Book review: Fighting for the Essence

Fighting for the Essence: Western Ethnosuicide or European Renaissance, by Pierre Krebs, translated by Dr Alexander Jacob. Published by Arktos, London, 2012). ISBN 978-1-907166-59-4 103 pages (soft-cover) Available for £11 from

Reviewed in H&D Issue 66 (2015) by Peter Rushton

Has Europe become post-political? Does politics any longer matter? Regardless of whether we can or cannot make a difference as nationalists, are there even any differences to be made – by any 21st century political force?

These are questions that are often addressed superficially but in this book of just 100 pages, densely packed with ideas and reference points, Pierre Krebs goes to the root of our pessimism – and offers us hopeful possibilities for a nationalist renaissance based not on Panglossian optimism but on the surviving essence of our cause: European racial identity.

Agreeing with Carl Schmitt (see H&D 63) that a people’s loss of interest in politics will see that weakened people itself (not politics) fade away, Krebs warns:
“In the corpse of politics, the cold monster of economics can then take root.”

Pierre Krebs

A native of Alsace, thus technically French but bilingual in Franco-German language, culture and ideology, Krebs quotes an influential Frenchman whose thoughts should be held up as a distorting mirror by Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (formerly National Front), so that they always know exactly what they (and we) as nationalists are fighting against, a monster towards which we must avoid the tendency to morph as we approach political ‘respectability’.

Alain Minc, who graduated from a family of communist immigrants to become a prominent businessman and leading adviser to former President Nicolas Sarkozy, proclaimed:
“Politics has just abdicated triumphally before society: such is the significance of the conduct of the global market. The change that has permitted the European machine to be restarted is the result of a methodological revolution: the states abdicate in favour of the market; they abandon their old tendency to build, construct, and standardise.”

So much for the ‘conservative’ Tweedledum, whose views would sadly be echoed by the controlling faction in our own UKIP, if not by most of their members or voters.

Alain Minc, descendant of communist immigrants, now a leading ‘conservative’ intellectual

As Krebs suggests, this type of ‘conservatism’ reproduces the worst elements of an old Left and Right:
“The sanctification of profit and the quasi-cultural submission to the idol of profitability always precedes the gradual sliding of the person into the individual, of culture into the market, and the motivating myths of a people into the economic and mechanical schemes of societies that have reduced all cultural paradigms to purely commercial modes of existence. The dream of a purely material possession of the world and of nature then becomes the centre of the ultimate project that this totalitarian type of civilisation nourishes.”

This nightmare project combines elements of ‘left-wing’ egalitarianism – the heresy that all races and cultures are equivalent, so that none of them matter; with elements of ‘right-wing’ economic liberalism – we are all essentially consumers whose interests are supposedly best served by a deregulated market.

Like the late Jonathan Bowden, Krebs reflects on the anti-Americanism of German filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, who sees a Europe “drained, ripe for a downfall, culturally exhausted by democracy”: American dominance is enforcing “fundamental dislocation of the aesthetic taste” leading to “the destruction and shattering of the soul”.

Hans-Jürgen Syberberg

Although in common with Syberberg, Krebs detests this “suppression of beauty, …the duty of ugliness hoisted to the rank of a cardinal principle”, which “henceforth serves as sacred in the hour of the triumph of filth, of the filth that extinguishes art,” he is most certainly not writing from the standpoint of a Christian moralist (though many conservative Christians, and for that matter Muslims, would agree with large parts of his analysis).

In fact for Krebs – as for some of his colleagues in the European New Right such as Alain de Benoist and Tomislav Sunic – Judaeo-Christian monotheism is a crucial part of the problem: he follows Nietzsche’s pioneering thesis that:
“Christianity, which has sprung from Jewish roots and can only be understood as a plant that has come from this soil, represents the counter-movement to every morality of breeding, race or privilege: it is the anti-Aryan religion par excellence.”

For Krebs the death of Europe is not an inevitability: he rejects Spengler’s ultimate pessimism and maintains that decadence is merely a process through which a crisis can resolve itself in renewal – assuming that the biological essence of a people has not been destroyed.

