Furthest Right

Discussion or Inquisition? The case of Alain de Benoist (Pierre-Andre Taguieff)

In many respects, Alain de Benoist is a political and intellectual turncoat. During the 1960s, his political culture revolve around radical anti-communism and a nationalism a lá Charles Maurras (with a supra-national, post-national perspective). His “worldview,” centered on the “defense of the West,” was based on “scientific racism” (the theory of race revised by Mendelian genetics and a differential psychology of intelligence) and a eugenic project situated at the core of the “biopolitics” of the future.’ During the 1970s, he gradually broke with biologism[2] and distanced himself from anti-communism — the dominant political thinking in various groups on the Right — to the point of characterizing liberalism and the US (the embodiment of consumer society) as the “main enemy.”[3] By defending and explaining “cultural identities” and “organic communities” or ethnic groups, he advanced a radical critique of nationalism and its cult of the nation-state, especially in its republican/Jacobin form. He denounced it in particular because it destroys cultural “speciticities” or “particularisms.”[4] His defense of “organic democracy”[5] and his surprising adoption of a “right-wing pro-Third World stance”[6] must be understood in light of this “ethno-pluralism.”

The enemy of communism and critic of the “Marxification” of the European mind thus became a defender of threatened or minority “cultural identifies,” the partisan of a European alliance with the Third World against “American” imperialism, a critic of the misdeeds of “consumer society,” utilitarian values, and the exclusive power of “money.”[7] The rejection of anti-communism was supplemented with the rejection of the anti-fascist ideology inherited from the Far Right. Communists were transformed from absolute enemies into legitimate interlocutors as long as they remained resolute opponents of capitalism and accepted “debate” or “dialogue.”[8] The disappearance of the Soviet threat in 1989/90 only accelerated this process, which consisted in polemical convergences (especially anti-Americanism) and reciprocal political and philosophical interests? Nevertheless, these meetings between a dissident from the far Right (Benoist) and more or less heretical communists remain atypical. Their marginality is reflected in the insignificance of their refusal to accept the idea that “America” is the late of the planet at a time when American hegemony imposes itself unchallenged and when “global” democratism is confused with triumphant plutocratism. Whatever truth this may have, this is the main argument shared by pro-Third World “revolutionary conservatives” and post-Stalinist communist revolutionaries.

These few rare “dialogues” and editorial contiguities between Benoist and the communists were exploited in June and July 1993 in the context of a strange press campaign whose object was ‘to denounce an alleged “national-communist” danger in France. To it is legitimate to claim that there is a problem with national-communist tendencies or “temptations” in Serbia or Russia, in Romania or Albania. But the attempt to pose the threat of a “national-communist” pseudo-conspiracy in France, paired with appeals to be especially “vigilant” in the face of an allegedly new wave of “national Bolshevism” — a French version — is the result of hallucination or manipulation. A false danger embodied by a fictional enemy! Using tears and rumors, this dramatization could be practiced on a credulous anti-fascist public lacking absolute and intellectually respectable (as opposed to populist demagogues) enemies. The legendary story of the conspiracy of the “reds” and the “browns” (who agreed on a shadowy alliance to overthrow “democracy”) certainly met an ideological requirement. It undoubtedly “satisfied” a desire to objectivity reasons for tear by naming an enemy — a single entity made up of the two great figures of exterminating barbarism in the 20th century: the Bolshevik and the Nazi (or, for those who remain untouched by contemporary historiography: the fascist). The analysis of how this legend that misfired was constructed of the media’s fabrication of a pseudo-danger(the press campaign started in the last week of June, 1993 and ended at the end of July; only a few journals imitated Le Monde[11]) has yet to be written. In particular, it would help clarity the last attempts to artificially resusitate a petrified “anti-fascism” — a slogan without content — capable of being used in different contexts. That a campaign which calls itself “anti-fascist” is reduced to denouncing as the supreme evil an article in Krisis, which is then accused of collaborating (by complicity or by ignorance of the “danger”) with the absolute enemy (the disguised “Nazi”) is the unwittingly comic demonstration of the inanity of neo-anti-fascist ideology. Self-styled anti-fascists practice a “magical vigilance”[12] against fictional enemies whose main activity is reputedly to “entrap” poor misinformed sops (this model scarcely applies to anything other than Benoist’s journal).This is the image diffused by that pathetic press campaign.[13]

Perhaps something should be added that appears all too obvious: in order to find someone to fill the role of the frightening (neo)Nazi, someone besides the barely credible Benoist should have been found. That he might have met with an old or new (or assimilated) Nazi, or that the already dead lather of one of his German editors (Grabert Verlag) might have been a Nazi is not enough to establish his identity as a “disguised Nazi”; not enough to pigeon-hole him (he really has not changed; only the masks have). These abusive inferences, which systematically substitute deciphering tot critical analysis, have the unfortunate result of forestalling a real debate in France on the foundations of ethno-pluralism and its political practices (current or potential). The provocative and radical nature of the positions Benoist has taken calls for reasoned replies. Rather than trying to dispel political illusions linked to identitarian myths — from a pro-ethnic stance to xenophobic nationalism — or pointing out the perverse effects of communitarian differentialism, some sell-styled anti-fascists preferred the easy and intellectually comfortable way out by inventing an easily refutable Benoist who is as diabolical as they want him to be. In fact, the infamous reduction of a redoubtable political and intellectual adversary to Nazism allows one to annihilate him symbolically without talking to him. The argument is reduced to insults: “Nazi bastard!” It is useless to say any more. This is the zero sum of argumentation — the common practice of some agitators whether on the street or in the salon. It is easy to understand why so many genuine militants in the 1980s refused to take part in actions called anti-tascist or anti-racist. They wanted to distance themselves from a manipulative “anti-fascism” and from an “anti-racism” created by civilian police who more or less knowingly set up a raise target.[14]

The myth of a “red/brown” conspiracy, in which Benoist figures as the “brown” par excellence, eliminated critical discussion of the way in which the “New Right” constructed its doctrine. Again, the media’s exploitation of the conspiracy myth discredited the serious reading of texts, the work of interpretation and the requirements of rational critique. The problem posed by the existence of the “New Right” –personified rightly or wrongly by Benoist — was not raised. It was mythologized by the mechanical use of stereotypes in propaganda which was all too anachronistic and thus ineffective. Far more surprising is that so many good, “cultivated” people are so credulous in the race of so much rhetorical poverty. But perhaps the desire to have such awful enemies who are known and recognizable (“communists,” “Nazis”) is more powerful than the desire to know and understand.

