The final segment of Julius Evola‘s essay. The final tactic, the Tactic of the Substitution of Principle to the Person, is very important, as it describes the creation of the modern world from the Medieval period. As a corollary, it defines what can be meant by the Right in the relative sense: it is whatever resists the dissolution of a stage, and the authentic Right, in its only true meaning, is whatever works toward the stage prior to the successive degeneration of the castes.
Evola concludes with the necessity of recognizing and indicating the tools used in the occult war. Only then can a man be called a counter-revolutionary.
Tactic of Dilution
This is a particular case of the “tactic of substitution”. To understand it, it is necessary to start from the idea, that the process that led us up to our current general crisis, had distant origins and various phases and that in each one of such phases—corresponding to specific forms of Civilization, State, ethics, etc.—the crisis was already present even in a less acute, more dilute, potential form rather than actual. The theory of “progress”, or evolutionism, can be considered as another of the suggestions hurled by the subversive hidden forces into the general environment, in order to distract anyone from looking from the perspective of the origins and always pushing well beyond the process of falling, under the thrust of false mirages, and, above all, of that of the conquests of the technical-mechanical civilization. However, the hard experience of tragic events in recent times saw to it that such a hypnosis was no longer able to conserve its efficacy and was no longer able to prevent many spirits from recognizing that the presumed course toward progress was a course toward the abyss and that a going back was imposed. The hidden front then put into notion every means to prevent any radicalism. One of the preferred methods was, above all, putting a prejudice against “anachronism” into circulation, against “that which is no longer adapted for the times”, and then directing the forces that returned to look toward the origins, toward one or the other of those preceding phases, in which the crisis and evil were found in forms less advanced and, for that very reason, less visible. And even this trap had success. The leaders of worldwide subversion know naturally that, having come to that point, the danger is eliminated, because the whole was reduced to soon retrace the same path and to push, at the end of it, to dissolution even these forces that were awakened and that wanted to react and pull back.
We could also indicate many historical examples of this tactic, both recently and further in the past Above all, the political Leaders of current anti-subversive movements should not lose it from view. Let us say in all frankness—since in such a field a lack of frankness is certainly equivalent to a fault—there are aspects of contemporary nationalism that would merit being tested thoroughly. Anyone can note, in fact, the anti-traditional, anti-hierarchical, revolutionary character that, in the past, compared to the preceding ecumene-imperial and feudal civilization, had the notion of nation. Now, it is the nation that today predominantly challenges to combat the extreme forms of the crisis and subversion, represented by various red internationals [communist parties]. There is therefore the necessity to formulate a concept of the nation different from that which makes of it a stage of the path that had to lead to what today we must combat. Several years ago we provided the necessary points of reference to confront and resolve this problem, and to distinguish two nationalisms [La Vita Italiana, Mar, 1931]. We must return to our essay.
Tactic of the Substitution of Principle to the Person
It is undeniable that, in many respects, the decadence of traditional institutions occurs through the decadence of their leaders and representatives. But this is not the only cause: in order to come to a true dissolution and involution, it is necessary that the tactic of the substitution of principle to the person be added to it, a new tool of the occult war, which works in the following way. When the representative of a given principle appears unworthy, a process against the principle in itself is set in motion in the person of this representative, or the process is extended from the person to the principle. They do not come to the conclusion that that representative does not measure up to the principle and must therefore be substituted with another person who can really represent it, but instead they go on to say that the principle itself is false or harmful and must be substituted with another principle.
In how many cases does the attack against this or that degenerate, vain, or vicious aristocrat get translated into the attack against the very aristocratic principle in itself and into a tool of demagogy? And perhaps the subversive and heretical action of Luther, having as his excuse the corruption of the representative of the Roman Church, had a different meaning? Again, history is rich with episodes of the type, equivalent to many other moments of the worldwide subversion. Let us remember that the ancient hierarchical system was constituted by a spiritual authority, under which stood the warrior aristocracy, then a bourgeois caste and then the working masses. The fall of this traditional system, in many of its aspects, had as its instrument the tactic here indicated. The warrior aristocracy rose up against the decadent representatives of the pure spiritual authority, not through substituting them with another, more worthy representatives of the same principle, but by drawing from that the pretense to be emancipated or lay claim for itself the supreme authority. In a following phase, i.e., in a following civilization, the Third Estate rises up against the degenerate warrior aristocracy not because it ceded the place to the true aristocrats, but to seize power for itself. In yet another phase, the process against capitalism and the bourgeoisie (i.e., against the Third Estate) in its destructive and negative aspects does not aim for a corresponding reform, but is only the excuse for the revolt of the proletariat and the usurpation of power—descending progressively from step to step—straight through to the party of the proletariat (bolshevism, communism).
The fact that, for reasons of space, we only indicated some examples and we were concerned above all with the exposition of the principles, not to prevent—we hope—seeing what vast fields of application these principles can have and to that valuable results it could reach those who, adequately equipped, can apply them methodically in any field. Since one can assert without uncertainty that there is not a single area in which the occult battle of the forces of worldwide subversion are not in any developed way; and indeed these areas that would seem more unrelated to events of the type are those that, by principle, should be considered with the greatest wariness.
We repeat one more time that it is not a question of “philosophical positions”, but of things much more real and that there is no leader or combatant at the front of the counter-subversion and the tradition that can be called mature and at the peak of its true tasks, before having developed in itself the faculty of seeing clearly in this subterranean world of cause and of indicating quickly the action of this or that invisible tool which our enemy does not cease to adopt in every epoch that, like the current one, sounding the prelude to the moment of final decision and the final battle of all, a cycle of civilization.
⇐ The Tools of the Occult War (III)