Which Way, Western Civilization

We believe France has not benefited fully from the energy, drive, and ideas of its minorities.

We will track intangible measures of success — a growing sense of belonging, for example, among young French minorities, and a burgeoning hope that they, too, can represent their country at home, and abroad, even one day at the pinnacle of French public life, as president of the Republic.

19 January 2010 Cable from Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton

The Basis of Western Civilization

Armin Mohler takes as the basis of the vision of the world the opposition existing between two general conceptions, which he calls linear and cyclic. According to the former, history is development, novelty, evolution and tends to a final end that justifies it; this is the conception characteristic of the various progressive currents, but Christianity as well insofar as it gravitates toward an “end of times”. The latter conception is based instead of the idea of the “eternal return”, of the repetition of the same forms; that would be the basal view of the “conservative revolution”. In our opinion, the contraposition in these terms is not well formulated. If anything, we should speak of historicism and antihistoricism, of “civilizations of being” and of “civilizations of becoming”. It is not a question of expecting the return of the same forms, but rather of believing that fundamental values never change, of recognizing a normative order containing a priori and ab initio all the principles, without which a civilization and a normal society are inconceivable. ~ Julius Evola, Rassegna Italiana, Rome, June 1952

There has been a lot of loose talk among the paid intelligentsia this week about the need to “save” Western civilization. The claim is that it is under threat from a group known as ISIL. Now the hundreds of casualties in Paris last Friday is a horrific crime, but hardly an “existential” threat to France as some have claimed. There is no danger of regime change in France or the breakdown of her political and economic structures. ISIL has no navy, no air force, and perhaps 30 thousand soldiers. Chicago, USA, has more gang members that than, and more murders this year than Paris will have.

Even the New York Times predicts that the impact on Parisian life and economy will be temporary and of short duration. So, if there is in fact an existential threat, the danger is within. Perhaps there is a sense of unease because that menace still lies below conscious awareness.

In any case, this is the time for reflection on exactly what is this Western civilization that is worth preserving? What exactly are those enduring values, the normative order, and the a priori principles? This is more than a way of life, the smell of fresh bread from the bakeries, a croissant in the morning, a glass of wine for dinner, and so on. It is more than museums, art, and all the other artifacts of modern life. None of this has been addressed. Most importantly, does Western civilization depend on the Westerners who created it, or is it more like an empty shell that can be inhabited by anyone without changing its essential nature?

Phases of Western Civilization

We can look at the phases of Western civilization and perhaps find some answers there.

Primordial State

According to Roman tradition, the Golden Age of Saturn was a primeval era of purity and simplicity—virtues that made Rome great. Saturn, originally an Italian god of agriculture, was deposed by his son Jupiter, king of the gods. Thereupon, Saturn fled to Latium, where he became its king, establishing a society that lacked weapons, money, walled cities, and all similar corrupting influences. During this era the fruits of the soil were gained without toil. ~ Alfred J. Andrea, The Human Record

The Romans had their own Garden of Eden story. The dream of this primordial state enthralls many today, especially those who fancy themselves the best and the brightest. Who do you recognize proclaiming the following values?

  • No weapons: No guns, no war
  • No money: everyone will share in the goods of the community
  • No walled cities: Open borders and free migrations
  • Fruits without toil: free medical care, free college tuition, free food, free cell phones

Unfortunately, Saturn is also the scythe bearer who used it to sunder the relationship between Heaven and Earth. Hence, the reign of Saturn is a human creation, ultimately closer to a nightmare than to a dream.

Roman Ecumene and Ancient Athens

Unfortunately, Jupiter prevailed over Saturn. Rome was founded by Trojan descendants who maintained Greek civilization. The Roman Ecumene was based around the Mediterranean, including North Africa and parts of the Near East, so it wasn’t quite European. It excelled at administration, military affairs, and engineering. When it decayed from within, the Northern barbarians occupied the shell. However, they could not administer the far flung empire, nor could they maintain the carefully engineered roads and aqueducts.


Christendom replaced the Roman Ecumene. As learning and order were slowly restored, the Holy Roman Empire became the model for Western civilization proper. The African and Asian parts were lost, and it began to extend throughout Europe. In many ways, it was the interiorization of its pagan predecessor. It made public the idea of the one God, which previously had been known only to Sages or those in various mystery religions.


