Racialism as Anti-UniversalismJulius Evola
Excerpt from part one of Synthesis of a Doctrine of Race (1941). Translator anonymous.
Racialism presents itself as greater than nationalism, because to feel of the same race, even when this expression is meant to be more of a myth than a reality, is greater than to feel as being of the same nation. As a political myth, race is the living nation, which is not enclosed in abstract, judicial or territorial limits, or exhausting itself within a simple unity of civilization, language or history. The concept of race goes deeper than this, reaches the origins, inseparable from a sentiment of continuity, and touches the deepest chords of the human being.
The doctrine of race revives a sentiment which finds its origins in pre-national forms of community, the community which is proper to the stock, of the same family where it originated in a common unity of blood.
In its modern conception, the nation is presented as a unity of a different type, defined by elements other than a direct or indirect consanguinity. This consideration alone should suffice to illustrate that, in order to legitimately pass from a sentiment of nationality to the more energetic sentiment of race, one must reach a conception of race which is quite different from the elementary one defined by the purely biological element. One must take into account a series of other factors.
Following the doctrine of race, humanity is an abstract fiction, i.e. the final phase (only imaginable as a limit, but never to be entirely achieved) of a process of involution, of disintegration, of collapse. Instead, human nature is differentiated through the diversity of races. This differentiation is the primary element.
This relation between the value of race and those of personality is confirmed by the fact that racialism, as it is politically opposed to the democratic myth, opposes in the cultural sphere the constructions and superstitions of the bourgeois societies by stating the principle of a type of virtue, nobility and dignity which cannot be learned, but which one either possesses or does not possess, which are irreplaceable, which are actual qualities of a stock, a race, connected to a tradition and to forces much more profound than those of the individual man and his abstract intellect.
Those irreplaceable values which cannot be built, compared or destroyed are precisely the virtues that can really propitiate the development of personality, not only on the natural plane, but especially on the supernatural.
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Quote: “…the nation is presented as a unity of a different type, defined by elements other than a direct or indirect consanguinity. This consideration alone should suffice to illustrate that, in order to legitimately pass from a sentiment of nationality to the more energetic sentiment of race, one must reach a conception of race which is quite different from the elementary one defined by the purely biological element.”
This seems a rather strange conclusion to me. Evola presents racialism as built on the common unity of blood, and the nation as a unity of a different type, defined by elements other than a direct or indirect consanguinity. But then he uses the sentiment of nationality as a starting point for his notion of race!
I think the implicit context for this move “Nation to race” is the historical one: Nation had been quite successfully mobilized by various political elites in the previous three centuries–now was (possibly) the time to make a more substantial and far-reaching appeal. It makes sense. It is our situation, in fact.
Evola says that race is more important than nationality. Elsewhere I read he said that spirit is more important than race. So to me that means that the racial spirit is what is important. Sort of like Yockey’s soul of the Europeans in North America. Yet, racial spirit is tied to the ancestors and the ancestors are tied to the land – blood and soil. Some implications of that is the form of government which in North America is an inverted hierarchy. The worst are on top, those with money and status, while the best are on the fringe, those with talent and a love of their racial heritage.
I personally think that Evola is on a very dangerous path here. He seems on his way to a “proposition race”, exactly what the multicult is aiming for. Liberals see themselves as a superior breed (or race). That is why we appear as “less-than-human” to them.
A nation can contain many different races, like for example Austria-Hungary. If you take the nation as a starting point for your thinking about race, the immutability of racial inheritance is swept under the carpet. But the basis of the racial spirit is the blood. Of course, it depends on the individual whether this spirit flourishes or languishes.
I do not believe in blood and soil equally. The blood seems far more important. Our ancestors were not tied to a certain region. They probably migrated from the south Russian plains to western Europe. America could have been a great homeland for the white race too.
Dangerous? Maybe not – he may be just creating a theory with universal application that would be true for any race/nation. His hierarchy goes Spirit, Race, and then Nation at the bottom or as the end result of inner causes. Remember we don’t want White Muslims for example since they have a different Spirit than us. They wouldn’t value a White Nation and would work to overthrow it.
‘The worst’ that you speak of, at the top, with money and status, are nearly all white. Our European ancestry, as well as connections, have allowed us to build this country — banking, railroads, skyscrapers, homes, farms, canals, and other infrastructure — and not only build it, but maintain it, so I have never understood the deprecation of the ‘people at the top’. Yes, there are a good sprinkling of Jews in there, but that’s a topic for another day.
