Hervé Ryssen, La Guerre eschatologique: La Fin des temps dans les grandes religions, edited by Baskerville, Levallois-Perret, 2013
For so many of us growing up, secularity was the norm. God and religion, we were told, belong to the past. Whether in politics, popular culture, science-fiction, or actual science, there are people and matter, but no God, gods, or anything supernatural. (One notable exception was “The Force.”) Religions are outdated children’s tales, each contradicting the other. They should be discussed in history courses and in respectable churches, where God is treated mostly a metaphor; some “fanatics” might still believe in God, but they are delusional. God is dead; man killed him; or something like that. We are heading towards “progress.” There are problems yet to solve; but the world should keep on improving, and getting ever more secular.
This perspective appeared as “common sense” only a few dozen years ago. As many products of modernity, however, it has suffered an ignominious fall.
Much of this has to do with the trajectory of the Left, which has set itself, almost without exception, against the White man’s identity, history, and heritage. The academic Left succeeded in shaming most every pre-1960s progressivism as too White, too male, and too “Eurocentric.” Christianity has been a frequent target of this onslaught. Yet, ironically, there has so often been a Christian tenor and metaphorical quality to the Left’s discourse: the White man bears the “original sin” of the evils of the world, be it colonialism, slavery, the Holocaust, or simply succeeding more than others.
Whether God has really “died” or not, we haven’t been freed from the memes of “original sin.” Nor have we stopped feeling like we need some kind of “salvation.” Unfortunately, apologizing and bowing to the Oppressed™ and other victimization professionals will never be enough. The only good path lies in a kind of sacrifice. Sacrifice your manhood by embracing the transgendered; sacrifice your ancestor’s and children’s identity through race mixing; sacrifice your sane and regular desires by being a feminist slave–er, “good man“; sacrifice essential parts of yourself in order to achieve goodness. Maybe the Moshes of this world will absolve you when you die. Or maybe they will use you as a villain in their next version of history. No concession is ever enough for those behind the “culture of critique,” not even oblivion.
Those reading this essay have, in all likelihood, a certain immunity to the culture of critique. Yet criticizing it does not undo its work and its power. Going away from the path of sacrifice doesn’t mean we have another path to follow. Merely struggling against it makes us, in Roman Bernard’s words, dolls saying “no” to everything. Positivism or secularism, as well as God, gave an order to history and told us where we were in the universe. More important, they told us where we were going. As both Christianity and older forms of progressivism have been deconstructed, with nothing left in their places, we lack a solid vision of both the world and history.
Such visions are can be found immanent in historiographies like Marxism or positivism, but also in monotheistic religions, as well as in other mythologies. They have also been inquired upon in a 2013 book that deserves our attention, Hervé Ryssen’s La guerre eschatologique (“The Eschatological War”). Prior to this book, Ryssen published several volumes on Judaism as a political project and on the Jewish mafia. This latest book goes into mythology as a source of meta-political frames. Without mentioning memetics, La guerre eschatologique inquires into the roots of various historiographic traditions, which are rarely mentioned but lurk in the background of people’s minds. Confronting both Abrahamic monotheism and the cyclical, Traditionalist worldview, Ryssen asks what does each one say about the End Times.
Across the centuries, Jews lived in close-knit communities, “ghettos,” as it were; among other things, this experience allowed them to protect and sustain their beliefs and folkways. Their activism and tribalism suffered neither from the Enlightenment nor any other crisis. Muslims have their own way, too. Though often times Muslims will lead contradictory lives, mixing visits to the Mosque with gangsta behavior, to the extent of celebrating both crime and sainthood. The rapper Morsay Truand declares “scamming, swindling, trafficking? Do it! Respecting, praying, going to the mosque? Do it!” That said, some Muslims are genuinely concerned with being good people, as the Quran dictates. As for Christianity, its present weakness should not hide its lasting influence and presence as the origin of contemporary memes.
