Present Western “civilization” awaits a substantial upheaval (rivolgimento), without which it is destined, sooner or later, to smash its own head. It has carried out the most complete perversion of the rational order of things. Reign of matter, gold, machines, numbers; in this civilization there is no longer breath or liberty or light. The West has lost its ability to command and to obey. It has lost its feeling for contemplation and action. It has lost its feeling for values, spiritual power, godlike men (uomini-idii). It no longer knows nature. No longer a living body made of symbols, gods, and ritual act, no longer a harmony, a cosmos in which man moves freely like “a kingdom within a kingdom”, nature has assumed for the Westerner a dull and fatal exteriority whose mystery the secular sciences seek to bury in trifling laws and hypotheses. It no longer knows Wisdom. It ignores the majestic silence of those who have mastered themselves: the enlightened calm of seers, the exalted reality of those in whom the idea becomes blood, life, and power. Instead it is drowning in the rhetoric of “philosophy” and “culture”, the speciality of professors, journalists, and sportsmen who issue plans, programs, and proclamations. Its wisdom has been polluted by a sentimental, religious, humanitarian contagion and by a race of frenzied men who run around noisily celebrating becoming (divenire) and “practice”, because silence and contemplation alarm them.
It no longer knows the state, the state as value (stato-valore) crystallized in the Empire. Synthesis of the sort of spirituality and majesty that shone brightly in China, Egypt, Persia, and Rome, the imperial ideal has been overwhelmed by the bourgeois misery of a monopoly of slaves and traders.
Europe’s formidable “activists” no longer know what war is, war desired in and of itself as a virtue higher than winning or losing, as that heroic and sacred path to spiritual fulfilment exalted by the god Krishna in the Baghavad Gita. They know not warriors, only soldiers. And a crummy little war (guerricciola) was enough to terrorize them and drive them to rehashing the rhetoric of humanitarianism, and pathos or, worse still, of windbag nationalism and Dannunzianism.
Europe has lost its simplicity, its central position, its life. A democratic plague is eating away at its roots, whether in law, science, or speculation. Gone are the leaders, beings who stand out not for their violence, their gold, or for their skills as slave traders but rather for their irreducible qualities of life. Europe is a great irrelevant body, sweating and restless because of an anxiety that no one dares to express. Gold flows in its veins; its flesh is made up of machines, factories, and laborers; its brains are of newsprint. A great irrelevant body tossing and turning, driven by dark and unpredictable forces that mercilessly crush whoever wants to oppose or merely escape the cogwheels.
Such are the achievements of Western “civilization”. This is the much ballyhooed result of the superstitious faith in “progress”, progress beyond Roman imperiousness, beyond radiant Hellas, beyond the ancient Orient – the great ocean.
And the few who are still capable of great loathing and great rebellion find themselves ever more tightly encircled.
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Translation from Imperialismo pagano, Atanor, Todi-Roma 1928.