Gustave Hervé


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Hervé, Gustave

 

Born Jan. 2, 1871, in Brest; died Oct. 25, 1944, in Paris. French political figure.

Hervé led the “ultraleft” antimilitarist faction in the French Socialist Party (founded 1902) and, later, in the French Section of the Workers’ International (SFIO; founded 1905). In 1906 he became the editor of the newspaper La Guerre sociale, in which he advocated a program of antimilitarist struggle. At the Stuttgart Congress of the Second International (1907), Hervé put forth the idea that the proper response to any war, regardless of its character, should be rebellion and a refusal to be drafted. V. I. Lenin sharply criticized the “semi-anarchistic absurdities” of Hervéism (see Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 16, pp. 72, 86–87).

On the eve of World War I, Hervé’s views took on a rightist coloration, and in 1914 he became an open advocate of bourgeois chauvinism. He published chauvinist propaganda in his newspaper, which he renamed La Victoire in 1916. In 1916 he was expelled from the SFIO. Hervé was a supporter of national socialism in the 1930’s and called for an alliance of France with fascist Germany. In 1940 Hervé campaigned for the transfer of power to H. P. Pétain.