Georges Valois

Georges Valois (real name Alfred-Georges Gressent; 7 October 1878 – February 1945) was a French journalist and politician, born in Paris. He was a member of the French resistance and died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Georges Valois
Valois, Georges
Valois in 1922.
Alfred-Georges Gressent

October 7, 1878
DiedFebruary 1945 (aged 66–67)
Cause of deathTyphus
OccupationJournalist and Politician

Life and career

Born in a working-class and peasant family, Georges Valois went to Singapore at the age of 17, returning to Paris in 1898.[1] In his early years he was an Anarcho-syndicalist. He found work as a secretary at L'Humanité Nouvelle where he met Georges Sorel.[1] Later, after a stay in Imperial Russia (1903), Gressent worked as a secretary at Armand Colin publishing house.

After having written his first book, L'Homme qui vient, he met the nationalist and monarchist writer Charles Maurras and became a member of his Action Française (AF) league, where he continued to follow the workers' movement. As his employment would have been compromised by an involvement in the far-right monarchist league, he took the pseudonym of Georges Valois.[1]

In 1911, he created the Cercle Proudhon, a syndicalist group, and took direction of the AF's publishing house, the Nouvelle librairie nationale, in 1912.[1] The Cercle mixed Sorel's influence with the Integralism favored by Charles Maurras, and was overtly antisemitic. According to historian Zeev Sternhell, this ideology was the prefiguration of Italian fascism.

In 1925 Valois founded the weekly Le Nouveau Siècle (The New Century), seen by Maurras as a potential rival.[1] As a result, he lost his job at the AF's publishing house, La Nouvelle librairie nationale. The rupture with Maurras became even more serious after his creation, the same year, of the Faisceau league.[1] His long-term collaborator Jacques Arthuys was one of the leaders of the new league.[2] It was the first overtly Fascist party outside Italy, assisted by major entrepreneurs in their fight against the agitation of the French Communist Party (PCF). After some initial success (it was joined by such extremist figures as Hubert Lagardelle and Marcel Bucard), it disappeared in 1928, by which time Valois himself had already been excluded from the party. The middle-class may have withdrawn its support due to its lack of confidence in Fascism as a plausible solution for France, or because it considered, following a trend established by the Catholic Church (which, in 1926, excommunicated the AF), that the best solution was to infiltrate the republican institutions.

Valois lost financial support, and after the dissolving of the Faisceau league in 1928, he founded the Republican Syndicalist Party (PRS). Jacques Arthuys was also a leader of this party.[3] During the Second Cartel des gauches (Left-wing Coalition), this party published the Cahiers bleus (1928–1932), which hosted essays by widely different personalities, including Marcel Déat (a future neo-socialist excluded from the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) and then Collaborationist), Bertrand de Jouvenel (co-founder of the Mont Pelerin Society, a liberal organisation that exists to this day), Pierre Mendès France (one of the young guards or jeunes loups of the Radical-Socialist Party, he was to become Prime Minister of the Fourth Republic), and Edouard Berth.

After the 6 February 1934 crisis, Valois founded Le Nouvel Age (The New Era), which he presented as a left-wing review - along with the Cahiers bleus, however, Le Nouvel Age, which claimed to promote a post-Capitalist economy, was nonetheless advertising itself as corporatist.[1] In 1935, he attempted to join the SFIO, but was turned down, although being backed by Marceau Pivert.

He took part in the Resistance during Vichy. During World War II, he moved near Lyon where he launched a cultural cooperative project.[1] Georges Valois was finally arrested by the Nazis on 18 May 1944, and died in February 1945 of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.[1]


  • Basile ou la politique de la calomnie, 1927
  • L'Homme contre l'argent, 1928
  • Un Nouvel âge de l'humanité, 1929
  • Finances italiennes, 1930
  • Économique, 1931
  • Guerre ou révolution, 1931
  • Journée d'Europe, 1932
  • 1917-1941 : fin du bolchevisme, conséquences européennes de l'événement, 1941
  • L'Homme devant l'éternel (published posthumously), 1947

