Traditionalism

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{ The following is an excerpt from our forthcoming book: Sith Academy: Dark Side Philosophy.}

Traditionalism is a school of thought developed primarily by European intellectuals in the 20th century as a reaction to the revolutionizing and disorienting effects of modernity. Traditionalists seek to re-connect to those primal currents of philosophy and spirituality that they believe all great pre-modern civilizations had in common—the “perennial wisdom” of universal, eternal metaphysical truths. The emphasis of Traditionalism is on the restoration of perennial metaphysics to its rightful place as the guiding philosophy for society, rather being discarded as a useless relic of an unenlightened age. Major exponents of Traditionalism include René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Julius Evola, Hossein Nasr and Huston Smith.

Baron Julius Evola

The most Sithy of the Traditionalists, and the most interesting to us, is Julius Evola. A profound esotericist and one-time fascist theoretician, Evola celebrates the aristocratic, ascetic warrior-mystic as the epitome of the Traditional man, and harshly criticizes the sort of modern “progressive” man who accumulates material wealth and seeks pleasure while growing ever more degenerate, dependent, effeminate, pacifistic and spiritually empty. Evola points to the Hindu caste system, European feudalism and Imperial Japan as examples of traditionally ordered societies that produce men of strength and nobility. In such societies there is a divine order, in which authority flows from the Source (Brahma, God, etc.) downward to the monarchs, nobles, priests, warriors, workers and merchants in a strict hierarchy. Modernity, in this view, has been a process of undoing or inverting the traditional order, such that now, in place of rule by warrior-kings and priests, we have a regime dominated by merchants and technocrats who have no sense of a divine order, no conception of metaphysics and no vision beyond base materialism and hedonism.

Our project of Sithism, while being in some respects radically post-modern and revolutionary, also incorporates strong elements of Traditionalist thought. For the Empire is very similar to the Traditionalist vision of a sacred imperium: there is a “divine” or metaphysical hierarchy, in which power flows downward from the Source, to the Emperor, the Dark Lords, Apprentices, Acolytes and into the larger society; the authority of the rulers is absolute, being based on Force power rather than legal documents; the method of governance is Magocracy, in which the rulers are magicians who employ symbols, rituals, mental projections and metaphysical constructs to assert their rule more than rationalist abstractions or brute force; the focus is on long-term stability and achievement of great projects rather than solving short-term problems driven by populist sentiment; the doctrines of democracy, materialism and utilitarianism that form the basis of modern states are discarded in favor of magocracy, panpsychism and romanticism.

In our view, such a civilization, which incorporates traditional metaphysics into a postmodern, scientific culture, holds the cure for the “Force starvation crisis” that we wrote about previously in Book 3: Lords of the Force, and which is literally destroying the bodies, minds and souls of the men of this age. Traditionalism is an important philosophical strand in the web we must weave to break the spell of the Light Side orders and prepare minds for the coming of the Empire.