Selected Writings of Julius Evola

Against the West The Problem of Decadence Misconceptions of Contemporary Spirituality American “Civilization”

Against the West
I. Western Decadence Present Western “civilization” awaits a substantial upheaval, without which it is destined, sooner or later, to smash its own head. It has carried out the most complete perversion of the rational order of things. Reign of matter, of gold, of machines, of quantity; in this civilization there is no longer spirit nor liberty nor light. The West has lost its ability to command and to obey. It has lost its sense of contemplation and action. It has lost its sense of hierarchy, spiritual power, and divine men. It no longer knows nature. No longer a living body made of symbols, gods, and rites, no longer a harmony, a cosmos in which man moves freely like microcosm within a macrocosm, nature has assumed for the Westerner a dull and fatal exteriority whose mystery the secular sciences seek to bury in trifling laws and hypotheses. The West no longer knows Wisdom. It ignores the majestic silence of those who have mastered themselves: the enlightened calm of seers, the exalted reality of those in whom the idea becomes blood, life, and power. Wisdom has been supplanted by the rhetoric of “philosophy” and “culture,” the specialty of professors, journalists, and sportsmen who issue plans, programs, and proclamations. It has succumbed to a sentimental, religious, humanitarian contagion and to a race of frenzied men who run around noisily celebrating becoming and “practice,” because silence and contemplation alarm them. The West no longer knows the State, the Empire as synthesis of spirituality and royalty, as a way to the “supraworld,” as known by the great ancient civilizations from China to Egypt, from Persia to Rome, and to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the imperium has been submerged in the bourgeois poverty of a trust of slaves and traders. What might war be, war willed in and of itself, as a virtue higher than winning or losing, as that heroic and sacred path to spiritual fulfillment exalted by the god Krishna in the Baghavad Gita; for whom the celestial seat of Odin, Valhalla, is the privilege of the heroes fallen on the battlefield; for which in Islam, “holy war” is synonymous with “way of God”; for which in Aryan India, the warrior is side by side with the ascetic and, in classical antiquity, mors triumphalis is conceived of as victory over death—these formidable European “activists” no longer know what such a war is. They no longer know warriors but only soldiers; for them a squabble is enough to terrorize and force them back to the rhetoric of humanism, pacifism, sentimentalism, and petty nationalism. Europe has lost its simplicity, its central position, its life. A democratic plague is eating away at its roots, whether in law, science, or speculation. As for leaders—those beings who distinguish themselves, not by violence, greed, or as exploiters of slaves, but, on the contrary, by unwavering and transcendent qualities of life—there are none. Europe is a big anodyne body, possessed and shattered by an anxiety which no one dares to express, whose blood is gold, whose flesh is machines, factories, and laborers, whose brain is of newsprint—a formless body which tosses restlessly, driven by obscure and unpredictable forces which implacably crush anyone who tries to oppose it or even just to escape its mechanism.

ready to shatter the foul crust of rhetoric. The power of a new Middle Ages is needed. We must reawaken to a renewed. who now as individuals notice the intolerable discomfort and feel driven to react. in the name of mutual dependence. sometimes in one cultural domain. moralism. And the noose tightens everyday around those who are still capable of great loathing and great rebellion. and capitalize on it. let it be said: “Enough!” so that some men may be brought back to the long years of journeys.” which transcends social prejudice. the fear. of a barbaric purity is required. Before it is too late. A change. declaring themselves their advocates.” everyday politics: no more of all that. To all this. The New Symbol Are liberation and renewal still possible in this world in its twilight? Is there still enough strength in Europe to be able to take on the awareness and the will for such a task? We are not deceived: only after having understood the magnitude of the task will we be able to act. which rises from the depths of the senses and the soul and is not proved by arguments and books but by creative acts. and which is such that vigorous physical strength over persons and things can no longer be useful for anything. with tenacious and eager individual effort. interior as well as exterior. while in truth they only know matter and what the words.” this is the premise. II.” which is the much vaunted result of the superstition of “progress”—beyond Roman regality. anti-“religion. Its roots date back almost to the ground of prehistory. Whoever enters the temple—even if he is a barbarian—has the unquestionable duty to drive out as corrupters all those who in “civilized” Europe created a monopoly of “Spirit. and which disregards the sensational gesture and superficial echo.Such are the achievements of Western “civilization. that substantial character which each of them lacks. It is not a matter of shifting to the other side of this bed of agony. and all the other exemplary forms of the great Aryan civilizations. and austere sense . “enough!” to the thirst of the soul which creates for itself a Semitic God to adore and implore. whose culminating phases coincide with those which contemporary men exalt as values essential to civilization. This is not a matter of compromises or adaptations. sometimes in another. the way to the peaks must be brought back into the consciousness of these scattered men. sentimentalism. Science. and whose influences now manifest themselves in all fields of thought and action. anti-humanitarianism. We must pass above and beyond all this with pure strength. and self-overcoming. “Enough!” must be said to aestheticisms and idealisms. “culture. Philosophy. Then we will place in front of those a task which transcends “politics. selfmastery. and the Divine. Anti-philosophy. enough of the “need” which ties beggars in common bonds. Unrelenting action must ensure that their purest strength manages to disclose itself as something invincible. spiritualized. anti-literature. to give them. we must create an elite in whom “solar” Wisdom is revived: that virtue which is inexpressible. men still exist. beyond all the limits and private interests which currently wear away at their strength. In silence. The menacing reality of a destructive spiritual process must be recognized. acumen. danger. and the superstition of men have superimposed over matter.” Good and Evil. so that the wind of the open sea may blow again—the wind of the Nordic primordial tradition—and arouse the sleepers of the West. Doric Greece. and silence. Here and there. It is a matter of finally waking up and standing up on one’s feet. mindful of ancient nobility. through hard discipline. and hypocritical religiosity with which the West has covered and humanized everything.

