Normally Radical

By: M. Nagy

Radical is the conception of an abrupt and far reaching re-work of an established paradigm; mainstream on the other hand is that of an idea or attitude that is regarded as a conventional norm. These two should be viewed as traditionally opposing views set against one another. When they group together in a synonymous form, there is something uniquely wrong with their conceptualizations. In this sense, there is an disconnect which has been established between what is thought should be the general consensus, and what is the actual general consensus on the norms and values of societies’. Evolian philosophy promotes a method of fascism based on, “the primacy of Tradition, which he (Evola) understood to be a set of archaic truths revealed in the most ancient human documents”1. It suggests that the leaders of a future radical change will be a unified and steadfast group who can usher civilization back into a more traditional era of society. In such a designed reality, there is a mainstream liberal worldview to push back against by a select few individuals who are capable of bending societies to their wills.

This conceptualization however exists before, during, and after the Second World War. They are neither constrained nor maintained by the conflict, in effect they exist in conjunction with it. They also are not disciplined to any designed borders (one of the true travesties of ideas is that they are not bound to territory the way people can be). The development of the Nouvelle Droite is one such example of this. A ‘New’ right wing movement based on the ideas of Alain de Benoist, an movement which challenges ideas of globalism through the use of regionalist and heavily identitarian ideology.2 It was birthed from the philosphies of Evola, but grew into a far more utilitarian and global-anti-globalist creation under de Benoist. The Nouvelle Droite is as much a part of history as it is a part of modernity. In such it exists in a space of both of the traditional and the new; a hybridized form which can call for radical change and embrace a mainstream conception of the past.

This leads me to questions on a nature of the newness that these movements claim to be, but further in how they are regarded by the general public. Should radical movements, based in century old foundations, be regarded as something new? In doing so, is there not a claim of legitimacy being made to their arguments. Further, are they not being given the spotlight in doing so for them to grow larger than they would have otherwise? Or is it best to expose and shame these anti-social philosophies back into the recesses which they were born?

1Robert Deam Tobin, “The Evolian Imagination: Gender, Race, and Class from Fascism to the New Right” Journal of Holocaust Research vol. 35, Issue2 (Confronting Hatred; Neo-Nazim, Antisemitism, and Holocaust Studies): 75-90.

2Tamir Bar-On, “Transnationalism and the French Nouvelle Droite.” Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 45, no. 3 (July 2011): 199–223.

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