Carrefour de l'Horloge

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Carrefour de l'Horloge
MottoPensée, parole, action ("Thought, speech, action")
Formation1974; 45 years ago (1974)
FounderHenry de Lesquen, Jean-Yves Le Gallou, Yvan Blot and others
TypeMeta-political club
LeaderHenry de Lesquen
Formerly called
Club de l'Horloge

The Carrefour de l'Horloge (literally The Clock Crossroad), formerly Club de l'Horloge (1974–2015), is a French far-right national liberal think tank founded in 1974 and presided by Henry de Lesquen.[1] The Carrefour de l'Horloge promotes an "economic liberalism strongly tainted with nationalism."[2]

Born in the years 1974–79 from the GRECE, The Carrefour de l'Horloge still shares many similarities with the Nouvelle Droite, but diverges in its defense of Catholicism and economic liberalism. Also using meta-political methods to diffuse their ideas, the Carrefour de l'Horloge favors however more direct strategies, such as entryism intro mainstream parties or the creation of straightforward slogans. The group and its members have for instance coined terms like "national preference" and "re-information", and participated in popularizing the concept of "remigration" in France.[3][4]


Background: 1968–1973[edit]

The origin of the Carrefour de l'Horloge can be traced back in the "Cercle Pareto", a club established in Science Po by students linked to GRECE. The Cercle was founded in September 1968 by Yvan Blot, with other students hostile to the May 1968 events. He was soon joined by Jean-Yves Le Gallou, Daniel Garrigue and Guillaume Faye.[5]

In 1973, three members of the Cercle—Blot, Le Gallou, and Bernard Mazin—tried to convince Alain de Benoist to enter politics, which he ardently refused.[6]

Split from GRECE: 1974–1979[edit]

Jean-Yves Le Gallou, prominent member of the Carrefour de l'Horloge.[7]

The Carrefour de l'Horloge was created—as Club de l'Horloge—on 10 July 1974[8] by Jean-Yves Le Gallou, Yvan Blot, Henry de Lesquen, Daniel Garrigue, and others. The founders graduated from high-ranked colleges and considered themselves part of an elite think tank, with the common project of diffusing nationalist ideas within the public sphere,[7] and of working on a rapprochement built on Catholicism between the far-right and mainstream right-wing parties.[9] Bruno Mégret was invited to join in 1975 by Blot.[10][11]

Dismissing the long-term meta-political strategy of Alain de Benoist and his GRECE—whose Le Gallou and Blot were former members—the Carrefour de l'Horloge aimed at more immediate results, and instead favored rapid entryism inside the two French mainstream right-wing parties of the period: namely the Rally for the Republic (RPR) and the Union for French Democracy (UDF).[12]

The book La Politique du vivant ("The Politics of living"), published in 1979 under the direction of De Lesquen, stemmed from GRECE theories on sociobiology, genetic determinism and social darwinism.[12] The same year, Henry de Lesquen was invited on the French TV literary talk show Apostrophes to debate the Nouvelle Droite.[13] Since the years 1979–80, the Carrefour de l'Horloge has however distanced itself from the neo-paganism and anti-capitalism of GRECE and the Nouvelle Droite, promoting instead an "economic liberalism strongly tainted with nationalism."[2][14]

Direct meta-politics: 1980–2014[edit]

The club's strategy of entryism began to succeed: Le Gallou entered the UDF in the early 1980s[11] while many other lead members, such as Mégret (from 1975 to 1982), De Lesquen (1977–85),[15] or Blot (1979–88),[16] were already part of the RPR. Le Gallou grew in importance, theorized and promoted the concept of "national preference",[17][18] and served as a link between the Club and the far-right party Front National (FN), which he joined in 1985.[1][11][19] The Carrefour de l'Horloge was also during some time under the protection of French Minister of the Interior Michel Poniatowski.[1]

The Carrefour de l'Horloge created in 1990 the "Lysenko prize", in reference to Soviet pseudo-scientist Trofim Lysenko. The satirical award has since been attributed each year to a public figure who has, in their view, "contributed to spreading scientific or historical misinformation, with ideological methods and arguments".[20] Bruno Mégret coined in 1997 the word "re-information" to designate nationalist news outlets that opposed the mainstream media, a term that has since been widely used by far-right online websites in France.[21]

Renaming and revival: 2015–present[edit]

Henry de Lesquen, current president of the club and provocative blogger, is one of the main promoters of the concept of "remigration" in France.[22]

