Alain de Benoist
Alain de Benoist is a French academic, philosopher, a founder of the Nouvelle Droite
Nouvelle Droite
Nouvelle Droite is a school of political thought founded largely on the works of Alain de Benoist and GRECE .-Etymology and history:...

(New Right) and head of the French think tank GRECE
Groupement de recherche et d'études pour la civilisation européenne
The Groupement de recherche et d'études pour la civilisation européenne , also known by its French acronym GRECE is an ethnonationalist think-tank, founded in 1968 by the journalist and writer Alain de Benoist.GRECE distinguishes itself from other traditionalist conservative organizations in...

. Benoist is a critic of liberalism, free markets and egalitarianism.


Alain de Benoist was born in Saint-Symphorien (now part of Tours
Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

, Indre-et-Loire) and attended the Sorbonne
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

. He has studied law, philosophy, sociology, and the history of religions. He is an admirer of Europe and paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....


Benoist is the editor of two journals: Nouvelle Ecole ("New School") since 1968 and Krisis since 1988. His writings have appeared in Mankind Quarterly
Mankind Quarterly
The Mankind Quarterly is a peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to physical and cultural anthropology and is currently published by the Council for Social and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. It contains articles on human evolution, intelligence, ethnography, linguistics, mythology,...

, The Scorpion, Tyr
Tyr (journal)
Tyr: Myth—Culture—Tradition is the name of an American Radical Traditionalist journal, edited by Joshua Buckley, Michael Moynihan, and Collin Cleary....

, Chronicles
Chronicles (magazine)
Chronicles is a U.S. monthly magazine published by the Rockford Institute. Its full current name is Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. The magazine is known for promoting anti-globalism, anti-intervention and anti-immigration stances within conservative politics, and is considered one of...

, and various newspapers such as Le Figaro
Le Figaro
Le Figaro is a French daily newspaper founded in 1826 and published in Paris. It is one of three French newspapers of record, with Le Monde and Libération, and is the oldest newspaper in France. It is also the second-largest national newspaper in France after Le Parisien and before Le Monde, but...

. The New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 journal Telos
TELOS (journal)
Telos is an academic journal published in the United States. It was founded in May 1968 to provide the New Left with a coherent theoretical perspective. It sought to expand the Husserlian diagnosis of "the crisis of European sciences" to prefigure a particular program of social reconstruction...

 has also published some of Benoist's work, which led to protests from some scholars on the editorial board. In 1978, he received the Grand Prix de l’Essai from the Académie française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

 for his book Vu de droite: Anthologie critique des idées contemporaines (Copernic, 1977). He has published more than 50 books, including On Being a Pagan
On Being a Pagan
On Being a Pagan, originally published in French under the title Comment peut-on être païen? "How can one be a pagan" in 1981) is a book by the French philosopher Alain de Benoist, published in English in 2004...

Ultra was the designation adopted by British military intelligence in June 1941 for wartime signals intelligence obtained by "breaking" high-level encrypted enemy radio and teleprinter communications at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. "Ultra" eventually became the standard...

, 2005, ISBN 0-9720292-2-2).


From being close to French-Algerian movements at the beginning of his writings in 1970, he moved to attacks on globalisation, unrestricted mass immigration and liberalism as being ultimately fatal to the existence of Europe through their divisiveness and internal faults. His influences include Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer, politician, political philosopher, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime...

, Ernst Jünger
Ernst Jünger
Ernst Jünger was a German writer. In addition to his novels and diaries, he is well known for Storm of Steel, an account of his experience during World War I. Some say he was one of Germany's greatest modern writers and a hero of the conservative revolutionary movement following World War I...

, Jean Baudrillard
Jean Baudrillard
Jean Baudrillard was a French sociologist, philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer. His work is frequently associated with postmodernism and post-structuralism.-Life:...

, Helmut Schelsky
Helmut Schelsky
Helmut Schelsky, , was a German sociologist, the most influential in post-World War II Germany, well into the 1970s.-Biography:...

 and Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Zacharias Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch...


Against the liberal melting pot
Melting pot
The melting pot is a metaphor for a heterogeneous society becoming more homogeneous, the different elements "melting together" into a harmonious whole with a common culture...

 of the US, Benoist is in favour of separate civilisations and cultures. He opposed Jean-Marie Le Pen
Jean-Marie Le Pen
Jean-Marie Le Pen is a French far right-wing and nationalist politician who is founder and former president of the Front National party. Le Pen has run for the French presidency five times, most notably in 2002, when in a surprise upset he came second, polling more votes in the first round than...

