a secular, lay, and national type such as those that exist 
today, but rather the right of the Empire, which at that time meant something else. 

According to the Ghibelline theology, the Empire was an institution of supernatural 
origin and character, like the Church. It had its own sacred nature, just as, during the 
Middle Ages, the dignity of the kings themselves had an almost priestly nature (kingship 
being established through a rite that differed only in minor detail from episcopal 
ordination). On this basis, the Ghibelline emperors — who were the representatives of a 
universal and supernational idea, embodying a lex animata in terris [a living law on 
earth] — opposed the hegemonic claims of the clergy and claimed to have only God 
above themselves, once they had been regularly invested with their function. The 
Ghibelline emperors did not oppose the clergy on the plane of mere political rivalry, as 
is claimed by the shortsighted historiography that has shaped ordinary education. The 
political contention was only consequential and occasional in regard to the conflict 
among dignitates [those in high-ranking offices] that referred to a spiritual plane. 
During the Middle Ages, the realization of the human personality was believed to 
consist either in the path of action or in the path of contemplation; the two paths 
usually referred to the Empire and to the Church, respectively. As is well known, this was 
Dante s view. In its deeper aspect, Ghibellinism more or less claimed that through the 
view of earthly life as discipline, militia, and service, the individual can be led beyond 
himself and reach the supernatural culmination of human personality through action and 
under the aegis of the Empire. This was related to the character of a nonnaturalistic but 
"providential" institution acknowledged in the Empire; knighthood and the great 
knightly Orders stood in relation to the Empire in the same way in which the clergy and 
the ascetic Orders stood in relation to the Church. These Orders were based on a idea that 
was less political than ethical-spiritual, and partially even ascetic, ac-cording to an 
asceticism that was not cloistered and contemplative, but rather of a warrior type. In this 
last regard, the most typical example was constituted by the Order of Knights Templar, 
and in part by the Order of the Teutonic Knights. 46 

It is important to keep in mind that medieval Ghibellinism merely revived a 
preexisting and more ancient tradition. Elsewhere, I have discussed the subject matter 
extensively and produced a body of evidence. Here I will limit my-self to emphasizing a 
single point. Pontifex maximus is a title assumed by the supreme head of the Catholic 
Church. However, it had previously been an imperial and regal title; this is what the 
leaders of early Rome and later the emperors, from Augustus on, were called, and 
therefore this title is often found on Roman coins. Pontifex means "maker of bridges." 
Obviously that was no reference to material bridges, but instead to the function of 
establishing a connection (a symbolic "bridge") between the human and supernatural 
worlds. A similar function was originally attributed to leaders. A Nordic saying goes: 
"He who is our leader should also be our bridge." The popes, wishing to exercise the 
same function, again took up that title of ancient imperial Roman tradition; therefore, 
this is a usurpation of some sort. In any event, both the symbol and the "pontifical" 
function preexisted Christianity and were intimately associated with the Roman, pre- 
Christian idea of sovereignty. In The Mystery of the Grail I have shown that what was 
proper to ancient Rome was equally proper to many other non-Christian or pre-Christian 
civilizations. 

The conflict between the Ghibelline and Guelph views existed at an incubatory stage 
during the growth of Christianity, through the contrast of two general views that were 
clearly irreconcilable. The first was a dualistic view 
characterized by the formula "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what 
is God's," namely by a separation between human institutions and supernatural order. 

The second view, the Roman and traditional one, was a hierarchical view that saw the 

leaders as representatives of a power from above, since, as St. Paul had said, "every power 

comes from God" (non est potestas, nisi a Deo): the consequence was to confer a 

spiritual and religious value upon every loyalty and every political discipline. 47 In this 

case, too, common historiography has distorted the truth when dealing with the 

"persecutions" against Christianity. What the representatives of the ancient Roman 

tradition, such as Celsus and the emperor Julian, reproached Christians for was their 

upholding of an anarchical doctrine; with the excuse of paying homage to God alone, they 

refused to give him homage in the person of those who, as legitimate leaders of men, 

were his representatives on earth and drew from him the principle of their power. This, 

according to Celsus, was an example of impiety. The starting point was a metaphysics 

or theology of the imperium with a non-dualistic character, and not a "pagan idolatry" 

that was opposed by a "true faith," as the common historiography claims. 

The original tension between the two attitudes eventually decreased, but at first, 

especially in the Christianized Empire, was far from leaning toward Guelphism. In fact, 

in the first few centuries of the current era, as well as in the Byzantine Empire, the clergy 

was subjected to the emperor not only in the temporal and administrative domain, but in 

the theological one as well, as is proved by the fact that it was to the emperor that the 

formulas of the councils were submitted for their final decision and ratification." It was 

only during the Middle Ages that the priest nourished the ambition, not of being king, 

but of being the one to whom kings are subject. At that time, Ghibellinism arose as a 

reaction, and the rivalry was rekindled, the new reference point now being the authority 

and the right reclaimed by the Holy Roman Empire. 

Coming back to my original starting point, a similar antagonism is totally 
misunderstood in its true nature when only a political, secular view of the State is 
considered or, worse yet, when such a principle is deified or made absolute. This was 
not at all the case with the Ghibelline emperors; that was rather the policy first pursued 
by Philip the Fair [1268-13141, one of the most sinister figures in European history. 
The line, beginning with him and continuing through various examples of secular States 
with a Masonic, anticlerical character, leads to those totalitarian forms where religion is 
eventually tolerated 
only if it is at the service of the State, which in this context corresponds to the total 
subjugation of the spiritual element to the temporal, material, and collective element. 

All this represents an almost diabolical inversion of Ghibellinism, in which we must 
also acknowledge a sort of boomerang reaction to the Church's anti-Ghibelline 
polemics. The Christian formula of "Render unto Caesar," while it did not sanction 
political insubordination, started from a very degraded and secular notion of Caesar, a 
notion that was unknown to the Roman theology of the State; this notion reduced loyalty 
to mere acquiescence, almost like telling a woman to give to her man her body but not 
her soul. From the late Middle Ages onward, the Catholic Church, in order to gain the 
exclusive monopoly in the domain of the supernatural, increasingly attempted to 
eliminate any spiritual character from the political idea, to interpret sovereignty as a 
mere "natural right," using various States as its secular arm and as compliant 
administrators of Catholic morality. After the Counter-Reformation it was only in this 
fashion that the Church promoted and upheld the absolutism of rulers who, despite the 
formula of "divine right," were nothing less than atheists imbued with the enlightened 
ideas that paved the way to the French Revolution. Things did not change much in the 
period of the Holy Alliance. For both sides the so-called alliance of throne and altar had 
purely tactical considerations, and thus supplied arms to the antitraditional, nationalist, 
and revolutionary front. 

The secularized State, however, after leaving freedom to the Church in spiritual 
matters, shifted to an aggressive attitude toward Catholicism, which should not be 
confused with the Ghibelline opposition. Ghibellinism did not pursue the subjection of 
spiritual authority to temporal powers, but rather up-held, vis-a-vis the exclusivist claim 
of the Church, a value and a right for the State, different from those that are proper to 
an organization with a merely human and material character. 

Thus, these were two very distinct attitudes toward the Church. It is there-fore 

inappropriate today, to say the least, to talk of "Ghibellinism" in the con-text of 

anticlerical and secular-liberal political polemics. To really revive Ghibellinism would 

amount to revisiting the problem of the ultimate foundation of the principle of 

sovereignty in its relation to Catholicism in general. I do not see how this problem can 

be posed today, considering the overall historical conditions. The following 

considerations will provide an orientation. 

First of all, we must firmly uphold the idea that a secular State, in any form, 

including that of the "Ethical State," contradicts every higher political ideal. A clerical or 

pseudo-clerical State is also unacceptable. 

The religious factor is an indispensable element in the view of life that can bring 
about a restoration through the heroic dimension that is essential to it. Generally 
speaking, it must be felt as evident that beyond earthly life there is a higher life, as only 
those who feel this way have an intangible and unconquerable strength and are capable, 
when necessary, of active sacrifice and absolute elan. In the opposite case, to have little 
regard for one's life is possible only in moments of exaltation and when irrational forces 
are unleashed, while disciplines that aim beyond an individual's life cannot be endowed 
with a higher meaning. I have already discussed this in chapter 3; without a similar 
direct reference to a reality that is more than human, there can be no overcoming of the 
solutions advanced by a utilitarian and contractual sociology, nor a climate of high 
political tension. 

However, a given religious confession may be used only as a support for such an 
orientation, and merely in terms of an arousing action. In Catholicism, specific 
reservations should be made. Concerning the political dimension, if Catholicism, feeling 
that decisive times were approaching, had the strength to rise above the contingent plane 
and to follow a line of high asceticism; and if, on such a basis, Catholicism, almost as in 
a revival of the medieval Crusades, had not hesitated to fortify faith with the soul of an 
armed, united, and inexorable bloc of powers, set against the currents of chaos, 
compromise, and the political materialism of the age — in that event there would have been 
no doubts as to its value. However, things happened otherwise. 

Aside from the relativist Catholic view that no particular political regime may be 
regarded as "willed by God" or even accorded special acknowledgment; and after the 
times of De Maistre, Bonald, Donoso Cortes, and the Syllabus have passed, Catholicism 
has been characterized by political maneuvering and by its taking advantage of various 
situations, avoiding any stance that is too committed. Inevitably, the Church's sympathies 
must gravitate toward a democratic-liberal political system. Moreover, Catholicism had 
for a long time espoused the theory of "natural right," which hardly agrees with the 
positive and differentiated right on which a strong and hierarchical State can he built. 
Nowadays things have deteriorated in the sense of a rapid, disturbing collapse of every 
valid element in Catholicism, and in the sense of a desire to "be in tune with the times," 
with the modern world, and with the direction of history. 

Militant Catholics like Maritain had revived Bergson's formula according to which 
"democracy is essentially evangelical"; they tried to demonstrate that the democratic 
impulse in history appears as a temporal manifestation of the authentic Christian and 
Catholic spirit. But this is not the end of it; in the climate of "opening to the Left" it 
seems that not only isolated intellectuals, but the highest Catholic hierarchies as well, 
do not hesitate to bestow this consecration on Marxism itself, and to engage in 
dialogue with communism, in order not to be "left behind." By now, the categorical 
condemnations of modernism and progressivism are a thing of the past. Teilhard de 
Chardin, with his updated version of Catholicism in regard to science and evolutionism, is 
about to be rehabilitated. This may also be the case for Ernesto Bonaiuti, the modernist 
apostle of a purely social view of Catholicism; and of Mounier, who, while opposing both 
capitalism and communism, does not conceal his sympathies for the latter, deploring 
the Church for not being the first to take an initiative analogous to the proletarian- 
communist revolution (Maritain's own view). When today's Catholics reject the 
"medieval residues" of their tradition; when Vatican II and its implementations have 
pushed for debilitating forms of "bringing things up to date"; when popes uphold the 
United Nations (a ridiculous hybrid and illegitimate organization) practically as the 
prefiguration of a future Christian ecumene — this leaves no doubts as to the direction in 
which the Church is being dragged. All things considered, Catholicism's capability of 
providing adequate support for a revolutionary-conservative and traditionalist 
movement must be resolutely denied. We shall more likely be able to witness some 
return of the Church to its origins, namely to that climate of early Christianity that 
displayed very "modern," socialist, and communitarian traits, al-most as a "white 
communism"; the direction being pursued enables today's Catholics to be in rune with 
the "march of history" (as it is envisioned by sub-version), avoiding any "reactionary" 
and "integralist" attitude. 

If this deviation of modern Catholicism originated from strategic considerations, as 
if a policy of "opening up" were pursued in order to win over various left-wing 
movements to Christianity, we should regard this as a serious short-sightedness on the 
part of those who are allegedly enlightened by that Holy Spirit they profess to believe 
in. The presupposition of this tactic is that left-wing movements have a merely social 
and economic character, the truth being that in their deeper dimension they amount to an 
inverted religion. However, it is a perennially valid lesson of history that one should not 
make deals with 
subversion; those who follow its course, thereby presuming to outmaneuver it, soon or 
later will be swept away by it. The situation of the modern world is such that it is 
irresponsible to pursue similar experiments, even as a mere tactic and not a willing 
surrender. 

Besides these political aspects, or better, in relation to them, the decline of the 
modern Church is undeniable because she gives to social and moral concerns a greater 
weight than what pertains to the supernatural life, to asceticism, and to contemplation, 
which are essential reference points of any higher form of religiosity. When somebody 
like Don Bosco is made a saint, we are not far from a liberal Protestant spirit, according 
to which the value of religion consists exclusively in social service, while anything 
authentically transcendent is more or less put aside. We could make similar remarks 
about many recent canonizations. For all practical purposes, the main concerns of 
Catholicism today seem to turn it into a petty bourgeois moralism that shuns sexuality 
and upholds virtue, or an inadequate paternalistic welfare system. In these times of crisis 
and emerging brutal forces, the Christian faith should devote itself to very different 
tasks. 

Today's catechism is of a parochial quality; its fitting counterpart is the figure of 
those popes who, yearning to be popular, travel here and there, totally losing the higher 
prestige that only distance and unapproachability can confer. 

But we can and should go beyond these contingent examples and examine, 
independently from a specific time frame, a fundamental problem concerning those 
typical values that must shape a given human type. Since this formulation is claimed by 
the Church and by every true State, I must ascertain if there are indeed incompatibilities 
with the point of view I have espoused. In regard to those values, we must distinguish 
between original Christianity, based on the Gospel, and Catholicism, and express the 
necessary reservations concerning the formulas of "Christianizing politics" and "giving 
a Christian foundation to the State." While the principles of pure Christianity are 
obviously valuable on the plane of a special type of asceticism, nevertheless they 
exercise a problematic influence, to say the least, in the political domain. On the one 
hand, they could mitigate the harshness of life by promoting public assistance or by 
fostering a mystical, brotherly spirit; but on the other hand, they could not promote the 
most fitting ethos that is expected from those who engage in combat. 

We should not try to dissimulate the antithesis existing between, on the one 
hand, the pure Christian morality of love, submission, humility, and mystical humanism 
and, on the other hand, ethical-political values such as justice, honor, difference, and a 
spirituality that is not the opposite of power, but of which power is a normal attribute. 
The Christian precept of returning good for evil is opposed by the principle of striking 
the unjust, of forgiving and generosity, but only to a vanquished foe, and not to an 
enemy who still stands strong in his injustice. In a virile institution, as is contemplated in 
the ideal of the true State, there is little or no room for love (conceived as the need to 
communicate, to embrace others, to lower oneself, and to take care of those who may not 
even ask for it or be worthy of it). Again, in such an institution there can be relation- 
ships among equals, but without a communitarian-social and brotherly tint, established 
on the basis of loyalty, mutual acknowledgment and respect, as every-one retains his own 
dignity and a healthy love for distance. I will not discuss here what consequences would 
ensue on the political plane if we were to take literally the evangelical parables concerning 
the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, as well as all the other nihilist teachings that 
are built on the overthrow of earthly values and on the idea of the imminent advent of the 
Regnum. 

Historically speaking, Christianity has been largely corrected and mitigated in 
Catholicism through the aggregation and assimilation of principles from various origins 
(especially Roman and Classical), as can be seen in the theological domain of Thomism, 
which would be inconceivable without Aristotelianism. This is precisely the reason that in 
the past, and especially during the Middle Ages, the Roman Church was able to exercise a 
certain traditional and formative influence. But this was not achieved, nor could it have 
been, without neutralizing the original premises of the Christian religion. Even in the 
best Catholicism there is still a residue large enough to ensure ambiguous and 
problematic traits for any ideal of a "Christian State and a "Christianized politics. In 
this regard, a dualism will always invalidate the proper synthesis of the Ghibelline 
tradition and of the above-mentioned universal tradition, in which there is no room for 
such a view. This is not because the Christian values are "too noble" for real life, but 
rather because of their special nature. This nature allows only in part for a spiritual 
recovery of political values, and then according to the compromise found in the formula 
"Render unto Caesar." 

This is all I have to say from the point of view of principles. If we also consider the 
role Catholicism plays in the current militant parties such as the faction of the Christian 
Democratic Party which makes overtures to the Left, 
and the aforementioned moralistic -bourgeois and partisan level to which Catholicism is 
reduced (in virtue of exercising the "care of the souls" and a deplorable modernist 
"keeping up with the times") — then it becomes apparent that we should distance 
ourselves from Catholicism when it comes to a worldview and a lifestyle on the basis of 
which we must act. In regard to these values, it will suffice to refer to a transcendent 
reality and order, beyond that which is merely human and which amounts to a mere 
earthly individual existence; this reference should not encourage pietistic evasions and 
humanitarian alibis, but instead be used to graft another force onto human strength, in 
order to draw an invisible consecration upon a new world of men and leaders of men. 
Wherever Catholicism in general promotes all this, or wherever in order to attain this 
ideal situation some categories of people resort to Catholicism and are not affected by 
its negative factors, Ghibellinism will not need to oppose this particular religion that 
has become predominant in the West and which has grown deep roots in Italy. 

However, this exclusively concerns a personal problem for single individuals; for a 
nation such as Italy, it is justifiable due to the lack of a concrete historical tradition of 
men and groups who have been and still are the defenders of a precise Ghibelline 
doctrine in the nonsecular and nonliberal terms I have outlined. 

Today in Italy it seems that some small groups have not been insensitive to the 

problem I have mentioned earlier on, that of the integration of those aspects of 

Catholicism that are susceptible to it, into the wider reality of Tradition (this is the task 

Guenon pointed out, though he once confessed to me that he did not believe at all that 

it could be achieved); these elements likewise incline toward the revival of a line of 

thought analogous to that which in the past led some Catholics to defend the idea of 

Authority and order, and to fight against revolutionary ideas. In this regard we need to 

discuss two precise reservations. 

The first reservation concerns the doctrinal plane. In these people we can always see 
an inversion of the legitimate way of proceeding: instead of starting from Tradition as a 
super-ordained reality, the opposite attitude is chosen. The basis and the primary element 
adopted is that of Catholicism and its exclusivist claim of being the only true revealed 
religion; then an attempt is made to at-tribute value to Catholicism through fleeting 
references to this or that traditional idea, which is used as a means and almost as an 
ingredient, thus placing the universal at the service of the particular. Such perversion 
must be denounced. 49 

Second, these people, even when they proceed in the right direction in 
the doctrinal domain, should be aware of the "private character of their initiatives. If 
these initiatives were to be taken seriously enough for me to modify my negative opinion 
about them, they should be taken not by these people, but by the higher elements in the 
Church. Obviously, this is not the case at all; the direction taken by the Church is a 
descending and antitraditional one, consisting of modernization and coming to terms 
with the modern world, democracy, socialism, progressivism, and everything else. 
Therefore, these individuals are not authorized to speak in the name of Catholicism, 
which ignores them, and should not try to attribute to Catholicism a dignity the latter 
spurns. The "eternal Church," to which some would like to refer, distinguishing it from 
the Church that is active in history, is nothing but a fantasy with heretical tinges. 

Thus, regardless of how a certain belief may be valued by an individual, the norm that 
must be followed, for both extrinsic and intrinsic reasons, is to travel an autonomous way, 
abandoning the Church to her destiny, considering her actual inability to bestow an 
official consecration on a true, great, traditional and super-traditional Right: this course 
of action should be pursued when we think in terms of a movement, rather than of how a 
certain belief may benefit a single individual personally and pragmatically. 

If we decide to take this course, we should be aware that in our day and age there is a 
great danger that where the political world appeals to forces that are usually awakened 
by religions, these forces may be degraded in order to create a sort of mysticism around 
things that are essentially rather profane: to this effect there exist many sad and 
deprecable examples, such as various "totalitarianisms. I have already denounced the 
gap between the situation in which human reality receives a spiritual chrism (which then 
changes its nature) and the one in which it replaces the spiritual, usurping its place and 
right. Even by upholding this, the above-mentioned danger must be confronted, because 
there is no other choice. As I have said repeatedly, a State that lacks a spiritual di- 
mension and a legitimization from above cannot be called a State; not to mention that it 
is powerless against the arguments advanced by the rationalist, revolutionary, social, and 
subversive polemics. The problem that needs to be solved is particularly difficult, 
considering that today the continuity of dynastic and traditional lineages is broken, and 
that, in the case of a purely Ghibelline orientation, we must begin from a pure idea, 
without the basis of a proximate historical reference. 

As in many other domains, here too we will have to settle for provisional 
solutions. On the one hand, we will have to uphold principles that have been rigorously 
formulated; on the other hand, practically speaking, we must be strong enough to follow 
and to assert them even when the basis they may now have is inadequate. This is what 
happens, more or less, in the institutional context, as in an interregnum or a regency. 
Thus, the symbol remains, preserves its prestige and authority, is acknowledged, even 
if temporarily there is no one who can embody it fully and the real leader has only a 
vicarious position. In our case, the reference concerns in general the spiritual center of 
gravity of a political organ-ism: what is needed is to define well and to acknowledge its 
dignity and function in the previously mentioned terms, as we wait for its effective 
actualization. Throughout history this has always corresponded to a mysterious fact of 
a nature that is not merely human, and which a given general disposition and a collective 
climate may favor but never determine. 

