On Fascism, National Socialism and Race
Interviewer: In the domain of action, which are your relations with National Socialism and Fascism? Do we actually have to consider in this regard your book Fascism: Critical Essay from the Right and notes on the Third Reich?
Julius Evola: As I formerly said, I am neither a Fascist nor a National Socialist, nor have I been enrolled in any political parties; I have not participated in any elections. Regarding such movements, there are two aspects to consider: one which is negative, that is their denying aspects; and I cannot agree with a movement that declares to be against all democracies and Marxism. I could, however, accept such positioning but in regard to the positive aspect. There are positive and valuable aspects, those which I could value are the reconstruction of the authority of the state and the idea of overcoming class conflict towards a hierarchical and corporative formation, to some extent of a military and disciplined style within the nation, in addition to some of their antibourgeois proposals — to me all of that is positive. What I cannot approve is the dictatorial aspect. In our case [Italy] the bad is not so much since the monarchy is still theoretically Christian. Contrarily, the action of National Socialism has been to some extent very destructive since it denies to a great extent the tradition that still existed after the First World War. Therefore, these are my relations with such movements: I did not participate in the realm of Fascism, both due to particular reasons based on my personality and due to a sort of “masonry” that was formed there; a sort of closed group. However, I took into consideration Germany, but in groups that were not properly National Socialist but rather conservative-aristocratic. I was a very good friend of Baron Von Gleichen who was the president of a Herrenklub whose role was well known during the preceding period. It is clear that in no case I am linked to Nazism, I had no affinity with Hitler whatsoever since, overall, I discovered that he had proletarian tendencies, and secondly because he was a dangerous, possessed kind of man.
In relation to the SS, the issue is quite different since, in general, the SS has been condemned in regard to the most factious aspects (concentration camps, Gestapo, et cetera), but we should recall that Himmler was dealing, flirting, with the ideals of an Order which is called, also in French books, the Black Order. And he was willing to resurrect in the same form the ancient Teutonic or German knighthood of the twelfth century — and in this regard I worked providing specific information; half Spartan, half Prussian. So I was chosen once again in order to approach issues about race, since he only had military information about it. Thus, in this sense, whenever he also looked for a sort of consecration for such an Order, he also showed interest on the primordial symbols and all that was related to the primordial tradition, and in this regard he focused his attention on me. And thus I gave speeches in Germany for the SS leaders, precisely in relation to this particular topic — and that is all. I had no other relation with the Germans.
I: Did he actually aim to effectively constitute the genesis of a Black Order?
JE: Who? Himmler? He actually formed it. Whether he completely embodied such an ideal is quite another matter.
I: Could you tell us which is your concept of race and why you were accused by your adversaries as a racist?
JE: As you know, “fascist,” “racist,” et cetera, are merely labels used when one is not willing to descend to the depths of true ideas. In regards to the issue of race, it would be rather a long topic since Fascism is largely linked to the racist orientation. I worked in Germany during the birth of what I could call the “biological-scientific racism,” and I could see it because I am Italian, and anybody who in Germany was not aware of it would very likely end up in a concentration camp. Thus, going back to the essential issue, I did actually treat the issue of racism — but aiming to rectify it by means of a specific doctrine of the race. It is obvious that, as any other conception, even that of race depends on the idea one has of the nature of man. A materialist idea is obviously projected in conceptions that are founded in materialistic assumptions and that are different depending on the basis we refer to. Therefore, I do not agree with the biological conception of the human being but rather a Traditional conception in which a man is composed by spirit, soul and body, and this is why I approached the issue of race by all of these three categories and formulated a theory of race of the body, which more or less corresponds to common anthropology; a theory of the race of the soul, which studies the typology, the habits, reactions, feelings, aspirations, all of this can a have a particular “style” that can be typical of some human groups; and finally there exists a race of the spirit which corresponds to the typical forms existent in the studies that refer to the spiritual domain, to life and death in general, the supernatural, et cetera. Therefore, this way I presented a more complete, more integral framework of the issue on race.
There is also an interesting little aspect and it is that Mussolini — whom I do not know at all as that “Grey Eminence” as he is called here in France — whom I saw in the occasion of the reading of the book which is called Synthesis of the Doctrine of Race (in Italy there is a difference in the title) and he was delighted about the book to the point that he wanted to convert it into a doctrinal text precisely during those times when Italy had constituted an active and direct ally with Germany. When it came to discuss the superiority and completeness of the text and the thesis I employed and that was the first occasion I saw Mussolini, when the war had already begun, and all speculation in regard to the large relationship between Mussolini and me is pure fantasy. I must also add that racism is not a synonym of anti-Semitism: the problem of Judaism such as it exists must not be confused… [Recording cut-off]
Translated by Minerva Peana, Edited by Adam Wallace