Europe For The Europeans:
Fascist Myths Of The New Order 1922 - 1992
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Roger Griffin Professor in History, Oxford Brookes University Department of History, Oxford OX3 0BP This paper is based on ones given to the conferences The Radical Right in Western Europe held by the Western European Area Studies Centre, Minneapolis University (7-9 November 1991), and Images of the New Europe held at the University of Bari (4-6 May 1992). It was first published by as Occasional Paper (No. 1) by the Humanities Research Centre (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, OX3 0BP) in 1993.
"UNITED EUROPE. Every time we try to give the notion of `European culture' concrete significance, we seem to run up against innumerable `interpretations' which leave us with nothing conclusive at all. Everyone has their own idea about what European culture is and many Europeans feel guilty or even reticent about championing it, and so the parvenus can speculate to their hearts content in the reviews and colour supplements about all the latest developments in this or that field of art in such a way that `culture' becomes entirely divorced from the `serious world', from what matters. Ironically, much of what the defenders of culture admire plays a major role in helping to bring about a spiritual crisis and lack of confidence in European culture. The `Westernization' of the world has meant that this decomposition extends across the world. Thus Europe, from the Enlightenment to communism, has become the breeding ground of the very forces which work to destroy everything which is specifically European. A united Europe will only be created when the problems relating to its spiritual nature are faced and resolved. No material unity will progress beyond a certain point without this, unless `Europe' is made a travesty of Europe, an anti-Europe.
We must be `pro-European' not only in public affairs, but in all aspects of life in order to defeat the `enemy within'. The temptation to succumb to non-European attitudes and lifestyles in seemingly trivial but crucial aspects must be resisted. This is more important than precise ideological cohesion: no activist in the pro-European struggle should collaborate in any extra-European influence against Europe. We must create a `unity of fighters'. That is a pre- requisite. To set a vision of the world and of Europe aside as `irrelevant' would be to sink into the morass of political partisan politics, a cynical affair without identity, without spiritual meaning. A united Europe, without a communal spiritual identity and sense of direction would become just one more power bloc. In what way would such a United States of Europe be spiritually distinct from the United States of America or China or be anything nobler than the organization of African Unity? Europe must not be a stage towards the Westernization of the world, but a move against it, in fact a revolt against the modern world in favour of what is nobler, higher, more truly human. (The conclusion of an English translation of part three of the booklet Europa Una: Forma e Presupposti containing three essays on European unity written by Julius Evola (undated). It appeared in issue 9 of the English neo-fascist New Right magazine The Scorpion, Spring 1986)
Introduction: The `New Europe' as a Mythic Construct
Part One: Eurofascism before 1945
1 Pan-European Currents of thought within Italian fascism
2. Pre-1945 Eurofascism outside Italy
1 Pan-European Currents of thought within Italian fascism
2. Pre-1945 Eurofascism outside Italy
Part Two: Eurofascism after 1945
1 The Europeanization of Post-war fascism
2 The Europeanism of the New Right
3 The call for a `return to Europe' in the former East bloc
1 The Europeanization of Post-war fascism
2 The Europeanism of the New Right
3 The call for a `return to Europe' in the former East bloc
Conclusion: Eurofascism and the `End of History' References
The `New Europe' as a mythic construct `
The `New Europe' as a mythic construct `
The century that began full of self-confidence in the ultimate triumph of Western liberal democracy seems at its close to be to be returning full circle to where it started.' These words are taken from the now famous article (subsequently turned into a best-selling book) in which Francis Fukuyama outlined his vision of the imminent victory of the West, or rather what he calls the `Western idea', over all rival ideologies, and coined a phrase which has since become a catch-phrase of liberal capitalist triumphalism, `the End of History.' Intimately bound up with this vision is that of a Europe and a North America way out in front of the pack of other cultural systems `in the vanguard of civilization' (Fukuyama, 1989, p. 5), thus fulfilling (against all the odds when the upheavals of the 20th century are considered) what Hegelians reason to be history's hidden agenda, namely the inexorable progress of liberal freedom. Little wonder, then, that a section of his article pays homage to the neo-Hegelian KojŠve, who managed to convince himself that the creation of the European Economic Community gave concrete form to the dream of forging Europe into an example of the universal homogenous state which alone is capable of resolving `all the contradictions of earlier stages of history' and of satisfying `all human needs'. True to his beliefs, KojŠve spent his later years working tirelessly as an EC bureaucrat.
Since the summer of 1989, when Fukuyama's article appeared, `world-historical' events with an impact on Europe have flowed thick and fast: the independence of the Baltic states, Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, the bloody overthrow of Ceaucescu, the unification of the two Germanies, the Gulf War, the comprehensive collapse of European state communism in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Empire, the outbreak of a horrific civil war in Yugoslavia, and the division of Czechoslovakia to mention only the most spectacular. In a less spectacular way another major process in the history of nation- building has been taking place, one profoundly influenced by the end of the Cold War: the movement towards the `European Superstate'. The implications of this phrase obviously vary enormously according to how the EC project of alignment between member states and its eventual relationship with non-EC states is conceived, and there is an important distinction to be drawn between the European Community and Europe. Nevertheless, such issues as the economic and political integration of Western and Northern Europe with the former East bloc countries, the inclusion within the EC of Turkey, an Islamic state beyond the Bosporus, and the real possibility of Europe becoming one of three superpower blocs of economic and military power in the new world order, all point to changes which may not be as dramatic as those which followed in the wake of the Napoleonic or the two world wars, but in their own way are just as profound. What is easy to lose sight of while so many `real' events stream forth is that `Europe' becomes a utopian and mythic concept whenever it is used by liberals or their enemies to connote anything more than a specific geographically or politically delimited area whose boundaries are agreed upon by cartographers.Once it evokes the vehicle of progress or the agent of destiny, let alone a homogeneous cultural entity or primordial racial community, then mythopoeia is at work no less strongly than it was for the Greeks who identified Europe with the woman whom, Jupiter, disguised as a bull, kidnapped to Crete. This point emerges powerfully from two scholarly reflections on the elusive nature of Europe written on either side of the annus mirabilis/terribilis of 1989, Stanley Hoffmann's `Floating in the Here and Now. Is there a Europe, Was there a Past, and Will there be a Future? or the Lament of a Transplanted European' (1981) and M¡a Rodr¡guez-Salgado's `In Search of Europe' (1992). It emerges in perhaps an even more telling way from two books devoted to disseminating the EC vision of Europe, J. Duroselle's Europe. A History of its Peoples (1990) and J. Delors's Our Europe, (1992). The first, gloriously illustrated, opens with a section entitled `The Myth of Europe' underscoring the extreme heterogeneity of European cultures and climates. Nnevertheless, it still contrives to present Europe's destiny as ever closer integration, managing on the way to devote 25% of the text to the glories of French history and a mere two lines to one major European enterprise, slavery. The second volume is a remarkably bland and anaemic outline of what is involved in European integration in a number of areas, written this time with little sense of historical perspective or the obstacles to genuine unity, and with a constant emphasis on the key role to be played by France. In both cases nationalist self-interest and selective vision have prevailed over historiographical rigour.
Such books are only the latest exercises in a pan-European project which some might trace back to the attempts of the Holy Roman Empire to unite Europe into a single system in the late Middle Ages within the framework of feudal Christendom (or even the Roman Empire itself). Modern initiatives in this direction have their theoretical roots in the thought of Herder and Kant. As for practical experiments in Europeanization, Napoleon I might even be presented as pioneer in a very qualified sense. An even stronger case can be made for beginning with the scheme for Young Europe, a republican brotherhood of nations emancipated from their oppressors, conceived in the 1830s by Mazzini in exile. The formation of Young Italy and its kindred movements in several other countries was part of what was conceived as a pan-European initiative for an alliance of free nation states. Given the profoundly fragmented state of Europe in Mazzini's day, his passion for Europe is an outstanding example of mythopoiea at work, and it is significant that Sorel cites his contribution to the risorgimento as a case-study in the power of myth to change history (Sorel, 1961, pp. 125-7).
The cataclysm of the First World War naturally engendered a wave of visionary idealism among some politicians and political thinkers concerning the possibility that the defeat of Germany and her allies might be seized upon as an opportunity to recast the whole of Europe on liberal principles. This idealism is epitomized in Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points and their supporters at the ensuing peace conference at Paris. A symptom of the new vision within the ranks of reformist socialists are two books published in 1924, Fimmen's Labour's Alternative: The United States of Europe or Europe Limited, and Kranold's Vereinigte Staaten von Europa: eine Aufgabe proletarischer Politik (United States of Europe: a Task for Proletarian Power). More well-known, but in the short term equally doomed to failure, was the liberal Pan-Europa founded in 1922 by the Viennese count Coudenhove-Kalergi in the pursuit of pacifism and egalitarianism. By 1924 the movement was drawing up its own scheme for a United States of Europe, and two years later it held an international congress was held in Vienna. One of delegates at that conference and Pan-Europa's honorary president in 1927 was Artistide Briand, eleven times Prime Minister of France and the dominant voice in its foreign policy between 1925 and 1932. In 1929 he attempted to move Pan-Europa's vision one step closer to reality by putting to the League of Nations what became known as the Briand Plan, which proposed idea of a federal European Union based on close economic and political ties, an entity which by 1930 he was referring to as a European Community or a Union of United States. The essential idea behind the plan was that Europe would not only move decisively out of the age of international conflict, but become a major power bloc to rank alongside the USSR and the USA. However of the 26 countries which responded to the proposal only 5 were positive, the position of a number of nations (e.g. Britain) being that the proper channel for integration should be the League of Nations.
The onset of the Depression and Briand's death in 1932, not to mention the Nazi seizure of power a year later, ensured that the plan remained a dead letter. It was the horrific consequences of the next cataclysmic break-down of European unity, the Second World War, which was to inspire a new wave of liberal palingenetic mythopoeia centring on the post-war order (e.g. C. Dawson, The Renewal of Civilization (1941), H.G. Wells, Phoenix. A Summary of the Inescapable Condition of the World Organization, (1943), Buchman Remaking the World (1943). In general the Allies' forward planning focused on a post-war world order based on a new arrangement of the super-powers which would put paid to the imperial ambitions of the Axis powers. One remarkable exception is Conditions of Peace by the historian Professor E.H. Carr which was dropped over occupied Europe in the last two wars of the war and was read avidly for its vision of the international cooperation which could supersede the disastrous age of nation states. The document envisaged relief, transport, public works and planning to be dealt with on a pan-European basis, though it did not go so far as suggesting a Federal Europe.
Nor were Carr's suggestions alien to the thinking of such eminent British political figures as Winston Churchill, Clement Atlee, Lord Davies and Harold McMillan, who on occasion made visionary pronouncements on the need for European integration. It was occupied Europe, however which produced the most poignant pan-European initiatives, such as the Manifesto of European Resistance written in 1944 which looked forward to a Federal Union of European Nations as the basis of future peace (see Brugmans, 1965, ch. 3). When Churchill declared in Zurich in September 1946 that `We must build a kind of United States of Europe' (Churchill, 1965) he was articulating ideas which by the end of the war had become the common sense of democrats of many complexions and nations on the continent, no matter how alien they were to the average Briton. It was to be other politicians who were infected by the visionary ideal of democratic Europeanism, men like Schuman and Monnet, who led to the launching of the European Movement and the formation of the Council of Europe. Out of this grew another initiative, the European Coal and Steel Community which became the nucleus of the European Economic Community (see Mowat, 1973).
Since the Treaty of Rome the EC has been the main focus for pan- European visions, but not the only one. One of the more original contributions to the theme in the 1980s came from a source which would have been unimaginable in the Stalinist era. It was as part of the scheme for Russia's palingenesis set forth in Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World in 1984 that Gorbachev first outlined his concept of the Common European Home. Though he was careful to stress in a speech two years later that it was a home with different apartments and entrances, he still set his sights on some sort of harmonious cohabitation of the communist and capitalist worlds. An analysis of his concept of a European home soon reveals its essentially utopian and ahistorical nature (e.g. Prins, 1991, Catone, 1992), but in any case his bold policies for the restructuration of superpower politics were overtaken by a series of revolutionary events which perestroika and glasnost had done so much to unleash, while Gorbachev himself was swept away by the tide of change like some latter-day sorcerer's apprentice. Whether Russia can eventually complete the transition to a free-market economy without relapsing into authoritarianism, and whether the CIS can provide the necessary bulwark against balkanization and social collapse on a vast scale in the former Russian Empire, remains to be seen. Whatever happens, such factors as the instability in the former Communist bloc, the agonizing of some countries over the Maastricht Treaty, the structural problems caused by Germany's unification, global recession and the approach of the mythic year 2000 have all conspired to make Europe the centre of much futurological speculation, both whether frenzied or world-weary, utopian or apocalyptic. The severe structural problems of alignment associated with the fuller integration and expansion of the EC, not to mention and the current impotence of the international community to put a stop to the orgy of atrocities and material destruction in the Balkans, underscore the deep gulf which divides official EC rhetoric concerning the future of Europe from the reality.
It is not the purpose of this paper, however, to discuss how far the New Europe envisaged by Eurovisionaries of reformist socialist, liberal or reconstructed communist persuasion is an `imagined community' (see Anderson, 1991). It sets out to examine another way Europe can be mythically created in the mind of the beholder _ another example of what might be called `Europoeia' at work _ whose reality principle is arguably even weaker than theirs: the fascist one. There is, of course, a major debate about what is to be understood by the term fascism (spelt with a lower case to indicate it is being used generically in contradistinction to Fascism, the Italian phenomenon). While the debate over a suitable taxonomic definition of fascism can never be finally resolved, since it is at bottom an ideal type, the one which informs the following analysis assumes it is characterized by a special genus of political myth, namely a palingenetic (rebirth) form of ultra-nationalism. In its many different permutations the thrust of this myth is the attempt to inaugurate the Phoenix-like rebirth of the nation from the terminal cultural and political decay allegedly brought about by liberalism, a decay which is seen as only being accelerated further by the advance of communism (Griffin, 1993). Though in the interwar period the dominant forms of Fascism and Nazism, both permutations of rebirth nationalism, pursued national interests at the expense of international ones, nothing in fascist ideology ruled out in principle the possibility of alliances with other nations with kindred palingenetic aspirations. In fact, as this paper seeks to show, certain strands of inter-war fascism were actively concerned with the resolving the decadence brought about by the liberal system as a whole, not just in a particular nation, and thus thought of rebirth in pan-European or Western terms. Indeed since the war this ecumenical fascism or `Eurofascism', far from remaining marginalized, has moved to the mainstream of ultra-right thought.
Part One: Eurofascism before 1945
1. Pan-European currents of thought within Italian fascism
An account of fascist quests to build a new Europe has at least one major figure in common with the liberal tradition, namely Giuseppe Mazzini. In contrast to the monarchical and bourgeois liberalism central to Cavour's quest to bring about Italian unification through Realpolitik, Mazzini's anti-clerical and republican vision of the whole nation rising up heroically against its oppressors not only made more overt appeal to palingenetic myth, but was more ambiguous regarding the most appropriate constitutional framework for the new state. This made it possible for the Fascists to claim that they were completing the risorgimento after it had been perverted by generations of liberal politicians (Woolf, 1965). The other Mazzinian aspect of later Fascism is that the national reawakening in Italy was repeatedly seen by zealots of the Third Rome as the local manifestation of a process of cultural and political regeneration affecting the whole of Europe.The colossal historical impact of the aggressive imperialist policies adopted by Fascism and Nazism as expressions of exclusivist forms of chauvinism, has led to an understandable tendency for academics to lose sight of the internationalist form which fascist ideology assumed whenever its activists sensed a kindred spirit with the crusades of ultra-nationalists abroad. Once the various pre-1914 tributaries to Fascism are considered in this perspective the way the cultural analysis associated with each reveals an in-built internationalist dimension. Thus Corradini founder of Il Regno and the foremost theoretician of the Italian National Association (which would finally merge with the Fascist party in 1923) had as early as 1909 developed a theory of proletarian nations pitted against plutocratic ones such as Britain and France, an ultra-nationalist counterpart to the Marxist one of class war within nations (De Grand, 1978). In this way the renaissance of Italy was placed firmly in a pan-European context. Another major influence on integral nationalism in Italy was Papini, whose periodical La Voce preached the need for a cultural and political revolution in Italy which would not only sweep away the decadence of the Giolittian system, but form an integral part of the revitalization of European civilization. He conceived his role as that of being the theoretical midwife of a generation of homines novi who would supply the heroism and vision which, according to Nietzschean thinking, were vitally necessary if the whole of the Western world were not to fall into a terminal state of cultural decay (Gentile, 1982). Under Marinetti's influence Political Futurism, an important component of early Fascism after 1918, considered itself as part of a crusade against a passatismo which was part of a European, and not merely Italian cultural crisis (Mosse, 1990).
