The Blinkering of the Western Mind
The Arktos Affair
There’s a great deal of screeching these days from the Left about book bans and “book burning.”
For the most part, it’s directed toward the likes of Ron DeSantis—sometimes also known as “Ron DeSanctimonious,” “Ron DeSatan,” or “Meatball Ron”—the amiable but hardly Hitlerian governor of Florida. DeSantis has recently ruffled some feathers by undertaking to cleanse the Florida public schools of some of the more objectionable Leftist garbage that’s stealthily appeared on shelves of late.
Dreadful Leftist drivel, for one thing.
Of course, it goes without saying that all of this “reading material” can still be easily acquired by any who should wish to subject themselves to it. And perhaps that is as it should be. One thing is certain: this trash is so freely available that it’s being foisted on school libraries, and there is certainly no underground samizdat network to distribute this coveted material.
But while the Left bleats and hyperventilates about “book bans” and “book burnings” by a Right that has no such power, we can turn more profitably to examine a case study in how to really vaporize books.
I don’t mean that rhetorically; I mean it literally—the awesome power of the Left liberal-democratic regime to attempt to disappear an entire publishing house, and to dematerialize and disappear the truly dangerous and subversive books they produced.
I’m talking, of course, about the “Arktos Affair.”
I’d intended to talk about Arktos Media eventually, as part of a series of sorts on dissident Right publishing outfits and concerns; but recent events have caused me to reconsider just what I wanted to write about.
To provide some context, Arktos Media is a publishing house that has acquired a great deal of notoriety and—one might even say—intellectual clout in the past decade. It was founded in 2009 by Daniel Friberg and John B. Morgan, and it rather quickly became something of a powerhouse in the rarefied atmosphere of right-wing publishers.
In short order, and with a remarkable diligence and industriousness, Arktos began assembling an impressive catalogue of books—mainly but by no means exclusively in English—and which included translations of important and influential European Traditionalist and French New Right thinkers.
For instance, although many of the major esoteric works of the Italian Traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola had been translated into English by the metaphysical imprint Inner Traditions, his lesser-known corpus of Traditionalist and political books and essays remained untranslated—and for quite obvious reasons. This matter was duly remedied by Arktos, which set to work publishing brand-new translations of Evola’s books, oftentimes replete with helpful annotations.
The same goes for major French Nouvelle Droite authors such as Alain de Benoist and Guillaume Faye, including the former’s View From the Right and many of the latter’s works, including—as I’ve mentioned in earlier essays—such books as Archeofuturism and Convergence of Catastrophes.
And that’s just the beginning.
Arktos recently produced a new translation of Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West, in two volumes, with newly commissioned notes to boot. Moreover, they’ve translated The Outlaws by Ernst von Salomon, a member of the Freikorps, as well as lesser-known pamphlets such as the intriguing Handbook of Traditional Living, in two parts, by the Italian Evolian and Traditionalist cultural organization Raido. More importantly, with its growing success, Arktos undertook the labor of publishing the works of modern authors—for instance, the manifesto of the Identitarians, Markus Willinger’s Generation Identity, or intriguing philosophical tracts like Kaalep and Meister’s Ethnofuturism.
But perhaps Arktos’ greatest crime was undoubtedly its willingness to publish translations of the works of Alexander Dugin, including Eurasian Mission, The Rise of the Fourth Political Theory, and The Great Awakening vs. The Great Reset. Dugin has become something of a bogeyman in Western liberal-democratic circles—the Alfred Rosenberg, perhaps, to Putin’s Hitler, or the Evola to his Mussolini. Never mind whether any of that reflects reality; I’ve read somewhere that Dugin exerts limited influence or perhaps none at all on the Kremlin’s inner circles, but who knows?
