Transcending the Beyond: From Third Position to National-Anarchism

MAN’S obsession with trinitarian concepts has lasted for thousands of years. Indeed, when presented with two distinct choices – both of which are considered inadequate – we often look for a third alternative. In the late Sixth century BC, the famous Buddhist sage, Prince Gautama, rejected a life of opulent complacency and experimented with self-discipline and denial. Consequently, after driving himself to the very brink of starvation the Prince realised that there was ‘a middle way’ beyond both luxury and asceticism. In this case it was the path of meditation and detachment, a process in which both lifestyles were transcended and overcome.

An interesting parallel can be drawn between the example of Gautama’s rejection of hereditary privilege and the search for an alternative to Capitalism during the late Nineteenth and early-Twentieth centuries. The ‘solution’, as we know only too well, was Communism. In fact the last century may be rightly perceived as having been a furious historical battleground for two highly adversarial and bitterly-opposed ideologies. But as Hilaire Belloc observed in The Restoration of Property over sixty years ago, the differences between the two are not as distinct or clear-cut as their supporters often like to contend:

“The only economic difference between a herd of subservient Russians and a mob of free Englishmen pouring into a factory in the morning is that the latter are exploited by private profit, the former by the State in communal fashion. The motive of the Russian masters is to establish a comfortable bureaucracy for themselves and their friends out of the proletariat labour. The motive of the English masters is to increase their private fortunes out of proletariat labour. But we want something different from either.”

Thus Communism is considered, not as the antidote, but as a symptom and a product of Capitalism. Belloc’s own quest for a genuine alternative to both Capitalism and Communism was represented by The Distributist League, which he founded in 1936 with G. K. Chesterton. Both were famous converts to Catholicism and were inspired by Rerum Novarum, a timely encyclical in which Pope Leo XIII replied to the challenge of atheistic Communism by proposing that property be distributed more fairly and workers treated with more dignity. As we shall see below, Belloc and Chesterton were to become two of the chief ideologues of the new Third Position.

By the late-1970s Britain’s largest Far Right organisation, the National Front (NF), had experienced an unprecedented growth spurt. Virtually indistinguishable from the more mainstream Conservative Party in that it defended family values, law and order, capital punishment and several other Right-wing policies, the NF became a household name due to its opposition to multi-racialism and support for the compulsory repatriation of all non-white immigrants. By 1979, however, the Party was heavily defeated at the ballot box after Margaret Thatcher had herself expressed one or two outspoken comments about the growing immigration problem. As a result, most NF supporters left for the comparatively less extreme realms of the Centre Right, although, predictably, Mrs. Thatcher’s pledge to tighten up on immigration was never practicably consolidated. From that point onwards the NF went through a period of factionalism, as the complicated mish-mash of ideologies which for so long had marched beneath the same banner now resulted in a bitter struggle between reactionary conservatives, blatant neo-Nazis and revolutionaries. NF luminaries like Martin Webster and John Tyndall were ousted from the Party in the early-1980s, clearing the way for a new up-and-coming generation of young activists: men like Derek Holland, Nick Griffin, Patrick Harrington and Graham Williamson. These individuals had been motivated by ‘third way’ organisations abroad, not least by Italy’s Terza Pozitione (Third Position) and the exiled Roberto Fiore. The strategy of tension – Anno di Piombo – which had characterised Italian politics during the 1970s had led to the development of the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (Armed Revolutionary Nuclei), and demonstrators had been seen on the streets bearing placards in simultaneous praise of both Hitler and Mao. Many NF members had also been inspired by Otto Strasser, a former member of the German National Socialist Workers’ Party who had fought with Hitler over the latter’s betrayal of the NSDAP’s more socialistic tenets. So, for the NF, this was to be a new era for revolutionary politics. One in which the boundaries of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ were to be totally rejected and redefined.

In 1983 the British NF began to publish a series of revolutionary magazines entitled Rising: Booklet For The Political Soldier, in which detailed articles were given over to the twin concepts of political sacrifice and struggle. Meanwhile, Derek Holland’s pamphlet, The Political Soldier, inspired yet another generation of new activists and was heavily influenced by the Italian philosopher Julius Evola. By 1986 the NF claimed to have finally purged its ranks of ‘Tories’ and ‘reactionaries’ and, much to the chagrin of the traditional Left, was soon forging alliances with Black separatist organisations like Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and commending the ‘third way’ stance of Khomeini’s Iran.