Note well – this ultimate struggle is about racial biology: once that essence is preserved, all else can follow. Islam is not the ultimate enemy, or even an enemy at all: rather our essential war is first against miscegenation, and then against the cultural forces that have produced a bastardised Europe – what Krebs terms “America’s mongrel”.

This book will be useful to nationalists of all ages in mining several rich seams of ideological tradition. For example attention is drawn to Sigrid Hunke, an influential young philosopher during the Third Reich who taught postwar in several Arabic universities, and by the end of her life was prominent in European New Right circles:
“Europe will unveil its truth when it becomes itself once again, when it determines itself once again, when it is able to reaffirm itself as itself, and to protect itself from foreign pretensions, and when it has found again the strength to realise itself in its own renewed history.”

Sigrid Hunke (1915-1999)

Krebs follows in the tradition of Hunke and others in seeing Europe’s spirit as rooted in mythos (“mythic truths that once constituted the essence of the European project”). A 21st century H&D reader should have recourse to the traditions of Classical Greece and Rome; the music dramas of Richard Wagner; and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien – in addition to seeking out the folk traditions of his own region.

Opposed to mythos is the ‘rational’ spirit of logos – promoted first by the Christianisation of Europe, then by the secularisation of the Judaeo-Christian tradition in today’s “American mongrel” Europe.

I suspect that some readers will wonder whether Krebs’s most deadly enemy is really Christianity, or rather particular forms of Protestant Christianity – though this book indicates that for him even traditional pre-conciliar Catholicism is part of the problem. In fact he perceives monotheism itself as the enemy. In assuming a revealed truth and a sole god, all three monotheisms – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – distance god from the world: and contribute towards the artificial ‘equality’ of modern American society, where everyone is in theory equal but no one has any genuine sense of identity or belonging.

Krebs writes of the Americanised world:
“Torn from the links to his community, amputated of the feeling of belonging to and participating in the historical and cultural project of a people, the individual of the market society in the American style must forever resort to the excrescence of his petty ‘I’, which is the last chance he has of giving a minimum of significance to his life. But in ‘shrinking’ into himself, he is quite naturally led to exaggerate the sphere of his intimate relations, the last refuge towards which he hurries to compensate for the growing malaise that is provoked around him by an anonymous crowd that he perceives as a foreign body because it has ceased to be a community. Condemned to narcissism, the individual progressively becomes the prey of the worst mental imbalances, of permanent depressions, of chronic anxieties and anguishes whose development, diagnosed by psychologists and doctors, is indeed symptomatic of the disastrous injuries that the egalitarian society inflicts in its wake.”

What indeed could be more depressing than the notion that there is no race, no nation, no culture, no heritage: that nothing differentiates one people from another – that there is nothing worth fighting for?

And sadly the latter assumption – the globalising imperative of a world without frontiers – does not lead to peace, despite the assumption of universal brotherhood. Quite the reverse: while our global masters insist on regular wars to enforce their gospel of liberal ‘tolerance’, the invasion of immigrants produces a natural hostile reaction by indigenous populations. Even when the latter have been brainwashed to the point where they cannot frame coherent ideological responses, a sullen and often violent resentment endures. As the Austrian pioneer ethologist and zoologist Prof. Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt puts it, immigrants “who settle permanently take possession of the most precious resource that a people possess – namely, their territory. It is for this reason that they are perceived as invaders, and this situation then automatically triggers a desire for territorial defence among the natives.”

We should however join Krebs’ optimistic spirit in looking forward to an intellectual and cultural revitalisation of nationalism. Tradition and identity are not “irrational” in the common meaning of that word, even though they might well be “anti-rational” in that they oppose the tyranny of the culture-distorters who have arrogated to themselves an all-conquering “Reason”.

In fact what could be more “rational” in the Darwinian sense than seeking to preserve and advance our own Race? The essence of that process is the recovery of our own traditions, our own mythos. Pierre Krebs has done a great service to our cause of European Renaissance. His book will be a powerful weapon for a new generation of nationalists whose task today is indeed Fighting for the Essence.

UPDATE: In 2021 the brilliant Spanish nationalist activist Isabel Peralta posted this video inspired by Pierre Krebs’s book.

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