their “values. that oriented and ordered everything with the pureness and fate of the great forces of nature. when. but as the most positive of realities. Then there will be Leaders. according to the primordial conception rooted in Tradition. deaf to the deepest reality of man.” “non values. military. a higher right. where positivist superstition believed right up until yesterday in ape-like cave-dwellers. which can find confirmation only in the living reality of the Leaders. This sensation will create strong. so that. an echo of which still resounds as an eternal symbol in everything that the past has to offer .of the world. and creative science. to the sensation of the world as a sacrificial act. when they experienced a kind of “holy war” lived in every war. and which creates mastery over these forces. if we do not place above the lower forms tied to earth and matter. something devastating. not as a myth. but whose actions do not experience resistance and who can do everything. there existed a primordial. Against secular. some men are reborn as beings who no longer belong to “life” but to “more-than-life” and are capable of transcendent action. we must reawaken in this elite the sacred. and it can only be attained by those who have the power to transcend the petty lives of petty men with their appetites. a first ray of light in the thick fog of the “dark age” of the Western kali-yuga? The principle of the true restoration. the science of self-realization and “self-dignification. The Ancients understood this.” and Gods. secret. they venerated beings who unified the royal nature with the sacral. always relative and conditioned. at the peak of their hierarchy. is something transcendent. The Primordial Nordic-Solar Tradition We alluded to a primordial Nordic tradition. Will those who still can or desire to put up a resistance understand this? Will they understand that no other alternative exists? That there is no other spirit that—even in other forms and shapes—should be reawakened? That this is the condition for which any “revolution” whatsoever can be not only a trivial contingent event in a single nation. in whom temporal power was permeated with the spiritual authority of natures “no longer human. a higher order.” bearers of a secret and invincible force of “victory” and “success”. Invisible Leaders who do not speak and do not show themselves. to that cosmic breath which the “dead” in Europe have babbled a lot about yet have not even felt its puff. not as a philosophical concept. their narrow national prides. inner. Already in the most remote prehistory. and powerful civilization. democratic. to the sensation of the world as rhythm. it is our truth. It is absolutely an error to believe that the State can be anything other than a civitas diaboli if it does not rise up again as Imperium. industrial. The Imperium. or even “ideal” or nationalist factors. and material science. that is to say. open to that sense of freedom and nobility. their sentimentalisms. but can become a universal concept. unified. It is absolutely an error to think that we can achieve renewal if a hierarchy is not reestablished. It is not a myth. and energetic characters. of the sole possible recovery? III. a race of Leaders. beings made of strength and then only of strength. and it is also a mistake to try to build the Imperium on the basis of economic. something universal. enslaved to phenomena and incomprehensible laws. hard. to man and humanity a higher law. Then a center will exist again in the West. but as something which vibrates in our very blood: to the sensation of the world as power.” the science which leads to the hidden forces which govern our organism and are united with the invisible roots of race and things themselves.

has his residence. they see there—symbolically—the “place” where the warrior religion of Zarathustra would have been revealed for the first time. It speaks also of the Uttarakura. and triumphal element: towards form victorious over chaos. the “Island of the Sun”—Thule ultima a sole nomens habens—whose memory remained so alive that.” where the blond Rhadamanthus reigns. above the causality of events. and see in it the first creation of the “god of light. convinced he had recognized it in Britain. which sometimes becomes the “Island of the Heroes” and the “Country of the Immortals. These are only some of the concordant references. which the races preserving this spirit have travelled. in the Nordic-Germanic traditions. is also the “Land of the Sun” and fuses into the paradise of the kings and heroes fallen on the battlefield.” in the sense of anticipating in this way his apotheosis as Caesar. like the Greek Thule. a transcendent superhuman spirituality unites with the heroic. Similarly. Hercules—the ally of the Olympian gods against the giants. The Iranians speak of the Airyanem-Vaêjô. mixed up with that of Thule. Constantius Chlorus marched there with his legions. the “Land of the Living.” of whom many Greek and Roman kings later considered themselves. Tollan. and superior. Asgard. not so much for military glory as to reach the land “which is nearest to the sky and more sacred than every other region. the annihilator of the serpent Python—would have come from here. the one who “is the light” and “who stays above the waters. as his avatars—would have carried the olive tree from here with whose branches the victors were crowned. the larger formations of Aryan peoples. the annihilator of the Amazons and of elemental beings. the “Victorious. which. But in Greece. by Nordic. corresponds to the sovereign.” that is.” which they left under the leadership of a god-warrior. the mysterious Nordic land. among whom the hero Ogma corresponds precisely to the Dorian Hercules—Avalon. Often. a Nordic primordial race. towards super-humanity triumphant over all that is human and telluric. as seat of origin. of what in the figurative sense can be called ârya. the home of the Aesir and departed heroes. the heroic conquerors of prehistoric Ireland. royal. on the other hand. towards “solarity” as principal symbol of a transcendent virility. And. testify. by the purer nature . Huitzilopochtli: hence. and especially of their divine kings. the Achean-Dorian stocks are heirs of the legendary Nordic Hyperboreans: the most characteristic god and hero of this race—the solar Apollo. which is also called the “White Land” or “Land of the Light. Tlalocan.” also located in the far North. in a more precise way.” transferred the origin of their dynasty to that “divine” land. while the traces of tradition can be referred back along a road from the North to the South.” Again. the ruler.” the origin of their lineage and also the seat of “splendor”—hvarenô—that mystical force typical of the Aryan race. the tradition of the Indo-Aryans knows the Shveta-dvîpa. that. in the order of spiritual forces. on the material plane. so to speak.” Even the Aztecs have their land of origin in the North—in Aztlan. blends into Tir na mBeo. what is meant is the solar path of the gods—devayâna—and the term uttara includes the concept of all that is sublime. from the West to the East.us. and the Nordic kings. this Nordic theme is. where Narâyâna. the “Island of Splendour. lofty.” the kingdom of Boadag. who were considered to be demigods and Aesir—semideos id est ansis—and brought their peoples victory with their mystical power of “fate. in more recent times. the “fair conqueror. the hero. is superimposed over another divine residence of the same kind. or Tula. In the Gaelic traditions there is Avalon. moreover. the Toltech also claim. Aryan—according to the concept of “Nordic. from which originated the pure divine race of the Tuatha dé Danann. as ideal of a dignity which. located in the most extreme North. traceable in the most diverse traditions as the recollection of a primordial Nordic civilization and fatherland in which.

