Today I recommend a horror book: “A World After Liberalism”, by Matthew Rose. It’s a joke, but it’s serious. It’s a joke because “A World…” doesn’t fit well in the horror genre if we think of it as the literary category to which “Frankenstein”, “The Doctor and the Beast” and “Dracula” belong. “A World…” is not a piece of fiction, but a collection of short essays that fall between the journalistic and the sociological. But it’s serious because Rose’s book, even more than the cited classics, scares me.
Rose shows that, behind the nonsense and abuse launched by activists on social networks, there is a more consistent and deeper far-right thinking. He profiles five authors who were responsible for launching some of these ideas: Oswald Spengler, Julius Evola, Francis Parker Yockey, Alain Benoist and Samuel Francis. I confess that I knew Spengler minimally, had heard of Evola and ignored the other three.
They are very uneven. Some stand out for racism, others for nationalism, others for anti-globalism. What they have in common is the more radical idea that liberalism is evil, not just in practice, in encouraging hedonism and selfishness, but also on a moral level.
In their view, liberalism, whose theoretical pillars are equality before the law, minority rights, tolerance and pluralism, destroys the true foundations of the social order, which is based on the ethnocultural identity of the group, from which the individual cannot you can leave without denying yourself.
We must not, of course, imagine that the Bolsonaros and their similes have studied these authors (or anything else) in depth. The point is that, despite remaining largely unknown, they have marketed the idea that liberal beliefs are harmful and that there is an alternative to them based on notions such as people, country, and god. And that’s pretty scary.
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