Indeed, whilst the works of Belloc and Chesterton were used to provide the NF with a unique economic platform, the organisation was also advocating Popular Rule, an interesting socio-political theory in which the structure of British society would become so decentralised that it would come to resemble that of Colonel Qadhafi’s Libya. Not culturally, but in terms of establishing street, area and regional committees through which power could be decisively channelled up from the grass roots. This, of course, was in stark contrast to the NF’s former dependence upon the electoral voting system. The NF, in awe of its Libyan counterparts, was now distributing copies of Qadhafi’s Green Book and happily chanting the mantra ‘no representation without participation’. As a consequence, therefore, the NF’s rejection of the ballot box confirmed its inevitable admittance into the revolutionary domain of extra-parliamentary politics. The movement went on to express its support for regional independence, European solidarity, positive anti-racism and co-operation with Black and Asian communities residing in England.

These were exciting times for supporters of Revolutionary Nationalism, but the personality clashes which tend to prevail in all political circles eventually tore the organisation apart during the Autumn of 1989. On one side were gathered the supporters of Derek Holland, Colin Todd, Nick Griffin and Roberto Fiore, all of whom were involved in the establishment of a new rural project in northern France. On the other were Patrick Harrington, Graham Williamson and David Kerr, who believed that the administrative core of the organisation should remain in the British Isles. Holland, Todd, Griffin and Fiore all left to form the International Third Position (ITP), whilst Harrington and the remaining supporters of the NF disbanded the movement in March 1990 and formed Third Way. But for those who believed that the revolutionary dynamism of the late-1980s could somehow be recreated, it was to end in disappointment and dejection. Third Way became far more conservative by supporting anti-federalist and ‘save the pound’ campaigns, now portraying itself as ‘the radical centre’. The ITP, on the other hand, tried to influence traditional Catholics grouped around The Society of St. Pius X, and –to the horror of the overwhelming majority of its membership –took the disastrous road towards reactionary fascism. So whilst one segment of the old NF had become ‘respectable’ and centrist, the leaders of the other were espousing the principles of Mussolini, Pétain and Franco. For the ITP, the inevitable split came in September 1992.

By this time I had been personally involved with the NF – and, consequently, the ITP – since joining as a teenager in 1985. Throughout those years I had served as Regional Organiser with both Sussex NF and the Tunbridge Wells branch of the ITP, publishing magazines such as The Kent Crusader, Surrey Action, Eastern Legion and Catholic Action. Combined with Northern Rising (published by the ITP’s Yorkshire and Lancashire branches), these publications comprised five-fifths of the organisation’s literary output. When the ITP virtually disintegrated in 1992, these magazines all withdrew their support. The ITP, meanwhile, was left with Final Conflict, comprising a mixture of skinhead youth culture and Christian bigotry.

The split occurred for a variety of reasons, most notably the fact that the ITP had rejected the internal cadre structure which had been used to such great effect during the NF period. Coupled with the fact that Derek Holland and several others had left the country and were now completely disinterested in the Third Positionist struggle in England, Roberto Fiore was attacked by myself and many others for his involvement in a ruthlessly Capitalist enterprise which operated from Central London. Several outgoing ITP activists also accused Holland and Fiore of stealing many thousands of pounds they had invested in property based within the group’s rural enclave in northern France. But the most decisive factor of all, however, was the ITP leadership’s increasing obsession with Catholicism and its gradual descent into the reactionary waters of neo-fascism.

From the tattered remains of the ITP came a new independence organisation, the English Nationalist Movement (ENM). New attempts were made to restate the principles of the Third Position, and ENM publications like The Crusader and Catalyst attacked both Hitler and Mussolini and preferred to emulate home-grown English socialists like Robert Owen, William Cobbett, Robert Blatchford and William Morris. This was combined with a call to arms. The ENM also campaigned against Unionism, advocating the break-up of the British Isles into seven distinct nations: England, Scotland, Wales, Ulster, Ireland, Mannin (Isle of Man) and Kernow (Cornwall). Meanwhile, its publishing service, The Rising Press, distributed booklets and pamphlets covering a whole range of topics, including works by Otto and Gregor Strasser, Corneliu Codreanu and Colonel Qadhafi.

In 1998 the ENM changed its name to the National Revolutionary Faction and began to call for armed insurrection against the British State in even stronger terms. A series of detailed pamphlets and internal bulletins were disseminated amongst Nationalists across the length and breadth of the country, seeking to end the British National Party’s (BNP) obsession with marches and elections. The revamped organisation also forged contacts with like-minded Third Positionist groups abroad, such as Nouvelle Resistance (France), the American Front, Spartacus (Canada), the Canadian Front, Alternativa Europea (Spain), National Destiny (New Zealand), Devenir (Belgium), Rivolta (Italy), Free Nationalists (Germany) and the National Bolshevik Party (Russia). National Bolshevism is a concept which seeks to establish an alliance between East and West, and has been around for many years. Its earliest supporters were men like Arthur Moeller van den Bruck and Ernst Jünger, both of whom tried desperately to unite Germany with Russia.

