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Old 01-22-2015   #1
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"Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

This article, just published by our friends at Lovecraft eZine, is of interest to TLOers for obvious reasons.

Ligotti himself is mentioned prominently and frequently.

Click here to read it.

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 01-23-2015   #2
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

It's interesting how everyone is ready to blame "literary figures " as promoters of so called "new dark age" but at the same time ignores real modern fascist threat - New Age idiots of course. If we gonna descent in irrationality again it will not be trough Julius Evola type of conservative, Neo-Nietzschean, strive for perfect human being, but as Neo-Pagan - as Children of Mother Nature.

At least Evola and Fascist knew mysterious ways of our "Mother" and then created systems that equal her, simply learned the rules. New-Agers live in some fantasy of universal balance and karma, patronizing spirit that take care of things.
While Fascist promote action, new-agers motto is - we are there but we just don't know it.
It functions as mix of pagan theology and official science, it assimilate every argument that you put against it, leading figures of that movement promote and fund those awful videos that present contemporary quantum psychics as affirmation of their universal consciousness - spiritual goals.
New dark age of "all is everything" sophist.

I knew that someday I was gonna die / And I knew before I died Two things would happen to me / That number one I would regret my entire life / And number two I would want to live my life over again.
Hubert Selby Jr.
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Old 01-23-2015   #3
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

- For some reason, the prior post reminds me of the scene in Videodrome when Max Renn is betrayed by his associate Harlan, who proceeds to rail about how soft and decadent modern civilization has become, claiming the necessity of becoming "pure and erect and strong" with great relish. . .

- Also, it may be worth pointing out that it was Inner Traditions, a publisher specializing in material of the 'new age' persuasion that made the writings of Signor Evola widely available in english, and that apart from a far-right audience, the traditionalist philosophy he espoused has found the largest readership within the whole new age/neo-pagan crowd and been most influential there.

"When a man is born. . .there are nets flung at (his being) to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets." - James Joyce

Last edited by ChildofOldLeech; 01-23-2015 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 01-23-2015   #4
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

I've never thought of Lovecraft as a nihilist. Far from anhedonic, he just loved too many things: Colonial architecture and ice cream, science and felines, travel (when he could afford it) and corresponding with kindred souls...the list is long. As far as his racism--
Lovecraft declared his loyalty to King George--do we take that at face value? Why should we take his racist rants any more seriously? Racism, I believe, was a functional pose for Lovecraft--a convenient way to rid himself of the directionless venom all human beings experience at times. It was one more role to play and, no doubt, he found it aesthetically pleasing. But it was always detached from his life and experience, even in the Red Hook days (There is no record of Lovecraft ever treating others unfairly because of their race). In the closing paragraphs of "In the Walls of Eyrx" the dying protagonist realizes no race can be regarded as superior in a relativistic universe. Lovecraft was too smart not to have known that even in his younger days...
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Old 01-24-2015   #5
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

Self-righteous leftists handing out lessons in moral conduct.

Amusing.

It's as if Red "liquidation" (excuse the slippery term) of any bourgeois-artistic type on the basis of class warfare throughout history never happened.

I think the sole individual who could (alas) measure up to Evola's trite super-fascist criteria was the man himself, not that it prevents others wanting to give it a shot from a mass "anti-fascist" mirror image. Idiots.

Mark S.

"You have no idea how much nastier I'd be if I were not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being." Evelyn Waugh
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Old 01-24-2015   #6
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

Quote
I think the sole individual who could (alas) measure up to Evola's trite super-fascist criteria was the man himself, not that it prevents others wanting to give it a shot from a mass "anti-fascist" mirror image. Idiots.--Mark Samuels.
True enough, Mark. The Red Fascists and the Black Fascists ultimately become unrecognizable from one another as their influence and power grows. They simply employ the same tools and techniques.
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Old 01-25-2015   #7
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

Where are the "Self-righteous leftists handing out lessons in moral conduct" in the article that Dr. Locrian links to?

I see an article broaching the subject of "nihilism" and the possibility of it leading to "fascism" (in the broad sense of those words) via examples of writers who had a connection to nihilism and occupied a position of "fascism" briefly or longer. Where are the lessons in moral conduct? I only see an articles pointing to an in-built danger in certain forms of nihilism. There are flaws in the article, namely that Cioran abandoned his support of the Iron Guard and was regretful of his sympathies, the discussion of Lovecraft's nihlism, and also that the racism a lot of the mentioned indivuals expressed didn't seem connected to their "nihilism", and that Hamsun could hardly be called a nihilist. Nevertheless, a racist strain of "nihilism" does exist - see for instance in various permutations of black metal. I don't think this article is overly hysterical in pointing that out.

That's a subject that could merit some discussion - what happens when nihilists want to, after all, build up values, and is there a system? Why do some fall, whereas others, like Ligotti, don't seem to lose their moral integrity in spite of nihilism, etc.? Individual psychology, the zeitgeist, random events and/or qualities that are mirrored in their art?

I am, however, getting tired of seeing this forum, which was once such an interesting place, deteriorate into an echo chamber of left wing-bashing which seems to have been the case lately whenever any subject at all comes up.
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Old 01-25-2015   #8
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

A correlation between nihilism and fascism seems, to me at least, doubtful. Fascism appeals to a very human instinct--the desire for Order and Structure and gives an illusion of meaning to human life. Unfortunately the attraction is contradictory: the majority of human beings would soon chaff under any fascist regime, Left or Right. As Durrenmatt says: There's an abyss between Logic (the many) and the Existential (the one) and the existential is irrational. When phillosophers reach this abyss they all do the same thing. They Build a Bridge. Alas, its a vertical Bridge and might well be mistaken for a Church. The Nazis did it; the Communists did it; its inevitable in any philosophical system.
I find it perplexing that statements of fact (or even intelligent opinion) are taken as "Left bashing.")
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Old 01-25-2015   #9
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

I thought Ligotti said he wasn't a nihilist but just explored the subject a great deal?
I think that's the case with a lot of these musicians. Are there really many full-on nihilists?

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Old 01-25-2015   #10
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Re: "Lovecraft, Nihilism, and Fascism: An Article by Paul St John Mackintosh"

MadsPLP, it's funny you mention the left-wing bashing, because I was prepared to quit this place a few months back last year, mainly because I perceived the same vibe (I think it was on the thread about activists trying to change the World Fantasy Award from Lovecraft to Octavia Butler or whatever). Maybe I just misread some of it, but it seemed there was a lot of tedious left-bashing in general on that one (in that some people seemed to be equating all left-wing/liberal types as censorious fascists-in-sheep's clothing), to the point where I thought, "Eh, #### it." I eventually decided to stay because, well... after so many years of not posting all that much, I was finally only a few posts away from having my status on here changed from "manikin" to "acolyte," so I rationalized staying on for that at least. Well, and for other reasons, of course!

"The Outsider must find a direction and commit himself to it, not lie moping about the meaninglessness of the world."
-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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