Friday, September 01, 2006

The Philosophical Foundations of the French New Right

by Michael Torigian

"The future belongs to those with the longest memory." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

The Third Way

To understand the French New Right, it is necessary to begin with its identitarian philosophy of history. This philosophy, however, is so entangled in an ideological thicket of critical scorn that it is all but impossible to approach with impartiality. Like revolutionary conservatism, national bolshevism, and various expressions of populism and syndicalism, the French New Right seeks a revolutionary course beyond the Left-Right politics it rejects; and, like these other "Third Way" tendencies, it, too, is routinely compared with the most notorious of the Third Way movements: fascism and National Socialism.(n1) While liberalism, social democracy, and communism, as different expressions of the Left, are not similarly equated (and tainted), there is a certain, if tenuous logic to these comparisons in that all Third Way tendencies oppose the modernist order. Less certain still is the inquisitional intent of these comparisons.(n2) Efforts by Alain de Benoist's GRECE (Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes pour la Civilisation Europeenne),(n3) the principal French proponent of the Third Way, to challenge the liberal paradigm or to evoke the Indo-European heritage as a spur to cultural renewal, have led to numerous McCarthy-style allegations of Nazism and "Aryan supremacy"(n4) -- even though for thirty years Benoist and his Grecistes have denounced Nazism as a "brown Jacobinism" and have characterized racism as an offshoot of the totalizing modernity they oppose. The greatest obstacle to understanding the Third Way may stem, however, from the fact that these comparisons mistakenly assume that ideology, an "outgrowth of modernity" that reduces the world to itself, and philosophy, which is an opening to the world, are analogous, and that, therefore, the philosophical disposition of a school of thought, such as the GRECE's, can be deduced from its politics.(n5) Since all these stigmatizing comparisons endeavor to delegitimate, rather than to explain such non-conformist tendencies, it is hardly surprising that they also have succeeded in marginalizing them.(n6)

Europe's Identitarian Crisis

An interest in the past generally begins with an interest in the future. As its appellation suggests, the GRECE's interest is European civilization. Unlike globalists and Altanticists, who tout its wealth and economic prominence, Grecistes believe Europe is in decline.(n7) The continent, they argue, is no longer governed by European criteria. Self-serving technocracies, guided by liberal managerial imperatives, now rule its lands with a generic conception of man that disparages its particularistic cultures and historic continuities.(n8) The ensuing weakening of collective identities has been compounded by a stunted system of socialization, educational policies that denigrate traditional standards, a proliferation of social pathologies and cretinizing spectacles, and a vast influx of inassimilable Afro-Asian immigrants.(n9) Buttressed by the liberal "Right" and the Social Democratic Left, as they converge in extolling the virtues of the world market, these technocracies focus almost exclusively on "the battle for exports" and the dictates of globalization, seemingly indifferent to the breakdown of social-cultural solidarities.(n10) Even more deleterious than these technocratic threats to European identity has been the loss of sovereignty that followed in the wake of the "Thirty Years' War" (1914-1945), when Europe was occupied and divided by the two extra-European powers. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War allegedly altered only the character of this heteronomy. Though accepting Heidegger's contention that the techno-economic civilizations of communist Russia and liberal America were "metaphysically the same," with similar materialist philosophies of history, Grecistes believe the American occupation was the more pernicious: where the Soviets crushed any assertion of East European independence, the US not only occupied Western Europe militarily in the name of defending it, but colonized it culturally in ways that decomposed and Americanized European life.(n11) "A people," Raymond Ruyer has written, "more often perishes by losing its soul than its resources."(n12)

To Grecistes, this seems to be the case today. In their view, the US represents the purest embodiment of liberal modernity, and thus the chief worldwide force for cultural homogenization. Nowhere, they argue, were the modernist principles born in the 18th-century Enlightenment --the principles of equality, rationality, universalism, individuality, economism, and developmentalism -- as thoroughly realized as in the new republic "liberated from the dead hand of the European past."(n13) In this spirit, the US was founded on a concept of its citizenry as autonomous self-interested subjects, homo oeconomicus, oriented to market exchanges and contractual relations, but devoid of high culture or ethnic identification. As such, the denizens of this modernist "enterprise" (constituting a demos, rather than an ethnos) have tended to substitute mercantile conventions for tradition, to define themselves in terms of a materialist way of life, and to elevate "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," i.e., the monadic conception of freedom, to the pinnacle of their concerns. Any notion of a "people" or of particularistic cultural organisms imbued with historically-shaped destinies, has been entirely foreign to their "national" project.(n14) For this reason, the "culturally-primitive upper class" (Oswald Spengler) of this former colony, in its role as modernity's elect, has been occupied almost exclusively with promoting consumer choice in open markets and enhancing the "rationality" of these choices by disembedding individuals from their communities and ascriptive ties. US power was accordingly imposed on Europe as if the entire continent, not just the US, were frozen in an eternal here and now, concerned solely with matters of economic advantage. Aided by marketing and media lures that circumvented elite structures and catered to the libidinous impulses of mass taste, Europe's postwar Americanization displaced, if not discredited much of the continent's millennial heritage. Grecistes thus look on America as a "murderer" of culture and history, a civilizational no-man's-land bent on turning the world into a single global market where everything is exchangeable.(n15) As Benoist writes, the US "is not like other countries. It is a country that seeks to destroy all others."(n16) This Greciste view of the New World as a cultural threat to the Old World's survival is especially relevant, since many Europeans have succumbed to America's hegemonic designs and have abandoned not a few of their defining particularisms. As John Gray writes,(n17) Europe today "confronts the phenomenon of a culture permeated throughout by a hatred of its own identity."

The Longest Memory

To strip a people of their culture and history, as America's universalist and homogenizing project entails, is tantamount, Grecistes argue, to severing a people's roots, and a people can no more live with severed roots than can a tree. Without a memory of its collective past and the foundational myths that define and distinguish it from others --without, that is, the encompassing forrces that tie a multiple of related individuals to a larger identity -- a people ceases to be a people.(n18) For this reason, Grecistes consider the erosion of Europe's cultural foundations to be the greatest danger facing its civilization. Consequently, the cultural front has become the primary theater of their operations.(n19) In defending Europe's patrimony, their line of march has commenced with a metapolitical assault on the cosmopolitan forces of modernity. Like Antonio Gramsci, they believe that power and politics follow culture, and that Europe continues to betray itself as long as its culture remains infused with anti-European influences. To combat the hegemony of American-style modernity and to instill in their people a will to be themselves, they have taken up a Gramscian metapolitics that treats culture as if it were a strategic high-ground to be contested by "organic intellectuals" beating different views of what it means to be European.(n20) In this spirit, they straggle for a re-Europeanization of the continent.

