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Make it new

Monday, 16 Jul 2018

Georges Sorel on Dr John Dunn. Denying Jehovah? There have been many attempts made by those perplexed by the absolute. There have been illusions of freedom. Whilst Malevich was intellectualising the black square, Georges Sorel and Édouard Berth, with Proudhon in their pockets, railed against such rationalistic decadence.

Georges Sorel

Reducing humanity to something rationally understood was an insult to the power of imagination and creativity that was at the heart of human consciousness. In Sorel’s mythic conception, Jews like Malevich were condemned as déclassé allies of rationalism, democratic demagogues and cultural decadence and thus devoid of human consciousness. Wedded to mercantile interest and intellectualist ideology, they symbolised the sterile intellectual whose inability to create had its social counterpart in the unproductive economics of the financier. If creativity was the essence of humanity, then to intellectualise was to dehumanise and also forfeit the right to be considered human.

Drawing on the anarchist aesthetics of Proudon, Sorel and Berth declared art to be an anticipation of the way all work should be done. Creativity would ensure that the worker understands and loves his work; that it would become the centre of his existence, a source of pride, dignity and a feeling of justice. Just as the builders of the cathedrals were animated by a spirit that required no recompense in fame or material wealth, they believed art and creativity could still express the inner free spirit of a revolutionary future.

And the materialist Jew would take this away from us believed Wagner, Schreber and Weininger. The Demiurge would come between man and the divine source of his humanity. Man dehumanised in the Jewish Question and the theory of alienation wereone and the same for Marx, who went on to rationalise the dehumanisation as the inevitability of history - whilst Proudhon kicked against it and ended up in Sorel’s pocket.

With no time for dwelling on theory, Sorel rejected science as simply a system of fictions, preaching instead the need for a new civilisation of creators, makers and doers, one that would lift man out of bestiality.

Nietzsche provided the mythos. Out of the Zarathustrian struggle would arise the superman to whom the pitiful existence of contemporary man would be ‘a laughing stock or painful embarrassment’. Zarathustra spoke thus to the people:

You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now the human being is still more of an ape than any ape is... The overman is the sense of the earth. May your will say: let the overman be the sense of the earth…1

Who were the worms to Nietzsche and Sorel? They were the product of liberal democracy, whose spontaneity, invention, and creative will had been crushed by la petite science, the petty bureaucratic imposition of quasi-scientific rules upon society. Human no longer, these were the worms.

‘What I am I owe to Sorel’ said Benito Mussolini, distilling human will to its purest essence in the Doctrine of Fascism. the exercise of his free will, man can and must create his own world.

It is through “the essential value of work, by which man subjugates nature and creates the human world …"


Indebted to Sorel yes, but even more so to Giovanni Gentile, who asserted the purest of uncorrupted wills in Mind as Pure Act.Not only is will the root source of infinite possibility, will is in fact life itself. Far from being a product of nature, man possesses nature as the ‘eternal past of our eternal present, the iron necessity of the past in the absolute freedom of the present’. Nothing is impossible. Everything falls before the power of the will. ‘And beholding this nature, man in his spiritual life recovers the whole power of the mind and recognises the infinite responsibility which lies in the use he makes of it.’3

Hemingway advised against it, but on 30 January 1933 Ezra Pound met Benito Mussolini. The meeting was recorded in Canto XLI:'Maquesto' / said the boss, 'è divertente.' Pound said he had ‘never met anyone who seemed to GET my ideas so quickly as the boss’.

‘The history of a culture is the the history of ideas going into action’ wrote Pound in Guide to Kulchur. And in Canto LIII Pound translated Tching Tang’s ideograms




as ‘MAKE IT NEW’ - which became the mantra of his life’s work to produce the sacred texts of the future, a renewed path to Eleusis. ‘Make it new’- creativity in its purest form.

1 F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. G Parkes, OUP, Oxford, pp. 11-12

2 B. Mussolini and G. Gentile, The Doctrine of Fascism, cited 1.6.18

3 G. Gentile, The Theory of Mind as Pure Act, trans. H. W. Carr, Macmillan, London, p.252

© John Dunn.

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