Let’s go with one of Arnold’s contemporaries, a buried Scotsman, still buried it seems after Moldbug’s attempted rehabilitation of him, Thomas Carlyle. He is one of the main formulators of what they call “great man theory” which is a prominent theme you find here. Both he and the “hero worship” he was known for have disappeared since “you know when”, the former in part because he was a favorite of “you know who”. I’m seeing virtually zero recent secondary literature on him.
I think we all love heroes, heroes and heroines, and to put it lightly our culture does not facilitate their emergence
notion of the hero—that some men are born special—is radically inegalitarian. It can open the way for tyranny.
Here’s some eloquence on the matter
What role is left for the hero when the culture would rather be titillated than inspired and prefers gossip to gospel?
Leftists, you’re not going to get a Lenin in this climate. Is that no concern to you?
Similar to Arnold, Carlyle ties many of our problems to industrialization (which was relatively new when they were writing) and the mechanization of life that it causes. We can look to heroes of history to free ourselves from that.
(Sidenote. Idea for an Antiversity dissertation- Walter Scott’s adventure novels through the lens of Carlyle.)
This is the same Carlyle I quoted saying that the pagan religion of old Europe still runs in our veins. Another of those, I think, non-coincidences. The first “hero” he writes about in his book on the subject is no human, it is Odin. You could see him as a more intellectual version of Walter Scott. His heroes aren’t knights, it’s not what we typically think of as “heroes” from action movies. Sages, poets, kings. These were lectures he gave about five years before Emerson gave his lectures that formed the book Representative Men which is very very similar.
Think of it this way- we will never recapture the “Greek miracle” without hero-worship. The total reformation of society is virtually impossible if one does not look to those who have done something similar.
What do these eyes say to you?
I always interpreted them as “I’ll eat you.” There’s a reason they erased him from the cultural memory. They don’t make em like that anymore. He’s a man of highly articulate reactionary instincts. Think of my previous post on language. He shows the reality of a side of being they don’t want you to know about, and in the clearest words.
This is a symptom of fear that he had to say this
We’d need a true hero to pull off a coup. The book in question is a recipe for the formation of such a hero. Biden is right, the odds seem impossible. Unfortunately for them we have our ways of making them less impossible.
Already in the 1840s it was like this
I am well aware that in these days Hero-worship, the thing I call Hero-worship, professes to have gone out, and finally ceased. This, for reasons which it will be worth while some time to inquire into, is an age that as it were denies the existence of great men; denies the desirableness of great men.
It’s possible to reverse this attitude. If I have done it personally then anyone can. We need to imbue the nation with a readiness to accept a hero to lead a revolt and to even take part in the uprising themselves. An F-15 is going to fire a missile at you, says Biden. Now that’s humorous. Why would he even have to say that, is the question. The more people accept Carlyle’s general standpoint that we should relearn reverence for the heroic, the more scared the establishment is going to get.