Evola’s Case For The Tripartite Race

Race is a vital subject to any kind of reactionary political theory, especially in light of the abuse this topic has endured in the post-WWII era. It has become quintessential in contemporary discussions of race to posit that it is either a ‘social construct’ which can then be easily dismantled, or else is arranged in a hierarchy of moral culpability, i.e – the quality of a race of people, and thus its right to integrity or even existence, is to be judged based upon the scandalized actions of its ancestors.

One can say without doubt that both views have as their core a dogmatic commitment in lieu of any factual basis. The noted Steve Sailer has written endlessly on this topic, and one is best advised to begin with his FAQ. Also of interest, Spandrell’s racial theory on civilizational decline.

Such research allows us to discount any notion of equality between peoples of contrasting racial backgrounds, but does not provide further explanatory undergirding for a wise policy of separateness. After all, dogs experience a very similar inequality between breeds (the doberman, the St. Bernard, the dalmatian, and the chihuahua, just to name a few), and yet dogs interbreed freely, requiring the maintenance of humans to ensure ‘pure breeding,’ and perhaps more importantly, dogs have no reservations about engaging in social play with dogs of different breeds.

To be clear, nothing of significance put forward in the most rudimentary forms of human biodiversity is inaccurate.

I would argue instead that it is incomplete. This is because rightists, torn from their moorings in the World of Tradition by force of revolution, have been required to work with the tools available to them, namely a kind of profane science. This is a little like Christians in the Soviet Union having the Encyclopedia of Atheism’s polemics against them as their only apologetic tool. In this regard, it is truly a stupendous feat that the case against equality between races has been made with a towering force by science itself, and only remains ineffective because it is ignored by large parts of academia.

What separates us from the animals, the dogs, if you will, is the human ‘inner’ component, first of self-recognized agency, and second of the spiritual nature of the human being. In his long and fruitful studies, Julius Evola developed a doctrine of race that builds upon the realities of human biodiversity, grafting it seamlessly into the reactionary worldview through a more expansive, and in my opinion, more accurate assessment of race in its totality.

For Evola, race was not a property that could be so easily discerned at its fundamental level, as the National Socialists of Germany had wanted with their anthropometric and phrenological sciences, which sought to define the ‘pure Aryan race’. This was a limited and deeply flawed outlook, which by his estimation was emblematic of modern materialism.

The Italian Fascists would later adopt Evola’s outline to assert their distinctiveness from the German regime. As is written in ‘Grundrisse der faschistischen Rassenlehre‘:

In a cat or a thoroughbred horse the biological is the deciding element, and thus the racial observation can be restricted to this criterion. This, however, is no longer the case when dealing with humans, or at least with beings that are worthy of that name. Man is indeed a biological being, but also connected to forces and laws of a different kind, that are as real and effective as the biological realm and whose influence on the latter cannot be overlooked. Fascist racial doctrine therefore holds a purely biological view of race to be inadequate.

This doctrine, to which I have become very partial myself and do believe to be a viable ‘core doctrine’ for the Reactionary worldview, sees race as having a tripartite nature, bound in the principles of body, character, and spirit. Let us reflect on each:

The Race of the Body

The first, lowest, and most crude order of race which can be applied to any animal, is the race of the body. This is the aspect of race which experiences a privileged visibility. It is how our senses most easily delineate between peoples, differentiated as they are most notably in appearance. On this order, we may speak of physiological attributes (cranial structures, average height, facial features), attributes of physical prowess (stamina, athleticism, flexibility), and neurological attributes (average IQ levels). Combined, these form what we might deem the fundamentally undeniable aspects of race, which can only be dismissed on a faux academic level, rather than one of any true human experience. When we meet someone of a disparate race, we know about it. Nobody has to tell us that they’re black. Perhaps Sean King, but that’s a whole different story.

While existing at the bottom of the hierarchy of fundamental importance, the race of the body is incredibly significant, because it is used by the inner aspects of race to convey themselves in a way that the senses of those around us, particularly our kin, can perceive. Indeed, the higher manifestations of race are shot through with the bodily aspect.

