© 2017 Thermidor Magazine.

Designed by Jonathan.

Some Ironies and Curiosities of Right-Wing History

Interesting examples I've collected from my notes that defy common expectations or seem farcical -- the common theme weaving them together is some variation of "right-wing politics undermining right-wing politics." Note that "right-wing" is a term used relatively and with notice of its shifting goalposts.

Hans Blüher, an important theoretician of the Männerbund, was an anticlerical homosexual pedophile.

Also: the case of volkisch agrarianism intersecting with bizarre polygamous sex cults: Willibald Hentschel.

(The various back-to-the-land and Lebensreform movements of that time in general were filled with perverts and degenerates.)

The final abolition of the modern Greek monarchy was accomplished not by Venizelists, communists or the usual candidates you'd suspect, but by the right-wing military junta. They were also the ones who initiated democratization to start with: the "Metapolitefsi."

Ethniki Etaireia modeling itself after a Masonic lodge; the Megali Idea of Greek irredentism itself had its impetus (but not origin) in opposition to Wittelsbach legitimism -- Otto I was simply "King of Greece," but was then deposed and replaced with George I, a Danish prince and an effective pawn of Greek parliamentarism who was styled "King of the Hellenes" -- turning him into some sort of Jacobin Greek equivalent of Philippe Égalité.

The American System of economic nationalism was invented by an Irish immigrant (the ones who are said to have brought machine politics, although this is overstated) -- an Irish nationalist, further still.

The Reform Act 1832 passed with the help of an "Ultra-Tory" faction who sought to mobilize mass suffrage against Catholic emancipation. Worked in the short run. In the long run, we're all dead, so who cares? "Spoiler" candidates and factions who split off based on momentary interests that lead to ultimate losses remain a perennial problem in democratic coalition building, from Edward Knatchbull to Ralph Nader.

The Gentiloni pact: Catholics and Giolittian liberals create an electoral coalition to ward off socialism. Whether it worked, you be the judge.

(Another unique thing about Italy was that its radical leaders, e.g. Zanardelli and Viti de Marco, were more laissez-fairist than socialist, in contrast to just about everywhere else. They were no less anticlerical, however.)

Istvan Tisza, last Hungarian prime minister of old regime stock, staunch defender of the Habsburg monarchy: flanked on both sides by socialists and nationalists, ultimately assassinated in 1918. To this day, being too right-leaning for the left and too "cucked" (supposedly) for what passes as right is the eternal impasse of any conservative.

Women in the Weimar Republic more right-wing than men.

Also, an influential spokesperson for the Weimar-era German Protestant nationalist party, the DNVP (the largest until its eclipse by the NSDAP), was a lesbian feminist.

Even more, the DNVP had a large female presence in general. More women than men voted for the party in absolute terms.

The biggest interwar French Catholic nationalist party (the Croix de Feu, also its successor the Parti Social Francais) endorsed women's suffrage. In fact, women basically ended up running the party in its last years.

Jacinto Candido da Silva, founder of an early modern national integralist party in Portugal, the Partido Nacionalista c.1900s. Ostensibly Catholic in orientation, he completely muddled it: "We, nationalists, are neither ultramontanists nor reactionary nor clerical. Catholics, yes; we proclaim it, without weaknesses or misrepresentations." The Action francaise was similarly mixed. It didn't even start as a royalist movement at all but as a more generic anti-Dreyfusard nationalist circle; the royalism was added in subsequently and imperfectly by Maurras. Religious "traditionalists" who actually aren't remain a problem to this day, obviously.

Socialist collaboration with the Vichy regime. Also the largest political party in Vichy France was founded by ex-communists (French Popular Party).

(Third Positionism and Nazbol: just say no.)

Masonic roots of the Flemish movement (predating the Carbonari, in fact).

"The combination of the Russian revolutionary sweep with American efficiency is the essence of Leninism in Party and state work." -- Joseph Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism, Ch IX (1924)

(Speaking of Stalin and said pamphlet, from Ch VI: "In the forties of the last century Marx supported the national movement of the Poles and Hungarians and was opposed to the national movement of the Czechs and the South Slavs. Why? Because the Czechs and the South Slavs were then "reactionary peoples," "Russian outposts" in Europe, outposts of absolutism; whereas the Poles and the Hungarians were "revolutionary peoples," fighting against absolutism. Because support of the national movement of the Czechs and the South Slavs was at that time equivalent to indirect support for tsarism, the most dangerous enemy of the revolutionary movement in Europe.")

Cultural Marxism is older than you think; it was implicit in orthodox Marxism itself. Also commies didn't hate America as much as some Cold Warriors believed.

Hays Code-era Hollywood (i.e. so-called "traditional values" Hollywood): Jews selling Catholic theology to a Protestant audience. And yet, it admittedly kind of worked for a while.

Comtean positivism and Polish nationalism.

