Julius Evola vs. Christopher Hitchens

I spent way too long on this…

For those of you not clear on the concept, the weak humor in this video comes from watching poorly animated cartoons saying these things with robot voices. The stronger humor is derived from juxtaposing the two writers. I was inspired by this video; unfortunately XtraNormal has gotten a little lame and no longer allows characters to speak as quickly as the other video.


H: Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience.

E: When the representatives of a given principle prove to be unworthy of it, the criticism of them extends immediately to the principle itself and is especially directed against it. Instead of acknowledging that some individuals are not at the level of the principle, and instead of requiring that they be replaced by qualified individuals, it is claimed that the principle itself is false, corrupt, or passe, and that it should be replaced with a different principle.

H: To me, what matters most is the pursuit of happiness.

E: Happiness or pleasure belongs to the naturalistic plane and is marked by passivity toward the world of impulses, instincts, passions, and inclinations. Tradition defines the basis of naturalistic existence as desire and thirst, and ardent pleasure is that which is tied to the satisfaction of desire in terms of a momentary dampening of the fire that drives life onward. Heroic pleasure, on the other hand, is that which accompanies a decisive actions that comes from being, from the plane superior to that of life.

H: Religion has run out of justifications. Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, it no longer offers an explanation of anything important.

E: Science—in the sense of real, positive and empirical knowledge—can only subsist in what is physical; and that in the non-physical there can be no science, so that the scientific method neglects it and abandons it, by lack of authority, to belief, to the dull and arbitrary abstractions of philosophy, or to the “exigencies” of sentiment and morality.

H: I think our knowledge of right and wrong is innate in us. Why don’t we just assume that we do have some internal compass?

E: The fact that Heidegger sees in the voice of conscience an objective, constitutional phenomenon of Dasein and abstains from interpreting it in a religious or moral sense does not in the least affect the passivity of the experience and the relative transcendence of this voice. Thus he treats as nonexistent the critical effort of the nihilistic period, which showed how indeterminate and relative this voice is, lacking any normative, objective, or unequivocal value.

H: Democracy and freedom are completely incompatible with the worship of an unalterable celestial dictator. Someone who can watch you while you sleep and convict you of thought crime.

E: No God has ever controlled man. Divine despotism is a fantasy. Man, at a given moment, wanted to be free. He was allowed to be so, and he was allowed to throw off the chains that did not bind him so much as sustain him. Thereupon he was allowed to suffer all the consequences of his liberation.

H: Christianity is too repressed to offer sex in paradise.

H: If one must have faith in order to believe something, or believe in something, then the likelihood of that something having any truth or value is considerably diminished.

E: Men in revolt within the chaotic life of the great cities, or men who have passed through the storms of steel and fire and the destructions of the last total wars, or have grown up in the bombed-out zones, are the ones who possess in greater measure the premises for the reconquest of a higher sense of life and for an existential overcoming, not theoretical but genuine, of all the problems of man in crisis.


Not included in the final video:

H: Make me one with everything. So goes the Buddhist’s humble request to the hot-dog vendor. But when the Buddhist hands over a twenty-dollar bill to the vendor, in return for his slathered bun, he waits a long time for his change. Finally asking for it, he is informed that “change comes only from within.” All such rhetoric is almost too easy to parody.

E: If we stop at the outward character of these peculiar documents of Zen, we are led to think of the style and the intentions of certain para-artistic compositions, which are not only surrealistic, but above all dada-istic, aiming at something which goes beyond a mere épater le bourgeois by jumbles of words and associations of ideas devoid of all logical basis or in any way intelligible by the canons of common sense. But the external analogy already indicates the difference, so to speak, regarding the point to be arrived at. We may at once state that the difference consists of the presence of a metaphysical background in the case of Zen, and in the utter lack of such a background in the second case, wherein everything is reduced to “a disordered urge to evasion, to the will to evoke the primordial, incoherent, howling, mad and burning chaos,” without any positive element as a counterpart of a problematic action destructive of and disintegrating normal mentality.

Posted: May 30th, 2012 | Tradition 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “Julius Evola vs. Christopher Hitchens”

  1. 1 ESB said at 11:51 pm on May 30th, 2012:

    What are the sources for these quotes? Even only some of them would be good.

  2. 2 Avery said at 5:29 am on June 1st, 2012:

    The Evola ones are from his main 3 books except for the one I didn’t use, which is from an article in East and West.

    Hitchens quotes are mostly from God is Not Great (even the one about sex in Heaven, which I assure you is not out of context). “Celestial dictator”, “happiness” quotes are from his YouTube videos on the meaning of life; he also said these things in other debates that are not on YouTube.

  3. 3 Avery said at 5:35 am on June 1st, 2012:

    Specifically: the final three Evola quotes are from Ride the Tiger and the last one appears totally out of the blue in the middle of the book.

    The first and third are from Men Among the Ruins. The second I found on Gornahoor.

  4. 4 heiligenschein said at 3:20 am on June 11th, 2012:

    I was surprised a minute ago to see that this had been posted on r/new_right/ — nice to see that you’re a reader over there.

  5. 5 DimmingStylite said at 2:38 am on September 22nd, 2012:

    Awesome. This should be mandatory reading in every school in the country. Evola is the philosophical steed on which I ride into battle.

  6. 6 Jim Buck said at 7:59 pm on January 5th, 2013:

    Monocled Mauler v Artless Atheist: no contest.

  7. 7 Julius Evola vs. Christopher Hitchens « Nomad Forgotten said at 7:36 am on January 10th, 2013:

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