========================================================================

Eleven 

REALISM 
COMMUNISM 

ANTIBOURGEOISIE 



One of the reasons we see some intellectuals sympathizing today with communism 
(which is paradoxical, as it is well known that communism harbors con-tempt toward 
intellectuals) is related to the antibourgeois stance communism has assumed. Among 
other things, communism claims to represent the over-coming of the "bourgeois era" 
and to lead mankind toward a new realism, beyond subjectivism, individualism, the 
cult of the ego, and the various types of Idealist rhetoric. If the materialistic and 
exclusively economic plane on which communism contextualizes these issues is not 
recognized, they are likely to exercise a certain power of suggestion on those 
intellectuals. 

There is no doubt that in the present age multiple processes are acting in this 
direction. Following World War I, this direction displayed typical traits: we may recall 
in Germany the movement called Neue Sachlichkeit, or New Objectivity; 50 in France, 
the current inspired by the Esprit Nouveau (of communist leanings) was destined to 
exercise a considerable influence, especially in the field of architecture. Today 
communism finds solidarity with similar issues that are formulated in certain milieus; 
thus, it is no surprise that some unprincipled intellectuals, who fail to understand the 
ultimate and contaminating meaning of communism (known only from afar and in 
theory), side with it, thereby deluding themselves about being in an avant-garde 
position. 

This is a serious mistake. However, we must concede that, per se, an anti-bourgeois 
stance has a reason for existence. I do not mean bourgeois so much in the sense of an 
economic class, but rather its counterpart: there is an intellectual world, an art, custom, 
and general view of life that, having been shaped in the last century parallel to the 
revolution of the Third Estate, appear as 
empty, decadent, and corrupt. A resolute overcoming of all this is one of the conditions 
required to solve the present crisis of our civilization. 

Thus, those attempts to react against the most extreme aspects of world subversion 
are very dangerous indeed, when they aim only at ideas, habits, and institutions of the 
bourgeois era. This amounts to supplying ammunition to the enemy. A bourgeois 
mentality and spirit, with its conformism, psychological and romantic appendices, 
moralism, and concerns for a petty, safe existence in which a fundamental materialism 
finds its compensation in sentimentality and the rhetoric of the great humanitarian and 
democratic words — all this has only an artificial, peripheral, and precarious life, no 
matter how resolutely it survives due to the inertia in wide social strata of many 
countries of the "free world." Therefore, I claim that to react in the name of the idols, 
the lifestyle, and the mediocre values of the bourgeois world, as is the case with the 
great majority of modern supporters of "law and order," means the battle is lost from the 
start. 

However, just as the bourgeoisie in previous civilizations was a socially intermediate 
class, situated between the warriors and the political aristocracy on the one hand, and the 
mere "people" on the other hand — likewise, there is a double possibility (one positive, 
the other negative) of overcoming the bourgeoisie in general — that of taking a resolute 
stand against the bourgeois type, the bourgeois civilization, and its spirit and its values. 

The first possibility corresponds to a direction that leads even lower, to-ward a 

collectivized and materialist subhumanity, under the banner of Marxist realism — to social 

and proletarian values against the "bourgeois decadence." It is indeed possible to 

conceive a liquidation of everything that pertains to the conventional, subjectivist, and 

"unrealistic" world that was generally bourgeois, leading not higher but lower than what 

is proper to the normal ideal of the personality. This happens when the final result is the 

mass individual, the "collective" of Soviet ideology, in the mechanized and soulless 

climate that accompanies it. In this case, the result of the liquidation of the bourgeois 

world may amount only to a further regression: we go toward what is below rather than 

above the person. It is the opposite of what happened in the great "objective" 

civilizations (to use Goethe's expression), which fostered anonymity and disdain for the 

individual, though against the background of superior, heroic, and transcendent values. 

Likewise, if the striving toward a new realism is right, we can clearly see the mistake 
of those who regard only the inferior degrees of reality as real. This is 
when realism is essentially formulated in economic terms (as happens in communism). 
The same applies to some trends that have emerged in the arts or at the margins of 
philosophy, and that have sided with left-wing movements, assuming an anticonformist 
stance toward the actual society. One of these trends calls itself "neo-realism," while 
another is the radical existentialism inspired by Sartre and his coterie. In this philosophy, 
"existence" is identified with the most shallow forms of life; this kind of existence is 
separated from any superior principle, made absolute, and cherished in its anguished and 
lightless immediacy. This type of existentialism has its counterpart in psychoanalysis, a 
doctrine that divests and brands as unreal the conscious and sovereign principle of the 
person, considering instead as "real" the irrational, unconscious, collective, and 
nocturnal dimension of the human being: on this basis, every higher faculty is seen as 
derived and dependent. This also happens on the social and cultural plane, where 
Marxism endeavors to portray as mere "superstructure" everything that cannot be 
counted as social and economic processes. We are obviously in the same line of thought 
when existentialism proclaims the primacy of "existence" over "being," instead of 
acknowledging that existence ac-quires a meaning only when it is inspired by 
something beyond itself. Thus, there is an exact, visible parallel between such 
intellectual currents and revolutionary, sociopolitical movements, because what we are 
dealing with is the manifestation, in the individual domain, of what in the social and 
historical domain manifests itself as a subversive shift of power toward the masses, 
replacement of the superior with the inferior, and the removal of every principle of 
sovereignty that does not originate "from below." The existentialist and psychoana- 
lytical "realism," together with similar trends, points to a human image that reflects such 
relationships in the individual; such an image appears as mutilated, distorted, and 
subversive. Thus, we may regard it as the result of some congeniality when many 
intellectuals of similar leanings sympathize with the social left-wing currents, even 
when the political leaders of these currents do not have the same feelings for them. 

However, there is a second possibility: one may conceive a realistic view and a 
struggle against the bourgeois spirit, individualism, and false idealism that is more 
radical than the struggle waged against them by the Left, and yet oriented upward, not 
downward. As I have said in a previous chapter, this different possibility is contingent 
upon a revival of the heroic and aristocratic values when they are assumed naturally and 
clearly, without rhetoric or pomposity: in 
retrospect, typical aspects of the Roman and Germanic-Roman world have already 
exemplified it. It is possible to keep a distance from everything that has only a human and 
especially subjectivist character; to feel contempt for bourgeois conformism and its petty 
selfishness and moralism; to embody the style of an impersonal activity; to prefer what is 
essential and real in a higher sense, free from the trappings of sentimentalism and from 
pseudo-intellectual superstructures — and yet all this must be done remaining upright, 
feeling the presence in life of that which leads beyond life, drawing from it precise 
norms of behavior and action. 

Everything that is antibourgeois in this sense does not converge toward the 
communist world; on the contrary, it is the premise for the emergence of new men and 
leaders, capable of erecting true barriers against global subversion, in correspondence 
with the establishment of a new climate, one that will be endowed with its own unique 
expressions even in terms of culture and civilization. 

It is therefore paramount to recognize clearly the opposition between the two above- 
mentioned possibilities or directions of the antibourgeois stance. This is especially true 
in Italy. In the past, Fascism adopted an antibourgeois stance and, as part of the renewal 
that it was supposed to usher in, desired the advent of a new man, who was supposed to 
break with the bourgeois style of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Unfortunately, this was 
one of the cases where Fascism never got past its own sloganeering; those elements in 
Fascism that, despite all, remained bourgeois or became bourgeois by contagion 
constituted one of its weaknesses. As far as the present is concerned, with rare 
exceptions the average Italian communist is nothing but a bourgeois who takes to the 
streets (Lenin himself said that a proletarian, left to himself, tends to become a bourgeois), 
just as a false Christian and a member of the Christian Democratic Party represent 
nothing more than the bourgeoisie in the temple. Even those who call themselves 
monarchists can only conceive of a bourgeois king. The worst evil for Italy is the 
bourgeoisie: the bourgeois-priest, the bourgeois-worker, the bourgeois-"noble," the 
bourgeois-intellectual. This type is inconsistent, a substance without form, in which there 
is no "above" and no "below." The watchword or rallying cry should be: "Wipe the slate 
clean!" Only by following this dictum will the shift toward the wrong direction be 
averted. 
After mentioning intellectuals and realism, it is still necessary to make one point. I 
have suggested that the flirtation of some intellectuals with communism is paradoxical, 
since communism despises the figure of the intellectual, whom it regards as a member of 
the hated bourgeois. Incidentally, a similar attitude may be shared even by those who are 
on the opposite front to communism. It is indeed possible to be opposed to any 
exaggerated appreciation of culture and intellectualism, considering what they amount to 
in the contemporary world. To make a cult of them, to define their representatives as a 
higher social stratum, almost an aristocracy — the "aristocracy of thought," which is 
believed to be the true one, legitimately replacing the previous forms of the elite and the 
nobility — is a characteristic prejudice of the bourgeois era in its humanistic or liberal 
sphere. The truth is that this culture and intellectualism are nothing but the products of 
dissociation and neutralization within a wider order of things. As this has not gone 
unnoticed, anti-intellectualism has been almost a biological reaction, playing a relevant 
part in recent times: unfortunately it has pursued false or problematic directions. 

I will not, however, dwell on this last point, as I have already discussed it in another 
context, when dealing with the error of anti-rationalism." Here I only want to point out 
that if we desire to overcome bourgeois "culture," there is a third possible reference point 
beyond both intellectualism and anti-intellectualism: a worldview (the German 
Weltanschauung). A worldview is based not on books, but on an inner form and a 
sensibility endowed with an innate, rather than acquired, character. It is essentially a 
disposition and an attitude, instead of a culture or a theory — a disposition and an attitude 
that do not merely concern the mental domain, but also affect the domain of feelings and 
of the will, forge one's character, and manifest themselves in reactions having the same 
instinctive certainty, giving evidence of a sure meaning of life. Usually, a worldview, 
rather than being an individual affair, proceeds from a tradition and is the organic effect 
of forces that have shaped a certain type of civilization; at the same time, a pane subiecti 
[from the subject's perspective] the worldview manifests itself as a sort of "inner race" 
and an existential structure. In every civilization but the modern one, it was a 
"worldview" and not a "culture" that permeated the various strata of society; where 
culture and conceptual thought were present, they never enjoyed primacy, for their 
function was as simple expressive means and organs in service of the worldview. 
Nobody believed "pure thought" was supposed to reveal truth and to supply meaning to 
life: the role of thought 
consisted in clarifying what was already possessed and what preexisted as direct feeling 
and evidence, before any speculation was formulated. The products of thought had only 
a symbolic value, acting as signposts — thus, conceptual expression did not have a 
character privileged over other forms of expression. In previous civilizations the latter 
consisted of evocative images, symbols, and myths. Today things may go otherwise, 
considering the growing, hypertrophic cerebralization of Western man. However, it is 
important not to mistake the essential for the accessory, and that the above-mentioned 
relationships are acknowledged and retained; in other words, wherever "culture" and 
"intellectualism are present, they may play an only instrumental role, expressing some- 
thing deeper and more organic, namely a worldview. The worldview may find clearer 
expression in a man with no formal education than in a writer, just as it may be more 
strongly represented in a soldier, an aristocrat, or a farmer who is faithful to the earth than 
in the bourgeois intellectual, the typical "professor," or the journalist. 

Concerning all this, Italy is at a disadvantage, as those with all the power in the media, 
academic culture, and in critical journals, and who thereby organize real, monopolizing, 
quasi-Masonic societies, are the worst type of intellectual, who knows nothing of the 
meaning of spirituality, human wholeness, or thinking that reflects strong principles." 

"Culture" in the modern sense ceases to be a danger only when those who deal with 
it already have a worldview. Only then will an active relationship toward it be possible, 
because one will already have an inner form enabling him to discern confidently what 
may be assimilated and what should be rejected — more or less as happens in all the 
differentiated processes of organic assimilation. 

All this is rather evident, and yet it has been systematically misjudged by liberal and 
individualistic thought: one of the calamities of "free culture" made available to 
everybody and expounded by this ideology is the fact that in this way many whose 
minds are incapable of discrimination according to proper judgment, and who still lack 
their own form and worldview, find themselves at the mercy of similar influences. This 
deleterious situation, which is flaunted as a triumph and as progress, proceeds from a 
premise that is exactly the opposite of the truth: it is assumed that, unlike men who lived 
in the "obscurantist" epochs of the past, modern man is spiritually mature, and thus 
capable of judging for himself and of being on his own (this is the same premise of 
modern "democracy" in its polemics against any principle of authority). But this is sheer 
illusion: never before as in modern times was there such a number of men who are spiritually 
formless, and thus open to any suggestion and ideological intoxication, so as to become 
dominated by psychic currents (without being aware of it in the least) and of 
manipulations belonging to the intellectual, political, and social climate in which they 
live. But these considerations would take 
us too far. 

My comments concerning the "worldview" supplement the aspects of the problem I 
have dealt with when I mentioned the new realism; they specify where this problem 
must be situated and resolved, in an antibourgeois mode — for there is nothing worse 
than a merely intellectual reaction against intellectualism. If the fog will lift, it will 
become clear that the "worldview" must be the unifying or dividing factor, staking out 
spiritually insurmountable barriers. Even in a political movement it constitutes the 
primary element, because only a worldview has the power to produce a given human 
type and thus to impart a specific tone to a given community. 

With communism there have been situations in which something began to reach such 
depths. Quite correctly, a contemporary politician spoke of an inner and deep change 
that, by manifesting itself in the form of an obsession, is produced in those who truly 
adhere to communism; their thinking and con-duct are altered by it. In my view, it is an 
alteration or a fundamental contamination of the human being: in such cases it affects the 
plane of existential reality, which is not what happens with those who react from 
bourgeois and intellectualist positions. The possibility of revolutionary-conservative 
action depends essentially on the measure in which the opposing idea, namely the 
traditional, aristocratic, anti-proletarian idea, is able to reach such existential levels — 
thereby giving rise to a new realism and allowing Tradition, as a worldview, to give 
form to a specific type of antibourgeois man as the nucleus of new elites, beyond the 
crisis of all individualistic and unrealistic values. 

=======================================================================

Twelve 



ECONOMY AND POLITlCS 
CORPORATIONS 
UNITY OF WORK 



In chapter 6 I stated that one of the fundamental premises for the return to a general 
condition of normalcy is to break the control exercised by the economy on the modern 
Western world. I have also briefly indicated the change of inner attitude necessary for 
this to happen. However, in the actual state of things, due to the pressure of forces that 
are spiraling the socioeconomic domain down-ward, it is impossible to rely solely on 
inner factors, although they will always remain the ones that really matter. Moreover, it 
is necessary to consider those forms through which the economy can be restrained and 
organized, and through which the factors of disorder and subversion intrinsic to the most 
recent developments may be limited. 

It is rather obvious that it is not possible to achieve this today through a spontaneous 
process; rather, a political intervention is required. The following are the two fundamental 
premises: the State, incarnation of an idea and a power, is a higher reality with respect to 
the world of the economy; political necessity always takes precedence over economic, and 
one might add, socioeconomic necessity. As far as the second point is concerned, 
considering what I previously said, it is not necessary to repeat that according to the 
traditional view, the political domain is legitimized with spiritual and super-individual 
values. The State is the power that gives such values the weight they deserve within an 
overall normal institution, thus implementing the idea of "justice" in the higher sense of 
the word. 

Having said that, the first step to normalize the economy is to overcome classism, 
which is the principal cause of the disorder and crisis of our time. For this purpose, we 
need not invent new ideas; all we must do is to borrow from 
the traditional legacy, which in the corporative principle offers the leading idea that 
may serve as the best reference point, provided it is opportunely adapted. 

The fundamental spirit of corporativism was that of a community of work and 
productive solidarity, based on the principles of competence, qualification, and natural 
hierarchy, with the overall system characterized by a style of active impersonality, 
selflessness, and dignity. This was very visible in the medieval artisan corporations, 
guilds, and craft fraternities. Going further back in time, we have the example of the 
ancient Roman professional corporations. These, according to a characteristic 
expression, were modeled ad exemplum rei publicae — that is, in the image of the 
State; on their own level, the corporations designations (e.g., milites or milites 
caligati) for their members in contrast to the magistri also reflected the institution of 
the military. As far as the corporative tradition that flourished in the Romano- 
Germanic Middle Ages is concerned, we know that members of a corporation enjoyed 
the status of free men and were also very proud of belonging to the association; they 
felt love for their work, which was regarded not as a mere source of profit, but rather as 
an art and an expression of one's vocation. The commitment of the workers was 
matched by the master of the art's competence, care, and knowledge; by their effort to 
strengthen and to raise the quality of the overall corporate unit; and by their 
protecting and upholding the code of honor of their corporation." The problems of 
capital and the ownership of the means of production were almost never an issue, due 
to the natural convergence of the various elements of the productive process in view of 
the realization of the common goal. After all, these were organizations that "owned" 
the instruments of production; no-body thought about monopolizing these instruments 
for exploitation, as they were not tied to financing extraneous work. The usury of 
"liquid assets" — the equivalent of what today is the banking and financial employment 
of capital — was regarded as a Jewish business, far from affecting the whole system. 

Anybody endowed with an average sense of discernment will be able to 
understand that all this is found in conditions of normalcy, and that the problem today 
lies in the quest for forms and conditions capable of restoring the basic ideas of the 
corporative world in the modern age, which has been turned upside down by the 
industrial revolution (paralleling the revolution of the Third Estate and the 
Judaization of the economy). For this purpose, the main problem is to overcome 
classism. Fascist corporativism pursued this goal too, though it achieved it only 
incompletely, mainly because of two reasons. First, 
because in Fascist corporativism there was still the basic idea of a double alignment 
outside the companies — the trade union alignment and the owners' alignment Trade 
unions continued to be recognized as class organizations, although following the so- 
called unfreezing of the General Confederation of Workers they were fractioned and 
distributed according to the various corporations. Second, in Fascist corporativism the 
unity of work was not re-constituted where both capitalism and Marxism had broken it — 
within every company or aggregate of companies — rather, it was reconstituted on 
the outside, in the context of a bureaucratic-government system, with organs that often 
amounted to nothing more than a larger superstructure. 

The German National Socialist work legislation came closer to this goal, because it 
understood that what mattered most was to achieve that organic solidarity of 
entrepreneurs and workers within the companies, promoting a down-sizing that 
reflected to a certain degree the spirit of traditional corporativism. In this German 
system, the company managers took on the figure and the responsibility of "leaders" 
(Betriebfuhrer) and the workers that of their followers (Gefolgschaft), within a solidarity 
that was guaranteed and protected by various measures, with a great emphasis placed on 
ethics. Both managers and workers were asked to rise above the purely individual 
interest (maximizing profits and surpluses in the case of management, and the highest 
possible salary in the case of the workers, regardless of the company's financial status, 
the country's economy, and the situation in general), and thus to place a limit on the 
mere economic interest (a "tribunal of honor" was supposed to rule in times of conflict). 
Thus, even during the period of rapid economic recovery following World War II, we can 
say the German workers worked with the same spirit of sacrifice as a soldier; despite 
harsh life conditions, strikes for higher pay and more benefits were almost nonexistent 
during this period, in which a wide degree of free-market economy, and thus of non- 
protectionism, was severely testing the responsible initiative of any company owners 
who wanted to do well for them-selves. In Austria, Spain, and Portugal, organic- 
corporative models were also experimented with. 

Thus, the basic conditions for the restoration of normal conditions are, on the one 
hand, the deproletarization of the worker and, on the other hand, the elimination of the 
worst type of capitalist, who is a parasitical recipient of profits and dividends and who 
remains extraneous to the productive process. In this last regard, we can rightly speak of 
the recent twofold defection on the 
part of the capitalist. At first, the figure of the capitalist-financier or speculator, who is 
extraneous to the day-to-day management of the businesses he owns, has emerged from 
the earlier figure of the capitalist-entrepreneur. In the second phase, what emerged was 
the type of capitalist who is not even a speculator, but someone who merely cashes in 
the dividends, barely knowing where they come from, employing them to support a vain 
and mundane lifestyle. It is evident that against these types, subversive propaganda has an 
easy time; nor is it possible to defeat the latter's arguments without removing the cause 
of the scandal — that is, without opposing the representatives of such a deteriorated form 
of capitalism. In a new corporative system, the capitalist, or the owner of the means of 
production, should instead assume the function of responsible leader, technical 
manager, and capable organizer of the businesses he owns, maintaining close personal 
ties with the most trusted and qualified elements of his companies, almost as if they were 
his headquarters, and being surrounded by loyal workers who are free from trade union 
control and are proud to be-long to his company. The authority of such a type of 
capitalist-entrepreneur should be based not only on his specialized technical 
competence, control of the means of production, and a particular initiative and 
organizational skills, but also on some sort of political consecration, as I will suggest 
further on. 

