Julius Evola in 1973
|Born||Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola
19 May 1898
|Died||11 June 1974
Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola (Italian: [ˈɛːvola]; 19 May 1898 – 11 June 1974), better known as Julius Evola, was an Italian philosopher, painter, and esotericist. Evola regarded his perspectives and spiritual values as aristocratic, masculine, traditionalist, heroic and defiantly reactionary.
Evola believed that mankind is living in the Kali Yuga, a Dark Age of unleashed materialistic appetites, spiritual oblivion and dissolution. To counter this and call in a primordial rebirth, Evola presented his world of Tradition. The core trilogy of Evola's works are generally regarded as Revolt Against the Modern World, Men Among the Ruins, and Ride the Tiger. According to one scholar, "Evola’s thought can be considered one of the most radically and consistently antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular systems in the twentieth century." Much of Evola's theories and writings is centered on Evola's own idiosyncratic spiritualism and mysticism—the inner life. The philosophy covered themes such as Hermeticism, the metaphysics of war and of sex, Tantra, Buddhism, Taoism, mountaineering, the Holy Grail, the essence and history of civilisations, decadence, and various philosophic and religious Traditions dealing with both the Classics and the Orient.
Evola's work was influential on fascists and neofascists, though he was never a member of the Italian National Fascist Party or the Italian Social Republic and declared himself an anti-fascist. He regarded his position as that of a sympathetic right-wing intellectual, saw potential in the movement and wished to reform its errors, to a position in line with his own views. One of his successes was in regard to the racial laws; his advocacy of a spiritual consideration of race won out in the debate in Italy, rather than a solely biological reductionism concept popular in Germany. Since World War II many Radical Traditionalist, New Right, Conservative Revolutionary, fascist, and Third Positionist groups have taken inspiration from him, as well as several apolitical occultists, such as Thomas Karlsson and Massimo Scaligero.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Philosophy
- 3 Influence
- 4 Selected books and articles
- 5 Footnotes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola was born in Rome to a Sicilian family of aristocratic cultural ethos corresponding, in unknown degree of "nobiliary legitimacy", to the honorific and local title of reverential politesse, "Baron". Whether extrinsically of "legal-official" titular peerage, literally "baronial", the status of Evola and his ancestry is not currently known; in any event, the family was culturally ultra-aristocratic and old-guard Catholic, and this constituted the formation of his earliest personality (Evola himself would dismiss the matter as irrelevant following his hyper-metaphysical world-view). During his youth, he studied engineering and received excellent grades, but did not complete his studies because he "did not want to be a bourgeois". In his teenage years he immersed himself in painting, which he considered to be one of his natural talents, and literature including Oscar Wilde and Gabriele d'Annunzio, and served as his first introduction to philosophers such as Nietzsche and Otto Weininger. He served during World War I as an artillery officer on the Asiago plateau. After the war, attracted to the avant-garde, Evola briefly associated with Filippo Marinetti's Futurist movement, but became a prominent representative of Dadaism in Italy through his painting, poetry, and collaboration on the shortly published journal, Revue Bleu. In 1922, after concluding that avant-garde art was becoming commercialized and stiffened into academic convention, he reduced his focus on artistic expression such as painting and poetry.
Entry into esotericism
Around 1920, his interests led him into spiritual, transcendental, and "supra-rational" studies. He began reading various esoteric texts and gradually delved deeper into the occult, alchemy, magic, and Oriental studies, particularly Tibetan Lamaism and Vajrayanist tantric yoga. He had also used hallucinogenic drugs to experience altered states of consciousness during this period, but later came to criticize such drugs in Ride the Tiger, as he did not consider stimulation as a means to transcendence.
In 1927, along with other Italian esotericists, he founded the Gruppo di Ur (the Ur Group). The group's aim was to provide a "soul" to the burgeoning Fascist movement of the time through the revival of an ancient Roman Paganism.
Relationship with Fascism
Evola never joined Mussolini's National Fascist Party; he considered himself an anti-fascist, and catalogued fascist squadristi as peasants. Mussolini considered Evola one of the "hysterical fanatics" who could serve the fascist interests. According to Daniel McCarthy:
|“||At one point, il Duce or one of his underlings asked Evola why he hadn’t joined the Fascist Party proper. Evola replied that the continued existence of the party proved the failure of fascism. After all, if the state had become all and absorbed all lesser allegiances, how could there be such a thing as a “party,” which, as the word indicates, represents a partial or special interest?||”|
Evola was one of a number of right-wing intellectuals who opposed Benito Mussolini's Lateran Accords with the Roman Catholic Church and rejected the Fascist party's nationalism and its focus on mass movement mob politics; he hoped to influence the regime toward his own variation on fascist racial theories and his "Tradionalist" philosophy. Early in 1930, Evola launched La Torre [The Tower], a bi-weekly review, to voice his conservative-revolutionary ideas and denounce the demagogic tendencies of official fascism; government censors suppressed the journal and engaged in character assassination against its staff (for a time, Evola retained a bodyguard of like-minded radical fascists) until it died out in June of that year. From 1934 to 1943, he edited the cultural page of Roberto Farinacci's journal Regime Fascista [The Fascist Regime].
Mussolini read Evola's Synthesis of the Doctrine of Race (Sintesi di Dottrina della Razza) in August 1941, and met with Evola to offer him his praise. Evola later recounted that Mussolini had found in his work a uniquely Roman form of fascist racism distinct from that found in Nazi Germany. With Mussolini's backing, Evola launched the minor-journal Sangue e Spirito [Blood and Spirit]. While not always in agreement with German racial theorists, Evola traveled to Germany in February 1942 and obtained support for German collaboration on Sangue e Spirito from leading Nazi race theorists.
Evola consistently and publicly criticized Fascism, but has often been wrongly accused of being a Fascist himself or a Fascist supporter, because he critiqued Fascism from the right rather than from the left. When World War II broke out, he volunteered for military service in order to fight the Communists on the Russian front; he was rejected because he had too many detractors in the bureaucracy. Italian Fascism went into decline when, during the midst of the war in 1943, Mussolini was deposed and imprisoned. Evola, although not a member of the Fascist Party, and despite his apparent problems with the Fascist regime, was one of the first people to greet Mussolini when the latter was broken out of prison by Otto Skorzeny in 1943.
After the Italian surrender to the Allies on 8 September 1943, Evola moved to Germany, where he spent the remainder of World War II, also working as a researcher on Freemasonry for the SS Ahnenerbe in Vienna. The research on Freemasonry resulted in a document titled "Freimaurerei: Geschichte und Mythos" [Freemasonry: History and Myth], published by the Ahnenerbe in limited copies with his name as editor-in-chief.
It was Evola's custom to walk around the city during bombing raids in order to better 'ponder his destiny'. During one such raid, in March or April 1945, a shell fragment damaged his spinal cord and he became paralyzed from the waist down, remaining so for the remainder of his life.
Post-World War II
After World War II, Evola continued his work in esotericism. He wrote a number of books and articles on sexual magic and various other esoteric studies, including The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way (1949), Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex (1958), Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest (1974), The Path of Enlightenment According to the Mithraic Mysteries (1977). He also wrote his two explicitly political books Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist (1953), Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul (1961), and his autobiography The Path of Cinnabar (1963).
In the post-war years, Evola's writings were held in high esteem by members of the neo-fascist movement in Italy, and because of this, he was put on trial from June through November 1951 on the charge of attempting to revive Fascism in Italy. He was acquitted because he could prove that he was never a member of the Fascist party, and that all accusations were made without evidence to prove that his writings glorified Fascism. Ride the Tiger, Evola's last major work, which saw him examining dissolution and subversion in a world in which God was dead, saw him rejecting the possibility of any political/collective revival of Tradition due to his belief that the modern world had fallen too far into the Kali Yuga for any such thing to be possible. Instead of this and rather than advocating a return to religion as Rene Guenon had, he crafted what he considered an apolitical manual for surviving and ultimately transcending the Kali Yuga. This idea was summed up in the title of the book, the Tantric metaphor of "Riding the Tiger" which in general practice, consisted of turning things that were considered inhibitory to spiritual progress by mainstream Brahmanical society — for example, meat, alcohol, and in very rare circumstances, sex — were all employed by Tantric practitioners into a means of spiritual transcendence. The process that Evola described involved potentially making use of everything from modern music, hallucinogenic drugs, relationships with the opposite sex, and even substituting the atmosphere of an urban existence for the Theophany that Traditionalists had identified in virgin nature.
