Tonight, we are posting the first point of Julius Evola’s Orientations and will continue for the next ten Sundays.
It is useless to create illusions with the pipe dream of any optimism whatsoever: we find ourselves today at the end of a cycle. Already for centuries, at first unfelt, then with the surge of a mass that caves in, numerous processes in the West have destroyed every normal and legitimate ordering of men, and distorted every higher conception of living, acting, knowing, and struggling. And the impulse of this downfall, its speed and its dizziness, is called “progress.” And hymns were sung to “progress” and we were deluded that this civilization is — a civilization of matter and machines — civilization par excellence. The entire history of the world was preordained to it: until the ultimate consequences of this whole process was such as to bring a few to an awakening.
Where, and under what symbols, those who sought to organize the forces for a possible resistance, is well-known. On the one hand, there is a nation [Italy] which, from when it became unified, had known only the mediocre climate of liberalism, democracy, and constitutional monarchy — dared take up again the symbol of Rome [the eagle] as the basis for a new political conception and for a new ideal of virility and dignity. Analogous forces were awakened in the nation [Germany] that had made in the Middle Ages the Roman symbol of the Imperium as its own, to reassert the principle of authority and the supremacy of those values that have their root in blood, in race, and in the deepest strength of a people. And while in other European nations some groups were already oriented in the same direction, a third force in the Asian continent [Japan] added itself to the alliance, the nation of samurai, in which the adoption of exterior forms of modern civilization did not compromise the fidelity to a warrior tradition centered on the symbol of the solar Empire of divine right.
We do not pretend that in these currents the distinction between the essential and the incidental is clear cut, that in them it made to the ideas by the opposing party an adequate persuasion and qualification of persons, that there were various outdated influences affected by the same forces that had to be combatted. The process of ideological purification would have been able to take place a second time, so that some immediate and non-deferrable political problems were solved. But it was also clear that an alliance of forces was taking form, representing an open challenge to “modern” civilization: both to that of the democracies inherited from the French Revolution and to the other, representing the extreme limit of the degradation of Western man: the collectivistic civilization of the Fourth Estate, the communist civilization of the mass-man without a face.
The rhythms accelerated and the tensions increased finishing in an armed conflict of these forces. What prevailed was the massive power of a coalition that did not back down in the face of the most hybrid of their agreements, and of the most hypocritical of this ideological mobilization in order to crush the world that was rising up and that intended to assert its right. Whether or not our men were equal to the task, if errors were committed in regard to timeliness, complete preparation, or measure of risk, that is beside the point, that is not something that compromised the inner meaning of the battle that was fought. Likewise, it does not interest us, that today history is avenged on the victors, that the democratic powers which, having formed a coalition with the forces of red subversion just to conduct the war up to the senseless extremism of a unconditional surrender and total destruction, today sees come back to roost against the allies of yesterday a danger more terrible than the one they wished to avoid.
The only thing that counts is this: we find ourselves today in the middle of a world of ruins. And the problem to be posed is: do men still exist on their feet within the middle of these ruins? And what should they do, what else can they still do?
Point 2 ⇒