Credit to Roman Sandino (@sommerwild)
This letter is addressed to the rational fascists, reactionaries and dissident conservatives. We didn’t want to go this far, but we are forced to speak out and condemn a certain group of people who are doing us more harm than good in our struggle
A spectre haunts the dissidents: the spectre of modernity. After the wars of the past century, with their mass movements dissolved and the impulses of reaction appeased, a pathetic and, without sounding light on the epithet, degenerate figure stands over the grave of the projects parallel and opposed to liberalism. We are referring to the ideological resurrection of fascism or, more fundamentally, of two of its constituent traditions: Futurism and Socialism, in the current spaces of dissident thought.
We can say several things about futurism. Bastard son of the Enlightenment, its aesthetic obsession with movement also permeated its ideological contributions, clouding the perspective of its adherents to the point of making them worship war as an end, bringing them closer to a kind of decadence. At its root it possessed that progressive impulse of irrational advancement and destruction, as Marinetti’s words in his 1909 Manifesto of Futurism denote:
“…a roaring car that seems to run on shrapnel, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace… Why should we look at our own backs, if we want to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible? Time and Space died yesterday; we already live in the absolute, since we have already created the eternal omnipresent speed…”
That “absolute” that they inhabit represents the foundation of their modern inheritance, the separation of the human being from higher notions that subordinate him. Implicitly, the ideal of speed presupposes an individual being separated from all structures that govern him, previous structures above them all, and part of an escape is precisely how fast one runs away from something. Thus, the Futurists’ hatred of museums and academies is manifest, showing a disdain, perhaps unacknowledged, for traditional forms. It is an artistic avant-garde without direction that influenced the fascists in their aesthetic search, who dressed it in Roman attire and thought it was a distant heritage, when in reality it was a cold, rectilinear, inhuman innovation.
It is precisely this inhuman aesthetic character that the new fascists apply to their ideas about the role of authority over man. They renounce progress only because it is not violent and savage enough, and also because it goes into matters that are alien to the demos, because at heart fascisms are nothing but the intoxication of the masses, and therefore give the impression of elevating them, of putting them at the service of higher questions such as the nation and the fatherland, while in reality it leaves them stranded in ruins, and leaves them lost in materialism because, however noble the struggles in the name of the land of the fathers may be, they are still earthly struggles.
The denial of transcendence metastasizes to the rest of the intellectual edifice, and that is where we find the intersection between the new fascists and communism. By declaring themselves heirs to modernity, by celebrating the beheading of kings and placing an amorphous mass at the centre of the state, imitating the blurred notion of speed that they put at the centre of their aesthetic, and the chaotic emptiness of their non-existent religious sensibility, they have denied any idea of stable governance. Power is not sacred in their eyes, but is like a mushroom emerging from the ground, the result of republican agreements, and as such is fragile. There is no distance between the ruler and the ruled, their union lies in something that in turn does not distance itself from them, again it is brought to the earth, but the earth is only that without a notion of divinity. Indeed, all citizens are equal as long as they share a number of particularities and exist in a given space. We only have to deny the nation to find ourselves, again, at the end game of modernity.
As with its modernist relatives, the new fascism seeks to destroy the intermediaries of governance. In its attempt to subordinate all social authority to the power of the modern state, a product of its own informal act of state forging that does not admit the sacred nature of power, its defenders develop ideas to mobilize the periphery against institutions of order such as the Church. Hence, their dysfunctional concept of atheological meritocracy attacks particularly the nobility and the clergy, strengthening the position of Power as the only centre around which they are all one and the same. This is a recipe for chaos, since it cancels out any idea of continuation, of legitimate transmission of Power, and puts society in conflict. Their blindness to the past also blinds them to the future. We did not get to see the Duce’s death in a peaceful environment, nor that of Hitler, but neither possessed a formal heir and the question of who would end up leading the project was so open as to allow cataclysms within the structure.
These governance complications coexisted with reactionary impulses, no doubt, but that is the difference between the old fascism and the new one. Now it renounces what made it tolerable, what gave it a certain benignity and what could make it useful as a mechanism of political stability. It is among the most perverted and ignorant men of historical fascism that the new fascists draw their materialistic, pro-anarchic, Jacobin ideas, and even in some communist butchers they see models to follow. If the old fascism united the figure of the rex with that of the dux, or subordinated it, the new one denies that auctoritas is in any way subject to divine imperatives. It is born and dies with a sadistic leader, whether at the hands of liberals, reds, or its own brothers.
That soft progressivism is not solved by tantrums and wanton killing is clear to any reactionary. That is why we must distance our political identity from fascism and turn to more worthy forms of reaction to liberal hegemony. We must formulate our ideological claims outside of fascism as fascism is too neurotic, too unstable; it is another aggressive expression of fetishist modernism, another degeneration of the concept of authority. The fascist state is totalitarian not because it is strong, but because its power is insecure. It controls everyone, militarizes everything and intervenes everywhere because it is afraid that somewhere a suitor will appear, and the suitor appears because of the instability of his own materialistic premises that do not recognize in a coherent way the sacred principle of authority. This is a huge point of contention for the reactionary.