Friedrich Nietzsche heavily affected Evola's thought. However, Evola criticized Nietzsche for lacking the "transcendent element" in his philosophy, thus ultimately leading to the latter's mental collapse in 1889. A reference point is needed according to Evola, and this point cannot be reached with senses or logic but with transcendental experiences achieved through symbolism of the heroic element in Man.
Evola's systematic and detailed references to ancient and modern texts make it difficult to speak about influences, though affinities could exist between Evola and Plato, Oswald Spengler, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Arthur de Gobineau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Meister Eckhart, Homer, Jacob Boehme, René Guénon and several Catholic thinkers like Juan Donoso Cortés and Joseph de Maistre. The Italian philosopher of history Giambattista Vico provided Evola with the concepts of primordial heroic law, "natural heroic rights", and the meaning of the Indo-European Latin term vir as indicative of "wisdom, priesthood and kingship." Crucial to Evola's formulation of the idea of "solar masculinity" versus "chthonic masculinity" and matriarchal regression was the maverick 19th century Swiss scholar Johann Jakob Bachofen. Other prominent, philosophically foundational influences for Evola include the ancient Aryo-Hindu scripture that teaches the concept of "detached violence", the Bhagavad Gita, and the Aryan kshatriya sage Siddartha Gotama, the historical Buddha.
Like Guénon, he believed that mankind is living in the Kali Yuga of the Hindu tradition, the Dark Age of unleashed, materialistic appetites. The Kali Yuga is the last of four ages, which form a cycle from the Satya Yuga or Golden Age through the Kali Yuga or the Hesiodic Iron Age. Evola argued that both Italian fascism and National Socialism held hope for a reconstitution of the primordial "celestial race."
For Evola, the word Tradition had a meaning very similar to that of Truth. The doctrine of the four ages, a broad characterization of the attributes of Tradition and their manifestations in traditional societies makes up the first half of Evola's major work Revolt Against the Modern World. In Revolt, he expounds according to the ancient texts that there is not one tradition, but two: an older and degenerate tradition that is feminine, matriarchal, unheroic, associated with the telluric negroid racial remnants of Lemuria; and a higher one that is masculine, heroic, "Uranian" and purely Aryo-Hyperborean in its origin. The latter one later gave rise to an ambiguous Western-Atlantic tradition, which combined aspects of both through the historical Hyperborean migrations and their degenerating assimilation of exotic spiritual influences from the South.
In the Golden Age existed in the dominating elites, the "Divine Kings", a convergence of the two powers, namely the spiritual principle and the royal principle. From the Aryo-Hindu tradition, he sees the human type of the Rajarshi as an embodiment of the Golden Age ideal and quotes the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.4.11): "This is why nothing is greater than the warrior nobility; the priests themselves venerate the warrior when the consecration of the king occurs." Evola argues that in the Hindu tradition are plenty of instances of kings who already possess or eventually achieve a spiritual knowledge greater than that possessed by the later-times degenerated brahmana. This is the case, for instance, of King Jaivala, whose knowledge was not imparted by any priest, but rather reserved to the warrior caste; also, in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.3.1) King Janaka teaches the brahmana Yajnavalkya the doctrine of the transcendent Self. Evola explains that, according to tradition, the primordial gnosis was handed down, starting from Ikshvaku, in regal succession; the same Sun Dynasty (surya-vamsa) was connected with blue-eyed, fair-skinned Gautama Buddha's aristocratic Aryan family (Sutta Nipata, 3). In the laws of the second or Silver Age, the Laws of Manu, the text states "rulers do not prosper without priests and priests do not thrive without rulers" and that "the priest is said to be the root of the law, and the ruler is the peak" (11.321-2;11.83-4).
Views on Christianity
In reference to Christianity, Evola distinguished between 1) the mystical character of primitive Christianity and its later social history on the one hand, and 2) the primordial-Hyperborean elements and the decadent Judaic elements on the other. In Revolt Against the Modern World, he asserts "in the symbolism of Christ are traces of a mysteric pattern":p:281 and "Jesus' saying in Matthew (11:12) concerning the violence suffered by the kingdom of Heaven and the revival of the Davidic saying: 'You are gods' (John 10:34), belong to elements that exercised virtually no influence on the main pathos of early Christianity" (Revolt, :p:284). Evola states "the Christian legend of the three magi is an attempt to claim for Christianity a traditional character in the superior sense I give to the term." In the same work, Evola argues "the Jewish notion of a Messiah and the Christian notion of God's Kingdom, which many people believe to have greatly influenced the medieval imperial myth, are nothing but an echo of the ancient and pre-Christian Aryo-Iranian concept" of the Saoshyant as "lord of a future, triumphal kingdom of the God of Light" and "slayer of the Ahrimanic dark forces". Evola recalls the mysterious figure of the priest-king Melchizedek as a primary point of juncture with the primordial sacral-royal Tradition of the origins. Abraham receives an almost feudal spiritual investiture from Melchizedek in the biblical episode of Genesis 14, giving the mysterious priest-king tithes, thus symbolizing the Abrahamic tradition's implicit dependency (cf. St. Paul: "It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior", Hebrews 7:1-3). Evola often notes the role of the "regal religion according to Melchizedek" in the Ghibelline ideology (the medieval Italian faction supporting the Holy Roman Emperor against the papacy). Evola finds the testimony of Eginhard significant, who states that after Charlemagne was consecrated and hailed with the formula, "Long life and victory to Charles the Great, crowned by God, great and peaceful emperor of the Romans!" the pope "prostrated himself (adoravit) before Charles, according to the ritual established at the time of the ancient emperors." Evola emphasizes how the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund (1368–1437), founder of the militant-Catholic chivalric Order of the Dragon, continuing a long tradition of Christian-Roman and Byzantine imperial dominance in religious matters, summoned the Council of Constance in 1413, to be held 1414-18 in order to purify the clergy from schisms and anarchy. The Ghibelline conspiracy being the overwhelming of the Vatican's spiritual authority with the secular power of the city state. The internecine warfare led to an apocalyptic interpretation by Russian Symbolists of Nietzsche's appropriations.
The classical Traditional polity is structured according to a strict hierarchy of sociopolitical functions, where the lower functions are concerned with mere matter and organic vitality and the ascending functions progressively ruled by spirit. This order, in which powers of spirit correlate to societal status, Evola finds crystallized in the Indian caste system, the Republic of Plato, ancient Iranian society, and the medieval hierarchical class divisions between peasants, burghers, nobility and the clergy and military religious orders. The involution through the cycle of the ages was mirrored in the law of the regression of the castes, from the primal "heaven-born" kings to the deconsecrated slavish usurpers and raceless pariahs of the present. Evola saw the Ghibelline dynasty of Hohenstauffen emperors (1152–1271) as the Germanic champion of the primordial "sacred regality" in a renewed Holy Roman Empire. Once the solar, golden, sacred regality of the mythical first age fell, power devolved upon a lunar, silver, feminized priestly caste before an unconsecrated warrior nobility struggled against it, announcing the Bronze Age. Then power shifts to the mercantile caste, represented by the Italian comune, Freemasonry, the Jewish financial oligarchy of the Renaissance, and New World American Judeo-Protestant plutocracy. By the beginning of the twentieth century, organized labour and Marxist-Trotskyite subverters sought to transfer power to the last caste of slaves or sudras, or the consumer-pariah, reducing all values to matter, machines, dysgenic egalitarianism and the reign of abstract quantity.
Paths to enlightenment
The path to enlightenment is the chief subject of a number of Evola's works. First and foremost is the Buddhist ascesis as he rediscovered it following over two thousand years of obstruction of the Buddha's teachings (The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts). He tries to show the ways that allow a man to survive spiritually intact in the modern age of obscuration and to achieve supra-human liberation or transcendence. Evola based his interpretation of Buddhism on the original Pali Canon, rejected western interpretations of Buddhism as a humanitarian religion of compassion for all beings, held reincarnation as a false tenet not found in the original Pali Canon and saw the Mahayana tradition as heterodox along with certain aspects of Theravada.
