Arktos’ Reformulation of the Far-Right

The far-right book publisher Arktos Media Ltd, founded in 2009, has already caught the attention of think-tanks and journalists engaged in tracing the intellectual network of new far-right movements in Europe. Hope Not Hate has paid particular attention to the rapid mutations this new intellectual scene appears to be undergoing. Arktos, in particular, may defy the idea that the present European far-right is essentially constituted of old ideas and political postures that have merely discovered a new platform for expression.

The publishing house seems to be careful enough not to recur too explicitly, or perhaps not even desire, a connection with canonical writings of the far-right. It does not reinvest in explicit holocaust revisionist material; nor does it invite its readers to consult Hitler’s Mein Kampf; nor are there any apparent links to explicit forms of white supremacism, which are easily found in books by William Luther Pierce circulated elsewhere in alt-right book dumps. Judging from Daniel Friberg’s role as a central node between various thinkers or old and new far-right movements, Arktos demonstrates a certain engagement for effectively reformulating ideas in the far-right. It appears to engage in a number of methods to reframe old ideas within the continuous effort its new thinkers dedicate to leading their movement to the forefront of political relevance.

Covers of nearly all books published by Arktos

For one, Arktos is a rare repository of works from surprisingly young authors. Some of them have just, or not even, completed their undergraduate degree (see Matthew Battaglioli, Henrik Johansson, and Markus Willinger, author of one of Arktos’ most translated books, Generation Identity, 2013). By embracing them, the publishing house may be hoping that young authors mean new ideas. It may equally be responding to Guillaume Faye’s diagnostic that a lot is at stake with the generation ‘that will be 20 by 2010’ (in Why We Fight, 2011).

Based in Hungary, the Swedish publishing house has also promoted and released works by authors in the United States and a plethora of countries in Europe. Aside well-known ’classics’ from France and Italy (Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye, Julius Evola) are authors from parts we feel are seldom present in public, far-right debates: Croatia, Serbia, Finland, New Zealand, India – and, as if reflecting its tacit but affirmative presence behind many recent events in the United States and Europe, Russia.

By some accounts, the combination of authors from different parts of the world may be a form of extending old intellectual alliances in the history of far-right political thought. Savitri Devi, whose writings are often published by Counter-Currents, is an example of an intellectual collaboration between National Socialism and concepts and groups referring to India, such as the idea of the Aryan race, the Indo-Europeans (voiced by Micheal O’Meara and Ricardo Duchesne), the Theosophical movement, and the general strand of mysticism attributed to Julius Evola, and which is extended, to some degree, by writers such as Ludwig Klages (Cosmogonic Reflections: Selected Aphorisms, 2015) and the frequently published authors of various feel-good, self-improvement spiritual guides, such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s. Authors like Jason Reza Jorjani, who was featured in Hope Not Hate’s documentary, adds to this strand of ideas by writing extensively on the role of Persian and Zoroastrian culture he argues were important forces forming the origins of Western civilisation (Prometheus and Atlas, 2016).

These ideas appear to blend into more contemporary political commentaries Arktos publishes, too.

The graph below is made of bigrams (two words appearing together) from 29 books we have acquired by Arktos. It is a simple representation of bigrams each of these books share amongst each other. Every author has a colour (as indicated below); bigrams that are commonly cited are colourless. Bigrams are visualised as circular nodes, while books are squares.

Concept graph made of bigrams scraped from 26 Arktos books (zoom on mouse hover, full size image)

Focusing on specific parts of the map, one can investigate the bigrams specific to a particular author, as well as shared concepts amongst authors.

Clusters around Julius Evola’s works (zoom on mouse hover, full size image)

Evola’s esoteric writings, on the far-left of the image and seen in the image above, find commonalities with more contemporary writings in the midst of a shared historical and cultural lexicon. Evola’s historical diagnostics of the ‘modern world’, the ‘French revolution’, the ‘first’ and ‘second’ world war ties back to the political commentaries of Tomislav’s Against Democracy and Equality (first published in 1990) and de Benoist’s Beyond Human Rights: Defending Freedoms (2011). An attention for the French revolution as a historical event worth scrutinizing is shared by Faye and Southgate.

