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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Yes, the modern world fails it

02 09 11 - 23:26


Writers like Paul Berman have already shown a connection between Islamist ideas and 20th-century Western Fascism, with its own atavistic hatreds of modernity. Some of these ideas have emerged on the political left, as well, appearing in Marxist thought and inspiring the anti-globalization movement. Their impact on the political and religious landscape has been profound.

But how did such ideas develop? One surprising source turns out to be a little-known group of 20th-century European intellectuals. They passed these ideas on to small groups of ardent followers, but their books and pamphlets gradually shaped a worldwide subculture of belief and devotion. Their loose-limbed movement, which began in the 1920's, has been called traditionalism.

One of the central documents of traditionalism is a relatively brief book, first published in 1927, ''The Crisis of the Modern World.'' Its author, René Guénon (1886-1951), born in Blois, France, to Catholic parents, had been a student of mathematics but soon turned to theosophy, Masonry, medieval Christianity, Hinduism and, finally, Islam. Guénon moved to Cairo and later seemed to retreat into solitude, fearing evil sorcery. - NYT


The central idea of traditionalism is that reality is a coherent whole in which patterns matter more than media. As a result, when we learn a pattern we should apply it to achieve the best results.

This is the direct opposite of modern post-totalitarianism, which is based on not consequences but feelings, appearances and other social and subjective factors. Post-totalitarianism works by neutralizing the individual by feeding it a stream of "freedoms" that lead nowhere.

The best voices for Traditionalism are Plato, Huxley and Nietzsche. Without a familiarity in those, no one has a chance in hell of getting what Guenon, Evola and Woodruff are on about.

But yes, the modern world fails it and we hate the modern world. The technology is great; the humanity expanding like a cancer, all-powerful lowest common denominator, political correctness and denial of reality that puts idiots ahead of the intelligent? Not so much -- it's ecocidal soul poison.

three comments

ESP
I like it. ESP - 03-09-’11 08:39
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