and its intransigent and proselytizing fanaticism. signs. attributable to a large extent to Christianity. in the crystal-clear and yet potent experience of the supernatural. wisdom and aristocracy. which can be found even where no memory exists of an ethnic correlation in the strict sense. a galvanizing substance for all the other Asiatic-Southern factors of decadence which then penetrated into the structures of Rome.” burying the residues of the aristocratic spirit of the Pharisees. in subsequent times already bound to the destiny of the obscuring of the divine— Ragnarok—among the peoples dissipated in their strengths and their leaders. in order to show us a unique orthodoxy.” contained on one hand the secret of the origin. in the same way as.” On the other hand—and the preceding references already show it—history became metahistory: while the “Land of the Living.” and which emerged mainly in the so-called “prophets” after the defeat and enslavement of the “chosen people. the masters of lance and sacrifice. typical of this force and this civilization. of Apollo and Mars. and the Axe. in the feeling of owing its greatness and its aeternitas to the divine. successful to a considerable extent over an entire cycle. it influenced the lower elements and the multiplicity of matter. solar. within that primordial tradition. as well as to the struggle against inferior southern races. Thus. and therefore something which stands above time yet is constantly present. which was mysteriously confirmed by the Nordic insignia of the Wolf. The fall of pagan Rome is the fall of the greatest traditional and solar bastion. the totemic. the Nordic racial element. enemy of itself and of the world.” the “Fortress of the Heroes. the Eagle. the last universal attempt. The historical factors thus became spiritual factors. of those without birth and without tradition.of their values and cults. re-evoked the lower forces . their most characteristic deities and institutions. towards immortality. and sagas tell us in underground ways of a unique Tradition. sufficiency. to resurrect the forces of the world in the forms of a heroic.” the “Island of the Sun. and towards superhuman power: the road which can lead in large measure to traditional royal dignity. which had already created the collective sense of “sin” and “expiation. and virile civilization: a civilization which was closed to mystical escapism. in action as rite and rite as action. became a category. In its frenetic crushing of every hierarchy. the Semitic wave. detaching itself from the spiritual realm to which it originally belonged. and the greatest cause of the decline of the West. the royal tradition became Tradition in the transcendent sense. a general type of civilization and of conduct toward the superhuman. dark and barbaric. they revealed the secret of the road towards rebirth. Symbols. its exaltation of the weak. we have in fact the revolt of the lower strata of those races. on the other hand. The spirit of Israel. which was acknowledged in the Empire itself and culminated in the symbol of Caesar as numen. the collective. This is why pagan Romanity must be considered as the last great creative act of the Nordic spirit. where solar spirituality always towered over inferior forces. of the underprivileged. which was true to the aristocraticAryan type of the patres. the chaotic. to the “demonic” and irrational part of their being. its resentment against all strength. which are bound to the earth and to the spirits of the earth. and it is not difficult to recognize in the forces which mainly contributed to this fall the same forces which paved the way for all the subsequent deviations and successive degenerations which have led to the current state of Europe. where the correspondent pinnacles were always reached. or the “titanic. by whose domination the Nordic-Aryans had attained their splendid civilizations. a type which therefore can bring together their diverse civilizations when they reveal their spiritual formative force. was indeed a venom for the greatness of Rome. to the promiscuous. which was alive above all in the Olympian-warrior cult of Zeus and Hercules. In the Semitization of the Greco-Roman and then the Nordic world.

” the hero with the torch and the axe. After its secularization. the hatred for hierarchy. who had maintained themselves. In all the forms of modern society—and also in science. in short. Then the last great reaction: the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. In the same way. and difference prevails.” the “Killer of the Bull. liberalism. typical of the organization of a race of slaves in revolt. which today seems less restrained than ever before—so as to push individuals and peoples in a direction which is far from that which they themselves wish. the will of quantity. in the romantic. And if their emergence. the “Lord of the Sun. the purified spirituality and the autarchic ideal of the pagan philosopher and initiate. The so-called “barbarians” were in reality races which were closely related to the Acheans. sub-personal.” which a syncretic myth. whose ideal is no longer the warlike. It was the tradition of the Aryans of Iran. and of the élan vital. Then through political revolutions. This is how the . appears. quality. in regard to the material aspect of the already Asianized and Semiticized Empire. These can be equated to the castes of the shudras. in law. a galvanizing contact with a force spiritually akin to that to which pagan Romanitas had originally owed its solar greatness. and the emergence of collectivism. to a revitalizing flow of heroic spirit. primitive. and Nordic-Aryans in general.of Aegean-Pelasgian tellurism which the Achaean stocks had subdued.” of “Faustianism. assimilates with the Hyperborean god of the golden age. grows stronger. so to speak. the solar initiate. anarchist. Here is also the root of every modern deviation. the Semitic mysticism of the instincts. almost to present a decisive alternative for the further course of the Western history of the spirit. Lastly. collective element of man. above which the hierarchies of the three higher castes of the twice-born up to the Brahmins and the king understood as “a great deity under human form” had stood in India as form over chaos. and one fall follows another. the identical element of passion and excitement produced.” of the contemporary superstition of progress. the forces which myth hands down to us under the forms of the Nordic Rinthursi and the military formation of Gog and Magog. in the Reformation and in humanism. paleo-Iranians. the promiscuity of the imperial plebs—in contrast to the calm superiority of the Caesars. there reappears the original. one cause produces another. seemed destructive. the other force raised itself up once more against the Judeo-Christian tide. this mysticism leads us to the myths of “activism. irrational sense which craves a bad infinitude. But stronger forces impeded this “solar” possibility. in the illusory power of technology and the machine—the same spirit. the avatar of the ancient Aryan god of the luminous heaven. the so-called dark caste and the demonic caste. Later. the symbol of the one reborn “through power. Semitic-Christian mysticism combined Orphic-Dionysian pathos (which already for Dorian-Nordic Greece constituted a deformation of the ancient Olympian cult) with the popular mysticism of Isis. Before the fall. born out of the decline of the solar Egyptian tradition. whose way Alexander the Great barred with a symbolic iron wall. the collective and impersonal bondage born of mutual insufficiency. the simple greatness of the Homeric heroes. paradoxical as it may seem. from a higher point of view. the exaltation of “experience” and of “life”. in a state of prehistoric purity. to destroy the European spirit. paleo-Romans. anti-traditional. the same leveling will. a spirituality whose type is no longer the sacred king. it still amounted. up to the divinization of the wild. by means of messianism and millennialism. or the hero. but the saint or the priest who bows before God. These forces worked spiritually. through primitive Christianity. sacral hierarchy and glory but fraternal community and caritas. that is to say. At first they concealed themselves within the lunar spirituality which took shape in the Catholic church. There is more. and arose in the form of the warrior cult of Mithra. no less significant for this. dissolute nature of these forces.

