Part 999 – The Cycle of History

Histories

Grammars of Civilizations Tell Us All We Need to Know

1 – Aristotle Wrote Proto Empiricism: Reason, Naturalism, Proto-empiricism, Law, Calculation. (Truth)
2 – Sun Tzu, and Confucius wrote Wisdom Lit. Lao Tzu crossed the line into the questionable. (Wisdom)
3 – The Indians wrote both mythology and wisdom literature, bordering on political science (Wisdom)
4 – The Persians wrote supernormal and supernatural wisdom literature. (Utopian Universalism)
5 – The Egyptians wrote Ritualism Supernatural (Animism, Anthropomorphism, heathenism ) Doctrine and Ritual.
6 – The Abrahamists wrote Mythology, Rebellion, and Lie and Destruction of all of the above. (Utopian Lie)

Grammars of the Classes Tell Us Something as Well
by John Mark

Aristocracy: War “We will apply violence in whatever way necessary/beneficial – up to and including war conquest and colonization – in order to suppress parasitism upon our productive group/tribe and to keep it from becoming weak or losing (any form of) capital.”

Upper: Law “Due to our wealth and influence we have the opportunity to affect the rules of society in a way that benefits us – sometimes the way we affect the rules can be good, sometimes bad (e.g. buying/owning corrupt politicians to write rules that allow us to privatize gains and socialize losses to everyone else).”

Upper Middle: Science (Econ) “We are looking for a competitive advantage so we like to use science/R&D/innovation to give us an edge. We make economic arguments (often libertarian) because we don’t want our efforts to get ahead to be hindered.”

Middle Class: Philosophy “We wish we had more power than we do, but we feel we have a shot at getting more power or at least affecting those in power, plus we often don’t like what the upper class does when they act in their own interest, so we put a lot of effort into thinking and talking about how to make sense of the world and what those who have more power than us should do (what we wish they would do). (What we often don’t realize is the upper class doesn’t give a rip about what we think they should do.)”

Working Class: Religion “We want/need something to make us feel better about life and give us a safe, reassuring sense of community (we don’t have much else). Religion fits the bill.”

Underclass: Intuition “We are not smart but we don’t know it (Dunning Kruger), and we are low status, hate being so, and don’t know how to (are unable to) fix it, so we instinctively feel the world is not fair and those more successful than us must be cheating somehow. Thus leftism/socialism/communism/SJWism tells us what we want to hear and we are extremely enthusiastic about it because we have no other strategy in life, or ability to come up with or carry out any other strategy.”

INDO-EUROPEAN: THE LANGUAGE OF AN UPPER SOCIAL STRATUM?
By Kurt Stegmann von Pritzwald (Professor of Philology at the University of Marburg)
(Sociologus, Vol.V, No.1, 1955, pp.56-67)

SUMMARY:

During the Early Neolithic period there roamed, over the multilingual area inhabited by Northern, Corded-Ware, and Banded-Ware folk, companies of men who used horse and wagon to establish a certain degree of communication. To make themselves understood by the local populations they used a Semi-Indo-European lingua franca. This improvised language was characterized by infinitives, with non-Indo-European and Indo-European components. From these “hosts” there separated linguistically a narrower group which strove for the observation of a “proper,” by sifting the vocabulary and fixing sentence structure. The members of this language community recognized one another through the adherence to “proper form” which led to a still closer union. With this, linguistic expression had transcended the purpose of communication pure and simple, and the societal function of language came into play. Even if we retain the thesis of a compact Indo-European cradle-land, we must assume the existence of an aloof group as the originator of the “proper form” of the Indo-European “high” language. It is more likely that this group became aware of its own singularity distinguishing it from the rest of society, and managed to establish itself as the bearer of a colonial or other position of power.

The development of High-Indo-European forms is based on the sentence, a characteristic which distinguishes it from the isolating method of the Semi-Indo-European language mixture. This led to a well designed style appropriate for communicating deeds and reports, a step on the road to the epic style which marks the entrance of nations into history. Through the distinction of agent and action, noun and verb, subject and predicate, this style transformed a sensation language into a formative language of civilization, guided by definite rules, to which the far-reaching bands of warriors had to conform when rendering account of their travels and adventures. The relationship between the Semi-Indo-European lingua franca and the High-Indo-European upper-stratum language reminds of Homer. Homer forced the colonial jargon language of the Greek dialects into the forms of epic art.

Before the beginning of the Bronze Age the report style had already developed into the language of the upper social stratum. This “high” language, distinguished by important ethical content, became the pattern for grammatical development. The upper stratum used this means of expression to foster an aristocratic ethos and a firm mastery of the environment. In the social realm it created the patriarchal family order and a mixed authoritarian-cooperative power structure.

Magic, Indo-Europeans and The Taming of The Mass

From an anthropological perspective, traditional magic practices were perfectly adequate to a certain level of development. In this sense, ‘authentic’ magic aims at clarifying a psycho-technique (self-discipline) with a specific goal in mind; it guides man into the appropriate form for a given project. It either prepares man to bear without excessive anxiety the hostile pressures of a universe that he does not yet control, or it helps give free reign to certain instincts and repress others, so that he can accomplish more successfully a certain undertaking.

With this type of magic, man had learnt to manipulate himself. He had given himself a self-chosen nature, and had succeeded in his hominisation. Hence, authentic magic constitutes the original ‘know-how’ of human self-domestication, and the domestication of the psyche by consciousness, organised by a science that was born through reflection on the know-how of animal nature.

Magic degenerates as soon as it claims to find application to a relation diverse from the one instituted between consciousness and psyche: that is, between man (as living being) and the world (as event), under the wholly imaginary pretext that the human psyche participates in the cause of that event. It then leads to a cosmological theory that is entirely unfounded. On the other hand, where this reflection allows him to isolate the true terms of the ‘magic relation,’ man acquires an exact description of himself and his circumstances, and of the position he occupies within the living world. He transforms himself, from then on, into the domesticator of the living world.

Hundreds of thousands of years after hominisation, it was with the Indoeuropean/Neolithic Revolution that another type of man emerges. Having learned what ‘moves’ himself, man tries now to ‘move’ animals and plants according to his wishes and needs. As far as social animals are concerned, he intends to take on a directive role, becoming the leader of the pack. Similarly, having attained a superior consciousness—thanks to the correct understanding of magic—he presents himself as aristocracy in relation to the rest of society and affirms his own sovereignty.

With the advent of Indoeuropeans, man’s taming of the living world occurred in parallel to the taming of the mass—by the elite. Hereafter, ‚religion’ comes to be the ideological system that will serve to ‘tie fast’ society and subject the group to a certain influence.

Our Original Origin

‘Indo-European’ is the term used to designate a language spoken at the beginning of Neolithic times and ‘discovered’ during the nineteenth century via the new discipline of linguistics—linguistics becoming a proper science in the process.1 Since every language presupposes users, the discovery of the Indo-European language represented the discovery of a group of speakers—the Indo-Europeans—and consequently of a people and a civilisation whose true characteristics were brilliantly delineated by Georges Dumézil, among others.

We know today, with some certainty, what was entirely unknown at the end of the eighteenth century: that an ‘Indo-European’ people lived in the remote past,2 and that their language was the direct ancestor of a great number of languages spoken in both ancient and modern times. The Romance, Germanic, Celtic, Baltic, Hellenic, Slavic, and Indo-Aryan languages were and are among the most important of these languages. We also know, with no less certainty, that the Indo-European heritage has lent conformity, in a decisive way, to the cultures that gave birth to ‘European civilisation.’ This heritage still carries, at least through its linguistic credentials, a certain ‘world outlook’ which, although fragmented in its substance today, remains active as a constraining force of representation, giving structure to our mental framework.

Through the semantic roots evident in all the derivative languages, a certain way of life can be reconstructed—as well as the geographical position occupied by Indo-European speakers during the unitary phase preceding the first dispersal, probably around the third millennium BCE.

Anthropology and ethnology indicate that these people manifested a precise, characteristic racial physiognomy. Such a physiognomy anticipated the present Europid race in its varieties, concentrated today in Europe and in the countries whose populations migrated thither from Europe. It may still be detected today in particular strands of the populations settled in present Iran, and in northern parts of the Indian subcontinent.3

From the intersection of linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, and other related sciences, it is possible to depict this people—hunters of white skin, tall stature, and dolichocephalic crania. A people emerging from the fogs of the last glaciations, and coinciding with the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution and the introduction of agriculture into Europe, formed a unified civilisation which extended from the Baltic and Northern Seas, from the Danube and from the Rhine to the Königsberg-Odessa line. This civilisation was based on animal farming, fishing, and navigation, developed an advanced artisanship, cremated the dead, and used a supple, sophisticated language to express abstract thought and convey nuance. From the forests of Northern Europe, its descendants initiated the greatest of human adventures. In a succession of conquering waves they moved across the world.

From analysis of the religious, politico-social, ritual, and other generic cultural traditions extant in the historical civilisations born of this common Indo-European matrix, it is possible to form a global picture of our ancestral past—and roots.
Georges Dumézil devised the term trifunctionality to describe the character of Indo-European society—which comprised three main groups, corresponding to three distinct functions.4

The first function was associated with sovereignty—regal and priestly—and with everything that concept implies: power, knowledge, wisdom, magic, leadership of the people—and, consequently, politics, law, religion, and representation of the community abroad.

The second function may be traced back to war, struggle, effort, and physical strength in all its peaceful and bellicose aspects: defence and military requirements, sport and energy. It incarnates heroism, personal courage, spirit of sacrifice, readiness to action, and bravery.

The third function finds its original principle probably in the idea of fecundity—human and animal—to which the ideas of love, voluptuousness, and pleasure were later added. It is related to agriculture, herding, and the crafts; to economic production and wealth—and is identified with the idea of quantity and large numbers. This function was governed by the principles of temperance, moderation, and limitation.

Mythology was divided in the same way: each social group had its own god or family of gods to represent it, and the function of the god or gods matched the function of the group.

Our ancestors practised not only a division of labour into three orders, or of society and the pantheon into three classes: the three functions present in man and in the cosmic order have been bound to innumerable facts and notions.5 Those ancestors also theorised on this division and produced an ‘ideology’ (Dumézil’s term): a global outlook on the forces creating and sustaining the world—on the balance, tension, and conflict necessary for the good functioning of the cosmos and the polis, the societies of gods and of men.

But surely every human group must experience the need to be led, defended, and fed; every individual must satisfy the needs of heart, stomach, and spirit. Dumézil responded repeatedly to those sceptics contesting the originality of the Indo-European trifunctional system. He argued, for example:

In the ancient world, neither Egyptians, before they entered in contact with the Sea Peoples, nor Sumerians, Elamites, and Hurrians, nor Mesopotamians before the dominance of the Kassites in the area, nor in general Semites, Siberians, or Chinese have ever had a similar structure as the dorsal spine of their ideology and social life. One observes either undifferentiated organisations of nomadic tribes, where everyone is at the same time combatant and farmer; or sedentary theocratic organisations, where there is a king-priest or a divine emperor and a humble and homogeneous mass of subjects; or groups where the witch doctor, despite the fear his craft may inspire, is just one specialist among others.6

The structural, descriptive notion sketched above derives all its significance from the framework provided by a peculiar set of values. According to the Indo-European ideology, the good functioning of a society implies a situation of dynamic balance between the three classes or castes, corresponding to the three functions of the sovereign/sacral, the martial, and the economic. In contrast to our modern Western model, the economic sector was specifically subordinated—as viewed from a hierarchical rather than a functional perspective—to the other two functions. In this sense, it is legitimate to describe our present Western society as characterised by a pathological hypertrophy of the economic function, and the values and spirit that sustain it. The quantitative perception of social facts from which, along with much else, the modern idea of political democracy originates, here finds its source.

It would be easy—at least given the reductionist mentality that impregnates our culture today—to infer that the Indo-European ideology expressed a sort of contempt for the values of productive work, wealth, fecundity, or pleasure: that it practised exclusion from, and subordination to, the warrior and sovereign functions of economic activities. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the Indo-European ideology, the three functions are not reducible to each other: they are equally indispensable, and they have equal social dignity and full autonomy in their respective areas. The third function had a distinct identity and role that was as important as those of the other two: it had its own gods and participated in its own way in community life.

This predilection for differentiation was also reflected in the horizontal subdivision of society, which was structured not as a division between masses and individuals, but as a people whose genius, personality, and aristocracy were the sources of expression, conception, and representation. Indo-European culture exalted such values as loyalty, sense of belonging, and distinction of roles. These values constituted the ethical, psychological, and political foundations of a system that favoured the assertion of such natural principles as hierarchy, selection, and territoriality, rather than their denial.
Hence, from remote times, political and social life manifests itself as extremely articulate—in contrast to those theocratic state organisations where the position of subject is essentially that of king’s slave7—and based on the participation of all members of the social body, as representing the aggregate of free men. This organic participation occurred at different levels, starting with the *genos (great exogamic families) and *wenos (the community created by the alliance of several *genos) and proceeding to an assembly of *pateres, who would choose a primus inter pares to accomplish the function of *reg-s (king) whenever there was need to find unitary guidance and representation for the whole people.

The distinction of roles was also expected in respect of gender. The culture of our ancestors was indeed patriarchal, patrilineal, patronymic, and patrilocal. But as with the three functions mentioned above, this gender division sought to articulate a society which claimed to be complete. In this context, women were not only admitted as members of society but honoured in their particular domain:8 the relationship between the sexes was seen through a prism of complementarity, as expressed in the androgyne myth. This notion probably derives from a sense that a world view based on difference and inequality is one also based on the acknowledgement of diversity. Accordingly, the ‘other sex’ was considered an enrichment, rather than a ‘curse’ arising, allegedly, from ‘original sin.’

Women were fully integrated within the socioeconomic and cultural structures of the community and performed, among other tasks, the important one of transmitting the tradition. Similarly, sex was experienced as part of the dialectics of joy and sacredness—an attitude that would later be defined as quintessentially pagan. Marriage was founded on distinction of roles, on honour, loyalty, and reciprocal respect. Sexual freedom was not repressed or negated by the idea of sinfulness, but regulated by a natural sense of dignity, by a consciousness of the role one was expected to play in society, or by eugenic principles. The wife’s role was not perceived as inferior to the husband’s: there was no single, universalist, egalitarian, reductionist role to which everyone had to submit, regardless of sex, religion, or social position—in short, regardless of identity.
It is significant that Indo-European ‘patriarchy’ contemplates the active and necessary participation of women in family rites, while Judaism and the religious customs imported into Europe with Christianity forbid it: e.g., the consecration of the Eucharist. From the Jewish-Christian point of view, the mere notion of priestess is blasphemous.
Finally, to the Indo-European world applies the distinction between shame cultures and guilt cultures. While the latter are defined by a ‘morality of sin’ based on a system of revealed dogmas, the former bases its ‘ethics of honour’ on the idea of self-respect, implying a direct bond between the individual and his socio-cultural environment. Shame and glory are the two main forces of social pressure and repression, as opposed to guilt cultures where that role is enacted by the notion of sin. While in guilt cultures, the blame is typically objectified by reference to a third supreme party—which is why they are linked to a universal and metaphysical ideological system—the Indo-European world view is inexorably bound to the notion of a plurality of gods. It expresses mythically both a radical anti-universalism and a cohabitation of men and gods: it presumes both a oneness and ontological autonomy of reality, and a sacredness of world and nature. The divine impregnates all nature, including its human manifestations: for example, it is involved in art, excluding any manifestation of iconoclasm; and politics, rendering absurd a separation between church and state, or between civic and religious duties. Specifically, the divine is not extrinsic to man, but represents a dimension achievable through transcending the self—a concept captured in the exemplary figure of the hero, typically one of mixed human and divine descent, and founder of his own lineage.

This is because the Indo-European gods do not consider men to be their rivals. The great deeds of human beings aggrandise not only humans, but also the gods. Far from men being forbidden to achieve renown for themselves, such is the very thing that justifies their existence and earns them a claim to eternity. ‘My journey home is gone, but my glory never dies,’ says Achilles.9 This is also declared in one of the more famous maxims from the Edda: ‘Men die, as do beasts, but the sole thing that does not die is the renown of a noble name.’10 Whereas the Bible displays its intention of limiting human sovereignty by a series of prohibitions, the religions of ancient Europe bestowed a heroic dimension on the man who exceeded his abilities and thereby shared in the divine. Where the Scriptures look on life with a blend of distrust and trepidation, paganism in its beliefs hypostatises all the ardour, intensity, and pulsation of life. It is easy to understand how members of these cultural types—Indo-European and Jewish-Christian—viewed each other as atheistic.

Based on the vigour and expansionistic strength conveyed by this ideological and conceptual patrimony, Indo-European culture became the matrix of all historical European civilisations. Its latest offshoots include ourselves.

 

 

Heroism Is Our Group Strategy

Man is a social animal. In order to realize himself, he must create both himself and his society. In relation to this self-creation, individuals incarnate and actualize different values. The ‘mass man’ and the ‘founding hero’ may be considered the extremes within the sociological parameter that measures the historical value of human beings. The former is a ‘non-humanised man,’ whose drives are not directed towards a culturally determined objective. Incapable of cultural self-determination, the mass-man ends up as determined from time to time, and at random, by chance or by contact—especially human contact. He follows without knowing it. On the other hand, the founding hero, or self-actualized man, projects an idea about himself and the society to which he belongs—and realizes it. He is a creator of cultural facts. To varying degrees, all individuals partake of both sociological categories. This allows, within a given culture, the organization of society and the establishment of a dynamic game between poles.

The pre-existence of a given culture offers the chance for the individual where mass values predominate. Given social traditions and education, he may be brought up to repeat the process of human self-creation offered in the received cultural model: he may incarnate a social type, hence becoming integral to the social group, the people. The repetition of this process of integration, codified in each culture, corresponds in its simplest form to the rites of initiation. In modern societies, this process is organized through education systems and is reinforced by the techniques of social conditioning.

It might be thought that the individual in whom the creative value prevails would, logically, be led to reject the culture and values he inherits in order to affirm his own originality. However, this occurs only in cultures that are old, decrepit, unadapted to historical necessity. In young, vital cultures where the humanizing force of the social type is maintained, the creator takes upon himself both the preservation and improvement of this type: he endeavours to raise it by his own example, hence affirming himself as a person.

Furthermore, in a young culture the model remains wide open and appears as process still in progress. It is perceived as remaining susceptible of new interpretations so long as there are domains of human activity in which the model is not yet incarnated. The creative value is the quintessentially historical value. And this is why in every age the founding heroes—the geniuses, the great artists—are venerated. It is also why more value is given to an original work than to its copy, even where the latter is in every respect identical.

Personality is not the extolling of individual selfishness; on the contrary, it is the highest expression of a society, of which it represents the consciousness and superior will. Personality aspires to realise the highest idea it has of itself, and of the other—that is, of its own society. Hence, in a particular historical moment, personality proves itself by responding to the socio-cultural imperative of that time; it is recognised, accepted and followed precisely because it satisfies the unconscious aspirations of a community and of a people. There is constantly a component of sacrifice in personality, and in some cases this may involve extreme renunciation. That is why whoever offers himself up for the welfare of a society or of a culture becomes heroised. By taking on himself society as a whole the hero places himself, rightfully, at the pinnacle of the social hierarchy.

When a culture no longer fulfils this human need, a chaotic mass society is formed and its members—devoid of a cultural ‘type’ with which to identify—become a crowd, a mob. Then comes the time when a founding hero, aware of the decomposition of his own society and culture, may emerge and undertake the required revolution: an act of conservation through which human nature, mortally menaced, may be preserved.

Areté – Transcendence

The tragic urge to self-overcoming (transcendence) may be identified as the only way man and his presence in the world may be ennobled, and this was the primary element of traditional Aryan ethics. It is what the ancient Greeks called areté, the quest for excellence: the act of living up to one’s full potential.

For Aristotle, the doctrine of areté included the following virtues: andreia (courage), dikaiosyne (justice), and sophrosyne (self-restraint). In Greek mythology, Sophrosyne was a Greek goddess. She was the spirit of moderation, self-control, temperance, restraint, and discretion. She was considered to be one of the good spirits that escaped from Pandora’s box and fled to Olympus after Pandora opened the lid. The complex meaning of sophrosyne, so important to the ancients, is very difficult to convey in English. It is perhaps best expressed by the two most famous sayings of the Oracle of Delphi: ‘nothing in excess’ and ‘know thyself.’

Since Propertarianism recovers and transfigures the founding myths of Indo-European culture, when it comes to specifying its particular tenets such features as the following might be listed: an eminently aristocratic conception of the human individual; the importance of honour (‘shame’ rather than ‘sin’); a heroic attitude towards life’s challenges; the exaltation and sacralisation of the world, beauty, the body, strength, and health; the rejection of any ‘worlds beyond’; and the inseparability of morality and aesthetics.

The highest value for an Aryan ethics undoubtedly lies not in a form of ‘justice’ whose purpose is essentially interpreted as flattening the social order in the name of equality, but in all that may allow man to surpass himself. Since to consider the implications of life’s basic framework as unjust would be palpably absurd, such classic antitheses as noble vs. base, courageous vs. cowardly, honourable vs. dishonourable, beautiful vs. deformed, sick vs. healthy come to replace the antitheses operative in a morality based on the concept of sin: good vs. evil, humble vs. vainglorious, submissive vs. proud, weak vs. arrogant, modest vs. boastful.

Promethean Fire: Aryans, Semites & Science

The world today is dominated by technology as never before. It is impossible to travel anywhere without seeing some manifestations of the technological wizardry that has shaped life on the planet today—particularly those innovations developed at the time of the Industrial Revolution. One crucial—and typically ignored—feature of this astonishing technological revolution is that the great technological innovations which have set the pace for the entire world are exclusively the product of a tiny minority of Europeans. One of the particular traits of Indo-European languages, already noticed in the nineteenth century by such philologists as Wilhelm von Humboldt and Ernest Renan, was their implicit capacity for abstract thought—a precondition of any sort of scientific theory and praxis. Renan was also the first to establish a connection between religion and ethno-geographical origin. He contrasted a ‘psyche of the desert’ found among Semites—’the desert is monotheistic’—with a ‘psyche of the forest,’ characteristic of Indo-Europeans whose polytheism appears to be modeled on a changing nature and a diversity of seasons. He observed that the intolerance of Semitic people is an inevitable consequence of their monotheism. Indo-European peoples, before their conversion to Semitic ideas, never regarded their religion as absolute truth. This is why there is found among these peoples ‘a freedom of thought, a spirit of critical inquiry, and individual research.’ Techne (technological development)—the appropriation and control of a surrounding environment via technology—may be considered a trait defining the ‘specifically human.’ It is an inevitable companion to the progress of human knowledge; however, it also describes something that has been devised and developed in a peculiar way only in the Indo-European context: from the Battle-Axe culture war chariot to the laser and the moon rockets designed by Wernher von Braun. In particular, modern technology is closely linked to the West—to a culture underpinned by a ‘compromise’ between Europe and Judeo-Christianity. Following the Christianisation of Europe, paganism survived underground in several forms. It survived in folk beliefs and traditions; in ‘heretical’ trends inside or on the margins of official religion that have extended even into the present; and in a collective unconscious that finds release chiefly in music, and in science and technology. In this sense, science and technology may be interpreted as arising from the impact of long-standing monotheistic repression of the European collective subconscious, and from the contradictory process of secularisation and emancipation to which this repression gave rise, and which began with the Renaissance. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger…Let us remember the names of the American rockets and space programs of von Braun’s times: Thor, Atlas, Titan, Jupiter, Delta, Mercury, Apollo. None was called “Jesus,” “Forgiveness and Love,” or “Holy Bible.” In Man and Technics, Spengler wrote: ‘To build a world oneself, to be oneself God—that is the Faustian inventor’s dream, and from it has sprung all our designing and re-designing of machines.’ The Jewish-Christian tradition—and the ‘grand narratives’ it produced—is explicit in the rejection of the Faustian temptation. Nietzsche remarks in The Antichrist that ‘such a religion as Christianity, which does not touch reality at a single point and which goes to pieces the moment reality asserts its rights at any point, must be inevitably the deadly enemy of the wisdom of this world, which is to say, of science.’ Man must repress his ‘pride’: he may not eat the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge, lest he create instruments competing with the perennial nature created by God. It is sacrilegious behavior, as the myths of the Golem and the tale of Frankenstein remind us. As in the past—when opposing dissection—the Church now condemns contraception, genetic engineering, and biotechnological research in general. It is not difficult to see why egalitarianism is anti-Promethean. Every new advance in technology is an advance in respect of the ability of some to control others. If one considers, as in the Bible, Rousseau, or Marx, that it is an ethical duty to condemn the exercise of control or power—the domination of man by man—then it is easy to perceive that such epochal mutation as our societies are experiencing will produce new vertical division between man and man, and between society and society, just such as the Neolithic Revolution provoked: namely, (1) differentiation between the body of consociates and the aristocracies that came to exercise political power, creating cultural forms and directing community life; and (2) the fact of certain societies coming to dominate others. Any dream of independence and self-determination—individual or collective—any sort of political, economic, or cultural sovereignty—may be realised only through the technical means necessary for such ambition. Science is a domain which the European mind has monopolised, and technology a tool that can make man into a god. These must be especially valued by Europeans if they are to mount a primordial, Faustian response to life which can recapture and transcend the Indo-European outlook for post-Neolithic man.

