Chapter Five:
Nationalism And World-View

 

Nationalism has been historically determined as a constituent element of fascism. (1) Naturally, all nationalists are not fascists; however, in the post-war situation, not all fascists are nationalists, or at least not in the way usually understood. It is this fundamental division which separated the most prominent neo-fascist parties, the Union Movement and the National Front in this period 1967-75. It appears a matter of ideological perspective and political tactics.

The National Front, more so than the earlier BNP, has styled itself a nationalist party. Nationalist slogans and images have always permeated the movement. For example, rallies use Union Jack banners in hundreds to deliver a strong psychological effect; their first newspaper was Britain First; their book company was founded as ‘Nationalist Books’. If, as argued, the National Front has a neo-fascist leadership, they have proved their adeptness at moving behind the nationalist images; it serves also as a means to negate the political pasts of some of the Front’s members. Nationalism assists also in equating the Front with traditional virtues and values. Any 'foreign' imports in ideology can be mixed into the nationalist mythology.

Looking back on his evolution towards ‘nationalist’ ideology, Tyndall maintained:

“European union has been the graveyard of every nationalist movement, both in Britain and on the continent--for the very good reason that it is incompatible with true nationalism, and has scarcely any popular appeal.” (2)

From this statement it could be argued that the term ‘nationalist’ substitutes for the term 'neo-fascist'. Tyndall’s analysis rings true for the continent at least; it amounts also to an attack on Mosley, so as to separate the NF from Mosley’s past, and then-present 'discredited' situation. The barrage against Mosley’s ‘Europe a Nation’ creed has been extended back into the 1930's, only recently, with the claim that Chesterton deserted the BUF because of Mosley’s "foreign" ideology. (3) This partly clears the NF of the charge of ‘fascism’. However, when Skidelsky described the BUF’s ideology as "Imperial Defence", and "Economic Integration", he touched upon the essence of the NF’s ideology. This could explain part of the Mosleyites contempt for the NF’s ‘nationalism’, if they view it as a stage through which their movement has already passed.

The NF’s war on pan-European ideology led it against the shadowy League of St. George, an organisation of neo-fascist complexion which had participated, (and still does), in the annual European Nationalists’ Congress at Dixmuide, in Belgium. Even while still in the process of formation, in 1974-5, the League was proscribed for Front members. (4)

Perhaps one of the most coherent statements of the NF’s position is Six Principles of British Nationalism, authored by Tyndall in 1967. It probably represents the evolution of his thinking from the earlier days with the BNP, for it contrasts with an early work, The Authoritarian State, composed in 1961. It is interesting to note that in both pamphlets ‘Nationalism’ was seen as an all-round proposition, having specific attitudes towards racial matters, social policy, government, and history; again ‘Nationalism’ could appear the necessary substitute term for ‘fascism’. In his Six Principles, Tyndall revised his blatant authoritarianism of 1961. He wrote;

“If we are not to have a dictatorship, what we need...is a governing party that can gain ascendancy in British politics of sufficient dimensions...for a sufficient period of time to attend the vital tasks...(and)...become part of British life.” (5)

This perhaps translates as the NF’s desire to introduce a strong state system through the utilisation of familiar institutions. The ‘nationalist party’ is conceived as a mass movement which can integrate itself with the state structure as in the cases of Hitler’s NSDAP and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Six Principles advises also that Britain leave all supranational organisations, that Britain regains her "national sovereignty", the present "internationalism" representing the rearguard of the "decades of national humiliation" which are supposed to have destroyed British power. (6) In this vein, the NF urges that Britain withdraw from NATO and manage her own defences, that Britain possess modern nuclear weaponry, and that the navy be revitalised, firstly to "protect" Britain, and perhaps to play at world politics. (7) This policy may appear more credible than a Mosleyite "European defence policy", that is, the full integration of Western military structures, and contrasts with the continued decline of Britain’s defence potential, as overseered by British governments.

