Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Venezuela’s Chavez Says World Faces Choice Between US Hegemony and Survival

Caracas, Venezuela, September 20, 2006 —Borrowing a line from U.S. linguist and foreign policy critic Noam Chomsky, Venezuela’s President Chavez told the 61st UN General Assembly that the world currently faces the choice between continued U.S. hegemony and human survival. Chavez also called for the re-founding of the United Nations, so as to avert this danger.

"The hegemonistic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very existence of the human species," said Chavez, holding up a copy of Chomsky’s book and to the applause of many attendees. Chavez continued, stressing, "We appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our head.”

Chavez’s speech, which, following his well-received appearance at the UN the previous year, as widely anticipated, also went on to refer to U.S. President Bush as the “devil” on several occasions. “Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world,” he said.

Chavez strongly criticized Bush’s speech of the previous day, saying that he seeks to impose an elitist model of democracy on the world. “They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons.”

Bush’s reference to the fight against extremists was another issue Chavez rejected, saying that those Bush sees as extremists are those who resist imperial domination, saying, “You can call us extremists, but we are rising up against the empire, against the model of domination.”

Chavez went on to mock Bush’s statement that he wants peace, pointing out how he is responsible for wars in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine and then Bush says, according to Chavez, “We are suffering because we see homes destroyed.”

The ways in which the U.S. is able to get away with its ambitions are proof that the UN system has “collapsed” and is “worthless,” according to Chavez, and is in need of being “re-founded.”

Concretely, Chavez repeated four proposals that he said Venezuela had made a year earlier.
First, the UN Security Council should be expanded, with new permanent members from the Third World. Second, said Chavez, it needs “methods to address and resolve world conflicts.” Third, the abolishing of the “undemocratic” veto in the Security Council. Fourth, the strengthening of the role of the UN Secretary General.

Chavez also referred to his effort to have Venezuela represented on the Security Council, accusing the U.S. of “an immoral attack,” in its effort to prevent Venezuela from obtaining one of the two-year rotating seats. He then listed the many countries that have publicly declared their support for Venezuela’s effort to be on the Security Council, such the members of Mercosur, of Caricom, of the Arab League, of the African League, and Russia and China.

For Chavez, Venezuela is struggling to “build a new and better world,” but it is being threatened by the U.S., which supports his government’s overthrow. Chavez reminded his audience that the U.S. employs hired assassins, such as Luis Posada Carriles, who Cuba and Venezuela hold responsible for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, who but is about to be freed from temporary custody in the U.S. He also mentioned that several other individuals who are wanted for terrorist acts in Venezuela have found safe harbor in the U.S.

U.S. Government Reactions

The U.S. ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said that Chavez’s speech did not deserve a response. “We're not going to address that kind of comic strip approach to international affairs,” stated Bolton.

Bolton added, though, "The real issue here is he knows he can exercise freedom of speech on that podium. And as I say, he could exercise it in Central Park, too. How about giving the same freedom to the people of Venezuela."

A White House spokesperson, Frederick Jones, similarly said Chavez’s speech was, "not worthy of reaction."

State Department Spokesperson Tom Casey said, "You know, the U.N. is an important world stage, and an important forum, and leaders come there representing their people and their country. And I'll leave it to the Venezuelan people to determine whether President Chavez represented them and presented them in a way they would have liked to have seen."

Florida Republican Connie Mack called on the international community to block Venezuela's entry as UN Security Council member, saying, "Chavez's diatribe in the United Nations against liberty only strengthens the fact that he is no more than the paladin of demoralization and of despoitism and a sworn enemy of hope and opportunity," quoted the news agency EFE.

Full text of Chavez's UN speech [Corrected version]:

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, Delivers Remarks to U.N. General Assembly, New York,

September 20th, 2006


President Chávez: Madame President, Excellencies, Heads of State, Heads of Governments, and high ranking government representatives from around the world. A very good day to you all.

First of all, with much respect, I would like to invite all of those, who have not had a chance, to read this book that we have read: Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious intellectuals of America and the world. One of Chomsky's most recent works: Hegemony or Survival?

America's Quest for Global Dominance. An excellent piece to help us understand what happened in the world during the 20th century, what is going on now and the greatest threat looming over our planet: the hegemonic pretension of US Imperialism that puts at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn about this danger and call on the people of the US and the world to halt this threat that is like the sword of Damocles.

I intended to read a chapter, but for the sake of time, I will leave it as a recommendation. It's a fast read. It's really good Madame President, surely you are familiar with it. It is published in English, German, Russian, and Arabic (applause). Look, I think our brothers and sisters of the United States should be the first citizens to read this book because the threat is in their own house.

The Devil is in their home. The Devil, the Devil himself is in their home.

The Devil came here yesterday (laughter and applause). Yesterday the Devil was here, in this very place. This table from where I speak still smells like sulfur. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, in this same hall the President of the United States, who I call "The Devil," came here talking as if he owned the world. It would take a psychiatrist to analyze the US president's speech from yesterday.

As the spokesperson for Imperialism he came to give us his recipes for maintaining the current scheme of domination, exploitation and pillage of the world's people. It would make a good Alfred Hitchcock movie. I could even suggest a title: "The Devil's Recipe." That is to say, US Imperialism, and here Chomsky says it with profound and crystalline clarity, is making desperate efforts to consolidate its hegemonic system of domination. We cannot allow this to occur, we cannot permit them to install a world dictatorship, to consolidate a world dictatorship.

The speech of the tyrannical president of the world was full of cynicism, full of hypocrisy. It is this imperial hypocrisy with which he attempts to control everything. They want to impose upon us the democratic model they devised, the false democracy of elites. And moreover, a very original democratic model imposed with explosions, bombings, invasions, and cannon shot. That's some democracy! One would have to review the thesis of Aristotle and of the first Greeks who spoke of democracy to see what kind of model of democracy is imposed by marines, invasions, aggressions and bombs.

The US president said the following yesterday in this same hall, I quote: "everywhere you turn, you hear extremists who tell you that you can escape your misery and regain your dignity through violence and terror and martyrdom." Wherever he looks he sees extremists. I am sure he sees you, brother, with your skin color, and thinks you are an extremist. With his color, the dignified President of Bolivia Evo Morales, who was here yesterday, is an extremist. The imperialists see extremists all around. No, its not that we are extremists. What is happening is that the world is waking up and people everywhere are rising up. I have the impression Mr. Imperialist dictator that you will live the rest of your days as if in a nightmare, because no matter where you look we will be rising up against US imperialism.

Yes, they call us extremists, we who demand complete freedom in the world, equality among peoples and respect for national sovereignty.

We are rising up against the Empire, against the model of domination.

Later, the president said, "Today I'd like to speak directly to the people across the broader Middle East: My country desires peace."

