Jean-Yves Camus reports. This article was first published by HOPE not hate.
Antoine de Rivarol was a Royalist polemicist at the end of the 18th century. Because he died in 1801, he had nothing to do with the counter-revolutionary school of thought that later emerged when the King returned to the throne.
It is therefore a shame that his name is only remembered in modern times because every week, one can buy a hate-peddling extreme right-wing publication bearing his name.
Since January 1951, Rivarol has been available at most newsstands. It is legal. But, from cover to cover, its content is filled with racist, antisemitic, Holocaust-denying articles and, although it is regularly sued, convicted and has to pay huge sums to those it has libeled, the magazine remains alive and (quite) well. Its readership is relatively small, probably around 3,000.
Although no figures are available, one can presume that many, if not most readers, are old enough to have firsthand knowledge of the “heroic” epoch when the memory of the French Fascist and pro-Nazi movements was still alive. Or, at least, that they joined the extreme right when the colonial war in Algeria was being fought and lost.
Rivarol started as a meeting point for those who had collaborated with the Nazis or who had been active with the Vichy regime and had just freed from prison. It supported granting general amnesty to those who were still detained, including Nazi war criminals.
It had a serious aversion to General de Gaulle because he was the Man of the Resistance. It believed in White supremacy and saw the malign hand of the “Jewish conspiracy” everywhere.
The magazine still clings to those beliefs and the new management team, headed by the Catholic fundamentalist, Jérôme Bourbon, has repeatedly published vitriolic attacks against Marine Le Pen, whom it strongly believes has betrayed the core values of the Front National.
On 8 April, around 600 diehard Rivarol fans attended a banquet in a Paris hotel to celebrate the outstanding achievement of having spread hatred for so long a time.
Jean-Marie Le Pen was there. Other leading figures of the radical scene such as veterans Pierre Sidos, Yvan Benedetti, Alexandre Gabriac, were also in the attendance.
Le Pen was clever enough to leave before Holocaust-denier Robert Faurisson came in to deliver his speech, under loud applause from the crowd who shouted “Faurisson is right”.
This crowd, including Le Pen, are now trying to build a coalition of all those who are not happy with the present policies of the FN in the hope that they can find a niche on its right. 2016 will be the first year when the Front National will not hold its own May Day parade.
So, the next step in this direction, for the readers of Rivarol and the radicals in the far right camp, will be the Joan of Arc parade convened by the Catholic fundamentalist movement Civitas on 8 May.