Meanwhile, some neo-syndicalists such as Panunzio were adapting the internationalist analysis of liberal democracy bequeathed by Marx and Sorel to the national context in a way which placed them on a course of collision and convergence with the Fascist revolution (Roberts, 1979). All these strands of political culture became intertwined in the interventionist lobby of 1914-15, when their spokesmen formed a common front. They did so in the conviction that participation in the First World War would launch Italy on the (quite differently conceived) revolutionary process they saw as the only remedy to its malaise. The Fasci di azione rivoluzionaria, with their nebulous call for national rebirth in an ultra-nationalist key, can be seen as the first proto-fascist force in Italian politics (see Griffin, 1993, pp. 56-63).
With the formation of the Fasci di combattimento in March 1919 Mussolini's fascism took its first uncertain steps on the road to power. Since it sought from the outset to capitalize on the revolutionary spirit of combattentismo brought back from the front by war- veterans (combattenti) in the midst of an acute domestic crisis, it is hardly surprising if the nationalism of Sansepolcro Fascism and of the squadrismo which took off so spectacularly in the biennio rosso of 1919-20 lacks any significant internationalist dimension, its mythic focal point being the struggle of the `new Italy' against the `old'. It is thus particularly significant for our theme that the variety of ultra-nationalist myth which informed D'Annunzio's attempt to create a role model for the Italian revolution at Fiume (1919-20) contained an internationalist (though not a European) component. With the adoption of the Carnaro Charter he was giving the national syndicalist De Ambris the chance to carry out a full-scale experiment in the reorganization of political and economic structures on corporatist lines and so establish a blueprint for the regeneration of all modern societies (Sznajder, 1989). Moreover, under the influence of the Belgian poet Leon Kochnitzky, who headed the Regency's foreign office, D'Annunzio set up in the spring of 1920 the League of Fiume, a sort of anti-League of Nations designed to form a common front of oppressed nations against hegemonic ones (echoes of Mazzini and Corradini are clearly audible here). Kochnitzky actively sought support from Egyptians, Indians, Irish, Croatians, Montenegrans, Albanians, Hungarians, Flemings, Turks, and Arabs and even with Russians, who in the heady constructivist phase of the Revolution could still be seen as allies in the fight between young and old nations. He saw the League as shattering the old order and establishing a world based on `Italy and Life', a new International based on the vitalistic and visionary energies incarnated in D'Annunzio himself. The `Christmas of Blood' in which government forces finally ousted the Dannunzians (December 1920) spared the advocates of the League the humiliation of their utopian expectations being exposed by the sombre realities of power politics and nationalist conflict. But the very fact that the project was taken so seriously bears out the fact that the Fiume `adventure' was not conceived as a domestic affair, but, as Ledeen puts it, a revolt `directed against the old order of Western Europe and carried out in the name of youthful creativity and heroism' (Ledeen, 1977, x).It was Mussolini's variant of fascism which proved to be the most durable, not least because he possessed the tactical and ideological flexibility to weld together the highly disparate forces (including after 1921 many Dannunzians) whose protagonists projected their own disparate schemes for Italy's ultra-nationalist regeneration onto his movement. Certainly in the period 1918 to 1929, when the juridical, political and socio-economic foundations of the Fascist State were in place, Fascism's domestic struggle for hegemony absorbed the bulk of his interests and he appears to have formally renounced any international implications for his cause with his oft-quoted assertion (made in a speech in 1928) that `Fascism was not for export'. However, the preconceived idea encountered in some Fascist studies that it was only in the 1930s (i.e. after the period of the regime's consolidation was over) that Mussolini came to be interested in the exportability of his movement is erroneous. After all he had started out political life as an idiosyncratic but assiduous revisionist of internationalist socialism. Moreover, there is documentary evidence to show that the turning point towards a nationalist form of socialism came not on the eve of Italy's intervention, but as early as 1907 when, partly under the influence of La Voce he became convinced he was a homo novus of Nietzschean ilk, called upon to help give birth to a new nation as part of the transvaluation of values needed to regenerate the West as a whole (Gentile, 1982, pp. 103-134). Consistent with this is the profound influence of Spengler's analysis of the decay of the whole of the West which has been traced in his thinking (Simonini, 1978, pp. 99-101, 113-5). We should not be surprised, therefore, if it is the spectre of decadence on an international scale which haunts his letter to Henry Massi written (in French) in June 1927:" The East is a danger, if you like an infection. But through which channels does this infection pass? I will list them: liberalism, democracy, socialism, free-masonry. The organism of the West has been weakened, debilitated by these ideologies. Well, there is in existence only one movement existing at the present time which has the courage possessing the power of a great nation to be fundamentally, openly, ferociously anti-liberal, anti- democratic, anti-Freemason: Fascism". (quoted in Zunino, 1985, p. 333).
Within a few months he was writing in the preface to a book by the English philo-Fascist Major Barnes, significantly entitled The Universal Aspects Of Fascism, that Fascism is a purely Italian phenomenon in its historical expression, but its doctrines and postulates have a universal character. Fascism sets and solves problems which are common to many peoples and precisely to those peoples who have experienced, and are tired of, Demo-liberal rule (Barnes, 1929, p. xxviii). [It might be pointed out that this characteristic use of the term `universal' by Barnes, Mussolini and other believers to denote the generic, trans-national character of Fascism clearly betrays a profoundly ethno-centric, indeed Euro-centric world-view, but perhaps not more so than that has underlain much propaganda for other originally occidental `world creeds', such as Christianity, liberalism, socialism and communism, in the past.] In terms which might profitably be taken to heart by generations of scholars who have wrestled with the concept of generic fascism ever since, Mussolini proceeds to point out that the precise form which fascism took would necessarily, like liberalism, vary from country to country: In the same way, the fact that Fascism possesses a specific and original Italian stamp does not prevent its principles having an application in other countries, in other forms, as indeed has already occurred. It is our proud prophecy that Fascism will come to fill the present century with itself, even as Liberalism filled the nineteenth century (ibid. pp. xxvi-xxvii). Thus, while he realized that the specific State apparatus which Fascism had created in Italy was clearly not for wholesale export to other national contexts, Mussolini seems to have been inwardly convinced early on in his dictatorship that its spirit offered a shining example to all other modern nations grappling with local permutations of what he considered the true enemies of progress, `demo-liberalism' and communism. No U-turn is to be read, therefore, into the statement he made in 1930 that `today I affirm that Fascism is universal in spirit' (Ledeen, 1972, p.63), or the famous declarations in the Enciclopedia Italiana of 1932 that the twentieth century would be a `Fascist century' and that `Fascism has henceforth in the world the universality of all those doctrines which, in realizing themselves, have represented a stage in the history of the human spirit' (Lyttleton, 1973, p. 57).
It was a similarly global perspective on decadence that underlay a number of pronouncements on race made well in advance of his decision in 1938 to accommodate Nazi racial laws within Fascist doctrine and celebrate the Aryan heritage of the Italians. An example is the 1931 article written for the Popolo d'Italia, 4 September, `Is the White Race Dying Out?', which shows that official Fascism had both a supra-Italian and a racist dimension quite independently of the Pact of Steel with Nazi Germany. Mussolini's most scholarly biographer, Renzo de Felice, points out that it was after the Ethiopian War and under the influence of the nationalist Oriani, the demographer Korherr and the philosopher Spengler that `Mussolini underwent a decisive phase of ideological evolution and involution' which `led him to believe that Europe and the world were undergoing a profound "crisis of civilization" from which would emerge a "new civilization" characterized by the rapid decline of countries like France and England and the rise of Germany, Japan, Russia and Italy. In this view, Fascist Italy had to fulfil its own special "mission" by exercizing its "moral primacy" over other nations, in addition to realizing its Mediterranean hegemony"' (Cannistraro, 1982, p. 361). While this is doubtless true, it is clear that he was building on convictions about the state of the world arrived at well before the First World War and refined ever since the `conquest of the state' in 1922. Whatever Mussolini's personality problems (so mercilessly exposed in Mack Smith, 1981), part of his emotional circuitry was, no less than Hitler's, fired by a boundless visionary optimism about the regeneration, not just of Italy but the entire `West'.
One telling symptom of this is that when in 1936 the edifice of Fascism gave the first ominous signs that it would eventually collapse around his ears like the House of Usher, the duce's reaction was not to relapse into solipsistic brooding, but to embark instead on a heady piece of futurology to be called Europe 2000. In the event it was a project destined to remain as incomplete as all his would-be contributions to the New World of the uomo fascista (De Felice, 1981, p. 290; see also Griffin, 1993, ch. 3). Mussolini's preoccupation with the repercussions of Fascism beyond the frontiers of Italy, far from being a private pipe-dream, was an integral part of mainstream Fascist thought. One Italian scholar, Pier-Giorgio Zunino, has made an impressive attempt to carry out an analysis of the dominant themes of Fascism on the basis of a comprehensive study of fascist publications in the late 1920s. The results highlight the prevalence of the notion that European civilization as a whole was going through the profound crisis which had been prophesied by Nietzsche, analysed by Spengler and concretized by the First World War and the ensuing chaos. The ubiquitous symptoms of a world out of joint were for the Fascist mentality no grounds for cultural pessimism, but the birth-pangs of a `new civilization whose essence no one could know' (Zunino, 1985, p. 135; cf. pp. 131-44). One seam within this philosophy of history which Zunino mines out (and which is of immense significance for post-war fascism) is that Europe was caught in a pincer movement between two empires of decadent materialist ideology, the capitalist USA and communist Russia (see especially the section `Tra americanismo e bolscevismo', [Between Americanism and Bolshevism] pp. 322-344). Alexander Gregor also stresses the internationalist dimension of Mussolini's Third Italy in The Ideology of Fascism (1979, p. 356), claiming that by 1935 theoreticians were envisaging a `pan-European federation of fascist nations' that would function through a `polyarchic directorate', and that by 1942 the conception of a European consortium of fascist nations united within a `European regime of federal union' had become a commonplace of Fascist literature.
The Europeanism of several leading Fascist ideologues bears out this analysis, but, as in the case of Mussolini, can be traced back well before the 1930s. For example Curzio Suckert, better known as Malaparte, founder of La Conquista dello Stato and a major representative of the Fascist intelligentsia in the pioneering years of the regime, set forth the premises to his own conversion to Mussolini's movement in 1923 in L'Europa Vivente which, as the title (`Living Europe') suggests, offered a comprehensive pan-European perspective within which to assess the significance of the March on Rome. In the same year, albeit in a very different spirit, Giovanni Gentile was rationalizing his conversion to Fascism in terms of his own right-wing neo-Hegelian philosophy of history. He was soon tirelessly producing lectures and essays celebrating the March on Rome as a turning point, not just of Italy's history but of the West: Mussolini was a world-historical individual, `an instrument used by providence to create a new civilization' (Gentile, 1934, p. 55). Yet another rationale for Fascism was elaborated by Bottai, who in his indefatigable propagandist activity for the regime as Minister of Corporations, Minister of Education and the editor of Critica Fascista constantly sought to demonstrate the way Fascism had found solutions to the structural problems faced by the European states still committed to the West's bankrupt liberal economic system, a technocratic argument radically at loggerheads with Gentile's elaborate idealist rationale for Fascism (E. Gentile, 1982, p. 226).
At another point within the broad specturm of positions accommodated by Fascism we find Carlo Costamagna, founder of the periodical Lo Stato and the most important legislator of the corporatist state after Rocco. He went on to be adopted as an important ideologue by Italian neo-fascists after the war. Costamagna was a major advocate of Fascism's pan-European significance, and in an article of 1943, `The Idea of Europe and the War', written even as the regime was crumbling, he was still arguing that a new Fascist International was becoming a reality thanks to the heroic efforts of the Axis powers. Presenting fascism in now familiar terms as an international crusade against the European old order based on British imperialism and the League of Nations, Costamagna took issue with another of the regime's convinced Europeanists, Pellizzi, who saw cultural bonds as a sufficient basis for international cooperation, stressing instead the need for harmonizing political and juridic institutions. He added that `the new order, the bond (fascio) of the forces of several peoples', which he sees as the fruit of the Italian and German struggles for national unification in the 19th century, `will deserve the name European only if its component nations have their own territory in a portion of Europe and have European traits of civilization' (Malgieri, 1981, p. 134). Likewise in the sphere of art, especially painting and architecture, the majority of those who enthusiastically dedicated their creativity to the new Fascist order did so because they felt they were simultaneously contributing to a new phase in European, and not just national, history (see Griffin, 1993, pp. 69-71).It is against this background that we should read the exhaustive scholarly investigation of the internationalist component of Fascism provided by Michael Ledeen's Universal Fascism (1972). In it he documents the many initiatives launched by Fascists of the younger generation, the so-called Second Wave, to impart a pan-European thrust to the regime's foreign policy and so fulfil its mission to lead the way into a new phase of Western civilization. Failure to do so would, they believe, condemn the regime to being no more than a national dictatorship imposed by a state hierarchy, one which the universalists saw rapidly degenerating into a blinkered and reactionary gerontocracy. Among the most ardent and articulate advocates of this universalist mode of Fascism's palingenetic myth was Benito Mussolini's brother, Arnaldo, editor of Il Popolo d'Italia from the March on Rome till his death in 1931. In October 1930, for example, he wrote an article which declared: "The fascist spirit as the essence of a new civilization is universal. It is based on the trilogy: `authority, order, and justice.' An unstable, unquiet Europe, failing in its millennarian function, hemmed in by the vague formulae of liberalism and democracy, cannot find its health, or rather, its salvation any other way than in a new order...it is for that reason that in all countries we now see currents analogous to the fascist movement (quoted in Ledeen, 1972, p. 20).
Another spokesman for this vision was Mussolini's son Vittorio, who between 1929 and 1935 was the leading light of Novismo. As its distinctly palingenetic name implied, the movement sought to promote a process of renewal in every sphere of Italian society which would thereby act as a catalyst to the regeneration of Western civilization as a whole. Another prophet of Fascism's mission as the agent of international renewal was Spinetti, whose journal La Sapienza which appeared from 1933, campaigned for the regime to recover the dynamism it had exhibited in the immediate post-war crisis. He spoke for all universalist Fascists when in La Sapienzia of April 1933 he declared: We are ... the precursors of a new era, of a civilization which we will not hesitate to call fascist, because our value must not consist in being the first to predict the universal reaction, but in having nourished and guided it, in having shaped our doctrine to it' (ibid., p. 35). Three years later Spinetti was still sufficiently confident in Fascism's potential for self- renewal that he predicted that `within a century the world will be fascist ... given that universality is one of the characteristics of European civilization which is essentially Roman' (quoted ibid., p. 40). Spinetti offered elaborations of his pan-European fascist vision in two books, Fascismo Universale (1934) and L'Europa verso la Rivoluzione (1936), the latter anticipating much post-war thinking by focusing on the twin threats to European civilization: inner decadence brought about by `demo-liberalism' and Bolshevism. His was no voice crying in the wilderness.
