One Way to Rebut Researchers and Scholars Who Tie Theosophy to the Origins of Fascism and Nazi Ideology
Loose analogy is often drawn between our subjects, which is Theosophy with that of National Socialism and Fascism. Despite what anyone may personally feel against discussing this topic, it must be dealt with in numerous ways, and from numerous angles, as much and as vigorously and combative as the researchers who draw these analogies under recognized books, journals, articles, and under the “the guise of scholarship.” All right-leaning parties are being ever more tactically branded with the names Nazi, and Neo-Fascism to the point the political left is doing it to itself, and the right and left to each other. The term fascism has been subject to different definitions just for the sake of tactical political gain and argument shut-down. Having changed, since being coined by Italian politician, Benito Mussolini, it is mostly now used as an insult, and to mean something that is distanced from the historical context that it came from. In the last election and after, the rise of the Euro-American Identitarian movement and U.S. issues with Russia led to many journalists scrambling to explain the origins of the Alt-Right and Fascism, which in some cases resurrected accusations against Theosophy and the writings of H.P. Blavatsky.
Responding to this, I had taken the task to explain the many actual influences and philosophy of Fascism, and rebutting the antisemitism narrative against H.P. Blavatsky to define her legacy whenever she is introduced to the modern public. None of these people correct their position or ever apologize, because there is no accountability. Under the guise of professional credibility, scholarship, or journalism, these people work, and no presence or strength in the once Theosophical Movement to collectively, effectively, and immediately challenge it makes it difficult. It could be easily shifted by helping to share articles like this. One way I have rebutted journalists, researchers and scholars who have tied Theosophy to the origins of Fascism and National Socialism is by actually, without a dishonest agenda or bias, thoroughly lay out everything about Fascism, from the words of its thinkers. This has been incredibly easy to do, and this is actually necessary, because there are similarities in thinking between Theosophists and Fascism, which lead to the accusations, and are used to confound them. Analogy is what Theosophists do. Analogy is what I have done, as many have ignorantly questioned my motives. By doing this, I have shown how tying them always comes off as either lazy research, or a slander campaign, that goes unnoticeable to casual readers of the information interested in this history. However, another simple way to rebut them, is to point out with this, the numerous contradictory conclusions as to what Theosophy is provided to us by scholars. Scholars and people actually seem confused. The blurring of facts and a century of slander contributed to that.
A Marxist critiques the political left’s use of the terms Fascist and Nazi:
“Colonial empires found justification in racial theory. Romantic national history and social Darwinism bound masses of people at home to the imagined community of the state and reconciled them to the existing hierarchical social order. Nevertheless, though fascist leaders and their shrill publicists freely deployed such ruling class notions, they did so in an entirely demagogic fashion. There is with fascism no body of logically sustainable reasoning of the kind found in the catholic church or Marxism. Read Mein Kampf or Mussolini’s My autobiography. Hence frantic leftist attempts to locate Le Pen’s ‘fascism’ in some subtle anti-semitic code word or pouncing upon Jörg Haider’s ‘fascist’ admiration for the Third Reich’s autobahns and public works programme is entirely misplaced. There is no fascist theory systematically linking proposition to practice. Organisationally fascism has precursors in the anti-liberal and anti-socialist counterrevolutionary movements of the same late 19th to early 20th century period. A loose analogy can be drawn between Louis Napoleon Bonaparte’s movement and fascism.” (Origins of fascism and the New Right)
SCHOLARS CONFUSED AS TO WHAT THEOSOPHY IS
There are those “crack-brained slanderers” who have scapegoated modern Theosophy for inspiring the movements of German Romanticism, Fascism, and Nationalism Socialism. Academic critiques of Theosophy are often incapable of distinguishing whether Theosophy itself is Gnosticism, Freemasonry, Buddhism, Rosicrucianism, Neo-Hinduism, etc., a mix, or all the above.
