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  • 25

    The Real Right? Part II
    Reviews; Posted on: 2009-07-21 09:41:21 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    The Real Right?

    New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe
    by Michael O’Meara
    (Bloomington, Ind.: 1stBooks, 2004)

    Samuel Francis

    The New Right itself in recent years has moved away not only from its early attraction to a biological view of human nature and society but also from its opposition to multiculturalism, if not to immigration as well. The earlier position, as O’Meara explains, offered a firm rejection of multiculturalism:

    "In contrast to liberalism’s homogenized world of fractured cultures and peoples, New Rightists advocate a heterogenous world of homogenous peoples, each rooted in their own culture and soil. Every people, they claim, has a droit à la différence: that is, the right to pursue their destiny in accord with the organic dictates of their own identity. They see, moreover, no convincing reason why Europeans should feel obliged to abandon their millennial heritage for the sake of a dubious cosmopolitan fashion." (p. 77)

    But the new position has changed course radically.

    "Recently, however, GRECE’s opposition to multiculturalism has undergone a significant shift. Until 1998, it consistently opposed multiculturalist efforts to recognize immigrant communities as separate legal entities, for it claimed these efforts threatened the integrity of French identity. Then, rather unexpectedly, it reversed course, adopting a “communitarian” position favoring the public recognition of non-French communities—so that immigrants could be able to “keep alive the structures of their collective cultural existence.” To some, this shift constitutes nothing less than an identitarian betrayal, for others a recognition that Europe’s enemy is not the immigrant per se, but the system responsible for immigration." (p. 77)

    The shift was not without controversy, with New Rightists like Guillaume Faye and others rejecting it. As O’Meara comments:

    "When Grécistes first sloganized the droit à la différence, they sought to rebuff liberal efforts to stigmatize European identitarianism as a form of racism. At a certain point, however, its defense of cultural/ethnic difference took on a life of its own . . . This eventually led to a qualified form of multiculturalism, as the GRECE reversed much of its earlier argumentation and joined the liberal chorus demanding the institutional recognition of the immigrants’ cultural identity. The problem with its metapolitics, however, did not end here, for its defense of European identity has consistently been waged on the Left’s cosmopolitan terrain—in that it fought not for the primacy of their own people, but for the application of pluralistic standards to support Europeans in the defense of their heritage . . . . Le droit à la différence ended up, then, parroting the ideology of liberal pluralist society and its relativist values. Needless to add, this augurs badly for the future of the GRECE’s identitarianism, for it now tacitly acknowledges the right of non-Europeans to occupy and partition European lands." (pp. 77-78)

    Interestingly the same trend and its implications appear on the American hard right, as advocates of territorial secessionism and proponents of “Euro-American” identity present themselves not as the rightful heirs of the European civilization in North America but merely as one more chip in the multiculturalist mosaic demanding (or in the case of the right, begging for) recognition. One would have thought that French intellectuals intimate with Gramsci and Nietzsche would have avoided this trap.

    The withering of the New Right’s opposition to multiculturalism is one of the major flaws of the movement from the perspective of the American right. Two other problems that most Americans will find troublesome are the French Rightists’ anti-Christianism and their anti-Americanism. Actually, both positions have a good deal to be said for them, but both are also problematical.

    The New Right’s distaste for Christianity owes little to the conventional rationalist and secularist critique associated with figures like Bertrand Russell and T. H. Huxley and far more to the ancient pagan criticisms of Christianity before its acquisition of power under Constantine. The New Right argues that Christianity, and more generally monotheism itself in the forms of Judaism and Islam, have been destructive forces that have spawned intolerance, dogmatism, and a narrow-minded dualism in the European mentality and have authorized massive persecutions, exterminations, and cultural genocide of its victims. Christianity did not emerge from the European folk tradition and identity but was adopted as a theological construct shaped by its Semitic origins and its underclass adherents and was then imposed by the state and the church, often through repression of its rivals and critics. Only through a long process of “Germanization” (O’Meara here cites James Russell’s The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity) or “Aryanization” did early Christianity become at all compatible with European identity. New Rightists share Nietzsche’s critique that Christianity represented a slave revolt against the aristocratic paganism of ancient Europe and under the sway of its otherworldly and universalist beliefs rejected “national and cultural particularisms” and promoted the destruction and amalgamation of distinct peoples. They argue that by substituting its “logos” for the ancient pagan view of nature as suffused with many divinities and supernatural beings Christianity “desacralized” nature and prepared the way for the advent of modern rationalism and the secularized depredations of modern capitalism and mass democracy.

    News Source: The Occidental Quarterly Online

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