Monday, March 27, 2017

Five Questions for a Southern Nationalist on Little Vladimir Putin

I. The Five Questions

Five to seven hundred Russian protestors in the Putin Khanate have been arrested, including anti-corruption activist and immigration restrictionist Alexei Navalny - and the 'conservative', 'Southern nationalist' site Occidental Dissent applauds it! Shame!

Here are a number of questions I'd like to ask Hunter Wallace and any other Southern nationalist who supports Putin:

1) How do you reconcile Russian imperialism with a principled support of the Wilsonian right to secession? If you read Ukrainian nationalist and libertarian Roman Skaskiw's blog, you'll understand that Russia - or rather, Muscovy - has always sought to annex smaller nations and incorporate non-Russian ethnicities in an amorphous, all-embracing Russian 'identity'. Muscovy conquers, and then declares to the conquered, 'You hence are Russian'. And woe betide any country, such as Chechnya, which attempts to leave; Russia waged a terrible war in the nineties to keep the Muslim state of Chechnya  within the Russian orbit. Putin is Russia's Abraham Lincoln. Now, like the South in 1861, Ukraine wants to leave the Union - the Soviet Union, that is; it wants to flee Russia, which has dominated it for hundreds of years. Shouldn't Southern nationalists support the Ukrainians, the Chechens and the various nationalities and ethnic groups which want to leave Russia? Or does Southern nationalism only endorse secession and independence for me and not for thee...

2) Putin supports immigration and the Islamification and Asianisation of the white parts of Russia (Muscovy, really); like the former Australian prime minister John Howard, he has enabled unlimited non-white immigration while keeping up a pose, successfully, as a 'conservative' and even a 'nationalist'. How can you favour Putin above Alexei Navalny, who wants to keep Russia white? Does Southern nationalism endorse a civic and multi-culti form of nationalism which ends up in white demographic replacement? (Navalny wants visas, i.e., restrictions, for Central Asian immigrants to Muscovy, but the know-nothings at 4Chan take that to mean that he wants free immigration of Central Asians. See here. The idea of visas, i.e., restrictions on illegals, was floated back in 2013, but guess which 'conservative' and 'nationalist' politician quashed it?).

3) Occidental Dissent writer 'Marcus Cicero' sneers at the protestors and believes that they are the work of conspiratorial outside forces; he blames Soros the Jew and supposes that Putin is anti-Semitic and a great enemy of the Jews. But let's look at what at what the protests were about:

Most of the marches were organised without official permission.
TV pictures showed demonstrators chanting "Down with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin!", "Russia without Putin!" and "Putin is a thief!".
Alexei Navalny called for the nationwide protests after he published reports claiming that Mr Medvedev controlled mansions, yachts and vineyards - a fortune that far outstripped his official salary.
Mr Medvedev's spokeswoman called the allegations "propagandistic attacks", but the prime minister himself has not commented on the claims.
The reports included the accusation that Mr Medvedev had a special house for a duck on one of his properties - and on Sunday, some demonstrators held up images of yellow rubber ducks.
Others showed up with their faces painted green, a reference to a recent attack in which Mr Navalny was hit with green liquid.
In Moscow, protesters filled Pushkin square and some climbed the monument to poet Alexander Pushkin shouting "impeachment". Turnout was estimated to be between 7,000 and 8,000, according to police.
The police said 500 protesters had been arrested in the capital alone, but a rights group, OVD Info, put that number at more than 800.

Putin, Medvedev and the rest of the gang have stolen literally billions from the Russian people, have overseen Russian decline - economic, demographic, cultural, you name it - and have done their best to prevent the 'free and fair' elections of the sort that led to the Trump presidency and the leave vote in the Brexit referendum. The question I have is: does Southern nationalism accord the people the right to rebel against politicians whose rule does not accord with standards of justice? Do the people possess the right to rebel, or what German jurists call the right of resistance? Or do they have to lump it...

