Julius Evola on Race
May 1, 2010
Growing interest in English speaking countries for the Italian philosopher Julius Evola may be a sign of the revival of the awesome cultural legacy of the Western civilization (see here and here). This legacy is awkwardly termed the “traditional –revolutionary – elitist – anti-egalitarian – postmodern thought.” But why not simply call it classical thought?
The advantage of Evola, in contrast to many modern
scholars of the same calibre, may be his staggering erudition that goes well
beyond the narrow study of race. Evola was just as much at ease writing thick
volumes about religion, language and sexuality as writing about legal issues
related to international politics, or depicting decadence of the liberal system.
His shortcomings are, viewed from the American academic perspective, that his
prose is often not focused enough and his narrative often embraces too many
topics at once. Evola was not a self-proclaimed “expert” on race — yet his
erudition made him compose several impressive books on race from angles that are
sorely missing among modern sociobiologists and race experts. Therefore, Evola’s
works on race must be always put in a lager perspective.
In this short survey of Evola’s position on race I am using the hard cover of the French translation of Indirizzi per una educazione razziale (1941) (Eléments pour une éduction raciale, 1984) and the more expanded Sintesi di dottrina della razza (1941), (“Synthesis of the racial doctrine”), translated into German by the author himself and by Annemarie Rasch and published in Germany in 1943. To my knowledge these two books are not available in English translation. His and Rasch’s excellent German translation of Sintesi had received (in my view an awkward and unnecessary) ‘political’ title; Grundrisse der faschistischen Rassenlehre (“Outlines of the fascist racial doctrine”) and is available on line.
Race of the
Body vs. Race of the Spirit
Evola writes that race represents a crucial element in the life of all humans. However, while acknowledging the clear-cut physical and biological markers of each race, he stresses over and over again the paramount importance of the spiritual and internal aspects of race — two points that are decisive for genuine racial awareness of the White man. Without full comprehension of these constituent racial parts — i.e., the “race of the soul” and the “race of the spirit” — no racial awareness is possible. Evola is adamantly opposed to conceptualizing race from a purely biological, mechanistic and Darwinian perspective. He sees that approach as dangerously reductionist, leading to unnecessary political and intellectual infighting.
Diverse causes have contributed until now to the fact that racism has
become the object of propaganda entrusted to incompetent people, to individuals
who are waking up any day now as racists and anti-Semites and whose simple
sloganeering has replaced serious principles and information.
(Eléments pour une éduction raciale,
Evola freely uses the term ‘racism’ (razzismo)
(razzista). This was
quite understandable in his epoch given that these wor
And in this respect, we need to repeat it; we are dealing here
with a formation of a mentality, a sensibility, and not with
intellectual schemes or classifications for natural science manuals.
For Evola, being White is not just a matter of good looks and high IQ, or
for that matter something that nee
Thus, racism invigorates and renders tangible the concept of tradition; it makes the individual get used to observing in our ancestors not just a series of the more or less illustrious “dead,” but rather the expression of something still alive in ourselves and to which we are tied in our interior. We are the carriers of a heritage that has been transmitted to us and that we need to transmit – and in this spirit it is something going beyond time, something indicating, what we called elsewhere, ‘the eternal race.’ (Eléments, p. 31)
In other wor
Evola offers the same views in his more expanded
albeit by using a somewhat different wording. Racial awareness for Evola
requires moral courage and impeccable character and not just physical prowess.
It is questionable to what extent many White racists today, in a self-proclaimed
“movement” of theirs, with their silly paraphernalia on public display, are
capable of such a mental exercise.
Race means superiority, wholeness, decisiveness in life. There are common people and there are people “of race”. Regardless of which social status they belong to, these people form an aristocracy (Grundrisse, p.17).
this particular regard, the racial doctrine rejects the doctrine of the
environment, known to be an accessory to liberalism, to the idea of humanity and
to Marxism. These false doctrines have picked up on the theory of the
environment in order to defend the dogma of fundamental equality of all people.
(Grundrisse, p. 17)
Our position, when we claim that race exists as much in the body as in the
spirit, goes beyond these two points of view. Race is a profound force manifesting itself in the realm of the body (race of the body) as in the realm of the spirit (race
of the interior, race of the sprit).
In its full meaning the purity of race occurs when these two
manifestations coincide; in other wor
Racial-Spiritual Involution and the present Dark Ages
Evola is aware of the dangerous dichotomy between the race of the spirit
and the race of the body that may occur within the same race — or, as we call
it, within the same ingroup. This tragic phenomenon occurs as a result of
selecting the wrong mates, miscegenation, and genetic flaws going back into the
White man’s primordial times. Modern social decadence also fosters racial chaos.