Unlike conservative and traditionalist critics of liberal modernity, Grecistes' metapolitics attacks what many consider the core religious component of European identity.(n21) From their perspective, the Christian religious heritage constitutes not simply the spiritual foundation of modernity, but an ideology inimical to all forms of indigenous culture.(n22) They point out that Christianity arose in a multicultural world filled with anomie and deracination, that it was multi-ethnic in conviction, and that it rejected all communal particularisms, deigning only to be "in the world, not of it."(n23) Beginning with their affiliation to the early Greco-Roman church, Christians identified with a people and a history (those of the Bible) that were not their own, abandoning, in effect, their native identity. In this spirit, the church's "new covenant" was made between God and all humanity, which gave it a universal, rather than a national mission. Accordingly, history, culture, and ethnicity, from which the complexities of earthly identity are fashioned, have been irrelevant to its adherents, who see themselves as God's children, indifferent to the ascriptions obscuring the equality of every soul and obstructing the spread of His word. As Louis Pauwels puts it, Christians have no patrie, only God's promise land.(n24) Relatedly, in focusing on the hereafter, their salvational calculous neglects the holistic communal relations that animated pagan religiosity and nurtures a social ideal radically opposed to the classical idea of tradition, hierarchy, and hearth.(n25) By privileging individual salvation and deprecating attachment to everything unrelated to redemption, Christianity prepared the way for egoistic and, ultimately, anti-identitarian social forms.(n26)

Even more consequential in Grecistes' eyes is Christianity's dualistic cosmology. Unlike pagans, Christians see the natural world not as the body of the gods, infused with the sacred, but as a creation called forth out of nothing by a transcendent Creator who stands outside and above it. By sharply differentiating between creation and Creator --making the latter the source, not the result, of the former, as pagans held -- they posit the primacy of the God who created, rules, and eventually will preside over the end of the world. Subordinated to this Supreme Being, man's world becomes comprehensible solely in terms of His logos: i.e., in terms of the divine rationality ordering creation. Accordingly, all world events and all human actions, despite their apparent incoherence and antagonism, partake in the logos' universality. This belief in the raison du monde makes Christianity, like Judaism, an ultra-rationalist religion, with "all aspects of man's life [subject to] a myriad of prescriptions, laws, and interdictions."(n27) Moreover, by replacing the sacred, mythic elements of pre-Christian Europe with the logos' higher rationality, and by conceiving of divinity in otherworldly terms, the cosmos is desacralized, nature objectified, and creation devalued.(n28) Apart, then, from God, the Christian world is drained of significance; what Max Weber refers to as "disenchantment" is, for Grecistes, an innovation not of modern rationalism, but of a cosmology that separates an all-perfect Creator from a creation that imperfectly reflects Him.(n29)

From Christian dualism, an entirely new view of time emerges. Because man (in the form of "Adam and Eve") tainted creation by disobeying God, Christians look on history as a tale of his fallen state.(n30) Their "logocentric" intent is hence directed beyond the "vale of tears" to the end of time, when man, or at least the saved among men, are to be returned to His grace.(n31) "Instead of being [a] religion of life, here and now," Christianity, as one of the great modern pagans characterizes it, becomes a "religion of postponed destiny, death and reward afterwards, 'if you are good'."(n32) This finalist (or eschatological) vision of history, whose culmination is to be the Last Judgement, Genesis' antipode, gives rise to Christianity's unilinear conception of time, in which the present issues from a former determination and the future follows the "path of time" to something better. Within the frame of this irreversible progression -- running from the fall to salvation, from the particular to the redeeming universal -- time ceases to function as a recurring cycle of nature and becomes a vector whose continuous temporality ascends from creation (occurring but once), to Moses, to Jesus, to the Resurrection, and, finally, to the world's end. History is thereby homogenized into a sequence of successive now-points, with events seen as different stages in salvation's progression along this ascent, each stage representing a present ("the now") distinct from a past ("the no-longer now") and a future ("the not-yet-now").(n33) With the advent of Christianity, then, the nature of historical enquiry undergoes a radical change, as the mythic adjunct of a specific cultural tradition (history) is transformed into the study of a creation that irreversibly progresses as an essentialist-defined being traverses a fixed course of becoming.(n34)

Because it posits a rational necessity underlying history's "progression," Grecistes believe the Christian concept of history has the cultural-ontological effect of denigrating the past and locking man into an abstract temporal continuum whose single possible outcome corrupts "the innocence of becoming" (Nietzsche). Modernity, they add, gives this concept a no less determinist cast, for Christianity's secular progenies, liberalism and Marxism, have allegedly embraced a similar "telos of redemption" -- framed in materialist, rather than spiritual terms, with the GNP replacing Jesus as the chief idol, happiness as salvation, and reason as faith, but, nonetheless, understood as the progressive development of a purposeful teleology that supersedes the past's errant legacy.(n35) In other words, modernists, refuse Christian appeals to transcendent values only to re-establish them in immanent ones.(n36) They might have emptied the heavens of the gods, but their rationalist notion of history is still simply another expression of a supra-historical process governed not by life, but by a metaphysics that seeks light and vision from what lies ahead -- in this case, "the global triumph of economic rationality."(n37) Moreover, in the form of the now discredited, though still implicitly dominant Whig and Marxist interpretations, modernist historiography not only gives new impetus to the teleological impulse of the linear view by dismissing the "no longer present" and by privileging the Great Narrative whose telos is the universal and timeless, it deprecates all particularisms, concerned as it is with the single evolutionary goal to which progress or class struggle (the secularized equivalents of the divine logos) is heading and the universal solution this logos messianically offers for all social, moral, and political problems. The developmental impulse of this historiography assumes, as a consequence, a directional, uniform, and causal form that optimistically anticipates a more rational and perfect future.(n38)

