Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic age – by Guillaume Faye
Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic age – by Guillaume Faye
Published by Arktos Media Ltd, ISBN 978-190-716-6099 (paperback) 907166-1905 (hardback) 249pp. Available from Arktos Media Ltd, Jacob Christiansen Senholt, 11 Murray Street, Camden, London, NW1 9RE. or online at www.arktos.com. £17.00 soft back £26.00 hard back (plus postage). Translated by John B. Morgan
|It was unkindly, but not altogether unfairly, said of the leading British Nationalist party of the 1970s that “its policy was ‘The Blacks’ and its ideology was ‘The Jews’”. The Movement in Britain may have moved on a little since then, but only the barrier of language has insulated us from an acute, and to this reviewer rather shameful, awareness of our poverty of political depth and thought compared to our nearest neighbours across the Channel in France. Despite occasional visits to our shores many years ago by leading lights such as Alain de Benoist and Robert Steuckers, the ignorance of the English-speaking world of the nature and content of the intellectual ferment of the Nouvelle Droite (ND), the New Right, its insights and its internal debates, has been profound and almost complete.|
No longer! This volume brings to the English-speaking world the ideas of one of the leading lights in this movement, Guillaume Faye, for which Arktos deserve our deepest thanks.
M. Faye was a leading light, indeed for many years generally regarded as second only to the group’s founder Alain de Benoist, in the vanguard of the New Right, the Groupement de recherche et d’études pour la civilisation Européenne, the Group for Research and Study of European Civilization (GRECE) from its foundation in 1968 until he parted company with them in 1986. After a successful career in French TV and radio he returned to the political fray with the publication in 1998 of L’Archaeofuturisme. Which twelve years later is at last available in English.
In this fascinating, thought-provoking and, in the light of events in the dozen years since it first appeared often prophetic work, Faye lays out his ideas, his critique of others broadly sharing his political and metapolitical space, and his proposals for the survival of our European race and civilization.
He begins by explaining his – at the time mysterious and abrupt – departure from GRECE in the mid-1980s. He does so in a thoughtful, mature, positive, constructive and not unfriendly manner which ought to be an – again shaming – example to us in how these matters ought to be conducted amongst those sharing a common set of aims and values.
M Faye details his differences from GRECE in a manner which indicates he respects the contribution they made and still make but begs to differ, sometimes forcefully but always politely, with some of the ways in which GRECE evolved and developed. An interested but so far uninvolved member of the public would be left with the impression of intelligent debate within a serious movement as a whole worthy of respect, a movement that remains attractive and worth becoming involved in whichever side one felt made the more convincing case.
As M Faye himself observed, GRECE and the Nouvelle Droite of which it was the core achieved a great deal of immense and lasting value. Indeed, one of the reasons for his departure from their ranks was that for work reasons he felt he could no longer contribute as he had done to a vision he still shared, and broadly shares. GRECE’s journals, notably Eléments, at their height laid down as M Faye puts it an “ideological barrage” which achieved serious attention from the Establishment media in France. GRECE was influential, even if loudly abused, in French politics.
Its Gramscian strategy of recapturing cultural hegemony, the general belief in society that its ideas are legitimate and normal without which political power can arguably never follow, was, as M Faye agrees, surely right (he argues only that it was not correctly followed). The current regime of Political Correctness, “anti-racism”, “equality”, “human rights” etc which began as the fad of a faction, the Frankfurt School, beyond even the Communist mainstream, is now the common currency of the Establishment in Britain from Tory “Right” to Labour “Left” – thanks to the sedulous pursuit of such a strategy over fifty years by its adherents. Deliberately taking over the battleground of ideas – the media, education, the arts – before moving onto the field of political action. So we who are its victims can scarcely deny this strategy works, and that GRECE were right to say so forty years ago. GRECE’s championing of pagan, natively European values and its challenge to Americanist “anti-Communism” as the core value of “the Right”, its opposition to the consolidating rule of an increasingly globalised and globalising merchant class and their moneygrubbing greed, and its championing of indigenous, inegalitarian values and ideology was also surely correct, and M Faye in no sense renounces any of this either.
