Identitarianism

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Lamda, symbol of the Identitarian movement

Identitarian is a term used to refer to a European New Right movement and its sympathizers. It holds the preservation and development of ethnic and cultural identity as its central ideological principle, and criticises the state of the contemporary West.

Identitarianism has its roots in France, but has also spread to Scandinavia and other parts of Europe.

Contents

Ideological Influences

Identitarianism is based on a number of different political modes of thought, even if variations between different individuals and groups abound. The most central influences are:

1) The European New Right. The think-tank of Alain de Benoist, GRECE (Groupement de recherche et d'études pour la civilisation européenne), and movements and individuals connected to them arguably make up the core influences on identitarianism. Many central terms and viewpoints are drawn from, or influenced by, this French New Right.

2) Traditionalism. The so-called Traditional School has had great impact on identitarianism. Partly because many of its theroeticians are or have been influenced by thinkers such as René Guénon and perhaps mainly Julius Evola. In certain cases, the influence is obvious - many scandinavian identitarians adopt traditionalism explicitly - but more often it is a matter of a more limited inspiration. One example of the latter is the main GRECE theoretician Alain de Benoist, but there are numerous other examples of purely political, secular or neo-pagan identitarians.

3) Archeofuturism. Former GRECE member Guillaume Faye has developed the notion of Archeofuturism to describe an ideal synthesis of what he calls "archaic values" on the one hand, and modern or futurist technology and civilisational/social development on the other.[1] The term is frequently used, especially among scandinavian identitarians.

4) Metapolitics. In accordance with the views of Antonio Gramsci (as well as the GRECE) identitarians hold that any change to society is impossible as long as its culture and language remain unchanged. Activities such as creating culture and influencing public opinion in fields not normally considered part of the political sphere have therefore become an essential part of the identitarian project.

Political views

Identitarianism rests on the assumption that ethnic-cultural factors have a central role in human welfare and the functioning of society. Man is viewed as a combination of inherited and environmentally aquired traits, and the need of ethnic Europeans to defend and develop themselves as distinct peoples is emphasized. Accordingly, identitarians oppose large-scale extra-European immigration to Europe, regardless of its possible economic utility. This standpoint has caused it to be viewed as racist. At the same time, it has been heavily criticized by certain nationalist groups, since it has (among other things) clearly distanced itself from national socialism.

Identitarians claim to view the nation state through a pragmatic lense, and points out that it is only one of several possible historical forms of organisation for ethnic groups and peoples. Many identitarian theoreticians, such as Guillaume Faye, have championed a federalist imperial ideal, where hundreds of local and regional communities, with a high degree of autonomy, would be organised into a "Eurasian" confederation, the latter working to defend the peoples and interests of Europe as a totality on a global scale. This is a natural consequence of the identitarian interest both in Europe and Europeans as a totality, and in local, regional and traditional expressions of culture, which are viewed as positive sources of community and cultural development.

Regarding economy, the sole general identitarian viewpoint is that the economy always must be subjected to other, more vital, interests. Identitarians contend that the well-being of the people always must trump economic growth and similar considerations, and criticises globalisation as ecologically and socially destructive. No comprehensive identitarian theory of economics exists as of yet, and theories ranging from corporatism and distributism, over libertarianism, to socialism, are frequently discussed in identitarian circles. This is fully in line with the identitarian ambition to be non-dogmatic and flexible, but could also be understood as a serious flaw.

What policies an Identitarian government would put into practice is partly speculative and also depends much on the aims of leaders of particular, local Identitarian movements. While all Identitarians share in common a certain set of beliefs and goals, hypothetically different Identitarian states in different countries would have different economic policies and different ways of dealing with non-white immigrants based on what is most practical for their situation. For example, countries with only a small amount of unacceptable immigrants could use a quick deportation program, while those with a very large amount would likely combine communitarian/regionalist policies with a slow deportation program due to the political impracticality of fast deportation in such a situation.

Geography of Identitarianism

Banner for the French Identitarian group Bloc Identitaire.

