Since its foundation in 2009, Arktos has managed to establish itself within a unique genre by publishing authors and philosophers such as Sir Roger Scruton, Oswald Spengler, Julius Evola, Guillaume Faye, Ludwig Klages, and Carl Grimberg. A consistent critique of modernity and support for the European New Right have contemporaneously labeled the publisher as controversial. Now, the distributor that Arktos used for its international sales, Ingram Content Group (ICG), has terminated the collaboration on unclear grounds.
ICG is the world’s largest book distributor, and Arktos is one of the countless publishers relying on its services. The terminated collaboration means that 430 publications currently cannot reach their readers.
ICG first contacted Arktos in 2021 with the news that they wanted to end the collaboration. No explanation was given as to why. Arktos opposed the decision, and for 14 months, they heard nothing more from the distributor. The publisher then assumed that the termination would not be carried out. But in February this year, ICG returned with the news that the books would stop being distributed from March 25 this year. No explanation was given this time either.
Arktos founder Daniel Friberg tells us that the publisher sees clear indications that the distributor has been under pressure.
“The first is that the termination letter was copied to two of the top executives in the Ingram Group, who normally never handle this type of case, but who are natural targets for pressure. The fact that the letter was copied can only be because the order came from them,” he adds.
The boycott also seemed to be coordinated, as other distributors and booksellers at the same time removed Arktos book titles. Above all, it was immigration-critical and politically controversial books that were stopped from distribution, says Friberg.
This is not the first time Arktos has been subjected to censorship attempts. The far-left intelligence service Expo attacked when they discovered that the publisher could distribute books in a normal way. This was done a decade ago and resulted among other things in several Swedish distributors removing Arktos books from their range, Friberg explains. The Swedish distributors gave no explanation either, but it was apparent to the Arktos founder that they had been scared into doing it.
Attacks on uncomfortable literature do not stop at attacks on the companies and their infrastructure. Friberg’s own private bank account in Swedbank was closed in 2021, without apparent reason. This has also affected the editor-in-chief of the online newspaper Fria Tider, and most recently the Swedish accounts of the online newspaper Nya Dagbladet have been closed. None of these cases have been highlighted by mainstream media from a freedom of speech or even a right to livelihood perspective. It thus appeared that the interventions were seen as acceptable by “the free press” in Sweden.
Daniel Friberg has also noticed a pattern among censorship activists. They consistently avoid direct debate with ideological opponents. Instead, they choose methods presented as investigative journalism and social education, but which aim to demonize ideological opponents and intimidate business partners and others who can in any way be linked to them. The articles are then published through their own channels, where they are noticed and distributed by established left-liberal media.
This time, it is primarily a hostile actor that has emerged. It is the globally influential organization Anti Defamation League (ADL), which is described by Wikipedia with the words: “ADL was founded by B’nai B’rith in 1913 with the aim of stopping ‘defamation of the Jewish people.'” ADL has been instrumental in several attacks on social critics over the years, ensuring, for instance, that Adidas terminated its collaboration with rapper Kanye West last fall, and the organization has also attacked cartoonist Scott Adams. Both have expressed social criticism that does not comply with established guidelines – one about Jewish influence, the other about anti-white racism among black people. With the help of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, ADL has also lobbied to limit the freedom of speech generally for users of social media.
The organization has attacked Arktos on its website, but most of all Friberg himself. In the smear campaign, they rely on stigmatizing epithets and guilt by association. Friberg is described as a “white supremacist”, and despite being a publisher who advocates for the importance of open debate, he is linked to mass murderers like Anders Behring Breivik. However, the publisher is not alone in being indirectly accused of insanity. To be listed by the ADL as a “spreader of hate”, which the organization claims inspires confused perpetrators of violence, it doesn’t take much. It could be enough to have held an immigration-critical conference or to have publicly commented in positive terms on statements from a person who is already on the ADL’s list.
Being a publisher of authors and philosophers who criticize the political hegemony in the West has been difficult in the past. Now, the goal seems to be to make it entirely impossible. Arktos has therefore chosen to counterattack and broaden its operations. Daniel Friberg says they now intend to start an online magazine. The focus of it is on culture and politics from a pro-European and anti-globalist perspective.
“To begin with, we will publish two new articles per day. As soon as we reach 500 subscribers, we will double the number to four articles per day and launch a new podcast.”
A think tank will also be established. It will arrange seminars, meetings, and conferences similar to the previous event series “Identitarian Idea”. An online university is also to be launched in the near future, in which online courses on relevant topics will be offered.
Friberg emphasizes that those who want to help accelerate the development can subscribe now on arktos.com for 5 dollars a month. Subscribers will then have access to exclusive articles, free e-books, and audiobooks among other benefits.