The Great Nation: Unitarian Europe – from Brest to Bucharest

19.07.2018

This handsomely produced and timely volume is translated from the French of the Belgian theorist and activist Jean Thiriart by the Indo-Christian scholar Dr Alexander Jacob. It is a timely volume because today much, perhaps most the Right, is enamoured by what was becoming a discarded concept: petty statism. The return of 19th century nationalism, actually derived from the Liberal revolt against tradition, rather than being an intrinsically Rightist phenomenon, and one that, lamented Sir Oswald Mosley after 1945, infected Fascism between the world wars with xenophobia, and assisted the forces of war between Europeans, is resurgent in reaction to globalization. Indeed, it has been a theory of the Right that regional groupings such as the European Union, are a prelude to a New World Order or World Government. Euroscepticism is gaining in all quarters, BREXIT is seen as a victory for the Right, and many of the right-populist parties in Europe are making leeway on a wave of Euroscepticism. Conversely, the Front National under Marine le Pen was seen as having lost votes because of its Euroscepticism. This is not surprising, given the character of the European Union, and its origins. A European union has always had its enthusiasts among CIA and Bilderberg globalists. Jacobinism saw it as the prelude to a universal republic; the Grand Orient continues to do so. The man honoured as the “father” of European union, Coudenhove-Kalergi, a Freemason, and celebrated by the Brothers as such, funded by Rothschild and the Warburg bankers in the USA, Felix and Paul. [1] It is readily understandable why the Right would regard European union with such antagonism, given that the “European identity” promoted by the EU is that of liberalism, and secularism; doctrines that are being used to destroy Europe and welcome multiculturalism in the name of European humanism. [2]

However, in their enthusiasm to show their “anti-fascist’ credentials , “Eurosceptics” of the Right more often castigate European union as having “fascist” rather than these cosmopolitan and globalist antecedents. Hence the UK Independence Party, until recently a Great Right Hope, and now in freefall, describes European Union as a pan-Germanic plot, while alluding to Coudenhove-Kalergi only in passing. The present European Union is regarded as having its origins in a wartime plan by National Socialist Germany to form what was apparently then being called a “European Economic Community.” [3] On the other hand the Communist party of Britain also opposes the EU. [4]

After World War II an idealistic vision emerged that was not tied to universalism or plutocracy. Among the primary voices Sir Oswald Mosley, whose pre-war Fascism, based on an empire that had been wrecked by war and subverted by the USA, [5] was transcended by “Europe-a-Nation;” [6] and “European socialism.” [7] The American neo-Spenglerian Francis Parker Yockey, [8] called for the liberation of Europe from the “inner traitor and outer enemy.” [9] Otto Strasser, the anti-Hitler National-Socialist returned to Germany from exile in Canada and called for a united Europe freed from the US military umbrella. [10]  Julius Evola called for a united Europe [11]  and exerted an influence on young Italian Rightists. Jean Thiriart in Belgium established a network of European-nationalist cadres.

Mosley was the prime mover of the National Party of Europe, formed in Venice in 1962. Among the signatories of the European Declaration at Venice were Jean Thiriart, Adolf von Thadden of the Reichspartei from Germany, and Giovani Lanfree from the Italian Social Movement (MSI). [12] The National Party of Europe failed to gain traction because the national-chauvinist elements that were entrenched in pre-war and wartime fascism, were a stronger pull than “Europe-a-Nation,” which suggested the subordination of petty nationhood to a supranational body and the still unresolved national rivalries.

