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Troy Southgate

Intellectual Gallery * Troy Southgate (2014)

As, for a European continental, every Black Front Press publication costs 15 UK pounds (including shipping), this massive 550+ paged book was as expensive as the tiny “Troubadours Of The Apocalypse”.

I knew that Southgate was an active writer, but almost each of the 18 chapters is actually a summery of one of his books and those are only a part of his bibliography. Many titles are available from Southgate’s own Black Front Press (you have to combine the Facebook page and Blogspot to see what is available). The catalogue goes from Southgate’s national anarchism, books about black metal and neofolk to “Helios: journal of metaphysical & occult studies”, philosophy and history. This “intellectual gallery” is almost that varried. There is not really politics in this book, but the chapters deal with varried characters such as Julius Evola, Friedrich Nietzsche, Corneliu Codreanu, Ernst Junger, Oswald Sprengler and Martin Heidegger to Maria de Naglowska, Aleister Crowley and Emanual Swedenborg.

With such a variety of subjects, it is hardly surprising that I did not find every chapter as interesting as the next. The interesting opening about Evola stands aside “an investigation of G.K. Chesterson’s The Ballad Of The White Horse“. Similarly, while the essays on Swedenborgh, Heidegger and Schopenhauer present little new, the 1920’s warning about the upcoming Islam by Hilaire Belloc is interesting to read in our own day and age.

You may think that many subjects are hardly original, but Southgate often presents just another angle such as Aleister Crowley the mountaineer, Sprengler is critiqued and of Nietzsche his reply to Paul Rhee is spoken of. Other chapters are more typical, such as Jünger’s war-diaries and Schopenhauer’s pessimism.

All in all this “intellectual gallery” makes a nice intoduction to Southgate the thinker and writer non-politically. That is to say, here and there his politics are mentioned, but not very often. Also Southgate has the name of being fairly radical and politically active and hence ‘dangerous’ (the name of his publishing house does not help there), but be sure that he is an interesting well-read intellectual with an agreeable writing style and a wide view on subjects.

2014 Black Front Press isbn 9780992745288

Troubadours Of The Apocalypse * Troy Southgate (editor) (2015)

This little book (130 pages) is a collection of essays published by Troy Southgate through his own publishing house Black Front Press. BFP has a somewhat outdated Blogspot, a more up-to-date Facebook page and a “storefront” at where I linked the cover to. Unfortunately, Amazon does not list all BFP titles and the current title is not (yet?) available there. Ordering from BFP is easy though, each title, whether it has 130 pages or 550, have the same price. When you live in Europe, 15 pounds includes the book and postage, also when you order more titles at the same time. Make a Paypal payment and Troy and Carole take care of the rest. A plus for ordering through BFP rather than Amazon, is that Troy signs the books before shipping them.

On to the book then. The forword fortells the fall of our society, just as the Roman empire eventually fell. Few people dare to speak of this event. Many of those are to be found in the musical scene that the book calls the “neofolk, industrial & neoclassical underground”. 11 Musicians from that scene wrote a few pages. Some of these texts are merely musical biographies; other texts are more interesting and draw parallels to spiritual development and music, one text is more like a spiritual biography and the wonderfull closing article combines all these elements and puts the whole ‘political issue’ in perspective.

The book seems somewhat radical with a not-too-easy thinker as editor who names his publishing house “Black Front Press” which publishes titles by/about men scorned by many and also publishes political books. Does that not make a too easy link between the music scene and unwelcome politics? Some contributors, I figured, would not fear such a connection, but I was surprised to find a nice text of Francesca Nicoli of Ataraxia here. Another surprice, and a very nice one too, is Christopher Walton of the late Endvra and now of TenHornedBeast, with a very personal story about his spiritual path. Also noteworthy is the opening text of Gerhard Hallstatt of Allerseelen who tells us how Allerseelen came to be. The text of Robert Taylor (Changes) tells us a few things about his musical endeavors and early American Asatru. The abolute highlight, though, is for “the only Jew in the village”, Richard Levy, who explains how a Jew can develop a Nazi fetish yet still remain a leftish politician, how he sees the controversial project Death In June and criticise the hollowness that the scene soon developped and plagues to this day.

Do not expect an in-depth investigation of the neofolk scene; neither an investigation of the politics that the scene is so often accused of or even its larger history. The book contains 11 short texts, one better than another, telling you something about a controversial scene and keeping you off the street for an hour and a half.

2015 Black Front Press, isbn 9780993170300

The Radical Tradition * Troy Southgate (editor) (2011)

Here we have the next in the series of publications of Primordial Traditions, the first not edited by Gwendolyn Toynton herself. Where the first publication “Primordial Traditions Compendium 2009” was supposedly a Traditionalistic publication, the second (“Northern Traditions” (2011)) was already less so, this third publication is almost not at all. The subtitle goes: “Philosophy, metapolitics & the conservative revolution”. The title, subtitle and editor make it clear, this is a publication about radical politics. There are a range of those to be found here completely blowing away the ‘left-right’ scale that is still in the minds of many people. Anarchistic nationalism, Intertraditionale, anarcho-gnosticism, the new right, Christian anarchism, third position, nationalistic communism, it is all here. Articles about cultural pessimism, Heidegger, Nietzsche (twice) and Schopenhauer, critical essays about “cosmopolitanism”, human rights, democracy and of course “the coming crisis of Western civilization”; just 185 pages, but a wealth of political thoughts and theories. There are actually only two essays that are Traditionalistic in some way, Toynton’s own “Tradition & Politics”, but more particularly Sean Jobst’s “The role of Islamic mysticism against modern decay”. Jobst is a Muslim convert in order to become Sufi (like René Guénon himself) arguing that the Islam is a flexible and universal religion well-fitting for the West too and that Sufism is a remedy against the rampaging decline of Western culture. A daring statement and a daring article in a publication like this perhaps. Also this article is perhaps the only ‘spiritual’ one in this publication even though most authors opt for more religion or spirituality in politics. Other authors include mostly new names to me, Tomislav Suric, Jonathan Bowden, Wayne John Sturgeon, Ben Craven, the only two that I do know are Toynton and Southgate. And for those wondering about the latter, Southgate wrote an overview of his political carreer and how things went from the National Front to International Third Position, English Nationalist Movement, National Revolutionary Fraction to the National-Anarchist Movement each time giving an inside look of the ideology and thus making thing much clearer than the news usually does.
I am not all that much interested in politics and I cannot say that I ran into something here that makes me change my mind, but it is always nice to read something about what makes peoples’ clocks tic and how varried the world of radical politics is. Not very Traditionalistic like I said, so I am curious about the announced future publications including Alchemical, Occult and Tantric Traditions, a second Northern Traditions and a second Radical Traditions. Plans enough!
2011 Primordial Traditions ltd., isbn 9780473174972