That is certain. If we walk the streets of the Bronx, if we walk through the streets of New York, Washington, San Diego, California, any city, San Antonio, San Francisco and we ask the people on the street: the people of the US want peace. The difference is that the government of this country, of the US, does not want peace; it wants to impose its model of exploitation and plundering and its hegemony upon us under threat of war. That is the little difference. The people want peace and, what is happening in Iraq? And what happened in Lebanon and Palestine? And what has happened over the last 100 years in Latin America and the world and now the threats against Venezuela, new threats against Iran? He spoke to the people of Lebanon, "Many of you have seen your homes and communities caught in crossfire." What cynicism! What capacity to blatantly lie before the world! The bombs in Beirut launched with milimetric precision are "crossfire"? I think that the president is thinking of those western movies where they shoot from the hip and someone ends up caught in the middle.

Imperialist fire! Fascist fire! Murderous fire! Genocidal fire against the innocent people of Palestine and Lebanon by the Empire and Israel. That is the truth. Now they say that they are upset to see homes destroyed.

In the end, the US president came to speak to the people, and also to say, "I brought some documents Madame President." This morning I was watching some of the speeches while updating mine. He spoke to the people of Afghanistan, to the people of Lebanon, to the people of Iran. One has to wonder, when listening to the US president speak to those people: what would those people say to him? If those people could talk to him, what would they say? I think I have an idea because I know the souls of the majority of those people, the people of the South, the downtrodden peoples would say: Yankee imperialist go home! That would be the shout that would echo around the world, if these people of the world could speak with only one voice to the US Empire.

Therefore, Madame President, colleagues, and friends, last year we came to this same hall, as we have for the past eight years, and we said something that today is completely confirmed. I believe that almost no one in this room would stand up to defend the system of the United Nations. Lets admit with honesty, the UN system that emerged after WWII has collapsed, shattered, it doesn't work. Well, ok. To come here and give speeches, and visit with one another once a year, yes, it works for that. And to make long documents and reflect and listen to good speeches like Evo's yesterday, and Lula's, yes, for that it works. And many speeches, like the one we just heard by the president of Sri Lanka and of the president of Chile. But we have converted this Assembly into a mere deliberative organ with no kind of power to impact in the slightest way the terrible reality the world is experiencing. Therefore we again propose here today, September 20, [2006] to re-found the United Nations. Last year Madame President, we made four modest proposals that we feel are in urgent need of being adopted by the Heads of State, Heads of Government, ambassadors and representatives. And we discussed these proposals.

First: expansion. Yesterday Lula said the same, the Security Council, its permanent as well as its non- permanent seats, must open up to new members from developed, underdeveloped and Third World countries.

That's the first priority.

Second: the application of effective methods of addressing and resolving world conflicts. Transparent methods of debate and of making decisions.

Third: the immediate suppression of the anti-democratic veto mechanism, the veto power over Security Council decisions, seems fundamental to us and is being called for by all. Here is a recent example, the immoral veto by the US government that freely allowed Israeli forces to destroy Lebanon, in front of us all, by blocking a resolution in the UN Security Council.

Fourthly: as we always say, it is necessary to strengthen the role, the powers of the general secretary of the United Nations. Yesterday we heard the speech of the general secretary, who is nearing the end of his term. He recalled that in these ten years the world has become more complicated and that the serious problems of the world, the hunger, poverty, violence, and violation of human rights have been aggravated, this is a terrible consequence of the collapse of the UN system and of US imperialist pretensions.

Madame President, recognizing our status as members, Venezuela decided several years ago to wage this battle within the UN with our voice, our modest reflections. We are an independent voice, representing dignity and the search for peace, the formulation of an international system to denounce persecution and hegemonic aggression against people worldwide. In this way Venezuela has presented its name. The homeland of Bolívar has presented its name as a candidate for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council. Of course you all know that the US government has begun an open attack, an immoral global attack in an attempt to block Venezuela from being freely elected to occupy the open seat on the Security Council. They are afraid of the truth. The empire is afraid of the truth and of independent voices. They accuse us of being extremists. They are the extremists.

I want to thank all countries that have announced your support for Venezuela, even when the vote is secret and it is not necessary for anyone to reveal their vote. But I think that the open aggression of the US Empire has reinforced the support of many countries, which in turn morally strengthened Venezuela, our people, our government. Our brothers and sisters of MERCOSUR, for example, as a block, have announced their support for Venezuela. We are now a full member of MERCOSUR along with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. Many other countries of Latin America, such as Bolivia and all the CARICOM nations have pledged their support to Venezuela. The entire Arab League has announced its support for Venezuela. I thank the Arab world, our brothers of the Arab world and of the Caribbean. The African Union, nearly all of the African Union countries have pledged their support for Venezuela and other countries like Russia, China and many others across the globe. I thank you all deeply in the name of Venezuela, in the name of our people and in the name of truth, because Venezuela, upon occupying a seat on the Security Council will not only bring to it the voice of Venezuela, but also the voice of the Third World, the voice of the peoples of the planet. There we will defend dignity and truth.

Despite all this Madame President, I think there are reasons to be optimistic.

Hopelessly optimistic, as a poet would say, because beyond the threats, bombs, wars, aggressions, preventative wars, and the destruction of entire peoples, one can see that a new era is dawning.

Like Silvio Rodríguez sings, "the era is giving birth to a heart."

Alternative tendencies, alternative thoughts, and youth with distinct ideas are emerging. In barely a decade it has been demonstrated that the End of History theory was totally false. The establishment of the American Empire, the American peace, the establishment of the capitalist, neoliberal model that generates misery and poverty- all totally false. The thesis is totally false and has been dumped. Now the future of the world must be defined. There is a new dawning on this planet that can be seen everywhere: in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania. I want to highlight that vision of optimism to fortify our conscience and our will to fight to save the world and construct a new world, a better world.

Venezuela has joined this struggle and for this we are threatened.

The US has already planned, financed and launched a coup in Venezuela. And the US continues to support coup plotters in Venezuela. And they continue supporting terrorism against Venezuela.

President Michel Bachellet recalled a few days ago… pardon, I mean a few minutes ago… the terrible murder of the former Chilean Foreign Minster Orlando Letelier. I would only add the following: the guilty parties are free. Those responsible for that deed, in which a US citizen was also killed, are North Americans of the CIA. Terrorists of the CIA.

In addition, we here in this room must remember that in a few days it will be the 30th anniversary of that murder and of the horrible terrorist attack that blew up a Cubana de Aviación airplane in mid-flight killing 73 innocent people. And where is the worst terrorist of this continent, who admitted to being the intellectual author of the airplane sabotage? He was in prison in Venezuela for some years, but he escaped with the complicity of CIA officials and the Venezuelan government of that time. Now he is here living in the US, protected by the government even though he was convicted and he confessed. The US government has a double standard and protects terrorism.