In France, identitarianism is represented by groups such as Jeunesses Identitaires, Bloc Identitaire and Terre et Peuple, all of which have made various marks on the French political landscape. Bloc Identitaire, an activist group, is well known for controversial and original activities. Among other things, they have been known to set up soup kitchens, from which they have distributed soup containing pork to homeless Frenchmen (something which has been interpreted as islamophobic and antisemitic). Terre et Peuple, a group and journal active since 1944, also have kindred groups in other countries, such as Tierre y Pueblo in Spain.

In Scandinavia identitarianism was introduced by the now non-active organisation Nordiska Förbundet (Nordic Alliance)[2]. It then mobilised a number of "independent activist groups" similar to their French counterparts, among which could be mentioned Reaktion Östergötland and Identitet Väst, who performed a number of spectacular political actions, marked by a certain degree of civil disobedience. A first manifesto, aimed at defining the identitarian movement in Northern Europe, was also published.[3]

Today Scandinavian identitarianism is mainly represented by writers active in the think-tank Motpol and its weblog portal, as well as by projects and individuals connected therewith. The second installment of the annual seminar Identitär Idé (Identitarian Idea) was held in February 2011, and the publisher Arktos has begun its project to translate literature connected with identitarianism and the New Right into English and Swedish. Smaller gatherings and events are also being arranged with increasing frequency. The focal point is influencing public opinion and creating debate.

References

  1. Guillaume Faye (2011), Archeofuturism. London:Arktos
  2. http://www.nordiskaforbundet.se/
  3. (2009) Identitet och Metapolitik, Nordiska Förlaget:Göteborg

Bibliography (Selected Works)

