I've read Conan stories for the first time a long while ago, and one of the things that struck me was the focus in writing on showcasing how great and ultimately succesful barbarism is and how meek the civilised people are. To illustrate, from The Phoenix on the Sword:
Conan put his back against the wall and lifted his ax. He stood like an image of the unconquerable primordial—legs braced far apart, head thrust forward, one hand clutching the wall for support, the other gripping the ax on high, with the great corded muscles standing out in iron ridges, and his features frozen in a death snarl of fury—his eyes blazing terribly through the mist of blood which veiled them. The men faltered—wild, criminal and dissolute though they were, yet they came of a breed men called civilized, with a civilized background; here was the barbarian—the natural killer. They shrank back—the dying tiger could still deal death.
Or, from The Scarlet Citadel:
Now he grinned bleakly as the kings reined back a safe distance from the grim iron-clad figure looming among the dead. Before the savage blue eyes blazing murderously from beneath the crested, dented helmet, the boldest shrank. Conan's dark scarred face was darker yet with passion; his black armor was hacked to tatters and splashed with blood; his great sword red to the cross- piece. In this stress all the veneer of civilization had faded; it was a barbarian who faced his conquerors. Conan was a Cimmerian by birth, one of those fierce moody hillmen who dwelt in their gloomy, cloudy land in the north. His saga, which had led him to the throne of Aquilonia, was the basis of a whole cycle of hero-tales.
It's a common theme of the stories, one I would say the entire series of stories was built upon.
What I wonder, though, was if this was representing actual thoughts and opinions of the author, Robert E. Howard? Author tracts are far from uncommon in fiction, especially scifi&fantasy, and those bits certainly read like that... But the idea of believing in it sounds so cartoonishly detached from reality that I can't just take it at face value. Was it a literary method done to better express the world of Conan, or was it an actual agenda that REH was trying to push? Looking at his photographs he certainly doesn't look like the type, but, well, who knows? I know I'd really like to.