These reflections are to demonstrate that Venezuela is committed to the fight against terrorism, against violence and works together with all people who struggle for peace and for a just world.
I spoke of the Cuban airplane. Luis Posada Carriles is the name of that terrorist. He is protected here just like the corrupt fugitives who escaped Venezuela. A group of terrorists who planted bombs in embassies of various countries, murdered innocent people during the coup and kidnapped this humble servant. They were going to execute me, but God reached out his hand, along with a group of good soldiers, and the who people took to the streets. It's a miracle that I'm here. The leaders of that coup and those terrorist acts are here, protected by the US government. I accuse the US government of protecting terrorism and of giving a completely cynical speech.

Speaking of Cuba, we went happily to Havana. We were there several days. During the G-15 Summit and the NAM Summit the dawning of a new era was evident with an historic resolution and final document. Don't worry. I am not going to read it all. But here is a collection of resolutions made in open discussion with transparency. With more than 50 Heads of State, Havana was the capital of the South for a week. We have re-launched the Non-Aligned Movement. And if there is anything I could ask of you all, my brothers and sisters, it is to please lend your support to the strengthening of the NAM, which is so important to the emergence of a new era, to preventing hegemony and imperialism. Also, you all know that we have designated Fidel Castro as President of the NAM for the next three years and we are sure that compañero President Fidel Castro will fulfill the post with much efficiency. Those who wanted Fidel to die, well, they remain frustrated because Fidel is already back in his olive green uniform and is now not only the President of Cuba but also the President of NAM.

Madam President, dear colleagues, presidents, a very strong movement of the South emerged there in Havana. We are men and women of the South. We are bearers of these documents, these ideas, opinions, and reflections. I have already closed by folder and the book that I brought with me. Don't forget it. I really recommend it. With much humility we try to contribute ideas for the salvation of the planet, to save it from the threat of imperialism, and god willing soon.

Early in this century, god willing, so that we ourselves can see and experience with our children and grandchildren a peaceful world, under the fundamental principles of the UN, renewed and relocated. I believe that the UN must be located in another country, in a city of the South. We have proposed this from Venezuela. You all know that my medical personnel had to stay locked up in the airplane. The Chief of my security is locked on the plane. They would not let them come to the UN. Another abuse and outrage Madame President that we request to be registered personally to the sulfurous Devil. But God is with us.

A warm embrace and may God bless us all. Good day.

Taken from

Monday, September 18, 2006

AL GORE - National Anarchist? New Right-ist?

Interview with Al Gore on "Enough Rope"

In his recent book 'Collapse', the author Jared Diamond asked the question: "Why do societies destroy the environment around them when they know their actions will ultimately destroy them too?" An example he gives is of the people of Easter Island, who chopped down their last tree on the way to their own extinction. According to former US Vice-President, Al Gore, we might be doing exactly the same thing with global warming.

ANDREW DENTON: Please welcome Al Gore.

ANDREW DENTON: Good to have you here.

AL GORE: Thank you. Thank you.

ANDREW DENTON: Welcome to Australia. A country I know you visited before, scuba diving on the Barrier Reef?

AL GORE: I have been diving on the reef. It's one of the many spectacular glories of this country. It really is a great place to visit.

ANDREW DENTON: You have been passionately pursuing global warming for 30 years. What is it about this issue that makes you so passionate?

AL GORE: I first became aware of it as a college student, when I had a professor who was the first person, first scientist to measure CO2 in the earth's atmosphere. I felt as if I had a ringside seat at the beginning of a really historic new discovery. And some years after that, when I was first elected to the US Congress, I helped organise the first Congressional hearings, had my professor as the lead witness and I encountered for the first time this incredible resistance to an inconvenient truth, which I later used as the title for the movie and the book, because people are resistant, particularly some of the business interests that have pollution, are resistant to seeing the reality of this. And the more I've tried to tell this story, the more passionately I've become involved in connecting the dots and making the picture as vividly clear as I can.

ANDREW DENTON: Often people who become passionate about a cause, there's a personal stimulus. In your case, it was a near fatal accident for your youngest boy, Al, when he was six. That was 17 years ago. And that caused you to rethink your priorities in your life. How do you make this personal for other people?

AL GORE: Well, that's a challenge. In my own case, I changed both my personal and professional priorities. And put my family first and in lots of ways, in every way, but then in my professional life, I put this climate crisis at the top of the list. I asked myself often the question you have asked me, how do you make it personal for others? At one point in the movie, I ask people to imagine what it would be like if our children's generation decades from now looked back and asked — "Why didn't our parents do something when they could?" And to hear that question now and to realise that the answer must come not with promises but with actions, and I try to connect the story told by the scientific community about the real-world consequences to people in every country. For example, here in Australia, they have long predicted that one consequence of global warming is increasing shortages in the supply of drinking water. And here in Sydney, in Brisbane, in Perth, and other places, you've been seeing that come true. They've predicted more Category Five cyclones. You had two of them this year here in Australia and a Category Four as well. To me, this is so compelling. I think it's the challenge of our lifetimes, and our lifetimes represent the period when the human species will make fateful decisions that will determine the future of human civilisation.

ANDREW DENTON: Yet despite the enormity of what you have just suggested, there are global warming sceptics, people disinterested or not interested in hearing what you have to say. When you're at a dinner party and a global warming sceptic expresses doubt, what do you say to them? What's the thing you zing them between the eyes with to stop them in their tracks?

AL GORE: Well, I had a dinner party in Amsterdam not long ago, and I was at a dinner party, and there were about 12 people at my table, and sceptics spoke up and I said, well, you know, there are some 15 per cent of the people who think that the Apollo landing on the moon was staged in a movie lot in Arizona, and I promise you, this young man said "Well, as a matter of fact…" So I realised I had to come up with another zinger for this young guy.

ANDREW DENTON: It was, though, wasn't it?

AL GORE: (Laughs) Shhh!


AL GORE: (Laughs)

ANDREW DENTON: That Nixon was up to no good!

AL GORE: Yeah!

ANDREW DENTON: I want to show some of the promotion for 'An Inconvenient Truth'. For those who haven't seen it, it's a very powerful film. FOOTAGE PLAYS: If this were to go, sea level worldwide would go up 20 feet. This is what would happen in Florida. Around Shanghai, home to 40 million people. The area round Calcutta, 60 million. Here's Manhattan, the World Trade Centre memorial would be underwater. Think of the impact of a couple of hundred thousand refugees and then imagine 100 million.

ANDREW DENTON: Now, one of the criticisms you've received for this film is that you have used the worst case scenario, when predictions are not absolute and even the moderate scenarios are pretty scary. What the risk, in having done that, of paralysing people with a sense of helplessness in the face of these events?