This point leads to the consideration of the relationships between economy and State, 
a consideration that should be prefaced by some remarks. 

On of the main obstacles to the revival of the corporative spirit and to the 
overcoming of the proletarian spirit certainly lies in the change that the industrial 
revolution has brought about in the area of work conditions. In the varieties of what is 
essentially mechanical work it is very difficult to retain the character of "art" and of 
"vocation," and for the results of production to show any signature of the personality of 
those who worked to manufacture them. Hence the danger for the modern worker to be 
inclined to regard his work as mere necessity and his performance as a product sold to a 
third party in exchange for the highest possible remuneration. What is missing are the 
living, personal relationships that existed between workers and owners in the ancient 
corporations and even in many companies during the earlier capitalist era. The only 
thing that could help overcome this difficulty is the emergence of a new type, 
characterized by a certain kind of impersonality; this is no different from what may 
characterize the new type of fighter I talked about before. What is needed is the 
reemergence, within the world of technology and economy, of new forms 
of the anonymity and unselfishness that characterized ancient corporativism. In this 
regard it would be decisive to have an attitude that is no different from the one 
exhibited by those who know how to endure even through a war of attrition. In many 
regards, the test taking place amid machines and industrial conglomerates may turn out 
to be more difficult for the average man than the experiences of wartime. Whereas in 
war, physical annihilation is a constant possibility, nevertheless a body of moral and 
emotional factors supply man with a support that is for the most part lacking in the dull, 
monotonous front of modern work. 

Coming back to the specifically economic domain, it is necessary to consider some 
modern instances of the organic reintegration of companies, which still pursue the 
wrong course. I will briefly mention the so-called "socialization," the name given to an 
economic system in which (unlike what is typical of nationalization and the collectivist 
centralization of the economy) the companies retain their autonomy, as their inner unity 
needs to be forged by the involvement of the workers in management (the right of co- 
direction, co-management, and co-determination) and by the distribution among them 
of the profits of the venture, with the exception of a certain amount that is the rightful 
interest of the capital. 

The first thing to consider in this regard is that, as far as profit sharing is concerned, 
this type of system could represent something right only in the context of a wider 
principle of solidarity. Thus, if we want to implement profit sharing, we should also talk 
about a distribution among the workers of an eventual deficit of the company; this factor 
alone would deprive the formula of socialization of the mystique it exercises on the 
plane of a certain demagogy. After all, in big companies the amount of profit sharing 
will never be more important than base salaries, which suggests the political rather than 
social goal of this trend. It would be much more important to implement a differentiated 
determination of salaries, freed from the trade unions' imposed uniformity and commonly 
agreed upon in every company, depending on its conditions. 

As far as co-participation with finalities that are not utilitarian-individualistic but 
rather truly organic, instead of the distribution of the dividends we should implement 
co-participation in the property. Ways should be devised through which the worker 
could gradually become a small owner (this is the only way to deproletarize him and 
thus to break the backbone of Marxism) by making him owner of nontransferable 
stocks of his company-corporation, although 
not beyond the measure necessary for the maintenance of the right hierarchical relations. 
This would be the best way to "integrate" the individual worker into his company, 
motivate him, and raise him above his most immediate interest as a mere rootless 
individual. In this way we could reproduce in a company's life the type of organic 
belonging that was proper to the ancient corporative formations. 

As far as co-management and co-direction through "committees" and "internal 
commissions" are concerned, they represent a total absurdity when they occupy 
themselves with anything beyond the more immediate and personal interests limited to 
working conditions, and, in general, to what is expected from the subordinated, 
administrative part of a company. As far as the true direction and ultimate issue is 
concerned, trying to establish a type of "economic parliamentary system" in a company 
would entail ignoring the extremely differentiated and almost "esoteric" character played 
by the technical and managerial functions in contemporary high industry, a character for 
which every interference from below has a damaging, or at least disorganizing, effect. It 
would also be absurd to think that committees of soldiers could have an input in matters 
of high strategy, general mobilization, conduct, and organization in a modern war.'} 
Besides the economic consideration, there is another one, no less important, that 
militates against the idea of co-management. In the system of an integrated company, 
what must be imposed, starting from the top of the hierarchy, are considerations that are 
not merely utilitarian, but political as well, on the basis of an equally superior and 
unquestionable authority. How-ever, it is unavoidable that the control of the workers 
would cause the pre-dominance of considerations that are purely economic and 
utilitarian, or political in the worst Marxist and classist sense of the word. 

In fact, the spirit of "socialization" is a form of crypto-Marxism; it is almost a Trojan 
horse introduced into a noncommunist economic system, as the be-ginning of that 
conquest of the companies which in its declared and complete form corresponds to the 
tendency of a radical "trade unionism." The final phase of this process is the communist 
economy, through which the attack is launched not only on the company but on the State 
as well. 

Similar radical demands were already loudly expressed at the margins of Fascist 
corporativism. According to some, the dualism inherent in this system needed to be 
overcome, as well as the corresponding "mobility" of the representatives of the workers 
and the owners, through a rigorous system of responsibilities. Technicians, differentiated as 
"directing" rather than "performing" work, 
should have ceased to be the organs of capital and become the only leaders and managers 
in the organic unity of the corporation controlled by the trade unions. According to 
others, not only the "proletarian corporation" (an idea that could be considered up to a 
point and in certain circumstances) had to be instituted, but also the full incorporation of 
the State's bureaucracy into the corporative organs, and the identification of political 
representatives with corporative representatives, in the name of the "integral State based 
on Work." To this effect, the slogan "Introducing the worker into the citadel of the 
State" was proclaimed. This represented the path of the degeneration of politics into the 
economy, which was here indicated as the goal of true corporativism, or of a "radical and 
revolutionary corporativism." 

I have briefly mentioned these tendencies in order to make it clear that wherever one 
leans toward organic and anti-dualistic forms, there can be only two possibilities or 
directions: we can proceed "from above" or "from below." We can allow the center of 
gravity of the structures, which are reorganized in a corporate manner according to the 
principle of competencies, to fall either on the inferior, material and trade union plane 
or on the superior, properly political plane. 

Thus, it is necessary to reexamine the relationships between State and economy that 
must exist in a normal system. The conditions of the present era are such that a totally 
autonomous activity on the part of companies is virtually impossible. No matter how 
powerful and wide-ranging they are, these companies must deal with forces and 
monopolies that control to a large degree the fundamental elements of the productive 
process. Thus, some have rightly noticed that today the truly relevant and serious 
problem is no longer a classist one, but rather the problem of the restraint that needs to 
be placed on the wild and unscrupulous struggle among various monopolies, and 
especially among the monopoly of goods and materials (cooperatives), the monopoly of 
money (banking, finance, stock speculations), and the monopoly of labor (trade 
unions). 55 Considering the way things are in modern society, only the State can effectively 
avoid the destructive results of this struggle, limit the power of these groups that exist 
outside and above the companies, and thus ensure the latter conditions of security and 
regulated production. This could happen only where the State appears as a super- 
ordained power, capable of facing and defeating any subversive force, no matter how 
powerful it may be. 

In the contemporary era it is absolutely important that the struggle against a 
degenerate and arrogant Capitalism be waged from above — in other words, that the 
State will be the one to assume the initiative of mercilessly fighting this phenomenon 
and restoring normal conditions, rather than leaving to the Left alone the right of 
accusation and protest (which then are used to justify subversive actions). Today a 
modern State, integrated in this way, would have sufficient powers for such an action. 
The situation of the contemporary economy is such that a rigorous ostracism on the part 
of the State would prove deadly for any capitalist group, no matter how powerful. The 
preliminary condition would naturally be the overcoming of the typical situation in 
democracies, where the political element makes promiscuous alliances with the 
plutocratic element, opening itself to corruption and pretending to represent a "Right" in 
opposition to Marxism. Again, the pure political power must be released from every 
bond — first from the bonds of capitalism, and then from those of the economy. Even from 
a practical point of view, when we take into account what is "all too human," there is no 
reason the representatives of the pure political principle should prostitute themselves and 
be enslaved to the representatives of capital-ism, as now they hold power in their hands 
and could have the power by which to determine the possibility to dominate wealth and 
dictate orders to the lords of capital. The regime of corruption is possible, and even 
unavoidable, where a strong traditional State does not exist and where the State is 
reduced to an instrument that the ambitious and unscrupulous politician exploits 
individually in order to benefit from the advantages connected to various political of- 
fices. But if a strong traditional State were to arise in opposition to degenerate and 
arrogant capitalism, the polemics of the Left would thereby be nullified. This would also 
frustrate any attempt on the part of the economy to gain control in the State, in a Marxist 
or semi-Marxist sense (trade unionism, labor movements, etc.) with the pretext of setting 
things right and of promoting an alleged "social justice." Thus, it is decisive whether a 
really sovereign State is capable of preventing the subversive forces and replacing them 
with an appropriate revolution from above. 16 

The main problem, then, is to establish organic though not totalitarian relations 
between the State and companies-corporations, excluding or greatly reducing any power, 
front, monopoly, and foreign interest that is extraneous to a healthy economy and a pure 
political approach. 

To this effect, the traditional legacy can again be an inspiration: we could 

refer to the feudal system, after it has been adequately translated into and adapted to 

modern categories. That which in the feudal system was the bestowal of a particular 

land and the corresponding jurisdiction or a partial sovereignty, in an economic context 

would amount to the State's acknowledgment of private economic complexes 

responsible for certain productive functions, and enjoying a wide degree of initiative 

and autonomy. This bestowal would imply economic protection in time of need, but 

also the counterpart of a bond of "loyalty" and accountability to the political power, or 

the acceptance of an "eminent domain" proper to the latter, even though limited to 

situations of emergency and particular tension. On such bases a system could be built 

that incorporates both unity and plurality, the political and the economic factors, 

planning, and a range of free initiative and personal responsibility. Therefore, 

there would he no totalitarian centralization on the part of the State, nor 

measures that disturb or pressure economic groups and processes, as long as the latter 

act in an orderly fashion. General directives and overall schemes may be issued, but as 

far as their execution is concerned, maximum room must be given to the spirit of 

initiative and of organization." Within the overall system will be a hierarchical system. 

This system consists of "work units" — that is, organically integrated companies, with a 

work force gathered around their managers, who in turn rally around the State, in the 

context of a rigorous regime of competencies and of production, with the elimination of 

every form of "poisonous" classist ideology and irresponsible activism. Moreover, to 

proceed even partially in such a direction would amount to going beyond the climate of 

the "economic era," thanks to the special antiproletarian and anticapitalist ethos that all 

this presupposes. The ultimate goal of the corporative idea, understood in this fashion, is 

to effectively elevate the lower activities connected with production and material 

concerns to the plane that in a qualitative hierarchy comes immediately after the 

economic one in an ascending direction; in the system of ancient or functional castes, 

this plane was that of the warrior caste, which ranked higher than the merchant caste 

and the workers' caste. It becomes evident that if this system were to take effect, the 

world of the economy too would reflect the clear, virile, and personalized ethos that is 

proper to a society based on the general type of the "warrior" (in terms of character and 

of general disposition) rather than of the "merchant" and "worker." This would mark 

the beginning of a revival. 

These brief mentions concerning an overall orientation will suffice here, as 
the study of the concrete formulas in which the aforementioned issues could be 
actualized falls outside the scope of this book. I want to reiterate that the economic 
order should never be anything more than an order of means: thus, in principle, it 
must be subjected to an order of ends that transcend the economic plane and stand in 
the same relationship to it as the higher goals and even the emotional life of the 
individual stand in relation to the elementary requirements of his physical existence. 
This is why the formula of a "State based on work" represents a pure aberration, or 
something turned upside down, degrading, and degenerated; it is the opposite of the 
traditional view. To this regard, I will add the following considerations. 
The Fascist reform that led to the constitution of the House of Corporations, in 
opposition to the party-based democratic parliamentary system, certainly had 
various legitimate features. What was meant to be established was a regime of 
competence in opposition to the political incompetence that is ram-pant in a 
democratic regime and thus exercises disturbing influences in the economic domain. 
Such a line may be developed once again, first by revising the Fascist system of 
corporative representation in view of a different institution. Such an institution will 
not include the corporation in the Fascist bureaucratic sense, but rather the 
corporations in the aforementioned sense of organic units and complexes variously 
coordinated and arranged in a hierarchical fashion. 

As a foundation, what must be implemented here is the above-mentioned principle 
of the depoliticization of the socioeconomic forces. The rigid application of the 
principle of competency should deprive any corporative representation of what may 
be called its "political surplus value." The Corporative House of Representatives 
should not have the traits of a political assembly. It should merely constitute the 
Lower House; political concerns would be dealt with in an Upper House, ranked 
above the former. Once the economy is brought back within its normal limitations, 
something becomes evident, when, within the context of corporativism, the economy 
affects the legislative order and when the need arises to deal with those problems of 
organization on a large scale (which have become fundamental in a modern economy, 
and concern the power of the State), then it becomes necessary to adequately 
implement higher criteria through a distinct and more complex organ, endowed with 
a higher authority and representing the supreme and final authority in controversial 
cases. 

This organ should be the Upper House. While in the Corporative House the economy 
and everything that concerns the professional world would be represented, the political 
concerns should be concentrated and addressed in the Upper House through men who 
represent and defend not only interests that are economic and material, but also spiritual 
and national interests of prestige and power; these men are responsible for ensuring that 
a constant, overall direction be maintained in the solution of all the main problems 
concerning the physical-material component of the political organism. 
A mixed system of elections and appointments, not dissimilar from the one devised for 
the Fascist political-corporative representations, could also be al-lowed in the Lower 
House. However, analogously to what was proper in the representations that existed in 
the past in other nations, the democratic principle should be excluded in the case of the 
Upper House; one should belong to it not by being voted into office or on a contingent 
and temporal basis, but by designation from above and for life, almost as it were an 
Order, on the basis of one's natural dignity and inalienable qualification. In fact, it is 
necessary to ensure stability and continuity not only at the top, where the stable, pure 
principle of the imperium resides, but almost as if by participation, too, in a selected 
group that has the characteristics and functions of a political class, as was once the 
legacy of the traditional nobility. Institutionally, this would be actualized in the Upper 
House. And when those who are part of the Upper House exemplified the same severe 
impersonality, the same distance from mere necessities and contingencies of the time, 
the same neutrality toward every particular and partisan interest (obviously in such a 
system there would be no room for "political parties" in the current ideological sense), 
which the pure symbol of sovereignty eminently embodies — then there would be no 
doubt about the monolithic character of a structure that is really able to assert itself 
against every action of the subversive forces of the "economic era." 

================================================================

Thirteen 



OCCULT WAR 

WEAPONS OF 
THE OCCULT WAR 



Various causes have been adduced to explain the crisis that has affected and still affects 
the life of modern peoples: historical, social, socioeconomic, political, moral, and 
cultural causes, according to different perspectives. The part played by each of these causes 
should not be disputed. However, we need to ask a higher and essential question: are these 
always the first causes and do they have an inevitable character like those causes found in 
the material world? Do they supply an ultimate explanation or, occasionally, is it 
necessary to identify influences of a higher order, which may cause what has occurred in 
the West to appear very suspicious, and which, beyond the multiplicity of individual 
aspects, suggest there is the same logic at work? 

The concept of occult war must be defined within the context of the di-lemma. The 
occult war is a battle that is waged imperceptibly by the forces of global subversion, 
with means and in circumstances ignored by current historiography. The notion of occult 
war belongs to a three-dimensional view of history: this view does not regard as essential 
the two superficial dimensions of time and space (which include causes, facts, and visible 
leaders) but rather emphasizes the dimension of depth, or the "subterranean" dimension 
in which forces and influences often act in a decisive manner, and which, more often not 
than not, cannot be reduced to what is merely human, whether at an individual or a 
collective level. 

Having said that, it is necessary to specify the meaning of the term subterranean. 
We should not think, in this regard, of a dark and irrational background that stands in 
relation to the known forces of history as the unconscious stands 
to consciousness, in the way the latter relationship is discussed in the recently developed 
"Depth Psychology" If anything, we can talk about the unconscious only in regard to 
those who, according to the three-dimensional view, appear to be history's objects rather 
than its subjects, since in their thoughts and conduct they are scarcely aware of the 
influences they obey and the goals they contribute toward achieving. In these people, the 
center falls more in the unconscious and the preconscious than in the clear reflected 
consciousness, no matter what they — who are often men of action and ideologues — 
believe. Considering this relation, we can say the most decisive actions of the occult war 
take place in the human unconscious. However, if we consider the true agents of history in 
the special aspects we are now discusSing, things are otherwise: here we cannot talk of 
the subconscious or the unconscious, for we are dealing with intelligent forces that know 
very well what they want and the means most suited to achieve their objectives. 
The third dimension of history should not be diluted in the fog of abstract philosophical 
or sociological concepts, but rather should be thought of as a "backstage" dimension 
where specific "intelligences" are at work. 

An investigation of the secret history that aspires to be positivist and scientific should 
not be too lofty or removed from reality. However, it is necessary to assume as the 
ultimate reference point a dualistic scheme not dissimilar from the one found in an older 
tradition. Catholic historiography used to regard history not only as a mechanism of 
natural, political, economic, and social causes, but also as the unfolding of divine 
Providence, to which hostile forces are op-posed. These forces are sometimes referred to 
in a moralistic fashion as "forces of evil," or in a theological fashion as the "forces of the 
Antichrist." Such a view has a positive content, provided it is purified and emphasized by 
bringing it to a less religious and more metaphysical plane, as was done in Classical and 
Indo-European antiquity: forces of the cosmos against forces of chaos. To the former 
corresponds everything that is form, order, law, spiritual hierarchy, and tradition in the 
higher sense of the word; to the latter correspond every influence that disintegrates, 
subverts, degrades, and promotes the predominance of the inferior over the superior, 
matter over spirit, quantity over quality. This is what can be said in regard to the ultimate 
reference points of the various influences that act upon the realm of tangible causes 
behind known history. These must be kept into account, though with some prudence. Let 
me repeat: aside from this necessary metaphysical background, let us never lose sight of 
concrete history. 

Today more than ever it is necessary to refer to these perspectives, which should 
not be confused with mere speculations and which, besides having a value for 
knowledge, can supply weapons for the right course of action. In a document 
that I will soon discuss, it is written: 

Because the mentality of Gentiles is of a purely animal nature, they are unable 
to foresee the consequences to which a cause may lead, if it is portrayed in a 
certain light. It is precisely in this difference between Jews and non Jews that 
we can easily recognize God's election, as well as our super-human nature, in 
comparison with the instinctive and animalistic mentality of the Gentiles. The 
latter see the facts, but do not foresee them and are unable to invent anything 
other than material things. 

Apart from the reference to Jews, who this document purports are the only secret 
agents of world subversion (we shall see later if this is so), such considerations 
are true in general only for those whom I have called history's "objects." When 
measured against that of their disguised opponents, the mentality of the great 
majority of modern men of action appears to be quite primitive. The latter 
concentrate their energies on what is tangible and "concrete," and are unable to 
perceive the interplay of concordant actions and reactions, causes and effects, 
beyond a very limited and almost always coarsely materialistic horizon. 
The deeper causes of history — here we can refer to both those that act in a 
negative sense and those that may act in an equilibrating and positive sense — 
operate prevalently through what can be called "imponderable factors," to use an 
image borrowed from natural science. These causes are responsible for al-most 
undetectable ideological, social, and political changes, which eventually produce 
remarkable effects: they are like the first cracks in a layer of snow that eventually 
produce an avalanche. These causes almost never act in a direct manner, but 
instead bestow to some existing processes an adequate direction that leads to 
the designated goal. Thus, men and groups who believe they are pursuing 
something willed by themselves become the means through which some-thing 
different is realized and made possible: it is precisely in this that a super- 
ordained influence and meaning are revealed. This was noticed by Wundt, who 
talked about the "heterogeneity of the effects," and by Hegel as well, who 
introduced the notion of the List der Vernunft [Cunning of Reason] in his phi- 
losophy of history; however, neither of these thinkers was able to fruitfully de- 
velop his intuitions. Unlike what happens in the domain of physical phenomena, 
an insightful historian encounters several instances where the "causal" explanation (in 
the deterministic, physical sense) is unsatisfactory, because things do not add up and the 
total does not equal the sum of the apparent historical factors — almost as if someone 
adding five, three, and two ended up not with ten, but with fifteen or seven. This 
differential, especially when it appears as a differential between what is willed and what 
has really happened, or between ideas, principles, and programs on the one hand and their 
effective consequences in history on the other, offers the most valuable material for the 
investigation of the secret causes of history. 