Yoga & Indian Philosophy. a Bio-Cultural Diagnosis.

I. Instant Enlightenment

Consider the following facts about the spiritual landscape in the USA: contemplation is enjoying its biggest revival since the Reformation; science and spirituality are usually seen as allies and combined into ’empirical spirituality’ or ‘evolutionary mysticism’; elements of Buddhism and Hinduism have become so mainstream that Newsweek declared in 2016 ‘we’re all Hindus now’; half of Americans claim to have had a mystical experience; “Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy” by Sadhguru became a ‘New York Bestseller’ two years ago; Yoga has become so prevalent that approximately 14.9 million Americans (most commonly women) are estimated to incorporate some form of this practice into their lives; and Yoga practitioners expend up to 5.7 billion dollars per annum on yoga classes, products, and retreats.

One would say that most people, though nominally adherents of an Abrahamic religion, actually embrace what Aldous Huxley named ‘Perennial Philosophy’: a type of Christian-Hindu syncretism which he used to offer as remedy against the ‘Brave New World’.

The trend is similar in the rest of the Western world. For example, 15.7 million Germans are currently practicing yoga or are at least interested in starting to practice; and Yoga Day, an international initiative of India enthusiastically supported by all EU governments, is celebrated in most European capitals since its inception in 2015.

The current embrace of eastern spirituality, the combination of science and religion, and the Yoga boom began in earnest with the Californian counter-culture. Aldous Huxley and a group of three other British expatriates played a key role in its development: Christopher Isherwood, Gerald Heard and Alan Watts. All four were public school-educated English gents, emerging from the remains of the British Empire.

It is significant that the latest Yoga fad had begun with the hippies and the Flower Power. On previous occasions, interest for Eastern mysticism has always coincided with moments of dejection or despondency in Europe.

Although it was during the sixteenth century that Europeans became aware of the existence of the old sacred books called ‘the Veda’, when Jesuit missionaries began to learn Sanskrit, the classical language of the Brahmans, it was not until the nineteenth century – once the curiosity of the learned world had been roused not only in England, but especially in Germany – that India became a ‘Paradise of Philosophers’ in the imagination of Western man.

After the disaster of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, Schopenhauer was the first to transpose into Kantian language the metaphysics of the Upanishads, which he was wont to describe as ‘the consolation of my life’ (The World as Will and Representation).

Amid the carnage of I World War, Keyserling opposed in “Travel-journal of a Philosopher” the Hindu quest for inner perfection against the Western obsession with productivity and Romain Rolland thought to have found in Gandhi, Ramakhrisna and Vivekananda a universal gospel which would reveal, beyond any antagonism of race, ideology or religion, the ‘polyphonic unity of all men’. Herman Hesse, in “Siddhartha”, contrasted the spiritual values of the East with the utilitarian techniques of the West.

II. the Grammar of Intellectual Fraud

Although the Indian Subcontinent has produced a broad range of religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism) and speculative philosophies, they are all linked by the textual resources, cosmology, concepts, rituals, and practices of Yoga.

The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, but Hatha Yoga texts emerged around the 11th century. The ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’, written in Sanskrit, is among the most influential surviving texts. It conflates folklore and myth, magic rituals, claims to medical knowledge, and psycho-physiological techniques. These practices and disciplines have remained unchanged for at least 1000 years and are still taught by the diverse gurus and more or less official institutes of Yoga which pullulate around the world.

Among them:
– Alcohol abstinence and fasting, non-violence, chastity and dietary restrictions;
– One-pointed focus and intent pursuit of one object (ekagrata);
– Static physical position to reduce physical exertion to a minimum (asana);
– A set of breathing techniques where the breath is intentionally altered (pranayama);
– Nosetip gazing (nasikagra drishti);
– Contraction of the perineum in order to facilitate the retention of semen during ejaculation (mula bandha);
– Chanting of magic syllables, words or phonemes (mantra).
According to its masters, the purposes of Yoga were: a/to heal mental and physical disease; b/ acquire magical powers (siddhis); and c/accomplish ‘the mystical union’ (samadhi).

A/ Healing
– Western medicine has been in progress since the times of Avicenna, who was a contemporary of the author/s of ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’. Is it unfair to compare the steady increase of life expectancy around the world, driven in not a small part by the advance of modern medicine, with the therapeutic results obtained by Ayurveda, the traditional yogic medicine?
Bringing to mind the Aristotelian distinction between doing wrong by omission and by commission, Australian philosopher and bioethicist Julian Savulescu reminds us in “Medical Ethics and Law”: ‘To delay by 1 year the development of a treatment that cures a lethal disease that kills 100,000 people per year is to be responsible for the deaths of 100.000 people, even if you never see them’.
For example, when Gandhi’s wife was stricken with pneumonia, British doctors told her husband that a shot of penicillin would heal her; nevertheless, Gandhi refused to have alien medicine injected into her body, and she died.
– Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of Yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease. The results of these studies have been at best inconclusive.
– According to the latest reports, meditation is no better than watching TV.
– Veganism may be described as ‘postmodern nutrition’. It is often pure ideology, biased activism, and almost always not supported by medical facts (limited nutrients during pregnancy and growth). Looking between the lines at vegan arguments, one finds a pathological attempt to avoid any kind of suffering: the pacification of all life. The fact is that we simply would not be here as a species if we had not eaten meat. Our brains would never have grown to the size they are unless we had access to the protein which meat provides.

B/ Power
‘Siddhis’ are spiritual, paranormal, supernatural, or otherwise magical powers, abilities, and attainments such as knowing past lifes, knowing the minds of others, reducing or expanding one’s body at will, teleportation, levitation by counteracting the pull of gravity, or walking on water. As the reader of these lines can imagine, none of these phenomena has ever been empirically verified.

It is true though that some gurus manage to regulate their sympathetic nervous system in astonishing ways, which could indicate the absence of a clear line of demarcation between the voluntary and involuntary functions of the nervous system. A team of scientist from the University of Cambridge found in 2014 that half of Western Australia’s indigenous population has a genetic mutation that helps them control their body temperature. This genetic mutation might have spread across the Indian Subcontinent, carried by ancestral Austro-Asiatic populations, and might be behind many of these yogic feats.

C/ Liberation
But the ultimate goal of Yoga is to reach ‘samadhi’, associated with liberation from sorrow, suffering and ‘samsara’ (birth-rebirth cycle). It is described alternatively as a trance or ecstatic state, as ‘deep dream in which there is no dreaming’ (i.e. a lethargic state) or as ‘super-consciousness, a non-dualistic state in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object’.

A state of pure consciousness in which there is neither subject to experience nor object to provide content is a good example of what Bertrand Russell used to characterize as ‘metaphysical nonsense’. The experience of ‘samadhi’ resembles rather a state of unconsciousness, spiritual hibernation.

III. Mind the Bollocks

It may be argued that many people in the West just take Yoga classes because they are good for their body and decrease their stress level.

But is it possible to cherry-pick the physical exercises and discard the rest, remain immune to a philosophy which teaches to be satisfied with not understanding the world as a great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence?
The only measure of a world-view is the economic conditions of the population which created it.

Central to Hindu philosophy and Yoga is the idea that the divine exists in all beings, that all human beings can achieve union with this “innate divinity”, and that seeing this divine as the essence of others will further love and social harmony.

A short visit to India is enough to destroy any romantic illusions about gentleness and brotherly love. Beggars and street people spread throughout the streets of Calcutta and many other cities. In Mumbai, one cannot but be shocked by the aerial view on the world’s biggest slums.

Belief in karma assumes that everyone is rewarded or punished for things they did in their previous life. The traditional division in castes, social rank, economic wealth, social success or state of health are justified because predetermined by the laws of karma. Hence there is hardly any support for reform.

Any notion about the harmlessness of Yoga can be dispelled by this bizarre report of “India Today”: ‘Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, an Indian pop-star and tele preacher with a reported wealth of more than $50 million, is being investigated after he allegedly manipulated around 400 men to get their testicles removed. The victims were told that only those who get castrated will be able to meet God.’

IV. Deconstructing Reality

Any major philosophy, no matter how complex, can be classified as dualistic or monistic.

Monism claims that there is only one world and one way of apprehending it, through our senses. Reality is an absolute. There is a world independent of our minds to which our thinking must correspond if our ideas are to be true and therefore of practical use. It also holds that reason—the faculty that operates by way of observation and logic—is man’s means of knowledge.

Dualism proposes the existence of two worlds hierarchically organized: an inferior, physical, and material world, irredeemably unworthy; and the superior, metaphysical, transcendental world, the source of our ‘Ideas’. Experiencing is just an inferior way of knowing; superior, proper knowledge is obtained through mysticism and manipulation of speculative concepts. Knowledge can be acquired by non-sensory, non-rational means, such as faith, revelation, ESP, intuition.

Dualist systems sometimes present one part of reality as just the reflection – or the superstructure – of another aspect of reality; or argue that body and mind belong to different realms. Indian philosophy can be classified as dualistic: this world is just mere appearance, a mirage (Maya) opposed to the World of Pure Being (Brahma). Its practical conclusion is the rejection of the distinction between ‘I’ and ‘not-I’, the negation of individuality, just an illusion. Tat Tvam Asi.

All these dualistic systems are in fact expression of the same denial of life. And none of them has at least the merit of being consistent. After all, one can obtain liberation from this world by committing suicide, the philosophical action par excellence. This lack of logical coherence and internal consistency reflects a state of mind or disposition rather than an elaborate abstract philosophy. A genealogical approach, by inquiring as to the origin of certain ideas, of which type of man they are expression, what it is they reflect, and to where they lead, will be more fruitful. Any world view is inescapably linked to a particular outlook on man, the world, and history; and, in its turn, it depends on the mental constitution—itself anchored at a biological level—of the particular people by whom it was created.

V. Anthropogeography of Derealization

Deconstruction of reality has its own human geography. The religious and philosophical systems offering an escape from reality were born and developed in the area located between the Maghreb and the Bay of Bengal. Culturally speaking, the Irano-Semitic Middle East and India.

This Afro-Oriental space experienced historically a complex story of miscegenation and constitutes today a veritable melting-pot of the three so-called macro races: white, black and yellow (Hittites, Greeks, Macedonians, Romans, Vandals; Asian tribes traversing the Himalayan valleys and the Turkestan; slaves from Ethiopia, Nubia or Sudan sold in the markets of Arabia, Palestine, Egypt or the Maghreb).

Besides, the area has also borne witness to a peculiar phenomenon: the relative indifferentiation in the process of evolutionary development which its native populations have experienced. Evolution pushed Europe, the Far East and Sub-Saharan Africa respectively into the europid, mongolid and negrid direction. In the Afro-Oriental area, the intermediary types are nevertheless prevalent: Dravidians and Ethiopians are not properly black in their complexion and do not have the negroid profile; Arabs, Iranians or Indo-Afghans are not white but swarthy or brown, their hair is woolly, the physiognomy has a certain negroid touch. Besides, around the Eastern Mediterranean coast the process of sexual dimorphism is attenuated: men have often adipose feminoid tissues and women, abundant pilosity.

The region suffered two waves of invasion:

  1. Eastern Indo-Europeans (second millennium BCE): coming from Southern Russia, Indo-Iranians occupied Northern India and the Iranian plateau.
  2. Western Indo-Europeans (third millennium BCE – first millennium CE): from Central and Southern Europe Hittites, Greeks, Macedonians, Romans, Celts, Germanic tribes descended into the area.

The arrival of the tall, lean and fair horsemen to the banks of the Ganges and the Indus, the Tigris and Euphrates, the Jordan or the Nile must have produced a deep effect of ‘alienation’, more painful than the shock of the military defeat. The contest, beyond its military significance, exposed the comparative value of conqueror and conquered. The winner was not only stronger than the loser; he was ‘the other’. Between them there was no common measure of value. The victorious other obtained his force not from the weight of numbers, but from a mysterious element: he belonged to a homogeneous biological bloc not altered yet. Anthropology and ethnology indicate that the Proto-Indo-European people manifested a precise, characteristic racial physiognomy. Such a physiognomy anticipated the present Europid race in its varieties: white skin, tall stature, and dolichocephalic crania.

Dualism may be seen as the response the defeated offered to this anguishing underestimation. From now on, minor value was declared just ‘apparent’, a statement made easier by distinguishing between a world of appearances and a transcendental superior world. These speculative acrobatics helped to magically cancel the painful reality. A second scale of values, opposed to the one favoured by the victor, was constructed. Victory in this world, and the hereditary traits which made it possible, were declared as ‘non-values’.

A pre-Orwellian Decalogue was about to be born: 1. the imaginary is real; 2. Life is death; 3. Defeat is victory; 4. Weakness is strength; 5. Cowardice is honour; 6. Poverty (of spirit) is intelligence; 7. True is false; 8. Ignorance is knowledge; 9. Ugliness is beauty; 10. Laziness/inaction is action.

The most remarkable thing in this story is how this crude strawman – designed by the conquered to undermine the good conscience of his superior – was actually dressed up and adorned by the conqueror himself. Afro-asiatic languages, the language of the vanquished, were incapable of manufacturing and transforming this series of paralogisms into a solid philosophical system. The trick was accomplished thanks to Greek and Latin, and the use of alphabetic writing, which permit a sharper focus on word-creation and logical-temporal connections, in marked contrast to older hieroglyphic means of expression and a less analytical cognitive style.

Pythagoreans and Platonists, fond of Syrian and Egyptian mysteries, began this old tradition, which can only be dubbed ‘betrayal by stupidity’ and transformed themselves from European thinkers into make-up artists working for the deconstruction of reality. That is how Thomistic Scholasticism or Hegelianism, and its sub-product, Marxist Scholasticism, were created: as a cross between a magic-religious mentality and the scientific spirit.

That is also how the concept of ‘human being’, a fortuitous combination of soul, descending from a superior world, and body, belonging to this inferior world, came to life. This dual and abstract human being is the cosmic projection of the duplicitous nature of the half-breed, torn apart between two divergent heredities. Devaluation of earthly goods, renunciation of bodily pleasure, and withdrawal from worldly life in order to reach the purity of the world above is a nostalgic reflection of the lost genetic uniformity. Abhorrence of sexuality is the disgust that original sin, miscegenation, provokes. Assimilating light with goodness and evil with darkness projects the opposition between both sides, black and white, of the mixed genetic inheritance.

It is in these biological and historical realities that one must search for the origin of the delirious gnostic beliefs which have perturbed for more than two thousand years the psychological balance of European man.

VI. Gloom and Doom

In the case of India, the Indo-European speakers entered from the northwest, mixing with or displacing proto-Dravidian speakers, and establishing a caste system with themselves primarily in the higher castes. A 2001 study, led by Michael Bamshad of the University of Utah, found that the genetic similarity of Indians to Europeans is proportionate to caste rank: the upper castes have a higher similarity to Europeans than to Asians, and the upper castes are significantly more similar to Europeans than are the lower castes.

Despite the system of castes, the degree of miscegenation after a few centuries was almost complete. Genetic incongruity ended up gaining the upper hand and, as a consequence, producing a deeply pessimistic outlook. Indian philosophy is full of life denial and nostalgia for the lost racial homogeneity. Where did the light-eyed heroes of the ancient sagas, the warriors who rode over the Alai-Pamir ranges go?

Indian Classical thought (Upanishads) is permeated by a feeling of slow degradation, an inexorable advance of incoherence, stabilized character traits being progressively submerged by exotic genetic combinations. Instead of subordinating reality to a superior world, as it was done in the Middle East, India opted for a flat denial of reality. The world was too horrid a place to be even considered real and had to be downgraded to mere appearance. In this case too, it was Sanskrit, the language of the conquerors, which provided the necessary linguistic scaffolding for the story of the irremediable decline of the Eastern branch of the white race.

In their group strategies, Irano-Semitic (Abrahamism) and Indian thought have many similarities: restatement of myth as history, projection of traditional wisdom as authoritarian law, dependence upon supernaturalism (magic, miracles), false promise of impossible (supernatural) reward for compliance, castes of priests with status, power and economic incentives to perpetuate the falsehoods, secret knowledge, payment of ritualistic costs to falsehoods.

But while the purpose of Abrahamism has always been to subvert society from the inside, undermining the aristocratic class with guilt and bad conscience while stirring up the underclasses, the strategy of Yoga and Buddhism has been different.

The minority Hindu upper-caste created a religion of submission for the teeming masses of India, the perfect factory of docile and indolent subjects. To the ever new warlike invaders the traditional system of rule in India, wrapped in the language of resignation and pre-emptive defeat, was the perfect tool of domination and in exchange, the native ‘spiritual elite’ of the country managed to preserve their highly inflated social status.

That is why India, while a deeply feminine civilization unable to maintain territory or develop technological civilization, and easily and repeatedly dominated by foreign elites, has maintained the same system of rule effectively forever.

We may now compare the group survival strategies of India (I) and the West (W) and the results they produce:

  • Genetic homogeneity producing trust /W) vs Genetic heterogeneity producing mistrust (I)
  • Maximization of agency through self-improvement (W) vs Despondency and escapism (I)
  • Sovereignty/dominance (W) vs Servitude/submission (I)
  • Heroism (W) vs Buddha’s begging bowl (I)
  • Market rule (W) vs Arbitrary rule (I)
  • Truth of speech and science (W) vs Magic, obscurantism and fictionalism (I)
  • Reciprocity (W) vs Deceit (I)

And as a consequence: wealth, health, knowledge, innovation and progress (W) vs poverty, sickness, ignorance and stasis or regress (I).

VII. to Those Who Are Awake There Is only One World (Heraclitus)

Europe has never been really attracted to Indian thought, but the Irano-Semitic poison has ended up sapping the vitality of the West. Abrahamism in its successive manifestations, with its egalitarian and universalist abstractions, has been traveling and ever molding the outlook, the discourse, and values that today inform Western consciousness. Enthralled by this egalitarian utopia, European man can no longer assume control of the world’s destiny, or be the creator of a new future. Ashamed of a past which over time had given it undisputed superiority, the egalitarian West now wants the ‘end of history.’ It desires a return to the static stage of mammalian happiness: to an Edenic pre-human past.

Together with its good conscience, the West also lost the will to resist the rising tide of the non-Western world. Afro-Thomistic and Sino-Marxist propaganda were followed by effete postmodern discourse and once nihilism and social malaise become prevalent, especially among the youth, Yoga, an indicator of social dysfunction, and Buddhism, a form of escapism, can be used as effective spiritual opiates.

The symbiotic relation between ‘priests’ and ‘laity’ usually turns into one of deceivers and deceived, predators and prey. It may be interesting to recall an interview with Russian defector and ex-KGB agent, Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov, in which he reports the KGB interest in promoting yoga as a way of demoralizing America:

“The KGB became interested in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Hindu guru, charlatan and sexual deviant, whose methods were popularized in the West by The Beatles and Mia Farrow. The Kremlin noticed that influential Americans were visiting Maharishi’s ashram, learning transcendental meditation from him and transplanting it to America…to meditate, in other words, to isolate oneself from the current social and political issues of your own country, to get into your own bubble, to forget about the troubles of the world…most of the problems, most of the burning issues of today, can be solved simply by meditating. Don’t rock the boat, don’t get involved. Just sit down, look at your navel, and meditate. And the things, due to some strange logic, due to cosmic vibration, will settle down by themselves…this is exactly what the KGB and Marxist-Leninist propaganda want from Americans, to distract their opinion, attention, and mental energy from the real issues of the United States, into non-issues, into a non-world, non-existent harmony.”

Europeans/Westerners need to become again self-conscious, healthy, physically fit, and alert to the reality of this world. Exactly like three thousand five hundred years ago, religion and philosophy are an act of war. History reveals a recurring struggle across millennia between two dramatically different approaches to life on earth. In one approach, we see belief in the existence of the outside world, self-affirmation and development of agency. In the other approach, we see the belief that this world is an illusion or of secondary importance, self-denial and dissolution of one’s personality in the quietness of the atemporal and impersonal Self. It is the conflict of civilizations between the masculine/true/eugenic (aristocratic/European), and feminine/false/dysgenic (theological/Afro-Oriental). And now we are currently in the third iteration of that conflict.

Most of Western history has been a struggle between these two contrasting attitudes to life and reality. For any individuals genuinely concerned to promote man’s ascending earthly life, the takeaway lesson from this monumental struggle is that they must support the first approach.

Their weapons cannot be supernaturalism, mysticism or fictionalism, but Aristotelianism (empirical realism) combined with evolutionary Darwinian thought so as to complete the scientific study of man as psycho-somatic integrated unity.

That is what the Propertarian Institute pursues: to convert western aristocratic philosophy into rational and scientific terms: the remnant of the European aristocratic manorial system and the classical liberal philosophy of the Enlightenment combined with our ancient Indo-European instincts for group persistence and land-holding: truth-telling, the jury, and heroism.

 

Roman Law, Roman Imperium

In general, Indo-European peoples have perceived the need to preserve their originality while accepting the consequences imposed upon them by the expansion of cultural and geopolitical horizons generated by the Neolithic Revolution.

However – and thinking just of the ancient world – it was only the Romans who succeeded, thanks to the concept of Imperium, in achieving synthesis of permanence, faithfulness to themselves and to their origin, and full acceptance of ‘cosmic involvement’.

Clearly, Imperium and Empire must not be confused with each other. In fact, the notion of Imperium has found its truth and perfect realisation more in efforts that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic than in the maintenance of the post-Julian Empire.

The notion of Imperium reflects a will to cosmic order, and it is this order that organises hierarchically the various ‘gentes’ living under the protection of Rome. In theory and in practice, Imperium is at the antipodes of any sort of ‘universalism’. It does not seek to reduce humankind to one and the same; rather it seeks to preserve diversity in a world heading towards unification.

The Romans wanted to preserve their own city – their own ‘ius’: by temperament, all was conceived through rite and through law. However, such will to authenticity logically implied acknowledgment of ‘the other’. In this resided their political greatness.

As organised and conscious rejection of any sense of universalism – of any reductio ad unum – Imperium has, nevertheless, a political nature: it is realistic, not utopian. It is hierarchical: each member keeps its own ius, its own law; each people is free to administer its own city according to its traditional form of justice. However, in the relations between individuals from different cities, or among the cities themselves, ius romanus prevails over ius latinus – which, in turn, prevails over all others. And where neither ius romanus nor ius latinus is applicable, then what applies is ius gentium – a typical Roman abstraction to identify what might be common, or should be applied, to the iura of all the other peoples.

Hence, within the Imperium, Rome enjoys absolute primacy, and this may be explained naturally and in perfect justice. It is Rome which has conceived and created – and which organises and secures – a cosmos/order where each receives his due according to history (fatum). Since Imperium represents an order consecrated by fatum, diverse peoples approach the Romans asking for admission to the Roman Empire.

‘Regere imperio populos, Romane, memento / parcere victis ac debellare superbos’.(You, O Roman, remember to rule nations with your sway – these will be your arts – and to impose the tradition of peace, to spare the humbled and crush the proud.’) Such is the way Virgil defines the mission adopted by the Romans.

Abrahamism

Judaism was the soil out of which grew Christianity – the flower of slave morality. Though a single unified system, it carried different emphases for the two groups.

For the Jews, the foci were self-pity, ethnic solidarity, thirst for revenge, obsession with freedom, hatred of the strong and powerful, and desire to recover lost wealth.

The Christians – through the figure of Jesus – preferred to emphasize the value of the downtrodden (‘blessed are the meek’); faith in God to bring justice (‘the meek shall inherit the Earth’); salvation in the afterlife – and a fixation with love as means for ameliorating suffering.

Athens or Jerusalem?