Against the Christian/modernist concept of history, which "dialectically" negates an erring past in the name of an expiated future, Grecistes adopt the perspective of the longue duree, evoking from the continent's primordial origins its longest memory, which "rises up in us whenever we become 'serious'."(n39) In privileging the immemorial of Europe's past, this millennial perspective presupposes a tradition of community whose organic, cultural, and mythic references reach back into the far recesses of time and encompass all the European peoples.(n40) From this heritage, Grecistes hope to differentiate between what is properly European and what has been imposed as a foreign, self-denying admixture. The question immediately arises, though, as to how cogent it is to think of Europe as comprising such a community. Scholarly convention long held that the ancient Near East prepared the seed bed of European culture, and that Europe's very existence stemmed not from itself, but from another civilization. Grecistes, however, dismiss this ex oriente lux thesis, claiming it reflects the deracinating impulse of Christian/modernist universalism and a hostility toward native culture.(n41) Therefore, they reject the prevailing accounts that situate Europe's roots in the Euphrates River valley -- "We come from the people of The Iliad and the Edda, not the Bible" -- and argue instead for the integrity of European origins.(n42) In this, their historiographical apostasy, they have been especially fortunate in not having to await the vindication of another Schliemann or Evans, for recent archeological advances, especially the radiocarbon dating of Colin Renfrew and his team at Cambridge, already have uncovered evidence for the autochthonic origins of European civilization. This, in turn, has provoked a major revision in prehistorical studies, reframing them in terms that more closely accord with the GRECE's "Eurocentrism."(n43) And while this revision does not detract from Near Eastern achievements, it should, Grecistes argue, alter the conventional view of the continent's "barbarian" origins and its alleged debt to non-European sources.(n44)

Grecistes further contend that the historiographical disparaging of archaic Europe, with its culturally negative implications, pales in comparison to the indifference or hostility shown to its Indo-European founders. Despite their pivotal role in prehistory and the popular interest they continue to generate, their study is largely ignored in current university curriculum. Stigmatized by the Nazis' Aryan cult, the Indo-Europeans are studied today in but a few universities, and there only on the margins of what already are marginalized disciplines. Yet they, especially their Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Latin, and Hellenic families, are the ones, Grecistes claim, out of whom the bedrock of European culture was formed. This emphasis on the "Aryan" core of European sensibilities has, to be sure, armed their critics, adepts at reductio ad Hitlerum, with potentially explosives charges. But this emphasis is cultural, rather then biological, and is made not because Grecistes rate the Indo-Europeans "superior" to other peoples or consider them to be the progenitors of white racial purity, as did Hitler, but because, like Luther, they cannot do otherwise.(n45) For better or worse, Europe's identitarian roots are those of the peoples who conquered its lands in the 2nd millennium BC, establishing the fundament of its languages, culture, and history. As such, the Indo-Europeans testify to Europe's historical specificity and stand as a challenge to the cosmopolitan pretences of modernists and Christians. Yet, in singling out the Indo-Europeans, Grecistes rekindle not only the compromising associations the Nazis brought to them, they commit themselves to an intellectually daunting enterprise. When they began formulating their metapolitical strategy in the late 1960s, Indo-European studies were virtually unknown within the French intelligentsia, even though France was home to one of the great Indo-Europeanists.(n46) Moreover, for the longest time (and still today), Indo-European studies were mainly philological, unamenable to the sort of cultural project they hoped to pursue. Only with Georges Dumezil's work in the late 1930s -- largely neglected until the GRECE popularized it -- did it become possible to infer anything significant about the sociocultural character of Europe's root peoples and challenge the ex oriente lux thesis.(n47)

Working with a knowledge of twenty Indo-European languages and employing methods that up to then had been reserved for historical linguistics, Dumezil spent a life time comparing the mythological and literary remains of the different Indo-European peoples. In these comparative studies, embracing sixty books and several hundred articles, he related details gleaned from the Rig Veda, the Homeric epics, the Irish tales of Cuchulainn, the Norse sagas, and other Indo-European literatures to patterns or configurations that seemed to make up shared wholes and to point to a common origin (or to what Claude Levi-Strauss, in his decontextualized and dehistoricized adaptation of Dumezil's approach, called "structures").(n48) The most significant achievement of these studies was the discovery of a "tripartite ideology,"(n49) which, he claimed, shaped the way Indo-Europeans organized their societies, ordered their values and envisaged their religious pantheons. The discovery of tripartition constituted what is arguably the key event in modern Indo-European studies, for the presence of a common world-view "proves," in effect, that these peoples were not merely a language group, but also a culture.(n50) Derived from linguistic and literary sources, Dumezil's discovery rests empirically on the historical existence of three castes of men -- sages, warriors, and producers --representing the three "functions" or orders responsible for regulating Indo-European society. These functions allegedly gave the Indo-Europeans their distinct cultural style, and later influenced the different national families branching off from their trunk.(n51) Although features of this ideology have been found among certain other peoples, Dumezil claimed it was institutionalization, and assumed conscious articulation only among Indo-Europeans, making it the defining element of their culture and the essence of their "living past."(n52)

In the Grecistes' reading of Dumezil, the tripartite ideology sanctioned principles that not only accorded with Indo-European sensibilities, but enabled the highest representatives of their people to govern, i.e., the wise men and priests who performed the sacred rituals and remembered the old stories, and the warrior aristocrats upon whose courage and self-sacrifice the community's survival depended. By contrast, farmers, stock-herders, craftsmen, traders -- the producers -- were relegated ideologically to the lowest social order (the third caste) and refused sovereign authority. In thus conditioning the European mentality, tripartition made wisdom and courage more important than economic-reproductive functions. It also gave culture its high symbols and the power of its defining ideals, pride of place above all other pursuits, unlike modernity's inversion of these values.(n53)

Yet, however crucial its role in constituting the basis of European civilization, the tripartite ideology represents but a single facet of the Indo-European heritage to serve as a Greciste foil to the liberal order. The "folk-centric, world-accepting" values animating the Vedic, Homeric, Roman, Celtic, and Germanic traditions of pre-Christian paganism, most of whose pantheons reflect the tripartite ideology, play a no less important role. Because these pagan values and the religiosity they inspired implicitly repudiate Christianity's "world-rejecting" monotheism, Grecistes look to them as a way of "returning to ourselves" and of finding there a spirituality appropriate to Europeans disoriented by the disparity between their native identity and the universalist dictates of the Christian/modernist project. This validation of pagan values does not, however, mean that Grecistes have taken to worshipping Zeus and Odin. Instead, their metapolitical activities endeavor to recuperate paganism's nominalist avowal of difference, its theophany of the natural world, its heroic, aristocratic conception of man, its marriage of aesthetics and morality, and, above all, its pluralistic rejection of biblical dualism -- in order to counter the liberal anti-identitarian currents they oppose.(n54) Not unrelatedly, their rejection of the linear conception of history and its unidimensional view of the world follows largely from this adherence to pagan values.