Methodologically speaking, we must be careful to prevent valid insights from 
degenerating into fantasies and superstition, and not develop the tendency to see an occult 
background everywhere and at all costs. In this regard, every assumption we make must 
have the character of what are called "working hypotheses" in scientific research — as 
when something is admitted provisionally, thus allowing the gathering and arranging of a 
group of apparently isolated facts, only to confer on them a character not of hypothesis 
but of truth when, at the end of a serious inductive effort, the data converge in validating 
the original assumption. Every time an effect outlasts and transcends its tangible causes, a 
suspicion should arise, and a positive or negative influence behind the stages should be 
perceived. A problem is posited, but in analyzing it and seeking its solution, prudence 
must be exercised. The fact that those who have ventured in this direction have not 
restrained their wild imaginations has discredited what could have been a science, the 
results of which could hardly be overestimated. This too meets the expectations of the 
hidden enemy. 

This is all I have to say concerning the general premises proper to a new three- 
dimensional study of history. Now let us return to what I said earlier on. After 
considering the state of society and modern civilization, one should ask if this is not a 
specific case that requires the application of this method; in other words, one should ask 
whether some situations of real crisis and radical subversion in the modern world can be 
satisfactorily explained through "natural" and spontaneous processes, or whether we 
need to refer to something that has been concerted, a still unfolding plan devised by 
forces hiding in the shadows. 

In this particular domain, many red flags have gone up: too many elements have 
concurred to alarm the less superficial observers. In the middle of the past century, 
Disraeli wrote these significant and often quoted words: "The world is governed by 
people entirely different from the ones imagined by those who 
are unable to see behind the scenes." Malinsky and De Poncins, when considering the 
phenomenon of revolution, have remarked that in our age, where it is commonly 
acknowledged that every disease of the individual organism is caused by bacteria, people 
pretended that the diseases of the social body — revolutions and disorder — are 
spontaneous, self-generated phenomena rather than the effect of invisible agents, acting 
in society the way bacteria and pathogenic germs act in the organism of the individual. 
Disraeli, in the mid-nineteenth century, wrote: 

The public does not realize that in all the conflicts within nations and in the conflicts 
between nations there are, besides the people apparently responsible for them, 
hidden agitators who with their selfish plans make these conflicts unavoidable.... 
Everything that happens in the confused evolution of peoples is secretly prepared in 
order to ensure the dominion of certain people: it is these people, known and unknown, 
that we must find behind every public event.58 

In this order of ideas, there is an interesting document known as The Protocols of the 
Learned Elders of Zion. I have discussed the nature and scope of this document in 
the introduction to its last Italian edition (Rome, 1937). Here I will only mention 
some fundamental points. 

This document was purported to be a protocol stolen from a secret Judeo-Masonic 
organization and allegedly reveals a plan that was devised and implemented with the 
subversion and the destruction of traditional Europe in mind. Regarding the 
authenticity of the Protocols a rabid and complex debate has erupted, which can be 
dismissed, however, by Guenon's correct observation that a truly occult 
organization, no matter what its nature, never leaves behind written documents or 
"protocols." Thus, in the most favorable hypothesis, the Protocols could have been 
the work of someone who had contacts with some representatives of this alleged 
organization. However, we cannot agree either with those who wish to dismiss this 
document as a vulgar mystification, forgery, and work of plagiarism. The main 
argument adduced by the latter is that the Protocols reproduce and paraphrase in 
many parts the ideas found in a short book written by a certain Maurice Joly during 
the period of Napoleon's Second Empires. 59 Allegedly, mysterious provocateurs of 
the Czar s secret police were responsible for writing the Protocols. This argument is 
truly irrelevant: those who decry plagiarism should keep in mind that this is not a 
matter of a literary work or of copyright. For example, when a general writes a plan, 
he could employ previous materials and writings as long as they contain ideas fit for his 
purpose. This would be a case of plagiarism, but it would not affect at all the question of 
whether or not this plan has really been conceived and carried out. Cutting short all 
this — that is, leaving aside the issue of the "authenticity" of the document in terms of 
real protocols stolen from an international secret organization — the only important and 
essential point is the following: this writing is part of a group of texts that in various ways 
(more or less fantastic and at times even fictional) have expressed the feeling that the 
disorder of recent times is not accidental, since it corresponds to a plan, the phases and 
fundamental instruments of which are accurately described in the Protocols. Hugo Wast 
wrote: "The Protocols may well be a fake, but their predictions have been fulfilled in an 
amazing way." Henry Ford added: "The only comment that I can make about the 
Protocols is that they perfectly correspond to what is happening today. They were 
published sixteen years ago, and ever since then they have corresponded to the world 
situation and today they still dictate its rhythm." 60 In a sense, we can speak of a 
prophetic premonition. In any event, the value of the document as a working hypothesis 
is undeniable: it presents the various aspects of global subversion (among them, some 
aspects that were destined to be outlined and accomplished only many years after the 
publication of the Protocols) in terms of a whole, in which they find their sufficient 
reason and logical combination. 

As I have said, this is not the place to engage in a detailed analysis of the text; it will 
suffice to recall the main points. First of all, the primary ideologies that are responsible 
for the modern disorder did not arise spontaneously, but have been evoked and 
supported by forces that knew they were false 61 and had in mind only the latter's 
destructive and demoralizing effects. This would apply to democratic and liberal ideas; 
the Third Estate had purposely been mobilized to destroy the previous feudal and 
aristocratic society, while in a second phase the workers were mobilized to undermine 
the bourgeois. Another basic idea of the Protocols is that, despite all, the capitalist and 
the proletarian Internationals are in agreement, being almost two columns with distinct 
ideas but which act in unison at a tactical level in order to achieve the same strategy. 
Likewise, the economization of life, especially in the context of an industry that 
develops at the expense of agriculture, and a wealth that is concentrated on liquid capital 
and finance, proceeds from a secret design. The phalanx of the modern "economists" 
followed this design, just as those who spread a demoralizing literature attack spiritual 
and ethical values and scorn every principle of 
authority. Among other things, mention is made of the success that the secret front 
achieved not only for Marxism, but for Darwinism and Nietzsche's nihilism as well. 62 
The Protocols at times even encourage the spread of anti-Semitism, while in other cases 
mention is made of the secret monopoly of the press and of the media in democratic 
countries as well as the power to paralyze or destroy the most prestigious banks. This 
power concentrates the rootless, financial wealth in a few hands, and through it 
controls peoples, parties, and governments. One of the most important objectives is to 
remove the support of spiritual and traditional values from the human personality, 
knowing that when this is accomplished it is not difficult to turn man into a passive 
instrument of the secret front's direct forces and influences. The counterpart of the 
action of cultural demoralization, materialization, and disorganization causes un- 
avoidable social crises to grow increasingly worse and collective situations to grow 
increasingly desperate and unbearable; in this way, a final conflict will eventually be 
considered as the means to finally sweep away the last residual resistance. 
It is difficult to deny that such a "fiction" exposed at the beginning of this century has 
indeed reflected and anticipated much of what has taken place in the modern world, 
not to mention the predictions of what is in store for us. It is therefore no surprise that 
the Protocols received so much attention from those movements of the past that 
intended to react against and stem the currents of national, social, and moral 
dissolution in their own day and age. However, these movements often upheld 
dangerously unilateral positions, due to the lack of adequate discernment; this was a 
weakness that, again, has played into the enemy's hands. 

In relation to this, we must deal with the issue raised by this document concerning the 
leaders of the occult war. According to the Protocols, the leaders of the global plot are 
Jews who planned and undertook the destruction of the traditional and Christian 
European civilization in order to achieve the universal rule of Israel, or God's "chosen 
people." This is obviously an exaggeration. At this point we may even wonder whether 
a fanatical anti-Semitism, which always sees the Jew as a deus ex machina, is not 
unwittingly playing into the hands of the enemy. One of the means employed by the 
occult forces to protect themselves consists of directing their opponents' attention 
toward those who are only partially responsible for certain upheavals, thus concealing 
the rest of the story, namely a wider sequence of causes. It could be shown that even if 
the Protocols were a forgery perpetrated by provocateurs, nonetheless they reflect ideas 
very congenial to the Law and spirit of Israel. Second, it is true that many Jews have been 
and still are among the promoters of modern disorder in its more radical cultural 
expressions, whether political or social. This, however, should not prevent a deeper 
analysis, capable of exposing forces that may have employed modern Judaism merely as 
an instrument. After all, despite the fact that many Jews are among the apostles of the 
main ideologies regarded by the Protocols as instruments of global subversion (i.e., 
liberalism, socialism, scientism, and rationalism), it is also evident that these ideas would 
have never arisen and triumphed without historical antecedents, such as the 
Reformation, Human-ism, the naturalism and individualism of the Renaissance, and the 
philosophy of Descartes. Such phenomena cannot be attributed to Judaism, but rather 
point to a wider web of influences. 

In the Protocols the concepts of Judaism and Masonry are interwoven; there-fore, in 
the literature that this text spawned, mention is often made in careless terms of a 
Jewish-Masonic plot. Here caution must be exercised. While recognizing the Jewish 
predominance in many sectors of modern Masonry, as well as the Jewish origin of 
several elements in the Masonic symbolism and rituals, the anti-Semitic thesis, according 
to which Masonry has been the creation and tool of Israel, must be rejected. Modern 
Masonry (with this designation I allude essentially to the Freemasonry that developed 
since the creation of London's Grand Lodge in 1717) has undoubtedly been one of the 
societies that promoted the modern political subversions, and especially their ideologi- 
cal background. However, here too the danger is to be distracted by explaining everything 
with the action of ordinary Masonry. 

Among those who regard the Protocols as a forgery, there are some who have noticed 
that various ideas in this text are similar to those that have been implemented by 
centralizing and dictatorial regimes, so much so that the Protocols can be an excellent 
manual for those who wish to install a new Bonapartism or totalitarianism. This view is 
partially correct. This amounts to saying that the "occult war" should be conceived, from 
a positive point of view, within a wide and elastic context, and we should expose the part 
played in it by phenomena that are apparently contradictory and hardly reducible to the 
simplistic formula of a Jewish-Masonic global plot. 63 

Regardless of the role played by Jews and Masonry in the modern subversion, it is 
necessary to recognize clearly the real historical context of their 
influence, as well as the limit beyond which the occult war is destined to develop by 
employing forces that not only are no longer those of Judaism and of Masonry, but that 
could even totally turn against them. To realize this, consider the law of the regression of 
the castes, which I have employed as a hermeneutic tool in my Revolt Against the Modern 
World in order to assess the effective meaning of history. From a civilization led by 
spiritual leaders and by a sacred regality, a shift occurred to civilizations led by mere 
warrior aristocracies; the latter were eventually replaced by the civilization of the Third 
Estate. The last stage is the collectivist civilization of the Fourth Estate. When we reflect 
carefully on things, modern Judaism as a power (quite apart from the concomitant, 
widespread, and instinctive action of individual Jewish thinkers and writers) is inseparable 
from capitalism and finance, which fall within the civilization of the Third Estate. The 
same applies to modern Masonry, which prepared ideologically for and supported the 
advent of the Third Estate. Masonry still presents itself today as the custodian of the 
principles of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, its doctrines acting as a kind 
of secular religion of modern democracy; its militant action has revealed and continues to 
reveal itself along this line, openly or in semisecret ways. All this falls within the 
penultimate phase; this phase, the overall cycle of democratic and capitalist civilization 
of the Third Estate, will eventually usher in the last collectivist phase, to which it has 
inadvertently opened the way. It is therefore logical that the role of a central guiding force 
of global subversion in this last period will no longer be played by Judaism or Masonry 
and that the main current may turn against both of these groups, as if they were residues 
to be liquidated once and for all; after all, this can be seen in countries in which regimes 
controlled by the Fourth Estate (i.e., Marxist regimes) are beginning to be consolidated, 
even though Jews and Masons contributed to their advent. 

But then again, as far as the general radical Jewish-Masonic conspiracy thesis upheld 
in some milieus is concerned, the actual situation shows its inconsistency. It would be a 
real abandonment to fantasy to suppose that the leaders of the great conflicting powers — 
the United States, the USSR, and Red China — receive orders from an international 
center of Jews and Masons (almost nonexistent in China), and act accordingly in view of 
the same goal. Again, it is necessary to refer to a wider horizon of influences and to look 
elsewhere. 
For practical purposes, too, it is very important to recognize the instruments of the 
occult war, namely the means employed by the secret forces of global subversion to 
conceal their action, prevent their opponents' action, and continue to exercise their 
influence. I will now say something in this regard, drawing inspiration from some of the 
points developed by Rene Guenon, who was one of the most perceptive people in 
reference to the secret backgrounds of many upheavals of modern times. 

Let us begin with the tool of scientific suggestion. I believe the "scientific" method 
of considering events and history is more the consequence of a suggestion spread in 
modern culture by antitraditional forces in order to conceal their action than the natural 
orientation of a shortsighted mentality. Those who believe that history is made only by 
the men on the stage and determined by the most evident economic, social, political, 
and cultural factors do not see and do not seek any other explanation; and yet this is 
exactly what every force operating in secret desires. A civilization dominated by the 
positivist prejudice offers the most fertile ground to an action arising from what I have 
called the "third dimension." In great part this is the case with modern civilization. It is a 
civilization rendered myopic and defenseless by the positivist, rationalist, and scientist 
prejudice. We have scarcely begun to expose all the ideas that remain as the basis of the 
modern mentality and education; these ideas are not so much errors and limitations as 
they are suggestions spread and promoted for precise reasons by antitraditional forces. 

I have already mentioned some nonpositivist views of the course of events that 

introduce various entities, such as the "absolute Spirit," or the elan vital, or "History." In 

this we can see an example of the possible application of a second instrument of the 

occult war, the tactic of replacement. This tactic is employed every time there is the 

danger of an awakening on the part of "history's objects," or when some ideas that 

facilitate the occult game of the forces of global subversion have lost their power of 

suggestion. In the above-mentioned case, such confused philosophical views act as a sort 

of bait for those who are unsatisfied with positivist views, so that their eyes may not 

look in the direction where they should. Due to the vagueness of these notions, the field 

is not any less concealed than by positivist blindness. People will play around with 

"philosophical ideas" while the plan continues to unfold. 

Often the tactic of replacement develops efficaciously in the form of a tactic
of counterfeits. It may happen that after the effects of the destructive work reach 
the material plane, they become so visible as to provoke a reaction, and thus 
ideas and symbols are employed for a defense and a reconstruction. In the best 
scenario they are values of the traditional past, which come back to life thanks to 
this existential reaction of a society or civilization threatened by dissolution. Then 
the occult war is not waged in a direct manner; often attention is paid to 
promoting only distortions and counterfeits of these ideas. In this way, the 
reaction is contained, deviated, or even led in the opposite direction. 

Such a tactic may be employed in various domains, from the spiritual and 
cultural to the political. An example is given by "traditionalism." I have already 
discussed what the term tradition signifies in the higher sense of the word: it is 
the form bestowed by forces from above upon the overall possibilities of a given 
cultural area and specific period, through super-individual and even 
antihistorical values and through elites that know how to derive an authority 
and natural prestige from such values. In the present day it often happens that a 
confused desire to return to "tradition" is purposely channeled to the form of 
"traditionalism. The content of this "traditionalism" consists of habits, routines, 
surviving residues and vestiges of what once was, without a real under- 
standing of the spiritual world and of what in them is not merely factual but 
has a character of perennial value. Thus, such nontraditional or, should we say, 
"traditionalist" attitudes offer an easy target to the enemy, whose attack mounted 
against traditionalism is only the opening barrage preceding an attack against 
Tradition itself: to this purpose the slogans of "anachronism," "anti-history," 
"immobilism," and "regression" are employed. Thus, reaction is paralyzed as the 
maneuver leads successfully to the preestablished goal. 

From the general plane it is easy to shift to particular cases, since recent 
history is full of them. Thus, in the political context, the Roman idea with its 
symbols, the "Aryan" idea, and the idea of the Empire or Reich — to all this the 
tactic of misleading substitutions and counterfeits has been applied with deprecable 
effects that cannot elude an attentive observer. Therefore, it is possible to under- 
stand the validity of the points I made in the first chapter. 

Fourth, we must point out the tactic of inversion. Let us take a typical example. 
The secret forces of global subversion knew exactly that the basis of the order to 
be destroyed consisted in the supernatural element — that is, in the spirit — con- 
ceived not as a philosophical abstraction or as an element of faith, but as a supe- 
rior reality, as a reference point for the integration of everything that is human. 

After limiting the influence that could be exercised in this regard by Christianity, through 
the spread of materialism and scientism, the forces of global subversion have endeavored 
to conveniently divert any tendency toward the supernatural arising outside the dominant 
religion and the limitation of its dogmas. So-called "neo-spiritualism," 64 not only in its 
more deleterious spiritualist forms, but also in its pseudo-Eastern and occultist forms 
(not to mention the theories concerning the unconscious, the irrational, and so on), is 
greatly influenced by the tactic of inversion. Instead of rising toward what is beyond the 
person as a really super-natural element, here we remain in the subpersonal and in the 
infrarational, ac-cording to an inversion that quite often has sinister characteristics. 

The results achieved in this way are twofold. First, it was easy to extend the discredit 
that in numerous cases rightly affected these ideas to different ideas that might appear 
related, even though in their innermost essence they have nothing in common; thus, the 
latter genuine ideas are put in a condition to no longer pose a threat. A good part of what 
the West has learned about the East, outside the dry and sterile domain of philology and 
academic specialization, is often affected by this maneuver. The results seem to be for 
the most part some-thing distorted; this severely limits the positive influence that 
various aspects of the legacy of ancient Eastern spirituality are liable to exercise, 
provoking the reaction of the most obtuse and inappropriate "defenses of the West." 
Another example lies in the milieus that, when it comes to symbols and esotericism, can 
think only of Masonry or Theosophy, even when the reference goes back to ancient and 
noble traditions that have nothing to do with the latter; the positivist and rationalist 
prejudice of a certain critical "culture" identifies all this as superstition and fantasy, thus 
completing the smear campaign. This is the case with examples of some militant 
Catholic apologetics that see only naturalism and pantheism in everything outside their 
perspective; these are misunderstandings and effects of an interplay of concordant 
actions and reactions, to which several representatives of Catholicism are liable. 

The second result does not concern the domain of ideas but rather the practical and 
concrete domain. The inverted tendencies toward the spiritual and the supernatural can 
favor the emergence of dark forces, and be resolved in a deceitful action against the 
human personality. Many reactions against rationalism and intellectualism lead exactly 
to this, especially the theories of the unconscious, which through psychoanalysis have 
either generated a well-established practice or encouraged various forms of morbid 
fascination. 

Another method is the tactic of ricochet. This occurs when the traditional forces 
being targeted take the initiative through an action against other traditional forces, an 
action that eventually ricochets back at its promoters. For instance, the secret forces of 
global subversion, through opportune infiltrations or suggestions, may induce the 
representatives of a certain tradition to believe that the best way to strengthen it consists 
of either undermining or discrediting other traditions. Those who do not realize what is 
going on and who, because of material interests, attack Tradition in like-minded people 
sooner or later must expect to see Tradition attacked in themselves, by ricochet. The 
forces of global subversion rely very much on this tactic; thus, they attempt in every 
possible way to cause any higher idea to give in to the tyranny of individual interests or 
proselytizing, prideful, and power-hungry tendencies. They know perfectly well that this 
is the best way to destroy every unity and solidarity and to favor a state of affairs in 
which their overall scheme will be implemented. They know well that there is an 
objective law of immanent justice and that "the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind 
exceeding fine," and thus they act accordingly; they wait for the fruits of these 
inconsiderable initiatives to mature and then they intervene. 

In the political domain, the case of every Machiavellian employment of 
revolutionary forces falls within this category. Shortsighted political leaders have often 
believed that to arouse or to support revolution in hostile nations is, in certain 
circumstances, an excellent means to benefit their own people. With-out realizing it, or in 
becoming aware of it too late, they have obtained the opposite result. While they thought 
they were using the revolution as a means, it was the revolution that used them as tools; 
eventually, the revolution spread to other countries, catching up with the politicians who 
unleashed it and wiping them out. Modern history has been in part the theater of a 
subversion that has tragically spread in this way. 

Thus, we can never emphasize too much that unconditioned loyalty to an idea is the 
only possible protection from occult war; where such loyalty falls short and where the 
contingent goals of "real politics" are obeyed, the front of resistance is already 
undermined. The ricochet should be seen in an analogous context, in the case of 
"peoples' right to self-determination." This principle, after having been employed by 
modern democracies as an ideological instrument during World War II, eventually 
affected white peoples, thus putting an end to Europe's prestige and preeminence. 

