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mercredi, 25 avril 2018

Jorian Jenks: Farmer & Fascist

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Jorian Jenks: Farmer & Fascist

Philip M. Coupland
Farming, Fascism and Ecology: A Life of Jorian Jenks
London and New York: Routledge, 2017 (Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right)

JJfarming.jpgThe connections between the organic movement and the radical Right are often overlooked. To the chagrin of liberal environmentalists, the early organic movement had close links to both fascism and National Socialism. Among the leading pioneers of organic farming was Jorian Jenks, a high-ranking member of the British Union of Fascists who served as the party’s agricultural advisor. Farming, Fascism and Ecology is the first biography of Jenks to appear in print. It is an amply researched and surprisingly even-handed study that details Jenks’s oft-neglected influence on the organic movement and sheds light on the long-standing ties between environmentalism and the far-Right.[1]

Born in Oxford to upwardly mobile, Left-leaning parents, his father a prominent academic and his mother the daughter of a merchant, Jenks was an unlikely candidate to become either a farmer or a fascist. Having wanted to be a farmer from early childhood, he enrolled at Harper Adams Agricultural College in 1916. He spent his early career working on land restoration projects and serving as a government farming instructor in New Zealand. He later studied at Oxford and received a B.Litt. for his thesis on land settlement policy in Australia and New Zealand.

Jenks subsequently moved to Ecclesden Farm in Angmering, West Sussex, where he worked the land along with a handful of other men. The six years he spent as a farmer at Ecclesden effected a significant change in his worldview. In his earlier years, Jenks had advocated factory farming and the use of artificial fertilizers; at Ecclesden, he came to champion family-owned, medium-sized farms over large factory farms, mixed farming over monoculture, and animal labor over machinery.

Jenks often returned to the theme that monoculture, despite its superficial advantages, depletes the soil of its nutrients and fertility in the long run, causing soil erosion and necessitating the use of chemical fertilizers that in turn bring about further ecological destruction. He also defended animal labor on the practical grounds that it was cheaper, in some cases more efficient, and caused less soil compaction (though he did endorse cars, grass-drying machines, and even, in some cases, the tractor).

Ultimately, however, his primary objections to factory farms and the widespread use of machinery were more philosophical than practical: “Farming is one of the few industries in which Man is not yet dominated by the Machine, in which the small producer still has a chance to preserve his independence. It is in the national interest that it should remain so” (p. 74). He did not wholeheartedly condemn the use of farm machinery but believed that it ought to be subordinate to physical labor and not vice versa. Coupland comments that, in this regard, Jenks may have been influenced by Arthur Penty, a writer on guild socialism and distributism who advocated for a return to handicraft as the basis of production.

Indeed, Jenks’s interest in Social Credit and related movements was what eventually led him to fascism. Jenks likely joined the BUF in early 1934. Coupland proposes that Jenks was the author of an article published anonymously in The Blackshirt in 1935 entitled “Why I, A Farmer, Have Turned Fascist” in which the author describes his reasons for joining the BUF: “Their aims and objects were to me the very thing the country needed: a straightforward constructive policy of national regeneration, with ‘Britain First’ as its watch-word. . . . I have become more and more convinced that the Fascist agricultural policy is the only one which will put us on our feet again” (p. 87).

JJbook.jpgWritten under the pseudonym “Vergilius” (a tribute to the celebrated farmer-poet), his articles in the fascist newspaper Action were his most notable contribution to British fascism. He later also published a collection of his poetry, most of which deals with agricultural themes, under this pseudonym.

In 1936, Jenks left his anonymity behind and ran as the BUF candidate for Horsham and Worthing as a prospective MP. As a close friend of Oswald Mosley, whom he likened to William Cobbett, he was appointed the temporary leader of the BUF after Mosley was detained under Defence Regulation 18B in 1939. But Jenks was also detained and withdrew from political life following his release in 1941.

