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Twentieth-Century Metaphysics

2,147 words

Edited by Kerry Bolton

Editor’s Note:

These aphorisms and notes can be dated ca. late 1945–1948, from the reference Yockey makes to the Nuremberg Trial (which started in November, 1945), and number of themes that were developed in Imperium (1948), such as those on Marxism, Freudianism, and Darwinism. It should also be noted that Yockey refers to part of the nom-de-plume he used for writing Imperium: Varange.

 * * *

My philosophy — and incidentally also, that of the Spirit of the Age: the TRUE is that which I feel; the GOOD is that which I want; the BEAUTIFUL is that which pleases me.

* * *

There are five planes of becoming: the cosmic, the plant, the animal, the human, the High Cultural.

As to the first no one can be inwardly sure whether it is living or not. No definition of life can be constructed which will exclude all cosmic phenomena. The distinction between Being and Becoming, like all other distinctions, vanishes upon the deepest passive observation.

In passing from one plane to the other, there are no frontiers; all of the planes overlap the adjoining planes in succession; each subsequent plane then retains the characteristics of the preceding planes to a greater or less degree. The presenting of these five planes in this ordering conveys no “evolutionary” idea, in the Darwinian sense, but is a purely anthropomorphic ordering, based on the increasing complexity, refinement, elaboration, and multifariousness of the phenomena on each plane — AS THEY APPEAR TO HUMAN OBSERVATION.

All of the planes affect all the other planes, but there is nothing to be gained by trying to work out a symbolic algebra here.

No one can be inwardly sure about the comparative distance from any one plane to the next. At first glance, the greatest step appears to be that from the cosmic to the plant — but are you SURE? The measuring stick is lacking.

* * *

The “human race” is mostly not human — i.e., not only numerically does the animal element predominate, but in a given sample of large numbers, the animal plane predominates. Examples: obviously outside the Western culture-area the animal plane dominates the human component in the “human race.” Let him who does not yet know this visit China, India, Africa, Islam. But in Europe itself, in any great city, for example, the greater part of the population is governed by animal needs and ideals, this IN FACT, but not in theory. In America, this is true also in theory.

* * *

Each phase of life has its prime characteristic, and on each plane, each species of life has its special characteristic; among animals, the eagle’s EYE distinguishes him, the dog’s NOSE, the horse’s FLEET FOOT. What, however, is human? What is it that human beings have that no animal whatever has, no other form of life whatever? MIND is the prime characteristic of the human, but mind at its highest potential exists in vanishing few members of the “human race.”

* * *

Life and death are not opposites, not polarized — Life and matter are the poles. Death is only through poetic derivation the opposite of life — in death, the living become matter, the principles of life, spirit, departs. The process of this occurring is called death, or in other words, Death is the last performance of Life.

* * *

Life and spirit are identical.

* * *

Superiority is an attempt; mediocrity is an accomplished fact.

* * *

Philosophy in the 20th Century no longer has the obligation to present a system, but a picture.

Why is philosophy necessary at all in the 20th century, the age of Absolute Politics? Because even we children of machinery and statistics still have our proto-human metaphysical sense — we must fill in the background of our minds, however roughly, however superficially. For most men, this is no problem: the parents transmit their metaphysical notions to the children, and — the child is father to the man. How many men create their own world-outlook, independently of family and immediate environment? Quite factually, with no wish to exaggerate, I estimate one in a million in culture-populations, far less among savages, fellaheen, and barbarians.

* * *

Freud is a fairly truthful picture of the usual man; so is Marx, so is Darwin. The common denominator of these three vile systems is the equality idea. All three of these systems are, in their unconscious origins, revolts against superiority, aristocracy, culture. Darwinism says: “You see, with all your pride, you are only an ape.” Marx says: “All you superior ones are merely richer, and thieves at that, and we shall now expropriate you, and you shall be our servants.” Freud said: “Even your proudest accomplishments are nothing but your sexual impulse.”

The three vile systems have absolutely no validity applied to superior men, higher men, creative men. BUT IT WAS AGAINST THESE THAT THE THREE SYSTEMS WERE DIRECTED. With Darwin, it was purely intellectual, but with Marx and Freud hatred and jealousy are the motive forces, and all the ponderous verbiage merely decks out their “inferiority complexes,” the smoldering resentment of inferiority. How Marx and Freud would have enjoyed the Nuremberg trial!

From the beginning Marxism and Freudianism were polemical systems, never “scientific” systems. They aimed, as did all those who used these vile doctrines, at leveling.

* * *

It is the easiest thing in the world for a beginning student of logic to destroy the value systems scholastically; e.g. Marxism: if everything is economics, if religion, poetry, heroism, philosophy, warfare, are all economics, this does not obliterate the actual, living differences between these things. Poetry is still not warfare, even if both are economic. So, what has been done other than to change names, to transpose words? Freudianism: if, as the Freudians say, Mozart’s music represents the attempt by Mozart to return to his mother’s womb, and Napoleon’s battles represent the same thing, even if they are all sex, there is still a morphology of music and a morphology of war, and harmony and composition cannot be better taught or understood by bringing in embryology. Furthermore, if everything is sex, then sex is everything, therefore with an equal logic it can be said that Mozart in his mother’s womb is writing music, that Napoleon is fighting battles there.