“Year after year, and day after day had our officers and members to interrupt people speaking of the theosophical movement by putting in more or less emphatic protests against Theosophy being referred to as a “religion,” and the Theosophical Society as a kind of church or religious body. Still worse, it is as often spoken of as a “new sect”! Is it a stubborn prejudice, an error, or both? The latter, most likely. The most narrow-minded and even notoriously unfair people are still in need of a plausible pretext, of a peg on which to hang their little uncharitable remarks and innocently-uttered slanders. And what peg is more solid for that purpose, more convenient than an “ism” or a “sect.” The great majority would be very sorry to be disabused and finally forced to accept the fact that Theosophy is neither. The name suits them, and they pretend to be unaware of its falseness. But there are others, also, many more or less friendly people, who labour sincerely under the same delusion.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, Is Theosophy a Religion, Theosophical Articles, Vol. 1, Theosophy Co., L.A. 1981, pg. 56 and Lucifer, November 1888.)
For Theosophy to then be seen as an influence to the construction of fascism is ignorant of the Italian philosophy already embedded in the culture surrounding Giovanni Gentile and Benito Mussolini, himself who attributed his influence to Gustav Le Bon, among many others. Fascism contained the entire history of Italian philosophy. Fascist Philosophers believed they could embody classical thought in present political thought far more faithfully than the Republican Enlightenment and Renaissance thinkers.
Besides the political element, there was a metaphysics of Fascism. These men have all detailed exactly where their influence in spiritual ideas derive from. None of it comes directly from Theosophy. Benito Mussolini, on his doctrine about Fascism, aided by Giovanni Gentile, who became Minister of Education in Mussolini’s government states, that it is a spiritual philosophy. It bears similarity, in the strength of its spiritual philosophy to theosophy, as in both being based on a form of idealism [objective]. This is where one senses the similarity, but this reaches both through different philosophical influences. Fascism also lacks the saggezza or compassion central in both traditional and modern theosophy, despite ethics supposedly being important to Gentile’s Fascism. What it practiced is another matter. Fascism could be seen as the spirit of Mars in contradistinction to Minerva in Theosophy, though this distinction seems superficial. “Universal brotherhood” is the theosophist’s celebrated principle, but the theosophists were not devoid of a “consciousness of the nation” and the ignorance of what we may call, the “destiny of peoples” (a group’s historical destiny). See H.P. Blavatsky involvement in Italian Politics with Garibaldi and Mazzini, and the Carbonari’s Role in the Republican Revolutions. The Theosophists protected and cared about the preservation, histories and cultures of peoples, attempting to speak to each, for the stories of peoples were connected to telling the “secret history of the world” and the origins of the Mysteries.
The 20th century Theosophists’ exhibited the contemporary political thinking, such as Annie Besant and Alice Bailey’s political ideals, but the first-gen Theosophists’ are not thinking in any left-right dichotomy. The same way many have failed to describe Theosophy in terms of its philosophy, they have failed in describing where Theosophy is on the “political spectrum.” It is not concerned with a spectrum. The modern political spectrum might even shape one’s own Theosophical view, but the early Theosophist saw Theosophy as a movement beyond this. So Right-wing conspiracists and their opponents on the left — or any one political side appropriating it all create misunderstanding. Each side has criticized Theosophy, and one can only conclude confusion when we lay all facts on the table. The Fascists and National Socialists both concluded in their words, the Theosophists were mere “Internationalists,” and reported them to each respective regime. So, even the Fascists themselves do not see their similarity in Theosophy, and yet, as said before, a very few number of Theosophists collaborated with the Fascists, like Franz Hartmann through the Ariosophists. All sides, including the regimes in Italy and Germany then appear also in light of all the intelligence gathered, ignorant on the matter. This is why I wrote The Irony of Apoliticism in Theosophy.