Like Mosley, Thiriart advocated more than “European federation,” or what today remains of the idea of European unity expressed in the slogan among some Rightist groups of “The European of the Fatherlands.” Thiriart explicitly rejected European federation. However, like Yockey and Strasser, he differed from Mosley who saw U.S. occupation of Europe as a necessary evil to counter a Russian invasion. [13] Yockey, on the contrary saw the “Russian barbarian” as someone who like other “barbarians” would become acculturated by those they occupied, and perhaps there might even develop a Euro-Russian symbiosis in opposing the USA. Thiriart was as antagonistic towards U.S. influence in Europe as Yockey but unlike the latter did not refer to U.S. influence in anti-Semitic terms. However, he saw Russia as equally inimical to Europe as the USA, and sought Russian withdrawal from the East, which he regarded as a part of the European Nation. As explained in this volume, The Great Nation, Thiriart sought to drive a wedge between the Soviet states in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, by backing “national communism,” and already had connections in Romania at the highest levels. Thiriat was later to reverse his animosity towards the USSR, and sought a Russo-European bloc.  While the European Liberation Front and the National Party of Europe vanished, Thiriart’s “Jeune Europe” remained a while longer and developed into other avenues. Towards the end of Thiriart’s life, interestingly, the name of Yockey’s  European Liberation Front was revived and he sought alliances in Russia.

Thiriart’s Background

Jacob’s preface gives a background and summary to the volume and to Thiriart’s actions and ideas. Jacob states that Thiriart started out as a young activist in the Belgian socialist movement, and during the world war moved over with other socialists to collaborationism with the Third Reich. [14] Actually, this was not unusual. As in France, in Francophone Belgium there was a major doctrinal crisis within the Left, many coming to regard, in the aftermath of World War I, dialectical materialism as bankrupt. In France, at least as much the incubator of Fascism as Italy, syndicalism was influenced by Georges Sorel and also, as in Italy, syndicalist revolutionaries united with the Right in rejecting bourgeois liberalism and parliamentary democracy. [15] A similar phenomenon took place in Belgium when Labour party leader Henri De Man forsook Marxism in support of “planism,” [16] and what developed later was collaboration between the Belgian Labour movement and the German occupation. For many of these Socialist collaborators, such as the young French intellectual Drieu La Rocehlle, [17] there was a hope of a united socialist Europe via the purgative of German occupation.

Arrested in 1944, denied civic rights until 1959, Thiriart re-emerged in 1960 as a leader of resistance against the sell-out of the Belgian Congo. In 1962, Thiriart, It was as a representative of the Mouvement d’Action Civique, that Thiriart met with delegated from Britain, Italy and Germany to form the National Party of Europe. [18] The failure of the party led Thiriart to pursue more radical methods, with the aim of establishing revolutionary cells throughout Europe to drive out the USA, and to instigate revolts in Eastern Europe to drive out Russia. Towards this end Thiriart met with communist functionaries in Romania, and even in China, although his views towards the latter were to change, in seeing the Chinese as a threat to Europe and to Russia. Journals were established, and among the readers was the exiled Argentine leader and philosopher Juan Perón, who developed his own concept of a Latin American geopolitical bloc, that continues to have support in the “Bolivarian” concept that had been heralded by the late Hugo Chavez. Thiriart developed what he called “socialism” within the context of “European nationalism,” also calling this “European communitarianism,” the aim of which was to unite the national (meaning a European nation) with the social, for as he states, the nation cannot have meaning without integrating the totality of the people. The primary purpose was to create an autarchic Europe, without which true sovereignty is impossible.  The state would only intervene in the economy to ensure that wealth was not accumulated as a source of power that challenged the state; that is, to thwart plutocracy. There seems much about Oswald Spengler’s “Prussian socialism” in this, based on a state concept that encouraged private enterprise as a reflection of the leadership principle, of hierarchy based on merit, rather than the levelling implied in Marxism, but which subordinated money to duty. [19]

Thiriart’s economic ideas are very broad in this volume, and could be well augmented by reading Mosley’s ideas on “European socialism,” based on a thorough-going syndicalism throughout Europe. The influence of Mosley is perhaps apparent through Thiriart’s policy on the control of prices and wages based on fair returns for all, Mosley’s post-war policy putting much importance on what he called the “wage-price mechanism,” where he regarded state intervention as the key. [20] It seems plausible that Thiriart’s economic ideas were influenced by Mosley. “European socialism” is a term they both used and with similar meaning.