Tertullian, father of Latin Christianity and founder of Western theology, summarises the early Christian attitude to science and intelligence :

-“Credo quia absurdum” (I believe it because it is absurd); and

-“What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What has the Academy to do with the Church? Away with all attempts to produce a Stoic or Platonic Christianity! We want no curious disputation after possessing Christ Jesus, no inquisition after receiving the gospel”.

What indeed has Athens to do with the Church?

Aryan Myth, Abrahamism and The Beginning of The European Cultural Neurosis

The Indo-Europeans introduced not only practical techniques for the appropriation of the physical and biological world but also, above all, a new technique for organizing socio-political and juridical relationships. It developed concepts such as ‘genos,’ ‘polis,’ and ‘imperium’—in their classical, medieval, or modern translations—and this constituted the difference that came to define Indo-European identity when confronted with other populations, cultures, and civilizations.

Such a way of organizing society derived from a particular Weltanschauung. This world view, expressed in all fields of human activity, gave birth to a cosmogonic myth, around which Indo-European man understood, explained, and organized the universe and history. Its unique character is better perceived when contrasted with the mentality and culture of the Book of Genesis. The latter narrative, in its religious and secularised forms, continues to obsess contemporary Western civilization.

What is most striking when studying Indo-European cosmogony is the solemn affirmation, found everywhere, of man’s primacy. Indo-European cosmogony places a ‘cosmic man’ at the ‘beginning’ of the current cycle of the world. It is from him that all things derive: gods, nature, living beings—and man himself as a historical being. In the Indian world, the Rig Veda names him Purusha; his name is Ymir in the Edda; and, according to Tacitus, he was called Mannus among continental Germans. For the Vedic Indians, Purusha is the One through whom the universe begins (again). He is ‘naught but this universe, what has passed and what is yet to come.’ In the same fashion, Ymir is the undivided One: and by him, the world is first organized. His own birth results from the meeting of fire and ice.

Kalidasa’s poem Kumarasambhava—one of the summits of Indian poetic reflection on the traditions of the Vedas—marvelously explains the allusions of the Indo-European cosmogonic myth. The opposition between Purusha (cosmic man) and Prakriti (which corresponds, approximately, to natura naturans) is revealing. Through being able to see without depending for this on Prakriti, Purusha is at the origin of the universe.

Since the universe is but indistinct chaos, devoid of any sense or significance, it is only by means of the outlook and word of cosmic man that the multitude of beings and things may emerge—including man fully realized as such. Purusha’s sacrifice is the Apollonian moment at which is affirmed the principium individuationis—‘cause of all that exists and shall exist’—until that time when the world will crumble: the Dionysian end that is also the condition of a new beginning.

The universe does not derive its existence from something not part of it. It proceeds from the being of cosmic man: his body, his gaze, his word—and his consciousness. There is no opposition between two worlds—between created being and uncreated being. On the contrary, there is incessant conversion and consubstantiality between beings and things, between heaven and earth, between men and gods.

In such a Weltanschauung, the gods are themselves a quarter of the cosmic man. They are superior men in the Nietzschean sense; in a certain way, they perpetuate the transfigured and transfiguring memory of the first ‘civilizing heroes’: those who brought humankind from its precedent stage—and truly founded, by ordering it into three functions, human society, Indo-European society. These gods do not represent ‘Good’—neither do they represent ‘Evil.’ Insofar as they represent sublimated forms of the good and evil that coexist, as antagonists, within life itself, they are both good and evil. Hence, each presents an ambivalent aspect—a human aspect. This explains why mythical imagination tends to split personality: Mitra-Varuna, Jupiter-Dius Fidius, Odin/Wotan-Tyr, etc. In relation to present humankind, which they have instituted as such, these gods correspond indeed to their mythical ‘ancestors’ and ideal models. Legislators, inventors of social tradition, they remain present, are still active. However, they also remain subject to fatum: destined in a very human way to an ‘end.’

In brief, we are referring not to creating gods, but rather to creatures—human gods who are, nevertheless, organizers-orderers of the world: ancestral gods for current humankind; gods who are great in both good and evil and who place themselves beyond such notions. On Olympus, says Heraclitus, ‘the gods are immortal men, whereas men are mortal gods; our life is their death and our death their life.’

What are labelled ‘Indo-European people’ correspond to a society which came to the fore at the beginning of the Neolithic Age and whose cosmogonic myth was organised by a new perspective gained at this historical juncture—a perspective allowing reflection on the prior belief system and its revolutionary reinterpretation.

If belief in a ‘supreme being’—not to be mistaken for the one god of monotheism—was common to ‘primitive humankind’—that is, to the human groups who lived at the end of the Mesolithic Age, the Indo-European cosmogony is a reformulation of that idea—or rather a discourse that explodes and overcomes the language and the ‘reason’ of the preceding period. It is legitimate to consider that, for the Mesolithic ancestors of the Indo-Europeans, the supreme being has become none other than man himself; has become, more precisely, a ‘cosmic projection’ of man as holder of magic power. Similarly, one may conclude that this particular Indo-European idea of the supreme being was not shared by the other human groups who descended from the Mesolithic Age.

The classical Middle East has ‘reflected’—imagined and interpreted—the same set of Mesolithic beliefs in a manner diametrically opposed to the one taken by the Indo-Europeans. The Judeo-Christian Bible—summa of the religious Levantine Weltanschauung—stands at the antipodes of the Indo-European vision.
Yahweh has not extracted the universe by subdivision and ‘dismemberment’ of himself. He has created it ex nihilo, out of nothing. He is not the coincidentia oppositorum: the ‘Undivided Self,’ the place where all relative oppositions meet, melt, and surpass themselves. He is not simultaneously ‘being and non-being.’ He is being only: ‘I am that I am’ (Exodus 3:14).

Entirely alien to the world, Yahweh is the antithesis of all tangible reality. He is not an aspect, sum, level, form, or quality of the world. ‘The world is entirely distinct from God, its creator,’ the First Vatican Council of 1870 reminds us. Consequently, since the created universe cannot be identical to the creating god, the world lacks essence. It has existence only. More precisely, it is a being of ‘inferior degree’—imperfect.

Indo-European polytheism is the complementary ‘reverse’ of what might be defined as mono-humanism or pan-humanism: man is the law of the world (anthropos o nomos tou kosmou) and the measure of all things. In contrast, Jewish monotheism appears to be the conclusion of a process of reabsorption: reduction to unity of a multiplicity of non-human deities (personified natural forces) operated by Elohim-Yahweh. In short, it is the outcome of a mental speculation that also leads the plurality of things back to a single principle; not man, in this case, but matter and energy: ‘nature.’

From being the one and only god, non-ambivalent, Yahweh evidently represents absolute Good. It is understandable that he often shows himself to be cruel, implacable, jealous. Absolute Good could only be intransigent against Evil. What is less logical is the biblical conception of evil. Not deriving from absolute good, evil should not exist in a world created from nothing by a god who is ‘infinitely good.’ The Bible tries to solve the problem by explaining away evil as the consequence of the revolt of certain creatures—notably Lucifer—against the authority of Yahweh. Hence, evil seems to be the refusal of a creature to play the role assigned by Yahweh. The power of evil may at times seem considerable. However, as compared to the power of good (Yahweh), it is nothing of the sort: the final outcome of the struggle between Good and Evil is never in doubt. All problems, all conflicts are already solved before they take place: history is pure decay, the effect of the blindness of impotent creatures.

In this way, from the start, history is devoid of sense. The First Man—the first humanity—has blundered in giving in to a suggestion from Satan. In consequence, he has declined the role Yahweh had assigned to him. He has picked the forbidden apple, and entered history.

Creator of the universe, Yahweh has also played—in relation to the ‘current’ human society—a role entirely antithetical to that played by the Indo-European sovereign gods. Yahweh is not a ‘civilising hero’ who invents a social tradition. Rather, he constitutes an omnipotence that opposes Adam’s ‘fault’—the sort of human life the latter wished to enjoy: a post-Neolithic urban civilization—implicitly referred to, in the Book of Genesis, in the story of the Tower of Babel. However, long before this, Yahweh had refused the land’s produce offered by the farmer Cain, and ‘had regard [only] for Abel and his offering’ (Genesis 4:3–5). Abel is not a farmer; rather, he is but a nomad who has abandoned hunting and survives from carrying out razzias. He extends the Mesolithic tradition into a new society—born of the Neolithic Revolution—and rejects the new way of life.

Subsequently, the mission of Abraham—the nomad who had deserted the city of Ur—and that of his descendants, will be to negate and reject, from the very interior of the world, any form of post-Neolithic civilisation, since its very existence perpetuates the memory of the ‘revolt’ against Yahweh. After Abraham, Moses maintains this commitment. Just as the people of Israel were able to escape captivity in Egypt, the whole of humanity is called upon to escape the ‘captivity’ of history. The law of Yahweh, handed down at Mount Sinai, is presented as the means of rescinding, once and for all, Adam and Eve’s transgression.

Man, in relation to the ‘god’ of the Bible, is not really a ‘son’; rather, he is a mere creature. Yahweh has made him, as any other living being, just as a potter models a vase. He has made him in ‘his own image’ (Genesis 1:27) in order to have his steward on Earth: the guardian of Paradise. The power man holds over the world is a power by proxy: a power entrusted to him that he may use only on the condition he not use it fully. Adam, seduced by the Devil, challenged the role that Yahweh had wanted him to play. But man will forever remain God’s servant (‘And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified,’ Isaiah 49:3). The superiority of man over beast is as nothing—for all is vanity. ‘All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again’ (Ecclesiastes 3:20).

Man, according to the teachings of the Bible, has to remember unfailingly that he is dust; that historical existence has the sense only of that implicitly ascribed when history is actively rejected.

‘Roman’ Christianity, born with the Constantinian arrangement, was from the start an attempt to establish, within the ‘ancient’ world transformed by Rome in orbis politica, a compromise between the Indo-European Weltanschauung and the Judaic religion, adapted to Roman imperial civilisation by the alleged efforts of Jesus. The one and only god became, through dogmatic ‘mystery,’ ‘one god in three persons.’ The old trinity that the Vedic Indians called Trimurti has been integrated and, broadly, these ‘persons’ have assumed the three functions of Indo-European society, now in an inverted, spiritualised form. As creator and sovereign, Yahweh nevertheless continues to reject the dual aspect of reality: evil is the exclusive province of Satan. The new name ‘Deus Pater’—‘eternal and divine father,’ revered by the Indo-Europeans—is substituted for the old name given by the Bible. Yahweh is father only of his ‘second person’: a son sent to Earth to play a role opposed to that of ‘founding hero.’ He is a son who decides to become alienated from this world in order the better to show a way to the world beyond, and who, if he renders unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, does this only because to him what belongs to Caesar is of no value at all. He is a son, finally, whose function is not to ‘make war,’ but to preach a jealous peace that will benefit only the ‘men of goodwill’—the adversaries of this world—those to whom is reserved the only nutrient of eternity: the grace administered by the third ‘person,’ the Holy Spirit.

Man, as a creature—and as a created being—is the serf of God’s serfs: ‘excrement’ (stercus, as Augustine of Hippo put it). However, at the same time, he is also the brother of the incarnated son of Yahweh, which ‘almost’ makes him a son of God—provided he knows how to will and deserve it, something that depends on the grace the Creator administers according to unfathomable criteria. The day shall come when humankind will be definitively and eternally divided between the saints and the damned. There is a biblical Valhalla: the Celestial Paradise, but it is now reserved for the anti-heroes (In To Have or to Be? (New York: Harper and Row, 1976), Erich Fromm observes: ‘The [Christian] martyr is the exact opposite of the pagan hero personified in the Greek and Germanic heroes. . . . For the pagan hero, a man’s worth lay in his prowess in attaining and holding onto power, and he gladly died on the battlefield in the moment of victory’).

The others belong to Hell.

This compromise has for centuries molded the history of what is called ‘Western civilisation.’ For centuries, according to the deepest affinities, ‘pagan’ and ‘Levantine’ man has been able to see—in the ‘one and threefold’ god—his own respective divinity. This explains the numerous confusions that have always characterised historical Christianity. The coexistence of two antagonistic spiritualities—often confronting one another, even in the hearts of the same individuals—eventually crystallise into a veritable neurosis of the European mentality.

Today we can confidently state that the Constantinian ‘arrangement’ arranged nothing, and that the day the motto ‘In hoc signo vinces’ was proclaimed had detrimental consequences for the Greco-Roman and Celto-Germanic world. Until recently, the Church of Rome particularly, and the Christian churches in general remained, as organised secular powers, attached to the appearances of the old compromise. However, in more recent times they began to recognise the authentic essence of Christianity. Hence, Yahweh, finally casting off the mask of luminous and celestial Deus-Pater, was rediscovered and proclaimed anew. In 1938 Pope Pius XI declared: ‘Through Christ and in Christ we are the spiritual progeny of Abraham. Spiritually, we [i.e., Christians] are all Semites.’

However, long before the churches reached that point, ‘profane’ (demythicised and secularised) Christianity, i.e., egalitarianism in all its forms, had found its path according to biblical truth. This was marked by the rejection of history; the proclaimed will to ‘step out of history’ in order to return to ‘nature’; the tendency to reabsorb human specificity into the ‘physical-chemical’; all determinist materialisms; Marcuse’s condemnation of art on the grounds that by integrating man in society it would betray ‘truth’; finally, the egalitarian ideology that wants to reduce humankind to the anti-hero model: the chosen one, hostile to any specific civilisation in that he wishes to see in it nothing but unhappiness, misery, exploitation (Marx), repression (Freud), or pollution. All this has invariably restored—still continues to restore today, at that precise moment when a new technological revolution is inviting us to overcome old ‘forms’—that motionless, ‘eternal’ (if there ever was such) Judaic vision: an unequivocal ‘No’ to any present pregnant with a future.

Saying ‘Yes’ to history—ever-becoming, ever re-proposing new foundations—implies assuming new forms and content. Saying ‘Yes’ is creation, the work of art. ‘No’ exists only by denying any value to such work. The Indo-European cosmogonic myth reassures us that saying ‘Yes’ is always possible. In a different world, arising from the ruins of the old, the mission of ‘civilising heroes’ is eternal, and it assumes, serenely, the splendid and tragic destiny of one who creates, gives birth to himself, and accepts, as condition of any historical adventure, of any life, the idea of his own end.

Eastern Wisdom (i)

The habit of contrasting the crude materialism of the West with the spiritualism of the East needs to be revised. The great Asiatic civilizations developed in a pre-logical era; the mind groped for truth through intuition, symbol, magic and mysticism. It was irrational. It refused to see the external world as an autonomous reality capable of being shaped and adapted through an understanding of its laws.

The West, thanks to the Greek genius, succeeded in rising to the level of rational thought, founded on respect for a principle of no concern to the Oriental mind, the principle of contradiction. By associating the Hellenic Logos with the Roman Law, Europe realized a synthesis which, despite many tribulations, is still the most miraculous accomplishment of the human adventure.

Eastern Wisdom (ii): Confucianism

The Chinese were an industrious and practical people. They excelled in map-making and meteorology; they created the science of seismography and were pioneers in civil and hydraulic engineering. To their ingenuity the world owes the first mechanical clocks with escapements and balance wheels; powder, which they used for fireworks long before making hand grenades; the compass; paper; silk; and printing with movable letters. Nevertheless, they did not apply this inventiveness to their industry, which remained essentially unchanged over the two thousand years between the accession of the Han and the fall of the Manchu dynasty.

Why not? Because the Chinese were interested in a different set of values from those which preoccupied the West. Instead of trying to dominate nature, the Chinese sought to adjust themselves to a cosmic environment, natural and human. The two essential problems of concern to the Chinese were the search for good government and the art of finding contentment in the midst of poverty and adversity.

The first problem concerned Confucius. He regarded man as essentially social, and he took as his personal mission the saving of a world which seemed to him to be in full decadence. His solution involved the restoration of five essential virtues: good manners, distributive justice, kindness, filial piety and wisdom.
Confucianism, at once a theory of government and a theory of ethics, produced strong patterns of social ritualism, and the written language of China helped maintain this conformity. The immobility of words, formed of monosyllables, tended to stereotype thought and to freeze social life.

Confucius and his school recognized this when they insisted that the remedy for the disorders of the times was to be found in the “rectification of words”. To assure good government, everything had to be identified by its true name, and everyone had to conduct himself in accordance with the correct designation of his function. The incorrect use of words was a semantic sin leading to social disorder.

It was important, therefore, that public functionaries be recruited by examinations based on their knowledge of classical books, named and written in an ancient language very different from that in contemporary use, and requiring the mastery of tens of thousands of characters. For two thousand years the institution of the Mandarins attracted the best minds into the services of an administration whose primary concern was to maintain a static social order, in harmony with and dependent upon an unchanging cosmic order.

Eastern Wisdom (iii): Taoism

Taoism, anterior to Confucianism, stands in sharp contrast to it. However, its results were even worse, for Taoism negated logic and encouraged evasion.

Lao-Tse attributed all misfortunes to man’s departures from the state of nature when he tried to control his destiny.

The social virtues praised by Confucius – justice, good manners, wisdom and kindness – were regarded as conventions and obstacles to the natural order of things and deserving only of contempt. Laws merely multiplied the number of thieves and bandits.

For Confucius, the good sovereign was one who did everything possible for his people; for Lao-Tse, the best sovereign was one who saw that he could do nothing and let matters take a natural course. Man must return to his original state of innocence.

Through asceticism, life could be prolonged; immortality itself was possible for him who could absorb himself in the ecstasy of Tao, an indescribable reality which was everywhere, which had no definite limits and was the origin and supreme law of things.

Eastern Wisdom (iv): China (conclusion)

Such mentalities (Confucianism, Taoism) made progress of the Western sort a theoretical as well as a practical impossibility. Prior to the arrival of Westerners, China was a closed society which regarded itself as perfect, as having nothing to learn from foreigners.

Withdrawn behind an intellectual and moral “Chinese Wall,” the Middle Empire could not develop until the arrival of the barbarians, the European and American “devils.”

Chinese mathematical thought was profoundly arithmetic and algebraic, but unlike the Greek mind it never developed an axiomatic and deductive geometry.

Failing to conceive the idea of natural law, the Chinese did not develop the fundamental sciences until after the arrival of the missionaries from the West. Nature was a symbolism to be deciphered, and for this purpose a number of pseudosciences were constructed – numerology, astrology and physiognomy – all of which were incompatible with the discovery of physical laws.

The Chinese never rose to the abstract idea of a homogeneous and isotropic space such as Euclid conceived and could express in geometric terms. Their physics remained caught in the metaphysics of Yin and Yang, the five elements, and their symbolic affinities. Hence their science never got beyond the pre-Galileo level.

Joseph Needham, perhaps the greatest authority on Chinese science, observes:

“When we say that modern science developed only in Europe and only in the time of Galileo at the end of the Renaissance, we are trying to say that then and then only were laid the foundations of the structure of the natural sciences as we know them today; that is to say, the application to nature of mathematical hypotheses, the full understanding and systematic use of the experimental method, the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, the geometrization of space and the acceptance of a mechanical model of reality.”

Eastern Wisdom (v): India

After an honorable start, India failed to attain through its own efforts the level of technical and scientific competence of the West. As with China, the failure was traceable to a different way of looking at the world.

East and West started with the same pessimistic assumptions: the human condition is precarious, painful and fleeting. Theoris of Megara, Simonides of Chios and the Greek tragedies all passed judgments on existence fully as bleak as Buddha´s. But the responses were different. In the West, they suggested actions to improve the situation; in India, evasion.

Western man sought to remedy the misery of his condition by mastery of the world; the Hindu sought to escape the world by mastery of self, of the internal life of the spirit. The Western mind believed in the reality of the external world and undertook to impose upon it the power of man’s will; the Hindu regarded the external world and the idea of Ego as illusory, and sought to submerged personality in the quietude of the impersonal and timeless “Self.”

The highest wisdom was to escape from the wheel of rebirths by the technique of depersonalization, to be had through the mastery of knowledge of Samkhya or the psychosomatic methods of deliverance of Yoga. The purpose in both cases was to enter in an ecstatic fusion with the Absolute (Brahma), who in his positive form is Being itself, and in his negative form is Nothingness, the Nirvana.

To this metaphysics, with its denial of the wish to live, must be added a compartmentalization of Hindu society which prevented the invigorating circulation of elites that alone can keep a society healthy. There was no possibility of rising from one caste to another; there was no “social ladder” to climb. Nothing was done prior to 1950 to change this situation.

Eastern Wisdom (vi): Islam, Arabic Civilization

From the 8th to the 12th century the Islamic Empire, made up of many peoples, extending from the Pyrenees to the limits of China, preserved Hellenic science, enriched it with borrowings from Persia, India and even China, and finally transmitted it to the Latin West.

Expelled from Europe by the Christians, driven from Asia by the Mongols, subjected to the Turks in Egypt, the Arabs lost contact with the Persians, the Syrians, the Christians and the Jews whose presence had played a vitalizing role in Arab culture. Thrown back upon themselves, they sank into a long torpor from which they were not aroused until the 19th century and the coming of the peoples of the West.

How is this sleep of Islam to be explained?

It was due to the fact that the Parsees, the Christians, the Jews and the Pagans who accepted the religion of Islam had done so more to be free from various onerous taxes than from any real conversion. The scholars who constituted the “Arab Miracle” were for the most part Syrians, Persians and Spaniards, peoples who were not Arab by blood, and had nothing of the Arab spirit. Once these alien elements were eliminated, the Islamic masses again fell under the yoke of their fanatical imams.

From 1200 on, a theological reaction swept through Islam. There were no longer philosophers – the word itself became synonymous with ‘infidel’ – and only occasionally was there a scholar like the historian Ibn-Khaldun. The Turks, devoid of any critical and probing spirit, imposed their heavy yoke on Islam; and Islam, returning to its sources, paralyzed inquiry into a formula which brooked no answer: “Allah aalam” (God knows best what is).

The traditionalism of Islam is incompatible with the spirit of inquiry and the idea of progress. For the Muslim, all truth worth knowing is contained in the Koran, at once a dogma and a code of faith, whose prescriptions regulate the smallest details of life. Whatever happens is the will of Allah. All is preordained; the only thing to do is to submit without complaint.

This fatalism is destructive of effort, of any manifestation of personal will. It expresses the atavistic resignation of the nomad before the emptiness of the desert. Belief in another life, full of sensuous delights, of houris and fresh meadows, consoles the faithful for present tribulations. This mentality rules out restlessness, dissatisfaction with self, that constant drive to improve which is the ethical mainspring of the internal life of Western man.

Eastern Wisdom (& Vii): Zen

Zen was introduced in Japan at the end of the 12th century, five hundred years after Confucianism and Buddhism. It acknowledges neither God nor life beyond death, does not emphasize the distinction between good and evil and does not have a fixed doctrine or holy scripture.

The teachings of Zen, which “do not stand upon words,” are transmitted through provoking paradoxes and extravagant questions (koans):

“Two hands clap and there is a sound, what is the sound of one hand?”
“Two sisters are crossing the street, which one is the older sister?”
“What is Zen? Three pounds of flax.”

Koans are described by Zen masters as pointers to an unmediated “pure Consciousness, devoid of cognitive activity.” The one unforgivable sin in a Zen monastery is to be too logical. The demon to be exorcised is rational thinking: classifying and categorizing, conceptual definitions, coherent reasoning. Abstract thinking prevents instant enlightenment (satori). The idea is to suppress the verbal restrictions imposed by tradition and consequently destroy the inhibitions caused by paralyzing timidity.

Reflecting kills action, therefore “If you walk, just walk. If you sit, just sit. Don’t wobble!” and to the terrorized victim of traditional Japanese education, it is even recommended: “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!”

As Taoism in China, Zen must be seen as a counterbalance to the rigidly conservative Confucianism. The traditional dread of unforeseen situations is neutralized by springing surprises and shocks on the disciple and encouraging him to reciprocate in equally eccentric fashion. The koan technique is designed to bring out that side of a person which the social code condemns: “the unexpected man”.

Zen influence on Japanese arts was at one time (16th and 17th centuries) quite profound: on painting, landscape gardening, flower arranging, the tea ceremony, fireflies chasing, swordsmanship, archery, judo. It created a unique lifestyle.

However, although originally Japanese Zen emphasized a kind of spontaneity which was creative in nature, this spontaneity quickly became an automatic and mechanistic spontaneity which in turn drained Japanese culture of its vitality. It degenerated into a mere routine, dealing only with stereotypical subjects in a petrified style. Koans ended up becoming at best a hilarious leg-pull, an existentialist hoax, and at worst, a web of solemn absurdities: “Ugly is beautiful, false is true and also conversely”. This is not Orwell, it was written in all seriousness by Suzuki, the foremost propounder of modern Zen.