Even in his book Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest Evola discussed mountaineering as a possible approach or support on the way of initiatic ascesis in which heroic action is combined with specialized knowledge and training culminating in an initiation — the climbing of the mountain. In this way, and not as a sport or a recreation, mountaineering can be a "spiritual quest," as the subtitle of the book suggests.
Ascesis and initiation
According to Julius Evola, tradition in its purest form encompassed asceticism, which he described in The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts as a discipline. He describes two basic and complementary types of asceticism — that of action and that of contemplation. The asceticism of action is personified by the warrior while that of contemplation by the pure ascetic; he described Buddhism as the highest form of the asceticism of contemplation, a form very suitable for the warrior in his preparation for inner and outer warfare.
Metaphysics of war
In his Metaphysics of War, Evola describes how adapting the language of war can be a means through which the warrior can be called to a higher form of spiritual existence. Towards this aim he adopts the language of greater and lesser jihad, explaining how the greater jihad of spiritual struggle can help one transform oneself and create a metaphysical basis for opposing modernity. He also explains how the use of spiritual language in warfare is metaphysically appropriate.
Evola rejected pacifism as it, according to the theory, was materialistic and made people comfortable and weak in their existence, while war breaks the routine of "comfortable life" and offers a transfiguring knowledge of life: "life according to death". Evola writes that war always has an anti-materialist value, a spiritual value. In his works Evola calls for the "reawakening of heroic ideals" and spiritualism through war.
Metaphysics of sex
In The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way and also Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex, Evola described the practice of sexual magic as an asceticism of action that allows one to achieve transcendent states through physical action, primarily sex. To explain the metaphysics of sex, Evola cites the original meaning of the word "orgy" as "the state of inspired exaltation that began the initiatory process in the ancient Greek mysteries. But when this exaltation of eros, itself akin to other experiences of a supersensual nature, becomes individualized as a longing that is only carnal, then it deteriorates and ends finally in the form constituted by mere "pleasure, or venereal lust".
In his sexual philosophy, Evola followed the esoteric Hindu and Buddhist schools in the teaching of retention of semen as a means of ontological energization and ultimate self-mastery. "Virya, or spiritual manhood, if lost or wasted results in death and if withheld and conserved leads to life". Evola considered Traditional chastity as signifying "control, limit, anti-titanic purity, overcoming of pride, and immaterial unshakability, rather than a moralistic and sexuophobic concept"
Evola considered sex "the greatest magical force in nature", which through the magnetic polarity and complementary nature of the two sexes brings about the possibility of erotic transcendence. But, according to Evola homosexuality...forms a complex problem from the point of view of the metaphysics.
He names eros as essence of Platonic love and sees its carnal development as a first stage in the fall. “Plato...referred not only to heterosexual love but also to love for epheboi and male paramours. Now let us consider "eros" in those of its exalted forms that are linked to the aesthetic factor, according to the Platonic sequence...We should pass...to rapture that can be aroused by incorporeal beauty...There is no real problem if the accidental starting point is a being of the same sex. The word "uranism," which some use to mean homosexuality, springs from Plato's...Aphrodite Urania...the goddess of a noble love which is not carnal and unconcerned with procreation, as is the love which has woman as its object... But...this eros...led increasingly to carnal developments as the ancient customs in Greece and Rome declined.”
For him “If, therefore, we assume homosexuality to conform to these carnal conditions...then we may well describe it as a deviation...from the standpoint of the metaphysics of sex.” Refuting Plato, Evola sees homosexuality lacking magic force or transcendency. “It is inappropriate to apply, as Plato does, the metaphysical meaning made evident by the myth of the hermaphrodite to homosexual love or to love as practiced between pederasts or lesbians. In fact, in the case of such love, it is no longer allowable to speak of the impulse of the male or female principle, as present in the primordial being, to be reunited. The essential...loses its meaning, namely, the idea of the polarity and the complementary nature of the two sexes as the basis of the magnetism of love and of a "transcendency" in eros, and of the blinding and destructive revelation of the One.”
Evola sees the two forms of homosexuality whether inborn or acquired, on a lower level. “To find an explanation it is necessary to descend to a lower level and examine various empirical possibilities. Normally two forms of homosexuality are distinguished in sexology: One has an inborn, natural character, whereas the other has an acquired character and is conditioned by psychological and sociological factors influenced by a person's environment. But in the second of these forms it is necessary to give a proper value to the distinction between forms having a vicious nature and forms that presuppose a latent predisposition which is aroused under given circumstances.” He sees inborn homosexuality as an incomplete sexual development. “It is important, however, not to consider the inborn form of homosexuality in a rigid way but to allow a certain possibility of variation. In natural homosexuality...the process of sexual development in its physical and, even more so, in its psychic aspects can be incomplete.”
For Evola, acquired homosexuality is driving the contemporary homosexuality boom. “But it is necessary to...also bear in mind cases of regression...the surroundings and the general atmosphere of society can play a not unimportant part...In a civilization where equality is the standard, where differences are not linked, where promiscuity is in favor, where the ancient idea of 'being true to oneself' means nothing anymore—in such a splintered and materialistic society, it is clear that this phenomenon of regression and homosexuality should be particularly welcome, and therefore it is no way a surprise to see the alarming increase in homosexuality and the 'third sex' in the latest 'democratic' period, or an increase in sex changes to an extent unparalleled in other eras".
Defining homosexuality furthermore Evola adds the decidedly manly pleasure and perversion driven “mutual masturbator” as a different variety of homosexual. “But the reference to...an incomplete process of the development of sex or to a regression, does not explain all the varieties of homosexuality. In fact, there have been male homosexuals who have not been effeminate...but even men of war, individuals decidedly manly in their appearance and behavior, powerful men who have had or could have had the most beautiful women at their disposal. Such homosexuality is hard to explain, and we have the right here to speak of deviation and perversion, or "vice" linked, perhaps, to a fashion...However, there is reason to suppose that it is merely a matter of "mutual masturbation" and that the conditioned reflexes are exploited for "pleasure" since not only the metaphysical but also the physical premises for a whole and destructive union are lacking.”
Finally, Evola rebukes bisexuality for expressing a chaotic desire to try everything. “On the other hand, classical antiquity bears witness...(to)a bisexual attitude in which both women and young men were used...Here it seems that the governing motivation was simply the desire to try everything. However...we may also refer to the crude saying...that if one has had enough from a girl as a girl, she can always play the part of a boy...As to the claim for an ideal nature of hermaphroditic wholeness in the pederast who acts both as man and as woman sexually, that is obvious fallacious beyond the level of straightforward sensations; hermaphroditic wholeness can only be "sufficiency," for it has no need of another being and is to be sought at the level of a spiritual realization that excludes the nuances that the "magic of the two" can offer in heterosexual unions.” And Evola repudiates Turkish and Japanese homosexuality justifications through feelings of power. “Even the rationale sometimes found in countries such as Turkey and Japan, that homosexual possession gives a feeling of power, is not convincing. The pleasure of domination can also be felt with women and with other beings in situations free of sexual intercourse. Besides, such a pleasure could be involved only in a completely pathological context where it would develop into a true orgasm.” Thus Evola concludes that “when homosexuality is not "natural" or else cannot be explained in terms of incomplete inborn forms of sexual development, it must have the character of a deviation, a vice, or a perversion.”
Even extreme erotic homosexual intensity has no higher meaning for Evola than experience rooted in the displacement of eros. “And if some instances of extreme erotic intensity in relations between homosexuals should be adduced, the explanation is to be sought in the possibility of the displacement of eros. Indeed, it is enough to go through any treatise on sexual psychopathology to see in how many unthinkable situations the erotic potential of a human being can be aroused, sometimes to the level of orgiastic frenzy (from fetishism even to animal sodomy and necrophilia). The same anomalous background could include the case of homosexuality, although the latter is much more frequent: a displaced eros for which a being of the same sex can serve as a simple, occasional cause or support, as in so many cases of psychopathy, although it must wholly lack every profound dimension and every meaning higher than experience because of the absence of the necessary ontological and metaphysical premises.”
Evola's attitude towards homosexuality is reflected in his reference to Plotinus, who deemed homosexual loves to be shameful and abnormal, like diseases of degenerate persons "which do not arise from the essence of being and are not the outcome of the development thereof" (Enneads, III).