What people mean today by “Western civilization” is actually the Enlightenment civilization with more or fewer features from the pagan and Christian past. However, this is not “Western” at all, since it claims to be universal. Rather, it is a global culture that took root first in the West. It has ideas of universal human rights, supported on empirical science rather than revelation, as in Christendom, or thinking, as in the pagan times. Conflicts arise due to the archaic remnants of the past still remaining. However, once you accept enlightenment principles, the a priori and ab initio principles give way.

The Future of Intelligence

Each era has its ideal of the intelligent man. The Philosopher was the model of the educated man for the ancient pagans, and the Theologian, for the Medievals. Of course, it is the Scientist who is supreme in the Enlightenment culture. The Philosopher, the Theologian, and the Scientist are always in battles for the intellectual high ground.

The fight is hardly fair. As this diagram of GRE scores demonstrates, the hard sciences and mathematics are attracting the most intelligent students. Theologians, or “religious studies”, studies are not even close. Philosophy is hardly relevant anymore. As such, it is mostly verbal jousting with little relevance to life. It has been supplanted with Sophistry, i.e., those paid to promote certain opinions, and Ideology, or various “studies” that have little relation to actuality, but rather to dreams of a return to the rule of Saturn or, more often, Matriarchal and Lunar cultures.

Since the promoters of sophistry and ideology are typically majors in political science, journalism, and the like, this is seldom noticed. They are not at the highest ends of the intelligence grid. It might be embarrassing to mention the education majors.

To get back to the point, in debates between science and religion, the latter is at a severe disadvantage since it lacks the most intelligent spokesmen. Often, the religious adherents are simply embarrassing, intellectually.

So the Enlightenment culture is actually an anti-culture, since it involves the overturning of the values, principles, and order of Western civilization, properly called. This deserves to be overthrown, but not by violence. Rather, a new generation will create it, a special type who can master Philosophy, Theology, and Science. These will be the Artists of a new civilization.

Embassy Paris: Minority Engagement Strategy

The basis of Enlightenment civilization is shown clearly in this rather interesting cable from Wikileaks: Minority Engagement Strategy, which I encourage you to read.

Keep in mind that prior cultures in Europe recognized different kinds of people, and accepted cultural diversity as the norm. Joseph de Maistre wrote this about the French Constitution:

The constitution of 1795, like its predecessors, has been drawn up for Man.  Now, there is no such thing in the world as Man.  In the course of my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; I am even aware, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian.  But, as for Man, I declare that I have never met him in my life.  If he exists, I certainly have no knowledge of him.

….This constitution is capable of being applied to all human communities from China to Geneva.  But a constitution which is made for all nations is made for none: it is a pure abstraction, a school exercise whose purpose is to exercise the mind in accordance with a hypothetical ideal, and which ought to be addressed to Man, in the imaginary places which he inhabits….

Nevertheless, both the USA and France believe they know what is best for “man” from China to Geneva, although they have opposed views on how to implement it. The French believe in equality and secularization. That is why they make it a point not to consider a citizen’s race, ethnicity, or religion. Hence, they don’t keep any statistical breakdowns based on those criteria. Any disparity in outcomes is due to the man, not his ethnicity or religiosity.

The USA, on the other hand, counts everything. From income levels, educational attainment, crime and prison population, etc., it keeps the numbers. If the outcomes don’t match the population percentages, that becomes a problem to be solved.

Apparently, judging from the ambassador’s cable, France’s disparate outcomes are likewise problems that the USA feels compelled to solve. Hence, it interferes in France’s internal affairs, seeking to further the advancement of the Muslim and other minority populations. The State Department does that through NGOs that it funds. There are four: two for the main USA political parties, one for business interests, and another for labor. These are allegedly independent, although they are staffed by the children and friends of political bigwigs.

The cable shows that the USA is counting France’s minority participation in public life. The cable explains many of statements made by President Obama and Secretary Clinton, which otherwise may seem inscrutable. For example, the following statement may explain Obama’s “I told you so” attitude about recent events:

We believe that if France, over the long run, does not successfully increase opportunity and provide genuine political representation for its minority populations, France could become a weaker, more divided country, perhaps more crisis-prone and inward-looking, and consequently a less capable ally.