The Syrians have been living under Ba'athism since 1963, under the rule of the Assad family since 1970, and under Bashar Al-Assad since 2000. That's a long time - longer than Hitler or Mussolini - to be in power, and in the course of the long, long Ba'athist / Assadist reign, one would think it natural that the Assadists and Ba'athists would acquire enemies and earn grievances. But according to the Assadists here in the West (and these are prominent within the Western nationalist and racialist movement), the Syrians at the time of the Arab Spring in 2011 had no right to revolt against Assad, and in fact were the pawns of Zionists, Soros, the CIA and the rest. They lacked, in the terminology of the Right Stuff, 'agency'. Likewise, in the Putinista script, the Russians who are against Putin lack agency; they can't possibly have a genuine grievance against the Putin regime, so therefore they are mind-controlled zombies. But the question is: could Russians have a genuine grievance against Putin, now in his eighteenth year of rule, and do they have the right to revolt?

The ironic thing is that, unlike Navalny and the Arab Springists, I don't consider myself a liberal or a democrat; but I am capable of seeing the other fellow's point of view. Eighteen years under Putin would be like eighteen years under Hilary Clinton - another corrupt, fabulous wealthy, multi-culti and anti-racist elite politician. Just imagine...

4) I see the sneering comments regarding the Ukraine. I want to ask the Putinistas this: the Maidan Square revolt and the ouster of Yanukovych - was that the work of 'Jews' or 'Neo-Nazis'? According to the Putinista Right, the former; according to the Putinista Left, the latter.

But Putin and his regime see themselves as crusaders against all forms of 'Nazi' resurgence. In, fact, the annexation of Crimea was portrayed in Russian and Putinista propaganda as the liberation of Russian land from 'Nazi' occupation, as we see from the Russian propaganda poster below:

5) Russia invaded Crimea, held a phoney referendum in which a 100% of voters supported Russian rule, and then annexed it - in an eerie repeat of what the Soviet Union (well, Russia) did to the Baltic states in 1940. The Balts had a grievance against the Russians for doing that, and for the murdering, torturing and deporting goodness knows how many of them. As part of a reaction to Russian aggression - and Russian communism -  Latvians formed a Waffen-SS brigade with a splendid combat record which ought to be celebrated. The question is, what do the Southern nationalists think of the Latvian nationalists' lauding and honouring of this brigade - and of Putin's disdain for it.

Here is an example of the Kremlin's 'antifascist' work and its fight against all forms of 'aggressive nationalism':

VIENNA, March 16. /TASS/. Russia calls on the Latvian authorities to stop supporting Neo-Nazi movements and comply with the country’s OSCE obligations to fight aggressive nationalism, Russia’s OSCE envoy said commenting on the recent march of the Waffen SS veterans in Riga.
"We call on ODIHR (OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) to pay close attention to the situation in Latvia and call on the country’s authorities to stop supporting or ignoring neo-Nazis and to comply with its OSCE obligations to fight racism, aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism," Alexander Lukashevich said.
"It’s time for Riga to finally admit evident facts - gatherings of SS veterans and their supporters are an affront to the memory of millions of the World War II victims," he said. "It is inadmissible to connive at ultra-radical movements that praise the Nazis and their abettors under the guise of the freedom of speech and assembly."
The diplomat added that ignoring or encouraging neo-Nazi movements "will inevitably lead to a tragedy."
"The examples are around us - for several years, nationalists wearing Nazi symbols have been torturing and killing people for their beliefs in one of our neighbor states," Lukashevich said.
Public events to mark the day of commemoration of the Waffen SS Latvian legion took place in Riga on Thursday. Police officials said about 2,000 people had taken part, including lawmakers and officials.
"Anyway, no statements on the issue were made by Washington, London or Paris. Besides, there has been no reaction from the European Union leadership, which is quick to make harsh statements concerning others," the Russian diplomat said.
"In fact, we are witnessing a de-facto rehabilitation and glorification of those who, as members of the volunteer Waffen SS Latvian legion, committed numerous crimes in Russia, Belarus and Poland and were involved in large-scale punitive actions against hundreds of thousands of civilians, the mass killings of Jews," he went on.
March 16 is an unofficial day of commemoration of the Waffen SS Latvian legion, two divisions of which were set up on the Latvian territory in 1943. The date remained an official commemorative date in Latvia over a period of several years after its breakaway from the USSR, but later the authorities decided to drop it off the official calendar of public commemorative events amid harsh criticism from Russia and in the West.
The Waffen SS Latvian legion had about 150,000 members, Lukashevich said.
"Meanwhile, Latvian authorities have been persistently trying to portray those military criminals as freedom fighters. On the eve of the centenary of the declaration of the Latvian statehood, such neo-Nazi events raise a question of what type of historic achievements are viewed as an example by contemporary Latvia," he said.