When the secret forces of world subversion are fearful of exposure or realize that, 

due to special circumstances, the direction imparted from backstage has become 

obvious, at least in its major effects, they employ the scapegoat tactic. They try to 

shift the enemy's attention onto elements that are responsible only partially, or in a 

subordinated fashion, for their own wrongful deeds. A reaction is unleashed against 

those elements, which then become the scapegoats. Thus, after a pause, the secret front 

may resume its work, because its opponents believe they have identified the enemy and 

dealt with it. Talking about the Protocols, I have mentioned a possible example of 

such tactics in reference to the part attributed to Jews and Masons. Thus, we must beware 

of any unilaterality and never lose sight of the overall picture of the secret front. 

Let us now discuss the tactic of dilution, which constitutes a particular aspect of 
the "tactic of surrogates." The main example that I will now introduce must be prefaced 
with the following: the process that has led to the current crises has remote origins and 
has developed in several phases. 65 In each of these phases the crisis was already present, 
though in a latent or potential form. The theory of "progress" may be regarded as one of 
the suggestions spread by the secret forces of world subversion so that attention would 
be diverted from the origins and the process of dissolution could proceed, carried forth 
by the illusion of the triumphs of technological-industrial civilization. The tragic events 
of re-cent times have provoked a partial awakening from this hypnosis. Many people have 
begun to realize that the march of so-called progress paralleled a race toward the abyss. 
Thus, to stop and return to the origins as the only way to restore a normal civilization 
has been the inspiring vision for many. Next, the occult front employed new means to 
prevent any radical reaction. Here, too, it employed the slogans of "anachronism" and 
"reactionary and retrograde forces"; then it caused die forces that aimed at a return to the 
origins to be led toward stages in which the crisis and the disease were present in less 
extreme forms, though still clearly visible. This trap worked as well. The leaders of 
world subversion naturally know that, once this is done, there is no longer a real danger: 
it is enough to wait and soon we will be back at the starting point, by following 
processes analogous to the ones that have already occurred, but now without the 
possibility of any resistance to the dissolution. 

There are many historical examples of this tactic, which should be rather instructive 
for those who hope to assume the initiative of a reconstructive action. As a first 
example, we should examine closely some traits of modern 
nationalism. We know about the revolutionary, subversive, and antihierarchical function 
that the collectivist-demagogic concept of "nation" has played against the previous forms 
of European civilization and political organization. The reference point of many people 
who have fought against the various internationals (especially against the communist 
International) has been the concept of the nation; care was rarely taken to define such a 
concept in a way that would no longer represent what needed to be opposed. 

In this regard, it will suffice to recall what I have said earlier about the opposition 
existing between popular nationalism and the spiritual nation, between national State 
and traditional State (see chapter 3). In the first case, nationalism has a leveling and 
antiaristocratic function; it is like the prelude to a wider leveling, the common 
denominator of which is no longer the nation, but rather the International. In the second 
case, the idea of the nation may serve as the foundation for a new recovery and an 
important first reaction against the internationalist dissolution; it upholds a principle of 
differentiation that still needs to be further carried through toward an articulation and 
hierarchy within every single people. But where the awareness of this opposition is 
lacking, as in indiscriminate nationalism, there is a danger of being subjected to the tactic 
of dilution: this danger, incidentally, has already occurred. It is in view of this — that is, of 
such a possible meaning of nationalistic orientation — that Soviet communism, while 
opposing nationalism as a counterrevolutionary phenomenon, favors and supports it in 
the non-Marxist areas inhabited by the "underdeveloped" peoples, who are the alleged 
victims of colonialism, waiting for further developments to lead to the stage in which it 
will be able to reap its fruits. 

I will mention here two more examples of the tactic of dilution. The first concerns 
the socioeconomic domain and is connected to all the "national" and social-conformist 
versions of Marxism; it is the same disease in diluted form. This is also the case with 
"socializing" theories, which are Trojan horses to be introduced into the citadel, in order 
to conquer it not with a direct attack, but rather through a natural and inevitable inner 
development. The second ex-ample concerns the cultural domain. I have already 
discussed the meaning of psychoanalytical theories in the context of the modern 
subversion. Among those who are capable of a healthy discernment there has been a 
reaction against the coarsest forms of this pseudo-science, which correspond to pure or 
"orthodox" Freudianism. The tactic of dilution was employed again; the formulation and 
spread of a spiritualized psychoanalysis for more refined tastes was furthered. 
The result was that those who react against Freud and his disciples no longer do so 
against Jung, without realizing that what is at work here is the same inversion, though in 
a more dangerous form because it is subtler, and a contaminating exegesis ventures 
more decidedly into the domain of spirituality than in the case of Freud. 

Another tactic is the deliberate misidentification of a principle with its represen- 
tatives. In many regards the decay of traditional institutions began with the corruption of 
their worldly representatives. The effective dissolution and destruction has been made 
possible by the confusion between principles and people; this is another weapon of the 
occult war. When the representatives of a given principle prove to be unworthy of it, the 
criticism of them extends immediately to the principle itself and is especially directed 
against it. Instead of acknowledging that some individuals are not at the level of the 
principle, and instead of requiring that they be replaced by qualified individuals, in order 
to restore a situation of normalcy, it is claimed that the principle itself is false, corrupt, 
or passe, and that it should be replaced with a different principle. In almost every 
revolution this tactic has played a major role. It may also be characterized as that of 
portraying a crisis in the system as a crisis of the system. Examples of this kind are so 
prevalent that I hardly need mention them. The attack against monarchies and 
aristocracies has followed this path. Marxism has applied the same device, using the 
injustices of capitalism as a pretext in order to attack free-market economy and to 
proclaim a collectivist economy. In the spiritual domain the examples are numerous. 
The Lutheran Reformation used the corruption of the representatives of the Roman 
Church in order to question the principle of authority and many fundamental beliefs of 
the Catholic tradition, thus shifting over from people to principles. 

Finally, I wish to mention one more instrument of the secret war, though it refers to a 
very particular domain: the tactic of the replacing infiltrations. It is when a certain 
spiritual or traditional organization falls into such a state of degeneration that its 
representatives know very little of its true, inner foundation, or the basis of its authority 
and prestige. The life of such an organization may then be compared to the automatic 
state of a sleepwalker, or living body deprived of its soul. In a sense a spiritual "void" 
has been created that can be filled, through infiltrations, by other subversive forces. These 
forces, while leaving the appearances unchanged, use the organization for totally 
different purposes, which at times may even be the opposite of those that were originally 
its own. We should also not rule out the case where such infiltrated elements work 
for the destruction of the organization that they now control — for ex-ample, by 
creating new scandals, liable to give rise to serious repercussions. In this 
particular instance what is employed on the outside is the previously mentioned 
tactic of mistaking the representatives for the principle. Even the knowledge of 
this can cast light on many phenomena of the past and present. Having 
mentioned Masonry, it must he stated that the genesis of modern Freemasonry as 
a subversive force is due to this tactic of replacement and inversion that is 
exercised within some of the oldest organizations, which Masonry retained as 
mere vestiges, structures, symbols, and hierarchies, while the effective guiding 
influences have a different nature altogether. 

I hope that having limited myself to only a few examples and having primarily 
discussed principles will not prevent the reader from recognizing the multiple 
possibilities of application of those same principles in various spheres, for there is 
no sphere in which the occult war has not in some manner been undertaken and 
is not still being waged today. The most important sphere for the application of 
the knowledge of the weapons of the occult war is the inner one: the world of 
one's own thoughts. It is here that one needs to be on guard; it is here one should 
be able to recognize the subtle influences that try to suggest ideas and reactions 
to us in certain situations. If this can be accomplished, even if it is still not 
possible to identify the enemy in our midst, it would at least bar to him the main 
paths of his secret action. 

In what I have expounded there is no philosophical speculation nor flight of 
fancy, but rather serious and positive ideas. I am firmly convinced that no fighter 
or leader on the front of counter-subversion and Tradition can be regarded as 
mature and fit for his tasks before developing the faculty to perceive this world 
of subterranean causes, so that he can face the enemy on the proper ground. We 
should recall the myth of the Learned Elders of the Protocols: compared to them, 
men who see only "facts" are like dumb animals. There is little hope that anything 
may be saved when among the leaders of a new movement there are no men 
capable of integrating the material struggle with a secret and inexorable 
knowledge, one that is not at the service of dark forces but stands instead on the 
side of the luminous principle of traditional spirituality. 

=================================================================

Fourteen 

LATIN CHARACTER 

ROMAN WORLD 

MEDITERRANEAN SOUL 



In a previous chapter I mentioned the part played by anti-German prejudice in some 
patriotic Italian historiography influenced by Masonic and democratic-liberal ideology. 
This prejudice is also found in the cultural domain, and especially among those who 
cherish the myth of the Latin world. For these people, the catch phrase is "We are Latin 
and Mediterranean"; in their view, the natural tendencies and elective affinities of the 
Italians lean toward other nations of Latin culture, while spiritual barriers allegedly 
separate us from everything that is Germanic. Italians and Germans, it is claimed, will 
never understand each other. Our Latin civilization and mind-set stand in contrast with 
anything German. Some people have emphasized the religious domain, pointing to the 
Protestantism of Germanic populations versus the Catholicism of Latin peoples. The fact 

the German Rhineland, Austria, and Bavaria are Catholic is conveniently ignored. 

In all this there is a misunderstanding, for the most part caused by stereo-typical 
phrases and superficial ideas, but also by the Italian people's instinctual antipathy, which 
is motivated by questionable racial factors. It is very important for those who want to 
promote a revolutionary-conservative action to be able to acknowledge this. 

Let us begin by asking: What is meant by the term "Latin"? To what do-main does 
this word apply? 

It is not a coincidence that in Italy the myth of the "Latin spirit" is cherished 

especially in literary and intellectual circles. In reality, the "Latin spirit" 

may be defined almost exclusively on the plane of letters and the arts, or of culture in 

the most external and decadent sense of the term. However, it would be more appropriate 

to talk about a "Romanic element," since it consists of reflections of late Classical 

civilization, which were preserved among populations already included in the orbit of the 

Roman empire; these populations appropriated Rome's language (i.e., Latin) and retained 

various forms of that late civilization. The fact is that this Latin spirit is just a facade, 

behind which deep ethnic and spiritual differences quite often provoked bitter 

controversies. 

What matters to us is to notice that the "common Latin legacy" cannot be identified 
at all or characterized as "Roman"; in the above-mentioned aesthetic and humanistic traits 
and even in some juridical forms, what is "Latin" derives from a world that is "Roman" 
in name only — a world that the ancient, heroic, patrician Rome of Cato would probably 
have despised. 

At this point we must make some general considerations about values, since we need 
to specify the meaning of that "Classical," Greco-Roman world that was the object of 
adoration for the humanists of the Renaissance. Without discussing this problem at 
great length, I will limit myself to saying that the "Classical" myth is very similar to the 
Enlightenment myth, according to which true civilization began only with the 
"triumphs" and the artistic creations of the Renaissance, following the dark Middle 
Ages. Even in the Classical myth, as it was formulated by the people I have mentioned 
before, we find this aesthetic and antitraditional mentality. What is portrayed as 
"Classical," in relation to Greece and Rome, is a period of civilization that, despite its 
external splendor and refinement, represented a decadence; in many regards this was 
the civilization that arose and prevailed when the cycle of the previous civilization, a 
heroic-sacred type of both Hellenic and Roman origin, was in its declining phase. 

If we refer to the origins, the Latin myth is relativized and the "Latin spirit" appears 
unrelated to the fundamental creative forces of the peoples that it en-compasses. From a 
philological perspective, we may note that if the Romance languages are essentially 
inspired by the ancient language of Rome, namely Latin, the Latin language, in turn, 
notoriously belongs to the general family of Indo-European languages, to which the 
German language legitimately belongs; it is a fact that the ancient Latin language (as far 
as words, articulation, syntax, and declensions are concerned) is more similar to German 
than to the other Latin Romance languages. 

Things are similar in the ethnic domain, since it has long been established that both 
the early Roman world and early Hellas were the creations of forces belonging to the 
same Indo-European stock, from which later on the properly Germanic populations 
separated themselves. There is more. It is important to note that when we refer to the 
world of the origins, the expression "Latin" assumes a meaning that eventually 
undermines the thesis of today's zealous supporters of the anti-Nordic, Latin spirit. One 
of the results of recent studies concerning pre-Roman and prehistoric Rome is that the 
forefathers of the "Latins" were a people whose ethnic and spiritual kinship with the 
family of Nordic-Aryan peoples is unquestionable. These forefathers were a splinter 
group from the "battle-ax people," who practiced the ritual of cremation; this people, 
after traveling to central Italy, opposed the local Oscan-Sabellian civilization 
characterized by the funeral ritual of burial. The relationship of the latter civilization 
with the pre- and non-Indo-European Mediterranean and Asian-Mediterranean 
civilizations is also apparent. 

Among the oldest traces left behind by these Nordic stocks, we should mention those 
discovered in Val Camonica. These traces have an interesting correspondence with the 
prehistoric traces of primordial races, both Northern-Atlantic (Franco-Cantabric 
civilization of the Cro-Magnons) and Northern- Scandinavian (Fossum culture). There 
we find the same symbols of a "solar" spirituality, the same style, the same absence of 
traces of feminine (telluric-maternal) cults that instead are abundant in non-Indo- 
European civilizations or in degenerated Mediterranean paleo-Indo-European civilizations 
(Pelasgians, Cretans; in Italy, the civilization of Maiella, the Etruscans, etc.) Moreover, 
there is an affinity among the traces of Val Camonica and the civilization of the Dorians, 
people who arrived in Greece from the North and created Sparta, and who worshiped 
Apollo as the Hyperborean god of light. Thus it was said that the migration of the 
peoples from whom the Latins descended (the final destination of their migration in Italy 
being Rome) was analogous to the Achaean- 

Duric migration that in Greece ended with die creation of Sparta; Rome and 
Sparta are both corresponding manifestations related to those that are properly 
Northern. 6 6 

With the early Roman spirit and with Sparta we find a heroic-sacred world that was 
characterized by a strict ethos, love of discipline and of a virile and dominating spiritual 
attitude. This world was not perpetuated in the following "Classical"67 civilization from 
which, in turn, the "Latin spirit" and the "unity 
of the peoples of Latin civilization" derived. Instead, if by using the term Latin we refer 
to the origins, we see a complete overthrow of the "Latin" thesis. The Latins were 
among the peoples who bore the influences to which the early Roman world owes its 
greatness and its specific traits. The Latins had forms of cult, civilization, and life that 
were not opposed, but instead similar to those exhibited by the German peoples before a 
decadent world that rather than being "Latin" was only "Romanic" and largely 
Byzantinized. The later "Latin world," beyond the external facade and mere vestiges, 
included heterogeneous forces that were susceptible to convergence only when nothing 
more serious than "the world of letters and the arts" was to be found (with the exception 
of Catholicism and some ways of feeling to which the term Mediter'anean, rather than 
Latin should be applied)." 

I would like to underscore the importance of what I have briefly stated, not only 
from a historical and retrospective point of view, but also from a normative one; the 
similarities between the early Roman and Spartan lifestyles are obvious and well 
acknowledged, as are the similarities between both of them and some characteristic traits 
displayed by Germanic peoples; these traits, due to a number of circumstances, were 
retained by Germanic populations longer than by other nations of the same Indo- 
European stock. If those who are mere "Italiots" and who also want to feel "Latin" and 
"Mediterranean" could meet face-to-face with the Romans of the heroic period, their 
intolerance for the latter's discipline, honor, hierarchy, straightforwardness, and 
anonymous and anti-exhibitionist virility would not be any less than the intolerance 
provoked in them by their anti-German and especially anti-Prussian animus (it is signifi- 
cant that L. Aldington called the Romans "the Prussians of their times"). 

In such an animus there are certainly suspicious racial influences at work. This is an 
example of what is wrong with too many Italians, who employ the thesis of the 
"Catholic Latin spirit" or the "Mediterranean civilization" as a specious alibi. 

This alibi has often been associated with the polemic proper to a militant Guelphism, 

which conveniently identified the Roman and Latin spirit with the Catholic Church, in 

an anti-German and anti-Ghibelline function. Thus, there have been people who ventured 

to speak of the antithesis between "temple" and "woods"; the "temple" representing the 

Latin-Catholic view of life, with its principles of authority, order, and transcendence, 

while the "woods" represent the chaotic, "Nibelungen-like," individualistic, and Protestant 

Germanic world. This is pure amateurishness typical of partisan pseudo-intellectuals, who are obviously 
acquainted only with Wagner and some German Romantic philosophers and who are 
ignorant, or pretend to be, of everything that remained in many social strata of the 
Central European States as an inner attitude until recent times, before the catastrophe of 
the two world wars. In regard to the external domain, Pareto rightly remarked that in 
Germany, despite its being mostly Protestant, the feelings of order, hierarchy, and 
discipline are very strong, while in Italy, despite its being a Catholic country, all this is 
present to a negligible degree, while individualism, disorder, instinctiveness, and lack of 
discipline tend to prevail." 

Here lies the true root of the intolerance that a certain Italian type harbors toward the 
Germanic element. It does not have to do only with another way of life, but also with 
another ethical conception. For example, in a Germanic heroic saga there is a 
characteristic episode: a prince, having been invited to the court of King Etzel, is 
warned that a trap is probably being set for him. That prince replied: "I will go anyway, 
and if that is true, that is too bad for King Etzel." He meant to say that he could have 
lost his life, but Etzel would have lost his honor. On the contrary, according to a certain 
"Mediterranean" mentality, one who is able to deceive others enjoys a higher standing, 
though in so doing he has no care or respect for himself. 

Here another example comes to mind, concerning one of the most zealous 
supporters of the Latin, Catholic, anti-Germanic myth, namely Guido Manacorda. In 
one of his lectures, he thought it was in good taste to poke fun at the "gloomy" 
Germanic notion of loyalty. He reported on one of the leg-ends concerning Faust, 
according to which the latter sealed his famous pact with the devil with his word of 
honor. Faust learns from a hermit that he is being led to the abyss and that he needs to 
rescind the deal. As soon as Faust becomes aware of it and is about to act accordingly, 
he remembers he has given his word. At that point, he feels that he cannot break his 
promise. Manacorda, with a sinister spirit, commented: "One of us Latins would have 
found a way to screw the devil too!" I have no doubt about that. 

I will later return to the problem of ethics and style. For now I want to note that the 
myth of the Italian- German "Axis" could have had a particular meaning, not only from 
a political perspective, but also from a moral and spiritual one, in view of a reciprocal 
integration of the two peoples and cultures. 70 This is one of the reasons that the "Axis" 
was sabotaged and regarded as "unpopular"; the contrast between the confused nationalistic 
and patriotic myth connected to residual 
ideas of the Risorgimento on the one hand, and the yearning for a strong and "Roman" 
State on the other, played its own part in such a dislike, which was harbored even by 
many people who claimed to be Fascist. All these people can be happy again, now that 
Italy has returned to be itself — the petty Italy of mandolins, museums, " Sole Mio," and 
the tourist industry (not to mention the democratic quagmire and the Marxist infection), 
having been "liberated" from the difficult task of forming itself on the inspiration of its 
highest traditions, which must be described not as "Latin," but as "Roman." 

When we talk about racism, most people think of anti-Semitism; in other words, they 
refer to the mere anthropological and biological domain: only a few have an idea of the 
meaning that this doctrine may have from a practical and formative point of view and 
even of its political importance. However, here I will state only what is relevant to the 
specific order of ideas that we are discussing. 

First of all, we must note that in modern racism the race is not considered within the 
context of those general classifications that school textbooks refer to as the white, 
yellow, and black races. The race is conceived as a more elementary and specialized 
unit; thus, within the white race there are several races. These elementary races are 
defined in terms that are not merely biological and anthropological, but psychological and 
spiritual as well. To each of the racial components there correspond various dispositions, 
forms of sensibility, values, and views of life which are also differentiated." 

There are actually no civilized peoples or nations composed of pure individuals 
belonging to the same single race. All peoples are composed of more or less stable racial 
mixtures. We go from the theoretical domain to the practical one, or to "active racism," 
whenever we take a position before the racial components of a given nation, refusing to 
acknowledge to all of them the same value, the same dignity, and the same right to 
impart the tone and form to the whole. At that point a choice, an election, and a decision 
are necessary. One of the components must be given preeminence, by referring to the 
typical values and the human ideals that correspond to it. 

In the case of German populations, the racial component that is superior to the other 
ones with which it is mixed has usually been identified with the Nordic element. When 
we consider Italy, the superior component is identified with the Roman element. 

