H/T Alternative Right
A leader in the Identitarian movement in Europe gave this speech at a conference run by Artkos Publishing.
What follows is the speech delivered on June 29th by Philippe Vardon, a leader of the Identitarian movement in France and Europe, during the fifth edition of “Identitär Idé,” a yearly conference organized by Arktos Publishing in Stockholm, Sweden. The central theme of this conference was “Identity Vs. Globalism.” This speech was translated from French into English by Roman Bernard with edits by Colin Liddell.
I am doubly happy to be with you today, and I would like to thank the organizers of this conference, chiefly Daniel Friberg of Arktos Publishing.
I’m doubly happy, firstly because I could make the trip to Stockholm. One month ago, I was invited to a similar conference in Canada. To this day, I know that country only through its policemen. The police apprehended me as soon as I got off my plane. One hour later, I was on another plane, back to France… Seven hours to go, seven hours to come back, only to see policemen who not only speak French but also are as unpleasant as ours. You’ll all admit that it was not a great experience! So, just the fact that I could make it to this conference could either be good news or bad news for you, my Swedish friends: good news if it means that your government judged I had the right to come to speak to you and that freedom of speech and of expression are respected here; bad news if they are not even aware of the presence of a “dangerous activist” here, something that does not bode well for your domestic security, given the current international threats! But enough with jokes, thanks again for this kind invitation.
I’m doubly happy also because my mother gave me Norman blood, thus Viking blood, so we are in some way cousins. But anyway, since I consider that my Fatherland is Europe, I’m at home everywhere in Europe!
Regarding the two short videos that you’ve just seen, the first showed the symbolic (for us as for the Muslims who built it!) occupation of Poitiers’ mosque and its consequences in the media. Poitiers is the city near which Charles Martel turned back the Arabo-Muslim invasion in 732. Historians in the Anglo-Saxon world often refer to it as the Battle of Tours. Anyway, Poitiers and Tours are rather close to each other. This battle was important not only for its result, but also, symbolically, because Isidore of Seville first used the term “Europeans” to refer to the united Christians.
The second video is more political, since it shows the storming of the roof of the French Socialist Party’s headquarters, from which our activists waved a wide banner urging France’s socialist president, François Hollande, to resign. This action happened the same day as the million-man demonstration against gay “marriage” and adoption in Paris. I don’t know what you heard of these events, but France has been shaken for six months now by an extraordinary mobilization against this law, mostly coming from the youth. A mobilization that gave way to a larger “French Spring” that some observers have compared to a kind of “counter-May 68,” which is true at least for the values held by the youth. Far from contenting itself with being a conservative or reactionary contest, this mobilization led to true reflections on “human ecology” and on economic liberalism, especially regarding the commercialization of women’s bodies with surrogate mothers. Quite naturally, the Identitarians I am honored to represent today on this stage took part in this struggle, mostly with the kind of actions that are, in a way, our trademark. I should mention here that in this struggle, these young people face a harsh and arbitrary repression from the socialist government. While I’m speaking, a young boy has been in a prison cell for one week among murderers and rapists just because he refused to disband in the aftermath of a demonstration!
Those two videos would have sufficed to explain who the Identitarians are. Through the organization of potent action, the use of the media, both mainstream and alternative, some of which we created and directly control, we want to spread our ideas and concepts, and awaken the consciousnesses of our fellow countrymen.
But if I stopped here, you might think that it is not such a big deal, that it’s not even really serious… and you would be right! Like Charles Maurras, the old thinker of French nationalism, said, “moving is not acting”! And an action is only worth the ideas it bears. The gesture does not suffice. Action for the sake of action and aesthetics as an end in itself have long been one of the flaws of our family of thought. More on that later.
This conference is titled “Identity vs. Globalism” and I have to say that this is the very core of our political commitment, something that could be illustrated by one of our favorite slogans: “Anti-global / Pro-local.”