the paths to the final downfall were opened. particularism. Even today some have a foreboding of it. as a mark of reaction. directly defended by the forces of the North. After the fall of this medieval civilization. The imperial. and chivalrous Orders. Its secret soul. through an obscure instinct. whose supra-political center was the Imperial Ghibelline ideal. evoke the symbols of the Swastika. whose militia was the knights of chivalry. in somewhat confused efforts. was what kept it alive. in the great revolt. They are those who. The force of Tradition passed from the visible to the invisible realm and became an inheritance which was handed down in a secret chain from the few to the few. the Eagle. must be appraised above all from this point of view. opposed to Christianity and faithful to a higher and more ancient tradition. What is expressed through it is a Nordic-Roman spirituality.ancient Roman symbol rises again in the world. and a disruptive humanitarianism. whose rite was the undertaking of the Crusades—much truer as the return to the idea of the mors triumphalis than in its outer religious impulse. They are often unknown men. crushed under the weight of a truth too strong for them. hidden in legends. and universal civilization of the Middle Ages. the great struggle: whether the West is proved right in its decline or rises up in a new dawn depends on it. after the outburst of those forces which led to secularization. and the Axe. or men who blaze like tragic meteors such as Nietzsche. after the destruction of this radiant European Spring in its first flowering. which now awaits others who will know how to reassume it and impose it anew so that it rises up hard and cold against their enemies. despite its purely nominal profession of Christian faith. . myths. from the Templars to the Knights of the Grail and the Fedeli d’Amore. feudal. still tied to the human and to the material.

we encounter various problems.The Problem of Decadence Anyone who has come to reject the rationalist myth of “progress” and the interpretation of history as an unbroken positive development of mankind will find himself gradually drawn towards the worldview that was common to all the great traditional cultures. As we penetrate deeper into this new (and old) interpretation.” From the standpoint of the latter. slow obscuration.” On the other hand there is “modern culture. so that it takes only the slightest push to knock them down. despite all the differences evident on the surface. for example. how was it ever possible for this to come to pass? There is a logical error underlying the whole doctrine of evolution: it is impossible that the higher can emerge from the lower. the whole of history is degeneration. which serve to inform and justify everything that is merely human. in pursuit of a life entirely detached from the “higher world. whose principle is identical and unchangeable. It is then a matter of the division of all cultures into two main types. On the one hand there are the traditional cultures. An example quite close at hand is the case of the Swedes and the Dutch.” which is actually the anti-tradition and which exhausts itself in a construction of purely human and earthly conditions and in the total development of these. or collapse of a higher preceding world. A double question arises from this. Other great cultures seem merely to have remained standing in the condition of mummies: they have long been inwardly dead. this question is by no means a novel one. inexorable extinction despite remaining as racially isolated as if they were islands. These people are in the same racial condition today as they were two centuries ago. This was the case. but there is little to be found now of the heroic disposition and the racial awareness that they once possessed. While contemplating the magnificent remains of cultures whose very name has not even come down to us. it becomes even harder to solve it completely. it would be . and which had at its center the memory of a process of degeneration. We can thank the Comte de Gobineau for the best and best-known summary of this problem. because it shows the universal decline of earlier cultures of the traditional type. First. and the decisive and violent rise of a new universal civilization of the “modern” type. subject to becoming and to “history. and also for a masterly criticism of the main hypotheses about it. as is especially clear in certain groups that have suffered slow. For there have been many cases in which a culture has collapsed even when its race has remained pure. In its literal sense. and the greater from the less. but it needs to be expanded by a few observations concerning a higher order of things. temporal. a greatness and power that is more than earthly. His solution on the basis of racial thought and racial purity also has a lot of truth in it. But doesn’t a similar difficulty face us in the solution of the doctrine of involution? How is it ever possible for the higher to fall? If we could make do with simple analogies. If we look at the secret of degeneration from the exclusively traditional point of view. The axis of these cultures and the summit of their hierarchical order consists of metaphysical. with ancient Peru. and sensed the inadequacy of the reasons that are usually given to explain it. but which seem to have conveyed. that giant solar empire which was annihilated by a few adventurers drawn from the worst rabble of Europe. even in their physical material. scarcely anyone has failed to ask themselves questions about the death of cultures. supra-individual powers and actions. foremost among which is the question of the secret of degeneration.

so to speak. For this we must be clear about one thing: it is an error to assume that the hierarchy of the traditional world is based on a tyranny of the upper classes. There is a natural law that everyone takes from granted: that every living being starts with birth. and why it possessed the power to divert so many peoples from any other type of culture. everywhere it used the symbolism of the pole. then. it is not only a matter of explaining the possibility of the degeneration of a particular cultural world. growth. Secondly. a virtuous one can turn to vice. a land that is conquered on the material level also experiences. it is not enough to say that we are dealing with a purely material and economic conquest. influences of a higher kind corresponding to the cultural type of its conqueror. not dualistic. for two reasons. rationalist.” For us. but also the possibility that the degeneration of one cultural cycle may pass to other peoples and take them down with it. if not of a spiritual victory. individualistic way of thinking. Everywhere that the Spirit. regarded as the stronger power. In this respect. without reference to other circumstances. the traditional conception of culture and the state is hierarchical. weakening. It must be concluded. completely alien to the traditional way of thinking.e. to the principles of “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” and “My kingdom is not of this world. that Western conquest almost everywhere sows the seeds of “Westernization. but also have to show the reason why it was possible for modern culture to conquer practically the whole world. it never lacked for means—visible or otherwise—to enable all the opponent’s technical and material superiority to be resisted. the modern. A healthy man can become sick. even if we allow that such analogies actually relate to the question posed here. it spoke of the “unmoved mover”. and disintegration. then come old age.. That view seems very superficial. the second aspect of our problem is traced back to the first one. That is merely a modern conception. This is a basic idea of the authentically traditional view of life. and to hold sway even where states of a traditional kind seemed to be alive (one need only recall the Aryan East).” i. at least of a spiritual weakness or a kind of spiritual “retreat” in the cultures that are conquered and lose their independence. in fact. The traditional doctrine in fact conceived of spiritual action as an “action without acting”. Its bearers could never subscribe. and strength. not explaining. that degeneracy was lurking behind the traditional facade of every people that the modern world has been able to conquer. but whose tradition had already lost its original power. in the long run. Tradition is the victorious and creative presence in the world of that which is “not of this world. There the degeneration amounted. We can state. But this is just making statements. to a knockout blow. But this has not happened.. Secondly. The West must then have been the culture in which a crisis that was already universal assumed its acutest form. On the contrary. anti-traditional.e. the material conquest is the sign. we have not only to explain how the ancient Western reality collapsed.easy to deal with this question. and as it took effect. it brought down with more or less ease other peoples in whom the involution had certainly not progressed as far. It is mainly a question of explicating the meaning and the possibility of degeneracy. so that these peoples were no longer able to protect themselves from an outside assault. of the Spirit. In the first place. For example. the unalterable axis around which every ordered movement takes place (and . and so forth. With these considerations. understood as a power that is mightier than any merely human or material one. which does not permit us to speak with contempt of merely material conquests. was truly present.” i. without severe reservations.

