Our Evola, Only Better
The transformation of Irish nationalism in the last half-century is perhaps not more marked than in the change in how Irish nationalists define themselves; and how one may define themselves in political thought necessarily originates from the literature that they read and the influences that they absorb.
Irish nationalism, once distinct in its assertion of a separate claim to nationality based on their own natural right to self-determination, has become increasingly diluted with excessive foreign influences.
The Irish Socialist seems to derive almost all of its ideological sustenance from foreign influences, with usually the sole exception of Connolly. Much of the Irish Right seems to take too much from such movements found on the other side of the Atlantic, neoconservatism, libertarianism and the like.
By the 1980s and 1990s, common influences cited amongst Irish republicans in the Maze were men such as Paulo Freire, Frantz Fanon, Karl Marx and even Mao Zedong. Increasingly more was lauded of foreign thought, and increasingly less was even considered of native thought. They sought ideological guidance from every form of literature except their own, and often blinded themselves to the inner strength of their own literature.
For instance, one of the most famous facets of Fanon’s philosophy was that the oppressed, as a direct consequence of colonisation, were conditioned and indeed taught to hate themselves, and that only through decolonizing themselves, cleansing themselves of the self-hatred that had been imposed on them by their oppressor could they as an oppressed people achieve ultimate freedom. But such thought was never novel in Ireland. It was one of the founding principles of the Gaelic League, it was that philosophy that Douglas Hyde explicated in his famous address of 1892, the philosophy that Hyde even christened with a name, “de-anglicisation.”
I should make myself clear that we should not, and I myself certainly do not, argue that the study or even adoption of foreign ideology in and of itself is detrimental to one’s understanding of Irish nationalist ideology. In many cases, the study of a foreign school of thought often leads the student to enquire as to how such thought applies to their own nation and may ultimately help to acquaint them with the conditions and the history of their own land.
The hackneyed and frankly thick argument that Ireland should effectively derive all of its understanding of the world from itself, and reject any foreign influence, including those influences from the Greco-Roman civilisation which they are lineal descendants from or even the appeals to those natural rights which are the common inheritance of all man, is absurd and should be ignored.
But an Irish nationalist canon cannot rear itself on the foundation of foreign literature and foreign ideology. Neither Fanon or Julius Evola can teach the Irish nationalist the cardinal faith of Irish nationalism. Only from fellow Irishmen can the Irishman learn his attachment to his country. From Tone, from Emmet, from Davis, from Mitchel, from Lalor, from Pearse, from Connolly, from the annals of history trickling down from Brian Boru to the Ireland of the recent past, from such men and such history alone, may the Irish nationalist learn the creed of Irish nationalism.
Not that such men and their thought are innately superior in their worth than the political thought of the rest of the world, but that their thought is authentic to Ireland, for they are the thoughts of Irishmen, attuned to the material and spiritual condition of their country and to the character of its people.
To all those who see themselves as patriots and lovers of their country, let them prove so through adopting first and foremost the standards, teachings and faith of their own patriot dead.
I wish to make myself clear on this point also; the doctrine of Irish nationalism is unreconstructed.
It is undoubtedly a great thing that Connolly enjoys the honour and reverence he deserves among Irish Nationalists of the Right, yet it revealed an ugly, dislikeable habit of much of those in these circles; a wounded Connolly strapped to a chair was martyred whilst facing the firing squad for the supposed crime of fighting for his country’s freedom was insufficient to many as to prove his worth as a nationalist, and that other more sympathetic nationalists were forced to rehabilitate the image of Connolly, reconstruct his image as that of a man of the Right, and prescribe to him a hurried frenzy of ideological labels, so as to cleanse Connolly of his sins in Purgatory before his haughty descendants could, at last, say of Connolly, that indeed, he was “one of us.”
And indeed, this habit manifests itself in the things often said of Wolfe Tone for example; Tone, the man whom Pearse heralded as not merely a separatist, but The Separatist, the greatest of Ireland’s dead, his grave at Bodenstown “holier than where Patrick sleeps at Down.”
The few defenders Tone seemingly has often find themselves, like the defenders of Connolly, feeling compelled to reconstruct his image and sully themselves by apologising for him. I saw one argument some time ago making a great deal that Tone was “half-Irish”, accounting for his fact that Tone’s mother was Catholic, as a defence towards the argument that Tone’s foreign ancestry and religion disqualified him from having any part in the canon of Irish nationalism.
An Irish Nationalist who rejects the name and legacy of Wolfe Tone is a strange kind of Irish Nationalist, a Sedevacantist of sorts. Griffith wrote that when Irish Nationalists needed apology or explanation for Mitchel, then the Irish Nation would need its shroud. When Irish Nationalists need apologies or explanation for James Connolly or for Wolfe Tone, especially to their own kindred, then so will Ireland’s ghost.
Irish Nationalists need no apology or explanation for any of its dead.