The exterior is a function of the interior, the physical form is a symbol, tool, and means of expression of a spiritual form.

Furthermore, the sociocultural effects, particularly of IQ levels, have ramifications for the structuring of educational establishments in particular. Such effects are hard for anyone to ignore, especially those with firsthand experience.

The Race of the Character

The race of the character (sometimes translated in more problematic terminology as the ‘race of the soul’) refers to psychological types. Extending beyond the bodily race, which would include such neurological data as IQ levels, this is instead to denote a people’s collective predispositions and attitudes towards earthly matters. From ‘Aspects of Racial Doctrine‘:

As racialism of the second degree, one means a theory of the race of the character and a typology of the character of the race. Such racialism has to recognize the primary and irreducible elements which act from the inside, so that groups of individuals manifest a constant way of being or “style” in their actions, thoughts, and feelings.

He goes on to observe how the degeneration of the character race in the modern world is ubiquitous, even within family lines, and this we observe to a far greater extent today with the collapse of collective national conscience, declining recognition of norms and presuppositions, as well as the increasing rapidity of retroactive condemnation from generation to generation. Even among those family lines with no significant miscegenation, we observe this phenomena; the death of nationality, the death of identity.

Let us consider, for example, the phenomenon of mutual understanding: In everyday life there are many cases of persons who are of the same physical race, stock, or sometimes even – as in the case of brothers or fathers and sons – the same line, who do not succeed in understanding one another. A boundary separates their characters and their way of feeling and seeing is different. A common race of body or line is not enough to bridge such differences. The possibility of understanding, and thus of true solidarity, can only exist where there is a common race of the character.

The Race of the Spirit

Finally, for Evola the most important aspect of race, is the race of the spirit, which examines a people’s predispositions and attitudes towards divine and religious experience, a vertical manifestation of racial identity.

In his autobiography, ‘The Path of Cinnabar’, Evola makes clear the distinction between the spirit and the character, which while both intangible attributes, are immutably different:

‘Spirit’ should here be distinguished from ‘character’ as that component of man in touch with higher values that transcend life. In this sense, the ‘race of the spirit’ manifests itself in the different approaches to the sacred, to destiny and to the question of life and death, as well as in world-views, religions, etc.

Quite apart from the race of the character and certainly the race of the body, the race of the spirit is a transhistorical element expressed through a less numerous series of peoples with common metaphysical characteristics, and thus when we consider the Occidental people we can most certainly see common spiritual elements indicative in large part of what Evola theorized as a ‘Hyperborean’ origin. This not only encompasses what we might deem ‘symbological’ similarities between ancient European forms of Paganism, but to a more intriguing degree, the birth of Christendom, which despite theopolitical divisions and fracturing based on character conflicts, was indicative of a collective spiritual unity, perceived or not as it was. From ‘The Eternal Race‘:

Symbol and myth in our doctrine of race instead have the merit of documentary evidence through their capacity to lead us into the primary super-rational spiritual element of the races, to what is truly elemental in the world of origins. This element constitutes the leading thread for complementary investigations of various types. Custom, ethics, ancient law, and language certainly furnish other signs for the investigation of the third degree of race and for the racial interpretation of the history of civilization. But, even here, in order to obtain valid results it is necessary to remove the limitations of the modern mentality and to recognize that, in the ancient world, ethics, law, and customs were only chapters dependent on “religion”: i.e., they reflect meanings and principles characteristic of a super-rational and sacred order.

In addition, the race of the spirit sees an absolute differentiation in quality and health, hence both Evola’s preoccupation with ‘Solar’ and ‘Lunar’ racial modes (that is the masculine, higher, unified spirituality contrasted with the feminine, lower, diffuse spirituality), as well as a hierarchy of spiritual understanding within any healthy society. For this reason, there is a racial justification for the crossbreeding of aristocrats across the Occident which in no way compromised the character race of any given nation, but instead retained the quality of the ruling classes who shared a superior stock of the collective, spiritual, racial consciousness. It was preferable for a German princess to marry an English prince than for her to marry a German who was lower on the hierarchy of the broad spiritual race. In this way, aristocracy was maintained to some degree, and yet the character of the nation was rarely if ever affected.