as well as its way of acting directly on its subordinates. an authority. it used the simile of the magnet. not through violence but through “presence”. The peaks. Thus the latter are fatefully attracted to the former. the destruction of Tradition. It is much more the recognition on the part of the lower ones that is the true basis of any traditional ranking. an unfocused effort.” Then the contacts are fatefully broken. This would be ridiculous and senseless. the “arctic cross”). It is not the higher that needs the lower. a mass that has lost its equilibrium and falls. the modern spirit. we can perhaps also grasp the sense of those legends that speak of mysterious rulers who always exist and have never died (shades of the Emperor sleeping beneath the Kyffhäuser mountain!). and to exist “only for himself. This decision is the only positive and decisive cause in the secret of degeneration. which depended on them. or have any personal interest in setting up and maintaining those hierarchical relationships by virtue of which they can appear visibly as the rulers. This is the secret of every degeneration and revolution. we have come very close to solving not only the problem of degeneration. on the other side. but also the possibility of a particular fall. at first imperceptibly. If Christian mythology attributes the Fall of Man and the Rebellion of the Angels to the freedom of the will. wherein lies the key to our question. which in the rest is only present in the condition of an ideal. This would indeed be the case if wild dogs were tied up and suddenly broke loose: that would be proof that the hands holding their leashes had become impotent or weak. Such rulers can be rediscovered only when one achieves spiritual completeness and awakens a quality in oneself like that of a metal . of a prestige. all heroism. now becomes an avalanche. and humanistic spirit. Are we perhaps not tired of hearing that the success of every revolution indicates the weakness and degeneracy of the previous rulers? An understanding of this kind is very one-sided. But things are arranged very differently in the framework of spiritual ranking. or of Tradition. to which corresponded the basis of the order that he would then destroy externally. of all readiness for sacrifice. Herein lies the secret. This is a metaphysical decision: the stream that traverses history in the most varied forms of the anti-traditional. Only today could anyone imagine that the authentic bearers of the Spirit. and a calm power which the most heavily-armed tyrant can never count upon.elsewhere we have shown that this is the meaning of the swastika. to cut his life loose from any higher reference-point. finally. If we understand this. whose real basis we have explained above. individualistic. This hierarchy degenerates and is able to be overthrown in one case only: when the individual degenerates. or in short. The essence of hierarchy is that there is something living as a reality in certain people. but the rest. but with ever accelerating movement down to the depths and lowest levels of the valley. and their lower condition is one of subordination less to something foreign. every force wavers in its path and finally breaks free. as we shall now see. remain pure and inviolable in their heights. that they manage people. than to their own true self. With these considerations. revolutionary. but the other way round. and. a premonition. pursue people so as to seize them and put them in their places—in short. when he uses his fundamental freedom to deny the Spirit. in the traditional world. the metaphysical tension to which the traditional organism owes its unity gives way. it always stressed the Olympian spirituality and genuine authority. all loyalty. then it comes to much the same significance. It concerns the frightening potential that dwells in man of using freedom to destroy spiritually and to banish everything that could ensure him a supra-natural value. of course. The European had first slain the hierarchy in himself by extirpating his own inner possibilities.

lonely. finds the magnet and irresistibly orients itself and moves towards it. and invisible peaks that are still there in the heights. A comprehensive explanation of legends of that sort. At another opportunity we will perhaps return to the secret of reconstruction. we must restrict ourselves to this hint. would take us too far. For now. .that suddenly feels the magnet. to the magic that is capable of restoring the fallen mass to the unalterable. which come to us from the most ancient Aryan source.

so that paganus refers to the peasant way of thinking: an uncultured. and was hence non-Christian. and is thus threatening for the first time in history to become a reality—no more and no less than that. the apologists had the bad habit of elevating themselves through the denigration of other faiths. bringing with it a Catholic ideal (in the etymological sense of universality) and a healthy duality. What are the main traits of today’s pagan outlook. One should consider. is now serving as the startingpoint for certain so-called pagan circles. apart from a few decadent elements and aspects that derived from the degenerate remains of older cultures. the word paganus became a decidedly disparaging expression. It is as though only the arrival of Christianity (ignoring certain precursors which are dismissed as insignificant) allowed the world of supra-natural freedom to break through. that paganism is a fundamentally tendentious and artificial concept that scarcely corresponds to the historical reality of what the pre-Christian world always was in its normal manifestations. meaning a small town or village.” I myself. Certainly the word for pagan or heathen. as yet unawakened to any truly supra-natural calling. But this does not alter the fact that with the arrival of the new faith. Next comes a rejection of the values of personality and freedom.Misconceptions of Contemporary Spirituality It is perhaps appropriate to point out the misunderstandings that are current at the moment in some radical circles. appears in some ancient Latin writers such as Livy without an especially negative tone. who believe that a solution lies in the direction of a new paganism. we come today to a paradoxical realization: that this imaginary paganism that never existed. In other domains there is nothing but superstition. the apologists obviously made a premeditated effort to highlight those aspects of the pre-Christian religions and traditions that lacked any normal or primordial character. or a purely profane culture of materialism and fatalism. paganus. and in Germany in 1934. To this end. sin. Such a polemical procedure led. This misunderstanding is already visible in the use of terms such as “pagan” and “paganism. It derives from pagus. Once we are clear about this. and a condition of innocence that is merely that of the natural man. All transcendence is totally unknown to the pagan view of life: it remains stuck in a mixture of Spirit and Nature. Out of this there arises first of all a blood-and-soil-bound particularism. then. as used in early Christian apologetics. which were grouped under the contemptuous blanket-term of paganism or heathenry. having used these expressions as slogans in a book that was published in Italy in 1928. which made it . or of tribal energies promoted to the status of minor gods. and religions. but were clearly forms that had fallen into decay. in an ambiguous unity of Body and Soul. primitive. in particular. letting in grace and personality. In order to promote and glorify the new faith. to the characterization of whatever had preceded Christendom. but was invented by Christian apologists. as necessarily anti-Christian. There was often a conscious and often systematic disparagement and misrepresentation of almost all the earlier traditions. There is nothing to its religion but a superstitious deification of natural phenomena. in contrast to the fatalistic and nature-bound beliefs ascribed to paganism. and the pleasure of sinning. doctrines. as its own apologists believe and declare them to be? The primary one is the imprisonment in Nature. and superstitious way. have cause for sincere regrets. Beyond this innocence there is only lack of inhibition.