II. In Conclusion

I don't expect any answers to these questions, of course. Nationalists have for years been asking them of the Putinistas in the movement and have never, ever received a response; they've been presenting, too, evidence of Putin's pro-immigration policies, etc., and rebutting the propaganda myth that Putin is a 'nationalist' and even a 'conservative' point by point - to no avail. Putinism, like all true religions, has shown itself to be immune to either proof or disproof. Putin bans Holocaust denial? Doesn't matter: he's an opponent of the Jews, and all of his opponents (including myself, including Navalny) must be working on behalf of the Jews. Homosexuality - and homosexual rape and prostitution - rife in the Russian army and navy, and in Russian prisons? Doesn't matter: Putin supports conservative morals and the Russian Orthodox Church, and Putin's Russia is blessedly free of the homosexual plague which afflicts the decadent and liberal West.

My advice to those who oppose Putin is: go your own way and don't expect any assistance from the West. Nationalists who are anti-Putin should not expect support in their cause from the Daily Stormer, VDare, Occident Dissent and the rest of the Putinista outlets; nor should they support, in turn, the 'nationalist' parties which have been corrupted by Putin - Golden Dawn, UKIP, Front National, the NPD and others. If a Putinista 'nationalist' party asks you for assistance in leafleting or some other of activism or electoral campaigning, politely decline their request - turn them away and tell them that you're too busy.

The Ukrainians have learned to rely on themselves, and meet force with force. They've become a militarised nation now, with little to no assistance from Germany and the US, and field a large army of 60,000 battle-hardened soldiers who hold the line against Putin's army of Ingushetis, Dagestanis, Chechens and Central Asian Mongols which has invaded the east of Ukraine and seeks to annex it to Holy Mother Russia. The Ukrainians don't argue, they don't remonstrate, they don't plead for mercy; they fight. Just like the Finns in 1939, they know that the only way to answer Russian aggression is with a bullet.

Putin offends the 'fascist', the 'Nazi' in me, and he also offends the liberal in me - a liberal I didn't even know existed. But perhaps this shouldn't be regarded as liberalism but as a Western love of freedom - one that I hope I share with the Southern nationalist, who I don't think would actually like living in Putin's Russia.

I will conclude with these remarks on Russia from the 19th century French travel writer (and conservative anti-democrat) the Marquis de Custine. His description of the Russia of Tsar Nicholas I sounds a lot like the Russia of Putin, which makes me wonder if Russia can ever be saved.

“Custine eventually discovered that his knack was for travel writing. He wrote a decently received account of a trip to Spain and was encouraged by Honoré de Balzac to write accounts of other “half-European” parts of Europe, like southern Italy and Russia. . . .
He went to Russia looking for arguments against representative government, but he was appalled by autocracy as practiced in Russia, and equally by the Russian people’s apparent collaboration in their own oppression. . . .
He mocked contemporary Russia for its veneer of European civilization hiding an Asiatic soul. . . .
Most of Custine’s mocking was reserved for the Russian nobility and Nicholas I. Custine said Russia’s aristocracy had “just enough of the gloss of European civilization to be ‘spoiled as savages’ but not enough to become cultivated men. They were like ‘trained bears who made you long for the wild ones.’
Custine criticizes Nicholas for the constant spying he ordered and for repressing Poland. Custine had more than one conversation with the Tsar and concluded it was possible that the Tsar only behaved as he did because he felt he had to. “If the Emperor has no more of mercy in his heart than he reveals in his policies, then I pity Russia; if, on the other hand, his true sentiments are really superior to his acts, then I pity the Emperor.” . . .
describes Russia as a horrible domain of obsequious flattery of the Tsar and spying. Custine said the air felt freer the moment one crossed into Prussia. In the middle 20th century, many saw predictions of Joseph Stalin in Custine’s description of Nicholas I. . . .”
“In Russia, everything you notice, and everything that happens around you, has a terrifying uniformity; and the first thought that comes into the traveler’s mind, as he contemplates this symmetry, is that such entire consistency and regularity, so contrary to the natural inclination of mankind, cannot have been achieved and could not survive without violence. . . . Officially, such brutal tyranny is called respect for unity and love of order; and this bitter fruit of despotism appears so precious to the methodical mind that you are told it cannot be purchased at too high a price.”

