Anarchisme de Droite (“Anarchism of the Right”)

Translated from the French Wikipedia:

Right-wing anarchism is a philosophical and political sensibility, deeply anti-liberal, characterized by a refusal to join a society or a system based on parliamentary democracy, the power of money, received ideas in matters of social order, and more generally any form of authority claiming to them.

This way of thinking, however, retains ideals and values ​​considered politically, morally, and ideologically right-wing. Otherwise, the term anarchism is used.

However, there are several anarchisms, and it is extremely difficult to classify a person claiming to be anarchist as a right-wing or left-wing anarchist. The actors associated with this article should be taken with all the necessary reserve.

Foundations of Right-Wing Anarchism 

At the basis of right-wing anarchism, we find first of all a rather violent criticism of the power of a minority of intellectuals. This criticism paradoxically relates both to the ineffectiveness of this power and to its dangers. Intellectuals, subject to the dominant ideology of democracies, are supposed to reinforce the intellectual conformism which is inherent in this type of government (Marcel Aymé has devoted a book to Intellectual Comfort and Louis Pauwels has made a lot of talk about him by speaking of mental AIDS ). These intellectuals then become the main architects of these democracies, because parliamentary democracies base their authority on the expression of a majority which can be influenced, and which must be influenced to keep the population “whole” in their cage. This is where, according to right-wing anarchists, lies the foundation of political power and, by extension, of political tyranny. According to them, intellectuals are not a force of resistance against political power; at best they would have no impact on him, at worst they would strengthen him and receive their reward from the ruling classes.

Criticism of right-wing anarchists does not stop at this political and ideological aspect. It also attacks another source of democratic power: the conformism of crowds. This “power of the people”, this “fervor of the crowd”, they reject as manipulation. It only admits individual revolt, which it will oppose obstinately to any institutional or self-proclaimed intellectual authority. So it is with Louis-Ferdinand Céline who tells in Voyage au bout de la nuit how, having no desire to go to the front during the war of 14-18, he comes up against the remonstrances and sarcasm of his contemporaries who reproach him for his lack of fervor and his lack of patriotism. It is this individual rebellion, still present and deeply rooted among right-wing anarchists, which gives them their main strength. It is this which leads them to advocate the strength of individual conscience (sometimes exacerbated as in Le cult du Moi, by Maurice Barrès), in its complexity and in its integrity, as a reference value. It is also this which pushes them to defend with firmness – at least morally – the individual against the group and therefore, the person, unique and complete, against the oppression of the majority and against social determinism.

Right-wing Anarchism and Individualist Anarchism 

Thus defined, right-wing anarchism seems very close to individualist anarchism. In reality, he should not be confused with him. First of all, because right-wing anarchism is not based on the same tradition of thought as individualist anarchism. According to François Richard (who published a Que sais-je? On the subject1), the writers Léon Bloy, Édouard Drumont, Barbey d’Aurevilly, Paul Léautaud, Louis Pauwels, Louis-Ferdinand Céline2, Lucien Rebatet, Jacques Perret, Roger Nimier , Marcel Aymé, Michel-Georges Micberth, Marc-Édouard Nabe, the dialogue writer Michel Audiard (Michel Audiard alludes to this term in his book La nuit, le jour et tous les autres heures, p. 50: “(…) Aristide Lancien, a sad and gentle Sarthois who made bombs in his cellar in 1936. Right-wing anarchist, as we say now. “), And the actor Jean Yanne gave strength to this current which has its roots in baroque thought and libertine. Individualist anarchism has, for its part, a very different lineage, since it borrows from Proudhonism and liberalism a large part of its fundamental precepts.

Although Max Stirner is an anti-liberal and selfish thinker, he also appealed to many libertarian communists and individualists as well (see also Antiliberalism, Max Stirner and his book The Unique and Its Property). Moreover, right-wing anarchism intends to hold a coherence that socialist anarchism, as a current of thought and a mode of political action, would be lacking: in its discourse, social anarchism violently criticizes the State, while in its In practice, it is indeed its “legitimate violence” that would be called upon to implement the desired solidarity, transfers of wealth and structural social reforms. On the contrary, right-wing anarchism is wary of the state’s claim to act for the common good, a notion considered vague and ill-defined, and of its legitimacy in imposing value systems on society. The transition from an organic and orderly society to a mechanical and materialist society is the starting point of the anti-modern criticism of right-wing anarchists. On the other hand, if it is true that what nourishes anarcho-rightist thought is the rebellious individual rising up against an oppressive and alienating society, the right-wing anarchist also militates for the renewal of aristocratic principles. Unlike the individualist anarchist, he does not fight against the alienation of morality and religion. On the contrary, he defends and applies moral values ​​in which he firmly believes (justice, honor, duty, etc.) towards and against a society that denies or perverts them. He therefore opposes human vanity, “human imbecility”, his “ugliness”, a lofty spirit, a deep respect for the moral values ​​- which are often considered as right-wing values ​​- to which he adheres.