All neo-fascist parties have given reasons for the decline of the British Empire and national power. Both the NF and the UM, like the BNP, have reasoned Britain to be an "outpost" of America. For the Front, the financial elite which rules the U.S.A has usurped British power through its front organisations--NATO, CENTO, SEATO, and most importantly, the U.N.O. This process was thought to have begun during the Second World War when Roosevelt planned, what even Churchill suspected as, the destruction of the British Empire. (8) The establishment of international financial organisations, such as the World Bank and the I.M.F., have been thought to have taken dominance over Britain’s economic resources, through their credit-manipulation policies. The British National Party, the British Movement, and the NF have said a "nationalist Britain" by breaking this oligarchic power, would render a great historical service to the West.

Curiously, the NF has extended its ‘nationalism’ to the Old Dominions. The formation of the NF (1966-7) saw a considerable rethinking of ideological perspectives. The BNP’s contention that Britain "scuttle" the coloured Commonwealth was accepted by the League of Empire Loyalists. In return the BNP became more adamant in its desire to revamp the relationship with the Old Dominions. The BNP also abandoned its "racial-nationalism", as did the Greater Britain Movement, to posit a new creed, a "Third Force" Commonwealth, a "British" version of the Mosleyite 'third force' in world affairs. The LEL clearly capitulated on its rabid imperial monarchism, though the new party continued to view the monarchy as a patriotic symbol; basically the new party wished to establish a credible ideology. That itself is significant, for it could mean the leadership does not consider some elements of the ideology (or other matters) as principle, but merely tactics. Whether the NF’s commitment to the ‘Commonwealth-idea’ is taken seriously by the party’s leadership, could be debatable; rather the whole notion may be a method to establish the party’s "patriotic" credentials. Certainly, if it were genuine, it would be a total misreading of sentiments in the Old Dominions. (Note: it is now clear that the leadership group around Tyndall was indeed 'serious' about this idea.)

The stated NF policy to reforge the Commonwealth,"...into a genuine instrument of national power...", (9) would gain little support, save from reactionaries and nostalgics in these nations. The Commonwealth-idea has served as anti-EEC propaganda (as above), and an alternative for rightists to Mosleyite positions. As a hyper-patriotic construct it may be a better vehicle for a neo-fascism than abstractions like "white-racial unity", (the BNP and the British Movement) or "
Europe" )in the Union Movement’s case). It could also be that, because the NF’s leadership has always been sure it would one day be the British government, the Commonwealth-idea is easier to politically market than the certain eventuality, that a nationalist Britain would be as internationally isolated as the Junta’s Chile.

The most significant counter-policy to the NF’s ‘nationalism’ has been that of the Union Movement. The British Movement seems to stand half-way between both. The UM has argued that national sovereignty vanished long ago--hence talk about it, is politically irrelevant. (10) Mosley’s "Europe" would rediscover "sovereignty", but at a higher level. Mosley would have a three-fold division of European sovereignty, the Federal, the Regional, the State, each with defined powers. (11) Mosley reasoned this system as not muting national characters or rights. As an alternative to nationalism, the idea is bankrupt; Mosley may believe, however, that the growth of the EEC will allow his idea to triumph on the soil created by his opponents. It is to be noted also, that few neo-fascists on the continent would agree with Mosley’s formulations.

In the years 1971-4, the Union Movement did manage to make some interesting observations on the NF’s Commonwealth ideology. Firstly, that the white Dominions have had new ethnic groups introduced into their communities. UM mentioned Italians in
Australia, by way of example. They also noted that the Dominions have contained other Europeans, like the Afrikaners in South Africa, and the French in Canada. (12) The old Dominions are thought to have experienced physiological and cultural changes not conducive to a new "empire", that as a "community of British blood", the Commonwealth does not exist. Secondly, that to base any economic policy on the hope that a united Commonwealth trading-bloc can be forged by an appeal to "blood-ties", is wishful thinking. (13) Thirdly, that the former Dominions no longer have economies which "complement" Britain’s; that is, that these nations are now industrial powers, not mere agricultural communities. (14) Fourthly, that the former Dominions have defence needs which Britain could not hope to provide for decades, and would, of necessity pursue independent foreign policies. (15) That the Mosleyites have noted the political and social realities of the Old Dominions is to their credit. Nonetheless, the NF has continued to advance past all the other neo-fascists formations to become the largest movement on the Extreme Right; members of other neo-fascist formations were/are abandoning their former allegiances for the Front, thereby contributing to the development of a larger neo-fascist wing inside the Front; this could 'balance' those who take the Commonwealth propaganda seriously.