As Evola applied his racial doctrine to modernity, it was observed that Occidental man had seen his tripartite expression of race corroded by various influences, so that now the spiritual, character, and bodily races were confounded and confused, corrupted and compromised. There is of course much gnashing of teeth and Nostradamus hyperbole concerning the fate of the ‘white’ bodily race, that miscegenation and the much more pressing issue of birth rates represent the most dire racial calamities of the century. We should however first confront problems close to the root, and ask ourselves, how can brother betray brother on the scale that we witness? How does Sweden breed a Jonas Sjöstedt? How does England breed a Jeremy Corbyn? The death of the nation, mentioned above, is evident here as we see people we might identify as ‘our own’ not only lacking any sense of commitment to their kin, but an outright hostility to them and their interests.

The distortion of the psychic character, which is supposed to rally the entire nation to collective unity, is endemic to the modern world. Furthermore, the destruction of Christianity as the religious principle around which any semblance, any hope, of Occidental unity could be wrapped, also confirms that the higher race of the spirit has been completely overturned, in 90% of cases replaced with a nihilistic detachment from all matters of religious experience. The regression of the castes, and the collapse of the aristocracy only add to the ubiquitous misery, proving that Liberalism is no less destructive to peoples than the Soviet style of collectivism was.

What might we say then, to round off this exposition of Evola’s racial theory? I believe there is a compelling case to accept this aristocratic view of race, transcending the overly simplistic reduction of race to a mere biological reality. Of the contributions that the Sicilian baron has made to the rich lore of the reactionary right, this represents one of his most valuable insights. To close, one more excerpt from ‘The Path of Cinnabar’:

Human nature, instead, is ordinarily differentiated, and this differentiation is expressed in the form of different bloodlines and races. This differentiation constitutes the primary feature of humanity: not only is it a natural condition among all beings, but also a positive element, something which ought to exist, and ought to be defended and safeguarded. The acknowledgement of diversity never led me – unlike certain other racists – to conceive humanity as a series of isolated, self-contained units; nor did it lead me to reject all higher principles. A kind of unity is certainly conceivable for humanity, but only at a higher level; and such unity accepts and preserves differentiation at a lower level. Unity ‘from below’, on the other hand, is a regressive phenomenon: such is the leveling unity sought by democracy, ‘integrationism’, humanitarianism, pseudo-universalism and collectivism.

(For a more in depth look at Evola’s theories and their political context, head over to West Coast Reactionaries to read Dr. H.T. Hanson piece, ‘Julius Evola’s Political Endeavors: Part IX‘.)

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  1. The Dissenting Sociologist April 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Evola sure had an uncommonly fine, high-end intellect. His synthetic approach to these questions is especially refreshing and timely right now, when almost every discussion of race assumes the form of a moot court case of Nature v. Nurture, fought between shrieking partisans on either side, and by itself incapable of any authoritative resolution or synthesis by way of conclusion.

    I’d like to suggest that his tripartite scheme can be usefully enriched with a fourth variable level, inculcated between character and spirit. This level concerns the temporal, day-to-day affairs and relations among men; it encompasses the likes of social structure; political and military institutions; technology and economics; laws, customs, and ethics inasmuch as they, over and above embodying the highest spiritual values, bear on regulating mundane day-to-day activity.
    The variable aspect of this level is the historical movement (or lack of movement) across the stages of savagery, barbarism, civilization, and decadence.