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Biographical notice Archived 2006-11-16 at the Wayback Machine on the Sciences-Po website (Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po - Georges Valois (Alfred-Georges Gressent) (in French)
  2. ^ Bourrée, Fabrice, Plaque en hommage à Jacques Arthuys, fondateur de l'OCM (in French), Fondation de la Résistance (Département AERI), retrieved 2017-06-28
  3. ^ Sternhell, Zeev (1995), Neither Right Nor Left: Fascist Ideology in France, Princeton University Press, p. 99, ISBN 0-691-00629-6, retrieved 2017-06-30

Further reading

  • Yves Guchet, Georges Valois, L'Harmattan, 2001, ISBN 2-7475-1214-2
  • Jean-Louis Loubet del Bayle, Les non-conformistes des années 1930, Points Histoire, Seuil, 2001, ISBN 2-02-048701-2
  • Zeev Sternhell, La droite révolutionnaire, Points Histoire, Seuil, 1978, ISBN 2-02-006694-7 (The Birth of Fascist Ideology, with Mario Sznajder and Maia Asheri, published by Princeton University Press, 1989, 1994 (ISBN 0-691-03289-0) (ISBN 0-691-04486-4)
  • Zeev Sternhell, Neither Right nor Left: Fascist Ideology in France, Princeton Univ. Press, California ISBN 0-691-00629-6

External links

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Cercle Proudhon

Cercle Proudhon (French pronunciation: ​[sɛʁklə pʁudɔ̃]; French for Circle Proudhon) was a political group founded in France on December 16, 1911 by Georges Valois and Édouard Berth. The group was inspired by Georges Sorel and a selective reading of Proudhon.


Le Faisceau (French pronunciation: ​[lə fɛso], The Fasces) was a short-lived French Fascist political party. It was founded on November 11, 1925 as a far right league by Georges Valois. It was preceded by its newspaper, Le Nouveau Siècle - founded as a weekly on February 26, it became a daily after the party's creation.

Far-right leagues

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Hubert Lagardelle

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Jacques Arthuys

Jacques Arthuys (15 February 1894 – 9 September 1943) was a French industrialist, a right-wing intellectual and early leader of the French Fascist movement.

He was initially a pan-European but became opposed to the Nazi movement.

During World War II (1939–45) he was leader of a French Resistance organization. He was arrested, deported to a concentration camp and killed by the Germans.

José Adriano Pequito Rebelo

José Adriano Pequito Rebelo (born 21 May 1892 in Gavião, Portugal – died 22 January 1983 in Lisbon) was a Portuguese writer, politician and aviator.

Marcel Bucard

Marcel Bucard (7 December 1895, Saint-Clair-sur-Epte – 13 March 1946, Fort de Châtillon) was a French Fascist politician.

Mort pour la France

Mort pour la France is a legal expression in France and an honor awarded to people who died during a conflict, usually in service of the country.

National syndicalism

National syndicalism is an adaptation of syndicalism to suit the social agenda of integral nationalism. National syndicalism developed in France, and then spread to Italy, Spain, Portugal and Romania.

Paul Hoornaert

Paul Hoornaert (5 November 1888 – 2 February 1944) was a Belgian far right political activist. Although a pioneer of fascism in the country he was an opponent of German Nazism and, after joining the Belgian Resistance during the German occupation, died in Nazi custody.

Philippe Barrès

Philippe Barrès (8 July 1896, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine – 14 April 1975) was a French journalist and the son of Maurice Barrès.

He fought in World War I.

He was a member of the editorial staff of the right-wing newspaper Le Nouveau siècle founded on 26 February 1925, along with Georges Valois, Jacques Arthuys and Hubert Bourgin.

He was a member of the short-lived Fascist party the Faisceau in the late 1920s.

During World War II, he lived in the United States and wrote for French language journals. He represented the Rally of the French People (RPF) in the National Assembly from 1951 to 1955. His son Claude Barrès joined the Free French Forces.

Pierre Lasserre

Pierre Lasserre (1867–1930) was a French literary critic, journalist and essayist. He became Director of the École des Hautes-Études.

