Since its foundation in 2014, following the voluntary death of Dominique Venner, the Iliad Institute has not been idle.
In addition to organising an annual colloquium in Paris, at the Maison de la Chimie, bringing together a huge number of people and personalities each year, the Institute carries out training work for young people several times a year. But it is also at the forefront of the cultural and metapolitical struggle, via the production and distribution of numerous works that we have frequently presented on Breizh-info.com
The latest is quite simply the Manifesto of the Iliad Institute, published by the Nouvelle Librairie. A small 108-page bomb, indispensable and to be distributed to a maximum number of young people in search of identity, of meaning in their lives, of vitality, of answers to the challenges offered to those who have entered into a revolt against the modern world which, in a certain way, has left European civilisation.
At a time when European civilisation is under unprecedented attack, the Iliad Institute is calling for an awakening by formulating a clear doctrine, a vision of the world based on our concrete and carnal roots: our biological and family roots, our political communities, our civilisation. But the Iliad Institute’s manifesto is also a breviary calling for an awakening, for community awareness, for the reconquest of all strongholds in disarray, and for the rebirth of our civilisation.
To discuss this major and accessible work (which is important at a time when the readership in society is significantly decreasing), we interviewed Guillaume Travers, from the Iliad Institute.
Breizh-info.com: It took several years for the Iliad to publish its “founding” manifesto. What were the reasons for this? Why do you think it is important today to publish short and precise works (this one is 108 pages long) rather than long books? Is it also ultimately a race to capture a youth that reads less and less?
Guillaume Travers (Iliad Institute): Before this manifesto, the Iliad Institute published many things, starting with a collective work, “What we are”, which already set out the foundations of our worldview. The Manifesto that we are publishing today is a little different, since it is written by young people in their twenties and thirties who have joined the Iliad Institute since its foundation. It is a doctrinal digest, but one that is resolutely turned towards the issues we are facing today, starting with the “great replacement” and the “great erasure”. It is also a text that calls on young Europeans to act, to hold fast, to have personal discipline in the service of our civilisation. Its relatively short length does indeed aim to reach as many people as possible, including those who may be put off by large volumes. But in our view, the manifesto should not be an end in itself, a simple and easily accessible consumer product, but a beginning: it should raise awareness leading to wider reading, a deeper familiarity with traditional European ethics, and a sincere desire for rootedness and community. We expect a lot from our readers, not because the text is difficult to access, but because it commits to great things.
Breizh-info.com: This book was obviously written for the young people who join the Iliad Institute, but above all for the many people who are looking for points of reference to better understand our world, as it was and as it should be tomorrow. What are these essential points of reference, without which it will be impossible to hope for a harmonious European society tomorrow?
Guillaume Travers (Iliad Institute): Two points seem essential to me. First of all, we must have a clear awareness of what our identity is. In many contemporary debates, the discourse on identity is oversimplified. Everyone is asked to define themselves in a quasi-unique way as ‘man’ or ‘woman’, as ‘white’ or ‘racialised’, etc. On the contrary, we need to understand that identity has multiple components which, in order to articulate themselves harmoniously, must be brought into unison. We must simultaneously claim to belong to a gender, a lineage, ethnic and political communities, and a civilisation. Each of these affiliations complements the others. However, this is only possible if there is first of all a unity of population and culture in the same land. Then, it must be understood that this identity commands a specific way of being in the world, of behaving in society, of embodying certain values, a particular relationship to the sacred or to nature. It is this way of being specific to the European peoples that we outline in the Manifesto.
Breizh-info.com: You are neither in the tradition of a certain conservatism that looks at society moving forward by systematically invoking “it was better before”, nor in the total break with the current world (in a way, in secession). What is this policy of the “golden middle” between tradition, modernity and futurism that you want to promote?