There are contradictory views among scholars as to Evola's political categorization and his possible relationship with fascism and neofascism. He has been described as a "fascist intellectual," a "radical traditionalist," "antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular,” and as having been "the leading philosopher of Europe's neofascist movement." Gregor writes that, "Evola opposed literally every feature of Fascism." A key difference between Evola's Traditionalism and Italian Fascism is Evola's rejection of nationalism, which he viewed as a conception of the modern West and not of a Traditional hierarchical social arrangement. Heinrich Himmler's SS kept a dossier on him, and in dossier document AR-126 described him as a "reactionary Roman," with a secret goal of "an insurrection of the old aristocracy against the modern world," and recommended that the SS "stop his effectiveness in Germany" and provide no support to him. When he met with "esoteric Hitlerist" Miguel Serrano, Evola denied that he was a fascist or Hitlerist, but rather saw Metternich as a conservative ideal. Serrano himself was critical of Evola and saw him as an "old-style traditionalist." Evola's first published political work was an anti-fascist piece in 1925, and he wrote a second in 1928. Evola called Italy's fascist movement a "laughable revolution," based on empty sentiment and materialistic concerns. He opposed the futurism that Italian fascism was aligned with, along with the "plebeian" nature of the movement. In Revolt Against the Modern World, Evola clearly cites Monarchism as his preferred form of government, given that a Monarch would hold spiritual principles above the State and enforce a hierarchy of warriors, priests, merchants and scholars which he viewed as universal in traditional societies. Although he never formally aligned himself with such school, one can see strong similarities between Evola's thought and the Conservative Revolutionary movement in Germany, such as a traditionalist worldview rejecting a purely biological concept of race and the 'self'.
Evola held that politics, like everything else in life, should look upward and beyond the self. The main argument against modern "demagogic" politics is its materialistic focus and mentality, stemming from an inverted order of castes. Accordingly, in modernity, due to what he calls the regression of the castes, the once-preeminent warrior caste (crystallized in the medieval military religious orders and ethical chivalry and its warrior code) has been downgraded into the figures of the mere democratic soldier and mercenary, who are servants of the artificial, soulless needs of the now-dominant mercantile and industrial interests. As Evola states, "Opposite to the 'soldier' was the type of the warrior and the member of the feudal aristocracy; the caste to which this type belonged was the central nucleus in a corresponding social organization. This caste was not at the service of the bourgeois class but rather ruled over it, since the class that was protected depended on those who had the right to bear arms"
On the meaning of his anti-'bourgeoisie' stance, Evola stated:
We are "anti-bourgeois" not in the descending sense of subversive collectivists but in the sense of opposing the dominance of the lower manifestations of the modern bourgeois spirit: effeminate materialism, commercialism, gangsterism, etc.). The bourgeois tendency has its inevitable role in society, but must not be absolutized; rather, the bourgeoisie must be purified, contained, its values given their space but subordinated to superior values. We are anti-bourgeois because the bourgeois type, while ranking above the proletarian, yet stands inferior to the soldierly-heroic and spiritual-priestly orders. The bourgeois type, compared to the sacral-warrior, only represents a lesser degree of progressive manhood.
Evola attempted to influence Italy's fascist movement in the conservative-revolutionary direction he believed it should go — the direction of radical Traditionalism; i.e. away from the esoteric modern Christian Church, the bourgeoisie, and the masses. His efforts to influence the regime were a failure, and he believed that by not following his advice, Mussolini's party failed to fulfill its function. He would maintain the view that a revolutionary movement, similar to Fascism but in harmony with "esoteric-tradition", was necessary for the return to a higher form of civilization. In the decade immediately following the war, Evola wrote two books which fall loosely into the categories "asceticism of action" and "asceticism of contemplation" in their prescriptions for political action.
In Men Among the Ruins, Evola described a traditionalist attitude — possibly leading to a reactionary revolution — like what he had hoped Fascism could have been with the right leaders. This attitude is a sort of asceticism of action calling for political action to reform current society in a conservative-revolutionary / radical Traditional direction. But he also felt that the acceleration of modernity following World War II's outcome and thus, the elimination of any truly opposing forces, made any such revolution rather impossible, unless the 'unforeseeable' imposes a radical change of circumstances.
In Ride the Tiger, he prescribed a so-to-speak apolitical asceticism of contemplation in which a man is advised to act in the modern world, while remaining intellectually and spiritually detached from and above it. He had come to hold this view after coming to the conclusion that, in his view, the modern world was so decadent that a return to a "traditional" civilization was impossible. Evola argued that in order to survive in the modern world an enlightened or "differentiated man" should "ride the tiger". As a man, by holding onto the tiger's back, may survive the confrontation once the animal ends exhausted, so too might a man, by letting the world take him on its inexorable path, be able to turn the destructive forces around him into a kind of inner liberation.
In spite of all these negative aspects, there was something in National Socialism that attracted Evola: the concept of a state ruled by an Order, which he felt was embodied by the SS. "We are inclined to the opinion that we can see the nucleus of an Order in the higher sense of tradition in the 'Black Corps," he wrote in Vita Italiana on August 15, 1938. Again in Vita Italiana on August 1941 he wrote: "Beyond the confines of the party and of any political-administrative structure, an elite in the form of a new 'Order'—that is, a kind of ascetic-military organization that is held together by the principles of 'loyalty' and 'honor,' must form the basis of the new state." As mentioned, Evola held the SS, which Himmler strove to design according to the model of the Teutonic Order, to be this elite.
The castles of the SS Order, with their 'initiations,' the emphasis on transcending the purely human element, the prerequisite of physical valour, as well as the ethical requirements – loyalty, discipline, defiance of death, willingness to sacrifice, unselfishness – strengthened Evola in his conviction. He also was of the opinion that the ethics of the SS were borrowed from the Jesuits.
A number of Evola's articles and books deal explicitly with the subject of race. In February 1939, the Race Office in Italy had a nationalist, "Mediterranean" change of personnel. The new President of High Council of Demography and Race, Giacomo Acerbo, replaced a nutrition professor. The political rise of Alberto Luchini, and the institutionalized racists from May 1941, coincided with Evola's school of thought. The convergence of the esoteric and metaphysical theories in Italy marked an effective adoption of more Nordic radicalism in Blood and Spirit.
A.J. Gregor comments: "In the [German translation of Imperialismo pagano], Evola considered principled anti-Semitism one of the essentials of a salvific 'racial rebirth' in the modern world. Not only did Evola make a point of identifying Karl Marx, one of the architects of the modern world of materialism, inferiority, pretended equality, and cultural decay, as a Jew--but he spoke of a Jewish capitalistic yoke that obstructed every effort at racial regeneration" In Revolt Against the Modern World, he said that he considered himself to be a critic of the "racist worldview" by which he meant the theories of mainstream Nazis and others of his contemporaries. However, he wrote an introduction to an Italian language version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, that alleges a Jewish conspiracy to run the world through control of the media and finance, and replace the traditional social order with one based on mass manipulation.
Evola was indifferent as to whether the document was authentic or not. He classified it as a 'myth'. "Myth" here does not have its contemporary connotation of a 'falsehood'. In Fascist parlance, myths were stories that, properly cultivated, were productive of a reality that an elite desired, such as the mobilisation of the masses. In 1937, a year after the publication of Giovanni Preziosi's Italian edition in 1936, when it was claimed to be a fiction, Evola wrote as follows:
|“||Whether or not the controversial Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are false or authentic does not affect the symptomatic value of the document in question, that is, the fact, that many of the things that have occurred in modern times, having taken place after their publication, effectively agree with the plans assumed in that document, perhaps more than a superficial observer might believe.||”|
In short, he was unconcerned that could be a forgery, because that did not alter what he believed was the essential truth enciphered in the document.
In his introduction to the 1938 Italian edition of the Protocols, Evola wrote that the tract had "the value of a spiritual tonic," that Jews "destroy every surviving trace of true order and superior civilization," and that, "above all, in these decisive hours of western history, [the Protocols tract] cannot be ignored or dismissed without seriously undermining the front of those fighting in the name of the spirit, of tradition, of true civilization."
For Evola this text represented a manipulation by occult powers trying to hide behind the Jewish and Freemasonic historical drive toward a merchant society soon to be replaced by the chaos of "mass society" which could eventually turn against both.