Zen, originally a cure for de-conditioning, ended up becoming a new type of social conditioning.

Islam and the Arabs

As long as Islam was in the hands of the Arab race, however, there was no intellectual development involving a concern for matters of this world. It was different once the Persians gained the ascendency, and the Abbasid caliphs supplanted the Umayyads at Damascus. The Abbasids established their new capital at Baghdad and made it the centre of the civilized world, while a prince of the Umayyads escaped to Spain, where he established a realm which was practically independent. The brilliant caliphs who followed one another at Baghdad – Al-Mansur, Harun al-Rashid and Al-Ma’mun the Great, contemporaries of the Carolingians – respected the external rituals of the religion of which they were the chiefs, but, like the popes of the Renaissance, they interested themselves in many other matters. During the second half of the eleventh century, the political power of the Arabs declined with the taking of Bagdad by the Seljuk Turks, the reconquering of Aragon, Toledo, and Palermo by the Christians and the entry into Jerusalem by the Crusaders. Expelled from Europe by the Christians, driven from Asia by the Mongols, subjected to the Turks in Egypt, the Arabs lost contact with the Persians, the Syrians, the Christians and the Jews whose presence had played a vitalizing role in Arab culture. Thrown back upon themselves, they sank into a long torpor from which they were not aroused until the 19th century and the coming of the peoples of the West. How is this sleep of Islam to be explained? It was due to the fact that the Parsees, the Christians, the Jews and the Pagans who accepted the religion of Islam had done so more to be free from various onerous taxes than from any real conversion. The scholars who constituted the “Arab Miracle” were, for the most part, Syrians, Persians and Spaniards, peoples who were not Arab by blood, and had nothing of the Arab spirit. Once these alien elements were eliminated, the Islamic masses again fell under the yoke of their fanatical imams. From 1200 on, a theological reaction swept through Islam. There were no longer philosophers – the word itself became synonymous with ‘infidel’ – and only occasionally was there a scholar like the historian Ibn-Khaldun. The Turks, devoid of any critical and probing spirit, imposed their heavy yoke on Islam; and Islam, returning to its sources, paralyzed inquiry into a formula which brooked no answer: “Allah aalam” (God knows best what is). The traditionalism of Islam is incompatible with the spirit of inquiry and the idea of progress. For the Muslim, all truth worth knowing is contained in the Koran, at once a dogma and a code of faith, whose prescriptions regulate the smallest details of life. Whatever happens is the will of Allah. All is preordained; the only thing to do is to submit without complaint. This fatalism is destructive of effort, of any manifestation of personal will. It expresses the atavistic resignation of the nomad before the emptiness of the desert. Belief in another life, full of sensuous delights, of houris and fresh meadows, consoles the faithful for present tribulations. This mentality rules out restlessness, dissatisfaction with self, that constant drive to improve which is the ethical mainspring of the internal life of Western man. From the moment he satisfies the fundamental prescription of the Koran, which is to believe in the one God and his Prophet, he is at peace with himself. There results a quietism which bears the outward appearance of a noble serenity but excludes all effort to improve the human condition. Since Allah has made man’s home what it is, why try to improve it by inventions which border on impiety and contribute nothing to man’s salvation? Why maintain the Roman aqueducts at Carthage? The religion of Islam rules out intellectual curiosity. Omar, burning the books at the Library of Alexandria to warm the Moorish baths, is only a legend, but the words attributed to him are full of significance: “If these books say the same things the Koran says, they are useless; if they say anything else they are false and should be destroyed.”

The Abrahamic or Egalitarian Worldview

Irrespective of the forms it has adopted, the Abrahamic or egalitarian world view has always been eschatological – and also reflects an implicit anthropology. It attributes a negative value to history, and discerns sense in historical motion only insofar as the latter tends towards its own negation and final end.
According to this view, history has a beginning and it must also have an end. It is but an episode—an incident as far as what constitutes the essence of humanity is concerned. The true nature of man would be external to history. And the end of history would restore—sublimating it—whatever existed at the beginning. Human eternity would be based not on becoming but on being.

I.-The Christian Perspective
This episode which is history is perceived in the Christian perspective as damnation. History derives from man being condemned by God—owing to original sin—to unhappiness, labour, sweat, and blood. Humanity lived in happy innocence in the Garden of Eden, and was condemned to history because its forefather, Adam, transgressed the divine commandment, wanting to taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge: to become like God. Adam’s fault weighs, as original sin, upon every individual who comes to the world. It is, by definition, inexpiable, since God himself was offended.

However, God, in his infinite goodness, himself takes charge of the expiation. He becomes man—incarnate in the person of Jesus. The sacrifice of the Son of God introduces in historical becoming the essential event of Redemption. No doubt this concerns only those individuals touched by Grace, but it makes possible the slow march towards the end of history, for which, from then on, the ‘communion of saints’ must prepare humanity. Finally, there will come a day when the forces of Good and Evil will come face to face in a battle that will lead to a Last Judgement and, thence, to the instauration of the Kingdom of Heaven—which has its dialectical counterpart in the abyss of Hell.

Eden before the beginning of history; original sin; expulsion from the Garden of Eden; traversing the vale of tears that is the world—the place of historical becoming; Redemption; communion of saints; apocalyptic battle and Last Judgement; end of history and instauration of a Kingdom of Heaven: these are the mythemes that structure the mythical vision of history proposed by Christianity. In this vision, man’s historical becoming has a purely negative value, and the sense of an expiation.

Ii.- the Marxist View

The same mythemes can be found—now in a secularised and pseudoscientific form—in the Marxist view of history. There, history is presented as the result of the class struggle: a struggle between groups defined in relation to their respective economic conditions. The prehistoric Garden of Eden has been transformed into a primitive communism practised by a humanity still immersed in the state of nature and of a purely predatory character. Whereas man in Eden was constrained by God’s commandments, man in primitive communism lives under the pressure of misery. Such pressure has brought about the invention of the means of agricultural production, but this invention has also turned out to be a curse. It has entailed, indeed, not only the exploitation of nature by man, but also the division of labour, the exploitation of man by man, and, consequently, human alienation. The class struggle is the implicit consequence of this exploitation of man by man. Its result is history.

As we can see, for Marxists it is economic conditions that determine human behaviour. By logical concatenation, the latter leads to the creation of ever new systems of production which, in their turn, cause new economic conditions and—especially—ever greater misery for those who are exploited. Nevertheless, there comes a moment of Redemption. With the arrival of capitalism misery peaks—it becomes unbearable. Proletarians become conscious of their condition, and this redemptive realisation gives rise to the organising of communist parties—exactly as the redemption of Christ had caused the founding of a communion of saints. The Judeo-Christian notion of ‘Grace’ finds its equivalent, especially in relation to the Sermon of the Mount.

Communist parties carry out an apocalyptic struggle against the exploiters. This may be long and difficult, but it will ultimately and necessarily be successful: it is ‘the sense of history.’ This will bring about the abolition of social classes, put an end to man’s alienation, and allow the instauration of a communist society—unchanging and classless. Furthermore, since history is the result of the class struggle, evidently there will be no more history. Prehistoric communism will be reinstated—like the Garden of Eden in the Kingdom of Heaven—but in a sublimated way. While primitive communist society was afflicted by material misery, post-historic communist society will enjoy a perfectly balanced satisfaction of its needs.

Hence, in the Marxist view, history also assumes a negative value. Born originally because of human alienation, it makes sense only insofar as it increases incessantly the misery of those exploited, finally contributing to the creation of the conditions through which misery will disappear and, as it were, ‘marching’ towards its own end, its self-abolition.

Iii.- the End of History
Both egalitarian views—religious Christian and secular Marxist—logically imply that history is determined not by the action of man, but by something that transcends him. It is true that Christianity ascribes free will to man and so affirms that it was Adam, having freely ‘chosen’ to sin, who is responsible for his fault, for his imperfection. However, it was God who made and wanted Adam to be imperfect.

On the other hand, Marxists were sometimes wont to say that history was made by man—or rather men, as members of a social class. However, it is the case that social classes are determined and defined by economic conditions, and that it had been original misery that had constrained men to enter into that bloody concatenation which is the class struggle. Man is then incited to act only as a result of his economic condition. He is a mere decoy in a game played in nature by material forces.

Within the egalitarian vision of history, man performs a dramatic role—in a tragic, shameful, and painful farce—one that he has not written and will never write. Dignity, as an authentic human truth, is found outside history—before it and after it.

Abrahamism: Contending with And Rejecting Aristotle

All three abrahamic religions have had to confront the ideas of the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Averroes tried to integrate Aristotle with Islam. Maimonides tried to integrate Aristotle with Judaism. Aquinas tried to integrate Aristotle with Christianity. All necessarily failed. Rationality cannot be integrated with faith; nor reason with anti-reason; nor, in philosophy, fact with fantasy.

In conquering parts of the Byzantine Empire, Arabs encountered Greek thought. Muslim scholars studied and were fascinated by the writings of Aristotle and translated them into Arabic. Avicenna and Averroes were superlative Aristotle scholars. The Arabs learned the method of observation-based rationality and, in a true golden age, made superb contributions to medicine, astronomy, mathematics, literature, and other fields.

But it did not last. Due to the influence of Al-Ghazali and other reason-rejecting theologians, as well as a fundamentalism firmly entrenched in Islamic culture from its outset, faith ultimately crushed freedom of thought. Under orthodox Islam, the books of Avicenna, Averroes, and other great thinkers were burned in the 12th century. For eight hundred years since – the Islamic world has wallowed in a dark age.

When Christians reconquered large areas of Spain from the Muslims, they had access to the Islamic centers of learning in southern Spain. In the 12th century, Archbishop Raymund I of Toledo supported Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim scholars in another great translation movement, mirroring that of Baghdad three centuries earlier, but this time translating Greek masterpieces from Arabic into Latin, the language of European scholars. Predictably, as it had done centuries before, the Church resisted study of Greek philosophy. In 1210 a Church council at Paris forbade the reading of Aristotle’s ‘metaphysics and natural philosophy.

But this time the Church failed. Leading European minds, although still Catholic, were determined to gain a greater understanding of the natural world—and nobody, at that point in history, had attained a knowledge of nature equal to Aristotle’s.

In one of history’s great and tragic ironies, in the late Middle Ages Aristotle became the patron Greek philosopher of the Catholic Church. Many of that era’s thinkers, the Scholastics, were Christian Aristotelians.

But a critical and often overlooked point is that, in the centuries following Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, they too often rejected Aristotle’s method and clung to his specific conclusions as dogmatically as they did Biblical myths.

The Darkness of the Abrahamic Dark Ages

According to the Dutch economist Anguss Maddison, Europe suffered through zero economic growth in the centuries from 500 AD to 1500. Maddison shows that for a millennium there was no rise in per capita income, which stood at an abysmally low $215 in 1500. Further, he estimates that in the year 1000, the average infant could expect to live to roughly the age of 24 years—and that a third would die in the first year of life.

French historian Fernand Braudel, writing about the pre-18th-century era, points out, for instance, that although France was, by standards of the day, a relatively prosperous country, it is nevertheless believed to have suffered ten general famines during the 10th century; twenty-six in the 11th; two in the 12th—and these are estimates that do not even count the hundreds and hundreds of local famines.

European sewage and sanitation regressed back to primitivism during this era. Human waste products were often thrown out the window and into the street or simply dumped in local rivers. With the streets strewn with garbage and running with urine and feces—and with the same horrifying conditions permeating the rivers and streams from which drinking water was drawn—vermin and germs multiplied, and disease of every kind, untreatable by the primitive medical knowledge of the day, proliferated. Between 1347 and 1350, for example, the bubonic plague—the infamous “Black Death”—spread by the fleas that infest rats, ravaged Western Europe, obliterating roughly 20 million people, fully one-third of the human population. Norman Cantor, the leading contemporary historian of the Middle Ages, states: “The Black Death of 1348–49 was the greatest biomedical disaster in European and possibly in world history.”

Finally, the early Middle Ages witnessed a stupefying decline in levels of education and literacy from the Roman period. In the endemic warfare of the period, human beings lost the skill of writing and, largely, of reading. For example, during the 8th century, Charlemagne maintained that even the clergy knew insufficient Latin to understand the Bible or to properly conduct Church services.

A related disaster was that Classical learning was largely lost in the West. The loss of literacy in Greek was catastrophic for civilization, for it meant the simultaneous loss of philosophy, mathematics, medicine, engineering, and science. Andrew Coulson, a researcher in the field of educational history, points out that whereas the Greeks were fascinated by the natural world, taking pioneering steps in such sciences as anatomy, biology, physics, and meteorology, the Christians replaced efforts to understand the world with an attempt to know God; observation-based study of nature was, accordingly, subordinated to faith-based study of scripture. A decline in learning consequently afflicted every cognitive subject. What limited medical knowledge had been accumulated by Greek and Roman physicians was supplanted by utter mysticism. For example, St. Augustine believed that demons were responsible for diseases, a tragic regression from Hippocrates. Scientific work, in general, declined as interest in the physical world did.

W. T. Jones, the 20th century’s leading historian of philosophy, succinctly captured the essence of the decline, and of Christianity’s causal role in promoting it, when he stated: “Because of the indifference and downright hostility of the Christians almost the whole body of ancient literature and learning was lost. This destruction was so great and the rate of recovery was so slow that even by the ninth century Europe was still immeasurably behind the classical world in every department of life. This, then, was truly a ‘dark’ age.”

Daniel Gurpide: The quotations and data are extracted from an article by Andrew Bernstein: “The Tragedy of Theology: How Religion Caused and Extended the Dark Ages. A Critique of Rodney Stark’s The Victory of Reason”.

Enlightenment Now: Voltaire on Abrahamism

Christianity

“Our religion is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. … My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out.”
(Letter to Frederick II of Prussia, 5 January 1767)

Islam

“”But that a camel-merchant should stir up insurrection in his village; that in league with some miserable followers he persuades them that he talks with the angel Gabriel; that he boasts of having been carried to heaven, where he received in part this unintelligible book, each page of which makes common sense shudder; that, to pay homage to this book, he delivers his country to iron and flame; that he cuts the throats of fathers and kidnaps daughters; that he gives to the defeated the choice of his religion or death: this is assuredly nothing any man can excuse, at least if he was not born a Turk, or if superstition has not extinguished all natural light in him.”
(Letter to Frederick II of Prussia, December 1740)

Judaism

“In short, we find in them [the Jews] only an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long united the most sordid avarice with the most detestable superstition and the most invincible hatred for every people by whom they are tolerated and enriched.”
(A Philosophical Dictionary)

The Pragmatic Enlightenment

Voltaire‘s political outlook, for instance, was emphatically practical and flexible, embedded in and addressed to the specific circumstances of various European nations. He supported a mixed constitutional government in England, a more popular republic in Geneva and Holland, a strong monarchy in France, and an even stronger and more centralized one in Frederick‘s Prussia and Catherine‘s Russia. While he generally had kinder things to say about England and Geneva than France, Prussia, or Russia, he did not think that any of these regimes was simply the ‚best‘. On the contrary, he insisted that such judgments cannot properly be made in the abstract, that they can only be based on contextually sensitive empirical analysis.

The Pragmatic Enlightenment (ii)

Adam Smith’s opposition to the idea of moving people around “as if they were chess pieces” is observable in his hostility to mercantilism: legal monopolies, bounties, duties, trade prohibitions, laws of primogeniture, and so on. On the other hand, throughout The Wealth of Nations, he warns that his economic proposals – his system of natural liberty – should be implemented gradually, with due attention to the disorders they might generate.

For instance, in the midst of a discussion of import duties and trade prohibitions designed to protect domestic industries, he writes: “Humanity may require that the freedom of trade should be restored only by slow gradations, and with a good deal of reserve and circumspection. Were those high duties and prohibitions taken away at once, cheaper foreign goods of the same kind might be poured so fast into the home market, as to deprive all at once many thousands of our people of their ordinary employment and means of subsistence” (The Wealth of Nations).

The Pragmatic Enlightenment (iii)

Hume conceives of liberty primarily in terms of personal security and independence, protected by the rule of law. He does not conceive of liberty in terms of rights that are inherent in human nature or humanity’s natural state, and that constrain the reach of legitimate political power; on the contrary, he holds that liberty can be established and maintained only through stable, orderly, and effective government.

It is worth noting that Hume includes a citizen militia in his ‘perfect commonwealth,’ claiming that “without a militia, it is in vain to think that any free government will ever have security or stability.”

The Pragmatic Enlightenment (iv)

Throughout his analysis of the different types of liberty, Montesquieu takes special care to distinguish them all from democratic self-rule. While philosophers and ordinary citizens alike have often associated liberty with republics – especially democratic republics – and excluded it from monarchies, he says, such a view confuses “the power of the people…with the liberty of the people.” In his view, who governs is ultimately less important than how they govern.

Montesquieu writes that “political liberty concerns moderate monarchies just as it does republics, and is no further from a throne than from a senate. Every man is free who has good grounds to believe that the wrath of one or many will not take away his life or possession of his property.”

German Philosophy

The Greats of German philosophy (Kant-Fichte-Hegel-Marx-Heidegger, I’m leaving Nietzsche outside on purpose, I know) make up a Counter-Enlightenment tradition that ends up being suspicious of science and technology, anti-individualistic and anti-liberal. They all contributed in varying degrees to the authoritarian regimes that developed in the 1900s – the various forms of authoritarian nationalisms, the national and international socialisms, the fascisms – and the cultural catastrophes named ‘Frankfurt School’ and ‘Post-Modernism’.

Kant (the only picture in Kant’s house was a portrait of Rousseau that was hanging over his writing desk) buttressed the pre-modern worldview of faith and duty against the inroads of the Enlightenment: “I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.” (Kant)

Hegel explicitly attacks the entire tradition of logic as it had developed from Aristotle to modernity. He wants to believe in a kind of spiritually-driven, dialectically-evolving metaphysics that cannot be expressed logically. His deeper views are that one’s self is but an aspect of the collective, that the Divine works through collective self-realization, and that the State is the manifestation of the Divine.

Hegel on the beginning of the universe: “So far, there is nothing: something is to become. The beginning is not pure nothing, but a nothing from which something is to proceed; so that being is already contained in the beginning. The beginning thus contains both, being and nothing; it is the unity of being and nothing, or is not-being which is being, and being which is also not being.” This is a forewarning of the worst Heidegger, the ‘nazi’ philosopher par excellence who paradoxically ended up recreating the Jewish cosmogonic myth (Creation ‘ex nihilo’).

The triad Kant-Fichte-Hegel is behind the modern German educational system, still active nowadays: a factory of perfect automata devoid of personality, adept at crushing any signs of individualism. Social conformism explains why today in Germany there is no resistance to the suicidal program implemented by ‘Big Mutti’.

German philosophers are Lutheran pastors in a new garb. All of them, even Marx. Is he German or Jewish? I’m not sure. Isn’t Protestantism another big gulp of Abrahamism? Are Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Heidegger German or Jewish? Is more dangerous the combination of a German philosopher raised in an Abrahamic cult or a Jewish thinker educated in the German school?

Wagner & Nietzsche (i)

Richard Wagner may be considered the most magnetic and powerful artistic voice of the nineteenth century, and a profound influence on modernity. From Wagner’s death until the First World War, composers, painters, philosophers, novelists, dramatists, and poets strove mightily to come to terms with his strangely vibrant and living legacy. No composer before or since has left such an enduring mark on the course of cultural history. Few artists have embraced public life so assiduously, and inspired so much controversy—in politics as well as in art.

Wagner’s work, especially his Ring of the Nibelung—an epic masterpiece of musical genius—represents a milestone and, arguably, the completion of a parabola symbolised by the great European tradition of tonal and polyphonic music, extending from Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries to Mozart and Beethoven, and culminating, after Wagner, in Richard Strauss and Carl Orff.

‘Classical music,’ far from being a universal phenomenon, represents a specific geographical and cultural epoch without equal in other eras or civilisations. Indeed, even in pre-Bachian Europe, the music the Church imposed on the Catholic ecumene was based on the imitation of the Greco-Roman musical tradition, which was fundamentally of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern origin and, arguably, deriving from an exclusive melodic sensitivity.

Shortly after Carolingian times—with the forced conversion of Saxon tribes that followed the Massacre of Verden and the restoration of the Empire—another musical sensitivity (in this case harmonic) starts to penetrate the musical universe of the Church, which had remained secluded until that point. What might have been the origin of such new sensitivity?

Musicologists refer to a ‘pagan residue’ existing in the indigenous cultures of Northern Europe. Undoubtedly, a tonal system emerged, after a few centuries, from the opposition of the Church tradition and that of the indigenous music culture of Northern Europe.

As for Wagner, the Ring—the fifteen-hour grand cycle of operatic, theatrical, and literary representation, comprising one ‘Prelude’ (Das Rheingold) and ‘three Evenings’ (Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung)—has been described as a ‘total work of art’ (Gesamtkunstwerk). It is impossible to comprehend in its entirety merely by reading the poem or listening to the music in private. Full comprehension requires attending its representation on stage—ideally in the privileged emplacement of Bayreuth.

Together with Parsifal, the Ring has been, until very recently, in the annual programme of the Bayreuth Festival, and it was conceived by Wagner as a sacral rite in the regeneration of history. He believed that art might redeem a culture, a society, and a people. Wagner likened the theatre to a temple of Aryan art and mystic rite, and through the Teutonic myth he found elements which would consecrate higher folk-consciousness, and an upward path to the Übermensch.

Only ancient Greece offers anything similar. In fact, Wagner has been often compared to Homer, only for it to be concluded by Herbert von Karajan that ‘Wagner is greater and more complete.’

The key to understanding this suprahumanist myth lies in an ‘idea of music’ that sustains and structures Wagner’s work of art: the living symbol of history’s three-dimensional time.

The key to understanding the suprahumanist myth lies in an ‘idea of music’ that sustains and structures Wagner’s work of art: the living symbol of history’s three-dimensional time.

In Wagner, music, drama (i.e., tragedy) and myth are closely related. Music, according to him, is an idea of the world: more precisely, ‘an idea of the world that encloses everything.’ Tragedy is born out of music, as if emerging from a maternal womb. It represents—realises on stage—this ‘idea’ of music, and does so by regenerating myth, the only form of expression able to reach and recover original purity—which Wagner names ‘the purely Human’ (Rein-Menschliches).

Wagner does not explain this idea of the world. Rather, he realises it by means of the Wort-Ton-Drama: that is, by the association within dramatic action of word and sound. Hence, this idea organises space-time in a radically new way: by establishing humankind’s historical becoming in the form of a tragedy governed by the law of recurrence. At any time, past, present, and future coincide. Becoming is there: only the centre changes, as well as the perspectives resulting from it. Wagner replaces a unilinear conception of time—which he rejects—with a three-dimensional time: the specific time of human becoming.

The image of the ring of the Nibelung—the ring which gives its name to the tetralogy—is the living symbol of the ‘spherical’ conception of history: the music of eternal recurrence.

Always identical, though always renewed, Wagnerian discourse is structured around a certain number of ‘guiding images’ (Leitbilder): the affirmation of becoming (in opposition to being); the premonition of a ‘rupture’ of historical time (Zeit-Umbruch); the return to a mythical past associated with a leap into the future . To these images correspond different Leitmotive (‘guiding motifs’), which constitute their musical transpositions.

The Ring constitutes dramatic representation of the ancient destiny myths of gods and heroes, whose memory the Scandinavian Edda and several German medieval poems had perpetuated. But it is more than that. Wagner’s imagination has transfigured what was hitherto a mere collection of literary fossils: the past that he has chosen and freely reconstituted, the actuality he has given to the old stories, the future that he projects—all these structure a new present of human consciousness. From the birth of a world till its demise —which is also conceived as regeneration and recommencement—an entire history of humankind is prodigiously evoked. Moreover, that history is simultaneously past, current—and coming—and is sustained by an anthropological conception—the Rein-Menschliches—which implies a radical reversal of values. Brought back to life from its millennial tomb, the ancient Germanic myth acquires a new dimension, and at the same time recovers an intoxicating barbarian youth.

It is not accidental that Wagner chose the mythical material of the Edda to represent his idea of the world. Rather, the choice imposed itself on him from necessity, insofar as it corresponded to the choice of one past among others: the choice of a deeper past—that of reconquest of origins and the promise of a longer future. Return to origins, which in egalitarian and Christian romantic discourse was an apparently reactionary lapsus through which pagan unconsciousness found expression, finds in Wagnerian discourse its proper logic—and hence its true countenance.