Georgia founded as an antislavery colony. "We shouldn't have imported the darkies in the first place" to this day remains a way of both belittling the Old South and being more-right-wing-than-thou at the same time. We'll be doing a review of some Old South proslavery thought soon, by the way. It's inferior to the Staendestaat theories of the Prussian Junkers, but it's still worth reading.

American nativism/Know Nothingism and progressive policy in Massachussetts.

And get this: the Massachussetts Know Nothings outlawed segregation in public schools in 1855, a whopping 100 years before this would be done on the federal level.

That's right: American nativists invented racial liberalism, because they wanted to use blacks as muscle against the Irish. Of course, segregation remained as a social convention even if scrubbed from legislation.

Millard Fillmore enforced the Fugitive Slave Act and was a Know Nothing sympathizer, but also met with anti-Prussian seditionists like Gottfried Kinkel. Given the Social Gospel-like elements of Know Nothingism mentioned above, this was probably not a contradiction at all. After all, the Know Nothings were above all else an attempt to build an American nationalist identity that would transcend the sectarian and economic interests of the North and South. It didn't work.

The Map of the Slovene Lands, an important symbol of Slovenian nationalism, was actually authored by a German. #MakeSloveniaAustrianAgain

Jews and communists push absolute free speech in America, right-wing activists defend it with all their heart today. Already written on this.

John Birch Society starts granting scholarships to blacks by 1964; was also pro-Zionist (Source: Jet magazine, 15 Oct 1964). Revilo P. Oliver, with his more white nationalist tendencies, got pissed off at them as a result.

Hermann Gauch censured by his fellow National Socialists for being too racist. National Cucktialism.

The Historic Compromise in Italy, 1976 -- Christian Democrats ally with the Italian Communist Party. Essentially had to do with a common convergence w.r.t. the Sino-Soviet split and the Prague Spring, and the shift to "Eurocommunism," which also partially ceded ground to some New Left planks.

The united forces of German Protestantism would successfully avert German unification in 1785 (the Fuerstenbund). The united forces of German Protestantism would then go on to secure it nearly a century later amid outcry from their Kreuzzeitung-affiliated conservative faction for breaching German dualism (see for instance: Ernst von Gerlach -- the big shot of 19th century Prussian conservatism, also a Lutheran pietist, who considered Bismarck's action in 1866 to be a fratricidal war with negative consequences awaiting in the long run. He was right.)

Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha was popular with Whigs justifying 1688, see e.g. Zachary Taylor's "Obedience and Submission to the Present Government." (1690) See also my attempted refutation of Filmerism as being a manufactured ideology in justification of Anglican ecclesiastical usurpation.

Already have an essay on this: Pitt the Younger prosecuting a Tory writer for being too monarchist.

Jews behind European nationalist movements in Prussia and the Habsburg Empire: Adolf Fischhof, Adolf Neustadt, Heinrich Bernhard Oppenheim.

Speaking of Jews and European nationalism: one of the most dependable promoters of Serbian nationalism in Trieste in the late 1890s, was a Jewish diplomat (Hajim S. Davico). Further still, his promotion of the Serbian national idea was actually often acting against the wishes of Belgrade, due to the Austrophile tendencies of the Obrenovic monarchy at the time. Accordingly, the Serbian Orthodox community in Trieste largely despised the king. Davico criticized the Serbs in Trieste a lot, not because of their nationalism, but because of the opposite: they were allegedly too indifferent toward the Serbian language.

In Naples, the lumpenproletariat (lazzaroni), were the staunchest monarchists for a relatively long time. Friedrich Engels hated them. See also: Fabrizio Ruffo and the sanfedisti, plus "Reckoning Day for Neapolitan Bourbonism."

The Bavarian resistance to Austrian occupation during the War of the Spanish Succession, from 1705-6, was carried out by means of modern parliamentarism (the Braunau Parliament)

The unification of Moldavia and Wallachia into the Romanian United Provinces was followed a year later by a massive confiscation of Orthodox Church estates, the bill winning an overwhelming 93-3 majority in Parliament.

Cesare Lombroso, despite being associated with the "right" due to his theories of criminality having a hereditary and physiognomic character, actually had some pretty wacko left students, like Arnold Aletrino, an early advocate of homosexual liberation, and Enrico Ferri, a commie-turned-fascist who praised Darwinism for its undermining of religion and thus building a path to a new socialist morality.

Benjamin Kidd, a forgotten early social evolutionist and one-hit wonder who became a celebrity in the 1890s, considered feminism to be the most significant civilizing aspect of modern humanity.

The two people who probably did the most in quantitative geopolitical terms to spread universal ethnonationalism were Woodrow Wilson (due to the Fourteen Points), and Vladimir Lenin, due to the Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia. Marxism-Leninism would never formally abandon its commitments to national liberation, but under Stalin the nation-building process of korenizatsiya undertaken by the USSR would be reversed in favor of "Soviet socialist patriotism," which was unitary and Russian language-oriented. Nevertheless, Soviet endorsement of nationalist causes to undermine the West would continue, as in the Zhdanov Doctrine and in aid to various anti-colonialist guerrillas.

