Tradition & Revolution
What are we fighting for? Every political soldier has to raise this question. Contradictory as it might seem, we are inclined to answer that we fight for Tradition and Revolution.
First of all, one should not confuse the Tradition with traditions, i.e., customs and habits.
The Tradition indicates the ensemble of higher-order knowledge regarding Being and its manifestations in the world, such as they were bequeathed to us by former generations. It pertains not to what is given in space and time, but to what is always. It admits a variety of forms — traditions — while remaining one in its essence. One should not confuse it with the one religious tradition, because it covers the totality of human activities — political, economic, social, etc. . . .
Following Joseph de Maistre, Fabre d’ Olivet, and especially René Guénon, Julius Evola speaks about a “primordial Tradition” which, historically, would make it possible to consider the concrete origin of a whole array of traditions. He refers to a “Hyperborean tradition,” coming from the Extreme North, located at the beginning of the present cycle of civilization, in particular the Indo-European cultures.
From Evola’s point of view, “a civilization or a society is traditional when it is governed by principles that transcend what is merely human and individual, when all its forms come to it from on high, and when as a whole it is oriented toward what is above.” Traditional civilization thus rests on metaphysical foundations. It is characterized by the recognition of an order superior to all that is human and contingent, by the presence and the authority of elites that draw from this transcendent plane the principles necessary to found a hierarchically articulated social organization, to blaze trails towards a higher knowledge, and finally to confer on life a vertical orientation.
The modern world, to Evola, is contrary to the world of the Tradition which was incarnated in all great civilizations, West and East. They are free of our ignorance of all that is higher than man, our generalized desacralization, materialism, and confusion of castes and races.
As for the term Revolution, it must be brought back to its double meaning. In its current sense, which is most commonly used, Revolution means the abrupt and violent change in the government of a State. The French Revolution and the Russian Revolution of 1917 are perfect illustrations.
However, in its original sense, Revolution does not mean subversion and revolt, but the opposite, namely the return to a starting point and movement centered around an axis. Thus, in astronomical terms, the revolution of a star precisely indicates its axial motion, its movement around a center that restrains its centrifugal force, thus preventing the star from losing itself in infinite space.
Today, however, we are at the end of a cycle. With the regression of the castes — the progressive descent of authority down the Traditional hierarchy of the four functions — power has passed from sacred kings to warrior-aristocrats, then to merchants, and finally to the masses. This is the Iron Age, the Indo-Aryan Kali-Yuga, the Dark Age of decline characterized by the reign of quantity, number, mass, and the unrestrained scramble for production, profit, material wealth.
Thus to be for the Revolution today is to want our European civilization to return to its original starting point, in conformity with the values and the principles of the Tradition, which happens, to borrow the words of Giorgio Freda, by “the disintegration of the current system,” the antithesis of the traditional world to which we aspire.
Edouard Rix, Le Lansquenet, no. 16, Fall 2002.