Evola attributed to Jews, as well as to what he termed the "semitic spirit," a corrosive effect on the "Nordic" race (a race that was, in Evola's mythology, analogous to the Nazi's "Aryans"). Evola argued that not only Jews, but even non-Jews "Judaicized in their souls" must be combated by a "coherent, complete, impartial" anti-Semitism given the means to "identify and combat the Jewish mentality." Evola supported the Nazi anti-Semitic view that there was a hidden form of Jewish power and influence in the modern world; he thought this Jewish power was a symptom of the "modern" world's lack of true aristocratic leadership. To some Evola was "to the right of Fascism", although he remained a non-combatant theorist, he was identified with "Mediterranean nationalist" scholars who believed Jewishness and Italians were incompatible. Evola further held that Jewish people denigrated lofty "Aryan" ideals (of faith, loyalty, courage, devotion, and constancy) through a "corrosive irony" that ascribed every human activity to economic or sexual motives (à la Marx and Freud). In a 1938 article Evola accused Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, and Cesare Lombroso of being "proponents of Jewish materialistic culture in the nineteenth century; two years later, in an essay entitled "Jews and Mathematics," Evola characterized Judaism as the antithesis of "Aryan civilization," and broadly attacked a range of what he considered examples of Jewish influences, from Pythagoreanism to mathematics. The article was illustrated with pictures of notable Jews interspersed with classic anti-Semitic representations.
In The Metaphysics of Sex (Inner Traditions, 1st US edition 1983, pps. 9-10), Evola discoursed on his philosophy of de-evolutionary spiritual racism: "Our starting point will be not the modern theory of evolution but the traditional doctrine of involution. We do not believe the man is derived from the ape by evolution. We believe that the ape is derived from man by involution. We agree with Joseph De Maistre that savage peoples are not primitive peoples, in the sense of original peoples, but rather the degenerating remains of more ancient races that have disappeared. We concur with the various researchers (Kohlbrugge, Marconi, Dacque, Westenhofer, and Adloff) who have rebelled against the evolutionary dogma, asserting that animal species evince the degeneration of primordial man's potential. These unfulfilled or deviant potentials manifest as by-products of the true evolutionary process that man has led since the beginning."
Evola believed that a race of "Nordic" people, anciently emanating from Golden Age Arctic Hyperborea, originally semi-immaterial and "soft-boned", had played a crucial founding role in Atlantis and the high cultures both of the East and West. In Evola's eyes, half-remembered, cryptic memories of a "more-than-human race" once existing in a "northern paradise" constitute the patrimony of the traditions of many diverse peoples. In this occult belief, Evola was additionally influenced by Arctic Home in the Vedas by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, which posited the polar North as the original home of the white Ur-Aryan tribes before their later separation into Western (Hellenic, Roman, Celtic, Germanic) and Eastern (Iranian, Indo-Aryan) divisions.
According to Joscelyn Godwin's research: "the basic outlines of Evola's prehistory resemble those of Theosophy, with Lemurian, Atlantean, and Aryan root-races succeeding each other, and a pole-shift marking the transition from one epoch to another". Evola's dualism between the Northern Light and the Southern Light, and also the capture of the Atlanteans by the latter, is also found in the writings of Theosophy's co-founder Helena Petrovna Blavatsky:
|“||The Atlanteans [gravitated] toward the Southern Pole, the pit, cosmically and terrestrially -- whence breathe the hot passions blown into hurricanes by the cosmic Elementals, whose abode it is."||”|
|“||Every beneficent (astral and cosmic) action comes from the North; every lethal influence from the South Pole. They are much connected with and influence right and left hand magic."||”|
Victor A. Shnirelman, a cultural anthropologist and ethnographer, has noted that cosmological racial ideas also appear in the Neo-Theosophical writings of H. P. Blavatsky's one-time disciple Alice Bailey. Shnirelman wrote that in Bailey's teachings, "Jews were depicted as the 'human product of the former Solar system,' linked with 'World Evil'"; he identified "similar ideas" in the works of Bailey and Evola.
The hierarchy of races is really a hierarchy of embodied spiritualities; the spirit, rather than ethnic substance, determines culture; but at the same time race is the biological "memory" of a certain spiritual orientation. In order to describe what he called the lower, telluric, Negroid races, he frequently made use of the term "Southern" whereas to him higher races were "Northern." "North" and "South" are indicated as having simultaneously metaphysical, geographical and anthropological meanings:
|“||Especially during the period of the long icy winter, it was natural that in the northern races the experience of the Sun, of Light, and of Fire itself should have acted in a spiritually liberating sense. Hence natures which were Uranian-solar, Olympian or filled with celestial fire would have developed much more from the sacral symbolism of these races than from others. Moreover, the rigor of the climate, the sterility of the soil, the necessity for hunting, and finally the need to emigrate across unknown seas and continents would naturally have molded those who preserved that spiritual experience of the Sun, of the luminous sky, and of fire into the temperament of warriors, of conquerors, of navigators, so as to favor that synthesis between spirituality and virility of which characteristic traces are preserved in the Aryan races (Revolt, p. 208).||”|
|“||To teach with kindly benevolence, not to lose one's temper and avenge the unreasonableness of others, that is the virile energy of the South that is followed by the well-bred man. To sleep on a heap of arms and untanned skins, to die unflinching and as if dying were not enough, that is the virile energy of the North that is followed by the brave man.||”|
According to Evola, the more recent Northern, White and Indo-European peoples (despite racial mixing) implicitly preserved more of the primordial Arctic Hyperborean blood-memory and are objectively spiritually superior to the archaic, matter-obsessed degenerate remnants of the races of the South. Evola saw the sign of the Hyperborean Tradition and its antagonism with the forces of Antitradition in the Indian mythology surrounding the Vedic divinity Indra (cf. Thor), who is "fair of cheek" (Rig Veda, I.9.3) and with his "fair-complexioned friends" (I.100.18) annihilates the lawless black Dasyu, "giving protection to the Aryan color" (III.34.9), blowing to nothingness "the swarthy skin which Indra hates" (IX.73.5).
On the "demonic" nature of the lower negroid races and their degenerating remnants, Evola relies on an old Aryo-Zoroastrian tradition that teaches negroids belonged to the dark side owing to their alleged origin in the union between a demon and a wicked witch: "Zohak, during his reign, let loose a dev (demon) on a young woman, and let loose a young man on a parik (witch). They performed coition with [the sight] of the apparition; the negro came into being through that [novel] kind of coition" (Bundahishn, XIVB).
Flowering forth in the Greek, pre-Celtic, Indo-Aryan, Aryo-Persian, Armenic, Roman, Germanic, Tiwanaku, Teotihuacán, early Chinese, Aztec-Nahua, Inca and first Egyptian dynasties' representatives, with more or less ethnic but great spiritual purity, the "Northern Light" was considerably lost to the Atlantean offshoot which defiled itself through spiritual integration into the spiritual lunar sphere of the world of the "Mother" or "Earth" of the "Southern Light" and further miscegenation with bestial, dark Lemurian stocks. Revolt Against the Modern World presents world-history to be the saga of dualistic conflict between the "Northern Light" and the "Southern Light": on one side stand the Uranian, patriarchal stocks of purer Hyperborean lineage, climatically harshly conditioned and heroic-minded celebrators of the winter solstice; on the other stand the chthonic and titanized inferior races and the spiritually/ethnically bastardized heirs of the fallen Atlantean civilization captured by the "Southern Light" and its sacerdotal and naturalistic-pantheist religion of promiscuous vegetal and animal fertility.
Evola cites Plato's description of the fall of Atlantis by Atlantean miscegenation with humankind (Critias, 110c; 120d-e; 121a-b) and the biblical myth of the benei elohim, the Sons of God catastrophically mixing with the "daughters of men" (Genesis 6: 4-13) as support for his esoteric, Aryanist anthropogenesis. Evola interprets archeological findings of semi-human hominid fossils as not purely primordial but evidence of the mismating of the celestial boreal race with inferior animalistic breeds as well, and most often, as remnants of degenerating, bestialized races in their final involutionary stages preceding extinction.
