It would be hard for me to overstate my indebtedness to non-leftist presses that bring out the works of right-wing European thinkers. Presses like Arktos, which carry out this thankless task, are filling a scholarly and informational need that most other presses would be too intimidated to serve. I would certainly distinguish between such bold presses as Arktos, Leopold Stocker Verlag and Hohenrain in Austria, and Toucan in France and our more conventional “conservative” publishing houses in the US. Unlike the former, the latter would never bring out the works of Oswald Spengler, Julius Evola, Carl Schmitt, Joseph de Maistre, or René Guénon. In Germany, a country that has put in place a more advanced woke dictatorship than ours, the works of “anti-democrats,” or whatever term is now being applied to these dehumanized thinkers of the Right, are treated with noteworthy odium. They are placed on special shelves in university libraries reserved for “poisonous” literature.
As a scholar belonging to what in our country would qualify as the independent Right, I have had difficulty in recent decades in discussing even in American conservative forums European thinkers who questioned “liberal democratic values.” In the US, it has become increasingly hard to get a fair hearing for even such non-orthodox American figures of the Right as George Kennan, John C. Calhoun, or Henry Adams. This witnesses to the spread of political correctness and leftist intolerance to what claims to be the authorized opposition.
In contrast to other publications that have assumed the conservative label, our monthly Chronicles does offer sketches of American and European conservatives who clearly said things that were incompatible with what have become fashionable political and cultural views. We at Chronicles are doing a public service by informing our readers about conservative and rightist luminaries who once generated discussion. Although our thematic emphases may lie elsewhere, like Arktos, we are trying to rescue the intellectual Right from undeserved obscurity as well as vilification.
Arktos is bringing out the texts of those whom our present cultural leaders want us to forget. In some cases, I assume that our ruling class is even unaware of those they are ignoring. To say they are actually suppressing impressive thinkers of the Right may be to ascribe to them a degree of knowledge they simply do not have.
I am grateful to Arktos, especially as a research scholar dealing with movements of the Right, because I have often availed myself of its publications for my own work. On my night desk, for instance, there are three of the shorter writings of Spengler, starting with Preussentum und Sozialismus, which the illustrious philosopher of history published in 1919 in the wake of his country’s defeat in World War One. Arktos thoughtfully sent me these books as a gift. I have consulted them often, and there are copious references to them in most of the books I have published over the last decade. This is only one of the various ways in which Arktos has aided my work.
More broadly, the authors whom Arktos has published have kept alive a worthwhile discussion of certain topics that our ruling class would prefer we did not touch. These now scorned themes would include equality as the highest political value, the differences between national democracy and mass democracy, and whether woke ideology has a relationship to human rights talk. I mention these subjects because Alain de Benoist, Alexander Dugin, and other contemporary writers whom Arktos has published examine them in depth. It does not matter whether I accept the conclusions of these authors. What is far more important is that critical ideas that challenge the assumptions of our political culture are being made available, and Arktos has done yeoman service in this regard.