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The American Nations and Trump's victory

Colin Woodard, author of American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (2011), has written an analysis of the presidential election of 2016.

I find Woodard compelling because he provides a better explanation of what America is than any other commentator. Woodard's America consists of ten or eleven different 'nations', all of them founded at different times and by different ethnic and religious European groups. The nations each possess a different set of political values, and the rationale for American's peculiar political institutions - its binary-party system and its electoral college, to take two examples - can be located in this particular fact.

By way of illustration, suppose that America were to follow the same multi-party system of Europe (and Australia), chaos would result: each of the ten 'nations' would vote for its own political party and America would see a procession of unstable, shifting multi-party coalitions (just as in Italy). Instead, the binary system forces the 'nations' to get behind one of two parties, and the winner-take-all electoral college system ensures one candidate in a presidential election a decisive majority. The unique design of the American political structure attests to the genius of the Founding Fathers, who understood, like Woodard, that America was not a politically, ethnically and religiously homogeneous entity.

Early on in American Nations-, Woodard - who lives and works in Maine, and belongs spiritually (and probably racially) to the 'nation' of 'Yankeedom' - reveals himself to be a screaming liberal, what the Right Stuff would term a 'sh*tlib'. Despite that, one can enjoy American Nations- from a racialist and nationalist - American nationalist - perspective. He writes the book as a paean to the old America, the real America, which is beloved by foreigners such as myself; Woodard's book evokes - for me - the America of the Karl May novels, of Fennimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, of the rustbelt states romanticised in Bruce Springsteen songs, of the movies and novels of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight franchise, of Manhattan in the Marvel comics books of the sixties, seventies and eighties... (As a point of interest, the setting of each of these uniquely American cultural productions can be found in one or more of Woodard's 'nations': Mohicans takes place in Yankeedom and New France, Twilight on the Left Coast, Marvel in New Amsterdam, Springsteen in the Midlands). Woodard, unwittingly or not, rejects the thesis of America as proposition-nation; the 'nations' making up his America find their roots in blood and soil.

For his account of the 2016 election, Woodard has put together a remarkable Excel spreadsheet containing the results in each county in each of the 'nations'. This tells the story as to why Trump won. The below map shows the margin of victory in each of the 'nations'; the darker the shade, the greater the margin:

As we can see, Clinton won the vote in two of the most important (for the purposes of the electoral college) nations, Yankeedom and the Midlands:

But, as the below table and map shows, Clinton experienced a blow-out in Yankeedom and the Midlands and fell far short of Obama's performance in 2008 and 2012 - a shortfall which proved to be fatal:

The Midlands tends to go with the winner in every presidential elections. Woodard characterises it as middle America, or average America: a nation founded by easygoing, apolitical Quakers, Amish, Mennonites, Scandinavian Lutherans and other religious denominations, people tend to think of it when they think of America. Ohio and Pennsylvania, two of the most Midlander-ish of the states, went to Trump.

The surprising thing is that two of the Yankee-est states - Michigan and Wisconsin - defected to Trump, and Minnesota and New Hampshire came close as well, and all the while, the remaining Yankee states - New York state and the New England states - remained solidly in the Democrat camp as usual. Trump has fractured the traditional Democratic Party coalition of Yankeedom, New Amsterdam, the Left Coast and El Norte; enough of the Yankee states left the coalition to swing 2016 to Trump. In Woodard's article, we find the declaration that Trump enjoyed his success amongst the Yankees because of his communitarian and authoritarian instincts:

If there’s a lesson from the “American Nations,” it’s that Trump’s election cannot be seen as an endorsement of the laissez faire policies Congressional Republicans appear eager to enact. Trump’s victory is primarily due to his ability to make large gains in the Midlands and rural Yankeedom, and this appears to be precisely because he promised government intervention on behalf of his supporters. If he betrays these promises – and his cabinet appointments suggest he might – he could quickly lose these “Trump Democrats” upon which his minority coalition is sustained.