What he does do is criticise the way these ideas have been implemented and advanced, and in some cases where they have led some of their champions. M Faye argues that the Nouvelle Droite allowed itself to be marginalised into an ideological ghetto, and failed to respond adequately to the rise of the Front National (which M Faye critically supports, whilst acknowledging its shortcomings, rather than merely hitching up his skirts – as others have – at its areas of ideological impurity). M Faye argues that the ND, like the “Political Soldier” group in 1980s Britain, disappeared up its own nether orifice in a fog of posturing rhetoric – “anti-racist, pro-Islamic, pseudo-Leftist or Third Worldist tirades which did not fool the enemy but puzzled our readership”. The ND allowed a basically sound valuing of European paganism to develop into a pseudo-religious cultism, which alienated potential allies such as traditionalist Catholics (much more a force in France than here). It also allowed a basically valid criticism of Americanism – in fact the values of Hollywood and the US liberal Establishment – to degenerate into hostility to White Americans – despite the latter’s essentially European origins and folk traditions.
It failed in M Faye’s view to see the inherent nature of the threat posed by Islam (here M Faye supports Steve Brady’s view expressed in Britain in the late 1980s and reprinted in our last issue – like Mr Brady he also warned of the likes of 9/11 and 7/7 years beforehand). The ND believed – as some still do – that the enemy of my enemy is necessarily my friend. As M Faye puts it “My friends of the Nouvelle Droite have an imaginary view of Islam. They believe Islam can be integrated within a model of European harmony and general tolerance, without taking account of the fact that this ultra-monotheism is an intrinsically conquering, theocratic, and antidemocratic religion that seeks – as General de Gaulle had foreseen – to replace each church with a mosque. By its very nature Islam is intolerant, exclusivist, and anti-organic”. M Faye argues that Islam fits Carl Schmitt’s definition of the objective enemy “he who identifies you as an enemy for the very reason that you exist, whatever you may do”. M Faye does not stress the point which strikes this reviewer – that elements of the ND supported one alien cult – Islam – despite the fact that it exemplifies in far more pernicious and unassimilated form all the alien, anti-European and totalitarian egalitarian vices for which the ND itself criticised another such, Christianity. Praising the fire whilst damning the frying-pan!
M Faye argues that this pro-Third Worldist/Islamist rhetoric – doubtless originally inspired by a mixture of being carried away by anti-Americanism and seeking futilely to curry favour with another objective enemy – the liberal-leftist media and Establishment – led the ND to minimise “the catastrophe represented by demographic-shifting immigration into Europe”. A catastrophe which, as M Faye rightly observes, is a one-way flow – there is no counterbalancing flow of Europeans settling the non-European countries of the world. Multiracialism only applies to us, not them!
Finally M Faye criticises the ND for lacking a clear political (and any trace of an economic) alternative vision to advance in the face of the disaster now overwhelming our peoples and our common civilization.
A point he moves to address by advancing his own positive ideas. For most of this book is not about a negative criticism of others but a positive advancement of his own ideas and vision. One coherently thought out and cogently argued. One which – although not in this reviewer’s view beyond criticism in turn – every thinking racial nationalist ought to read and carefully consider.
M Faye explains the important distinction, in his words, between “three levels of political perception: first, ‘worldview’, a global perspective that entails an idea of civilization as a goal and some general values; second, ‘ideology’, which consists of the explicit formulation of this worldview and its application to society; and third ‘doctrine’, which simply concerns what tactics to use”.
M Faye clearly bases his worldview on a commitment to the survival and advancement of the European race and its civilization, past, present and potential future. His ideology is based on “acknowledging man for what he truly is rather than what we would like him to be”, which requires “an inegalitarian philosophy of will to power”. “The essence of politics might be defined as the formulation and accomplishment of the duty of a people”.
He calls his ideology “Vitalist Constructivism”: “an overall ideological framework that unites an organic and daring approach to life with the complementary worldviews of Nietzschean will to power, Roman order and realist Hellenic wisdom. Leitmotiv: a concrete voluntaristic thought that creates order”.
This in turn leads to “Archeofuturism”: “to envisage a future society that combines techno-scientific progress with a return to the traditional answers that stretch back into the mists of time. This is perhaps the true face of post-modernity, as removed from attachment to the past as it is from the foolish cult of ‘keeping up with progress: the harmonious union of the most ancient memory with the Faustian soul according to the logic of ‘and’ rather than ‘or’. Intelligent traditionalism is the most powerful form of futurism – and vice versa. It is necessary to reconcile Evola and Marinetti, and do away with the notion of ‘modernity’ produced by Enlightenment ideology. The Ancients must be associated not with the Moderns but with the Futurists”.
