Guillaume Faye in “Le traditionalisme: voilà l’ennemi” Lutte du Peuple, no. 32, 1996.

Translated by Greg Johnson In the circles of what we might euphemistically call the “revolutionary right,” or more broadly the “anti-liberal right,” one can observe the recurrent rise—like outbreaks of acne—of what one can only call “metaphysical traditionalism.” Authors like Evola or Heidegger are in general the pretexts—mark my words: the pretexts—for the expression of these tendencies, many aspects of which seem to me negative and demoralizing. These authors themselves really aren’t the problem. To speak only of Evola and Heidegger, the works of neither author—whose true ideas are often extremely distant from those of the “Evolians” and “Heideggerians”—are susceptible to the criticisms that apply to their right-wing “disciples” who are in question here. How do we characterize this “deviation” of metaphysical traditionalism, and what are the arguments against it? This mentality is characterized by three axiomatic presuppositions: 1. Social life must be governed by “Tradition,” the forgetting of which brings about decadence. 2. All that relates to our time is darkened by this decadence. The further back one goes in the past, the less decadence there is, and vice versa. 3. Ultimately, the only things that matter are “inner” preoccupations and activities, turned towards the contemplation of a certain something usually called “being.” Without lingering over the relatively pretentious superficiality of this outlook which prefers, instead of true reflection and clarity, the facile obscurity of the unverifiable and the free play of words, which—under the pretext of depth (and even, in certain authors with strong narcissistic tendencies, of “poetry”)—ignores the very essence of all philosophy and all lyricism, one should especially recognize that this metaphysical traditionalism is in profound contradiction with the very values it generally claims to defend, i.e., counteracting the modern ideologies, the spirit known as the “European tradition,” anti-egalitarianism, etc. Indeed, in the first place, the obsession with decadence and the dogmatic nostalgia that it induces make it seem like a reverse progressivism, an “inverted” linear vision of history: the same frame of mind, inherited from Christian finalism, of all “modern” progressivist ideologies. History does not ascend from the past to the present but descends. Only, contrary to the progressivist doctrines, traditionalism cultivates a profoundly demoralizing pessimism toward the world. This pessimism is of exactly the same type as the naive optimism of the progressivists. It proceeds from the same mentality and incorporates the same type of vanity, namely a propensity to verbose prophecies and to set oneself up as a judge of society, history, and the like. This type of traditionalism, in its tendency to hate and denigrate everything in the “present day,” does not only lead its authors to bitterness and an often unjustifiable self-conceit, but reveals serious contradictions that make its discourse incoherent and unbelievable.

the “modern age. any solidarity with his people. a spiritualistic mentality that judges all cultures and projects in terms of their spiritual “value” rather than their material effects. does not deign to descend and accept the necessity of combat in the world.” the communication of great thinkers. They defend “values. the very individualism that their “communitarian” vision of the world claims to denounce in modernity. From this. regardless of their origin and source. this type of traditionalism usually leads to an exaggerated individualism. a disillusioned disinterest in the destiny of their people.This hatred of the present day. unlike what one often sees. but nevertheless unable to get beyond it.. Under the pretext that the world is “bad. This individualism thus leads logically to the very reverse of the original ideology.e. provided that they seem to reject “Western modernity. In the second place. of a cause. since they are supposedly incapable of understanding it because of increasing decadence. Indeed. for example. but with the service of mere abstractions. of politics. the metaphysical traditionalist is tempted to believe that the only associations that count are “spiritual.” no matter what their place of incarnation. any interest in politics. for some. He is interested only in his hypertrophied self. a militant globalism.” They replace the service of the people. By this they reveal the true meaning of their discourse: the expression of a guilty conscience. in Christianity. comes a captivation with Orientalism. He transmits “his” thought to future generations like a bottle in the ocean—without seeing the contradiction. for others. but rejects any discipline. Some random examples: the choice to prize the intention over the result. One even arrives at straightforwardly Christian attitudes—on the part of “philosophers” who usually busy themselves fighting Christianity. of knowledge. the choice to judge an idea or a value in terms of their intrinsic characteristics rather than their efficacy.” is absolutely not put into practice in day to day life. not only with the service and contemplation of the self. who always thinks of himself as standing on the mountain tops. the traditionalist. which is similar throughout the world. and for all of them. i. to universalism and implicit globalism. that this materialist society “corrupted by science and technology” cannot understand the higher values of inwardness.” that their contemporaries are patent decadents and imbeciles. a “compensation” carried out by deeply bourgeois souls relatively ill at ease in the current world. . Our anti-moderns can perfectly well benefit from the conveniences of modern life. of community.