for the metaphysical perfection of the personality. Moreover. Lastly. I have already pointed out that the Mysteries often signified the reconquest of the primordial state.e. and they all acknowledged Mysteries and initiations. in all its normal forms. The pagan understanding of the world and of man was essentially marked by sacred symbolism. and lastly the Indo-Aryan contrast between samsara. What most distinguished the pre-Christian world. the “stream of forms. Anyone who possesses any direct acquaintance with cultural and religious history. Such a summons was often metaphysically enhanced and refined and appeared as the natural consequence of the expansion of the ancient sacred state-concept. It was already aware of a healthy duality. blood. by virtue of which (as I have often emphasized) every phenomenon and every event appeared as the sensible revelation of a supra-sensible world.. and for the Spirit to triumph over the law of flesh. can see how incorrect and one-sided this attitude is. on the foundation of a tradition and a knowledge that were concealed through secrecy and exclusivity from the pollutions of an environment already in decay. “liberation” and “perfection. or the Nordic one between the race of the Ases and the elementary beings. Besides. i. and thereby achieves a perfect harmony between the inner and the outer. the classic ideal is that of a Spirit that is so dominant that under certain favorable spiritual conditions it molds Body and Soul to its own image.” namely the classical ideal. however elementary. of everything that does not entail a specifically Christian worldview. was not the superstitious divinization of nature.” and mukti. Hyperborean races. all the great pre-Christian cultures shared the striving for a supra-natural freedom. the Aryan quality was already associated with a “second birth” achieved through initiation. already discussed and familiar to all.” these people inhibit and constrict their lives through countless taboos in a way that is often stricter than the morality of the so-called “positive religions. and the false gods. i.possible to subjugate Nature to a higher law. for despite the inner lack of differentiation already mentioned in connection with races “close to nature. in the early Church Fathers there are often signs of a higher understanding of the symbols. As for natural innocence as the pagan cult of the body. also as the form in which the victorious presence of the higher world and the paternal Olympian principle sought to manifest itself in the world of . the Hellenistic antithesis between the “two natures.” between World and Underworld. nor a natural abandonment to the passions. As already stated. the spirituality of the solar. even if certain forms of it were obviously degenerate. but a symbolic understanding of it.e. but on the other side. doctrines.. to which was due the imperial summons that marked the ascending phase of the Nordic-derived races. These are the main traits of the dominant understanding of paganism.” And as for that which seems to the superficial view to embody the prototype of such “innocence. which is reflected in its universal religious or metaphysical conceptions. We have also seen that in the Eastern lands. the pagan way of life was absolutely not that of a mindless innocence. there is an aspiration away from particularism to be found everywhere in the “pagan” world. Here we will give only a sampling.” On this basis. that is a fairy-tale and not even in evidence among savages. Here we can mention the dualistic warrior-religion of the ancient Iranian Aryans. that was no cult of the body: it did not belong on that side of the body-spirit duality. and religions of preceding cultures.

and the Indo-Aryan tradition of the World Ruler or cakravarti. This was also the case to a degree with H. we might ask what exactly is meant by this “Nature” on which these groups are so keen? It is little use to point out that it is certainly not the Nature that was experienced and recognized by ancient. and largely continues to show. which were systematically misunderstood or undervalued not only by Christendom. and Freemasonry. If we were to make similar amendments in the spirit of true objectivity.” wise. it expressed the superior rights that must accrue to the spiritual authority at the center of any normal state. with definitely subversive and revolutionary motives. in opposition to the rottenness of every human “Culture. And as if this were not enough. To give an example. made up the myth of Nature as “good. Chamberlain. eliminating some of its aspects and emphasizing other. and telluric side. and wholesome. and enlightenment type that have been well-used by Liberalism. this was very far from meaning that they were fused. etc. It was the Encyclopedists who. which was a series of separate territorial and ancestral cults belonging to the non-Roman peoples. This having been said. spiritual and temporal. based on the glorification of immanence. in which this faith does not necessarily contradict the universal concepts of pre-Christian spirituality. thus it was something quite different from the emancipation and supremacy of a merely secular state. concerning the “pagan” unity of the two powers. more important ones. right up to the reappearance of these signifiers in the Olympian assumptions of the ancient Roman idea of State and Empire. but a rational construct of the French Encyclopedist period.. naturebound. maternal. and which is based at most on a few scattered elements of that world in its decline and devolution. whatever its political justification. But one must be quite clear: the Latin term transcendere means literally leaving something behind as one rises upwards and not downwards! It is worth repeating that the principal thing is not the rejection of Christianity: it is not a matter of showing the same incomprehension towards it as Christianity itself has shown. there remains the real possibility of transcending certain aspects of Christianity. particularistic paganism. often drags out and adapts the old clichés of a purely modern. rationalist. towards ancient paganism. traditional man. and it appears again in a certain Italian movement that has been trying to connect racial thinking with the “idealistic” doctrine of immanence. Finally. which were freely respected so long as they kept within their normal boundaries. which was the polemical creation of a Christian misunderstanding of the pre-Christian world. It would rather be a matter of completing Christianity by means of a higher and an older heritage. but also by the writers of “positive” history.” Thus we . There is a general and unmistakable tendency in neo-paganism to create a new. Many of these neo-pagans seem to have fallen into a trap deliberately set for them. S. In this respect we might recall the old Iranian concept of Empire and of the “King of kings. people often resort to an anti-Catholic polemic which. if it did not exhaust itself in foggy and dilettantish philosophizing. the possibilities would be overwhelming.” with its associated doctrine of the hvareno (the celestial glory with which the Aryan rulers were endowed). which is in the sharpest contrast to that Olympian and heroic ideal of the great Aryan cultures of pre-Christian antiquity. It would indicate much more a turning towards the materialistic. This. Democracy. As a solar race understood it. lacking light and transcendence. superstitious mysticism. often ending up by advocating and defending ideas that more or less correspond to that invented. of Life and Nature. had its sacred contents. The Roman Empire.becoming. Even the Emperor cult had the sense of a hierarchical unity at the top of a pantheon. too. is not the path taken by the radical circles we have mentioned. alas.