AL GORE: There are two questions in one as I hear them. First of all, this is not the worst case. The worst case, you don't want to hear! I think I'm right down the middle and in fact, the scientific community has validated the science in this film, and, for example, the six metre, six to seven metre sea level rise - that would come if Greenland broke up and slipped into the sea. It would come if west Antarctica, the portion that's propped up against the tops of islands with the warmer sea coming underneath it, if it went. If both went, it would be 12 to 14 metres. On Greenland, this past year, there were 32 glacial earthquakes between four point six and five point one on the Richter scale. That may sound like gobbledygook but, you know, a five on the Richter scale for an earthquake is enormous. And there were 32 of them this year on Greenland. That's double the number in '99. In '99 the number was double the number in '93. So that is evidence that what is almost certainly happening, there is a radical destabilising of that big mound of ice. So this is a realistic picture of what could happen if we don't act. Now, as to the paralysing effect of seeing these consequences - that's a real danger. And there are people who go - as I say in the movie - from denial to despair without pausing on the intermediate step and what denial and despair have in common is they both let you off the hook. You don't have to do anything. And actually the mature approach is, that all of us have to take, we have to find our way to it, is to act to solve this. And we can solve it. Despair is completely unjustified.

ANDREW DENTON: I don't wish to dip back into the well of despair but if you're down the middle with this movie, what is the worst-case scenario?

AL GORE: Well, the worst case scenario is that if we did not act fairly quickly, within these next 10 years, make a good start of it, that we would cross a tipping point beyond which it would be impossible to retrieve the favourable climate balance that has led to the development of human civilisation. Such a tipping point would be the melting of the north polar ice cap. If we allowed it to melt by continuing to turn up the thermostat with all of this global warming pollution, then it wouldn't come back at least for millions of years, and the conditions that we have known as a species would disappear.

ANDREW DENTON: I will ask you a bit later in the interview about the things we can do to combat this, but first of all let's look at some attitudes that confront what you're suggesting. A columnist in it country wrote earlier this year that even if climate change is man made, there is little Australia could do that would make any difference that we could measure, because our emissions would be dwarfed by China's and India's. As this is a global problem with no definable boundaries, how do you get the international community, that can't seem to agree on anything, to agree to action on this?

AL GORE: Since the end of World War II there has been the same basic architecture for every international treaty. The wealthier countries that have the wherewithal to go first have agreed to take the first steps and then after we find the pathway and chart the course, then the poorer nations, where per capita income is just a fraction of what it is in Australia and the United States, they then join in the work. And the Kyoto treaty, the first of the treaties to come on the climate crisis, is based on that same model. And if the wealthiest countries, including Australia and the United States, the two hold-outs, refuse to act, then there is little chance that China and India will. If, on the other hand, we do act, then that creates the conditions where these developing nations have to act. Right now, Australia and the United States are the 'Bonnie and Clyde' of the global community on the climate crisis. If Bonnie goes straight and reforms, then Clyde is out there isolated and would feel a lot of pressure to change. If Australia changed its policy, it would put enormous pressure on the US to change.


AL GORE: Seriously.

ANDREW DENTON: Okay. This is - speaking of the leadership of this country, our Prime Minister has said "I broadly accept the science of global warming but I disagree with the most severe scenarios." This is what he said yesterday about Kyoto and why Australia isn't signed up to it.

(FOOTAGE PLAYS)JOHN HOWARD: If we signed it, we would destroy a lot of Australian industry and we would send Australian jobs to countries like China and Indonesia and India.(FOOTAGE ENDS)

ANDREW DENTON: That's a commonly heard point, that to somehow or other cut emissions will destroy the economy. Is it possible to cut emissions and not destroy the economy?

AL GORE: Of course. And there's an argument that's always made often by industries that have a lot of pollution, when they say "We can't cut back on the pollution without hurting the job picture or the economy." And in almost every case, when pollution controls have been imposed, we find out that they've been crying wolf, and that the adaptation to a more efficient approach actually ends up helping the business and industry in question. There will be some companies that have behaved irresponsibly in dumping prodigious quantities of pollution for which the change will be very inconvenient, but for our economy as a whole, and for most industries, it will actually be beneficial. In the United States, to use one example, our automobile companies, including GM and Ford, have argued for years that if we impose restrictions on the pollution our cars emit, it will cause them to lose their markets and lose jobs. And they got what they lobbied for. The lowest standards. And now they're approaching bankruptcy, because the consumers want to buy more efficient cars. And they're buying them from Japan, and Europe, and so the old saying, be careful what you pray for, should apply, be careful what you lobby for. If you get it, it can be a form of protectionism against facing reality, and reality has a way of intruding.

ANDREW DENTON: I know the Prime Minister, you consider him a friend. You spoke to him earlier today. What did you talk about?

AL GORE: I would prefer to keep the conversation private, because it was just one-on-one.

ANDREW DENTON: Can you mime it?

AL GORE: (Laughs) That's a great idea! I like him as a friend, and it's no secret that he and I disagree on this issue, but I believe him to be a person with an open mind, an intellectual curiosity.

ANDREW DENTON: Will he see your film?

AL GORE: I hope so. He said publicly he might see it, so I hope that he will. And it takes courage to change. You know, we all dig ourselves into positions from time to time, and then defend them as a fortress, as we would a fortress, and the best leaders are ones that know when to change, and when to move into the future. I'm hopeful that he will. I do actually think it would have an enormous influence on the US posture and that in turn would be the turning point in the world's ability to solve this crisis.

ANDREW DENTON: Let me put an alternative view to you. Last year the English House of Lords did an economic inquiry into climate change, in which they suggested maybe that global warming will have beneficial consequences, such as longer growing seasons. Is it possible that you're wrong?

AL GORE: Well, no. That question has been studied, and it's quite true that there will be some temporary consequences that you can interpret in some countries as beneficial, yes. But the negative consequences far outweigh them. And the instability is continuous. Because what we're doing is forcing a radical reorganisation of the entire ecological system of the planet. Today, we're putting 70 million tonnes of global warming pollution into the Earth's atmosphere. And it's just arrogant on our part to believe that we can do that with impunity. That we can so utterly transform the relationship between the earth and the sun by blocking it with this blanket of global warming pollution that traps so much more of the sun's heat into the planet's ecological sphere with impunity. We're not immune to it.

ANDREW DENTON: That's the zinger you should've used in Amsterdam!

AL GORE: Perhaps, I know. That poor guy is still out there looking for the movie lot in Arizona! To put it another way, if you have a child who has a fever, and the fever persists, and it steadily gets higher, you go to the doctor. And you say "Please, let's check this out. What's the problem here?" Because it could be something bad. Well, the planet has a fever. And one or two degrees matters. Two or three or four or five matter even more. And it will continue to get higher until we stop dumping all this pollution into the earth's atmosphere. It is extremely damaging.

