Philosopher Alessio Moretti developed the concept of “theoretical far-right" as an attempt to understand recent political developments in democratic countries and some other regimes. Before delving deep into soft power practices, the rough grip of the far-right, or the presence of allies or supporters within economic or social circles, we must define the key aspects of the theoretical far-right, which may be vague to readers and researchers. The term “theoretical" draws upon the political fact that there is an ideology with principles circulating among different social classes. Hence, speaking of the theoretical far-right, we must consider its exponents' intellectual origins. It started by a small group of highly organized intellectuals and theorists, whose views go beyond national differences and are expressed globally.
The theoretical far-right is neither a conservative nor a reactionary stance, but rather a conservative revolutionary movement that cannot be encapsulated in the political path of the Conservative Revolution. This over-a-century-old movement claims it is based on certain contexts such as Nietzsche's and Spengler's works. However, most of its contemporary supporters grasped the consecutive theoretical concepts and political developments, from Marx to Debord, Gramsci, Laclau, and Hocquenghem. They grasped entire parts of the so-called leftist ideology that did not develop any tools to avoid such appropriation. We shall not, meanwhile, disregard the counterculture: starting from the Futurist philosophy adopted by Marinetti to visual narratives and Jean-Marc Vivenza, the theoretical far-right explores art consciously and creatively but without pedantry. Its exploration was revolutionary, believing it was necessary to overcome divisions and polarization to arrive at “meaning" and “truth".
Religion has not been properly associated with the theoretical far-right. It is arbitrarily identified with Catholic or biblical origins because it upholds some ideals that shape some traditional religions, and less frequently with Islam because of its anti-Muslim political ideologies. That is a clear mistake because Nietzsche's critique of Catholicism is the most scathing there is. Researchers are aware of the relationship between Catholicism and Modern Paganism because they comprehend that time circulates differently from how monotheistic religions perceive it historically, drawing on the mythology of Ragnarök or the Hinduism of the Kali Yuga.
The ideological legacy of the theoretical far-right includes some esoteric works, such as Arturo Reghini's and René Guénon's works, Olavo de Carvalho's astrology, Buddhist sciences, Scandinavian cosmic mythology, and Hindu or Aryan mythology. The mysterious embedding of esoteric works in theoretical far-right discourse reflects a Nazi and antisemitic ideology, though adopting a scientific theory, or more precisely, pseudoscience, which maintains that such religious traditions are fully preserved and get us closer to the original legacy that has been forgotten or modernized. This is not pure syncretism, but somewhat a form of certainty that some religious doctrines have elements of truth that can be found through learning.
In this cyclical time, members of the enlightened elite anxiously await the phase of grand renewal, which can be catastrophic: a widespread destruction, or a methodical reclamation. They are confined within the current dark age, where darkness and obscurity intensify. This age is characterized by the erasure of boundaries, the dissolution of social classes, the absence of hierarchical leadership, the dominance of materialism and technology, and the prevalence of equality and anarchy. This implies the dominance of political liberalism as perceived existentially. This gnostic (mystical) type of thinking aligns itself through the creation of binary structures that are later deconstructed, transforming them into opposing forces against modernists, starting with Descartes.
The far right launches a relentless assault on philosophy, according to the perspectives of Nietzsche or Heidegger. Modernity, fundamentally built on contradiction with spiritual truths, is rejected because it has detached itself from truth and immersed itself in the negative nihilism that Nietzsche sought to overcome. It can only be resisted through active nihilistic elitism, which involves the transformation of values by the virile hero advocated by Julius Evola.
Guénon's rejection of modernity, however, is drastically different from fundamentalism as a conservative or a regressive movement that does not share the vision of the church as in the Katechon concept, which holds back or defers the eschaton. On another note, that was the Catholic perspective of Carl Schmitt, who represents the other possibility of Gnosticism, where it is necessary to slow down and halt the inevitable catastrophe. Schmitt believed that this is the historic function of Catholicism. Another theory argues that, on the contrary, it must be accelerated as perfectly manifested in Heidegger's 1945 text, Die Armut (Poverty, where the historical situation of (displaced Germans) is encapsulated in the principle: “only the free individual can free another". These two authors, to some extent committed to Nazism, stand out from the rest and continue to inspire a whole group of thinkers to this day. Therefore, associating them with Nazism or fascism can be considered both correct and incorrect. Here, due to the evolution of events, it becomes necessary to recall Alexander Dugin's concept of the Fourth Political Theory, which differs from capitalism, communism, and fascism. It is characterized by its hidden connection to fascism and the idea of Eurasianism, which is not simply a type of nationalism. The gesture of moving away from fascism as a genuine political movement is not new but creates a state of confusion. The praise of Heidegger or Evola for distinguishing themselves from Nazi biological racism, despite some distortion of reality, is logical, as there is indeed genuine criticism of Nazism by these thinkers, but they are also labeled as shining fascism.
