As the present Cycle is much nearer its end than its bright beginning, it is probably not the first time that such an undertaking has taken place. I mentioned above the Revolution of 1789, which, in the name of the idea of equality ‘in law’ of all men of all races, led in France, de facto, to the usurpation of power by the bourgeoisie, and, in the geographically much more distant West, to the creation of the grotesque negro republic of Santo Domingo.
I could have mentioned Christianity itself, despite the undeniable, but visibly limited, part of true universal symbolism it may contain. Didn’t its dissemination—in the name of this same idea, as subversive as it is erroneous of equality—consummated the disintegration of the Greco-Roman world (already begun, it is true, in the Hellenistic period)? And its outrageous anthropocentrism makes it, in any case, an incomplete religion.
The European aristocracy, that is to say Germanic, and the Byzantine or Byzantinized Slavic aristocracy, came to terms with it out of policy, using it as a ready-made pretext for proselytising conquests and as a unifying force for the conquered peoples; while some of their members, and the most eminent ones at that, sometimes welcomed in it the opportunity for pure spiritual masochism, if not physical masochism as well. All in all, and despite the inspiration that so many artists have drawn from it, this work has been, practically as well as in the absolute sense of the word, more subversive than constructive.
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Editor’s Note: This letter to me has been the most radical approach to this subject I have ever read.
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I could have mentioned any of these wisdoms, always more or less truncated, that Nietzsche calls ‘slave religions’. For all of these, even and perhaps especially those that most ostensibly place themselves ‘above Time’, by the mere fact that they deny hierarchy even if only in society and not in itself, and take no account of race on the pretext that the visible is of little importance, result in practice in the encouragement of a levelling down and thus constitute (in practice, always) disintegrating factors acting in the direction of Time. They all contribute to the vast work of subversion, in the true sense of the word: of turning the ideal order upside down which continues, and intensifies, throughout the cycle.
I will say more. Undoubtedly there is a ‘subversion’ of this principial order whenever a man, or a natural group of men—a caste, a race—moved by a false estimate of his ‘rights’ or even of his ‘duties’, usurps or tries to usurp the normal place of another; whenever, for example, a prince rejects the spiritual authority to which his kingdom, and perhaps his civilisation, owes its link—however remote and tenuous—with the highest and most hidden sources of Tradition. It is a crime of this nature of which Philip the Fair, otherwise a great king, seems to have been guilty in destroying, with the connivance of a pope who was more of a politician than a priest, the Order of the Knights Templar. But all this only prepares and prefigures, by far or by near, the ultimate subversion: that which consists in calling the mass—and the mass of all races: the ‘world proletariat’—to power and what is worse is the claims to derive from it, and from it alone, the principle and justification of power.
This subversion, which Guénon calls ‘the reign of Soudra’, is the worst of all those who have succeeded one another in the course of the ages. It is the worst not because a non-Marxist would find himself subjected to more inconveniences under a communist regime than under another, but because it is no longer a question of arbitrary changes, contrary to the spirit of the true hierarchy within visible society, but of a complete reversal of ideal situations and essential values.
The result is that this society, instead of tending, as it should, to reflect what it can of the eternal order, reflects, symbolises, concretises in the world of manifestation exactly the opposite. The pyramid which, in the supra-rational vision of the wise man, represents the organic arrangement of the ideal society, the image of the hierarchical states of cosmic existence, visible and invisible, is, in the sacrilegious dream of the Marxist, completely turned upside down. It is planted in balance—oh, how unstable!—on what should be, on what, from the viewpoint of formal correspondences, is its summit. And it is its natural base that serves as its artificial summit: a ‘summit’ that is not a summit because it is, precisely, mass, a formless and heavy mass: a crushing mass overflowing everything and not a point.
It is from the metaphysical point of view that Marxism is nonsense, no matter how deceptively subtle the arguments on which its founder, Mardoccai, a.k.a. Marx, tried to support from economic and political considerations concerning production, the employer’s profit, the worker’s wage, ‘surplus value’, etc.
No dialectic can bring a doctrine into line with cosmic truth, if it is not already so. And, in the practical domain this time, no force of coercion or persuasion or conditioning can in the long run stabilise a particular state of deterioration in a cycle. The social pyramid cannot remain precariously balanced on its top with its base in the air indefinitely. Either a ‘partial recovery’ will tend to put it back on its feet—with an increasingly illusory success, and less and less durable as the cycle approaches its end—or the pyramid, dragged down by the very inertia of the mass which it was intended to be the ‘summit’, will collapse, disintegrate, fall apart. And it will be chaos, complete anarchy succeeding the reverse order. It will be—to imitate the colourful, Hindu-tinged language of the author of The Crisis of the Modern World—the reign of the Chandala succeeding the reign of the Soudra: the end of the cycle.
Perhaps we still have sporadic glimpses of this in some manifestations of gregarious eccentricity and boisterous nihilism, such as those of the ‘Existentialists of Saint-Germain-des-Prés’, the young people of the ‘New Left’, or ‘hippies’ of all stripes: anarchists out of laziness, pacifists out of laziness, drug addicts, unwashed, uncombed, noisy, ragged individualists and tolerant as long as the individuality of their neighbours doesn’t bother them, preaching: ‘Make love; don’t go to war!’ and ready to jump on the first one who prefers to make war, or both.
 As could well be the case of Elisabeth of Thuringia, princess of Hungary, who was flogged by Conrad of Marburg, her director of conscience.
 I have tried to show this in a long passage in my book Gold in the Furnace, 1951 edition, Calcutta, pages 212ff.