 In 1968 Thiriart’s Jeune Europe, which had developed from his civic action  movement,  but which spread across Europe, attempted to forge an alliance between the Arab states and fighters and “European revolutionary patriots” to fight Zionism and Israel. While nothing official at state level seems to have eventuated, Jeune Europe did send fighters, and one, Roger Coudroy, died in combat fighting for El Fatah. [21] It is claimed that Coudroy, and Thiriart had been influenced by Yockey’s call for an alliance with Third World states and fighters against Israel and the USA. [22] Yockey’s final published essay, “The World in Flames,” did make such a call. [23] Thiriart visited Egypt and Iraq at the invitation of their governments and the Ba’ath Party. Far Rightists and Arab diplomats liaised. How different then than today. Islmaphobia is diverting the “Right” from its actual traditions and legacy. Thiriart stood for the “Right” against all of this with his anti-Zionism, his “European socialism” and his call for a “European nation” beyond 19th century petty-statism.

Thiriart’s material, and there seems to be further translations forthcoming from Jacob and Manticore Press, like  the Yockey material from Counter-Currents, Wermod & Wermod and Arktos Media Ltd. , far from being outdated, is essential reading to get the “Right” back on track.

Subsequently, Thiriart’s call was no longer “Neither Washington, nor Moscow,” but “With Moscow, against Washington,” and he worked in the 1980s on a book that was not completed, calling for a “Euro-Soviet Empire.” [24] Such a concept finds an echo today with Guillaume Faye’s call for a united “Eurosiberia.” Having previously called for revolts against the Russian presence in Eastern Europe, Thiriart now welcomed the Russian suppression of the revolt in Czechoslovakia, in which he accurately saw Zionism playing a role, at a time when much of the “far right,’ especially in the USA, insisted that “Communism is Jewish,” and that the antagonism between the Soviet bloc and Zionism was really a Jewish trick. In 1991 Thiriart supported the creation of a European Liberation Front, suggesting Yockeyan influence, and went to Moscow in 1992 to meet with opponents of Yeltsin. Thiriart died shortly after. [25]

The Great Nation

Jacob states that The Great Nation comprises the first two chapters of a book that was not finished. Other chapters were to include “ethical Europe,” and discussions on the role of the “historical party,” and the character of “power.” [26]

 The author of the introduction, Léon Quittelier, wrote in 1965, The Great Nation, was intended as a manual for the movement’s militants, and as an introduction for the public. Although, as he states, much more needed writing on each subject, the intention was to explain the “direction of our action, its spirit and method.”  One thus gets hints of Thiriart’s thinking on economics, and “communitarianism,” and the geopolitics of large spaces, which can be filled in with detail by recourse to Thiriart’s colleagues Oswald Mosley and later Alexander Dugin. But the volume is valuable in its own right, because it does have the potential for prompting Rightists to start thinking on matters that have largely been forgotten, and back onto courses from which the Right has been diverted. For example, to what extent should the “Right” have feigned outrage at the Jihadist attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo?  [27] Marine Le Pen of the Front National said after the attack: “It is my responsibility to make sure that the fear is overcome. This attack must instead free our speech about Islamic fundamentalism. We must not be silenced.” [28] What nonsense. It was a standing disgrace on the French Right that Charlie Hebdo, a coalition of Zionists, Communists, and Freemasons, inspired by the Jacobin legacy, lampooned France’s traditional heritage at least as much as Islam, with perverted cartoons of God and Jesus, overlooked by the all-seeing eye of the Grand Orient de France. [29] And who clamoured to keep the magazine going after the attack?: the U.S. State Department, Grand Orient and Rothschild. A prior generation of Rightists, especially in France, would surely have applauded the action against a journal so vile. Now much of the Right claims the legacy of liberalism. The ancient tradition of Europe as a unitary concept, of the we-feeling of “European” that goes to make a “people” vis-vis the Moors, Jews, and Mongols, the “Europe” that was synonymous with Christendom, was rent asunder by the Reformation, and Hilaire Belloc suggests the beginning of fracture even prior to this. [30] But that there even was a concept of “Europe” and “Europeans” going well beyond the EEC, back for over a thousand years, has been forgotten, and the Right has been a poor custodian of the tradition, and recently even inimical to it. In 732AD The Chronicle of Isidore of Poitiers refers to the army of Charles Martel as the “Europeans.”  The empire of Charlemagne (AD768-814) was named “Europe” by contemporary chroniclers. There was a common social ethos, a common faith, a we-feeling vis-à-vis the “other.”