Julius Evola’s concept is difficult for most people to understand at first because of its nuances and sometimes because of his wording. Evola theorizes that race, in its most complete form, must be viewed through three different degrees or levels. I will try to explain it and break it down in the most simple way possible, as I understand it:
“Race of the body” is the basic biological racial type, consisting of genetic personality traits, blood, and phenotype; Evola asserts that this aspect of race has some importance, but it is inferior to and is influenced by the next two types of race. “Race of the soul” (aka “race of character” or “race of the psyche”) is a particular psychological character, composed of a certain set of attitudes, behavior, and personality traits. Evola links this type of race to “weltanschaaung” or “world-view” (rightly defined as “inner form and a sensibility endowed with an innate, rather than acquired, character. It is essentially a disposition and an attitude…” [from “Men Among the Ruins”]), which may be partially influenced but is certainly not determined by the biological race. Finally, the “race of the spirit” refers to a certain type of spiritual (in the religious sense) way of being, a kind of “type of Tradition” or religious and metaphysical worldview. Examples of this aspect of race include, to reference the most commonly mentioned types in Evola’s works, the “Solar” type and the “Lunar” type. Evola asserts that “race of the spirit”, because it determines the form of one’s link with the Transcendent and supernatural realm, also shapes or expresses itself through the “race of the body” and the “race of the psyche” (remember that metaphysical realm is the ultimate determining force for Evola).
Evola states that racial purity means the alignment of these three forms of race; the better the alignment, the “purer” one is. It is for this reason, for example, that he mentions that not everyone who is physically “Nordic” is also spiritually “Nordic”, and therefore those who are not cannot really be considered “Nordic.” Evola is somewhat pessimistic about perfecting racial type in the modern world because it is almost impossible to actually revive the ancient Traditional type of the Aryans (see “Revolt Against the Modern World,” where Evola explains what he thinks is the mythical/ideal form of an “Aryan” or “Hyperborean” Traditional society and also racial type). As a result, he advocates maintaining the general biological type and breeding an “Aryan” personality type or “race of the soul” (he claims the latter takes on two major types: the “Nordic” and “Roman” type, although these two are actually extremely similar).
I can see why one would be worried about Evola reaching the idea of a “propositional race,” since some people in that line of thought actually do not care much about biological race (far less than Evola, at least). Personally, although I think Evola’s view of race is fascinating and there is intellectual benefit in learning it, I find it a rather disagreeable for a number of reasons. Some major problems many people would have could include disagreements over the types of “race of the soul” and “race of the spirit” (one could really dispute Evola’s entire typology in this field, just as one could dispute his specific of what composes the ideal Tradition). For example, what if I thought that not everyone should have the traits of the “Aryan-Roman” type, and that a few traits of the “Mediterranean” type are not particularly negative, depending on their combination with other personality traits and way of expression? Are the particular types of “race of the soul” which Evola claims are “Aryan” the only possibilities for having an “Aryan” character (especially since different character types have always existed throughout European history; even among pure, isolated, and homogeneous peoples)?
However, the entire notion of race as consisting of these three racial forms as Evola understands it is disputable. Even if some European peoples do not possess the exact kind of psychological or character type Evola thinks is ideal for them, I think it is absurd to say that they have entirely lost their essential racial being (not referring simply to their basic physical racial appearance, of course). Furthermore, although in some situations some people of white-European background are sometimes lost to racially foreign cultures, it is important to note that in many cases they oftentimes take this racially foreign culture and slowly transform it to their own innate racial nature. One could easily argue that racial spirit is strongly linked with physical race and that Evola downplays the significance of physical racial type a little too much. This is not to say that some physically white people cannot be lost to a foreign spirit or culture; however, I am trying to say that one should not be as rigid and extreme as Evola on the matter (which goes back to the question of different “races of the soul” which exist among Europeans).
I will not go in any more depth at the moment other than merely posing these comments and questions because to fully critique Evola in detail would require too much of a lengthy commentary (it would also require a critique of his entire theory of traditionalism, not merely of his racial theory). One would have to look to other authors for more detailed commentaries on the matter (particularly the authors of the European New Right could be helpful).
Concerning the issue of whites and racially foreign cultures, I should make a clarification because I did not choose the best wording there. People of white-European background are actually rarely completely immersed in a racially foreign culture. I have no doubt that were this to occur, they would slowly transform what they are given over generations to adapt it to their racial nature. However, in most cases, it is rather that people of European background assimilate a particular creation(s) or portion of a foreign culture and re-appropriate it to their own; they do not depart from their own culture (or, in cases of a more extensive change, they do not depart completely but only partially) but simply take in the products of another. This is the more typical scenario, and it is this point that is probably more relevant to the discussion of Evola’s theory of psychological race.
I forgot to add to my previous comment about racial types among Europeans (since in Evola’s theory Europeans were composed of different “races of the soul”) that I hold the viewpoint that there is a racial and cultural interrelatedness and unity among white-European peoples (or European-derived peoples), as I have asserted in my essay “Race, Identity, Community.” This is another objection which one could make to Evolian theory.
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