Some Suggestions Regarding the Prospects for the Fourth Political Theory in Europe
Some Suggestions Regarding the Prospects for the Fourth Political Theory in Europe
To get to the Fourth Political Theory, we must begin from three ideological points.
From Liberalism to the Fourth Political Theory: The Hardest Road
To proceed from liberalism to the Fourth Political Theory is the most difficult path, since it is the opposite of all forms of liberalism. Liberalism is the essence of modernity, but the Fourth Political Theory considers modernity to be an absolute evil. Liberalism, which takes as its primary subject the individual and all the values and agendas that proceed from it, is viewed as the enemy. To embrace the Fourth Political Theory (4PT), a liberal should deny himself ideologically and reject liberalism and its suppositions in their entirety.
The liberal is an individualist. He is dangerous only when he is an extrovert, since in doing so he destroys his community and the social bonds with which he is associated. Being an introverted liberal is less dangerous because he only destroys himself. And this is a good thing: one liberal less.
But there is one interesting fact: the 4PT diverges from the modern versions of anti-liberalism (namely, socialism and fascism) by proposing not a critique of the individual as viewed from the outside, but rather his implosion. This means not to take a step back into pre-liberal forms of society, or one step sideways into the illiberal types of modernity, but rather one step inside the nihilistic nature of the individual as constructed by liberalism. Therefore, the liberal discovers his way to the 4PT when he takes one step further and achieves self-affirmation as the unique and ultimate instance of being. This is the final consequence of the most radical solipsism, and can lead to an implosion of the ego and the appearance of the real Self (which is also the goal of the practices associated with Advaita Vedanta).
Nietzsche called his Übermensch “the winner of God and nothing.” By this he meant the overcoming of the old values of Tradition, but also the nothingness that comes in their place. Liberalism has accomplished the overcoming of God and the victory of pure nothingness. But this is the midnight before the breaking of dawn. So taking one step further into the midnight of European nihilism is how a liberal who wishes to leave this identity, which is more consistent with a peculiarly Western destiny of decline (because the Occident itself is nothing but decline at present – more on this later) behind, arrives at the horizon of the 4PT.
Modernity is certainly a European phenomenon. But liberalism as the essence of modernity is not so much European as Anglo-Saxon and trans-European, specifically North American. Europe was the preliminary stage of modernity, and thus Europe includes within itself the socialist (Communist) as well as fascist identities alongside the purely liberal one. Europe is the motherland of all three political theories. But America is a place where only one of them is deeply rooted and fully developed. So despite being born in Europe, liberalism has ripened in America. Europe and the USA are comparable to father and child. The child inherited only one of the possibilities from its father, albeit the most important one. As a result, liberalism in Europe is partly autochthonous and partly imposed by America (being re-exported). That is the reason why American followers of the 4PT are so important. If they manage to overcome liberalism in the Far West, they will show the path for European liberals to follow. This is something akin to Julius Evola’s idea of differentiated man. This remark makes reference to my article about the 4PT in Europe and specifically to my final two propositions in it regarding how to overcome the individual: by method of self-transcendence by an effort of the will (a kind of polytheistic effort of pure will), or through an existential encounter with death and absolute loneliness.
Therefore, the way from liberalism to the 4PT in Europe passes through America and its inner mystics. This is the third attempt to make sense of America: the first one was that of de Tocqueville, the second was that of Jean Baudrillard. The third one is reserved for the European who approaches the Far West in a search for the mystery of liberalism from the 4PT perspective.
From Communism to the 4PT: From Radical Critics to the Principal Critics
The way from the Communist position to the 4PT is much easier and shorter. There are some common points: first of all, the radical rejection of liberalism, capitalism and individualism. There is a clear and definite common enemy. The problem is that the positive program of Communism is deeply rooted in modernity and shares many typically modern notions: the universality of social progress, linear time, materialistic science, atheism, eurocentrism and so on. The battle of Communism against capitalism belongs to the past. But the 4PT is the main ideological opponent of liberalism at present. So a genuine Communist can easily become attracted to the 4PT, considering its anti-liberal aspects.
