Positions and Continuities
Edited By Nicola Kristin Karcher and Anders G. Kjostvedt
Men among the Ruins - The Radical Right in Italy (Elisabetta Cassina Wolff)
Men among the Ruins The Radical Right in Italy Elisabetta Cassina Wolff Introduction The present chapter deals with the intellectual life of the Italian philosopher Giulio Cesare Andrea (Julius) Evola.1 Born in 1898, Evola was a leading intellectual figure, albeit through different phases of controversial success, until his death in 1974. He comes to our attention first as a very young poet and painter, interested in Marinet- ti’s futurism, the decadentism of Oscar Wilde and Gabriele D’Annunzio, Nie- tzsche’s irrationalism and the Dada movement. As early as in 1914 Evola was an interventionist, on the side of the Triplice, favouring typically Prussian principles such as discipline and hierarchy. After a few years during which he devoted himself to alchemy, esotericism and oriental philosophy, he turned to political philosophy. In 1925 he published an article critical of both Italian Fascism and democracy, enti- tled “Stato, potenza, libertà” (State, Power, Freedom), in which he expressed his contempt for the masses.2 Evola started to contribute to Giuseppe Bottai’s Critica fascista, but he never applied for membership of the Fascist Party. In 1934 the pub- lication of his book Rivolta contro il mondo moderno (Revolt against the Modern World)3, where he advocated the values of Tradition, made him widely known within intellectual circles. From 1934 to 1943 Evola was also responsible for “Dio- rama Filosofico”, the cultural page of Il Regime Fascista, a daily owned by Roberto Farinacci. In the same period he published regularly in Giovanni Preziosi’s La Vita Italiana and Carlo...
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