Julius Evola proposed that we in the West are in the midst of an intergenerational “occult war” that is the underlying cause of historical developments. Evola frequently explored exceedingly esoteric subjects. His proposition that the world is ruled by these shadowy forces is at once conspiratorial, mystical, and lacking in empirical verifiability. It doesn’t seem like something skeptics should take seriously.
Yet, while one shouldn’t uncritically accept his extraordinary assertion, neither should one uncritically accept the prevailing historiography without a close examination. The notion that history is not what it superficially appears to be, that there are influential elites manipulating historical events from behind the scenes, ought to be taken seriously.
Evola defines the occult war in Men Among the Ruins:
The concept of occult war must be defined within the context of the dilemma. The occult war is a battle that is waged imperceptibly by the forces of global subversion, with means and in circumstances ignored by current historiography. The notion of occult war belongs to a three-dimensional view of history: this view does not regard as essential the two superficial dimensions of time and space (which include causes, facts, and visible leaders) but rather emphasizes the dimension of depth, or the “subterranean” dimension in which forces and influences often act in a decisive manner, and which, more often not than not, cannot be reduced to what is merely human, whether at an individual or a collective level. (ch. 13, “Occult War — Weapons of the Occult War”)
Benjamin Disraeli, a 19th century British Prime Minister (and Sephardic Jew), described the alleged occult war in this ominous manner:
The public does not realize that in all the conflicts within nations and in the conflicts between nations there are, besides the people apparently responsible for them, hidden agitators who with their selfish plans make these conflicts unavoidable. . . . Everything that happens in the confused evolution of peoples is secretly prepared in order to ensure the dominion of certain people: it is these people, known and unknown, that we must find behind every public event.
According to my evolutionary traditionalist model, elites acquire power from one or more of the three cardinal methods: force, influence, or exchange. The oligarchy’s origin shapes its worldview, with the martial elites tending toward honor codes, the managerial elites tending toward laws, and the mercantile elites tending toward contracts.
As a civilization matures, it follows a predictable life-cycle with three distinct phases corresponding with the different methods of acquiring power. In the first age, warlords dominate with force, institutionalizing their reign with kingdoms administered by an aristocratic caste of princes, nobles, and lords. In the second age, the civilization reaches a degree of complexity in which the bureaucratic priests and scribes wield more power through ideological (religion, art, philosophy, journalism) and managerial influence than the aristocrats do through force. In the third age, the merchants become wealthy enough through exchange to buy off or overthrow the warlords, priests, and scribes.
In Western Europe, the aristocratic elite and the priesthood operated more or less above ground in a more or less symbiotic relationship for centuries. However, increasing travel and trade that began at the time of the Crusades led to a growing number of merchants, craftsmen, and peasants who were accumulating wealth but had no way to convert it into political power or ideological-managerial influence. The Throne and Altar, rather than adapting their tactics to retain power in the face of the rise of the Market, generally chose repression.
This forced the mercantile elites to exercise their power in secrecy. What had previously been mere trade guilds transformed into vast decentralized secret societies engorged with capital, eventually culminating in the largest and most effective one: Freemasonry. The invasive Jewish population, managerial refugees of a bygone civilization, adapted to this new reality, becoming adept at trade and commerce while retaining their priestly tradition intact.
At this point in history, Europe’s mercantile elites and the Jews were allied against the ancien régime, both of them carrying out their offensives in an occult war waged through a series of proxy battles with similar themes: liberation, equality, republicanism, free speech, separation of church and state, and similar Enlightenment ideals. This has resulted in the European Traditionalist conception of Judaism and Freemasonry as being synonymous or at least “hyphenated”: “Judeo-Masonic.” America, the brainchild of a Masonic mercantile elite, is perceived as the embodiment of everything anti-European and anti-Traditional.
But is that paradigm accurate or appropriate? America’s founding fathers and her founding documents are unmistakably Masonic and mercantile in character. But is a convenient alliance with Jewry or even substantial influence from Jewry sufficient to dismiss the Masonic oligarchy as Judeo-Masonic?