The theoretical far-right is not a populist movement, but rather an elitist aristocracy that accuses fascism of populist vulgarism and flattering people by claiming that all Germans are elite, drawing on the notion of renaissance incorporating technology. Conversely, there is a global gnostic (mystical) vision that always seeks to narrow down the circle of the elite. The failure of historical fascism prompted Evola to embark on reviving the movement. However, as he presented a world of tradition, and as he influenced a new generation of the far-right, he liberated himself from such populism that used to corrupt the movement. He has become an inspiration to most contemporary theoretical far-right figures, starting from Alain de Benoist, who dedicated a podcast to Evola and carefully concealed some details he did not wish to mention, to Aleksandr Dugin and Steve Bannon.
Nevertheless, the concept of the theoretical far-right broadly refers to the people, but not the people in the sense of the demos or democracy, but rather the people who adopt tradition, which is the opposite of the definition of the individual citizen. This people differs from the masses known for their slavish subordination, as in the "sheep of Panurge" and "the damned." They are distinguished by their Gnostic knowledge, which guarantees salvation. The voice of the people (vox populi) is the voice of the gods (vox dei), meaning "the god who can still guarantee our salvation." They are not the people of equality, but a people who define themselves as the elite.
The extreme right theory views equality and liberalism as different forms of fascism, imposing an authoritarian single model and a conspiracy orchestrated by a small group that manipulates evil and embodies it. This is a type of deception that leads to self-deception, and it is one of Carl Schmitt ‹s concepts. Conspiracy theory is fundamental to the far right theory and is considered the preferred political approach for managing the masses and shaping the chosen people. It praises individuals who claim to think for themselves, exercise doubt, and adhere to the name of democratic values, although their agenda has nothing to do with democracy.
This fundamental conspiracy of the far-right theory is accompanied by a process of redefining and transforming concepts. Liberalism is accused of deceiving others and manipulating them, and of violating the concepts it claims to adopt. Equality is seen as nothing more than manipulation and control. On the other hand, the concept of conspiracy has been reframed, with Alan de Benoist (ADB) writing a brilliant article titled "Conspiracy Psychology." Here, conspiracy essentially becomes a Catholic characteristic. In this context, since vulgar ethnic racism is rejected in favor of spiritual racism and due to the contradiction of ethnic differentiation in relation to existence with the principle of universality, the extreme far theory presents itself as having cohesive theoretical solutions to the crises of the modern world.
However, the theoretical far right theory believes that the fundamental point is that the world is inherently bad and is continuously worsening until the moment of the great catastrophe or the great conflagration, the moment of the phoenix rising again from the ashes before the destruction occurs once more.
Based on the above, the key words of the policies of the far-right theory are the people, elections through conspiracy, political geography, and metapolitics. All these concepts are based on the process of integrating theology and philosophy, invoking the power of linguistic prefixes such as "Méta" and "géo," which can be translated into German as Spenglerian, Schmittian, or Heideggerian.
The Relationship with Politics
The far right theory, which opposes philosophy, is also anti-politics due to the power of the myth presented by Carl Schmitt, sometimes explicitly mythological in "Land and Sea," and sometimes in a less disruptive manner in "The Nomos of the Earth." The continental power of Russia still maintains a certain relationship with truth, unlike the Atlantic universalism of the United States, the empire of the sea and anarchy. Capitalism is no longer just an economic reality but a mythical entity, and the beast of globalization is closely associated with the Atlantic space, which is the space of corruption on Earth, as Dugin says, contrasting with the continental or Eurasian space of tradition.
This dense movement of the far-right theory today requires a comprehensive analysis, such as the one carried out regarding the works of Carl Schmitt, to reveal many theoretical pitfalls, in addition to his success in analyzing the far left to the maximum.
In conclusion, the theoretical far right, with its conservative revolutionism, has not been isolated from the natural evolution of ideas and methodologies but has influenced and been influenced, developing in successive stages according to the visions of philosophers and theorists who adopt its intellectual foundations. Researchers and scholars must further study and analyze these intellectual foundations to reveal the truth of the positions it adopts and the approaches it takes in addressing history, reality, and future prospects.