Social and Political Thought of Julius Evola
By Paul Furlong
Routledge – 2011 – 192 pages
Series: Extremism and Democracy
Julius Evola’s writing covered a vast range of subjects, from a distinctive and categorical ideological outlook and has been extremely influential on a significant number of extreme right thinkers, activists and organisations. This book is the first full length study in English to present his political thought to a wider audience, beyond that of his followers and sympathisers, and to bring into the open the study of a neglected strand of contemporary Western thought, that of traditionalism.
Evola deserves more attention because he is an influential writer. His following comes from an important if largely ignored political movement: activists and commentators whose political positions are, like his, avowedly traditionalist, authoritarian, anti-modern, anti-democratic and anti-liberal. With honourable exceptions, contemporary academic study tends to treat these groups as a minority within a minority, a sub-species of Fascism, from whom they are held to derive their ideas and their support. This work seeks to bring out more clearly the complexity of Evola’s post-war strategy, so as to explain how he can be adopted both by the neo-fascist groups committed to violence, and by groups such as the European New Right whose approach is more aimed at influence from within liberal democracies. Furlong also recognises the relevance of Evola’s ideas to anti-globalisation arguments, including a re-examination of his arguments for detachment and spontaneism (apolitia).
Paul Furlong provides a clear summary of Evola’s thought that is refreshingly dispassionate in its treatment of views that are unpalatable. Furlong evidences a depth of scholarship by his careful comparison of works and editions of the same work, as well as an awareness of philological issues – though this is done without clouding or hindering the pace of the exposition of the substantial points. -- Marcus William Hunt (Queen’s University Belfast)
1. Introduction. a man out of his time? 2. Magic, idealism and the need for the absolute 3. Tradition and History 4. ‘A rigorous political doctrine’ 5. Nations, Nationalism, Empire and Europe 6. The Strategy for the Right:Men and Ruins 7. Race, Sex and Anti-Semitism 8. Conclusion: Evola and Modern Conservatism
Paul Furlong Professor of European Studies and Head of School, School of European Studies, Cardiff University.