Integral nationalism

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Integral nationalism (French: nationalisme intégral) is a type of nationalism[1][2][3] that originated in 19th-century France, was theorized by Charles Maurras and mainly expressed in the royalist circles of Action Française. The basis of this doctrine is the unity of society. The doctrine is also called "maurrassisme".

The foundations of Integral nationalism[edit]

Integral nationalism aims to be a counter-revolutionary doctrine, ensuring the cohesion of France and its greatness. It starts with the slogan, "Politics first", a postulate, patriotism, that the Revolution would have erased in favor of nationalism and the statement: for Maurras, French society at the end of The nineteenth century was undermined by decadence and corruption. According to him, these evils mainly dated back to the French Revolution, and reached their paroxysm during the Dreyfus affair. The philosophical influences on Charles Maurras range from Plato and Aristotle to Joseph de Maistre via Dante, Thomas Aquinas and Auguste Comte. His historical influences range from Sainte-Beuve to Fustel de Coulanges through Taine and Ernest Renan.

Integral nationalism seems to be born of a desire for order in the young Charles Maurras[4] On the philosophical level, this desire for order entails an unconditional attachment to reason. On the artistic level, the defense of classicism against the "overflows" of the senses of Romanticism. Politically, it involves the search for a regime of authority. But in Maurras, Provencal poet regionalist, authority must be reconciled with respect for local liberties. An equation that, according to him, finds its resolution only in the monarchical system. Maurras becomes a royalist of reason in 1896.

Characteristics of Integral nationalism[edit]

A positivist nationalism[edit]

Integral nationalism seeks to recover natural laws by observing facts and drawing upon historical experiences, even if it cannot contradict the metaphysical justifications which constitutes the true foundation for Christians; for positivism, for the Action Francais, was by no means a doctrine of explanation, but only a method of ascertainment; it was by observing that the hereditary monarchy was the regime most in conformity with the natural, historical, geographical, and psychological conditions of France that Maurras had become monarchist: "Natural laws exist," he wrote; a believer must therefore consider forgetting these laws as impious negligence. He respects them all the more because he calls them the work of eternal Providence and goodness."

Maurrassian nationalism is a realism opposed to "naive idealisms" and "internationalist utopias" which by their unrealism are cemetery providers.[5]

A counter-revolutionnary nationalism[edit]

Maurras's nationalism is meant to be integral in that the monarchy is, according to him, part of the essence of the French nation and tradition. Royalism is integral nationalism because without a king, all that the nationalists want to keep will weaken first and then perish.[6]

A decentralizing nationalism[edit]

Maurras is an opponent of Napoleonic centralization. He believes that this centralization, which results in statism and bureaucracy - thus joining the ideas of Joseph Proudhon - is inherent in the democratic system. He asserts that republics last only through centralization, with only monarchies strong enough to decentralize. Maurras denounces the insidious use of the word decentralization by the state, which allows it to deconcentrate its power while giving itself a prestige of freedom. What good is it to create universities in the provinces if the state centrally controls them anyways?[7]

A social nationalism[edit]

Despite the measured and cautious support he gave to the Proudhon Circle, a circle of intellectuals launched by young monarchists hostile to liberal capitalism and calling for union with the revolutionary syndicalist movement inspired by Georges Sorel [8], Charles Maurras defended a social policy closer to that of René de La Tour du Pin; Maurras does not like Georges Sorel and Édouard Berth the systematic process of the bourgeoisie where he sees a possible support.[9] In the class struggle, Maurras prefers to oppose, as in England, a form of national solidarity of which the king can constitute the keystone.

A non-expansionist nationalism[edit]

Maurras is hostile to the colonial expansion impelled by republican governments that diverts from Revenge against Germany and disperses its forces; moreover, it is hostile to the Jacobin and Republican assimilation policy which aims at imposing French culture on peoples with their own culture. Like Lyautey, he thinks that France must be made to love France and not to impose French culture in the name of an abstract universalism.[10]

This last conception attracts him favors in the elites of the colonized peoples; Ferhat Abbas, for example, is an Algerian maurassian: he is the founder of L'Action Algerienne, an organ claiming integral nationalism [11]. This movement fights for the adoption of concrete proposals: all are in the direction of local democracy and organized, the only form of democracy for which Maurras advocated, because in his opinion it is the only truly real one: autonomy of local and regional indigenous corporations, autonomy in social and economic regulation, universal suffrage in municipal elections, wide representation of corporations, communes, notables and native chiefs, constituting an assembly with the French government.