What’s is less clear is to what degree his supporters in these communitarian regions actively endorse his illiberal and authoritarian means. The dangerous side of community-minded politics has always been that it might lead to a trampling of the liberties of individuals, especially those holding minority opinions or identities, something Yankeedom’s Puritan founders were particularly guilty of. The future of the Republic may lie in the balance.

Ironically, the Yankees - who waged a war of annihilation against the Deep South - may out of all the nations prove to be the most amenable to 'racism' and 'fascism'.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Operation Rex: Can the Anti-Islamics Be Saved?

I mentioned in my last post the subject of the 'chav' and 'bogan' nationalist who tends to gravitate towards the anti-Islamic 'patriot' movements. In Britain, these 'patriot' gangs comprise the EDL, the Pie and Mash Squad, the North-West Infidels, the South East Alliance, Pegida UK... The gangs serve as a street force, perhaps the equivalent of the mobs of Clodious and Milo in ancient Roman times, for the anti-Islamic populists, of whom Wilders is the most famous example. We can find a few chapters of the Wilders Anti-Islamic International: in Britain, the two most prominent of these are Paul Weston's Liberty GB and Paul Golding's Britain First (a thuggish organisation which itself veers towards being a street gang).

Many from the nationalist scene have looked at these groups - which are comparatively new - and asked if the members can be steered towards a more 'hard', traditional nationalism; the old-time nationalists don't regard the doctrine of the anti-Islamics, who subscribe to multi-culti, gay rights, civic nationalism, Zionism, as satisfactory. You could describe this distaste of the traditional nationalists for the anti-Islamics as an ecumenical rivalry: the patriot gangs are recruiting many working class men (who often have shaven heads) who would, if not for the 'patriots', be joining skinhead gangs and other neo-Nazi outfits. The problem then becomes one of how to rescue these wayward souls from the clutches of the Zionist civic-nationalists. They need to be (in Alt-Right parlance) 'red-pilled'.

To the Far Left and the political establishment, the 'patriot' gangs appear to be 'hard' nationalist enough as it is - fascist (or neofascist) in fact. The more raffish of these outfits - the EDL, for example - meet what liberal academics call the fascist minimum, a checklist of characteristic traits of a typical fascist movement. The EDL 'vilifies' ethnic and religious 'minorities'; it makes a practice of street confrontations with the Left; it uses flags, banners, pennants, symbols; it makes 'hate' propaganda, often apocalyptic in tone and evocative of strong, negative emotional reactions, against the liberal democratic establishment, the politicians, the internationalists, the liberals, the pacifists, the bankers... The members of the 'patriot' gangs don't wear uniforms and don't organise themselves along paramilitary lines, but they verge upon both. The 'patriots' in Britain owe a great deal to their antecedents the BUF, and the National Front and British National Party in their street-fighting days. Long time British nationalists look at the 'patriots' with suspicion, then: they see the 'patriots' as johnny-come-latelies who have appropriated much of the style and rhetoric of British nationalism but have watered it down to make it more 'acceptable'. Some even believe that the British 'Deep State', working in conjunction with the 'anti-fascists' of the Far Left, were responsible for setting up the EDL as a front group with the intention of stealing away the limelight from the BNP (which, at the time of the EDL's founding, was electorally successful and did pose a real threat to the British establishment).