Just as Evola affirmed the natural hierarchy between different individuals of the same race, so he affirmed a natural rank ordering of the different human races. As the best-preserved remnants of the primordial celestial Hyperboreans, Evola affirmed the white race in its different branches as the creator of the greatest planetary civilizations:
"We have to remember that behind the various caprices of modern historical theories, and as a more profound and primordial reality, there stands the unity of blood and spirit of the white races who created the greatest civilizations both of the East and West, the Iranian and Hindu as well as the ancient Greek and Roman and the Germanic". In fact, Evola publicly celebrated Italian Fascism as a means to ensure and restore in a modern decadent world white supremacy:
"And if Fascist Italy, among the various Western nations is the one which first wished for a reaction against the degeneration of the materialist, democratic and capitalist civilisation, against the League of Nations ideology, there are grounds for thinking, without even any scintilla of chauvinistic infatuation, that Italy will be on the front line among the forces which will guide the future world and will restore the supremacy of the white race". While characterizing race as something hereditary and biological, Evola also claimed that race was not simply and linearly defined by mere skin color and the various other hereditary factors. In other words, in addition to predominantly "Aryan" or, more broadly, "Northern" biology, the initial necessary precondition for further racial differentiation, one must prove oneself spiritually "Aryan". The fact that in India the term Arya was the synonym of dwija, "twice-born" or "regenerated" supports this point. To him higher race implied something akin to supra-human, spiritual caste. Evola wrote, "the supernatural element was the foundation of the idea of a traditional patriciate and of legitimate royalty."
In 'Myth and Violence: The Fascism of Julius Evola and Alain de Benoist,' Thomas Sheehan points out that "Evola prided himself on developing a theory of races that went beyond the merely biological to the spiritual. What constitutes a superior race for Evola is the spiritual orientation of a given stock, the subsumption of the requisite biological material (and that did mean the Aryan races) under a qualitatively elevating form, namely reference to the realm of the spirit. But in fact all that Evola's theory does is to promote biological-ethnic racism a step higher. There are enough references in his works to the 'inferior, non-European races,' to the 'power of inferior strata and races,' to disgusting 'Negro syncopations' in jazz, to 'Jewish psychoanalysis'--and enough adulation of the Aryans—for us to divine that Evola's 'spiritual' racism may have had something other than disinterested Apollonian origins."
In Mussolini's Intellectuals, A. James Gregor discusses Evola's racism as follows: "[In the German rendering of Imperialismo pagano], Evola argues that it is out of the creativity of an 'ur-Aryan' and 'solar-Nordic' blood that world culture emerges. Conversely, culture decline is a function of the feckless mixture of Aryan, with lesser 'animalistic,' blood ... According to Imperialismo pagano, the 'natural' and endogamous caste system of antiquity that sustained the 'purity' of the culture-creating 'Hyperborean-Nordics' slowly disintegrated over time under the corrosive influence of Semitic religion and the 'Semitic spirit'.
While Evola was clear about the relative insignificance of the physical attributes of race, he did acknowledge that the 'original Hyperboreans,' which he was critically concerned, were probably 'dolichocephalic, tall and slender, blond and blue-eyed'. Evola held that the physical mixture of races, particularly between Aryans and races that were 'alien' (i.e., non-Aryan), was always hazardous — but mixture between 'related' races might produce hybrid vigor. Given his generous notion of what constituted an Aryan race (Evola was convinced of the Hyperborean origins of most Europeans, the indigenous peoples of North and South America, as well as those of the Indian subcontinent), those candidate races Evola considered to be truly 'alien' were never explicitly catalogued—except in terms of Semites and the deeply pigmented peoples of sub-Saharan Africa. What seemed eminently clear, for all the qualifiers, was that all the material races Evola identified as capable of serving as hosts for the extrabiological and supernatural spiritual elements were purportedly biological descendents of the 'Aryan-Nordics' of Hyperborea.
In the golden age, the celestial race was spiritual—only gradually, over time, taking on material properties ... As a necessary consequence of miscegenation, there was a continual and irreversible decline of the celestials in ancient times a tenuous revival under the Romans, and another by the Nordic-Germans during the course of the Holy Roman Empire—but by the time of the Renaissance, with its humanism, rationalism, universalism and its gradual submission to the theses of the equality of all humans, humankind had entered the kali-yuga, the terminal age of 'obscurity,' the end of this current race cycle. Evola identifies the Jews as providing a 'ferment of decomposition, dissolution and corruption' in antiquity; For Evola, given the fateful path traversed by history, there remained only one course for contemporary humanity: an attempt at reconstitution of the primordial celestial race, amid the debris of previous race cycles, employing the racial remnants of the Hyperboreans.
For Evola, spiritual forces shaped races for their own inscrutable purposes. The notion that mutations, governed from 'on high,' might be the source of raciation was a relatively common conviction among German esoterics. Geneticists, Evola argued, failed to provide a compelling account of how mutations occur. He maintained, as a consequence, that 'the cause is to be found elsewhere, in the actions of a superbiological element not reducible to the determinism of the physical transmission of genetic materials.' The true cause of hereditary variation was to be found 'rather by starting from another point of view that affords one an entirely different set of laws' than those of empirical science.
Given this supposition, Evola proceeded to argue that Fascism or National Socialism—with their heroism, their sacrificial and ascetic ethic, their authoritarian and hierarchical order, together with their appeal to myth and ritual—provided an environment compatible with the 'spirit' of the celestials. That might be enough to prompt a cosmic, if gradual, reemergence of the celestial race. In such circumstances, the formative spiritual principle that, in the ultimate analysis, governs the transcendent 'superhistory' of humankind might literally reconstitute the individuals of the primordial creative race of Hyperborea. Evola sought to show that such an outcome would not be essentially determined by biology, but by the cosmic spirit—that its formative influence could transform individuals into persons accommodating a properly corresponding soul and spirit—to render them once again 'pure.'" Evola held racism at the core of his beliefs.
The eminent scholar of Fascism, Renzo De Felice, maintained that while Evola's spiritual, neo-idealist racial theories were wrong, they had a notable intellectual ancestry, and Evola defended them in an honorable way: "Evola for his part completely refused any racial theorizing of a purely biological kind, which went so far as to draw to himself the attacks and sarcasms of a Landra, for example. This does not mean that the 'spiritual' theory of race is acceptable, but it had at least the merit of not totally failing to see certain values, to refuse the German aberrations and the ones modeled after them and to try to keep racism on a plane of cultural problems worthy of the name".
Christophe Boutin, in his major work on Evola, Politique et Tradition: Julius Evola dans le siècle, 1898-1974 (Paris, 1992), discusses Evola's views on racism and Negroes. Boutin mentions that in Evola's 1968 collection of essays, L’Arco e la clava there is a chapter on "America Negrizzata," in which Evola criticizes the "Telluric" Negroid influence on popular American culture, while acknowledging that there has been little actual miscegenation. Evola also argues against American racial integration in this chapter. The unadulterated 1972 Italian edition of Men Among the Ruins ends with an appendix entitled "Appendix on the Myths of our Time," of which number 4 is "Taboos of our Times". In this section Evola argues that modern irrational taboos forbid an honest, frank discussion on the working classes and Negroes. Evola notices that the mere word 'Negro' had connotations of offensiveness in the left-wing atmosphere of the era: "la tabuizzazione che porta fino ad evitare l'uso della designazione 'negro,' per le sue implicazioni 'offensive'". Evola opines that a true Rightist movement will not compromise with this sort of moralistic development.
Evola's writings have continued to have an influence both within occult intellectual circles and in European far-right politics. He is widely translated in French, Spanish and partly in German. Amongst those he has influenced are Miguel Serrano, Savitri Devi, GRECE, the Movimento sociale italiano (MSI), Falange Española, Gaston Armand Amaudruz's Nouvel Ordre Européen, Guillaume Faye, Pino Rauti's Ordine Nuovo, Troy Southgate, Alain de Benoist, Michael Moynihan, Giorgio Freda, the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (Armed Revolutionary Nuclei), Eduard Limonov, Forza Nuova, CasaPound Italia and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia. Famed author Herman Hesse was an admirer of Evola, calling him "A very dazzling and interesting, but also very dangerous author". Giorgio Almirante referred to him as "our Marcuse—only better." According to one leader of the neofascist "black terrorist" Ordine Nuovo, "Our work since 1953 has been to transpose Evola’s teachings into direct political action." The now defunct French fascist group Troisième Voie was also inspired by Evola. Jonathan Bowden, English political activist and chairman of the New Right, spoke highly of Evola and his ideas and gave lectures on his philosophy. German psychotherapist Karlfried Graf Dürckheim based part of his "initiatory therapy" on Evola's work.