Jenks criticized interwar British agricultural policy on the grounds that agriculture had become a mere speculative commodity whose production had fallen into the hands of financiers who prized cheap food and low wages over the health of the soil and the people. He pushed for Britain to minimize foreign food imports and overseas investment in order to raise the per-capita home production of food and achieve agricultural autarky and national self-sufficiency.

He also wrote on food and nutrition, arguing that the decline in food standards was a symptom of the decline of Western civilization in general and that returning to a diet of homegrown, unprocessed food would boost both individual health and national morale.

Jenks’s policy proposals included the establishment of institutions such as an Agricultural Land Bank that would provide an alternative to debt incurred by farmers who had previously purchased land on mortgage, an Agricultural Corporation that would set prices of commodities in order to ensure economic stability in the agricultural sector, a Central Land Commission that would stabilize land values and rents, and a Voluntary Land Army that would confiscate and restore land from any landowner shown to have misused it. The state would supervise agricultural production overall, but these institutions would be organized on a county basis with leaders elected at the local level. The objective of these large-scale national directives would not be the “centralised micro-management of farming, but the creation of ‘conditions under which the industry can adequately fulfil its function as the main source of food for the people'” (p. 98). These proposals never came to fruition, though his ideas did have some impact on post-war British agricultural policy.

In 1937, ill health and financial difficulties forced Jenks to abandon farming, and he devoted the rest of his life to writing and lecturing. He had become a successful agricultural journalist by this point, writing for The Manchester Guardian, The Observer, and The Yorkshire Post, as well as for fascist journals, and had written books outlining his proposals for monetary reform (Farming and Money) and the agricultural policy of the BUF (The Land and the People).

His best-known work, Spring Comes Again, was published in 1939 and details his political worldview. His most notable argument here is that what he termed the “Plutocratic State,” wherein money and finance reign supreme, represents the inevitable culmination of modern liberalism. He reiterates this theme in From the Ground Up: An Outline of Real Economy, published in 1950, in which he attacks modern materialism and liberal capitalism and contrasts them with the ideal of the organic society.

Jenks was critical of both international capitalism and Communism, which he described as “attempts to subordinate the peoples to the dictates of a super-State, to break down the natural claims of patriotism and racial brotherhood, and to substitute for them the rule of some soulless materialistic deity” (102). He associated both with Jews, whom he amusingly likened to rabbits. Despite appearing soft and defenseless, rabbits wreak havoc on crops in Australia and New Zealand, where they are an invasive species. He was a bit more charitable to Jews than to rabbits, though, and believed that they could gain dignity as a race through “contact with the soil.”

After the war, Jenks became the editor of the journals of both the Soil Association (an organization that later became known for developing the first organic certification system) and the Rural Reconstruction Association. He moved away from active political involvement and did not join Mosley’s Union Movement, but nonetheless retained his fascist sympathies. In order to address the food shortages brought on by the war, he authored a pamphlet along with the two founders of the agricultural branch of the Union Movement entitled None Need Starve, which laid out a plan for increased agricultural production. He was also a member of Kinship in Husbandry, a group somewhat akin to the Soil Association founded by Rolf Gardiner, Viscount Lymington (Gerald Wallop), and H. J. Massingham. There was some overlap between the organic movement and the post-war fascist movement. Gardiner and Lymington were both sympathetic to fascism. It is also worth noting that the two journals edited by Jenks counted Walther Darré (Minister of Food and Agriculture under Hitler) and his aide Hermann Reischle among their subscribers. After the war, Jenks also became involved with the Council for the Church and Countryside, as he believed that the Church could play a role in agricultural revival by emphasizing the spiritual bond between man and soil. (The word “cultivation,” as he pointed out, derives from the Latin colere, meaning both “to till” and “to worship.”) His final book, The Stuff Man’s Made Of: The Positive Approach to Health through Nutrition, was published in 1959.

This biography makes it clear that Jenks’s fascist convictions were a natural extension of his commitment to the organic movement. Any serious and honest environmentalist will be left wondering whether it is really the Right, and not the Left, that offers the most pertinent solutions to the ecological quandaries posed by liberal modernity.