But should Europe want to unite on its own terms on the basis of Western tradition, there is yet to be impetus for it, when Euroscepticism and a return of petty-statism has been encouraged by bureaucracy, ineptitude and outright treason against Europe by the ironically named European Union. What kind of Europe is it that encourages open borders, that encourages Third World migration en masse in the name of Europe’s legacy of liberalism, that sends its troops to fight for American globalism, thereby creating the state of permanent chaos that U.S. geopolitical strategists foster, and that causes the “refugee” problems? Petty statism seems the only recourse when the E.U. sells out European interests at the behest of interests outside of Europe.

What Makes a “Nation”?

However, petty statism cannot ensure sovereignty and identity. Only geopolitical blocs can have the strength for it. The basis of such geopolitics is that “large political entities must correspond to the natural, geographical, historical, cultural, etc., affinities, of the people that comprise them, otherwise they will remain unstable and carry in themselves the seeds of their collapse.” [31] Thiriart like Yockey and Oswald Spengler, defines a nation, including a “European nation,” as based on “the unity of it historic destiny.” Russia has a messianic, Christian historic density that has seen her confronted many invaders, and given her an inner strength. [32] Latin American has a shared faith, and other traditions. The USA has attempted to forge a common historical destiny with its mission as the harbinger of hedonism, of the “American way” applicable to the entire world.  Such a mission makes the USA a carrier of culture-pathogens across the world, yet like someone infected with AIDS, who deliberately goes out to infect others, overtly glories in its destructive mission in the name of “freedom”. Europe has its own destiny, states Thiriart. He reiterates what makes a nation and what makes Europe-a-nation: its “shared past,” with a bigger “shared future.” [33] “For us a nation is, above all, a community of destiny.” “For us nationalism is the identity of destiny desired in light of a great shared plan.” [34] It is what Mosley called “the extension of patriotism,” [35] reaching out from one’s family, village, region, nation to Europe. Thiriart saw Europe in the process of being “chocked” if dominated politically by foreigners, and unable to defend its culture because of lack of sovereignty. [36] He meant Europe’s (West and East) subjugation to “Yankee plutocracy and Russian Communism.” [37]

The aspect that is left understated in particular is the socio-economic outlook of European communitarianism, which is only hinted at. Thiriart advocated what Mosley called the “wage-price mechanism,” [38] he supported private enterprise to the limit that it does become a power that challenges the sovereignty of the state, [39] he believed in hierarchy rather than egalitarian levelling, [40] transparency of profits and dividends, a mixed economy of private, co-operative ownership and state ownership, and autarchy [41] which can only be achieved by great geopolitical and trading blocs. He sought with European communitarianism “national [European] solidarity,” above class struggle, which was the outcome of both Communism and capitalism, which “maintained workers in a situation of material and spiritual inferiority.” [42] He seems to have sought also what has otherwise been known as “distributism” to the extent that he believed that family ownership is best, especially in regard to every family owning their own home, [43] and “with a multiplicity of small and medium properties.” [44] The ideal was neither the proletariat” much less the financial parasite, but the “producer” as the “legitimate proprietor of his home,” thereby rooting each “deeply in society.” [45]

One of the most significant allusions, because it deals with the crucial matter of finance, is “to create the only standard of value that can liberate us from all tutelage and radically transform the social relations: the work-standard.” [46] What Thiriart means by this can be adduced from his comment that a single European currency must be created that is predicated neither on the U.S. dollar, nor on the gold standard, the later making Europe “fall from one subjection to another.” The European currency would be “based on our own prodigious economic power.” With such allusions and the reference to a currency based on a “work standard” it must be assumed that Thiriart was advocating a European state banking system that would be based on the issue of currency and credit as a means of exchange rather than as a profit-making (usury) commodity, and one that would also be based on bilateral trade. No other method seems to make sense in the context.