Traditionalism is the shadow self. It is precisely this idea. and temples and not to the countryside (the domain of necessity). etc. provided that he has sufficient “inwardness. of the construction of culture. the living cemetery of the modern bourgeois. Nobody is closer to the Near Eastern spirit of the monastery. palaces. Indeed. not in their “being” or their past. The value of a man or a culture lies in their acts.This last attitude. commercial civilization. philosophical and not theological. Everything that characterizes the European tradition. and that it is through the dynamic combination of will and action that all ideas and values are born a posteriori. a project. going back to the most ancient sources of the European tradition. in its material production. creator of its own traditions and forms or immutable ideas. project. of the transformation of the world. or culture from an exclusively “spiritual” point of view. everything the cults from the East tried to abolish. in the concrete and dynamic sense of the term. and rock ’n’ roll. ports. moreover. The traditionalist believes that values and ideas preexist action. . Spirit and matter are one and the same thing. obviously has very little to do with the European “paganism” that our traditionalists often profess. He does not understand that action precedes all. attached to cities. like collecting stamps or butterflies—and not a means of action. It serves as a spiritual supplement. an agreeable but ultimately pointless exercise. open to change not settled and complacent. is exactly the reverse of what today’s European traditionalists defend. exteriorized and not interiorized. as the museums are part of the civilization of the supermarket. that our metaphysical traditionalists—so imbued with their spiritualism and their monotheism of the “tradition” or their quest for “Being”—readily betray. It makes him believe that it doesn’t matter if he likes New York. In reality. as Goethe said. the spirit of today’s traditionalists is an integral part of Western. A culture. the dualistic dissociation between the pure idea and the concrete product. of the intellectual games of philosophical poseurs. The European spirit. the justification. a work are nothing but products. television serials. poetic. technical and urban and not pastoral. or project are intimately incorporated in its form. Paradox: nobody is further from European traditions than the traditionalists. was optimistic and not pessimistic. conquering and not contemplative. constructivist and not spiritualistic. one posits the Christian principle of the separation of matter and spirit. or that in it which is the greatest and the most civilizing.” The lyrical. by looking at a work.” The traditionalist is superficial: the slave of his pure ideas and contemplation. work. From our point of view there is no separation between the “value” and its “product. aesthetic qualities of a culture. at bottom he believes thought is a distraction.

rather than mount them on waxed paper. traditionalism maintains an absurd confusion between the “modernity” of European technological-industrial civilization and the “modern spirit” of egalitarian and Western ideologies (which are arbitrarily linked to each other). its hatred of the “present” is a good way. “anti-modern” and “antibourgeois” traditionalism belongs objectively to the system of bourgeois ideologies. more incompatible with the quality of intellectual debate and the reflection that makes one free and contemplative.This shows us the true function of traditionalist ideologies in the anti-liberal “right. even those opposed to the present.” Metaphysical traditionalism is a justification to give up any combat. devalues (sometimes to the profit of an idealized “traditional” Third World). Like these ideologies. Finally. to reject as impossible any concrete historical construction. Julho 9. and abandons the Western and American spirit. but for different reasons.” he declares it impossible hic et nunc and turns it into a utopian and regressive fancy lost in the mists of who knows what “tradition. Ultimately. 2010 Categorias: Índice geral de textos . . as an idealist always already knows that everything is an idea. Men of action—the true historical personalities—are thus devalued. They also reinforce bourgeois individualism by implicitly preaching the ideal type of the “thinker”—if possible contemplative and disembodied—as the pivot of history. hazy and obscure considerations. At the heart of its discourse. than to disembody them from all “political” projects (in the Nietzschean sense) and divert them into the elitism of bibliophiles and salaried autodidacts? Let us dare to liquidate the Evolians and Heideggerians. Thus traditionalism disfigures. the very genius of European civilization. inaction. any concrete project of creating a European reality different from the present day’s.” In this sense. a traditionalist is someone who always already knows that there is only one tradition. Because the traditionalist ultimately does not support the “community. and pointless metaphysics do more than cause fatalism. But let us read Evola and Heidegger: to put them in perspective. the traditionalist says “No” to the world and consequently undermines the tradition of his own culture. Its regressive utopias. from the point of view of “thought”—that war-horse of metaphysical traditionalism— what could be more detrimental to the spirit. Autor: arqueofuturista . Like Judeo-Christianity. a skilful pretext. and enervation. It is the ideological expression of pseudo-revolutionaries.