Structured by and around ‘the idea of music’—the three-dimensionality of time—and finally conscious of itself, Wagnerian discourse is both inspiration for a return to our deepest origins, and zeal to thrust forward into the furthest future: a revolutionary project. Hence, conservation and revolution both confound one another and fuse together in opposition to a civilisation and a society that reclaim another tradition, Jewish-Christian, and another project, egalitarian.

Wotan, the central character of the Ring, is not only the Indo-European pre-Christian god of the first function, the unrecognisable noumenon of an extinct and unrepeatable religion, but is already the new post-humanist god: the New Man, who knows tragically that he has to take care of his destiny, of his own self-creation. By so doing, he tends towards the suprahuman.

For the tragedy of heroes and gods does not find realisation other than in the tragedy of Wotan: in a consciousness which knows and nevertheless wills. Hence, since everything is summarised and transcended in Wotan’s consciousness, as all the characters in the Ring are aspects of the purely human—Rein-menschliches—embodied in one person, Wotan, the Ring is psychodrama. Drama, that is, in which Wagner’s genius projects all the Leitbilder—which precede psychoanalysis by decades. Wotan sacrifices his most intimate will, suppressing what he most loves, Brünnhilde, surrounding her with fire. That fire is no other than Loge himself—the spirit who betrays Wotan—and is the very image of declining paganism accepting the fate of the Christian mask. However, his most intimate will is not destroyed: it lies dormant. Its presence invokes the person who will come to awaken it; and this is the end for which the god is waiting—the beginning of a new history: a regeneration.

Wagner & Nietzsche (ii)

There is an intimate relation between the work of Wagner and of Nietzsche. It is important to stress this relation, for Nietzsche himself made a major manoeuvre of distraction, intending to demonstrate—perhaps first of all to himself—that his work was independent of, and even opposed to, that of Richard Wagner. This exercise of concealment has strongly influenced the judgement of philosophers and intellectuals, who are naturally inclined to pay more attention to the ‘intellectual’ work of Nietzsche than to Wagner’s ‘artistic’ work.

When young, Nietzsche had prostrated himself before the altar of ‘the god Wagner,’ offering in homage The Birth of Tragedy, followed by Richard Wagner in Bayreuth. However, the ‘wonderful days at Tribschen’ were not to last. Nietzsche soon distanced himself from Wagner. The fervent disciple became an apostate: apologist became denigrator and uncompromising adversary. Nietzsche’s later works, The Case of Wagner and Nietzsche contra Wagner, give every appearance of being the venomous attacks of a former disciple against a former master. Wagner is a ‘seducer,’ a ‘corrupter,’ a ‘rattlesnake’: presenting himself as opposite to what he actually is. ‘Schopenhauerian,’ ‘life hater’—Wagner becomes the ne plus ultra of decadence. Worse, with the creation of Parsifal, he is seen to have fallen back into the Christian faith.

Having started with an assault on Wagner’s music—decadent art par excellence—Nietzsche concludes by condemning almost all German music for leading inevitably to Wagner. He sets ‘pure melody’—described as ‘Mediterranean’—against ‘harmony’—described as ‘Nordic.’ Frequently, his exegesis becomes mere caricature—as when, for example, he summarises the ‘intrigues’ of Wagnerian drama. At times his remarks become overtly malignant.

Nietzsche’s confrontation with Wagner has a tragic aspect. Nietzsche suffered greatly in distancing himself from the only man he had ever loved. However, this suffering arose from a kind of metaphysical jealousy. Nietzsche desired the place in history that would be accorded to Wagner. Hence, he needed to show that Wagner was not what he seemed—the creator of a new myth, a regenerator of history—nor could he be, since music was itself a ‘final art.’

Many have remarked on Nietzsche’s jealousy. Thomas Mann addressed Nietzsche’s love-hate relationship with Wagner in Pro and Contra Wagner. Stefan George—who reproached Nietzsche with having ‘betrayed’ Wagner—is more positive: ‘Without Wagner, no Birth of Tragedy, without the awakening initiated by Wagner, no Nietzsche.’ Although his jealousy was essentially intellectual, it crystallised around the person of Cosima Wagner. From the time of his first meeting with her at Tribschen (May 1869) Nietzsche was fascinated by her. He idealised her in the guise of Ariadne. Wagner was simultaneously Minotaur and Theseus, a human, all-too-human hero; he, Nietzsche, was the divine Dionysus. In relation to this there are many revealing passages in the work of Nietzsche—in particular the dialogue between Dionysus and Ariadne in Twilight of the Idols.

Nietzsche saw himself as the unique harbinger of perpetual becoming, eternal recurrence, and superman: only he had reached the foot of the abyss of decadence; only in him did the beginning find its origin. Nietzsche alone was the true Dionysus. The German public had allowed itself to be led astray by Wagner the seducer; Ariadne had mistaken him for God, and married him.

In short, Nietzsche, the philosopher of perpetual becoming, could not endure Wagner’s expression of the philosophy in music. Nietzsche established the philosophical myth of the superman (Übermensch). He explained its logic and created a language for it. However, the myth existed already in the form of Wagnerian opera. Nietzsche merely gave a name to what already existed in music—but he could never admit this.

The structure and elements of the suprahumanist myth are already present in Wagner’s ‘Wotan myth.’ In Nietzsche and in Wagner the same view of history, the same intuitive conception of man, predominates. Nietzsche’s ‘willing of the superman’ corresponds to Wotan’s ‘will to regenerate the world.’ To the ‘will to accept the end’ in Götterdämmerung corresponds the Zarathustrian amor fati, the new conscience of the ‘superior man.’ The temporal structure of the Wort-Ton-Drama, which represents the tragic history of humanity, is given a name by Nietzsche: ‘eternal recurrence’—‘linear’ representation of the historical sphere of becoming. The ‘high noontide’ of Zarathustra prefigures a similar breaking with time (Zeit-Umbruch)—evoked, in the final scene of Götterdämmerung, by the wonderful Leitmotiv which has already promised the regeneration of Siegmund through his son Siegfried. The ‘return to origins’—another essential element of myth in the Ring—is represented doubly in Nietzsche’s writing: by the exaltation of the ‘blond beast’ of the Indo-Europeans, and, at an artistic and cultural level, by pre-Socratic Greece. Both are lost forever, ‘historically unrenewable,’ and must be recreated just as, for Wagner, the ‘end of the gods’ is a prerequisite for the return of the gods.

In their respective works, Wagner and Nietzsche pursued the same end: the regeneration of history. The myth prefigures this aim and is also the means of attaining it. The myth is a ‘didactic account’ which is to create the new man in his own words. The kinship between the music dramas of Wagner and the poetical philosophy of Nietzsche is comparable to the kinship, within egalitarian myth, of different Christian theologies and democratic, socialist, and communist ideologies. If the kinship of Wagner to Nietzsche appears to be very close—as it is in fact—this is because both men mark the beginning of suprahumanist mythology: the moment of birth.

Wagner & Nietzsche (iii)

That they belong in the same ‘mythical camp’ does not, however, imply that in the myth they manifest the same ideological identity. In Richard Wagner in Bayreuth (1876), Wagner was still, for Nietzsche, a universal genius: simultaneously philosopher, historian, artist, master of diction and mythology, and mythic poet. In fact, Wagner the philosopher never succeeded in drawing philosophy from the myth created by Wagner the poet and musician. In his theoretical writing Wagner’s style is still that of Romanticism; and the mythical elements appear as if deformed by a discourse alien to them. Nietzsche realised this and became conscious of his superiority as a philosopher, a superiority Wagner was happy to acknowledge. Hence, Nietzsche’s opposition to Wagner on the grounds that his theoretical work was imposture was spurious.

However, Wagner and Nietzsche did genuinely diverge in the interpretations they gave to certain aspects of the civilisation and culture they execrated. In the triumph of the ‘Judaic principle’ Wagner identified and denounced the essential cause of the decline of humanity: the ‘poison’ he claimed was destroying all real culture. For Wagner this was a relatively recent phenomenon. He attributed it, somewhat naively, to the rising social influence of the Jews, and the resultant Jewish ascendancy in political, artistic, and cultural spheres. Consequently, the different ‘forms’ of German culture—and European culture, also, beginning with the religious form, Christianity—are negative, insofar as they have been ‘invaded’ and ‘perverted’ by the ‘Judaic principle.’ For Wagner, the necessary response to this was to revitalise the ‘Germanness’ of cultural and social forms, and to begin doing so meant removing Jewish influence. Inevitably, Wagner’s analysis auspicated social and political anti-Semitism on his part.

Nietzsche also considered the ‘Judaic principle’ had provoked the debasement of man: that it is at the source of ‘the radical falsification of all nature, all naturalness, all reality’; that it initiated the revolt of the slaves; and that the West has been in decline since ‘God became a Jew.’ To this principle—‘a declaration of war against everything on earth that represents the ascending tendency of life, to that which has turned out well, to power, to beauty, to self-affirmation’—Nietzsche gives a socio-political definition, which he summarises as the principle of equality. For Nietzsche, however, this is not a recent phenomenon: it began with Christianity.

Christianity cannot be understood apart from its place of origin: it is a consequence of Jewry, a logical progression from it. Nietzsche’s anti-Judaism does not lead to anti-Semitism. He doubted the existence of a ‘Jewish people’ as such and believed that the Jews wished above all else to assimilate. On this basis all anti-Semitism is dangerous as it obliges the Jews to band together in self-defence. Furthermore, according to Nietzsche, the damage done is in any case irreparable: no preventive measures can check the decay of European civilisation. Nietzsche’s conclusion is that it would be best to accelerate the process of disintegration. Only on the ruins of Europe would it be possible to rebuild; only once Europeans have become a mass of innumerable slaves resigned to their fate might the master race arise from the abyss. In his autobiographical Ecce Homo, Nietzsche confirms that his ‘attack’ on Wagner is also an attack upon a ‘German nation which is becoming ever more lazy in spiritual matters, ever more impoverished in its instincts.’ The ‘blond beast’ must be ‘reconceived’ in the form of the future ‘good European.’ Nietzsche did not altogether abandon hope in the German people; he was unable to see to what other people might one day be awarded the honour of being the ‘first anti-Christian people of Europe.’ However, his condemnation of Bismarck’s Germany—according to him socialist and democratic—is uncompromising. Wagner’s ironical compromise with the Kaiserreich was another source of disagreement.

Wagner and Nietzsche fought in the same cause, but their strategies were opposed. Nietzsche’s initial enthusiasm, his subsequent reconsideration—and finally his intensified criticism—took place only within, and can only be explained by, the Wagnerian myth. Nietzsche was conscious, and spoke of, a Sternenfreundschaft: the friendship of two stars condemned in their predestined eternal course never to meet.

Moreover, Nietzsche qualified his venomous attack in The Case of Wagner: ‘I loved Wagner and no other . . . Needless to say, I allow no one the right to appropriate my present judgment on Wagner.’ Nietzsche saw his quarrel with Wagner as a family quarrel: his ‘anti-Wagnerian’ polemic should have been the concern only of those whose attachment was already to the myth of the superman and the theme of eternal recurrence.

Perhaps the true reason—the necessity of the ‘betrayal’ of the master—is to be found in the Apollonian commandment to every noble soul, to every ‘superior man,’ to discover himself and to realize himself. Where the egalitarian precept demands the imposition of a single and absolute truth—and, concomitantly, the adaptation of all to the same human model—the opposing precept necessarily pledges each person to the search for true identity in eagle-like solitude.

Wagner & Nietzsche (iv)

According to Nietzsche, with the creation of Parsifal, Wagner is seen to have fallen back into the Christian faith. A failed attempt to try to denigrate Wagner among suprahumanist partisans, not only because Parsifal, in its avowed intention to ‘redeem the redeemer’ (Erlösung dem Erlöser) is simply ‘scandalous’ from a Christian perspective, but also because its representation is intended to short-circuit and transfigure the Christian myth in the mind of the spectator, in order to better express values which are diametrically opposed to those advocated by all Christian denominations.

If we believe „Ecce Homo,“ in 1878 Nietzsche sent a copy of his book Human, All Too Human to Richard Wagner. At the same time Wagner sent Nietzsche a copy of the verse for his opera Parsifal. Nietzsche was to write that when he received this text, “I felt as if I heard an ominous sound – as if two swords had crossed.”

This is just Nietzsche’s pretext for polemics.

Wagner read the draft in prose of Parsifal to Nietzsche in Tribschen in 1869, two years before the latter wrote “The Birth of Tragedy”, his most Wagnerian text. In 1877, Nietzsche wrote a letter to Cosima Wagner dated Oct.10th in which he states: “The magnificent promise of “Parsifal” may offer consolation to us, whenever we need to be consoled”. Nietzsche had known of the existence of Parsifal, and its content, for a long time. Naturally, one may accept that his opinion on the matter had changed over the years, but the question remains: why did he need to falsify the chronology of these events? I suspect a “human-all-too-human” motive.

At the heart of Nietzsche’s criticism of Parsifal was the alleged ‚Schopenhauerian life hate‘ permeating the opera. Schopenhauer had certainly an important influence on Wagner, but his philosophy is ultimately just one of the elements, among others, in the Wagnerian creation. During the last years of his life, and while he was working on “Parsifal”, Wagner was also positively impressed by Gobineau’s “Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races”. As was usually the case with Wagner, he felt that the French diplomat was expressing what had already been intuited by him. The vision of a degraded humanity caused by the miscegenation of the “noble Aryan race” with “inferior races” left a deep imprint. Pessimistic visions of life and history always touched a chord in Wagner, but, both Schopenhauer’s metaphysical pessimism and Gobineau’s catastrophism were left aside in Wagner’s Weltanschauung. In “What Boots This Knowledge?”(1880), he wrote: “We recognise the cause of the fall of Historic Man, and the necessity of his regeneration; we believe in the possibility of such Regeneration, and devote ourselves to its carrying-through in every sense.”

“Parsifal” is a “religion of life”, a religion of “race” if you like (but not in a reductionist biological sense): at the end of the Bühnenweihfestspiel, the spear of Longinus (the phallus), now purified, and the Holy Grail (the uterus) are reunited, so that the “holy blood” may flow anew.

“Parsifal” is also a paraphrasis of the “Ring”, represented this time on a scene that takes us back to the legendary Middle Ages, impregnated, under Christian garments, with Celto-Germanic pagan symbols.

“Erlösung dem Erlöser” (‘redeem the redeemer’) constitutes the core of the “sacred festival”. The “redeemer” is Amfortas, who represents a Christianity which has been poisoned with Judaic dogmas and is incapable of giving satisfaction to the Grail Knights’s religious needs. Titurel, his father, represents, according to Wagner’s indications, Wotan, the ancient Indo-European religion.

According to the Wagnerian interpretation of European religion, “Parsifal” is intimately connected to the “Ring of the Nibelung” (see “Die Wibelungen” and “Art and Religion”). The introduction of Christianity in Europe would not have involved the rejection of the ancestral Indo-European religion’s intimate essence. It would not have replaced Wotan-Zeus-Jupiter, just put him in a state of “dormition”. Jesus, the redeeming hero, is a reincarnation of the pagan Naturgott (Siegfried), but is affected by a mortal wound, which makes him incapable of accomplishing his mission. The wound is the Judaic “infection”: the temptation (Kundry-Judaism), which Amfortas could not by his own nature resist, will be overcome by Parsifal, thanks to the memory of his mother Herzeleide (“the ancestral roots”, “the pure origin”).

In this sense, Wagner is also following Schopenhauer’s agenda: “We may therefore hope that one day even Europe will be purified of all Jewish mythology. Perhaps the century has come in which the peoples of the Indo-European group of languages will again receive the sacred religions of their native countries; for they have again become ripe for these after having long gone astray”(Parerga and Paralipomena).

Yet, Wagner also considers that the historical need that derives from the present religious situation in Europe, in which the historical forms of religiosity are depraved, involves not only the “de-judaization” and abolition of Christianity, but also the death of the ancient pagan remnants, in order to create a higher synthesis, a higher “religion”, in which the human need of “transcendence” will be satisfied by the re-sacralization of Art. The realization on stage of the redemption-abolition of old religions is also the representation of a sacred ritual for a future community, a first step for the regeneration of history.

The “possibility of transcendence” for Egalitarianism takes place in the world beyond, in meta-physics; for Suprahumanism, on the other hand, it takes place in this world, in meta-history, through the announcement of the “Rein-Menschliches” or “purely-human” (the Nietzschean “Übermensch”).

The Aesir-Vanir War

Man’s taming of the living world occurred in parallel to the taming of the mass—by the elite. This historical phase—initiated with the Neolithic Revolution and concluding today with the passage into the so-called ‘Biopolitical Revolution’—is extremely important. It is not difficult to recognise in it what was called by Karl Marx ‘the end of primitive communist society,’ by Sigmund Freud ‘the killing of the primal father,’ and by Claude Lévi-Strauss ‘the separation between Nature and Culture.’

Significant testimony to this period has been preserved in Indo-European mythology, thanks to the story of the formation of the society of the gods—as related, for example, through the Aesir-Vanir War.

The Aesir and the Vanir represent two different ways of life. During the founding war—which set at odds, in symbolic form, the lifestyles of the great hunters and the farmers that emerged out of the Neolithic era—Odin-Wotan, as the pre-eminent god of magic, ‘domesticated’ the Vanir with his magic and assigned to them an harmonious position in the organic tri-functional society, where the ‘domestication of nature’ was completed. This myth signifies the transition from a generic instinctive human subject to a specific conscious human subject who exercises magic power over other men, thereby engendering the conditions for social stratification that are the distinguishing feature of every post-Neolithic society.

Society is now organised into two castes, two social groups. One, which is the dominant class, assumes sovereign and warrior functions; the other assumes the economic function. This structure is reflected in the society of gods, whose genesis the myth, in its own way, reveals. The new society is constituted by the superimposition and domination of ‘magic’ above religious man, of predator above producer. The myth of the Aesir and the Vanir, like that of the Romans and the Sabines, highlights the respective characters of both social groups or families of gods. The former—’preying’ gods who continue the activities of the First Man as self-domesticating man—assert themselves by virtue of the binding magic of their chief, Odin/Wotan; the latter, ‘producing’ gods, carry on the activities of the First Man as ‘self-domesticated’ man. They must and do submit to the former, despite the power deriving from their ‘wealth’ (symbolised by Gullweig’s gold).

This social-divine dichotomy derives from a particular world perception that may be found again, remarkably, in the structure of the Indo-European languages, with the sharp separation between subject and object. ‘Man-subject,’ who continues to exercise ‘magic’ on himself (self-control), begins to exercise it now on the other type: ‘man-object.’ The domesticating ‘magic’ is exercised on man-object from without—and the canons are fixed by other-than-him. Liberated by this ‘religious’ bond from the need to domesticate man in himself, he can now dedicate himself fully to ‘domesticating’ nature: that is, to the production of goods.

The coexistence of these two social types in a harmonious society takes place by synoecism—contractual arrangement—following a ‘war of foundation.’ The sovereign god among Indo-Europeans is always both a terrible god—exercising a ‘magic’ constriction—and a beneficent guarantor of ‘contracts.’ From the Indo-European origins there was always a clear conception of this social contract, which found its most accomplished expression among the Romans.

The Destruction of Aesthetics

Multiculturalism also leads directly to the death of beauty in art. Different cultures have vastly different ideas of beauty. Michelangelo did not produce African masks. Chopin did not write rap or beat on hollow logs. John William Waterhouse and Jackson Pollock inhabited very different inner worlds. In a multicultural society, standards and traditions are abandoned. European standards are necessarily too ‘Eurocentric’; no group may impose its standards on any other—nor even maintain its own traditions for long. In painting, sculpture, architecture, music, literature, and the decorative arts, there is no longer a ‘centre.’ The continuity of thousands of years is broken. There is chaos.

The real danger of art for egalitarians is that it offers ideals and models, and those ideals—in classical European art—are not egalitarian ideals, nor are the models politically correct. If you are trying to prepare students to be rootless, cosmopolitan citizens of the New World Order, you certainly do not want them to come into contact with the undemocratic spirit of Homer or Shakespeare.

From it all, a bland, offensive-to-no-one, make-it-as-cheaply-as-possible artistic ethos invades our lives from every side, coupled with an avant-garde which revels in the equally empty perverse. Again, as we begin to live in a society of ugly people, wherever we look we see ugly paintings, ugly advertisements, ugly clothing, ugly body deformations and decorations, and ugly buildings. A people disconnected from its own traditions of beauty—a people inundated with the bland and ugly, mingled with the weird and trendy and ugly—is sickened and greatly weakened.

Aesthetics and Eugenics

In 1920, Knight Dunlap, President of the American Psychological Association, published “Personal Beauty and Racial Betterment. “

Dunlap’s thesis is that what is called personal beauty really inspires the emotional appreciation of the many qualities that make an individual a fit and healthy parent for a fit and healthy next generation of one’s race.

Beauty is a measure of racial fitness for the future. Men and women long for it in their mates, even if they do not understand the nature or significance of that longing. The desire for a beautiful mate is an ineradicable, primordial urge. It is an instinctive part of us. It guides us on our recently interrupted upward journey to higher intelligence, greater strength and power—and increased consciousness and wisdom.

Dunlap asserts that the preservation of beauty is inseparable from the preservation of all civilised values and progress. To lose one is to lose the other. Further, Dunlap warns that our civilisation is fostering increased human ugliness and a withering of human beauty so drastic that only radical and strenuous change may suffice to reverse the process.

What is personal beauty? Dunlap says that it varies distinctly from race to race, ‘but the type which is highest in value tends to approximate the European type, wherever the European type becomes known.’

What is personal beauty for Europeans? There are a great many markers of beauty applying to both sexes. In some cases, these are also marks of an ‘advanced’ race, from a phylogenetic point of view: characteristics which signify the greatest possible difference from more primitive forms.

Considering the profile of the face, one may note the facial angle: the angle, relative to the horizon when a man is standing normally, of a line drawn from the greatest protuberance of the jaw to the most prominent part of the forehead. The average facial angle of the European race is the closest to vertical of any human race. Non-human creatures have lower and lower facial angles as we make our way from the more advanced to the more primitive. Less advanced and smaller-brained creatures (and races) have a lower, more sloping forehead (and hence less capacity in the frontal regions of the brain). More primitive creatures and races also tend to have larger teeth, and larger jaws which jut forward, hence making the facial angle ever closer to the horizontal.

A man or woman with a high or ‘noble’ forehead is better looking to us than one with a steeply sloping forehead. The latter we instinctively view as primitive and ugly, whether we use those words or not. The protruding jaw or the underdeveloped chin and outsized nose give—to European eyes—the human profile a convex and snout-like appearance. Hence, they are bars to beauty, as Europeans perceive it. We may not be conscious of the reason, but our instincts are telling us that the highly evolved is beautiful and the primitive looking is not.

The cast of expression of the human face may be the most important single factor in personal beauty. Even in classical sculpture, where the ideal of European beauty is literally carved in stone, and the entire nude form is revealed, it is still the sublimely high and spiritual expression of the face which arrests our attention more than any other single quality.

The face is the site of the most complex muscle structure anywhere in the body—with a complex nerve structure to match—hence giving our faces an extremely wide and subtle variation of expression. With the dependence of these many muscles on the structure, health, and current state of the nerves, it is unsurprising that much may be learned of the temperament, state of health, and intelligence of a man or woman by studying his or her face. The face and, to a lesser extent, the other parts of the body, offer a constant and multifaceted reflection of the brain and nervous system within.
Clearly, we find our instinctive ideals of beauty—not only as expressed in our sexual selection, but also in our art when uncorrupted and free—in these respects far outstrip reality. Very few embody all such ideals anywhere close to perfection. However, they are our ideals, and insofar as these ideals are favoured in our selection of who will be the mothers and fathers of generations to come, they will indeed offer a glimpse of unborn generations: a glimpse of what will be; a glimpse of the future.

Aesthetics: European vs. Abrahamic

Art is the celebration of life, and the exploration of life in all its aspects. If life is unimportant—a mere diminutive prelude to the real life which is to begin with death—then art can only be of negligible importance.

Greek humanism was superseded by Christianity: by a religion which divided man against himself, teaching him to view his body with shame, his emotions with suspicion, sensuality with fear, sexual love with feelings of guilt. This life, it taught, was a burden, this world a vale of tears—our endurance of which would be rewarded at death: the gateway to eternal bliss. This religion was, inevitably, anti-art and anti-life. The alienation of man from his own nature, especially from his emotional nature; the all-pervading hypocrisy to which this gave rise throughout the Christian era; the devaluation of life and of the world—and hence, inevitably, their wonderfulness; the conception of man as not a god but a worm, and a guilty one at that: all this is profoundly at odds with the creative impulse and its subject matter.