I think that this allegation - that certain of these 'patriot' and anti-Islamic groups have been contrived by the 'Deep State' - possesses merit, and I myself have met at least two individuals (both of whom are members of the Australian 'patriot' movement) who I believe are informants who work for what Joe Owens calls the 'Secret State'. The British nationalist scene seems to be riddled with informants, spies, agents provocateurs, and one can't blame Joe Owens for being paranoid; at the same time, I see his line of attack as being counter-productive. You can't win over nationalists and 'patriots' over to your cause by denouncing the groups they belong to as contrivances of the 'Secret State' and the leaders of those groups as 'spies' and 'snitches'. It doesn't work that way. For one thing, you need to take pride and vanity into account: no-one likes to admit that they've been led by the nose by a con-man. Besides which, any debate becomes one of the virtues (or vices) of one's opponent - whether or not he is of low enough moral character to be a 'snitch' and a 'traitor' - and not his ideas. If enough people believe in the efficacy of an organisation's ideas, then that organisation - suspicious as it is in its provenance - will continue to survive and attract followers. Combat 18, which was most definitely a front group set up by the 'Secret State', continues to flourish, and its members don't seem to care that it was founded by agents provocateurs.

The ideal outcome would be to persuade the 'patriots' and anti-Islamics to join your side. The question then becomes: what's your side? How does your 'racial nationalism' or 'white nationalism' or 'National Socialism' or whatever you want to call it differ from the civic nationalism of the 'patriots' and 'anti-Islamics'? That question has become especially pertinent for the Americans in the movement, who daily fill up message boards and comments sections with musings on how to 'red pill' Trump supporters, Republicans and 'Alt-Lite-ists', Trump being the closest America has come - and ever will come - to a European-style civic nationalist and populist.

Once one undertakes this task, one is confronted with an intellectual puzzle. How do you distinguish your ideas from those of the anti-Islamics? How does your product differ from theirs?

I would argue that Wilders is a nationalist of sorts - he certainly rejects Moroccan immigrants, for example, on grounds of their nationality - and one can detect certain elements of fascism in him (just as one can find a trace of it in the EDL). Wilders would furiously reject the comparisons to fascism, just as the EDL did - they filmed their burning of a swastika flag to prove their 'anti-Nazi' and 'anti-fascist' credentials -but anyone with an ounce of objectivity can see the parallels. You may object, 'But Wilders loves the Jews, and he hates white nationalism' - true enough, but adherence to white nationalism and anti-Semitism alone doesn't make one a fascist.

At first sight, the difference between a conservative and a fascist lies in fascism's authoritarianism - just like the Marxists, the fascists reject classical liberalism and liberal democracy (while touting at the same time a more true version of 'democracy'). But history teaches us the contrary of this thesis that fascism equals right-wing authoritarianism. Franco of Spain and Salazar of Portugal do not qualify as fascists (according to the academic specialists in the subject), even though both their regimes exploited fascism - or rather, the energy and enthusiasm for fascism - at their founding. Both Franco and Salazar rose to power on the back of a fascist wave. But, in the end, history regards them as authoritarian conservatives, nothing more. We can obtain more clarity if we are to look at the example of two Latin American dictatorships of the 1970s which were in part Francoist and Salazarian in inspiration: Chile and Argentina. The rulers of both countries opposed communism and wielded a heavy hand against it, and overturned liberal democracy and replaced it with a right-wing dictatorship; but one can't classify them as 'National Socialist'. One cannot confuse a Pinochet with a Hitler, Mussolini, Mosley.

Imagine - as a thought experiment - a dictatorship in Europe or Australia which was conservative and, furthermore, civic nationalist and anti-Islamic: say, for instance, that the Zio-populist Australian Liberty Alliance took power in a coup (unlikely as that prospect seems) and then ruled like Pinochet. Could such a regime be considered fascist? Neofascist? My answer would be no. One of the distinguishing features of the classical fascism of the 1920s and 1930s was its 'totalitarian' aspect; like the communists, the fascists attempted to insinuate themselves into every nook and cranny of social, economic, intellectual and cultural life. The fascist doctrine had to pervade everything; it exerted itself in spheres which we would regard as non-political. This explains the resemblances between the National Socialist Germany of 1933-1945 and the German Democratic Republic of 1949-1989.