Pure conservatism quickly borders on the impolitic contemplation of the past. At best, we try to save a few crumbs from what we perceive as an inexorable collapse. We call for a paradigm shift: to a large extent, the collapse has already taken place. The task facing the younger generation is one of reconstruction, of reconquest. If we must look to the past, if we must immerse ourselves in it daily, it must not be out of nostalgia, but in order to rediscover the impetus that made possible many of the great achievements of our civilisation. As we write: “It is up to us to work for a ‘conservative revolution’ in order to bring about a new European renaissance. Understood in this way, ‘revolution’ is not destruction, but a movement to return to the origin in order to gain new momentum.
Breizh-info.com: At a time when a large part of the youth has embraced Netflix, MacDo, GAFA, and a form of consumerist lethargy, while having lost the thirst for learning due to the successive errors of the French educational system (to speak only of France), is it not futile to hope for a sudden and massive adhesion to the values that you advocate, particularly to a certain re-enchantment of the European world? In other words, is there still room tomorrow for a new mobilising collective hope, when Europeans seem more than ever to be in a state of dormancy, or in a phase of advanced suicide for others?
Guillaume Travers (Iliad Institute): It would be too optimistic to believe in a massive and sudden adhesion to our vision of the world. Mass consumption and screens, to name but two, are overpowering drugs that have already had incredibly destructive effects on many of our contemporaries, to the point of altering them almost anthropologically.
I believe, however, that our era, marked by a worsening of all the pathologies linked to modernity, is also giving rise to a new need for roots, for community, for meaning. Our role is to show a way to all those who want to pursue this path in good faith. But where the “system” always values the easy way out, the minimum effort, the comfort, we dare to affirm that the full reconquest of our identity is something infinitely demanding, the fruit of a daily discipline. Nevertheless, there are immense satisfactions drawn from a consented discipline. It pulls us upwards, where others remain sluggish.
Breizh-info.com: The Iliad Institute was cited in the recent decree dissolving the Alvarium in Angers. This would mean that you too are a threat to “living together” and to republican religion. What do you think?
For some years now, we have been witnessing a hardening of the cleavages. In our view, the central divide today is between universalists and identitarians. Universalists of all stripes, whether they are fanatics of “republican values” or Islamist fanatics, intend to destroy all particular cultures, all roots, in order to melt all people into a single mould – either the globalised consumer, or the believer in a “caliphate” without borders.
Faced with this, identitarians believe that every civilisation deserves to be respected, that all roots are a source of elevation. The Iliad Institute’s vocation is to be at the forefront of this struggle for identity, above all in the field of ideas and training. In our view, it is not the legitimate attachment of men to their land that is the source of conflict and destruction, but the forced and suffered mixing of populations. It is easy to see the close correlation between the presence of large numbers of non-Europeans in Europe and the levels of crime, urban decay, the decline in civility, etc. Despite the facts, the attempts to demonise certain groups are perfectly understandable: for anyone who claims to be a universalist, any disagreement places the person who expresses it outside what is supposedly universal, and therefore ultimately outside humanity. Fortunately, we know how to refuse demonisation.
Breizh-info.com: Christmas is approaching, and among the proposals you make in your manifesto, there is also the proposal to reappropriate our traditions, but also to offer our loved ones objects and gifts that have meaning. Could you, on these two points, guide our readers who do not always know where to look to give meaning back to a time of the year that should not be just a time of gorging and ultra consumption?
Guillaume Travers (Iliad Institute): Almost all of our daily actions are indeed an opportunity to give meaning: the way we hold ourselves, what we demand from others and (especially) from ourselves, what we produce and consume, etc. The major holidays, including Christmas, are a time when the question of meaning erupts in an even more intense way. It is a time, for example, to decorate one’s home in a traditional way – avoiding, of course, all the counterfeits imported from the other side of the world.
A few years ago, Alain de Benoist published a beautiful book on the meaning of Christmas and the rites that surround it. As for the gifts we give ourselves, the same principle applies. To guide readers, the Iliad Institute publishes an annual list on its website of rooted artisans and producers, who can be called upon. In any case, let’s resist the temptation to sink, once again, into the easy way out of the large commercial surfaces and the giants of online sales.