What do those ancient visions say about the End Times? What mindsets do they carry and where do these come from? More importantly, what are their political consequences? These questions, which are central to La guerre eschatologique, give us invaluable insights into alien worldviews, as well as those lurking in the subconscious background of our own minds. With an erudite and consistent turn of thought, Ryssen achieves a sharp understanding that allows him to criticize both the monotheists and the so-called Pagans. He rejects a certain breed of Traditionalism in order to uphold a more realistic, victory-prone worldview. La guerre eschatologique is a lesson in structured erudition, consistency, and sharp perception, beyond both the enemy’s deceptions and one’s all-too-easy rationalizations of inaction.
Abrahamic monotheisms—Linear, Progressive History
Readers here may be familiar with Kevin MacDonald’s view on Judaism as a group strategy. In contrast to Europeans—who evolved from hunter-gatherers to individualists with a strong sense of social reputation, but who give relatively little importance to the group—Jews have always been much more collectivist. They have been endowed with a potent sense of kinship, and they put less emphasis on reciprocity; indeed, Jews have a twofold morality, distinguishing between the in-group and out-groups. According to MacDonald, those differences are likely to be innate, selected by the evolutionary process. Cultural differences logically come later and must be understood with an eye towards their evolutionary roots.
Ryssen’s approach towards Judaism is different. He examines it by looking for core features in both ideas and actions, without bothering too much with human nature. French thought in general tends to focus on ideas, collectivity, and culture, whereas Anglo-Saxon thought puts a greater weight on individuals and the rooting of phenomena in nature. This difference can result in a denial of human nature in French literature (which is the main reason why I felt something was missing there and took up on learning English seriously). But even without a grounding in nature, Ryssen gives us a sharp understanding of the Jewish phenomenon.
Behind the curtain of rites and religion, he says, Judaism is essentially a political project. The Jewish God is the only God. Though the Creator of the whole world, He chose the Jews to play a crucial role in history. He promised them a Messiah, who is still to come. Significantly, for the Messiah to come, Jews must satisfy a number of conditions. The most important of those consists in establishing a global world peace: people “will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4).
In practice, the project of world peace must come from a global government. Nations, families, and other social structures must be torn apart in order to prevent non-Jews from waging wars. Non-Jews should not even have the power to wage wars. Subjugating all nations–Israel aside–to global institutions and all individuals–Jews aside–to the culture of critique is not a sin in Jewish eschatology. To the contrary, it is, as Lloyd Blankfein might say, “doing God’s work.” The dispossession of nations by debt, their depletion by wars, as well as their destructions by sponsored revolutions—all these are merely means for establishing the great “world peace.” Then, once all are subjugated, the Messiah will come and be applauded by the whole Earth. Our world will then become a Garden of Eden, at least for Jews:
every believer will have ten thousands Pagan slaves to wash his feet and care for him. Duchesses and princesses will be maids and governesses for Jewish children, just as said in the book of Isaiah. (Isaac Bashevis Singer, quoted in La guerre)
Remember that “Pagan” here denotes all non-Jews, including Christians and Muslims.
Judaism has the immense advantage of giving Jews a huge motivation. It sparks enthusiasm. Jews live in an acute tension revolving around the Messiah, a tension made only greater as human action plays a determinant role for provoking his coming. As the Chosen People, Jews are endowed with a special mission on Earth and must do whatever it takes to turn the whole world into a state of “peace.” (As Ryssen says, this is the kind of “peace” that comes after all enemies are crushed.)
It is important to notice that Messianism is more important than religion itself. God is remote, and one may believe in Him or not. Messianism, on the other hand, applies to the world we live in. A culture revolving around it gives a particular turn of thought, a powerful habitus of seeing one’s group as special and project-bearing. More than God, the global project itself is sacred to the utmost. It may need centuries to be achieved, as well as extreme means, such as exterminating millions of people by regimes dedicated bringing about the culmination of History. The global project will win because it is written in history itself. It is a prophecy beyond doubt, a promise that will be fulfilled, provided that Jews work tirelessly. Individual Jews may believe in God or not: what matters is their cooperation and faith in the project itself. Thus eschatology plays a central role in Jewish identity, as well as their behavior and their activism and social betterment.