* * *

Both Marx and Freud wanted to described that which they were unequal in terms of something they did understand. What is the imperative of Marx: get rich at the expense of the rich. Marx understood greed, therefore he made the whole world and its history into a sticky mass of greed. Freud’s system makes it obvious he was a monster of unspiritualized lust. If he had been gifted for love or erotic, Vienna would have had a Jewish Casanova. But love and erotic are both unknown to him. His lust is dark and animalistic, and dominated his nature utterly. Because it was coupled with impossibility of satisfaction, owing to his lack of money, position, and personal charm, it was utterly frustrated, and, like the cripple who make himself into a master chess-player, Freud smeared his unsatisfied lust over the whole world, and said “Look at this dirt, this filth — this is what you all are, even when you think you are so refined and spiritual.”

* * *

To Marx, the world is a huge money-bag; to Freud it is a dung-heap; to Darwin a zoo.

* * *

How different was the world of the author of Theologica Germanica! For him the world was an endless striving, a constant tension between the soul’s loneliness in the grey infinite and the soul’s warmth in the feeling of the Perfect, God. For him, the essential is the relationship of man to God, and that of man to man is so plainly a mere reflection of the first that he barely mentions it. And what was the Path of salvation of this man? Surely the most intense and dynamic religious imperative ever formulated: das Lassen der Ichheit, the abandonment of the very principle of Individuality and mystical union with God. This to be attained however, not like an India, by sitting still and refusing to live, but in the midst of active life.

* * *

All theories and proofs of the soul’s immortality beg the question. The question: “What comes after Death?” already contains in the words “comes after” the idea of Life. Life is Time; the phrase “comes after” is also Time.

* * *

It is a simple impossibility for the Principle of Individuality to assume or conceive its own termination. Every one of us believes instinctively in his own immortality, just as every atheist instinctively believes in God — all he does is bring a change upon names, and God becomes Nature, or something similar. But to assert in the 20th century that either God or immortality can be logically proved is stupidity; this is for the common people and for those minds which have remained stuck in the 17th century. To prove God, or soul-immortality is to insult them, doubly, for every such proof shows a weakening of the instinct belief. Reason KILLS instinct.

* * *

The bitterest of all things is frustration. It is the denial of Life by Life. It is a victory of the outside over the inside, the victory of Accident over Destiny.

* * *

There are degrees of frustration. Defeat is no frustration, provided one has been able to exert his powers to the utmost, to use himself up. Who can say Napoleon, or Hitler, were frustrated? The worst frustration — ask me, I know it — is LACK OF OPPORTUNITY.

* * *

Leonardo Demetrius (Ms published 1891, Milan) used to say that there was no difference between the words and voice of the unlearned and ignorant and the sounds or noises from a belly full of superfluous wind. And he said, not without justice, that it seemed to him to make no difference from which part they emitted their voice, from the mouth or from below, since both were of the same value and substance.

* * *

There are men who deserve to be called nothing else than passages for food, augmenters of filth, and fillers of privies, because nothing else in the world is effected through them, and they are without any virtue, since nothing is left of them but filled privies.

* * *

Keyserling — America Set Free, page 135

Accidents and individual variation mean little. No defeat has every changed the destiny of a nation inwardly strong if it was not annihilated. Nor has any victory which was not founded on moral and intellectual superiority ever lasted.

* * *

The more the means of communication improve, the more chance there is that localisms will survive and the more they will mean. For great facility and frequency of intercourse counteract mutual influence, nor is likemindedness any longer the necessary premise for friendly intercourse.

* * *

Indeed, culture stands and falls with differences perceived and recognized. Only where the law of polarization as opposed to equalization obtains can there be culture.

* * *

Goethe: Reverence, which no man brings into the world with him, is yet that upon which everything depends, if man is to become a man in every sense.

* * *

Varange — Youth: independently functioning parts; maturity; the integrated whole.

Logos: the principle of masculinity, of fatherhood, of distance, of tension.

Eros: principle of femininity, or love, of motherhood, of nearness, of rest.

Keyserling — op. cit., If a man meeting another man begins by thinking, “I am as good as he is and accordingly treats him with familiarity, he will never learn from him, even though the other be a god. On the other hand if reverence is the primal attitude even the greatest can learn, and always does learn even form the humblest.”

* * *

Varange — Women are first woman and only then human beings; men are first human beings and then men.

Courtesy toward women: in Europe the respect of the strong for the weak; in America the respect of the inferior for the superior.

* * *

Even if a tired and effete mankind wishes to renounce wars, like Classical mankind of the latest centuries, like the Indians and Chinese today, it can only become — from having been the wager of wars — the object about which and with which wars are made by others. Spengler – P. and S. [Prussianism and Socialism].

* * *

No parliamentary babbling or party-politicians are equal to our task, but only personalities, who know how to force themselves and their decision through. Spengler, from Introduction to Korherr’s Essay on the Decline of Births.

* * *

Woe to the general who comes onto the battlefield with a system. Napoleon.

 * * *

Will, character, industry, and boldness have made me what I am.

The ambition to rule souls is the strongest of all passions.

Self-interest is only the key to commonplace transactions.



  1. Posted September 18, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    What is the source of these aphorisms?

  2. Kerry Bolton
    Posted September 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    The source is an unpublished typewritten MS. I was fortunate to know Yockey’s primary American contact, H Keith Thompson a few years prior to his death and obtained material from him, and subsequently other material from an American who knew him in his final years also.
    This and alot of other unpublished material will appear in the C-C book World in Flames, collected works of Yockey.

  3. Posted September 19, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the answer. Good to see some “new” Yockey writings published – he was a great writer!

  4. Petronius
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    He is confusing Marx, Freud and Darwin with Marxist, Freudianists, Darwinists. These three were never that simplicistic.

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