Not Arab, Turk, Mongol or other invaders ended up finally doing in the Papal States, but rather Italian nationalism. See also my brief note: "Radicalism in moderation."

Sudeten German Party (NS front) deciding to host its party convention and outline its statement of principles in Carlsbad, on April 24, 1938. Perhaps an intentional jab at Metternich? Here's a pro-Sudetendeutsch source, too. Although correct about the atrocities on part of Czechs and Slovaks, it is bitching and apologetic about the conduct of the Germans, as tends to be the case with any advocacy of an "oppressed minority." An excellent case for legitimism, as far as I'm concerned.

The opposition to the liberal constitutionalism of the Polish-Lithuanian reformists in the late 18th century by the Old-Nobility Party was at the same time an invitation for the Second Partition of Poland by the Russian Empire. Then again, this could also simply be filed under "risk."

Carlism strongly opposed to Basque nationalism (not actually an irony at all, but to a modern reader it seems so). See, for instance, Juan Olazabal Ramery's pamphlet "Errores nacionalistas y afirmación vasca" (1918), probably one of the most simultaneously anti-racist and anti-liberal things put to print. Carlism is a subject we will be discussing in the future, but rest assured their commitment to foralismo conflicted with the principle of national self-determination as we now know it, often quite dramatically as in the aforementioned Ramery pamphlet. On the other hand, this also makes Carlism a very useful source for tracking the evolution of right-wing politics (and perhaps reviving it?)

Francoism killed Carlism, through a combination of slippery evasions on part of Franco (culminating in support for Alfonsism), and in the meantime the promotion of a Tuscan Habsburg claimant whose line of succession was highly disputed and led to a massive fracturing of an already troubled movement. The new battle cry became "Franco y Carlos VIII," and the end result was the indefinite extension of Franco's regency postponing an actual restoration, plus the introduction of national-democratic elements inimical to the Carlist vision. Carlos Hugo (the mainline Bourbon-Parma claimant) would then go on to countersignal Franco so thoroughly in the 60s and 70s that he ended up advocating Yugoslav socialism (really). Today, the legacy of carloctavismo and the enshrinement of far-left hugocarlismo into orthodoxy through the Partido Carlista have made Carlism as a movement into a bad joke.

Although Yugoslavism as a national ideology is overwhelmingly associated with Tito and communism, one of the earlier Yugoslavist popular movements was the ORJUNA (Organizacija jugoslavenskih nacionalista) from 1921 to 1929, which advocated a fascist-integralist line and a pan-Yugoslav identity obedient to the Karađorđević dynasty, while opposing nationalist/separatist movements. In some respect, it can be regarded as a sort of highly bastardized attempt at inventing a substitute for Habsburg imperial patriotism after the empire's final dissolution just three years earlier. Due to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes being governed by a Serbian king, the ORJUNA unsurprisingly spent most of their efforts fighting Croatian nationalism, which means that Croat historians generally don't like them. However, ORJUNA was also popular with Croats in Dalmatia, and the organization also attacked national movements by remaining German, Magyar and Romanian minorities.

By 1929, the official and only state party allowed to function after Alexander I Karađorđević's proclamation of the 6 January Dictatorship (coinciding with his adoption of the title "King of Yugoslavia") was originally named the "Yugoslav Radical Peasants' Democracy," (really) and moreover was co-founded by a Serbian soldier who participated in the regicide of the Obrenović king. The dictatorship only lasted formally until 1931, but the party's predominance (renamed the "Yugoslav National Movement") would remain.

King Alexander I also rejected Dimitrije Ljotić's proposal for a Charles Maurras-esque royal integralist constitution around June 1931, for being "too authoritarian." If anything, it was a little too democratic, but far less than what would end up being passed.

All in all, they were nuts.

United Serb Youth/Omladina, nationalist movement of Vojvodina Serbs (1866-72; motto: "Serbdom all and everywhere"), also an early promoter of women's emancipation. (See e.g. Jelena Batinić's Women and Yugoslav Partisans: A History of World War II Resistance) Svetozar Marković in general was one of the kookiest revolutionaries of his time right up with and possibly even exceeding Mazzini himself.

Italian nationalist origins of insurrectionary anarchism, also an influence on Mussolini.

Mussolini a biographer and admirer of Jan Hus.

Mussolini's rightward shift possibly influenced by his affair with the Jewess Margherita Sarfatti.

The most famous Jacobite thinker (Bolingbroke) was also highly influential on English and American republican thought. Benjamin Franklin Bache, who routinely bashed the Federalists in his Philadelphia Aurora throughout the 1790s, actions which are widely regarded as one of the causes for the Alien and Sedition Acts being passed, was an admirer of Bolingbroke's civic patriotism.

Chester Arthur outlawed polygamy but also advanced propositional nationalist arguments in his initial veto of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Follow Thermidor Magazine: