Let us state at the outset of our investigation that, viewed from a certain angle, we all are subject to two basic drives: one toward identity, the other toward diversity. Neither in ourselves as persons, nor in the nations through the course of history are these drives always the same in their intensity and in their balance. How do they manifest themselves? We can all experience a mood during which we feel the desire to be in the company of people of our own age, our own class, our own sex, conviction, religion or taste. It is quite possible that this drive toward conformity, this herd instinct, is something we share with the animal world. This strong identitarian feeling can rest squarely on a real herd instinct, a strong feeling of commonness and community directed in a hostile sense toward another group. In race riots and demonstrations of ethnic groups this collective sentiment can manifest itself with great strength. This sort of conformist herd instinct was the driving motor of the nationalistic gymnastic organizations of the Germans and the Slavs,l so potent in the first half of this century and engaging in enormous, carefully synchronized gymnastic performances. When five or ten thousand identically dressed men or women are carrying out identical movements, the onlooker gets an overpowering impression of homogeneity, synchronization, symmetry, uniformity.
Identity and identitarian drives tend towards an effacement of self, towards a nostrism (“usness”) in which the ego becomes submerged. Of course, nostrism (a term created by the Austrian Nazi Walter Pembaur) can be and usually is a clever multiplication of egoisms. Whoever praises and extols a collective unit in which he participates (a nation, a race, a class, a party) only praises himself. And therefore all identitarian drives not only take a stand for sameness and oppose otherness, but also are self-seeking. There is an identitarian (and nonsexual) aspect to homosexuality (“homoeroticism”) coupled with the refusal to establish the sometimes difficult intellectual, spiritual, psychological bridge to the other sex. And in this respect homosexuality is a form of narcissism, of immaturity and implies the limitations of the “simpleton.”
It was in this Cold War context and the battle for power in Western Europe that the extreme left and the extreme right resorted to terror. On the extreme left the Italian Communist Red Brigades and Germany’s Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF) were the two most prominent terrorist groups in Western Europe. Founded by students of the University of Trento with little to no military training, the Red Brigades included Margherita Cagol, Alberto Franceschini and Alberto Curcio. Like the RAF, they were convinced that violence had to be employed in order to change the existing power structure that they perceived as unjust and corrupt. Like the RAF the terror of the Red Brigades did not attack mass gatherings of the population, but very selectively targeted individuals whom they thought represented the ‘state apparatus’, such as bankers, generals and ministers whom they kidnapped and often assassinated. Operating above all in the 1970s the death toll of the Red Brigades in Italy reached 75 people. Then, due to their limited military and strategic skills and experience they were rounded up, arrested, tried and imprisoned.
Until as recently as a quarter of a century ago the official political history of Italy’s First Republic (1945–93) did not mention the influence of the international society of the Freemasons on the country. Italy, to many, was a normal democracy in Western Europe, governed by the rule of law and a system of transparent checks and balances. This noble image changed abruptly in April 1981, when Milan magistrates investigating the crimes of US Italian Mafia banker Michele Sindona broke into the villa of a certain Licio Gelli near Arezzo in Italy’s Tuscany region. Gelli, until then, had been almost completely unknown to a larger public in Italy, let alone on the stage of world history. The people in his village Arezzo knew him as a friendly businessman and the owner of a company named Permaflex which produced mattresses. In Gelli’s villa, the Italian police came across documents which were to forever change the political history of Italy’s First Republic. Due to the extraordinary nature of these documents, historians are still struggling today to integrate them into a larger international interpretation of the Cold War. The documents confirmed the reality of an entire Italian parallel state named ‘P2’ and headed by Licio Gelli, revealing that 962 Italians belonged to Gelli’s secret P2 Lodge at the time of its discovery. The member list – and this was of particular political relevance – included some of the most powerful members of Italian society and read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Italy.
