Note: I had written this about a week ago and have been waiting to post it at the appropriate time. I note that Andrew Joyce has also just written a review of this book and makes some similar points. So, hopefully these two reviews, coming out at the same time, will provide to you a solid understanding of Faye's book.
See this. Prelude to War is an older Faye book I had not previously read; it has an Introduction by von Hoffmeister.
Some notes on the book and related issues follow.
The writing style the book is not very good; however, I cannot determine if this is in the original French text, due to the translation, or both. However, it is meant to be a polemic and not an erudite analysis (of the kind Faye despises, see below), so content should be deemed more important here than style. At the border between content and style is the mind-numbing repetition in the work; the same ideas are repeated over and over again, until the reader’s eyes glaze over and they start skimming the relevant passages. The book could have used considerable further editing; it needed to be “blue-penciled” and thus shortened with the elimination of redundant sections.
With respect to the Introduction (and then Faye’s comments about the Jews), I’ve had some disagreements with von Hoffmeister (see here), but, in general, I agree with him on most things, much of the major issues. However, I don’t really agree with von Hoffmeister and Faye, re: Jews, but on the other hand, I also reject some of the extremist paranoid ideation and purity spiraling in the “movement” concerning “the Jewish question.”
I think that the best way to view the Jews is that they are a people different from Whites (European-descended peoples), with different interests, and that the Jews recognize this, act on it, and due to their intelligence, ethnocentrism, and influence, they do great damage to Whites as Jews actualize their perception of Jewish interests. Whether or not Jews (in general) superficially identify as “White” (“fellow White people”), they do not see themselves as White in the same way Europeans are. Thus, when Jews act in a manner inimical to White interests, they view it as something that they (the Jews) are doing to “them” (Whites) in order to benefit themselves (Jews). Trends that harm Whites are generally viewed by Jews as being positive or negative strictly based on how those trends affect Jews – “is it good for the Jews?” Jews see themselves as a distinct group and if they prosper in a world in which Whites are being destroyed, well, then, those Whites need to be destroyed. Many Jews do have an animus to Whites and Western civilization, which makes it easier for them to harm us to benefit themselves. One does not need to invoke a vast, well-coordinated, tightly organized global historical conspiracy – the emergent behavior of the Jewish community actualizes from these differences of identity and of interests.
Faye’s comment that Jews will eventually become irrelevant in the future is, even if true, itself irrelevant – what matters is what the Jews are doing now and what they have done in the past. If Jews become irrelevant in the future, but, if, before then, they help to destroy the White race and Western civilization, then who cares? Is it possible for Faye to be so stupid?
Faye advocates solidarity between pagans (such as himself) and traditional Christians in the battle against the Islamists. Likewise, we all should advocate pan-European solidarity against the rising tide of color; Nordicists and other fetishists, ethnonationalists, religions dogmatic freaks, HBDers, and all rest, who divide Whites and weaken White resistance against Color, are traitors, Culture Retarders, and absolute pieces of filth. Faye makes clear that he considers Islam, and the Rising Tide of Color more generally, to be the enemy of Europe and the West, with America being a mere adversary. This differs from Yockey’s perspective, but Yockey was taking a mid-20th century view of the American-Soviet, which is quite different from the early 21st century perspective of Faye’s work in this book.
While I obviously agree with what Faye has to say in this book, at least in general terms, I note that he was yet another European rightist totally ignorant of the realities of contemporary America (despite his delusions to the contrary), whose “thoughts” and “ideas” about America were decades out-of-date. I’ve written about this issue before. It’s always 1910 or 1920 in America to these European nationalists. And what to make of Faye’s stupid jibe of White Americans as “cowboy-rednecks?” And his idea that America is so big there is no threat of being demographically swamped and no chance of a civil war (a second one, he means)?
