In this section from Sintesi di dottrina della razza, Julius Evola describes the third migration from the Hyperborean regions. This was the incursion of the Germanic tribes into the Roman Empire. He points out that they were a degenerate remnant, and were unable to continue the civilization of the Roman Empire. It took several centuries for European civilization to re-emerge, beginning with Charlemagne.
Evola then sketches out the various branches that followed from the Hyperborean migrations. As we see, his understanding of “race” is more in line with the UNESCO understanding of a race as an “ethnic group”. As such, the Hyperboreans, or “Aryans”, include the inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent, ancient Egyptians, Persians, and even Amerindians and Eskimos.
By “race of the first level”, Evola refers to the race of the body, which is how most people conceive race. Of course, there are also two higher levels: the race of the soul and the race of the spirit. He rejects so-called “scientific” racism, since it deals strictly with the race of the body. For Evola, genetics cannot explain the soul and spirit of the various races.
As justification, he refers to the philosopher Emile Boutroux, who denies that even the physical world is deterministic. This type of philosophizing is virtually unknown today, but was a dominant perspective among French and Italian philosophers at the time.
A fortiori, man, as a free spirit, can hardly be fixed and determined by his body or genetic makeup, despite certain tendencies or habits. Any attempt by “science” to “fix” a given race to predetermined characteristics or behaviors is ultimately deleterious.
The most recent of all is the emigration of the third voyage which followed the north-south direction. Some Nordic lineages had previously traversed this direction in prehistoric times; they are those, for example, who gave rise to the Doric-Achaean civilization and brought the cult of the Hyperborean Apollo to Greece. The last wave was that of the so-called “migration of the people” which happened at the fall of the Roman Empire and corresponds to the race of the Nordic-Germanic type. In this respect, we must make a very important observation. Those races that spread in the north-south direction descend more directly from the Hyperborean lineage who last left the Arctic regions. For that reason, they often display, from the viewpoint of the race of the body, a greater purity and conformity to the original type, having had fewer possibilities of encountering different races. The same however cannot be said from the viewpoint of their inner race and traditions. Their self-maintenance, further from the sister races, in the conditions of a climate which had become particularly harsh and unfavorable could cause in them a certain materialization, a one-sided development of certain physical qualities and especially of character, courage, resistance, tenacity and inventiveness, having, however as its counterpart, an atrophy of the truly spiritual side.
That is seen previously among the Spartans: to a greater extent, however, in the Germanic peoples of the invasions that we may continue to call “barbaric”; barbaric, however, not in relation to degenerate Roman civilization, in which those people appeared, but in relation to a higher stage, from which those races had fallen by that point. Among the proofs of such an interior degeneration, or spiritual darkening, is the relative facility with which such races converted to Christianity and then to Protestantism. For that reason, the Germanic peoples in the first centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, up to Charlemagne, were unable to oppose anything of importance in the spiritual domain to the crepuscular forms of Romanity. They were enchanted by the exterior splendor of such forms and easily fell victim to Byzantinism, they were unable to reanimate much of Nordic-Aryan existence, in spite of everything, in the Mediterranean world, that by means of a faith corrupted, in more than one aspect, by Semitic-Southern racial influences as soon as they later on gave form to the Holy Roman Empire under the Catholic sign.
Thus even some of the German racial theorists, like Gunther, had to recognize that, while trying to reconstruct the vision of the world and the type of spirituality characteristic of the Nordic race, had to refer less to the testimony included in the traditions of the Germanic peoples of the period of the invasions – fragmentary testimonies, often altered by foreign or decadent influences in the form of popular superstitions or folklore – than to the superior spiritual forms characteristic of ancient Rome, ancient Greece, Persia, and India, i.e., of the civilizations derived from the two first waves.
For the combination of the races and traditions generated by these three currents, the first transverse (Ario-Nordic lineage), the next horizontal (Nordic-Atlantic or Nordic-Occidental lineage), the last vertical (the Ario-Germanic lineage) we can apply, not so much for true conformity, but rather on the basis of a usage that has become current, the term “Aryan”. In order to take into consideration the races defined by the most noted and recognized of racial theories of the first level, we can say that the trunk of the Aryan race, having at its root the primordial Hyperborean race, is differentiated in the following way. There is first of all, as the blond race, the branch called Nordic in the strict sense, that some differentiate into Teutonic-Nordic, Dalic-Falic, and Finno-Nordic sub-branches. The same lineage in its mixing with the aboriginal Sarmatian populations then gave rise to the so-called East-Europid and East-Baltic types. All these human groups, from the point of view of the race of the body, as was noted, preserve great fidelity or purity in respect to what can be presumed to have been the primordial Nordic, or Hyperborean, type.
