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Thread: Catholic Origins of European New Right

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    Post Catholic Origins of European New Right

    Here's an interesting book Ive been reading about Alexander Marc and his Ordreu Nouveau movement and what effect it had on political and social thinking, including Alain de Benoist and the New Right. What I found interesting is that the Ordre Nouveau was a Catholic intellectual movement beant on preserving Europe's ethnic heritages.

    Indeed this leads into an interesting observation Ive noticed about the New Right, that many of the people they admire were either Christians or at least a deep interest in it. Ernst Junger for example maintained a life-long interest in the Catholic faith and before his death converted. In 1944, he even wrote that a revitalized Christian faith would save Europe. Martin Heideggar came from a traditional Catholic background and possibly reverted back to the faith before his death. Dostovesky was a devout Orthodox Christian, as so was Nikolai Berdyaev. Then de Benoist and other New Right thinkers have admitted the influence of Catholic Social Doctrine(particularly that of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum and the Distributists) on their doctrine. Something to to think about.

    Anyways, John Hellman's book is a must read I say. Here's a synopis of the book.


    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...978709-0050840

    Ordre Nouveau's "neither right nor left" movement, based on personalism and revolutionary federalism, helped shape modern Catholic political culture in France, the National Revolution instituted by the Vichy regime, the post-war European movement, and the contemporary European New Right. It influenced European youth exchanges, veterans' organizations, trade unions, religious groups, artists, and architects, even the executive of the French national railway system. In The Communitarian Third Way John Hellman introduces us to the non-conformist Alexandre Marc, a Russian Jew who became a Christian convert and full-time professional revolutionary.

    Marc helped Le Corbusier launch Plans, imported the existential philosophy of Husserl and Heidegger to France, helped Mounier start Esprit, and was an important force in revitalizing traditional French Catholic political culture. Hellman uses interviews, unpublished correspondence, and diaries to situate Marc and the Ordre Nouveau group in the context of the French, German, and Belgian political culture of that time and explains the degree to which the ON group succeeded in institutionalizing their new order under Petain. Hellman also examines their post-war legacy, represented by Alain de Benoist and the contemporary European New Right, shedding new light on the linkages between early national socialism and the political culture of Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mitterrand, and pioneers of the post World War II European movement.

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    Post Re : Catholic Origins of European New Right

    Quote Originally Posted by Taras Bulba
    the linkages between early national socialism and the political culture of Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mitterrand, and pioneers of the post World War II European movement.
    Indeed both Charles de Gaulle and Francois Mitterrand were influenced by French nationalism.

    Charles de Gaulle was born into a Catholic and very patriotic family. His father described himself as "a monarchist by regret" and was a member of L'Action française, an important French monarchist and ultra-nationalist party. De Gaulle himself admired Péguy and Maurras. It is also interesting to notice that de Gaulle was officer in the 33rd Arras infantry regiment between 1912 and 1914, which was then under the command of a certain Colonel Pétain. Not to mention that many generals around de Gaulle in the Free French forces (de Lattre de Tassigny, Koenig ...) were either members or supporters of nationalist movements.

    As for François Mitterrand in his youth he was a conservative and an ardent Catholic. His first political act was to join the Croix de Feu (and not Action Française because it had been condemned by the Vatican), an ultra-nationalist and fascist movement.
    In 1941 he joined the Vichy government as a junior minister - and in 1942 he wrote in the official Vichy journal :

    "If France doesn't want to die in the mud, the last French people worthy of this name must declare a merciless war against all who, here or abroad, are preparing to open floodgates against it: Jews, Freemasons, Communists... always the same, and all of them Gaulists."

    In 1943 he even received the Francisque, the honorific distinction of the Vichy regime (!) Seeing that the Allies were about to invade France and win he finally joined the socialist Resistance in 1944.
    He was merely an ambitious opportunist - but a smart and (very) successful one. It seems that he remained faithful to Vichy though because until his death, he would lay a wreath every year on the grave of Petain.

    By the way sometimes I have a feeling that you know more about French politics than I do.
    The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood.

    - Otto Von Bismarck

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    Post Re: Re : Catholic Origins of European New Right

    By the way sometimes I have a feeling that you know more about French politics than I do.
    Ive been reading quite alot on French nationalism lately. Today Im picking up some books on Charles Peguy(whose my avatar btw).

    BTW, John Hellman wrote another interesting book Ive read and Im sure you'll be interested in reading, The Knight-Monks of Vichy France which documents the creation of a special elite nationalist academy and its effect on French politics as a whole.


    http://www.mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=800

    Following the defeat of France in 1940, the École Nationale des Cadres was set up at the Château d'Uriage, in the Alps above Grenoble, to train an elite drawn from the young intelligentsia as part of a larger effort to transform the nation. Some of the most imaginative and original guidelines for a French National Revolution under the Vichy government were formulated here. Uriage soon became not only an avant-garde community, living in what it described as "the style of the twentieth century," but also an innovative and prestigious think-tank of the National Revolution, embodying many of the strengths and weaknesses of the ascendant French anti-liberal conservative revolutionaries.

    In The Knight-Monks of Vichy France John Hellman describes the founding, operation, transformation, and demise of the school, details the institution's ideological and political struggles with other segments of French society, and deals with the remarkable rise of Uriage ideas and alumni in postwar France. By focusing on the social, philosophical, and psychological concepts propounded by the staff of the school, Hellman has produced the first study that shows the École Nationale des Cadres d'Uriage to have been an original educational and group experience which inspired French youth from very different backgrounds to abandon the liberal democratic tradition for a new political and social vision.

    Drawing on a variety of sources, including interviews, newly available archival material, Vichy publications, correspondence, and diary entries, Hellman contributes to the current, lively debate concerning the phenomenon of collaboration and the response of the French population to fascism and to the occupation during the Second World War. This book will be of particular interest to readers concerned with the intellectual and political life of modern France, modern religious thought and experience, fascism and the Vichy regime, changes in France in the prewar and postwar periods, and the "third way" political option in contemporary Europe.

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    Re: Re : Catholic Origins of European New Right

    ^^bump^^^

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