He was an agrégé in philosophy, contemporary with Henri Vaugeois and Louis Dimier. As a young man he was a strong nationalist and anti-Dreyfusard. He was the leading literary critic of Action française and the author of the first work on Charles Maurras. Along with Georges Valois, Lasserre was one of the first to work to incorporate Nietzschean themes into neoroyalism.

Pierre Winter

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Republican Syndicalist Party

The Republican Syndicalist Party (Parti républicain syndicaliste, PRS) was a French political party founded on June 10, 1928 by Georges Valois following the dissolution of the fascist Faisceau party. The PRS counted among its members Charles Albert, a former anarchist who had turned neo-Jacobin, Jacques Arthuys, Hubert Bourguin and René Capitant, a future left-wing Gaullist. Although it was close to fascism and to some far-right leagues, the PRS later joined the left-wing, and several of its members, including Georges Valois himself, took part in the French Resistance. It is representative of the French non-conformist movement of the 1930s.

The PRS published a press organ, the Cahiers Bleus which published at the Librairie Valois edition its first numero on 15 August 1928 and its 119th and last issue on 23 May 1932, during the Second Cartel des gauches (Left-wing Coalition). The Cahiers Bleus were a monthly and bi-monthly, with the subtitle "Pour la république syndicale: organe de culture générale et d'organisation"" (For the Trade-Unions' Republic: Organ of Culture générale and Organisation"). Its aim was to develop a new economy, founded on trade unions and corporatism. Collaborators to the Cahiers Bleus included Edouard Berth, who had co-founded the Cercle Proudhon with Valois, Marcel Déat, a future neo-socialist excluded from the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) and then collaborationist, Bertrand de Jouvenel, co-founder of the liberal Mont Pelerin Society, and Pierre Mendès France, future Prime minister during the Fourth Republic, from the young guard (jeunes loups) of the Radical-Socialist Party. The Cahiers bleus became the Chantiers coopératifs (Co-operative Workshops ?), then followed by the Cahiers bleus. 2e serie. (1931-1932).

Solidarité Française

Solidarité Française ("French Solidarity") was a French far right league founded in 1933 by perfume manufacturer François Coty and commanded by Major Jean Renaud, they dressed in blue shirts, black berets, and jackboots, and shouted the slogan "France for the French". While Marcel Bucard's Francisme imitated Italian fascism, Solidarité française imitated the Nazi party.

Coty, former owner of Le Figaro, the sponsor of a newspaper which styled itself L'Ami du peuple after Jean-Paul Marat's (being nonetheless anti-republican), called himself the French Duce. He had financed the syndicalist proto-fascist Georges Valois and his Faisceau in the 1920s, the Croix-de-Feu in the early 1930s, finally deciding to form his own faction.

The movement claimed a strength of 180,000 in 1934, with 80,000 in Paris; the Parisian police thought the number in Paris closer to 15,000. The small membership did not however isolate Coty's group: the Solidarité Française found itself integrated in the loose coalition of far right movements such as Action Française and Pierre Taittinger's Jeunesse Patriotes. In this context, Coty's financing found its importance, as L'Ami du peuple had a fairly large circulation.

The group gained notoriety during the rally and later riot during the 6 February 1934 crisis, in front of the Parliament seat in the Palais Bourbon. It was dissolved by a law adopted by the Popular Front government of Léon Blum in June 1936. Many members of Solidarité Française subsequently joined Jacques Doriot's fascist Parti Populaire Français (PPF).


Valois may refer to:

The County of Valois, governed by the Count (later Duke) of Valois

Crépy-en-Valois, a town in the County

House of Valois, French royal house descended from the Counts

Valois, Pointe-Claire, a district in Pointe-Claire, Quebec

Émile Janvion

Émile Janvion (10 April 1866 – 21 July 1927) was a French teacher, an anarcho-syndicalist leader, a founder of the Confédération générale du travail (CGT) and a leader of the anti-militarist movement. He came to hold national syndicalist views that prefigured fascism. He was anti-Semitic, hostile to freemasonry, hostile to the republic and flirted with monarchism. However his main goal was the nationalization of the land and of the means of production.

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