Ideologically, there are many right-wing anarchists of the 20th century who claim or practice racial differentiation (Celine being the most extreme but Levi-Strauss or Nimier has integrated it into their work or their political activity), to have nationalist sensibilities. and to support so-called sexist positions which are all three generally refuted by individualist anarchists. Likewise, the rejection of money is not particularly a concern of right-wing anarchists where individualist anarchists consider it to be one of the major supports for the alienation of the individual through power and domination of one another. . Similarities exist between the two thoughts about representative democracy and the individual versus the group. Nevertheless the social level and / or the sociological origin – rather bourgeois / well-off / literate for the right-wing anarchists and rather worker / middle class for the anarchists linked to social movements – conditions a lot of differences in the concrete relationship to the State and to other political components of society. Right-wing anarchists having superior material comfort and a higher social position, they can much more easily reject any notion of social class unity or the recourse to the redistribution of wealth by the State and thus live on the aristocratic margin of material concerns of their contemporaries.

So much so that, according to François Richard, most writers related to right-wing anarchism considered that it was more or less their duty to defend this intellectual integrity and to refuse any form of indulgence towards the conformism of intellectual circles. This radical stance, tinged with provocations or shocking confessions, made them intellectuals or writers deemed “unusable by the literary intelligentsia of the left”, even personalities who were systematically rejected by their contemporaries.

Criticisms of Right-Wing Anarchism

The rejection of this current of thought and this intellectual posture owes a lot to the fact that some of these authors – this is the case of Céline, Drumont or Rebatet – made very virulent anti-Semitic remarks. This inconsistency is even more marked when we study the works of each author separately. None in fact saw themselves as representative of a tendency, and even less as right-wing anarchists because the expression is quite recent (except for Céline who considered himself libertarian, as well as Micberth and Richard who are at the origin of the term ). They considered themselves fair – and were all at least for a time – isolated because of the radicalism of their views. Several of them frequented literary circles or political networks. Some also reproach right-wing anarchism for being only a construction of Micberth and Richard, and for being content only to recover certain authors, by attributing to them the label anarchist of the right.

The theory and the legitimation of right-wing anarchism, which is made by François Richard, makes it possible to give a name to a sensitivity which, while retaining an attachment to some traditional values ​​in their individual morality, wants to be individualist, anti-conformist, anti-democratic or in any case anti-parliamentarist (even for some, close to nihilism). This sensitivity is not represented politically in France in a very clear way (the political activism of right-wing anarchists is also non-existent). Richard’s thesis (Les anarchistes de right, coll. “Que sais-je?”) Is however perceived by some as a simple hagiography of Micberth’s writings. Right-wing anarchism raises two related questions: Are the revolt against power as such and conformism compatible with traditional values, or do the latter place them on the right – and if so, where on the right? Can this current claim the name of anarchism? These two questions remain open today, a large part of the anarchist movement answering no to the second. Adding that anarchism is not left either, left and right being the ideologically marked positions occupied in representative assemblies that anarchism rejects by nature.

Right-wing Anarchism and Cinema

The media vector which has made it possible to disseminate right-wing anarchism to the general public is the cinema. Some directors and actors have used this politico-philosophical sensibility. Michel Simon in Le Vieil Homme et l’Enfant and Le Bateau d’Émile.Jean Gabin in A monkey in winter, Le Tonnerre de Dieu, and especially in La Traversée de Paris, a film in which the character of Grandgil represents the quintessence of right-wing anarchism. Jean Yanne in Everyone he is beautiful, everyone he is nice, I want money, The Chinese in Paris. The five main characters (Lino Ventura, Jacques Brel, Charles Denner, Charles Gérard, Aldo Maccione) of Adventure is Adventure. Kurt Russell in New York 1997 and Los Angeles 2013.Darwin Joston in AssaultDishcloth by Bertrand Tavernier 

List of Right-Wing Anarchists 

Charles Baudelaire is described as a “right-wing anarchist” by Antoine Compagnon in his book Un été avec Baudelaire, taken from shows of the same name on France Inter. After a political career rather close to the socialist left and in connection with the institutions of the United Nations, Claude Lévi-Strauss defined himself at the end of his life as “an old right-wing anarchist.”


Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State

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