In September 2015, the Club de l'Horloge was renamed "Carrefour de l'Horloge", and merged with the smaller associations Voix des Français, Renaissance 95, SOS Identité and the Mouvement associatif pour l'union de la droite.[23]

The first meeting under the new name was organized on 16 January 2016 with Charles Beigbeder, Christian Vanneste, Blot, De Lesquen, and Le Gallou.[24] In 2017,[25] the National Liberal party (PNL) was founded and publicly announced in 2018[26] to promote national liberal ideas,[27][28] and restore traditional French values and liberal economics through ideological influence rather than elected office.[29] During the 2017 presidential election, Philippe Baccou, one of the prominent members of the club, was among the most influential political advisers of FN candidate Marine Le Pen.[30]

Carrefour de l'Horloge's president Henry de Lesquen runs a YouTube channel totaling several million views through which he participated in popularizing the concept of "remigration" in France[22] and racialist theories built on anthropologist Carleton S. Coon's works.[31]


The Carrefour de l'Horloge recognizes what they call twelve "mentors":[32]

The think thank promotes economic liberalism, nationalism and popular democracy.[2] Political scientist Fiammetta Venner labeled the club "national radical" in 2006.[33] Historian Nicolas Lebourg and Jean-Yves Camus wrote in 2017 that its idelogy was originally inspired by social Darwinism, and that they merged neoliberalism with racialism to eventually create an "integral neo-Darwinism". The club's economic theory, Lebourg and Camus added, "gradually became liberal-national."[1]

The club is a supporter of popular democracy and theorized the citizens' initiative referendum back in 1986. The following year, Yvan Blot introduced a bill in the lower house to permit popular-initiative referenda, but failed to gain enough support. The club praises "popular common sense" against what they call the "confiscation of democracy".[34][35]

Lysenko Prize[edit]

Since 1990, the Carrefour de l'Horloge awards each year the satirical "Lysenko Prize" to an author or person who "has contributed the most to scientific and historical misinformation, using ideological methods and arguments."[20]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Lamy, Philippe. Le Club de l’Horloge (1974 -2002). Evolution et mutation d’un laboratoire idéologique. Université Paris VIII Saint-Denis (2016) (read online)
  • Laurens, Sylvain. "Le Club de l'horloge et la haute administration : promouvoir l'hostilité à l'immigration dans l’entre-soi mondain". In: Agone no 54, 2014 (read online)


