‘Mediterranean Tradition against Christian Tradition’

The title page of the german translation (1933) of Julius Evola's Imperialismo Pagano (1928)

‘Anti-Europe is anti-Christianity.

Christianity is at the root of the evil that has corrupted the West. This is the truth, and it does not admit uncertainty.

In its frenetic subversion of every hierarchy, in its exaltation of the weak, the disinherited, those without lineage and without tradition; in its call to “love”, to “believe”, and to yield; in its rancor toward everything that is force, self-sufficiency, knowledge, and aristocracy; in its intolerant and proselytising fanaticism, Christianity poisoned the greatness of the Roman Empire. Enemy of itself and of the world, this dark and barbarous wave remains the principal cause of the West’s decline.

Christianity – take note- is not to be confused with what passes today for the Christian religion: a dead stump cut off from the initial profound impulses. Having disrupted the unity of Rome, Christianity first infected the race of blonde Germanic barbarians, thanks to the Reformation, and then penetrated so deeply, tenaciously, and invisibly that it infused current European liberalism and democratism and all the other splendid fruits of the French Revolution up through anarchism and Bolshevism. Christianity today informs the very structure of modern society (typified by the Anglo-Saxon model) as well as modern science, law, illusory faith in technology’s power. The latter are permeated by the will to equalize, the will to numbers; by the hatred of hierarchy, quality and difference; and by a collective and impersonal vision of society, a society based upon bonds between mutually inadequate men, worthy of a race of slaves in revolt.

There is still more. Christianity’s root sense of “passion” and orgasm was shaped by promiscuity of the Imperial plebes in an atmosphere of messianism and millenarianism. Opposed to the serene superiority of Roman rulers, to the Doric beauty of the Pindaric hero, to the harmonious, chaste intellectuality of philosophers and pagan initiates, Christianity has resurfaced today in the irrational cult of the “elan vital”, in the chaotic impetuosity of contemporary activism and Faustianism. The latter are crude entities that overwhelm the individual and drive him toward what he wants least. Already theologized by Calvin as the equation between God’s will in action in the world and the absolute predestination of beings, today this cult has become a religion: a religion of “Life”, of “becoming”, of the “pure act”.

I have alluded to a Mediterranean tradition. This is no myth but rather an archaic reality whose existence the profane historical sciences have only recently begun to suspect. The epic and magical legacy of an affirmative and active civilization, a civilization strong in knowledge and strong in science, this tradition first imprinted itself on the elites of Egyptian-Chaldaic civilization, of ancient Greece, of Etruscan civilization, and of other more mysterious civilizations whose echoes can be found in Syria, Mycenae, and the Baleares. Infused with the spirit of paganism, it was then borne by the mystery cults of the Mediterranean basin until, against the Judeo-Christian tide, it became Mithra: Mithra, the “ruler of the sun”, “killer of the bull”, symbol of those who, reborn in the “strongest force among all forces” are able to go beyond good and evil, lack, longing and passion.

Two destinies, two indomitable cosmic forces thus appeared, clashing over the legacy of Roman splendour.

The tradition of the mysteries, apparently overwhelmed, assumed a more subtle existence. It was passed from flame to flame, from initiate to initiate, in an uninterrupted though secret chain. Today it surfaces here and there (albeit in a confused manner) in figures such as Nietzsche, Weininger, Michelstaedter who feel crushed under the weight of a truth that, although it is too strong for them, will triumph with the advent of a new being who will brandish it, hard and cold, against the enemy in the great revolt and coming battle in which the West’s fate will be determined.

Anti-Europe means Anti-Christianity. And anti-Christianity consists in the Mediterranean classical, and pagan tradition that is our own. This must be perfectly clear.

Without a return to such a tradition, no liberation will be possible, no true restoration, no transfer of spirit, power, and empire into the realm of values. But let not our “anti” give rise to misunderstandings. They, not we, are forces of negation. They are the ones who sapped Rome, contaminated Wisdom, and destroyed aristocracy in the name of a reign of sentimentalism and humanitarianism ruled by “enemies of the world”. And they did so in order to exalt a superstition according to which God is an executed man and enslaver of other men whom he condemns to damnation unless “grace” intervenes on their behalf. No more foolish or absurd fable has ever been devised than that which treats paganism as a synonym for materiality and corruption, while Christianity is, instead, associated with purity and spirituality. Yet this superstition still manages to inform so much contemporary thinking!

No. The living and immanent spirit, spirit actualized as initiatory knowledge and power, glory of kings and conquerors, was unknown to the Semitic contamination. But not to the Roman, Hellenic, and ancient Oriental races. And he who rebels against Christian corruption, against all that plagues today’s Europe, is alone in knowing the meaning of affirmation. He is not a denier but an affirmer.

