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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini (1926-2017)

Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini, the leading Italian Traditionalist, has just died, aged 91.

Pallavicini was born in 1926 and started his Traditionalist career in 1951 as a member of the Maryamiyya, to which he was introduced by Julius Evola. He then left the Maryamiyya and in 1971 joined the Singapore branch of another Sufi order, the Ahmadiyya Idrisiyya, which he established in Italy during the 1980s. At this time he was deeply involved in interreligious dialogue with various Catholic organizations.

The Italian branch of the Ahmadiyya Idrisiyya prospered, in France as well as in Italy, and became the basis of another organization, Coreis, the Comunità religiosa islamica italiana (Italian Islamic Religious Community), which played an active role in representing Islam to the Italian government. Pallavicini was distinguished by his commitment to the classic Traditionalism of René Guénon and, of course, to Sufism.

He is succeeded by his son, Yahya.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Evola and Tolkein

A new article on how the thought of Julius Evola and J. R. R. Tolkien came together in Italian "Hobbit Camps" in the late 1970s and early 1980s has just been published by John Last. It is "How ‘Hobbit Camps’ Rebirthed Italian Fascism."

As Last shows, there was something of the (lowercase t) traditionalist about Tolkien, both in his dislike of modernity and his interest in ancient myth. This fitted well with the mood of the Italian Right, as did the work of Evola.

It would be interesting to know whether this is just coincidence, or whether there is a deeper connection. What inspired Tolkien, other than the myths he worked wth as a scholar?


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Traditionalism is now trendy

Traditionalism in now trendy. At least, it is the topic of an article in what may be the UK's trendiest magazine, Tank (pictured).
"This autumn, at a time when the world feels at its most divided – its most partisan – we’re throwing our very own Party Issue. While party politics in America are transformed into a school-canteen food fight, here in the UK there has been a resurgence in political party membership. From the history of Notting Hill carnival to the etymological roots of the word “party”; from an LSD library to the rise of Traditionalist philosophy, our contributors include the acclaimed novelist Ottessa Moshfegh, the writers Charlie Fox, Emily Segal and Justin E.H. Smith, and the photographers Osma Harvilahti and Jody Rogac, among many more."
Among the "many more" is Mark Sedgwick, with "The ideology of the new paradigm."

Saturday, September 02, 2017

How the New Right gained traction

A PhD dissertation on the New Right, covering also the impact of Traditionalism, has just been successfully defended at Aarhus University. The dissertation was by Jacob Christiansen Senholt, entitled “Identity Politics of the European New Right: Inspirations, Ideas and Influence.”

In the dissertation, Senholt distinguishes three main inspirations: the “Counter-Enlightenment” from Herder onwards, the Conservative Revolution from Spengler onwards, and Traditionalism from Guénon onwards. Even if New Right thinkers sometimes criticize Traditionalism and try to distance themselves from it, its impact still remains clear.

For ideas, Senholt stresses especially “metapolitics,” the idea that politics can be changed by changing the way issues are conceived and discussed.

For influence, Senholt notes that the New Right is suddenly important and everywhere. This, he thinks, is because circumstances have changed, not because the New Right has. The New Right has actually been saying much the same thing for thirty years, without having much impact. Now, suddenly, issues relating to identity, to migration and globalization, have given it traction.

A fine dissertation. The supervisors were Ole Morsing and Mark Sedgwick.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dugin the puppet-master?

Sometimes it seems that the Western media really loves Alexander Dugin. First we had Dugin as "Putin's brain" (as if Putin didn't have a brain!) and now we have Putin as Dugin's puppet--honestly, and in the Huffington Post, too!
“Okay, so a weird mystical guru is using Vladimir Putin as a puppet to implement his spiritual goal to destroy the West and end the world, in order to bring about the spiritual transformation of society. What can I do about it?”
asks James Carli in "Aleksandr Dugin: The Russian Mystic Behind America’s Weird Far-Right," before suggesting organising against the Right and re-reading Rousseau.

Carli recognises elsewhere in the article that "experts are divided about the extent of Dugin’s influence," but even so he goes on to suggest that Dugin is manipulating Putin. Why is it, one has to ask, that there is this desire to explain the whole of Russian foreign policy in terms of the ideas of one thinker? Is it perhaps to avoid more difficult discussions?