That Benoist can be considered a turncoat because of his many changes of position and argumentative styles is not in doubt. The claims of some of his former friends who no longer recognize him “as one of our own” — as right-wing, part of the “authentic” Right — is additional proof. But Benoist is a strange turncoat. On the one hand, having broken with his “natural” public — on the Right — by confusing and even shocking them,[15] and with his original ideological and political milieu, he nonetheless did not lind a public or a home in an intellectual community on the Left. (In response to our questions about Krisis, a number of university professors and “legitimate” intellectuals replied that they thought it was a journal of high standing but they asked us not to divulge their names. At this point it is useless to question the existence of “intellectual terrorism” in France during the 1980s since its existence is proved by the self-censorship of the most liberated minds.) On the other hand, and especially, having left the right-wing terrain — or at least the duly delineated right-wing arena — Benoist did not migrate to the Left. The tact that he wants to talk to left-wing intellectuals is enough to show that he continues to define himself in terms of his difference with the Lett — even it is anti-capitalist and anti-American — and that he continues to present himself by opposing himself to the Lett (as it, confronted with the factual Right which has adapted itself to the prevailing disorder, desertion, indifference or disdain should be practiced). The (real) Lett remains his legitimate adversary, the only one deserving of the name.

This position of unstable, undetermined turncoat is very uncomfortable in France, where the categories of Lett and Right still play a symbolic role on the intellectual scene. In this paradoxical situation, there is an obviously tragic element arising from conflicting values. Benoist’s refusal to join the National Front as it began to rise in 1984-5 — even though people close to him took that step without hesitation (Jean-Claude Bardet, Pierre Vial, etc.) — isolated him within his own generation of militants descended from Jeune Nation or from the Europe Action network. Similarly, he ran the risk of being called a “traitor” by the orthodox members of the National Front. In short, and to take some distance from his reputation as an able strategist (a professional “entrapper”), one will note that his radical critique of economic liberalism, of para-religious morality and nationalism per se (independent of its xenophobic consequences) gave him the reputation of being a “communist” or a crypto-lettist both in the far Right and in the “respectable” Right.

Benoist quickly turns from “brown” to “red”: for the prevailing centro-centrism, all “extremisms” are the same. But at the end of the 1980s his atypical position attracted a new public in which the new generation of GRECE — itself atypical and transversal — was recruited. It is very significant that Metapo, the monthly magazine “for a new European culture,” was created in 1989 by the Nouvelle Droite Jeunesse: (NDJ) and edited by Charles Champetier, who would be entrusted with the newly formulated Elements (beginning with number 41) in 1991: Elements “for a European culture” (no longer “for European civilization”), the self-proclaimed “New Culture” replacing that of the “New Right” (Metapo folded in the summer of 1990).[16]

At the same time, the journal Krisis, which only publishes authors generally unfamiliar with the “New Right” (or with what the “New Right” once was), created its own public which was not that of the authors published. Political and intellectual atypicality is also a means for transforming the audience, a means of reselecting publics and redefining alliances or affinities. Whether he consciously wanted this or not, the atypical character of Benoist’s views brought about renewal and rejuvenation. It appears this was the intended aim.

Looking over the mail received in the 1980s by Nouvelle Ecole, one can see how diverse its readership is and from this one can tell that it crosses over the boundaries between Left and Right. It is quite revealing that in their letters readers who claim to be on the Left readily insist that the journal remain open to contemporary debates. They also insist on the possibility, even the necessity, of a “discussion” or “dialogue” between left-wing intellectuals and intellectuals in the “New Right.” In 1982, Jean-Michel Palmier wrote the following to the Nouvelle Ecole: “Despite everything that separates us, I have always read the issues of NE on the same day I received them because I have a theoretical interest in them and because I wanted to discover at which point in the reading of an article I no longer agreed. . . . Your publication is also remarkable for other reasons. There is an attempt at documentation and constant analysis, rigor, and a concern to make problems known, all of which are worthy of praise. I often regret that the theoretical Left does not have a similar journal. . . . It goes without saying that I do not agree with everything I find in Nouvelle Ecole but this is just what interests me: the recognition of theoretical differences, of differences in sensibility. . . . Many of your ideas are interesting and I absolutely refuse to hand them over to you! You are not afraid of ideas and debates. . . . I have often discussed your ideas with friends on the Left and they often seem prepared to abandon an idea because you put it forward. I have the opposite opinion and believe that it is often more stimulating to debate with people who are intelligent but have different ideas than with people who are supposed to be allies but who have no ideas at all. I find that the questions you raise are important from a left-wing point of view and that it is impossible to avoid them. I think it is more intelligent to respond to your theoretical formulations with other such formulations rather than to excommunicate you and brand you as an anathema. I have often wanted to write many pages of commentary on your articles in order to criticize, argue and discuss them. But I know that in this area, silence is the rule.”[17]

This letter provides a good description of the current method of demonizing the “ideas” of the “New Right.” These “ideas” are not considered in themselves and do not become the object of a discussion following rational rules. They are rejected from the start as emanating from a subject, individual (Benoist) or collective (GRECE) which already has been submitted to a reductio ad hitlerum by insinuation (like the following: “Hitler was anti-liberal; Benoist is anti-liberal; and so on”). This letter also shows the extraordinary intellectual degeneration which affects the Left in France: terrorised by the idea of verbal contact which is needed for a debate, they more often prefer to avoid discussion and to sacrifice argumentative intelligence. It seems there are two main reasons for this paralyzing tear of controversy. First, the fear of inquisitors in the Stalinist tradition (which has survived historical Stalinism) who would excommunicate them ideologically, the desire to avoid any polemical amalgamation at all costs (this is often expressed in a sophism like “to debate with the adversary is to legitimize him and run the risk of being attracted to his theses”) the effect of which is to marginalize, even to criminalize, the one victimized by it. Next there is the fear of contact, of the contiguity implied by any discussion, polemical or not. In this panic avoidance of the adversary one can recognize the imaginary idea of dirtying oneself based on the tear of a contagious or indelible mark or infectious germ. One can also recognize the terror of being contaminated by simple verbal contact even at a distance. Apart from these two powerful motivations, the partisans of non-dialogue manifest their lack of assurance by their non-participation — they betray their laziness. The refusal to debate with real adversaries (this should go without saying) is the alibi shared by intellectual mediocrity (which is self-conscious) and simple laziness. But the basest motivations like to dress themselves up in virtuous motives and respectable reasons.

