The Advantages of the Night

“The hooting of the owl with its tender wing is more familiar to me than the crowing of the cock. I prefer the strings to the woodwinds. Intermission: that is the darkness. The light feels like a vague scratching; it is malaise rather than pain. I am glad to sink back into darkness.”
—Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil

Continue reading →

Death in the Trenches

“When a man fell, the others stood together over his corpse; their gazes met, dark and deep. But when death stood over the trenches like a storm cloud, then it was every man for himself: he stood alone in the darkness, howling and crashing surrounding him, blinded by sudden flashes, with nothing in his breast but endless desolation.”

—Ernst Jünger, Sturm, describing the soldiers awaiting attack during the Battle of the Somme, whose centenary is this year.

Continue reading →

The View from the Land

“The human is a land-being, a land-dweller. He stands and walks and moves upon the firmly grounded earth. This is his standpoint and his soil; through it he receives his viewpoint; this defines his impressions and his way of seeing the world. He receives not only his field of vision but also the form of his gait and his movements, his shape as a living being born and moving upon the earth.”
—Carl Schmitt, Land and Sea: A World-Historical Meditation

Continue reading →

Freedom and Servitude: Why We Rattle Our Hidden Chains

“The populace consists of individuals and free men, while the state is made up of numbers. When the state dominates, killing becomes abstract. Servitude began with the shepherds; in the river valleys it attained perfection with canals and dikes. Its model was the slavery in mines and mills. Since then, the ruses for concealing chains have been refined.”
—Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil

Continue reading →

Why We Kill Each Other: Warfare in a Post-National World

“Fraternity means that the father no longer sacrifices the sons; instead the brothers kill one another. Wars between nations have been replaced by civil war. The great settling of accounts, first under national ‘pretexts,’ led to a rapidly escalating world civil war.”
—Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil

Continue reading →

The National-Populist Illusion as a “Pathology” of Politics: The Greek Case and Beyond

How are we to explain the current “revolt against the elites,” the “new populist wave,” referred to by the French philosopher, political scientist, and historian of ideas Pierre-André Taguieff in a recent interview? What follows will try to reflect on specific aspects of the intimate relationship between populism and nationalism, the import of the conspiracist view of sociopolitical phenomena, and the overall “populist illusion” in the left-wing version of populism, with reference to the Greek experience of the past few years, notably through the SYRIZA phenomenon. To the extent possible, an effort will be made to examine this against the backdrop of a comparative approach to left-wing populism in general.

Continue reading →