Ryssen then goes onto Christianity. With the notable exception of Zionist evangelism, the Christian religion features some peculiar traits that result in a very different attitude. The Apocalypse of John predicts great calamities for all peoples: a third of all animals will be destroyed; a third of global clear water will disappear; fire and storm shall fall upon the Earth, etc. More important, the Antichrist will come and take power over the Earth. His venue is a necessary condition for the Day of the Lord and the Last Judgment:
Don’t let anyone deceive you in proclaiming the arrival of that day, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (Thessalonians II, 2:3)
The Messiah has already revealed himself as Jesus Christ. He will come again, only after great calamities, predicted by both John and Paul. There is neither messianic tension nor hope in a terrestrial, world-changing victory. Our world shall be almost totally destroyed and taken over by evil before Jesus returns. And that course of events has been written a long time ago; no part of it depends on human action. Thus, while Jews are highly motivated to act and subjugate the world for a particular orientation, Christians are bred for passivity. They should merely resign and wait passively with the hope of a reward after death.
Before modern times, Jews were largely subjugated by the Catholic Church; nevertheless, that institution had, in its way, sanctified Jews by giving the “chosen people” a special status. Christians recognized the Ancient Testament in a kind of alliance with the New, whereas Jews had no obligation to recognize Christianity as anything more than heresy. This imbalance between Christianity and Judaism, as well as Christian resignation, resulted in a fatalism that is characteristic of so many Europeans. Christians should accept all the evils bestowed upon them; the Church itself should be destroyed; all such calamities are necessary conditions for the arrival of the Antichrist and the subsequent return of Jesus. In a nutshell, Christianity is a slave morality. Jews are meant to win; Christians are meant to lose.
A notable exception to this mentality can be found in evangelical Zionism. Rupert Murdoch, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other Protestant neoconservatives share a vision, in which some Christians were “chosen” along with the Jews. Consequently, they must help them achieve the global state and world “peace.” As they give a prominent role to the Ancient Testament, these Christians share the Jews’ activist mindset and pursue the Great Israel without conditions. Their vision grants a much greater role to human action than Christian resignation, but dedicates all its productivity to the global Jewish project. Needless to say, from the point of view of anyone who wants to preserve nations—or any sanity in the world—evangelical Zionism is part of the enemy.
Ryssen then goes on to the last Abrahamic monotheism—Islam. That faith is quite dynamic and, though it is hard to guess from the sight of North Africans in Europe, leads to a much more promising outlook on the world than Christianity. Here Ryssen draws from the reading of Sheikh Imran Hosein, an Islamic scholar who has been an imam at the United Nations.
The Quran recognizes Jesus Christ as a prophet, sent by God after Moses; Jesus’ message is completed by the last of all prophets, Muhammad. The Quran also predicts Jesus’ subsequent return. Before the End Times, Satan will come to Earth, as embodied in a particular person, the Dajjal. Note that the Dajjal is not a mere metaphysical concept or abstraction: he will be a real person, descending from Jewish ancestry, able to speak well and gain influence over the majority of the world population. The Dajjal, it is added, will master usury and lead many people to apostasy. According to Hosein, who has read both the Bible and the Quran with a keen eye, the description of the Dajjal in the latter completes the depiction of the Antichrist in the former. The Quran, however, gives a more warlike and down-to-earth prediction: Christ himself will come back, kill the Dajjal by his own hands, then proclaim the End Times and the glory of God (Allah).
Hosein’s conclusion has an astounding resonance: the Muslims’ Antichrist is the same as the Christian Antichrist; and the Dajjal or Antichrist is the same person as the Jewish Messiah. In other words, the Messiah feverishly expected by the Jews is not the envoy of God but the embodiment of Satan himself. The Antichrist will build again the Temple of Jerusalem (which is today a mosque); will be worshipped there; and will re-establish ancient Jewish rites, such as blood sacrifices. Ryssen finds support for Hosein’s thesis in the writings of Catholic theologians, both traditional and modernist.