Note

1. The term “organic farming” itself was coined by Lord Northbourne in his 1940 book, Look to the Land, and comes from his concept of the “farm as organism,” or what he described as “the farm as a living whole.” Northbourne happens to have been a translator of René Guénon’s works and might have also been a member of the BUF.

 

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: https://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/04/jorian-jenks-farmer-and-fascist/

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[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/JorianJenks.jpg

mardi, 28 mars 2017

Der späte Oswald Mosley

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Der späte Oswald Mosley

Vom Begründer der Homöopathie Samuel Hahnemann stammt der Behandlungsgrundsatz: Ähnliches möge mit Ähnlichem geheilt werden.

Es muss allerdings präzisiert werden, dass der Behandlungserfolg nach Hahnemann ganz wesentlich auf der richtigen Dosis der sonst krankmachenden Wirkstoffe beruht. Die Selbstheilungskräfte des Körpers und der Seele werden durch die winzige Dosierung dieser Stoffe herausgefordert, mit Energie beliefert und für die Heilung aktiviert.

Wie ist es um die Selbstheilungskräfte eines Volks- und Kulturorganismus bestellt? Die Krankheitskeime sind in Form eines faschistoiden Fremd-Nationalismus und einer ebenso totalitären wie übergriffigen Fremdreligion ja längst eingedrungen, auch wenn der Patient sich nur phasenweise richtig elend fühlt, sich ansonsten aber des Lebens erfreut und von Arzneien nicht wirklich etwas wissen will.

Je wirksamer die Erreger, desto wirksamer wird die Therapie ausfallen müssen. Die Faschismus-Keule wird dann nicht mehr nur vom politischen Gegner so ausgiebig wie blindlings verabreicht, sondern von allen, die gesunden wollen, entschlossen ergriffen werden. Die Keule wird aber nirgendwo eine Swastika oder die SS-Runen aufweisen, denn dieser Faschismus wird nicht mehr der historische, vermeintlich so allbekannte sein. Einer der letzten Figuren des europäischen Faschismus der dreißiger Jahre des letzten Jahrhunderts, der ebenso exzentrische wie unbeirrte Oswald Mosley, hat sich genau darüber Gedanken gemacht und wurde so zu einem Vordenker der Neuen Rechten.

Ein Wanderer aus dem Nichts

Niemand hat auf der politischen Bühne Großbritanniens seine Karriere so gründlich ruiniert wie Sir Oswald Mosley (1896-1980). Spross einer Adelssippe niederen Ranges, im Ersten Weltkrieg schwer verwundet und später durch zwei Eheschließungen, etwa mit einer der Schwestern Unity Mitfords, gut vernetzt, blieb er stets „der kommende Mann, der niemals ankam“, wie Zeitzeugen urteilten. In keiner Partei hielt es der notorische Womanizer lange aus, ging von den Konservativen zum linken Rand von Labour, von dort in die Parteilosigkeit, um schließlich die New Party zu gründen, die sich schon bald als Totgeburt herausstellte. Ein Ausflug auf einen Ministersessel brachte ihn mit den sozialen Problemen der späten zwanziger Jahre in Berührung, die nicht mehr von seiner politischen Agenda weichen sollten. Sehr spät erst, am 1. Oktober 1932, gründete er mit der British Union of Fascists (BUF) eine Sammelbewegung für die bereits existierenden, bis dato unbedeutenden faschistischen Gruppierungen in England.

In vielen Punkten kopierte er nun seine Vorbilder aus Italien und Deutschland, ordnete eine Parteiuniform an, die seinen Anhängern zum Namen Blackshirts verhalf, baute einen schlagkräftigen Saalschutz auf (von einem jüdischen Boxer trainiert) und imitierte in seinen Redeauftritten die exaltierten Posen seiner Idole. Für die feine englische Art war der faschistische Mosley eine bizarre Erscheinung, „a figure of fun rather than fear“, wie manch bissige Kommentatoren bemerkten.

