(Translation from Imperialismo pagano, Atanor, Todi-Roma 1928)
Let us conclude.
Today we must absolutely put a stop to Christianity.
Everything in it is incompatible with and contradictory to the ideals, the morals, the vision of the world and of man that would enable a race to bring about the resurrection of the empire.
Our sleep has lasted long enough. All the possible compromises and variations have been exhausted. It is time to say “Enough!” No more of Christianity embraced as a whole, in the totality of all its forms! The Latin race in particular must bitterly disavow any descent from the dark object that emerged from the Jewish slums of Palestine to contaminate us. Thus:
On an ideal and moral level, it is time to unmask Christianity’s enormous doctrinal bluff and to refuse to allow it to continue to parade around loaded up with all the values that have been superstitiously and unconsciously attributed to it.
On a practical level, it is time to become aware of the European danger and the decline of the West and to respond by reviving in the modern world the political and sapiential values characteristic of the Mediterranean tradition.
Ethical and religious Christianity today is nothing more than a name and a habit, absolutely external to conscience; but nobody, or nearly nobody, has bothered to abolish the name itself and to put its content on trial again, so as to start right back at the beginning, rejecting the “fact” of Christianity, its “tradition” and all the rest.
This is precisely my intent: to hold such a trial, demanding that every account to be scrutinized with inflexible severity, that all cards be placed openly on the table, and that every way out and every compromise be barred in advance. At stake are not more or less anticlerical polemics but rather a serious, objective examination, unbiased by feeling and belief. A cool-headed examination should suffice to blunt the ecstatic thrill and to unmask the true poverty and inferiority of the Christian vision of the world and of man.
With regard to fascism I declare:
Fascism… will blaze the path toward breaking up the monstrous political connivance with the Catholic Church, abetted by the intrigues of that secret and illicit association, the Society of Jesus. It will become aware that it has fallen prey to a suckers’ marketplace (marche’ de dupes). The petty political advantages to be gained are trivial when compared to the Church’s devious efforts to achieve monopoly control over Italy’s conscience by mean of public education and clever sophistries that polarize the fascist regime against everything that is not Catholic. To have agreed that a crucifix should be placed not in the universities, not in the coliseum, but on the Campidoglio in place of the eagle and the fasces is a blot without precedent that it will take a lot to wipe away.
This transpired because fascism still lacks spirituality and culture of its own, as fresh and vibrant as the warrior forces that brought it into being. The result was that fascism’s political triumph was unaccompanied by a spiritual-cultural triumph. This transpired because fascism is still crippled by a definition of empire as a simple political, economic, and military organization, based on the industrial-capitalist system and cast in the mold of British and German bourgeois and material imperialism. But such a definition has nothing in common with true imperialism, that spiritual, sacred, and heroic imperialism of ancient Rome, Byzantium, and Persia. The real explanation for the success of Catholic infiltration lies in fascism’s actual (though concealed) indifference to spiritual questions, whereby it did not hesitate to embrace new members who could solidify the material structure of the new regime, even at the cost of accommodating the most strident of contradictions.
Once fascism transcends the bourgeois-industrial definition of empire, once it embraces imperiousness (imperialita’) in the true, traditional sense, the problem will be resolved. Fascism will find its soul within itself, a fact that will paralyze all efforts to apply external pressure and render ever more acute the incompatibility between state and Church. “Incompatibility” not as understood by demagogic, anticlerical, or secular ideologies but in the sense that the empire would become the true spiritual reality, the immanent, powerful religion that ousts the dead hierarchies and empty devotional forms that have survived in Catholicism.
So if the “daring” that fascism regularly exalts is more than rhetorical bluster, here’s a first task: deride the arrogance that did not hesitate to call the king of Italy a usurper from on the high at the Vatican and reaffirm the complete dominion of the state over the Church. The Church must be directly controlled by the state. Its every organization must require state approval and sanction… Above all, it must be denied any role in the education of souls during the period in which the will is not yet formed and the conscience is not yet clear. (Though its continuing presence can be tolerated as a feature of popular belief, but only on a temporary basis, until such a time as the Mediterranean and imperial sense of life has fully revitalized everyone’s spirit, thanks to pedagogical training carried out over several generations.)
So much for Catholicism, which on a practical plane must distiguished from Christianity. The latter is mostly to be identified with the forms of Protestantism active in Anglo-Saxon liberal democracies. Here lies the true European danger from which we must protect ourselves, reacting ruthlessly to all the international, unionist, Masonic, anti-aristocratic, anti-Roman, socialist, humanitarian, moralist ferments with which it would seek to infiltrate Italy.
In the properly cultural field, fascism ought to begin by promoting critical and historical studies, not partisan studies but cold surgical analyses of the essence of Christianity akin to Louis Rougier’s work in France, published in his collection, Masters of Anti-Christian Thought. At the same time, fascism ought to promote studies and research on the spiritual side of paganism ( and work to diffuse such knowledge) studies extending from paganism’s true vision of life to rigorously appropriate (because many are not) explorations of the Mediterranean tradition in its primitive and metaphysical nature.
Let the following be stated firmly, absolutely, and unambiguously. We are not destroyers but restorers. When we appear to be destroying we are in fact rearranging and replacing what is on the wane with higher forms, forms more vibrant and glorious. We possess a complete, total, positive system of values, developed in close connection with the forms of contemporary civilization, a system that provides us with a firm foundation and frees us from any fear of the void as we demolish all the the negatives of European decadence.