In 1985, Edgar Morin wrote to Nouvelle Ecole to state his belief in the principle of tree debate, which he immediately put into practice: “Nouvelle Ecole interests me a lot. In particular I appreciate the concerns of the German thinkers you write about (who are unknown or not well known here), as well as the bibliographical rigor. As you know, I am among those who have never turned you into scapegoats! Dialogue is therefore as possible as polemics. This certainly does not preclude major and fundamental differences.[18] But the litany of denunciations of the “confusion of ideas” has since been substituted for critical analysis and an “uncompromising dialogue.” The virtuous condemnation of the Right’s and Left’s ideological “chasse-croises,” which have resulted in a dangerous “ambiguity,” has eliminated any reflection on the intellectual evolution of the participants by serving to justify the absence of a serious investigation into the changes in their positions and political alliances. From this results those appeals to “vigilance,” cast in a petrified (neo)anti-fascist language and put forward by minds that are small or blind and always lazy.

Pseudo-militant parroting did not end at the beginning of the 1990s and commemorative anti-fascism still feeds a catastrophic imagination with no foothold in historical reality. Comfortably ensconced in positions of cultural power, a nominal Left has made a speciality of this vain babbling about “vigilance, as it praise of the purity of “ideas” could replace the act of thinking itself and compensate for political inaction or transfigure lack of engagement. It is enough to read such a journalist in Le Monde. Ordinarily he specializes in book reviews, but he knows how to lend his pen when “great causes” — culturally sublimated by the added presence of prestigious names (Nobel prize oblige) — are at stake. In an article entitled “La Confusion des Idees,”[19] the journalist Roger-Pol Droit treats Benoist and the intellectuals suspected of “complicity” in the same way he treated Guy Debord five years earlier: he stigmatizes these dangerous thinkers who “cover their tracks” and therefore (to add to the mixed metaphors) “fog” the minds of honest people. The old adage (“My children, trust your grandmother, everything is going to the dogs . . .”) takes on a new significance which is easy to parody: “My children, everything is going to the dogs, there are no more guideposts.” For the surveyors and the spies, the catastrophe is at hand: how could Guy Debord be described as being “on the Left”? How could Benoist be “on the Right”? When the boundary between Right and Left is obscured, things become “toggy”: this is the idea that enlightens the journalist’s politico-philosophical analysis. In July 1988 he wrote that Debord “has become a master of the art of covering his tracks”[20]: for example, he “publicly took Third World and anti-capitalist positions, refused all labels, including those of Left and Right.”[21] To be “vigilant” is to spy, decipher, track and uncover. The intellectual turns into a tracker of positions which are not distinct enough, ideas which are deplorably impure and politically impertinent.

Mr. Droit’s critical analysis and his combative remarks go no further: the “sleuth” journalist is satisfied with denouncing this “confusion of ideas” as “a major political danger” (p. 9). Masquerading as an argument against the “New Right,” Mr. Droit presents to his supposedly naive (and stupid) readers a series of empty formulas in an authoritative tone: “There are . . . dangerous tendencies in our intellectual lite (p. 1), “old dangers lurk behind new situations.” (p. 9). To this is added the usual polemical mixture of labelling as “far Right” — the adversary one wants to discredit (in this case the “New Right,” a label which is carefully avoided) and of repeating that the worst is yet to come — the current way of dramatizing things (the “major political danger” whose vagueness guarantees its effect). Here is a summary of the warning: “in debates and dialogues with some left-wing intellectuals, part of the far Right” (read: the “New Right”) is secretly plotting to “cover its tracks in the realm of ideas.” This certainly only exacerbates or increases in a disturbing way the terrible “confusion of ideas,” arousing “old dangers” and representing “a major political danger.”

The Manichean simplicity and conceptual poverty of such an “analysis,” repeated as a litany over works which do not have the journalist-procuror’s support,[22] should not obscure its simple function: denunciation and the appeal to “the tradition of vigilance” have the aim of prohibiting a confrontation of “ideas” by calling into question a certain number of intellectuals forever excluded from the legitimate space of debate. The “vigilance” of the anti-fascist tradition is called into play by a discriminating will and placed in the service of a project of segregating “good” from “bad” intellectuals. To avoid the “contusion of ideas” — a repulsive myth in anti-fascist rhetoric –honest people, readers of honest daily newspapers, are called on to debate only with respectable interlocutors pre-selected by media authorities. Through its “anti-fogging” activity, journalistic pseudo-fascism preaches the advent of a society based on discrimination and the segregation of citizens who are candidates for the “debate of ideas.” Self-styled “vigilance” is a machine that creates pariahs from the web of its suspicions. Confronted with those who hunt out the “confusion of ideas,” who censor public debates, who denounce heterodox thought, intellectual resistance begins with the phrase Lucien Febvre liked to quote: “oportet haereses esse” (“we need heretics”).[23] These heretics should not be treated as “undesirables,” as dialogical untouchables to be execrated or expelled from culturally legitimate areas.

Fourteen years alter “the summer of the New Right,” mobilizing cliches in a program of mental hygiene was still a very effective media ploy –the manifestations of which are visible in any campaign against “dangerous ideas.” It should be recalled that in 1980 Annie Kriegal declared that “the efficacity of any appeal to ‘vigilance’ “was “assured.” This ideological “efficacy” was waning until July 1993 when, as Eastern Europe continued to work through its convulsive flight from communism and violent xenophobic confrontations occurred in most Western European nations, some “anti-fascist” intellectuals thought it wise to call once again for “vigilance”[24] in order to light against “the far Right’s current strategy of legitimation,” which essentially would consist in “a large seduction campaign aimed at democrats and intellectuals, some of whom are known for being on the Left.” In France, this strategic model only applies to the journal Krisis, edited by Benoist, which generally has only published authors classified as left-wing (with a few exceptions). Those who signed the “call to vigilance” plan to construct “a vigilant Europe,” not by lighting against xenophobic nationalism and identitarian populism which legitimate practices of “ethnic cleansing” (on a large or small scale), but “by collecting and circulating as widely as possible all information useful for understanding the networks of the far Right and their intellectual allies (publishing houses, newspapers, universities) and by agreeing to “reject any collaboration with journals, collective works, radio or television programs, colloquia organised or directed by people whose links with the far Right have been confirmed”.