which have as their object the determination of purely abstract equivalences and mathematical relationships. where no differentiation is possible any more. but one cannot cross over to a profane criticism that seizes on some polemical weapon or other. one does not thereby attain the world of primordial beginnings. and Communism as more or less one and the same thing. Moreover. This would in fact be the very best way of reconverting those people with the best “pagan” talents to Catholicism! One must be wary of falling into the misunderstandings and errors that we have mentioned. the ancient concept of State and Empire always showed a connection to the Olympian idea. without really losing one’s level: in short. whereas neo-paganism results in actually politicizing the spiritual.” etc. it makes a strong dam that protects the area where transcendent knowledge and the genuinely supra-natural and non-human elements reign—or at least where they should reign. where one resists energetically every influence from confused. liberalism. In contrast. One must try to develop the capacity to place oneself at that level where didactic confusion cannot reach. the myth in question has absolutely no basis in natural history.” the cult of “life. Freemasonry. Every honest scientist knows that there is no room for “Nature” in the framework of his theories. Rome. . when they only apply to a partial aspect of reality. strict. of “natural religion. Misunderstandings of more or less the same kind arise regarding political thought. As far as biological research and genetics are concerned. which turns the relationships upside-down. passionate desires and from the aggressive pleasure in polemics. whereas the traditional understanding of the Empire is superior to both these concepts. the Catholic Church.can see that the optimistic nature-myth of Rousseau and the Encyclopedists marches in the same ranks as “natural right. fantasizes over the supposed Aryan nature of the immanence-doctrine. To restrict ourselves to a single example: Catholic dogmatism actually fulfils a useful preventive role by stopping worldly mysticism and suchlike eruptions from below from passing a certain frontier. One may well criticize the way in which such transcendence and knowledge have been understood in Christianity. just because their presuppositions differ from the plain thinking of the Folk? The Folk’s thinking along these lines threatens to lose itself in the dark. or to the knowledge of it that was accessible to such a man thanks to his Olympian and regal position. and that it cannot escape the crippling alternative of destructive internationalism and nationalistic particularism. Paganism is here often used as the synonym for a merely worldly and yet exclusive concept of sovereignty. objective knowledge of the spirit of the Primordial Tradition. the unity of the two powers meant something quite different. We have already seen that in the ancient states. which basically serve only to defend the common enemy. It shows that it has lost the genuine feeling for the hierarchy of values.. and thereby treading once again the false path of the Gallicans and Jacobins. What people call “Nature” today has nothing to do with what nature meant to the traditional. There is no sign of this whatever in the advocates of this new mysticism. we can already see the disequilibrium that would occur the moment one held certain laws to be final. where.” universalism. What shall we think of the attitude that regards Jewry. It provided the basis for the spiritualization of politics. finally and fundamentally. solar man. but that of the Counter-Tradition or the telluric and primitive modes of being. and the denial of any positive and structured form of sovereignty. humanitarianism. and where all dilettantism and arbitrary intellectual activity are excluded. nothing counts but the precise.

The structure of history is. only differences in qualifications. as.” It is not difficult to see that the myth of progress plays a large part in this judgement. America has a privileged role to play among civilized nations. In the First World War the United States intervened in the role of “the civilized world” par excellence. would emerge as a pariah. within the limits of the technological means at his disposal. then all natural diversity has to be abandoned. reinforcing the egalitarian doctrine of pure democracy. not even that of servant or sudra. Equally. that of the Indo-Aryans. In American society appearances are masks not faces. Each person can presume to possess the potential of everyone else and the terms “superior” and “inferior” lose their meaning. for example. The American “mind. They may be. The Americans’ “open-mindedness. “I think.” which is sometimes cited in their favor.” Apparent American defects are then described as the “faults of youth” or “growing pains.” Individualism and personality are not the same: the one belongs to the formless world of quantity. There is a popular notion about the United States that it is a “young nation” with a “great future before it. This is quite right. all life-styles are open to all.” The essence of such theories is this: that everyone can become what he wants to. proponents of the American way of life are hostile to personality. yet they are. The Americans are the living refutation of the Cartesian axiom. a person is not what he is from his true nature and there is no real difference between people. the other to the world of quality and hierarchy. Instead the modern pariahs seek to become dominant themselves and to exercise their dominion over all the world. According to the idea that everything new is good.American “Civilization” The recently deceased John Dewey was applauded by the American press as the most representative figure of American civilization. According to this theory anyone can be anyone he wants to be if he knows how to train himself. every notion of distance and respect loses meaning. His theories are entirely representative of the vision of man and life which is the premise of Americanism and its “democracy.” everything has the characteristic of being fabricated. in fact. To all organic conceptions of life Americans oppose a mechanistic conception. This is obviously the case with the “self-made man”. cyclical not evolutionary. lacks characteristic form and is therefore open to every kind of standardization. In a superior civilization. There is a necessary correspondence between the most advanced stages of a historical cycle and the most primitive. In a society which has “started from scratch. however.” puerile and primitive. At the same time. the being who is without a characteristic form or caste (in the original meaning of the word). It is far from being the case that the most recent civilizations are necessarily superior. America is the final stage of modern . The same goes for their “individualism. It is to be subjected to beings whose form and internal laws are precisely defined. therefore I am”: Americans do not think. The “most evolved” nation had not only a right but a duty to interfere in the destinies of other peoples. senile and decadent. If the basis of such ideas is accepted. There is a role for pariahs. in a society which has lost all sense of tradition the notion of personal aggrandizement will extend into every aspect of human existence. In this respect America is a society of pariahs. is the other side of their interior formlessness.

and leveled down until it is deprived of all spiritual life. vanity and the cult of fitness and health in a sterile sense. Some time ago I wrote that of the two great dangers confronting Europe—Americanism and Communism—the first is the more insidious. The typical American neither has spiritual dilemmas nor complications: he is a natural joiner and conformist. The woman has granted a material favor. they are “easy going” for the man who sees the whole sexual process as something in isolation thereby making it uninteresting and matter-of-fact. it is meant to be. Guenon called the United States “the far West. the man she plans to marry after a profitable divorce. American Morality The much-vaunted sex appeal of American women is drawn from films. American women will divorce readily enough when they see a better bargain. . which shows itself in the mental atrophy towards all higher interests and incomprehension of higher sensibility. The American mind is a feature of the regressive society to which I have already referred. In Italy it is a phenomenon which is rapidly developing in these post-war years and is considered by most people. at least as something natural. after she has been taken to the cinema or a dance. and is in large print fictitious. Life itself in American terms is entirely mechanistic. reviews and pinups. “Our” American Media Americanization in Europe is widespread and evident. effecting modifications of mentalities and customs which seem inoffensive in themselves but which end in a fundamental perversion and degradation against which it is impossible to fight other than within oneself. What in Europe exist in diluted form are magnified and concentrated in the United States whereby they are revealed as the symptoms of disintegration and cultural and human regression. The American mentality can only be interpreted as an example of regression. It is frequently the case in America that a woman will be married to one man but already “engaged” to a future husband. American girls have “no hang-ups about sex”. Americanization gains ground by a process of gradual infiltration.Europe. basic. A recent medical survey in the United States showed that 75% of young American women are without strong sexual feeling and instead of satisfying their libido they seek pleasure narcissistically in exhibitionism. one conscribed to everything which is immediate and simplistic. Thus. The American mind has limited horizons. The primitive American mind can only superficially be compared to a young mind.” in the novel sense that the United States represents the reductio ad absurdum of the negative and the most senile aspects of Western civilization. it is something like American good manners for the girl to let herself be kissed—this doesn’t mean anything. with the inevitable consequence that everything is made banal. Communism cannot be a danger other than in the brutal and catastrophic form of a direct seizure of power by communists. American women are characteristically frigid and materialistic. On the other hand. The man who “has his way” with an American girl is under a material obligation to her. if not enthusiastically. which. In cases of divorce American law overwhelmingly favors the woman. The sense of “I” in America belongs entirely to the physical level of existence. at such a level.