The Wellspring of Being

The difference between mythos and logos best illustrates the spiritual divide separating Judeo-Christian dualism, with its linear historical vision, from the cyclical, open-ended holism of Indo-European paganism.(n55) In siding with mythos, whose metaphoric images evoke perspectival "truths" unfathomable to analytic method, Grecistes take up what they consider to be the more cogent tradition. Although Christianity initially succeeded in branding pagan myth, in contrast to its own alleged historical foundations, as inherently fictitious, representing the fears and irrationalities of early man, the truth claims of mythos (not to be confused with mythology) are no less compelling than those of logos, whose rationalist procedures of thought (i.e., logic) are "an invention of schoolteachers, not philosophers."(n56) Grecistes further point out that all thinking is mythic in form, since thought is conceptual, based on images signifying objects and processes ultimately incommensurate with their representation, and thus subject to interpretation. They even note that logos itself was originally simply a phase, another of mythos' expressions, for the image of the idea precedes and is frequently more pregnant than its discursive formulation.(n57) This makes mythos not the opponent of reason, but rather its metaphoric expression, which logos later renders into the objectivist terms of a subject whose conception of the world derives from a free-floating intellectualism. Finally, as logical proposition ignoring the perspectival nature of truth, logos differs from mythos in saying nothing about the meaning of the world, and thus of man's historicity.

Contrary to Christians and modernists, Grecistes claim that mythos (or myth) has little to do with an irrational rendering of a fantasized past. Instead, its main function is to explain how the chaos inherent in the world becomes the cosmos of specific cultural traditions. In this sense, myth immortalizes those "exemplary precedents," however encrusted with legend and poetry, that once occurred and reoccur whenever a people, in response to what becomes the paradigmatic themes of its heritage, imposes its order upon the world.(n58) Fictitious or not, these primordial acts embody "truths" about the nature of reality that elude formylaic or analytic proposition, based as they are on a culture's interpretative encounter with it. Through the mythic inscription of these truths and the heritage they found, the fundament of a culturally defined existence is perpetuated. As such, myth treats the past as a living trace, and transmits not the ancient, but the permanent in a heritage, establishing a framework of continuity that renders discontinuity and innovation into a coherent history of tradition. As Mircea Eliade explains, myth is "creative and exemplary," revealing how things come to be, defining their underlying structures, and suggesting the multiple modalities of being they imply.(n59) It does not describe reality "objectively," but roots it in a heritage of significance that prescribes and affirms it as a manifestation of original being. Intuitively seized by its believers, mythic truth enables man to engage his world and to participate in its re-creation.(n60) Its teachings are thus existentialist, not essentialist; they can never be refuted, only rejected.(n61) Indeed, myth has little to do with the rationalist notion of truth (verum), for its power resides not in its correspondence to an object's noumena, but in its aesthetic accordance with a state of soul and in its capacity to inspire man's being with certum.(n62) In this vein, it can be argued that the mythic revelations inscribed in the Voluspa or the Tain Bo Cuailnge are as cogent as the scientific verities Of the Origin of Species or the Principia Mathematica. Both as existentialist postulate and "child of the imagination," myth apprehends those certitudes which tradition accepts as true. For Benoist, it is what justifies existence.(n63)

Likewise, the paradigmatic principles elaborated in mythic accounts of origins generate the unquestioned presuppositions legitimating a people s historical vocation.(n64) Its certitudes are summoned whenever a people attempts to re-create its world and hence itself. If there is no myth to preserve the particular truth of its original being -- the particular truth (or illusion) that overcomes the world's chaos and creates the values sustaining its will to power -- there can be no re-creation. And if there is no re-creation, there can be no destiny, and no people.(n65) In other words, myth orients a people in the regeneration of its world through an affirmation of its original inception. Without myth, "every culture loses the healthy natural power of its creativity," for it is the creative and exemplary force of myth that alone prompts a people to forge their common values into a destiny that presses "upon its experiences the stamp of the eternal."(n66) Mythic time is correspondingly reversible, as the origins it recounts are repeated in each act of renewal.(n67) Myth, in sum, knows no immutable truth, yet serves as a source of meaning and certitude in an inherently meaningless and uncertain world.(n68)

Not coincidentally, the first major thinker to lend himself to the GRECE's historiological project was Nietzsche, for his rejection of the Western metaphysical tradition and his embrace of the old Greek myths to counter the rationalism of the "dialecticians" (Socratic, Christian, or modernist) anticipates many of the Grecistes' own concerns. More importantly, in its appeal to "we good Europeans,"(n69) his philosophical opus is steeped in historiological issues pertinent to the problems of cultural renewal and historical fatigue. From these have emerged not only the most profound and the least understood of his ideas -- the thought of Eternal Return -- but also the inspiration for the Grecistes' confrontation with the finitudes and determinisms of the Christian/modernist project.

Contrary to the usual interpretations, Eternal Return does not imply a literal repetition of the past. It is an axiological, not a cosmological principle, representing the will for metamorphosis in a world that is itself in endless metamorphoses. In fact, it is a principle of becoming that knows neither beginning nor end, but only the process of life returning to itself. As such, Eternal Return affirms "will to power" --characteristic of the mythic spirit off Indo-European paganism -- and not the dialecticians' negation, sublation, and evolution which follow logos in cleaving to an objective and thus otherworldly truth. Against the dialecticians' narrow fixation on reason and self-preservation, Nietzsche exalts life's ascending instincts and the old noble virtues that sought to forge those instincts into a heroically subjective culture. Homer's Greeks, he well knew, were dead and gone. Yet, whenever "the eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down," "opening" the future to the past, he thought the epic spirit, as that which bears returning, might be roused and something analogously creative achieved.(n70) Life, he argued, is not a predetermined and timeless essence with an inscribed telos. As being, it is becoming, and becoming is will to power. Eternal Return represents an affirmation of man's original being, an assertion of his difference with others, and, in its infinite repertoire of exemplary past actions, the anticipation of whatever his future might hold. In this sense, its recurring past functions as a "selective thought," putting memory's endless assortment of experience in service to life. Man has only to envisage a future similar to some select facet of the past to initiate its realization.(n71) The past cannot exist, then, as a momentary point on a line, a duration measurable in mechanical clock time, understandable as an onward succession of consecutive "nows." Rather, it recurs as a "genealogical" differential, whose origin inheres in its wilful assertion and becomes recoverable for futural re-enactments that seek to continue life's adventure.(n72) In a word, the past never ends. It returns in every successive affirmation of will, in every conscious exertion of memory, in every instant when will and memory become interchangeable. This makes it reversible, repeatable, and recoverable.

