By Julius Evola
Translator anonymous, edited by Greg Johnson
The new edition of René Guénon’s book The Crisis of the Modern World offers the opportunity for a critical account, which may be of some interest, of the author’s leading ideas. These ideas are closely connected with the problem of the relations between East and West and of the fate that awaits our civilization as a whole. They are all the more interesting as Guénon dissents from all those who for some time now have been writing about the “decline of the West,” the “crisis of the European spirit,” and so forth—all ideas which today, after the new collapse brought about by World War II, have again come to the fore with renewed vigor.
Guénon does not deal with individual cases and confused reactions, nor does he deal with philosophy in the current sense of the word; his ideas originate from Tradition in a broad and impersonal sense. Unlike the writers alluded to above—Spengler, Ortega y Gasset, Huizinga, Massis, Keyserling, Benda—Guénon does not spiritually belong to the modern world; he bears witness to a different world, and he makes no mystery of the fact that he owes his knowledge to a great extent to the direct contact he has had with the exponents of the traditional East.