To take this step, one needs to move on from the radical critics of modernity, such as Marx, to the principal critics of modernity, such as René Guénon, according to the excellent formulation of the French author, René Alleau. This brings us to the relevance of National Bolshevism. National Bolshevism is a kind of hermeneutics that identifies the qualitative features in the quantitative vision of socialism. For orthodox Marxists, society is based strictly on class principles and the socialist community is formed everywhere according to one model. But National Bolsheviks, having analyzed the Soviet, German and Chinese experiences, have remarked that, put into practice, Marxism can help to create societies with the clear features of a national culture and which possess specific and unique identities. While being theoretically internationalist, historical Communist societies were nationalist with a strong presence of traditional aspects. Therefore socialism, being the by-product of liberal modernity, can be regarded as an extreme and heretical kind of pre-modernity and an eschatological form of ecstatic religiosity – following the examples of the Gnostics, the Cathars, Bruno, Münzer and so on. That was also the opinion of Eric Voegelin, who called this the immanentization of the eschaton. (This is a heretical notion, but it is traditional nevertheless.)
The way to the 4PT for the European Left passes through the historical and geopolitical analyses of the National Bolsheviks (Ernst Niekisch, Ernst Jünger and so on). Excellent work in this regard has been done by the European New Right and especially by Alain de Benoist.
From the Third Position to the 4PT: The Shortest Way but Problematic Nevertheless
From the European Third Position to the 4PT is only one step, because the 3PT and 4PT share the Conservative Revolution of the Weimar era and traditionalism as common starting points. But that step is not easy to take. The 4PT is strictly anti-modern, in fact counter-modern. But the nation that is so dear to representatives of the Third Position is essentially a modern notion, just as are the concepts of the State and of race. The 4PT is against any and all kinds of universalism, and refuses eurocentrism of any kind – liberal as well as nationalist.
The ethnic traditions of the European peoples are sacred in their roots and form a part of their spiritual heritage. Yet ethnic identity is something quite different from the national State as a political body. European history was always based on the plurality of its cultures and the unity of its spiritual authorities. This was destroyed, first by the Protestant Reformation and then by modernity. The liquidation of European spiritual unity was part of the origin of European nationalism. Therefore the 4PT supports the idea of a new European empire as a traditional empire with a spiritual foundation, and with the dialectical coexistence of diverse ethic groups. Instead of national States in Europe, a sacred empire – Indo-European, Roman and Greek.
This is the dividing line between the European 4PT and its Third Position: the refusal of any kind of nationalism, chauvinism, eurocentrism, universalism, racism, or xenophobic attitude. The historic pretensions and hostilities between the European ethnic groups existed, to be sure. It should be recognized. But it is irresponsible to construct a political program on that basis. Europe should stand for geopolitical unity, coupled with the preservation of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the various European ethnoses.
The 4PT affirms that geopolitics is the primary instrument that can be used to understand the contemporary world. So Europe should be reconstructed as an independent geopolitical power. All these points coincide with the main principles of the French New Right and with the manifesto of GRECE by Alain de Benoist. Therefore we should consider the European New Right as a manifestation of the 4PT.
Here we approach the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, who is central to and the most important thinker for the 4PT. The 4PT takes as its primary subject the Heideggerian notion of Dasein. Heidegger is the metaphysical (fundamental-ontological) step from the Third Position toward the Fourth one. The task is to develop the implicit political philosophy of Heidegger into an explicit one, thus creating as a consequence a doctrine of existential politics.
Last point. Europe is the West, and decline is its essence. To come to the lowest point of its descent (Niedergang) is the fate of Europe. It is deeply tragic, and not something one should be proud of. So the 4PT is in favor of a European Idea in which Europe is understood as a sort of tragic community (as per Georges Bataille): a culture that is searching for itself in the heart of Hell.