Thiriart addressed a point that is still relevant in the increasing age of globalization, where what was then the Common Market and what is now the European Union, was and remains an adjunct of the world system of free trade with the regulations, laws and bureaucracy that impose the will of global plutocracy above state sovereignty:  “The Common Market must not be a drainage channel for the American economy but a catalyst of political Europe. We do not have to import oranges from California when Spain produces them, nor citrus form Florida that we can find in our country in Bulgaria or in Romania.” [47] The Common Market, and hence the European Union, and it has been a disaster rather than a stepping-stone for an autarchic Europe, with populist clamours to reject Europe where once there was the European ideal. European Union was intended as an appendage to U.S. foreign policy, and a rationalized market for manufactures from outside of Europe. Thiriart and Mosley hoped that it could be turned into something else. Mosley described what Europe should become as distinct from the “Europe” of the bureaucrats and financiers: “we can make our system work if it is confined to people who are like one another, but not if it seeks to serve all the desires of a Tower of Babel: therefore our Socialism is European and not international.” [48] Thiriart stated that Europe should be for Europeans otherwise ethnic homogeneity would be “ruptured” for the sake of cheap labour for capitalism and cannon fodder for communism, and that one day automation would render large masses of labour superfluous. [49] Today, the bureaucrats and oligarchs of the European Union demand that Europe open her borders in the name of a “European tradition” of liberal humanism, and it is the main reason why the “Right” now rejects Europe where it was once her herald.

Most significantly is the ethos that the European nation-state will serve a higher idea than the liberal and Marxist notions of the state as an economic arbiter that is outlined by Thiriart.  He pointed out that great historical conflicts were not decided by showing up to battle “with armies of consumers.” “The European national-communitarian state maintains that politics contains and determines everything that constitutes a truly great nation: an art, a style, a morality, a will to perfection and superiority, the social justice which reinforces the homogeneity of a community, the power which guarantees freedom.” [50]

Thiriart’s legacy has been maintained by old comrades such as Christian Bouchet in France, and Claudio Mutti in Italy, and thinkers such as the fellow Belgian Robert Steuckers, whose pan-European text, The European Enterprise, has also been translated by Dr. Jacob and published by Manticore. [51] His ideas continue to influence the geopolitical thinking of alexander Dugin in Russia. Jacob and Manticore Press have provided a great service in translating these European texts translated into English, where there is pressing need for being able to access a wide and rich heritage of political and cultural thought, of which the Anglophone peoples are a far-flung part.

 

[1] Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, Pan Europe (Vienna, 1923), 59-66.

[2] K. R. Bolton, The Occult and Subversive Movements (London, 2017), 227-237.

[3] “Boris was correct – the EU was a fascist project,” UKIP Daily, June 20, 2016, https://www.ukipdaily.com/boris-correct-eu-fascist-project/ (accessed 15 July 2018)

[4]  “The EU, BREXIT and class politics,” , London, 2018, https://www.communist-party.org.uk/images/pdfs/CPB-Europe-2018--.pdf (accessed 15 July 2018)

[5] Franklin Roosevelt’s “Atlantic Charter” makes it clear that empires, based on trade protection, would not be tolerated in the post-war world, to Churchill’s impotent dismay; that free trade was a primary war aim.

[6] Oswald Mosley, Europe: Faith and Plan (London: Euphorion Press, 1958).

[7] Oswald  Mosley, European Socialism (London: Sanctuary Press, 1951). 

[8] K. R. Bolton, Yockey: A Fascist Odyssey (London: Arktos Media Ltd., 2018).