For as soon as the constitution and the spirit of the masonic sect were clearly discovered by manifest signs of its actions, by the investigation of its causes, by publication of its laws, and of its rites and commentaries, with the addition often of the personal testimony of those who were in the secret, this apostolic see denounced the sect of the Freemasons, and publicly declared its constitution, as contrary to law and right, to be pernicious no less to Christiandom than to the State; and it forbade any one to enter the society, under the penalties which the Church is wont to inflict upon exceptionally guilty persons. The sectaries, indignant at this, thinking to elude or to weaken the force of these decrees, partly by contempt of them, and partly by calumny, accused the sovereign Pontiffs who had passed them either of exceeding the bounds of moderation in their decrees or of decreeing what was not just. This was the manner in which they endeavoured to elude the authority and the weight of the apostolic constitutions of Clement XII and Benedict XIV, as well as of Pius VII and Pius IX.(10) Yet, in the very society itself, there were to be found men who unwillingly acknowledged that the Roman Pontiffs had acted within their right, according to the Catholic doctrine and discipline. The Pontiffs received the same assent, and in strong terms, from many princes and heads of governments, who made it their business either to delate the masonic society to the apostolic see, or of their own accord by special enactments to brand it as pernicious, as, for example, in Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Bavaria, Savoy, and other parts of Italy.
An old folk legend, which was current among the Russian peasants long before the Revolution, announces the advent of a time when the ” nameless beast” would succeed to the sovereignty of Russia, a beast which is nameless because it will be composed of the innumerable many. Now it is here, the ” nameless beast,” and has set up its kingdom: the impersonal mass is lord of Russia; it is the most important new phenomenon which Bolshevism has produced, a reality which no one can disregard. Whether, like some monstrous creature of fable, it rolls through the streets of the great cities, now growling happily, now roaring with rage, or whether it lies down comfortably on one of the wide squares to enjoy, like an animal, the sun, life, and its own exuberant strength—the many thousand isolated personalities of which it is composed disappear, and we no longer recognize the simple worker in his workaday blouse, the soldier, the typist, the student, or the navvy. A mighty and powerful organism has absorbed them all into itself, and a single rumbling voice, incomprehensible and terrifying as the roar of the elements, has swallowed up all their individual cries, their joyful or angry words.
Her femininity is, for the woman, the most important object in her whole life. It is, as has been remarked before, the root of her physical, mental and intellectual faculties, and its influence shows itself from the moment of her birth to the end of her life; but it especially begins to increase in importance when she reaches the age of 13 or 14 years. As the peculiar organs of the young girl develop and ripen to the point that their physiological functions appear, potential love comes into the girl’s life. It is at first a vague longing for tenderness that satisfies itself in physical languor and lonely reveries, which at the outset have not the man as an object, but dwell upon sentimental romance. The girl, according to her temperament and mood, fancies herself the happy heroine for whom undetermined admirers carry out heroic deeds or the unfortunate fiancee in such a sad, oh such a terribly sad story, that she herself sometimes cries over her imaginary misfortunes.
I cannot share the hopes of the Bolsheviks any more than those of the Egyptian anchorites; I regard both as tragic delusions, destined to bring upon the world centuries of darkness and futile violence. The principles of the Sermon on the Mount are admirable, but their effect upon average human nature was very different from what was intended. Those who followed Christ did not learn to love their enemies or to turn the other cheek. They learned instead to use the Inquisition and the stake, to subject the human intellect to the yoke of an ignorant and intolerant priesthood, to degrade art and extinguish science for a thousand years. These were the inevitable results, not of the teaching, but of fanatical belief in the teaching. The hopes which inspire Communism are, in the main, as admirable as those instilled by the Sermon on the Mount, but they are held as fanatically, and are likely to do as much harm. Cruelty lurks in our instincts, and fanaticism is a camouflage for cruelty. Fanatics are seldom genuinely humane, and those who sincerely dread cruelty will be slow to adopt a fanatical creed. I do not know whether Bolshevism can be prevented from acquiring universal power. But even if it cannot, I am persuaded that those who stand out against it, not from love of ancient injustice, but in the name of the free spirit of Man, will be the bearers of the seeds of progress, from which, when the world’s gestation is accomplished, new life will be born.