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The perils of old men

The normative lifespan, in accordance with the classics, can be taken as 70—so anyone aged 65 or over is in preparation for death.

It’s why you should be cautious about the attention you pay to old men, because what they say about the world often reflects their own preparations for death.

Evola is a useful example—in his autobiography The Path of Cinnabar he talks about how there is nothing to be done. There might be a few solitary monks or ascetics who maintain contact with the higher states of being, but, overall, the situation is hopeless.

All you can do is make a solitary retreat, engage in quietism, and wait for this age to end—if it ends in your lifetime, although it may have millennia left to run (and even I think it has 250 years to run—so longer than anyone alive at the moment).

But I think Evola’s attitude stemmed from the fact that the political project he adhered to, Italian Fascism, failed. And so, at his life’s end, he came to the view that nothing was worthwhile—everything was bound to fail.

I think whether or not an older man takes this view depends on how much success they’ve had in life—if their projects have come to fruition then they will retain an optimistic disposition late into life. If they’ve faced failure, then that will make their whole worldview dour.

It leads them to lose objectivity—to see everything as bound to fail.

And I think that happened to Evola—he lost an objective standpoint.

After all, on his estimation, the cycles of the ages last millennia—the whole decline of the world takes place over millions of years.

What are people expected to do in the interim? Just retreat from the world?

And yet states and people can be governed more or less well, more or less in accord with higher principles—more or less orientated towards what is higher or not.

Can you really just recommend permanent abnegation from everything?

This position is irresponsible—it means to resign from any attempt to govern the world, to let it drift to whatever fate awaits it.

If there is a cycle of the ages and we let it drift for millennia then what is the point, especially if there is another realm to which we are accountable? Why resist at any point? By Evola’s estimation, millions of years into this decline, then Italian Fascism was as pointless as any action today—since the difference between 1922 and today is as good as nothing if your criteria is millions of years.

Hence Evola suffered from “the fatality of old men”—and that’s why you should be cautious when you listen to what old men say.


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