Julius Evola

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Danger reawakens the spirit.

Julius Evola (19 May 189811 June 1974) was an Italian far-right philosopher. Evola regarded his values as aristocratic, monarchist, masculine, traditionalist, heroic, and defiantly reactionary. An eccentric thinker in Fascist Italy, he also had ties to Nazi Germany; in the post-war era, he was an ideological mentor of the Italian neo-fascist and militant Right.


  • Christianity is at the root of the evil that has corrupted the West. This is the truth, and it does not admit uncertainty. In its frenetic subversion of every hierarchy, in its exaltation of the weak, the disinherited, those without lineage and without tradition; in its call to "love", to "believe", and to yield; in its rancor toward everything that is force, self-sufficiency, knowledge, and aristocracy; in its intolerant and proselytizing fanaticism, Christianity poisoned the greatness of the Roman Empire. Enemy of itself and of the world, this dark and barbarous wave remains the principal cause of the West's decline.
    • Imperialismo Pagano (1928), as quoted in Strange Rites, New Religions for a Godless World p. 219, Tara Isabella Burton, PublicAffairs (2020); See also A Primer of Italian Fascism p. 284, Jeffrey Thompson Schnapp, Maria G. Stampino, Olivia E. Sears, UNL Press (2020)
  • The enormous and spontaneous spread of jazz in the modern world shows that meanings no different from those of the physico-cerebral "classical" music, which superseded nineteenth-century bourgeois melodrama and pathos, have in fact thoroughly penetrated the younger generation. But there are two sides to this phenomenon. Those who once went crazy for the waltz or delighted in the treacherous and conventional pathos of melodrama, now find themselves at ease surrounded by the convulsive-mechanical or abstract rhythms of recent jazz, both "hot" and "cool," which we must consider as more than a deviant, superficial vogue. We are facing a rapid and central transformation of the manner of listening, which is an integral part of that complex that defines the nature of the present. Jazz is undeniably an aspect of the resurfacing of the elemental in the modern world, bringing the bourgeois epoch to its dissolution.
    • Ride the Tiger (1930)
  • The good fighter does "what has to be done" and does not let himself be troubled by any scepticism. [...] Given the ineptitude of the existing political groups, which, as is well known, have often forced qualified elements to move away from them, and given that what would have been desirable did not occur, which is to say, a political party as a mere force of manoeuvre in the present time, but absolutely disciplined and controlled by a superordinated group, owner of a precise inner doctrine not to be paraded in the common political struggle—given these things, the only possibilities seem to me to be those of more diffuse activity : to win, and influence with direct contacts, personalities, if possible, holding a post of command, not so much in the world of the political schemers as in that of the army, of officialdom and of business.
  • All too often people forget that spirituality is essentially a way of life and that its measure does not consist of notions, theories, and ideas that have been stored in one’s head. Spirituality is actually what has been successfully actualized and translated into a sense of superiority which is experienced inside by the soul, and a noble demeanor, which is expressed in the body.
    • Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest

Civilta Americana (1945; 1983)

  • The Americans' "open-mindedness", which is sometimes cited in their favor, is the other side of their interior formlessness. The same goes for their "individualism". Individualism and personality are not the same: the one belongs to the formless world of quantity, the other to the world of quality and hierarchy. The Americans are the living refutation of the Cartesian axiom, "I think, therefore I am": Americans do not think, yet they are. The American "mind", puerile and primitive, lacks characteristic form and is therefore open to every kind of standardization.
    • American "Civilization" (1945) · Excerpts
  • In a superior civilization, as, for example, that of the Indo-Aryans, the being who is without a characteristic form or caste (in the original meaning of the word), not even that of servant or shudra, would emerge as a pariah. In this respect America is a society of pariahs. There is a role for pariahs. It is to be subjected to beings whose form and internal laws are precisely defined. Instead the modern pariahs seek to become dominant themselves and to exercise their dominion over the entire world.
    • American "Civilization"
  • There is a necessary correspondence between the most advanced stages of a historical cycle and the most primitive. America is the final stage of modern Europe. Guénon called the United States "the far West", in the novel sense that the United States represents the reductio ad absurdum of the negative and the most senile aspects of Western civilization. What in Europe exist in diluted form are magnified and concentrated in the United States whereby they are revealed as the symptoms of disintegration and cultural and human regression. The American mentality can only be interpreted as an example of regression, which shows itself in the mental atrophy towards all higher interests and incomprehension of higher sensibility. The American mind has limited horizons, one conscribed to everything which is immediate and simplistic, with the inevitable consequence that everything is made banal, basic and leveled down until it is deprived of all spiritual life. Life itself in American terms is entirely mechanistic. The sense of "I" in America belongs entirely to the physical level of existence. The typical American neither has spiritual dilemmas nor complications: he is a "natural" joiner and conformist.

Metaphysics of War (2007 ed.)