The importance of the desert in biblical symbolism is clear: a desert that erases all representations and rejects them on behalf of the invisible and the uniform. Yahweh’s believer must consent to transforming the imagination into a desert, and this implies a ban on all representation.

Not only are depictions of Yahweh forbidden, but also images of all worldly things—starting, of course, with man, who was created in God’s ‘image.’ It is not hard to find a clear anti-aesthetic bias in biblical iconoclasm.

Christian art began as heresy. Transported to an art-loving people, Christianity became a religion more artistic than would have been the case had it remained in the hands of the Judeo-Christians. However, this came only from a long, slow process. In the Christianity of the first centuries, iconoclasm was the rule: the Mosaic prohibition of image representation was widely observed. The idea of the great ugliness of Jesus was also widespread (e.g., Tertullian, Origen, Clement of Alexandria). Only when the Church, following the compromise of Constantine, became more pagan did the birth and development of a Christian iconography become apparent. However, traces of iconoclasm may still be found in Byzantine ritual as well as Protestantism.

Iconoclasm is also present in Islam, where the rare Arabic Muslim thinkers who concerned themselves with aesthetics tended to envision art only in abstract form.

The emptying of human representation goes hand in hand with the abandonment of human particularity and diversity, for these are themselves images.

Extensions of—and contemporary points of comparison with—the Mosaic ban on representation have often been sought, for example, in respect of abstract art, whose birth and development coincide, metaphorically, with that of Post-modernism and—experienced in concrete terms—with the internationalist ideal of the abolition of borders. ‘An entire aspect of Western modernity finds resonance with the old iconoclast exigency, and from this point forward, thinkers of Judaic filiation actively intervene at the tip of this modernity to mark out where it is going, not truly in opposition to it but rather in advance of it.’ (Jean-Joseph Goux, Les Iconoclastes)

The contrast with the Indo-European world is striking. In the Bible, the beautiful is not necessarily good, and the ugly is not necessarily evil. It may even happen that good may be so precisely because of its ugliness, and, similarly, that evil is handsome precisely because it is evil. Lucifer is an angel glowing with light. The Devil will adorn himself with all the paraphernalia of seduction, whereas the arms of Yahweh, says Isaiah (53:2), have grown ‘as a root out of a dry ground, without beauty or comeliness to attract our eyes.’ In paganism, however, good cannot be separated from beauty; and this is normal, because the good is in form, the consummate forms of worldly things. Consequently, art cannot be separated from religion. Art is sacred. Not only may the gods be represented, but art is the means of their representation; and insofar as men perpetually assure them of representation, they possess full status of existence. All European spirituality is based on representation as mediation between the visible and the invisible. Beauty is the visible sign of what is good; ugliness is the visible sign not only of what is deformed or spoiled, but of what is bad.

For the ancient Greeks, solemnity is inseparable from visual, tangible representation. It is through the fusion of the aesthetic and the sacred that religious sentiment attains its peak.

The Hereditarian School

Lapouge: A Pioneer of Eugenics

Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854-1936) was one of the first theoreticians of Eugenics. Once the most obvious fallacies and exaggerations are removed, Lapouge’s idea of social selection remains interesting and valuable.

Extracted from ‘Les Sélections Sociales’ (1889):

“Changes in the population are possible either through the direct influence of environmental agencies which may modify, step by step, the bodily and mental traits of a population; or through selection,—that is, through a progressive decrease of certain racial* (hereditary) elements and a progressive multiplication of other hereditary types in the population.

The first way does not lead directly to a change of the hereditary type, but it may lead to it in a long period of time. The other way may change the hereditary composition of the population very efficiently and in a relatively short period of time.

In order to show this, the author analyzes the principal environmental agencies. He takes education and tries to show that its efficiency in this respect is very limited. It cannot change the race and the inherited traits of the population. It cannot make out of an innately stupid man, a talented one; out of an inborn idiot, an averagely intelligent man; or out of mediocrity, a genius. The best that education can do is to raise the mental level of mediocrity a little. But even in this respect, its possibilities are limited. The importance of heredity is shown in the fact that education does not diminish the differences between individuals, but rather increases them. If a mediocre talent gains something by education, hereditary talent gains still more, so that after the education, the difference between the former and the latter increases, but does not decrease. Education, furthermore, is incapable of changing the temperament, the character, and the moral traits of people. Finally, the results of education are not inherited; therefore, its fruits cannot be transmitted and fixed into posterity.

The most important, rapid, and efficient way of changing the hereditary composition of a population is not by the direct influence of environment, but by a selection which will lead to a survival and multiplication of one hereditary type, and to the displacement of another type. Through selection, the proportions of different social classes in a population may be changed greatly, and within relatively a few generations.
If we imagine two different families, one producing four surviving children in each generation and the other only three offspring,— then in the course of about three hundred years, the total population will be 93 percent the offspring of the first family, and 7 percent that of the second. This shows how rapidly the factor of selection works, and how efficient it is in changing the genetic composition of a population. The degeneration or improvement of society has been due not so much to the direct influence of environment as to the factor of selection.

This leads to Lapouge’s analysis of selection. He accepts Darwin’s theory of natural selection and the evolution of organisms through the play of this factor, or through the elimination of the unfit and survival of the fittest. Among human beings, however, he believes natural selection gives more and more place to social selection, natural environment being gradually superseded by social milieu. Therefore, natural selection is transformed into a social one, that is, the selection which goes on under the influence not so much of natural as of social environment.

In the subsequent parts of his book, Lapouge analyzes the principal forms and effects of social selection within the past and especially in the present societies. As natural selection may be progressive and regressive, so may social selection lead to a degeneration or to a betterment of the hereditary composition of the population. Its dominant effects, however, are negative within present societies.

  1. The first fundamental form of social selection is military, or the selection caused by war. Contrary to general opinion, Lapouge contends that wars do not decrease, but increase with the progress of civilization. Man is more warlike than any animal and contemporary man is more warlike than prehistoric man. With the exception of primitive times, war carries away the best racial elements of the population,—the healthiest, the strongest, the bravest, and the most audacious dolichocephals,—in much greater proportion than the inferior and the brachycephalic population. In this military way the Aryans of ancient Greece and Rome, and the Nordic nobility of Gallia and of the Middle Ages perished to a great extent.
  2. The second form of social selection is political, performed under the influence of political factors and political struggles. Its results are also negative. Through revolution and civil strife, this selection facilitates an extermination of the best part of the population among both the aristocracy and the people. To this factor is greatly due the extermination of the aristocracy in ancient Greece and Rome, in the French Revolution, and in other similar cases. Further, in the past, but more especially in the present, political conditions have facilitated the social promotion of nullities, servile people, machinators, and politicians, while they have suppressed, especially in democracies, the social promotion of independent and creative minds. Through the political strife of parties, the chances of survival and procreation of such people are handicapped. Machinators, demagogues, politicians, who rarely belong to the best and creative type of men, greatly profit through this form of selection, while the best people, keeping themselves out of politics, rather suffer from such conditions.
  3. The third form of social selection is religions, which is due to the religious conditions. Religion leads directly to selection through the institution of celibacy required by several religions; and indirectly, through various religious institutions. In many religions, the priests and the clergy must be celibate. This means that they cannot leave, at least legally, any posterity. As has been proved many times, church officials recruited from various social strata are usually superior physically, morally, and mentally to other people. Celibacy of this superior group prevents it from leaving superior posterity. In this way, celibacy impoverishes the fund of the superior racial elements of a population and facilitates its racial degeneration. Religion leads to the same disgenic result through religious persecution, wars, and inquisition; and through the prohibition of sexual freedom, by favoring asceticism, its prohibition of marriages with those who have a different religion, and so on.
  4. The fourth form of social selection is moral, due to moral obligations and rules of conduct. It is closely connected with religious selection. It manifests itself in such phenomena as the repression and chastisement of sexual liberty, as the demands of decency, and as opposition to bodily nakedness, resulting in our covering ourselves with unhygienic clothes which hinder free breathing, bar the beneficial influence of the sun and fresh air, and facilitate tuberculosis and other sicknesses. In addition, through philanthropy and its propaganda, moral rules facilitate the survival of the weak and the procreation of the inferior. In such ways, morals contribute a great deal to negative social selection.
  5. The next form of social selection is juridical, being performed by law and law machinery. It operates through criminal law and the punishment of offenders by execution, imprisonment, banishment, ostracizing, and torture. Many of these offenders are political and this form of selection especially, often has negative effects, because its victims many times include people of superior character. Juridical selection operates further through civil law and its machinery, forbidding consanguineous marriages between relatives, and punishing bigamy and polygamy.
  6. The sixth form of social selection is economic, due to the struggle for material necessities. For the best racial elements its results are disastrous also, because the superior people do not care much about money-making, and, as a result, the successful money-makers are rarely superior men. Enrichment is often the result of luck, or dishonesty, or cupidity, or machinations and manipulations. Within present societies, the ”machinators” concentrate wealth. Through wealth, they rise to the top of the social pyramid, and procreate themselves, while the mentally and morally superior individuals must limit their posterity to meet their own conditions. Many of them do not marry at all. In this way, these precious racial elements are lost and the racial fund of a society is impoverished. Marriages dictated by economic reasons lead to the same result when a racially superior, but poor individual takes a rich, but racially inferior man or woman as his mate. In this and in similar ways the present “plutocratic” regime facilitates the procreation of the inferior and hinders that of the superior people. A regime based on wealth is the worst enemy of racial progress.
  7. The seventh form of social selection is occupational, called forth by occupational differentiation of the population. Its effects are again negative. Vital statistics show that the more qualified occupational groups have a lower fecundity than the semi-skilled and the unskilled groups. As the people engaged in the qualified occupations are more dolichocephalic than the people in unskilled occupations, this means that occupational selection facilitates the procreation of brachycephals and handicaps that of dolichocephals. It leads to the same racial degeneration to which lead other forms of social selection.
  8. The next form of social selection is performed by urban and rural differentiation. Growth of the cities and industrialization calls forth a permanent migration of the country population to the cities. The rural migrants are dominantly more dolichocephalic than those who remain in the country. The migrants, as a rule, are more energetic, enterprising, talented, and superior, than those who remain in the country. Cities permanently drain the best elements of the country population and having drawn them from the country, they make them relatively sterile, either through city vice and sickness or through their own voluntary restriction of fertility for the sake of social promotion. In this way, urban selection diminishes the chances for the procreation of a relatively superior and more dolichocephalic people.

Such, according to Lapouge, are the principal forms of social selections and their factors. The result of all these selections is negative. They lead to an extermination of the best elements within present societies, followed by their racial degeneration and ultimate decay.”

*For Lapouge, ‘race’ was a synonym for social class.

The Suppression of the Hereditarian School

Vacher de Lapouge was the French founder of a school – Anthroposociology – which wanted to apply the new Darwinian science of evolution to the study of politics. Before WWI, he had followers in Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway and the USA.

I don’t think Lapouge was ever translated into English, despite his having several American disciples (Madison Grant, Carlos Closson at the University of Chicago). I know he also visited the USA twice (Second International Eugenics Congress in NYC in 1921 and some Conference on Family Planning with Margaret Sanger).

Sorokin, Professor of Sociology in the University of Minnesota, wrote a work entitled “Contemporary Sociological Theories” in 1928. It contains a chapter on the racial question. The chapter is memorable, for it marks the close of the period in which both sides in the controversy (hereditarians/environmentalists) were free to put forward their views, and authors who wished to do so could give objective accounts of the evidence pointing in each direction. Sorokin supported neither side, he just expressed clearly and shortly the views of both sides in the controversy. The book is worth reading today, as a reminder of what was possible before 1933.

In France, the main opponent of anthroposociology was ?Emile Durkheim ; in the USA, ?Franz Boas. From the beginning of the thirties onwards scarcely anyone outside Germany and its allies dared to follow the hereditarian school, lest it should appear that they were excusing or supporting the Nazi cause. Anthropology became a strictly ‚cultural’ discipline.

Eugenics – the Applied Science of Self-Directed of Human Evolution

Eugenics – meaning the applied science for the self-direction of human evolution – is nowadays the object of Freudian, hypocritical repression.

Although one may say that eugenic concerns are an implicit constant in most post-Neolithic cultures, the essential question of eugenics flares up with the advent of the Darwinian revolution, and of Mendelian genetics—which has long been considered one and the same with eugenics. This arose in anticipation of a very real dysgenic risk in modern times that ‘traditional’ selective factors would break down.

Galton, who coined the term, defined eugenics as ‘the study of all agencies under human control which can improve or impair the racial quality of future generations.’ The philanthropic motives that encouraged him to develop the new science are beyond question: Man is gifted with pity and other kindly feelings; he has also the power of preventing many kinds of suffering. I conceive it to fall well within his province to replace Natural Selection by other processes that are more merciful and not less effective. The way of hunger, death, stupidity, delusion, chance, and bare survival—natural selection—is thus replaced by the way of life, will, aspiration, and achievement—conscious evolution—not merely on a temporary and local basis, as in ancient Sparta, but permanently and universally.

Breeding may itself be considered an early aristocratic technique. Yet, it was impossible to return to earlier Western social forms based on a hereditary aristocracy that had achieved their position by means of the military accomplishments of their ancestors. Hence, in the early twentieth century, a current of thought headed in the direction of developing a natural aristocracy based on intelligence, moral probity, and meritocratic social mobility. This was the heyday of eugenics as a belief system common among European elites—both liberal and conservative.

Ultimately, the eugenics movement was shattered; it was a victim of the outcome of the Second World War, although eugenics was not expunged from polite society until the 1960s as an outcome of an energetic campaign by Holocaust-haunted egalitarian intellectuals bent on striking a blow against their rivals (nevertheless, in Sweden the eugenics programme continued until 1975).

However, before it was ‘cursed,’ eugenics had long been perceived—essentially until the 1930s—as a ‘progressivist’ theme, since it was linked to concerns about the evolution of society in general (and correlated with the latter ‘taking charge of itself ’), to the extent that even Soviet intellectuals and scientists promoted its study.

In Germany, the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk—politically on the left—recently argued that, given the understanding existing in genetic science, the eugenic dream of ‘selection’ is now within reach. Sloterdijk’s use of the word ‘selection’ horrified, of course, his colleagues, for whom the word evokes the ramp at Auschwitz. What most worried critics, however, was Sloterdijk’s argument that this capability should be exploited to breed a new generation of human beings. Coming after Sloterdijk’s open letter in Die Zeit attacking Jürgen Habermas as the representative of an outdated humanism, suggestions were made that he was ‘flirting with fascism,’ which reveals the uncertainty and fear still evoked by the issue of ‘conscious evolution.’ The Sloterdijk controversy demonstrates the almost exclusively ideological nature of contemporary discussions of eugenics. This has been accentuated by the increasing erosion, because of technoscientific progress, of the subjective costs of eugenic practices. Such costs have plummeted ever since the exposure of newborns, and the strict parental or communal control of mating gave way to the chemical or surgical sterilisation of severely retarded individuals, as well as to birth control. These have been succeeded by prematrimonial anamnesis—replaced, in turn, by prenatal diagnosis and genetic screening. In turn, these will be supplanted by IVF with embryo and gamete selection; and, finally, by direct therapeutic manipulation of germlines. In fact, in respect of contemporary and upcoming procedures, the natural empathy for the individuals concerned operates in an entirely favourable sense—to the point of rendering unconditional rejection of eugenics an increasingly embarrassing and untenable position.

The key issue regarding eugenics are which countries will develop it to its fullest extent. Francis Galton had already predicted in 1909 that ‘the nation which first subjects itself to a rational eugenical discipline is bound to inherit the earth.’

Postmodernism from The Right to The Left and Back.

I/ Classical Liberalism (Enlightenment) seeks to establish Aristocratic Egalitarianism vs. Monarchic Absolutism. Partial success both in England and the USA but disaster on the continent (French Revolution).

II/ Nietzsche makes the first modern critique of the French Revolution (previous counter-enlightenment authors were traditionalists using a pre-modern language and advocating a return to Church and Throne).

Nietzsche was a brilliant philologist and acute psychologist (rare for a German): aware of cognitive biases and priors, identifies clearly the two souls wrestling for the mastery of European soul: Aristocratic Aryanism vs. Plebeian Abrahamism.

He was, however, a bad scientist (sometimes, reason and science seem to be in his writings synonymous with Kantian Rationalism; and knows nothing about economics (markets and prosperity).

In a nutshell, he ignores the potential of the liberal revolution (science, law, and markets) but has deep insights on its inherent contradictions (an aristocratic republic where slavery is legal, like Ancient Greece, proclaiming ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal).

When he poetically drafts his own alternative to Abrahamism (Thus spake Zarathustra), he does not know how to escape from Abrahamic language and rhetoric.

III/ Conservative Revolution: while Germany is humiliated, defeated and prostrated, a group of German thinkers, inspired mostly by Nietzsche, try to argue a modernist return to traditional feudal monarchy, while fighting against Bolshevism on the East, Liberalism on the West and internal subversion, but inheriting all the defects of II and adding their own biases and resentments:

  1. Heidegger: German pilpul (“Germans are the chosen ones”);
  2. Spengler: High Cultures follow an inexorable evolution, and do not communicate with each other (“Germany shall be the new Rome, not England or the USA”. Once Germany loses IWW, cultural relativism, beginning of ‘Multikulti’;Carl Schmitt: Law is the synonym of Power (“German Might is Right”);
  1. Ernst Juenger: “Bolshevism can only be nationalist, not internationalist” (Der Arbeiter).

The defeat on the IIWW battlefields is the proof, according to the own tenets of III, of Germany’s wrongdoing.

IV/Post-modernism recycles II & III, adding French ‘coup d’esprit’ (witty silliness) and Cultural Marxism (the slave revolt and the inversion of values: the last shall be the first, the strong are weak, the ugly are beautiful, etc).

V/ Alt-Right starts also in France at the same time as IV: Nouvelle Droite & Alain de Benoist. It tries to re-interpret II and III from the right instead of from the left, but the historical context (May 68) is not the same as the Weimar Republic.

VI/ American internet Alt-Right compounds all the previous errors and adds their own; besides they rarely work from the original source but through elaborations and re-elaborations of IV and V.

Note: outliers such as Dugin and Jorjani share the framework of I IV and V and add a good dose of occultism and sheer kookiness: Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Telekinesis, UFO’s, Atlantis, Rudolf Steiner, etc. (‘Prometheus and Atlas’).

THE SENSE OF HISTORY

—“You are caught in the current of unceasing change. Your life is a ripple in it. Every moment of your conscious life links the infinite past with the infinite future. Take part in both and you will not find the present empty.” —(Oswald Spengler)

What is it to be human? What is the purpose of human existence?

Within the limits of current knowledge, reality can be apprehended at four different levels: microphysical (elementary energy), macrophysical (matter), biological (organic systems), and human (self-reflecting consciousness). These four aspects of reality interpenetrate; however, they are far from being the same.

Man participates at all four levels: he lives, singularly, at their intersection. He is energy, matter, and life—but he is also something else. This ‘something else’ gives man his specificity.

In the flux in which all things exist, the macrophysical universe—the cosmos—has no history. In the way we perceive and represent it to ourselves, the universe changes only its configuration through time. Regarding the microphysical elementary level of reality, it may be said only that it has its own structure, which is discontinuous. Not even life has history: it merely evolves. History is the particular way in which man—and man alone—becomes. Only man becomes historically. Hence, the question of knowing whether history has a purpose entails knowing whether man, who is in history and makes history, has purpose also.

Today, history—and therefore human specificity—is under accusation. It is, as we shall see, an old phenomenon; however, nowadays the accusation is more vehement, more explicit than ever. There is total condemnation without resort to appeal. History is said to be the consequence of the alienation of humanity. The end of history is evoked, proposed, projected—with preaching of return to nature; advocacy of degrowth (décroissance); dreaming of an end to all tensions and conflicts—of serene and quiet balance, modest but safe happiness: the happiness of other animals. Universal peace, pacifism, pre-historical matriarchy, primitive communism, Edenic paradise—these are other avatars of the same view.

The idea of an end of history might seem most modern. In fact, this is not at all so. To examine things more attentively is to realise that such an idea is nothing more than the logical outcome of a current of thought at least two thousand years old—a tendency that has over that time dominated and moulded what we have come to refer to as ‘Western civilisation.’ This current of thought is egalitarianism.

II

Irrespective of the forms it has adopted, the egalitarian world view has always been eschatological. It attributes a negative value to history, and discerns sense in historical motion only insofar as the latter tends towards its own negation and final end.

According to this view, history has a beginning and it must also have an end. It is but an episode—an incident as far as what constitutes the essence of humanity is concerned. The true nature of man would be external to history. And the end of history would restore—sublimating it—whatever existed at the beginning. Human eternity would be based not on becoming but on being.

This episode which is history is perceived in the Christian perspective as damnation. History derives from man being condemned by God—owing to original sin—to unhappiness, labour, sweat, and blood. Humanity lived in happy innocence in the Garden of Eden, and was condemned to history because its forefather, Adam, transgressed the divine commandment, wanting to taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge: to become like God. Adam’s fault weighs, as original sin, upon every individual who comes to the world. It is, by definition, inexpiable, since God himself was offended.

However, God, in his infinite goodness, himself takes charge of the expiation. He becomes man—incarnate in the person of Jesus. The sacrifice of the Son of God introduces in historical becoming the essential event of Redemption. No doubt this concerns only those individuals touched by Grace, but it makes possible the slow march towards the end of history, for which, from then on, the ‘communion of saints’ must prepare humanity. Finally, there will come a day when the forces of Good and Evil will come face to face in a battle that will lead to a Last Judgement and, thence, to the instauration of the Kingdom of Heaven—which has its dialectical counterpart in the abyss of Hell.

Eden before the beginning of history; original sin; expulsion from the Garden of Eden; traversing the vale of tears that is the world—the place of historical becoming; Redemption; communion of saints; apocalyptic battle and Last Judgement; end of history and instauration of a Kingdom of Heaven: these are the mythemes that structure the mythical vision of history proposed by Christianity. In this vision, man’s historical becoming has a purely negative value, and the sense of an expiation.

The same mythemes can be found—now in a secularised and supposedly scientific form—in the Marxist view of history. There, history is presented as the result of the class struggle: a struggle between groups defined in relation to their respective economic conditions. The prehistoric Garden of Eden has been transformed into a primitive communism practised by a humanity still immersed in the state of nature and of a purely predatory character. Whereas man in Eden was constrained by God’s commandments, man in primitive communism lives under the pressure of misery. Such pressure has brought about the invention of the means of agricultural production, but this invention has also turned out to be a curse. It has entailed, indeed, not only the exploitation of nature by man, but also the division of labour, the exploitation of man by man, and, consequently, human alienation. The class struggle is the implicit consequence of this exploitation of man by man. Its result is history.

As we can see, for Marxists it is economic conditions that determine human behaviour. By logical concatenation, the latter leads to the creation of ever new systems of production which, in their turn, cause new economic conditions and—especially—ever greater misery for those who are exploited. Nevertheless, there comes a moment of Redemption. With the arrival of capitalism misery peaks—it becomes unbearable. Proletarians become conscious of their condition, and this redemptive realisation gives rise to the organising of communist parties—exactly as the redemption of Christ had caused the founding of a communion of saints. The Judeo-Christian notion of ‘Grace’ finds its equivalent, especially in relation to the Sermon of the Mount.

Communist parties carry out an apocalyptic struggle against the exploiters. This may be long and difficult, but it will ultimately and necessarily be successful: it is ‘the sense of history.’ This will bring about the abolition of social classes, put an end to man’s alienation, and allow the instauration of a communist society—unchanging and classless. Furthermore, since history is the result of the class struggle, evidently there will be no more history. Prehistoric communism will be reinstated—like the Garden of Eden in the Kingdom of Heaven—but in a sublimated way. While primitive communist society was afflicted by material misery, post-historic communist society will enjoy a perfectly balanced satisfaction of its needs.

Hence, in the Marxist view, history also assumes a negative value. Born originally because of human alienation, it makes sense only insofar as it increases incessantly the misery of those exploited, finally contributing to the creation of the conditions through which misery will disappear and, as it were, ‘marching’ towards its own end, its self-abolition.

Both egalitarian views—religious Christian and secular Marxist—logically imply that history is determined not by the action of man, but by something that transcends him. It is true that Christianity ascribes free will to man and so affirms that it was Adam, having freely ‘chosen’ to sin, who is responsible for his fault, for his imperfection. However, it was God who made and wanted Adam to be imperfect.

