Monday, 20 April 2015
by James Harting
The American political thinker and activist Francis Parker Yockey (1917-1960) is best known, and rightly so, for his magnum opus, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics (1948). Yockey dedicated Imperium to “The hero of the Second World War” — who was none other than Adolf Hitler. And indeed, Hitler’s presence looms large over every page of that lengthy tome. But curiously, after that bold, courageous dedication, Yockey never again mentions Hitler, either directly or indirectly, in the book, except for a brief reference in passing on page 19:
…for the benefit of readers in 2050, I may say that the Hero and the Philosopher of the period 1900-1950 were both invisible to their contemporaries in the historical dimension in which you see them.
(Yockey’s “Philosopher” is Oswald Spengler.)
But Imperium was not Yockey’s only written work. In 1951, he published a second book, this time in German, Der Feind Europas, or in English, The Enemy of Europe. In it, he gives his assessment of Adolf Hitler’s “mistakes” — and Hitler’s legacy.
The following excepts are take from an unfinished translation serialized in the the American racialist journal TRUD in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
After the conclusion of the Second World War, the opponents of the Hero of that war found themselves still dominated by his personality. Either they adopted his ideas and declared them as their own, or they continued to fight against them. There was no trace of a new idea independent of this Hero…
In the heroic era, no military test applies, not the test of “success” nor of anyting else. It was Cromwell who inspired generations of men after him, not the later Stuarts who had his body torn to pieces by wild horses. It was Napoleon who inspired a century of leadership after him, not Ludwig XVIII or Metternich or Talleyrand. The heroic world stands immeasurably above the division of useful/useless. Cromwell won in 1688, long after his death and following disgrace. And in 1840 Napoleon had won, he whose name could be pronounced in Europe only with risk in 1820. The idea of Napoleon triumphed in the spiritual-political sphere, his personality in the heroic sphere. Who would accuse him now over the facts of the lost battles of Leipzig and Waterloo?
Such will it be with the Hero of World War II. He represented the new, aesthetic type which will form and inspire all coming leaders in the West. The lamenting after the Second World War about his “mistakes” was simply contemptible. Every journalist and big-mouth knows better than the great — they just would not have made this or that mistake. No, for they would not have been able to do anything at all.
Heroism is unique and cannot be wasted. As long as men survive, they will always be influenced by the Hero and his legend. He lives on in spirit and continues to take place in the world of facts and deeds.
It will be noticed that Yockey never uses Hitler’s name. Partly this is a rhetorical device and partly it is a propagandistic technique. But the repeated use of the appellation “Hero” also shows Yockey’s deep, heartfelt veneration for Hitler.
In his unpublished works and notes, Yockey does mention Hitler by name on a handful of occasions. In his essay “Life as an Art” (1940), he includes Hitler in a list of “higher men…unable to attain the herd-like comfort of lower men.” He lists: “Frederick II…Barbarossa…Wallenstein, Oxenstierna, Richilieu, Pitt the Younger, Napoleon, Metternich, Bismarck, Hitler…Richard Plantagenet…Mussolini and Spengler.”
In his notes “Thoughts Upon Waking,” Hitler appears again in a short list, this time of “ultra-masculine figures, like Cesare Borgia, Wallenstein, Olivarez, Richilieu, Napoleon, Bismarck [and] Hitler.”
Ideologically speaking, Yockey was a Fascist and not a National-Socialist. But he was like a number of other prominent men of his time, who while not followers of Adolf Hitler in a narrow political sense, felt drawn to him personally by his ineffable charisma. Others in this group include the German novelist Hans Grimm, Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and Swedish explorer Sven Hedin.
In this sense, although not doctrinaire National-Socialists, Yockey and the others were members of Hitler’s band of personal followers, die Gefolgschaft Adolf Hitlers.