The fundamental principle underlying all justifications of war, from the point of view of human personality, is 'heroism'.
  • The fundamental principle underlying all justifications of war, from the point of view of human personality, is 'heroism'. War, it is said, offers man the opportunity to awaken the hero who sleeps within him. War breaks the routine of comfortable life; by means of its severe ordeals, it offers a transfiguring knowledge of life, life according to death. The moment the individual succeeds in living as a hero, even if it is the final moment of his earthly life, weighs infinitely more on the scale of values than a protracted existence spent consuming monotonously among the trivialities of cities. From a spiritual point of view, these possibilities make up for the negative and destructive tendencies of war, which are one-sidedly and tendentiously highlighted by pacifist materialism. War makes one realise the relativity of human life and therefore also the law of a 'more-than-life', and thus war has always an anti-materialist value, a spiritual value.
    • p. 21
  • Those who regard the Crusades, with indignation, as among the most extravagant episodes of the 'dark' Middle Ages, have not even the slightest suspicion that what they call 'religious fanaticism' was the visible sign of the presence and effectiveness of a sensitivity and decisiveness, the absence of which is more characteristic of true barbarism.
    • p. 40
  • The one who fights according to the sense of 'sacred war' is spontaneously beyond every particularism and exists in a spiritual climate which, at any given moment, may very well give rise and life to a supra-national unity of action. This is precisely what occurred in the Crusades when Princes and Dukes of every land gathered in the heroic and sacred enterprise, regardless of their particular utilitarian interests or political divisions, bringing about for the first time a great European unity, true to the common civilisation and to the very principle of the Sacred Roman Empire.
    • p. 41
  • The lesser war here corresponds to the exoteric war, the bloody battle which is fought with material arms against the enemy, against the 'barbarian', against an inferior race over whom a superior right is claimed, or, finally, when the event is motivated by a religious justification, against the 'infidel'. No matter how terrible and tragic the events, no matter how huge the destruction, this war, metaphysically, still remains a 'lesser war'. The 'greater' or 'holy war' is, contrarily, of the interior and intangible order – it is the war which is fought against the enemy, the 'barbarian', the 'infidel', whom everyone bears in himself, or whom everyone can see arising in himself on every occasion that he tries to subject his whole being to a spiritual law.
    • pp. 44–45
  • The highest instrument of inner awakening of race is combat, and war is its highest expression. That pacifism and humanitarianism are phenomena closely linked to internationalism, democracy, cosmopolitanism and liberalism is perfectly logical – the same anti-racial instinct present in some, is reflected and confirmed in the others. The will towards sub-racial levelling inborn in internationalism finds its ally in pacifist humanitarianism, which has the function of preventing the heroic test from disrupting the game by galvanising the surviving forces of any still not completely deracinated peoples.
    • p. 67
Immortality is the privilege of the few.
  • Immortality is the privilege of the few, and, according to the Aryan conception, specifically the privilege of heroes. Continuing to live – not as a shadow, but as a demigod – is reserved to those which a special spiritual action has elevated from the one nature to the other.
    • p. 102
  • Love for distance and order, the ability to subordinate one's individualistic and passionate element to principles, the ability to take action and work above mere personhood, a feeling of dignity devoid of vanity are features of the true warrior spirit as essential those which refer to actual combat.
    • pp. 114–115
  • Warrior spirit is characterised by direct, clear and loyal relations, based on fidelity and honour and a sound instinct for the various dignities, which it can well distinguish: it opposes everything which is impersonal and trivial.
    • p. 117
  • In dealing with relationships, not only man-to-man, but also State-to-State and race-to-race, it is necessary to be able to conceive again of that obedience which does not humiliate but exalts, that command or leadership which commits one to superiority and a precise responsibility.
    • p. 117
  • However, what is really required to defend 'the West' against the sudden rise of these barbaric and elemental forces is the strengthening, to an extent perhaps still unknown to Western man, of a heroic vision of life. Apart from the military-technical apparatus the world of the 'Westerners' has at its disposal only a limp and shapeless substance – and the cult of the skin, the myth of 'safety' and of 'war on war', and the ideal of the long, comfortable guaranteed, 'democratic' existence, which is preferred to the ideal of the fulfilment which can be grasped only on the frontiers between life and death in the meeting of the essence of living with the extreme of danger.
    • p. 152
Translated by Guido Stucco. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International Ltd. Fulltext is available for free. (Original work published 1934 as Rivolta contro il mondo moderno)
  • Be radical, have principles, be absolute, be that which the bourgeoisie calls an extremist: give yourself without counting or calculating, don't accept what they call ‘the reality of life' and act in such a way that you won't be accepted by that kind of ‘life', never abandon the principle of struggle.
  • To fight on "the path of God" has been characterized as "medieval" fanaticism; conversely, it has been characterized as a most sacred cause to fight for "patriotic" and "nationalistic" ideals and for other myths that in our contemporary era have eventually been unmasked and shown to be the instruments of irrational, materialistic, and destructive forces... Soldiers went to the front to experience war as something else, namely, as a crisis that all too often did not turn out to be an authentic and heroic transfiguration of the personality, but rather the regression of the individual to a plane of savage instincts, "reflexes," and reactions that retain very little of the human...
  • Within a nominally Christian world, chivalry upheld without any substantial alterations an Aryan ethics in the following things:
    (1) upholding the ideal of the hero rather than the saint, and of the conqueror rather than of the martyr;
    (2) regarding faithfulness and honor, rather than caritas and humbleness, as the highest virtues;
    (3) regarding cowardice and dishonor, rather than sin, as the worst possible evil;
    (4) ignoring or hardly putting into practice the evangelical precepts of not opposing evil and not retaliating against offenses, but rather, methodically punishing unfairness and evil;
    (5) excluding from its ranks those who followed the Christian precept ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ to the letter; and
    (6) refusing to love one’s enemy and instead fighting him and being magnanimous only after defeating him.
  • In reality, chivalry was animated by the impulse toward a ‘traditional’ restoration in the highest sense of the word, with the silent or explicit overcoming of the Christian religious spirit.
  • Knighthood, instead, appeared as a superterritorial and supernational community in which its members, who were consecrated to military priesthood, no longer had a homeland and thus were bound by faithfulness not to people but, on the one hand, to an ethics that had as its fundamental values honor, truth, courage, and loyalty and, on the other hand, to a spiritual authority of a universal type, which was essentially that of the Empire.
  • A political, economic, and social order created merely for the sake of temporal life is exclusively characteristic of the modern world, that is, of the antitraditional world.
  • One of the commonplaces of modern historiography is the polemical exaltation of the civilization of the Renaissance over and against medieval civilization. This is not just the expression of a typical misunderstanding, since this mentality is the effect of one among the innumerable deceptions purposely spread in modern culture by the leaders of global subversion. The truth is that after the collapse of the ancient world, if there ever was a civilization that deserves the name of Renaissance, this was the civilization of the Middle Ages. In its objectivity, its virile spirit, its hierarchical structure, its proud antihumanistic simplicity so often permeated by the sense of the sacred, the Middle Ages represented a return to the origins.
    • p.309

Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist (2002 ed.)


(Original work published 1953 as Gli uomini e le rovine)

  • The occult war is a battle that is waged imperceptibly by the forces of global subversion, with means and in circumstances ignored by current historiography. The notion of occult war belongs to a three-dimensional view of history: this view does not regard as essential the two superficial dimensions of time and space (which include causes, facts, and visible leaders) but rather emphasizes the dimension of depth, or the "subterranean" dimension in which forces and influences often act in a decisive manner, and which, more often not than not, cannot be reduced to what is merely human, whether at an individual or a collective level”
  • As a social bond, now one does not find even a faith of the warrior kind, that is, relationships of loyalty and honour. The social bond assumes a utilitarian and economic character; it is an agreement based on convenience and material interest — a type only a merchant would accept.
    • p. 34

Quotes about Evola


See also

Social and political philosophers
Classic AristotleMarcus AureliusChanakyaCiceroConfuciusMozi LaoziMenciusMoziPlatoPlutarchPolybiusSeneca the YoungerSocratesSun TzuThucydidesXenophonXun Zi
Conservative de BenoistBolingbrokeBonaldBurkeBurnhamCarlyleColeridgeComteCortésDurkheimDávilaEvolaFichteFilmerGaltonGentileHegelHeideggerHerderHobbesHoppeHumede JouvenelJüngerKirkvon Kuehnelt-LeddihnLandde MaistreMansfieldMoscaOakeshottOrtegaParetoPetersonSantayanaSchmittScrutonSowellSpenglerStraussTaineTocqueville • VicoVoegelinWeaverYarvin
Liberal ArendtAronBastiatBeccariaBenthamBerlinBoétieCamusCondorcetConstantDworkinEmersonErasmusFranklinFukuyamaHayekJeffersonKantLockeMachiavelliMadisonMaineMillMiltonMenckenMisesMontaigneMontesquieuNietzscheNozickOrtegaPopperRandRawlsRothbardSadeSchillerSimmelSmithSpencerSpinozade StaëlStirnerThoreauTocquevilleTuckerVoltaireWeberWollstonecraft
Religious al-GhazaliAmbedkarAugustine of HippoAquinasAugustineAurobindoCalvinChestertonDanteDayanandaDostoyevskyEliadeGandhiGirardGregoryGuénonJesusJohn of SalisburyJungKierkegaardKołakowskiLewisLutherMaimonidesMalebrancheMaritainMoreMuhammadMüntzerNiebuhrOckhamOrigenPhiloPizanQutbRadhakrishnanShariatiSolzhenitsynTaylorTeilhard de ChardinTertullianTolstoyVivekanandaWeil
Socialist AdornoAflaqAgambenBadiouBakuninBaudrillardBaumanBernsteinButlerChomskyde BeauvoirDebordDeleuzeDeweyDu BoisEngelsFanonFoucaultFourierFrommGodwinGoldmanGramsciHabermasKropotkinLeninLondonLuxemburgMaoMarcuseMarxMazziniNegriOwenPaine RortyRousseauRussellSaint-SimonSartreSkinnerSorelTrotskyWalzerXiaopingŽižek