Inhaltlich zeichnete sich sein Faschismus allerdings durch eine starke Betonung des gesellschaftlichen Korporatismus („no player has the „liberty“ to play his own game“) und der wirtschaftlichen Abschottung des Inselreichs aus. Überhaupt ist die Programmatik der BUF sehr stark von linken Befindlichkeiten durchsetzt, schlägt einen revolutionären Ton an und verzichtet weitgehend auf einen rassischen Antisemitismus. Dennoch blieb Mosleys Bewegung angesichts der politischen Großwetterlage am Vorabend des Zweiten Weltkrieges der durchschlagende Erfolg versagt. Einst als politisches Talent mit Zeug zum Premierminister gehandelt, verspielte er nach kurzlebigen Achtungserfolgen den Rest an Renommee, um 1939 als „Bandenführer“ (Ernst Nolte) im East End Londons zu enden. Am 22. Mai 1940 wurden Mosley sowie 813 führende Aktivisten der BUF auf der Grundlage der Defence Regulations 18 B/ 18AA für die Dauer des Krieges interniert. Der britische Faschismus schien somit vollständig erledigt.

SOM-1.jpgEuropa als dritte Kraft

Und doch erschallten am 15. November 1945 vor dem Royal Hotel in London „Mosley, Mosley“- Rufe aus einer 800 bis 1000-köpfigen Menge, die auf ihr Idol wartete. Die Internierung und soziale Ächtung vieler Mitglieder der BUF hatte die Gruppe zusammengeschweißt und noch fester an den einstigen „Führer“ gebunden, dessen Verehrung beinahe kultische Ausmaße annahm. Der so Gefeierte zog sich zunächst zurück und formulierte 1947 seine geopolitischen Gedanken, die Europa zwischen den USA (Stichwort money) und Sowjetrussland (Stichwort mob) als eigenständige Dritte Kraft verorteten.

Viele seiner Mitstreiter, die noch den alten „Britain first“-Slogan im Ohr hatten, konnten oder wollten ihm darin jedoch nicht folgen. Und so kam es, dass der in Europa einmalige Versuch, mit einem prominenten Vertreter des Vorkriegs-Faschismus unmittelbar nach Kriegsende eine neue faschistische Kraft zu entfalten, misslang. Die 1948 gegründete Partei Union Movement (UM) fiel bei den Wahlen durch und wurde überdies auf ihren Veranstaltungen regelmäßig Ziel gewaltsamer Attacken anti-faschistischer Gruppen, die den Wahlausgang gar nicht erst abwarten wollten.

Für Uneinigkeit und Irritationen sorgten überdies Einzelinitiativen ehemaliger BUF-Kader, die sich dem Revisionismus verschrieben, die versuchten, Gewerkschaften, Sportclubs etc. zu infiltrieren, für die sogenannte Stille Hilfe ehemaliger SS-Angehöriger zu werben oder eine rechte Öko-Landwirtschaft aufzubauen. Oswald Mosley hingegen zog es nach den Wahlschlappen und allerlei internen Querelen zunehmend ins Ausland, wo er von nun an bestrebt war, den englischen Nationalismus zu internationalisieren und auf eine breitere, pan-europäische Grundlage zu stellen.

Englands letzter (erster) Europäer

Wie schon zu Beginn der dreißiger Jahre, als Oswald Mosley die faschistischen Bewegungen aus erster Hand studieren wollte, zog es auch den späten Mosley ins Ausland. Diesmal, um Bundesgenossen für seine Vorstellung einer geeinten europäischen Kultur unterschiedlicher Nationalismen, die unter dem Motto Europe-A-Nation stand, zu finden. Einer der ersten und umstrittensten Kontakte ergab sich im Nachkriegsdeutschland, wo Mosleys Gedanken in der Deutschen Reichspartei (DRP) sowie in deren Nachfolgeorganisation, der 1952 verbotenen, Sozialistischen Deutschen Reichspartei (SRP) zirkulierten.