The courage needed for this has reasonable limits. And the clarity demanded is also not excessive. In fact, this way of characterizing the “far Right” by its cultural strategies of seducing the adversary and of self-legitimation shows that it is the “New Right” which is targeted; and the “ideologues from the far Right” who “for some time now have tried to make people believe that they have changed” are reduced to the person of Benoist (accompanied, it need be, by his Italian homologue Marco Tarchi, who himself also has become more suspect since he opened his journals to the intellectual Left). Problem of labels: the “far Right” is the “New Right” for those who know how to decode. This means that the “anti-fascist” public (sensitive to anti-fascist ideas) is being given the exalted task of constructing a “vigilant Europe” by putting a cordon sanitaire around a journal like Krisis (600 subscribers) and those it has “entrapped” who have not repented! By contrast, the leaders of the National Front never have tried to “force people to believe they have changed” and never invited Left intellectuals to write in their publications: this is how the “far Right” (which disseminates and legitimates xenophobic ideas in France) really functions. The political analysis on which the “appeal to vigilance” is based is quite simply false: the “far Right” is by no means deploying a “legitimation strategy” which “profits from the multiplication of debate and dialogue”: it does not attempt to seduce the intellectual left and it does not call for dialogue or debate. But the appeal did not have to be based on truth to ensure its efficacy . . .

To get at the reality of these political and intellectual evolutions, the picture has to be reversed. Benoist did “change” after the mid-1960s, whereas many of his detractors did not, either in their methods or in their beliefs. But meanwhile the state of France and of Europe also has changed. This allows an evaluation of the lack of clarity in a ranting and lazy (neo)anti-fascism which can barely see dangers arising in Europe today other than those connected with “debate” and “dialogue” with “New Right” intellectuals in France or Italy. Lost to serious anti-racism, the soft nationalization of xenophobia — especially in France — still continues without disturbing very many people, and the European utopia becomes political at the same speed as xenophobic violence becomes the order of the day in both East and West. In their silence on these matters, the preachers and professors of vigilance do not seem to care. Intellectual Stalinism leads a hard life.

In principle, in order for a democratic citizenry to exist, “freedom of speech and of writing” must not be broached. Ordinarily debate is the rule — from dialogue to ideological struggle — and the refusal to do so is an exception. It it is not, nothing prevents an individual from systematically refusing to speak to any other individual who disagrees with him. Demonstration by absurdity — the indefinite extension of the principle of non-debate with adversaries — destroys something essential to humanity, which consists precisely in surmounting conflicts through dialogue. Palmier’s and Morin’s previously mentioned letters have the notable merit of reminding the most sectarian intellectual Left in the world that the goal of a dialogical confrontation (of whatever type) is to allow interlocutors to agree on the reasons why they disagree. Dialogue is not essentially agreement; it is not intended to eliminate disagreements. The “polytheism of values” is insurmountable.

This article discusses the “ideas” of the “New Right” without complicity but without demonizing them — as far as it is possible — on the basis of a dialogical principle which presupposes something like an argumentative good will — a mixture of good faith and philological probity. Whatever our divergences, disagreements or conflicts with Benoist’s “ideas,” we have the duty to consider them, to submit them to critical examination and, it necessary, to reject them. In so doing, we know also that we are violating the implicit rule of a common practice which essentially consists in condemning before any critical examination, then in rejecting without discussion. In a society whose normative watchword is the “struggle against exclusion,” the tact that an “intellectual” who respects the rules of dialogue is excluded from legitimate dialogue is at the very least a paradox which, seen from far away, might appear as a scandal, at least from the standpoint of a cultural or intellectual liberalism which at one and the same time presupposes a state based on modern law and the exercise of free critical discussion. Bernard Lewis provides this simple definition, which emphasises the opposition between liberal and authoritarian: “By liberal, I mean respectful of individual liberty and human rights; the antonym of liberal is not conservative but authoritarian.”[25]

In his interventions concerning the “New Right” in July and August 1973 and at the end of his Memories, Raymond Aron raised the problem of the attitude to take to the “New Right.” For example, to fight against Benoist’s ideas (his anti-egalitarianism, his anti-Americanism, his anti-liberalism, his neo-paganism), should one call on judges to prohibit the circulation of his texts? should one therefore practice legal anti-racism to censor Benoist’s work? In the press campaigns during the summers of 1979 and 1993, many of the “New Right’s” accusers described it to competent authorities as contravening the “anti-racist” law of July 1, 1972 by assimilating it to Nazism in one way or another.[26] From this point of view, based on the “Nazification” of GRECE, it is not necessary to discuss its ideas, and certainly not to engage in discussion with its representatives. One need only stigmatize, denounce, condemn, in order to make censorship acceptable, even desirable. In 1979 and 1983, Raymond Aron examined the views of the partisans of ideological censorship and showed that it is incompatible with a liberal vision, with the values and norms of liberalism. For the one and only problem is to know how to resist — in a way that is not imaginary — the modern from of barbarism: totalitarianism. Or again: how not to play the game of totalitarian thought with the most honorable anti-racist or anti-fascist intentions. In 1979 the philosopher and sociologist found a criterion for intellectual liberalism: “No conception of the world, be it monotheist or not, can defend as such the individual or society against totalitarianism. The antidote for totalitarianism is to refuse to arrogate to oneself or to give to others the monopoly over legitimate speech.”[27]

The demand for ideological censorship is ambiguous; it is not in itself the expression of a totalitarian vision but it can become one. It can drift toward the totalitarian idea of a society with a single way of thinking, bringing to fruition the desire for an orthodoxy without limits. Like ideas, words can kill: this is the major argument of the partisans of ideological censorship who seek an anti-racist/anti-fascist corrective. But ideas and words do not kill in and of themselves, by their substantive symbolic power: they can kill only in a certain context accompanied by certain practices, by certain uses made of them. It follows that there should be less concern with “dangerous ideas” than with the dangerous exploitation of certain ideas, of all ideas which, as we know, can be perverted. Consequently, censoring words and ideas is only a poor substitute for an anti-totalitarian program of action. Censorship does not eliminate, does not destroy; it prohibits some ways of circulating messages, it displaces communication and makes way for the inevitable return of the “repressed.” This is why one can only attempt to chose the path of lesser evil which, in a democratic age, presupposes confidence in debate and rationality as well as the resolve to avoid falling into a huge paradox: wanting to fight totalitarian tendencies with the instruments of a totalitarian politics which wants to establish a society without opponents or “people who think the wrong way,” without a space for free debate. In 1983, Aron dealt with this problem directly in the “case” of Benoist: “Some Jews and official organizations of the Jewish community readily denounce Benoist’s “New Right” by imputing to it a penchant for National Socialism. At the same time, they sometimes ask authorities to silence it on the pretext that it falls under the law condemning hate literature. Jews who demand censorship are wrong. Is Benoist essentially anti-Semitic? I do not know and I do not much care. I have found no proof of this in the texts which have appeared in the last few years. He defends himself against this accusation: in the name of the enriching diversity of cultures, he encourages the survival of regional cultures; why not the safeguarding of Jewish particularities? In any case, Benoist is too well informed not to understand that the Nazis have forever discredited themselves by the gas chambers. . . . The day after the assassination on the rue Copernic, a journalist from Antenne 2 interviewed me about the causes and the responsibilities for this event. He tried to draw me into a discussion about the intellectuals on the New Right. I answered abruptly that I would not take part in this kind of amalgamation. Those who hate Benoist’s ideas should combat them with ideas, not with sticks or gas. I have said that ideas-kill, but the real beauty and fragility of liberalism is that it does not smother voices, even it they are dangerous.”[28]