That the NF may have a wing dedicated to racial nationalism, was perhaps attested to by the adoption of an old Mosley notion, modified to be sure: the idea of Euro-Africa. The fundamental basics of the scheme had been stated by the Greater Britain Movement in 1965. (16) Basically, Tyndall envisaged independent European nations, if not monolithic ‘Nation-Europa’ engaging in economic imperialism in Africa, as a possible future policy. (17) The level of European co-operation necessary to achieve this, could indicate the NF leadership still adheres to racial nationalism. Interestingly the great qualitative difference between neo-fascist nationalism, and the nationalism of the old-fascism appears to be its lack of aggressive intent towards other European states.

One further major point on nationalism needs to be made. As Eugen Weber has argued, nationalism in the Twentieth Century, has assumed a social-collectivist function. (18) "Prior to the emergence of Bean," the NF contends, "nationalism had predominantly a middle class appeal." (19) Colin Jordan has said that a nationalist party alone, can bring the Right into acceptance by the working class. Support given by the NF to workers on strike in foreign owned firms in 1974, was a means to introduce workers to nationalist ideas.

‘A clean Britain First"-line, as sometimes utilised by the Front (and the BM), can be a powerful weapon in the its propaganda arsenal. The emotive potential of such nationalisms have been seen before in European politics. A nationalist party in government, can theoretically (I do not say that any party has any particular scheme) justify collectivist Technocracy, dictatorship, war-organisation, revolutionary terror and social revolution, all in the name of "the national-interest". The NF and the British Movement have said, that nationalism is a justified "liberating force" against a certain "conspiracy" rampart in Britain; a conspiracy which could lead to the destruction not only of Britain, but also Western Civilisation. A set of historical principles and alleged "facts" explain this "conspiracy" as nationalism’s greatest opponent.

Most fascist or nationalist movements in the Twentieth Century have been tinged by a belief in a ‘World Conspiracy’ directed by "hidden forces" which control world affairs. The pre-war fascists, particularly the German Nazis were prone to base this conspiracy on The Protocols of Zion an alleged blue-print for Jewish world government; in post-war Britain, Arnold Leese saw similar motive forces still at work.

In the early 1960's the conspiracy-idea appears to have fallen into two broad strands. In publications issued by the early-BNP and the National Socialists (particularly the latter), the "Jewish conspiracy" element came to the fore. Jews are alleged to have stage managed Britain’s entry into war with Germany in 1939, and set the stage for the decline of the Empire. (20) It was said they controlled completely, the pre-war communist movement, and later, through such "myths" as the extermination of the six million Jews by the Nazis, managed to brand all fascist / racist and nationalist movements as "barbaric". As an alternative to formal anti-semitism, both the later-BNP and the Mosleyites mentioned a more vague "international financial elite" as being responsible for the assorted calamities of the Western world.

The second particle of the conspiracy ideology was more refined and articulate. In this case the "conspiracy" involved only some Jews, but also much of the West’s financial elite, and had as its goal the creation of a myriad of supra-national organisations which could establish a world-government. The conspiracy was perceived as possessed of a vast army of "servants" who carry out the "fashionable" programmes of their masters, without always being conscious of their manipulation. This second strand of the conspiracy maintains that Britain has always been a particular hatred of the conspirators. (21) This notion approximated the old Nazi belief that Germany was under special attack by the conspiracy forces for it was somehow a "key" to world politics.

