The Fundamentals

Fundamentals of a New Movement

The overarching, basic fundamentals of a New Movement are listed here. The link leads to the relevant post below. Also see "The Fundamentals" post list to the lower right. This is our new path. If you agree with this direction, then join with us.

The Old Movement is dead. Let us instead build something that works, a New Movement, a fresh start.

Monday, January 3, 2011

La Rochelle and European Unity

O' Meara essay on French pan-European fascist Drieu La Rochelle.

La Rochelle's vision of a federated Europe that retains internal particularisms while presenting a united front to the outside world is essentially the same as my views. The excerpt below (empahsis added) is useful. I'm not sure what the "myth" comment means - although perhaps from the viewpoint of a Frenchman of the first half of the 20th century, with so much intra-European war and defeat by the Germans, it was difficult to look past the immediate problems to the deeper issues involved.

France, he reckoned, was destined to become either an “Ireland” in perpetual struggle against alien empires—or else a participating member of a European imperium whose peace and order would govern the world.

France, Germany, and the other European nations, in other words, would survive the era of continental empires, with their economies of scale and “tyranny of numbers,” only by federating.

Federation, however, did not mean national liquidation. Unlike the present European Commission, disconnected from Europe’s distinct bioculture, Drieu’s notion of federation was not about subordinating the continent’s peoples to the primacy of market principles.

His concern was Europe’s rebirth, not the economic destruction of its ethnonations. Influenced in his youth by such anti-liberal nationalists as Maurice Barrès, Charles Maurras, and Jacques Bainville, each of whom helped initiate him into “the cult of France,” his affection for “Marianne,” whom he loved “like a beautiful woman he might meet in the street at night,” was unwavering.

But at the same time he saw that nationalism, “this 19th-century ideology,” had reached a historic impasse—both in terms of its self-destructive rivalries and of the limitations it was beginning to impose on the European spirit.

“All nationalisms,” he wrote in 1928, “that make the homeland an end rather than a beginning were rejecting the very energies and creativity born of the homeland.” For the author of L’Europe contre les Patries (1931),[4] nationalism in the continental age had become a résidu subversive both of Europe and the nation itself.

Not France, but Europe as a spiritual community of nations would henceforth claim his allegiance: “France must die as a political entity . . . for her to achieve her true spiritual place.”

The federation he envisaged would draw on local identities and historic institutions in the tradition of Montesquieu’s “community of nations”—uniting Europeans on the basis of the Greco-Roman and Latin Christian legacies they shared, on the mutual reciprocating borrowings that marked their histories, and on the institutional heritage of the jus publicum europaeum.

For one French New Rightist (A. Guyot-Jeannin), Drieu’s Europe was not the bloodless superstate of the bureaucrats, bankers, and merchants, but “a spiritual, cultural, communitarian, and enrooted Europe”—protective of its rich and varied ethnonations and true to its protean spiritual forms.

It was not, as such, to be a “union” open to all the world and destructive of its specific identity—but instead an enlarged Switzerland jealous of its different national families. The nation, even if it lacked viability in a world of continental powers, remained for him a vital cadre, for language, heritage, and place are intimate parts of the individual’s identity.

Given, though, that Europe after 1918 was situated between two hostile extra-European empires, its division into twenty-six sovereign states—none of which had the capacity to dominate the others or “represent itself with dignity in the disproportional competition of the continental empires”—put her at a distinct disadvantage against her rivals, preventing her from assuming the political position, not to mention the spiritual perspective, necessary for surmounting the challenges facing her.

“Only in federation can we revive Europe’s defunct soul and take up the thread of 13th-century Christian Europe or that of the aristocratic and intellectual 18th century . . . This is not a cosmopolitan dream but a pressing necessity, a question of life and death. Europe will federate—or else devour herself or be devoured.”

To this end, European nations were henceforth obliged to alter their relations with one another.

“Born of Europe, they must return to Europe.”

Since the dissolution of Charlemagne’s empire, Europeans had embarked on a millennium-long movement of differentiation, separating and distinguishing themselves from one another “as if it were a matter of quarantine.” With the onset of the First World War, however, the creative phase of this movement reached a point of diminishing returns.

Though Europe could not be Europe without her nations and would die without them, Drieu held that the viability of the nation would henceforth depend on Europe.

He thus exhorted his contemporaries to become like Nietzsche’s “good Europeans”—“the overly obligated heirs of thousands of years of the European spirit.” Just as they had overcame their religious differences in the 17th century, so too they needed now to demote the primacy of their barricading national identities, if they were to survive the 20th century.

This made it imperative that they throw off the “petty nationalist politics” and rigid statist forms, which promised to relegate them and the rest of Europe to the lower rungs of the coming world order.

Drieu acknowledged that Europe was something of a “myth,” but it was nevertheless one whose historical-civilizational resonance still had the power to evoke those forces that might challenge the reigning decadence.