This leads Faye to develop an intriguingly dichotomous vision of a future society. He believes scientific-technological rationalism and progress and a traditional faith-based timeless way of life to be equally valid, for different people and peoples. He points out that demanding that the peoples of the Third World forsake their ancestral “savagery” and become Westernised consumers “like us civilized folks” is profoundly “racist” as well as, given the numbers involved, physically impossible and liable to wreck the Earth’s biosphere in the attempt.
He envisages a society in which most of the population live in timeless harmony with the living land, cultivating it in traditional ways in a society of villages and small market towns, living by ancient faiths, be they pagan or traditionalist Catholicism or Orthodoxy (or Islam, in that faith’s homelands). Creating again a rich folk culture sprung from deep-rooted and largely self-governing communities. Organised into ethnically based autarchic states, according to the different traditions of the world’s different ethnic groups – for White Europeans, a basically democratic federal structure, for example. Whilst a minority in each state continue to ride the Faustian upwelling of rationalism and technology, advancing the frontiers of Science and Space, enlarging what the Race knows and can accomplish. And, indeed, for Faye does not shrink from the eugenic implications of genetics and the bioengineering and improvement of our own and other species it makes possible, what the Race is. The only practical way actually to realise, eventually, Nietzsche’s vision of the Superman, the next evolutionary step to which we are but the bridge. A technological minority, whose ideas are global in the sense that they span the world, and beyond, and whose knowledge and powers enable them to act, together where necessary with their counterparts in other states across the world, to preserve and protect the habitability, biodiversity and environment of the Earth.
It is to this reviewer an attractive vision – in the long run, think of the Shire of the Hobbits, with starships! Faye devotes his final chapter to a fictionalised portrayal of what life in his future would be like. A worthwhile and inspirational exercise undoubtedly, although the hero reveals the stereotypical Frenchness of his creator in an eye for the ladies, real and virtual! Some would also no doubt quibble with the details of his Eurosiberian Empire, an all-White federation of ethno-cultural regions (Scotland, Picardy, Padania, Catalonia etc) from Belfast to the Bering Straits, run by a rather enigmatic “Party”. But regardless certainly a better place to live than the world we currently inhabit. A world Faye rightly, I think, sees as doomed.
For Faye adds to worldview and ideology a body of doctrine. “How do we get there from here?” By revolution built on the ruins of catastrophe, is his answer, basically. Faye provides a chilling analysis of something that has been evident to this reviewer since his teens. This civilization is dying, as Rome and Greece died before it.
As Faye observes, it is “baroque” – stagnating. In 1910, most people in the West lived as peasants or in industrial slums, with the steam train and the steamer and the horse and cart for transport, dependent on singsongs round pianos and the music hall for entertainment, and prey to epidemic diseases like TB, diphtheria and polio. By 1960 life was transformed for everyone. We had essentially reached the present level – most people had inside loos, and fridges, and washing machines, and TVs, and radios. More and more drove cars, and flew abroad on holidays. The epidemic diseases had been banished by immunisations and antibiotics. Move on fifty years again, to 2010, and very little has really changed, Cars are a bit better, planes not much different really – certainly no faster than 1960s jets. Fridges, washing machines, TV, radio – more choice, a bit further refined, but in essence the same. Apart from the mobile phone and the PC/Internet, nothing has changed fundamentally in the West in half a century. Indeed, we have started to go backwards – forty years ago, we could go to the Moon, now we can’t; ten years ago you could pay to fly supersonically from London to New York in three and a half hours – you can’t do that any more either. But the one thing that has changed in the last fifty years is that there are three times as many people – though no more of our people, White people, now proportionately far fewer. And our society is more complex, and therefore less stable, more environmentally demanding and thus damaging, and more globalised. And a lot more selfish and consumerised. With lots more non-Whites in its Western core, and lots fewer Whites outside it.
