Guillaume Faye's Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic Age is now available for English readers. Translated from the French by Sergio Knipe and published by U.K house, Arktos Media, Archeofuturism's 250 pages begin with a foreword by Michael O'Meara. Surprisingly, there is no updated author's introduction to the new English edition; instead, the introduction appears to be from the original French. It is, however, remarkable for lacking an index although, at the same time, we are happy to find sufficient textual explanatory notes added by editor John Morgan. Without them, certain allusions and references would likely not be very well understood by most American readers. Archeofuturism is divided into two parts: the first and the bulk consists of five sections containing Faye's arguments and support; the remainder is Faye's science-fiction short story set in the coming archeofuturist era, AD 2073. Archeofuturism is not overly detailed in argument, but flows rapidly offering “glimpses and sketches, each shedding more or less light, to make the book easier to read.” In this we believe the author has generally succeeded. One must keep in mind that the book was written prior to 1998. The fact that only now does it warrant an English translation speaks not only to the on-going relevance of Faye's topic, but the state of political-right publishing—Faye is not a typical “right liberal” after Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the like. We therefore welcome the opportunity to encounter an author not well-known in America, and are grateful to Arktos Media.
Faye's archeofuturist thought is a radical thinking. Here the primary definition of radical, meaning going to the root or radix, is a thinking both toward and out from the origin of social and political problems—problems whose solutions are nascent and hardly recognized, or if they are, only in an inchoate form, by a majority of Western European citizens. It is also a revolutionary thinking inasmuch as the condition of Europe is, in Faye's view, at the end of an historical cycle, yet not quite at the beginning of whatever new development could possibly take its place. The goal of Faye's radical thinking, then, is to create the practical intellectual groundwork for revolutionary action rooted in, but not always tied to, tradition—a “consistent and pragmatic ideological corpus with detachment and adaptive flexibility.” Faye's self-acknowledged intellectual precursors are Friedrich Nietzsche, Julius Evola, Martin Heidegger, and Carl Schmidt as well as the “Italian Communists.” Regarding the latter, Michael O'Meara describes Faye's method as a “Gramscianism of the Right.”1 Archeofuturism is, in fine, a founding or a beginning way whose goal is transformative, yet not inconsistent with traditional European heritage.
For Faye, present-day European civilization, a “product of modernity and egalitarianism,” is at its end. No longer are strange “barbarians” at the gate, but instead we confront them openly, face to face. Starting now [that is around 2010 or thereabouts] Faye predicted that a combination of contradictions within European demographics, economics, religion, and geopolitics would converge creating worldwide crisis. Unfortunately, existing intellectual material is no longer capable of offering effective solutions. Neither individualism nor egalitarianism are capable of showing the way, therefore those that can ought already be thinking of new ways, and formulating new plans for living in a post-catastrophic world. How can civilization survive, and what new social-cultural forms must manifest? The political left offers nothing helpful, only more of the same, and political conservatism has demonstrated itself to be an untenable philosophy simply because there is nothing, or at least very little, that is today worth preserving. Politically Faye considers himself a nationalist, but rather a European ethnic nationalist as opposed to, say, a French nationalist. This is because France, and for that matter each European geopolitical nation-state, lost all intrinsic cultural and ethnic identity. Europe is now merely a collection of place-names without any integral organic essence.
Faye discusses his early participation within the New Right (Nouvelle Droite) commenting upon its increasing political irrelevance. Why? For a variety of reasons including ideological competition from Le Pen's National Front on the right and the efficacy of Antonio Gramsci's thought upon the left. Coupled with political self-censorship from mainstream organs (“soft totalitarianism against all 'incorrect' forms of expression”) in conjunction with New Right's mishandling of their own media were sufficient factors to render the movement moot. Faye's political self-criticism also highlights the twin mistake of the New Right's often pro-Islamic stance coupled with an embrace of neo-paganism: two ideas unsuited for gaining much political popularity among a more general political-right oriented citizenry. The latter, a spiritual reaction to modern Christianity's “egalitarian, leveling, and ethno-masochistic evangelism,” was wrongheaded and, in any case, could never be expected to have broad appeal. The former manifested as a “virulent anti-Catholicism (where indifference would have been more in order)...combined with an open friendliness towards Islam.” Too, paganism's conceptual reduction or “oversimplification,” an idea that European culture could ever be grounded within a cult of “folklorism,” obscured the grand historico-artistic genius of European Christian culture. Finally, with the introduction of Islam into Europe any agreement between these two religions (paganism and Islam) would be like trying to “reconcile the devil with holy water.” We note that Faye writes as a pagan.
Within New Right movement thought Faye critiques a more than partly justified but still obsessive anti-Americanism that led to an overly emphatic “Third-Worldism,” along with the previously mentioned “naïve pro-Islamic stance.” American hegemony is one problem, but for Faye it is not the immediate problem, and certainly not the problem responsible for destroying European culture. Third-Worldism, what is commonly known as ethno-pluralism, multiculturalism, and the establishment of non-indigenous inter-ethnic communities—the “presence of separate ethnic communities on European soil” leads to exclusive ghetto enclaves and is contrary to the natural idea of “each folk in its own land.” This demographic shift is catastrophic for Europe, and the attendant contradiction cannot resolve peacefully.
