Cori Bernardi’s book The Conservative Revolution has attracted much ridicule on the internet:
However, what seems to have escaped attention is the remarkable parallels between his reactionary politics and that of National Socialism. For a start, Bernardi should be understood as the aggressively ultra-reactionary wing of militant Catholicism. It is hard to ignore the fact that leading fascists such Franco, Mussolini, Hitler and Francis de Groot were all Catholics. Likewise, the fascist Croatian Ustaša and the Slovak People’s Party were both militantly Catholic.
Most notable in this regard is the usurpation of the term “revolution” to mean something harshly and angrily reactionary. However, this is a tactic that the political right have been adopting for a long time. For example, the idea that monarchs rule for the general good of the “people” arose in reaction to the democratic movements of the nineteenth century. This process of usurpation has continued since then, most prominently in the National “Socialist” movement but in other reactionary political movements since then. Richard J. Evans said it well in The Coming of the Third Reich:
Nazism was in some ways an extreme counter-ideology to socialism, borrowing much of its rhetoric in the process, from its self-image as a movement rather than a party…
Amongst the terms borrowed from the political left included “socialism” as well as “revolution”. The following comes from Mein Kampf (my own translation from the Eher Verlag edition):
P227: Thus we came up with the name “Social Revolutionary Party”; this because the social outlook of the new establishment in fact signified a revolution
P227: So kamen wir auf den Namen „Sozialrevolutionäre Partei“; dies deshalb, weil ja die sozialen Anschauungen der neuen Gründung tatsächlich eine Revolution bedeuteten.
“Social Revolutionary Party” was the original name for what later came to be known as the National Socialist Party. In both cases, the term “revolutionary” or “socialist” meant something totally different to its original meaning. The term “socialist” here takes on the implications of a coarse “populist” movement driven by xenophobia: “we don’t want no wogs.” Or in modern Australian terms “turn back the boats” and help keep Australian white.
Elsewhere in Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler says that:
P285: Revolutionary new movements hate the old forms all the more that they of little worth
P285: Revolutionäre neue Bewegungen werden die alten Formen um so mehr hassen, je minderwertiger sie selber sind.
The National Socialist movement is thus a “new” form of revolutionary movement that hates the “old” forms. In other words, it represents a “Conservative Revolution,” to use Cori Bernardi’s words.
P286: The meaning and purpose of revolutions is then not to tear down the whole building, but difficult to remove what does not conform or inappropriate, and thereby once again expose healthy body further and to grow.
P286: Der Sinn und Zweck von Revolutionen ist dann nicht der, das ganze Gebäude einzureißen, sondern schlecht Gefügtes oder Unpassendes zu entfernen und an der dann wieder freigelegten gesunden Stelle weiter- und anzubauen.
These “revolutionary” words could all fit beautifully in Cori Bernardi’s book. In similar vein, Bernardi’s denunciation of homosexuality recalls their persecution by the National Socialist regime. Around 50 000 gay men were imprisoned in concentrations camps, where they forced to wear pink triangles on their prison uniforms, and between 5000-15000 died:
There is even a memorial for the homosexual victims at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.
It is simply extraordinary to what extend history has been forgotten. Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeated it.