Fascism as Anti-Europe
Can fascism be the source of an anti-European restoration?
Is fascism powerful enough today to take on such a task?
Fascism arose from below, from confused needs and brutal forces unleashed by the European war. Fascism has thrived on compromises, on rhetoric, on the petty ambitions of petty people. The state organization that it has created is often uncertain, awkward, inexpert, violent, cramped, riddled by ambiguities.
Nevertheless, if we look around us today and note the demise of the only two states – Russia and Germany – that had preserved remnants of hierarchical values (however distorted and materialized) we must draw the conclusion that fascism is the West’s best hope.
For better or worse, fascism has developed a body. But this body is still lacking a soul. It is still lacking the superior power (atto) needed to justify it, complete it, make it rise to its feet as a principle opposed to all of Europe. The soul in question can achieve these ends only if fascism manages to resurrect a distinctive system of meta-economics and metapolitical values by means of a radical, profound, absolute upheaval (rivolgimento), a new leap ahead and away from the politics of “normalisation” and bourgeois compromise (imborghesimento) that is beginning to pervade contemporary fascism.
But let’s not misunderstand one another.
The breeding ground of fascism were youthful, resolute forces, ready for anything, immune to the evils of “culture”. To this day they represent the vital nucleus of fascism, while those who worry about developing a “philosophy of fascism” and a “fascist culture” are themselves symptoms of degeneration, or, at the very least, of a turn away from the path leading to something really new; a true revolution (not one regarding which one can conclude “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose).
No. Fascism must remain antiphilosophical. Decisevely and crudely so. Tapping into its purest core of force, it must sweep away the filthy film of rhetoric, sentimentalism, moralism, and hypocritical piety with which the West has clouded and humanized everything. There is an irrefutable need for someone to break into the temple – perhaps even a barbarian – to drive out the corrupters of “civilized” Europe, the monopolistic preachers of the “spirit”, good and evil, and the divine who actually know only matter and what human words, fear, and superstition have layered over matter.
To all this I reply “That’s enough!”. My negations is meant to allow a few men to rediscover the long paths, the long danger, the long gaze, and the long silence, to unleash the wind of the open sea – the wind of the MEDITERRANEAN TRADITION – so that it may revive the enslaved men of the West.
Antiphilosophy, antisentiment, antireligion: these are the premises. No more aestheticisms and idealisms: not a single one! No more thirsting of the soul for a hallucinated God to pray to and adore. No more acceptance of the common ties and mutual interdependencies that bind beggars together on a foundation of lack.
To soar beyond and above with pure faces. Forces that will have to meet a challenge that transcends politics and social concerns, that recoils at the clamorous gesture and superficial resonance, a challenge so great that the material forces vibrating out in the world of people and things can no longer have any effect.
In silence, under conditions of strict discipline, inflexible self-control, seriousness, and simplicity, with the brisk and tenacious effort of individuals, we in Italy must create an elite in whom Wisdom comes to life again. By “wisdom” I mean the power (virtus) that does not allow itself to speak, that rises up out of a hermetic and Pythagorean silence, that comes into being by subduing the senses and the soul, and that manifests itself not by means of arguments and books but through powerful actions.
We must reawaken to a renewed, spiritualized, bitter feeling (sensazione) for the world, not as a philosophical concept but as something that vibrates in the rhythm of our very blood: a feeling for the world as power, as the agile and free rhythmic dance of Shiva, as a sacrificial act (Veda). This feeling will breed strong, hard, active, solar, Mediterranean beings; beings made up of force and eventually only of force; beings infused with a sense of freedom and nobility whose cosmic perspective (respiro cosmico) has been much stammered about but little understood by Europe’s “dead”. Science today is profane, democratic, and materialistic. Always relative and qualified in its truths, a slave to phenomena and to incomprehensible laws, it remains mute with regard to the profound reality of man. To debunk it we must reawaken in the new elite a sacred science, a science that is inferior and secret and gives rise to initiations, a science of self-fulfillment and self- dignification that taps the occult forces that govern our being and subdues them so as to permit men to be actually (not mythically) reborn as beings superior to the laws of the body and of space and time.
So a race of leaders it will be. Invisible leaders who do not rattle on or parade about but who act irresistibly and are capable of anything. A center will thus exist in decentered Europe.
The problem of hierarchy can only be addressed by creating leaders, a strictly individual and internal problem, resistant to external solutions. Hierarchy can come into being only when there are leaders and not vice versa.
The empire cannot be built on economic, military, industrial, and even “ideal” foundations. The imperium, according to the Iranian and Roman conception, is transcendent. It can only be attained by those who have the power to trascend the petty lives of petty men and their petty appetites, patriostisms, “values”, “nonvalues”, and gods.
The ancients understood this when they deified their emperors, joining together royal dignity and spiritual dignity. Have the young barbarians who have dared to resurrect the eagle and the fasces learned this lesson? Have they understood that there is no alternative, that this is the only way to transform their “revolution” into the first light that pierces the thick fog of European decadence? Rather than amounting to little more than the small contigency of a small nation, they could plant the seed for a resurgence of Rome throughout the world, the seed for a true restoration.
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Translation from Imperialismo Pagano, Atanor, Todi-Roma 1928.