Surprisingly, or not, the USA considers a Muslim president of France to be a desirable outcome. This is why Obama and Clinton are so careful about how they phrase their statements about Islam. For them, Islam is not the enemy, but actually the end game for France.

ISIL should have had more patience since they have a potential ally in an unexpected place. Instead, they risk being annihilated by Russia.

16 thoughts on “Which Way, Western Civilization

  1. “ISIL should have had more patience since they have a potential ally in an unexpected place.”

    It appears that the whole world is going along with the extremists either way, probably because they all work for the same antichrist, whether they know it or not… Hence the news and rulers telling people to be terrified of terrorists, and to endure endless wars (the traditional imperialist excuse was outlived) as if that will end “terror” somehow, and to compromise their expectations of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for the sake of security from those terrifying terrorists.

    These problems started in the West, but they spread like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcuWuKLoCmU

    If they hadn’t abandoned traditional imperialism, they could just annex the countries they invade and rule them in an orderly manner. The Iraqis would probably prefer being a state of the USA instead of what they’re currently enduring.

  2. “There will be a fusion of all the arts, but not a theatrical one like Wagner’s. Art must unite with philosophy and religion in an indivisible whole to form a new gospel, which will replace the old gospel we have outlived. I cherish the dream of creating such a ‘Mystery’. For it, it would be necessary to build a special temple – perhaps here, perhaps far away in India. But mankind is not yet ready for it. ”

    Not yet ready? India has thousands of such temples still standing today! And we already fused art, music, dance and theatre with our philosophies and religions, thousands of years ago!

  3. Boreas, this is not necessarily the case if the violence is guided by these “artists.” It is probably the only way. There is nothing more traditional than holy war and no war more holy than the battle to come (and the battle within).

  4. @ C portion The secular West is nihilist because it does not really adhere to any permanent values; they shift over time. What was OK to believe a decade ago, may become one of its “sins” now. Haven’t you noticed that the liberal always mentions the year to justify his opinions? ”

    Heres the transcript from the appropriate part of an interview from bbc to a uk layout mp which i won’t even make any comments on because it speaks for itself on so many levels of neglect and irrationality and shows the absence of any values and the type of bs they spoon feed the public…………..
    Interview on 22 nov 2015 by bbc furniture piece andy marr to labour mouthpiece johm macdonnell
    about the decision to go into syria for more war mongering
    AM – Now having said in the past very very clearly that you regard tony blair as a war criminal that should be sent to the hague for war crimes, is that still your view ?
    JM – I was angry about iraq about what happened and we will see what comes out of the chilcot and what decisions are taken as a result of that. I believe we need to learn the mistakes from iraq and that means weve got to have “full legality” on what we do in the future.
    AM – Yes, its just that you said this only a couple of years ago and I was wondering, perhaps this is a cheeky question , whether when you were at the cenotaph recently , your leader should have made a citizens arrest on tony blair , they were standing side by side,perhaps he should have collared him, and said, I arrest you and send him to the hague ! but he didnt.
    JM – It is a cheeky question and this is a serious matter ,so let me just say to you that in this week we will all bear resposibilities for the decisions that we take and we all weigh these considerations seriously, lets learn from the mistakes in the past but also recognise that we are in a *“new era”* as well
    AM – lets move on to the economy then

  5. I also think it was one of the greatest mistakes of Evola (one from which he paid a very high price himself) to think that the new order could rise from NS or Fascism – through coercion, violence and tyranny. The wheels of time must roll into their very end and no order can be established before the current time has rolled into its very end. Then it will happen “in an instant”, as Guénon said.

  6. @ Dart: because violence in the name of Tradition would only lead to outright tyranny in this age of mischief and unbelief, and it is not tyranny that traditionalists are seeking, no matter how justified the establishment of justice and order would seem.

  7. I have to ask why you believe violence to be an inappropriate method for correcting the enlightenment deviation? If anything justifies violence it would be this greatest of causes.

  8. @George, just to expand a little on Aristocles’ response.