So, according to Faye, at the beginning of the 21st century, the USA was a vast and open country with so much room that there is no problem of demographic swamping or civil war, populated by Anglo-Saxon cowboy-rednecks, who are adversaries of Europe. At the exact same time, American Nutzis were telling us that the USA was over-populated, being overwhelmed by the Colored Third World immigration invasion, ruled by Jews who dispossessed the Anglo-Saxon founding stock and who are engaging in genocidal race replacement, and that America will collapse in five-to-ten years in the throes of a race war. Interestingly, later on in his book, Faye discussed the dire demographic problems that America faces, with a growing Colored, and a declining White, population percentage. But I thought that America is so vast that such considerations don’t really matter? Well then, being in the “movement” means never worrying about consistency, right?
Der Right, Der Right, Der Right marches on.
Europeans accuse Americans of knowing nothing about Europe; the opposite is typically more often the case. At least Americans make an attempt at understanding the European situation, while Europeans are content to indulge in comical stereotypical fantasies about American reality. The American problem with Europe is more prescriptive than descriptive – American activists make suggestions that the Europeans reject and then the Europeans state that Americans make these suggestions because they don’t know anything about Europe. In contrast, the European problem with America is both prescriptive and descriptive. They know nothing about today’s America, so their description is comical and their prescription for America, based on this ludicrous description, is absurd.
Then there’s this – Faye states he’s writing the book in 2002 and that he’s “betting” than there will be an open “civil war” within France within “ten years.” Thus, he later states that the “great about-turn” will start in about 2010. Well, it’s 2021 and we are still waiting. Later in the book he makes predictions about the world of 2030 – and he considers that by that time everything will be changed. Now, it’s theoretically possible that the next nine years may see the radical changes Faye envisioned for 2030, but would you bet on it? I wouldn’t. All these Der Tag types in the “movement” – in Europe as well as America apparently – make fools of themselves and delegitimize their message to third party observers by making such predictions. Why people on the Right don’t have enough sense to avoid doing this is baffling. We also see the asinine prediction that Israel will be finished by 2020. Not quite. All these types underestimate the stability of the System – both nationally and internationally, while at the same time paradoxically, the System overestimates its own stability. The truth lies somewhere in between those two extremes. Collapse is likely inevitable, but it may take a very, very, very long time, indeed.
When Faye scornfully (and in my opinion justifiably) writes in condemnation of treasonous collaborationists on the identitarian Right, and labels these as promoting “ethnopluralistsm,” he no doubt had de Benoist in mind. Ethnopluralism, in actual practice, is fatalistic surrender.
The best chapter of the book is Resisters or Histrions, where Faye fires well-deserved salvos at the inept and defeatist Right, its weakness and incompetence compared to the ever-victorious Left, and, in addition to once again mocking the “ethnopluralists” and those obsessed with “metapolitics” instead of real political action, Faye also chides those European activists who have obsessed over American “race-based IQ comparisons” (and he later mocks “IQ obsessed scholars”) - what did Faye think then of the Amren conferences he unfortunately attended? Faye's criticisms are akin to the sort of material one could read at EGI Notes. Perhaps the Quota Queens would label Faye as “insane” and a “paranoid piece of crap.”
The subsequent chapter, Operetta Rebels, is also good, were Faye makes some useful distinctions between rebels and revolutionaries, with Faye clearly preferring the latter (disciplined and intolerant creators who wish to replace the current system with their own regime) to the former (semi-anarchic and overly tolerant complainers who abstractly criticize and mythologize the past, but who have no wish to fight for a different future).