Moreover, the past of Nietzsche's Eternal Return is of a whole with other temporalities. One can never be younger, but as time advances, the future recedes. In the present, these temporalities meet. Consequently, the human sense of time encompasses an infinity of temporalities, as past, present, and future converge in every passing moment. And since this infinity is all of a piece, containing all the dimensions of time, as well as all the acts of man, affirmed in their entirety "whenever we affirm a single moment of it," the present acts as an intersection, not a division, between past and future.(n73) Linked to this polychronous totality, man's will accesses time's infinity, where there is no prescribed end. As to historical teleology or finality, for Nietzsche they are merely a derivative of Christian/modernist nihilism, with its indifference to life's temporal play. In response to the prompting of his will, it is man, as he participates in the eternal recurrence of his original affirmation, who imposes order on the world's underlying chaos, and man alone who shapes the future -- not some external, supra-human force that goes by the name of God, Progress, or the laws of Historical Materialism.(n74) In the spirit of the ancient Hellenes, who treated life's transience as the conjuncture of the actual and the eternal, of men and gods, Nietzsche's Eternal Return testifies to the completeness of the present moment.(n75)

In addition to affirming willful action, Nietzsche's breaks with linear temporality infuses man with the idea that he always has the option of living the thought of Eternal Return. Just as every past was once a prefiguration of a sought-after future, every future arises from a past anticipation, that can be anticipated again. "The impossible," as teleologically decreed, "is not possible."(n76) Indeed, in seeking to overcome that which resists, life's will to power is manifested. Only belief in the underlying unity and purpose of "creation," the logos, resigns man to time's alleged eschatological properties. Nietzsche's Ubermensch, the antithesis of modern man, is steeped in the longest memory, not because he bears the accumulated wisdom of the past, but because he rejects the weariness of those governed by an imagined necessity and instead imposes his will, as an assertion of original being, upon the vagaries of time.(n77) This validation of ancient affirmations that identifies being with becoming should not, however, be taken to mean that the genealogical spirit of mythic origins -- the spirit of an eternally open and purposeless world subject solely to the active force of will -- gives man the liberty to do whatever he desires. The limits he faces remain those posed by the conditions of his epoch, as well as by his nature. In the language of social science, Nietzsche fully acknowledges the inescapable constraints of structures, systematic forces, or what Comte called "social statics." Yet, within these limits, all that is possible is possible, for man's activities are always prospectively open to the possibilities inherent in the moment, whenever these possibilities are appropriated according to his own determinations: i.e., whenever man engages the ceaseless struggle that is life. "Necessity," Nietzsche argues, "is not a fact, but an interpretation."(n78) What ultimately conditions historical activity is less what acts on man from the outside ("objectivity") than on what emanates from the inside (will), as he "evaluates" the forces affecting him. Nature, history, and the world may therefore affect the way he lives, but not as a "mechanical necessity."

Given this rejection of immanent and transcendental determinisms, Nietzsche's concept of history is far from being a literal recapitulation of the traditional cyclical concept. According to Eliade, the thought of Eternal Return found in archaic societies implies an endless repetition of time, i.e., another sort of "line" (a circle) or necessity refusing history.(n79) By contrast, Nietzsche eschews time's automatic repetition by seeing Eternal Return in non-cyclical, as well as non-linear terms. The eternity of the past and the eternity of the future, he posits, necessitate the eternity of the present, and the eternity of the present cannot but mean that whatever has happened or will happen is always at hand in thought, ready to be repotentiated.(n80) In assuming that being is becoming, chance the verso of necessity, and will the force countering as well as partaking in the forces of chaos, the eternity of the Nietzschean past inevitably reverberates in the eternity of the future, and does so in a life-affirming manner.(n81) The past of Eternal Return is thus nostalgic, not for the past, but for the future.

As Grecistes understand it, Nietzsche's concept of historical time is spherical. In time's "eternally recurring noon-tide," the different temporal dimensions of man's mind form a "sphere" in which thoughts of the past, present, and future revolve around one another, taking on new significance as each of their moments becomes a center in relation to the others. Within this polychronous sphere, the past does not occur but once and then freeze behind us, nor does the future follow according to determinants situated along a sequential course of development. Rather, past, present, and future inhere in every moment, never definitively superseded, never left entirely behind.(n82) "O my soul," his Zarathustra exclaims, "I taught you to say 'today' as well as 'one day' and 'formerly' and to dance your dance over every Here and There and Over-There."(n83) Whenever the Janus-headed present alters its view of these temporalities, its vision of past and future simultaneously changes. The way one stands in the present thus determines how everything recurs.(n84) And since every exemplary past was once the prefiguration of a sought-after future, these different temporalities have the potential of coming into new alignment, as they phenomenologically flow into one another. Recollected from memory and anticipated in will, the past, like the future, is always at hand, ready to be re-realized.(n85) As this happens, and a particular past is "redeemed" from the Heraclitean flux to forge a particular future, the "it was" becomes a "thus I willed it."(n86) In this fashion, time functions like a sphere that rolls forward, toward a future anticipated in one's image of the past.(n87) Existence, it follows, "begins in every instant; the ball There rolls around every Here. The middle [i.e., the present] is everywhere. The path of eternity is crooked."(n88) Moreover, this recurrence goes beyond mere repetition, for the re-enactment of an archaic configuration is invariably transfigured by its altered context. Likewise, the conventional opposition between past and future gives way before it, as the past becomes a harbinger of the future and the future a recurrence of the past.

When the man of Eternal Return, who rejects the resentment and bad conscience of the teleologists, steps fully into his moment, Nietzsche counsels: Werde das, was Du bist! He does not advocate the Marxist-Hegelian Aufhebung, liberal progress, or Christian salvation, but a heroic assertion that releases him from the nihilistic or deterministic exhaustion of the present and imbues him with the archaic confidence to forge a future true to his higher, life-affirming instincts. Becoming what you are thus entails both a return and an overcoming. Through the longest memory, man ("whose horizon encompasses thousands of years past and future") returns to and thus transvalues the spirit of those foundational acts which marked his ancestors' triumph over the world's chaos; at the same time, this memory shaping his sense of history aids him in overcoming the resentment that dissipates his will and the bad conscience that leaves him adrift in the random stream of becoming. In the process, the will to power implied in Eternal Return compels him to confront what he believes to be the essential and eternal in life, imparting, in turn, something of the essential and eternal to the "marvelous uncertainty" of his own finite existence, as he goes beyond himself in imitating the gods. In this way, wilful becoming defines the character of his being, as the return of the essential and the eternal reaffirms both his origins and the values -- the mode of existence -- he proposes for his future. Since such a disposition is framed in the genealogical context of a primordial origin, Eternal Return does not foster an atomized, discontinuous duration, in which becoming is out of joint with being, but a self-justifying coherence that unites individual fate and collective destiny in a higher creativity--even if this "coherence" is premised on the belief that the world lacks an inherent significance or purpose. Based on a select appropriation of the past that serves as a principle of value, each individual act becomes inseparable from its historical world, just as the historical world, product of multiple individual valuations, comes to pervade every individual act. "Every great human being," Nietzsche writes, "exerts a retroactive force: for his sake all of history is placed in the balance again."(n89) Whenever, then, the thought of Eternal Return puts the past and future in the balance, as the present casts its altering light on them, it reestablishes "the innocence of becoming" which allows the active man, the heir to past valuations, to decide his own fate -- in contrast to the life-denigrating man of mechanical or teleological necessity, who fixes his past and awaits his future as if the world's course were already ordained.(n90)