Evola argues that very often the “race of the body” may be perfectly pure, with
the “race of the spirit” being already tainted or destroyed. This results in a
cognitive clash between a distorted perception of objective reality vs.
subjective reality, and which sooner or later lea
Evola harbors no illusions about master race; he advocates racial
hygiene, always emphasizing the spiritual aspect of the race first. On a
practical level, regarding modern White nationalists, Evola’s wor
Studying racial psychology is a crucial task for all White racialists — an endeavor in which Evola was greatly influenced by the German racial scholar and his contemporary Franz Ludwig Clauss.
Furthermore, a special circumstance must be singled out, confirming the already stated fact that races that have best biologically preserved the Nordic type are inwardly sometimes in a higher degree of regression than other races of the same family. Some Nordic nations — especially the Anglo-Saxons — are those in which the tradition-conditioned normal relationship between the sexes has been turned upside down. The so-called emancipation of woman — which in reality only means the mutilation and degradation of woman — has actually started out among these nations and has been most widespread among them, whereas this relationship still retains something of a tradition-based view among other nations, regardless of it its bourgeois or its conventional echo. (Grundrisse p. 84).
Evola is well aware of the complexity of understanding race as well as
our still meager knowledge of the topic. He is well aware that race cannot be
just the subject of biologists, but also of paleontologists,
psycho-anthropologists and mystics, such as the French mystic
whom he knew well and whom he often quotes.
Following in Evola’s footsteps we may raise a haunting question. Why
individuals of the same White race, i.e. of the same White in-group frequently
do not understand each other? Why is it that the most murderous wars have
occurred within the same race, i.e. within the same White ingroup, despite the
fact that the European ingroup is more or less biologically bonded together by
mutual blood ties? One must always
keep in mind that the bloodiest wars in the 20th century occurred not between
two racially opposed out-groups, but often within the same White ingroup. The
level of violence between Whites and Whites during the American civil war, the
savagery of the intra-White civil war in Spain from 1936 to 1939,
the degree of mutual hatred ami
There are actually too many cases of people who are somatically of the same
race, of the same tribe, indeed who are fathers and sons of the same blood in
the strict sense of the word and, yet who cannot “understand” each
A demarcation line separates their souls; their way of feeling and judging is
different and their common race of the body cannot do much about it, nor their
common blood. The impossibility of
mutual understanding lies therefore on the level of supra-biology (“überbiologische
Ebene”). Mutual understanding and hence real togetherness, as well as deeper
unity, are only possible where the common "race of the soul" and the "spirit"
In order to understand his political and moral predicament, the White man must
therefore delve into myths of his prehistory and look for his faults. For Evola,
we are all victims of rationalism, Enlightenment and positivistic sciences that
keep us imprisoned in a straitjacket of “either-or,” always in search for causal
and rational explanations. Only by grasping the supraracial
(superraza) meaning of ancient
European myths and by using them as role models, can we come to terms with the
contemporary racial chaos of the modern system.
It is absolutely crucial to grasp the living significance of such a change of
perspectives inherent to racist conceptions; the superior does not derive from the inferior. In the mystery of our
blood, in the depth of our most abysmal of our being, resides the ineffaceable
heredity of our primordial times. This is not heredity of brutality of bestial
and savage instincts gone astray, as argued by psychoanalysis, and which, as one
may logically conclude, derive from “evolutionism” or Darwinism. This heredity
of origins, this heredity which comes from the deepest depth of times is the
heredity of the light.
Briefly, Evola rejects the widespread idea that we have evolved from exotic African monkeys, as the standard theory of evolution goes, and which is still widely accepted by modern scientists. He believes that we have now become the tainted progeny of the mythical Hyperborean race, which has significantly racially deteriorated over the eons and which has been adrift both in time and space. Amidst the ruins of the modern world, gripped by perversion and decadence, Evola suggest for new political elites the two crucial criteria, “the character and the form of the spirit, much more than intelligence.” As a racial mystic, Evola warns:
Because the concept of the world can be much more precise with a man without instruction than with a writer; it can be more solid with a soldier, or a peasant loyal to his land, than with a bourgeois intellectual, professor, or a journalist. (quoted in Alain de Benoist’s, Vu de droite, 1977, p. 435)
We could only add that the best cultural weapons for our White
“super-race” are our common Indo-Aryan
myths, our sagas, our will to power — and our inexorable sense of the tragic.
Tom Sunic (http://www.tomsunic.info; http://doctorsunic.netfirms.com) is author, translator, former US professor in political science and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Third Position. His new book, Postmortem Report: Cultural Examinations from Postmodernity, prefaced by Kevin MacDonald, has just been released. Email him
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