Faye sees this all ending in tears. In what he calls a “constellation of catastrophes” – environmental, economic, social and military. Climate change, peak oil, resource exhaustion as more and more people scrabble for the same amount of planet, environmental collapse, pollution disasters, wars over water, social disintegration as crime rises and the family disintegrates, demographic disaster as aging White populations face burgeoning non-White colonies planted in their cities, economic and financial crashes getting worse as an ever more complex and interdependent global trading and financial system gets ever harder for anyone to understand, let alone control (Faye in 1998 predicted something very like the 2008 banking crash), the spread of nuclear and other mass destruction weaponry to ever less stable or deterrable Third World despotisms ever more likely to use them, the rise of religious – notably Islamic – fundamentalism in the Third World, new pandemic diseases arising in the Third World and swiftly spread by global air travel, and on and on. Some will not – some possibly could not – happen, and some will be circumvented or controlled. But any one of these catastrophes could collapse civilization. And it only takes one to happen. As with a drunk crossing a busy road, he can dodge some of the cars, and some can dodge him, but sooner or later…
Faye is much less alone in forecasting doom and disaster than one might think. His basic analysis is – scarily – shared by many of those in the best position to know. Not politicians, but their scientific and military advisors. It was the Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, who in 2003 wrote a book called Our Final Century?: Will the Human Race Survive the Twenty-first Century? – he estimated the odds as about evens! A series of retired Chief Scientific Advisors to the British Government have sounded off in similar apocalyptic vein in recent years. A few years ago Tony Blair asked his top military experts based at Shrivenham in Wiltshire to predict the likely threats for which his Government should plan in the next quarter century. The answer they came back with was the same as a late Roman Emperor would have got from his corresponding military top brass: “the collapse of civilization at the hands of invading barbarian hordes, Prime Minister”. They feared waves of desperate millions driven from homelands turned to desert by overfarming, heading for the one rich safe place they knew of and could walk to – Western Europe. Entire nations on the march, driven by environmental disaster to pour over the borders of civilization, first as refugees, then as plunderers, then as settlers. Just as swept over the Western Roman Empire, sixteen hundred years ago. Unsurprisingly this unwelcome view was little publicised and has not noticeably informed subsequent defence reviews…
There is actually little doubt in informed and thoughtful circles – not, sadly, the same as governing ones – that Faye’s constellation of catastrophes is the correct view of what to expect in the coming century. By 2100, world population will, they generally agree, have been reduced below – perhaps well below – a thousand million, less than a sixth of what it is now. One way or another.
Faye believes we must ready ourselves to snatch survival, and then reconstruction and advance, from the jaws of a disaster we, anticipating it, can warn of and prepare for. A disaster, and again I agree with him, we brought on ourselves. As Faye says “we have let such things happen to us” – “a ‘secret orchestrator’ has little power when faced by a folk determined to resist it with all its might”. Although it could be argued that our bane has been an orchestrator embedded in the internal logic of the global economic-financial system the West itself created.
Sir Oswald Mosley once said that no radical political movement would achieve power without a crisis. All that can be achieved beforehand is visibility as a credible alternative when the crisis hits. Faye is right that one, or several, surely will in the coming decades. Indeed 9/11 and the 2008 Crash are initial waves that have smashed against the breakwater of Western civilization since he wrote. We need to be ready with a clear understanding of what is happening and why and a clear, coherent and well thought out revolutionary alternative to the failed system and its ideology and worldview that will be crashing down around us.
That understanding and alternative Faye offers. There is much more to it than this review can encompass, and therefore reading Faye’s book for yourself is heartily recommended. In fairness, his publisher Arktos should seek out and try to make available in translation the alternative views of other voices of the French New Right such as de Benoist, who doubtless also have valuable insights to offer. But all this reviewer can say, after reading Archeofuturism, is that he regrets he cannot read it in the original French and that it has been a tragedy that language has so far sundered Europeans – in the Homeland and also in North America and Australasia – from pooling their ideas to analyse and confront a coming disaster that threatens us all. We can start overcoming that, and formulating a common response to a shared danger, by reading books like this. M Faye speaks to us all, whatever European language we speak ourselves.
Reviewed by Ian Freeman, Northwich, Cheshire
This review first appeared in the January-March 2011 issue of Heritage and Destiny (Issue 43). You can buy single back issues of H&D for £4.00, while an annual subscription (four issues) costs just £20.00. Visit the Heritage and Destiny page here for more details and to place an order.