SOM-4.jpgDies geschah mithilfe der deutschen Edition seines Werkes The Alternative, das auch in anderen Sprachen erhältlich war und sogar das Lob General Francos in Spanien gefunden hatte. Mosley pflegte Umgang mit der Familie Otto Skorzenys, des Mussolini-Befreiers und vertrat die Auffassung, die internationalen Formationen der Waffen SS gegen Ende des Krieges hätten seine Idee eines gesamteuropäischen, antikommunistischen Nationalismus vorweggenommen. Persönlich reiste Mosley nach Spanien, Portugal, Italien sowie nach Südamerika, stets unter dem wachsamen Auge des britischen Geheimdienstes MI6.

Europäische Soziale Bewegung

Auch, wenn viele Regierungen dieser Länder von der Aufwartung Mosleys in nicht geringe diplomatische Verlegenheit gebracht wurden, waren die Reisen für sein Vorhaben nicht ganz fruchtlos. Immerhin konnten sich an die hundert Delegierte aller neo-faschistischen Parteien Europas 1951 im schwedischen Malmö zu einem Kongress treffen, an dessen Ende die Europäische Soziale Bewegung (ESB) als Dachorganisation gegründet wurde.

Sie sollte alle europäischen Idealisten zur gemeinsamen Verteidigung Europas gegen den damals noch herrschenden Kommunismus aufrufen und zusammenbringen. Diese Art einer neo-faschistischen „Ökumene“, in die sich auch Intellektuelle, wie der Franzose Maurice Bardèche einbrachten, scheiterte letztlich an den kleingeistigen nationalen Ressentiments, vor allem gegenüber Deutschland. Die Wunden des Krieges waren noch zu frisch. Auch die nationalen Parteien standen damals unter einem enormen Rechtfertigungsdruck von Seiten der heimischen Bevölkerung.

Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa

Der berühmte Eingangssatz aus dem Kommunistischen Manifest ließe sich auch auf die heutige Situation übertragen. Das Gespenst, zu dessen „heiligen Hetzjagd“ heute aufgerufen wird, ist allerdings der Rechtspopulismus, den man, so unscharf wie möglich, als Neo-Faschismus klassifiziert. Dabei ist eine Rehabilitierung des faschistischen Grundgedankens, den Mosley in Anlehnung an Mussolini im Symbol des Liktorenbündels konzentriert sah, gerade in der heutigen Situation zumindest bedenkenswert. Dieses altrömische Amtssymbol verdeutlicht, wie sehr eine einzelne Rute schwach und zerbrechlich, alle „Fasces“ zusammen aber hart und nicht zu brechen sind. Schon der Rechts-Esoteriker Julius Evola sprach sich in den 60iger Jahren für solch eine Rehabilitierung aus, die darauf abzielte, auch diesem historischen Phänomen Gerechtigkeit widerfahren zu lassen, wie man gegenüber dem Kommunismus zu tun bereit war.

SOM-5.pngMosley wie Evola konnten über die Verbrechen des Faschismus und seiner extremen Ableitung des Nationalsozialismus schwerlich hinwegsehen. Oswald Mosley verfiel in dieser Frage in eine dunkle Erlösungs-Mystik, die er sowohl bei Nietzsche fand, als auch seiner Lektüre von Goethes Faust zu verdanken hatte. Das Böse sei für den faustischen Menschen, zu dessen Gattung die Deutschen nun einmal gehörten, die unvermeidliche Finsternis auf dem langen Weg zum Licht. Ganz gleich, ob man sich zu solcherlei esoterischen Spekulationen hingezogen fühlt oder nicht, beide Autoren kamen nicht umhin, die Verbrechen anzuerkennen, sie aber zugleich vom Ur-Faschismus zu trennen. Nur so glaubten sie, den lähmenden Schuldkomplex überwinden zu können. Denn an die Mobilisierungs-Energie dieses frühen Faschismus sollten auch zukünftige Generationen wieder andocken dürfen.