If one believes that the “New Right” is dangerous, reasons should be given without having recourse to polemical amalgamations. Its ideas should be criticized, its themes and references analyzed, its doctrines dismantled, its unfounded beliefs refuted. For the time being the “New Right” is not mobilizing the masses and is not linked to the groups which expressly threaten democratic institutions. We can adopt Aron’s remark during the 1979 campaign against the “New Right”: “It represents a danger, and I have no reason to believe it does, the response to it should be an intellectual one”[29]

Through the dialectics of debate, disagreements emerge, underlying motivations are clarified, differents are discovered — possibly even how they were constructed — and finally limits are set out, borders are crossed and others are seen as indefensible or intolerable. Outside the space opened by critical discussion in controlled debates there is nothing but denunciations based on a priori condemnation of absolute enemies, absolutely detestable or despicable. There is nothing left but the virtuous pose of a lazy or mediocre conformist making virtue of necessity (fetusing to speak to enemies, even to read their works). These are the classical police methods of disqualifying political enemies or rebellious minds. This pairing of police inquisition with ideological virtue is a fair characterization of the pseudo-anti-fascist spirit in which a number of articles or books on the “New Right” have been written. To break with this denunciating spirit is to refuse to allow the rumors or prohibitions hurled by cliques, acting as ideological police and benefiting from positions of power in the media, to replace the tree confrontation of themes, ideas and arguments. The practice of democracy depends on this; it presupposes that counter-forces prevent any powerful network from monopolizing legitimate speech in the name of Goodness (which is usually reduced to a “defence of democracy” the vagueness of which lends itself to all kinds of uses). The practice of democracy presupposes that citizens are motivated by a two-fold desire for “instruction” and discussion. Democracy is neither the absolute rule of the ideas of the majority nor the closing in on itself of the “sovereignty of the people.” The condition of its possibility is the opening up of space for a discussion which would ideally regulate itself, which tries to do without external authorities on truth or justice whether they present and legitimate themselves as pre-existing (tradition) or superior (revelation) — even as the ideas of the majority.

The process of secularization has never been completed; the modern rationalization of attitudes and behaviors is more an ideal than a social reality. The desire for transcendence is appeased precisely by investing cracks in the disenchanted world, inhabiting empty spaces in the process of rationalization. The dominant form of political neo-transcendence takes the form of idealizing “mass” conformity, which is supported in the work of legitimation that “organic” intellectuals –those entrepreneurs of orthodox visions — provide. Furthermore, the media’s symbolic power now transforms dominant ideas into absolute facts which feed the soft tyranny of mediated opinion. The emergence of such a limitless orthodoxy, precluding the classical counter-force of critical examination, poses a dilemma insofar as a pluralist democracy excludes the rule of any orthodoxy. An exclusionary orthodoxy is taking shape m contemporary pluralist societies on the basis of a certain number of symbolic materials whose logical incompatibility does not rule out their efficacious combination: the defence of “human rights” and the respect for the “right to difference,” the categorical imperative of the “struggle against exclusion” (discrimination, stigmatization, segregation) and the “anti-racist” practice of symbolically excluding “racists” (defined as those who exclude), the defence of “victims” or the “poor,” and the practice of the “duty to intervene,” which has changed from being emergency humanitarian aid into the military goal of “pacification,” the consensual cult of the borderless market and the appeal to respect the boundaries between Right and Left. All these ideals and practices are heading towards an ideological and political “alignment”: a tendency towards monodoxy in the media of liberal democracies and the imposition of a moral, legal or political order on nations which resist “globalization.” The general tendency is toward cultural homogenization and legal and political uniformity; these are required in order to bring about a post-national market. The most obvious paradox can be seen in the fact that the move toward homogeneous uniformity born in pluralist democracies ends up being universalized either by humanitarian moralizing or military violence. The unadmitted ideal of a world without heretics, dissidents, opponents — in short, without heterodox thinkers — has made progress in people’s thinking and customs.

Globalization runs the risk of bringing about the elimination of freedom of thought by slowly disqualifying, through suspicion of heterodoxy, ideas which do not agree with media standards. In this dynamic process one can restore the symbolic rituals of exclusion aimed at the “New Right” as well as at intellectuals who agree to debate or argue with some of its representatives. This is really the emerging form of a peculiarly French “political correctness” whose national specificity has a strong Stalinist flavor. it is considered politically correct to refuse to debate with some categories of intellectual adversaries because they are allegedly “disguised Nazis.” To this image of the absolute “disguised” enemy inherited from Stalinist rhetoric is added the polemical amalgamation (which disqualifies absolutely) of the fictional “national-communist.” This version has been adapted to prevailing values in amalgamations of the “Hitlerian-Trotskyst” type. A “barbarized” adversary, turned into an enemy of “normal” humanity, is reduced to something identical (here one can see the reversal of a recurring image in the Western tear of Jews: the Jew as “enemy of the human species”).[30]

