In this interview we discuss Keith's recent book Thinkers Against Modernity, a concise and readable synopsis of intellectuals who have influenced the European New Right. Though it leaves out the two most important Traditionalist thinkers—René Guenon and Renée Girard—Thinkers Against Modernity does a terrific job of elucidating complex and difficult ideas, and showing why late 19th and 20th century intellectuals who questioned progressivist materialism (among other post-sacred cows) are now more relevant than ever.
Thinkers Against Modernity is cheaper than a course in 20th century intellectual history—and offers a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than is normally found in the academy. It also has the courage to ask the million dollar question: What will happen when the Western world completes the process it is now undergoing and finishes losing faith in nihilism?
Some of us, following René Guenon, have lost faith in nihilism and turned to traditional religion in general...and the best-preserved one, Islam, in particular. Others have sketched out other possible paths: Belloc and Chesterton's Catholicism, Nietzche's superman, Junger's heroic individualism, or various forms of political engagement. Keith Preston's book is a terrific introduction to some of the most significant thinkers who have seen, and struggled with, the failure of modernity.
*Don't blame Keith for that acronym, I just made it up.