    The secular West is nihilist because it does not really adhere to any permanent values; they shift over time. What was OK to believe a decade ago, may become one of its “sins” now. Haven’t you noticed that the liberal always mentions the year to justify his opinions? The commonality they share is anti-Christianism, which is the most important of the “values” of the secular West. Similarly, Islam places no limits on God’s will. Hence, to say that God would not will such-and-such an action are placing an unacceptable restriction on his command. The only difference between them is that, for the West, man is God; so there is no limit on man’s will. The news of its inherent nihilism has not fully penetrated the common mind of Europe.

  9. @Scriabin, we have anticipated this in The Russian Idea.

  10. Unfortunately, I think violence is a very real possibility in the next 50 years due to the demographics in play as well as economic and geopolitical factors. ‘Western’ civilization will find no peace for it is inherently self-destructive.

    @George – one of the tipoffs that Modernism is akin to satanism is its inherent contradiction. How can such blatant contradictions exist, tacit support for brutal Islamic purists and then the debauchery of perverts? Simple. Because if your occult motivator is the father of lies, he can simultaneously entertain two opposing notions without error. ask him about one, and he will lie about the other.

  11. The West could do with a Mysterium. As Scriabin put it,

    “There will be a fusion of all the arts, but not a theatrical one like Wagner’s. Art must unite with philosophy and religion in an indivisible whole to form a new gospel, which will replace the old gospel we have outlived. I cherish the dream of creating such a ‘Mystery’. For it, it would be necessary to build a special temple – perhaps here, perhaps far away in India. But mankind is not yet ready for it. Mankind must be preached to, it must be led along new paths. And I do preach. Once I even preached from a boat, like Christ.”

    Maybe Russia will send the West a Scriabin or two if they ask nicely.

  12. “ISIS presents the most powerful and authentic Sunni antidote to the spread of Iranian influence in the Middle East.”


    The author claims this is in US interests. However, contra Mr. Ben-Ephraim, this Haaretz article implies that our interests are not served by such an “antidote”:

    “But if the U.S. has a vital interest in peacefully preventing Iran from getting a bomb, it does not have a vital interest in keeping Iran weak. Yes, Iran is supporting some nasty organizations and regimes: Bashar Assad, Hezbollah, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and (along with some Sunni benefactors) Hamas. But none represent a direct threat to the United States. None are likely to commit a terrorist attack on American soil. The people most likely to do that are Sunni Jihadists organized or inspired by groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. The groups, in other words, that Iran is fighting against …

    Israel’s interests are different. Yes, Netanyahu says the Iran deal will pave — rather than curb — Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. But behind this technical disagreement over centrifuge limits and inspection protocols lies a more fundamental one. Netanyahu, like most other Jewish Israeli politicians, believes Israel has a vital interest in keeping Iran weak.”


    If that is true, here is the “why”:


  13. @George: The West’s nihilism and fetishization of “The Other”

  14. How is it that the globalized secular West is willing to support an organization that is the apparent anti-thesis of their values? That would happily destroy them and erase democracy, equality, feminism, etc?

  15. Constantine,

    I would imagine it to be the self-educated.

    In history we tend to see certain eras in which the internal discourse of the clerisy is disrupted; total social and political change follows. The period from the renaissance into the early modern era was one point. A second point would be the period from the industrial revolution into the managerial revolution of the mid-twentieth century. A third point has followed very quickly beginning with the introduction of the internet.

    The renaissance humanist who was the child of the merchants had little understanding of medieval discourse. The industrial man who was the child of the lower (although not lowest) classes had little understanding of humanistic culture. The internet generation is utterly barbaric since it includes, in principle, everyone. What we see at each point is the expansion of literacy. Too many people are undeservedly literate in our era.

    Now, there ought also to be an opportunity here for a class to emerge from the crowd who are simultaneous well-read, broadly educated and also specifically masters of rhetoric. I repeat, they must have a general and yet intense education, but specifically they must be the greatest rhetoricians yet known and sufficiently self-conscious such that they are not mesmerized by the enemy. This class will be self-educated for this is obviously appropriate given the circumstances i.e. the presence of the internet and the degradation of the education system. You see, there simply must be these gods of rhetoric; these masters of signs and symbols; these careful observers of mankind; these representatives of principles; these truly wakened ones.

  16. Very good article, but just one question. Do you know which person or group that best represent the “artist(s) of a new civilization ?

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