Previously profiled in The Burkean for their brand of youth-inspired neo-monarchism, Action française is a household name within the French Right. This article is by one of their activists, and in it he briefly discusses the origins of the group as well as their modern day practices.
The Committee of Action française was founded in 1899 and had as its first activity the magazine Revue d’Action française, but quickly students sympathetic to the journal organised themselves to spread its ideas and to agitate on the street. This is the trademark of our movement: never separate intellectual formation and action. Action without intellectual formation is foolish because you don’t know precisely for what you fight, while reflection without activism is sterile because you do not give your political project the means to be applied.
Action française is organised in sections by town and each section organises at least two conferences per month, either on the doctrine of Action française or on the doctrine of our opponents, on French history and on current events. We also maintain in each section a culture of debate and reading advice. Moreover, we regularly conduct activism on the streets, sell our publication, give out flyers, put up our posters and stickers on the walls to spread our ideas and mark our territory. We also sometimes conduct agitprop actions for high-profile media coverage like in Occitania, participating or organising demonstrations and commemorations. Sport has a big importance too in the section, which has created more cohesion and teaches us to defend ourselves.
A section chief is always concerned that a new recruit who comes to AF for our activism becomes cultured, has knowledge in the doctrine of Action française, develops his ability to think and to think critically until he becomes able to do a conference by himself for his section. And on the other hand to turn a teenager who has his nose in the books into a courageous activist who can be in our security service, defending the movement’s events or ready to go into police custody after an agitprop action.
These requirements and our radical ideas make it so that Action française is not, was not and never will be a mass movement. We do not wish it to be so because at this point in time we need to create an elite vanguard of young French nationalists, and not because we would like to wallow in marginality. It is why we are in the streets to keep a connection with our people, to remain present and audible, and to affect public opinion without the distorting lens of the media.
We often say at the Action française, it is harder to keep power than to take it. It is why we insist on this double dimension in our movement, which corresponds to our two aims; the overthrow of the Republic and the establishment of the monarchy. Hence the fact that we encourage our activists in the act of surpassing of themselves, in taking risks and refusing comfortability.
Evidently, one may see that a lot of revolts in France lead to nowhere, precisely because it was only an opposition to the regime without a coherent political vision, and without a new elite to replace the existing elite in place. It is why we never separate action and intellectual formation, and why we will be victorious and bring our King back.