The final, and today most important component of the GRECE's historical philosophy comes from Heidegger, whose anti-modernist thought began to influence its metapolitical project, and to supplant that of Nietzsche in the early 1980s.(n91) Like the author of Zarathustra, Heidegger rejects Christian/modernist metaphysics and views man and history, being and becoming, as inseparable and incomplete. The past is gone and will not return, but its significance is neither left behind nor ever permanently cast. Further, when experienced as authentic historicity, it "is anything but what is past. It is something to which I can return again and again."(n92) Thus, while the past belongs "irretrievably to an earlier time," it may still exist in the form of a heritage or an identity that is able to 'determine 'a future' 'in the present."(n93) In this spirit, Heidegger claims "the original essence of being is time."(n94)

Unlike other species of sentient life, Heideggerian man has no predetermined or ultimate ontological foundation: he alone is responsible for his being and its potentiality. Indeed, he is that being whose "being is itself an issue," for his existence is never fixed or complete, but open and transient.(n95) He alone leads his life and is, ipso facto, what he becomes. Man is thus compelled to "make something of himself," and this entails that he "care" about his Dasein. As being-in-the-world, i.e., as something specific to and inseparable from a historical-cultural context, human Dasein is experienced as an on-going possibility (inner, rather than contingent) that projects itself toward a future that is "not yet actual." Relatedly, the possibility man seeks in the world into which he is "thrown" is conditioned by temporal conditions, for time is not only the open horizon against which he is thrown, it is the ground on which he realizes himself. Because time "draws everything into its motion," the possibility man seeks in the future (his project) is conditioned by the present situating him and the past affecting his sense of possibility. Dasein's projection cannot, then, but come "toward itself in such a way that it comes back," anticipating its possibility as something that "has been" and is still present at hand.(n96) The three temporal dimensions (ecstases) of man's consciousness are, therefore, elicited whenever some latent potential or possibility is pursued.(n97) Birth and death, along with everything in between, inhere in all his moments, for Dasein equally possesses and equally temporalizes past, present, and future, conceived not as fleeting now-points, but as simultaneous dimensions of mindful existence.(n98) And though it occurs "in time," Dasein's experience of time -- temporality -- is incomparable with ordinary clock or calendar time, which moves progressively from past to present to future, as the flow of "nows" arrive and disappear. Instead, its temporality proceeds from the anticipated future (whose ultimate possibility is death), through the inheritance of the past, to the lived present. Thus, Dasein's time is not durational, in the quantitative, uniform way it is for natural science or "common sense," but existential, i.e., experienced ecstatically as the present thought of an anticipated future is "recollected" and made meaningful in terms of past references.

Because the "what has been, what is about to be, and the presence" (the "ecstatical unity of temporality") reach out to one another in every conscious moment and influence the way man lives his life, Dasein is necessarily infused with the historical. "History," however, should not to be confused with the sum of momentary actualities" which historians fabricate into narratives; rather, it is "an acting and being acted upon which pass through the present, which are determined from out of the future, and which take over the past."(n99) When man chooses a possibility, he makes present what he will be through an appropriation of what he has been.(n100) This decision has nothing arbitrary or willful about it, but follows from the process that allows him to open himself to and "belong to the truth of being," as that truth is manifested in its ecstatical unity. For the same reason, this decision does not imply the past's triumph over the present and future, for it is made to free thought -- and life -- from the inertia of what already has been thought and lived.

Man's project has little to do with causal factors acting on his existence from "outside" (what in conventional history, which Heidegger calls Historie,(n101) is the purely factual or "scientific" account of past events), and everything to do with the complex ecstatical consciousness shaping his view of possibility (i.e., with the ontological basis of human temporality, Geschichte, which "stretches" Dasein through the past, present, and future, as Dasein is "constituted in advance"). Because this ecstatical consciousness allows man to anticipate and to authenticate his future, Dasein remains constantly in play, never frozen in an external world of essences or bound to the linearity of subject-object relations. Further, the events historically situating it do not happen "just once for all nor are they something universal," but represent past possibilities that are potentially recuperable for futural endeavors. The notion of an irretrievable past simply does not make sense for Heidegger, for the past is always at hand. Its thought and reality are irreparably linked: its meaning is part of man, part of his world, and invariably changes as his project and his perspective changes. The past, then, is not to be seen in the same way as a scientist observes his data. It is not something independent of belief or perspective that can be grasped wie es eigentlich gewesen. Rather, its significance (and even its "factual" depiction) is mediated and undergoes ceaseless revision as man lives and reflects on his lived condition.(n102) This frames historical understanding in existential terms, with the "facts" of past events becoming meaningful to the degree that they belong to his "story," i.e., when what "has been" still "is" and "can be." In Heidegger's language, projection is premised on thrownness. While such an anti-substantialist understanding of history is likely to appear fictitious to those viewing it from the outside, "objectively," without participating in the possibilities undergirding it, Heidegger argues that all history is "experienced" in this way, for what "has been" is meaningful only to the degree that it is recuperable for the future. As long, therefore, as the promise of the past remains something still living, still to come, it is not a disinterested, apriori aspect of something no longer present. Neither is it mere prologue, a stepping stone leading the way to a more rational future, but something with which we have to identify if we are to resolve the challenges posed by our project, for only knowledge of who we have been enables us to be who we are.