What we are defending are, indeed, the deepest roots (those that never freeze, as Tolkien said): our lands, our accents, our dances, our landscapes, our way of loving and dying, OUR IDENTITY; against globalization, against the logic of the “Global Village,” which would like to erase all of that, to make everything the same. We are the defenders of diversity, of the world’s polyphony against standardization and its colorless and odorless magma. By defending the cause of our people, we’re defending the cause of all the peoples of the world!
When I reject the immigration-invasion in Nice, my homeland in South-Eastern France, I fight at the same time for the Tibetan or the Indian from the Chiapas. It is the same logic of rupture with the lands and their borders that we’re facing. And in front of those who see themselves as “citizens of the world,” we shout: “One land – One people!”
The Identatarians were born in September 2002. Today, the movement exists mainly though Bloc Identitaire, which is our adult movement, and functions as a communitarian network with a political core, and Génération Identitaire, which is a youth movement. Along with these two movements there is a web of local or thematic organizations, such as cultural organizations, sports clubs, social charities, community and identitarian houses, music bands, publishing groups, alternative news agencies, and local electoral campaigns, including the movement I run in Nice.
In September 2002, with our past experiences on the radical Right or in parties of the national Right, as well as some experiences on the Far-Left or in environmentalist movements, we created a new political strain, based on our will to renovate or even break with the methods and ideas of the French radical Right, which has too often, in our minds, indulged in purely folkloric and caricatured methods. We then employed the term “Cultural Revolution” because we wanted to wage a struggle in the field of ideas, and also — and maybe above all else — in the field of aesthetics.
It’s around these two elements — ideas and aesthetics — that I will develop my speech so as to make you discover who we are. In the field of ideas, I will try to explain some concepts and important ideas.
The right for peoples to remain who they are
The 20th century was typified by the idea of the right of peoples to rule themselves. It is in the name of this right that decolonization took place. We think that the central question of the 21st century is the right for peoples to remain who they are, against all imperialisms, against mass population transfers, against global acculturation; this is the fundamental question.
Thus, we expect — as any people has the right to expect — the right to live in peace, on our land, according to our identity, with those who look like us. (Maybe you have noticed that it seems incredibly odd when a European people expect this right that everyone grants without question to any tribe in the Congo,)
Something like this seems like mere common sense, does it not? But in today’s world it is nevertheless a deeply revolutionary stand.
Reality against ideology
The 20th century was a century of ideologies. The 21st will be one of identities and a drastic return to reality. In the name of abstract ideas, Man wanted to remake the world, with all the tragedies we now know.
Today, it is reality that is making a comeback: the question of energy, or rather energies, water supply, religions, ethnicities, nations. That is what determines and will, more and more, determine international relations in the decades to come, as well as the domestic policies of the States.
It is not in the name of an “identitarianism” that would create a new absolute, leading to a new totalitarianism, that we are standing today. On the contrary, it is in the name of our tangible reality, our flesh-and-blood, concrete reality, in the name of those who are our ancestors, of those who we are, and of those whom we want our children to be. In the name, as the sadly-missed Dominique Venner put it, of what is not past, but of what does not pass away.
Democracy against oligarchies
Democracy: that’s a word in whose name many crimes are being carried out. This term has become a pretext to invade sovereign countries. In the name of democracy, in our European nations, it is even possible to ban political parties or even to forbid people from speaking or gathering. To preserve democracy!
We say we are the real defenders of democracy, in the pure European tradition. We even say with pride that we Europeans have invented democracy and are no doubt the only ones to be able to use it properly. Not only does that please us, but it also protects us from any imperialistic temptations, from the pretense of going into other peoples’ lands to lecture them on how they should manage their domestic affairs!
We want to give a voice back to the people, a voice that has been denied to the people by all the oligarchies: the media, political parties, trade unions, and financial powers. The ties between these various oligarchies are so blatant that they almost look incestuous.
