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Third Position is an ideology that was developed in the late 20th century by political parties including Terza Posizione in Italy and Third Way in France. It emphasizes opposition to both communism and capitalism. Advocates of Third Position politics typically present themselves as "beyond left and right" while syncretizing ideas from each end of the political spectrum, usually reactionary right-wing cultural views and radical left-wing economic views. Third Positionists often seek alliances with separatists of ethnicities and races other than their own, with the goal of achieving peaceful ethnic and racial coexistence, a form of segregation emphasizing self-determination and preservation of cultural differences. They support national liberation movements in the least-developed countries and have recently embraced environmentalism.
The term "Third Position" was coined in Europe and the main precursors of Third Position politics were National Bolshevism (a synthesis of ultranationalism and Bolshevik socialism) and Strasserism (a radical, mass-action and worker-based form of National Socialism, advocated by the "left-wing" of the Nazi Party until it was crushed in the Night of the Long Knives in 1934).
At the peak of the Cold War, the former Argentine President Juan Perón (1946–1955; 1973–1974) defined the international position of his doctrine (Peronism) as a Third Position between capitalism and communism, a stance which became a precedent of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Until we proclaimed our doctrine, in front of us, capitalist individualism and communist collectivism rose triumphal, the shadow of their imperial wings extending in every path open to mankind… This way, Justicialism was born, under the supreme aspiration of a high ideal. The Justicialism, created by us and for our descendants, as a third ideological position aimed to liberate us from capitalism without making us fall into the oppressing claws of collectivism.— Juan Domingo Peron addressing the Congress in 1952.
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During the 1930s and 1940s, a number of splinter groups from the radical left became associated with radical nationalism. Jacques Doriot's French Popular Party (from the French Communist Party) and Marcel Déat's National Popular Rally (from the French Section of the Workers' International). Third Position ideology gained some support in France, where in 1985 Jean-Gilles Malliarakis set up a "Third Way" political party, Troisième Voie (TV). Considering its main enemies to be the United States, communism and Zionism, the group advocated radical paths to national revolution. Associated for a time with the Groupe Union Défense, TV was generally on poor terms with Front National until 1991, when Malliarakis decided to approach them. As a result, TV fell apart and a radical splinter group under Christian Bouchet, Nouvelle Résistance, adopted National Bolshevik and then Eurasianist views.
Querfront ("cross-front") was the cooperation between conservative revolutionaries in Germany with the far-left during the Weimar Republic of the 1920s. The term is also used today for mutual entryism or cooperation between left and right-wing groups. On the left, the Communists social fascism strategy focused against the Social Democrats, resulting in a stalemate and incidents of temporary cooperation with genuine fascist and ultranationalist forces. Ernst Niekisch and others tried to combine communist and anti-capitalist nationalist forces to overthrow the existing order of the Weimar Republic. He called this merger National Bolshevism. The Chancellor, General Kurt von Schleicher, pursued a strategy of demerging the left wing of the Nazi Party as a way of gaining Adolf Hitler's support for his government. Schleicher's idea was to threaten the merger of the left-leaning Nazis and the trade unions as way of forcing Hitler to support his government, but his plan failed.
In Italy, the Third Position was developed by Roberto Fiore, along with Gabriele Adinolfi and Peppe Dimitri, in the tradition of Italian neo-fascism. Third Position’s ideology is characterized by a militarist formulation, a palingenetic ultranationalism looking favourably to national liberation movements, support for racial separatism and the adherence to a soldier lifestyle. In order to construct a cultural background for the ideology, Fiore looked to the ruralism of Julius Evola and sought to combine it with the desire for a cultural-spiritual revolution. He adopted some of the positions of the contemporary far-right, notably the ethnopluralism of Alain de Benoist and the Europe-wide appeal associated with such views as the Europe a Nation campaign of Oswald Mosley (amongst others). Fiore was one of the founders of the Terza Posizione movement in 1978. Third Position ideas are now represented in Italy by Forza Nuova, led by Fiore; and by the movement CasaPound, a network of far-right social centres.
In the United States, the Political Research Associates argue that Third Position politics has been promoted by some white nationalist groups such as the National Alliance, American Front and White Aryan Resistance as well as some black nationalist groups such as the Nation of Islam, since the late 20th century. In 2010, the American Third Position Party (later renamed American Freedom Party) was founded in part to channel the right-wing populist resentment engendered by the financial crisis of 2007–2010 and the policies[which?] of the Obama administration.
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revised 4/15/1994, 3 corrections 1999
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- ITP, The Third Position Handbook, London: Third Position, 1997.