The ongoing flirtation of right-leaning writers with people such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Stirner, Ragnar Redbeard, and H.P. Lovecraft raises the question about the possibility of a unique and coherent Nietzschean/Lovecraftian worldview that is strictly positivist in its epistemology, and distinctly reactionary in its rejection of egalitarianism and democracy, as an alternative to socialism, (classical) liberalism and contemporary conservatism. Interestingly, Samuel Francis made a related observation in his discussion of the French New Right in a book review for the Occidental Quarterly:
The French New Right, in other words, was heading toward what I have elsewhere called “counter-modernism” rather than the anti-modernism in which it eventually became involved. Counter-modernism is itself a form of modernism and accepts many of its metaphysical premises (including its naturalism) while rejecting the conventional implications and constructs (especially social and political) that the Enlightenment and its heirs have devised. Examples of counter-modernist thinkers in Euro-American thought would be Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, the Federalist Papers, the Social Darwinists of the nineteenth century, the classical elite theorists Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca, and James Burnham.
The slide into “anti-modernism”that Francis refers to is well illustrated by an article on Ernst Jünger in a recent edition of that magazine. Alain de Benoist writes:
To finish with nihilism, we must live it to its end—“passing the line” which corresponds to the “meridian zero”—because, as Heidegger says, the technological framework (Ge-stell) is still a mode of being, not merely of its oblivion. This is why, if Jünger sees the Worker as a danger, he also says that this danger can be our salvation, because it is by it and through it, that it will be possible to exhaust the danger.
When Martin Heidegger is discussed for any other reason than to ridicule him or to educate the reader on logical fallacies, it is a safe bet that we are dealing with a tradition of thought that warrants little serious attention. It appears that the prospect of a counter-modernism that accepts many of modernism’s “metaphysical premises (including its naturalism) while rejecting the conventional implications and constructs (especially social and political) that the Enlightenment and its heirs have devised” remains mostly a product of the imagination.
Another typical example of nonsensical New Right writing is Johnathan Bowden’s H.P. Lovecraft: Aryan Mystic. Bowden rightly identifies Lovecraft’s “mechanistic” and “ultra-conservative” outlook on life but then continues with the obligatory occultist purple prose and mysticism. In the same piece, Bowden draws attention to H.P. Lovecraft’s publication The Conservative. Despite the growing interest in Lovecraft’s writings, prevailing orthodoxy does not make it likely that someone will produce a complete and handsome collection of this vehicle of Lovecraft’s most reactionary thoughts anytime soon.