We advocate a local, participative, direct democracy. When the people are consulted, it leads to the rejection of minarets, as in Switzerland! It is admittedly a symbolic victory, but it clearly means to Muslims that Switzerland is not a Muslim land, that in this country, they are not at home. Now, are the Swiss an “Islamophobic” people, a different people? Well, if the same question were asked of the French tomorrow, the rejection of the minarets would be even stronger!
In France, seventy-four per cent of the people in a recent survey considered Islam to be incompatible with their values. That’s precisely the reason that our rulers refrain from asking them this question…
In France, Jacobinism, which stems from the French Revolution of 1789, has totally broken the link between the roots of the nation and the nation. Since 1789 the nation has been built as an abstraction; France being no longer “the land and the dead,” to quote the words of Maurice Barrès, but only an idea. The French are no longer rooted in a soil, a religion, a lineage, a craft, but are only the undifferentiated.
This logic is the very matrix of globalism: there’s only one step from the boundless French citizen to the rootless “citizen of the world.”
We are in a total rupture with this logic, asserting the precedence of identity and the personal and collective fulfillment of Man, and the logic of complementary identities: family, neighborhood, city, region, nation, civilization, craft, and, also, in a transversal manner, sex (which is less and less obvious today, now that sick ideologues try to impose the gender theory and its absurd undifferentiation in school programs). All these identities define us, mold us, commit us, and place us in a series of circles, habits, traditions, and codes. But that’s what Jacobinism rejects, only wishing for citizens whose only ties are with the State. In addition to the Matrix of globalism, Jacobinism has also been at the root of all the 20th century’s other totalitarian systems.
On the political level, I can affirm my kinship to my little fatherland (my city and region of Nice), my historic nation (France) and my civilization (Europe!). Affirming that, in France and especially on the national Right, is quite revolutionary! Even our family of thought, it seems, was contaminated by the Jacobin spirit, and thus, for many — particularly in the Front National — saying that we came from a little local fatherland and that we were attached to our identity, and especially that we were proud of being Europeans, was mistaken as hatred of France! For us, we are French because we come from one of the French provinces, and because we are Europeans!
Rootedness is crucial. It is both our standpoint and our balance. In France, petty nationalists — from which we have wanted to distance ourselves by defining ourselves differently — are now more attached to the State than to the nation. As a consequence, some nationalists go as far as surrendering to multiculturalism and becoming the fiercest defenders of assimilation, which, even if it were possible with ten thousand or maybe even one hundred thousand non-Europeans in sixty million French people, is an entirely different matter with ten or fifteen million non-Europeans! (But even with small numbers, is it actually desirable? We think otherwise.) It’s not enough to sing the national anthem and dress up with the tricolor to be French… For us, the content is more important than the container, for us the people is more important than the State construction!
It is in the name of rootedness, in the name of identity, that we deeply resent the mass population transfers as tragedies. For the immigrants as well as for the indigenous populations. It is because of crime and the social and economic unrest they bring with them that we strongly want to reverse the immigration flows and start a process of “re-migration,” that is, a “back home” process.
I said that we consider ourselves to be Europeans. It’s obvious. But the rejection of Europe by many stems from a confusion between the European Union and Europe as a civilization.
We think that in our times of great geopolitical blocs, it is important that Europe has, at last, a strong and united voice to maintain it existence. But unification and standardization are not the same thing. That’s the reason why, although we call for a political construction on a continental scale, we can’t, as Europeans of flesh and heart, recognize ourselves in this Brussels aberration!
We therefore define ourselves as Alter-Europeans, proponents of the construction of an alternative political Europe.
Neither the USA, nor Allah
Convinced Europeans, defenders of our identities and liberties, we can only be hostile to any imperialism trying to seize our lands.
I’m talking here both about American imperialism and Islamic imperialism. While these two imperialisms are very different, we saw that one felt no compunction in using the other against Europe, which was clear in former Yugoslavia, when the USA favored the creation of Muslim enclaves in Bosnia and Kosovo to weaken Europe.
