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‘Stronger Than Fire and Iron’
Varieties of Heroism by Julius Evola, 19 April 1942

Reading from Metaphysics of War, pages 118-23

As the maelstrom of WWII engulfed Europe, Evola looked at with some interest on reports of selfless heroism, with two examples looming awful in the news:

1. Bolshevik suicide soldiers

2. Japanese suicide soldiers

Apparently unaware that the Soviet troopers were not committing suicide, but being herded to their death by political officer shooting them from behind with sub machine guns, Evola nevertheless makes an insightful observation that such atheistic suicide derives from a devaluation of human life and an utter lack of importance assigned to the soldier, who is now fallen far from warrior heights and is simply a weapon of flesh expended like so much ammunition. His conclusion that even the spiritual realm was being collectivized was chilling. To him the suicidal man without a name was expressing a kind of “sinister joy” which, in retrospect was not the case as they were slave soldiers herded into a fire. However, that “sinister joy” does fit the description of our current crop of suicide shooters and bombers, mental patients programed by Dee State agents to place fear in the hearts of our sissy masses, like a painted coyote displayed before sheep.

Evola achieves a better read on the more authentic suicidal actions of Japanese combatants—the many were drugged and coerced—comparing it to the most ancient Roman rite of the Devotio, which in the hands of many Japanese combatants amounted to a “style of dying.” Evola closes with marking the Japanese tradition of self-sacrifice to a deified state as promising in terms of refuting the mainstream modern view that “…earthly existence is unique and irrevocable…”

The final three pages present a footnoted description of the ancient Roman devotio, as the commission of a pledged act while wearing his identity like an actor wearing mask, preceded by a prayer to three tiers of divinity, uttered by the warrior with his foot upon the butt of his spear. The process and aim of this ceremonial self-sacrifice stand like a shadow behind the Christian notions which would take form under Roman rule, based on the trinity of sacrifice for “one’s own Chieftain, one’s own state and one’s own race.”

As presented by Evola, although he draws no direct parallel, the Roman Catholic Trinity and the valuation of voluntary sacrifice in a struggle without promise of victory but towards that end, rather than as some protest or fear to face conquest, certainly places a thought in the mind of he who might wonder about the Roman contribution to Christianity.

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