ANDREW DENTON: Let's talk about what can be done about it and to do that, let's go back a bit. The 2000 election, sorry to bring it up, this is something that maybe some Australians haven't seen. This is an appearance you did on 'Saturday Night Live' a few years ago where you visited the set of the 'West Wing'.

(FOOTAGE PLAYS)AL GORE: Would you mind if I...

JED BARTLETT: Oh sure, be my guest.

AL GORE: Hmmm...

JED BARTLETT: I guess while you were Vice-President you never actually got to sit in there?

AL GORE: Sorry?

JED BARTLETT: I was just - I guess you never actually sat in the President's chair?

AL GORE: No... No, I did not.(FOOTAGE ENDS)

ANDREW DENTON: I know they had to prise you from the set of the 'West Wing' with several security guards. There has been a lot of speculation about your intentions, even if this movie is some move back into politics. Under what circumstances would you stand for the presidency again?

AL GORE: I did go back on 'Saturday Night Live', just a few months ago, and they began the show with what they called a 'cold opener', with the announcer talking about the speculation that there may be alternate universes, and that some physicists believe that in parallel worlds, other events take place, so-and-so won the American Idol instead of ... and then they start with "Ladies and gentlemen, a message from the President of the United States." And it's me! And I'm saying, you know, gas prices, you would say petrol prices are so cheap now, it's... but anyway.


AL GORE: Let it go! (Laughs) It's hard!

ANDREW DENTON: I know! I have a therapist, I can help you.

AL GORE: Oh thanks, thanks! I don't intend to be a candidate for President again. I ran twice for President. I ran twice for Vice-President. Been there and done that, as the saying goes. It's true that I haven't entirely ruled out thinking about politics at some point in the future, but that's just an internal shifting of gears, and really, the truth is, I find the political process somewhat toxic at this point. I find I have less patience for some of the tomfoolery that's necessary in politics, and I have found other ways to serve, and I'm enjoying them. And I am involved in a campaign but it's for a cause, not a candidacy.

ANDREW DENTON: And it's the matter of effecting change, that's what you're engaged in. I'd like to hypothetically, let's assume something got you back into the presidency. I want to know how it actually works. I'm not doing it to be cruel.

AL GORE: You've done it several times!

ANDREW DENTON: My work is done! Let's assume you got back into the presidency. How easy is it to effect change? When you got Kyoto up before the international community, when you went back to America, of the 100 senators you approached to support it, only one came across. What did that tell you about your country?

AL GORE: Well, it told me that there was Category Five denial where global warming is concerned. I think that's changed somewhat now.

ANDREW DENTON: Would you get more today if you...


ANDREW DENTON: How many do you think you would get?

AL GORE: Hard to say. But almost half of the Senate have voted for a resolution now that is similar to the Kyoto approach. And I do think that we're getting close to a critical mass of support for major bold action. I continued to advocate bold changes, but ran into that brick wall of resistance, and one of the lessons I learned was the need to go to the grassroots level. I don't know if you have that phrase here.

ANDREW DENTON: Yes, we do.

AL GORE: And to go to people one by one, community by community, and engage in a fairly massive and sustained effort to try to change the minds of people about this crisis.

ANDREW DENTON: And to do that, you have some significant opposition. I will show a bit of an ad now from the 'Competitive Enterprises Institute', part funded by Exxon. This is what you might call the anti-Gore.

(FOOTAGE PLAYS)COMMERCIAL VOICE OVER: Global warming alarmists claim the glaciers are melting because of carbon dioxide from the fuel we use. But we depend on those fuels, to grow our food, move our children, light up our lives. And as for carbon dioxide - it isn't smog or smoke - it's what we breathe out and plants breathe in. Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life.(FOOTAGE ENDS)

AL GORE: I rest my case!

ANDREW DENTON: The stated aim of the Competitive Enterprises Institute is to create confusion, uncertainty about global science - and global warming science. A Time magazine poll of your country earlier this year stated that 65 per cent of Americans are still uncertain about global warming, which means that they're being effective. How do you combat that?

AL GORE: I don't think that is an accurate reading of where America is right now. I think that a lot of minds have been changed, and I think there is a level of urgency and a degree of certainty about that that's somewhat new and encouraging. A lot of business leaders who used to oppose Kyoto have now endorsed it. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California, of which he is governor, just last week passed binding reductions in carbon dioxide, a very bold measure, the Democratic legislature joined with him. Arnold Schwarzenegger went to see my movie in June and he said "I'm going to get rid of my Hummer." And he said some kind things about the movie and came to one of my book signings. There are now quite a few other state, nine north-eastern states, Pennsylvania, Oregon, state of Washington. In our federal system in the US, sometimes states take the lead, and when enough of them enact their own provisions, business finds it difficult to comply with different sets of standards, and they then say, well, it would be better to have one single national approach. We're in the beginning of that process now. So there is movement.

ANDREW DENTON: What about at the ordinary citizen level, the 'grassroots' level as you put it? In your documentary 30 per cent of greenhouse emissions come from the United States, a super-size-me society which leads the earth by example in gorging on the resources. An example we in Australia follow. Do you detect much willingness among your citizens to downsize the way you live?

AL GORE: Yes, there is a movement. The 30 per cent figure represents the historic contribution. That's the part we're responsible for that's up there now. This year, 22 per cent will come from the US. So there has already been some improvement.

ANDREW DENTON: That's Arnold's Humvee!

AL GORE: That's right. It was a big drop there! (Laughs) And there is now a growing movement toward trying to save on energy bills. The uncertainty in oil prices, Persian Gulf instability, the price of gasoline or petrol as you call it has really hurt the sale of these big SUVs, and promoted the sale of hybrids. So there is such a movement. And when enough individuals make changes in their own lives, it does improve the odds that we'll reach a political critical mass, and then we'll see the policy changes.

ANDREW DENTON: Let's talk about what individuals can do. You lead a carbon neutral life. What is that, how do you achieve it?

AL GORE: You reduce as much as you can by such things as using the new efficient light bulbs, and driving a hybrid instead of a regular car. I'm putting solar panels on the roof of my house, but even with all of that, I still am responsible for a lot of CO2. I flew here to Australia.

ANDREW DENTON: People point this out. You fly a lot of miles.

AL GORE: Absolutely.

ANDREW DENTON: How do you reduce that?

AL GORE: All honour and glory to Qantas, by the way. I had a very comfortable flight over. But for the CO2, that was represented by my portion of that flight, I go into this emerging marketplace for offsets, and purchase verified, validated reductions in CO2 by an amount that more than compensates for the quantities that I'm responsible for. There is a web site that accompanies the movie and the book,, that has a carbon calculator that individuals can use to calculate exactly what the magnitude of CO2 that you're responsible for in your own lives - how to reduce, how to find the offsets - if you desire to become a carbon neutral. You could make this show carbon neutral.


