Concept

Georges Valois

Summary
Georges Valois (real name Alfred-Georges Gressent; 7 October 1878 – February 1945) was a French journalist and national syndicalist politician. He was a member of the French Resistance and died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Born in a working-class and peasant family in Paris, Georges Valois went to Singapore at the age of 17, returning to Paris in 1898. In his early years, he was an anarcho-syndicalist. He found work as a secretary at L'Humanité Nouvelle where he met Georges Sorel. 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 (The Coming Man), he met the nationalist and monarchist writer Charles Maurras and became a member of his Action Française, 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. In 1911, he created the Cercle Proudhon, a national syndicalist group, and took direction of the publishing house of the Action française, the Nouvelle librairie nationale, in 1912. The Cercle mixed Sorel's influence with the integralism favoured by Charles Maurras and was overtly anti-Semitic. According to the historian Zeev Sternhell, that ideology was the prefiguration of Italian fascism. In 1925, Valois founded the weekly Le Nouveau Siècle (The New Century), which was seen by Maurras as a potential rival. As a result, he lost his job at La Nouvelle librairie nationale. The rupture with Maurras became even more serious after his creation the same year of the Faisceau league. His long-term collaborator Jacques Arthuys was one of the leaders of the new league. It was 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, when Valois had already been excluded from the party.
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