It seems as though all three Abrahamic monotheisms share an interesting convergence. Each of them points towards the same nexus: the venue of a particular person, marking a crucial step in History. Whether he is the Jewish Messiah, the Christian Antichrist, or the Islamic Dajjal, he will subjugate the majority of humans and start a new era.
At this point, the prophecies start to diverge: Jews believe that their messiah will inaugurate a period of infinite “peace,” with all humanity being their slaves; Muslims, on the other hand, believe that Christ will come back to Earth, kill the Antichrist, and order Christians to recognize Muhammad as the last prophet. Thus shall begin the Last Days.
Traditionalism: A Cyclical History and Pessimistic Outlook
Ryssen takes a surprisingly critical position towards the Traditional worldview. Mentioning Guénon, Evola, and a few others, he casts them as “men turning in circles.” Traditionalism, he says, is merely reversed progressivism. Instead of witnessing progress through history, we witness decline, following the Hindu doctrine of the Four Ages. Today would be the Kali-Yuga or Iron Age. It started out of a necessary course and must go on until its apocalyptic end. The world will have to go through cataclysms before some survivors discover the sacred again and start a new cycle, beginning with a new Golden Age.
Traditionalism, Ryssen says, is a kind of fatalism. It asserts the necessity of sinking into evil before being brought back to the Golden Age. Though it doesn’t promise rewards in the afterlife, it leads to the same pessimistic, passive resignation of Christianity. Evola’s Riding the Tiger, which searches for an “interior path,” merely allows one to live according to the principles of the Golden Age and the superior consciousness of the “initiated,” but also excludes any potential worldly improvement before the Iron Age ends.
It seems like Ryssen has found a real problem here. Many on the Right find various ways to justify inaction, sometimes going through articulate rationalizations. Christians should pray; traditionalists should meditate on the peaks; and so on. Such views become excuses for not doing anything. But if one wants to become a part of history, one must put aside grandiloquent fictions and go into the world. Just like missionary priests, Ryssen says, we should go and preach. Jews do so through their activism. National Socialists did so, too, and although they were defeated, they had a far greater influence than any breed of the Right that followed them.
Although I broadly agree with Ryssen’s criticism, it seems to be, at times, excessive, as if he is taking an extreme position as a way of proving a point. Evola was not an idle thinker, ensconced in comfort and safety while sniping at ideological foes, like so many figures of the contemporary intellectual landscape. Living consistently with his ideas, Evola was fearless enough to walk outside during the Allies’ bombing, which relegated him to a wheelchair, and he traveled to war-torn Vienna in order to examine the Masonic archives. The Baron also gave us a relevant, penetrating perspective on the contemporary world by gaining a critical distance from it, understanding our times vis-à-vis the “world of Tradition.” It’s one thing for Ryssen to encourage us to establish our own critical distance from Evola; it’s another to discard Evola’s intellectual achievement all together.
A New Faith for a New World
Hervé Ryssen is a realist. He focuses on the evidence, outlines the principles and thoughts of others, without himself adopting speculative schemes (such as the cyclical theory of history). La guerre eschatologique is clear and consistent from the first to the last page. Had it been translated into English, I would recommend you order the book immediately.
Jews have something we don’t. Maybe they are more tribalistic and collectivistic, but it can also be considered plausible that their grand project matters to them much more than their communities. The future “world peace,” where everyone will bend before the “chosen,” harbors a huge, irresistible motivation. Individual Jews have few qualms devoting their whole lives to something that will hasten the Messiah’s arrival—or however The End is conceived under secular guides—even if only their great-great-grandchildren may witness the event. They have a grand project and think long-term. The Chinese, another high-IQ group that is forming diasporas of growing importance, tend to think in the long term, too—long enough to ask countries in which they invest how they see themselves in 40 years. Contemporary Westerners have difficulty planning for the next 40 days.
We Identitarians need a project. We need a vision tailored for the globalized world under construction—a vision for a European future. We need faith in our project, faith in our irremediable goodness; and we need to discard the culture of resignation, just as much as we need to discard the culture of critique. We don’t need to dwell on the failure of “conservatives”—who’ve been transformed into either Zionist neocons or functionaries in Conservatism, Inc.—in order to perceive conservatives’ similarities with what Ryssen calls the “Calimero spirit”—the Right that merely complains about the Left instead of forging its own future. We need a culture of victory, a doctrine of victory, a faith and trust in our cause.