Pan-Europeanism was a major theme of official Fascist publicism in the 1930s. Two of the regimes' new publishers were called `Europa' and `La Nuova Europa' which brought out a steady stream of universalist interpretations of Fascism. 1932 saw the appearance of the journal L'Universalit… Romana, a year after two respected intellectuals, Fantini and Curcio launched L'Universalit… Fascista, leading to a full-scale exposition of their message in a book entitled Universalit… del Fascismo (1933). L'Universale, a periodical published by Ricci between 1935 and 1936, also portrayed Fascism as saviour of Western civilization. Little wonder that the theme of fascism as a Rome-led but universal revolution found its way into the official history of Fascism published in 1936 by Gioacchino Volpe, The History of the Fascist Movement. The chief publicist of Fascist Europeanism, however, was Asvero Gravelli, a Fascist `of the First Hour' and an indefatigable propagandist of Fascism's youthful revolution. Apart from a number of books (e.g. La marche de Rome et l'Europe, 1932, Europa con noi!, 1933), Gravelli was the editor of two important reviews. One, subtitled The Journal of Universal Fascism, made its first appeared on the tenth anniversary of the March of Rome under the title Ottobre. But three years earlier, just as Mussolini was endorsing Major Barnes's interpretation of Fascism's universality, Gravelli had published an even more important journal entitled Antieuropa. Gravelli himself explained the paradox in an article setting out the journal's aims in the first issue (1929, vol. 1, pp. 1-13) which was summarized in a later declaration (1930, no. 5): 1) Fascism is anti-European, because the present Europe, in the throes of a spiritual crisis and a material crisis, is, in part, still under the influence of the immortal principles [of the French Revolution] while vast sections of society look to Moscow. Given this Europe, Fascism is anti- Europe. 2) The anti-Europeanism of Fascism is not an end in itself, but a provisional historical position, which will last till Fascism has enabled Europe to regain its ideal and spiritual equilibrium, the starting point of a new European role in the world.... 5) Facism transcends democracy and liberalism; its regenerative action is based on granit foundations: the idea of hierarchy, of the participation of the whole population in the life of the State, social justice in the equitable distribution of rights and duties, the infusion of public life with moral principles, the affirmation of religious values, the prestige of the family, the ethical interpretation of the ideas of order, authority and liberty. In the light of this transcendence Europe will be able to find its way to enter a new phase of History.
From its first appearance in 1929 Antieuropa established itself as the main forum for advocates of fascist internationalism, publishing a steady flow of articles assessing the strength of bolshevism and liberalism in shaping world events, and published reports on philo-Fascist initiatives in France, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia, Belgium, England, Austria, Egypt, China, Spain, the Ukraine, Hungary and Finland. The constant theme is that a battle is being fought out between the forces of decadence and resurrection: Fascism is showing Europe the way out of the cul-de-sac of history created by liberal democracy and the deep crisis provoked by Communism. Notable articles (some of which were written in French and German as well as Italian) are those on the problem of ethnic minorities (1930, no. 9, pp. 1468-86), the radical incompatibility of Fascism with the `anti- Roman' Aryan myth of the Nazis when it was still an opposition party, (e.g. 1931, no. 3, pp. 1727-34), and a series of articles specifically attacking the federal proposals of Pan- Europa and the Briand Plan (e.g. 1930, nos 5, 9). For a sample of the periodical's tone, these are some of the principles laid down by a Belgian sympathizer as a basis for collaboration with Italian Fascism as expressed in his article `Pour une internationale Fasciste' (1930, nos 7-9): a fascist international must: 5) while fighting communism, defend the oppressed classes against the magnats of finance and capitalism and against the the tyranny of the rich; 6) fight liberal parliamentarism, because it derives from a false ideology and, under the pretext of popular sovereignty, reduces the masses to slaves and hands over power to a minority of business men; 7) promote the corporativist organization of society and proclaim the right of the state to solve economic conlficts as the only party able to act as intermediaries between the different professional groups and control neo- capitalist enterprises, such as trusts, cartels, large banks etc. 8) propagate the idea of the European Union, not in the sense meant by Briand, but according to the Christian and fascist conception of international life...All the forces of European youth must be united as quickly as possible to fight effectively against the forces of dissolution: communism, socialism and liberalism. Just as significant as the publicistic expressions of Fascist internationalism were various practical attempts to organize a fascist equivalent of the Marxist Internationals. One of the forerunners of these was the Centre International d'Utudes sur le Fascisme (CINEF) headed by the Englishman Major Barnes with a three-man executive which included Giovanni Gentile. These were supported by a governing body made up largely of professors who together represented Holland, Greece, Spain, Poland, Hungary, France, Norway, the USA, Romania, Germany, Belgium, and Ireland. Its first and only yearbook of 1928 contained articles by four eminent members of the Fascist hierarchy, Volpe, Villari, Rossoni and Turati, the dominant theme of which was that Fascism, while unique to Italy in the precise institutions it had created, offered the example of how common European problems could be solved through a national reawakening both anti-liberal and anti- communist.
Official sanction for the tireless proselytizing of Gravelli and of CINEF seemed to come in 1932 when Mussolini allowed a major international conference, the Volta Congress (named after the Italian scientist), to be held in Rome to debate the future evolution of Europe in the era of Fascism. Encouraged by the success of the meeting of so many foreign dignitaries favourable to Fascism, Gravelli then started planning an international youth congress to launch Young Europe, thus deliberately reviving the Mazzinian organization in international fascist key. Another organization at the forefront of fascist pan-Europeanism in this period was the Istituto Europa Giovane (Institute of Young Europe), which in its journal Nazionale published articles with such suggestive palingenetic titles as `The Rejuvenation of Europe'. By 1933 there were so many publications and initiatives dedicated to internationalizing fascism that Mussolini was prompted to assert his authority over them. He did so by setting up the Comitato d'Azione per l'Universalit… di Roma (CAUR) which found enthusiastic support from the new Foreign Minister Ciano. In 1934 CAUR held an international congress in Montreux attended by leading lights of kindred European movements, such as Clausen (Denmark), Bucard (France), O'Duffy (Ireland), Quisling (Norway), Motza (Rumania) and Caballero (Spain). Nazi representation was conspicuous by its absence: its exclusively Germanic and anti- Semitic nationalism precluded a spirit of ecumenicalism.
At the level of political reality all such initiatives were doomed to be still-born. The adoption of the aggressive imperialist policy which led to the invasion of Ethiopia, the international repercussions of the Spanish Civil War, the weakness of fascist movements outside the Berlin-Rome Axis and the domination of this alliance by Hitler rather than Mussolini, the radical incompatibility of National Socialism's biologically oriented Aryan theory with Fascism's `cultural' nationalism, and the expansionist ambitions of Nazism in Europe, all made nonsense of any schemes for real cooperation between fascist movements, let alone any sort of confederation of European fascist nations. So powerful was the utopianism built into fascism's palingenetic dynamic, however, that the purblindness to considerations of Realpolitik and to brute facts clouded the minds of most protagonists of Fascist Europeanism till defeat overtook them. Yet even in the Nazi puppet-state, the Republic of Salo, where Fascism's intransigenti, i.e. the die-hard soldiers, intellectuals and `hierarchs' (who included Gentile, Farinacci and Almirante, the future leader of the post-war Movimento Sociale Italiano) rallied round Mussolini, there were enough of universalist persuasion left to leave their stamp on the Manifesto of the Fascist Republican Party issued in Verona in November 1943. It states that the foreign policy of the Republic was to be directed to `the realization of a European community, with a federation of all nations which accept the following principles: (a) the elimination of age-old British intrigue from our continent; (b) the abolition of the capitalist system; (c) the struggle against the world's plutocracies; (d) the development, for the benefit of European peoples and of the natives, of Africa's natural resources, with absolute respect for those peoples, especially Muslims, who, as in Egypt, have already achieved civil and national organization (quoted in Gregor, 1969, pp. 388-9).
2. Pre-1945 Eurofascism outside Italy
We have already seen that many Fascists convinced themselves that their revolution was a national response to a generalized crisis of Western or European civilization and that Italy had a providential mission to inspire parallel national reawakenings abroad. The starting point to an appraisal of fascist internationalism outside Italy is the recognition that the sense of a crisis of civilization was far from being confined to the land of Dante. It also long predates the First World War, even if it was only this cataclysm which created the objective socio-political conditions which could generate mass followings for national revolutionary movements (see Griffin, 1993, pp. 213-6). The theme of the decline of the West had become a highly diffuse current of speculation among the European intelligentsia in the late nineteenth century, and formed a central component of fin-de-siecle culture, rightly identified by Zeev Sternhell as the incubation period of fascism (e.g. Laqueur, 1969, p. 333). Though this is a period of intellectual history widely associated with the terms `cultural pessimism' or `cultural despair' (e.g. Stern, 1961), the striking feature of so much of the aesthetic, moral, philosophical, physiological, racial, religious and political theorizing of the time which dwelt on the sense of degeneration is that it in fact far from pessimistic (see Swart, 1964). Rather, in a myriad ways, it testifies to the desire to spin threads of Ariadne capable of leading `modern man' out of the labyrinth of contemporary society and thereby transcend the present decadence. In other words, the prevalent thrust of the `revolt against positivism' (see Hughes, 1958) was the palingenetic one of regenerating society, which is why figures such as Pareto, Sorel and, above all Nietzsche, with their lurid depictions of Europe's malaise and the `transvaluation of values' necessary to move into a new era, exercized such a fascination (see Weber, 1982, p. 19).
In many respects the `revolt against positivism' could thus equally well be called the `revolt against decadence'. Given the pan-European diffusion of both cultural pessimism and regenerationist mythopoeia before 1914, it is not surprising to find a number of political theorists and movements which, while rejecting the `scientific' path to humanity's palingenesis propounded by international Marxists, were obsessed with the possibility that a new ideological synthesis of democracy, socialism, conservatism and nationalism might be found which would renew European society and even `the world'. Nationalist revisions of Marxism, integral nationalisms, spiritual and racist revivalism, anthropological, philological and historical myths of renewal, dreams of decadence and regeneration, apocalyptic and millennaristic futurologies were in the air. In this disorienting but heady cultural climate, those of ideological bent who were not firmly ensconced within the liberal humanist tradition were all too easily lured into formulating syncretic diagnoses of the perceived crisis, and concocting home-brewed remedies to it. We have already alluded to several Italian manifestations of this phenomenon, all of which eventually became suffused within Fascism. Pan-Slavism, pan-Germanism, Zionism, the national socialism of Barras, Maurras's Action Francaise, national syndicalism, Lueger's Christian Social Party, the far-flung and heterogeneous volkisch movement in Germany (which thanks to the pervasiveness of Romantic nationalism in the nineteenth century had a counterpart in most European countries) are other examples of the new political syntheses of ultra-right thought emerging before 1914.
To those susceptible to palingenetic fantasies, the First World War and the Russian Revolution could all too easily appear the objectification of the spiritual crisis which they had identified, and hence the sign that history was experiencing the birth pangs of a vast transformation. This conviction formed an essential precondition for the Mussolini's dramatic `conquest of the state' in 1922 to be responded to abroad as the sign of an international process of rebirth without any prompting from Fascist propagandists. Before long parties were set up spontaneously in several countries (e.g. Britain, Sweden, Romania) which, while asserting their own creed of national identity and destiny, incorporated the term `fascist' into their name to betoken an underlying kinship with the Italian process of rebirth. What needs to be stressed is that movements identifying with Fascism did not do so on the basis of direct mimesis, which their nationalism precluded a priori, but rather of a perceived `elective affinity', which allowed culture-specific mythic elements to be combined with universalist pretensions.
This blend of the derivative and the home-grown is clearly evident in the case of the British Union of Fascism, formed in 1932. Its leader Oswald Mosley had developed his own idiosyncratic theory of national palingenesis by blending (inter alia) the Superman concept of Nietzsche and George Bernard Shaw with elements of Spenglerian cultural analysis, Christian values, and Keynsian economics. Though the ritual style of his movement was heavily indebted to the squadrismo and ducismo of Fascism, it adopted an overt cultural form of anti-Semitism in 1934 which made it superficially closer to Nazism than Fascism on racial questions. As for its foreign policy, by 1936 the BUF was resolutely committed to preserving Britain's foremost position as a trading and colonial super- power, while treating Italy, Germany and Japan (but not Russia or America) as natural allies. They were all free to expand their own empire as expressions of national vitality as long as they did not trespass on each other's spheres of interest. This position which led the BUF to adopt officially a neutralist stance towards Hitler's aggressive imperialism, though many of it members were active philo-Nazis by the outbreak of war (see Thurlow, 1987, chs 5-8). What gives Mosley particular importance in the context of this paper is that even before the war he was developing alongside his British imperialism a pan-European version of fascism which anticipates post-war developments. In 1937 he published The World Alternative which claimed that `the only force that can unite is a consistent faith in the essential one-ness of Europe', and that a form of European union which did not involve the sacrifice of separate national governments would make a second world war avoidable.
Once other abortive inter-war fascist movements are taken into account, any neat pattern in their international linkage soon breaks down. Preto's National Syndicalism in Portugal and Jos‚ Antonio's Falange, though strongly influenced by elements of the New Italy, did not officially associate themselves with Fascism or with an international fascism. The leaders of the Iron Guard, however, though perhaps less indebted to foreign role models ideologically than any other European fascist movement, openly acknowledged the fact that Fascism and Nazism were kindred phenomena. Codreanu sympathized with the goals of CAUR and the Montreux conference, while Mota lost his life in the Spanish Civil War fighting against the Republicans in what he believed was the defence of the same national Christian values that underlay the rebirth of Rumania. In the countries of Northern Europe, especially Germanic ones, it was the NSDAP which naturally tended to provide a role model for palingenetic ultra-nationalist movements, especially after its spectacular movement towards the centre of the German political arena after 1929. While some merely tailored Nazism to the local situation by adopting the notion of a Nordic or Germanic reawakening, others, such as Quisling's Nasjonal Samling were far more independent ideologically at first, and only gradually became Nazified as the decade wore on. Degrelle's Rexism provides another illustration of the way highly original forms of ultra-nationalism could gradually align themselves with Nazism to the point of becoming overtly fascist by 1939. Under Nazi occupation it mutated into a collaborationist force with a fully developed pan-European vision of the New Order which envisaged Belgium, or even a recreated Burgundy, becoming eventual partner of the Third Reich. So seriously did Degrelle take this scenario that he became a major protagonist of the Walloon SS Brigade and has survived the war to become one of the main figureheads of ecumenical fascism (Conway, 1986). Two other Belgians also persuaded themselves that the Nazis were in the process of uniting European states into a benign European Order. Pierre Daye, also a Rexist leader, wrote L'Europe aux Europeens (1942), a cry now familiar in Le Penist circles, which saw a Nazi Europe being final immune both to bolshevism and to the divisive foreign policies of Great Britain. More suprising is the manifesto of Henri de Man, president of the Belgian Worker's Party and a tireless propagandist for a planned society based on social democratic principles. Published after he had become a collaborator with the Nazis in 1940, the manifesto talks of Nazism bringing about a `European peace' and of a Europe `unified by force of arms'. In his post-war memoires he explains how in 1940 it seemed as if the liberal world had collapsed `leaving the way free for popular aspirations towards European peace and justice', but admits having underestimated the power of the old system to fight back and win the war (Brugmans, 1965, ch. 3). However slavishly imitative or original they were, most genuine fascists of the inter-war period shared the belief that the problems which they sought to resolve in national life were the local manifestation of a wider crisis, a crisis of civilization itself.