Like Nietzsche, Heidegger believes that whenever Dasein "runs ahead toward the past," the "not yet actual" opens to the inexhaustible possibilities of what "has been" and what "can be." He also follows Nietzsche in viewing the regenerative impulses of mythic time as inherent to history. In thus emphasizing man's inherent temporality, both Heidegger and Nietzsche reject the abstract universalism of the mechanical and teleological conceptions of becoming (suitable for measuring matter in motion or the Spirit's progression toward the Absolute), just as they both dismiss decontextualized concepts of being (whether in the form of the Christian soul, Descartes' ego cogito, Marx's species man, or Rawls' disembodied individual). Heidegger, however, differs from Nietzsche in making being, not will, the key to temporality. Nietzsche, he claims, neither fully rejected the metaphysical tradition he opposed nor saw beyond beings to being.(n103) While denying modernity's faith in progress and perpetual overcoming (the Aufhebung which implies not only transcendence, but a leaving behind), Nietzsche's "will to power" allegedly perpetuates modernity's transcendental impulse by positing a subjectivity that is not "enowned" by being. As a possible corrective to this assumed failing, Heidegger privileges notions of Andenken (the recollection that recovers and renews tradition) and Verwendung (which is a going beyond that, unlike Aufhebung, is also an acceptance and a deepening) -- notions implying not simply the inseparability of being and becoming, but becoming's role in the unfolding, rather than the transcendence of being.(n104)

Despite these differences, the anti-metaphysical, anti-modernist aims Nietzsche and Heidegger share makes them both apposite allies of the GRECE's philosophical project. This is especially evident in the importance they attribute to becoming and to origins. Heidegger, for example, argues that whenever being is separated from becoming and deprived of temporality, as it is in the Christian/modern logos, then being (in this case, abstract being, rather than being-in-the-world) becomes identified with the present, a now-point, subject to the determinisms governing the inorganic objects of Newtonian physics.(n105) This implicit denial of ecstatical temporality allegedly causes the prevailing philosophical tradition to "forget" that being exists in time, as well as space, and is not an essence posited by God or the laws of nature.(n106) By rethinking being in terms of human temporality and restoring it to becoming, Heidegger, like Nietzsche, makes time the horizon of all existence, thereby freeing the existential from the inorganic properties of space and matter. Moreover, since it is inseparable from becoming, and since becoming occurs in a world-with-others, being is necessarily situated in a "context of significance" saturated with history and tradition. As man pursues his project in terms of present worldly concerns, the various existential modes of these concerns, as well as the "world" itself, are informed by interpretations stemming from a history of interpretation. Just as "every age must write its own history afresh" (R. G. Collingwood), every man is compelled to engage his existence in light of what has been handed down to him -- in light, in other words, of the totality of meaning and purpose defining his world.(n107) His future-directed project is indeed only conceivable in terms of the world into which he is thrown. Man therefore makes his history, but does so as a "bearer of meaning," whose convictions, beliefs, and representations have been bestowed by the past.(n108) This meaning-laden matrix constitutes the "t/here" [da] in Dasein, without which being (qua being-in-the-world) is inconceivable.(n109) And because there can be no Sein without a da, no existence without a specific framework of meaning and purpose, man, in his ownmost nature qua being, is inseparable from this matrix that "makes possible what has been projected."(n110) Being is indeed inherent only in "the enowning of the grounding of the t/here."(n111)

In contrast to inauthentic Dasein that "temporalizes itself in the mode of a making-present which does not await but forgets," accepting what is usually taken as the imperatives of being (but which, situated as it is in "now time," is usually a corrupted or sclerotic transmission confusing self-absorption in the present with the primordial sources of life), authentic Dasein "dredges" its heritage in order to "remember" or to retrieve the truth of primordial possibility and to "make it productively its own.(n112) The more authentically the potential of this "inexhaustible wellspring" is brought to light, the more profoundly man becomes "what he is."(n113) In this sense, authentic historicity "understands history as the 'recurrence' of the possible."(n114) Here, the "possible" is "what does not pass," what remains, what lasts, what is deeply rooted in oneself, one's people, one's world; it is the heritage of historical meaning that preserves what has been posited in the beginning and what will be true in the future.(n115) "I know," Heidegger said in 1966, "that everything essential and everything great originated from the fact that man.., was rooted in a tradition.(n116) By contrast, the uprooted, detemporalized man of modern thought is deprived not only of a means of rising above his necessarily impoverished, because isolated self, he lacks access to the creative force of his original being and the "greatness" -- the truth -- it portends. When Heideggerian man is "great" and rises to the possibilities latent in his existence, he invariably returns to his autochthonous source, resuming there a heritage that is not to be confused with the causal properties of his thrown condition, but with a being whose authenticity is manifested in its becoming. "Being proclaims destiny, and hence control of tradition."(n117) Here again, Heidegger concurs with Nietzsche, linking man's existence with the "essential swaying of meaning" that occurred aborigine, when his forefathers created the possibilities that remain open for him to realize. From the presence of this original being, enduring in tradition and constituting its truth, man is existentially sustained and authenticated, just as a tree thrives when rooted in its native soil.(n118)

Although a self-conscious appropriation of origins does not resolve the problems posed by the human condition, it does free man from present fixations with the inauthentic, and remind him of the possibilities inherent in his existence. 119 The "first beginning" also brings other beginnings into play, for it is the ground of all subsequent groundings.(n120) Without a "reconquest" of Dasein's original commencement (impossible in the linear conception, with its irreversible and deracinating progressions), there can never be another commencement: only in reappropriating a heritage, whose beginning is already a completion, does man come back to himself, achieve authenticity, and inscribe himself in the world of his own time. Indeed, only from the store of possibility intrinsic to his originary genesis, never from the empty abstractions postulated by the universal reason transcending historicity, does he learn the finite, historically-situated tasks "demanded" of him and open himself to the possibility of his world. Commencement, accordingly, lies in front of, never behind him, for the initial revelation of being is necessarily anticipated in each new beginning, as each new beginning draws on its source, accessing what has been preserved for posterity and rediscovering being's highest possibilities. Because the "truth of being" found in origins informs Dasein's project and causes it to "come back to itself," what is prior invariably prefigures what is posterior. In this sense, the past is future. History functions not as a progression from beginning to end, but, rather, as a return backwards, to foundations, where the possibility of being remains ripest. This makes origins all important. They are never mere antecedent or causa prima, as modernity's inorganic logic holds, but "that from which and by which something is what it is and as it is .... [They are] the source of its essence" [i.e., its ownmost particularly] and the way truth "comes into being... [and] becomes historical.(n121) As Benoist puts it, the "original" (unlike modernity's novum) is not that which comes once and for all, but that which comes and is repeated every time being unfolds in its authenticity.(n122) In this sense, origins represent the primordial unity of existence and essence affirmed in myth. And because origins, as "enowned" being, denote possibility, not the purely "factual" or "momentary" environment affecting its framework, Dasein achieves self-constancy (authenticity) whenever it is projected on the basis of its original inheritance, for Dasein "comes toward itself" only when anticipating its end as an extension of its beginning.(n123) Thus, origins designate identity and destiny, not causation (the "wherein," not the "wherefrom"). Relatedly, the historical-spiritual world in which Dasein originates persists throughout life, preserving what "has been" and providing the basis for what "continues to be," given that origins are not "out there," but part of us and who we are. Because origins constitute the ground of all authentic existence, "gathering into the present what is always essential," what "will be" springs ever anew from what "has been."(n124) This confrontation with "the beginning of our being," as Benoist reiterates, is requisite for "other, more original commencements."(n125)