  1. ^ a b c d Camus, Jean-Yves (2017-03-20). Far-Right Politics in Europe. Harvard University Press. p. 121. ISBN 9780674978430.
  2. ^ a b c Mathieu Laurent, Les Structures non-partisanes dans le champ politique (thèse de doctorat en science politique), université Paris-IV, 2011, p. 101.
  3. ^ ""Réémigration", négationnisme, "race congoïde"... Les mauvaises ondes d'Henry de Lesquen, le patron de Radio Courtoisie". Franceinfo (in French). 2016-12-07. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  4. ^ DUPIN, Éric (2017-02-02). La France identitaire: Enquête sur la réaction qui vient (in French). La Découverte. pp. 41–42. ISBN 9782707194848.
  5. ^ Lamy, Philippe. Le Club de l’Horloge (1974 -2002). Evolution et mutation d’un laboratoire idéologique. Université Paris VIII Saint-Denis (2016) (read online), pp. 24, 269-74
  6. ^ Lamy, Philippe. Le Club de l’Horloge (1974 -2002). Evolution et mutation d’un laboratoire idéologique. Université Paris VIII Saint-Denis (2016) (read online) pp. 264-65
  7. ^ a b c d e McCulloch, Tom (2006-08-01). "The Nouvelle Droite in the 1980s and 1990s: Ideology and Entryism, the Relationship with the Front National". French Politics. 4 (2): 163. doi:10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200099. ISSN 1476-3427.
  8. ^ Lamy, Philippe. Le Club de l’Horloge (1974 -2002). Evolution et mutation d’un laboratoire idéologique. Université Paris VIII Saint-Denis (2016) (read online), p. 291-96
  9. ^ Ariès, Paul (2016-03-31). La face cachée du pape François: Essais - documents (in French). Max Milo. ISBN 9782315007868.
  10. ^ "L'évolution du socle idéologique". Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  11. ^ a b c "Le FN va-t-il entrer en crise?". (in French). 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  12. ^ a b McCulloch, Tom (2006-08-01). "The Nouvelle Droite in the 1980s and 1990s: Ideology and Entryism, the Relationship with the Front National". French Politics. 4 (2): 158–178. doi:10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200099. ISSN 1476-3427. The Club was formed in 1974 by members of GRECE, notably Jean-Yves Le Gallou, Yvan Blot, and Henry de Lesquen [...] The founders were moved by political ambition and disillusionment with GRECE's long-term meta-political project for winning the battle of ideas and achieving the 'sudden metamorphosis' that would create fundamental political shift. The Club intended to force the pace and its members pursued careers in the RPR and UDF.
  13. ^ "La nouvelle droite organise sa riposte à une " campagne malhonnête "" (in French). 1979-09-29. Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  14. ^ Venner, Fiammetta (2006-11-02). Extreme France (in French). Grasset. p. 67. ISBN 9782246666097.
  15. ^ "Henry de Lesquen, au nom de la race". Libé (in French). 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  16. ^ "UN ETE 98. A suivre: l'irrésistible ascension de Bruno Mégret (1). L'allégeance faite à Le Pen. Après la déroute de sa liste aux européennes de 1984, Mégret rejoint le Front national. Plus par stratégie que par véritable conviction". Libé (in French). 1998-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  17. ^ Crépon, Sylvain (2015-10-29). Les faux-semblants du Front national: Sociologie d'un parti politique (in French). Presses de Sciences Po. p. 108. ISBN 9782724618129.
  18. ^ "Une histoire de la "préférence nationale"". L'Obs (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  19. ^ Shields, James (2007-05-07). The Extreme Right in France: From Pétain to Le Pen. Routledge. pp. 157, 220, 245–6. ISBN 9781134861118.
  20. ^ a b Collet, Isabell; Dayer, Caroline (2014-08-01). Former envers et contre le genre (in French). De Boeck Superieur. ISBN 9782804189242.
  21. ^ Albertini, Dominique; Doucet, David (2016-09-21). La Fachosphère. Comment l'extrême droite remporte la bataille d'Internet (in French). Flammarion. p. 198. ISBN 9782081354913.
  22. ^ a b "Les propos nauséabonds d'Henry de Lesquen, multirécidiviste de la haine". (in French). 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  23. ^ "Carrefour de l'Horloge (CDH) — France Politique". Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  24. ^ "Premières rencontres du Carrefour de l'Horloge, le 16 janvier 2016". Henry de Lesquen (in French). 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  25. ^ "Consulter les annonces du JO Association". Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  26. ^ Pagès, Arnaud; Topaloff, Anna (2018-05-29). "" Le racisme n'est pas nécessairement haineux "". Vice (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  27. ^ Philippe Lamy (sous la dir. de Claude Dargent), (thèse de doctorat en sociologie), Paris, université Paris-VIII, 2016, pp. 373-74.
  28. ^ ""Musique nègre", "racisme des Juifs", "coefficient de blancheur"... le procès surréaliste d'Henry de Lesquen". Les Inrocks (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  29. ^; Fouchecour, Clotilde de (2016-06-02). "Henry de Lesquen: le candidat de la mémoire (courte)". Causeur (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  30. ^ Dufresne, Marine Turchi et David. "Les conseillers secrets de la campagne de Marine Le Pen". Mediapart (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  31. ^ Pagès, Arnaud (2016-11-17). "J'ai demandé à Henry de Lesquen s'il croyait vraiment à ses théories racistes délirantes". Vice (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  32. ^ min, Supélec avec Lesquen 18 juillet 2017 23 h 39 (2017-07-18). "Entretien avec Henry de Lesquen – par Grégoire Canlorbe". Henry de Lesquen (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  33. ^ Venner, Fiammetta (2006-11-02). Extreme France (in French). Grasset. ISBN 9782246666097.
  34. ^ "" Le référendum d'initiative citoyenne, une proposition venue de la " droite de droite """ (in French). 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  35. ^ "Le RIC, de la gauche autogestionnaire à l'extrême droite" (in French). 2018-12-20. ISSN 0242-6056. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  36. ^ Philippe Lamy. Le Club de l’Horloge (1974 -2002). Evolution et mutation d’un laboratoire idéologique. Université Paris VIII Saint-Denis (2016) p. 55
  37. ^ a b Philippe Lamy. Le Club de l’Horloge (1974 -2002). Evolution et mutation d’un laboratoire idéologique. Université Paris VIII Saint-Denis (2016) p. 422

External links[edit]