The Red Brown Scandal
Reflex Journal
HUMEURS NOIRES
French Anarchist Federation
B.P.79
59370 MONS EN BAROEUL FRANCE
E-Mail: HumeursNoires@lifl.fr
This comes from the group REFLEX in France. Its tone will be very clear to our readers. But the information contained herein is the relevant factor. We have corrected some spelling mistakes, but not the translation.

REFLEX: Reseau d'Etude, de Formation, de Liaison contre l'Extreme-Droite et la Xenophobie.

This review (and the people) act against racism, fascism, laws against migrants,cops murder..

REFLEX, 14 rue de NANTEUIL, 75015 PARIS, FRANCE

Reflexes international n. 1(part 2/3)

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Earlier this year, a major scandal erupted in France over the exposed links between communists and the extreme right. Known as the Red- Brown scandal, these links sought to build the politics of national-bolshevism in France.

The term national-bolshevism joins two very precise political concepts. "National" is of course a reference to nationalism, that is to say an overvaluation of national characters, national independence, the unity of the nation , eventually integrating racial characteristics etc. "Bolshevism" refers to two different ideas; the first, strictly meaning the majority faction (Bolsheviks) of the social-democratic workers party in Russia. Thus bolshevism refers to Leninism , or a possible interpretation of the works of Karl Marx and the organisational conclusions that the ideology draws, particularly in Lenin's major works; the necessity of a structured and disciplined party representing the avant garde of the proletariat and leading it during a revolution. But more generally, bolshevism refers to a political and economic system established after the taking of power by the Bolsheviks in October 1917, thanks to the progressive elimination of the workers' council system to which they were fundamentally opposed. (1)

Logically, these two terms do not appear to have much in common, apart from being two bourgeois ideologies from the 19th century. However, European political evolution has seen national- bolshevism become a dominant movement. Thus in Germany, national-bolshevism designated the movement led by the Strasser brothers, and represented the left-wing of the NSDAP (Nazi Party). Gregor Strasser, a trainee chemist, joined in the post-World War 1 period first the DAP, then the NSDAP. His first years as a militant were deeply rooted for him in the themes that he would develop later; social inequality , extreme misery after the war, the humiliation of Germany, revolutionary fervour...

At the end of June 1993, following an enquiry by the journalist Marieue Besnard and the novelist Didier Daeninck, the French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine revealed links that united communists and right extremists, notably concerning the collaboration of certain journals such as L'Idiot International and Le Choc du Mois. (2) The relative failure of the attempt by the new right to infiltrate the classic right, the evolution of a section of members of GRECE. (3) who joined the Front National, political chances(the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of communism, the liberal consensus in Europe) led to new orientations; in 1989 Robert Steuckers (4) estimated that "the new right finds itself faced with a challenge - to renew its discourse, to monopolise the new intellectual paths (Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, Gusdorf, Peguy etc), to create a transplant between the new ideological language and its existing body". (5)

The Belgian new right were the first to study the German national- bolshevik Ernst Niekisch. Following that, one saw a flourishing in the new right press of references to philosophers and leftist writers, and the sometimes pure and simple theft of libertarian slogans criticising the consumer society and the ideology of work, for example. (6) This with the aim, of course, of affirming ideas of inequality, of separate development, behind leftist terminology, but also of erasing the left-right opposition and making appear new "peripheral convergences fighting the world of merchandise and all the power of economic reason" .(7)

On 12 May 1993, Alain de Benoist of GRECE, pleaded for the abandonment of the left-right distinction, with him preferring the notion of a "centre" and a "periphery", the first being composed of a "dominant ideology", the second "regrouping all those who do not accept this ideology" (this being an adapted version of analyses on links between centre countries in the northern hemisphere and peripheral countries in the southern hemisphere). This speech would have been unremarkable if it had not taken place at a conference organised by Franceue Lazare, a member of the executive council of the French Communist Party. No one in the communist ranks found fault with any of that. (8)