The original repose of being that saves man from the "bustle of mere events and machinations" is not, however, easily accessed. To return Dasein to its ground and to "recapture the beginning of historical-spiritual existence in order to transform it into a new beginning" is possible only through "an anticipatory resoluteness" that turns against the present's mindless routines.(n126) Such an engagement (and here Heidegger's "revolutionary conservative" opposition to the established philosophical tradition is categorical) entails a fundamental questioning of the "rootless and self-seeking freedoms" concealing the truth of being -- a questioning, that draws "its necessity from the deepest history of man."(n127) For this reason, Heidegger (like Grecistes) sees history as a "choice for heros," demanding the firmest resolve and the greatest risk, as man, in anxious confrontation with the heritage given him, because of his origins, seeks to realize an indwelling possibility in the face of an amnesic or obscurant conventionality.(n128) This heroic choice ought not, however, to be confused with the subjectivist propensities of liberal individualism. A heroic conception of history demands action based on what is true and "original" in tradition, not on what is arbitrary or wilful. Similarly, this conception is anything but reactionary, for its appropriation of origins privileges the most radical opening of being.

Finally, this heritage that becomes meaningful when choosing a project, this reaching forward that reaches back, validates what Heidegger calls "fate."(n129) In his definition, fate is the "enowning" embrace, not causality's fatalistic acceptance, of the heritage of culture and history into which man is thrown at birth. In embracing this heritage, i.e., in taking over the unchosen circumstances of his community and generation, man necessarily identifies with the collective destiny of his people, as he grounds his Dasein in the truth of his "ownmost particular historical facticity."(n130) This makes individual identity inseparable from communal identity, as being-in-the-world recognizes its being-with-others (Mitsein) and accepts its participation in the larger existence of its people. Against the detemporalized, deracinated individual of liberal thought, "liberated" from organic ties and conceived as a phenomenal "inside" separated from an unknowable "outside," Heideggerian man achieves authenticity through a resolute appropriation of the multi-temporal, interdependent ties he shares with his community. He makes himself out of the immediacy of his world, as well as what has been bequeathed to him by his forefathers and what is to be passed on to his heirs. In so doing, he affirms his mindful involvement in the time and space of his own destined existence, along with the destiny of his people's existence. The community of one's people (Mitsein) becomes, then, "the in which, out of which, and for which history happens."(n131) And because authentic Dasein is unavoidably Mitsein, human existence is quintessentially social. Dasein's social nature has, though, little to do with the thoughtless conventions of everyday life, but rather inheres in the very texture of human Being and in that which is ownmost to a people. For this reason, Dasein's pursuit of possibility, even in opposing the prevailing conventions for the sake of individual authenticity, is necessarily a "cohistorizing" with a community, a co-historizing that converts the legacy of the far-distant past into the basis of a meaningful future.(n132) In fact, history to Heidegger is possible only because Dasein's individual fate--its inner necessity -- connects with a larger social-historical necessity that struggles against the perennial forces of decay and dissolution, as a people seeks "to take history back unto itself." The destiny it shares with its people is, indeed, what grounds Dasein in historicity and links it to the heritage that determines and is determined by it.(n133)

The Future of the Past

In the present, the past and future co-exist -- as memory or tradition, anticipation or project. It is up to man to determine how to relate to these different temporalities. From pagan myth and the works of Nietzsche and Heidegger, Grecistes propound a historical philosophy that endeavors to free Europeans from the deculturating determinisms of the Christian/ modernist project. Following Guillaume Faye, this philosophy may be called "archeofuturism," for it posits that there can be no destining future without an original pre-destination.(n134) If Europeans are to regain the creative spirit of their being and to play a historical role again, they have no alternative but to rediscover "the original essence of their identity." This obliges them to reappropriate their longest memories and to face the future with the conviction of their ancestral lineage. Like Plato's anamnesis, this recovery seeks to release them from time's irreversibility, and make possible another beginning. If, on the other hand, Europeans continue to forget their origins and reject the "European idea" as their myth fondateur, archeofuturists fear that they are likely to succumb to the "end of history," where the past ceases to return and the future folds in on an eternal "now."(n135)

Archeofuturism's emphasis on origins should not be taken to imply that Europeans are bound to repeat the foundational acts that defined their forbearers, such as occurs in "cold societies"(n136) (i.e., those primitive communities whose synchronic principles play a commanding role in the thought of Levi-Strauss and other anti-historical thinkers). Instead of perpetuating the identitarian vestiges of a former golden age, archeofuturists seek only the original impetus of archaic possibilities so as to create new ones. Indeed, identity for them is real only when under construction, deconstruction, or reconstruction. "We," Benoist writes, "assume a heritage in order to continue it or to re-found it."(n137) It is, he argues, neither rationale for present conditions nor occasion for folkloric revival, but simply requisite for a meaningful future.(n138) Archeofuturism posits, then, neither a return nor a repetition, but only an unfolding of identity on the basis of the history and culture that situate it. Unlike the denizens of Levi-Strauss' cold societies, Europeans attuned to the Faustian possibilities of their world invent, improvise, and make new choices that endeavor to begin the beginning again --"with all the strangeness, darkness, insecurity that attend a true beginning."(n139) It is, therefore, the regenerative impulse of the Indo-European heritage, not its nostalgic re-generation, that reconciles past and future, origin and project.(n140) Archeofuturists feel Europeans do justice to who they are only when they look forward, providing their heritage another opening to the future. In Heidegger's formulation, "remembrance of [our] inception is not a flight into the past, but readiness for what is to come."(n141) In this spirit, the longest memory of the European past is summons, because there the possibility of the future is disclosed in its primordial fullness, and because there, where causality cedes to destiny, being commences anew. As Grecistes emphasize, every great revolution envisages its project as a return to origins.(n142)

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1 comment:

nzconservative said...

Modern genetics studies are also sheeding light on the origins of European culture. For example, studies have confirmed that the English are largely Germanic in origin and originally come from a small area of Northern Holland.

Much of European history has been a struggle between Mediterranean city states and North European tribes like the Franks and Saxons.

Quite alot of Europe's material technology came from the East but its culture is largey indigenous and unique.