The diversity of opinions on fundamental issues has always perplexed and intrigued me. In Euclidean geometry, no one would dispute the Pythagorean theorem, at least once he understood it. No scientist would deny that water, steam and ice are the same chemical compound, provided he understands chemistry. But when it comes to political and religious issues, opinions abound. Moreover, people feel compelled to argue for their respective positions in the usually vain attempt to “convert” another to that point of view. Yet, that is, in most cases, more difficult than convincing a dung beetle to change his diet.
I am not talking about matters of taste, which few would argue about, but about fundamental issues. It is curious that the average person never holds an opinion about a theorem of algebraic topology or a finding in physical chemistry. Those sciences are clearly beyond his competence and he knows it. Nevertheless, although politics and metaphysics are more difficult, the average person somehow feels entitled to strongly held views on those topics. Somehow, and I always see this in the sophists that offer their opinions on TV programs, it is sufficient to being a sentence with “I think”, without ever considering why or how they think.
Other factors are ignorance of facts, the use of logical fallacies or mistakes, and oversimplifications that would reduce movements that have lasted for many centuries among various peoples to a simple slogan. Even taking those factors into account, there is still something left over, something inexplicable on the assumption that there is a common human nature.
Evola, Tradition, Spiritual Races
Someone sent me a video of an interview by a “professor of tradition”, if you can imagine such a being. The interviewer was a woman who giggled throughout the interview. As expected, the professor mentioned Rene Guenon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and Frithjof Schuon as the founders of the “school”, neglecting any mention of Julius Evola. As we have demonstrated here, Guenon and Coomaraswmay respected Evola’s work, which cannot be neglected.
Nevertheless, we see some mistakes he made which have unfortunately derailed discussions among men of tradition. There is his idea of “regality” apart from priests or warriors. Coomaraswamy demonstrated Evola was incorrect about that due to a misreading of ancient Vedic texts. This ties in to his anti-clerical attitude, which he extends to a diminution of the priestly caste. Had he relied more on Vico than Bachofen, he may have gotten his early prehistory more exactly. The most serious error was equating action with contemplation, which cannot be done consistently. Most recently we saw that in the essay on Plotinus, who was certainly a contemplative rather than a man of action.
His idea of spiritual races, on the other hand, has been insufficiently explored. This may be due to its reduction to biological race, which is not the case at all. Most people, it seems to me, try to make a point based on the notion that an “idea” has causative power. For example, in some groups, you will hear how “Christianity”, for example, destroyed the West or something similar. Ideas have no being except as they manifest in a mind. Hence, ideas can cause nothing; only men holding an idea can be causative provided they act on it.
Ha, that just brings us back to the question that opened this article. Why does a man believe one thing rather than another, and with such stubbornness? Evola says that men are not all alike in their interiority, but rather they possess a “spiritual race”, which are distinct from one another. In the theory of cosmic cycles, time is not uniform, but it has qualities that differ along the cycle. Hence, by the law of affinity, different spirits will be attracted to the point in the cycle which is compatible with their being. Guenon referred to that as being “compossible”, i.e., the simultaneous manifestation of possibilities can occur only when they are mutually compatible (not necessarily harmonious).
So in our time, a particular race is manifesting more and more. This is the demeterian race (after the goddess Demeter); member of this race will have a particular worldview that is very hard to shake since it is so fundamental to their being. This is not to say that more atavistic races do not exist, such as the solar-olympian race. These will feel out of place, however. There can be no compromise between the two. The latter is anchored to a Traditional view, while the former is intent on eradicating every trace of it.
Relying on Otto Weininger and especially J J Bachofen, Evola brings up the ideas of the masculine and feminine much more than the other early writers on Tradition. He masterfully wove these concepts with the more traditional ideas of castes and cycles in his Revolt. Clearly, Gornahoor is not endorsing it pure and simple, because of the errors already mentioned. Nevertheless, the regression of castes is related to the feminization of the higher caste as it reverses its role with the one that had been beneath it. The movement to matriarchy is in full swing at this point as the demeterian race is firmly in control and the higher spiritual values of the solar races are mocked, demeaned, or prohibited.
Matriarchy is marked by the urge to control: what you can eat and drink (e.g., Mrs. Obama with school lunches, Bloomberg in New York over sweet drinks); the desire to prohibit the bearing of arms which is always the prerogative of the free man; the universalization of health care, which will become a prime tool for control; the self-monitoring of free speech. Only the expression of error may be prohibited, if necessary, and truth is a defense. In the engulfing matriarchy, truth is no defense, and the various prohibitions are arbitrary.
In addition to control, the other mark of matriarchy is the pursuit of pleasure. Hence, there is the trend to promiscuity, miscegenation, and eventually polyarmory. No sexual expression should be taboo and the deliberate choice of sacrifice in pursuit of something higher is considered absurd when a pleasurable choice is available.
In his important book Eros and Civilization Herbert Marcuse laid out the path to this world perfectly. Obviously, the first step is to overthrow patriarchy which is, in his view, the cause of repression. Moreover, it caused surplus suppression above and beyond that need to maintain a stable society. The guilt associated with that, as represented by Oedipus, must be overcome. Through advances in technology, there will be less need for work, thus freeing up the body for pleasure. It will become polymorphous perverse and will be able to experience sexual pleasure in ways that the patriarchy had discouraged or prohibited. Marcuse expounded the perfect philosophy for the demeterian race.