The traditional state is organic and not totalitarian, several have correctly claimed in many ways. In its empire it admits zones of partial autonomy because it coordinates and integrates into a superior unit of forces whose freedom it recognizes as subordinate to this concept of divinely delegated authority. It is his strength and security of command that allows him to assign responsibility as he sees fit, and not as his own insecurities impose. If he resorts to brute force and centralization, he does so at critical moments, and it is a formally recognized centralization to defend the whole against greater threats; the fascist state, by contrast, is dominated by the masses and lives for the masses, it fears anyone who stands between it and the masses, and uses them to destroy.
In other words, the traditional state is omnia potens, not omnia facens; it occupies the center, acts without complexes, asserts itself when needed, but does not intervene in every aspect of life, nor does it attack everything. The general idea is that of a centre around which other centres that shape the social fabric revolve, all of them denying themselves before the absolute when necessary, all of them sharing a common tradition. The center directs everything with true auctoritas, as God would do, and in the name of God, above all.
Now, historically, we could say that the so-called social nationalism, or revolutionary variant, which was conceived as a skeleton or complement to the fascism of the 20th century, failed spectacularly, and by existing within fascism itself, it did so doubly. Radical ideas were largely purged by the Germans by 1934, when Hitler, like the pragmatist he was, decided to massacre the Strasserites and other remnants of Prussian socialism. He saw them as a threat to the policies he wanted to impose, such as the privatization of businesses, which he could not do for logistical reasons, but that is another matter. The reality of power saw that utopia was more of a massacre than was needed.
In France, the so-called “neo-socialists” of Marcel Déat, who gained some prominence in the government of Marshal Pétain, despite the more religious approach of the latter, pressed for the application of neo-Jacobin and revolutionary policies, trying to reignite the flame of the unstable and nefarious first republic. This caused the marginalization of reactionary ideals, as they pressed on totally with the German occupation, as well as alienating the traditionalist axis at the top, which at that time saw the French nation in danger, as we explained in another article. This is why the reactionary leadership trusted de Gaulle along with other disillusioned Petainists, who saw in the General the true French Catholic values.
Meanwhile, in Spain, the overvalued Jonsian branch, led by Ramiro Ledesma Ramos, was more of a hindrance than a help in the effort of the dissidents to build a benign Spanish fascism. The JONS proposed things contrary to the policies really needed, because of their absorption of modernist futurism. They argued that anarchy was Spain’s true spirit in an attempt to ally with the anarchist CNT, and that the USSR was friendly to their ideals. After the estrangement between Ledesma and José Antonio in 1934, Falange fell into irrelevance, and with Falange went the resentful Jonsians, too. That rupture amply demonstrated that the tendency with the greatest ideological consistency, and with the greatest stability and true statesmanship of the Spanish dissidents, was that sponsored by Carlism; it should be added that the only Jonsian in the victorious government, Girón de Velasco, was a staunch traditionalist and loyal to Franco until his last years of life, while young he was a Jonsian militant.
To conclude this open letter, I urge our opponents to ask themselves: Why should you believe in an idea that corrupts the objective you are aiming for, and that in the long run will harm your nation more than the efforts of any doctrine declared ‘enemy’ of it? Why will you make it prey to terrible scourges on your people for an infantile fetish for aesthetics? What is wrong with millennial wisdom of our ancestors, with the acceptance of tradition as the generating and ordering model of human orders?
And to our fellow dissidents with brains: what are you waiting for to act as one? There are now many who are confused, whom we can help. This is really the time to define a true dissidence, one that can break with the liberal order once and for all, and effectively so.
Let there be no return to killing and terror; let the Robespierres be purged of our restoration projects so that we are not dominated by the perfidy of sociopaths and false Caesars. Although many may consider it so, the struggle for good, beauty and truth, today transformed into politics, is not a game, nor a source of identities, of -isms to put in a social network to make offensive jokes with a group of socially dysfunctional strangers. It is about building real community and real alternatives to discourage the powers that be, or constituting new centres of power that will foster our aspirations to raise all that is good and to bring the good closer to our own peoples, to that which is ours.
‘Reactionary’ is not an insult, we know well, but a compliment well received by those who admit the tendency to entropy, the drift of the so-called third position, the rottenness in modernity. For well-being is not measured only in the capacity of our machines, nor in the speed of cars, nor in how mixed up are the people of better or worse dispositions. Well-being is defined by authentic order and coherent authority. Well-being is religion, the well understood and well loved homeland; well-being is reaction, and all that is good is reactionary.
Let the standard-bearers of the revolution drown in their own anger, as their predecessors did. We will keep reacting!