The conventional wisdom supports my point of view, and the distinction I have drawn here - between authoritarian and 'totalitarian' regimes - mirrors the one made by, among others, the neoconservative intellectual Jeane Kirkpatrick (see her landmark essay 'Dictatorships and Double Standards'). Today's nationalists who are self-proclaimed 'National Socialists' would not like it at all: they live in fear of words such as 'fascist' and 'totalitarian' being applied to them, even though their forebears wore those words as badges of honour. And I can see their point of view to a certain extent. Concepts such as 'fascism' and 'totalitarianism' don't evoke positive responses, even in civic nationalists and anti-Islamics (who are wont to compare Islam to 'fascism' anyway). One can't take the line with the civics that 'I want what you want, except that I want you to go further to the Right and become more "fascist" and "totalitarian"' - that will not go down well.

Nevertheless, the leap from ultra-conservatism to fascism can be made. Here is a description of the ideas of Leon Degrelle's Rexist Party (1935-1945) from Wikipedia:

The ideology of Rex, which was loosely based on the writings of Jean Denis, called for the "moral renewal" of Belgian society through dominance of the Catholic Church, by forming a corporatist society and abolishing liberal democracy.[7] Denis became an enthusiastic member of Rex and later wrote for the party newspaper, Le Pays Réel. The original programme of Rexism borrowed strongly from Charles Maurras' integralism. It rejected liberalism which it deemed decadent and was strongly opposed to both Marxism and capitalism, instead striving for a corporatist economic model, idealising rural life and traditional family values.[2]

In its early period — until around 1937 — Rexism cannot accurately be categorised as a fascist movement. Rather it was a populist,[2] authoritarian and conservative Catholic nationalist movement[8] that initially tried to win power by democratic means, and did not want to totally abolish democratic institutions. The party increasingly made use of fascist-style rhetoric, but it was only after Degrelle's own defeat in a by-election in April 1937 that it openly embraced anti-Semitism and anti-parliamentarism, following the model of German Nazism. The historian and fascism expert Roger Griffin only considers the Rexist Party during the German occupation of Belgium as "fully fascist", until then he considers it "proto-fascist".[9]

The interesting thing is that the Rex Party's transition to fascism came at the expense of its electoral popularity:

The Rexist Party was founded in 1935 after its leader Léon Degrelle had left the mainstream Catholic Party which he deemed too moderate. It targeted disappointed constituencies such as traditionalist Catholics, veterans, small traders and jobless people. In the Depression era, it initially won considerable popularity—mostly due to its leader's charismatic appearance. Its greatest success was when it won 11.5% of the votes in the 1936 election.[12] Therefore, the Rexist Party could take 21 of the 202 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 8 out of 101 in the Senate, making it the fourth-strongest force in Parliament, behind the major established parties (Labour, Catholic, Liberal). However, the support for the party was extremely localized: Rexists succeeded in garnering over 30 per cent of the vote in the French-speaking province of Luxembourg, compared with just 9 per cent in equally French-speaking Hainaut.[7] Degrelle admired Adolf Hitler's rise to power and progressively imitated the tone and style of fascist campaigning, while the movement's ties to the Roman Catholic Church were increasingly repudiated by the Belgian clergy. Rexism received subsidies from both Hitler and Mussolini.[ citation needed]

Degrelle ran in the April 1937 Brussels by-election against Prime Minister Paul van Zeeland of the Catholic Party, who was—to avoid victory of the Rexists—supported by all other parties, including even the Communists.[13] The Archbishop of Mechelen and primate of the Catholic Church of Belgium, Jozef-Ernest Cardinal van Roey intervened, rebuking Rexist voters and calling Rexism "a danger to the country and to the Church". Degrelle was decisively defeated: he lost by 20 to 80 percent.[14]

Afterwards, Rexism allied itself with the interests of Nazi Germany even more strongly and incorporated Nazi-style anti-Semitism into its platform. At the same time, its popularity declined sharply.[15] In the 1939 election, Rex's share of votes fell to 4.4% and the party lost 17 of its 21 seats, largely to the mainstream Catholic and Liberal parties.[15]

A study needs to be made of what the arguments were, what rhetoric was used, by Degrelle to lead his fellow Rexists down the path towards fascism and away from conservatism.