A.K. Chesterton’s works are illustrative of this peculiar British conspiracy creed. Such literature seems to have originated with Nesta Webster an authoress of the 1920’s who wrote pieces such as World Revolution and Secret Societies And Subversive Movements, both texts being quoted or sold occasionally by the National Front and the British Movement. The "links" between the Masonic Movement, the Rothschilds, the French Revolution, European social disorders of the last two centuries and Bolshevism, were there 'established'. (22) Chesterton was almost certainly familiar with this literature as well as 1950’s tracts circulated by the American Gerald L.K. Smith and the U.S. paper, Common Sense; the non-anti-Jewish writings of the John Birch Society were also available to him. In his New Unhappy Lords, Chesterton seems to have synthesised much of the conspiracy texts. Chesterton also reproduced Webster’s claim that the British Empire was a particular enemy of the conspiracy because of its strong traditions and ethnic British base. (23) How far the NF goes in this is debatable; no other neo-fascist party has adhered to this notion. Possibly, because it motivated the Empire Loyalists, it could serve the conservative elements of the National Front. One of the cited reasons for a schism from the Front involved an alleged "association with pre-war continental metaphysics" on its leadership’s part. This splinter, which joined Dr. David Brown’s National Democrats, aided in the distribution of "Webster-style" conspiracy ideas, to the detriment of all other explanations of national decline.

It is likely that conspiracy-history, though a part of most neo-fascist movements, remains qualitatively different in quality when invoked by traditionalist or conservative groupings inside such formations. For fascists ‘conspiracy-ideas’ are secondary to a primal motive force in history. For some continental neo-fascist groupings a Spengler-Evola interpretation of Western history is sometimes utilised, that is, perspectives similar to Yockey. (Spain and Italy) Similar ideas have been advanced in France and Germany. (24) Such concepts have drawn dividing lines inside Germany’s National Democrats, between the official Italian Social Movement and its extremist faction, between ‘Cedade’ and Fuerza Neuva and the mass of Spain’s Falangists. (25) Even though modern British fascism lacks much of this 'philosophic depth', similar theories have been put forward to counter the historical materialism of Marxism and social-liberalism. Given Mosley's life-long interest in Spenglerian argument, the Union Movement has reflected this tendency. In the case of the NF the 'dividing line' was probably blurred with the compromise creed of 1967; two different conceptualisations of national decline could be at play, one which seeks external agents, the other which looks into the psychological-political makeup of Twentieth Century Britain.

Norman Cohn has argued that conspiracy ideologies find their most vivid expressions in particular societal conditions--in times of changes in the social-structure, or general malaise. (26) Conspiracy ideology operates to give a superficially rational explanation for the collapse of British power and certain social-economic problems. This ideology is possessed of a more malevolent aspect should it be applied against a radical, or social minority. Aside from the attempts of the earl NSM neo-nazis and the later British Movement, the Jews, the 'logical' workers of conspiracy have scarcely been attacked openly by the Right. The NF’s occasional, (and growing more virulent) denunciations of Zionism, diverges from anti-semitism.

The utilisation of conspiracy-history permits an effort to explain the most confusing historical facts. For example, the NF (1971-3), came upon the works of Anthony Sutton, whose writings have covered the export of military technology, and industrial technique to the Soviet Union, a matter raised by Solzhenitsyn. ‘International Finance’ was given the blame for this "dangerous" enterprise. (27) Also, according to Sutton, and most conspiracy ideologists, certain capitalists bankrolled the Bolshevik revolution; this was a revised statement of the old Nazi and American Right contention. (28) This leads to the assertion that some Western finance-capitalists still possess power over , or massive influence in, the USSR; or as according to Chesterton, the Cold War was a "fraud". (29) Hence British nationalists can overcome the pro-U.S., pro-NATO stance of the Monday Club-type conservative Right.

Such a thesis makes interesting possibilities; for example the old fascist notion of the 'similarity' of capitalism and communism can be restated; Russia and the U.S.A become political-spiritual enemies of the West. Significantly, this would be a mis-statement of the situation given the racist, imperialist, nationalist tendencies of the modern Soviet Union as elucidated by the neo-fascist, Wilmot Robertson. Robertson contends that while the "communist" elite can be corrupted by the monetary grants of Western capitalists, it simultaneously, and paradoxically, represents the Russian national-interest, and could if it contracted with the West an alliance against the Third World, be the saviour of the Western civilisation. (30) If, judging from the amount of coverage given Robertson in the British neo-fascist press, since 1974, his ideas may be popular with the leading cadres of the Right parties, the elites’ views can be severely contrasted with traditionalist elements of their movements. This could draw that 'dividing line' inside the NF.

