Scientific Racism’s Mistake
‘Let us add that if today there is so much talk of race, the reason is that people have finally noticed the fact of our effective decadence in Europe. Where race was really alive and strong, no one talked about it.’
The scientistic direction of racist propaganda is mistaken, because if the idea of race is really to become a force in Italy, it must be understood first and foremost in the ethical and political field as spiritual and heroic. All the rest could only be working out the details.
This consideration is not only the indispensable premise for coherence between the racist idea and Fascist ideals, but is also the necessary condition to avoid a series of absurdities that are obvious. For instance, the people we are discussing hold the myth of the ‘Italian race’ dear. It is well-known that from the scientific and purely biological point of view, an Italian race does not exist. The biological and anthropological races are unities that have nothing to do with the historic nations, in which more or less all races are found, distributed in different ways. And so we would end up with a result that is quite the opposite of the solidarity at which these people are confusedly aiming, by talking improperly and unscientifically of an ‘Italian race’. If, then, there is no common race on the biological and anthropological level, on what basis can we ‘scientifically’ found a myth like the one to which we have just referred? The theory of internal races, or races of the soul, which might come to our aid here, is exactly what has the effect of a thorn in the side of the people we are talking about — for mysterious reasons that will end by becoming clear.
This is why Roberto Farinacci has correctly written, ‘Is it really necessary to justify our racism by resorting to differences in hair or noses, of hands and feet? Is it really necessary to entrust to analyses of blood and chromosomes what is a question of a political and spiritual nature? Of course not! We can follow a more certain path, which does not admit debates and removes every doubt, and persuades the most stubborn. We do not need the anthropologist and the biologist to prove that we belong to a different race.’ (Vita Italiana, July 1942) Farinacci is expressing what is immediately acknowledged by people who really feel the problem of race, but not by those who squeal about it because it suits them or because they have received their marching orders. If race is not experienced directly as a way of being and a spontaneous interior realty, dolls from an anthropological museum, cranial measurements, and racial laws will be of very little use.
Of course human beings also have bodies, but research conducted on bodily, somatic, and anthropological phenomena is conclusive and serious only when these phenomena can count as signs and symptoms of a corresponding interior reality, and after centuries of crossbreeding this does not always happen. Only by acknowledging this frankly and openly, and leaving behind once and for all the scientific myth, is it possible to speak the people’s language — now in the good sense of the expression — and to prepare in Italy, little by little, a reawakening of an Aryan racial consciousness. Since it is useless to hide the fact: especially today, it is the Italian people who are wondering whether, finally, Jews are not becoming a kind of scapegoat, since they see everywhere one hundred percent ‘Aryan’ types who brazenly hoard, force prices up and take unfair profits, social climbers, and — why not? — even journalists who do not hesitate to resort to the most twisted and unfair methods for polemical purposes.
Let us add that if today there is so much talk of race, the reason is that people have finally noticed the fact of our effective decadence in Europe. Where race was really alive and strong, no one talked about it. A secure instinct sufficed as a guide. This instinct silently conferred an unwritten authority with very precise norms and laws. Scientific racism is following the wrong path, because it almost wants to repeat the attempt to create the homunculus. It seriously believes (or at least lets it be understood) that, when race is in trouble, it can be reconstructed and rescued, as it were, with laboratory procedures on the basis of ‘positive’ acquired knowledge, almost as how artificial mushrooms are grown when there is a shortage of natural ones. The undoubted and integral sentiment of race and blood which is found in the ancient Aryan cultures of the East such as Sparta, the old Roman aristocracy, and certain parts of Europe’s nobility, did not need these shenanigans. It was secure without these pseudo-scientific excuses, which, let us say it once more, can make an impression only on the rabble and rustics of the world of our middle class and intellectuals. Awakening the sentiment and dignity of race directly, by essentially spiritual means, is what really matters. Biology, genetics, anthropology, Mendelian laws, and whatever else you may desire are all useful things, but are subordinate, like accessory tools and sources of knowledge to be taken with a grain of salt, while always being aware of the demands of a superior ethical and political character. This is to say, there must be an integral conception of race, one that is especially ethical and spiritual in order to fix the measure and means by which certain scientific ‘knowledge’ can be accepted and incorporated as auxiliary elements. Here the contributions will never be very many, because, as we have said, biology and anthropology bear birth defects, always and indelibly. This is to say, they are founded on premises of a materialist and evolutionary character which are incompatible with what is needed for any truly superior sentiment of race.
We concede that, despite the ideological deformations that proceed from their premises, some results of genetic and biological research can be useful, but always, as we have said, with the proper reservations, must always be checked by super-scientific principles which will constitute the final court of appeal.
Racists who defend the exclusive claims of the scientistic point of view, and who can coherently boast only of the gorilla and the pithecanthropus as their glorious ancestors, should be able to persuade themselves that we in Italy do not find ourselves in a Soviet regime, nor in the times of the Jacobin Enlightenment, which would mean that the adjective ‘spiritual’, when added to the noun ‘racism’, would signify shame and disrepute. We naturally prefer to define our terms, by saying that spirit, for us, does not mean either philosophical deviation or ‘theosophy’, or a mystical, devotional evasion, but simply what well-born people always understood by race in better times: that is, rectitude, internal integrity, character, dignity, manliness, and an immediate and direct sensitivity for all values, virtues that stand at the foundation of all human greatness and that tower over, and so dominate, the level of all contingent and material reality.
The view of race as a ‘scientistic’ construction and a mannequin from an anthropological museum we leave to those parts of a pseudo-intellectual middle class who are still dominated by the idols of the positivism of the nineteenth century.
(The above is excerpted from the essay ‘Scientific Racism’s Mistake’, which appears in A Traditionalist Confronts Fascism, recently published by Arktos.)
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