The Evolian Imagination: Gender, Race, and Class from Fascism to the New Right

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According to the French writer Alain de Benoist, Julius Evola's writings ground all major strands of radical-, new-, far- and alt-right thinking in Europe and beyond. His appealingly evocative and romantic vision of the world seems to offer an alternative to the liberal globalization that has left so many dissatisfied. Evola (1898-1974) rose to prominence with the publication of Revolt against the Modern World in 1934, which secured his position as a major intellectual in Mussolini's fascist Italy and attracted the attention of thinkers in Germany associated with the Conservative Revolution. After the Second World War, philosophers such as Russia's Aleksandr Dugin and France's Guillaume Faye adopted Evola's critiques of liberalism (reminiscent of Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Ernst Jünger, and Carl Schmitt). Nowadays, Italy's CasaPound and Hungary's Jobbik party rely on him for their ideology; far-right presses in Hungary (Arktos), Germany (Antaios), and Russia (Velesova sloboda) publish him enthusiastically. The Austrian Identitarian Martin Sellner tweets praise about him, the American Alt-Rightist Richard Spencer promotes him, while former Trump adviser Bannon champions him. Evola frames his analysis of race as a celebration of difference; because Evola argues racial difference is cultural and spiritual, rather than purely biological, his followers claim they are not crudely racist. Simultaneously, Evola's fanciful speculations about sun-loving Hyperboreans from the North and their Aryan descendents allows for side-trips to Atlantis, neopaganism, eastern religion and New Age thought that give his writings a countercultural edge. Similarly, his views on gender (inspired by Otto Weininger and Hans Blüher) emphasize difference between the sexes, with ascetic and warrior identities for men, while women fall into the roles of lover or mother, which has a barely suppressed erotic allure for many readers, including gay ones. In an era primed for a critique of liberal globalization, the Evolian vision of differences offers a seductive alternative.

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Journal of Holocaust Research

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fascism, Julius Evola, New Right