Evola's work heavily influences Thomas Steiner, the German intellectual.
Evola's work is available in the United States through publisher Inner Traditions. He has also gained some attention in Russia, where some of his work has been analyzed by Alexander Dugin and others from a nationalistic Russian view, and is also popular among Monarchists with a view of an imperial Moscow as the "Third Rome", but few translations of some of his shorter texts. His work is also available in translation in the U.K., Spain, Poland, Scandinavia, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Mexico, Argentina, and Turkey where his Revolt Against the Modern World was published in 2006. In 2010 Revolt Against the Modern World was published in Brazil by a small traditionalist group, in an edition limited to 100 copies.
In addition to Evola's political influence on right-wing radical-conservatives, "black terrorist" (neofascist) factions and traditionalist groups worldwide, he has also considerably influenced followers of certain occult traditions.
Selected books and articles
- Arte Astratta, posizione teorica (1920)
- La parole obscure du paysage intérieur (1920)
- Saggi sull'idealismo magico (1925)
- L'individuo e il divenire del mondo (1926)
- L'uomo come potenza (1927)
- Teoria dell'individuo assoluto (1927)
- Imperialismo pagano (1928; English translation: Heathen Imperialism, 2007)
- Introduzione alla magia (1927-1929; 1971; English translation: Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus, 2001)
- Fenomenologia dell'individuo assoluto (1930)
- La tradizione ermetica (1931; English translation: The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and Teachings of the Royal Art, 1995)
- Maschera e volto dello spiritualismo contemporaneo: Analisi critica delle principali correnti moderne verso il sovrasensibile (1932)
- Rivolta contro il mondo moderno (1934; second edition: 1951; English translation: Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga, 1995)
- Tre aspetti del problema ebraico (1936; English translation: Three Aspects of the Jewish Problem, 2003)
- Il Mistero del Graal e la Tradizione Ghibellina dell'Impero (1937; English translation: The Mystery of the Grail: Initiation and Magic in the Quest for the Spirit, 1997)
- Il mito del sangue. Genesi del Razzismo (1937)
- Indirizzi per una educazione razziale (1941; English translation: The Elements of Racial Education 2005)
- Sintesi di dottrina della razza (1941; German translation: Grundrisse der Faschistischen Rassenlehre, 1943)
- Die Arische Lehre von Kampf und Sieg (1941; English translation: The Aryan Doctrine of Battle and Victory, 2007)
- Gli Ebrei hanno voluto questa Guerra (1942)
- La dottrina del risveglio (1943; English translations: The Doctrine of Awakening: A Study on the Buddhist Ascesis, 1951; The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts, 1995)
- Lo Yoga della potenza (1949; English translation: The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way, 1992)
- Orientamenti, undici punti (1950)
- Gli uomini e le rovine (1953; English translation: Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, 2002)
- Metafisica del sesso (1958; English translations: The Metaphysics of Sex, 1983; Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex, 1991)
- L'«Operaio» nel pensiero di Ernst Jünger (1960)
- Cavalcare la tigre (1961; English translation: Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul, 2003)
- Il cammino del cinabro (1963; second edition, 1970; English translation: The Path of Cinnabar: An Intellectual Autobiography, 2009)
- Il Fascismo. Saggio di una analisi critica dal punto di vista della destra (1964; second edition, 1970; English translation: Fascism Viewed from the Right, 2013)
- L'arco e la clava (1968)
- Raâga blanda , Composizioni 1916-1922 (1969)
- Il taoismo (1972; English translation: Taoism: The Magic, the Mysticism, 1994)
- Meditazioni delle vette (1974; English translation: Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest, 1998)
- Il Fascismo visto dalla destra; Note sul terzo Reich (1974; English translation: Notes on the Third Reich, 2013)
- Ultimi scritti (1977)
- La via della realizzazione di sé secondo i misteri di Mitra (1977; English translation: The Path of Enlightenment According to the Mithraic Mysteries, 1994, ISBN 1-55818-228-4)
- Lo Zen (1981; English translation: Zen: The Religion of the Samurai, 1993)
- Un Maestro dei tempi moderni: René Guénon (1984; English translation: Rene Guenon: A Teacher for Modern Times, 1994)
- Metaphysics of War: Battle, Victory and Death in the World of Tradition (2007)
- Rai DOP
- Ferraresi, Franco. "The Radical Right in Postwar Italy," Politics & Society, 1988 16:71-119, Pg. 84
- Stanley G. Payne. A History of Fascism, 1914–1945 Down to the time of his death in 1974, Evola stood as the leading intellectual of neofascism and/ or the radical right in all Europe.
- Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity By Nicholas Goodrick-Clark
- A. James Gregor and Andreas Umland. "Dugin Not a Fascist?" (6 texts). Erwägen-Wissen-Ethik, 2005.
- G.Evola, Il Camino del Cinabro, 1963
- Isotta Poggi. "Alternative Spirituality in Italy." In: James R. Lewis, J. Gordon Melton. Perspectives on the New Age. SUNY Press, 1992. Page 276.
- Political Violence and Terror, quoted in McCarthy, Daniel (201-07-25) What's Worse Than Leviathan, The American Conservative
- Aaron Gillette. Racial Theories in Fascist Italy. London: Routledge, 2002.
- Hansen, 2002
- Stucco 1992, xiii
- Evola - "Autodifesa/Self-Defence" in appendix to Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist 1953
- Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul. Inner Traditions, 2003.
- Also Sprach Zarathustra (1883-5, Thus Spoke Zarathustra), Nietzsche's major work that denied the existence of God, and repudiated Christian ethics, despising democratic idealism.
- Evola, "The Path of Cinnabar", 1963
- A. James Gregor, Mussolini's Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.
- cf. Bhagavadgita, 4. 1-2
- Chuan Zhi (17 July 2001). "Ancient Wisdom: The Blue Lotus". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- The Mystery of the Grail, :p:45)
- (The Mystery of the Grail, :p:39
- Nietzsche (1888c) Der Antichrist, 1895; trans. W. Kaufmann as The Antichrist, in The Portable Nietzsche, New York: Viking, 1954.
- Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2000), p. 631-2.
- The doctrine of awakening: the attainment of self-mastery according to the earliest Buddhist texts. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 1995
- The Metaphysics of Sex, p.48
- ibid., 219
- The Mystery of the Grail, p.80
- "The Metaphysics of Sex", p.62
- "The Metaphysics of Sex", p.62-63
- "The Metaphysics of Sex", p.63
- The Metaphysics of Sex, p.64
- "The Metaphysics of Sex", p.64-65
- "The Metaphysics of Sex", p.65
- "The Metaphysics of Sex", 65-66
- The Metaphysics of Sex, 4
- Blamires, Cyprian, and Paul Jackson. World Fascism: a historical encyclopedia, vol 1, Santa Barbara, CA, 2006. p. 208.
- Packer, Jeremy. Secret agents popular icons beyond James Bond. New York, NY: Lang, 2009. p 150.
- Atkins, Stephen E.. Encyclopedia of modern worldwide extremists and extremist groups . Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004. p 89.
- Gregor, A James The Search for Neofascism: The Use and Abuse of Social Science. Cambridge University Press, 2006. p 93.
- H.T. Hansen, "A Short Introduction to Julius Evola" in Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, p xviii.
- Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity. New York University Press 2002, p.337)
- Gregor, A James The Search for Neofascism: The Use and Abuse of Social Science Cambridge University Press, 2006. p 86.
- The Search for Neofascism: The Use and Abuse of Social Science. Cambridge University Press, 2006. p 86.
- Men Among the Ruins: Post-war reflections of a Radical Traditionalist, Inner Traditions, Vermont, 193-204
- Men Among the Ruins, 217-224
- Aaron Gillette, "Racial Theories in Fascist Italy" (London: Routledge, 2003), 233-287. Gillette believes the fascist theorists were on a spectrum so wide they follow idiosyncrasies of individual proponents
- Dr. H. T. Hansen in "Julius Evola's Political Endeavors" introduction to "Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist" (1953)
- On these two projects, see Cassata, "La Difesa della razza." Politica, ideologia e immagine del razzismo fascista, 79–82.
