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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 Troisième Voie 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.
The term "Third Position" was coined in Europe and the main precursors of Third Position politics were National Bolshevism (a synthesis of far-right ultranationalism and far-left Bolshevik socialism) and Strasserism (a radical, mass-action, worker-based, socialist 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 ). Neo-fascist, Neo-Nazi author Francis Parker Yockey had proposed an alliance between communists and fascists called Red-Brown Alliance (Red being the color of communism and Brown being the color of Nazism) which would have been anti-Semitic, anti-American, and anti-Zionist in nature. Yockey lent support to Third World liberation movements as well.
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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International Third Position (ITP) was a neo-fascist organisation formed by the breakaway faction of the British National Front, led by Roberto Fiore, an ex-member of the Italian far-right movement Third Position.
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.
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 and neo-Nazi groups such as the National Alliance, American Front, Traditionalist Worker Party 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 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.