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(en) France, UCL AL #333 - Culture, Read: François: "A vanguard of the extreme right. Counter-culture, radical conservatism and modernist temptations» (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 21 Jan 2023 09:56:39 +0200

The work of Stéphane François, let us say it from the outset, is disconcerting, and will appear as a UFO in French-speaking literature on the subject. The author, historian of ideas, works to dissect the cultural productions of the far right. ---- His thesis, brilliantly defended elsewhere, is that there are far-right countercultures, which he prefers to call subcultures, and that these are even particularly rich. ---- Far from being limited to racism and violence, far-right ideology, or rather far-right ideologies, because they are plural, constitute fertile ideologies and are crossed by little-known debates not only of the general public, but also, for a very large part, of those who, on a daily basis, are part of the anti-fascist struggle.

The question of the attraction of the extreme right for esotericism, an area ignored if there is any work in political science, constitutes an important part of the work. Through the figures of René Guénon and Julius Evola, and their influences on many far-right "thinkers", we are given to see and understand the circulation of ideas at the international level in brown sauce. This is indeed one of the points particularly developed in the book: the transnational dissemination and circulation of ideas.

In addition to esotericism, questions of complex relationships, depending on the chapels, with religions and Freemasonry, and the fascination with idealized past times, the Middle Ages and the Viking myth are evoked.

The last two chapters are devoted to the study of an online bookstore and to attempts by the extreme right to enter certain so-called extreme musical scenes. The study of these far-right counter-cultures is essential not only to understand the people we are fighting but also, in view of the growing success of these ideas - which it would be too easy to make believe that they are only the fruit of authoritarian neoliberal policies - to better understand what constitutes these ideologies. In this, the work of Stéphane François is a precious tool.

David (UCL Chambery)

Stéphane François, A far-right avant-garde. Counter-culture, radical conservatism and modernist temptations, La Lanterne, 2022, 160 pages, 17 euros

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