I’m surprised by the people who claim to look up to Evola, especially amongst neo-reactionaries. At first old Julius seems like the perfect fit for any movement with “reactionary” in the title. He wrote against every form of government in power during his life (communism, fascism and democracy) and was against anything short of absolute monarchy. Plus his dry, stuffy writing style seems to be what most neo-reactionaries aim for in their own writings.
The thing is though, most neo-reactionaries have their roots in Moldbug and his Silicon Valley clique of libertarians and trans-humanists. The roots of neo-reaction seem to be more Rothbard than Caryle. That is not to say neo-reactionaries haven’t grown into their monarchism, but it owes more to “Democracy: The God That Failed” than it does to “Leviathan” because without the first, they would not be taking the second as seriously.
Another thing that probably appeals to reactionaries is the fact Evola approaches things like an engineer. He was formally trained as an engineer, but abandoned his education because he didn’t want to be another lame culture-less member of the bourgeoisie. I haven’t read his books that deal solely with politics, but the reviews say he takes apart different systems of government like you would an engine. So it is easy to see why a movement founded by Silicon Valley techies would be drawn to someone who writes like he’s publishing a technical manual.
But Evola had some very interesting a priories that would make most neo-reactionaries very uncomfortable, and this is a movement that challenges democracy and racial equality. Evola was primarily a writer on the occult and esoteric. If you bother to give Evola a serious read though, you’ll realize “The Aristocrat of the Soul” is not someone who develops server software and reads archaic political tracts, but someone who does silly little ritual dances, messes around with psychedelics, and actually takes Crowley somewhat seriously. Actually, Evola’s dry and direct writing is very refreshing for any acolyte, since you have to go though a mountain of woo-woo witches and people hawking healing crystals at you to find someone like Evola, someone who doesn’t bullshit around or uses flowery words. He’s the only author to describe what “the elements” were actually suppose to be clearly in his book on Alchemy.
Most neo-reactionaries I’ve come across are either atheist, catholic, or some form of mainline protestant, and all have a very down-to-earth view of things. Evola’s view of the world is not down to earth at all, and is in a place beyond time and space. I’m surprised no one brings up the Hyperborean Arctic, even just for trolling. It plays a big role in Evola’s world view, attributing world history as a struggle between masculine Hyperborean virtues verses effeminate occult forces rooted in a decadent Atlantic civilization. This makes me think a lot of people have not actually read Evola, and just like the image of him with his monocle looking aristocratic and elitist. I feel Hyperborea lurks in right-wing circles like Xenu does for Scientology. I know Richard Spencer has a “Hyperborean Cicle” in his donation plans at Radix, and the publishing house “Arktos” takes its name from polar lore. I’m neutral on the whole thing honestly, as I’m not an expert in anthropology, and I’ve come to believe some crazy stuff I though never possible, though I do like to fantasize about an arctic home while listening to some OPN.
So let this be a warning to any neo-reactionaries wanting to read though the works of The Sicilian Baron, you’ll find some crazy shit that will be too much for your average modern monarchist. And let this be an encouraging note to people reading though Evola for esoteric knowledge: he is a spring of knowledge, clearly stated, with only a bit of a snobbish tone. Even if his politics are a turn off for you, his books should have a spot on your book shelf alongside Waite, Bardon, and Regardie.