Radical Traditionalism is the name given to modern movements that seek to revive pre-modern traditionalist values concerning the spiritual aspects of life. In contrast to modern culture, which they see as marked by materialism, mechanization and urbanism, radical traditionalists promote traditional and local culture and folklore, respectful treatment of the earth and animals, and small-scale organization of society (such as distributism, localism and Paleoconservatism). Radical traditionalists are often concerned with the revitalization of pre-Christian religions such as Ásatrú that represent indigenous rather than universal beliefs.
From the editorial preface of Tyr, vol. 1:
- Resacralization of the world versus materialism.
- Natural social hierarchy versus an artificial hierarchy based on wealth.
- The tribal community versus the nation-state.
- Stewardship of the earth versus the "maximization of resources."
- A harmonious relationship between men and women versus the "war between the sexes."
- Handicraft and artisanship versus industrial mass-production.
Radical traditionalism takes its philosophical cue from philosophers such as Alain de Benoist, Christopher Stagner, and Julius Evola. These thinkers are united in expressing distaste for modern culture and admiration for those who have the will and strength to go against the grain of societal norms. The connection between individualism and radical traditionalism is founded in the basic assumption that modern culture is in some way detrimental to the well-being of the soul, and that reactions against it, disparate though they might be in form, are united by a common thread. This explains the acceptance as "models" of the different methods of reaction used by those that the radical traditionalists claim as influences.
The goals of radical traditionalism are primarily expounded by niche publications and associated figures, such as journalists and musicians. The journal TYR was founded in 2002 by editors Joshua Buckley, Collin Cleary and Michael Moynihan and features articles, interviews and book and music reviews that explore the traditional culture and society of pre-modern Europe.
Many musical groups incorporate similar ideals in their work (and are featured within publications relating to radical traditionalism or radical traditionalists themselves) either as wholehearted proponents of the movement or simply for the sake of adopting some of the aesthetic features of traditionalist ideas. Artists in the neofolk and related genres often imbue their music with allusions to Germanic paganism and other forms of ethnic, indigenous, pre-Christian European culture, and incorporate themes related to radical traditionalist ideals.
- Buckley, Joshua, Collin Cleary and Michael Moynihan. TYR: Myth—Culture—Tradition. Ultra Publishing, 2002. ISBN 0-9720292-0-6.