Guénon: about the Materialist Man, the subversion of the Traditional Order and the destructive Western diffusion

“Wanting to trace back everything to man’s measure, taken as an end in itself, we have ended up falling, step by step, until the level of what there is of most inferior, and by seeking only the satisfaction of the needs inherent to the material side of human nature; pursuit, after all, really illusory, since it creates more and more artificial needs, that it can’t satisfy…after all, more a man has needs, more he risks of lacking something and then of being unhappy. The modern civilization aims to multiply the artificial needs and, as we said a moment ago, it will create many more needs than it can satisfy, because, once taken this path, it’s difficult to stop there, and there is not even a reason to stop at a certain point. Men couldn’t suffer for not having things to which they had never thought; they instead suffer out necessarily if these things comes to lack after they have known them, since they have become accustomed to consider these as necessary and since these have become really necessary for them. Hence they try by every means to get what can provide them all the material satisfactions, the only ones that they are able to appreciate. It is only a matter of “earning money”, being money what allows them to obtain such things, and the more you have, the more you want, because new needs are uninterruptedly discovered; and this passion becomes the only purpose of life”.

***

“But in the world of modern decadence where could still be found the concept of a true hierarchy? There is no thing or person that is in the place where it should normally be. Men doesn’t recognize anymore any effective authority in the spiritual order, any legitimate power in the higher and sacred sense in the temporal order. The “profane” allow themselves to discuss about sacred things, of them disavowing the character if not even the existence. It’s the inferior that judges the superior, it’s ignorance that imposes limits to wisdom, it’s the error that undermines the truth, it’s the human that replaces the divine, it’s the earth that goes to predominate on the sky, the individual that makes of himself the measure of all things and who insists to dictate to the universe laws all taken from his relative and defeasible reason…today can indeed be seen everywhere blind people who guide other blind people and who will drag them fatally into the abyss, in a common end, if they will not be stopped in time”.

***

“Very singular epoch, this one, in which many allow themselves to be persuaded that the happiness of a people is done by enslaving it, by taking away from it what it has of most precious, that is its own civilization, by forcing it to adapt to customs and institutions made for another race and by forcing it to the most painful works to make it buy things that for it are completely useless! It’s like this: the modern West can’t tolerate that some men may prefer to work less and be content with little to live. Since only quantity counts, and since what doesn’t fall under the senses is considered as inexistent, it is believed that he who isn’t stressed out and who doesn’t produce materially is a “slacker”. In such a world, there is no place for intelligence, and so not even for all that is really internal, because these are not things that can be seen and touched, that can be weighed and measured. There is only place for the external action in all its forms, including the most meaningless ones”.

-Réne Guénon

Note: These quotes are taken from a work of the author dated 1927. The last quote refers to the westernization of the peoples of the Far East (India, China, Japan, etc.). Personally I consider the ongoing westernization of the world a consequence of Capitalism and of the Christian “tradition” (i.e. obsession) to invade and convert: whereby it is certainly appropriate to define this process as a result of the Judeo-Christian modus operandi.

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