„Faschismus reloaded“ ein Ding der Unmöglichkeit

In der Tat wäre angesichts der eingangs genannten exponentiellen Bedrohungen der europäischen Gesellschaften ein Mobilisierungspotenzial vonnöten, das kaum andere historische Vorbilder hätte. Trotzdem hätte man es mit einem Modell zu tun, das mitnichten ein „Faschismus reloaded“ wäre. Es bräuchte nämlich keinen Hitler- oder römischen Gruß, keine offensive Gewaltanwendung, keinen Antisemitismus, keinen Revisionismus, keinen engstirnigen Nationalismus, nicht einmal eine einzige überragende Führergestalt.

Was es hingegen bräuchte, wäre ein Korpsgeist, der alle Beteiligten beseelen würde, eine paramilitärische Phalanx und einen Gleichschritt, der die fatale Vereinzelung aufheben und die Kraft einer entschlossenen Gemeinschaft fühlbar machen würde. Es bräuchte den Geist der Selbstbehauptung und Würde, der klassenübergreifend zu gelten hätte und der den Einzelnen wieder an seine Wurzeln heranführte, um ihn der Automatisierung, der Ohnmacht und der Apathie zu entreißen. Letztlich bräuchte es den Mut zum Tabubruch, gleichsam zur Pubertät, um der überreifen Fäulnis vergreisender Gesellschaften eine kühne Dynamik entgegenzusetzen. Und alles dies europaweit. Die Frage bleibt, ob es offen und für alle sichtbar geschehen kann oder ob dies nur noch im Untergrund möglich sein wird. Dort sind die Reihen bekanntlich geschlossener.

lundi, 29 novembre 2010

The Doctrine of Higher Forms

The Doctrine of Higher Forms

Sir Oswald MOSLEY

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

1311427.jpgSince the war I have stressed altogether five main objectives. The true union of Europe; the union of government with science; the power of government to act rapidly and decisively, subject to parliamentary control; the effective leadership of government to solve the economic problem by use of the wage-price mechanism at the two key-points of the modern industrial world; and a clearly defined purpose for a movement of humanity to ever higher forms.

It is strange that in this last sphere of almost abstract thought my ideas have more attracted some of the young minds I value than my practical proposals in economics and politics. The reason is perhaps that people seek the ideal rather than the practical during a period in which such action is not felt to be necessary. This is encouraging for an ultimate future, in which through science the world can become free from the gnawing anxiety of material things and can turn to thinking which elevates and to beauty which inspires, but the hard fact is that many practical problems and menacing dangers must first be faced and overcome.

The thesis of higher forms was preceded by a fundamental challenge to the widely accepted claim of the communists that history is on their side. On the contrary, they are permanent prisoners of a transient phase in the human advance which modern science has rendered entirely obsolete. Not only is the primitive brutality of their method only possible in a backward country, but their whole thinking is only applicable to a primitive community. Both their economic thinking and their materialist conception of history belong exclusively to the nineteenth century. This thinking, still imprisoned in a temporary limitation, we challenge with thinking derived from the whole of European history and from the yet longer trend revealed by modern science. We challenge the idea of the nineteenth century with the idea of the twentieth century.

Communism is still held fast by the long obsolete doctrine of its origin, precisely because it is a material creed which recognizes nothing beyond such motives and the urge to satisfy such needs. Yet modern man has surpassed that condition as surely as the jet aircraft in action has overcome the natural law of gravity which Newton discovered. The same urge of man’s spiritual nature served by his continually developing science can inspire him to ever greater achievement and raise him to ever further heights.

The challenge to communist materialism was stated as follows in Europe: Faith and Plan:

What then, is the purpose of it all? Is it just material achievement? Will the whole urge be satisfied when everyone has plenty to eat and drink, every possible assurance against sickness and old age, a house, a television set, and a long seaside holiday each year? What other end can a communist civilization hold in prospect except this, which modern science can so easily satisfy within the next few years?

If you begin with the belief that all history can be interpreted only in material terms, and that any spiritual purpose is a trick and a delusion, which has the simple object of distracting the workers from their material aim of improving their conditions—the only reality—what end can there be even after every conceivable success, except the satisfaction of further material desires? When all the basic needs and wants are sated by the output of the new science, what further aim can there be but the devising of ever more fantastic amusements to titillate material appetites? If Soviet civilization achieves its furthest ambitions, is the end to be sputnik races round the stars to relieve the tedium of being a communist?

Communism is a limited creed, and its limitations are inevitable. If the original impulse is envy, malice, and hatred against someone who has something you have not got, you are inevitably limited by the whole impulse to which you owe the origin of your faith and movement. That initial emotion may be well founded, may be based on justice, on indignation against the vile treatment of the workers in the early days of the industrial revolution. But if you hold that creed, you carry within yourself your own prison walls, because any escape from that origin seems to lead towards the hated shape of the man who once had something you had not got; anything above or beyond yourself is bad. In reality, he may be far from being a higher form; he may be a most decadent product of an easy living which he was incapable of using even for self-development, an ignoble example of missed opportunity. But if the first impulse be envy and hatred of him, you are inhibited from any movement beyond yourself for fear of becoming like him, the man who had something which you had not got.

Thus your ideal becomes not something beyond yourself, still less beyond anything which now exists, but rather, the petrified, fossilized shape of that section of the community which was most oppressed, suffering, and limited by every material circumstance in the middle of the nineteenth century. The real urge is then to drag everything down toward the lowest level of life, rather than the attempt to raise everything towards the highest level of life which has yet been attained, and finally to move beyond even that. In all things this system of values seeks what is low instead of what is high.

So communism has no longer any deep appeal to the sane, sensible mass of the European workers who, in entire contradiction of Marxian belief in their increasing “immiseration,” have moved by the effort of their own trade unions and by political action to at least a partial participation in the plenty which the new science is beginning to bring, and towards a way of living and an outlook in which they do not recognize themselves at all as the miserable and oppressed figures of communism’s original workers.

The ideal is no longer the martyred form of the oppressed, but the beginning of a higher form. Men are beginning not to look down, but to look up. And it is precisely at this point that a new way of political thinking can give definite shape to what many are beginning to feel is a new forward urge of humanity. It becomes an impulse of nature itself directly man is free from the stifling oppression of dire, primitive need.

The ideal of creating a higher form on earth can now rise before men with the power of a spiritual purpose, which is not simply a philosophic abstraction but a concrete expression of a deep human desire. All men want their children to live better than they have lived, just as they have tried by their own exertions to lift themselves beyond the level of their fathers whose affection and sacrifice often gave them the chance to do it. This is a right and natural urge in mankind, and, when fully understood, becomes a spiritual purpose.

venus_milo_ac-grenoble.jpgThis purpose I described as the doctrine of higher forms. The idea of a continual movement of humanity from the amoeba to modern man and on to ever higher forms has interested me since my prison days, when I first became acutely aware of the relationship between modern science and Greek philosophy. Perhaps it is the very simplicity of the thesis which gives it strength; mankind moving from the primitive beginning which modern science reveals to the present stage of evolution and continuing in this long ascent to heights beyond our present vision, if the urge of nature and the purpose of life are to be fulfilled. While simple to the point of the obvious, in detailed analysis it is the exact opposite of prevailing values. Most great impulses of life are in essence simple, however complex their origin. An idea may be derived from three thousand years of European thought and action, and yet be stated in a way that all men can understand.

My thinking on this subject was finally reduced to the extreme of simplicity in the conclusion of Europe, Faith and Plan:

To believe that the purpose of life is a movement from lower to higher forms is to record an observable fact. If we reject that fact, we reject every finding of modern science, as well as the evidence of our own eyes. . . . It is necessary to believe that this is the purpose of life, because we can observe that this is the way the world works, whether we believe in divine purpose or not. And once we believe this is the way the world works, and deduce from the long record that it is the only way it can work, this becomes a purpose because it is the only means by which the world is likely to work in future. If the purpose fails, the world fails.