In the second place, we must consider the races that are most different in relation to the original type, whether in the sense of its phenotype, or form, which the same dispositions and the same hereditary genes caused under the action of a different environment, or of mix-mutations, i.e., mutations produced by more accentuated mixing. It is a matter of predominantly brown types, of smaller stature, in which the dolicephalous is not the rule or is not too pronounced. We mention, using the terminology that is more in vogue, the so-called race of the man of the west, the Atlantic race that, as Fischer defined, is already different from it, then the Mediterranean race, from which, in its turn according to Peters, the variety of the Euro-African man, or African-Mediterranean is distinguished, where the dark component has greater prominence. Sergi’s classification, according to whom these last two types more or less coincide, must be rejected and, from the point of view of practical racial theory, especially the Italian, is among the most dangerous. Equally dubious is calling the Mediterranean race, as Peters does, the Pelasgic: in conformity with the meaning that the word had in Greek civilization, it is necessary to consider the Pelasgic type, in a certain way, in itself, especially in terms of the result of a degeneration of some very ancient Atlantic-Aryan stocks established in the Mediterranean before the appearance of the Hellenes. Particularly, from the point of view of the race of the soul, this meaning of the “Pelasgics” is justified, among whom the ancient Etruscan people also are included.
In a certain way by itself is the Dinaric race because while it is very close to the Nordic type in certain aspects, in others it shows characteristics in common with the Armenoid and desert race and, like that which some racial theorists define properly as the Alpine or the Vosgic race, is prevalently shown brachycephalous: the sign of crossing that happened along other directions. The Aryan race of the east has, again, distinct characteristics, both physical and mental, through which it is distanced substantially from the Nordic type.
There is nothing contradictory, from the traditional point of view, in assuming in the doctrine of race of the first level the clarifications that the various authors make in relation to the physical and, in part, mental, characteristics of all these branches of Aryan humanity. Only it is not necessary to create too many illusions on the importance of all that, in the sense of establishing rigid limits. Thus, although neither white nor blonde, the superior races of Iran and India, and, although not white, many ancient Egyptian types can moreover be included in the Aryan family. Not only: authors like Wirth and Kadner, who sought to utilize recent studies on blood groups for racial research, were led to believe that some North American Amerindian and Eskimo stocks were closer to the primordial Nordic type, than the greater part of the Indo-European Aryan races just noted. And in this kind of investigations, for example, it indicates moreover that the primordial Nordic blood in Italy has a percentage close to that of England, and certainly higher than that of the Germanic peoples. It is therefore necessary to not be fixated on rigid schemas and to think that, except for rather rare cases, the “form” of the original super-race, more or less latent, obstructed, overpowered, or exhausted, subsists in the depths of all these human types. Under certain conditions, it can reappear as predominant and shape a given type from itself, which proves them equivalent, even where it is least suspected, that is, where the previous races according to the schematic and static conception of race, would have instead made the appearance of a type of race, let us suppose, Mediterranean, Indo-Afghani, or Baltic-Oriental, seem probable.
Emile Boutroux, in one of his classic works on the contingency of the laws of nature has compared the regularity of phenomena that permits relatively exact scientific predictions, to the course of a river, whose waters follow a riverbed that however it itself hallowed out, so that they can modify it and in exceptional circumstances even abandon it. He considered natural laws as a sort of “habit” of things: what originally was also able to be a free act, in repeating itself, automatizes and mechanizes itself and ends up appearing to be a necessity. If that is valid for the laws of so-called inanimate, physical nature, it is of greater validity in respect to races. The proper description of racial theory of the first level, that, in certain authors, leads up to distinctions of an almost scholastic pedantry, fits in the measure to which the forces of races, so to speak, follow a type of law of inertia that automatizes them and fixes them in the state in which, at a given moment, they find themselves being. In these conditions the models drawn for each of the Aryan race fit, determinisms are verified, and sciences observe. At the moment in which the most original forces begin to advance, these constructions demonstrate their relativity and an excessive attention conceded to racial theories of the first level and its “scientific” results can even end up bringing damage to the creative and evocative task of race theory.