by Gwendolyn Taunton
Evola’s theories concerning the role of the Kṣatriya varna (caste) in antiquity are both a progression on and a refutation of Rene Guénon’s work. Despite their sharing of the same foundational source in perennial philosophy, there are a number of points on which they differ, the most obvious point of contention being the role of the Kṣatriya in relation to a hierarchical model of civilization. Guénon held that the textual model in Hinduism was correct, with the Brahmin holding all power as priests/philosophers in Traditional India. Evola, however, declared that this model was theoretical only – in practice the Kṣatriya varna held all the power. Normally associated in the West with the military, Evola instead offered a paradigm which depicted the Kṣatriya as the aristocratic caste – composed of the nobility as well as the warriors. Because Evola links the Kṣatriya to aristocracy, this becomes a central motif that is of extreme importance. The context of his dispute with Guénon is usually misunderstood, even in Traditionalist circles.
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