A week later, the magazine Elements (published by GRECE) invited Marc Cohen, Communist Party member and editor of L'Idiot International, to come and speak there about the "recomposition of the French intellectual landscape". Edward Limonov, (9) editorial consultant at L' Idiot, also collaborated on Revolution, a weekly Communist Party magazine aimed at intellectuals; like Le Choc du Mois, the extreme right monthly, it is modern, swaggering and intellectually agressive.(10) Finally, last May, L'Idiot published the article "Towards A National Front" by Jean-Paul Cruse. This communist, a trade unionist and journalist on the daily leftist newspaper Liberation, proposed "an authoritarian politics of redressment for the country" which would rally "people of spirit acainst people of things, civilisation against merchandise - and the greatness of nations against the balkanisation of the world... under the order of Wall street, international Zionism, theFrankfurt exchange and the dwarfs of Tokyo". (11) Decidedly, a conspiracy theory. Because for Cruse "the destruction caused by the old left opens nothing new in the field". It would be necessary therefore "to forge a new alliance", a "front" to regroup. Pasqua,ll Chevenement,(12) the communists and ultra-nationalists"' a new front for a "violent burst of industrial and cultural nationalism" . The national office of Cruse's trade union responded in a press release by affirming Cruse's right to freedom of speech and condemning his position, recalling that "these ideas are not those of the CGT" and that it fought them .'with all its might". Not by opportunism but by deep conviction. (13)

Anti- Americanism has always been in France a value shared for different reasons by most of the politicalforces. From Gaullists to Communists via the extreme right and extreme left, America finds itself accused of not being a true historical nation, of taking without understanding the principals of the Lumieres (14) and the universal values of the French Revolution, and of wanting to dominate the whole of the planet. The collapse of communism and the Gulf War have revived this feeling. As Daeninck noted in his enquiry.. there are strong convergences with nationalist-revolutionaries on anti- Americanism, the exaltation of nationalism, a radical critique of social democracy and the rejection of liberalism.

It is thus certain that a current of national-bolshevism exists in France, fighting the consumer society, America, "international Zionism" and social democracy, but it is nothing new. Previously, in the 1970s, the organisation Lutte du Peuple, founded from a split in Ordre Nouveau, called on the spirit of national-bolshevism and used "a vocabulary copied exactly from that of the extra-parliamentary left, notably in its critique of capitalism and the bourgeoisie". (l5) Today, the movement Nouvelle Resistance (16) is the political expression of this line and attempts to "implement a strategic line" for the "anti-system front" . The friendships of Nouvelle Resistance with different groups which call on the spirit of national-bolshevism in varying degrees in Russia are there to prove it. In their magazine Lutte du Peuple, they often make mention of different groups and alliances with themselves.

The "hatred" of the West, and Yeltsin who is "selling off" Russia to the profit of capitalism, serve to spearhead a rapprochement between former communists and conservatives. One can cite Alexander Dugin (deputy leader of the National Bolshevik Front), one of the correspondents of Nouvelle Resistance in Russe, who congratulates himself on the "current Russian revolution where respectively the neo-communist nationalists represent the left wing and the neo-monarchists represent the right wing". This was also seen by Jean Thiriart (17) and Michael Schneider (editor of the magazine Nationalisme et Republique (l8) during a trip in August 1992 of which the objective was to make links with the opposition to Yeltsin. At the beginning of 1992, Alain de Benoist praised the birth of the magazine Dien (Today) which, following the example of Krisis in France, introduced "non-conformism and radicalism in the red-brown world and has as a slogan the search for a Russian and national third way". Regarding the anti-semitism of this magazine, it is necessary, according to de Benoist, to not exaggerate the content of it. One can also find this type of discourse in the former official communist publications. On demonstrations it is not unusual to see red flags and Tsarist flags side by side. Today, the opposition is structured, supported not least by the army. Stalin has been rehabilitated and one can seen in the different publications of the extreme right (Lutte du Peuple, and the Italian magazine Orion) articles that refer to the "little father of the people".

