Identity and Spiritual Warfare

The Archangel Michael Defeating Satan, by Guido Reni
The Archangel Michael Defeating Satan, by Guido Reni

The Archangel Michael Defeating Satan, by Guido Reni

Brett Stevens of argued in a recent article that “our” arguments ought to remain secular. After all, broadly religious arguments are lost on the irreligious, and specifically religious arguments are lost on everybody who doesn’t share that specific religion. It’s fine to be religious, he insists, but keep it in the closet and pitch “conservatism” in the secular and universal language of positivism, logic, and reason.

There’s some utility to presenting identitarian and traditionalist arguments in terms secular materialists can digest, if only as a gateway. Somebody ought to be doing that, and who better than a talented polemicist like Brett? But while there’s merit in this angle, it’s ultimately insufficient. Failure to anchor our ideals in the transcendent guarantees that both the ideals themselves and the men possessing them will  interminably slide back into the abyss of degeneration.

Transcendence, the existence of an objective locus of truth above and beyond the self, is the cardinal difference between the traditionalist and materialist mind. There are other elements of religiosity which are valuable for our identities and which inform our politics, …elements which often differ from one religion to another. But transcendence is the keystone securing the artifice, fixing those with a transcendent worldview to immutable, singular, and objective Virtue and Truth.

Even when arguments from within the material worldview are convincing, they’re only convincing within a rather limited context. Without the capacity to transcend self-interest, the individual’s possession of the truths about our collective right to exist almost always remain toothless in a society designed from the top-down to guarantee that pursuing our identitarian group interests remains in conflict with our individual interests.

We need martyrs. There are some notable and noble exceptions, but atheists and secularized adherents don’t generally make good martyrs. For decades, we’ve dominated the argument on truck stop bathroom walls and in their digital equivalent, the anonymous Internet forums and comment threads. In the vacuum devoid of self-interest that these anonymous outlets provide, we gradually dominate and control the discourse, because the systematic deprivation of any identity’s right to exist is indefensible on its own merits.

But our opponents don’t rely on the merits of their arguments. They rely on the effect of their social stigma, their occupational discrimination, and their tactical positions as gatekeepers of success and esteem in our society. It’s been shown that even very religious men, including clergy, aren’t immune to these forces. But historically and globally we’re consistently shown that religion is where hope lies in transcending the chasm between merely maintaining a conviction and manifesting that conviction despite terrible risks.

Metaphysics of War, by Julius Evola

Metaphysics of War, by Julius Evola

Following transcendence is the challenge of hygiene and fitness relative to degeneration. This is the essence of spiritual warfare, what Julius Evola refers to in his essays on The Metaphysics of War as the Greater Jihad (I prefer to call it the Greater Crusade, of course). It’s the rigorous process of purging ourselves of all the toxins and pollutants the Modern World is awash in. Even if we maintain the conviction of identity, it’s impotent without the requisite vitality and health–spiritual vitality and spiritual health–necessary to translate it from idle abstract belief into manifest reality.

Those who deny Jesus of Nazareth’s divinity should at least see the Sermon on the Mount as a concise tutorial on defeating degeneracy. Contra Nietzsche, Jesus’ message wasn’t one of ressentiment, a message for embittered cripples and defectives. It was a pathway through that problem. Christianity isn’t a derivative of Judaism; Christianity is the antithesis of and nullification of the Pharisaic Judiasm which was then and remains now the prototypical and most powerful expression of hateful, self-worshiping, mercantile, and material degeneracy.

Preserved in the esoteric and initiatic rites of traditional Christianity lies a systematic program for transforming Modern men into martyrs, those who go beyond the merely heroic defiance of steep odds into the saintly defiance of certain death in defense of perennial Truth and Virtue. Through fasting, prayer, and disciplining of our thoughts and actions, we’re all capable of this metamorphosis from hapless puppets hamstrung by our vices and temptations into legionnaires capable of overcoming and defeating Modernity altogether.

Western Christians have largely lost and forgotten the transcendent and transformative core of our faith. The Islamic world has not, and it’s why Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS are winning despite such astounding odds and boggling resources set against them. They’re succeeding in their Greater Jihad, and their military victories in the Lesser Jihad for a revived caliphate follow directly from that commitment to the abstract principles of Transcendence and Spiritual Warfare.

Brett’s correct that our arguments will have broader appeal and penetration if we keep them accessible to the secular and material mind. But what use are these secular and material minds when they’re profoundly incapable of sacrificing on behalf of the Truths and Virtues transcending themselves? When will they start fighting on the streets, building communities, birthing larger families, and resisting the regime? Aside from a handful of violent outbursts which are as much egotistical theatrics as self-sacrifices, aside from some exceedingly clever projects to influence politics while remaining anonymous leveraging powerful new technologies, where’s the political force commensurate with our actual numbers?