In addition to his social-political critique, Faye encourages a scientific or technological criticism, a new environmentalism recognizing a need for technological growth, but at the same time necessarily placing technological innovation within a rational human-centric equation. All consequences have to be considered. At the time of the writing Faye expressed concern about the then popular idea of man-made global warming. Now known to be primarily a leftist peusdo-scientistic fraud, Faye invoked the figure of no less than Cuban Communist thug, Fidel Castro, as an (albeit unwitting) proponent of the classical idea of Platonic Justice when, during a speech to the World Health Organization, the Cuban strongman chided the West for an economic liberalism leading to world-wide pollution. Perhaps Al Gore was unavailable, but why Castro? Nevertheless, in spite of Faye's questionable choice of representative examples of environmental humanism, his point is clear enough. Within Faye's technological speculative critique we encounter more weirdness: for instance his idea of developing chimeras, or man-animal hybrids, “para-human living creatures” for which, of course, “countless applications” could be found!
Abandoning modernity, the solution to the aforementioned social-cultural-political-technological problems can be found on the archeofuturist path. Archeofuturism requires a “return to archaic” but fundamental existential questions, along with an abandonment of “insignificant” concerns. We must forget our “egalitarian hallucinations” in favor of traditional hierarchical modes whereupon civilization rose. A return to “authentic order” is our only course. But what must happen in order to gain what must now be considered an atavistic order? First, Faye warns that Islam is, in effect, a large scale invasion under a “new guise,” The new guise is in reality a colonization. If the West is to survive we must abandon notions of universal harmony and altruism, but prepare for the worst. Civil disorder cannot be avoided. At the same time, war can no longer be understood as conflict between nation-states, but rather among cultures—it will manifest among ethno-religious groups within existing geographical states, the primary conflict being between indigenous Europeans and Islamic colonizers.
After the Islamic war, what political form can Europe possibly take? Against the current European Union—a confederation of nation-states, a “neo-federal Europe founded upon autonomous regions” is preferable. In other words, a “United States of Europe.” This does not seem to suggest a direct analog to current America since it is not clear how an archeofuturist USE could have any structural relation to the USA especially since federalism in America has become rather quaint. However it may be, within archeofuturist Medieval-like European organizations, economic autarky would prevail. Politically, we expect a more homogenous citizenry where an enlightened electorate could effect sovereign decisions via electronic referendums. Socially, individual control is grafted back to family units, and our present-day “surplus of rights” must give way to a corresponding “surplus of duties.” In fine, an “organic solidarity” among neighbors must define social order.
The book's third major chapter, Ideological Dissident Statements, covers a variety of social-cultural topics exposed in brief form, and hence less well argued. Within these short “sketches” Faye notes how the current “system” enforces brutal censorship of ideas only in rare instances, preferring instead to use “distraction” as a means of control. The citizen's attention is drawn to “side issues,” while “essential political problems” are simply avoided, or if they are referenced it is only obliquely and superficially. Modern sports are one example; often times “national” teams are comprised of non-indigenous ethnic players, however the sporting event distracts the populace, providing them with an inauthentic national pride.
Anent the homosexual question Faye cites Alain de Benoist: if everything is equal, why not legalize any kind of union? If all that matters is human desire, then who can decide but the desiring individual? In a rather notable quote not necessarily specific to, but directed toward homosexuals, he writes,
“Like all minorities that have received some satisfaction and form of acknowledgment, homosexuals are furious that they are no longer the victims: they feel frustrated because they are no longer persecuted. They know there is much talk made about them but want more and more. They wish to make up for the disfavors made to them in the past by claiming infantile privileges—hence their aggressiveness , as a counterpart to their inner discomfort.”
On the other hand, we encounter a more libertarian view when it comes to prostitution and drugs. Prostitution ought to be a socially available legal means suitable for channeling “deviant sexual energy” and also allowed in order to “control crime.” Likewise, the mind altering drug trade may have an economic benefit, and so forth. While Faye's highlighting of a general societal hypocrisy regarding prostitution and illegal drugs is understood, how these activities could ever support a traditional family structure along with fostering an “organic solidarity among neighbors” is not very well explained.
Toward an understanding of the psychology of political correctness Faye writes,
“The idea of ‘political correctness’ is not based on any sincere ethical feeling, or even fear of physical repression: it is based on intellectual snobbishness and social cowardice. Actually, it is about what is politically chic. The journalists and ‘thinkers’ of the system are formulating a ‘soft’ and bourgeois version of the Stalinist mechanism of domination: the risk is no longer ending up in a gulag, but of not being invited to trendy restaurants, of being barred from places that count and from the media, of losing one’s appeal to beautiful girls, etc.”
In private correspondence, frequent Brussels Journal contributor Thomas Bertonneau pointed out that Faye’s analysis is insufficiently severe. We must agree, especially in light of the recent state trials of Geert Wilders and Lars Hedegaard accused of publicly speaking against European Islamification. Again, though, Faye wrote in 1998; we must keep his words within an historical context.
In conclusion, we present little more than a sketch of the author's own sketches. Faye's vision is far-reaching and surprisingly optimistic, even though the transition to archeofuturism will not be pleasant, but require much economic displacement and much violence. Whether archeofuturistic ideas can ever manifest, or whether it will be something else, is a big question. Our future is certain to be one of economic catastrophe coupled with increased social violence. In closing we may hope that his other books are translated for the benefit of English speaking readers. Guillaume Faye's views deserve to be read and debated.
1 From Dusk to Dawn—Guillaume Faye Speaks in Moscow ; http://eurosiberia.blogspot.com/2006/03/from-dusk-to-dawn-guillaume-faye.html