Following the example of Jean-Paul Cruse, the French Communist Party has often developed a clear anti- Americanism .The great American devil on the one hand, the great Soviet brother on the other... The "communist collective of media workers" (The French communist Party) complained in a communique of 8 July 1993 about the witch hunt being made acainst one of its members (Marc Cohen) and which aimed "to block all political debate linking the question of nationalsovereicnty against American hegemony, and the historic values of the international workers' movement". It is well known that countries in eastern Europe have ardently defended these values.The red-brown rapprochement is a remake from the 1930s. Let us remember Jacques Doriot, the national-populist who split from the Communist Party in order to found the Parti Populaire Francais and went on to become a nazi collaborator. As at this time, there is today a current inside the heart of the French communist Party which promotes a nationalist and populist discourse.

Those who put so much effort into denouncing the convergence between reds and browns often forget the ideological wanderings of their own circle.Through the magazine Krisis many contacts have been established between intellectuals of the new right and those of the left. During the summer of 1988, Krisis, edited by Alain de Benoist, broke the intellectual isolation of the new right and established its ideological hegemony. Leftist thinkers were as much involved as the ideologues of GRECE. The beginning of this exercise was marked by manipulation, then the magazine published articles that had already appeared elsewhere, without the permission of the authors. But Roger Garaudy (also involved with Nationalisme et Republique), Jean-Michel Palmier, Andre Comte-Sponville, Jean-Frangois Kahn, Regis Debray, Jacques Domenach,Jacques Julliard, Bernard Langlois or even Claude Karenooh(who pretends to be a libertarian) (19) all work with de Benoist, and have participated without batting an eyelid at the magazine. Alain Decaux,former minister of the socialist Government, doesn't feel in the least bothered about siding with people like Jean Mabire, Jean- Jacques Mourreau and Pierre Vial, all three of whom who have passed through GRECE to the Front National.

The ideological confusion due to a loss of political landmarks and referential marks on the left has - permiued the appearance of such contacts and placed it in that of reactionary ideology. In France today, the task of the left and indeed the anti-fascist movement must be to make a clear separation of the two ideologies of nationalism and bolshevism, and to expose those members of the left who seek to make alliances with the extreme right. A new political discourse of the left needs to be created to take up this challenge. Otherwise, our next fuhrer might be wearing a red shirt.

Notes

1 - The Soviets betrayed by the Bolsheviks, Rudolph Rocker.

2. The first was founded by Jean-Edern Hallier. Le Choc is a monthly fascist magazine.

3. A new right think tank led by Alain de Benoist, who is linked to all the key fascists in France.

4. Steuckers is a multi -lingual lecturer and has played the role, since the departure of Guillaume de Faye in 1986, of deputy leader of the new right on the intellectual plain. He edits the magazine Vouloir.

5. Robert Steuckers, Vouloir, no. 52-53, February-March 1989.

6. Elements pour une culture europeenne, winter 1 992, no 7 5.

7 . Elements pour une culture europeenne, spring l992, no 74.

8. Rene Monzat, a leftwing investigative journalist who was present in the room, was the only one to speak out against this and was put in his place by Francette Lazare.

9. Limonov has been since May 1993 the president of the National-Bolshevik Front in Moscow.

10. A magazine for the r adical and national right in France.

11. The hardline right wing interior minister in - the current French government.

12. Socialist Minister for the army during the Gulf War , he was nevertheless opposed to this war , he resigned and left the Socialist Party. Afterw ards, he made a campaign against the Maastricht Treaty. Known for his nationalism and fervent patriotism.

13. A propos d'un article publie par L'Idiot International", communique of the SNJ-CGT, 25 June 1993.

14. The Lumieres were the key French thinkers and philosophers before the revolution, such as Voltaire, Montesqueiu and Rousseau.

15. A radical nationalist right wing group in France.

16. The main Third Position group in France today.

17. A Belgian fascist and wartime collaborator who adapted nationalism- bolshevism during the 50s and 60s into a philosophy which he called national- community Europeanism.

18, No longer published today, Nationalisme et Republique attempted to be a magazine of critical support for ]ean-Marie Le Pen and the Front National, Towards the end it evolved towards a position very close to Nouvelle Resistance.

19. All key intellectuals on the French left.
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The Alain De Benoist Collection