From the standpoint of its praxis, Fascism must not betray itself, which is to say, it must deeply embrace those values of affirmation, activity, will to power, antisentimentalism, and antirhetoricism whose imprint it bears (especially in its purest manifestations). Values that are essentially anti- Christian. Values to be raised to a higher internalized and spiritualized form and freed from the inferior and provisional approach based on mere violence and material domination.
And here there is a precursor, a misunderstood man, who waits in the shadows: Friedrich Nietzsche. The Nietzschean experiment is not yet exhausted because it hasn’t even truly begun. What is worn out is the aesthetic-literary or firebrand(baionettista) caricature of Nietzsche found in characters like Corrado Brando, Stelio Effrena, or William II. But very much alive are values that Nietzsche heroically propagated despite no end of suffering, despite the rebellion of his entire being, which, after having given everything without complaint, simply collapsed. These values transcend his philosophy, his “humanity”, even himself. They are of cosmic signifance, reflecting the power of the Aeion, the Ur, the terrible fire of magical initiations. These are the values that are still waiting to be understood and taken up. They encompass the sounding of an alarm, an appeal for disgust, the call for an awakening, and a summons to participate in the great struggle in which the destiny of the West will be decided, whether toward twilight or toward dawn. Fascism must begin here: by beginning the slow, tenacious construction of a new and wondrous race.
Accordingly, education will be reoriented toward pagan and Mediterranean values.
The “myth” of the crucified God-man who suffers and loves will be opposed that of the man-God, a being radiating light and power, the summit of an imperial ethos. To a dualistic and transcendetal worldview will be opposed a vision of free and immanent unity, withdrawn into itself, matter for domination. To Christianity’s race of “slaves and children of God” will be opposed a race of liberated and liberating beings who interpret God as a supreme power that one may freely obey or do battle against in manly fashion with one’s head held high, immune to the taint of feelings, vacillations, and prayers. To feelings of dependence and lack will be opposed a feeling of sufficiency; to the will to equality, the will to difference, distance, hierarchy, and aristocracy. To the mystical communist promiscuity will be opposed firm individuality; to the need for love, happinesss, peace, and consolation, the heroic contempt for all this and law of pure will and absolute action. To Christianity’s providential vision will be opposed the tragic conception whereby man stands alone facing the contigencies of nature such that either he must redeem himself or redemption will forever elude him. Do away with “sin” and “bad conscience” brashly heap all responsibilities upon one’s shoulders, bar the door to any escape, fortify the innermost spirit.
No more “brothers” or “fathers” but instead a fully autonomous individuals, self-enclosed as if each were a separate world, rock, or peak, individuals clothed only in their strength or in their weakness, each and every one operating like an independent combat post that defends a distinctive quality, life, dignity, unequal strength, indomitable force. No more subjection to the need to “communicate”, and to be “understood” or to fraternal bonds or to the sensual pleasure of loving and of feeling loved as equals. All are subtly corrupting and violent forces that weaken aristocracy and individuality. On the contrary, the incommunicability must be celebrated in the name of absolute purity and respect. Stronger forces and weaker forces, the one alongside or against the order, loyally, coldly, acknowledging one another thanks to the discipline of the spirit that burns within but produces an exterior rigid and tempered like steel, forces magnificently infused with the immeasurability of the infinite as found in feats of war and on the battlefield : (this is the ideal). A state of absolute generosity and absolute cruelty insure that some men and races ascend, while others fall with a thud. Nothing “infinite”. Precise relations, order, cosmos, hierarchy. Solar and sufficient beings, masters who are far-sighted, fearful, distant, and solitary; who, instead of taking in, give out an overabundance of light and power, who resolutely incline toward ever more dizzying intensities within a hierarchical chain of being that comes not from above but from the dynamic natural interconnection between their natures.
“How beautiful they are, how pure are these free forces not yet corrupted by the spirit!” wrote the young Nietzsche after an ascent during a storm. In the place of Nietzsche’s “not yet”, I would substitute “no longer corrupted by the spirit” in the present context, the word “spirit” meaning the unreal: an outer crust of feelings, hopes, doctrines, beliefs, “values”, sensations, words, sensual pleasures, and human emotions. But the meaning remains the same. The world is to be cleansed, returned to its pre-Christian state. It is to be returned to a free, overabundant, essential state within which nature is not yet nature or the spirit, in which “things” and “forms” do not exist except as powers; in which every instant of life is a heroic event, made up of acts, symbols, commands, magical gestures, and rituals, accompanied by great waves of sound, light, and terror.
This is our truth and this is the threshold of our great liberation: the end of faith and the world’s emancipation from God. No “heaven” will hover over the land, gone will be “providence”, “reason”, “good”, and “evil”, masks for the terrified, pallid escapes for pallid souls. At last, those who think themselves men, unaware that they are sleeping gods, will be left to themselves: everything, all around, will return to a state of freedom; everything will finally breathe. The weak will collapse. The strong will assert themselves and will be rekindled as the “holy race of the kingless” of the ancient Gnostic oracles; the race of “those who are”, of the unchained and the unburdened, of reedemed justifiers of the world, lords of necessity and suffering.
This is our truth. This is the “myth” that we pagans oppose to the superstition of Galilee, the myth that we affirm today as central to the values of our race and to the restoration of the empire in the West.
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