As Evola observes in his essay, “The Relationship Between Judaism and Freemasonry“:
Finally, it must be pointed out that, if the fact of having borrowed elements from the Jewish tradition was enough for an accusation, then the accusation against Masonry could easily be extended to Christianity itself; and such is in fact the path followed, quite consistently, by radical racist anti-Semitism, in connection with which it was rightly said that anti-Semitism follows the trajectory of a boomerang: leveled originally against Jews by the Church, anti-Semitism threatens to turn against the latter because of what Semitic elements it retains.
While Christianity’s Jewish influence is obvious and undeniable, Europe’s aristocratic elites weren’t immune from this, either. They were thoroughly Christianized, immersed in Levantine myths and symbols, and alienated from their pagan roots. Additionally, as they approached the nadir of their competence, they relied increasingly on “Court Jews” for financial and administrative assistance.
Evola hypothesizes that Jewish promotion of anti-traditionalism in the West may actually be a useful tactic in preserving their own race and their own Tradition:
That the true Jew is as anti-traditional, with respect to the other peoples of the milieu in which he is, as he is tenaciously attached to what is peculiar to his people and to his tradition, is as singular a paradox as it is instructive. The question therefore is whether the humanitarian and democratic sermons of Judaism are only forms of well-thought-out hypocrisy, in the sense that the freedom dreamt of by the Jew within the leveled and fraternalistic world of the Masonic-liberal ideals, and such milieus, would not correspond to the intention of the Jews to melt and vanish into this subnational pulp, but that this freedom would be instead the necessary condition for an unchecked action, aiming at the affirmation of Israel and at the reversal, in favor of this people, of the relations of subordination which it detested so much in the anti-liberal, traditional world. The fact is that everywhere the Jews were given a free hand, they managed to rapidly attain important positions of command in public life while never ceasing to keep in touch with each other with the tenacious, mutualistic solidarity of a sect. Is it possible — as a mathematician would put it — to “extrapolate” the significance of that fact, and to interpret on this basis the general action of liberal-democratic Judaism? It is certainly a serious question. It amounts to asking whether, behind Judaism as an anti-tradition, more or less linked to any given subversive movement of our epoch, there is a Judaism as tradition, the two being in the same relation with each other as an army is to its clear-minded headquarters.
What the evolutionary traditionalist model suggests is that the mercantile elite developed organically, for reasons unrelated to Jewry, and would have likely grown in power until it toppled the obsolete elites, even if there were there no Jews in Europe. (Plato describes the downfall of aristocracy and the rise of oligarchy in Book VIII of the Republic. It was a process that had been observed many times in the city states of Greece, where it had nothing to do with Jewish influence.) The Jews did what was logical: exploited the old order’s failure to adapt to the Mercantile Age to build their own power base, then allied with and influenced the indigenous mercantile elite.
Evola concludes his essay on the relationship between Judaism and Freemasonry with the following synopsis:
From the practical point of view, it is obvious, whatever the case may be, that one hypothesis leads to the same consequences as the other. Politically and socially, Masonry and Judaism combine into one and the same campaign, against which it is good to fight, whether by doing so one fights simply a humanitarian, leveling utopianism, having its principle and its end in itself, or whether, on the other hand, one may by doing so paralyze one of the main instruments in the service of the occult will-to-power of a race which is not ours, and whose triumph, visible or invisible, could only mean the decline of the highest heritage of the best Indo-European civilization.
It is at this point that both Julius Evola and the defenders of Western Civilization have taken a wrong turn. This line of reasoning forfeits the pursuit of mercantile power, the regnant power source of this Age, to a race that is not ours. It guarantees the decline of the highest heritage of the best Indo-European civilization. The Jews are a priestly caste who don’t genuinely buy the Enlightenment ideals they promote, but they rode the tiger — directing their mastery of the mercantile arts toward assuring the triumph of their people.