The results achieved in this way are twofold. First, it was easy to extend the discredit that in numerous cases rightly affected these ideas to different ideas which might appear related, even though in their innermost essence they have nothing in common; thus, the latter genuine ideas are put in a condition to no longer pose a threat. A good part of what the West has learned about the East, outside the dry and sterile domain of philology and academic specialization, is often affected by this maneuver. The results seem to be for the most part something distorted; this severely limits the positive influence that various aspects of the legacy of ancient Eastern spirituality are liable to exercise, provoking the reaction of the most obtuse and inappropriate “defenses of the West.” Another example consists in the milieus that, when it comes to symbols and esotericism, can think only of Masonry or Theosophy, even when the reference goes back to ancient and noble traditions that have nothing to do with the latter; the positivist and rationalist prejudice of a certain critical “culture” identifies all this as superstition and fantasy, thus completing the smear campaign. This is the case with some militant Catholic apologetics that see only naturalism and pantheism in everything outside their perspective; these are misunderstandings and effects of an interplay of concordant actions and reactions, to which several representatives of
Catholicism are liable.
The second result does not concern the domain of ideas but rather the practical and concrete domain. The inverted tendencies toward the spiritual and the supernatural can favor the emergence of dark forces, and be resolved in a deceitful action against the human personality. Many reactions against rationalism and intellectualism lead exactly to this, especially the theories of the unconscious, which through psychoanalysis have either generated a well- established practice or encouraged various forms of morbid fascination.
Another method is the tactic of ricochet. This tactic is employed in cases where the traditional forces being targeted take the initiative through an action against other traditional forces, an action that eventually ricochets back at its promoters. For instance, the secret forces of global subversion, through opportune infiltrations or suggestions, may induce the representatives of a certain tradition to believe that the best way to strengthen it consists in either undermining or discrediting other traditions. Those who do not realize what is going on and who, because of material interests, attack Tradition in like- minded people, sooner or later must expect to see Tradition attacked in themselves, by ricochet. The forces of global subversion rely very much on this tactic; thus, they attempt in every possible way to cause any higher idea to give in to the tyranny of individual interests or proselytizing, prideful, and power-hungry tendencies. They know perfectly well that this is the best way to destroy every unity and solidarity and to favor a state of affairs in which their overall scheme will be implemented. They know well that there is an objective law of immanent justice and that “the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine,” and thus they act accordingly; they wait for the fruits of these inconsiderate initiatives to mature, and then they intervene.
In the political domain, the case of every Machiavellian employment of revolutionary forces falls within this category. Shortsighted political leaders have often believed that to arouse or to support revolution in hostile nations is, in certain circumstances, an excellent means to benefit their own people. Without realizing it, or becoming aware of it too late, they have obtained the opposite result. While they thought that they were using the revolution as a means, it was the revolution that used them as tools; eventually, the revolution spread to other countries, catching up with the politicians who unleashed it and wiping them out. Modern history has been in part the theater of a subversion that has tragically spread in this way.2
Thus, we can never emphasize too much that unconditioned loyalty to an idea is the only possible protection from occult war; where such loyalty falls short and where the contingent goals of “real politics” are obeyed, the front of resistance is already undermined. The ricochet should be seen in an analogous context, in the case of “peoples’ right to self-determination.” This principle, after having been employed by modern democracies as an ideological instrument during World War II, eventually affected white peoples, thus putting an end to Europe’s prestige and preeminence.
When the secret forces of world subversion are fearful of exposure or realize that, due to special circumstances, the direction imparted from backstage has become obvious, at least in its major effects, they employ the scapegoat tactic. They try to shift the enemy’s attention onto elements that are responsible only partially, or in a subordinated fashion, for their own wrongful deeds. A reaction is then unleashed against those elements, which then become the scapegoats. Thus, after a pause, the secret front may resume its work, because its opponents believe that they have identified the enemy and dealt with it. [Regarding the] Protocols of the Elders of Zion, I have mentioned a possible case of such tactics in reference to the part attributed to Jews and Masons. Thus, we must beware of any unilaterality and never lose sight of the overall picture of the secret front.