One can only be amused when Faye talks rightfully complains about a “hatred of simplicity” and “slaves of subtlety” – the images invoked are of some of the pompous “intellectuals” of the Far Right, with their “metapolitics” and verbose analyses that take 5000 words to say what could be summed up in a single brief paragraph. Perhaps they mimic their hero Heidegger, who required entire chapters to present a thought that could have been more succinctly expressed in a single sentence. And Faye indeed mocks Heidegger for that “great philosopher’s” meaningless ramblings about “Being” (so beloved by the pseudo-intellectual Majority Rights and Counter-Currents crowds). These are the same types who would decry the “simplicity” and “lack of subtlety” of EGI Notes. God forbid we present opinions and advice in easy-to-understand, clear, and direct prose! No, every post must be a pseudo-erudite mini-PhD thesis into the origins of esoteric traditionalism - thoughtful reading for when you are snug in your hobbit hole! Faye rightfully mocks the emphasis, including that on the Right, on empty, abstract theorizing over hardcore pragmatism, will to power, and action. Throughout the book, Faye emphasizes the importance of action, of winning, of victory, of power, over theorizing, hyper-intellectualism, and pathological altruism (and his deconstruction of Christianity in this regard is to the point). Sometimes this serves him well, and his comments on a just vengeance, realization of the motivations of the Colored World against the West (envy and a thirst for revenge and domination), and the association between outward physical appearance and inner moral essence are all good, as are his critiques on those who have attempted to rob Nietzsche’s philosophy of its aggressive will to power. On the other hand, his Yockeyian confusion about science (“bad” and “useless”) and technics (“good” and “useful”) is rather stupid, and his disavowal of objective truth rings of leftist "deconstruction."
Faye does do a good job of outlining the counter-selective effects of war, and how the European wars of history, particularly WWI (thanks, ethnonationalism!), depleted France and other European nations of virile, manly stock, leaving behind weaklings whose defects are manifested in modern European behavior. However, given his hopes for his Euro-Siberian "archaeofuturist" grand future, I assume he still held out hopes that remaining Europeans were sufficient for reaching that goal, afterwards allowing for a replenishment of higher stocks.
The apocalyptic fantasies engaged in by Faye in his appendices leaves one with the image of a sweaty Faye being a bit too enthusiastic in penning these passages, perhaps characterized by an intractable priapism. And at the technical level, some of his speculations are wanting; for example, the nuclear scenario of appendix two, with its crude, home-made, 540 kiloton bombs made from uranium scavenged from Russian missile warheads and nuclear reactors. Nuclear reactor uranium is not weapons grade. As regards the Russian warheads, the directly fissionable material in the primary is most likely plutonium, with uranium being used for tampers and for boosting the yield of the secondary, and that would be U238 (that would undergo fission only from the high energy neutrons coming from the secondary’s fusion), not U235. Even if there was U235 in the Russian warheads, it wouldn’t be enough for multiple 540 kiloton fusion bombs (unless one got ahold of a large number of such warheads). The largest non-boosted fission bomb ever tested was America’s 540 kiloton (where Faye likely got that number from) Ivy King, and was an unsafe design requiring chains to prevent pre-detonation, and used 60 kg of highly enriched uranium (Faye talks about a total of 75 kilos of uranium - purity unspecified - for multiple bombs). If the weapons were to be boosted, this is another story (The UK’s Orange Herald was 720 kilotons boosted; hence, boosted weapons could reach 540 kilotons with less uranium being used, but it would still have to be enriched U235), but that’s not the crude bombs Faye talks about. I would think that any “crude atom bombs” built would be of much lower yield, perhaps in the Little Boy range (~ 15 kilotons), or less.
As an aside, one wonders. Is Faye’s negative commentary about homosexuality (which one can find in Prelude to War; as one example, he refers to the idea of homosexual couples as “the worst kind of psychopathy) one reason why some of our metapolitical intellectuals seem to prefer the ethnopluralist work of de Benoist?
This is an interesting discussion of Faye and his work. Obviously, I don’t agree with everything said, and there is indeed disagreement among the participants, but it is thought-provoking. Compare that to moronic Beavis-and-Butthead Alt Right podcasts, or the insipid, self-indulgent livestreams of Counter-Currents.
In summary, Prelude to War is useful, but does leave much to be desired.