This is true just as much of fully fledged non-European fascisms, such as the Chilean Nacis, Salgado's impressively large Integralist Brazilian Action, and the `Christian Socialist' Ossewa Brandwag in South Africa, as European ones such as the Finnish Lapua movement (which became the People's Patriotic Movement) or Szalasi's Arrow Cross or Hungarist movement. They all legitimated their revolutionary onslaught against the status quo through a philosophy of history which gave their movements a regenerationist mission whose significance went far beyond the narrow confines of national political life (see Griffin, 1993, pp. 148-60). The difference is that the Eurocentrism so instinctive to most Europeans has meant that fascists in the `old world' have tended to identify the wider crisis with a crisis of Europe rather than the West in general, and hence, if they had universalist inclinations at all, to see their movement specifically as part of the creation of a new Europe. This tendency has been encouraged both by the idea of Europe as an `old' continent in need of rejuvenation, and the image of it caught between the two superpowers of the USA and Soviet Russia. Just how idiosyncratic fascist Europeanism can be is shown by the case of Sz lasi, leader and main ideologue of the Hungarian Arrow Cross movement. Not even being installed as the impotent head of a puppet-state of the Third Reich in 1944 could shake his belief that Hungary was destined eventually to become the hegemonic nation in the Carpathian-Danube basin alongside Italy and Germany, each sovereign in their own geo- political spheres. They would eventually be joined by France and Russia: England was not included in this scheme since `it had always behaved as if it was outside Europe!'. Under their leadership the nations of Europe would eventually form a harmonious community based on national socialist principles, which included the revitalization of the peasantry and the removal of Jews to their own home-land, as a suitable candidate for which he suggested Madagascar. As he stated in a speech which he delivered as nominal head of state in February 1945, `I see from the point of view of national socialist ideology the whole of Europe as a state of nationalities: the European Community is nothing other than the extension of Hungarian problems and their solution to Europe as a whole' (see Szollosi-Janze, 1989, pp. 221-250).
As Zeev Sternhell has pointed out, France `offers particularly favourable conditions' for the study of fascism (1983, p. 15). It also provides a valuable case-study in the study of fascist pan-Europeanism. French intellectuals had played a major part in the fin-de-siŠcle revolt against positivism and cultural decadence, and the need to revitalize European civilization was a recurrent theme of their writings well before 1914. It is hardly surprising, then, if one of earliest parties inspired by Fascism was a French one, the Faisceau, founded by Valois in 1925, a former member of the Action Francaise and founder of the national socialist Cercle Proudhon before the war. He envisaged France's regeneration as part of a Latin fascist bloc alongside Spain and Italy, and even expressly invited Jews to contribute to the `New Age' _ the appropriately palingenetic name of the movement's newspaper (Plumyene and Lasierre, 1963). By 1933 the NSDAP could also provide a role model for a supra-national force of regeneration, as is shown by Bucard's attempt to create a French version of it with a movement called Francisme. He was convinced that Nazism was `the only way to emerge from the universal mire' (Algazy, 1984, p. 34), but his solidarity with other fascisms was strong enough for him to participate in the Montreux conference held by CAUR in 1934 to export the values of the New Italy. Inevitably, it was the victory of the Wehrmacht over the French in 1940 and the occupation of Northern France which precipitated mass conversions of her native fascists to pan-Europeanism. As Algazy puts it `those who till yesterday had been nationalists became partisans of a "New European Order" under the guidance of the German Reich' (ibid. p. 42). Deat, originator of a current of ultra-nationalism called `neo-socialism', and Deloncle, former head of the anti-communist terrorist group the Cagoule, both formed new organizations, the Rassemblement National Populaire and the Mouvement Social- R‚volutionnaire respectively, which strove towards integrating France as a full partner within the Nazi New European Order. Even more significant was the alacrity with which the charismatic leader of the Parti Populaire Fran‡ais, Doriot, emulated Degrelle's headlong rush into the arms of Nazism to the point of fighting on the Eastern Front as part of the Legion de Volontaires Francais. In June 1943 he was still claiming that his party had `always struggled for the defence of Europe, its life-principles, now more in danger than ever before, in the East by Bolshevik barbarianism and in the West by Anglo-American barbarianism' (ibid., p. 51).
It was this new rationale which explains the fact that within months of German occupation a highly prolific and variegated collaborationist press (e.g. Les Nouveaux Temps and Le Rouge et le Bleu) came into being in France, the common denominator of its output being the vision of France gaining pride of place in the New European Order which would follow the seemingly inevitable Nazi victory over the forces of liberal decadence and the Jewish-Communist menace. Drieu la Rochelle, Brasillach and Rebatet were only the most famous figures to ally their pen with the Nazi sword. Typical was Brasillach's declaration in a piece entitled `For A French Fascism' published in July 1944, even as the Allied liberation of France was taking place, that only French youth was in a position `to understand what now exalts the hearts of so many young hearts, whether in Germany, in Italy, in Spain or elsewhere, wherever the great cry rings out of "Nation awake!"' (ibid., p. 54). The single intellectual who offers the greatest insight into the inner logic of pan- European fascism, however is, Drieu la Rochelle. Obsessed with the decadence of European civilization throughout the inter-war period (see Soucy, 1979), Drieu came to the conclusion as early as 1922 that, as he wrote in Mesure de la France, `we must create a United States of Europe, because it is the only way of defending Europe against itself and against other human groups' (Romualdi, 1981, p. 73). He was thus temperamentally predisposed to see in the ultra-nationalism embodied in Fascism and Nazism the timely antidote to the West's malaise. As he was to put it after his conversion, `I am fascist because I have taken stock of the advance of decadence in Europe. I have seen in fascism the only way to contain and reverse this decadence' (ibid. p. 9). He subsequently elaborated this theme in such works as Le jeune Europeen (1927), and L'Europe contre les patries (1931), and came to believe that Hitler's NSDAP and Doriot's PPF were vehicles for the realization of his dream.
The psychological and ideological process by which cultural despair could become alchemically transformed by fascism into manic optimism was meticulously reconstructed in fictional form in his novel Gilles (1939) which appeared on the eve of the Nazi conquest of Europe. No wonder, then, that Drieu became one of France's most high profile intellectual collaborators with Nazism, providing important expositions of the vision of a new confederation of nations under the Third Reich in Notes pour comprendre le siecle (1941) and Le Francais d'Europe (1944). The latter anticipates an important post-war theme by seeing the white race (whose superiority over other races was for Drieu self-evident) as divided into three geo-political spheres, Russian, American and European, each with its own distinctive destiny. The war was a fight to preserve the hegemony of Europe, the only source of cultural health. If the pervasive presence of native literary and publicist fascism in France played a major role in the normalization and legitimation of collaboration, its effect was mightily reinforced (in glaring contrast to the stubbornly uncooperative stance maintained by Denmark) through Vichy's adoption of a para-fascist but parallel policy of `national revolution' to bring the country into line with the new Europe (see Griffin, 1993, pp. 134- 6). As late as June 1944 Fernand de Brion, Vichy's secretary of state, was still affirming that `We will help Germany on every front and in every way to preserve the West, its enlightenment, its culture, its traditions.' (Algazy, 1984, p. 56). Algazy comments that the hard-core French fascists who, having tried in vain to fully fascistize Vichy, went into hiding with the Allies' advance, or were among the favoured few who withdrew to the temporary safety of the castle at Sigmaringen when Paris `fell', all saw Italy and Germany as `brothers in arms whose aspirations they shared: to combat the communist danger and the decadence of liberal democracies and create a fascist Europe' (ibid. p. 55).
Such pan-European illusions were actively fostered by the Nazis themselves. Clearly the bulk of the Third Reich statements relating to pan-Europeanism disseminated by the Nazis in the occupied territories can be dismissed as cynical propaganda calculated to encourage, if not the active cooperation, then the passive acquiescence of the new vassals. Neither Hitler, nor many of his leading hierarchs such as Goebbels, had the slightest intention to compromise absolute German hegemony through the creation of a European confederation, `subsidiary' or otherwise (see Hauner, 1978). The numerous international bodies and events organized in occupied Europe for various trades and professions (e.g. the European Youth Organization) are thus to be seen as little more than organs of Gleichschaltung and would-be totalitarian social control. The same is to be said of the pan-European journals circulated by the Nazis in conquered Europe (e.g. European Review, Young Europe), even though their feigned Europeanism complemented the local collaborationist press which was at least partly in the hands of genuine `believers' in the federal fascist New Order. Everything we know about Hitler suggests that when, for example, he told Degrelle in person that the victory of the Third Reich would bring about the `brotherhood of the European peoples' it was yet another manifestation of his Machiavellian manipulation (Kluke, 1955). What is more significant in the context of post- war fascism is that in the unpublished exposition of his foreign policy, his `Second Book' of 1928, the future Fuhrer stressed the need for Europe to become a bulwark against the encroachment of the United States, already seen by him both as a superpower and the citadel of Jewish decadence, and hence as an ultimate foe. In this sense Hitler was a Europeanist, but in an ultra-integralist sense who made Napoleon's imperialism, and even Ancient Rome's, look positively liberal and federal in comparison.
Nevertheless, if mainstream Nazism never aspired towards an equivalent of the federal vision of Europe which Gravelli propagated with Antieuropa, many leading Nazi ideologues were convinced that their movement held the key to a crisis which was not just German but Europe-wide. It is intriguing to note, for example, that the Draft of a Comprehensive Program of National Socialism drawn up by Gregor Strasser, Joseph Goebbels and others in the winter 1925-6 (overruled by Hitler at the Party's Bamberg conference in 1926), the proposals under Foreign Policy included `United States of Europe as a European league of nations with a uniform system of measure and currency' (Lane and Rupp, 1978, p. 84). Another example is contained in Alfred Rosenberg's Der volkische Staatsgedanke which appeared in 1925 just before Mein Kampf. In it he argues that the purely legalistic (i.e. non-racial) `concept of the state' disseminated by the French Revolution was `symbolic of an age of decline' and an act of `betrayal that all the peoples of Europe had committed against its essence'. However, thanks to the "volkisch world-view Germany, had rediscovered the organic and ethnic concept of state which would allow it to fight off the liberal, bolshevik and Jewish threat. `But because this battle at the same time encompasses problems which plague the whole of Europe today, and which Europe is trying in vain to solve, so in the last analysis, National Socialism is bringing about a solution to these problems for all of Europe too.' However, just how little genuine concession Rosenberg is prepared to make to the autonomy of other nations in his theory of internationalism is hinted at darkly in the next paragraph: Two deadly enemies can use the same words and yet seek opposite goals. If today the international banks and international conferences discuss the League of nations and the United States of Europe, the exact opposite is meant when, for example, National Socialism speaks of a drawing together of the extreme nationalists among the European peoples. ...There is, of course, no purpose in expounding possible or utopian ideas at this point; only the core of the battle must be pointed out and the already-characterized symbol of the swastika, which will someday be victorious in all of the European states (ibid., pp. 64, 71. Emphasis added).
How seriously Rosenberg took the Nazi mission to save Europe from itself is shown by the way he returned to the theme on the eve of the war in Die Neugeburt Europas als werdende Geschichte [The Rebirth of Europe in Contemporary History] (1939). Herzstein's When Nazi Dreams Come True (1982) provides abundant evidence that a number of high-ranking Nazis genuinely saw the regeneration of Germany as indissociable from the regeneration of Europe as a whole, and did not see this simply in terms of the spread of the swastika. Building on the pan-European themes embedded in the cultural theories of several thinkers who influenced Nazi ideology (e.g. Nietzsche, Moeller van den Bruck, Spengler, Haushofer), a host of Nazi ideologues great (Carl Schmitt, Frank and Ley) and small (e.g. Srbik, Freisler, Gross, von Moller, Halfeld, Scharp, Landes, Bauer, Pastenaci, Ganzer, Six, Steding) projected their distinctive palingenetic fantasies onto Europe as a whole, seeing the Nazis as the agents of order and harmony to a continent plunged into decadence and chaos, as the harbingers of a post-liberal order. The very titles of some of their works evoke the tone of this vein of speculation: Legal Thinking of Young Europe, The Reich As The European Organizing Power, Europe's Civil Wars and the Present War Of Unification, Europe: Tradition and Future, The Reich and the Sickness of European Civilization. Nor did Nazi Europeanism remain confined to nebulous cultural, historical and legal theorizing.
Even as the war began to turn against Germany, Himmler started to take seriously the idea that international SS formations (originally to be made up of men of Germanic stock, though the criteria for qualifying as an `Aryan' became increasingly lax as time wore on) could provide the new elite necessary to underpin the Greater German Reich. By 1945 the efforts of Himmler and his recruiting officer and main propagandist Gottlob Berger had resulted in the ranks of the SS being swelled by hundreds of thousands of `volunteers' (some of them genuine believers), recruited from non-German stock within the occupied territories. The SS Newspaper, Das Schwarze Korps (The Black Corps) constantly harped on the imminent prospect of Europe's palingenesis, as in the autumn of 1941 when it justified the Russian campaign in the following terms: Without a basis for existence, driven to self-laceration by hunger and anxiety, those of this Continent, the cradle of the Nordic race and of all culture, are doomed to vegetate, able neither to live nor to die, so long as they are cut off from the maternal life-source in the great regions of the East. Now the doors into this immensity have been thrown wide open. Where isolation was designed to choke us, streams of life will flow. Europe has been reborn (quoted Herzstein, 1982, p. 91. Emphasis added). Another area of Nazi policy where pan-Europeanism was taken seriously was in the sphere of forward economic planning. Walther Funk, Economic Minister from 1940, was charged with working out the reconstruction of the post-war economy specifically within the framework of a New European Order and a new world economy, subjects he was still warming to as lecture topics as late as January 1945. The European Working Group which he set up under Schlotterer formulated plans for a European economic union under German leadership (something which has an uncannily contemporary ring to it until it is realized what sort of Germany a victorious Third Reich would have been). Naturally, some major industrial concerns such as IG Farben took an active interest in such schemes. A parallel initiative was the Society for European Economic Planning and Macroeconomics (Grossraumwirtschaft), the brain-child of Werner Daitz. His book What the New Order in Europe Brings to the European Peoples is a sustained eulogy of the Nazi-dominated EC which he believed would result from a Nazi victory. A symptom of how well established this `universal' strand of thinking became within Nazi orthodoxy was the formation in late 1942 of the `Committee on the Restructuring of Europe' by the foreign minister von Ribbentrop. The committee brought together a number of academics and politicians who gave free reign to their palingenetic fantasies in the formulation of several rival scenarios for the immediate development of European and world history. Rarely can what T. S. Eliot calls the `the shadow between the idea and the reality' been wider and darker than in the minds of the countless hollow men who supplied the Nazi subjugation of Europe and the mass transportations, murder and enslavement it involved with Eurovisionary rationales.
Part Two Eurofascism After 1945
1 The Europeanization Of Post-war Fascism.
It is one of the salient properties of the palingenetic mentality that it tends to be sealed off from empirical refutation of the predictions it infers from its `vision of the world' or Weltanschauung, the key terms for the radical right with which its thinkers set their ideologies apart from those `contaminated' by the liberal and socialist rationality they so despise. Thus the collapse of Fascism from war and the destruction of Nazism from without, far from dispelling the sense that a new culture was being born out of the chaos of modern society, could merely intensify the sense of the decadence of the present stage of world history and the need for it to be regenerated. Generally, though, the objective conditions in which the populist radical right could hope to form the nucleus of mass movements have evaporated since 1945 (see Griffin, 1993, pp. 219-21), and the state organs of propaganda and social control which mass-produced ideology under Fascism and Nazism have been destroyed.