First of all it is necessary to overcome the frivolous pride of some nationalists, 
according to whom the ultimate criterion consists of having the same fatherland and a 
common history; hence the Italian habit of indiscriminately exalting everything that is 
"ours." The truth is that just as with any great historical nation, and likewise with Italy, 
despite a certain uniformity of the common type, there are different components. It is 
important not to create illusions but to objectively recognize that which, although being 
"ours," hardly corresponds to a higher calling. As we can see, this is the counterpart of 
what I discussed in chapter 8 about the political-cultural domain, in regard to a "choice of 
traditions. 

The creation of a new State and of a new civilization will always be ephemeral unless 
their substratum is a new man. In Italy, if this problem were to be addressed by a 
revolutionary-conservative movement, the differentiation of such man would appear as a 
difficult and even problematic affair, due to the presence of suspicious ethnic components, 
chaotic and anarchic inclinations, weakness of character, unfavorable atavisms, and 
false values. 

Having already discussed the myth of the Latin spirit, I will now focus on another 
element, which is less intellectual and more concrete than the "common Latin 
civilization." This element maybe designated as "Mediterranean." Italians oscillate 
between the two poles constituted by the Roman and the Mediterranean elements; they 
represent, respectively, the superior and inferior limits of the possibilities that Italians 
have in themselves and of a legacy transmitted through the centuries. The main task, at 
both an individual and a social level, consists of maturing an inner decision, and in 
promoting a greater crystallization and formation in the direction of the first element. 
This task requires a double analysis. On the one hand, it would be necessary to empha- 
size the traits of style and character that are typical of the Roman component, 
independently from any form of expression tied to the past. On the other hand, we 
should identify the undesirable qualities of the "Mediterranean" type that are also present, 
if not prevalent, in the Italian people, and determine how it would be possible to rectify 
them. 

Concerning the first issue, we should be able to extract from the Roman spirit a 
living content that has nothing to do with rhetorical assumptions or with museums and 
scholarly dissertations, such that even a simple man could understand it without the 
need of erudition and historical notions. To this effect, I have spoken about "elements of 
style." These elements have to be drawn from what we know about the Roman tradition 
and customs; in this case too, we need to discriminate among various types of Roman spirit. 
Alongside the Roman spirit of the origins, which reproduced in a special and original form a 
type of culture and custom common to the main, higher Indo-European civilizations, there were a 
Hellenized (in the negative sense of the term), a "Punicized," a "Ciceronian," an 
"Asiaticized," and a Catholic Roman spirit. The reference points should not be sought in 
these cases. Everything that is valid in them can be reduced to the first Roman spirit. 

This original Roman spirit was based on a human type characterized by a group of 
typical dispositions. Among them we should include self-control, an enlightened 
boldness, a concise speech and determined and coherent conduct, and a cold dominating 
attitude, exempt from personalism and vanity. To the Roman style belong virtus, in the 
sense not of moralism, but of virile spirit and courage; fortitudo and constantia, namely 
spiritual strength; sapientia, in the sense of thoughtfulness and awareness; disciplina, 
understood as love for a self-given law and form; fides, in the specifically Roman sense of 
loyalty and faithfulness; and dignitas, which in the ancient patrician aristocracy became 
gravitas and solemnitas, a studied and moderate seriousness. 72 The same style is 
characterized by deliberate actions, without grand gestures; a realism that is not 
materialism, but rather love for the essential; the ideal of clarity, which eventually turned 
into rationalism in only some Latin peoples; an inner equilibrium and a healthy suspicion 
for every confused form of mysticism; a love for boundaries; the readiness to unite, as free 
human beings and without losing one's identity, in view of a higher goal or for an idea. 
We may also add religio and pietas, which do not mean "religiosity" in the Christian 
sense of the word, but instead signify for a Roman an attitude of respectful and dignified 
veneration for the gods and, at the same time, of trust and re-connection with the 
supernatural, which was experienced as omnipresent and effective in terms of individual, 
collective, and historical forces. Obviously, I am far from suggesting that every Roman 
man and woman embodied these traits; however, they represented the "dominant factor" 
and were em-bodied in the ideal that everybody perceived to be specifically Roman. 

Likewise, these elements of style are self-evident. They are not connected to past 
times; they may act in every period as character-forming influences and effective values 
as soon as a corresponding calling is awakened. They have a normative value. In the 
worst case, they might have only the value of a measure. Moreover, we should not think 
they must be adopted by every individual; this would be absurd and even unnecessary. It 
would suffice if only a certain social stratum, called to inspire the others, could embody 
them. 

Now we need to characterize the second pole, namely the "Mediterranean" style. 

The way in which I employ the term Mediterranean requires a further clarification. I 

have often spoken of Mediterranean civilization, the Mediterranean spirit, and even a 

Mediterranean race, taking little care to indicate what these vague and elastic 

designations meant. 73 

"Mediterranean" merely designates a space, or a geographical area in which very 
different cultures and spiritual and racial powers often clashed or met, without ever 
producing a typical civilization. In anthropology, the "Mediterranean" myth was 
promoted by Giuseppe Sergi in the past century. Sergi believed in the existence of a 
Mediterranean race of African origin to which many Italic populations belonged, 
including the Pelasgians, the Phoenicians, the Levantines, 74 and other half-Semitic 
populations: these are hardly flattering kinships, which should rather be referred to as 
"bastard brothers," an expression Mussolini once used to refer to the myth of the Latin 
spirit. The theory of Sergi is now passe. I believe it is fitting to use the term 
Mediterranean to designate some suspicious spiritual and ethnic components. These 
components, which are found in other Mediterranean and "Latin" more or less mixed 
populations, are also present in various strata of the Italian people, in opposition to its 
more noble and original nucleus (which should not be called Mediterranean") reflecting 
the "Roman" element. 

Some psychologists have tried to define the Mediterranean type, not so much 

anthropologically, but in terms of character and style. 75 In these descriptions we can 

easily recognize the other pole of the Italian soul, namely negative aspects likewise found 

in the Italian people, that need to be rectified. 

The first "Mediterranean" trait is love for outward appearances and grand gestures. 
The Mediterranean type needs a stage, if not for the sake of vanity and exhibitionism, at 
least in the sense that he often draws the impulse and motivation even for noble, 
remarkable, and sincere things from his main concern to be noticed by others and to 
make an impact on them. Hence the inclination for a "gesture" — that is, to do something 
to draw attention and curiosity, even when the person knows he is the only one to 
witness it. In the Mediterranean man there is a splitting between an "I" that plays the role 
and an "I" that regards his part from the point of view of a possible observer or 
spectator, more or less as actors do. 76 

Let me repeat: what is problematic here is the style, as the action or the work per se 
could have a positive value. But this has very little to do with 
Roman style, and it marks a disintegration and an alteration; it is the antithesis of the 
ancient saying esse non haberi [to be and not appear to be], or of the style due to which, 
among other reasons, ancient Roman civilization was characterized by anonymous heroes. 
In a wider context, the opposition could be formulated in these terms: the Roman style 
is monumental, monolithic, while the Mediterranean style is choreographic-theatrical 
and spectacular (see also the French notions of grandeur and gloire). Thus, if this 
"Mediterranean" component of the Italian man were to be rectified, the best model to 
follow would be that of the ancient race of Rome — the sober, austere, active style, free 
from exhibitionism, measured, endowed with a calm awareness of ones dignity. To 
have the sense of what one is and of one's value independently of any external reference, 
loving distance as well as actions and expressions reduced to the essential, devoid of 
any exhibition and cheap showmanship — all these are fundamental elements for the 
eventual formation of a superior type. And even if the Italian man had in common with 
the Mediterranean type the above-mentioned "splitting" (as simultaneous actor and 
spectator), this splitting should be utilized for a careful supervision of one's conduct and 
expressions. This supervision should prevent every primitive spontaneity; one should 
carefully study one's own demeanor, not with the purpose of making an "impression" 
on others, or with great concern for their opinion, but for sake of the style that one 
intends to display to oneself. 

The propensity toward outward appearances is easily associated with a personalism 
that degenerates into individualism. This is another typical negative trait of the 
Mediterranean soul: the tendency toward a restless, chaotic, and undisciplined 
individualism. Politically speaking, this is the tendency that, after asserting itself by 
fomenting struggles and constant quarrels, led the Greek city-states to ruin, although it 
had previously contributed in a positive manner to their articulated formation. We find 
this trait in the turbulent times of the early empire; it finally erupted in medieval Italy, 
degenerating into particularisms, schisms, struggles, factions, and all kinds of rivalries. 
And al-though the Italian Renaissance has splendid features, they are nevertheless 
problematic features that derive from this Mediterranean individualism, which does not 
tolerate any general and strict law of order; and valuable possibilities dissipated in 
purely personal positions and in the fireworks of a creativity disjoined from any higher 
meaning and tradition. Here the author, rather than the work itself, is at center stage. 

Thus, descending even lower, the same "Mediterranean" component is found in the 
contemporary pseudo-genial type, who is ever critical and always ready to uphold the 
opposite thesis in order to make a show of himself, being very clever in finding ways to 
get around an obstacle and in eluding a law. Even lower we find the maliciousness and 
the shrewdness (i.e., knowing how to "fool" others) that the Mediterranean type regards 
as synonyms for intelligence and superiority, whereas the "Roman" type would feel in 
this a degradation, a betrayal of one's dignity. I have discussed this attitude earlier on, 
when speaking of Manacorda. 

The Roman chastity or sobriety of speech, expression, and gesture is contrasted by 
the gesticulating, noisy, and disordered exuberance of the Mediterranean type, by his 
mania for communication and effusiveness, and by his feeble sense of boundaries, 
hierarchy, and silent subordination. The counterpart of these traits is often a lack of 
character, the tendency to get excited and become drunk with words: verbosity, a 
flaunted and conventional sense of honor, susceptibility, concern for appearances but 
with little or no substance. The expression "Pobre in palabras pero in obras largo" 
[Poor of words but rich in deeds], which characterized the ancient Spanish aristocratic 
type, should be compared with Moltke's characterization: "Talk little, do much, and be 
more than you appear to be"; all this points to the "Roman" style. 

The Mediterranean man often shares with the so-called "desert race" (a 

psychological-anthropological classification by Clauss, probably the effect of the 

presence within him of some elements of this race) an intense, explosive, and 

changeable temperament, tied to circumstances and also flaring up; an immediacy and 

the power of desire or affection in the emotional life; and random intuitions in the 

intellectual life. A style of psychological equilibrium and a sense of measure are not his 

strength. Although he is always cheerful, enthusiastic, and optimistic in appearance, 

especially when he is in the company of other people, in reality the Mediterranean type 

experiences sudden psycho-logical lows, and discovers dark and hopeless inner visions 

that make him anxiously shun solitude and return to exteriority, noisy social interactions, 

effusions, and passionateness. 

While acknowledging this, in an eventual rectification we should not proceed by 
mere antitheses. Nietzsche's saying:"I evaluate a man by his power to delay his 
reactions" may certainly act as a general basic principle against disorderly impulsivity 
and "explosiveness." Nietzsche himself warned against every 
morality that tends to dry up every impetuous current of the human soul in-stead of 
channeling it. The capability of control, equilibrium, continuity in feeling and in willing 
must not lead to a withering and mechanization of one's being, as seems to be the case 
with some negative traits of the central-European and Anglo-Saxon man. What matters is 
not to suppress passion and to give to the soul a beautiful, regulated, and homogeneous, 
though flat form; but rather to organize one's being in an integral way around the 
capability of recognizing, discriminating, and adequately utilizing the impulses and the 
lights that emerge from one's deep recesses. It cannot be denied that passion is 
predominant in many Mediterranean Italian types, but this disposition does not amount 
to a defect, but rather to an enrichment, provided it finds its correlative in a firmly 
organized life. 

A more negative element of the Mediterranean type is sentimentality. Here we 

should distinguish between sentimentality and true feeling, the former being a 

degeneration and rhetorical form of the latter. The former plays a predominant role in 

various expressions typical of the Mediterranean soul. As an example we could adduce a 

number of sugary songs; the success and the echo they have in the popular soul, despite 

their patent insincerity, are significative. 

The Mediterranean man is always inclined to defend himself, just as the Nordic man 
tends to judge himself. The former is alleged to be more indulgent with himself than 
with others, and to be reluctant to examine the hidden motives of his inner life under a 
clear and objective light. This opposition is rather unilateral. Generally speaking, we 
should not ignore the dangers inherent in morbid introspection: I am thinking here of 
the line that leads to psychoanalysis and to the psychology of some of Dostoyevsky's 
characters on the one hand, and to certain complexes of guilt or existential anguish on the 
other. A style of simplicity and sincerity, first of all toward one's soul, is essential for a 
superior human type, as is the natural precept of being strict with oneself but 
understanding and cordial with others. Specific connections with the racial factor 
subsist only in part in this regard. 

We should instead consider the importance that sex has for the Mediterranean type. 
The sexualization of morality on the one hand, and the turning of women and sex 
almost into an obsession on the other, are not just typically "Mediterranean" traits, since 
in the latter we can recognize one of the general phenomena of every degenerating 
civilization. We cannot deny, however, the emphasis that this inclination receives in the 
average Mediterranean-Southern 
type, in contrast with what was proper to the best Roman ethics, which as-signed to 
women and to love their rightful place, neither too high nor too low. Roman ethics 
pointed to the really fundamental values for a clear and virile formation of character 
and life, without adopting puritanical moralisms." Generally speaking, in Italy the 
relationships between the two sexes present a far from satisfactory aspect. Southern 
"temperament" with its primitive features, or with its up-to-date type of the Latin lover; 
an existing complex of bourgeois prejudices, with hypocrisies, inhibitions, 
conventionalisms; and a cheap and widespread corruption — all this is far from a line of 
clarity, sincerity, freedom, and courage. This theme would require a special analysis, but 
this is not the proper context for it, as it affects more general problems than those of the 
Mediterranean typology. 78 

Having briefly outlined these opposite elements of style, we should recall that they 
represent two limits. The qualities of the "Roman" type represent the positive limit of 
dispositions hidden in the best parts of our people, just as the qualities characterized as 
"Mediterranean" correspond to the negative limit and the less noble part of it; these 
limits are also found as components in other peoples, especially in the "Latin" group. 
However, we must realize that too many times behaviors resembling the 
"Mediterranean" type have been identified, especially abroad, as typically Italian, and 
that the "Mediterranean component appears to have prevailed overall in Italian life 
following World War II. 

And yet, a trend in the opposite direction would not be inconceivable under certain 

conditions. Only this trend could create the basis for a new State and a new society, for 

there is no doubt that formulas, programs, and institutions are of little help when there is 

no human substance, at least in the dominating elite. In every man there are various 

possibilities, at least in principle, that can be traced to primordial legacies. While in the 

best moments of our history we recognize the Aryan-Roman component, in periods of 

crisis and concealment we can detect the emergence and prevalence of what we have 

conventionally called the "Mediterranean" component; I said "conventionally" because 

it consists rather of Mediterranean debris and residues, influences of non-European 

races that have almost no history, or products of ethnic decay and erosion. 

In the rectifying and formative action the key role will always be played by the 
political myth, in Sorel's sense of a galvanizing idea-force. The myth reacts on the 
environment, implementing the law of elective affinities: it awakens, frees, and imposes 
those possibilities of single individuals and the environment 
to which they correspond, while the others are silenced or neutralized. The selection 
can obviously take place in reverse, according to the nature of the myth. Thus, the 
communist and democratic myths appeal to what is most promiscuous and degraded in 
modern man; the corresponding movements owe their success to the mobilization of 
such elements through the inhibition of every different, higher possibility and 
sensibility. 

If a rectification occurred, obviously we would not be able to see results 
overnight. Besides the above-mentioned condition, consisting of the presence of a 
political myth capable of creating a given climate, and a specific human ideal, what is 
needed is a persistent action for a sufficiently long period, stronger than the relapses 
and eventual reemergences of the opposite possibilities. As is well known, during the 
Fascist era Italy attempted to start similar developments, whose most serious concern, 
though it was felt only by a minority, was to increasingly transform a "Mediterranean" 
Italy into a "Roman" Italy. An adequate integrating counterpart could have been the 
initial separation of Italy from her "Latin sisters" and a reapproach to the German 
people, beyond the plane of mere political concerns. 

It goes without saying that considering the contemporary climate in Italy, with its 
democratic nadir and its Marxist intoxication, it would be purely Utopian to suggest 
similar ideas again. This obviously does not affect their intrinsic and normative value, 
as well as the value of other "outdated" ideas. Their "outdatedness" could disappear 
only at the point of a rupture and a reaction from within, which quite often take place in 
almost organic terms at the end of dissolutive processes. 

============================================================================

Fifteen 

THE PROBLEM OF BIRTHS



Among the factors of the disorder and crisis of modern times, besides those caused by 
processes of subversion that cannot be regarded as spontaneous, there are 
unquestionably others that have a natural character and wreak havoc only because a 
stand is not made against them. A particularly important factor of this latter type is the 
world's population growth. There is no doubt that if it were possible to reduce the 
world's population density to that of three centuries ago, while also retaining the current 
degree of material civilization, the social and economic problems that afflict the world 
population today would basically be irrelevant. In that event, we would eliminate for the 
most part situations that revolutionary forces exploit to their advantage; we could head 
toward a relaxation and a decongestion that would limit every activist frenzy (first 
among them, those that pertain to the overall power of the economy) and greatly 
propitiate the return to normalcy, thanks to a new, wider, and freer space. 

However, it is well known that we are proceeding in the opposite direction at an 
accelerated pace. The alarm that was launched in the past, with the cry "The races are 
dying," turned out to be false. Not even the destructions of a "total" war, which spared 
neither defenseless cities nor women and children, were able to stop the demographic 
growth even in the Central European countries (with the exception of Italy) in 
comparison to prewar conditions. It is like standing before an avalanche that, as it 
continually gains ground, grows irresistibly, exacerbating all kinds of crises and 
disorders; we cannot help but reject the idea that this is not a matter of fate, but rather 
something that human beings could easily control. What we have here is a case of 
disproportion that exists in modern Western people, between the control of the external 
domain and the control of the inner domain. Elementary forces of nature are controlled 
by technology so that they may serve man's wishes, or in order to prevent them 
from being harmful; and yet nothing is done about the population explosion, because 
then man would have to act upon himself, his prejudices and instincts. Modern man is 
increasingly losing this vocation, and the only domain he can flaunt is the ephemeral 
control he exercises on matter. 

It is well known, too, that the danger of overpopulation was warned of in the last 
century by Malthus. However, his starting point was totally materialist/c and only 
relatively consistent. In any case, it is not the one I regard as decisive for the final 
solution of the problem. The real danger is not, as Malthus believed, that the means of 
subsistence and food supply may become insufficient for an overly increased world 
population. Considering all the measures that could be taken before we got to that 
situation, this danger would occur only in a distant future. Before reaching this point, 
many unpleasant things could happen that were not considered by the zealous apostles 
of continuous and uninterrupted progress. Even considering only the material plane, the 
crisis caused by overpopulation in our age and in the future appears in different terms. 
Overpopulation exacerbates the problem of how to employ the workforces; it also 
unavoidably intensifies production processes, which in turn, due to their determinisms, 
strengthen the demonic nature of the economy. The result is an increasing enslavement 
of the individual and the reduction of free space and of any autonomous movement in 
modem cities, swarming as though in putrefaction with faceless beings of "mass 
civilization." This is the most important aspect of the problem. 

Sombart correctly saw that the decrease of population would have been one of the few 
ways of dealing a deathblow to high capitalism (which he compared to a wild and 
destructive giant) without proceeding to disastrous modifications in every normal 
socioeconomic institution. Sombart believed that this was where we were headed. 
However, the current, after some slowing down, continued to flow in the opposite 
direction; thus, the above-mentioned perspectives are the ones that the near future has 
in store for us, unless we decide to react. 

For a proper reaction we need first of all to clear the path of the mistakes and 

prejudices that still foster a passive attitude toward the scourge of over-population. 

In the political domain we need to take a stand against the myth expressed in the 
formula: There is power in numbers. Attempting to base an imperialistic policy on a 
demographic campaign was one of the serious mistakes of the Fascist ideology that must 
be denounced without hesitation. The power of numbers is 
the power of the mere brute masses; this power is in itself very relative, because even herds 
need to be guided. 

Every true empire is born from a race of conquer-ors who conquered 

lands and peoples, not because they suffered from overpopulation or did not have "a place in 

the sun," but on the basis of a higher calling and qualification, which allowed them to rule 

as a minority in foreign lands. Was it an impulse resulting from a complex and intolerable 

overpopulation that led the Romans, Achaemenids, Franks, Spaniards, early Islamic hosts, 

and the British of yesterday to conquest? Moreover, when we consider the phase in which 

the material dominion is integrated with spiritual factors, an even greater emphasis should be 

given to factors that cannot be reduced to mere numbers and to the power of numbers. 