Eventually, the NRF rejected Third Positionism and described itself as a National-Anarchist organisation. In other words, whilst Third Positionists are committed to going beyond Capitalism and Communism, National-Anarchists have taken things one step further by actually transcending the very notion of beyond. According to the well-known Anarchist thinker, Hakim Bey, writing in Millennium (1996): ‘Five years ago it still remained possible to occupy a third position in the world, a neither/nor of refusal or slyness, a realm outside the dialectic’. He goes on to suggest that ‘Where there is no second, no opposition, there can be no third, no neither/nor. So the choice remains: either we accept ourselves as the ‘last humans’, or else we accept ourselves as the opposition’. This led the NRF to praise Anarchist thinkers like Bakunin and Proudhon, as well as to reject the concept of the State and call for independent enclaves ‘in which National-Anarchists can live according to their own principles and ideals’.

 The NRF was also heavily influenced by Alternative Green, a group set up in the wake of Richard Hunt’s resignation as Editor from the leftist newspaper, Green Anarchist. Hunt’s unique economic analysis of the Western core’s exploitation of the Third World periphery, as well as his wholesale rejection of the division of labour, led to an open-minded alliance between Alternative Green, the NRF, Nationale-Anarchie (German National-Anarchists), the Wessex Regionalists, Oriflamme (medievalists), Albion Awake (a Christian-Anarchist organisation), the Anarchic Movement (influenced by both Junger and Evola) and various other political groupuscles which all firmly believe that opponents of Capitalism from across the board must come together in order to exchange ideas and strategies. In May 2000 these elements staged the first Anarchist Heretics’ Fair in Brighton, launching a new political initiative called Beyond Left-Right. This has since been attacked by a variety of ‘anarcho-dogmatists’ on the Left, including the International Workers of the World (IWW) and Anti-Fascist Action (AFA). To date, however, neither of these organisations has attempted to explain precisely why the NRF or its allies deserved the ‘fascist’ epithet or their threats of violence and intimidation. Furthermore, fewer still have tried to define the actual meaning of ‘fascism’ itself.

Given that ideologies such as National-Socialism, National Communism and National Bolshevism have each attempted to combine two seemingly diverse and contradictory opposites, the arrival of National-Anarchism always seemed inevitable. But what distinguished the NRF from its counterparts within the prevailing left-right spectrum, however, is the fact that it was seeking to create a synthesis.

Indeed, Synthesis was the name of an online magazine established by the Cercle de la Rose Noire, through which National-Anarchist thinkers, Evolians and prominent ex-members of the now defunct White Order of Thule (WOT) were promoting the three-fold strategy of ‘Anarchy’, ‘Occulture’ and ‘Metapolitics’. The Circle’s website presented National-Anarchists with an esoteric perspective, becoming a huge counter-cultural resource from which articles, essays, poetry, interviews and reviews could be easy obtained.

Finally, National-Anarchism has similarities with the triadic analysis of the famous German philosopher, Georg Friedrich Hegel, who believed that when confronted with the ineffectiveness of a thought or affirmation (thesis) and its subsequent negation (antithesis), the result is a yet further negation as the two original precepts are united and thus resolved at a much higher level (synthesis). Once this process takes place, the synthesis itself can then be negated by another antithesis, until the arrival of a second synthesis starts the whole process over again. This brings us back to our long and repeated flirtations with trinitarianism. When considered from this perspective, National-Anarchism appears to be the next logical next towards the raising of mankind’s spiritual and intellectual consciousness.


1 thought on “Transcending the Beyond: From Third Position to National-Anarchism

  1. As the hope in many parts of Europe for a democratic resolution to the European man’s disintegration recedes – always an unlikely occurrence to begin with – interest in the practicality of variants of intentional communities increases. The attempts by the ITP to create something previously unseen, perhaps a little too early, therefore becomes of greater interest.

    Since this time, there has been a growth of many non-ethnocentric communities across Europe, including the UK. The Bruderhof for instance, an old time Christian group, or the various eco-villages in Wales and elsewhere, many of which can be traced through the ‘Diggers and Dreamers’ website. They all have challenges, but they are not hobbled by the difficulty of being a group which challenges the inclusive Zeitgeist and would inevitable attract the full attention of the media with the various arms of the state charging in behind. But on the positive side, there is now much better pan-European cooperation and dare I say a larger movement of younger people of both sexes who are invested in the issues.

    So outside of the personality clashes that occurred, the factionalism, the schisms, I’d be interested to read an exploration of the experiences of those who attempted to set up these mini-communities in France, Spain and possibly elsewhere. Was there ever any such report written after the fact and with rueful hindsight? Or might there be in future?

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