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The Imperative of Our Age


Graphic by Harold Arthur McNeill

1,678 words

Our momentary situation takes the form of a great battle—a battle which may take more than one war to resolve it, or which may be resolved by a sudden cataclysmic happening, entirely unforeseeable to us now. On the surface of history it is the unforeseen that happens. The most human beings can do is to be prepared inwardly. In complete contradiction to our instinct, feelings, and ideas, the 19th century sits leering upon the throne of Europe, wrapped in the cerements of the grave, and propped up by the extra-European forces. This means that the age in which we find ourselves takes the form of a deep and fundamental conflict. These ideas can never live again—their supremacy merely means the strangulation of the young, living tendencies of the New Europe. Their supremacy simply consists in forced lip-service to them. They do not affect the action-thinking, the organic-rhythms of the age, they are merely instruments of thwarting the will of Europe by holding it in subjection to the least valuable elements in Europe, who are maintained in power by extra-European bayonets.

The conflict is far-reaching; it affects every sphere of Life. Two ideas are opposed—not concepts or abstractions, but Ideas which were in the blood of men before they were formulated by the minds of men. The Resurgence of Authority stands opposed to the Rule of Money; Order to Social Chaos, Hierarchy to Equality, socio-economico-political Stability to constant Flux; glad assumption of Duties to whining for Rights; Socialism to Capitalism, ethically, economically, politically; the Rebirth of Religion to Materialism; Fertility to Sterility; the spirit of Heroism to the spirit of Trade; the principle of Responsibility to Parliamentarism; the idea of Polarity of Man and Woman to Feminism; the idea of the individual task to the ideal of “happiness”; Discipline to Propaganda-compulsion; the higher unities of family, society, State to social atomism; Marriage to the Communistic ideal of free love; economic self-sufficiency to senseless trade as an end in itself; the inner imperative to Rationalism. But the greatest opposition of all has not yet been named, the conflict which will take up all the others into itself. This is the battle of the Idea of the Unity of the West against the nationalism of the 19th century. Here stand opposed the ideas of Empire and petty-stateism, large-space thinking and political provincialism. Here find themselves opposed the miserable collection of yesterday-patriots and the custodians of the Future. The yesterday-nationalists are nothing but the puppets of the extra-European forces who conquer Europe by dividing it. To the enemies of Europe, there must be no rapprochement, no understanding, no union of the old units of Europe into a new unit, capable of carrying on 20th century politics.

In the previous seven High Cultures, the period of the nationalistic disease was liquidated by the spread of one feeling over the whole Civilization. It was not unaccompanied by wars, for the Past has always, and will always, fight against the Future. Life is war, and to wish to create is to bring about the opposition of the great Nay-sayers, those whose existence is tied to the Past, is sunk into the Past. The division of the Civilization was in each case resolved by the reunion of the Civilization, the reassertion of its old, original, exclusiveness and unity. In each case, from petty-stateism came Empire. The Empire
Idea was so strong that no inner force could oppose it with hope of success.

Nationalism itself in Europe transformed itself into the new Empire-Idea after the First World War, the beginning of our age. In each Western country, the “Nationalists” were those who were opposed to another European War, and who desired a general political understanding in Europe to prevent its sinking into the dust where it now struggles. They were thus not nationalistic at all, but Western-Imperial.

Similarly the self-styled “internationalists” were the ones who wished to stir up wars among the European states of yesterday, in order to sabotage the creation of the Empire of the West. They hated it because they were alien to it in one way or another, some because they were completely outside the Western Culture, others because they were incurably possessed by some ideology or other which hated the new, vital, masculine, form of the Future, and preferred the old conception of Life as money-chasing, money-spending, hatred of strong, ascendant Life, and love of weakness, sterility, and stupidity.