FASCIST INTELLECTUALS DISAGREED WITH THE STOICS’ VIEW OF THE ‘INDIVIDUAL’ AND LOATHED THE ENLIGHTENERS
The principle of unity theosophy points to is not bound up with a political conception of the State, but in regards to this conception of Nature as having a subtle and spiritual side, the Force and Substance that binds things in the unseen world, or universe. The basis of the atomistic theory is part of this, which the Fascists do not understand. Further on this, in Classical Republicanism, deriving from the Stoics, Vico (who Palmieri, the Fascist philosopher described as one of the two frontrunners of Fascism) considered the Philosophy of the Stoics and Skeptics of Greece to tend toward isolation of the self. Fascio and fasces, meaning “strength through unity” is the origin of the word fascism, and is its celebrated principle, in an overbearing sense. It is admitted, Mario Palmieri writes in The Philosophy of Fascism, that the philosophy of Vico gives “an account of men not as solitary, but as social beings; which would promote social union, strength and progress. He writes further, that “. . . the philosophy of his [Gianbattista Vico’s] age tended to dissolve society, to dissociate men, to lose sight of humanity, nations and families in the contemplation of isolated individuals. . . .”
Before the first world war, sentiment among the ruling class was a distrust of internationalism (capitalists and socialists), and the rise of republics and democracies. Nationalism and Sovereignty was not seen as fundamentally evil causes of human division, as Indian Theosophist Bhagavan Das defined it in The Essential Unity of All Religions. The use of the term Fascism has become greatly commonplace, ignoring that certain particular foundations of Fascism were interior to Italian life, culture, and history. As well, the Fascist philosophers argued, that every government is totalitarian, whether it works to benefit the People, or destroy them. Any form of national belonging is characterized as fascistic in our day, including the constructed new contrasts between Patriotism and Nationalism, that equate Nationalism with Fascism. This article Giovanni Gentile on the True ‘Will of the People’: Says Difference between Fascism and Nationalism shows Giovanni Gentile differentiating Nationalism from Fascism, explaining that the Fascist conception of the State would expand on Mazzini’s. However, what is so condemnable today are journalists and political analysts describing anyone now as fascist, when according to their use, even monarchy can be considered fascist. This is very much related to the degeneration in our understanding of what Liberty (even Democracy) entails, — terms in fact redefined, that have merely become liberal democracy’s excuse against any and all forms of authority, civil and moral order in the name of “progress.”
Monarchy was considered to be a sign a people, ruled by a rightful hereditary line, reached their nobility, and not its social regression — contrary to what we today may think. Understanding its history is even important to understanding Blavatsky’s statements on the origins of the first Kings and where their claims to divinity come from. What then of our religion of democracy, when the American view of monarchy has been shaped and based merely on the historical consequences that resulted from the incompetence of King George III and Louis XVI of France, and lastly what we watch from Disney films and other fantasy? How can we truly understand history with such a limitation, where we cannot think of history outside the confines of our “democracy?” This is what the Fascists meant by other governments being totalitarian.
Liberalism and the Left must always be revolutionary force, we are told, but then it must perpetually devour itself, like the ouroborus. Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) suggests there’s an Aristocracy in American Politics, and the Democrats have moved very far to the left (Sen. Jim Webb, Democratic Party has moved ‘very far to the left’). The Atlantic writes about ways the present system can lead to Autocracy and fascism, while men like Dr. Richard Wolff and Bernie Sanders are free to preach socialism. Like Fascism, Theosophists saw man with each age passing, degenerating. We are in the Kali Yuga, according to Theosophy. As to what and who is causing this degeneration, and how to solve it, Theosophists view of this cause differs greatly from the Fascist who pins all humanity’s suffering on a trinitarian scheme of Plutocrats, Jews and Masons.
Despite any of this, the Italian Theosophists would have never compromised with the Fascist government of Italy. Mussolini dragged the Italians with him, encouraging his people to support the conquest of Ethiopia and Albania, then joining the unfavorable war. The people grew tired. Benito Mussolini expressed to his wife later in life, his regret becoming the second arm in Fascism — the lackey of Adolf Hitler. The truth is, these were extremely conflicted, hypocritical, Machiavellian men.