There is more to say concerning the inner problems of a people. Wherever 

indiscriminate demographic growth is promoted or allowed to go unchallenged, we can 

expect the harmful effects of the law of natural counter-selection. The fact is that the 

inferior races and the lower social strata are the most prolific ones. Thus, we can say that 

while the number of superior, more differentiated elements grows in arithmetic 

proportion, the number of inferior elements grows in geometric proportion, the result 

being a fatal involution of the human race. The collapse and disintegration of the great 

imperial organisms has often occurred for that reason: as if it were due to a low tide, 

because of a monstrous expansion of the basis constituted by the promiscuous and 

"proletarian" element. We should recall here that the term proletarian comes from the 

Latin proles and suggests the idea of an animalistic fertility. As Mereshkovski rightly 

noted, this term was applied especially to those whose only creative skill consisted of 

begetting children — these were men in body but eunuchs in spirit. In its logical 

development, this trend leads toward that "ideal" society in which there are no more classes, 

no men or women, but instead comrades, or asexual cells belonging to the same immense 

anthill. 

Politically speaking, the demographic explosion is doomed to create a congestion that 
in turn produces critical international solutions, resulting in wars that cannot be justified 
by any higher right or idea: here the mere quantity and condition of a "proletarian nation" 
do not correspond to a right or an idea. In regard to military solutions, we should also 
keep in mind that the importance of the numerical factor has become relative due to the 
increasingly technical nature of recent wars. Aside from war, the population overload can 
only lead some countries to seek space among other peoples as an emigrating 
exportation of 
"cheap labor" who are eventually destined to lose their identity and be scattered among 
other peoples. As the congestion continues, the fatal effects will be inner crises and social 
tensions representing manna from heaven for the leaders of Marxist subversion. 

Again, anyone can see what negative consequences come from an indiscriminate 
population increase (as I said, this increase results in a numeric superiority of the 
inferior, "proletarian" strata) when a democratic regime is in power: in a democracy 
it is numbers that ensure power, through "universal suffrage," destroying the limits 
through which, in other regimes, the numerical growth of the "base" did not concern the 
minority or the elite that was in firm control of key positions in the State. 

After these considerations of a political order, I will now make some comments 
about the prejudices of a religious and bourgeois nature that shun birth control. 

The Catholic religion has embraced the biblical principle concerning the 
multiplication of the human species. This is one of the cases in which the Church has 
bestowed an ethical value on things that have only a practical, relative value that is quite 
outdated today. The Jewish precept was justified only considering the patriarchal 
conditions of the ancient Jewish tribes, composed of farmers and herdsmen, in which 
(as still happens today in those few rural areas where analogous situations are found) a 
plentiful offspring was regarded as desirable and providential because of the need for able 
bodies. All this has nothing to do with religion or ethics. From a specific point of view — 
that of asceticism — it is possible to condemn the pleasures of sex in general, as was the 
case of the original ascetic Christian tradition. But in ordinary life, and in general, 
wherever there are no ascetic vocations it is extremely unreasonable to legitimize and 
sanctify sexual union and marriage only when they are aimed at procreation, declaring 
them to be sinful in every other instance. For practical purposes, what does this mean, 
other than that the religious perspective here approves and even encourages the most 
primitive and animalistic expression of an instinct? Conception essentially implies a 
state of complete abandonment of man to the sexual passion, just as one of the most 
natural means to avoid conception implies a certain renunciation, predominance of will, 
and self-control vis-a-vis the most primitive impulse of instinct and desire. In every 
other instance besides sex, the Church praises and formally approves the latter 
disposition — that is, the predominance of the intellect and will over the 
impulses of the senses. But when it comes to sexual union, because it obtusely maintains 
the outdated precept of the Jewish law, either out of hypocrisy or from a theological 
hatred of sex per se, Catholic morality has endorsed the opposite attitude: the attitude of 
those who passively play into the hands of Schopenhauer's "genius of the species," 
through couplings that are really more ferarum [after the manner of beasts]. 

Let me repeat: I could understand the precept of celibacy and chastity and the total 
condemnation of the pleasures of sex and the use of women from the point of view of an 
ascetic morality with supernatural objectives. However, it is incomprehensible to endorse 
the use of women and sexuality only in terms of procreation, as this amounts to 
degrading every relation between the sexes to an animal level. Even a libertine, who 
elevates pleasure to an art (not to mention a certain Dionysism that in antiquity 
enjoyed a religious sanction), is undoubtedly superior to those who follow the Catholic 
view to the letter. 

However, it seems that the Church has recently been willing to make some 
concessions. While the concern of Vatican II to keep up with the times has had several 
deprecable consequences, we can still recognize as a positive thing the council's explicit 
acknowledgment that not only procreation, but "love" as well, may be the legitimate 
foundation of marriage. Moreover, revisionist tendencies have gained momentum even 
in matters related to "birth control": nowadays the issue for the Church is not birth 
control as such, but whether or not the methods employed are legitimate. However, we 
need only look at the reactions of Catholic philosopher Gabriel Marcel, who wrote with 
indignation about measures to limit the birthrate as "blasphemies against Life," in order 
to realize the tenacious persistence of prejudices among Catholics even outside the 
official doctrine. 

Besides these religious prejudices, the anti-birth-control position derives from a 
mentality in which a great role is played by slogans and conventional feelings, marked 
by a large degree of hypocrisy and lies. For instance, there is meaningless bourgeois 
rhetoric about children, the cult of children, and the desire to have children. In the great 
majority of cases, it is not true at all that children are desired and are the main reason 
why a man and woman get married. Children just come. A poll taken in Central 
Europe has yielded these results: of those interviewed, 45 percent never really gave 
thought to having children or not when they got married; 30 percent did not want them; 
only 25 percent expressly wanted to have some. 

As far as a revolutionary-conservative movement is concerned, there is a need for 
men who are free from these bourgeois feelings. These men, by adopting an attitude of 
militant and absolute commitment, should be ready for any-thing and almost feel that 
creating a family is a betrayal ; these men should live sine impedimentis, without 
any ties or limits to their freedom. In the past there were secular Orders where 
celibacy was the rule. We should also appreciate the validity of Nietzsche's dictum: 
"Man should be trained for war and woman for the recreation (or rest, Erholung) of 
the warrior: all else is folly!" In any event, the ideal of a "warrior society" obviously 
cannot be the petit-bourgeois and parochial ideal of "home and children"; on the 
contrary, I believe that in the personal domain the right to an ample degree of sexual 
freedom for these men should be acknowledged, against moralism, social conform- 
ism, and "heroism in slippers." 

We should consider one more thing. Without successors, this elite would begin and 
end without leaving anything for posterity: it would seem only natural that it should 
take care to create offspring, and through its own propagation work as much as 
possible against the threatening growth of the inferior social strata. I have several 
reservations about this idea. First of all, the example of those centuries-old religious 
orders that embraced celibacy suggests that a continuity may be ensured with means 
other than physical procreation. Besides those who should be available as shock 
troops, it would certainly be auspicious to form a second group that would ensure the 
hereditary continuity of a chosen and protected elite, as the counterpart of the 
transmission of a political-spiritual tradition and worldview: ancient nobility was an 
example of this. But to pursue this goal today would be rather Utopian, and would 
amount to closing one's eyes to reality, failing to consider the general social and 
existential conditions that are now prevalent. In this context it would be possible to 
begin the adventure of fatherhood, where something of the meaning and dignity of 
fatherhood may subsist in the modern family, making sure first, however, through a 
deep examination of one's conscience, that the higher goal is not a pretext to unleash 
one's procreative incontinence. It is obvious that, in any event, in a family that is not 
inspired by the traditional, "Roman" model, there is little hope of exercising a 
formative influence on one's progeny; this necessary counterpart, which is almost 
nonexistent, is very difficult to realize in the West. 

But even in the best hypothesis, we cannot reasonably expect to compete in fertility 
with the lowest strata in order to contain them: no matter how much 
we try, and always assuming that the progeny inherits more than the blood, it will never 
be possible to counterbalance the demographic growth of inferior stocks and social strata. 
Other means should also be employed: the elimination of the democratic and egalitarian 
system being the first, necessary presupposition. Another means would be the adoption 
of an adequate attitude toward the so-called Third World. 

Ancient Indo-European traditions regarded the procreation of a son as a "duty" (in 
general, the norm did not apply to those who followed an ascetic calling): because of 
this, the firstborn was called the "son of duty," in distinction from any subsequent 
children. It goes without saying that an analogous precept would automatically produce 
the desired descending direction in the demographic curve, while safeguarding the 
principle of patrilineal descent and what in it can still be salvaged. 
Having discussed the group that should remain free from all bonds, and the second 
group that attempts, by procreating, to form a posterity, and thus to supply a biological 
basis to a spiritual legacy and to the structure of an Order, we should now consider 
something else. When talking about the great majority of our contemporaries, it is 
absolutely irresponsible, considering the collective consequences that result from it, to 
beget other beings who will repeat the same inconsistency, the same vacuity of a life 
lacking any real meaning; in other words, it is absolutely irresponsible to feed the 
threatening avalanche of the formless world of quantity only because one is passive 
toward the natural part of himself and toward the most primitive sexual urge, or because 
one is en-slaved to prejudices. The truth is, therefore, the opposite of what is alleged by 
those who accuse people who refuse to procreate of selfishness and of individualism: it is 
the former who think only of themselves, without thinking about the contribution they 
unwillingly make to the general disorder; therefore, fundamentally these people do not 
even think about themselves, other than in a most obtuse and immediate way. When 
considering the effects of the scourge of overpopulation, one could easily say "They got 
what they deserved," except the consequences also affect those who do not follow the 
herd. Thus, it would be desirable for the State to take rigorous, systematic, prophylactic, 
repressive, and encouraging measures in this regard, despite the fact that in any other 
situation such interventions in the private domain are intrusive and oppressive (as was 
the situation with the absurd "campaign for population growth" during the Fascist era). 
For my part, I think that one can never stress too heavily the 
need for an anti-demographic policy, especially because, due to an inner inhibition 
found even among qualified milieus, it is not possible to see the numerous and 
heavy contributions, whether direct or indirect, that growth in population has made 
and still makes to the crisis of die modern world. 

Thus, in a new movement, the anti-demographic orientation will necessarily be part of 
the overall struggle against the world of quantity and against the already mentioned 
processes of counter-selection. In the context of a real State, in modern times, the task 
will be twofold: to stem the cancerous proliferation of a faceless and promiscuous mass 
and to realize the presuppositions for the nucleation and consolidation of a stratum in 
which some qualifications are stabilized so as to make some individuals worthy and 
capable of holding power. In all this, the need for an equilibrium or for a limit is 
paramount, not least in the struggle against the global power of the economy, since these 
two things, as I have suggested, are complementary. 

=========================================================================

Sixteen 

FORM AND PRESUPPOSITIONS 
OF A UNITED EUROPE 



The need for a united Europe is strongly felt in various milieus today. It is necessary 
to distinguish where this need is upheld on a merely material and pragmatic level 
from those situations in which the issue is posited at a higher level, emphasizing 
spiritual and traditional values. 

In the best case, similar needs arise from an inner rebellion against the existing 
situation, due to the sight of Europe, which, following concomitant actions and 
reactions (in which we should also recognize the part played by the "occult war"), has 
been thrown from its role as a great subject in world politics and become an object 
conditioned by foreign interests and influences. Today Europe has to live between two 
superpowers struggling for control of the world (USA and USSR), and eventually 
accept an American and "Atlantic" protection in or-der to avoid a worse scenario 
yet — total enslavement to communism. 

Obviously, the discord among European nations can only maintain and strengthen 
this situation. However, when it came to concrete initiatives leading to a possible 
unification, the creation of the European Economic Community was the only 
tangible achievement: a partial initiative, limited to the economic plane and lacking a 
binding political counterpart. Other than that, nothing else exists, and the situation is 
such as to eliminate any illusion. The disastrous consequences of two world wars, 
which were themselves in great part the effect of the lack of union and the 
selfishness of European nations, cannot be easily eliminated. The true measure of 
concrete freedom, independence, and autonomy is first of all power. Europe could 
have been the third greatest world power, retaining all the vast resources of materials 
and the vast extra-European markets, if only a principle of strict solidarity had 
succeeded immediately and absolutely in causing every European nation to rally to 
the side of any one of them in the event of a threat. This line has not been followed, 
which, after all, has few precedents even in more recent European history (i.e., aside 
from the Roman period and, in part, from the Ghibelline Middle Ages and the Holy 
Alliance). Thus, one capitulation was followed by another. 

Today there are those who speak of Europe as a potential empire of more than 
400 million people, and thus capable of facing the United States (179 million) and 
the USSR (225 million). 79 That number, however, includes countries that could 
hardly be won back, as they are located behind the Iron Curtain. Even if we were to 
limit ourselves to 'Western Europe, with its 364 mil-lion, it would constitute a 
sufficiently strong bloc if we did not also have to consider the industrial potential 
that affects the military potential. The non-European countries that produced these 
materials, which were once under European control, have been lost; now those areas 
are the theater of Russian, American, and even Chinese intrigues. 
In order to head toward a united Europe, the first step should consist of a concerted 
exit of all European nations from the United Nations, which is an illegitimate, 
promiscuous, and hypocritical association. Another obvious imperative should be to 
become emancipated in every aspect and in equal measure from both the United 
States and the USSR. However, this would require a very subtle and prudent 
political art, for which today's politicians are hardly qualified. The reason is that a 
significant interval between the rejection of the American and "Atlantic" tutelage 
and the effective organization of Europe into a united bloc capable of defending itself 
(where possible) could cause Europe, which is still materially and spiritually weak, 
to fall prey to communism and the USSR as a result of inner upheavals and external 
aggressions. Thus, a work of preparation should precede such initiatives. 
These problems of concrete politics fall outside the context of this book. Here I will 
only hint at what concerns the form and the spiritual and doctrinal presuppositions 
of a united Europe. The vaguely federalist and aggregative solutions can have only 
a contingent character, and even a political and economic defensive unity should be 
only a consequence. The only genuine solution must have an organic character; the 
primary element should be a shaping force from within and from above, proper to 
an idea and a common tradition. Some milieus have upheld a pragmatic and activist 
point of view. Reference has been made to the idea that nations have not fallen from 
the sky, already made, but instead have been forged on the basis of a common task 
that confronted 
scattered forces, and even as a consequence of some historical challenge, due to the 
initiative of an energetic and central group that eventually led to the unity of this 
or that historical nation. It is believed that things could be the same in regard to the 
"Nation Europa" that needs to be born, and that it is enough to refer to a myth and 
to the idea of a common destiny, defended by a revolutionary European front. I think 
this point of view is insufficient; even in the interpretation of the genesis of 
historical nations, we should not forget what was essentially due to dynasties 
representing a tradition and to the loyalty that was created around them (as in the 
birth of Prussia). These presuppositions for a united Europe are absent. We can 
refer only to a situation of necessity, which would generate a unitary impulse and 
an elan that in European history — let us admit it — finds scant antecedents. It is 
superfluous to remember the obvious phenomena of European disunion (rather than 
union) such as the Hundred Years' War, the wars of religion, the wars of succession, 
all the way down to the last two world wars. 

We must also note, among the champions of a united Europe, the oscillation 
between the notion of empire, though in an approximative sense (an expression 
employed by Thiriart and by Varange 8°) and that of "Nation Europa" (which is also 
the title of a German periodical). This requires a more precise explication. The 
concept of the nation can never be applied to an organic, supernational type of 
unity. By rejecting the formula of a "Europe of Father-lands" and a mere federation 
of European nations, we must be careful not to be misled. As I have indicated in 
another chapter, the concepts of fatherland and nation (or ethnic group) belong to an 
essentially naturalistic or "physical" plane. In a united Europe, fatherlands and 
nations may exist (ethnic communities have been partially respected even in the 
totalitarian Soviet Union). What should be excluded is nationalism (with its 
monstrous appendix, namely imperialism) and chauvinism — in other words, every 
fanatical absolutization of a particular unit. Thus "European Empire," and not 
"Nation Europa" or "European Fatherland" should be the right term, in a doctrinal 
sense. In the Europeans we should appeal to a feeling of higher order, qualitatively 
very different from the nationalistic feeling rooted in other strata of the human being. 
We cannot claim to be "Europeans" on the basis of an analogous feeling due to 
which one feels Italian, Prussian, Basque, Finnish, Scottish, Hungarian, and so on, 
or believe that a unique feeling of the same kind may become widespread, thereby 
erasing and leveling these differences and replacing them in a "Nation 
Europa." However, some problems arise even if the mere term empire does not 
immediately suggest an anachronistic and unrealistic fantasy, and even if we were 
to consider some adaptations of the principle to the times we live in. 

The scheme of an empire in a true and organic sense (which must clearly be 
distinguished from every imperialism, a phenomenon that should be regarded as a 
deplorable extension of nationalism) was previously displayed in the European 
medieval world, which safeguarded the principles of both unity and multiplicity. In 
this world, individual States have the character of partial organic units, gravitating 
around a unum quod non est pars (a one that is not a part, to use Dante's 
expression) — namely, a principle of unity, authority, and sovereignty of a different 
nature from that which is proper to each particular State. But the principle of the 
Empire can have such a dignity only by transcending the political sphere in the 
strict sense, founding and legitimizing itself with an idea, a tradition, and a power 
that is also spiritual. The limitations of the sovereignty of the single national units 
before an eminent right of the Empire have as their sole condition this transcendent 
dignity of the Empire; as far as structure is concerned, the whole will appear as an 
"organism composed of organisms," or as an organic federalism similar to that 
realized by Bismarck in the second German Reich, which was not acephalous. 
These are the essential traits of a true Empire. 

What are the conditions and the opportunities for the realization of such an idea in 
Europe today? Obviously, it would be necessary to be willing and able to go 
against the current. As I have said, we need to discard the idea of a "Nation 
Europa," which is almost as if the ultimate goal were the amalgamation of the 
individual European nations in one and the same nation, in a sort of promiscuous 
European communitarian substance that erased linguistic, ethnic, and historical 
differences. Because what is needed is an organic unity, the premise should rather be 
the integration and consolidation of every single nation as a hierarchical, united, 
and well-differentiated whole. The nature of the parts should reflect the nature of 
the whole. Once the individual nations are arranged hierarchically in the stable 
form of single units, and after breaking the nationalist hubris or Vico s "pride of the 
nations" (which is almost always parallel to a demagogic and collectivizing 
element), a virtual direction would be imparted that is susceptible to being 
continued beyond the individual national areas and leading to a superior unity. 
This, due to its super-ordained nature, would be such as to leave wide room for 
nationalities according to their natural and historical individuality. It is a well- 
known principle of the organic view 
that the more the higher unity is steady and perfect, the more the single parts are 
differentiated and enjoy autonomy. What matters is the synergy and the opportunity for 
every common action. 

Every organic unit is characterized by a principle of stability. We should not expect a 
stability of the whole, where there is no stability guaranteed in its very components. 
Even from this point of view, the elementary presupposition of an eventual united 
Europe appears to be the political integration of the single nations. European unity 
would always be precarious if it leaned on some external factor, like an international 
parliament lacking a common, higher authority, with representations from various 
democratic regimes; such regimes, because they are constantly and mutually 
conditioned from below, cannot in any way ensure a continuity of political will and 
direction. In a democratic regime the sovereignty of the State is ephemeral, as a nation 
does not represent a true unity; the political will is conditioned from one day to the 
next by the mere numbers gained by this or that party through political maneuvers 
within the absurd system of universal suffrage. What is lacking here is the 
character of an organic "partial whole." 

What is required is not to impose a common regime on every European nation; 
however, an organic, hierarchical, anti-individualistic, and antidemocratic principle 
should be adequately implemented, even though in various forms adopted to different 
circumstances. Thus, the preliminary condition is a general antidemocratic cleansing, 
which at the present appears to be almost Utopian. Democracy, on the one hand, and a 
European parliament that reproduces on a larger scale the depressing and pathetic sight 
of the European parliamentary systems on the other hand: all this would bring ridicule 
upon the idea of a united Europe. In general, we should think of an organic unity to be 
attained from the top down rather than from the bottom up. Only elites of individual 
European nations could understand one another and coordinate their work, overcoming 
every particularism and spirit of division, asserting higher 

interests and motives with their authority. In other times, it was royalty and the 
leaders who could make the great European policy; they regarded each other almost as 
members of the same family (which in part they were, due to dynastic inter-marriages), 
even when grave conflicts temporarily arose between their peoples. A well-established 
"center" should exist in every nation; as a result of the harmony and the synergy of such 
centers, the higher European unity would organize itself and operate. 
Overall, what should be promoted is a twofold process of integration: on the one 
hand, national integration through the acknowledgment of a substantial principle of 
authority that is the basis for the organic, anti-individualistic, and corporative 
formation of the various sociopolitical national forces; on the other hand, 
supernational European integration through the acknowledgment of a principle of 
authority that is as super-ordained toward that which is proper to single units 
(individual States), as it is toward the people included in each of these units. Without 
this, it is useless to talk about an organically united Europe. 