The emergence of the historically real can no longer be seen; it is no longer explored as something new. It is reduced to signs or to indications of a past codified and turned into a repulsive myth: a past peopled with “old devils.” Thus it is assumed that the present is in the grip of the past and we simply decipher this echolalaic present to find in it recurrences or resurgences. The search for what is the same is the only search which the cult of memory allows. This anti-racism is commemorative and this anti-fascism is conjury. They are rites of exorcism in which the litany-like “appeal to vigilance” identifies the danger indefinitely to make it exist and conjure it up in a single gesture. Once more “we are entering the future by moving backward,” to quote Valery.[31] We have not stopped believing that history is the science of things which repeat themselves, of experiences relived, dangers which reproduce themselves identically and so are easily identifiable. Blind and blinding belief. The “fascist danger” of the thirties, which vigilance committees composed of anti-fascist intellectuals rightly denounced with courage and lucidity shortly after 1933, is part of a past which is gone. Neither “fascism” nor “racism” will do us the favor of returning in such a way that we can recognize them easily. If vigilance was only a game of recognizing something already well-known, then it would only be a question of remembering. Vigilance would be reduced to a social game using reminiscence and identification by recognition, a consoling illusion of an immobile history peopled with events which accord with our expectations or our fears. Magical vigilance: one declares oneself “vigilant” to prevent the return of the “old devils.” Double illusion: to know is simply to recognize and action is reduced to naming the threat, to saying that one can readily see its alleged return happening all the time. Our magical vigilance is ted by two absolute convictions: Nazism will never stop coming back; racism will never stop rising. These mythical representations of eternal rebirth and the unending rise of figures of absolute evil are in the very center of our political demonology. Satanic imagery is still alive and one kind of journalism really consists in political exorcism. How could we live without our dear “old devils,” without nightmarish companions (long since domesticated) which change faces as fashions take hold of our repulsive myths themselves (from racism to nationalism, from xenophobia to tribalism, from euthanasia to eugenics, from clericalism to integralism)? It is not useless to recall some facts, starting with this one: despite its function of social and psychological “nourishment,” the consumption of myths is not an act of cognition. Conjury is not knowledge!

* Abstracted from Pierre-Andre Taguieff, Sur La Nouvelle Droite: Jelons d’une Analyse Critique (Paris: Descartes & Co., 1994), pp. 314-336. Translated by Deborah Cook.


See especially the unsigned editorials which can be attributed to Alain de Benoist in Nouvelle Ecole, No. 9 (June-July-August, 1969); No. 14 (January-February, 1971) pp. 9-12.
See “Contre Tousles Racismes,” in Elements, Nos. 8-9 (November, 1974-February, 1975) pp. 13-18.
See Nouvelle Ecole, Nos. 27-28 (Fall-Winter, 1975) pp. 9-96; Elements, No. 41 (March-April, 1982) pp. 37-40, 45-48.
See “L’Enracinement,” in ldees a l’Endroit (Paris: Editions Libres/Hallier, 1979), pp. 134-141; “The Idea of Empire,” in this issue of Telos; “Le Droit a la Difference,” in Elements, No. 77 (April, 1993), pp. 24-25; and, m the same issue, the dossier on “immigration”: “Qu’est-ce que I’Identite?” pp. 44-47; “Pluralisme ou Assimilation?” p. 5052; “Citoyennete, Nationalite, lntegration,” pp. 53-57; “Le Modele Communautaire,” pp. 58-62.
Elements, No. 52 (Winter, 1983) pp. 33-35; Democratie: Le Probleme (Paris: Le Labyrinthe, 1985).
Elements, Nos. 48-9 (Winter 1983-4) pp. 1540; Europe, Tiers-Monde, Meme Combat (Paris: R. Leffont, 1986)
See Elements, No. 50 (Spring-Summer, 1984) pp. 4348; Krisis, No. 12 (October, 1992) pp. 2-12. The political translation of anti-utilitarianism is increasingly marked by a pro-ecological stance. See Alain de Benoist, “Une Remise en Cause Salutaire des Valeurs Marchandes”; “Ecologie?” in Elements, No. 66 (September-October, 1989) pp. 40-47; “L’Ecologie Contre le March,” Elements, No. 79 (January., 1994).
Let us take a closer look at the alleged “flirtation” between the “far Left” — the “reds” — and the far Right — the “browns.” On the “red” side, the accused include: the Liberation journalist and CGT unionist, Jean-Paul Cruse, author of an article with the provocative title “Vers un Front National” (L’ldiot International, May 1993), identified as being “close” to the French Communist Party; and Marc Cohen, then editor-in-chief of L’ldiot International, a member of the French Communist Party. Neither are leaders of any political movement. They only represent themselves; they are marginals or “originals” in the communist orbit. As for the “browns” (journalists are unsure whether to call them “nationalists” or “fascist intellectuals from GRECE), they are embodied exclusively in the person of Benoist (sometimes together with Alain Sanders, who, despite his dreams of being a war “hero” and never passing up an occasion to be photographed in a military uniform with his “bush,” is the author of the entirely inoffensive pamphlet).

Let us also consider the facts concerning a “meeting” or an “alliance” between them. In the view of harried (or interested) investigators, the so-called “national-communist” threat in France is confirmed by three facts whose lack of significance should not be overestimated. First, an intervention by Benoist on May 12, 1992 during a debate at the Mutualite on the “reawakening of critical thought.” This debate was organized by the Institute of Marxist Research (directed by Francette Lazard). Then the participation of Marc Cohen in a debate, organized at the Musee Social (Paris) by the journal Elements on May 19, 1992, on the “recomposition of the French intellectual landscape.” Finally, the publication in Krisis (No. 12, October, 1992, pp. 60-71) of a really unexpected (and not objectively humorless) “face to face” between Jean-Paul Jouary (member of the French Communist Party and editor-in-chief of the bi-monthly Revolution) and Paul-Loup Sulitzer, the self-made man (the debate concerned “money”).

Grounded on such indecisive “facts,” whose marginality deprives them of any exemplary value, the idea of “dangerous liaisons” between “reds” and “browns,” or of the convergence or alliance of”extremes” (an old cliche which is hardly rejuvenated) nonetheless became a journalistic banality in 1993. A literature written by overnight experts on the question quickly appeared, privileging one of the obsessive themes in the rhetoric about the “conspiratorial” Left (the one which thinks it can explain everything by conspiracy): the theme of “bridges” between the Right and the far Right which on this occasion became one of the bridges between the Left and the far Right. See, for example, Thierry Maricourt’s pathetic essay which mixes ignorance and naivete with sectarian arrogance: Les Nouvelles Passerelles de l’Extreme Droit: ldees et Mouvements Passerdies Entre la Gauche et l’Extreme Droit (Levallois-Perret: Manya, 1993). This bad piece, edited using a compilation of undigested press files (themselves based on compilations adorned with rumors), nonetheless became one of the sources (cited or not) of press articles about the fictional threat of “national-communism.” Collective illusion or fakery?

