For decades now the discourse on the right wing has been defined and dominated by pro-capitalist ideologies. Bad actors and confused parties have muddied the waters with a strange adherence to the principles of the so-called ‘free market’, causing many common people to spurn rightist ideology. This has also allowed opponents to frame the right as heartless corporate apologists with no concern for normal, working people. In this essay I will explain why capitalism is unnatural to rightist thought by exploring the ideas of nationalist thinkers from the past and present.
Julius Evola was an Italian esotericist who is widely cited as an ideological influence for many on the modern far right. He viewed the system of capitalism to be just as - if not more - subversive than Marxism. In fact, Evola was such a steadfast anti-materialist that he regarded all rigid systems of economics to be cancerous and against the natural of order of things. He wrote in one of his most popular works, Men Among the Ruins:
“What must be questioned is not the value of this or that economic system, but the value of the economy itself. Thus, despite the fact that the antithesis between capitalism and Marxism dominates the background of recent times, it must be regarded as a pseudo-antithesis. In free-market economies, as well as in Marxist societies, the myth of production and its corollaries (e.g., standardization, monopolies, cartels, technocracy) are subject to the "hegemony" of the economy, becoming the primary factor on which the material conditions of existence are based. Both systems regard as "backward" or as "underdeveloped" those civilizations that do not amount to "civilizations based on labor and production"—namely, those civilizations that, luckily for themselves, have not yet been caught up in the feverish industrial exploitation of every natural resource, the social and productive enslavement of all human possibilities, and the exaltation of technical and industrial standards; in other words, those civilizations that still enjoy a certain space and a relative freedom. Thus, the true antithesis is not between capitalism and Marxism, but between a system in which the economy rules supreme (no matter in what form) and a system in which the economy is subordinated to extra-economic factors, within a wider and more complete order, such as to bestow a deep meaning upon human life and foster the development of its highest possibilities. This is the premise for a true restorative reaction, beyond "Left" and "Right," beyond capitalism's abuses and Marxist subversion.”
Evola rightly saw no purpose in an economic system which subsumes the personal, spiritual and metaphysical aspects of human life. The only purpose Evola saw in an economy of any sort was in service of a higher order, as a tool to help harness the energy and creativity of unbridled human spirit.
Evola also argues that in most traditional societies the mercantile class is largely looked upon with disdain and distrust, and the elevation of this mercantile class is normally a strong sign that a civilisation is heading for ruin. He writes again in Men Among the Ruins:
“The pure homo oeconomicus is a fiction or the by-product of an evidently degenerated specialization. Thus, in every normal civilization a purely economic man—that is, the one who sees the economy not as an order of means but rather as an order of ends to which he dedicates his main activities—was always rightly regarded as a man of lower social extraction: lower in a spiritual sense, and furthermore in a social or political one. In essence, it is necessary to return to normalcy, to restore the natural dependency of the economic factor on inner, moral factors and to act upon them.”
Evola saw the dependence of modern society on the ‘right’, ‘left’ or whatever is currently in fashion with regards to economic planning as a sign of moral and spiritual degradation. Those on the right who enjoy quoting Evola for the sake of intellectual posturing should remember this, and further study the subject matter in order to fully grasp his thoughts on the matter.
Sir Oswald Mosley
Sir Oswald Mosley is another figure who is rightly held in high regard in the nationalist movement writ large. He became disillusioned with modern politics after running first as a Tory, then as an independent and later as a Labour member. He formed the British Union of Fascists in an attempt to break free of the stagnant political paradigm. Mosley initially described himself initially as “a man of the left” politically, but found himself diametrically opposed to his Labour Party colleagues' internationalist political agenda. He lamented in Fascism: 100 Questions Asked and Answered that he was trying in vain to counter international socialism with his own British socialism. Another interesting point from the manifesto is Mosley’s view of freedom, which runs counter to the mainstream British idea of liberal capitalist ‘market freedom’ of the time:
“At present the mass of the people have no freedom. Under Fascism for the first time they will have freedom. What is the use of a vote if the people never get what they vote for ? How can they get what they vote for when only two big Bills can be carried through Parliament in a whole year on account of obstruction ? The beginning of freedom for the people is that the programme for which they vote shall be carried out. It cannot be carried out until the Government has power to act. By giving Government the power to act, Fascism brings not the end of freedom but the beginning of freedom. Real freedom is economic freedom. Economic freedom cannot come until economic chaos ends ; and it cannot end until a Government has power to act. Real freedom means good wages, short hours, security in employment, good houses, opportunity for leisure and recreation with family and friends. Modern Science enables us to build such a civilisation. It is not built, because Democracy prefers talk to action. We have to choose between the freedom of a few professional politicians to talk and the freedom of the people to live. In choosing the latter, Fascism makes freedom possible and releases the people from the economic slavery riveted upon them by the Democracy of talk.”