The BM and the NF have named some of the conspirators involved in the supra-national organisations. The writings of the Americans, Gary Allen, and Carol Quigley are distributed by the parties of the British Right, such as to establish further credentials for the conspiracy idea.

Generally speaking, the theory argues that international financiers have created organs of the future world state with agencies which manipulate Western governments and economies. (31) The U.S. ‘Council of Foreign Relations’(CFR) was supposed to have formed the British Institute of International Relations to "educate" young intellectuals who could be placed into British higher-policy organs. (The CFR is thought- somewhat accurately - to direct the foreign policy of the U.S.--and therefore the whole West) (32) The ‘Round Table’ conferences of top British government officials, international financiers, and their expert aides supposedly warp British foreign policy towards internationalist perspectives. (33) The shadowy ‘Bilderberger’ group formed, "significantly", by Reitinger, the fomenter of the tragic Polish Home Army rising in Warsaw, in 1944, is said to have included Harold Wilson, Harold Macmillan, Prince Bernhard, Denis Healy, Pompidou, various French socialists, I.M.F. officials and others. (34)

Its regular conferences were allegedly hosted by Rockefeller/Rothschild officials. Aside from being dubbed the "invisible government" of the West, the Bilderbergers were said to be responsible for the "criminal" export of British capital through the World Bank, to African "socialist dictatorships" and the Third World. (35) In co-operation with the ‘Round Table’, the Bilderbergers are thought to pursue "multi-racialism" through their funding of the Institute of Race Relations, an organisation dedicated to the establishment of 'harmonious race relations' in Britain. The Zionists are thought to have intimate relations with the conspiracy, for they are thought to have been amongst its instigators. Their "influence" over Western states is thought to be illustrated by the West’s support for Israel over the rights of Palestinians. (36)

The conspiracy has been reasoned as permeating the affairs of British government--and both parties; therefore the state deceives the people, and is not truly democratic. Governments are said forge immigration statistics, make impossible economic forecasts, and continue to delude the masses. In times of governmental breakdown the neo-fascists could throw out propaganda of credibility.

The media has been viewed as an unofficial propaganda ministry charged with the task of "socialising" the people such that they accept the status quo, and their own "dispossession", to accept all this as the "new morality for a new society". (37) Education is similarly "propaganda", the "political corruption" of the schools and universities the result of creating citizens devoid of national-consciousness. Both the NF and the BM have reasoned that the social-liberal postulates of the Establishment’s "education" have produced youth amenable to Marxist causes, social-democratic consciousness being seen as only quantitatively different from Marxism.

The usage of conspiracy-ideology by the BM and the National Front has been a constituent element of their world-views; however the Union Movement scarce duplicates their fundamental themes. The UM has suggested more an "intellectual conspiracy" funded by the "Old Gang". In the services of capitalism, truth has become a "casualty". Youth has therefore been denied the opportunity to evolve consciousness based on factual ideas. Alienation from truth has been viewed as the problem in Britain. (38) The "disastrous" policies of former governments, reasons the UM, are still lauded in the media such as to cover the real nature of the current system. It would appear that the historical revisionist movement has been more to UM’s interest than basic conspiracy literature. For example, the release of Britain’s war papers in 1974, or the exposé by Lord Bethel of Britain’s deportation of the Don Cossacks back to the USSR in 1945 (these troops fought with Germany), does more to discredit the state. (39) All neo-fascist parties have used this methodology, but it remains UM’s favourite method of asserting "conspiracy".

