One bookshop sold books that had apparently been dug out of rubble heaps. They were soggy with damp and they smelled like the rest of Bonn. Yet certain improvements took place in conditions during the few weeks in which I was there. For example, the trams started running. The postmen started delivering postcards letters were as yet not allowed. Germans often grumbled about the occupation, but they did not complain so much of material conditions as of mental ones. Middle-class people made incredible journeys, in crowded goods trucks, sitting on heaps of coal for days and nights, and at the end of the journey they said nothing of it.
Some of the more distinguished Germans refused to take part in the German civil administration because they said that those who took part were benefiting from the occupation and living better than other Germans. I have even heard of secretaries of officers refusing gifts of food because they wished to show that Germans can "take it". There are world shortages of coal, meat, oils, fats and sugar. This would in any case entail hardship. Other factors greatly aggravate the situation. Europe is tired, torn by dissension, disorganised.
A large proportion of those who would have been best qualified to organise recovery have been killed. The difference between quislings and resisting groups make political dissensions much more dangerous than under normal conditions. Free and democratic organisations have been dissolved.
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The results of prolonged underfeeding are in some cases, as in Holland, likely to reduce working capacity for long to come. In some countries the public has lost the habit of thinking in terms of self-government or free organisation and become accustomed to rely on authoritarian rule; and the basis of honest democracy has been undermined by what, under occupation, was patriotic sabotage and black marketing.
Fatigue and embitterment are widespread, revolution often threatened. And it is not in liberated Europe alone that we find adverse factors. All the belligerent peoples are both tired and impatient of war restrictions. The end of hostilities is likely to be marked by strikes, some slackening of work, a strong demand for relaxation of food rationing.
Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist
Hanson's definitive introduction--reveals Evola to be a much more complex figure. Though he held extreme right-wing views, he was a fearless critic of the Fascist regime and preferred a caste system based on spirituality and intellect to the biological racism championed by the Nazis.
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Ultimately, he viewed the forces of history as comprised by two factions: These latter stand in this world of ruins at a higher level and are capable of letting go of what needs to be abandoned in order that what is truly essential not be compromised. Paperback , pages. Published January 1st by Inner Traditions first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Men Among the Ruins , please sign up. Lists with This Book. May 23, Jacob Senholt rated it it was amazing. Another excellent book by Evola, and quite interesting since it deals with the post-war period, and the failure of the totalitarian Fascism and Nazism. Oct 18, Phil rated it it was ok Shelves: Let's say one star for the feasibility and desirability of implementing these ideas, and three stars for the fascinating experience of reading such an uncompromisingly extreme philosophy presented so eloquently.
I have tremendous respect for Evola's writings on esoteric subjects. His The Hermetic Tradition is one of the best books available on the symbolism of spiritual alchemy. But his political philosophy was so detached from reality that it led him to associate himself with some truly reprehe Let's say one star for the feasibility and desirability of implementing these ideas, and three stars for the fascinating experience of reading such an uncompromisingly extreme philosophy presented so eloquently.
But his political philosophy was so detached from reality that it led him to associate himself with some truly reprehensible ideas, most notoriously Italian Fascism. Evola writes as if the kind of regimented, "organic" hierarchical society that he advocates actually existed at some time in the past. Maybe—and this is a big maybe—in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, or China, or perhaps the Inca Empire, but certainly not in Europe, where Evola's attention is focused. Even in the distant past of the Near East, the Far East, and South America, what documentary and archaeological evidence exists shows that dissent, rebellion, and change weren't unknown even in what are commonly assumed to have been static societies.
Some esoteric schools of thought, such as theosophy, see the Biblical Fall, the Hindu Yugas, and the Greek Ages of Man as metaphors for the gradual descent of our species from a purely spiritual to a tangibly physical mode of existence.
Perhaps Evola saw his ideal society as something that only existed in some astral or ethereal state, prior to the messy vagaries of our human, all-too-human world. He seems to hint at something to that effect a couple of times. Whatever the case, it's unlikely that the kind of social order Evola advocates will ever come to pass, and thank goodness for that. But reading such an intelligent presentation of such outlandish ideas makes for an otherworldly experience, if nothing else. Jul 14, TR rated it it was amazing Shelves: Evola critiques the modern world with traditional standards.
Magnificent companion to Revolt Against the Modern World', which should be read first. Nov 25, Matt rated it really liked it. A brilliant critique of capitalism, economics and the modern world system from the political right. Evola's only failings are his occasional slip into racism, and sexism - though I'd be remiss to call him xenophobic - his views are complex and a reflection of his time.
While his call for an imperium is perhaps off the mark, his analysis of the spiritual death of the modern world since the Enlightenment and the French Revolution is poignant.
Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist by Julius Evola
This book gave me much food for thought, and in the par A brilliant critique of capitalism, economics and the modern world system from the political right. This book gave me much food for thought, and in the parts I found disagreeable and even reprehensible it forced me to dig deeper and ask myself why I felt that way, ultimately coming to a better understanding of my own views and an understanding of the fundamental deficiency and flaws inherent to democracy.
Evola's analysis is sharp, barbing, and clear. His views are difficult to dismiss, and should not be ignored. Apr 08, Matti added it. Evola is best left exploring the esoteric aspects of spirituality rather than publishing the same analyses as found by Guenon before him. This book has many redeeming aspects, yet also is very dry in many chapters. An uneven consistency is found throughout the book leaving it hard to mentally absorb. May 25, Raimonds Krumgolds rated it liked it. Nov 29, Perennial Imperium rated it really liked it. Great book, especially because Evola takes a few blows at the conventional Right of today, that focuses on "quantity based solutions" to European problems, particularly the demographic or national solution.
The chapter on "Occult War" is also great, as is his analysis of the Protocols. If you want to get further acquainted with Evola's political thoughts, this book, together with Pagan Imperialism, is the best way to do it. Sep 20, Zeref Troussi rated it it was amazing. If you are looking for a good book by Evola, this is not it, go read Revolt Against the Modern World instead. That still has some flaws, but they are only amplified here. I admire Evola's idealism, I really do, but if you wondered if one can be too idealistic, the answer is here and the answer is yes.
I find it sad that fascism offers so much of what Evola looked for, but he just didn't see it because he was so demanding. We need to revive a lot of the values from before the French Revolution, I If you are looking for a good book by Evola, this is not it, go read Revolt Against the Modern World instead. We need to revive a lot of the values from before the French Revolution, I agree with him on that, but the world has changed so much since then that we can't look at old systems of government for anything more than inspiration, we need to devise a new system of government that harnesses the immense technological potential of modern civilization instead of shying away from it.
Evola also flirts with individualism by opposing totalitarianism, but noting that we should not hold the individual as something sacred, but instead that we should look after the "person" which is what he calls a higher, fully realized individual. I simply don't think we can afford to hold such standards without first establishing a strong authority to shape individuals into persons and maintain them as such.