Millionaire Goldsmith supports the left and the extreme right

All over Europe New Right ideologists are seeking contact with left-wing activists to build together a movement against, for instance, the destruction of nature or against "globalisation". (1) In this way the extreme right also hopes to become accepted again. The British ecologist Edward Goldsmith supports them in this endeavour. He sponsors and works together with dozens of progressive organisations and is one of the driving forces behind the international campaign-networks against "free trade". At the same time he is becoming a more important factor within the extreme right.

Being mentioned together with leftist intellectuals and activists is the first step in the New Right strategy. This spring the extreme right celebrated the many left-wing signatures on their nationalist petition against the Kosovo war. (2) Around the same time Goldsmith also joined the left and the extreme right on a petition: his "Ecologist's declaration on climate change". (3) In the Netherlands the petition was signed by members of organisations like A SEED, Aktie Strohalm, Corporate Europe Observatory and Stichting Aarde.

By signing they came out shoulder to shoulder with co-signer Philippe de Villiers, the leader of the French extreme-right party Mouvement Pour la France (MPF). This rigid catholic of noble blood is a prominent member of the French New Right. He wants to completely close all borders, outlaw abortion and reintroduce the death penalty. The MPF was founded in 1994 with 3,5 million dollar donated by the late James Goldsmith, Edward's extremely rich brother. (4) De Villiers is successful at making the extreme right attractive to the rich, who still consider it somewhat indecent to vote for Le Pen's Front National. At the Euro-elections in 1994 and 1998 De Villiers received  around 13% of the votes. In recent times De Villiers has shared his party leadership with ex-minister Pasqua, famous for his completely inhuman anti-migration policy making. (5) Goldsmith regularly introduces extreme-right activists in all kinds of initiatives, as if they represented one of the accepted political ideologies.

He actively breaks through the anti-fascist cordon sanitaire that has in many countries been laid around the extreme right. Two recent examples. Goldsmith is the owner and chief editor of the magazine The Ecologist, which organised a congress on 26 May 1999 together with the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC). Goldsmith allowed the British New-Right ideologist Roger Scruton to join the recommending committee. Scruton is the editor of the New-Right magazine Salisbury Review which this spring published an article by Alexandra Colen. (6) She is a leader of the Belgian extreme-right party Vlaams Blok.

The Ecologist also monthly prints an advertisement for the Australian anti-Semitic conspiracy fanzine Nexus. There is even a "special offer" for Ecologist readers subscribing to Nexus. (7) This spring Nexus published a very long article on "Jewish capital" and the powerful position it supposedly had in the history of Europe. (8)

Visiting the New Right

Edward Goldsmith not only promotes the New Right - he also likes to visit them. He is by now a very welcome guest in New-Right circles in Belgium and France. On 27 November 1994 he gave his first lecture at a colloquium organised by GRECE, the think tank connected to the French Front National. (9) This 28th GRECE-colloquium was in fact a 25th birthday party of the organisation, and Goldsmith was the guest of honour. GRECE director Alain de Benoist and Goldsmith really hit it off well, and the British millionaire became a regular guest at De Benoist's meetings. (10) "A good guy, this Benoist, there's nothing wrong with him", says Goldsmith. (11) He read a lot of Benoist's "very interesting" books and articles and believes the ideas of GRECE "have changed very much these last dozen years". (12)

With this type of comments Goldsmith actively pushes the extreme-right aspirations to be accepted. On 11 November 1997 Goldsmith was the main guest on the third TeKoS-colloquium in Antwerp, Belgium. TeKoS is a daughter organisation of GRECE, and closely connected to the Vlaams Blok. "How are we going to survive decadence?", the discussion was named. Fellow lecturers were De Benoist and TeKoS chief editor Luc Pauwels. Pauwels was among the founders of the Vlaams Blok.