The heavy volume of material devoted to conspiracy ideology could indicate its importance to the neo-fascist organisations, and that it is a part of the neo-fascist creeds. (Note: it may be that it was more important to the conservative wing of the nationalist movement and to the neo-nazis and its use would become more restrained and remodelled in later periods.) It may be important to realise that conspiracy-theory has been posited in a "matter of fact" way in most of the literature examined for this study, and is not viewed as mere exposure of a monolithic, almost unassailable reality (as posited in the style of Arnold Leese, or some of its American adherents). That certain parts of this whole system may conflict, in the NF’s case with the leadership’s beliefs, could be an admission that world politics is beyond simple formulae, and that the whole issue is orientated in one direction--the achievement of power and mass support. It provides excellent justification for the nationalist creed, which seeks to defend British culture from the void spirit of enforced internationalism.

 

References to Chapter Five

 

 

(1) a common view endorsed by Francois Duprat, editor of the Revue d’Histoire du Fascisme.

(2) quoted in Spearhead No.87 September 1975 p.17

(3) Spearhead No.103 p.2

(4) decision mentioned by Martin Webster in "The League Of St. George: A Front For European Nationalism", Spearhead No.86 August 1975.pp 6-7.

(5) Tyndall, Six Principles. p.4

(6) ibid., p.7

(7) Tyndall. Britain: World Power Or Pauper State. (NF Policy Committee) Croydon 1974.p.6

(8) A.K.Chesterton, The New Unhappy Lords: an exposure of power politics. (Candour Publishing Company) London 1965.p.29

(9) Tyndall, Britain: World Power or Pauper State. p.8

(10) Action N.161., 1 October 1973 p.2

(11) mentioned by Mosley in a speech in 1963. (as taped by Union Movement).

(12) Mosley, Mosley: Right or Wrong. pp.33-5; Action No.210 1 February 1976. p.3

(13) Action No.155 15 June 1973 p.2

(14) Action No.186 15 December 1974 p.2

(15) Action No.168 21 February 1974 p.3

(16) Spearhead March 1966 p.3

(17) a television interview with Front leaders., date unknown, but from 1974. On "Four Corners".

(18) Weber, Eugen. Varieties of Fascism, (Anvil) 1971. pp.21-5

(19) Spearhead No.103 p.6

(20) Jordan’s speech in Trafalgar Square 1962., as quoted in British Patriot No.34 July 1975 pp.8-11; Combat No.15 January-February 1961 p.5

(21) suggested throughout by Chesterton in New Unhappy Lords.; Candour 15 July 1955. p.6

(22) Webster, Nesta. Secret Societies and Subversive Movements. (Britons Publishing Company), London 1964.

(23) ibid., pp.357-70; Chesterton op.cit., pp.138-42

(24) Duprat, Francois. Les Movements Nationaux and Nationalistes en Allemagne. (Cahiers Europeens supplement No.132.) Le Trait.1976 pp.2, 3, 4, 23.

(25) Duprat, Francois. Les Mouvements Nationalistes an Espagne 1977. Supplement 21/22 de la Revue d’ Histoire du Fascisme.

(26) Cohn, Norman. Warrant for Genocide: The Myth Of The Jewish World Conspiracy And The Protocols Of The Learned Elders of Zion. (Eyre and Spottiswoode) London 1972

(27) Sutton, Anthony. National Suicide: Military Aid to the Soviet Union. November 1972, pp.236-8

(28) Sutton, Anthony. Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution. (Arlington House Publishers) New Rochelle 1974 pp.127-35.

(29) Chesterton op.cit., p.58

(30) Robertson op.cit., p.58; see also his journal Instauration, March 1977.

(31) Allen, Gary. None Dare Call it Conspiracy, (Liberty Bell) Boston 1975. pp.78-94; Allen’s articles have also appeared in Spearhead and Britain First.

(32) ibid., pp.81-5

(33) Spearhead.

(34) Candour 16 November 1958 p.4

(35) Spearhead No 86. August 1975., p.13

(36) British Patriot . May 1974 p.9

(37) The B.B.C. Exposed., an anonymous pamphlet distributed by the National Front and the British Movement.

(38) A conclusion on the body of the material

(39) Action N.180 15 September 1974 p.2






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British Neo-Fascist Politics 1960 - 1975

 

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