The purpose so far has achieved the most incredible results—incredible to anyone who had been told in advance what was going to happen—by working from the most primitive life forms to the relative heights of present human development. Purpose becomes, therefore, quite clearly in the light of modern knowledge a movement from lower to higher forms. And if purpose in this way has moved so far and achieved so much, it is only reasonable to assume that it will so continue if it continues at all; if the world lasts. Therefore, if we desire to sustain human existence, if we believe in mankind’s origin which science now makes clear, and in his destiny which a continuance of the same progress makes possible, we must desire to aid rather than to impede the discernible purpose. That means we should serve the purpose which moves from lower to higher forms; this becomes our creed of life. Our life is dedicated to the purpose.

In practical terms this surely indicates that we should not tell men to be content with themselves as they are, but should urge them to strive to become something beyond themselves. . . . To assure men that we have no need to surpass ourselves, and thereby to imply that men are perfect, is surely the extreme of arrogant presumption. It is also a most dangerous folly, because it is rapidly becoming clear that if mankind’s moral nature and spiritual stature cannot increase more commensurately with his material achievements, we risk the death of the world. . . .

We must learn to live, as well as to do. We must restore harmony with life, and recognize the purpose in life. Man has released the forces of nature just as he has become separated from nature; this is a mortal danger, and is reflected in the neurosis of the age. We cannot stay just where we are; it is an uneasy, perilous and impossible situation. Man must either reach beyond his present self, or fail; and if he fails this time, the failure is final. That is the basic difference between this age and all previous periods. It was never before possible for this failure of men to bring the world to an end.

It is not only a reasonable aim to strive for a higher form among men; it is a creed with the strength of a religious conviction. It is not only a plain necessity of the new age of science which the genius of man’s mind has brought; it is in accordance with the long process of nature within which we may read the purpose of the world. And it is no small and selfish aim, for we work not only for ourselves but for a time to come. The long striving of our lives can not only save our present civilization, but can also enable others more fully to realize and to enjoy the great beauty of this world, not only in peace and happiness, but in an ever unfolding wisdom and rising consciousness of the mission of man.

The doctrine of higher forms may have appealed to some in a generation acutely aware of the divorce between religion and science because it was an attempted synthesis of these two impulses of the human movement. I went so far as to say that higher forms could have the force of a science and a religion, in the secular sense, since it derived both from the evolutionary process first recognized in the last century, and from the philosophy, perhaps the mysticism, well described as the ‘eternal becoming’, which Hellenism first gave to Europe as an original and continuing movement still represented in the thinking, architecture and music of the main European tradition.

To simplify and synthesize are the chief gifts which clear thought can bring, and never have they been so deeply needed as in this age. A healing synthesis is required, a union of Hellenism’s calm but radiant embrace of the beauty and wonder of life with the Gothic impulse of new discoveries urging man to reach beyond his presently precarious balance until sanity itself is threatened. The genius of Hellas can still give back to Europe the life equilibrium, the firm foundation from which science can grasp the stars. He who can combine within himself this sanity and this dynamism becomes thereby a higher form, and beyond him can be an ascent revealing always a further wisdom and beauty. It is a personal ideal for which all can try to live, a purpose in life.

We can thus resume the journey to further summits of the human spirit with measure and moderation won from the struggle and tribulation of these years. We may even in this time of folly and sequent adversity gain the balance of maturity which alone can make us worthy of the treasures, capable of using the miraculous endowment, and also of averting the tempestuous dangers, of modern science. We may at last acquire the adult mind, without which the world cannot survive, and learn to use with wisdom and decision the wonders of this age.

I hope that this record of my own small part in these great affairs and still greater possibilities has at least shown that I have ‘the repugnance to mean and cruel dealings’ which the wise old man ascribed to me so long ago, and yet have attempted by some union of mind and will to combine thought and deed; that I have stood with consistency for the construction of a worthy dwelling for humanity, and at all cost against the rage and folly of insensate and purposeless destruction; that I have followed the truth as I saw it, wherever that service led me, and have ventured to look and strive through the dark to a future that can make all worth while.

Source: http://www.oswaldmosley.com/higher-forms.htm