Gustave Hervé (1871–1944) at the Extremes of the French Third Republic
Chapter 18 Le Parti Socialiste National of 1919
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Even though he had lost friends and at least one close family member during the war, Hervé’s preoccupations quickly turned to politics. Important political topics were not hard to find in the post-war era, especially questions dealing with domestic issues such as French elections, labor agitation, socialism, Church-state relations, depopulation, etc. There were also important foreign affairs issues to consider, including the Russian Revolution, German political instability, Rhenish separatism, reparations, etc. At first his focus was the resurrection of a Bloc to try to incorporate socialists before they shifted into Bolshevism. Gilles Heuré implied that Hervé was incapable or simply unwilling to recognize and ponder the impact of four years of war on either the dazed and disillusioned veterans who returned from the front or the victims on the Home Front who had endured the shocks and personal losses affecting almost everyone. Rather than being insensitive or exceptionally unimaginative, Hervé may have simply calculated that pondering the horrors of war and its impact was simply counter-productive. If true, that in itself says volumes about the man. Whatever his inner logic or motivations, his remedy for the nation’s ills was going to center on a proposed party which sought to combine nationalism and socialism. This new party was expected to be integrated with the new Bloc National and would exclude enthralled French Bolsheviks as well as anachronistic monarchists. “His political horizon entailed the triptych of a healthy class collaboration: Capital, Talent, and Work.”1 ← 659 | 660 →
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