Clusters around Alexander Dugin’s works (zoom on mouse hover, full size image)

Alexander Dugin, who has attracted as much media attention as to be dubbed ‘Putin’s Rasputin’ (he has also been recently interviewed by Gabriel Gatehouse from the BBC) forms a prominent collection of nodes thanks to four works he published via Arktos. These include The Eurasian Mission (2014) — a flagship book of his brand of Neo-Eurasianism — and The Fourth Political Theory (2009), which he summarises in a video reposted by Richard Spencer’ Radix Journal. Although his clusters are quite central and contain a majority of bigrams shared only amongst his own books, he also appears to share a geo-political vocabulary similar to New Zealander Kerry Bolton’s. The concepts of ‘new world’ and ‘world order’ (occasionally combined into ‘new world order’) tie Bolton’s Revolution from Above (2011) to Dugin’s Eurasian Mission, Fourth Political Theory and Putin vs. Putin (2014). The three books share some understanding of globalisation — ‘the architecture for a new world system that contains no opposition and only one pole’ in Dugerian terms, or an ‘international plutocracy’ in Bolton’s words (Dugin 88; Bolton 8).

Clusters around Andrew Fraser’s work (zoom on mouse hover, full size image)

At the very top, Andrew Fraser’s WASP Question (2011) and Duchesne’s Faustian Man in a Multicultural Age (2017) neighbour closely with Friberg’s Real Right Returns (2015); numerous books in this area are bound by a similar discourse regarding ‘ethnic groups’, ‘western civilisation’, ‘indo european(s)’, and ‘anglo saxon(s)’.

Central nodes: ‘human rights’, ‘United States’ and ‘New Right’ (zoom on mouse hover, full size image)

Most notable are the central notes in the map. ‘Human rights’ ‘United States’, ‘Twentieth century’ are spoken of by nearly all books — all of which join together, indeed, in their concern for the predicaments of our present geo-political and historical landscape. Notable here is their commonly shared concern for ‘civil war’ — the term is spoken about by Dugin, Faye, Venner and Fraser, who do not necessarily share the exact same subject matter.

Even more prominent is the term ‘new right’. Many of the authors here are writers of manifestos — Faye and Friberg in particular — making the use of such a term stand out for its partisan value. After all, re-articulating new discourses in the far-right is often precisely what is of most concern to many of these books. With a constellation of books regarding a wide array of political, philosophical, literary and spiritual subjects, Arktos appears to give its readers a package to a certain way of life.

Outlier 1: Roderick Kaine and Guillaume Faye on gender (zoom on mouse hover, full size image)

There are two outliers in the map: links between Linkola’s Can Life Prevail? (2009) and Faye’s Convergence of Catastrophes (2012), and Faye’s Sex and Deviance (2014) and Roderick Kaine’s Smart and Sexy (2016). The fact they share relatively common terms — ‘woman and man’ on the one side, ’climate change’, ‘economic growth’ on the other — is unsurprising, given that they also share the same subject matter. Still, it is worth noting that some of these terms are by no means as easily spoken about in larger public spheres. ‘Male female’, ‘women men’ and ‘men women’ may be suggestive of Faye and Kaine’s reaffirmation of values and collocations long rejected by contemporary gender studies. In this sense, these books may be studied for their reactionary stance.

Outlier 2: Pentti Linkola and Guillaume Faye on climate change, economic growth and the human species (zoom on mouse hover, full size image)

All in all, Arktos books appear to reflect the effort of a political group singled out from a ‘mainstream’ political spectrum; a group who finds a positive sense of identity and emancipation from its past marginalised state. Although their intellectual battlefront does not seem to have yet reached the shores of many universities and places of knowledge, Fayan terms such as ‘the great displacement’ and others such as ‘the new world order’ have made their way into a relatively normalised, public language. This should be of concern not just to their opponents, but to all of those who are observe with care the present turns of history. To begin reassessing the intellectual roots of new far-right movements can be an important step in beginning to disprove, rather than contain, far-right political thinking.

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