- Alain de Benoist
Alain de Benoist (born
11 December 1943) is a French academic, philosopher, [A big splash from France's new wave from the right The Economist July 14, 1979] a founder of the " Nouvelle Droite" ( _en. New Right) and head of the French think tank GRECE. He is little known outside his native France. Benoist bills himself as a critic of liberalism, free markets and egalitarianism. [Trouble on the right; recent gains by the extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen have left conservatives and moderates confused about whether to imitate or attack him; France The Atlantic February, 1985]
Alain de Benoist was born in
Saint-Symphorienand attended the Sorbonne. He has studied law, philosophy, sociology, and the history of religions. He is an admirer of Europe and paganism.
Benoist is the editor of two journals: "Nouvelle Ecole" ("New School") since 1968 and "Krisis" since 1988. His writings have appeared in "
Mankind Quarterly", "The Scorpion", "Tyr", "Chronicles", and various newspapers such as " Le Figaro". The New Leftjournal Telos 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’Essaifrom the Académie Françaisefor his book "Vu de droite: Anthologie critique des idées contemporaines" (Copernic, 1977). He has published more than 50 books, including " On Being a Pagan" ( Ultra, 2005, ISBN 0-9720292-2-2).
Alain de Benoist was previously associated with different right wing persons linked with the Algerian independence war. From being close to fascist French movements at the beginning of his writings in 1970, he moved to attacks on
globalisation, unrestricted mass immigrationand liberalismas being ultimately fatal to the existence of Europe through their divisiveness and internal faults. His influences include Antonio Gramsci, [The Marcuse factor, Modern Age March 22, 2005] Ernst Jünger, Jean Baudrillard, Helmut Schelsky, Konrad Lorenz, and other intellectuals. [Posthistoire: Has History Come to an End? CLIO January 1, 1994]
Against the liberal
melting-potof the U.S., Benoist is in favour of separate civilisations and cultures. He also says he opposes Jean-Marie Le Pen, racism and anti-Semitism. [Speaking Terms;Europe's Left And Right Are Too Divided To Even Talk About It Chicago Tribune December 13, 1993.] He has opposed Arab immigration in France, while supporting ties with Islamic culture. [Under cover story The Guardian (London) August 14, 1987] He has also tried to distance himself from Adolf Hitler, Vichy Franceor Aryansupremacy, in favor of concepts like "ethnopluralism," in which organic, ethnic cultures and nations must live and develop in separation from one another. [Making hate safe again in Europe: right cultural revolutionaries. The Nation September 19, 1994.] He also opposes Christianity as inherently intolerant, theocractic and bent on persecution. [Intolerance, American-Style;Given This Country's History Of Religious Animosities, Thomas Fleming Writes Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) December 21, 1997]
Benoist has made pointed criticism of the United States: "Better to wear the helmet of a Red Army soldier," he wrote in 1982, "than to live on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn." [Paris shrugs off Mickey Mouse's cultural imperialism The Independent (London) February 12, 1991] In 1991, he complained that European supporters of the first Gulf War were "collaborators of the American order." [FRENCH REVIVE A PASTIME: FRETTING ABOUT U.S. 'IMPERIALISM'; REACTION: TALK OF 'SECRET AGENDAS' SURFACES ON THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT. SOME CHAFE AT THEIR COUNTRY'S SECONDARY ROLE IN THE GULF. OTHERS WORRY ABOUT DIMINISHED EUROPEAN INFLUENCE. Los Angeles Times February 15, 1991.]
Benoist argues that heredity is dominant role in forming an intellectual elite. In addition, he says egalitarianism is destructive because it ruins the superior qualities and genetic aristocracy in the human race. [A big splash from France's new wave from the right The Economist July 14, 1979] Benoist argues that Europe must return to its pre-Christian roots and uses the Indo-European model, such as Nordic, Celtic, Greek and Roman civilisations, [France's new right in search of old European roots The Economist September 1, 1979] as an alternative to communism and capitalism. [A big splash from France's new wave from the right The Economist July 14, 1979] "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. [Russia's bad dream;Zhirinovsky's fascism is not an isolated phenomenon The Boston Globe December 19, 1993
Benoist has said he opposed racism and violence, saying he is building "a school of thought, not a political movement." [France;Ideas and bombs The Economist August 23, 1980] He also said that "an intelligent racism, which has a sense of ethnicity, is less harmful than an intemperate, leveling, assimilating anti-racism," -- and violence-prone extremists used the quote as a slogan. [Now Swastikas In French The New York Times October 7, 1980] 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. [Trouble on the right; recent gains by the extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen have left conservatives and moderates confused about whether to imitate or attack him; France The Atlantic February, 1985]
Benoist considers himself, however, neither left nor right-wing, and has recently tried to appear less radical: in his preference for
Heideggerover his first influence, Nietzsche; his support of multiculturalismrather 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,Fact|date=February 2008 although he is also critical of modern democracy. [cite journal
author = Benoist, Alan de
year = 2003
title = Democracy Revisited: The Ancients and the Moderns
volume = Vol. 3
issue = No. 2
url = http://theoccidentalquarterly.com/archives/vol3no2/adb-democracya.html
quote = ]
Benoist also promotes a type of federalism, in which the
nation stateis 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. [The disharmonic convergence: the far left and the far right as strange bedfellows,s Whole Earth Review June 22, 1988]
His critics, such as Thomas Sheehan, argue that Benoist has developed a novel restatement of fascism. Roger Griffin, using an
ideal typedefinition of fascismwhich includes "populist ultra-nationalism" and " palingenesis" (heroic rebirth), argues that the Nouvelle Droitedraws on such "fascist" ideologues as Armin Mohlerand Julius Evolain a way that allows Nouvelle Droite ideologues such as de Benoist to claim a "metapolitical" stance, but which nonetheless has residual "fascistic" ideological elements.cite journal
author = Griffin, Roger
year = 2000
title = Between metapolitics and apoliteia: the Nouvelle Droite's strategy for conserving the fascist vision in the 'interregnum'
journal = Modern & Contemporary France
volume = 8
issue = 1
pages = 35–53
doi = 10.1080/096394800113349 ] Benoist's critics also claim his views recall Nazi attempts to replace German Christianity with its own paganism. [Marx, Moses, and the pagans in the secular city. CLIO January 1, 1995 Verify source|date=February 2008citequote]
* [http://journal.telospress.com/"The Idea of Empire"] . "TELOS" 98 (Winter 1993). New York: [http://www.telospress.com Telos Press]
*"Fascism" edited by
Roger Griffin, pp. 346-348.
The Beast Reawakens" by Martin A. Lee, pp. 208-213.
Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890" edited by Philip Rees, pp. 29-30.
*Tom Sheehan, "Myth and Violence: The Fascism of Julius Evola and Alain de Benoist," in "
Social Research", issue "On Violence: Paradoxes and Antinomies", Volume 48, No. 1 (Spring 1981). Arien Mack, Editor; Franco Ferrarotti, Guest Editor.
* 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 0820412945
* [http://www.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/debenoist/ The Alain De Benoist Collection]
* [http://www.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/debenoist/alain15.html Three Interviews With Alain de Benoist]
* [http://foster.20megsfree.com/index_en.htm Archive of articles] , many by or about Benoist
* [http://www.alaindebenoist.com/index.php?lang=en Les Amis d'Alain de Benoist] , with several essays by de Benoist [http://www.alaindebenoist.com/pages/textes.php?cat=orientation&lang=en available in English] .
* [http://www.acrimed.org/article1862.html Un ancien dirigeant de l’extrême droite représente la presse française] by
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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