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Review of For My Legionaries

Corneliu Codreanu with his wife, Elena Ilinoiu
Corneliu Codreanu with his wife, Elena Ilinoiu

Corneliu Codreanu with his wife, Elena Ilinoiu

928 words

Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
For My Legionaries [1]
Introduction by Kerry Bolton; Historical Overview by Lucian Tudor; with new appendices and photographs.
London: Black House Publishing, 2015

Both George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World made competing predictions about the dystopian control of the human spirit. In many ways, the post-WWII world was one in which the Soviet regime attempted Orwell’s more direct and punitive strategy, while the Atlanticist regime attempted Huxley’s chocolate factory of distractions and temptations.

Huxley’s dark vision prevailed, and we live in a world of entertainment, gamification, pharmaceutical enhancement, and self-gratification perhaps beyond what even Huxley feared. America’s Jewish publishing industry has pointedly chosen to avoid publishing Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s damning 200 Years Together, . . . and Americans are too distracted to care.

When an American envisions the censorship of ideas, he imagines Nazis burning piles of books or Soviet dissidents surreptitiously passing around their samizdat screeds. We rarely envision the more effective and efficient form of censorship we Americans were subjected to in the 20th century, wherein a Jewish and liberal capitalist elite controlled our society’s academic and cultural chokepoints so decisively that the American mind never pondered dissent in the first place.

The Internet has definitively broken the monopoly on the American mind, though it’s taken decades for the consequences to manifest. It will take generations for the American mind to fully thaw from its deep freeze in the lifeless and narrow spectrum of ideologies which had been permitted by our oligarchs.

I vividly remember reading Corneliu Codreanu’s For My Legionaries in a poorly translated PDF file, devoid of historical or philosophical context. It is only through having read René Guénon and Julius Evola beforehand that I was capable of fathoming such a radical departure from the Modern worldview. Here was a firsthand tale of a man who eschewed all earthly comforts and pleasures in pursuit of an ideal transcending himself, completely sublimating his will to the service of his faith, family, and folk.

For My Legionaries is the single most important book in my own development, as it breathed life into the Radical Traditionalist abstractions spelled out in more academic terms by Guénon and Evola. Codreanu’s life and work may have been cut tragically short, and the Romanian nation he offered his life for may have suffered unspeakable humiliations under the heels of Jewish Bolshevism and cannibal capitalism. But when one lives a truly symbolic life, one earns an eternal life in the perennial struggle for that ideal, and Codreanu’s fight carries on in the hearts and minds of every man and woman inspired by his words and deeds.

Codreanu was defeated rather early on, betrayed by both the corrupt monarchy and cowardly clergy who infested the symbolic institutions of Monarchy and Church that he stood for against the evils of democracy and atheism. Therein lies perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from Codreanu’s tragic life; be wary of the individuals and institutions which are whited sepulchers of identity and tradition: cowardly, conniving, and corrupt vipers in crowns and cassocks.

As James O’Meara accurately noted in his previous review, “The Death Team [2],” For My Legionaries isn’t necessarily the most straightforward or well-organized read. This is to be expected, as Codreanu was a street fighter and a leader of men rather than an academic. There was much lost on me in my first reading. Fortunately, Black House Publishing’s exhaustive inclusion of a Historical Background and an expanded Appendix which chronicles the man’s betrayal, murder, and legacy allowed me to understood what I was reading more fully this time around.

Even if you’ve already read it, the improvements and additions to the original are an excellent excuse to enjoy it again.

For My Legionaries, by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu [3]For My Legionaries has finally received the treatment it deserves. The hardcover illustration of Italian artist Guido Reni’s The Archangel Michael masterfully captures the romantic ideal of spiritual warfare at the heart of Codreanu’s life and work. While I’m eternally grateful to whoever bothered to translate and release the sketchy PDF I originally pirated, the typesetting, editing, and footnotes provided in this edition are up to the professional standard that this classic deserves.

Contextual photographs are peppered throughout this edition, breathing intimacy and life into this historical account of an exotic and distant time and place. New Right luminary Kerry Bolton [4]‘s foreword, “A Martyr’s Life,” helps explain how distinct this man was from the other political actors of his day:

The Legionary lived as an ascetic warrior-monk, fasting three days a week, praying, practicing celibacy, and working freely for the people. If the Life of Christ was the figure by which the Legionary strived to emulate, so too his Martyrdom was readily accepted, and that was the culmination of the life of Codreanu.

Last week, while entertaining some New Right company, conversation turned to a familiar subject, the subject of “practical politics.” My friend insisted that we need to set our sights on embracing the more entrenched elements of Modernity like democracy, individualism, and secularism in pursuit of our identitarian objectives. I conceded that while there’s definitely the necessity of working within the institutions and systems we’re entangled in, my struggle for Identity is propelled by and a parcel part of an overarching struggle for a transcendent vision which is fundamentally anti-democratic, anti-individual, and integrally spiritual.

He grinned and accused me of being “LARPy.” I grinned even more widely, reached over to my coffee table, held up my crisp new copy of For My Legionaries, and replied, “No. I’m a Legionary.”