One of the things I liked about this weeks readings was the shifting of focus to France, and how France and specifically French thinkers, interacted with and inspired the far right both within Europe, and internationally.
Of particular interest was this belief in needing to bring in and create a set of academic writings for the right, as the left had a tremendous head start on the right in this regard. Despite the search for the rational, there is a lot of esoteric and conspiracy thought that found its way into a lot of these writings, especially in the case of Julius Evola’s works.
To me, Bar-On’s article was the most interesting article this week, very much highlighting the development of French “New Right” thinking and the give and take it had with other countries, as well as the emphasis on a culture hegemony (and unspoken a “culture war” that needed to be won, a concept still in use today). The irony of drawing on a lot of ideas from Gramsci is not lost on me.
On the flip side however, an emphasis on academic superiority undermined a lot of the 68s movement in Germany. Over and over again, Biess discusses how leadership in the student movement often isolated other members of the movement. While certainly not the sole reason for failure, the almost bourgeois condescension of much of the leadership isolated them from possibly forming stronger bonds with labour, who may have entertained some of the New Left’s belief system.