The Jewish project of “peace” is a crime, not only against Whites but against the whole of humanity. We Europeans, on the other hand, tend toward reasonableness, recognition of the Other, and the desire to be morally good. We should question what lessons we could glean from a people who think in a way that we find immoral, distasteful, and blood-thirsty. In this regard, Ryssen’s prose becomes impassioned, even bombastic:
One should never submit to the Jews. Never. Facing them, one must attack, attack and attack again. We need not only to be aggressive but even more aggressive than they are. Only so we can make them back down. If you aren’t finger-wagging the lobby, the lobby is crushing you underfoot, as Édouard Drumont noted. Actually, the moment you start to try exculpating yourself from the accusation of anti-Semitism, you have already lost… We don’t accept anymore the hypocrisy of Judeo-Zionists who accuse the Whites of what themselves do: plundering the Third World, altering the economy through speculation, waging wars in the Middle East. (La guerre eschatologique, 162)
In my opinion, Ryssen’s metaphysical analysis needs to be combined with Carl Schmitt’s concept of the enemy in order to deliver its full potential. We suffer from the replacement of White populations in Europe and North America, yet it is increasingly evident that we aren’t the only ones to suffer because of Jewish activism or the encroachment of a monoculture. After decades of growing illegal immigration in Europe, North African countries are subjugated by the same effect: Chinese immigrants come and take jobs, while a flux of Blacks lash out in the suburbs of Algiers. In Japan, the race-mixed Ariana Miyamoto has recently been promoted as Miss Japan in order to instruct the Japanese on their multiracial future: “I want to start a revolution. . . [I]n 100-200 years there will be very few pure Japanese left, so we have to start changing the way we think.”
The sufferings of Palestinians, the Islamic State, the “Arab Spring” and “color revolutions” in Eastern Europe, the great replacement of White peoples, hysterical SJWs, massive Wall Street Speculations, all down to that umpteenth deranged, degraded celebrity. Each of these contributes to the dissolution of families and nations; they cripple every culture or individual. Hence, I believe there is potential for building alliances. Even people we may not be fond of—or people we don’t like at all—are undergoing the same suffering that we are. As it means the systematic destruction of all cultures, nations, families, even the sexes, the messianic project should be considered a crime against humanity. Why should we be alone in opposing it?
In this line, Alain Soral has created a “faith front,” uniting Christians, Muslims and individual Jews, who wish to emancipate themselves from the infamous project they were born into. As a cultural Christian born into a secular family, I often feel closer to some traditionalist Muslims than the increasingly degenerate mainstream culture, where transgendering and gangsta-rap have become normal.
And we have been too quick in Europe and America to simply take the Old Testament as part of our culture and not look critically at the kind of mindset it depicts. How could God, if He existed, order the extermination of whole peoples, as he does in the Ancient Testament? Why should a benevolent and perfect Being reward systematic deception and the systematic destructions of the nations He created? If I were a believer, I would think that the Ancient Testament bears a heavy mark of Satan himself. Is not the true God much closer to the spirit of the heroic Christ?
As a man with an eye on masculinity–as Evola understood it–I would also, if forced to choose, favor Islam over postmodern degeneracy. Today, a sane man is blamed for simply existing. He must apologize for being “hetero-normative” and must support parasitic groups, whose members think of themselves as the avant-garde. By contrast, Islam respects the dignity of both sexes, gives the normal guy a responsible social role of pater familias, and connects everyone to the divine through a perennial book.
Those considerations made–and I am pretty sure some will accuse me of being an “Islamophile” or apologist—I am not advocating for a conversion to Islam. We should seek allies, recognize others, particularly vis-à-vis a common enemy—but without forgetting who we are. Most of all, we must overcome resignation, of either the Christian or Traditional variety, and understand ourselves as historical agents, who will make a new world, a better one than today’s.