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Dugin has declared that the two major influences on his thinking are René Guénon and Martin Heidegger. (4) Semenyaka could maybe claim that the two major influences on her thinking are Julius Evola (who presented himself as a disciple of René Guénon) and Ernst Jünger (and she has shown a particular interest in the relationship between Jünger and Heidegger (5)). Guénon was the founder, together with the Anglo-Indian Hindu theologian and art historian, Ananda Coomaraswamy, of the school of thought known as 'traditionalism.' Together with Coomaraswamy, Guénon got control of the French occultist-theosophical journal La Voile d'Isis in 1936, renaming it Études traditionelles. (6)

(4) Alexander Dugin: Martin Heidegger - The Philosophy of Another Beginning, Arlington VA, Radix/Washington Summit, 2014, p.29.

(5) According to Nonjon: 'Since 2010, she has been preparing a PhD at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy … on Ernst Jünger’s hermeneutics of metahistory, including his dialogue with Martin Heidegger.' I don't know if this has been completed.

(6) I have some discussion of Guénon and Coomaraswamy in an article on my website: Peter Brooke: Albert Gleizes, Ananda Coomaraswamy and 'tradition', accessible at Guénon features prominently in the later chapters of my book Albert Gleizes - For and against the twentieth century (Yale UP, 2001).  When I was living in France in the late 1980s and 90s I had a lot of dealings with people who were if not disciples at least admirers of René Guénon. On the rare occasions when Evola was mentioned in those circles it was always with contempt.

The 'tradition' in question was a teaching believed to be lost in its integrity but still existing in hidden, fragmentary form in different religious traditions, especially Islam (Guénon lived in Cairo and converted to Islam) and Hinduism. Guénon was suspicious of Buddhism, partly because of its egalitarian nature, but seems to have been won over by Coomaraswamy and by the English mountaineer and convert to Buddhism, Marco Pallis.

In what the 'traditionalists' would regard as a 'normal' society there would be a caste equivalent to the Hindu concept of the Brahmin or the Guardians of Plato's Republic, who possessed this knowledge and exercised a spiritual authority on the basis of it. In society as we know it, however, the existence of such a caste is virtually unthinkable. All our knowledge is utilitarian in nature, oriented towards the creation of practical applications:

'these practical applications constitute the only effective superiority of modern civilisation - moreover a superiority that is hardly to be envied and which, developing to the point where it has smothered every other preoccupation, has given this civilisation the purely material character that has made of it something that is truly monstrous.' (7)

(7) René Guénon: La Crise du monde moderne, Paris (Eds Bossard), 1927, p. 39, my translation.

We have no possibility of even imagining the disinterested 'intellectuality' of a true spiritual authority. Guénon argues that some such spiritual authority still existed in the West in the 'Middle Ages' up to the fourteenth century (he finds it in Dante) but has since been totally lost, its loss rendered absolute in the philosophy of René Descartes and its starting point in individual experience (rather than objective, revealed, principles). Our time is unique in human history in its total lack, and refusal, of any spiritual authority and as such it must end in catastrophe.

Guénon's Crisis of the Modern World, published in 1927, is a thundering denunciation of the ideas of progress and democracy. Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, in their polemic against all the 'esoteric' currents of twentieth century thought, The Morning of the Magicians, defined Fascism as 'Guénon plus tanks.' (8)

(8) I don't have a copy of The Morning of the Magicians to hand and it appears, rather surprisingly, to be out of print, but different variations on the quote are quite common. 

It's a definition I'm almost tempted to accept given that tanks are obviously quite incompatible with Guénon's thought. 'Guénon plus tanks' is a horrible deformation of Guénon's traditionalism yet that is what we find in Julius Evola and, incidentally, in Alexandr Dugin. It is quite clear that what Guénon is aiming at is the reconstitution, if such a thing is possible, of a 'Brahmin' caste - nothing resembling the grotesque parody of the old idea that we find in modern India but a caste with a knowledge of the fundamental principles which Guénon was trying to develop in, for example, his books: Oriental Metaphysics and The Multiple states of being. The Guénonian Brahmin caste does not act. It is the 'unmoved mover' at the centre of Aristotle's metaphysics. It is obvious that if the likes of Evola, Dugin or Semenyaka are anything in the Guénonian scheme of things, they are part of the 'Kshatriya' - warrior, active - caste and as such they may possess physical - 'temporal' - power but in the absence of a spiritual authority their actions have no more validity than any of the other forms of the much despised 'modernity.' (9)

(9) One of Guénon's books is called Autorité spirituelle et pouvoir temporel.

I think that should be borne in mind when we encounter the almost universal presence of something calling itself 'traditionalism' throughout the 'alt-right' in the US and the 'far-right' in Europe.

Continuing Nonjon's account of Olena Semenyaka:

'She joined the Ukrainian Traditionalist Club (Ukraïns’kii Traditsionalistichnii Klub, UTK), which was founded in 2010 by the young (geo)political analyst Andriy Voloshyn, receiving the support of her professors, Serhiy Kapranov and Yurii Zavhorodnii. As a participant of the political and cultural project “Politosophia,” launched by her colleague Sviatoslav Vyshynsky, which aimed at spreading the themes of the conservative revolution and traditionalism among the Ukrainian student youth, Semenyaka published several studies in the International Almanac of Tradition and Revolution (Mezhdunarodnyi al’manakh Traditsii i Revoliutsii) and the departmental journal at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.'

At that stage, Semenyaka and her associates, trying to develop an idea of what a post-Soviet Ukraine could be, were quite close in their thinking to Dugin and his associates, trying to develop an idea of what a post-Soviet Russia could be. Continuing Nonjon's account:

'Semenyaka rose to popularity in the Duginian Traditionalist movement thanks to her article, Conservative Revolution as Mythological Modernism, published in volume 4 of Aleksandr Dugin’s anthology, In Search of the Dark Logos. She was invited to speak at the international conference Against the Post-Modern World, which was organised at Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in 2011 by the Tradition Center chaired by Dugin.'

Semenyaka and Dugin in happier times