That's all well and good - but you can't get anywhere with Lovecraft in politics or social theory without running up against two big walls: his fascism and his racism. He was both - a fascist and a racist - but his thinking on these things can be surprising as well. He is by no means a fascist in the sense that Hitler was. My read of him so far is that he is more what we'd call a "technocrat" than a "fascist" today - but in the early 30s before the meaning of the word "fascism" changed irretrievably that term worked. That's a discussion for another time. Like everything I'm running across, Lovecraft doesn't rely (exclusively at least) on platitudes. He works through his fascism very carefully and I can't really do his thoughts on it justice here.
The other wall is his racism. Unlike his fascism (which I think is overstated by critics), his racism is undeniable, virulent, and out in the open. But again - almost chillingly - it's very carefully thought through. I think we have a tendency to treat racism as the arena of unthinking mobs. It's jarring to read someone carefully walk you through his racism - to see that it is nuanced and even differentiated from the racism of others. Lovecraft, for example, repeatedly makes detailed distinctions between what he calls "race-stock" and culture. He's been presented by some reviewers as embracing Anglo-Saxon superiority. Maybe he does at some point, but in the 1932-1933 period he takes great pains to argue that no "race-stock" is superior, and relentlessly mocks Hitler for making claims like that. Lovecraft argues that almost all races are equal - simply different - and his greatest concern is the cultural tradition that evolves with a "race-stock". His concern is that when "race-stocks" mix, culture is depleted because it is watered down by the incorporation of new cultures - and that cultural depletion is what he sees as the source of Western decline. In the period that I'm looking at, Japan had recently gone through a coup d'etat that established a new militarist government. Lovecraft comments extensively on this as well and praises both the Japanese and the Chinese, lauding their respective "cultures" and the cultural maintenance he expects from the new militarists in Japan - which of course contrasts sharply with the "yellow peril" views of most American racists at the time.
Two points complicate this race/culture line of thought: the "race-stocks" he does identify as biologically inferior (Africans and "Australoids"), and of course the Jews. I haven't worked through all of these letters yet, but so far he pays very little attention to the inferior "race-stocks". I suppose there's not much to discuss there, for him. The Jewish question is very interesting for Lovecraft - again because he is undeniably anti-semitic, but he's jarringly complex in his anti-semitism. Again - he mocks Hitler's anti-semitism incessantly and dismisses any notion that there's something unique or inferior about Jewish genetics - he dismisses that idea regularly. And that shouldn't be paritcularly surprising for anyone that knows anything about Lovecraft's personal life: he married a Jew, after all! That fact has puzzled a lot of Lovecraft critics, but it's not especially surprising when you read what he actually writes about them. And yet, he's definitely an anti-semite - I'm not arguing that he's not! His anti-semitism rests on his view that Jews are commandeering and distorting major cultural institutions, which of course is not an uncommon line at all among rank-and-file racists. But even this more traditional line of thought is intriguing - he identifies Knopf, for example, as a publishing house in New York that has been commandeered by Jews. You would think, then, that he wouldn't submit his stories to Knopf - but he does! You would think that when they subsequently reject his stories he would blame "the Jews" like a young, dejected Hitler. Surprisingly, he doesn't at all! At least not in any letters that I've come across (and again I stress I've only been through some). He curses Knopf and takes the rejection very hard, but you don't see any citation of Judaism. This is especially surprising since he's already identified this publishing house as a source of Jewish influence on culture. Instead, he identifies the marketability of his stories as the problem!