Revilo P. Oliver, a truly great scholar of our age


Revilo P. Oliver

Late Professor of Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana

The current intensive promotion of occult hocus-pocus, which so generally afflicts the young who have been intellectually disinherited and sabotaged in the public boob-incubators, seems to indicate that many people who have no religion have an instinctive appetite for some substitute for it. A few highly intelligent members of our race, including some I have observed in the graduate schools, men as well as members of the religious sex, who are, of course, too intelligent to practice witchcraft or drug themselves with mescaline or lysergic acid to “get in touch with the infinite,” want to believe in metempsychosis (an old Aryan faith, at least!) and in some cosmic intelligence roughly comparable to the Hindu Brahma (neuter) that governs the universe in conformity with some Higher Purpose.

A certain religiosity, a desire or need to believe in magic and miracles (which, of course, imply the existence of a praeterhuman power capable of producing them), may be biologically innate in all races and perhaps even in some species of mammals that are not anthropoid. That, at least, is an hypothesis that I have often considered. Many readers probably know Eugene Marais’ major work, The Soul of the Ape (i.e., baboons – I am told that the misnomer comes in the translation from the Afrikaans, in which the title has a word that designates both apes and the larger monkeys), but may not have seen his earlier and much shorter work which was translated and published shortly after his death under the title My Friends, the Baboons. In it Marais reports that when he and his assistant were observing a colony of baboons and had succeeded in establishing friendly relations with them, they were awakened one night by an unprecedented visit from the dominant males who were the oligarchs of the baboon troop. They finally understood that they were being invited to visit the lair of the troop, and following those leaders they were conducted to the troop’s sleeping place, where they found a number of females mourning over offspring that had apparently died of some epidemic disease. So far as Marais could determine, he had been invited in the hope that he could and would resurrect the dead baboon-children and restore them to life. There was sadness and howling when he departed without having performed the desired miracle. Anatole France has written a very plausible essay on dogs, who regard men as their gods with a piety which, France hints, does not essentially differ from the religious piety of human beings except that the dogs can see and touch their deities and so know that they exist, whereas human beings have to content themselves with figments of their imaginations.

We must consider the possibility that our race, though distinguished, of course, for its unique ability for scientific research, may also have a particular (and possibly related) tendency toward, or desire for, religious belief. This makes us vulnerable to numerous hoaxes and impostures, particularly the kinds typically, perhaps instinctively, created by Jews. There is, I think, a great deal of truth in Spengler’s identification and description of the Faustian soul of our civilization with its yearning for the infinite as its ideé maîtresse. Infinity can be temporal as well as spatial, and it is easy to see that this tendency of the racial mentality would naturally produce a very strong and intense desire for immortality. As Nietzsche said in his midnight hymn, “Doch alle Lust will Ewigkeit, – will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!”

Chapter 11 of Oliver’s The Jewish Strategy, Palladian Books, 2002

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