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This article appears in the May 9, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Dick Cheney Has a French
Connection—To Fascism

by Jeffrey Steinberg, Tony Papert, and Barbara Boyd

EIR's ongoing investigation into the "Straussian cabal" in and around the Bush Administration, which is behind the ongoing "American Empire" drive, has unearthed a major scandal, linking some of the leading players in the current drama to a notorious network of World War II and postwar outright Nazi collaborators. The central figure in the investigation is the life-long collaborator of neo-conservative "godfather" Leo Strauss—the Paris-based Russian emigré, Alexandre Kojève.

Strauss and Kojève first met in Germany in 1928, and throughout Strauss's subsequent career in the United States—at the New School for Social Research, the University of Chicago, and St. John's College—Strauss funneled his leading disciples to Paris, to study under Kojève. Thus, for example, Strauss's top protégé and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz' teacher, the late Allan Bloom, made annual pilgrimages to Paris, from 1953 up until Kojève's death in 1968, to immerse himself in Kojève's Nietzschean fascist beliefs.

Although he taught for six years at the Sorbonne's École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) on the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, Kojève's post-World War II nest was the French Economics Ministry, where he was an architect of the European Community. His informal seminars at his ministry office, however, were the finishing school for several generations of avowed American and European "Straussians," including Francis Fukuyama, the author of The End of History and the New Man, a Kojèvian diatribe, promoting Napoleon Bonaparte as the hero of modern history for having brought about the advent of a global one-world tyranny.

An American 'Synarchist Empire'?

EIR's investigation has established that Kojève was not only an ideologue of universal fascism, but he was also a leading figure in the most powerful fascist circles of 20th-Century France, the Synarchists. Both French and American wartime and postwar military intelligence services probed the role of the Synarchists in France's Vichy government, and branded the underground secret movement as amply willing Nazi collaborationists. Indeed, the Movement for Synarchist Empire (MSE), founded in France in the early 1930s, was part of a Europe-wide apparatus of businessmen, bankers, and government officials, who were dedicated to a unified fascist Europe, and who chose to support Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party as their instrument.

U.S. Army, State Department, and FBI files from the World War II period labeled the French fascist circles of Kojève "Synarchist/Nazi-Communist." This was more than a reference to the 1938-1941 interlude of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, which abruptly ended with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in May 1941. The Synarchists, while promoting a Europe-wide totalitarianism to crush the threat of "anarchy," had penetrated and financed all the political movements of the extreme left and extreme right, as well as the leading government ministries, particularly those dealing with economic and financial policy, as well as Franco-German relations. Thus, following his death, Kojève was identified by French intelligence as a 30-year Soviet agent, operating inside the French bureaucracy. His ostensible Soviet agentry overlapped with his recruitment into the Synarchist orbit in the mid-1930s.

The fact that Leo Strauss considered Kojève his intellectual partner, and the man who brought the element of "purgative violence" to Strauss' own esoteric power schemes, is of special significance, given the current dominant role that the Strauss-Kojève "kindergarten" is playing in Washington—promoting a U.S.A.-centered global empire, with many Synarchist features.

Among the leading Strauss disciples who dominate the war party in and around the Bush Administration are: Paul Wolfowitz, a personal protégé of Kojève student Allan Bloom; Rupert Murdoch-bankrolled neo-con propagandist William Kristol; Pentagon disinformation czar Abram Shulsky; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Attorney General John Ashcroft; Project for the New American Century director Gary Schmitt (he and Shulsky co-authored a paean to Strauss, titled "Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence" which trashed CIA National Intelligence Board founder Sherman Kent); and "World War IV" propagandist Robert Kagan.

Within Israel, a parallel network of Straussian think tanks has emerged in recent years as the backbone of Ariel Sharon's own Jabotinskyite fascist regime. The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS)—which commissioned the now-infamous 1996 study, "A Clean Break," by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and others, promoting perpetual war in the Middle East sparked by the military overthrow of Saddam Hussein—is one center of Strauss-Kojève influence in Israel.

Alexandre Kojève and his Synarchist cronies evaded postwar prosecution—leaving Vichy head of state Marshal Pétain to sit in the dock—and emerged as mainstays of the Fourth Republic bureaucratic elite. Yet Kojève personally never abandoned the universal fascist/Synarchist cause. He, along with Leo Strauss, played a major role in the postwar "rehabilitation" of leading Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt. In 1955, Kojève addressed a group of Düsseldorf businessmen, at Schmitt's invitation, and Schmitt attempted to arrange a private meeting between Kojève and Hitler's former Economics Minister Hjalmar Schacht, the architect of the Nazi slave-labor system.