  • Alain de Benoist, Vu de Droite: Anthologie critique des idées contemporaines (Paris: Copernic, 1977)
    • German translation: Aus Rechter Sicht: Eine kritische Anthologie zeitgenössischer Ideen (Tübingen: Grabert, 1983-1984)
    • Italian translation: Visito da Destra: antologia critica delle idee contemporanee (Napoli: Akropolis, 1981)
    • Portugese translation: Nova Direita, Nova Cultura: antologia critica das ideias contemporaneas (Lisboa: Afrodite 1981)
  • Alain de Benoist, Les idées à l'endroit (Paris: Libres-Hallier, 1979)
    • German translation: Kulturrevolution von rechts: Gramsci und die Nouvelle Droite ( Krefeld : Sinus-Verl., 1985)
    • Spanish translation: La Nueva Derecha: Una respuesta clara, profunda e inteligente (Barcelona : Planeta, 1982)
    • Italian translation: Le idee a posto (Napoli: Akropolis, 1983)
    • Greek translation: Oi idees sta ortha (Eleutheri Skepsis, Athinai s.d. 1982)
  • Alain de Benoist, Orientations pour des années décisives (Paris: Le Labyrinthe, 1982)
    • German translation: Die entscheidenden Jahre: Zur Erkennung des Hauptfeindes (Tübingen: Grabert, 1982)
    • Italian translation: Il nemico principale : considerazioni per anni decisivi (Firenze: La Roccia di Erec, 1983)
    • Greek translation: O prosdiorismos tou kuriôterou ekthrou. Prosanatolismoi giá tá ápophrasistiká khronia (Eleutheri Skepsis, Athinai 1987)
  • Alain de Benoist, Démocratie: le problème (Paris: Le Labyrinthe, 1985)
    • German translation: Demokratie: das Problem (Tübingen & Zürich: Hohenrain-Verl., 1986)
    • English translation: The Problem of Democracy (London: Arktos, 2011)
    • Italian translation: Democrazia: il problema (Firenze: Arnaud, 1985)
    • Spanish translation: ¿Es un Problema la Democracia? (Barcelona: Nueva República, 2013)
  • Alain de Benoist & Charles Champetier, "Manifeste: la Nouvelle Droite de l'an 2000" (Eléments, No. 94, February 1999, pp. 11-23)
    • Second French Edition: Manifeste pour une renaissance européenne (Paris: GRECE, 2000)
    • English translation: "Manifesto of the French New Right in the Year 2000" (Telos, Vol. 1999, No. 115, March-May 1999, pp. 117-144)
    • Second English Version: "Manifesto for a European Renaissance" (London: Arktos, 2012)
    • Spanish translation: "Manifiesto: la Nueva Derecha del ano 2000" (Hespérides, Vol. IV, No. 19, March-May 1999, pp. 13-47)
    • Second Spanish Version: Manifiesto para un renacimiento europeo (Mollet del Vallès, Barcelona: Grup de recerca i estudi de la cultura europea, 2000)
    • German translation: Aufstand der Kulturen: Europäisches Manifest für das 21. Jahrhundert (Berlin: Edition Junge Freiheit, 1999)
    • Italian translation: "La Nuova Destra del 2000" (Diorama letterario, Firenze, 229-230, October-November 1999)
    • Second Italian Version: Manifesto per una rinascita europea (Rome: Nuove Idee editore, 2005)
    • Czech translation: "Manifest: Nova pravice v roce 2000" (Tradice budoucnosti. Ed. Orientace 1/2008)
    • Dutch translation: "Manifest voor Europees herstel en vernieuwing" (TeKos, Wijnegem, 95, octobre-décembre 1999)
    • Hungarian translation: "Manifesztum az európai újjászületésért" (A51 [2002], pp. 239-285)
    • Danish translation: Manifest. Det nye højre år 2000 (Nomos, Valby, III, 2005, 1)
    • Croatian translation: "Manifest za Europsku Obnovu, Nova Desnica u 21. Stoljeću" (appendix in: Tomislav Sunic, Europska Nova Desnica [Zagreb, Croatia: Hasanbegović, 2009])
    • Portuguese translation: Manifesto Para Um Renascimento Europeu (USA & EU: Editora Contra Corrente, 2014)
    • Ukrainian translation: Маніфест Нових Правих (published online: Національний альянс, 2009, http://nation.org.ua/)
    • Polish translation: Manifest Grupy Badań i Studiόw nad Cywilizacją Europejską (GRECE) (published online: Konserwatyzm.pl, 2013)
  • (Russian only) Alain de Benoist (Ален де Бенуа), Против либерализма: к четвертой политической теории (Санкт-Петербург: Амфора, 2009)
  • Henning Eichberg, Nationale Identität: Entfremdung und nationale Frage in der Industriegesellschaft (München & Wien: Langen-Müller, 1978)
  • Guillaume Faye, Le système à tuer les peuples (Paris: Copernic, 1981)
    • Italian translation: Il sistema per uccidere i popoli (Milano: Barbarossa, 1997)
  • Guillaume Faye, Pierre Freson, & Robert Steuckers, Petit lexique du partisan européen (Nantes: ARS, 1986)
    • Spanish translation: Pequeño Léxico del Partisano Europeo (Molins de Rei, Barcelona: Nueva República, 2012)
  • Guillaume Faye, Les nouveaux enjuex idéoloques (Paris : Éd. du Labyrinthe, 1985)