Arktos’ willingness to publish this rather eccentric philosopher’s works earned it the implacable wrath and hatred of the Western regimes, and drew the malevolent gaze of “the Eye of Sauron,” as the kids like to say. The result was predictable. After numerous hit pieces against the company, including a five-part series some years ago in EuropeNow entitled “The Rise of the Far Right in the Internet Age,” as well as the usual hatchet jobs by the likes of Vice and others, Arktos was finally targeted for censorship and elimination.
“In one of the greatest attacks on free speech to date, Arktos, the world’s foremost publisher of New Right and traditionalist literature in the English language, was suddenly de-platformed by the world’s largest book distribution monopoly, resulting in over 430 publications becoming unavailable to the public.”
This was in the first article to appear in the newly revamped Arktos website, which announced the publisher’s “de-platforming” and the attempt to “vaporize” or “memory-hole” the company’s extensive and growing stock of literature.
Frankly, I’m surprised it hadn’t happened earlier.
One of Arktos’ authors, Alexander Wolfheze, recently published an article about the episode, and it’s well worth a read. An excerpt:
“Earlier this month, before the Ides of March 2023, they came for Arktos: at long last, the long hand of ‘woke capital’ censorship struck down the West’s last great—certainly its most illustrious—dissident publishing house, Arktos Media. By depriving Arktos of its print and distribution outlets, the censors managed to bring down, at one fell stroke, dozens of the Western dissident movement’s most renowned writers and talented publicists. At the mere flick of a switch, years of carefully crafted work, including perfectly balanced translations, painstakingly researched re-editions, powerful graphic design, finely tuned academic annotation and top-tier philosophical enquiry—to say nothing of the collective life-work of scholars, researchers and editors—was obliterated. After nobody knows how many years of sneaky tunneling and malicious digging under ramparts—ramparts that they were unable to take in a straight fight—the enemies of truth-searching and truth-speaking finally brought down Arktos, the one last great bastion of the dissident free press, which had managed to survive even the first three years of the Great Reset—doubtlessly to their immense chagrin. Since the sabotage of the ‘Alt-Right’ and the set-up of ‘Charlottesville’ in the summer of 2017, all true dissidents were gradually driven from the political arena, the mainstream media, the social media and the public sphere, through variously dosed combinations of antifa violence, travel bans, ‘hate-speech’ lawfare, ‘deplatforming’ and ‘debanking’. Starting in early 2020, this process was hugely accelerated during the Great Reset: the formal ‘covid’-closure of the Western public square, the demoralizing anti-justice of the BLM campaign, the brazen imposition of the ‘Biden’ coup, the open terror of the ‘vaccination’ persecution and the ‘1984’-level mass-dissonance achieved by the ‘Ukraine’ madness. By early 2023, Arktos was the one last substantial bulwark of free speech remaining—this beacon has now been extinguished.”
What follows is a fascinating discussion of the wider implications of this act of brazen censorship and intellectual sabotage—an act that is no less brazen and daring, in its own way, than the act of infrastructural sabotage carried out against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by the Biden regime, as reported by. Perhaps more so, in fact, since the repercussions of intellectual sabotage are always much more far ranging than the destruction of what is, in the last analysis, a mere fuel pipe.