Goldsmith's lecture was translated for TeKoS magazine by Guy de Martelaere, probably Belgium's biggest Goldsmith fan. Before this he had already translated many of Goldsmith's articles published in The Ecologist, and even Goldsmith's magnum opus The Way. In his own New-Right ecology magazine Gwenved De Martelaere often publishes on Goldsmith. (13) In the spring of 1998 the millionaire also gave an interview to De Martelaeres colleagues of the Flemish-nationalist and ecologist magazine Vrijbuiter. (14)

Visiting the Bushmen

On 11 January 1998 Goldsmith gave a lecture in Paris at the first colloquium of the New-Right ecology organisation Le recours aux forêts, titled: "L'écologie contre le progrès?" Among the other lecturers were again Alain de Benoist and also members of De Villiers' MPF. (15) "Le recours aux forêts" means "return to the forest". Many extreme-right ideologists believe that "the Indo-Germans" (meaning: Aryans) are "by nature forest-dwellers", whereas "the Semites are desert peoples". Le recours aux forêts was founded by GRECE. The think tank wants to use the ecology and neo-pagan movements to make Blut-und-Boden (Blood-and-soil) popular again.

Le recours aux forêts director Laurent Ozon is also head of the ecology branch of GRECE, called La nouvelle écologie. (16) Just like Front-National leader Mégret, Ozon is a product of De Benoist's New-Right education institute La nouvelle école. He regularly writes in De Benoist's magazines Krisis and Elements. (10) Ozon has become a faithful follower of Goldsmith and quotes him continuously in his own writings. (17) He also interviewed Goldsmith and published numerous articles of the millionaire in the Le recours aux forêts magazine. Every issue of this magazine also contains articles by De Benoist and several members of the Front National. (18) Laurent Ozon and Goldsmith became good friends. Together they regularly visit the meetings organized by De Benoist. (10) Ozon asked Goldsmith to run at the European elections in June 1999 by way of the Mouvement Ecologiste Independant (MEI), a right-wing ecological party with about 1.000 members. (9) Goldsmith made Ozon his spokesman and let him handle the negotiations with the MEI on his participation. Goldsmith voiced only one condition: his old pal Antoine Waechter was to head the party's list.

Goldsmith and Waechter go back a long time. They have known each other since a meeting in 1973, when Waechter started Les Verts, the French Green Party. (19) He left the party again in 1994, finding it turned to the left too much. His new habitat became GRECE. He wrote several articles in Le recours aux forêts (15) and was one of the lecturers on the second Le recours aux forêts colloquium on 24 January 1999. (9) The governing board of MEI quickly gave in to Goldsmiths plans, hearing that the millionaire would bring a lot of money. (10) Goldsmith swiftly delivered a European election programme. (19) However, after some turmoil in the French press on Waechter's extreme-right ideas, Goldsmith withdrew from the party on 16 February 1999.

"A compelling speaker", the editors of the Dutch New-Right magazine Studie, Opbouw, Strijd (study, organize, struggle, SOS) wrote, after witnessing a lecture by Ozon at the 1997 GRECE summer university. In the next issue they published an article by Ozon and advised their readers to get to know his other works, and those of Waechter and Goldsmith, and also the magazines Le recours aux forêts and The Ecologist. (20)

A European-wide fan club

For some 30 years Goldsmith has been promoting the same totalitarian ecological worldview. (21) The last couple of years more and more prominent New-Right ideologists are embracing his ideas, including Robert Steuckers. This Belgian is the driving force and secretary general of the European network of New-Right think tanks called Synergies Européennes (SE). Starting in 1981, Steuckers was assistant and assumed successor to De Benoist. In 1993, after an internal disagreement he left GRECE together with a small group of followers and founded SE. Steuckers thinks that the New Right should not only discuss ideology, but also engage in the reality of politics and power. (22) Nowadays he is trying to break, European wide, the cordon sanitaire by stimulating alliances between nationalist groups and old communist parties and trade unions. SE already built sections in France, Belgium, Portugal, Russia, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Yugoslavia, Italy and Germany. The political projects of De Benoist and Steuckers seem to really enhance each other, and their organisations do work together regularly. SE member Robert Cousty, for instance, was cofounder of Le recours aux forêts, which is mainly a GRECE project. (23)