The manufacture of radical right culture has nevertheless continued to prosper uninterrupted as a much reduced, but highly diversified and prolific cottage industry throughout the Westernized world. For this minute but highly voluble political constituency the Allied victory clearly called for new rationales of fascism, especially for those who were not content to adopt wholesale the programmes and organizational style of pre-1945 movements, believing them to be at the root of fascism's failure. Despite the extraordinary fragmentation of post- war fascism into countless grouplets and different rationales for continuing the struggle, there is an overwhelming consensus between them on one point: the palingenetic ultra-nationalism of classical fascism, in particular mainstream Fascism and Nazism, was too narrowly chauvinistic and sectarian, and hence not sufficiently universal and ecumenical, to enable it to make headway against its internationalist enemies, liberalism and communism. Fascists the world over could see that the principle of strength through unity symbolized in the bound rods of the fasces had to be applied to their own movement on a supra-national basis, though not at the price of watering down the essential differences between the groupings which at a national level were their raison d'ˆtre.
An outstanding example of the unbroken continuity between inter-war and post- war Eurofascism is to be found in the work of Julius Evola, one of the most prolific and influential ideologues of the radical right in Italy and increasingly important abroad, even if he is still largely neglected by Anglo-Saxon fascist studies (notable exceptions are Sheehan, 1981; Ferraresi, 1987). His dubious claim to fame within the history of Mussolini's regime is to have written a Synthesis of Racial Doctrine (1941) which for a time satisfied the Duce's need for a version of racism which was distinct from Nazi genetic theories. It also argued that Italians were even more perfect Aryan specimens than the Germans because of their judicious blend of physical with intellectual and spiritual qualities. However, the theory which informs Evola's book is anything but orthodox even within Fascism, for it draws on his alternative philosophy of history which was given its most exhaustive exposition in the 1934 work Revolt Against The Modern World. A tour de force of radical right eclecticism on a par with The Decline Of The West (of which it is the Italian counterpart), the book blends Spenglerian, Guenonian and Hindu themes into a vision of contemporary history as the nadir of a protracted process of decline from the hierarchical, metaphysically based imperial order of `the Tradition', a decline embodied in the rise of the undifferentiated masses, or the `fifth estate' in modern times. The last pale reflection of this golden age had been the Holy Roman Empire under the Ghibellines when the Continent was still ruled by an aristocratic caste of `warrior-priests'. After this `European spring cut off in its first bloom, the process of decadence took over once more' (Evola, 1934, p. 367) leading to the kali yuga, the `black age' of modern civilization. However, the emergence of fascism in Italy and Germany heralds the long-awaited sea- change in history: the rebirth of the true organic, hierarchical state being pioneered by the Third Reich and the Third Rome is ushering in the dawn of a new golden age.
The power of this European fascist vision was not lost on the notorious literary Nazi, Gottfried Benn, who reviewing the German edition of The Revolt Against The Modern Age in 1935 praised it for its keen insight into European decadence and its accurate depiction of modern man as: cut off from tradition and the spirit, and left wandering around the earth investigating, sniffing, touching, holiday-making: the universality of Thomas Cook revelled in as if it was something Faustian or Promethean. Evola sees in Fascism and Nazism, based as they are on the axioms of a religiously racial world view, the possibility of a new connection being forged between nations and the world of the Tradition (Evola, 1971, p. 258). Evola's contribution to fascist Europeanism was not confined to The Revolt, however, but took the form of a number of articles written between 1932 and 1943. One was prompted by the Volta Congress held in Rome in 1932, Mussolini's major concession to universalist ideas referred to earlier. It offers a Traditionalist critique of the various papers delivered the likes of the Italian Nationalist Francesco Coppola, Charles Petrie from England, the Iron Guard legionary Michele Manoilescu, the Nazi Arthur Rosenberg and the German writer Stefan Zweig (Evola, 1989, pp. 53-61). More revealing of Evola's own views are the war-time essays Elements Of The European Idea (1940), Towards A True European Law (1941), Perspective On The Future Order Of The Nations (1941). In them Evola argues that the new Europe must be based on a symbiosis of Roman and Germanic (Aryan) cultural components on the lines pioneered by the Holy Roman Empire and calls for the creation of a European Empire based on the emergence of a new hierarchy which would govern an alliance of those nations which had recovered the organic principle of the state (Evola, 1989).
The destruction of fascism in 1945 naturally dispelled Evola's optimism about any imminent end to the kali yuga. Nevertheless, he continued to work on the elaboration of his Traditionalist vision of a united Europe, the clearest formulation being in the essay. On the Spiritual and Structural Premises of European Unity (1951). His first major book to take stock of the new situation, significantly called Man and the Ruins (1954) is informed by the same `imperial' palingenetic scheme which underlay the Revolt and his subsequent essays on Europe, except that the emergence of America and Russia not only as victors over Nazism but also as superpowers makes the pan-Europeanism of his message even more emphatic. He see Europe torn apart by these two alien empires and disparages the materialism and small-mindedness of the Common Market. Instead the need is for a `nation Europe', or rather an Empire of European nations (`a European nation implies the levelling and cancelling of all "rival" nations' Scorpion, 1986, no. 9, p. 19). This Traditionalist Europe would transcend obsessions with the fatherland (patria) while avoiding at all costs the type of homogenization which would blur national differences. However, the moral disease which afflicts modern Europeans means that a sustained course of spiritual disintoxication would be necessary before Traditional values could be relaunched, and only a handful of natural aristocrats are left who are even aware of this need (Evola, 1954, ch. 16). It is in this context that Evola wrote the reflections on the true Europe an extract from which serves as the preface to this paper. Evola's subsequent books and articles are diatribes against modern decadence and appeals to the Tradition, even if until his death in 1974 he became increasingly devoid of hopes for of a way out of decadent, inorganic modernity in the foreseeable future, preaching instead a stoic philosophy of apolitica (e.g. Evola, 1981). Nevertheless, a new generation of Italian fascists has grown up which has embraced Evola's overarching philosophy of history with its built-in Europeanist perspective while at the same time discarding the pessimism of the post-war books. Instead, they fit it into the rationale of terrorism and subversion (see Sheehan, 1981). It is significant that all his key essays on Europe were republished as recently as 1989 in the volume Saggi di dottrina politica. While Julius Evola remains a shadowy figure to fascist studies, the case of Oswald Mosley is notorious.
The destruction of the Third Reich, far from bringing him back into the fold of liberal politics which he had abandoned so clamorously in October 1932, led him to attribute the failure of inter-war fascisms to their narrowly chauvinistic vision of their historical mission, and to become one of the most ardent exponents of `the Europe of Nations' principle, which as we saw earlier, he had first adopted in 1937 in The World Alternative. The first major post-war exposition of the new creed was The Alternative of 1947, which showed that he had now `modernized' his pre-war vision with elements taken from Jungian and post-reductionist science. This work placed high on the agenda the concept of a `Nation Europe' economically supported by a fully colonized Africa (`Eurafrica'), a theme which has an intriguing parallel with the foreign policy of the Salo Republic already referred to (see Harris, 1990, p. 29). As Mosley saw it, the war had dealt a severe blow to European hegemony, and only the voluntary cooperation of European peoples could free the Continent (which for him included Britain) from the pernicious influence of the USSR and the USA. To further this idea he founded the Union Movement with a section to foster European contacts, and he continued to campaign for the `European idea' in numerous speeches and articles for the party newspaper Union as well as for The European, offering fuller expositions of his position in Europe: Faith And Plan (1958) and Mosley Right Or Wrong? (1961). Indeed, the whole first section of the latter is devoted to the theme `Europe a Nation' and he made this the central plank of his campaign in the run up to the 1959 General Election.
Meanwhile several French representatives of `classical' fascism were treading a parallel path. Marcel Deat, former head of the RNP, having taken refuge in Italy, was within a year of the end of the war talking menacingly of an invisible army preparing to fight without quarter for the cause of international fascism (Algazy, 1984, p. 75). The less well-known ideologue, Rene Binet, was typical of the many former small-fry philo-Nazis in France who soon after the war was over now sought to have a major fascistizing impact on post-war Europe. His starting-point was that the Continent, now under the thumb directly or indirectly of America and Russia, could only be saved through a coordinated uprising of all the `national workers' of Europe. He went on to embrace a racial theory of the superiority of what was now significantly termed `Indo-European' rather than `Aryan' civilization and became a major force behind the Nouvel Ordre Europeen which flourished in the 50s and 60s. Another fascist of the older generation, Charles Luca, worked tirelessly to create a `national Europe' which `took account of national sovereignties'. He was the eminence noire behind the paramilitary formations the Commandos de Saint-Ex and Citadelle, as well of the Mouvement National Citadelle. He also played an active part in the Mouvement social europ‚en, also known as the Parti socialiste francais, Phalange Francaise and Mouvement Populaire Francais, all Europeanist formations of the ultra-right. The periodical Fidelite associated with these organizations became a major source of propaganda for what Binet called `the liberation of the peoples of Europe and the creation of a Europe both national and armed' (ibid., p. 100). He blamed the Allies for having forced Germany and Italy into a war which prevented them from `realizing pan-European unity' based on the mystique of youth' but believed `the hour of awakening' would still come (ibid., p. 105).
Another influential French propagandist of fascism's new Europeanism, however, was Maurice Bardeche. His Qu'est-ce que le fascisme? (1961) is a major statement of the principle that the belief in the need for national rebirth (or what I have called `palingenetic ultra-nationalism') forms the common ground between the most diverse fascist movements and should be channelled into an international crusade against Bolshevism and Americanization. In the early 1950s he was already talking of the need for Euro-MPs to coordinate the creation of a European empire with its own colonies (cf. Mosley's `Eurafrica') declaring that `the aim of this European revolution will be the spiritual regeneration of Man, society and the state' (Algazy, 1984, pp. 297-301). It should be noted en passant that the intransigent and murderous stand taken by the French `liberal' state against Algerie Francaise to resist forced decolonization was vociferously supported in such Eurofascist periodicals as Jeune Europe, Europe-Afrique, and Junges Europa. If post-war German fascism lacked an ideologue of the originality and output of Evola or Bardeche, it certainly has not been short of pan-European initiatives. In 1949 former SS Officer Arthur Erhardt founded the monthly Nation Europa which, as its subtitle makes clear, sets out to be a forum for all those who cherished the dream of a post-liberal and anti-communist `European New Order'. This periodical has become one of the pillars of ecumenical fascist publicism and propaganda, regularly reporting on radical right activities in other countries under the rubric `Europe on the right', publishing lists of `recommended texts' across the whole spectrum of fascist ideologies, and giving monthly reports `von der šberfremdungsfront' (roughly `from the front-line of the battle against being swamped by foreigners'; the term `šberfremdung' has become as important for contemporary German racism as `Verjudung' was for the Nazis). It has thus been well placed to accommodate the many new permutations of palingenetic ultra-nationalism which have arisen since 1945 and to embrace as comrades in arms the organizations and parties which covertly or overtly seek to promote them (e.g. in recent years Le Pen's Front National, Frey's Deutsche Volksunion, Schoenhuber's Republikaner and Terreblanche's Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging). It has also been at pains to capitalize on all conflicts between European and non-European cultures (e.g. in Algeria and South Africa).A parallel initiative of the immediate post-war period was the Deutsches Kulturwerk Europ„ischen Geistes, set up in 1950 to establish links to like-minded organizations in Europe, the USA, South Africa and Argentina. It set the pattern for numerous neo-Nazi organizations great and small, ephemeral or well established, whose commitment to the `Europe of nationalities' concept is reflected in their titles (e.g. AktionsfrontNationales Europa, Europ„ische Volksbewegung, European Freedom Movement, European National Union, Neues Nationales Europa, Kampfbund fur Europa, Germania International, Stahlhelmkampfbund fur Europe; see O Maolin, 1987, pp. 141-3). The exponents of the Europeanization of Nazism have not been confined to Germany, however. As early as 1946 Combattant Europeen and Le Drapeau Noir were already circulating clandestinely in France, both portraying the international brigades of the Waffen SS as the heroic nucleus of the `new Europe'. In August 1946 Drapeau Noir organized a national conference of the Black Front which set about forging links with Nazi-oriented fascists abroad with a view to countering the `pernicious' influence of the Soviet Union and the United States and to creating a fascist International (Algazy, 1984, pp. 76.).
1951 saw the formation in Zurich under the aegis of Bardeche and the Swiss fascist Armadauz of the neo-Nazi New European Order or Nouvel Ordre Europeen (NOE) which in all held some 10 congresses in Paris, Hanover, Lausanne, Milan, Barcelona and Lyon. One of its branches was the Mouvement Social Belge which organized a Eurofascist congress in Brussels in 1954. Its organ, L'Europe R‚elle, became NOE's major publication and in 1962 actively campaigned for a New European Order. NOE became defunct in the early 1980s, but not before it had established links between numerous fascist groups in Europe and abroad and formulated a racially based ecological vision. Eleven years later saw the formation of yet another internationalist neo-Nazi group, the World Union of National Socialist, led for a time by Colin Jordan and Francoise Dior. Though the group's aspirations were global, Europeanism was an important aspect of their strategy for changing history, as shown by the creation under its aegis of the West European Federation (FOE) in 1963. This led to the founding of the European Movement which held congresses in 1985 and 1987. Central to the world-view of both WUNS and FOE is the belief (already promoted by Himmler and Das Schwarze Korps before the end of the war) that the international Waffen SS constituted the nucleus a new European elite. One of the 13 points which constitute FOE's charter affirms a principle that is dear to the bulk of post-war fascists: `The Europe which we national socialists intend to create will be neither German nor French, any more than it will be English or Italian. It will be one and diverse, one in its political unity, diverse in its national cultures' (ethnies a key concept in French neo-fascist Newspeak) (ibid., p. 317).
No less significant as a source of ecumenical neo-Nazi publicism is CEDADE, Circulo Espanol de Amigos de Europa. This organization for `friends of Europe' was set up in 1965 by fugitives of the regimes of Mussolini, Hitler and Franco, and has sister organizations in France, Ecuador, Argentina, Portugal. More important is the network of affiliations it has built up with fascist groups all over the world, notably NOE (till the 1980s), the Faisceaux Nationalistes Europeens based in France, and the Portuguese Ordem Nova. It runs both a women's and youth organization in Spain, and publishes numerous periodicals, one of them Joven Europa, or Young Europe. Neo-Nazi youth is also catered for by the German Wiking Jugend which has branches in Belgium, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
But in the aftermath of the Second World War neo-Nazism was far from enjoying a monopoly as the animating force behind international fascism. As early as 1946 the Movimento Sociale Italiano, Italy's legally constituted neo-Fascist party led by Almirante, former head of propaganda in the Salo Republic, organized a European Study Committee and published a broadsheet Europa Unita. In this way contacts came to be forged between MSI delegates and Nazis, Rexists, followers of Mussert, Quislings, Falangists, and members of the National Renaissance Party in the States. The next important date is May 1951 when 60 delegates from every West-European country (including such prominent internationalists as Mosley, Binet, Bardeche and the Swede Engdahl) met in Malmo to set up a European National Congress. The result was a 10 point programme for collaboration between national fascisms and the formation of the European Social Movement. It was a neo-Nazi splinter group from this conference that set up the New European Order a few months later. At a congress held in Paris in 1953 an attempt was made to fuse the two factions of Fascist International in a new body, the European People's Movement, committed to saving `Christian Civilization' from the ravages of Judaism, Communism and Freemasonry. With the backing of the Malmo committee Engdahl went on to form his own `European New Order' in 1954, which in 1958 gave birth to an international youth movement, the Young European Legion.