If he was hostile to colonial expansion, Maurras was then hostile to the brutal liquidation of the French colonial empire after World War II, prejudicial to him as much to the interests of France as those of the colonized peoples.

A non-racist nationalism[edit]

Maurras's national theory rejects the messianism and ethnicism that can be found in the German nationalists who inherit Fichte. [12] The nation he describes corresponds to Renan's political and historical meaning in What is a nation, to the living hierarchies that Taine describes in The Origins of Contemporary France, to the friendships described by Bossuet. [13]

Influence of Integral nationalism in other countries[edit]

Maurras and Action française have had an influence on different thinkers claiming a counterrevolutionary and Christian nationalism in the world.

In Great Britain, Charles Maurras was followed and admired by writers and philosophers and by several British correspondents, academics and journal editors; in 1917, he was contracted by Huntley Carter of the New Age and The Egoist.[14]

Many of his poems were translated and published in Great Britain where Maurras has many readers among the High Church of Anglicanism and conservative circles[15]. Among his reader, there is T.S. Eliot. Eliot found the reasons for his anti-fascism in Maurras: his anti-liberalism is traditionalist, to the benefit of a certain idea of ​​monarchy and hierarchy. Music within me, which takes up in translation the main pieces of La Musique intérieure will be published in 1946, under the leadership of Count G.W.V. Potcoki of Montalk, director and founder of The Right Review [16] · [17].

In Mexico, Jesús Guiza y Acevedo, nicknamed "Little Maurras", and the historian Carlos Pereyra ;

In Spain, there is a movement close to the French Action Cultura Española and its magazine Acción Española .

In Peru, José de la Riva-Aguero y Osma was influenced by Maurras. This great Peruvian reactionary thinker, admiring his monarchical doctrine, met him in 1913.

In Argentina, the Argentine military Juan Carlos Onganía, just like Alejandro Agustín Lanusse, had participated in the "Cursillos de la Cristiandad", as well as the Dominicans Antonio Imbert Barrera et Elías Wessin y Wessin, military opponents to the restoration of the 1963 Constitution.

In Portugal, António de Oliveira Salazar who ruled the country from 1932 to 1968, admired Maurras, even though he was not a monarchist; he expressed his condolences to his death in 1952[18].Integral nationalism has sometimes been considered as one of the sources of inspiration for the Salazar Portugal or the Franco's regime in Spain: the leaders these regimes respected Maurras but did not claim him, not setting up a federalist or royalist system.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Brown, Contemporary Nationalism, Routledge, 2003, p. 68.
  2. ^ More recently, Peter Alter discussed integral nationalism in his book Nationalismus (1985).
  3. ^ Integral nationalism is one of five types of nationalism defined by Carlton Hayes in his 1928 book The Historical Evolution of Modern Nationalism.
  4. ^ Charles Maurras, le chaos et l'ordre, de Stéphane Giocanti, cité par Laurent Dandrieu, Valeurs actuelles, 15 septembre 2006 [1]
  5. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 305-306.
  6. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 181.
  7. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 111.
  8. ^ Géraud Poumarède, « Le Cercle Proudhon ou l'impossible synthèse », Mil neuf cent : Revue d'histoire intellectuelle, no 12, 1994, p. 78.
  9. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 237.
  10. ^ Thérèse-Charles Vallin, « Nationalisme algérien et nationalisme maurrassien », EM, 3, 1974, p. 37.
  11. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 303.
  12. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 180.
  13. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 182.
  14. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 412.
  15. ^ David Levy, « Maurras et la vie intellectuelle britannique », EM, 3, p. 107-113.
  16. ^ T.S. Eliot, « Triumphal March », Collected Pems, 1909-1962, Faber, 1963, p. 140.
  17. ^ T.S. Eliot ou le Monde en Poussières, éd. Lattès, 2002, p. 199-204.
  18. ^ Stéphane Giocanti, Maurras – Le chaos et l'ordre, éd. Flammarion, 2006, p. 500.

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