Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another European Destiny

In Dominique Venner’s historical essay, Ernst Jünger: Un autre destin européen, the subject is presented as une figure ultime, a European archetype provisionally absent from Europe today, but nevertheless one rooted in the depths of the European spirit — and destined, thus, to re-appear should Europeans ever re-awake to re-assert themselves in the world.

Michael O’Meara reviews Dominique Venner’s Ernst Jünger: Another European Destiny.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Also an 11th September

Darmstadt though...

Only 10,000 Germans...

All were Nazis...

Thank you for liberating us.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A once-in-a-lifetime experience


Monday, October 26 – Monday, November 2, 2009

Experience a dynamic and intensive eight day exploration of Israel’s struggle for survival and security in the Middle East today: "a military, humanitarian, historical, judicial, religious, and political reality check."

Mission Highlights

* Briefings by Mossad officials and commanders of the Shin Bet.
* Briefing by officers in the IDF Intelligence and Operations branches.
* Inside tour of the IAF unit who carries out targeted killings.
* Live exhibition of penetration raids in Arab territory.
* Observe a trial of Hamas terrorists in an IDF military court.
* First hand tours of the Lebanese front-line military positions and the Gaza border check-points.
* Inside tour of the controversial Security Fence and secret intelligence bases.
* Meeting Israel's Arab agents who infiltrate the terrorist groups and provide real-time intelligence.
* Briefing by Israel's war heros who saved the country.
* Meetings with senior Cabinet Ministers and other key policymakers.
* Small airplane tour of the Galilee, Jeep rides in the Golan heights, water activities on Lake Kinneret, a cook-out barbecue and a Shabbat enjoying the rich religious and historic wonders of Jerusalem's Old City.

First Class Accomodation

* Five-star accommodations at the Sheraton Plaza Jerusalem (Glatt Kosher);
* Three meals a day (all Kosher);
* Luxury bus transportation and knowledgeable tour guide;
* A dedicated Executive Communications Center at the hotel;
* Personal cell phone for each participant.

Qui evadet? (i. e. Vanitas II)

David Bailly, Vanitas. In: Album Amicorum Cornelis de Montigny de Clarges, 1624.

The anarch's relationship to society and authority

Here is a particularly rich quotation from Ernst Jünger´s novel “Eumeswil”, in which he further explains the anarch’s role within society, his relationship to other individuals, to personal freedom, and to authority and external causes.

“I tend to distinguish between other people’s opinions of me and my own self-assessment. Others determine my social status, which I take seriously, albeit within certain limits. Nor am I dissatisfied with it. In this respect, I differ from most Eumeswilers, who are dissatisfied with their positions or their standings.

I could just as easily say that I neither am satisfied with my position nor take it seriously. That would obtain for the overall situation of the city, the absence of any center, which puts every office under obligation and gives meaning to every action. Here, neither oath nor sacrifice counts any longer.

Nevertheless, when anything is possible, one can also take any liberty. I am an anarch – not because I despise authority, but because I need it. Likewise, I am not a nonbeliever, but a man who demands something worth believing in. On this point, I am like a bride in her chamber: she listens for the softest step.”
(Eumeswil , page 97)


In the first sentence of this quotation, we see that the anarch makes a conscious distinction between other’s judgements about him and his own judgements on himself. Note that he does not altogether reject others’ opinions of him, but relegates them to their correct place, as useful measures of how society views him. As an anarch, it is important to remain integrated into society and to keep his essential outsider status a secret; hence he needs to know what society thinks of him, where it currently slots him into its ranks. This can have practical implications for his security or the success of his own private projects – if he perceives that society is becoming aware of his outsider status and may begin imposing limits or paying dangerous attention to him, perhaps he will have to adjust the external impressions he is making, alter the role he is playing to some degree. As a last resort, he may have to abandon society and become a forest-fleer. (But this is a weaker metaphysical position, one ideally avoided but not outright rejected by the anarch. If the reader is interested, this figure is extensively and explicitly developed in an earlier Jünger book, “Der Waldgänger“ or “Forest Fleer”.)

Since the anarch views his role in society as something which does not touch his essence but which is a personally useful function, he is unlike the average citizen who judges his self-worth on the basis of his social position. He cannot be satisfied with the position, in the sense of it fulfilling him, of providing for all his needs. And he does not take it seriously, since it is unessential, a role in the Shakespearean sense of “all the world’s a stage and all the people players”.

Moreover, in the post-historic, post-nihilistic State of Eumeswil, social positions have only relative value and no absolute value, as may have been true, or imagined to be true, in earlier societies. Every position is as good as any other, there is no higher central position such as a king or the church, around which, or below which all other social positions are arranged. One no longer sacrifices oneself for or swears an absolute allegiance to State or king. In this sense, the state of society in Eumeswil is actually advantageous to the anarch, for it has become easier not to believe in ephemeral external causes, such as political changes.

On the other hand, in a world where anything is possible, there is also the possibility to act in full liberty, assuming that the individual is internally free. Unlike the anarchist, the anarch is already conscious of this freedom and does not need to fight with authorities to regain something he already knows he possesses. On the contrary, as an anarch, he requires authority. Firstly, in the higher sense, of himself over himself, of his higher self over the state of nature, of anarchic wilderness within himself, which is to say, he needs self-mastery and self-regulation. And secondly, in a social sense, he requires the external regulatory forces of worldly authorities, forces which give the world some consistency and structure, within whose predictability and around whose obstacles and difficulties a free man can chart and navigate a personally meaningful and enriching course. In a state of pure anarchy, this would be more difficult and probably less rewarding.

As Jünger says explicitly at the end of the quotation, the anarch is not a nonbeliever per se, not a nihilist, but rather someone who understands the value of his own freedom and thus demands something worth the sacrifice of any of that supreme capital of his.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Vanitas I

Johann Caspar Lavater, Physiognomische Fragmente, 1775-78