 (even though many people influenced by Benoist support him), racism and antisemitism. He has opposed Arab immigration in France, while supporting ties with Islamic culture. He favors concepts of "ethnopluralism," in which organic, ethnic cultures and nations must live and develop in separation from one another.

He also opposes Christianity as inherently intolerant, theocratic and bent on persecution.

De Benoist has made pointed criticism of the United States: "Better to wear the helmet of a Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 soldier," he wrote in 1982, "than to live on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

." In 1991, he complained that European supporters of the first Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 were "collaborators of the American order."

Benoist argues that heredity is dominant in forming an intellectual elite. In addition, he argues that Europe must return to its pre-Christian roots and uses the Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 model, such as Nordic
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

, Celtic, Greek
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 and Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 civilisations, as an alternative to communism and capitalism. "We want to substitute faith for law, mythos for logos... will for pure reason, the image for the concept, and home for exile," he once wrote.

Benoist has said he opposed racism and violence, saying he is building "a school of thought, not a political movement." While he has complained that nations like the United States suffer from "homogenization," due to multiracial industrialization, he has also distanced himself from some of Jean-Marie Le-Pen's views on immigration.

Benoist considers himself, however, neither left nor right-wing, and has recently tried to appear less radical: in his preference for Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

 over his first influence, Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

; his support of multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

 rather than disappearance of immigrants' identities (though he does not support immigration itself); his interest in ecology; and a less aggressive view of Christianity. He has said that he hopes to see free-debate and greater popular participation in democracy, although he is also critical of modern democracy.

Benoist also promotes a type of federalism, in which the nation state is surpassed, giving way to regional identities and a common continental one at once. This would be distinct from what he sees as the consumerism and materialism of American society, as well as the bureaucracy and repression of the Soviet Union. This vision looks to a Europe of specific peoples, each with their own cultures and heritages.

His critics, such as Thomas Sheehan
Thomas Sheehan
Thomas Sheehan was an Australian politician. Born in Sydney, he attended Catholic schools before becoming an engine-driver and official of the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen. He was involved in local politics as a member of Newtown City Council...

, argue that Benoist has developed a novel restatement of fascism. Roger Griffin, using an ideal type
Ideal type
Ideal type , also known as pure type, is a typological term most closely associated with antipositivist sociologist Max Weber . For Weber, the conduct of social science depends upon the construction of hypothetical concepts in the abstract...

 definition of fascism which includes "populist ultra-nationalism" and "palingenesis
Palingenesis is a concept of rebirth or re-creation, used in various contexts in philosophy, theology, politics, and biology. Its meaning stems from Greek palin, meaning again, and genesis, meaning birth....

" (heroic rebirth), argues that the Nouvelle Droite
Nouvelle Droite
Nouvelle Droite is a school of political thought founded largely on the works of Alain de Benoist and GRECE .-Etymology and history:...

 draws on such "fascist" ideologues as Armin Mohler
Armin Mohler
Armin Mohler was a Swiss-born far right political writer and philosopher associated with the Neue Rechte movement.-Life:Born in Basel, Mohler studied at the University of Basel where for a time he supported communism...

 and Julius Evola
Julius Evola
Barone Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola also known as Julius Evola, was an Italian philosopher and esotericist...

 in a way that allows Nouvelle Droite ideologues such as de Benoist to claim a "metapolitical" stance, but which nonetheless has residual "fascistic" ideological elements. Benoist's critics also claim his views recall Nazi attempts to replace German Christianity with its own paganism.

Selected bibliography

- "On being a pagan" (Ultra 2004)
- "The problem of democracy" (Arktos 2011)
- "Beyond human rights" (Arktos 2011)
- Other titles in english translation forthcoming from Arktos Media

Further reading

  • Jonathan Marcus, The National Front and French Politics, New York: New York University Press, 1995, pp. 22–4, 151.
  • Michael O'Meara, New Culture, New Right Anti-liberalism In Postmodern Europe (2004). ISBN: 9781410764614
  • Tomislav Sunic, Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right (New York: Peter Lang, 1990). ISBN 0-8204-1294-5

External links

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