AL GORE: If you had somebody who was assigned to pay attention to that, you would find a lot of things that would be good changes anyway and then you could find offsets that you could use to get publicity for the show - your audience is so huge now you don't need that...

ANDREW DENTON: Careful. You've already done Qantas, you don't have to do me, it's alright! It's admirable and important what you're saying about how individuals can change their lives and should address change in their lives. But isn't what individuals can do in terms of saving energy in houses a drop in the ocean compared to the people who are the real cause of the problem? In your documentary and in your book, there is no real mention of big companies such as Exxon, who are responsible for something like 20 billion tonnes of world's carbon emissions every year - a sixth of the world's global economy is spent in harvesting oil. What haven't you turned your attention to them, the elephant in the room?

AL GORE: I beg to differ. I have. I don't - I try to avoid demonising specific villains, because really, we are all a part of this problem, and CO2 - the ad that you showed is kind of an obscene version of corporate lobbying, but CO2 is actually the exhaling breath of industrial civilisation, and changing that requires accepting responsibility by these large polluters, yes, I agree with that, but demonising individual companies, I think, diverts from the larger challenge that has to be addressed. I won't shrink from it. Let's talk about Exxon Mobil. What they're doing is absolutely immoral. How they live with themselves in financing intentional lies designed to confuse the public for the purpose of preventing the formation of a public consensus on saving the future of civilisation - I mean, I don't know how they live with that. And I've researched why it is that people no longer think any kind of boycott is - you know, is a viable approach to a company like that. I wish - if it was viable, I think there should be one. I think what they've done is just unforgivable.

ANDREW DENTON: Rather than demonising, perhaps illuminating. If we're talking about real change, if we're talking about a planetary emergency, then we're talking about radical change from the top up. Let's look at how the American political system works. At this day, no-one gets into the Oval Office effectively without the support of these big companies. You and President Clinton had 28 oil and power companies support you. George Bush had 20 million dollars put towards his campaign. Your inauguration was part paid for by an oil company. How do we change the way that system works so that the leaders of our nations are not beholden to these companies?

AL GORE: I think that leaves a false impression of what the reality is. It's true that in the American system, it's common for both parties to accept political action committee contributions but if you look at the reality of the example you use, it's like 20 to 1 on the side of the other party to what the Clinton/Gore campaign received.

ANDREW DENTON: Sure. I'm not trying to get party political but they're integrally involved in the political process?

AL GORE: They are and there is a valid point in what you're saying. I've long advocated complete public financing, taxpayer financing of all federal elections in the United States. I took that position when I first went to Congress in 1976. I reaffirmed it for my campaign for President for 2000. I think the entire conversation of democracy in the United States has suffered greatly because of the inappropriate use of corporate money in politics. But I think it's a symptom of a deeper problem. A problem that's probably worse in the US than it is in Australia. But the way we communicate among ourselves about the great issues of the day. More than 40 years ago, television supplanted the printing press as the source of information for the majority and its dominance has grown to the point that in my country, the average American watches television four hours and 39 minutes per day, and that's 75 per cent of the discretionary time. Unappreciated is the fact that this shift has taken us back to a one-way form of communication, where the information comes from a very few sources, and most people watch television and don't - they can talk back to it if they like but the message is not received, and in that kind of environment, it becomes much easier for special interests with a lot of wealth to dominate some of the messaging that shapes attitudes on issues.

ANDREW DENTON: How do we break that? How do we break that nexus between corporate interests and the way political decisions are made?

AL GORE: Well, I think that focusing on the role of money in politics is part of it. But I think that it's really addressing one of the symptoms rather than the cure. I think that the larger challenge is to democratise the dominant medium, and fortunately, there are now new affordable digital video cameras and laptop editing systems, and young people particularly are learning how to use them. I have started a new television network called 'Current TV', and it's on cable and satellite in 30 million homes in the US, and you can get a training course. We give a free training course to anybody in the world on how to make television. Then they stream the TV to us on the Internet, we post it, and let people vote on what they think the most compelling material is. Now, 30 per cent of our programming is made by the viewers. And if individuals in a nation or in a society are empowered to take part in the conversation, the key is having a meritocracy of ideas so that the people who are part of the conversation themselves decide which of the contributions from all these individuals merit more attention rather than less.

ANDREW DENTON: You know how it works, which is what gets back to Exxon spending money to spread disinformation, the person with the most money is able to put out the most messages and the most skilful messages and they win.

AL GORE: Exactly right. That is the way it works.

ANDREW DENTON: Tear it down, Al, come on!

AL GORE: I'm trying. I'm trying.

ANDREW DENTON: This is what I'm waiting to hear. How?

AL GORE: That's the way it works now.

ANDREW DENTON: Yeah, but how do you tear it down?

AL GORE: I'm trying to tell you. You build a bridge between the...

ANDREW DENTON: I need a zinger, Al!

AL GORE: (Laughs) You see, this is part of the problem, though, you see. It's part of the problem.

ANDREW DENTON: I need an intelligent zinger.

AL GORE: ENOUGH ROPE is the place where you can go beyond zingers, am I right about that? We don't need to just focus on these zingers.


AL GORE: Please!


AL GORE: All right.

ANDREW DENTON: You got 90 minutes!

AL GORE: (Laughs) That's truly ENOUGH ROPE! But seriously... The Internet allows individuals to get into contact with this incredible universe of knowledge out there, and it allows individuals to take part in the conversation. It has been that individuals find like-minded groups, and that's not entirely bad, but the Internet has not become a main public forum. With television, it is possible for individuals to contribute short-form, non-fiction essays, if you will - here's what I see in my world. Make it creative. The essays attracted an audience depending upon the excellence of the prose, the style of the writing as well as the quality of the ideas and in that same way, these televised expressions have to be compelling and attract their own audience, and as they do, what it can happen is the television medium can be the forum that it was intended to be so that we can once again have a conversation of democracy that is not dominated by Exxon Mobil financing these insipid ads for the virtues of carbon dioxide, but rather, individuals can make their own case...

ANDREW DENTON: We could discuss this a lot further, the whole problem with the profit principle and how that drives markets, but I know you have to go. I want to finish up with the fact this is the fifth anniversary of September 11. And it seems as though the world's attention is forever being wrenched back to the war on terror. How optimistic are you that we can rise above our differences to actually address a planetary emergency?

AL GORE: I don't think it should be posed as an either/or choice. The threat of terror and terrorism is real. All too real. And we must redouble our resolve to protect our citizens against terrorists, and I think we can do so. But we are capable of walking and chewing gum simultaneously. And as we continue to be diligent against the threats of terror, surely we are capable of simultaneously addressing by far the most serious crisis civilisation has ever faced. In fact, if we move beyond our dependence on oil and coal and move beyond this pattern of shipping all this money to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf - that's actually the source of most of the financing that's siphoned off in various ways to feed many of these terrorist organisations. That's not a good pattern. We need to change every part of that. And as we do, we will also gain forward momentum, gain moral authority, gain vision, deprive the terrorists of some of their financing, and find that it's easier to address the other challenges that we have to address, including terrorism.