Given his long-standing Europeanist convictions it is not surprising that Mosley too was keen to lead a Eurofascist party. At another international congress, this time held in Venice in 1962, he was co-founder of the National Party of Europe whose logo was adopted from the Union Movement, a flash of lightning in a circle. Mosley also helped draft a European Protocol leading to `the Venice Declaration', whose basic theme was that Europe was to become a third power to combat the encroachment of Russia and America. Not for the first time the English duce must have thought his time had come. Perhaps because of its size, Belgium's fascists have since 1945 been prominent instigators of pan-Europeanism in tandem with the country's central role in the EC. The Congo crisis was as important a catalyst to the Belgian New Europe myth as the Algerian War was to the French one, and gave birth to the group Jeune Europe, which folded in 1968 but has left a number of heirs, notably Les Groupes Revolution Europe, Jeune Garde d'Occident, and the Parti Europ‚en. The Flemish counterpart to such groupings, the Flemish Militants Order (VMO or Odal Group, now subsumed within the Vlaams Blok or Flemish Bloc) has been playing a major role in coordinating links with racist fascist groups in Europe. As for publicistic output, we have already noted Europe Reele, but the most influential magazine to spread the ecumenical gospel after Nation Europa is Nouvel Europe Magazine which was launched way back in 1944, even before the Nazi defeat. A Flemish equivalent to Jeune Europe is Were Di, which in magazines such as Dietsland-Europa and Rebel seeks to promote the vision of a creation of a greater Flanders or `Dietsland' within a reborn Europe. What confirms Belgium's pivotal role in the diffusion of Eurofascism is the yearly international rally held at Dijksmuide, hosted by the VMO. Less well publicized are the activities of former government minister Baron Benoit de Bonvoisin, who for a time not only financed the NEM groups and the closely associated Front de la jeunesse, but held a meeting of European fascists in his castle in 1976 and set up a European Union of Entrepreneurs in the early 1980s (Stichting, 1984).
Given the marked pan-Europeanism of its most prominent fascists both before and after the war, it is not surprising to find a profusion of universal radical right organizations in France. Those associated with Bardeche, Binet, and Luca we have already noted, and in 1951 the sons of the Vichy collaborator Darnard founded Jeune Nation, which, like its successor Europe-Action, had strong ecumenical leanings. The most important of which to date is Faisceaux Nationalistes Europeens (FNE), which, as we saw, has been associated with CEDADE and NOE. FNE is a reformation of the Federation d'Action Nationaliste Europenne banned in 1980. It is a small but potent neo-Nazi group responsible for anti-Semitic outrages and in active collaboration with a wide range of neo- Nazi groupings abroad. Its organ is Notre Europe. Smaller but like-minded groups or publishing houses with suggestive titles have included Devenir Europ‚en, Occident, Mouvement de Liberation de l'Europe, Europe Jeunesse, Parti Ouvrier Europeen, Europe 2000, Europe Unie, Revue Internationale des Problemes de Nationalisme, and Europe, Notre Patrie. The ethos of all these publications is perhaps best summed up by a poem (or piece of doggerel) written by Jean Buzas of the French chapel of WUNS: FrŠres Nationaux-Socialistes, unissons-nous, Afin de batir l'Europe, Patrie de notre Devenir. Il faut nous grouper partout En vue de luttes … venir. Nous voulons construire un "Ordre Nouveau" O— rŠgnera la Justice Sociale. Mais, avant, deblayons les ruines Qu'a entass‚s la "democratie" bestiale. Alors triomphera notre R‚volution Nationale et Sociale, pour un avenir merveilleux! En vue de ce But, avec ‚solution Pourchassons les trƒitres et les politiciens v‚reux. Il faut comprendre, " Camerade! Que pour unifier l'Europe-Nation Il ne suffit pas de monter sur les barricades Mais il convient avant tout avoir FOI en notre Mission. [National Socialist Brothers, let us unite To build Europe, Fatherland of our destiny. We must group everywhere To prepare for struggles to come. We want to construct a `New Order' Where Social Justice will reign But, before we do, let us sweep away the ruins Which bestial `democracy' has piled up. Then our Revolution will triumph, A National and Social one leading to a marvellous future! With this goal in mind, and with resolution, Let us chase out traitors and corrupt politicians. O comrade, you must understand That to unite the Nation Europe It is not enough to mount the barricades, But above all we must have FAITH in our mission.] (quoted in Algazy, 1984, p. 289)
In his famous work, Three Faces of Fascism, Ernst Nolte maintained that the age of fascism ended in 1945 (1965, p. 401), but as we can see reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Though highly debilitated as a party-political force and extinct as a credible revolutionary challenge to state power, European fascism had by the early 1980s continued to maintain its vitality in a myriad movements and periodicals, some of them ephemeral and minute, others tenacious and sizable. Internecine power-struggles and ideological divides, many of them reruns of the pre-war split between Nazi biological and Fascist cultural nationalism, have hampered any initiatives for international collaboration, while structural conditions have condemned the fascism as a whole to remaining marginalized. What remains impressive however are the innovations which set post-war fascism apart from `classical fascism', the most important being organizationally the dense weft and woof of international affiliations and ideologically the repeated projection of the myth of rebirth onto Europe as a whole rather than just the nation. As a result the universalist vision of fascism's historical mission, before 1945 to party orthodoxies, has now moved very much into the mainstream. Another symptom of fascism's vitality is the diffusion since the late 1960s of a new rationale for fascism which provides radical right visions of the new Europe with a highly sophisticated (or rather extraordinarily pretentious) ideological foundation: the Nouvelle Droite.
2 The Europeanism of the New Right
The Nouvelle Droite (for which we will use the term `New Right' shorn of the neo-liberal connotations it has acquired in Britain and America) is inseparable from the figure of Alain de Benoist, very much a child of post-war Europe (he was born in 1943). In 1968, year of the left-inspired Paris `Events', De Benoist helped found a major think-tank of the radical right, the Groupement de Recherche et d'Utudes pour la Civilisation Europeenne (which by no coincidence forms the acronym GRECE). Displaying the eclectic mind and the yearning for an overarching `vision of the world' so typical of right-wing autodidactics (cf. Spengler, Rosenberg and Evola), De Benoist has over the years produced a number of key books, as well as numerous articles for the reviews Nouvelle Ecole, Valeurs Actuelles, Le Spectacle du Monde and Elements. His heroes range from Nietzsche and Moeller van den Bruck, the foremost thinker of the proto-Nazi `Conservative Revolution' in Germany (whose main historian, Armin Mohler, is an important contributor to the Nouvelle Droite) to the likes of Teilhard de Chardin, Piaget and Popper with no fascist pedigree. De Benoist's voluminous writings converge on a constellation of interrelated propositions: i) for scientifically demonstrable reasons humanity can only remain healthy as long as the dynamic principle of cultural diversity is safeguarded and the distinctive roots of each human group are retained; ii) for concrete historical reasons Europe is made up of distinctive national cultures (ethnies) whose bedrock of community is their roots in a common Indo-European tradition; iii) this communal heritage is under threat from a number of ideologies which tend to promote egalitarianism, homogenization, materialism, cosmopolitanism, and the ideal of an undifferentiated `One World'; iv) the two main sources of the diffusion of such pernicious, culture-cidal forces are the liberal capitalism and democracy emanating from American economic power, life-styles and entertainment, and the evangelistic brand of communist materialism (till recently) embodied in Russia; v) the presence of immigrants (and by implication Jews) in Europe is inimical to cultural health because they should assert their cultural identity within their own nations; vi) by establishing the cultural hegemony of heroic (and intrinsically anti-democratic and anti- Marxist) ideas native to Indo-Europeans it is still possible to create the preconditions for the decadence to be stopped socio-politically and for European history to be `regenerated'. These are the organizing principles behind the vast compilation of articles which he published in Vu de droite (1977), earning him the coveted Academy Francaise prize for literature a year later. In it we are told with the specious facticity so typical of New Right `science' that the `450 million human beings in Europe...are heirs of the same culture, they have a common origin. Their ancestors are called Indo-Europeans' (p. 32). This forms the preamble to De Benoist's affirmation that `I define myself first and foremost as a European, as one who is at home in Europe. Maybe you could even say that the will to see Europe come into her own again, to be an example to the world, to retrieve a communal identity and existence, is the fixed point of my entire life' (De Benoist, 1977, pp. 31-2). For an exposition of his special brand of Europeanism, however, the articles collected in Les Idees … l'endroit (1980) are even more illuminating. In one of the articles written in the wake of the Vietnam War he asserts that `between American Vietnam and Communist Vietnam there isn't much to choose. My votes are for a Vietnamese Vietnam, as for an Algerian Algeria, a French France and a European Europe' (Benoist, 1983, p. 271). In another article entitled `Against the Superpowers' he expands this point: Between the materialism of the West and the materialism of the East, between an America of vulgarity, egalitarianism and the mercantile spirit and a Russia of the Gulag, of oppression, of prisons and concentration camps, there is now a void. This void is Europe. A Europe under occupation: in the East by barbarianism, in the West by decadence. The worst thing that can be done is to end up thinking that one occupation is, in the last resort, preferable to the other. As far as I'm concerned I am inclined neither to dress up as a Cossack nor in Levis. Caught between Moscow which kills bodies and Washington which kills souls I am waiting for Europe to return to its being (ibid. p. 273). In the following piece called `The Rise Of Europe' his thesis is that the only way out of the spiritual crisis which has overtaken it is for a higher new consciousness to be born. Citing Jung and Nietzsche he rejects a rectilinear for a spherical image of time, suggesting that history can take an entirely new direction at any moment. A Europe-wide `gnostic revolution' could lead to the `regeneration of history' and the salvation of the West. The time is ripe for such a transformation, for we are at a point where `those who have stayed awake during the long night encounter those who appear in the new dawn' (ibid. p. 290). The mythopoeia of the Nouvelle Droite has been a major factor in the overhaul of intellectual fascism since the 1970s.
By concentrating on the primacy of `cultural' over `political hegemony' (perversely enough, the New Right draw on the theories of the Italian neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci) and by stressing a pan-European philosophy of contemporary history, this current of palingenetic ultra-nationalism enables modern fascists to dissociate themselves from the narrower nationalisms of inter-war movements and take on board a number of mainstream Western thinkers. Their common denominator is that they are all in one way or another linked to anti-reductionism, anti-materialism and anti-egalitarianism, but free of links with Fascism or Nazism in the public mind. Examples are Jung, Koestler, Lorenz, Eysenck, Eliade, the last three of whom are directly linked to GRECE publications (Eliade was in fact an apologist for the Rumanian Iron Guard before the war and before becoming professor of Comparative Religion in the USA). Nevertheless, the fascist tendency of this New Right is shown not only in the overt rehabilitation of Aryan racial fantasies through the diffusion of `Indo-Europeanism', but the respectability it gives to arguments which concentrate on the threat posed by `alien' world views, and hence their human carriers, to European culture. The fascist Newspeak allows new ideological concerns such as ecology, Aids and the Third World, to be easily accommodated as well as the more up-market versions of historical revisionism (i.e. the international pseudo-academic industry bent on denying the Holocaust and euphemizing Nazism). Illuminating in this respect is the report on a meeting of the Thule Seminar held in West Germany in the late 1980s under the auspices of Pyramid Media. The predominantly yuppie participants heard a lecture on the civil war being fought out by the combined forces of excellence and diversity against an alliance of egalitarianism, materialism, cosmopolitanism and mediocrity. The speaker, Pierre Krebs, French-born but a major contributor to the German New Right, reassured his audience (which included some neo-Nazi notables) that: We intend to take over the laboratories of thinking. Our aim is to combat egalitarian ethics and socio-economics with a world-view which stresses differentiation. In other words a culture, an ethical and socio-economic vision which respects the right to be different. We are new. We are committed to the homeland of the Indo-Europeans, to Athens and not to Jerusalem (Benz, 1989, p. 218) Krebs' earliest contribution to the Europeanism of the New Right was a small volume entitled The European Rebirth (Die europeische Wiedergeburt, 1982). In it he quotes freely from Nietzsche, Spengler, Holderlin, but particularly from Heidegger, who before the war had developed his `ontological' interpretation of Europe as the custodians of genuine Being caught between the two materialistic superpowers of the USA and Russia.
It was this theory which predisposed him to lend his weight to the NSDAP for over a year when he was appointed rector of Freiburg University shortly after it came to power. It is a theory which has naturally exercized a profound fascination on the New Right. Krebs portrays Europe as a unique cultural entity which grew out of a heroic Indo-European tradition, but is now threatened by the forces egalitarianism and multi-culturality which are destroying its organic roots. It is faced by decadence and decay, but if it can reconnect with its roots there is still time for it to recapture its identity and regnerate itself. In a typically palingenetic conclusion he summons his readers to enlist themselves in the cultural war for the rebirth of Europe: Ortega y Gasset announced that the moment has arrived for Europe to focus on its national idea. For today it is less utopian to think and believe in this way than in the 11th century when the unity of Spain and France were prophecied. We call upon Europe to achieve self-determination and for a comprehensive awareness of our selves and of the freedom which we must conquer. The 21st century will be European. For now our will is our only home, for Europe is about to be reborn (Krebs, 1982, pp. 94-5). Krebs was also the editor of Mut zur Identity. Alternativen zum Prinzip der Gleichheit [The Courage to Have an Identity. Alternatives to the Principle of Equality] (1988), one of the most influential work of New Right cultural criticism written in German to date. Apart from contributions by Krebs, it contains essays by the Frenchman Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye and Jean Haudry of La Nouvelle Droite, alongside essays by a `cultural philosopher', a banker, an anthropologist (all Germans) and a former general of the Austrian army and prisoner of war. It also contains a vast bibliography of texts which either contribute to the analysis of contemporary decadence or foster the healthy forms of knowledge necessary for it to be overcome. Preaching a secular heroism which travesties the existentialist (and anti-nationalist) nominalism of Nietzsche as much as it perpetuates that of Heidegger, the essays explore from various angles Europe's present decline brought about by the principles of Judeo-Christianity, equality and multiculturality. In their different ways they all stress how a collective return to our organic roots Europe can still save itself from `genocide'.
This perverse use of language is not fortuitous: we are assured in the section `the challenge of the multi-racial society' (pp. 192-204) that Anne Frank's diary was a forgery and that the evidence for the Holocaust is dubious, and that it is the proponents of the multi-cultural society who are racists and responsible for counter- attacks by those who value the distinctive racial identity of all. Once again an overtly palingenetic philosophy of history informs the whole work, as when Faye invokes `the Faustian spirit of the old European civilization, which bears the youthful stamp of the Phoenix', and calls for the `moribund religions' to be replaced by a `second paganism'. The `true war of values' is between the protagonists of the decline of mankind (apostles of the humanitarian, egalitarian, Soviet-American global state, which will be ruled by the bourgeois materialism of the cult of economics and the dissolution of any sense of belonging) and the defenders of identity, rootedness, and the diversity of species which is ultimately the only guarantee for the species Homo. By bearing witness to this European identity and defending the people [Volk] we belong to, we will contribute to the preservation of homo sapiens sapiens [sic] and to the only higher values which he can assert and impose on the indifferent, blind flow of life (Krebs, 1988, p. 260). It is passages such as this which bring out the key role that myth plays in New Right thought: they see it as the deliberate imposition of human well and spirit on an intrinsically menaingless world.GRECE's influence is not confined to Germany. Sister publications to Elements are published in Italy, Luxemburg, Belgium and Switzerland, while the English contribution to `Grecian' fascism is the periodical Scorpion. This magazine, the brain-child of former National Front activist Michael Walker, regularly publishes articles by Nouvelle Droite thinkers. An example is issue 10, 1986, which contains two articles dedicated to an exposition of De Benoist's ideas, described as being addressed to `a post-war generation unresigned to Europe's exit from history'. For good measure the magazine preaches the conflicting message of Evolian Traditionalism. De Benoist explicitly rejects Evola's Traditionalist ideas on `Nietzschean' grounds in Les Idees … l'endroit (1980, pp. 119-26). It is thus no coincidence if the extended quotation from Evola which prefaces this paper is actually taken from Scorpion (issue 9, 1986). Predictably, then, Europeanism is one of the periodical's recurrent themes, forming the sub-text of its highly diverse pieces on cultural history, nationalism and political theory. On occasion it becomes explicit, however, as in an article which appeared in issue two (1982) dedicated to the theme `For a European Renaissance'. Even more significantly Scorpion hosted in October 1985 an international conference in London on the topic `A Third Way for Europe', reported on at length in issue 9, 1986 entitled `When Europe Awakes', the cover of which also provided the illustration in the preface. The conference followed on from one held earlier in the year by the Cercle Proudhon on `Europe: The Right to an Identity' (naturally Krebs was one of the delegates), and another in Paris at which Guillaume Faye, one of Krebs' collaborators, gave an impassioned account his recently published work Nouveau discours … la Nation Europeene [New Address to the European Nation]. The London congress was attended by 50 participants representing France, Ireland, Luxemburg, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland. A phrase from Michael Walker's leader sums up neatly the New Right vision of a Europe based not on the abolition of nationalism, but its simultaneous intensification and subsumption within a continental federation: `We do not need a Europe under one flag; we need a Europe of a thousand flags of free communities from the Atlantic to the Urals.'