Although, German National Socialists and Italian Fascism allied politically against the capitalists and communists, antisemitism was not intrinsic to Fascism and Italian life before this alliance. La Dottrina del Fascismo demonstrates that Fascism was founded on the concept of national unity, or the nation, more than on the call for racial unity. It states, that the nation is defined as “a multitude unified by an idea.” However, as stated elsewhere, Mussolini was concerned for the birth-rates of whites, and conducted campaigns of ethnic-cleansing on the Slovenes and Roma people. This is the hypocrisy in Benito Mussolini’s ideas, sharing with the old National Syndicalists, a psychotic glorification of violence. The Fascists and Mussolini regarded native Slavic peoples as inferior barbarians, and expressed desire to exterminate the Slovenes, making the Italian yoke appear as barbarians themselves. Despite the Italian fascists wanting to create the “new man” (Rom. omul nou), an ancient idea, an in fact “occult doctrine” we know well on our side of things, it is entirely impossible to achieve this through such thinking and action as conducted by the Fascists.
It does not take a genius to see how twisted their thinking is, in comparison to the modern Theosophists, who were trying to continue the work of the old Neoplatonists and Te Tsongkapa’s mission. What does their mission have to do with a “gang of psychopaths” (inside reference) rounding up Jews and Freemasons and taking over the world?
THE TRUE NATURE OF THE SPIRITUAL IN THEOSOPHY VS. FASCISM
Theosophy is also a philosophy of self-conquest. It is a philosophy of will-power, of forzi di volontà, in its knowledge of the Force and Cosmic Wheel (Law), but it is most vitally a philosophy of grande saggezza, centered on the “heart.” It is a wisdom of love and compassion, and this divine love is a cohesive force, the noetic fire of Life, the fount and origin of that true spiritualized will-power, or iron-will, as we would say in our array of jargon.
The Fascist, though conceiving their philosophy to be spiritual, fail to understand spiritual wisdom in the sense the Theosophists understand it, or else they would not have persecuted peoples and Freemasonry, and held the views they did against them. This alignment is similar to the divide in the fictional Star Wars between the Jedi and the Sith. The ways of the National Socialists contradict our ways. It is not the animal brute that moves us, but that will to subdue the lower self and transform the mind. The aspirant must be still guided by principle and ethic. The vivida vis animi, Lucretius spoke of, or the amatory desire from the libido of Sigmund Freud, is but a lower manifestation of this force. The theosophist sacrifices this, and turns God-ward, and acts through and with the inner process, that is changing them. The question is, which spiritual philosophy is most capable of producing actualized men and women of will, high moral character, virtue, and action?
If one is interested in studying the foundational elements of Fascism study:
- Mussolini’s The Doctrine of Fascism
- The Manifesto of San Sepolcro
- The Verona Manifesto
- The Diary of the Will
- The Fascist Movement in Italian Life
- Palmieri’s The Philosophy of Fascism
- Gentile’s The Philosophic Basis of Fascism and The General Theory of the Spirit
- The Constitution of Fiume (and Fiume’s history and D’Annunzio’s view on it)
- Giuseppi Mazzini
- The History of French Revolution and British Republicanism and the Italian Risorgimento.
You may also study the instructive Carl Cohen’s “Communism, Fascism, and Democracy: The Theoretical Foundations” often used in introductory college courses on Political Theory. The theoretical foundations of systems of government and political schools of thought are important to understand, just as it is with Theology, Mythography, and Esoteric Studies. This book, which many college professors use in their courses on Political Theory, includes the direct writings by Friedrich Engels, Robert Owen, Georg W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Mao Tse-tung, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Machiavelli, Friedrich Nietzsche, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, John C. Calhoun, John Dewey, George Bernard Shaw, Russell A. Kirk, Norman Thomas, Friedrich A. Hayek, Pericles, Alexis de Tocqueville, and others.
From Nov 9 2017/2018. Edited. 2/9/2020