Let us now discuss the tactic of dilution, which constitutes a particular aspect of the “tactic of surrogates.” The main example that I will now introduce must be prefaced with the following: the process that has led to the current crises has remote origins and has developed in several phases.3 In each of these phases the crisis was already present, though in a latent or potential form. The theory of “progress” may be regarded as one of the suggestions spread by the secret forces of world subversion so that attention would be diverted from the origins, and the process of dissolution could proceed, carried forth by the illusion of the triumphs of technological-industrial civilization. The tragic events of recent times have provoked a partial awakening from this hypnosis. Many people have begun to realize that the march of so-called progress paralleled a race toward the abyss. Thus, to stop and return to the origins as the only way to restore a normal civilization, has been the inspiring vision for many. Next, the occult front employed new means to prevent any radical reaction. Here too it employed the slogans of “anachronism” and “reactionary and retrograde forces”; then it caused the
forces that aimed at a return to the origins to be led toward stages in which the crisis and the disease were present in less extreme forms, though still clearly visible. This trap worked as well. The leaders of world subversion naturally know that, once this is done, there is no longer a real danger: it is enough to wait and soon we will be back at the starting point, by following processes analogous to the ones that have already occurred, but now without the possibility of any resistance to the dissolution.
Shortsighted political leaders have often believed that to arouse or to support revolution in hostile nations is, in certain circumstances, an excellent means to benefit their own people. Without realizing it, or becoming aware of it too late, they have obtained the opposite result.
There are many historical examples of this tactic, which should be rather instructive for those who hope to assume the initiative of a reconstructive action. As a first example, we should examine closely some traits of modern nationalism. We know about the revolutionary, subversive, and anti- hierarchical function that the collectivist-demagogic concept of “nation” has played against the previous forms of European civilization and political organization. The reference point of many people who have fought against the various Internationals (especially against the communist International) has been the concept of the nation; care was rarely taken to define such a concept in a way that would no longer represent what needed to be opposed.
In this regard, it will suffice to recall what I have said elsewhere4 about the opposition existing between popular nationalism and the spiritual nation, between national State and traditional State. In the first case, nationalism has a leveling and antiaristocratic function; it is like the prelude to a wider leveling, the common denominator of which is no longer the nation, but rather the International. In the second case, the idea of the nation may serve as the foundation for a new recovery and an important first reaction against the internationalist dissolution; it upholds a principle of differentiation that still needs to be further carried through toward an articulation and hierarchy within every single people. But where the awareness of this opposition is lacking, in the case of indiscriminate nationalism, there is a danger of being subjected to the tactic of dilution: this danger, incidentally, has already occurred. It is in view of this—that is, in view of such a possible meaning of nationalistic orientation—that Soviet communism, while opposing
nationalism as a counterrevolutionary phenomenon, favors and supports it in the non Marxist areas inhabited by the so-called “underdeveloped” peoples, who are the alleged victims of colonialism, waiting for further developments to lead to the stage in which it will be able to reap its fruits.
Another tactic consists in the deliberate misidentification of a principle with its representatives. In many regards the decay of traditional institutions began with the corruption of their worldly representatives.
I will mention here two more examples of the tactic of dilution. The first concerns the socioeconomic domain and is connected to all the “national” and social-conformist versions of Marxism; it is the same disease in diluted form. This is also the case of “socializing” theories, which are Trojan horses to be introduced into the citadel, not in order to conquer it with a direct attack, but rather through a natural and inevitable inner development. The second example concerns the cultural domain. I have already discussed the meaning of psychoanalytical theories in the context of the modern subversion. Among those who are capable of a healthy discernment there has been a reaction against the coarsest forms of this pseudo-science, which correspond to pure or “orthodox” Freudianism. The tactic of dilution was employed again; the formulation and spread of a spiritualized psychoanalysis for more refined tastes was furthered. The result was that those who react against Freud and his disciples no longer do so against Jung, without realizing that what is at work here is the same inversion, though in a more dangerous form because it is subtler, and a contaminating exegesis ventures more decidedly into the domain of spirituality than in the case of Freud.