The centrality of palingenetic myth to the fascist `philosophy of history' is again highlighted in the choice of these lines from Tolkein to set the tone of the conference: From the ashes a fire shall be woken A light from the shadows shall spring Renewed shall be blade that was broken The crownless again shall be king. We have seen that contemporary Italian fascists have in Evola their own Traditional source of pan-European fantasy. This has not deterred some young radical right intellectuals in Italy from espousing De Benoist's ideas to form a parallel Nuova Destra with its own publications, notably Elementi. Others have spawned a highly original strand of palingenetic myth by the blending into Evolian and New Right themes a celebration of fantasy literature, especially that of Tolkein, and of ancient legends (e.g. the quest for the Holy Grail) as the source of a new `vision of the world' which points beyond contemporary materialism and decadence. For both currents of thinking this `decadence' is usually seen as a threat to European civilization as a whole and not just Italy (see Ferraresi, 1984; Galli, 1983; Griffin, 1985; Bologna and Mana, 1983). It is perhaps important to remind ourselves at this point that there are some neo-fascists who in no uncertain terms still reject any sort Europeanist vision. Here is a particularly vitriolic passage from the pen of the Evolian Franco Freda, one which echoes many of the themes of Gravelli's Antieuropa: At first we thought that Europe really was a valid myth, and represented an idea-force. Even neo-fascists hardly out of school harp on about `Europe- Fascism- Revolution' without checking to see if a homogeneous European civilization really exists. We will have nothing to do with Europe of the Enlightenment tradition... We have no truck with a democratic, Jacobin Europe. We have nothing in common with the Europe of the market-place, the Europe of plutocratic colonialism. With Jewish or Judaized Europe we have only scores to settle...Europe is an old whore who has plied her trade in every conceivable brothel and contracted every kind of ideological infection Ž from those of the medieval city-states to those of nationalist monarchies against the Holy Roman Empire; from Enlightenment humanism to Jacobinism, to free-masonary, to Judaism, to socialism, to liberalism, to Marxism. A whore whose belly conceived and gave birth to the bourgeois revolution and the proletarian revolt, whose soul is enslaved by the violence of merchants and the rebellion of the slaves. And, given all this, we are supposed to redeem her! (Freda, 1980, pp. 25-8). Yet it is significant that even Freda rejects Eurofascism not for a narrow Italian chauvinism, but for an international revolt against `The Modern World' in the spirit of Evolian Traditionalism. It is however the Europeanist version of palingenetic ultra-nationalism which is more typical of contemporary Italian fascism: after all it was Freda's guru himself, Julius Evola, who preached the vision of a European Empire.
An outstanding example of the centrality of the `Europe of Nations' concept to contemporary Italian fascist thought is the volume Drieu la Rochelle. Il Mito dell'Europa (1981) containing essays by three intellectuals, Adriano Romualdi, Guido Giannettini, and Mario Prisco. In his preface Romualdi dwells on the decadence of liberal democratic Europe, and evokes the power of Drieu's prophetic vision of the alternative. In the following passage he touches on many of the favourite themes of contemporary Eurofascism (note the glowing account of the international SS): European fascists for too long lingered on sterile nationalistic positions before being forced in the direction of a continental revolution by the inexorable initiative of Adolf Hitler. It was this total revolutionary initiative which fused into a single front the dispersed forces of the various fascisms. The Europe of Drieu stretches from Brest to Elbruz, from Narvik to Crete, resolved to defend its revolution against Yankee capitalism and Asiatic Bolshevism. It is this Europe that the French and Scandinavian volunteers rushed to defend. It is the Europe of the Danish, Dutch and Belgian SS who preferred annihilation to surrender in the tragic trap of Korsun... From a higher historical point of view, the sacrifice of a few hundred thousand of international SS fighters is more significant than the millions who fell in the name of the old national conceptions. The former bore witness for the old fatherlands, while the latter sacrificed themselves for the new Aryan fatherland of European fascism. Their witness is irrefutable. If there is to be a new fascism it will not be of the old school but that of a Drieu or an Evola, the precursors' (Romulaldi, 1981, p. 15). Romualdi goes on to asserts baldly that there can be no true Europe without fascism: `Europe will rise again as a fascist power or else it will slowly be extinguished in comfort and democracy till, in the inexorable hour of history's final judgement, it will be swept away by the global revolt of coloured races led by a fanatical, implacable China.' He quotes with relish Drieu's apocalyptic pronouncement `D'abord les films americains et apres la fin du monde' (ibid. p. 17).
It should be noted that in its quest for cultural hegemony Eurofascism has been keen to take advantage of the opportunities offered to it both by liberal party politics and by the EC itself, even though the vision of democracy and Europe they incarnate is anathema to it. Though they have failed to emulate Italy's MSI in being able to count on a stable political constituency, fascist parties have surfaced in every liberal democracy in Europe. Moreover Le Pen's extreme right-wing Front National, which stops just short of calling for the overthrow of France's liberal institutions but whose ideology and leading activists are demonstrably indebted to fascism, has played a major role in shifting the centre of gravity of French politics to the right and making xenophobia and the call for apartheid respectable in the bid to stem the `Islamicization' of France. When representatives from such parties have been elected to Strassburg they have been well aware of the common ground between them. In 1984 the Group of the European Right was formed made up of 17 MPs (10 from the Front National, 5 from the MSI, 1 from the Greek EPEN, and one from the Official Ulster Union). Le Pen spoke for all of them in an interview given to Nation Europa in the run up to the European elections (no. 39, 5/6. May/June 1989, pp. 72-3) and published under the title `For a Europe of Europeans'. Asked what dangers he saw posed by the enlarged market of 1992 for France and other Europeans, he answered that `The danger lies in international utopianism, in the One World Utopia, or Oneworlders who want to destroy peoples. The need for national boundaries is not removed by the European Union. Individual peoples must retain them so as to preserve their identity, freedom and independence.' Significantly, he identified as the twin dangers to Europe the USA and Japan. Even before the dramatic events of the autumn of 1989 and the summer of 1991 he apparently considered the Soviet Union too debilitated by internal problems to be worth mentioning .
3 The call for a `return to history' in Eastern Europe
Though Western Europe may be seen as the historical heartland of the fascist vision. federalism, since the collapse of the USSR former Warsaw Pact countries have quickly established themselves as the powerful incubators of illiberal visions of their reintegration into the non-communist world. It has become a clich‚ to observe that unresolved the ethnic hatreds and nationalist aspirations which pullulated in Eastern Europe before the war were deep-frozen by state communism after 1945 only to be micro-waved back into new movements in the 1980s. What has attracted less comment is the way the acute politico-economic and hence socio-psychological uncertainties that accompanied the collapse of the old order have proved a powerful seed-bed for elaborate ultra-right ideologies as well. This has led not only to the fragmentary revival of inter-war fascism, but a more pervasive diffusion of a peculiar vision of contemporary European history rooted in myths of national regeneration which gives a privileged place to the new democracies within Western civilization. In particular, the Soviet suppression of both Christian and liberal-capitalist values, combined with the enforced isolation of the East bloc from the `decadent' West, has meant that emancipation from communism has tended to become identified within broad swathes of chauvinists of an intellectual caste of mind with the rebirth of Christianity. This in turn is to form the precondition for a cultural and national renaissance after nearly half a century of subjugation to an empire condemned both for its atheism and its hostility to the national identity of non-Russians.
At the heart of this ultra-right vision is once again the palingenetic myth of combating decadence. In terms all too familiar ever since the days of Maurras' Action Fran‡aise and the variegated v"lkisch movement before 1914, this decadence is alleged to be embodied in the pluralism, secularism and individualism of liberalism itself. As a result, in the words of Tomasz Wolek, member of Poland's (moderate) Forum for Democratic Right, democracy itself comes to be seen by extremists `as a great evil, a kind of moral putrefaction which made its way to us from the West' (Vago, 1991, p. 8). It is natural for ultra-nationalists with this mindset to identify the nation with an allegedly pure ethnic community and hence see the presence of racial minorities, Jews, Gypsies and `guest- workers' from Vietnam, Turkey and Cuba as bacilli of cultural contamination. One symptom of the prevalence of this attitude has been the resurgence of anti-Semitic, anti- Polish feelings and out-and-out neo-Nazism in the former DDR, feelings which have become more vociferous too in western Germany. Racist sentiments were also openly expressed by Czechoslovakia's Republican Party,or Association for the Republic founded in December 1989. Another group which sprang up in the former Czechoslovakia, The New Right Wing, pressed for the de-Bolshevization of the country in an ultra-nationalist key, while the separatist claims of the Slovak extremists who helped force the division of the country in January 1993 resuscitated memories of the Slovak puppet state installed by the Nazis under Hlinka. Meanwhile Szalasi's Arrow Cross has been revived in Hungary pursuing irredentist claims on Transylvania, the Iron Guard has been brought back from the dead in Rumania and joined by a new ultra-right group, Rumania Mare [Greater Rumania]. Even in the Baltic states there are Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians whose fervour for their people and culture overflows the shallow cup of liberal nationalism and into grooves of ultra-nationalism already cut deep into inter-war history.
It is thus as part of a much wider historical process that in the former Yugoslavia Ustasha paramilitarism was revived in Croatia while Serbian ultra-nationalists resuscitated old separatist passions. This forced Muslims to retrench into their religious identity with the result that combatants on all sides were impervious to appeals to tolerance or reason. impervious eclipses any healthy federalist spirit (see Hockenos, 1993). What gives such developments a bearing on `Europoiea' is that a recurrent theme of the ideologues of such movements is the paradox that authoritarian Soviet rule made cultural resistance a vital necessity. This, they claim, succeeded in keeping the heritage of European culture more intact than was ever possible under the regime of post-war materialism and consumerism in the West. As a result it is they, not Western democrats, who are the `real Europeans'. The phrase which sums up such aspirations is `the return to Europe', by which is meant not merely reentering the mainstream of liberal history … la Fukuyama, but forming the vanguard of Europe's spiritual salvation. It is when the ultra- right idea of what they mean by `Europe' is scrutinized that its close affinity with the Eurofascist themes we have been examining emerges. One scholar who has monitored the rapidly evolving situation in the former East bloc countries is the polyglot Israeli scholar Raphael Vago. His conclusion is that in the minds of their ideologues Europe becomes an `almost mystic formula' serving as the rationale for a total repudiation of the Western humanist liberal tradition. In Rumania, for example, the periodical Europa is published by a the Europa Nova publishing trust headed by Iosif Constantin Dragan, former member of the Iron Guard and advocate of the ultra-chauvinist aspect of the Ceacescu regime. He preaches the need for the rebirth of the Rumanian people, not as citizens of a democracy but as members of an organic national community. A paper for expatriate Rumanians, Cuvantul Romanesc (the Romanian Voice) published in Canada, echoes Europa's curiously European brand of anti-Semitism and anti-Hungarianism in the claim that `the more authentic a Rumanian is, the more he is European'. The same issue quoted with approval the maxim of the 19th century nationalist poet, Eminescu, that Rumanians `can only be free in our political thought and actions, only on condition that we do not confuse our culture and history with that of others (Vago, 1991).'
Such sentiments are characteristic of the whole Eastern European New Right. Central to its logic is the notion that the end of Soviet rule is to be seen as the process of reattachment to Europe after years of being `almost swallowed by Eurasia'. The journey `from Asia to Europe' is thus conceived in terms which key into the same myths of cultural regeneration and even ethnic purification which were the driving force of inter- war fascism. In the process liberal ideas of pluralism, tolerance and the multiracial nation- state based on the principle of shared citizenship simply disappear from the agenda. To cite one example from Vago's paper: The Slovak extreme right, riding high on a wave of anti-Czech, anti-Hungarian and anti-Semitic feeling (although there are almost no Jews left in Slovakia), seeks its return to Europe by countering potential or actual threats against the integrity of Slovakia. Of course, the Slovak right argues, Slovakia is an integral and loyal part of the West, and its Catholic heritage is a living proof of this, but the existence of the Hungarian minority on Slovak soil is a perpetual threat to the territorial integrity of Slovakia (ibid. p. 15). Meanwhile, the Greater Rumania movement led by Corneliu Tudor, another chauvinist survivor of the Ceaucescu regime, was in the early 1990s mounting an irredentist campaign for the return of Moldavia couched in similarly extremist terms, with Jews, Hungarian and Russians treated as scapegoats for the alleged dissection and desecration of the holy Rumanian nation. Not to be outdone, the propagandists of the rejuvenated Iron Guard have since 1989 taken to celebrate the movement's most famous pre-war leaders, Mota and Codreanu, as martyrs in the fight to defend Christian Europe against the onslaught of communist materialism and atheism. They thus conceive themselves as forming a vanguard in the struggle to re-Christianize Europe and so redeem it from the materialism and cultural mixing which has brought it so low both in the East and the West. Thus Horia Sima, with Degrelle the most illustrious survivor of the interwar fascism, spoke for the whole of the East European ultra-right when in the run up to the EC parliamentary elections in the Spring of 1989 (and several months before the overthrow of Cea‡escu) he exhorted fellow Europeans in the `free' West to choose their future role carefully. The wrong choice he claimed would mean that Europe would enter the third millennium as a multi-racial, multi-national society, and ultimately she may go under altogether, `drowned in the Afro-Asiatic deluge'. Certainly Eurovisionaries of Sima's ilk talk enthusiastically of integration, but they have in mind neither the harmonizing of sausage specifications nor of frontier regulations. Instead they look forward to the building of a `Fortress Europe' (significantly a phrase first used to describe the Nazi's military occupation of the continent under the Third Reich), one which will stand firm against the triple threat of Judeo-Bolshevism, contamination by alien cultures and invasion by hoards of economic and political refugees from Asia and Africa.
Given that waves of acute social crisis in both structures and identity are set to continue sweeping across the new democracies for the foreseeable future, the ethnic hatreds and neo-fascist myths to which they are host look set to become more diffused and entrenched rather than less. While democrats may pin their hopes on a suitably idealistic, resourced and mobilized EC and UN to sort out the tensions and violence which are bound to erupt, ultra-right ideologues in the West are not slow to see in such tensions eloquent vindication of their stand against decadence. Here, for example, is a comment on the dissolution of Yugoslavia taken from Michael Walker's The Scorpion in late 1989, before the outbreak of the civil war. Day after day we witness that multiculturalism and multiracialism, as sentimental as they may sound in theory, in practice invariably lead to racism, xenophobia and evil war. The main reason for such a course of events lies in the egalitarian dogma which sets out from the premise that culture and nation are flimsy superstructures, and hence assimilable by all. It is very likely that the current West European strategy of multi-culturalism and multi-ethnicism will result in consequences already occurring in the Balkans. Unfortunately, when ethnic turmoil begins causes are usually mistaken for consequences and vice versa (ibid. p. 28). Paul Hockenos' Free To Fear, (1993) gives a vivid account of the vertiginous rise of racism and the extreme right in the former East bloc since these words were written. It is symptomatic of the deep gulf which separates a genuinely humanist vision of Europe from the one cultivated by neo-fascists that they blame the growing tide of hatred and violence which they themselves foment on the egalitarianism and multi-culturalism of those who oppose it.
