Julius Evola  

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"In a 2014 speech to a Vatican conference, Steve Bannon made a passing reference to Julius Evola, a twentieth-century, Nazi-linked Italian writer who influenced Benito Mussolini's Italian Fascism and promoted the Traditionalist School, described by a New York Times writer as "a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions." Bannon's interest in the ideas of the Traditionalist School was driven by Evola's book Revolt Against the Modern World, and Guénon's books Man and his Becoming according to the Vedanta and The Crisis of the Modern World. In March 2016, Bannon stated he appreciates "any piece that mentions Evola."" --Sholem Stein

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola (19 May 1898 – 11 June 1974), better known as Julius Evola, was an Italian philosopher, painter, and esotericist. He has been described as a "fascist intellectual," a "radical traditionalist," "antiegalitarian, antiliberal, antidemocratic, and antipopular," and as having been "the leading philosopher of Europe's neofascist movement."

Evola is popular in fringe circles, largely because of his extreme metaphysical, magical, and supernatural beliefs (including belief in ghosts, telepathy, and alchemy), and his extreme traditionalism and misogyny. He himself termed his philosophy "magical idealism." Many of Evola's theories and writings were centered on his hostility toward Christianity and his idiosyncratic mysticism, occultism, and esoteric religious studies, and this aspect of his work has influenced occultists and esotericists. Evola also justified rape (among other forms of male domination of women) because he saw it "as a natural expression of male desire." This misogynistic outlook stemmed from his extreme right views on gender roles, which demanded absolute submission from women.

According to the scholar Franco Ferraresi, "Evola's thought can be considered one of the most radical and consistent anti-egalitarian, anti-liberal, anti-democratic, and anti-popular systems in the twentieth century. It is a singular (though not necessarily original) blend of several schools and traditions, including German idealism, Eastern doctrines, traditionalism, and the all-embracing Weltanschauung of the interwar conservative revolutionary movement with which Evola had a deep personal involvement". Historian Aaron Gillette described Evola as "one of the most influential fascist racists in Italian history". He admired SS head Heinrich Himmler, whom he once met. Evola spent World War II working for the Sicherheitsdienst. During his trial in 1951, Evola denied being a fascist and instead referred to himself as a "superfascist". Concerning this statement, historian Elisabetta Cassina Wolff wrote that "It is unclear whether this meant that Evola was placing himself above or beyond Fascism".

Evola was the "chief ideologue" of Italy's radical right after World War II. He continues to influence contemporary traditionalist and neo-fascist movements.

Metaphysics of sex

sexual metaphysics

In The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way and also Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex, Evola described the practice of sexual magic as an asceticism of action that allows one to achieve transcendent states through physical action, primarily sex.

To explain the metaphysics of sex, Evola cites the original meaning of the word "orgy" as "the state of inspired exaltation that began the initiatory process in the ancient Greek mysteries. But when this exaltation of eros, itself akin to other experiences of a supersensual nature, becomes individualized as a longing that is only carnal, then it deteriorates and ends finally in the form constituted by mere "pleasure, or venereal lust" (The Metaphysics of Sex, p. 48).

In his sexual philosophy, Evola followed the esoteric Hindu and Buddhist schools in the teaching of retention of semen as a means of ontological energization and ultimate self-mastery. "Virya, or spiritual manhood, if lost or wasted results in death and if withheld and conserved leads to life" (ibid., p. 219). Evola considered Traditional chastity as signifying "control, limit, anti-titanic purity, overcoming of pride, and immaterial unshakability, rather than a moralistic and sexuophobic concept" (The Mystery of the Grail, p. 80).

Evola considered sex as being "the greatest magical force in nature", and he fiercely opposed homosexuality, viewing it as a dysfunctional undermining of the magnetic polarity and complementary nature of the two sexes, and thus of the possibility of erotic transcendence. "In a civilization where equality is the standard, where differences are not linked, where promiscuity is in favor, where the ancient idea of 'being true to oneself' means nothing anymore—in such a splintered and materialistic society, it is clear that this phenomenon of regression and homosexuality should be particularly welcome, and therefore it is no way a surprise to see the alarming increase in homosexuality and the 'third sex' in the latest 'democratic' period, or an increase in sex changes to an extent unparalleled in other eras" (The Metaphysics of Sex, p. 64).

Evola refers to Plotinus, who deemed homosexual loves to be shameful and abnormal, like diseases of degenerate persons "which do not arise from the essence of being and are not the outcome of the development thereof" (Enneads, III). Ancient Aryo-Zoroastrian view on homosexuality, as exemplified in the Vendidad, elicits Evola's full approval: sodomites were classed among the ranks of those criminals to be destroyed on the spot: "Four men can be put to death by any one without an order from the Dastur (high priest): the Nasu-burner (cannibal), the highwayman, the Sodomite, and the criminal taken in the deed" (Vendidad, 8:73-74). With equal vehemence, Evola scorned modern pornography, denouncing it as "dreadfully squalid not only in the facts and scenes described, but in its essence" (The Metaphysics of Sex, p. 4).

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Julius Evola" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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