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Il Barone; Candidate for /Our/ Philosopher

Marcus Tullius CiceroFeb 14, 2018, 5:01:28 PM

To be honest, after spending enough time dealing with the “alt-right” anyone normal, who doesn’t have some radical agenda to defend would probably conclude the same things I have. For such a hyped “extreme right,” “shadowy” or even, farcically “occult” movement according to the New York Times and the Atlantic, you’d be hard pressed to find anything that deserves or lives up to the hype behind the mask of “offensive” humour. It’s as if the world is turned upside down at the New York Times; where a shoddily drawn hooked cross in a school bathroom is yet “more worrying signs of rising alt-right influence.” For this reason I prefer to call the majority of the “alt-right” excluded moderates, calling them fascists is an overstatement which just marks the first blunder in the public humiliation campaign that one wages against oneself when one sets out to “attack the alt-right.” Such misconceptions also surround the intellectual often touted as the alt-right’s progenitor, the self-styled Baron Julius Evola. Evola who, in his trial in 1951 for his fresh return to publishing, alleged as “spreading fascism” pointed out that he was not a fascist, had never been associated with the fascist party, and was in fact, to use his own word; a “superfasicst.” Such a daring use of words on the witness stand is endearing to a philosopher such as myself who like my ancient progenitors sees the trial of Socrates as a mythologized instant imbued with eternal relevance. The quixotic touch of taking up a noble title similarly echoes through time; I have always thought of Don Quixote de la Mancha as being the best kind of hero a corrupt world can offer and I partly disapprove of the character’s deathbed change of heart for this reason. At any rate, I only got hold of some of his works recently, and the following are my first impressions and thoughts surrounding them.

Don Quixote and Sancho played by Peter O'Toole and James Coco; Man of La Mancha, 1972 

Evola’s own writings are indeed little to do with fascism, but fit in beautifully with the New Right he has arguably inspired and which is deprecated as “alt-right” by its opponents. The thing about this singular character that I think scares the lefties in journalism so much is how Evola matches none of their presuppositions about what the “Right” should be like; his intellectual output is not backwards, parochial, bigoted, incoherent, authoritarian or Christian, Evola is no counter-left fall guy like Newt Gingrich. Instead he thinks in a manner which is consistent, international, atheistic, classicizing, spiritual, anarchistic and even individualistic. Combined with his ability to cut to the heart of what traditional societies have and which modern people lack, namely a sense of higher purpose with which to oppose decadence and the mechanistic degradation of human integrity; it’s not surprising that such attitudes are considered scary by the followers of sordid bourgeoise conventions. He was a philosopher not a demagogue, something the left has long felt they have a right to monopolize with their Sophists like Marx and Engles. A truly modern right wing thinker can only be a fascist to the left because such a person threatens the foundation of what in the parlance of neo-reactionaries today is termed the “Cathedral”; the paper palace of half-truths around which leftists dig a moat between modernity and that which is before it.

The disorientation of modernity

Finally, a small note about a certain kind of polemic which is used against Evola; there is an opinion on the left that Evola was to quote the Atlantic, a “virulent anti-Semite” and hence overall bad person. There are obvious objections to this, first off Evola did not believe in biological racism, he believed in what he termed “razzismo dello spirito” or racism of the spirit. This is not a materialist view, or even a racist one, despite the name which in my view reflects only a time period in which racism had no stigma. Rather it is an atheist remark even Christopher Hitchens would have made; that Abrahamic religion is an expression of the manifest destiny of the Jewish people, all Evola does is add to it by saying that Abrahamism expresses a corrosive, conformist, egalitarian and materialistic worldview which is ultimately subversive when you boil it down, and which in his view makes its believers potentially dangerous on ideological grounds. Therefore “racism of the spirit” is not actually anything pertaining to the substance of racism, unless hatred for ideas one finds fault with is now racist; it’s been 67 years since that trial in 1951 and the court of public opinion still pursues him after the criminal court relented. Additionally, it takes coglioni as the Italians would say to critique fascism as having adopted these same vices of conformity, materialism and egalitarianism, whilst living in Fascist Italy, and to foretell that it would come to a bad end because of it.