all too easily loses sense of its own identity. his working day life. The consequence of the “do your own thing” democracy is the intoxication of the greater part of the population which is not capable of discriminating for itself. It is pitiable to witness a European country so debase itself. after listening to an American radio programme. abetted by specialists from various colleges. “Who. In its extreme form capitalism is a system in which a man’s value is estimated solely in terms of the production of merchandise and the invention of the means of production. Thus. which is to say the most degenerate. On the contrary. Studies like Human Relations in Industry by B. Veneration for America has nothing to do with a cultured interest in the way other people live. Gardner and G. . The entrepreneurs and employers have come to realize the importance of the “human factor” in a productive economy. based on behaviorism. Without any criterion of superior and inferior it just follows the fashionable themes of the moment and markets what is considered “acceptable”—acceptable. which. The Industrial Order in America In his classic study of capitalism Werner Sombart summarized the late capitalist phase in the adage Fiat producto. pareat homo. Whoever wants to be modern has to measure himself according to the American standard. The rest of us are dragged along in its wake. Even the style of presentation on radio has become Americanized. can suppress a shudder when he considers that the only way of escaping communism is by becoming Americanized?” Those are not the words of an outsider but of an American sociologist. servility towards the United States leads one to think that there is no other way of life worth considering on the same level as the American one. In cases in which a worker is tied to a monotonous job which doesn’t demand a great deal of concentration. his feelings. and that it is a mistake to ignore the individual involved in industry: his motives. professor at the University of Princeton.It is precisely with respect to such internal opposition that most Italians seem weak. In appearance it would seem to signify an improvement: in reality this is a deleterious phenomenon. Moore have supplied a minute analysis of the behavior of employees and their motivations with the precise aim of defining the best means to obviate all factors that can hinder the maximization of production. a whole school of study of human relations in industry has grown up. James Burnham. when not guided by a power and an ideal. Our radio service is Americanized. Forgetting their own cultural inheritance they readily turn to the United States as something akin to the parental guide of the world. the studies will draw attention to the “danger” that his mind may tend to wander in a way that may eventually reflect badly on his attitude towards the job. The sociological investigations go as far as analyzing the employee’s social ambience. A new phase has begun in the United States where there has been an upsurge of interest in so-called labor relations. Some studies certainly don’t come from the shop floor but from the management. to the most Americanized section of the public. Such a judgement from an American should make Italian radio programmers blush for shame. Socialist doctrines grew out of a reaction to the lack of human consideration in this system. that is. This kind of study has a practical purpose: the maintenance of the psychological contentment of the employee is as important as the physical.

” On the other side of the Iron Curtain man is treated as a beast of burden and his obedience is maintained by terror and famine. The big businesses are run in the same way as government ministries and are organized along similar lines. Thus it is that in the so-called political democracy of the United States. Nevertheless. American businesses have a “pyramid” structure. the cry goes out for a return to the “real America” of unfettered enterprise and the individual free of central government control. the force and the power in the land. American “Democracy” in Industry There is a significant and growing discrepancy in the United States between the shibboleths of the prevailing political ideology and the effective economic structures of the nation. He forgets who he is. None of this is concerned with the spiritual betterment of human beings or any real human problems. They constitute at the top an articulate hierarchy. At first there was the “open frontier” for all to ride out across. this too is no longer limitless. They have coordinating and controlling bodies which separate the business leaders from the mass of employees. man is told he has reached a degree of happiness hitherto undreamed of. a land where anyone can rise from rags to riches. such as a European would understand them in this “age of economics.” where every possibility is there for the person who can grasp it. Rather than becoming more flexible in a social sense the “managerial elite” (Burnham) is becoming more autocratic than ever—something not unrelated to American foreign policy.” assuring the possibility of abuse and deception on a large scale of those many who accept a hierarchical system because they think it is .” even to the point of giving advice in relation to the most personal matters. A large part of studies of the subject is played by the “morphology of business. and basks in the present. there are also those who would prefer to limit democracy in order to adapt political theory to commercial reality. where he came from. propaganda. As Gardner. and non-adaptation “complexes. Moore. This is the end of yet another American illusion. and many others have shown. are becoming ever more self-evidently undemocratic. The problem then is: should reality be made to fit ideology or vice-versa? Until recently the overwhelming demand has been for the former course of action. that is to say the industry and the economy. That closed and the new “open frontier” was the sky.The private lives of employees are not forgotten—hence the increase in so-called personnel counseling.S. If the mask of American “democracy” were thereby removed. America: the “land of opportunity.” through every medium. Given the ever increasing specialization of labor in the productive process and the increasing emphasis on “qualifications. the limitless potential of industry and commerce. and no aspect of his interior life is neglected and every factor of his existence is drawn to the same end. it would become clear to what extent “democracy” in America (and elsewhere) is only the instrument of an oligarchy which pursues a method of “indirect action. In the United States man is also seen as just a factor of labor and consumption. Specialists are called in to dispel anxiety. psychological disturbances. In the “Land of the Free.” Studies corroborate the impression that American business is a long way from the type of organization which corresponds to the democratic ideal of U. A frankly psychoanalytic technique and one much used is to make the subject “talk freely” and put the results obtainable by this “catharsis” into relief. and the opportunities are thinning out.” what used to seem obvious to Americans—that their children would “go further” than they would—is for many people no longer obvious at all.

.justly such. This dilemma of “democracy” in the United States may one day give place to some interesting developments.

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