The international sections of SE are really getting into Edward Goldsmith's thinking. (24) His book The Way is becoming almost compulsory reading in those circles. (25) All sorts of ecological, regionalist and spiritual groupings are also merging into the SE network these days. (26) Examples are the ecofascist Unabhängigen Ökologen Deutschlands and the Arbeitskreis Grüne Trommel from Hamburg. They also see Goldsmith's work as fundamentally important. (23) Steuckers is also very active in the pagan movement and also feels attracted to Goldsmith because of his propaganda for pagan religions. "The time of the cross has gone. The sun wheel will return, and we will be liberated from the Jewish God, and our people will get back its honour", says Steuckers. (27)

Eric Krebbers
De Fabel van de illegaal, September 1999


(1) Eric Krebbers, Together with the New Right against globalisation?. Original Dutch version: Met "nieuw-rechts" tegen de globalisering?, October 1998. In: De Fabel van de illegaal 31.

(2) Eric Krebbers, New right seduces the left to sign anti-war declaration, July 1999. Original Dutch version: Nieuw-rechts anti-oorlogscomité verleidt linkse intellectuelen, June 1999. In: De Fabel van de illegaal 35.

(3) The Ecologist, Declaration on Climate Change, March 1999.

(4) Van der Velpen, Zwarte horizonten, 1995.

(5) Bresson, Pasqua et Villiers unissent leurs maigres bataillons. In: Liberation, April 10th, 1999.

(6) Colen, A cry for help. In: Salisbury review, spring 1999.

(7) Special offer to Nexus readers. In: The Ecologist 3, May 1998. Nexus ads are also in The Ecologist 3 & 4, May and July 1999.

(8) Carmack, Central Banking and the private control of money, Part 1, December 1998-January 1999. In: Nexus 1. Part 2, February-March 1999. In: Nexus 2.

(9) Silence, Waechter, Goldsmith etc, April 1999. In: Silence 243.

(10) Chombeau, La dérive extrémiste d'Antoine Waechter. In: Le Monde, 18 February 1999.

(11) Remark by Goldsmith, speaking to the author by telephone.

(12) Letter from Goldsmith to Silence, 6 July 1999.

(13) Guy De Martelaere, Nieuws en korte beschouwingen, January 1998. In: Gwenved 23.

(14) Van den Broele, Edward Goldsmith: menselijk, al te menselijk, spring 1998. In: Vrijbuiter 3.

(15) M.P., L'autre sensibilité écologiste, January 1999. In: Silence 240.

(16) Bernhard Schmid, Der Krieg der Petitionen. In: Jungle World 15/99, 7 April 1999.

(17) Ozon, Ecologie et liberalisme, December 1998. In: Silence 238.

(18) Lipietz, Virage nouvelle droite?, February 1999. In: Silence 241.

(19) MEI internet-site.

(20) Ozon, De inzet van de ecologie, 1997. In: S.O.S. 12.

(21) Eric Krebbers, Goldsmith and his Gaian hierarchy. Original Dutch version, Goldsmith en zijn Gaiaanse hiërarchie, August 1999.

(22) Speit, Schicksal und Tiefe, March 1999. In: Jenseits des Nationalismus.

(23) A.K., Waechter le vert-brun, November 17th, 1998. In: Charlie Hebdo.

(24) Cremet, "Neue" Rechte: jetzt generationenübergreifend, June 1997. In: AK 403.

(25) De Zutter, Terug naar de "racistische" natuur. In: De Morgen, May 27th, 1999.

(26) Cremet, Für eine Allianz der "Roten" und der "Weissen", March 1999. In: Jenseits des Nationalismus.

(27) De Zutter, "Politieke soldaten tegen de multi-raciale maatschappij". In: De Morgen May 26th, 1999.

Some editing of the English translation by Alain Kessi

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Last updated 1999-11-25