ANDREW DENTON: And what gives you cause for optimism?

AL GORE: I know one thing about the political system in my country, in yours, and worldwide - that some of the pessimists don't know. It shares a feature in common with the climate system. It can seem to move very slowly, but when we aren't noticing it, it can cross a tipping point and then shift into an entirely different gear and move with incredible speed. We have done that in our democracies in the past. We are close to doing that in reaction to the climate crisis. We will cross that tipping point when enough people internalise the truth of our situation. We have to disenthrall ourselves from the propaganda, from the advertising, from the falsehoods, from the illusions, and we have to see the reality of this new relationship we have to the earth. We have quadrupled population in less than 100 years. We have thousands of times more powerful technologies. We're like the bull in the china shop, except that we have the capacity to become aware of what we're doing. When enough people become aware of it, understand it, and then decide that we owe it to our children to leave them a planet that is not degraded, and hostile to the human species, then we will find ways to solve this. I know that we will.

ANDREW DENTON: Al Gore, I hope you're right. Thank you very much.

AL GORE: Thank you.

To find out more about 'An Inconvenient Truth', visit the Climate Crisis website.

The 'carbon calculator' that Al Gore mentioned in the interview is also available at the Climate Crisis website.

Friday, September 08, 2006


By Welf Herfurth*

'...National Socialism is not merely a political and economic upheaval but a social revolution as well. To a very large extent it has brought the lower middle class into power. To be sure, one finds quite a few aristocrats and intellectuals in the Nazi regime. Furthermore, there are plenty of Nazis sprung from peasant or worker stock, some of whom, like the Weimar Gauleiter, would rise in any society. Yet the lower middle class seems to be inordinately in evidence. One does not notice this so much in Berlin, because the ablest elements in the Party tend to gravitate to the seat of power. In the provinces the Spiessbürgertum comes much more to the front.'

- Lothrop Stoddard, 'Into the Darkness' (1940)

Recently, the Sydney Forum hosted Professor Andrew Fraser, who gave an illuminating speech on, among other things, non-white immigration into Australia. He took the position that the 'Anglo-European' Australians (as he calls them) ought to resist the immigrant tide. But, he asked, how are the masses, or a significant proportion of them, to be mobilised into taking action? He declared that he did not, at present, have the answer. He did suggest, however, that as a first step nationalists should be aiming at a movement, at building a groundswell of support, before forming a political party; nationalism, he said, should be extra-parliamentary.

Another point that emerged, during discussions with other members attending the Forum (after the presentations by the guest speakers were over) was that a clear difference exists between radical and reactionary nationalists. A perfect example of the latter is Pauline Hanson, who, it could be argued, was a reactionary as well as an agrarian socialist. (One can be a socialist - ie, demand a redistribution of wealth - and be, at the same time, reactionary).Reactionary nationalists want to turn the clock back to an idealised Australia (or France or Germany) of the recent past. In the Australian case, they celebrate the parochial folk culture of Australia - ie, use Ned Kelly and other Australian folk figures in their iconography.

The radical nationalists, on the other hand, want a progressive movement forward - more than that, a complete break from the past and its traditions. We can classify Mussolini, Robert Mugabe, Che Guevera, Mao Tse Tung, and Hugo Chavez as men who are nationalists, radicals and socialists.

(Perhaps a clearer illustration of the difference that exists between a radical and a non-radical lies in the split in the mainstream Left in the West in the late sixties and early sixties. One side of the Left - the reformist - advocated working within the system and making changes within the context of liberal parliamentary democracy. Their tendency, even if they were communist, was to join the Democrats in the USA or the Labor Party in Australia and attempt to steer the ideology of those organisations towards communism.

On the other hand, the more radical Left advocated extra-parliamentary 'direct action' - the most spectacular examples of which were urban guerilla terrorism. Examples of urban guerilla radical groups are Baader-Meinhof in Germany, the Weathermen in the United States, the Red Brigades in Italy, and the Tupamaros in Uruguay).

One can see, from this example that a world of difference exists between the radicals of the Left and the reformists and moderates. Even if the moderates, in this case, sympathies with Trotsky and Mao - both radicals - they are still moderate by dint of their actions.

It occurred to me, after the Forum and the subsequent discussions, that the history and ideas of the Left, particularly the New Left, have a great deal of relevance to nationalism today in Australia and the rest of the Western world. Throughout this article I will be using standard terms most often found in Marxism - 'Left', 'Right', 'working-class', 'middle-class', 'bourgeois', etc - but without any evaluative tone. That is, I will not be using the word 'middle-class' as a term of opprobrium, as the communists and some neo-fascist intellectuals, such as Evola, do. These words shall be used as descriptive tools only.

A relevant text for the purposes of this article is Georges Sorel's Reflections on Violence (1908), which tackles some of the problems raised by Marxism - in particular, the failure of the working-classes to behave as the Marxist theory predicted. One of his conclusions was that attempts to bring about class consciousness through pure theory were doomed to fail. What mattered was an enabling 'myth', an idea which would induce class-consciousness among the proletariat, force them to undertake direct action against capitalism, and bring about revolution.

Sorel's solution - a syndicalist one - was the general strike, which would bring about all the conditions needed for the formation of class-consciousness, class-war, etc.

The advantage of Sorel's approach was its simplicity and directness. Modern Leftist groups try and bring about revolution by handing out issues of the Green Left Weekly on university campuses - when little to no proletarians are in attendance at those universities, and, in any case, have little interest in a refried Leninism. The Socialist Alliance also gets involved in campaigns to end sanctions against Iran, or get the Australian government to take Hezbollah off its list of terrorist groups - which is all very worthy, but has little to do with socialism, and again, fails to get the attention of the Australian working-classes. What the Australian communists need is a catalyst, a trigger which, like Sorel's general strike, brings about the conditions of change in one stroke.

Like the communists, the Australian nationalists are looking for a catalyst. They have in mind a revolution
- a racial revolution - in which white Australians will suddenly develop racial consciousness and sweep all the non-white immigrants away. Cronulla, for a time, seemed to be such a trigger event. Other racialists take a more gradualist approach: the white masses will develop race-consciousness, and then embark on a racial revolution, but only after non-white immigration gets to the point that it becomes unbearable. This is similar to the Marxist theory - that capitalist societies will inevitably become communist ones because of the progressive 'immiseration' of the working-classes, which continually lowers their living standards.