Having put the problem in these terms, there are serious difficulties regarding the 
spiritual, not merely political, foundations required to implement this European 
unity. Where should we find these foundations? Little can be done on the higher and 
proper plane, which is the religious one. We cannot refer to Catholicism, asking it to 
become the sanction and the anointer of a super-ordained principle of authority, first 
of all because Catholicism is the faith of only some European nations; second, due to 
the democratic and modernizing collapse of the contemporary Church (which I 
discussed in chapter 10); and third, due to the effects of the general processes of 
desacralization and secularization that have occurred in Europe. Least of all can an 
appeal be made to a generic Christianity, since this would be weak, insubstantial and 
formless, not specifically European and not liable to be monopolized for European 
civilization alone: after all, even American blacks are Christians. The reader should 
also refer to what I have said in chapter 10 about the irreconcilability between pure 
Christianity and a "metaphysics of the State." 

From this plane, let us move to an even lower one. Mention is often made of 
"European tradition" and of "European culture." Unfortunately, these are mere 
words. As far as "tradition" is concerned, it has been a long time since Europe was 
acquainted with its highest meaning. We could say that "tradition in an integral sense, 
which is very different from mere "traditionalism," is a category that belongs to a 
world that has almost disappeared, or to periods in which the same formative force 
was manifested both in customs and in faith, in rights and in political and cultural 
forms: in other words, in every domain of life. Nobody can claim that today in Europe 
there is one tradition in this sense, which could be used to legitimize the European 
idea — while, at the same time, we must recognize the absence of an animating center 
that should be its necessary presupposition. For all practical purposes, in Europe 
there are only some historical vestiges of "tradition," understood in this deeper sense. 

As far as "European culture" is concerned, it is the focus of liberal and humanistic 
amateur intellectuals who like to blabber on about "personality," "freedom," and 
the "free world" in a tone that conforms totally to the disintegrated democratic 
postwar climate, at the same time flirting with UNESCO and other shallow 
organizations. Generally speaking, I do not believe that anything serious can be 
gained from the encounter and interaction of representatives of what today goes by 
the name of "culture," which is really just an appendix of the bourgeois civilization 
of the Third Estate. This "culture" is characterized by the myth of the "aristocracy 
of thought," which is rather the aristocracy of the parvenu, with an antitraditional 
liberal and secular slant. Thus, in my view, "intellectuals," with or without 
European leanings, should be regarded with the same disdain as early communism 
displayed for them. We cannot entrust to the representatives of "culture" the 
authority proper to the bearers and representatives of a superior idea. Goethe, Von 
Humboldt, and all the other representatives of a sophisticated culture should be paid 
high honors, but it would be absurd to believe that their world could supply an 
arousing and animating strength to the forces and revolutionary elites that are 
struggling to unify Europe: their contribution belongs to the mere domain of a 
dignified "representation," with an essentially historical character. 
After all, every time we leave generalities and try to give a concrete and important 
content to the notion of a "common European culture," we are immediately 
confronted by a difficult task. Years ago, a conference sponsored by the Italian 
Academy on the topic "Europe" and attended by well-known representatives from 
many nations showed how difficult this task is, since no conclusions could be 
drawn, due to the many personal interpretations that were more or less in conflict. 
But this was not the most important thing. The problem is that no importance was 
attached to the guilt complex that Europe should have, especially in regard to its 
"culture." Besides the fact that culture has only a peripheral literary and humanistic 
value, lacking any relation with the deeper historical forces (in regard to which I 
have mentioned that European history more often presents the spectacle of a worn- 
down disunion than one of union and synergy), how can we ignore that Western 
culture and civilization on the one hand and the antitraditional spirit on the other 
have converged from the time of the Renaissance? How can we ignore that almost 
everything that the liberal and progressive defenders of European culture, 
civilization, and tradition uphold as a European achievement, starting from the 
Renaissance, has been 
the greatest factor of Europe's spiritual crisis? How can we ignore that the Eu- 
ropeanization of the world has contributed to spreading germs of decomposition and 
subversion, and to the arousal of forces that were destined to have negative 
repercussions in Europe? Europe was the original hotbed of the Enlightenment, 
liberalism, democracy (the prior American experiment with democracy had little 
influence on the European continent), and finally, Marxism 
and communism. Unfortunately, in modern history this has been the most relevant 
contribution of "European culture": the contribution given by intellectuals, humanists, 
and so-called noble souls was a pale and marginal reflection in comparison. 
Unfortunately, it is in these terms (almost in the terms of what Easterners call "karma") 
that we must conceive the "community of destiny" invoked by some supporters of 
European unification. At the above-mentioned conference, one of the worthwhile 
contributions came from Francesco Coppola, who spoke about modern Europe's guilt 
complex and "dirty conscience" syndrome. How can we think of creating a basis for 
the defense of Europe against barbaric, anti-European forces and ideologies when the 
latter can be seen as the radical and mature development of trends and diseases that 
originated in Europe itself? This is the reason for the feeble immunity of the 
European world to the "leading civilizations" of our times — namely, the American 
and the Soviet-communist ones. 

Thus, the problem of the spiritual foundation for an organically united Europe 
remains unresolved; any attempts of activist and revolutionary forces to bring about 
such a Europe lack a safe spiritual "rear guard," and leave be-hind themselves an 
unsecured and "mined" territory. This appears to be the case, unless we begin to 
wage a struggle inside Europe against all the evils that today appear at a macroscopic 
level (in all of their forms, whether acute or superficial) within all the non-European 
and anti-European powers. The requirement is to proceed to an inner detoxification, 
carried through as far as is possible, even at the highest price. For instance, besides 
the political and economic domains, how can we fail to recognize the degree to 
which Americanization has spread among the European masses in matters of customs, 
tastes, and fashion? This amounts to saying that the problem of the European attitude 
toward the modern world must be faced and dealt with in the "reactionary" and 
revolutionary-conservative terms mentioned in the first chapter of this book. To 
claim, however, that we should not ask militants what is their "ideological horizon"; 
that it will be enough if they do not collaborate with 
non-European powers; and that they should unite to fight for Europe in a common party, 
setting aside the problem of a clear, common worldview — all this would amount to 
confining this noble cause to the level of an irrational activism lacking a flag and a 
backbone; thus, even if the practical goal were achieved, divisions and struggles 
would soon ensue within the European bloc. In general, even if we were to admit that 
this was the proper way to achieve European unity (besides the fact that the premise for 
an organic and non-"communitarian" structure would be lacking), this Europe would 
not be the bearer of any particular ideal. This type of Europe would appear as another 
power bloc, along-side the Chinese, American, Russian, and even Afro-Asiatic: 
alongside or in opposition to them and without any differentiating, qualitative factor, 
since in the climate of "modern" civilization no such factor can be determinant. 
Obviously, it would be a pure Utopia to yearn to oppose in practical terms all the 
material aspects of modern civilization: among other things, this would involve 
surrendering the practical means that are necessary today for every defense and attack. 
However, it is always possible to establish a distance and a limit. It is possible to 
enclose that which is "modern" in a well-controlled material and "physical" domain, 
on the plane of mere means, and to super-impose upon it a higher order adequately 
upheld, in which revolutionary-conservative values are given unconditional 
acknowledgment. The Japan of yesterday demonstrated the possibility and the 
fecundity of a solution of this type. Only in that case could Europe represent 
something different, distinguish itself, and assume a new dignity among world powers. 
When it is claimed that European peoples today have a common culture and therefore 
one of the conditions already exists for unifying them in one nation, we should re-ply 
that, aside from the past and from what I have written before, this culture is by now 
increasingly shared not only by Europeans, but by a great part of the "civilized" world 
as well. This culture does not have frontiers. European contributions (through books, 
writers, artists, researchers, etc.) have been absorbed by non-European countries, and 
non-European contributions by European countries; such a general leveling (which is 
now extending also to lifestyles and tastes), together with the leveling that is furthered 
by science and technology, has been used as an argument by those who do not want a 
united Europe but rather a unified world, in a supernational organization or World 
Government. It is obvious that a united Europe could become spiritually differentiated 
and represent something different and unchanging (and 
even become a leader if the modern world were to enter a crisis in the future), only by 
dealing with this problem and by providing a serious solution. 

Coming back to less general problems, at the beginning of this book I talked about the 
need to overcome the false dilemma of fascism and antifascism, a binomial in which 
everything that is not democracy, Marxism, and socialism is superficially characterized as 
"fascism." This can also be applied to the European ideal. It goes without saying that 
there cannot be compromises or "discussions" with all that is comprised in the formula 
"antifascism." The first European detoxification should concern this obsession with 
"antifascism," which is the catchphrase of the "crusade" that has left Europe in a pile of 
rubble. However, we cannot side either with those pro-European sympathizers who can 
only refer to what was attempted in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany before the war, toward 
the creation of a new order. These groups fail to recognize that Fascism and National 
Socialism were movements and regimes in which different and even contrasting 
tendencies coexisted; their development in the right, positive, revolutionary- 
conservative sense could have occurred only if circumstances had allowed for an 
adequate, further development, which was stricken down by the war they ignited and by 
their ensuing defeat. This is how we should at least proceed to a precise distinction, if 
we want to draw reference points from those movements. 

Besides doctrinal difficulties, which I have examined, a radical European action finds its 
major obstacle in the lack of something that could represent a starting point, a firm 
support, and a center of crystallization. Before 1945 we could at least witness the 
wonderful sight of the principle of a supemational European Army, and the legionary 
spirit of volunteers from many nations who, having been organized in several divisions, 
fought on the Eastern front against the Soviets; at that time the foundation was the Third 
Reich. Today the only concrete, though partial, European initiatives of various 
governments are taken on a mere economic plane, without any deep ideological and ideal 
counterpart. Those who are sensitive to the idea of a united Europe in a higher sense are 
only isolated individuals, and not only are they not supported, but also they are even 
opposed by their own countries; and much more so, let me add, if their necessary 
antidemocratic and anti-Marxist profession of faith is openly declared. In effect, a 
European action must proceed in parallel with the rebirth and the revolutionary- 
conservative reorganization of the individual European countries: but to recognize this 
also means to acknowledge the disheartening magnitude of the task ahead. 

Despite this, we could suggest the idea of an Order, whose members would act in the 
various nations, doing what they can to promote an eventual European unity, even in 
such unfavorable conditions. The enthusiasm of young militants who conduct an 
active propaganda should be commended, but it is not enough. We should count on 
people with a specific qualification, who occupied or intended to occupy key positions 
in their own nations. What kind of men could be up to this task? Assuming bourgeois 
society and civilization as a reference point, it is necessary to win over to the cause and 
to recruit people who neither spiritually belong to the bourgeoisie nor are affected by 
it, or who are already beyond it. A first group should be composed of members of 
ancient European families that are still "standing" and who are valuable not only be- 
cause of the name they carry, but also because of who they are, because of their 
personality. It is very difficult to find such men but there are some exceptions, and 
even during and after the last World War, some of these figures emerged. Sometimes 
it is a matter of awakening something in the blood that has not been entirely lost but 
still exists in a latent state. In these elements we would expect to find the presence of 
congenital, "racial" dispositions (racial in the elitist and non biological-racist sense of 
the term) that guarantee an action and a reaction according to a precise and secure 
style, free from theories and abstract principles, in a spontaneous and complete 
adherence to those values that every man of good birth considered obvious before the 
rise of the Third Estate and of what followed it. 

In regard to a second and more numerous section of the Order, I have in mind men 
who correspond to the human type shaped here and there through selections and 
experiences of an essentially warrior character, and through certain disciplines. 
Existentially speaking, this type is well versed in the art of "demythologization": it 
recognizes as illusion and hypocrisy the entire tenacious legacy of the ideologies that 
have been employed as instruments, not to bring down this or that European nation, 
but to deal a deadly blow to the whole of Europe. These men harbor a healthy 
intolerance for any rhetoric; an indifference toward intellectualism and politicians' 
gimmicks; a realism of a higher type; the propensity for impersonal activity; and the 
capability of a precise and resolute commitment. In the past, in some elite fighting 
units, today among paratroopers and analogous corps (e.g., Marines and others), some 
disciplines and experiences favor the formation of this human type, which displays the 
same traits in various nations. A common way of being constitutes a 
potentially connective element, beyond nationalities. By winning over these 
elements to the European cause, we could constitute, with a "force at the ready," the 
most active cadres of such an Order. If direct and integrating communications were 
established between these two groups (which is not as difficult as it may first appear), 
the foundation would be laid. For these men, the most important concerns should be 
the European idea in terms of values and of worldview, followed by the Order and 
then by the nation. 

Naturally, the personality of an authentic leader at the center and head of the 
Order is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, no such person exists today: it 
would be dangerous and rash to see him in any of the figures who are currently 
working here and there, albeit with the best of intentions, selflessly and bravely, to 
form European groups. One has to consider here that no one could have detected in 
advance the potential of any of the men who later be-came leaders of great 
movements. Nevertheless, it is easy to see the great ad-vantages in the case where 
such a man, in whom authority and status now became manifest, had been there 
from the beginning. 

We do not need to repeat what the basic requirement is for such a European action 
to mature and bear any results. One must first get rid of the political class, which 
holds the power in almost all European countries in this time of interregnum and 
European slavery. This would be immediately possible if a sufficient mass of today's 
peoples could be reawakened from their stupefied and stultified condition that has 
been systematically created by the prevailing political-social ideas. 
But the greatest difficulty for the true European idea is the deep crisis of the 
authority principle and the idea of the State. This will seem contradictory to many, 
because they believe the strengthening of that principle and that idea would bring in 
its wake a schismatic division and thus a rigid, anti-European pluralism. We have 
already shown why this is not at all the case, when we were speaking of the 
Mannerbunde and indicating the higher level that characterizes the idea of a true 
State and its authority, in contrast to everything that is merely "folk" or "nation." For 
the individual, true political loyalty includes, besides a certain heroic readiness, a 
certain degree of transcendence, hence something not merely nature-hound. There 
is no break, but rather continuity when one crosses from the national level to the 
supernational: the selfsame inner readiness will be required as in the times of Indo- 
European origins and of the best feudal regimes, in which it was also a matter of the 
voluntary union of free powers, proud to belong to a higher order of things that did 
not oppress but rather embraced them. 
The real obstacles are only fanatical nationalism and the collapse of society and 
community. 

In summary, let it be said that breaking through into more thoughtful minds is the idea 
that in the current state of affairs, the uniting of Europe into a single bloc is the 
indispensable prerequisite for its continuation in a form other than an empty 
geographical concept on the same materialistic level as that of the powers that seek to 
control the world. For all the reasons already explained, we know that this crisis 
involves a dual inner problem, if under these circumstances one hopes to establish a 
firm foundation, a deeper sense, and an organic character for a possible united 
Europe. On the one hand, an initiative in the sense of a spiritual and psychic 
detoxification must be taken against what is commonly known as "modern culture." 
On the other, there is the question of the kind of "metaphysics" that is capable, 
today, of supporting both a national and a supernational principle of true authority 
and legitimacy. 

The dual problem can be translated into a dual imperative. It remains to be seen which 
and how many men, in spite of it all, still stand upright among so many ruins, in 
order that they may make this task their own. 

=================================================================

Appendix 

EVOLA 'S AUTODIFESA 
(SELF-DEFENSE STATEMENT) 



In April of 1951, Julius Evola was arrested in his residence at 197 Corso Vittorio 
Emmanuele in Rome by men of the Ufficio Politico della Questura (the political 
section of the Questura, the public prosecutor's office). The accusation was that he had 
been the "master," the "inspirer" with his "nebulous theories" of a group of young men 
who were accused in turn of having hatched organizations for clandestine struggle: the 
FAR [Fasci dAzione Rivoluzionaria] and the neofascist-oriented Legione nera. Hence, 
they were all accused of "glorifying Fascism" [apologia di Fascismo] and of having 
"attempted to reconstitute the dissolved Fascist Party." Evola was held in the Regina 
Coeli prison until the trial, which took place in the Court of Assizes in Rome and lasted 
from early October until 20 November 1951. Evola was defended by Professor 
Francesco Camehitti and fully acquitted. Evola's self-defense statement has been here 
translated from the Italian by Joscelyn Godwin. 

Gentlemen of the Court: 

The original accusation on which my arrest was based referred to Article 1 of Law no. 
1546 of 1947: that together with others, I had promoted the revival of the dissolved 
Fascist Party under the guise of various organizations, particularly the one alleged to be 
behind the group of young men called "Imperium." It is not worth saying more than a 
few words about this accusation, which is devoid of any basis whatsoever. 

Nothing, in fact, has been produced to my charge that would lead any-one to think 
that my relationships with these groups had developed in any way but on the purely 
intellectual and doctrinal level, concerning the doctrine of 
the State, ethics, and the outlook on life. And as for these relationships, emphasized 
tendentiously and arbitrarily by the Questura, I must say that they have not been any 
more significant than those that I have had with various other groups: monarchical, 
independent, or nationalist, as for example E. M. Gray's group "II Nazionale," or that of 
"Meridiano d'ltalia" [connected to NISI, the Movimento Sociale Italiano]. Certainly I 
have felt particularly drawn toward these young men of Imperium for two reasons: first, 
because they insist on the necessity of an inward and spiritual revolution of the 
individual as the pre-supposition for political struggle — and [Enzo] Erra, the director of 
Imperium, indicated this in precise terms daring his interrogation — and second, 
because among all the currents of the MSI, this group defended right-wing positions tied 
to spiritual and hierarchical values against the socialist tendency widely represented in 
that party. 

I have been a complete stranger to secretly organized initiatives, nor has anyone ever 
spoken to me about them. As for a certain activism, I have often urged against 
furnishing arms to the adversary in that way, since no serious person thinks that there is 
any basis in Italy, given the international situation, for a real revolution or an 
antidemocratic coup d'etat. I have not only written this in a letter that the Questura has 
confiscated (but which it has taken care not to produce), but also elsewhere: for 
instance, in an article for 11 Nazionale entitled "Trarre partito dall'ostacolo" [Taking 
Advantage of the Obstacle]. There I said that the increased severity in antifascist 
repression intended by the new drafting of Scelba's law aught to encourage the salutary 
renunciation of external and fairly anachronistic forms of expression and activism, in 
favor of concentration on a serious doctrinal preparation. 

In general — since there has been talk of being an "ideological accessory" — in none of 
my writings has there been any incitement, even indirect or involuntary, to terrorist or 
clandestine actions. The Questura's statement has tried to establish an absurd 
relationship between the constitution of the "Legione nera" and a point in my booklet 
Orienramenti, where it is said that the tragic character of our times demands a sort of 
"Legionairism." But I specify exactly what that means: legionairism not as an 
organization, but as a spirit, an inward attitude. Here are the exact words: "The attitude 
of him who can choose the hardest life, who is able to continue fighting even when he 
knows that the battle is materially lost, and who holds to the ancient precept that 
loyalty is mightier than fire" (Orientamenti, pp. 5-6). The same meaning is expressed 
further on (p. 22), speaking of the "man standing upright among the ruins." It 
concerns nothing other than an ethical, heroic, and spiritual attitude. Misun- 
derstandings are not possible, and where they have occurred, I cannot take 
responsibility for them. 

I have never encouraged the formation of parties — I deny the very concept of the 
party — or of subversive movements. This is how I indicate what is to be done (p. 6): 
"A silent revolution, proceeding in the depths, where the premises are created, first 
inwardly and in the individual, of that Order which, when the time is ripe, will also 
manifest externally, supplanting like lightning the forms and forces of a world of 
decadence and corruption. Permit me to cite two other passages. On page 5: "To get 
up again, to arise inwardly, to give oneself a form, to create an order and a direction 
within oneself," instead of "furthering the demagogy and materialism of the 
masses," taking a position — I say just that — "against those who can think only in 
terms of programs, organizational and partisan problems." On pp. 6 — 7: "In the face 
of a slovenly world, whose principles are "Who'll make you do that?' or "First the 
belly, then morality,' or again "These aren't times that allow one the luxury to 
demonstrate character,' or finally "I've got a family' — one can retort: "We cannot be 
otherwise than we are: this is our life, this is our being.' Whatever of positive value 
that can be achieved today or tomorrow will not be thanks to the abilities of 
agitators or politicos, but through the natural prestige and recognition of men who 
are equal to it, and thereby become the guarantors for their ideas." After exhorting 
them to maintain this level of high ethical tension despite this whole ruined world, I 
am said to be — in the exact words of the Questura — a "malefic and shady 
character," instigator of fanatical youth! 

I move on to the second accusation: that I have "glorified ideas proper to 
Fascism" in articles published in various numbers of the reviews La Sfida, Im- 
perium, and in Orientamenti, as "several consecutive actions of a single criminal 

design." 

In this regard I must first bring forward a very significant piece of data. 

T