[9] Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium ([1948] Abergele: Wermod and Wermod, 2013), The Proclamation of London of the European Liberation Front ([1949] Shamley Green: Wermod and Wermod, 2012).

[10] Otto Strasser, “The Role of Europe,” Mosley: Policy and Debate (London: Euphorion Books, 1954).

[11] Julius Evola, “Form and Propositions of a United Europe,” in Men Above the Ruins (Rochester: Inner Traditions, 2002), pp. 274-286.

[12] Oswald Mosley , “The Post-War European Idea” in My Life ([1968] London: Black House Publishing,  2014), pp. 458-464.

[13] See debate between Otto Strasser and Mosley in “European Future: Debate with Dr. Otto Strasser,” Mosley: Policy and Debate (Euphorion Books, 1954), pp. 77-88.

[14] Jacob in The Great Nation, p. 6.

[15] Zeev Sternhell, The Birth of Fascist Ideology (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1994). Sternhell, an Israeli scholar, is particularly good in objectively tracing the Fascist ideology to pre-war origins in France.

[16] Zeev Sternhell, “The Idealist Revisionism of Marxism: The Ethical Socialism of Henri De Man,” in Neither Left nor Right: Fascist Ideology in France ((Princeton University Press, 1986), pp. 119-141.

[17] Robert Soucy, Fascist Intellectual: Drieu La Rochelle (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1979).

[18] Jacob in The Great Nation, p. 6.

[19] Oswald Spengler, Prussian Socialism and Other Essays (London: Black House Publishing, 2018).

[20] Oswald Mosley, “European Socialism in Relation to the Wage-Price Mechanism,” in Europe Faith and Plan, op. cit., pp. 121-134.

[21] Jacob, p. 9.

[22] Christopgher Othen, “Who was Roger Coudroy?,” https://christopherothen.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/who-was-roger-coudroy/ (accessed 14 July 2018).

[23] Francis Parker Yockey (Ulick Varange) The World in Flames (1961), forthcoming as part of an anthology Yockey: The World in Flames (San Francisco: Counter-Currents Publishing, 2018).

[24] Jacob, p. 10.

[25] Ibid., p. 11.

[26] Ibid., p. 12.

[27] K. R. Bolton, “Charlie Hebdo: All Idiots Now?,” Counter-Currents, https://www.counter-currents.com/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-all-idiots-now/

[28] “Marine Le Pen condemns ‘murderous ideology’ in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo shooting,” The Telegraph, January 7, 2015, http://digital.library.illinoisstate.edu/cdm/search/collection/p15990coll1/searchterm/Hall,%20Gordon%20D./field/identi/mode/all/conn/and/order/nosort (accessed 14 July 2018).

[29] See the cover: https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-unbearable-frenchness-of-charlie-hebdo (accessed 14 July 2018).

[30] Hilaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith ([1920] London: Black House Publishing, 2012).

[31] Thiriart, p. 29.

[32] K. R. Bolton, Russia and the Fight Against Globalisation (London: Black House Publishing, 2018).

[33] Thiriart, p. 30.

[34] Ibid., p. 31.

[35] Oswald Mosley, “The Extension of Patriotism” (1947), https://www.counter-currents.com/2012/11/the-extension-of-patriotism/ (accessed 16 July 2018).

[36] Thiriart, p. 33.

[37] Ibid., p. 34.

[38] Thiriart, p. 104.

[39] Thiriart, pp. 84-85.

[40] Thiriart, p. 45.

[41] Thiriart, p. 90.

[42] Thiriart, p. 92.

[43] Thiriart, p. 95.

[44] Thiriart, p. 103.

[45] Thiriart, p. 103.

[46] Thiriart, p. 124.

[47] Thiriart, pp. 88-89.

[48] Mosley, European Socialism, p. 7.

[49] Thiriart, p. 117.

[50] Thiriart, p. 86.

[51] Robert Steuckers, The European Enterprise: Geopolitical Essays (Manticore Press, 2016).