Julius Evola famously said, in denying he was a fascist, that his principles were those that “every well-bred man considered healthy, sane, and normal prior to the French revolution.” It is time, now, to investigate, describe, and defend those principles.
There are two phases in the recovery of Tradition, i.e., the opposite of the regression of the castes:
- The first relies on one’s own efforts and the development of an inner strength. No longer enthralled by the myths of modernism, man learns to rely on himself. Through self-discipline, he resists the mediocrity of the collective. He integrates his personality into a coherent whole, with all its parts subject to his spirit and his will. No longer dominated by sensuality, greed, willfulness, and attraction to the glamour of the world, he will discover new forces to guide his mind and actions.
- The first phase is the preparation and the opening to the second. This phase involves an opening to the transcendent and the supernatural.
For our purposes, we will be focusing on the first phase. Evola identified Joseph de Maistre and Donoso Cortes as two of the spirits who exemplified these principles. A contemporary of Evola, Charles Maurras recapitulated that spirit in a natural way, hence we will be using him as a model. This is our promised comparison of those two counter-revolutionaries, in fulfillment of Alain de Benoist’s challenge.
There will be resistance to this, first of all, because the modern mind is totally attached to revolution. Secondly, these two writers are associated with losers, hated losers at that: Evola, through his association with Fascism and Maurras as a collaborator with Vichy France. Yet, those historical accidents do not alter the principles. Evola supported fascism only to the extent it embodied some of those principles. Maurras despised and distrusted the Nazis, but he hated liberalism even more.
Maurras, like Evola, was a classicist, an admirer of the spirit of ancient Greece and Rome. He was also a Medievalist although, again like Evola, he rejected Christianity. Yet there is a fundamental difference between the two; Maurras was a Positivist, totally rejecting the transcendent and the supernatural. Nevertheless, he accepted the reality of the natural law, both for things and for men. Hence, he accepted the moral and social teachings of the Church, particular as exemplified by Thomas Aquinas. He regarded them as rationally demonstrable and in continuity with antique paganism. This actually serves as a benefit, since the principles can be discussed independently of any spiritual or religious system.
Therefore, I shall be translating some of Maurras’ works and relating them to those natural law teachings. But first, I need to take a little time off for vacation and translation.