Friday, March 9, 2012

Notes on the Fascist Doctrine of Race

(Published in Gerarchia, July 1942)

By Pasquale Pennisi


1. Race - Idea - Civilization

1. Race is a psycho-physical reality which defines man as a temporally living being, connected to a genealogy. This is one of the determining factors of the psychological and somatic expression of a person, and — through the insuppressible relationship between the psychological world and the spiritual world in the human person — is also able to determine spiritual expression.

2. This determination concerns the mode of expressing psychological and spiritual manifestations, not their mode of being. That is to say, race influences the traits with which the person expresses his own qualities, but not the substantial content of them. Therefore it is not possible to adhere to racial determinism as the legitimate explanation for a total vision of life and the world.

3. This is given by the idea. It is the idea, not race, that determines the way of being of the human person, and therefore the substantial content of his qualities. The idea is "form"; race is "matter". A race without an idea can not act politically, that is to say, historically and socially; conversely, the action of an idea can not be completed and perfected in concrete historical reality if not incarnating itself in a race capable of expressing it.

4. Civilization is not, therefore, a creative act of the race, but of the idea, embodied by that race which is most capable of expressing it completely and perfectly. At the core of Civilization there is always, outwardly, a race; inwardly, an idea. This is the determining engine of history; the necessary instrument in this determination.

5. The races are not "pure", but are "small histories". For the whole of humanity this is due to the original fall, and for each race in particular is due to its historical vicissitudes as a people. Nevertheless, for each race there exists a degree of purity as the ideal-limit to strive towards. However, racial purity can never be empirically reached in its totality because it would mean a return to the Edenic state prior to original sin. The degree of purity to which the historical races can work towards as an ideal-limit is constituted: 1) by the integrity of their relative psychological-spiritual characteristics; 2) by the accomplished ability of these races to express themselves through the bio-physical characteristics of the race.


2. Race - History - Policy

1. Not every race is capable of expressing every idea. In order that matter can adequately serve the form, a positive correspondence between the character of the idea and the nature of the race, through which it seeks its expression, — that is to say, between the content of the idea and the expressive ethyl of the race — is necessary.

2. Ideas, in terms of their character, are divided into two categories: Tradition and Subversion. The first is historically centripetal, hierarchical, social and tends towards transcendence. The second is historically centrifuge, egalitarian, individualistic and tends towards immanence. The ideas of the first category are epitomized by the Italian race; the ideas of the second category are epitomized by the Jewish race.

3. A nation is a race observed in the dynamics of its historical life. Empirically, every idea can seek its expression through any race. When there is a positive correspondence between idea and race, the people tend to reach their spiritual and political power. When there is a negative correspondence between idea and race, the people descend into a period of decadence.

4. The race of a nation is recognized, therefore, through its history. The historical analysis of its periods of power and decadence, in relation with the ideas embodied in each one, testifies to the nature of the people. The means used to embody ideas testify to its traits, that is to say, to the qualities of the race. Recognizing the reality of race from a political point of view means proceeding with such a historical inquiry and implementing its political consequences.

5. In this sense, politics appears as a power enhancer of the race, because, proposing an idea that is positively corresponding to its nature, and ordering according to this the manifestations of its traits, can lead it back to its purity, i.e. enhance it and, if decayed, dignify it and rectify it.


3. Race - Hierarchy - Conscience

1. Like any other natural expression of human life, races are ordered among themselves in a hierarchy. This hierarchy does not, however, depend upon a material classification of the external, biological and somatic characteristics of each race, but upon a spiritual classification of its internal, psychological and spiritual characteristics.

2. Every race is itself; that is to say, it is characterized by its own traits which determines its specific attitudes within the harmonious coexistence of humanity. Since the hierarchy of races is based on their internal characteristics, the hierarchical scale of the races corresponds to that of the values with which the specific attitudes of each particular one are excellently directed.

3. The races constitute a reality of the temporal life of man. Since in this the highest value — the one which reduces others in harmonic unity — is Politics, the highest degree of racial hierarchy is held by that race whose traits are most capable of expressing the idea of Empire, which is the excellent idea of Politics.

4. This hierarchy can be looked upon sub specie aeternitatis in consideration of the immanent providential plan in history, revealed by past degenerations: as such it represents the terminus ad quem of Politics. But it can also be looked upon under the species of its contingent actuality, and as such it represents the terminus a quo of politics and gives us the index of the vitality of the race at a given moment.

5. This index of racial vitality is measured by the current correspondence of a race to its providential place in the hierarchy of races; that is to say, from the current degree of adhesion of a race to its historically revealed vocation. The vitality of the race is due to the consciousness it has of itself.

6. The task of Politics is to take care of and raise the degree of racial vitality, i.e. to maintain or bring the people back to their proper place in the racial hierarchy. Politics accomplishes this task by maintaining and strengthening the consciousness that the race has of itself.