On the other hand, Marxists were sometimes wont to say that history was made by man—or rather men, as members of a social class. However, it is the case that social classes are determined and defined by economic conditions, and that it had been original misery that had constrained men to enter into that bloody concatenation which is the class struggle. Man is then incited to act only as a result of his economic condition. He is a mere decoy in a game played in nature by material forces.

Within the egalitarian vision of history, man performs a dramatic role—in a tragic, shameful, and painful farce—one that he has not written and will never write. Dignity, as an authentic human truth, is found outside history—before it and after it.

Everything contains in itself its own relative antithesis. The eschatological view of history also has its own relative egalitarian antithesis: the theory of infinite progress. According to this, historical motion is represented as constantly tending towards a ‘zero’ which is never attained. This ‘progress’ may go in the direction of ‘always better’—excluding, however, the idea of a perfect and absolute good. It becomes then the liberal ideology of the Belle Époque, the view of a certain recycled Marxism, or that of the naive American way of life.

Change may also proceed as ‘always worse’ without ever arriving at its lowest point—according to the yardstick used. Such is exemplified in the pessimistic vision of Freud, Marcuse, and other Freudian-Marxist thinkers who failed to see how reproduction of the unhappiness that represents civilisation could ever be stopped. Under such conditions, the sole possibility for man not to add evil to evil is to maintain reference to the notion of an end of history, even if it is known this will never occur—or precisely because of this. This messianic expectation is considered operative and fruitful. The same conception may be observed in Bernard-Henri Lévy. The attitude which logically derives from such a vision of things is hypercriticism as a principle: opposing a perpetual ‘no’ to the dangers lurking behind any ‘yes.’ While ‘orthodox’ Marxist theory reproduced, in secular form, the Christian theory of history, neo-Marxist or Freudian-Marxist theory reproduces more closely the theory of classical Judaism.

The notion of ‘infinite progress’—once it played the instrumental role that every relative antithesis has played since the invention of the Devil—tends nowadays to be reabsorbed into its eschatological thesis. The latest example is Francis Fukuyama: ‘What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’ Fukuyama himself identifies to a degree with Marx, but most strongly with the German philosopher Hegel, by way of Alexandre Kojève. Kojève argued that the progress of history must lead toward the establishment of a ‘universal and homogeneous’ state, most probably incorporating elements of liberal or social democracy.

III

It is well established that Nietzsche was the first to reduce Christianity, democratic ideology, and communism to their common denominator: egalitarianism. Since the representatives of these schools of thought have usually called themselves ‘humanists,’ the Nietzschean philosophy—in contrast to egalitarianism—may be labelled ‘suprahumanist.’ It was Nietzsche who also first proposed an alternative vision of history—one which currently opposes, sometimes in a subterranean way, but ever more tenaciously—the eschatological/egalitarian view.

Nietzsche wanted not only to analyse, but also to combat egalitarianism. He wanted to inspire and vivify a project opposed to egalitarianism: to animate another will, to give strength to a diametrically opposed value judgement.

Hence, his work presents two complementary aspects. The first is properly critical—perhaps scientific. Its purpose is to stress the relativity of every value judgement, every moral—and of every truth claimed to be absolute. In this way, he exposes the relativity of the ‘absolute principles’ proclaimed by egalitarianism.

Together with criticism, there exists also an aspect that might be defined as poetic—in a sense derived from the Greek poiein (‘to make, to create’). In his poetic work, Nietzsche wants to give life to a new type of man, one who will be bound to new values and derive principles of action from an ethic other than that of Good and Evil.

To give an image of a society founded on the values proposed by him, Nietzsche turns to the examples of ancient Greece and Rome, or the aristocratic and conquering societies of Indo-European antiquity. This is well known. However, insufficient attention has been paid to Nietzsche’s simultaneous warning against the illusion that it is possible to ‘bring back the Greeks,’ i.e., resuscitate the pre-Christian world. This detail is extremely important in that it offers the necessary key to better understanding the Nietzschean vision of history.

The concept time of history may seem at first sight abstruse; however, it is a notion we all have, perhaps unconsciously.

The ancient world entertained a cyclical view of history, believing that every moment of history was destined to repeat itself. Historical time was represented by a circle: it was by nature linear. With Christianity a new feeling about the world, man, and history is born. The new time of history will remain linear; however, it is no longer circular but rather segmentary—more precisely, parabolic. As described above, for Christianity history has a beginning, a climax, and an end. And it does not repeat itself. History has, furthermore, a negative value: provoked by original sin, history is the passage through a vale of tears.

The suprahumanist conception of history is no longer linear, but rather three-dimensional: inextricably linked to that one-dimensional space which is the consciousness of every human being. Every human consciousness is the room occupied by a present. This present is three-dimensional, and the three dimensions—bestowed at the same time as the three dimensions of physical space—are actuality, past, and future.

What, then, is human consciousness as that space of a time given to each of us? It is, on the dimension of becomeness, memory, presence of the past; on the dimension of actuality, presence of spirit ready to action; on the dimension of becomingness, presence of the project and goal pursued, a project that, memorised and presented to the spirit, determines the action under progress.

Man’s historical becoming may then be conceived as a collection of moments, each one composing a sphere within a four-dimensional ‘supersphere,’ the centre of which may be occupied by any moment respective to any other. According to this perspective, the actuality of every moment is no longer called ‘present.’ On the contrary, ‘present, past, and future’ coexist: they are the three dimensions of every historical moment.

If the sphere of historical becoming is visualized in one-dimensional terms, history can be imagined as something that appears as a straight line to the egalitarian-minded. To the suprahumanist, this line is only that of biological evolution, above which history is manifested. Since the sphere of historical becoming is experienced differently, as a ‘present’ for each conscious mind, the representations of history are similarly different.

This clash between the one-dimensionality of our biological sensitivity and the three-dimensionality of our historicity—the fact that man is not only life, but something else—was in the past somehow intuited. Man has always felt himself to be something other than ‘nature,’ has seen himself differently from the animal, affirming his own ‘consciousness’—sometimes attributing it to an absolute devoid of any materiality—in face of the ‘non-consciousness’ of things and animals. Forever, he has felt himself living, tragically, in two space-times, and has tried to represent to himself such a duality through the opposition between body and soul, temporality and eternity, matter and spirit, this world and the kingdom of heaven, human and divine—in each of which the first member of the pair has typically held a negative connotation in relation to the second. This sort of intuition may have had justification in its own time. In our own, it is an error. Nietzsche’s dictum that ‘God is dead’ means that we must bring soul, eternity, spirit, heaven, and the divine back to their ‘place of origin’: that is, to a human consciousness that, in so doing, becomes self-conscious being.

Concepts such as ‘regress,’ ‘conservation,’ and ‘progress’ lose their meaning in the suprahumanist discourse and are sometimes confused with one another. In the one-dimensionality in which we project the historical sphere, this one forms a circle—an eternal recurrence—where every ‘progress’ is also a ‘regress.’ Here lies the enigma proposed by Nietzsche with the mythemes of the Eternal Return and the High Noontide. The identical that returns is of a biological order, and the same only from a material—not an historical—point of view; historic is, on the other hand, the diversity—the appearance of new forms which may provoke the rupture of time (Zeitumbruch)—and regenerate history.

The past does not correspond to that which was, ‘once and for all,’ a frozen element that the present would leave behind for good. In the same manner, the future is no longer the obligatory effect of all the causes that have preceded it in time and have determined it, as in the linear egalitarian vision of history. At every moment of history—in every actuality—past and future are, so to speak, brought into question, reconfigured according to a new perspective: they mould another truth. One might say, by means of another image, that the past is but the project which man uses to shape his historical action—a project he tries to realise according to the image he has of himself and which he tries to incarnate. The past then seems like a prefiguration of the future. In its proper sense, it is the imagination of the future.

The Renaissance of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was precisely that—a rebirth. This rebirth was no journey backward, or a simple resurgence of the past: it was, on the contrary, the point of departure for a new spiritual adventure, an adventure of a European soul now triumphant, having awakened to itself: the deliberate choice of a more authentic, harmonious, and powerful future.

This three-dimensional conception of time is the only one that may affirm logically man’s historical freedom. In the vision proposed by Nietzsche, man carries the whole responsibility of historical becoming. History is his work. It is equivalent to saying that he carries the whole responsibility of himself, that he is truly and fully free: faber suae fortunae. This freedom is an authentic freedom, not conditioned by the grace of God or the constraints of an economic, material situation.

It is also a true freedom—consisting in the possibility of choosing between opposed options: options that exist at every moment of history, and that always bring into question the totality of Being and of man’s becoming. If these options were not realisable, the choice would be but fake, freedom false—and man’s autonomy mere appearance.

Since man is not only an historical, but also a social animal, this choice presents itself in the form of epochal alternatives: the decisions taken by the groups of men involved will have political effect in world history.

What, then, is the alternative offered to the men of our age? Nietzsche said that the choice was between the last man—the man of the end of history—and the leap towards the superman: the regeneration of history. Ultimately, the outcome will depend on us—on European men and women—on the choice we make between these options. For us, the historical decision is always and at the same time a wake-up call addressed to the past, to a forgotten or lost origin; a decision to surpass a decaying present; and the undertaking of a future project that has hitherto never taken place—because it is suprahumanist.

Promethean Fire: Aryans, Semites & Science

The world today is dominated by technology as never before. It is impossible to travel anywhere without seeing some manifestations of the technological wizardry that has shaped life on the planet todayâ??particularly those innovations developed at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

One crucial – and typically ignored – feature of this astonishing technological revolution is that the great technological innovations which have set the pace for the entire world are exclusively the product of a tiny minority of Europeans.

One of the particular traits of Indo-European languages, already noticed in the nineteenth century by such philologists as Wilhelm von Humboldt and Ernest Renan, was their implicit capacity for abstract thoughtâ??a precondition of any sort of scientific theory and praxis.

Renan was also the first to establish a connection between religion and ethno-geographical origin. He contrasted a “psyche of the desert” found among Semites “the desert is monotheistic? with a “psyche of the forest,” characteristic of Indo-Europeans whose polytheism appears to be modeled on a changing nature and a diversity of seasons. He observed that the intolerance of Semitic people is an inevitable consequence of their monotheism. Indo-European peoples, before their conversion to Semitic ideas, never regarded their religion as absolute truth. This is why there is found among these peoples a freedom of thought, a spirit of critical inquiry, and individual research.

Techne (technological development) ?the appropriation and control of a surrounding environment via technology” may be considered a trait defining the specifically human. It is inevitable companion to the progress of human knowledge; however, it also describes something that has been devised and developed in a peculiar way only in the Indo-European context: from the Battle-Axe culture war chariot to the laser and the moon rockets designed by Wernher von Braun.

In particular, modern technology is closely linked to the Westâ??to a culture underpinned by a “compromiseâ?? between Europe and Judeo-Christianity. Following the Christianisation of Europe, paganism survived underground in several forms. It survived in folk beliefs and traditions; in â??hereticalâ?? trends inside or on the margins of official religion that have extended even into the present; and in a collective unconscious that finds release chiefly in music, and in science and technology.

In this sense, science and technology may be interpreted as arising from the impact of long-standing monotheistic repression of the European collective subconscious, and from the contradictory process of secularisation and emancipation to which this repression gave rise, and which began with the Renaissance. What doesnâ??t kill you, makes you strongerâ?¦Let us remember the names of the American rockets and space programs of von Braunâ??s times: Thor, Atlas, Titan, Jupiter, Delta, Mercury, Apollo. None was called â??Jesus,â? â??Forgiveness and Love,â? or â??Holy Bible.â?

In Man and Technics, Spengler wrote: â??To build a world oneself, to be oneself Godâ??that is the Faustian inventorâ??s dream, and from it has sprung all our designing and re-designing of machines.â??

The Jewish-Christian traditionâ??and the â??grand narrativesâ?? it producedâ??is explicit in the rejection of the Faustian temptation. Nietzsche remarks in The Antichrist that â??such a religion as Christianity, which does not touch reality at a single point and which goes to pieces the moment reality asserts its rights at any point, must be inevitably the deadly enemy of the wisdom of this world, which is to say, of science.â??

Man must repress his â??prideâ??: he may not eat the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge, lest he create instruments competing with the perennial nature created by God. It is sacrilegious behaviour, as the myths of the Golem and the tale of Frankenstein remind us. As in the pastâ??when opposing dissectionâ??the Church now condemns contraception, genetic engineering, and biotechnological research in general.

It is not difficult to see why egalitarianism is anti-Promethean. Every new advance in technology is an advance in respect of the ability of some to control others. If one considers, as in the Bible, Rousseau, or Marx, that it is an ethical duty to condemn the exercise of control or powerâ??the domination of man by manâ??then it is easy to perceive that such epochal mutation as our societies are experiencing will produce new vertical division between man and man, and between society and society, just such as the Neolithic Revolution provoked: namely, (1) differentiation between the body of consociates and the aristocracies that came to exercise political power, creating cultural forms and directing community life; and (2) the fact of certain societies coming to dominate others.

Any dream of independence and self-determinationâ??individual or collectiveâ??any sort of political, economic, or cultural sovereigntyâ??may be realised only through the technical means necessary for such ambition.

Science is a domain which the European mind has monopolised, and technology a tool that can make man into a god. These must be especially valued by Europeans if they are to mount a primordial, Faustian response to life which can recapture and transcend the Indo-European outlook for post-Neolithic man.

Promethean Fire (ii): Environmental Questions

Our zeitgeist is affected by a primitivist attitude: by a generalised and apocalyptic denunciation of European man’s Faustian spirit.

Specifically, environmental transformation is universally frightening: matters pertaining to ecology or natural resources now arouse atavistic fears. Perhaps the will to knowledge and conquest is the original sin that will lead humankind to its self-destruction.

The optimism characterising liberal technocracy and messianic Marxism has vanished. The evolution of the means of production and of industrial society—a dialectical presupposition for overcoming capitalism—has come to crisis. Western liberals (called ‘progressives’ in continental Europe) rediscover Rousseau, the ‘state of nature’ which man should have never left, the ideals of a bucolic-Arcadian life, and biblical curses against science, urban life, and work.

Apocalyptic science fiction and futurology—from ‘global warming’ to the ‘convergence of catastrophes’ or ‘peak oil’—become successful genres. The idea of progress turns over into its contrary: optimism at all costs into millenarianism.

The study of the environment—or, rather, environments—in relation to the forms of life it contains, and the transformations that take place there, began at the end of the nineteenth century. Ernst Haeckel introduced the term ‘ecology’ in 1868.

Ecology, as any other science, establishes its own technique, allowing, and creating, a situation of appropriation and dominion of man over the studied object—in this case the environment, the ecosystem: nature. By semantic glide, the term ecology refers today to an ideology: environmentalism, whose proponents are pleased for it to be called ‘ecologist.’ The central tenet of this ideology—which is a transposition of Marx’s predictions from the economic to a ‘naturalist’ domain—might be summarised as follows: Industrial society produces a set of ecological contradictions that will necessarily lead it to its own ruin in the near future.

Environmentalism commits an ancient error. It is an error based on the false, abstract, universalist idea of nature as (1) static, motionless, and forever given; and (2) distinct from—in opposition to—man and culture. Environmentalists tend to ignore man, as a living being, constituting part of nature. The environmentalist view leads, necessarily, into a paradisiacal view of nature: purely intellectualistic, and typical of those living in a hyper-protected environment. Furthermore, it tends to deny the dynamic reality of the universe.

The very same discipline of ecology rejects this vision and shows how ecosystems evolve and decay: how ecological balance is, in reality, the result of different dynamics that may vary, and typically do so, without human intervention. Balance results from the interaction between (1) the struggle of all living species to survive and increase their numbers, and (2) the characteristics of a given biotope at a particular time. In fact, there is no prearranged and indefinitely self-sufficient natural balance in danger of being ‘disturbed.’

The environmentalist idea of nature departs from the experiences of a world which, for millennia, has experienced man’s formative intervention. In itself, nature is neither unpolluted, nor benign, nor apt for human life—merely ‘adaptable.’ Whoever imagines nature as a cross between orchard, zoo, garden, and golf course fails to realise how much he is conditioned by an environment which is already the product of human activity.

Finally, man is an animal species as any other, with the same ‘right’ to participate in the ecosystem as a seal or a penguin. That ‘right’ to participate according to his own ‘nature’—that is to say, his culture—gives shape to himself and to his world, according to a certain world view, a certain technique: the appropriation and dominion of that which environs him.

Such philosophical considerations, however, should not—and cannot—hide the extremely serious environmental problems facing contemporary society. The challenge, however, is not to achieve the dominion of man over nature, but to bear in mind that any dominion must carry a condition, which is protection. Being ‘on top’ carries responsibility for those below. Any freedom, through offering the possibility of choice, entails risk. Any dominion must carry corresponding responsibility. Man has at his disposal a power over the environment unknown until now. It may also entail an unpredictable measure of destruction.

It should be evident that man needs to preserve the capital which his own environment—together with related natural resources—represents for him, and to avoid its dilapidation in the space of one generation for purposes of immediate consumption. Contemporary society is oriented in precisely the opposite direction. The system is constitutionally incapable of perceiving value unless it is immediately translated in the short term into an increase of purchasing power. This handicap prevents Western civilisation from foreseeing not only the costs the ‘standard of living’ may exact in terms of mental health or environmental degradation, but even the very same economic costs generated by the lack of an organic environmental policy.

It will not be possible to end this situation and to carry out a consciously organic and effective intervention through an (unlikely) programme of social pedagogics. Only when European society is capable of expressing a political will, and becomes again a subject—rather than an object—of history; only when the political domain is restored to its proper place above today’s economic and financial dictatorship; only with such conditions met will it be possible to devise proper policies on environmental issues, natural resources, and energy self-sufficiency.

In fact, the entire cultural milieu gives signs of profound unsuitability in respect of facing the present challenge. The hegemony of deterministic ideologies—optimistic or pessimistic as they might be—and the corresponding erosion of sense of responsibility produced; and the mediocre hedonism characterising our societies—these represent so many obstacles for the adoption of a different attitude. The present paradigm tends to destroy environmentally both the past (roots) and the future of the community (territory, capital, and ethnic resources).

Scientific progress in the environmental domain gives us the opportunity to intervene: not only to protect the ecosystem but to transform it, according to our intentions, on a scale unimaginable until now. Our rejection of both primitivist ecologism and of the blind greed and plunder of large corporations is based on the notion that environmental protection and technological development and expansion are not mutually contradictory but rather are mutual preconditions.

Pollution began when man first made fire: when technique allowed the exploitation of energy sources. From then on, technological progress and energy consumption have never ceased to accelerate. Until very recently, health conditions and quality of life have improved in proportion with the level of energy consumption and technological development. Now, however, further increase in energy consumption may reverse the process, due to high levels of pollution and environmental degradation which reduce the welfare of individuals and nations.

Another hypothesis may perhaps be formulated: technological progress and energy production, accelerated and directed by the right political will, may erase the very inconvenience and degradation they cause today and threaten to cause in the near future. With proper organic environmental policy and precise and determined will, it is possible to advance much further along the right path.

The First Man was immersed in his natural environment; the Second Man (product of the Indo-European revolution of Neolithic times) had to take into consideration the consequences of his own presence in that environment; the Third Man lives in a wholly cultural environment: he is fully responsible for its balance, aspect, and compatibility with human life—everything depends on him and his choices. Once the ‘natural’ environment has forever disappeared—and this is so on our planet at least—a park or garden become as ‘artificial’ as a factory or a temple, and such may come into existence—or be maintained—only on condition there exists a political will, and the technical capacity to apply that will effectively.

Environmental degradation and ecological catastrophe are not consequence of the development of technology, nor will they be avoided by limiting its use. They are collateral products of transition into the Third Man, and the persistent delusion that decisions on such matters may be entrusted to impersonal and ‘rational’ mechanisms, of legal or economic kinds.

It may be possible to imagine environmental policy that has more ambitious goals than merely assurance of the basic conditions for survival of the human species. For example: the maintenance of biodiversity, or the creation of rich differentiated ecosystems, for symbolic, affective, and/or aesthetic reasons. The extreme limit of such discourse would be terraforming: millennial projects destined to transform environmental conditions and to create new ecologies.

We must not forget that our situation as a species in the universe is more precarious than we commonly accept. It behoves us to evolve in knowledge and power, and to secure command of possible environments as quickly as possible. This may involve ‘genetic engineering,’ or it may be achieved as by-product of solar system colonisation and terraforming.

Environmental problems are real. The issue is not to know who is for or against pollution, environmental degradation, or global warming. Nobody is for these things. We need to know whether solutions to the problems caused by the transformation of the environment may be found going forward and ‘surpassing,’ or backward into ‘regression.’ The ‘naturalist’ illusion maintains that man should stop transforming the world. The suprahumanist position urges that man transform himself in order to retake possession of the world transformed by him.

Nature as abstract entity has no existence independent of its manifestations: ourselves. Nature is us. Life is an aristocratic pyramidal structure. We cannot survive without earth, water, air… At the same time, every community, every organisation needs leadership. Man as a species is the highest organic form on Earth. Who should direct the Earth if not he? We cannot acknowledge a higher agency; we have all responsibility regarding this planet. Not by letting things take a ‘natural course’—or by trying to return to a utopian ‘state of nature’—will the environmental problems be solved.

All questions concerning knowledge and direct manipulation of the landscape of Planet Earth, of the living species that inhabit it, and, in particular, of man himself, may be effectively confronted only by a capacity for political projection that involves a bigger rather than a smaller degree of technology, and of dominion of man over man and over his environment.

The Malaise of Western Civilization

‘Roman’ Christianity, born with the Constantinian arrangement, was from the start an attempt to establish, within the ‘ancient’ world transformed by Rome in orbis politica, a compromise between the Indo-European Weltanschauung and the Judaic religion, adapted to Roman imperial civilisation by the alleged efforts of Jesus. The one and only god became, through dogmatic ‘mystery,’ ‘one god in three persons.’ The old trinity that the Vedic Indians called Trimurti has been integrated and, broadly, these ‘persons’ have assumed the three functions of Indo-European society, now in an inverted, spiritualised form. As creator and sovereign, Yahweh nevertheless continues to reject the dual aspect of reality: evil is the exclusive province of Satan. The new name ‘Deus Pater’—’eternal and divine father,’ revered by the Indo-Europeans—is substituted for the old name given by the Bible. Yahweh is father only of his ‘second person’: a son sent to Earth to play a role opposed to that of ‘founding hero.’ He is a son who decides to become alienated from this world in order the better to show a way to the world beyond, and who, if he renders unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, does this only because to him what belongs to Caesar is of no value at all. He is a son, finally, whose function is not to ‘make war,’ but to preach a jealous peace that will benefit only the ‘men of goodwill’—the adversaries of this world—those to whom is reserved the only nutrient of eternity: the grace administered by the third ‘person,’ the Holy Spirit.

Man, as a creature—and as a created being—is the serf of God’s serfs: ‘excrement’ (stercus, as Augustine of Hippo put it). However, at the same time, he is also the brother of the incarnated son of Yahweh, which ‘almost’ makes him a son of God—provided he knows how to will and deserve it, something that depends on the grace the Creator administers according to unfathomable criteria. The day shall come when humankind will be definitively and eternally divided between the saints and the damned. There is a biblical Valhalla: the Celestial Paradise, but it is now reserved for the anti-heroes. The others belong to Hell.

This compromise has for centuries moulded the history of what is called ‘Western civilisation.’ For centuries, according to the deepest affinities, ‘pagan’ and ‘Levantine’ man has been able to see—in the ‘one and threefold’ god—his own respective divinity. This explains the numerous confusions that have always characterised historical Christianity. The coexistence of two antagonistic spiritualities—often confronting one another, even in the hearts of the same individuals—eventually crystallise into a veritable neurosis of the European mentality.

Today we can confidently state that the Constantinian ‘arrangement’ arranged nothing, and that the day the motto ‘In hoc signo vinces’ was proclaimed had detrimental consequences for the Greco-Roman and Celto-Germanic world. Until recently, the Church of Rome particularly, and the Christian churches in general remained, as organised secular powers, attached to the appearances of the old compromise. However, in more recent times they began to recognise the authentic essence of Christianity. Hence, Yahweh, finally casting off the mask of luminous and celestial Deus-Pater, was rediscovered and proclaimed anew. In 1938 Pope Pius XI declared: ‘Through Christ and in Christ we are the spiritual progeny of Abraham. Spiritually, we [i.e., Christians] are all Semites.’

