The Traditional Approach

In Traditionalism, this is the Enemy the “philosopher” of the European New Right, Guillaume Faye, critiques “Traditionalism”, allegedly from the inside. He calls it “metaphysical traditionalism”, which no one else has ever called it, whatever “it” may be, but, since he attributes “it” to Julius Evola, we prefer to critique the critique with the words of Evola himself. Since this comes from the forward to “Revolt Against the Modern World“, one would not have to read very much to realize the Faye’s misunderstanding. First of all, he claims to have exhumed three axioms of “metaphysical traditionalism”, axioms which are nowhere to be found in either Evola or Guenon. Since the rest of the article depends on those axioms, it is not worth reading past that point, unless you are one of those people who stops and stares at road kill.

First of all, Tradition does not refer to a nostalgic looking back in time, though it does involve a remembering. Furthermore, it is not so much concerned with the affairs of men, but rather of the revelations of the gods that give meaning to the past. This is how Evola describes his project:

The order of things that I will mainly deal with in this present work, generally speaking, is that in which all materials have a “historical” and “scientific” value are the ones that matter the least; conversely, all the mythical, legendary, and epic elements denies historical truth and demonstrative value acquire here a superior validity and become the source for a more real and certain knowledge…

The scientific “anathemas” in regard to this approach are well known: “Arbitrary!” “Subjective!” “Preposterous!” In my perspective there is no arbitrariness, subjectivity, or fantasy, just as there is no objectivity and scientific causality the way modern men understand them. All these notions are unreal; all these notions are outside Tradition. Tradition begins wherever it is possible to rise above these notions by achieving a superindividual and nonhuman perspecive; thus, I will have a minimal concern for debating and “demonstrating.” The truths that may reveal the world of Tradition are not those that can be “learned” or “discussed”; either they are or they are not. It is only possible to remember them, and this happens when one becomes free of the obstacles represented by various human constructions, first among which are all the results and the methods of specialized researchers; in other words, one becomes free of these encumbrances when the capacity for seeing from that nonhuman perspective, which is the same as ther traditional perspective has been attained. This is one of hte essential “protests” that should be made by those who really oppose the modern world.”

Julius Evola, Forward to Revolt Against the Modern World

8 thoughts on “The Traditional Approach

  1. What about Arturo Reghini? Does anyone know where to find info on him? Most of the stuff on the internet is in Italian. He died upright facing the sun just like Evola did. It must have been some kind of symbolic way to die…Evola seems to have learned quite a lot from him….

  2. Faye declares that he is making a slight critique of a certain effect that ‘Traditionalism’ may have on certain people, yet he then goes on to calls Traditionalists the enemy and states the need of the “movement” to purge them. Basically, Faye is upset with Tradition because it actually provides a foundation for a person to build firm principles from. Tradition states the need for action with actual direction, as opposed to Faye’s free-thought.

  3. Gus,

    True, there are a number of people who are guilty of endless philosophical pontificating who do not truly care about activating their Will. But one must not confuse what Evola and Guenon have termed contemplative action (the focus on the realization of that which the individual really is on a cosmic scale), whether it is done in aescetic solitude (in which Faye seemed dismissive of even though it has been seen countless times among the Indo-europeans) or within daily life surrounded by others, with “metaphysical wanking”.

    Guenon for most of his life was politically disengaged, and Evola became largely disengaged with politics after the 1950’s. Should the accusation of metaphysical wanking be thrown at them as well?

  4. That is called the “straw man” argument. Perhaps Faye was referring to Prince Charles.

  5. Faye makes it very clear at the beginning that he is not criticizing Evola and Guénon so much as some people who use them (and Heidegger–and he might also have mentioned the later Ernst Jünger) as excuses to become or remain politically disengaged and ineffectual.

    People like this do exist. Faye knows some of them. I know some of them too. The reason he wrote and I translated the article is to encourage these people to stop their metaphysical wanking and do their duty as Aryans, which is the same Kali Yuga or no Kali Yuga. That is a sentiment that I think Evola would have endorsed.

  6. Yes, that piece was mostly road kill. When I read Faye’s piece, Evola’s essay Misunderstandings of the Neo-Pagans came to mind.

    And John, the only occult group Evola ever headed was the short lived Ur group. I HIGHLY doubt Faye somehow studied with a group that legitimately claims a direct (even an indirect) link. Just by reading that one piece from Faye I can tell that man has little in common (besides political and cultural persuasions) with the ur group, let alone with Evola. And Evola only had one student, Massimo Scaligero, and if he were alive, he would also view that writing from Faye in the same manner as Cologero did.

  7. That’s why I have made it public.

  8. ‘one would not have to read very much to realize the Faye’s misunderstanding. First of all, he claims to have exhumed three axioms of “metaphysical traditionalism”, axioms which are nowhere to be found in either Evola or Guenon. ‘

    Of course, both of those men were occultists, and occultists customarily pass on specific lessons that are not made public.

    If Faye studied with an esoteric group that had a direct line of discipleship back to Evola, that might explain the claim.

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