Evola on the right to suicide

Okategoriserade, Traditionalism

Inte heller idag är det troligt att jag har tid och sinnesro att skriva annat än mycket samtidstypiska och kverulerande inlägg, då jag trälat för min arbetsgivare (vadå arbetsgivare förresten?) ännu en heldag och min hjärna känns som en mosig melon. Därför kommer ni även idag att få er ett saxat inslag till del, närmare bestämt den italienske traditionalisten och ”super-fascisten” Julius Evolas tankar kring rätten till det egna livet ur ett traditionalistiskt perspektiv. Det ska tilläggas att utifrån traditionalismen finns det olika sorters människor, och Evola skriver för den differentierade människan, inte för ”Svensson”. Ta därför inte denna text som en uppmaning till suicida lösningar, utan som ett intressant inlägg, saxat för hand ur Evolas eminenta skrift ”Ride the Tiger”.

At this point, we shall briefly turn our attention to a particular problem, the right over one’s own life, understood as the freedom to accept it or to put an end to it voluntarily.

Suicide, condemned by most moralities with social and religious foundations, has in fact been permitted by two doctrines whose norms of life are not far from those indicated for the differentiated man in the present epoch: Stoicism and Buddhism. One can refer to the ideas of Seneca regarding Stoicism, recalling above all the general background of its vision of life. I have already said that for Seneca the true man would be above the gods themselves, because they, by their very nature, do not know adversity and misfortune, whereas he is exposed to them, but has the power to triumph over them. Moreover, Seneca sees the beings that are most harshly tested as the worthiest, recalling this analogy: in war it is the most capable, sure and qualified persons that leaders entrust with the most exposed positions and the hardest tasks. Usually it is this virile and agonistic conception that applies when suicide is condemned and stigmatized as cowardice and desertion. (There is a saying attributed by Cicero to the Pythagoreans: ”To leave the place that one is assigned in life is not permitted without an order from the leader, who is God”) Instead Seneca reaches the opposite conclusion, and put the justification of suicide directly into the mouth of the divinity (De Providentia,. 6.7-9). He makes the divinity say that he has given the superior man, the sage, not only a force stronger than any contingency, and something more than being exempt from evils, namely the power to to triumph over them interiorly; but has also ensured that no one can hold him back against his will: the path to ”exit” is open to him – patet exitus. ”Wherever you do not want to fight, it is always possible to retreat. You have been given nothing easier than death.”

Given the presuppostions mentioned earlier with regard to the general vision of life, there is no doubt that Seneca did not intend this decision to refer to cases in which death is sought because a given situation appears unbearable: especially then, one could not permit oneself the act.Here too it is necessary to add what is equally valid for all those who are driven to cut their life short due to emotional and impassioned motives, because this would be equivalent to recognizing one’s own passivity and impoitence toward the irrational part of one’s soul. The same is even true for cases in which social motives intervene. Both the ideal Stoic type and the differentiated man do not permit those motives to intimately touch them, as their dignity were injured by what binds them to social life. They would never be driven to put an end to their own existence for these motives, which are included by the Stoics in the category of ”that which does not depend on me”. The only exception we can consider is the case of a disgrace not before others whose judgement and contempt one cannot bear, but before oneself, because of one’s own downfall. Considering all this, Senecas maxim can only have the meaning of an enhancement of the inner freedom of a superior being.It is not a matter of retreating because one does not feel strong enough before such ordeals and circumstances; rather, it is a matter of the sovereign right -that one always keeps in reserve – to either accept them or not, and even to draw the line when one no longer sees a meaning in them, and after having sufficiently demonstrated to oneself the capacity to face them.