    It is on this level where the processes underlying both spiritual decline and the corruption of character must be sought. Appeal to the brute facts of biological race aren’t especially helpful here. We’ve reached the stage of decadence while on biologically constant ground, in genotype and phenotype, with our immediate ancestors at the stage of civilization not long past- and you can’t explain a variable by a constant. Similarly, the level of the spirit as defined by Evola also seems to spell out only constants. The ultimate truths of the spirit are the same now as always; but, having reached the stage of decadence, we simply set them aside or even turn on them. What’s needed is an understanding of the mechanisms involved in the transition from one stage to the next.

  2. This is pure shit-posting, but I can’t resist.

    >the Sicilian baron

    1. Can anyone explain to me how, under Shariah, a Christian can descend from a Muslim. Because if a Moor takes an Italian wife the child will be Muslim, to be expelled when the Christians reconquer the place. And a Christian can’t take a Muslim wife and if he attempts to he’ll be killed.

      I don’t know exactly about Sicily, but in Spain some Moors stayed behind and converted to Catholicism. The Spanish then introduced a policy called “Limpienza de sangre” (“Purity of Blood” – which is exactly what is sonds like). Of course, eventually the converted Moors were expelled, in the famous expulsions of the Moriscos (famous, that is, if one reads books). The blood purity policy stayed.

      So if Italians and Spaniards have any North African blood it surely is from the times of the Romans or even before, from the times of Hannibal.

  3. Although I in general agree with Evola’s race theory I still find it somewhat nebulous. Perhaps it’s simply the modern impulse, the yearning to measure quantitatively so as to obtain “objective” knowledge, that is inhibiting my full acceptance of this doctrine.

  4. This is pretty fascinating.

    Evola gets a lot of love from fanboys and a lot of hate from counter-signalling fanboys, but neither really seem to understand his ideas because Evola’s image and words are most often used to justify fascism or national socialism or some other kind of right-wing neo-populism.

    Someone who reads Evola carefully will notice that Evola tracks Carlyle (and Moldbug) perfectly with regards to order/chaos and Right/Left, passivism (“Ride the Tiger”), man’s higher nature, principled anti-materialism, anti-populism, etc.

    1. As with all thinkers, Evola must be understood in his own sociopolitical context, and with a discerning and critical eye. That’s the only way to find what is truly valuable.

      1. His quality varies as well. His main job, which in some cases he does better than anyone else, is what Lewis relates as being a transmitter of old ideas in to the new. In the cases where he has understood his subject well it comes through with clarity and exactness (and great density!) but where he has not, it distorts. However given how sharp a mind Evola was, I tend to think that he understood well what he was doing and merely in some cases had an axe to grind. The latter cases (one of which I wrote about recently) are the most disappointing. Perhaps though, it is the translation into English that may make them suffer the most; translators are like second authors, and the demands on them scale from noticeable to enormous. Translating poetry exactly is impossible.

  5. Regarding the regression of the castes, the west managed to avoid putting the laborer caste on top (communism) but there is actually a caste below the laborers: the untouchables or casteless. These would usually be people like transvestites and open homosexuals. In avoiding communism the west is now putting the untouchables onto the top of the heap.

    Regarding Ride the Tiger and Christianity, I think there’s a lot of parallels between Evola’s “fatalism” in “Ride the Tiger” and Christian concepts like “turn the other cheek”. You can’t really turn the other cheek in most contexts without a form of fatalism.

  6. Brilliant as usual Mark.

    I’d like to get your thoughts on a couple of points. First, let’s say you were advising the King of Spain on who his son should marry. The choice has been narrowed down to two excellent girls. One is the daughter of the Emperor of Japan. The other is Scandinavian of peasant stock. Both girls are beautiful, intelligent, and both are devout Catholics (fantasy, I know). Who would Evola say the prince should marry?

    The second point is really a question about Evola’s thoughts on the old aristocracy. It seems he thinks that the old aristocracy has become unserviceable. Was this due to a distortion of psychic character or interbreeding with non-aristocratic stock?