4. Italicity - Romanity - Revolution

1. There exists an Italian race: it is the one which descended from an original Aryan-Mediterranean ethnos and created Roman civilization. The internal characteristics (mental and spiritual traits) that define the Italian race corresponds in its natural substantial content to the typical "virtues" of Classical Romanity, and constitutes its formal expression.

2. Classical Roman Civilization reached it apogee in the historical epoch of Augustus — which corresponds to the historical individuation of the Italian Nation — expressing the idea of Empire. According to the providential plan of history, this Civilization prepared the advent of Christianity, with which it merged. Since then, Tradition, Civilization and Romanity are unique and synonymous terms.

3. Tradition lost its power of historical initiative when the Italian race ceased to express the idea of Empire. In the hands of other peoples this idea was expressed only in a pure reactionary way, and was therefore incapable of acting historically, abandoning the political initiative to the ideas of Subversion, epitomized especially in the French Revolution of 1789 and its consequences.

4. Fascism is Tradition as it incorporates the idea of ​​Rome and is irreconcilably opposed to the entire world born from the so-called "immortal principles" of 1789. It is equally Revolution, as it is opposed to every reactionary interpretation of Tradition, and constitutes a new and original incarnation of the idea of Empire expressed through the Italian race. It may be defined, therefore, as a traditional Revolution, Italian in origin, in center and in morality. In Fascism, Tradition is revived in an original way: it tends, therefore, to actualize Civilization in its new historical phase.


5. Race - Universality - Empire

1. The new phase of Civilization can only be determined by the idea of Empire through the political and historical action of the Italian race. Herein lies the necessity for Fascism to recognize and strengthen the Italian race. The Italian race stands as the seed of the Empire, fertilized by its conscience; and, as such, as an integrating, non-divisive force of imperial universality. There is a kind of historical fatality (a providential vocation) between Empire and Italicity; there can not be a true actualization of the Imperial idea except through the vitality and activity of the Italian race, and there can not be a historical period of complete vitality of the Italian race without it tending towards actualizing the idea of Empire. This relationship fully expresses the reality of its synthesis with Romanity.

2. Universality is the opposite of internationalism; the latter is always centrifugal (Subversion); the former always centripetal (Tradition) and therefore needs a center. This center can only be an idea (form) which — when it comes to political universality — is embodied in a race (matter) and expresses itself through the historical action of said race.

3. The Italian race, recalled to its conscience by Fascism, stands as the imperial race. This means that it stands as the first of the races of the Empire: that which historically and politically embodies and expresses the idea, and which recognizes its vocation in giving meaning to imperial universality, hierarchically and harmoniously ordering around itself those other races called to participate.


6. Racism - Axis - Order

1. Racism, therefore, is not the determinant of the Fascist vision of life and the world, but is one of its elements, or rather, a means of actualization. It is divided into political racism and scientific racism. The former aims to establish the reality of a race and the idea that is expressed through it; to arouse and strengthen the consciousness of the race; to systemize and clarify the spiritual and doctrinal relations between this consciousness and the other instruments and elements of the vision of life and the world. The latter aims to study the various races in their mental-physical realities, and has an instrumental function with regard to the former.

2. Political racism has a preeminent function in the spiritual and historical developments of Axis policy, through which the resurgence of the Imperial idea is implemented. While the Axis gives historical life to the myth-reality of that Roman-Germanic community, through which the most recent vital incarnations of the Imperial idea have been realized, political racism brings the two pillars of the Axis closer to the realization of this synthesis.

3. Political racism leads the Italian race back to consciousness of itself, which was weakened in the previous subversive historical period under the impulse of the internationalistic idea; in other words, it makes the race capable of realizing the idea of Empire once again, placing itself at the center. On the other hand, political racism, by bringing Germanism back to the myths of its early pre-Roman origins (the trinity of Siegfried, Wagner and Goethe have replaced Luther, Kant and Hegel as the primary sources of inspiration for Germans), tends to detach it from the anti-Roman Protestant-Liberal ideological subversion by laying the historical premises of a new spiritual Romanization.

4. Romanization means the filtration of those fundamental moral virtues which for the Italian race are the substantial natural content of its formal character, and which for other races becomes something to acquire from the Italians. Romanization is the soul of the Empire in its complete and perfect realization.

5. Political racism must be an instrument of the Imperial idea being realized among all the peoples of the New Order and therefore must aim to preserve the originality and thus the ethnic and cultural vitality of each of them even within their coordinated and hierarchical political and economic communities. Only a well-understood political racism can preserve Universality (Tradition) from degenerating into Internationalism (Subversion), reconciling in a superior synthesis (Empire) the truths contained in the two political principles of nationality and vital living space.

6. In the applicative and political graduality and in the universal contemporaneity of the New Order, our political racism, while affirming the imperial nature of the Italian race and its providential vocation to implement the idea of Empire for the West through the axial resurrection of the Roman and Germanic community, affirms for the East the imperial nature of the Japanese race, whose internal characteristics are similar to those of Romanity.