In his work The Intellectuals, the British historian Paul Johnson draws a parallel line between many intellectuals, political violence and the rise of fascism:
Does the ENR play a similar intellectual role in maintaining within its pantheon authors that have glorified violence in order to create an allegedly “postfascist” synthesis? Why de Benoist’s meticulous, nuanced defense of an Evola or Schmitt rather than a Sartre on the hard left? As Steve Fuller argues in a recent work, intellectuals play numerous roles: Sophists that are skeptical about absolute knowledge claims; Platonists that search for eternal and true ideas (more suspect in a post-modern era); investigators suspicious of power structures; sniffers of a big, marketable idea or searchers for the whole truth (Fuller 00). Intellectuals make enemies because they challenge existing truths. They might even fabricate claims to advance their conception of reality. They can play the role of serving power, or being perpetually in opposition to the centres of power. Intellectuals in opposition might be convenient in a legitimizing function for liberal democracy. They might also be testers of new or unusual ideas. Where does the ENR stand in relation to intellectuals and power in an age of diminishing respect for intellectuals?