René Valentin Binet (16 October 1913 in Darnétal, Seine-Maritime – 16 October 1957 in Pontoise) was a French militant political activist who was linked to both Trotskyism and fascism.
During the 1930s, René Binet was involved with the French Communist Youth in Le Havre. Expelled from that group in 1935, he moved towards the Fourth International: he joined "the Commune" group of Pierre Frank and Raymond Molinier, then was a founder member of Molinier's Parti communiste internationaliste in March 1936, being elected a member of the party's Central Committee. When the party was dissolved in 1938 to become part of the Workers and Peasants' Socialist Party Binet withdrew from the group. Instead he became involved in the Parti ouvrier internationaliste.
SS Charlemagne Division
Binet was taken prisoner by the Germans early in World War II and whilst in a POW camp he moved from being opposed to Stalinism to supporting Nazism. Having become a Nazi he saw action for the SS Charlemagne Division during the war.
After the war he returned to political activism and collaborated with Marc Augier in setting up the journal Combattant européen in 1946. He also set up a number of political parties and organizations, notably the Parti républicain d'unité populaire in 1946, the Forces françaises révolutionnaires in 1947 and the Mouvement socialiste d'unité française in 1948, the latter banned by the government the following year, before ultimately he joining Jeune Nation.
Binet then became close to Maurice Bardèche in the Comité National Français, and accompanied Bardèche to the meeting in Malmö in 1951 that saw the formation of the European Social Movement. However Binet soon broke from the new group which he felt did not go far enough in terms of racialism and anti-communism and joined with Gaston-Armand Amaudruz in establishing the Zurich-based New European Order as a more radical alternative.
Whilst still involved in activism, including running a small publishing house, Comptoir National du Livre, with his wife, Binet was killed in a car accident. Binet, noted for his domineering personality and once described by Bardèche as a 'fascist of the puritan type who spends his life founding parties and publishing roneotyped newspapers', was not always popular with his far right colleagues, leading to allegations that some of them may have arranged his death.
- Théorie du racisme, 1950
- L'Évolution, l'homme, la race, 1952
- Socialisme national contre marxisme, 1953; published again in 1978 with a preface by Gaston-Armand Amaudruz
- Contribution à une éthique raciste, 1975 with a preface by Amaudruz
- Robert Jackson Alexander, International Trotskyism, 1929-1985, p.365
- Ariane Chebel d'Appollonia, L'Extreme Droite en France, p.283
- d'Appollonia, op cit, p.282
- Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, p.36
- Kurt P. Tauber, 'German Nationalists and European Union', Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4. (Dec., 1959), p.568
- Tauber, op cit, p.573
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