However, long before the churches reached that point, ‘profane’ (demythicised and secularised) Christianity, i.e., egalitarianism in all its forms, had found its path according to biblical truth. This was marked by the rejection of history; the proclaimed will to ‘step out of history’ in order to return to ‘nature’; the tendency to reabsorb human specificity into the ‘physical-chemical’; all determinist materialisms; Marcuse’s condemnation of art on the grounds that by integrating man in society it would betray ‘truth’; finally, the egalitarian ideology that wants to reduce humankind to the anti-hero model: the chosen one, hostile to any specific civilisation in that he wishes to see in it nothing but unhappiness, misery, exploitation (Marx), repression (Freud), or pollution. All this has invariably restored—still continues to restore today, at that precise moment when a new technological revolution is inviting us to overcome old ‘forms’—that motionless, ‘eternal’ (if there ever was such) Judaic vision: an unequivocal ‘No’ to any present pregnant with a future.

Saying ‘Yes’ to history—ever-becoming, ever re-proposing new foundations—implies assuming new forms and content. Saying ‘Yes’ is creation, the work of art. ‘No’ exists only by denying any value to such work. The Indo-European cosmogonic myth reassures us that saying ‘Yes’ is always possible. In a different world, arising from the ruins of the old, the mission of ‘civilising heroes’ is eternal, and it assumes, serenely, the splendid and tragic destiny of one who creates, gives birth to himself, and accepts, as condition of any historical adventure, of any life, the idea of his own end.

Can Our People Survive While Accommodating Christianity?

Is it possible to accommodate Christianity once the veil of ignorance has been torn asunder? Is it possible to teach the five core tenets which constitute the ‘optimum group strategy’, discard the rest of the claptrap, and still call that Christianity? Theoretically, yes; in practice, it is as easy as to reinsert a Champagne cork back into the bottle.

Nowhere are the effects caused by the pursuit of the tenets of Jewish-Christian egalitarianism more existentially dramaticâ??because it threatens the very survival of the communities concernedâ??than in the demographic suicide now being committed by the West. The West faces massive Third World immigration, and high fertility rates combined with below-replacement white birth rates. As Lothrop Stoddard feared, a rising tide of color is swamping the West; and it is guilt about the Third World which is the primary cause of mass immigration into Western lands. Comparison with Japan repays attention, for this Far Eastern country experiences the same economic conditioning as Europe or the United States, but has managed to control migratory fluxes remarkably well.

Christianity is a derivative, a heresy, from Judaism, but it teaches Europe precisely the opposite lesson as far as ethnocentrism is concerned. In Christianity, European peoples cannotâ??as a peopleâ??have a relation with God: this is for the Jewish people alone. European people can have a relation with God only as individuals. Judaism is a religion for survival in a multicultural society. It is a religion for governing the behavior of a Jewish minority in the presence of a non-Jewish majority. Christianity, on the other hand, is a religion for governing the behavior of Christians in a homogeneous Christian society. In a multicultural society, it becomes suicidal.

The original meaning of the Latin word religioâ??from religare, to tie fastâ??was never used until Constantinian times to describe the â??superstitio nova ac maleficaâ?? represented by Christianity and has nothing to do with the metaphysical or fideistic concepts introduced by monotheism. It is simply what binds together the members of a political and ethnocultural community. As such, religion has two aspects: the mythâ??the representation that we choose to have of our own past, and more generally of the universe, in relation to the future, the destiny that we want to create; and the riteâ??the evocation and celebration of our being together with the intention of provoking a general mobilization of spirits.

Historical consciousness is also part of human agency. It is time to choose!

The Third Version of Man
(Nietzsche in Anglo Scientific Language)

–“My humanity is a constant self-overcoming.”–Friedrich Nietzsche

The Third Version
Nietzsche’s message was one of evolutionary change, of man’s progress toward full consciousness. He taught that the whole value and meaning of a man’s life lies in his participation in this progress – in his contribution to it.

Man should not be merely himself and conform to his own ‘nature’. He should still seek to give himself a ‘super-nature,’ to acquire a superhumanity: that superhumanity that Judeo-Christian monotheism’s vocation is to prevent him from acquiring.

The idea of attaining superior consciousness is one of breeding upwards to the superman. It is furthermore the idea of the self-determined being: self-ordained to take integral charge both of the world and of himself, and to give them a new meaning, a new destiny. The discipline of philosophical anthropology has coined the term Third Man to denote this concept.

[CD: the aristocracy: a search for Agency: transcendence. To leave the animal man behind. Yet, this is the feminine and Abrahamic strategy: “Do not leave us behind, we will drag you down.”]

First Version
Seen in this light, the First Man would be identified with the evolutionary process leading to the development of the characteristics that distinguish hominids from other primates: hominization. His appearance would coincide with the invention of language, the development of hunter-gatherer bands and the use of magical shamanism, which would allow him to mimic the evolutionary strategies at work in the surrounding environment – and in this way to compensate for the instinctual deficiencies caused by his ethological plasticity.

Second Version
Several hundred thousand years on, sometime after the last glaciation, there would emerge for the first time what can be described as the Second Man. He is the inventor of the Neolithic Revolution, of agriculture, and consequently of sedentariness and the first human demographic explosion; the founder of cities and urban life, of politics, religion, the division of labour, and the development of so-called ‘phyric technology’ (implying energy production technologies based on combustion: wood, coal, oil, etc). It is the world of the Spenglerian Hochkulturen – ‘High Cultures’ or civilizations.

Depending on the way the Second Man reacted to the challenges of that time, one might then distinguish between:

  1. Societies that refused or ignored any sort of historical transformation, thus heading more or less deliberately towards irrelevance and extinction. Examples might include the Australian aborigines and the non-Negroid native populations of sub-Sahara Africa (Pygmies, Khoisan).
  2. Cold societies that tried to petrify early achievements in the form of endless repetition. As with the famous Aranda of Levi-Strauss, ‘faithful to their tradition’, such cold societies have become fossils of their ancestors’ history. They no longer evolve except as the result of external and contingent ‘events,’ under the pressure of external factors. They are at the mercy of any environmental variation that is not previewed in their program. In brief, they cannot survive except under the condition of not meeting again the train of history from which they alighted. This is the case of most sub-Saharan and Amazonian cultures: they became the ‘object of history’ – of other cultures’ history – once they came into contact with them.
  3. Tepid societies that were active but unwilling ‘prey of history,’ such as the Far Eastern, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and pre-Columbian civilizations (*). The classic example is Japan, with a history marked by external influences which were simultaneously welcomed, rejected, and originally transfigures into what finally became Japanese culture – from the introduction of Buddhism in classical times to the Meiji Restoration after the end of the Shogunate.

And finally;

The Third Version

Hot societies: these became ‘subjects’ or ‘agents’ of history. Generated by the Indo-European Revolution, they took full charge of the historical dimension of man and have come to express its heroic and tragic character with a project of collective destiny that was consciously assumed.

In this broad picture, a final point should be made regarding the particular role played by the birth in the Middle East of an historical tendency – represented mythically by the separation of Abraham and the founding of Israel, and prolonged in a complex way by the other monotheistic religions. Jewish-Christian monotheism introduces a split within post-Neolithic society: while remaining immersed in history, it rejects the effects of the Neolithic Revolution, not this time from a practical standpoint – like cold societies – but from a moral standpoint. It finds driving force in the promise of an eschatological ‘end of history,’ and in constant ‘demystification’ of history’s creations – in particular through reversal of the concept of the divine. From instrument and projection of human creativity, and pride in the process through which the Second Man becomes master of himself and of the world, the divine turns into a ‘transcendent’ condemnation and relativisation of human adventure.

The religion of the Bible’s essential effect – if not its express intention – amounted to obstructing man’s capability to fully realise the powers of freedom and creative autonomy arising from humanisation itself, powers that were historically reinforced by the Neolithic Revolution and the development of great cultures.

Precisely at the time the Indo-European revolution attained its maximum power and expansion, this messianic tendency – based on the moral rejection of history and civilisation – infiltrated the Roman world and reached a point of synthesis through the so-called ‘Constantinian compromise’, giving birth to ‘the West’. Step by step, it repressed the original European colective unconscious and corrupted the European culture of the time, transforming it into something hybrid. From the two souls living in Europe’s chest since that moment, the Jewish-Christian is evidently that which today, in its secular and more radical form, celebrates global hegemony.

(*) It is difficult to disentangle the twisted skein of contacts, exchanges, and influences that tepid cultures originally received from without. Some have hypothesised a role of primer for Indo-European influences and groups by way of imitation, competition, or re-elaboration. For example, Indo-Aryan influences on Chinese culture, and through the latter on Japan; or the complex pattern of contacts between Egypt and Mesopotamia on the one hand and, on the other, the different waves of invaders that from Central Europe on several occasions spilled into over the Near East. More uncertain are those hypotheses that suggest a connection of this type with the pre-Columbian empires. There are also hypotheses, more scientific in this case, about the existence of a ‘hyperborean’ Indo-European civilisation which had influences on an almost planetary scale.

Transcending Man into God

We must have a religion if we are to do anything worth doing. If anything is to be done to get our civilization out of the horrible mess in which it now is, it must be done by men who have got a religion. People who have no religion are cowards and cads. If you allow people who are caddish and irreligious to become the governing force, the nation will be destroyed, and that is what is the matter with us.

What I mean by a religious person is one who conceives himself or herself to be the instrument of some purpose in the universe which is a high purpose, and is the native power of evolution—that is, of a continual ascent in organization and power and life, and extension of life. Any person who realizes that there is such a power, and that his business and joy in life is to do its work, and his pride and point of honour to identify himself with it, is religious, and the people who have not got that feeling are clearly irreligious, no matter what denomination they may belong to. We may give this feeling quite different names. One man may use religious terms and say that he is here to do the work of God. Another man, calling himself an atheist, may simply say that he has a sense of honour. But the two things are precisely the same. Any man of honour is a religious man. He holds there are certain things he must not do and certain things he must do, quite irrespective of the effect upon his personal fortunes. Such a man you may call a religious man, or you may call him a gentleman.

We are gradually getting rid of our idols, and in the future we shall have to put before the people religions that are practical systems, which—on the whole—we can perceive to work out in practice, instead of resulting in flagrant contradictions as they do at present. People, however, go from one extreme to the other, and when they do so they are apt to throw out the good things with the bad ones. Hence, they make little progress. The old-fashioned atheist rebelled against the idea of an omnipotent being as God of cancer, epilepsy and war—as well as of the good that happened. They were unable to believe that a God of love could allow such things. And so they seized avidly upon the idea of natural selection as put forward by Charles Darwin. Darwin was not the originator of the idea of evolution—which long pre-dated him—but it was he that made us familiar with the particular form of evolution known as natural selection. That idea was seized upon with a feeling of relief: relief that the old idea of God was banished from the world. This feeling of relief was so great that for a time the horrible void which had been created in the universe was overlooked. Natural selection left us in a world full of horrors which were accounted for, apparently, by the fact that it as a whole had come about by accident. However, if there is no purpose or design in the universe the sooner we all cut our throats the better, for it is not much of a place to live in.

Most of the natural selection men of the nineteenth century were brilliant—but they were cowards. We want to return to men with some belief in the purpose of the universe—with determination to identify themselves with it, and with the courage that comes from that. As for my own position, I am and always have been a mystic. I believe that the universe is drive

n by a force that we might call the life-force. I see it as performing the miracle of creation, and that it has entered the minds of men as what they call their will. Hence, we see people who clearly are carrying out a will not exclusively their own.

To attempt to represent this particular will or power as God—in the former meaning of the word—is now entirely hopeless; nobody can believe that. What you have to understand is that somehow or other there is, behind the universe a will, a life-force. You cannot think of it as a person, you must think of it as a great purpose, a great will. Furthermore, you must think of it as engaged in a continual struggle to produce something higher and higher.

You begin with the amoeba: why did it split itself in two? It is not an intelligent thing for anybody to do. You cannot pretend there is any particular accident in that. You cannot see any case that natural selection makes. But somehow the amoeba does it. It finds that perhaps two are better than one. At any rate it does split itself in two, from which there is a continual pushing forward to a higher and higher organization. The differentiation of sex, the introduction of backbone, the invention of eyes, the invention of systems of digestion—there is a continual steady growth, an evolution of life. There are forces that may not be explained—and this particular force is ever organizing, organizing, organizing. Among other things it organizes the physical eye, in order that that mechanism can see dangers and avoid them; see food and go after it; see the cliff-edge and avoid falling over it. And not only does it evolve that particular eye: it also evolves what Shakespeare called the mind’s eye. We are not only striving in some particular way to take more and more power, to develop organs and limbs with which we may mould the universe to our liking: we are also continually striving to know, to become more conscious, to understand the meaning of all.

We must believe in the will to good; it is unthinkable to regard man as willing his own destruction. However, in the striving after good that will is liable to make mistakes, and to let loose something that is destructive. We may regard the typhoid bacillus as one of the failures of the life-force that we call God; however, that same life-force is trying, through our brains, to discover a means of destroying that malign influence. If that conception is grasped, an answer to those people who ask for an explanation of the origin of evil becomes available. Evil things are made with the object of their doing good; but they turn out wrong, and therefore must be destroyed. This is the most important conception for the religion of the future—because it gives us what we are at present, as well as courage and self-respect. It is ours to work for something better, to talk less about the religion of love—love is an improper subject—and more about the religion of life, and of work: to create a world that shall know a happiness that need not be the happiness of drunkenness—a world of which we need not be ashamed. The world must consist of people who are happy and, at the same time, sober. At present the happiness of the world is as the happiness of drunken people. We resort to factitious aids to life. We try to fight off consciousness of ourselves because we do not see the consciousness of a mission and, finally, the consciousness of a magnificent destiny.

What is to be the end of it all? There need be no end. Since it has proceeded so far there is no reason why the process should ever stop. However, it must achieve on its infinite journey the production of some being, some person strong and wise, with a mind capable of comprehending the entire universe, and with powers capable of executing its entire will.

Perhaps there is no God as yet achieved; however, there is a force at work making God, struggling through us to become an actual organized existence, enjoying what to many of us is the greatest conceivable ecstasy—of a brain, an intelligence that is actually conscious of the whole, and with executive force capable of guiding it to a perfectly benevolent and harmonious destination.

That is what we are working to. When you are asked, ‘Where is God? Who is God?’ stand up and say: ‘I am God. Here is God—not as yet completed, but ever advancing towards completion, in so much as I am working for the purpose of the universe, working for the good of the whole of society and the whole world, instead of merely pursuing my personal ends.’

We are all experiments in the direction of making God. What God is doing is making himself—from being a mere powerless will or force. This force has implanted into our minds the ideal of God. Thus far we are unsuccessful attempts at God. However, if we can drive into the heads of men the full consciousness of moral responsibility that comes with the knowledge that there never will be a God unless we make one—that we are the instruments through which that ideal is trying to make itself reality—we can work towards such an ideal until we get to be supermen, then super-supermen, then a world of organisms who have achieved and realized God.

(1. A literary text, a pagan ‘religious speech’, adapted by me from diverse speeches pronounced by George Bernard Shaw between 1906 and 1937 George Bernard Shaw)

 


Nationalism 

I think that ‘nationalism’ has to be clarified and put into historical perspective so as to become a really empowering technology.

Nationalism only has meaning for me if understood as a doctrine capable of expressing in political terms the philosophy and vital needs of European man in 2017 (I am thinking not in geographical, but in anthropological terms—the white man—and including both the peoples of the continental homeland as well as ‘Europe overseas.’ Their plight is common and, even if they are unaware of it, they are experiencing a similar fate—they all suffer from the same disease).

European nations are condemned either to exit from history and be melted down into a shapeless and faceless global mass, or to turn into the substance of a future nation and people.

It is convenient to distinguish between two different ways of posing the ‘national question.’ One, developed in France, sees a nation essentially as a construction operated by a state, and bound ab initio to a restricted horizon, a closure: historically, the closure and separation from Empire. This attitude cannot but immediately give rise to the problem of fixing national borders: in this case first for the natio francorum without; then, for the political and cultural identities within those borders, on which ‘reduction’ is operated. This policy of self-exclusion without (from the Imperium), and homologation and repression of internal identities and differences within, was pursued by French absolutism—and to its ultimate consequences with the French Revolution. Subsequently it was emulated by all the democratic revolutions in Europe, to the point when all nationalisms based on ‘the masses’ and exclusion of ‘the other’ arrived, necessarily, at contemporary one world universalism.

Contrary to appearances, the one world ideology—which today impregnates the dominant culture and the political praxis of international institutions—is only superficially in contradiction to the presuppositions of the form of nationalism described above. Withdrawal into oneself implies, intrinsically, recognition, sooner or later, of equality among nations. The dream of political universalism is but the reproposal, on a global scale, of the very process that led to the formation of the nation-state.

Where the memory of the Roman imperial model persisted, and where the project of a Holy Roman Empire as restoration of the classical order remained politically active through the Middle Ages the process of ‘national’ unification did not take place (except partially and on a small scale) until the Romantic Age: during the nineteenth century. It assumed a deeply diverse aspect.

In this case, it is not the state that builds a nation and stimulates a national consciousness, but rather a national consciousness which, in its maturity, seeks to express itself politically through one state. Belonging, for example, to the German or the Italian nation was not, initially, a fact on which to build national consciousness, but rather an idea (in its political sense): a spiritual attachment to a project that needed to be defined and was linked to an old imperial vision of a hierarchically organised cosmos.

Today, the situation of European nationalism is analogous. Europe – Magna Europa – does not enjoy a real existence. Europe is only the destiny of those who recognise themselves as part of it. Furthermore, it is precisely to this ‘ghost,’ to this choice of culture, values, civilisation (i.e., the regeneration of history)—to this myth—that the faith of the good European is addressed. Ultimately, it is also contrasted with the jumble of states and petty-states inhabiting our continent, together with their squalid supranational bureaucracies.

There is another reason why European nationalism should associate itself with the second model described above: the very same idea of Europe amounts to a transfigured re-emergence of the imperial vision. The unification of Europe on the model of the Jacobin nation-state—and in direct opposition to regionalist tendencies (even perhaps forcing linguistic, cultural, and administrative homogenisation)—is unthinkable. There is a further reason: the non-existence of the matter of Europe’s borders. Europe is not a territory, but rather a destiny offered to all who can trace an ethnic and spiritual relationship to it.

This consideration helps clarify how un-European, in this sense, are institutions like the Council of Europe, an institution of which Turkey is a member today—and perhaps Israel tomorrow.

With the Industrial Revolution, humankind entered into a phase of planetisation. None may avoid such planetary perspective or dream of impossible isolation. Planetary order is unavoidable. It is fated to come about, sooner or later.
Tomorrow’s Great Politics cannot be conceived or pursued without a ‘world order’.

(CD: Um. Either I dont understand what you’re getting at, or I don’t agree. i’m not sure which. What I see is vacillation between opening and closing, expanding and contracting, civilizations in response to circumstances, and some having the free capital to adapt and some not.)

Institutionally, we should study carefully three models: Switzerland, the USA Constitution (Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Adams) and Ancient Rome. My contribution today regarding Rome:

(CD: agreed 100% that those are the three ‘scales’. Swiss > American > Roman.

The planetisation that is taking place demands a ‘cosmic order.’ Will such order be ‘imperial’ or ‘egalitarian’? In that the future is open, this must remain unknown: we can merely commit ourselves to one or to the other.

The egalitarian solution implies the reduction of humankind ad unum, the emergence of the ‘universal type’ and of global standardisation. The imperial solution is hierarchical. If freedom in egalitarian dialectics is one absolute opposed to another (the denial of freedom), in imperial dialectics, freedom is merely a relative proposition directly linked to the notion of social responsibility. Within the Imperium, only the right of the best is absolute, measured according to the virtue manifested by humankind at a particular moment. However, Imperium is also, from a planetary perspective, the only means of preserving differences, thanks to the principle of unicuique suum, which implicitly recognises the fundamental inequality of values and identities.

Imperium may be seen as the alternative to globalisation: strength and cohesion in diversity as a model of planetary organisation.

(CD: I see speciation as an opportunity.)

Destiny: We are living in an interregnum

We should be aware that we are living in an interregnum (postmodernity), a period of waiting during which destiny hangs between two options: either to complete the triumph of the egalitarian conception of the world (the end of history), or to promote a historical regeneration.
(CD: Agreed)

Is European civilization going to expand or contract? No doubt the free capital to adapt is still there – for how long is another question.

But where is the plan, the idea (the myth) that can ignite consciousness? The Propertarian Institute should have the ambition of designing this map, able to take us to port while avoiding the most obvious pitfalls.

(CD: I think that I see that as our purpose, yes)

If we take a look at some of the most recent ‘sovereignty and freedom’ campaigns among Europeans:

A. Catalonian parody: a bunch of flea-ridden commies who proclaimed the independent republic of Catalonia and among other things wanted to outsource the defense of the territory to another European state?!?

B. Brexit fiasco: Nigel Farage, an Englishman with a French name and a German wife, collaborated with Boris Johnson, an Englishman of Turkish descent married to a woman of Indian descent, and Michael Gove, a Scotsman married to a Jewish woman of, probably German descent, to take Britain out of Europe. Also on their team were Priti Patel who was born in London to a Uganda Asian family, and Gisela Stuart who was born in Germany. This dedicated band of ‘Britons’ persuaded the British people to “take back their borders” and keep out the foreigners. If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny. Commonwealth immigrants were entitled to vote in the referéndum, but Europeans settled in the UK were not entitled. Also barred from voting were Britons living elsewhere in Europe . Most likely in a near future: Labour comes back to 10th Downing Street with James Corbyn (an admirer of Hugo Chaves) as PM.

C. Ukrainian tragedy (among the different intra-european nationalist projects, I have the warmest feelings for Ukrainians): Ukraine should have played the role of connecting bridge between Russia and the EU. After a series of catastrophic decisions (I don’t want to start apportioning blame now), the relations with Russia will remain fouled for a long, long time, and economic integration with the EU will not be a possibility for at least 40 years (I think that is the ultimate goal ofthe Russian military campaign in the East).
Old formulas, disconnected from historical and geopolitical reality, do not work.

(CD: I have too much knowledge of ukrainian circumstances and I see the Intermarium as necessary, not the preservation of ukraine as a torn state.)

Europe, despite current appearances, continues to be the only reality with potential historically to mobilise the European population. This is much more than so in respect of either the tangible and concrete nation-states—devoid today of any vis politica—or of those regional tendencies that will never come to represent even vestigial resistance to the formation of already moribund nation-states. In this sense—and contrary to anti-European propaganda—struggle for the construction of Europe is the most ‘realistic’ political position currently available.

(CD: I see a europe with a weak judicial federation in the ancient model, rather than a peer of the USA. So I see the opposite. The restoration of the european model with a weak federal judiciary (the role played by a church).

An extension of patriotism is needed—a higher patriotism which proclaims: ‘I am a European and therefore the heir of an ancient culture which has civilised the whole world.’ Only then will Magna Europe dominate the world, as is its birthright.

(CD: well, people pay the cost of patriotism when it is in their interest, either to seize an opportunity or to prevent a harm.)

Imperium and Empire must not be confused with each other. In fact, the notion of Imperium has found its truth and perfect realisation more in efforts that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic than in the maintenance of the post-Julian Empire. The notion of Imperium reflects a will to cosmic order, and it is this order that organises hierarchically the various ‘gentes’ living under the protection of Rome. In theory and in practice, Imperium is at the antipodes of any sort of ‘universalism.’ It does not seek to reduce humankind to one and the same; rather, it seeks to preserve diversity in a world heading towards unification.

(CD: I think I can express that less euphemistically but yes. the problem is, what is the incentive. Or rather the incentive is intuitied by some. But in this interregnum, the market for various incentives has caused a bifurcation.)

I also see speciation as an opportunity. But this time, speciation will take place due to a self-conscious decision, and the whole planet will be its stage. In that sense, I’m a Nietzschean, as you know. He was the first thinker who, in view of a world-history emerging for the first time, asked the decisive question and thought through its metaphysical implications. The question is: Is man, as man in his nature till now, prepared to assume dominion over the whole earth? If not, what must happen to man as he is, so that he may be able to ‘subject’ the earth and thereby reclaim an old legacy? Must man as he is then not be brought beyond himself if he is to fulfill this task? This thinking concerns us, concerns Europe, concerns the whole earth not just today but tomorrow even more.

(CD: This last bit takes some work to get thru. But I see the choice of monopoly world order of increasing parasitism and dysgenia, and market world order of increasing eugenia as a fairly obvious one. )

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