There are a number of problems with the Australian (and in general, white nationalist) approach. Without a doubt, endless non-white immigration has seen to a progressive deterioration in the quality of life in Western societies, and even mainstream politicians and media commentators (in, for instance, Britain, where the effects of immigration in the past ten years have been profound) are beginning to remark on that fact, or at least discuss it. But, by itself, immigration is not sufficient to bring about the revolution the white nationalists (or at least the more radical of them) are seeking. If one has a distaste for living and working among non-white people, one can simply move to a more white area - or a more white country. It may well be that the immigration of Sudanese asylum-seekers will expand to the point where whites have nowhere left to live; the pinch on available land and resources will be such that whites are forced to take action. But that, at present, is in the far future.

I myself believe, too, that the predictions of the demographers, who say that the British will be a minority in their own country by 2050, are too apocalyptic. Yes, immigration will continue to rise; but whites are not at the point of being bred out. (Even Bill White has written a number of articles arguing for this point). Which is not to say that immigration is not a pressing issue: it is. But it is not pressing enough for the white masses to rise up and do anything about it.

In order to get any group to take action - and here my analysis shows a trace of Marxism - their economic interests have to be affected. Economics also has a history of remarkable success in mobilising the disparate members of an ethnic group towards the same objective. Marx believed that capitalism, by affecting the working-classes economically, would be sufficient to make the proletariat realise that they share a common interest. Likewise, the economic effects of capitalism can unify members of an ethnic group. A case in point is the coup against the ethnic-Indian dominated Chaudry government in Fiji in 2000. George Speight and a number of other black Fijians stormed the parliament and held members of the government hostage for nearly two months, and Chaudry's government was overthrown in a military coup. What was the motive behind the coup? Simply that the economic interests of black Fijians were being affected. The Fijian constitution enforces black Fijian ownership of 83 per cent of land; Chaudry's government, it was felt, would introduce land reform - with the inevitable result that the hard-working and clannish ethnic Indians would buy up all the land.

The Speight coup is something white nationalists can only dream about. Speight managed to mobilise a large segment of his ethnic group behind him and overthrow the existing government (dominated by members of a foreign ethnic group) with ease. The key to his success was that his ethnic group saw that their economic interests would be endangered by a free-market economic system, in which Indians could buy all the land they wanted from Fijians; and so they gave him support.

I am not suggesting that nationalists here in Australia, or Europe or America, follow Speight's methods. I am using the Speight case to suggest that a serious racialist political attitude comes from socialism, or rather, a determination to protect the economic interests of one's racial or ethnic group against competition from outsiders. At the Sydney Forum, nationalist activists decried the fact that it is hard, these days, to mobilise 'decent people' to take up arms for the movement; that it was difficult to get women involved. Instead of reaching a wide cross-section of society, modern nationalism in the West seems to reach only a small proportion. (In an article by the New Right Australia New Zealand, titled ‘Freaks in the Movement”, it has been argued that that small proportion is primarily made up of the underclass - the working poor and the welfare class). The reason why is that nationalism is not appealing to the economic self-interest.

Nothing, in my experience, motivates middle-class Australian women more than the threat of immigration from the Sub-Continent - of Pakistanis and Indians and competing with them for the same jobs and the same contracts in I.T., law, medicine, finance, small business, engineering, science. We need plenty of members of that demographic - white-middle class women (and men) in the movement, but we are not getting them because we are not addressing their economic concerns.

The white Australian middle-classes dislike Sudanese asylum-seekers, and Vietnamese and Lebanese on welfare, but cannot be expected to be passionate about these issues. Why? Because the middle-classes are not welfare recipients, and are not competing against those migrants for state aid! But they are competing, in the field of business, against immigrants from the Sub-Continent.

(Perhaps one of the defects of nationalism in Europe is that it concentrates too much on immigrants who hail from the Middle East and North Africa. Arab, Kurdish, Turkish and African immigrants want to immigrate to Europe in order to get jobs in the low-wage service sector or to go on welfare. The economic interests of the middle-classes are thereby unaffected, even though these immigrants may become a social problem - ie, they go out and commit crimes. To my knowledge, the North African and Middle Eastern immigrants in France are confined to huge urban ghettoes and only infrequently come into contact with the white French. So they do not present a direct economic threat, either to the French working- or middle-classes).

This article does not aim at giving solutions to all the problems which afflict the nationalist movement; it, rather, aims at giving a clear statement of the problem. We have to clearly outline, among ourselves, what it is that we want. Once we have determined our goal, we can canvas the various means of reaching it.

The Marxists have a number of means of reaching their goal: some favour infiltrating liberal democratic parties; others, trade unionism; others, 'direct action'; others, terrorism; and so on. But, unlike the Marxists, we nationalists are not exactly sure of our goal.

What is it then? What is it that we want? I think we can summaries it as follows. We want a nationalism which is in keeping with historic Western and European nationalism of the past and present - European fascism, post-war neo-fascism and the Nouvelle Droite and thinkers in that circle (such as Guillaume Faye); a nationalism which is in tune with modern economic, social and geopolitical realities; a nationalism which is radical, not reactionary; a nationalism which has its base in the middle-classes; a nationalism which is socialist and left-wing.

The last of these needs some explanation. Socialism means a number of things: it means the redistribution of wealth through taxes, transfers and nationalisations, to a favoured sectional interest (in the case of Marxism, the working-class; in the case of the nationalism I am proposing, the middle-class). It also means protecting that favoured interest from competition (in the case of Marxism, cheap, imported and usually low-skilled labour) and maintaining the economic position of that interest against changes brought on by the market or by recession. The main threat to the position of the white-collar middle-class today is from non-white migrants, usually from the Sub-Continent (but not restricted to there).

Competition from that source will undercut the wages and living conditions of the white-collar class, and damage the country's national and cultural cohesiveness as a whole. So our socialism would oppose that form of migration, perhaps more vehemently than migration from Sudan or Kurdistan.

Which is not to say that migration from Africa or the Middle East is not a problem - of course it is - but the failure to address middle-class concerns is one of the reasons why nationalism has made so little headway in Australia and, perhaps, in Europe and North America as well. It is only by addressing the bread and butter issues, and the concerns of the class we most need to have on our side - the middle-class - that nationalism will become a mass movement, and then, after a sufficient period of growth, an electoral movement.

Once we have worked out the basics of what we want from nationalism, we can then go on to debate the means by which we will attain our goals. Hugo Chavez, for example, knows exactly what he wants: he wants to redistribute his country's wealth to his electoral base, the Venezuelan poor, in particular, the slum-dwellers of the urban centers like Caracas. He uses a variety of methods to achieve that goal, never confining himself to one, but can only do so with some success because he knows what he wants.

So I am not here, in this article, proposing any means; only ends. Once the nationalists here in Australia and in the Western world know what they want and can state their aims and goals with some clarity, we can proceed.

Otherwise we will be, like in the past decades, barking up the wrong tree and go nowhere.

*Welf Herfurth is a political activist who lives in Sydney / Australia. He was born and raised in Germany and can be contacted on

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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