    1. A Knight of Númenor April 22, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      I’d say he should marry the Scandinavian one, even though I am Asian:)
      If the Scandinavian peasant girl was beautiful and intelligent, and a devout Catholic, then she surely can make a good queen. I believe if someone from the lower class happens to possess aristocratic qualities (beauty, intelligence, nobleness of soul) then we can and should elevate that person to an aristocratic station

    2. If both are beautiful and intelligent, then obviously the Scandinavian one. But more likely an Emperor’s daughter is beautiful and intelligent and a peasant daughter is just kinda… plebeian.

      In which case the King should probably marry the Emperor’s daughter. Yeah muh race mixing, but the whole point of an organic state with absolute secure power at the top is that any technical instance of degeneracy just becomes a local anecdote or curiosity rather than an object of worship, devotion and status.

      The loss is that the children are half-Japanese, the gain is that they are beautiful and intelligent rather than plebeian. From a civilizational standpoint this is acceptable. It’s not recommended, it’s not ideal, it’s not necessarily good or great, but it’s satisfactory.

      1. This depends on your view of the status of high Asians as it pertains to their connection to Occidentals. Many many people I have spoken to in this sphere consider them, and a select few other groups as being offshoots of the same racial strain, thus at some level compatible.

        The scenario is however, weird. Why would the only candidate from Scandinavia be a pleb?

        I mean in my view, the odd Jap entering the aristocratic line is scarcely more impactful as a Jap entering the pleb line. In very low numbers, like 1, it just doesn’t matter, at least on the level of racial integrity. Obviously though, if you have a princess married to a Japanese boy… could be political problems. Sorry, Aneka.

        1. Pretty much. Asians are obviously more compatible with Europeans than Africans etc. There is a gradient of Euro vs. Asian-ness across Eurasia. Some interesting admixed peoples in Central Asia.

          It is definitely a bizarre scenario but useful to illustrate a point. There are some similar real-life examples though:

          Alexander Pushkin is the national poet of Russia, and he was 1/8 Ethiopian. One of his great-grandfathers was a random African slave boy brought to Peter the Great’s court IIRC. Unless someone told you, you would probably never guess Pushkin was anything but 100% white. He clearly didn’t inherit the black verbal IQ.

          Does being 1/8 African invalidate Pushkin somehow? I don’t think so. His ancestry is a local curiosity and funny anecdote. He could have been a midget, one arm or leg short, or had syphilis, or had a Korean ancestor, or had sociopathic fits of rage, or six fingers, or whatever. Since it’s just a detail, and not celebrated, idealized and used as a political cudgel or status-signalling tool, it just simply does not matter. Peter the Great’s black slave boy was one out of ten million or more people in Russia. By Pushkin’s time (less than 100 years) it was already more myth than reality. Just doesn’t matter.

          What matters is leftism, progressivism, etc. that turns suboptimal curiosities and anomalies into unquestionable religious standards which then quickly morph into a totalitarian death cult, demanding that everyone, everything and every sphere of life be 1/8 black, then 2/8, then 3/8, then Zimbabwe.

  7. I’m fuzzy on this but supposedly genes related to the Y chromosome are only passed on by males. So marrying a Japanese girl and marrying a Japanese boy are not the same thing.

    There’s also some evidence from awhile back that telegony (the idea that a woman’s children inherit traits from her past sexual partners) has been proven to exist in fruit flies, which suggests it may exist in human beings, which would further explain the value placed upon virgin females.

  8. Evola makes some good points about race, but I modify his views.

    I see race and ethnicity as baselines. This means is that give freely “unearned privileges” to e.g. European-Americans. “Unearned privileges” resemble love of relatives. I see European-Americans in principle positively. I more easily cooperate with them; I am more interested about them and their well-being than outsiders; I support and help them more; I trust them more; I forgive them more; I am more easily loyal with them; I empathize more with them; I more easily feel belonging to their groups; etc. You can see that many dogs are uninterested when people go by, as if people didnt exist, but when dogs go by they become wildly alive. In the same way I am fairly uninterested about outsiders, but I feel fully alive among Europeans.

