Please note that this short article should be read as an appendix to “From Subculture to Hegemony:
Transversal Strategies of the New Right in Neofolk and Martial Industrial”
Since the French „Nouvelle Droite“ is the provider of key ideas and strategies to the post-modern Right in other countries it is worth losing a few words about them. Its roots are in the early 60’s in a paper called „Europe Action“, which criticized the Nazis for their „romantic racism“, which they intended in replacing with a „scientific“ racism based on dubious research by South African geneticists and US- IQ researchers. After the defeat of the far right in the 1967 elections, „Europe Action“ morphed in ‘68 into the Study and Research Group for European Civilisation (Groupement de Recherches et d’Etudes pour la Civilisation Européenne, in short G.R.E.C.E.).
On board was: Alain de Benoist, who under the pseudonym Fabrice Laroche was one of the most prolific writers of „Europe Action“ (and a former member of the terrorist group Jeune Nation) as well as its chief editor Jean Mabire. A change of image was crucial to this mutation. Previously they had espoused racist and militant vocabulary, and then later donning suits they managed to involve figures like Mircea Eliade, Arthur Koestler, Leo Weissgerber, Konrad Lorenz and others as „curators“. In an internal bulletin members were warned „one has to exercise utmost caution with the consequences that are drawn from Nouvelle Ecole. Also we have to be very careful with vocabulary. It is especially important to get rid of an outdated phraseology, new ways of expression have to be created.“ Thus the „white race“ became the „indoeuropean heritage“. Most importantly though – after the political decline of the far right – the field of action was moved to culture. This was based on theories of the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, and the proponents of the New Right didn’t tire to emphasize that their actions followed „metapolitical“ aims and were strictly scientific.
It took roughly a decade to arrive in the French mainstream. In 1977 the publisher and former Nazi collaborator Robert Hersant took over the conservative daily Le Figaro. Louis Pauwels became culture editor of the new Figaro Magazine, and opened all doors to the gang of G.R.E.C.E. writers. When the left liberal press started denouncing the turn Le Figaro was taking, G.R.E.C.E. initiated numerous court cases against them being called fascists. On the other hand, many sympathisers of the New Right belonged to the openly far right Parti des forces nouvelles, and one of its leaders said in an interview with Le Monde „we belong to the same political family“, and the leader of the nazi group FNE (Fédération d’action nationale et européenne) declared: „we recognize ourselves in the writings of Alain de Benoist and the work of G.R.E.C.E.; Louis Pauwels is close to our ideas.“
It is no accident that the Neofascists positively refer to the ideas of the „New Right“: While they cleared all openly racist and fascist statements from their publications, the message was cleverly encrypted, allowing those interested to still decipher it easily. This is a strategy mimicked by political activists in the Neofolk and Martial scenes, using sub-culture as a vehicle to promote their ideas.
Lothar Baier: “Nazis darf man sie nicht nennen”, Konkret 12/80