Because, as with Bannon himself, Evola’s persona and self-conception were grandiose. He purposely hinted at some kind of secret knowledge that only he and a small group of adepts could understand. Evola portrayed himself as an “aristocrat of the soul” who had to preserve himself and the truth about human nature and society from the vulgar democratic age in which we are all trapped. Like Bannon, Evola talked in terms of civilizational crisis, civilizational war, and civilizational redemption. This grandiosity invites the fascination of critics and admirers alike.

Personally, I think Evola and Bannon are less than they seem to be.

There is another modern medium besides Breitbartian journalism that makes use of grandiose, civilization-defining metaphors: fantasy video games. And wouldn’t you know it? Stephen Bannon made a good deal of money in a scheme built around World of Warcraft. It’s another pretend battle, on a pretend battlefield, with pretend warriors who are staring into computer screens, and straining the Aeron chair underneath them.