    This love cannot be abused. If I see that you are a flaming liberal, you despise Europeans, you hate me, you abuse my positive attitude, etc., then I punish and exclude you more than outsiders, although I may forgive you more readily, if you repent and change your ways.

    I am writing here because of these reasons, I want to help Europeans around the world, to give them the intellectual tools they need to survive, multiply and prosper. I never write in east-Asian sites, black sites, middle-eastern sites, etc.

    This positive attitude towards Europeans also requires; requires reciprocity and exhorts to virtue, ethnocentrism, religiosity, self-development, education, loyalty, cooperation, etc.

    I disagree with Evola on e.g. his views on nobility and always striving higher. Higher striving people strive to the top, and top is like mountaintop, downhill follows upward slope, downhill is the natural consequence of the blind scramble to get to the top, blind striving to get always forward. Also when these people are striving their impulse is often to stamp down on their people, to leave them behind, to exclude their people from themselves, to disparage their people, to raise their stocks by pressing down their people, etc. Blind striving higher is short term strategy, and long term strategists win out in long term. Liberalism and the civilizational and group decline it causes is a natural consequence of individualist people always striving higher without any moderating principles.

    So how to make striving better? By combining group striving inseparably with personal striving. By making group sacrifice higher principle than personal striving, by always moderating personal striving with group sacrifice. By excluding without mercy those who dont make the necessary group sacrifices. By demarcating clearly the boundaries of the group. By desisting forever from some avenues of striving higher, whatever personal or group advantages they may give along with the disadvantages.

    So maybe some European noble man sees that some highly intelligent, highly cultural and beautiful Japanese noble princess gives some advantages in some striving higher purposes, but abandoning this avenue is exactly the sacrifice that is necessary to make for the group. The Japanese princess, whatever she is, is an outsider. We can at the same time acknowledge that the Japanese princess is an excellent human being and still desist from marrying him, desisting in matter of fact more vigorously because she is a higher enticement.

    Personal and group sacrifices are more important than striving higher. Sacrifices are the beginning and the foundation of the group.

    Note that there untold millions of ways and people outside our groups, that could be avenues of striving higher, and which would dissolve and destroy Europeans and European ethnicities. Europeans dont have monopoly on highly intelligent people, noble and virtuous people, good people, religious people, brave people, creative people, diligent people, disease resistant people, strong people, beautiful people, etc. There are always countless utilitarian striving higher reasons to break down the ingroup.

    Fish rottens mostly from the head down, so it is especially important what the noble Europeans do. If noble European marries Japanese princess, he sets example to the others. “If he can marry that Japanese princess, why cant I marry this Nigerian woman?” When noble European marries Japanese princess, the boundaries inside his own mind weakens. He had forbidden intermarriage before, but now he doesnt dare to forbid others of doing so, when he himself does it. If he would do it, people would accuse him of double standards and hypocrisy, “Do as I tell you, not as I do”. Maybe he didnt care about ingroup boundaries at all to begin with, and intermarriage is just the practical consequence of that. Etc.

    We Europeans have many good qualities, but we are weak group competitors, we are one of the weakest group competitors in the world, dilettantes in ethnocentrism. The Jews have survived as an endogamous group (most communities) more than three thousand years in the most difficult and varying societal environments. We can learn a lot from them. I disagree with Kevin MacDonalds general thesis about Jews in his trilogy, but he has a good chapter on what good endogamy requires in “People that Shall Dwell Alone” (good endogamy is a foundation of group strategy), and other important information needed in group competition, good functioning of group and everlasting longevity of group.

  9. If there is a “white” race (I don’t really like this term, but I’ll use it), then biologically it serves as a foundation, as a grounds, not as an end in itself.

    This tripartite theory serves as a good form of hierarchy for any movement that seeked to unite a race. You would have people who’s task it was to unify the biological race (a “caste” we have already in the form of the AltRight); you would have others who’s task it was to promulgate cultural, stylistic, aesthetic, and characteristic standards, that should be adopted by the inducted “whites”. Finally, you would have the religious leaders.

    Let me know your thoughts.

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