The ‘Primitive’ American Mind
by Revilo P. Oliver
JULIUS EVOLA’S ‘Civilta’ americana, originally published in 1945, has been reprinted in Rome by a foundation established in his memory. The new edition is introduced by a preface, of which an English translation appears in the British periodical, Scorpion, from which I quote the following extracts:
“Anyone today who considers American society is struck by the impression of a society gone mad, in which the germs of disintegration which Evola pointed to have multiplied and the disease has broken out visibly, defacing a social fabric which was already deteriorating. According to official statistics, more than one-fifth of the population of the United States has been involved with drugs. Organised delinquent hooliganism is still on the increase and has come to dominate large areas of some cities; every kind of sexual aberration is being advocated along with an unbridled sexual grossness; there is increasing violence and sadism in the cities, particularly among the young; pseudo- religious sects proliferate, dragging their disciples into a psychological slum world. These phenomena are only the most obviously disquieting symptoms of an accelerating decline towards total disintegration of the human personality… American society, in fact, is on an irreversible course of extinction.”
“What in Europe exist in diluted form are magnified and concentrated in the United States whereby they are revealed as the symptoms of disintegration and cultural and human regression. The American mentality can only be interpreted as an example of regression, which shows itself in the mental atrophy towards all higher interests and incomprehension of higher sensibility. The American mind has limited horizons, one confined to everything which is immediate and simplistic, with the inevitable consequence that everything is made banal, basic, and levelled down until it is deprived of all spiritual life…
“The ‘primitive’ American mind can only superficially be compared to a ‘young’ mind. The American mind is a feature of the regressive society to which I have already referred. A most significant aspect of American mentality and its lack of refinement is the closeness of the American way of thinking in general to the negroid way of thinking in particular, not only in well-known examples, such as music, but in multifarious aspects of the mass psyche and in the proliferation of superstitions and religious sects of every kind, which thrive in the United States as they do in few other countries.”
Evola saw the dominant principle of American society in the frantic striving for equality, which, of course, can only be equality in degradation. This, as I have remarked more than once, is simply a recrudescence of proletarian baseness that is implicit in the gospels of the “New Testament”” and is made explicit in a Christian Apocalypse in which Jesus promises that after he has returned to raise Hell on earth and has tortured and butchered the civilized population, his pets will pop out of their graves, miraculously transformed into the beings of the same age, the same sex, the same stature, and as indistinguishable from one another as the bees in a swarm.
The writer of the new preface draws an analogy to the Aryan civilization of India, slurring over the basic racial distinction involved. He writes:
“The Americans’ ‘open-mindedness,’ which is sometimes cited in their favor, is the other side of their ‘inner formlessness.’ The same goes for their ‘individualism.’ Individualism and personality are not the same: the one belongs to the formless world of quantity, the other to the world of quality and hierarchy…. The American ‘mind,’ puerile and primitive, lacks characteristic form and is therefore open to every kind of standardisation.
“In a superior civilisation, as, for example, that of the Indo-Aryans, the being who is without characteristic form or caste (in the original meaning of that word), (1) not even that of servant or shudra, would emerge as a pariah. In this respect America is a society of pariahs. There is a role for pariahs. It is to be subjected to beings whose form and internal laws are precisely defined. Instead, the modern pariahs seek to become dominant themselves and to exercise their dominion over all the world.”
(1. “Caste” is an Anglicization of the Portuguese casta, “pure (race),” which was used to translate the Sanskrit varna, “color, complexion.” Strictly speaking, there are only four castes, but the word is also applied to the innumerable subdivisions of them, which are said to be the result of miscegenation. According to one theory, there are four castes because the holy men cleverly created a caste for themselves (Brahmanas) to put themselves on top, and originally there were only three castes, corresponding to the three strata of society in the Norse myth of Heimdahl. These were the White Aryan conquerors, the White but ‘olive-skinned’ descendants of the people whose civilization left the ruins in the Indus Valley, and the Black aborigines.)
I do not know whether the writer intended his readers to notice that the Jews are a race which does have “form and internal laws,” i.e., an intense racial consciousness.
If you read Italian, you will find in Evola’s book a response to Burns’ wish: “Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us / To see ourselves as others see us!”
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Source: Liberty Bell magazine, February 1985