While reading Anarcho Papist‘s very well put together introduction to Neoreaction thought, “Neoreactionary Canon” and seeing the guys over at More Right added a category to the canon for books , I thought I’d add to the discussion my two cents on which books brought me to where I am today intellectually. Which I would call a cross between a Roman Catholic Monarchistic Pan-European-Nationalist with a distributists economic belief. Hey, it makes sense to me.
When doing a list like this there are books that need to be exclude. Like the Bible, Saint Thomas Aquinas’s “Summa Theologia” Dante’s “Divine Comedy” the works of Shakespeare etc…You know, the books that should be on your shelf already.
So without further adieu, here is my top 5 books that liberated my madness. Or as my reactionary friends say “This is what happens when you ingest the red pill”.
1. Democracy – The God that failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order by Prof. Hans-Hermann Hoppe. When I first read this book back in 2007, I was in the middle of my Ron Paul fan-boy craze. This book threw me a curve ball that would have made Sandy Koufax proud to throw. It led me to having a violent allergic reaction to democracy and egalitarianism, and thinking about the Natural Aristocracy and order that a Monarchical system of government would bring. (We the people be damned!)
2. Liberty or Equality by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. After I had read Prof. Hoppe’s book, I wanted to learn more about Monarchy’s. Hoping to find one that talked about it from a Catholic prospective, I stumbled on to this book. From the beginning chapter titled “Democracy and Totalitarianism” to “The political temper of Catholic Nations”, you get an education that you sure won’t find in a American Protestant public school. This one isn’t an easy read, but it sure is full of information and knowledge that will help you disarm the biggest cheer leading egalitarian worshiper. (Long Live the King!)
3. Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics by Francis Parker Yockey. This book is no doubt the most controversial on my list. Yockey was a Radical Rightist who hung out with the post-World War Two neo-fascists crowd. But don’t let that scare you off from reading this book. It gives a history and a way, on how to bring about a Pan-European Nationalism. (For a New European Awakening!)
4. Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist by Baron Julius Evola. Evola is a recent addition into my life. I first heard of him after reading this piece “Julius Evola and Radical Traditionalism” a few years ago. Like anything that interests me, I look for a book. After searching and reading reviews, this is the one that grabbed me. And damn if it didn’t. Evola’s assault on capitalism, communism, and modernity to talking about the heroic and principles of living a traditional life. This is a book I still pick up an re-read parts of. Indeed a “game changer” in my belief system. (My principles are only those that, before the French Revolution, every well-born person considered sane and normal.)
5. A tie between –A Humane Economy: The Social Framework of the Free Market by Wilhelm Ropke and Toward a Truly Free Market: A Distributist Perspective on the Role of Government, Taxes, Health Care, Deficits, and More by John C. Medaille. As I have grown older and seen more of the world, my view on economics has changed. I use to be a card carrying Free Markets believing Libertarian. From Friedman to Mises to Rothbard, I was a quoting machine of these three iconic economists. Then something happened along the way. I started to question some of the theories these three spoke of and how they related to my faith. These questions were of a moral sense and I just wasn’t finding the answers that would satisfy my intellectual seeking brain.
Enter Distributism. A Catholic economic system that stems from Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical “Rerum Novarum” and the English Catholic writers G.K.Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc . A system based on private property widely distributed, and where the home, not the office, is the center piece of man’s economic life. A system that looks at capitalism and communism as two sides to the same soul crushing coin. A system that does not put the economic above the family. The two books I mentioned above show the whys, the hows and the to-do’s of this Third Way of doing things. (The problem with capitalism is not too many capitalists, but not enough capitalists)
And there you have it my friends. My Intellectual Canon.
So what’s yours?