The 'Synarchist/Nazi-Communist' File

This extensive Nazi/Vichy collusion was well known to French and American patriotic military intelligence circles, who worked closely throughout World War II gathering in-depth information on the worst fascist/Synarchist elements within the Pétain government. Throughout the war, the United States maintained a diplomatic and military legation in Vichy, headed by some of President Franklin Roosevelt's most trusted associates.

In 1947, William L. Langer, a official of the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS), later a Harvard University professor, published an book-length account, Our Vichy Gamble (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947), which was formally commissioned in 1944 by Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The book was based on the entire classified files of OSS, the Department of State, and the War Department, as well as Langer's in-depth interviews with all the key FDR Administration policy players, including OSS founder Gen. William Donovan and the President Roosevelt. Langer's account of the highly controversial U.S. engagement with Vichy made it absolutely clear that the Synarchists were understood to be among the most hard-core Nazi collaborators and enthusiasts.

Speaking of Adm. Jean François Darlan, one of the leading pro-Hitler figures in the Vichy government, Langer wrote: "But Darlan's henchmen were not confined to the fleet. His policy of collaboration with Germany could count on more than enough eager supporters among French industrial and banking interests—in short, among those who even before the war, had turned to Nazi Germany and had looked to Hitler as the savior of Europe from Communism. These were the elements which had originally backed Pétain and Weygand—elements that stuck to the program after both these men had begun to back away from it. These people were as good fascists as any in Europe. They dreaded the Popular Front like the plague and were convinced that they could prosper even under Hitler's iron rod. Many of them had long had extensive and intimate business relations with German interests and were still dreaming of a new system of 'synarchy,' which meant government of Europe on fascist principles by an international brotherhood of financiers and industrialists. [French Prime Minister Pierre] Laval had long been associated with this group."

Langer identified the center of the French Synarchists as the Banque Worms et Cie. "To realize the extent to which members of the Banque Worms group had been taken into the government by the Autumn of 1941," Langer wrote, "a brief survey of the council and of the Secretaries of State will be most profitable." At which point Langer listed dozens of top Vichy bureaucrats, particularly in the ministries in charge of industry, finance, and Franco-German relations, who were part of the Synarchist/Banque Worms group.

On March 29, 1944, William Donovan wrote a memo to President Roosevelt, recounting interviews he had recently conducted with several French Resistance leaders, who had underscored that the Synarchists were at the core of the Hitlerite grouping in Vichy.

Alexandre Kojève's personal role during the Vichy period is shrouded in mystery. His whereabouts from 1939 through the end of World War II are not publicly documented. However, French intelligence files show that one of his best students in the Sorbonne EPHE Hegel seminars, Robert Marjolin, was a leading member of the Synarchist/Worms group, who became France's Minister of Economics in 1945, and sponsored Kojève's own 20-year career at the ministry.

But the ultimate proof of Kojève's unrepentant, deeply held fascist/Synarchist views is to be found in his writings and teachings (see accompanying article).

Dick Cheney's Kindergarten

Kojève's rabid glorification of Jacobinism, Bonapartism, and purgative violence has clearly made its mark on the war party apparatus in and around the Cheney-Wolfowitz cabal. Defense Policy Board "revolution in military affairs" guru Newt Gingrich's recent violent attack on Secretary of State Colin Powell and the entire Near East Bureau of the State Department is one graphic incident of the group's impulse to purgative violence. Bloom intimate Wolfowitz' dozen-year promotion of Hitlerian "preventive war" is another, even more ominous example.

Leo Strauss, sensitive to postwar Americans' hatred for all things fascist, deceptively wrapped himself in the legacy of the Founding Fathers, for public consumption. He sent his favorite disciples to Paris—to Alexandre Kojève's salon—for the full fascist/Synarchist indoctrination. Despite that sleight of hand, the stench of historical fascism is too deep to rub off Wolfowitz, Kristol, Fukuyama, and the entire coterie of Dick Cheney-protected putschists, who would turn the U.S.A. into a sick parody of the first modern fascist empire, the France of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The fact that prominent present-day American Synarchists like Richard Perle and self-professed universal fascist Michael Ledeen have been waging a non-stop attack against French President Jacques Chirac and all things French is being increasingly viewed as a weak attempt to divert attention from their own, very nasty "French Connection."