    • German translation: Die neuen ideologischen Herausforderung, in Mut zur Identität: Alternativen zum Prinzip der Gleichheit, ed. Pierre Krebs (Struckum: Verlag für ganzheitliche Forschung und Kultur, 1988)
  • Guillaume Faye, L’Archéofuturisme (Paris: l’Æncre, 1998)
    • English Translation: Archeofuturism, (London : Arktos, 2010)
    • Italian translation: Archeofuturismo (Milano: Società Editrice Barbarossa, 1999)
    • Spanish translation: El arqueofuturismo (Barcelona: Titania, 2008)
    • Russian translation: (Гийом Фай) Археофутуризм (Тамбов: Ex Nord Lux, 2011)
  • Guillaume Faye, La colonisation de l’Europe: Discours vrai sur l’immigration et l’Islam (Paris: L'Æncre, 2000)
  • Guillaume Faye, Pourquoi nous combattons: Manifeste de la résistance européenne (Paris: Æncre, 2001)
    • German translation: Wofür wir kämpfen: Das Manifest des europäischen Widerstandes (Kassel: Ahnenrad der Moderne, 2006)
    • English translation: Why We Fight: Manifesto of the European Resistance (London: Arktos, 2011)
    • Czech translation: Proč bojujeme: Manifest evropského odporu, Metapolitický slovník (TB: Ed. Orientace II/2009)
    • Russian translation: (Гийом Фай) За что мы сражаемся? Идеологический словарь (Москва: СЛАВА!, 2006)
  • (Spanish only) Guillaume Faye, Escritos por Europa (Barcelona: Titania, 2008)
  • (Spanish only) Alain de Benoist & Guillaume Faye, Las Ideas de la “Nueva Derecha”: Una respuesta al colonialismo cultural (Barcelona: Nuevo Arte Thor, 1986)
  • Pierre Krebs, Die europäische Wiedergeburt: Aufruf zur Selbstbesinnung (Tübingen: Grabert-Verlag, 1982)
  • Pierre Krebs, Im Kampf um das Wesen (Horn: Weecke, 1997)
    • English translation: Fighting for the Essence (London: Arktos Media, 2012)
    • Spanish translation: La lucha por lo esencial (Valencia: Los Libros de Aimirgin, 2006)
    • French translation: Combat pour l'essentiel (Madrid: Paneuropa, 2002)
  • Pierre Krebs, et al., Das unvergängliche Erbe: Alternativen zum Prinzip der Gleichheit (Tübingen: Grabert-Verlag, 1981)
  • Pierre Krebs, et al., Mut zur Identität: Alternativen zum Prinzip der Gleichheit (Struckum: Verlag für ganzheitliche Forschung und Kultur, 1988)
  • Michael O’Meara, New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe, Second Edition (London: Arktos, 2013).
  • Tomislav Sunic, Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right, Third Edition (London: Arktos, 2011).
  • Tomislav Sunic, Homo Americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age (USA: Book Surge Publishing, 2007).
    • Spanish Translation: Homo Americanus: Hijo de la Era Postmoderna (Barcelona: Ediciones Nueva República, 2008)
    • French Translation: Homo Americanus: Rejeton de l’ère postmoderne (Saint-Genis-Laval: Akribeia, 2010)
  • Tomislav Sunic, Postmortem Report: Cultural Examinations from Postmodernity - Collected Essays (Shamley Green, UK: The Paligenesis Project, 2010).
  • Lucian Tudor, “The Philosophy of Identity: Ethnicity, Culture, and Race in Identitarian Thought,” The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Fall 2014), pp. 83-112.
  • Philippe Vardon-Raybaud, Eléments pour une contre-culture identitaire (Nice: Société de diffusion de l'identité nissart, 2011)
  • Pierre Vial, Pour une Renaissance Culturelle: le G.R.E.C.E. prend la parole (Paris: Copernic, 1979)
  • Pierre Vial, Une Terre, Un Peuple (Villeurbanne: Terre et Peuple, 2000)
  • (Spanish only) Dominique Venner, Europa y su Destino: De ayer a mañana (Barcelona: Áltera, 2010)
  • Dominique Venner, Histoire et tradition des Européens: 30 000 ans d'identité (Monaco et Paris: Éd. du Rocher, 2002).
  • Dominique Venner, Le Choc de l'Histoire (Versailles: Via Romana, 2011)
  • Dominique Venner, Un samouraï d'Occident: Le bréviaire d'un insoumis (Paris: Pierre-Guillaume de Roux Editions, 2013)
    • German translation: Ein Samurai aus Europa: Das Brevier der Unbeugsame (Bad Wildungen: Ahnenrad der Moderne, 2013)
  • Nous sommes la génération identitaire (Paris: Editions Idees, 2013)
    • English translation: We Are Generation Identity (London: Arktos, 2013)
  • Markus Willinger, Die identitäre Generation (London: Arktos, 2013)
    • English translation: Generation Identity (London: Arktos, 2013)
    • French translation: Génération Identitaire (London: Arktos, 2014)
    • Italian translation: La Generazione Identitaria (London: Arktos, 2014)
    • Swedish translation: Generation Identitet (London: Arktos, 2014)
    • Greek translation: Γενια τησ ταυτοτητασ (London: Arktos, 2015)
  • Markus Willinger, Europa der Vaterländer (London: Arktos, 2014)
    • English Translation: Markus Willinger, A Europe of Nations: A Declaration of Independence (London: Arktos, 2014)

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