Our century will be a century of iron and storms. It will not resemble those harmonious futures predicted up to the 1970s. It will not be the global village prophesied by Marshall MacLuhan in 1966, or Bill Gates’ planetary network, or Francis Fukuyama’s end of history: a liberal global civilization directed by a universal state.
The Third Age of European Civilization commences, in a tragic acceleration of the historical process, with the Treaty of Versailles and end of the civil war of 1914-18: the catastrophic twentieth century. Four generations were enough to undo the labor of more than forty. Europe fell victim to its own tragic Prometheanism, its own opening to the world and universalism, oblivious of all ethnic solidarity.
The Fourth Age of European civilization begins today. It will be the Age of rebirth or perdition. The twenty-first century will be for this civilization, the fateful century, the century of life or death.
Let us cultivate the pessimistic optimism of Nietzsche. “There is no more order to conserve; it is necessary to create a new one.” Will the beginning of the twenty-first century be difficult? Are all the indicators in the red? So much the better. They predicted the end of history after the collapse of the USSR? We wish to speed its return: thunderous, bellicose, and archaic. Islam resumes its wars of conquest. China and India wish to become superpowers. And so forth. The twenty-first century will be placed under the double sign of Mars, the god of war, and of Hephaestus, the god who forges swords, the master of technology and the chthonic fires. This century will be that of the metamorphic rebirth of Europe, like the Phoenix, or of its disappearance as a historical civilization and its transformation into a cosmopolitan and sterile Luna Park.
The beginning of the twenty-first century will be the despairing midnight of the world of which Hölderlin spoke. But it is always darkest before the dawn. Let us prepare our children for war. Let us educate our youth, be it only a minority, as a new aristocracy.
Today we need more than morality. We need hypermorality, the Nietzschean ethics of difficult times. When one defends one’s people, i.e., one’s own children, one defends the essential. Then one follows the rule of Agamemnon and Leonidas but also of Charles Martel: what prevails is the law of the sword, whose bronze or steel reflects the glare of the sun.
(Excerpted from “Mars & Hephaestus: The Return of History”)