So today in Rome we bear witness to the pagan tradition and invoke the restoration of Mediterranean values in a pagan imperialism. The person who speaks and who is joined in this same spiritual reality by others – isolated, impassive, and rigorously aristocratic souls opposed to this world of merchants, shut-ins, and deviants – dissolves into this higher reality, conveyed through him to the one in whom the fascist movement is today resumed.

Will we manage to feel that this is not about words, utopias, or romantic abstractions? Will we manage to believe that the most positive and most powerful realities are waiting to be unearthed by beings capable of anything and everything (realities that will dwarf everything fascism has accomplished to this point)? Can we persuade ourselves that all this is truly possible and that a thousand forces over in the darkness waiting for an outlet?

The identification of our tradition with either the Christian or Catholic tradition is the most absurd of errors.

Roman spirit is pagan spirit (Romanita’ e’ paganita’), and the imperial restoration of which I have spoken would be meaningless if it is not, above all else, a pagan restoration. Nothing could be more contradictory than to proclaim the resurgence of Rome without remembering that Christianity was one of the principal reasons for Rome’s downfall, or to invoke the empire without realizing that the entire Christian vision of life negates the empire’s premises.

So will fascism dare to take up the torch of the Mediterranean tradition here where the imperial eagles began their conquest of the world under the Augustan, solar, and regal power? Will fascism dare to take up the torch here in Rome where the ironic vestiges of the only hierarchy Christianity was ever able to devise (through self-deception) remains present?

Better neither to hope nor to despair. Time will tell. Hegel said “the idea does not hurry”, and what already is cannot be transmuted by what is not.

The values that we affirm are that circumstances and men present themselves such that they can shape a given period of contingent historical and temporal things; that such an event is of less interest to us than those whose truths are impeded by this historical contingency.’

(Translation from Imperialismo pagano, Atanor, Todi-Roma 1928)

I’ve been brushing up a bit on the writings of Julius Evola this evening. I found this text rather interesting so I decided to share it. I took the translation from this website.

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8 Responses to ‘Mediterranean Tradition against Christian Tradition’

  1. I adore Evola so very, very much.

    • Ophiokhos says:

      I’m still new to his writings but I enjoy what I’ve read so far.

      • Parts of Evola’s writing are inspired and visionary, with an original and bold voice. Then there are other parts which are boring as fuck, filled with technical jargon and tedious name-dropping best skimmed or ignored outright. He also latched on to certain ideas that I find deeply problematic, to say the least. But when he got things right, he got them really, really right. Plus he lead a fascinating life.

      • Ophiokhos says:

        That’s generally what I’ve heard from others who have read his writings. Evola’s importance in Traditionalist thought and my interest in the history of Fascism (especially the Third Reich) led me to read more into him.

        What ideas didn’t you like Sannion? Out of curiosity.

  2. Pingback: I’m back – with another roundup of interesting posts! « The House of Vines

  3. redshoes says:

    Hmm. I started reading his “Ride the Tiger” after this post sparked my interest, but so far I mainly wish he was still alive so I could punch him in the face (I’m about halfway through, it’s a drag). Maybe I just chose the wrong book, but he spends so much time pointing out how wrong others are that there is hardly any room for anything deeper by the man himself…and I do think he completely misreads some authors, and misjudges people…Also the chapter on music was, well, ridiculous. It was the only chapter I could really, fairly judge as I am a musician, not a scholar or philosopher. He just entirely missed the essence of things, and saw less in them than they deserved, judged them harshly…but mainly because he just didn’t seem to have the compacity to really understand their meaning. I did like his thoughts on Nietzsche, though. I thought it was a shame he kept whining on about Satre and his communism, completely ignoring the ( in my opinion) much more interesting Camus ( who, by the way, rejected communism). That and I don’t trust a guy who so far seems to be unable enjoy idyllic forests or comprehend other people enjoying them for any other reason than “sentimentality” ( which he so far seems to use as a sort of swearing word, along with “emotion” and “femininity”). I mean sure, I like fjords, I like mountain climbing and volcanoes and other things he judges as Appropriately Epic(tm)…but if you have no place in your heart for light shining through green leaves and the last light on the sea at twilight (or something like that) I will take everything else with a grain of salt, too. The last straw was probably his hatred for Art Nouveau, and somehow turning his distaste for the style into something self-righteous and supposedly philosophical. That and the fact that he likes himself so incredibly much and that the entire book is basically about how cool he and people who are like him are, and otherwise you are at least ~somewhat~ inferior. Meh. Like I said, maybe just not his best book? I’ve not yet read the other essays on the website.

    Errr…sorry? Probably not the best way to first comment on a blog…but hey, your post made me read his work, so bear with me. :P

    • Ophiokhos says:

      No need for apologies! I agree with a lot of what you said. :P I have mixed feelings on Evola, but I find that he says some interesting things nonetheless.

    • Not surprised, actually. That was pretty much the same response I had to Ride the Tiger which is probably the worst thing he ever wrote. Strangely it also seems to be the most popular – or at least the most readily available. All I can say is, his other stuff is much better.

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