Mosley saw international capitalism for what it really is: economic slavery. Mosley viewed the British worker not as a cog in the machine to be used and discarded at the whim of the free market, but as a person with individual and collective needs whose neglect are detrimental to society as a whole. Although many on the dissident right recognise Mosley for his anti-communism, some fail to recognise his opposition to the capitalist system. Mosley realized that the illusion of capitalism versus communism was a political puppet show. He described the liberal capitalists as “agents of chaos”, and argued that the scourge of communism could not be contained or defeated by the chaos that birthed it.
Tucker Carlson is a more mainstream figure well known for his takedowns of liberal ideologues on his show. For much of his career as a conservative pundit, Carlson has supported standard liberal capitalist positions, such as support for international capitalism and military interventionism. However in recent months Tucker seems to have woken up to the glaring failures of the current state of affairs. In a refreshingly honest and illuminating monologue, Carlson railed against both the Republicans and Democrats of America. He rightly described the working class revolt against the neoliberal order, and allows the viewer to piece together the puzzle of two parties acting in unison for the interests of the political and economic elite. Carlson makes it abundantly clear that in reality there is very little difference between the ‘right’ or ‘left’ wing when it comes to mainstream politics:
"For generations Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars - modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically. There are signs however that most people do not support this agenda - and not just here in America. In countries around the world - France, Brazil, Sweden,The Phillipines, Germany, and many others, voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not just isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives."
Carlson goes on to attack many other establishment ‘conservative’ values ranging from consumerism, materialism, usury, internationalism, and somewhat indirectly even the system of Democracy itself:
“...The overriding goal of America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicides are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.”
“...Rich people are happy enough to help fight malaria in Congo, but working to raise men’s wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy! This is negligence on a massive scale.”
"…[Republicans] should also speak out about the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect four hundred percent annual interest... Libertarians tell us that’s how "markets" work. Consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. Okay, but it's also disgusting..."
“...Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate of someone who's living off of inherited money. It doesn't work at all! We tax capital at half the rate we tax labour. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance as many of our richest people do..."
“...Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool,like a staple gun, or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it."
“...Our leaders don't care. We are led by mercenaries who feel no long term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through.”
Populists such as Carlson are crucial in the fight against globalism and internationalism. Tucker not only grasps at the root of the problems of modern society but explains them clearly and succinctly to working class viewers, undoubtedly driving them to wake up to the forces of abusive technocratic rule. As a mainstream figure he has risen to fame by capturing the attention of socially conservative viewers through his ruthless takedowns of crazed leftist types, many of which quickly become viral sensations online. Once the audience has been drawn in by the spectacle, Carlson immediately begins to draw the viewer’s attention to the cause of the issue: the abusive, rootless system of finance capitalism which by design promotes societal breakdown.
Beyond the False Dichotomy
Although these are only three major figures in the sphere of rightist thought, one can find many other examples of highly-regarded and well-respected thinkers of the right who oppose capitalism in favour of a more natural system of economics. Rightists can and should use valid critiques of capitalism instead of blindly parroting libertarian or neoliberal dogma.
Those on the right who call others communist subversives or other such short-sighted banalities miss the point of nationalist thought entirely. These same people often criticise communists for their absurd “not real communism” defense, but in the same breath will argue in parallel for some sort of unrestricted capitalist ideology.
Many right-thinking people are also astoundingly still caught in the false dichotomy of socialism and capitalism believing the two systems to be diametrically opposed, and this is also incorrect. It’s been shown time and again through history that the two work in tandem against the common man, whether it’s bread lines or housing bubbles, gulags or speech suppression.
People coming to the right should be encouraged to look into the various forms of real rightist economic programs, of which there is a great variety. Distributism, Social Credit, corporatism, Falangism, and even feudalism all have some interesting ideas outside of the narrow capitalist-socialist paradigm. Indeed, the fact that they present economic ideas which go beyond the status quo contributes greatly to their suppression in neoliberal society. The system is threatened when we break free of its fake contests – Labour versus National, socialist versus capitalist, chocolate versus vanilla – and start thinking freely.