9. See the encounter organized by Krisis between Jean-Paul Jouary, editor-in-chief of the bi-monthly Revolution and Paul-Loup Sulitzer on the “power of money”: “La Fin et les Moyens,” No. 12 (October, 1992) pp. 60-71. The neo-fascist reaction was clear: “One does not dine with the devil except with a long spoon, and any intellectual drifting toward former Marxists . . . would be intrinsically perverse.” See “Les Sirenes du National-communisme,” in Militant (July 15, 1993), p. 2, editorial.
10. Didier Daeninckx (former member of the French Communist Party), author of detective novels, and Mariette Bernard, journalist, circulated a file in May and June, 1993 on the “dangerous liaisons” between communists and people reputed to be on the “far Right.” See “Quand Daeninckx alerte Marchals du complot,” in Globe (June 30-July 6, 1993), p. 22. Obviously, the so-called “liaisons” are only judged “dangerous” for genuine communist militants guilty of being “naive” in the face of the underhanded “cultural strategies” of the “far Right.” The incorruptible Georges Marchais quickly made known in unambiguous letters addressed to the lucid ex-militant Daeninckx (and published in the Canard Enchaine’) that the Communist Party severely condemned these “unnatural” liaisons. The “revelations” from the Daeninckx file were first brought out in Le Pli, No. 318 (June 14, 1992) — it limited the “national-communist” danger to the Eastern bloc countries), then, without the least hesitation, in Le Monde, Liberation, Le Figaro and Globe, which for a few weeks agreed on the Franco-French interpretation put forward by the Canard Enchafne (June 23, 1993). See especially O. Biffaud and E. Plenel, “La Tentation National-Communiste,” in Le Monde (June 26, 1993), p. I and 12. This is how the tide of the article is explained: “In France and Russia, former Stalin supporters and intellectuals from the far Right dream of a red and brown ‘third wav’.” (p. 1). The publications in this Ide all present the same picture: they think they can witness world history in the making through a socio-centric keyhole. But world history is not affected by a meeting between Cohen and Benoist! Walter Laqueur describes the recent transformations of Russian neo-nationalism and national-revolutionary syntheses (including the “new right-wing groups”) in Black Hundyed: The Rise of Russian Fascism (New York: Harper Collins, 1993).
11. As compared to the campaign started by Le Monde in June and July, 1979. See above.
12. The sociologist and polemicist Gaston Bouthoul made an uncompromising critique of a kind of imaginary “pacifism” which stems from “magic vigilance”; see his Essais de Polemologie (Paris: Denoel/Gauthier, 1976) p. 135: “By deploring the event, one believes that one has it more or less partially under one’s power.”
13. See the critical analyses presented in the third part of Pierre-Andre Taguieff, Sur la Nouvelle Droste, op. cit. In the campaign against the “reds/browns,” Benoist was shocking — according to a Left with a phobia for intellectual mixing which wants to remain “pure.” and “clean” — because he was an intruder. It is because he enters by intrusion or infraction (by “infiltration,” some angrily claim) in the “family” (of the Left) that he is upsetting. It is as if the political foreigner must maintain his pure otherness, keep a good distance, make his ideological “difference” visible. Jean-Paul Honore made a subtle study of this image of the “intruder” (the “stranger” who steals into the “home” uninvited according to the rules) in the Lepenist rhetoric. See his “Jean-Marie Le Pen et le Front national, (Description et Interpretation d’une Ideologic identitaire),” in Les Temps Modernes, No. 465 (April, 1985) especially pp. 1858-1866. As in conspiracy theory, the idea of the intruder can function in very different contexts: conspiracy and “xenophobia” (or cultural/ideological heterophobia) move from Right to Left depending on the polemical context.
14. See Pierre-Andre Tagnieff, “L’Antiracisme en Crise: Elements d’une Critique Reformiste,” in M. Wievorka, Ed., Racisme et Modernite (Paris, 1993), pp. 371. Benoist was in charge of an art history edition at Grabert Press, a German publishing house (Tubingen) with a nationalist orientation where many of his books were translated. After the 1993 campaign, he was relieved of his functions by this publisher, who is very well known for his “revisionist” reputation. The “cultural strategy” was singularly imprudent.
15. The journal Krisis continually loses those among its first subscribers who, being closer in spirit to the national or nationalistic Right, no longer identify with it. In September 1993, we took a look at some of the mail received by the editorial board at Krisis, which contained the replies of some late subscribers to subscription notices. The non-renewal forms are often accompanied by violent diatribes based on two main themes: Krisis’ turn to the Left and its waffling (the word is not used but the idea is frequently expressed). Some letters especially complain about Krisis’ “political waffling,” which results in the “demoralization” or “demobilization” of its readers. For example, we could quote some extracts of a letter in which a former subscriber describes the reasons why he does not want to resubscribe: “Krisis is not the journal I was looking for. 1. It pisses me off. 2. I find it dangerous because it is demoralizing and demobilizing. I am not looking for a journal filled with academic debates. I am looking for a journal of political struggle. That is, which denounces an adversary, in public and polemicizes to bring him down. By adversary, I mean enemy, and a public enemy, an enemy of the people. I hoped to find in Krisis a political goal dose to my own. I was wrong. I will have nothing to do with a journal that opens its [. . .] [illegible: “ligns”? in the sense of columns] to everyone. I do not want to give money to a journal in order to allow a J. F. Kahn [sic] or a [. . .] to present their propaganda there. It is for the same reason that I did not resubscribe to Elements, which floats with the same confused concern in the same political haze.” (This undated letter contains the name and address of the reader which must, of course, remain confidential).
16. See Le Lien (Summer, 1990)p. 6. In January 1994 the editorial board at Elements claimed to have nearly three thousand subscribers for a printing of fifteen thousand (sales to non-subscribers vary between seven and ten thousand): Nouveile Ecole claims to have two thousand subscribers.
17. Nouvelle Ecole, No. 39 (Fall, 1982) pp. 137 and 139.
18. Ibid., No. 42 (Summer, 1985) p. 135. In 1970 Norbert Elias wrote: “I took great pleasure in acquainting myself with the articles that have appeared in Nouvelle Ecole. Some of them also cross paths with my own work and I found them very stimulating. The very informative character of the bibliographies published should also be emphasized.” This letter was quoted in Nouvelle Ecole, No. 34 (Fall, 1979) p. 11.