With religion, we can achieve–as we’ve achieved in the past–a political force beyond our actual numbers. Those who haven’t experienced transcendence for themselves have my respect. I was one of them not long ago. But even within their own material framework, secular advocacy is demonstrably of only limited utility in achieving their goals. Furthermore, I believe those fellow identitarians who imagine themselves confirmed skeptics or atheists will find in their own loyalty to kith and kin, and in their own selfless sacrifices they’ve made for their extended family, the kernel of a transcendent and religious worldview waiting to be nurtured and developed to its full potential.



Newcomers, the young and other people just getting their feet wet with serious rightist ideas are one thing. Veteran students of the issues are another. When one finds veterans such as Brett Stevens promoting conservatism given its track record, questions about the person’s intellectual judgment should be brought to the forefront.

Orthodox Mike

Once again, glad it is driven home that there is no foundation or victory without being in the will of the Holy Trinity. Let groups like the Legion of Archangel Michael and the Black Hundreds, as well as the chivalry of the antebellum South and the Arthurian era be examples to aspire to.

Brett Stevens

On the other hand, you have only two options: conservatism or what came after it.

Liberalism = equality. Conservatism = conserve what works. This principle never fails. That mainstream conservatives and Hollywood underground conservatives have gotten this wrong should not be surprising; most people have gotten most things wrong most of the time since the Enlightenment or earlier.

That does not invalidate the underlying principle. Otherwise, the first Jim Jones would invalidate the idea of religion as well.

Orthodox Mike

There’s a third option that goes well beyond conservatism and against modernism and Liberalism, and that is radical traditionalism. American Conservatives are calling MLK a ‘conservative’, of all things. What part of Judeo-Masonic Americana are we wanting to conserve? Now the Conservative Revolution ideas of men like Carl Schmitt, that is true conservatism, steeped in Traditionalism and a holistic worldview. That I can stand behind.

Brett Stevens

Thank you for the kind mention, Matt, and gentle handling of an entirely different opinion. There’s a few things I can add.

First, the reason for secularism does not entirely rest in the most odious of human traits, which is “convincing others.” Secularists can generally understand religious arguments but view them as weak. My main concern is that if people identify as secular, religious arguments to them are not only unconvincing but seem hostile. I would rather get the secular people on board with the general idea and allow them time to overcome hostility to religion — there’s usually an underlying reason — and see if they want to adopt it. While I loathe politics and inclusivity, this makes use of both to the best treatment of our people, which is that we take them as they are and allow the ideas to mold them.

I find our current society in the grips of a horrible idea whose problem is not that it is secular but that it is wrong. Karl Popper made lots of fans — politics and inclusivity again — by stating that only what is testable and replicable can be true. This is like limiting our ability to know by what we can test with a litmus paper. Complex and non-linear systems do not test well under laboratory conditions; history is an example of one such system. I suggest this ignorance be tackled head-on by pointing out that, even within the secular, some of what we think of as secular wisdom is just plain wrong and broken. As people see the weakness of linear material thinking, they will become more open to other ideas, but first they must leave the linear materialist world.

The second reason relates to the system of philosophical thought that I have been developing. This is parallelism, or the idea that the universe operates through parallel truths instead of exclusive ones. Secular and religious thought are parallel in that, if both are approached with honesty and aggressiveness in the esoteric method, they lead to roughly the same places. This concerns both daily behavior, goals and reasoning. To insist that this be religious only is to be ceding ground to the craziness out there which wants to redefine secular to mean an absolute assurance of no metaphysics, no meaning and no purpose except humanity itself, which naturally (conveniently) leads to liberalism.

All of us come to the question of what to do with humanity from different levels of awareness. It may be that the ultimate level of this awareness is metaphysical. However, it makes sense to give people a place to start, if that is true, and for those who are good but not inclined toward metaphysics, to give them a place to learn as they can. For the majority of humanity, even the “intellectual” ones, what will convince them to join us is a notion that we provide a better way of life. Ideology and spirituality fall on top of that, not contrary to it. Much as I loathe democracy and individualism, there is a sensibility in this: we should demonstrate that we are not, like so many human projects before us, simply wishful thinking chasing after ideals. Instead, we are realists who can show that our ideas produce better results in reality. Once we establish that, people are more likely to listen to our other ideas.

The original point of my article was merely to affirm the original meaning of “secular” as “not necessarily dependent on religion.” People now have (conveniently) morphed the term “secular” into meaning a denial of religion, which was never the original intent. It simply meant not relying on religion exclusively for the basis of its authority. If anything, humanity would benefit by remembering the meaning of this word.

Great article! Glad to see discussion on this topic.


As I’ve said before, the theological bickering that goes on at this site and others is a distraction from the important tasks at hand, and creates divisions where none should appear.

So, what religion are the guys at TradYouth going to convert to next…?

Matt Parrott


the theological bickering that goes on at this site and others is a distraction

Wait, who’s bickering? What have we posted that denigrates other faiths or denominations?

So, what religion are the guys at TradYouth going to convert to next…?

Oh, I get it. It’s you who’s bickering.

Matt Parrott

No, I’m simply pointing out a truth.

I’ve been Orthodox for half of my adult life. There’s no point or insight in your nasty little question or than to bicker at people you dislike. You’re exactly what you falsely accuse us of being.

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