Localism and protectionism
Lastly, we call for economic protectionism against global free trade, as well as its indispensable and logical complement, localism. Localism is an approach combining ecology and economics and aims at relocating economic activities, and thus people. Protectionism and localism can allow Europe, with a vast, self-centered market, to find a way out of the dual domination established by the USA and China.
I will soon talk about the aesthetic dimension of our commitment, but before that I will speak on the link between ideas and aesthetics, a certain philosophy, if not a mystical belief, that must lead us. This philosophy has three principles: the Inner Reconquista, the Polar Star and the First Line.
The Inner Reconquista
We talk a great deal about Reconquista (Reconquest), a term derived from the great Spanish Reconquista, to refer to the day when we recover absolute control of all our lands… But before considering that Great Reconquista, the first Reconquista to fight for is our Inner Reconquest, the one that leads us from atomized and uprooted individuals to persons who have recovered the path of their ancestors, in one word, people who are again able to become who they are. “Know thyself,” as Socrates taught us. That must be one of our primary concerns, we can’t remain in a pure posture of reaction. This confrontation to the Other with a capital “O” must lead us to rediscover our “Me” and therefore our “Us.”
The Polar Star
Our political mission is to stimulate our people and to be their compass, like the Polar Star that shows the way.
The First Line
We must be in total rupture with the loser mentality, the cult of defeats and dark romanticism, you know, the idea that the cause is all the more beautiful because it is a lost one. It’s very appealing, aesthetically speaking, and ideal for a depressed novelist or a dark-folk band, but in the realm of political action, it leads to disastrous behavior. Rather than the last square, bravely and heroically fighting a losing battle, we should be the first line. The line that gets the most kicks, that’s right, but, first and foremost, the one that will open the way, that will prepare the intellectual ground and impose itself by advancing across the battlefield. It is the first line that often determines the outcome of the battle. It is the one that charges and carries the other lines behind it.
Let’s talk now about aesthetics, maybe more quickly since there’s no need to get into complications over simple concepts. Aesthetics, that is to say, our way of acting on the tactical and strategic levels.
Scaring our enemies, not our grandmothers
For decades, we’ve seen activists indulge in the idea of being hated, of scaring everyone, of being seen as bad guys, and welcoming it! Under these conditions, every provocation was worthwhile, every excess was legitimate. This mindset is close to the philosophy of the last square that I mentioned before. It’s a “one against all” mentality, which leads the activist to think that the more he is detested, the more he is right! It’s stupid, and tragic when one wants to be involved in politics.
We consider that since we fight for a strong ideal, we have no right to be weak. However, even if our enemies must know that we will never let them trample us — here I’m thinking in particular of leftists and gangs of immigrants who would like to assault us — our people have to see that this force is at their service, for their defense. Frightening those we pretend to represent, those we pretend to defend, is the worst politics one can imagine…
Walking on our two legs
There’s a tendency, in patriotic movements, to separate activists and speakers, intellectuals and grassroots volunteers. Instead we do our utmost to be as complete as possible and to combine both sides. We follow this logic as far as we can in the way we see the struggle: walking on our two legs means that the political struggle and the intellectual (and cultural, or “metapolitical”) struggle must not be dissociated, let alone be seen as antagonistic.
Though it is logical to have specialized branches to be more efficient, and I’ll get back to this point in a few minutes, interactions must be constant. A think-tank completely disconnected from concrete political action would have no interest. It would be simple autism. Conversely, political action, if there is no concern for constantly renewing one’s intellectual corpus, to look for new paths, will soon fade into irrelevance. Either way, infertility is to be expected.