- see: the influence of the Mafia in southern Italy over the Vatican during World War Two, 1939-42
- Mussolini's Intellectuals, 200-201
- A. James Gregor, Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship, 1979, pp.44ff
- J. Evola, Il Mistero del Graal e la tradizione ghibellina dell'Impero, Laterza, Bari 1937 p.182.
- Evola says also that this was precisely Preziosi's own view. It should also be noted that in speaking of a 'Masonic' conspiracy in such texts, 'Masonic' was often a code word for a secret lobby containing prominent secularized Jewish businessmen. The point is underscored by a recent controversy in Italy where a priest used the word 'Masonic-Jewish lobby' and, in reaction to a public outcry, subsequently changed the reference to 'Masonic', which however retains the old ambiguity in Fascist usage.
- 'Don Gelmini, prima attacca poi rettifica,' in La Repubblica05/08/2007
- Evola, Men Among the Ruins, 1953
- A. James Gregor. Mussolini's Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought. Princeton University Press, 2005.
- Quoted in Aaron Gillette, Racial Theories in Fascist Italy, Routledge, 2002.
- Francesco Cassata, "A destra del fascismo: profilo politico di Julius Evola (Bollato Boringhieri, 2003); Gianni Scipione Rossi, "il razzista totalitario": Evola a leggenda dell'antisemittismo spirituale (Rome: Rubettino, 2007)
- Kevin Coogan, Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International, p.309
- Zimmerman, Joshua D. (2005). Jews in Italy Under Fascist and Nazi Rule, 1922-1945. New York: University of Cambridge Press. p. 139. ISBN 0-521-84101-1. OCLC 56876639.
- . For a complete biography of Julius Evola, see Francesco Cassata, A destra del fascismo. Profilo politico di Julius Evola (Turin: Bollati Boringhieri, 2003).
- Arktos, 60
- Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 274.
- ibid., p. 400.
- Shnirelman, Victor A. (1998), 'Russian Neo-pagan Myths and Antisemitism', in ACTA (Analysis of Current Trends in Antisemitism) no. 13, a special research unit of SICSA (The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism), Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
- Revolt, 245
- Rene Guenon: "The starting-point given to the year that one can call normal, as being in direct conformity with primordial tradition, is the winter solstice"; Traditional Forms and Cosmic Cycles, 24
- The Doctrine of Awakening, 14
- "Il Problema della supremazia della razza bianca" [The Problem of the Supremacy of the White Race], Lo Stato, 1936
- Sintesi di Dottrina della Razza, 67
- Evola, 'Psicologia criminale ebraica,' Difesa della Razza 2, no. 18, 32–35; Sintesi di Dottrina della Razza, 74, 237
- Evola, Sintesi di Dottrina della Razza, 160; Rivolta contro il mondo moderno, 314
- Pauwels and Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians, 400–5
- Paul Furlong, "The Social and Political Thought of Julius Evola", London: Routledge, 2011
- Storia degli Ebrei Italiani sotto il Fascismo, or The History of Italian Jews under Fascism (Milan, 1977), 465
- Boutin, 197–200
- Milan, 1968, revised 1971
- Gli uomini e le rovine, Rome, 1953, revised 1967, with the new appendix, 1972
- Boutin, 276
- The Inner Traditions English translation suppressed Evola's appendix, ironically bearing out Evola's thoughts on the "taboos of our times."
- Thomas Sheehan. Italy: Terror on the Right. The New York Review of Books, Volume 27, Number 21 & 22, January 22, 1981
- Quoted in Ferraresi, Franco. "The Radical Right in Postwar Italy." Politics & Society. 1988 16:71-119. (p.84)
- Institute of Race relations. "The far Right in Europe: a guide." Race & Class, 1991, Vol. 32, No. 3:125-146 (p.132).
- Victor Trimondi, "Karlfried Graf Dürckheim"
- "Bibliografia di J. Evola". Fondazione Julius Evola. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (March 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Aprile, Mario (1984), "Julius Evola: An Introduction to His Life and Work," The Scorpion No. 6 (Winter/Spring): 20-21.
- Bolton, Kerry (1997), "Julius Evola — Above the Ruins," The Nexus, # 10.
- Coletti, Guillermo (1996), "Against the Modern World: An Introduction to the Work of Julius Evola," Ohm Clock No. 4 (Spring): 29-31.
- Coogan, Kevin (1998), Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International (Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, ISBN 1-57027-039-2).
- De Benoist, Alain. "Julius Evola, réactionnaire radical et métaphysicien engagé. Analyse critique de la pensée politique de Julius Evola," Nouvelle Ecole, No. 53–54 (2003), pp. 147–69.
- Drake, Richard H. (1986), "Julius Evola and the Ideological Origins of the Radical Right in Contemporary Italy," in Peter H. Merkl (ed.), Political Violence and Terror: Motifs and Motivations (University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-05605-1) 61-89.
- Drake, Richard H. (1988), "Julius Evola, Radical Fascism and the Lateran Accords," The Catholic Historical Review 74: 403-419.
- Drake, Richard H. (1989), "The Children of the Sun," in The Revolutionary Mystique and Terrorism in Contemporary Italy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-35019-0), 114-134.
- Faerraresi, Franco (1987), "Julius Evola: Tradition, Reaction, and the Radical Right," European Journal of Sociology 28: 107-151.
- Furlong, Paul (2011), Introduction to the Social and Political Thought of Julius Evola London: Routledge.
- Godwin, Joscelyn (1996), Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival (Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, ISBN 0-932813-35-6), 57-61.
- Gelli, Frank (2012), Julius Evola: The Sufi of Rome
- Godwin, Joscelyn (2002), "Julius Evola, A Philosopher in the Age of the Titans," TYR: Myth—Culture—Tradition Volume 1 (Atlanta, GA: Ultra Publishing, ISBN 0-9720292-0-6), 127-142.
- Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (2001), Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity (New York: New York University Press, ISBN 0-585-43467-0, ISBN 0-8147-3124-4, ISBN 0-8147-3155-4), 52-71.
- Griffin, Roger (1985), "Revolts against the Modern World: The Blend of Literary and Historical Fantasy in the Italian New Right," Literature and History 11 (Spring): 101-123.
- Griffin, Roger (1995) (ed.), Fascism (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-289249-5), 317-318.
- Hansen, H. T. (1994), "A Short Introduction to Julius Evola," Theosophical History 5 (January): 11-22; reprinted as introduction to Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1995).
- Hansen, H. T. (2002), "Julius Evola's Political Endeavors," introduction to Evola, Men Among the Ruins, (Vermont: Inner Traditions).
- Moynihan, Michael (2003), "Julius Evola's Combat Manuals for a Revolt Against the Modern World," in Richard Metzger (ed.), Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult (The Disinformation Company, ISBN 0-9713942-7-X) 313-320.
- Rees, Philip (1991), Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890 (New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-13-089301-3), 118-120.
- Sedgwick, Mark (2004) Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-515297-2).
- Sheehan, Thomas (1981) "Myth and Violence: The Fascism of Julius Evola and Alain de Benoist," Social Research, 48 (Spring): 45-83.
- Troy Southgate, ed., Evola: Thoughts & Perspectives, Volume One, Black Front Press, 2011.
- Troy Southgate, "Anti-Tradition in the Age of Iron" in Le Salon: Journal de Cercle de la Rose Noire, Volume 1, Black Front Press, 2012.
- Stucco, Guido (1992), "Translator's Introduction," in Evola, The Yoga of Power (Vermont: Inner Traditions), ix-xv.
- Stucco, Guido (1994), "Introduction," in Evola, The Path of Enlightenment According to the Mithraic Mysteries, Zen: The Religion of the Samurai, Rene Guenon: A Teacher for Modern Times, and Taoism: The Magic, the Mysticism (Edmonds, WA: Holmes Publishing Group)
- Stucco, Guido (2002). "The Legacy of a European Traditionalist: Julius Evola in Perspective". The Occidental Quarterly 3 (2), pp. 21–44.
- Wasserstrom, Steven M. (1995), "The Lives of Baron Evola," Alphabet City 4 + 5 (December): 84-89.
- Waterfield, Robin (1990), 'Baron Julius Evola and the Hermetic Tradition', Gnosis 14, (Winter): 12-17.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Julius Evola|
- JuliusEvola.net, contains pictures of Evola, his paintings and a large text archive
- Evola As He Is, a collection of previously unpublished texts
- Julius Evola: Tradionalist Visionary, website of the Julius Evola Society