Conclusions: Eurofascism and the `End of History'
Despite its chronic weaknesses at the level of parliamentary and extra-parliamentary movements, the vitality of fascism as an ideological force and the fomenter of racial hatred shows no sign of ebbing. Clearly, the notion that it could ever seize power by emulating the NSDAP, let alone achieve sufficient `cultural hegemony' to overthrow liberal democracy in its own version of velvet revolution is a chimera. Yet the insistence of fascists on the decadence of modern society and their nebulous promises of an ultra- nationalist New Order have nonetheless established themselves as thriving components, and presumably permanent ones, of Western political sub-culture. Nowhere is the potential impact of contemporary fascism more dramatic than on the issue of `Europe'. This is partly because the call for a `Europe of nationalities' is one of the most persistent topics of post-war fascist thought and the main basis for cooperation and ecumenicalism between the myriad groups and grouplets pursuing national rebirth. It not only represents a major element of continuity between the countless dialects of pre-war and post-war fascisms but provides common ground between party-political organizers and paramilitary activists, between skinhead racists and `educated' ideologues, between thugs and pseudo- )intellectuals, between neo-Nazis and neo-fascists, between fascists and those conservatives on the cusp between liberalism and the radical right.
To a non-believer the ultra-nationalist myth of the new Europe has the glaring weakness of failing to offer any realistic blue-prints to explain what the new order would be like and any practical strategy for how it would be achieved. But it is precisely in this nebulousness that much of its mythic strength lies. The reason for this paradox is to be sought in the weak mythic force emanating from the dominant liberal myth of Europe. Despite the visionary humanistic fervour which may have inspired the initial impulses to create the EC, for the vast majority of Europe's citizens the notion of its future unity is associated with bureaucracy and butter-mountains. The greatest passions it can arouse are the negative ones arising from the fear of losing sovereignty or seeing national traditions and cultural identity eroded. To this extent Europe qua the EC is generally a source of apathy or resentment, the diametric opposite of a real `community'. Who would rally to the star-spangled banner of the EC and be prepared to lay down his or her life for it in a fit of heroic self-sacrifice? As for a United Europe embracing all the nations which politically comprise it, for most this is an even greater abstraction, a mere `geographical expression' more than 19th century Italy ever was. In this respect the collapse of communism and the `liberation' of the East bloc has simply made a vague, disquieting concept even more so, for it tends to conjure up shadowy images of Western Europe having to be expanded to include a vast terra incognita, its populations either draining `our' resources already overtaxed by the `Third World' or, even more disturbingly, `infiltrating' `our' societies in a new `tide' of immigration. By contrast the fascist myth of Europe plugs directly into such half-expressed fears. It simultaneously celebrates nationalism at its most local level of regional culture and dialect, appealing to and fomenting separatist sentiments, while replacing the luke-warm liberal Europeanism of political, legal and economic union with one based on the myth of common historical roots and unique cultural heritage: e pluribus unum. Thus there is no contradiction in the fact that in the 1980s some activists associated with the British National Front were forging links with Welsh nationalists at the same time that others were cultivating contacts with groups all over Europe.
What enhances Eurofascism's mythic pull is that it not only capitalizes on the illiberal nationalism which has become a permanent feature of all societies affected by `modernization', but also keys into four areas of latent phobia already rife in Europe without its ministrations: i) anti-socialism, and in particularly anti-Marxism and anti-communism; ii) anti-Americanism; iii) xenophobia and `cultural' (sometimes even biological) racism, especially in the form of anti-immigration and anti-Semitism; iv) a vague sense of Europe's marginalization as the centre of world power and more generally of the decay and chaos of the `modern world'. These elements are welded together into the fascist myth of Europe's hegemony and cultural integrity being under threat from America, the Far East (especially Japan), communism, immigration, the demographic explosion of the Third World, and all putative sources of cultural levelling and homogenization. Having established the vision of Europe's decadence, the need for its rebirth through a coordinated movement of national `reawakenings' then acquires a terrible self-evidence and inner logic. Despair is transformed into hope, narrow nationalist sentiments into visionary supranational ones, reactionary pessimism into revolutionary optimism.
The Eurofascist permutation of palingenetic myth can thus be seen as direct mythic counterparts to Gorbochev's vision of Russia's perestroika and Bush's vision of the New World Order in the sense that all three are in part reactions to a brooding sense of national decline. All three envisage the resurrection of the nation in the context of the emergence of a new supra-national order. What sets the neo-fascist myth of Europe apart from both, however, is that it is openly anti-liberal, and appeals to deep well-springs of elitism and ethno-centrism even more explicitly than its American and Russian counterparts. Moreover, in its Nouvelle Droite permutations this myth draws on a longer and wider intellectual tradition than either, connecting up fin-de-siecle and classical fascist thought with the writings of contemporary science and cultural criticism. The danger which it poses may not be to challenge state power, or to replace liberal values, but to subtly undermine or contaminate them from within enough to help shift the centre of gravity towards the right. Since 1989 this threat has deepened. The prevailing conditions of economic deprivation, social chaos and ideological disorientation in former communist societies are hardly conducive to the spread of humanism, tolerance and global compassion. Rather the wave of integral nationalism and racism we have observed flooding through several of these countries is a predictable response to the feeling of cultural crisis and anomie which have followed in the wake of their dramatic liberation from the Soviet system. The intensification of separatist nationalism, ethnic hatreds and anti-Semitism in the Soviet republics is a manifestation of the same phenomenon. So is the formation in Moscow and St. Petersburg of a new fascist group, Pamyat (Memory), which has already forged links with ecologist groups and with sister organizations in the West.
The rapid spread of international skinhead racism and fascism to Eastern Europe in the last few years, the growth of support for anti-immigration parties in several solidly liberal countries such as Norway and Denmark, the emergence of the Lombard League in Italy playing on resentments of the State, the South and terzomondiali (`third worlders'), the unabated strength of Le Pen's Nation Front in France, the rise of support for the neo-fascist Republican Party in Germany, the parades of racists in full neo-Nazi and neo-fascist regalia celebrating the anniversary of Germany's unification, the burning down of the hostels of asylum seekers and Turks in previously peaceful German towns: all are signs of the times. Contemporaneously with the resurgence of the extra-parliamentary radical right, Eurofascism at Strassburg also extended its influence in the early 1990s. As a result of 1989 elections the Technical Group of the European Right (as it has called itself since that year) lost its Ulster Unionist and also its MSI members (over the South Tyrol issue), but was joined by 6 representatives members of Schonhuber's Republican Party and for a time by a member of the Vlaams Blok which had successfully manipulated the issue of Flemish separatism. The group established links with various anti-immigrant parties and the Spanish far right, as well as with Jorg Haider, leader of the extreme right Freiheitliche Partei ™sterreichs.
The Eurofascist penetration of the Strassburg Parliament enjoyed its fleeting moment of triumph when a procedural anomaly allowed 88 year old Claude Autant-Lara, former film director and member of the National Front, to preside over the newly elected parliament in July 1989. More than half the members walked out on principle as he set about using the occasion to deliver a blistering attack on the Europe which the EC intends to create (but which as he gleefully pointed out nearly half the electorate could not even be bothered to vote for). He warned his listeners that `the threat to our culture, our cultures, dear fellow Europeans, is coming not from the Soviet Union but from the United States, alas! And it is a terrifying threat'. Having cited various examples of the erosion of cultural uniqueness he declared: All the dangers I have listed would not be fatal if they fell upon solid national tissue that was still able to generate antibodies and gain victory over death. This language shows just how much fear and disgust I feel at the mondialist, internationalist and egalitarian theories. In a spirit which echoes Drieu's phrase `D'abord les films americains et apres la fin du monde', Autant-Lara then drew on his own life experience of the cinema industry to illustrate what he called `American invasion of Europe and the world'. Nor did he miss the opportunity to allude to the dangers of Europe's `Islamicization' preached by his hero Le Pen. His final message to the `young people of Europe' was that `national cultural identity' is being lost. `Lose that and there is nothing left to lose' (Debates of the European Parliament, 28.7.89). In short, the Fukuyamian school of triumphalism is not the only political force that can take heart from recent world events.
The palingenetic mythopoeia of Eurofascists too has received an enormous fillip from the collapse of Russian communism and its chaotic aftermath. As far as they are concerned only one of the twin citadels of evil has fallen. Moreover Japan may well be already constructing another to replace it, thus compounding the residual fear of a `red' yellow peril (China) with the prospect of being engulfed by a `blue' one (for the centrality of fear of engulfment to the fascist mentality see Theweleit, 1989). Indeed, the original euphoria about a `new era' that swept through both the `freed world' and the `Free World' (another mythic construct) in 1989-1990 may well turn out to have a negative backlash. As a sense of chaos and disillusionment replaces the utopian expectations which greeted the revolutions at home and abroad, as the relatively prosperous liberal democracies of the North face the prospect of an increasing tide of migration from the `other' Europe and the `South', as environmental and demographical scares turn into sombre realities, so more mythic energy is likely to be generated on the margins of official society to feed fascist and radical right movements. It is said that the `devil always has the best tunes', and ideologically speaking this has certainly been borne out by the history of western civilization. We are witnessing a proliferation of conferences attempting to write liberal humanist scores for the future of Europe (for example, the topic of the annual conference of the University Association For Contemporary European Studies held in January 1992 was `The New Europe'). There is also a deluge of books on the same theme, generating such titles as Decline and Renewal. Europe Ancient and Modern (Mowat, 1991).
But fascism has a whole repertoire of its own melodies to play, arrangements of Golden Oldies beloved of ultra-nationalist and historical subculture attuned to the age of drum-machines and rap. In its Eurovision contest with representative democracy it may well be dismissed by classical humanists as a meaningless cacophony, but its refrains and `hooks' (what the Germans delightfully call `ear-worms') continue to bore their way into the ideals of multi-culturalism and the One World ethic with a destructive force which the liberal intelligentsia would be advised not to underestimate in assessing Europe's immediate future. Meanwhile ecologists still look for any real sign of light at the end of the biocidal tunnel-vision caused by the Western technocratic tradition of Imperium Hominis. As a spokesperson at the 1992 British Green Party Conference told her audience, without a vision of the world which embraces the concept of the indefinitely sustainable global society then future generations could be facing a horrifically literal `End of History', one which would put an end to all ideologies, whether liberal or not. Whatever the immediate future holds, Fukuyama's assertion in the conclusion of his article that it is only `the prospect of centuries of boredom' which `will serve to get history started once again' smacks of a complacency which is as culpable as it is arrogant.
Contemptuous of evangelism stemming from the `evil empire', fascism's publicists and activists will continue to preach their own vision of a New World Order. Theirs is an order based not a restored American hegemony but a restored European one, a `Fortress Europe' standing firm in the midst of mounting social chaos and cultural decay. Moreover, they are arguably better placed than most liberal intellectuals to offer the bewildered and the myth-hungry plausible diagnoses and tempting panaceas for the welter of social, ethnic and nationalist tensions being constantly unleashed along the fault- lines of the world's economic and political system as powerful tectonic forces shift it into a new, and as yet unknown, configuration. In the very same month that The National Interest published Fukuyama's article, Nation Europa's leader (year 39, no. 7, July 1989) was telling its subscribers with equal self-assurance that the abstract, individual human rights announced in 1789 are incomplete. The declaration of the `immortal principles' of the French Revolution contained a glaring omission: the right to a homeland and to a distinctive (national, racial, cultural) identity. The piece closed with words which may well approximate closer to the historical realities of the new Europe than the prognosis of terminal boredom: `Whoever violates the right to identity is playing with fire'.
What can upholders of the Western humanist tradition, whether left or right, do to combat visions of Europe which deny plurality and tolerance, and hence the basis of a sustainable liberal democracy integrated not just internally, but with the rest of human society? As Brecht made clear when he wrote his Life of Galileo, it is indefensible only to labour away at modern discorsi within the cocoon of our own disciplines when the citadels of knowledge and power are being attacked from various quarters by the advocates of a Europe based on a vision of humanity akin to the very apartheid which De Klerk is in the process of dismantling in South Africa. Nor can the liberal intelligentsia afford to pin its hopes on the possibility that the age of satellite TV and virtual reality graphics might eventually so anaesthetize and depoliticize `the masses' that the energy will drain away from ethnic tensions and nationalist hatreds. Kreb's collaborators in The Right to have an Identity have a point: there is an ideological war on, a war for the survival and propagation of genuinely humane societies and for the preservation of the ecosystem on which they are all based. On the issue of Europe illiberal mythopoeia must be actively fought with a genuinely liberal mythopoeia. Significantly, it is a poet statesman, not a political scientist, who has arguably done most to blaze a trail towards such a future both in word and in deed: Vaclav Havel, former President of Czechoslovakia. Havel's use of poetry and drama to appeal for basic freedoms had already made him the country's most famous dissident under Soviet rule, and after the Velvet Revolution of 1989 he set about becoming the ambassador of national self-determination in a spirit of universal humanism. He formulated the axioms of his vision when in 1991 he received an honourary degree at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. At its core lies the powerfully charged mythic concept of `home' formulated in the way which tears down curtains of dulled imagination and crippled capacity for love to reveal a breathtaking vista. It is the prospect of a genuinely global and ecologically aware humanism which does not suppress national identity or ethnic passions, but rather subsumes them within a concept which is anathema to all ultra-nationalists. The timely principle which he reaffirms is that civic rights and citizenship provide a framework within which all can celebrate our uniqueness in a way which does not conflict with their common humanity.
It is thus with Havel's words that I would like to conclude, quoted less as a primary source of contemporary Europoeia than as a passionate plea that a sane version of it might eventually prevail. If it does not, Europe, exposed to mounting demographic and ecological pressures from outside, might well degenerate into a Fortress without any help from those who would consciously turn it into one. What a person perceives as his home can be compared to a set of concentric circles, with his `I' at the centre. My home is the room I live in, the room I've grown accustomed to, and which, in a manner of speaking, I have covered with my own invisible lining. I recall, for instance, that even my prison cell was, in a sense, my home, and I felt very put out whenever I was suddenly required to move to another... My home is the house I live in, the village or town where I spend most of my time. My home is my family, the world of my friends, the social and intellectual milieu in which I live, my profession, my company, my work place. My home, obviously, is also the country I live in, the language I speak, and the intellectual and spiritual climate of my country expressed in the language spoken there. The Czech language, the Czech way of perceiving the world, Czech historical experience, the Czech modes of courage and cowardice, Czech humour ... all these are inseparable from that circle of my home. My home is therefore my Czechness, my nationality, and I see no reason at all why I shouldn't embrace it since it is as an essential part of me as, for instance, my masculinity, another aspect of my home. My home, of course, is not only my Czechness, it is also my Czecholsovakness, which means my citizenship. Ultimately my home is Europe and my Europeanness; finally it is this planet and its present civilization, and, understandably, the whole world.... ...I certainly do not want, therefore, to suppress the national dimension of a person's identity, or to deny it, or to refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy and its right to full self-realization. I merely reject the kind of political notions that attempt, in the name of nationality, to suppress other aspects of the human home, other aspects of humanity and human rights (Havel, 1991).
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