The youth rules the youth
I mentioned the need for complete activists before. To get that, training is necessary. We think that the best training is action itself. This is why we have always defined our youth movement, Génération Identitaire, as a school of training through action. We train generations of young activists, who give us every year new young leaders, who then become new adult leaders. I, for one, underwent the same process, belonging to the first generation of activists. The training is done through daily action in the local sections of Génération Identitaire, but also through the training session we organize during one week every Summer, which is an essential moment of the movement’s life, for training as well as for inside cohesion.
Beyond this aspect, what allows us to make young generations of leaders emerge is our constant concern for the autonomy of the youth, summed up in our motto: “The youth rules the youth.” We really don’t want to become like those political parties which use their young militants only for menial work. That’s the reason why our youth movement is totally autonomous from Bloc Identitaire, with its own leaders, its own finances, its own agenda, etc. There’s of course a strong collaboration between the two structures, but this principle of autonomy seems crucial to us. That’s why you’ll never hear us say that Génération Identitaire is the youth movement OF Bloc Identitaire, which would imply a kind of hierarchy or domination. Rather, Génération Identitaire is a youth movement, which works WITH Bloc Identitaire.
Polymorphous resistance and the network logic
This will to autonomy of the structures which still work in close relation together is a constant in our movement. We do think that we have to work in all fields, and that we need specialized structures for that.
Thus, as I mentioned earlier, the Identitarian movement is composed of Génération Identitaire and Bloc Identitaire but also dozens of other structures, like sports clubs and cultural organizations, social charities, community and identitarian houses, music bands, publishing groups, and local electoral campaigns.
In our opinion, no field should be neglected and every person should be able to find a way to get involved. A person who would organize school support in a neighborhood identitarian house is an activist in the same way as one putting posters on walls or another organizing a local concert!
We lead actions that can be compared to lobbying, mostly with our network of alternative media and our specialized organizations. We apply these actions in the field, so as to influence public opinion but also the media and the politicians.
We were the first to bring the issues of Islamization and anti-white racism to the public debate with spectacular actions, but also with more classical grassroots and political action.
Our logic is not sectarian nor even partisan, and we consider that if our mottoes or our fights end up being parroted by others, all the better! What matters is to move forward.
We prefer to see ourselves as complementary to other organizations rather than as competitors. It strongly differentiates us from most other political parties, including the smallest splinter groups, which often confuse revolutionary struggle with fighting for their market shares.
The streets are our headquarters
Even if we conduct lobbying, for which the Internet is an important medium, we don’t neglect the streets, as our two videos showed. We consider that we have to be present on the streets, that we have to be close to our people, that our people has to know us. There would be nothing worse than being known only for posters left on walls at night and anonymous websites.
The Internet must serve as a tool to enhance our real action, but it mustn’t replace it.
We think that in our situation, as an alternative and minority movement, we need to have visible, identified, and known storefronts to make ourselves known to the public. We aim at establishing identitarian strongholds. It can be a city, a neighborhood, or even a school.
My city of Nice is widely seen as the stronghold of the Identitarians because we have a stable and long-lasting presence there, and we have participated in local elections. Moreover, in this city we have a territorial strategy, choosing a sector where many of us reside and where we started shops and are also present in small, local institutions, like the guilds of shopkeepers, the parents association in the local school, and the neighborhood committee. This represents the concrete application of several principles I have mentioned earlier. This shows you how concrete our commitment is, in addition to the more spectacular actions of Poitiers and the Socialist Party’s roof.
Counter-culture / Counter-society / Counter-power
By creating an appealing counter-culture according to our codes and even our fashions, we work towards establishing a counter-society, with our houses, our organizations, our neighborhoods and maybe in the future our own networks of food delivery and our own schools! This counter-society has to become a real counter-power on the national scale, which would be able to weigh on decisions, or at least to protect ourselves against the worst ones!
We are today assessing the results of our first ten years of struggle. I have tried to draw a large portrait of who we are, and I will now answer with pleasure all your questions about what I have mentioned or about the Identitarian movement as a whole or about France or whatever you want.
Thank you for listening, and for your warm welcome in Stockholm.