19. Le Monde (July 13, 1993) p. 1 and p. 9.
20. Roger Pol-Droit, in Le Monde (July 22, 1988); quoted by Guy Debord, “Cette Mauvaise Reputation . . .” (Paris: Gallimard, 1993) p. 26. Mr. Droit is not only interested in the “art of covering tracks” but also in the use of pseudonyms: according to the journalist-sleuth, Debord is supposed to have “disseminated a good number of texts under various pseudonyms which have not all been identified.” Before he deals with “this big conspirator” in his own way, the accused Debord is content to explain: “I have never published anything under a pseudonym” (op. cit., p. 26).
21. Ibid., p. 9.
22. However, see Roger-Pol Droit, “Les Ambiguites de Gassendi,” in Le Monde (December 11, 1992) pp. 37 and 40. In this variant of the singular interpretive model, one finds a pairing of “ambiguities” (which might be “interesting”) and of “false analogies”: the “two faces,” of course, of “this Janus” . . . One learns that “ambiguities, which are always disturbing in contemporaries, are sometimes “interesting” in non-contemporaries.
23. Quoted in Elisabeth Roudinesco and Peter Schottler, “Lucien Febvre meets Jacques Lacan, Paris 1937,” in Geneses, No. 13 (Fall, 1993) p. 150.
24. See Le Monde (July 13, 1993) p. 8.
25. Bernard Lewis, “Islam et Democratie,” in notes de la Fondation Saint-Simon (June, 1993), No. 54, p. 7.
26. See, for example, Rene Monzat, “Le Rituel SS de la Nouvelle Droite,” in Le Monde (July 3, 1993) p. 12. (GRECE advocates the use of a symbolic object — the “Tower of Jul” — to celebrate Christmas. But this candlestick, which is used especially in Scandinavian countries, was also used by the SS. So GRECE is practising an “SS ritual.” This reasoning could: be repeated for all pagan symbols adopted by the Nazis. It can by no means serve as a proof as long as other links have not been established). The journalist Rene Monzat (pseudonym), schooled in Trotskyst circles, published Enquetes sur la Droite Extreme (Paris: Le Monde/Editions, 1992) in which, by a classical game of mirrors, denouncing the demonized adversary’s conspiracy theory itself functions in a conspiratorial way. Caught up in the passion of unmasking and revealing secrets, of forcing open shadowy areas, the militant journalist summarizes his opinion: “These investigations reveal a shadowy zone, teeming with life, at the junction of the secret services, of far Right groups and the “republican” parties.” He adds: “In the third part of the book, devoted to ideologies, we dismantle the strategies of dissimulation . . . ; of infiltration . . . ; of recuperation” (p. 11). This policeman’s vision of what the “investigator” calls “ideologies” reveals the general orientation of his “investigations” (which should be distinguished from the factual information they give). “Informers” continue to fascinate some journalists, who end up being taken in by them. It is well known that “revelations” are keenly sought after by the media, easily satisfied by the literature of visionaries concerning the “international neo-Nazi conspiracy,” the immanence of a “Fourth Reich” or the rampant threat of a two-headed “nation-communist,” “national-bolshevik” dictatorship. See, for example, Antoinette Bernard and Antoine Rigal, “Ils sont partout,” (dossier: “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”), in Ras l’Front, No. 15 (September-October, 1993). Philippe Videlier, “A Peine Masques, s’avancent les Falsificateurs du Passe,” in Le Monde Diplomatique, No. 478, (January, 1994) pp. 16-17. In this last article, which has a surprisingly violent polemic, conspiracy theory (strategic calculations in the shadows . . .) and the polemical stereotype of the “masked enemy” provide the basis for denouncing demonized, criminalized or pathologized figures. Consider the following: “These mercenaries are not afraid of confusing styles: gangrene broke out among a group of ‘declasses’ and it then found a place for its natural expansion in the far Right” (p. 17: italics added). After pathologization and criminalization, conspiracy theory and demonization: “The old calculating mole . . . marks one small victory after the other and its people are strategically located: at the fight hand of the devil” (Ibid.). The conspiracy view of these left-wing “costoniens” is clarified when it is compared to that of orthodox costoniens: the mental structures are the same, only chance situates them on the Right or the Left, in the “anti-fascist” camp or the other one. See, e.g., Jean Madiran, “Le B’nai B’rith et l’Exclusion du Front National,” in Present, No. 2975, (December 15, 1993) p. 3; “Mysteres et Secrets du B’nai B’rith: Comment une Organisation Maconnique Juive a ete Penetre par les Rouages de l’Etat Francais,” (anonymous author), in National Hebdo, No. 492, (December 23-December 29, 1993) p. 6. To see the functional homologies one need only substitute “GRECE” for “B’nai B’rith” and “para-Masonic neo-Nazi organization” for “Jewish Masonic organization.” On the subject of this type of pamphlet based on a conspiracy theory, see Pierre-Andre Taguieff, “Mobilisation National-populiste en France: Vote Xenophobe et Nouvel Antisemitisme Politique,” in Lignes, No. 9 (March, 1990), pp. 91-136; and “Nationalisme et Reactions Fondamentalistes en France . . .,” in Vingtieme Siecle, No. 25 (January-March, 1990), pp. 49-73.
27. Raymond Aron, “La Nouvelle Droite,” in L’Express (July 21, 1979) p. 49.
28. Raymond Aron, Memoires, Vol. 2 (Paris: Presses-Pocket, 1985), p. 984. In 1971, Aron wrote: “At a time and in a city, Paris, where the conformism of a pseudo-conformism reigns, Nouvelle Ecole has the courage to violate taboos and put forward difficult problems in an open-minded way. Whether I agree or not, I value its procedure.” From a letter quoted in Nouvelle Ecole, No. 34 (Fall, 1979), p. 13.
29. Ravmond Aron, “La Nouvelle Droite,” in L’Express, op. cit.
30. On this kind of extremist assimilation or polemical amalgamation, see Marc Angenot, La Parole Pamphletaire (Paris: Payot, 1982) p. 126; Pierre-Andre Taguieff, “L’Anti-Racisme en Crise,” in Wieviorka, ed., op. cit., pp. 366-71. On the paranoid vision of “disguised enemies,” which was current in the Moscow trials (1936-38) but did not prevent it from being internalized by its victims (especially the Trotskysts) see Nicolas Werth, 19361938: Les Proces de Moscow (Brussels: Complexe, 1987) particularly p. 127ff. and 145ff. Taguieff, Les Protocoles de Sion, Vol. 1, op. cit., p. 159 ff.
31. Paul Valery, “Discours de l’Histoire,” (July 13, 1932) in variete (Paris: Gallimard, 1938), p. 139.

[Telos, Winter93/Spring94, Issue 98-99]


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