Essentially, Wolfheze argues that the Western censors have won a battle, but they have not won the war—not by a long shot. In fact, their fear of what amounts to a still rather obscure far-right publishing organ demonstrates nothing if not their inherent weakness. Crucially, the culture-destroyers have declared war on the thinkers of the past, and have thus awakened dormant forces that they scarcely understand:
“The globalist enemy may clearly seem victorious at this moment, in the here and now, but there are hidden forces at work as well. Thus, the enemy may have succeeded, for the moment, in ‘deplatforming’ Arktos’ living writers’ collective, which was arguably the ex-Western world’s most-censored dissident publicist collective, but there is another group of creative minds that has been silenced as well, viz. Arktos’ posthumous writers, including some of the most illustrious names in old Western philosophy, science and literature. For the victorious censors, the silencing of these ‘dead white guys’ and their ‘hate-speech’ filled works may just appear to be welcome ‘collateral damage’ inflicted upon their larger ‘crime think’ target, but it is this ‘double silencing of the dead’ that undoubtedly incurs the most powerful ‘karmic charge’. To meddle with the memory and the legacy of the dead, who are not here to defend themselves, but whose presence is embodied in the very fabric of the present—as in the identity, culture and civilization they co-created—is dangerous in the extreme…Apparently, the politically correct ‘diversity’ agents employed by ‘woke capital’ to censor away the great dead of the West now feel they are ‘home free’, free to overthrow the memorial stones and dig up the cemeteries of the supposedly forever-defeated West. They forget, however, that they are desecrating places and persons protected by ancient numinous forces that far outstrip their own miniaturized minds and amputated consciousnesses. The desecration of even the most minimalist burial ground or memorial stone, consecrated by even the most ‘primitive’ nation is fraught with high danger: even the most simple-minded Hollywood consumer knows what forces are bound to appear from horror-masterpieces such as ‘The Shining’ and ‘The Last Wave’. How much more is risked in the deliberate desecration of the monumental work and the awesome legacy of the most powerful thinkers of the most powerful civilization in human history, viz. that of the world-conquering West?”
Now that is a memorable passage that is undoubtedly colored by Wolfheze’s Traditionalist leanings, and it is all the more powerful and striking for it.
It also gets to the heart of the problem: why would the Western regimes target a small and frankly little-known publishing house? To read Arktos’ catalogue is to immerse oneself in a powerful and formative right-wing education; but the works are scholarly, erudite, and intellectual, and in our degraded age they must only appeal to a very limited audience.
But that’s the problem, isn’t it?—and our illegitimate rulers understand this. Arktos Media fully imbibed the metapolitical theories of the Nouvelle Droite; it understood that the route to power is, and always has been, through the formation and dissemination of ideas. For all their faults, our rulers understand this as well…even if only at an instinctual, inarticulable level.
Arktos, to build on Wolfheze’s metaphor, is “big medicine;” it has achieved a high sort of magic through the use of metapolitical texts to inspire the minds and imaginations of the next generation of right-wing thinkers and leaders. Therein lies the threat. It is not the mass-circulation of its books that is the problem; it is their circulation among the right kinds of circles.
In other words, among those who will shape and influence the future.
The anonymous author of the Substack, who writes under the nom de plume (or nom de guerre?) “John Carter,” recently appeared on an episode of False Flag Weekly News, and I think he summed up the matter quite well when the topic of Arktos’ “de-platforming” was mentioned:
“[The Western regimes] recognize that [the dissident Right is] the only genuine counterculture that exists right now, and the fact that it’s a counterculture of dissatisfied young male intellectuals is something which bodes very poorly for them. Because it’s out of that kind of clay that future cultural elites are molded, and if they’re not molding it, then it’s molding itself—like, well, you know, who’s going to be running things in twenty or thirty or forty years? I’m not saying it’s going to be, like, necessarily the kids who are reading these [Arktos] books—although maybe some of them will be—but, you know, dissident countercultures have a tendency to inspire the next generation, right, so even when a revolution gets crushed in its time, very often the goals of that movement end up triumphing a generation or two in the future—if its ideas are able to propagate.”
There it is, in a nutshell as it were.
The crackdown on free thought and free expression is a sign of debilitating weakness, not strength; a powerful regime would have no need of erasing such a publishing house, for the books and ideas it publishes would have no attraction or staying power in the first place.
But the gang in power certainly understands that these books and ideas are attractive, and so—quite rightly—it fears them, nebulously and vaguely, in the same way that a lone doe in the woods fears the waiting cougar that it scents but cannot see.
So do yourself a favor, and try to find some Arktos books before they’re completely gone. I hear they’re trying to get back on their feet, and re-establish their entire catalogue for sale; I fervently hope that will be the case.
The ideas and dreams of the best thinkers of yesterday and today must never be suffered to perish at the hands of the new barbarians who rule us…
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