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Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic Age Paperback – August 26, 2010
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"Together, Faye's Archeofuturism and Durant's Paleo Manifesto offer a total, positive approach to the future that is informed and guided by what is known about the human animal, both physically and socially." -Jack Donovan
About the Author
Guillaume Faye was one of the principal members of the famed French New Right organisation GRECE in the 1970s and '80s. After departing in 1986 due to his disagreement with its strategy, he had a successful career on French television and radio before returning to the stage of political philosophy as a powerful alternative voice with the publication of Archeofuturism. Since then he has continued to challenge the status quo within the Right in his writings, earning him both the admiration and disdain of his colleagues.
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I hesitate to describe Faye as a political philosopher because political philosophy is more concerned with theories of justice rather than soothsaying about the dynamics of the 21st Century. ArcheoFuturism isn't animated by concerns with distributive justice but rather with a prediction about the future. Equity, it is said, depends upon ample natural resources. Once physical resources are depleted, equity becomes an absurdity. The future, Faye argues, demands a reasoned method for an un-equal distribution of the world's resources so that a breakaway subset of Man can proceed forward both spiritually and technologically while the masses are consigned to live cyclically in a repetition of traditions that lock them in a contented, innocuous whirlpool that drives in the opposite direction; that is, backwards, into the past, then finally into an oblivion with more simian than human qualities.
Justice, as it is normally conceived of, plays no part in the new ArcheoFuturistic distributive model because the dynamic force is simply the Will to Power. The mandate to proceed forward to the highest destiny of Man justifies a partition of resources that is unequal. And as this dynamic plays out in the 21st Century, Faye envisions institutional collapse and widespread ethnic warfare, with a Balkanization of the planet based on race. Europe expands to Euro-Siberia. China in cooperation with Japan controls California. Africa, I believe, is partitioned between Asians and Europeans. Similarly, the resources of the balance of the solar system, particularly Mars, fall to a negotiated split between Asians and Europeans.
I suppose that in the ArcheoFuture Europeans and the quasi-Europeans of America will no longer watch television, in as much as it is well known that only the Japanese and Koreans are able to manufacture televisions worth watching at all. So, in the future, Europeans will have to watch other white goods, such as the Electrolux washing machine or, perhaps, their Phillips vacuum cleaners. Similarly, Asian women will have to carry their secret caches of cosmetics and other necessities in pockets or in their bare fingers, in as much as they will no longer have access to the Ferragamo and Chanel handbags of Italy and France.
The ArcheoFuture is a catastrophe. Faye describes a dystopia. There is nothing that is normatively desirable in his universe. It is likely that models of distributive justice will have to be devised for a future that will be frustrated with increased resource constraints. And the Will to Power will continue to operate as it always has to order the distribution of resources among individuals within the box we call civilization. However, to PROPOSE that we abandon justice is different from recognizing that justice will become more difficult in the 21st Century. In fact, it should be conceded that we do not today live in a system in which serious effort is made towards distributive equity. We live in a world of slogans and dreams. Faye suggests that we should WANT to abandon those dreams.
Indeed, it is my experience that we have abandoned justice already in too many sectors and for too many varieties of people. Visit any jail in America or attempt to walk through a poorer neighborhood in Southeast Asia. The dreams of distributive justice that have been knocked about and discoursed upon in classrooms in the major capitals of the planet have failed to achieve practical effect in reality. How is it that we can be exhorted to abandon what we have barely even begun?
Nonetheless, this is an important book, not because of its prescriptions, but because it may, in a positivistic way, amount to an accurate description of the developing mindset of many Americans, Europeans and even East Asians. The 21st Century, I believe, will begin to advance towards the resource choke points that were imagined in "Soylent Green" and similar works. Inequality will once again attempt to achieve conventional legitimacy. However, even in the midsts of catastrophe, one would hope that some communities would persist that continue to believe in the possibility of utopias.
Guillaume Faye postulates that the current iteration of civilization will fail within our lifetimes. He describes a "jump" phenomenology consistent with chaos theory: once acceleration and velocity reach zero, order degenerates into chaos. The parabola of the rise and fall of society isn't symmetrical. After the sluggish rise from the left to the very pinnacle, the plunge to the right is more or less vertical, from the grand dream of an equitable civilization to the reality of the rocks in just a few cycles of hyperventilation. Mad Max is waiting for us, and no one in our vicinity looks much like Charlize Theron.
We've all heard the peak oil theory; and after a few runs through it, we've dismissed it. But now, I've begun to reconsider the validity of the peak oil hypothesis. USD as the reserve currency is simply a restatement of oil. Once oil as a control mechanism begins to fail in a sort of Green Crisis, Guillaume Faye's ArcheoFuture may begin its march towards a horrific realization.
This situation exists because, since 1945, conservatism has been in disarray. Its fundamental idea is to learn from the past and what works (e.g. ends before means) instead of what is morally or politically correct, which is the foundation of liberalism.
As a result, conservatism endorses some things that are not very polite. It endorses nationalism, or delineation of nations by self-ruling ethnic groups; it supports a caste or class hierarchy; it endorses social Darwinism, or giving more wealth to those who are more competent; finally, it denies social equality, that "freedom" is a definable goal, or that we can all get along.
To a modern person, conservatism is apostasy and a denial of all the television, rock stars and Hollywood stars, writers, friends and gurus tell us is true.
While we might see modern television conservatives as essentially liberals with the methods of the right, the New Right is an attempt to make conservatives with the values of the right and the methods of the liberals. However, it has taken many years to flower and even be defined; Guillaume Faye's "Archeofuturism" is an attempt not only to define it, but to give it a creative ideal toward which to reach.
The book starts by re-capping the history you will not find in textbooks, namely that liberalism started in 1789, causes two centuries of wars trying to establish the nation state and now, thanks to atomizing individualism, has created societies where no one has anything in common and so chaos is the norm and heavy Nanny State enforcement is necessary.
Faye posits that as ongoing time proves that liberalism has not delivered on its promise of a world of peace and equality, and this causes further inner instability, we will face a "convergence of catastrophes" in which the ill-guided policies of liberalism show their consequences. For example, overpopulation, pollution, climate change, racial strife and proliferation of nuclear weapons will, in Faye's view, come due at about the same time.
Against this Faye posits "archaeofuturism," or a belief system that applies the values of the past to a forward and creative goal. This in itself is a big step for conservatism, which has essentially been a rearguard action since 1789 when politics fragmented with the French Revolution.
This book is an engaging read and, while it will offend most modern readers, is hard to deny as far as a realistic look at politics on the one thousand year scale, instead of the four-year election cycle. It is engagingly written, thoughtful and witty, as well as being informative to those of us who grew up on the filtered pro-liberal media.
Whether you're left or right, this is a "different" view of history that does not have the failings of the official-and/or-popular view. It may even portray a world we'd rather live in.
Faye tells us we should dream of the future and plan for the future, but temper this futurism with archaism, which he defines not as backward-looking nostalgia, but an understanding of and respect for the “founding impulses” of human social organization.
Using what is known about evolutionary psychology and tried forms of human social organization to inform humanity’s march into the future corrects the built-in mistake of modern life — which is truly driven by greedy commercialism and merely rationalized and pseudo-sacralized by “progressive” neophilia. In what passes for “social science” today, there is a tendency to throw out any traditional idea about human nature which cannot immediately be explained by scientific inquiry — some quick “study,” or the current perception of the barely understood brain — in favor of some theoretical form of social organization completely untried and unknown to our species.
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One of the leading proponents of the European New Right, Faye has never
before been published in English.Read more