Amerika

Michael Walker: A breath of fresh air (C.G.)

Scorpion was founded in 1981 (originally under the name National Democrat) and is the most important (if not only) British organ of the New Right, even if it has tended to blend the Evolian Traditionalism with the Nietzschean nominalism of GRECE. As long as the Russian empire lasted this magazine was a regular mouthpiece for the New Right’s vision of a European Empire, a bulwark of spiritual values warding off the materialism of the USA and the USSR. It has also articulated a concern with the preservation of Europe’s distinctive ethnies, and with ecology.

The original and still most important group belonging to what is termed the European New Right is GRECE, a cultural organisation based in Paris. The letters stand for Le Groupement de Recherche et d’Etudes pour la Civilisation Européenne (The centre for the study and search for European civilisation). The word is an acronym for the French word for Greece, which underlines the group’s strong sense of attachment to the Greek heritage in particular, with its cult of heroism, elitism and beauty, and perhaps most importantly, its pagan values and outlook. The group was created on 5th May 1968 by Alain de Benoist and several intellectuals.

The starting point of GRECE was to undertake an analysis of the meaning of ideas. They wished to preserve an identity, a collective identity as Europeans: on that they were agreed from the beginning; but that was all. Nothing else would be assumed, not the need to defend Christendom, not the Western world, nor NATO, nor any of the other bastions of the old right. All would be examined critically in order to grasp their completing meaning. Taking its example from Nietzsche’s creation of a genealogy of morality. GRECE examined the history of ideas in order to better understand the relevance of each idea in the modern world.

Pierre Vial, the general secretary of GRECE Michel Marmin, film critic and leading GRECE member, and Guillaume Faye, a new and passionate advocate of GRECE , confirmed the total break of the New Right with one of the most sacred cows of all in the old right corral; the West. The leading article in that issue of Eléments was written by Guillaume Faye: `This is the hideous face of a civilisation, which, with an implacable logic, has forced itself onto every culture, gradually levelling them, bringing all peoples into the gamut of the one-world system. What use is the cry “Yanks out!” when those who shout the slogans are Levi customers? More successfully than Soviet Marxism this civilisation is realising the project of abolishing human history in order to ensure the perpetual well being of bourgeois man[…] this system, this civilisation, which is eradicating the identity of the peoples of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americans has a name: it is called Western civilisation.[…] We are against the Western civilisation.”

Alain de Benoist has adopted a famous aphorism of Oscar Wilde for his own use: the societé marchande is one which knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. This is echoed in Faye’s assessment of liberalism as the creed which `tolerates everything and respects nothing’. To quote Robert de Herte again: `The inherent materialism of liberalism and Marxism is nothing other than the dissolution of the soul, the abandonment of all human motivation, which cannot be rationalised in terms of personal interest or immediate existence. The only world which is permitted to impinge on our minds is the here-and-now of my world. There exists no place in `my’ world for what has a value beyond me, which constrains me, which gives me a form. The `rule of quantity’, to use Rene Guenon’s expression, is formless, hic et nunc, nothing more. The paradigm of decadence: a falling off from spiritual to material, from soul to spirit, to bady alone: the era of homo economicus, linked closely to the coming of the bourgeois, the bourgeois not so much as the representative of a class as a type who imposes a certain system of values. The aristocrat seeks to preserve what he is, the bourgeois what he has.'[…]

The New Right can be described as a revolt against the formless: formless politics formless culture, formless values. That modern society pays scant attention to measure, order, style, is self-evident, nowhere more so than in the United States. According to the New Right, utility and ugliness are the deadly twins of the Western world. When a society reduces all facets of life to the dictatorship of economics, then beauty, honour, loyalty – in a word everything we call intangible – is made tangible, rentable, and thus destroyed. If it is true that style maketh the man, then the man created by the modern world is inhuman, deprived of what is specifically human, cultural, and reduced to his materiality.[…]

Above all GRECE loves life and with irrational resilience will champion the cause of excellence against the mediocrity of the egalitarians and the hypocrisy of the sectarians. For those of us who felt disilusioned and depressed by the level of political and philosophical debate in a Europe which is rapidly losing all identity, the French New Right has initiated a kind of revolution. We need to think through all our nations again from the beginning. Someone has opened the windows and brought a fresh beeze into a muggy, malodorous study.

[Spotlight on the New Right, Scorpion, No. 10, Autumn 1986, 8-14.]

 

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