Gustave Hervé (1871–1944) at the Extremes of the French Third Republic
Chapter 10 Le Parti Révolutionnaire and Le Comité Révolutionnaire Antiparlementaire (C.R.A.)
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Gilles Heuré argued that Hervé radicalized his views to such an extent from late 1908 after the socialist Congress at Toulouse until just before he entered prison in late March 1910 that he actually contemplated creating a Parti Révolutionnaire sitting at the margins of the S.F.I.O. Such a stance represented the culmination of Hervé’s radicalization in Heuré’s account.1 Even though such a parti was never officially launched, it inspired enough fear, comment, rhetoric, and future formations, that its history can help us understand the nature and impact of Hervéism. After the creation of La Guerre Sociale, Hervé began to employ a complete repertoire of revolutionary nomenclature associated with clandestine subversion. As his “secret” circulars proliferated, he called for the formation of organisations de combat or “revolutionary cells” yet his appeals for such secret organizations were generally done openly, thus enveloping an array of theoretically subversive operations in an overt publicity campaign. His description of the necessary requirements for membership in such organizations could only be termed ascetic, moralistic, and mundane rather than heroic. “In January 1909 he listed the qualifications requisite to be a militant in revolutionary organizations. Those who formed them should be ‘as impervious to greed and ambition as to fear and depression’, and demonstrate proof of ‘discretion’, ‘sobriety’, and ‘selflessness’. In addition to an airtight separation between the sections, it was also necessary for the revolutionary elite to be morally irreproachable.”2 ← 369 | 370 →
Since its foundation La...