And thus, the extra-European forces, together with the traitorous inner elements in Europe, were able to bring about a Second World War which defeated on the surface the powerful development of Western Empire. But the defeat was, and had to be, only on the surface, since the decisive impulse, as this century knows once more, comes always from within, from the Inner Imperative, from the Soul. To defeat on the surface the actualization of an Idea that is Historically essential is to strengthen it. Its energy, that would have been diffusing itself outward in self-expression turns inward and is concentrated onto the primary task of spiritual liberation. The materialists do not know that what does not destroy, makes stronger, and destroy this Idea they cannot. It uses men, but they cannot use it, touch it, injure it.

This whole work is nothing but an outline of the Idea of this Age, a presentation of its foundations and universality, and every spiritual root of it will be traced to its origins and necessity. But in this place, it should be mentioned that the idea of a universal Europe, an Empire of the West, is not new, but is the prime form of our Culture, as of every other. For the first five centuries of our Culture, there was a universal Western people, in which the local differences counted but slightly. There was a universal king-emperor, who might have been often defied, but was not denied. There was a universal style, Gothic, which inspired and formed all art from furniture to the cathedral. There was a universal code of conduct, Western chivalry, with its honor-imperative for every situation. There was a universal religion and a universal Church. There was a universal language, Latin, and a universal law, Roman law.

The disintegration of this unity was slowly progressive from 1250 onward, but was not entirely accomplished, even for political purposes, until the age of political nationalism, beginning c. 1750, when Westerners for the first time allowed themselves to use the barbarian against other Western nations. And now, as we enter upon the late Civilization-phase, the idea of a universal Europe, an Empire of the West in the 20th century style emerges once more as the single, great, formative Idea of the age. The form in which the task presents itself is political. It is a power question whether this Empire will be established, for strong extra-European forces oppose it, and these forces have divided the soil of our Culture between them.

* * *

The Empire of the West is a development that no inner European force could possibly oppose with more than token resistance, but its establishment is now crossed by the decisive intervention of outer forces in the life of the West. The struggle is thus spiritual-political, and its motive force derives from the Idea of Western unity. At this moment, the existence of the West in freedom for self-development is a function of the distribution of power in the world. The age is political in a sense that no previous Western age has been so. This is the Age of Absolute Politics, for the whole form of our life is now a function of power.

Action, to be effective, must be within a spiritual framework. As Goethe said, “Unlimited activity, of whatever kind, leads at last to bankruptcy.” Our action must not be blind. Our ideational equipment must be of a kind which can turn everything to its own account. It frees itself therefore from every kind of ideology, economic, biological, moralistic. It springs directly from the fact-sense which this age takes as its point of departure.

In the universities and in most of the books, outmoded methods of looking at the field of politics are presented. The doctrine is still taught that there are various “forms of government” which can be moved about from one political unit to another. There is republicanism, there is democracy, monarchy, and so on, and so on. Some of these “forms” are held out as “good”; others as “bad.” It is better to have Europe occupied by the barbarian than to have a Western Empire under a “bad” “form of government.” It is better to eat the rations that Moscow and Washington allow than it is to have a proud and free Europe with a “bad” government.

This is the very height of stupidity. Asininity on this level can only be reached by ideologists without soul and without intellect.

This sort of thing is book-politics, and is traceable to the fact that the word politics has two meanings: it means human power-activity, and it also has the dictionary meaning of a branch of philosophy. Now, if by politics, one means a branch of philosophy, very well. It can then turn into whatever one wishes. Carte blanche reigns in the world of philosophy. But—the real meaning of the word politics is poweractivity, and in this sense, acting Life is itself politics. In this sense, facts rule politics, and the making of facts is the task of politics. This is the only possible meaning of the word to the 20th century, and this most serious moment of our Cultural life demands the utmost clarity of the minds of active men in order that they may be entirely free from any trace of ideology, whether derived from logic, philosophy, or morality.

And thus we stand before the view of politics which answers the inner demand of the Age of Absolute Politics.

Source: Francis Parker Yockey (Ulick Varange), Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics (Costa Mesa, Cal.: Noontide Press, 2000), pp. 110 ff.