Another tactic consists in the deliberate misidentification of a principle with its representatives. In many regards the decay of traditional institutions began with the corruption of their worldly representatives. The effective dissolution and destruction has been made possible by the confusion between principles and people; this is another weapon of the occult war. When the representatives of a given principle prove to be unworthy of it, the criticism of them extends immediately to the principle itself and is especially directed against it. Instead of acknowledging that some individuals are not at the level of the principle, and instead of requiring that they be replaced by qualified individuals, in order to restore a situation of normalcy, it is claimed that the principle itself is false, corrupt, or passé, and that it should be replaced with a
different principle. In almost every revolution this tactic has played a major role. It may also be characterized as that of portraying a crisis in the system as a crisis of the system. Examples of this kind are so prevalent that I hardly need mention them. The attack against monarchies and aristocracies has followed this path. Marxism has applied the same device, using the injustices of capitalism as a pretext in order to attack free-market economy and to proclaim a collectivist economy. In the spiritual domain the examples are numerous. The Lutheran Reformation used the corruption of the representatives of the Roman Church in order to question the principle of authority and many fundamental beliefs of the Catholic tradition, thus shifting over from people to principles.
Finally, I wish to mention one more instrument of the secret war, though it refers to a very particular domain: the tactic of the replacing infiltrations. It is used in cases where a certain spiritual or traditional organization falls into such a state of degeneration that its representatives know very little of its true, inner foundation, or the basis of its authority and prestige. The life of such an organization may then be compared to the automatic state of a sleepwalker, or living body deprived of its soul. In a sense a spiritual “void” has been created which can be filled, through infiltrations, by other subversive forces. These forces, while leaving the appearances unchanged, use the organization for totally different purposes, which at times may even be the opposite of those which were originally its own. We should also not rule out the case where such infiltrated elements work for the destruction of the organization which they now control—for example by creating new scandals, liable to give rise to serious repercussions. In this particular case what is employed on the outside is the previously mentioned tactic of mistaking the representatives for the principle. Even the knowledge of this can cast light on many phenomena of the past and present.
These forces, while leaving the appearances unchanged, use the organization for totally different purposes, which at times may even be the opposite of those which were originally its own.
I hope that having limited myself to only a few examples and having primarily discussed principles will not prevent the reader from recognizing the multiple possibilities of application of those same principles in various spheres, for there is no sphere in which the occult war has not in some
manner been undertaken and is not still being waged today. The most important sphere for the application of the knowledge of the weapons of the occult war, is the inner one: the world of one’s own thoughts. It is here that one needs to be on guard; it is here that one should be able to recognize the subtle influences that try to suggest ideas and reactions to us in certain situations. If this can be accomplished, even if it is still not possible to identify the enemy in our midst, it would at least bar to him the main paths of his secret action.
[Sections excerpted from Men Among the Ruins: Postwar Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist by Julius Evola, trans. Guido Stucco, Inner Traditions, 2001, pp. 235-51. The same chapter also contains Evola’s interesting commentaries on the infamous conspiratorial tract The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.]
- More commonly referred to now as the “New Age” movement. [Editor’s note]
- Recent decades of overt and covert US foreign policy ploys are disturbingly illustrative in this regard. [Editor’s note]
- See Revolt Against the Modern World, trans. Guido Stucco, Inner Traditions, 1995, part II (“Genesis and Face of the Modern World”).
- See chapter three of Men Among the Ruins. [Editor’s note]
PETER LAMBORN WILSON
After the death of the Prophet Mohammad, the new Islamic community was ruled in succession by four of his close Companions, chosen by the people and called the Rightfully-guided Caliphs. The last of these was Ali ibn Abu Talib; the Prophet’s son-in-law.