Since the nine teenth century a host of party typo lo gies have been developed. This kind of research included efforts to find four or five factors defin ing the differ ence between the moder ate and the extreme right. In the nine teenth century extrem ists on the right of the polit ical spec trum were frequently called ‘reac tion ar ies’. The concept of conser vat ism cannot easily be described by ration al istic defin i tions and refuses to pose as just another ‘ism’. The Pope on his return to Rome in 1814 outlawed all street light ing because it was in his view a ‘revolu tion ary innov a tion’.1 In stating this opinion he gave a remark able defin i tion of what conser vat ism wants to avoid. Conservatism is, however, not neces sar ily opposed to change. Modern right-wing extrem ism, though frequently called ‘reac tion ary’, may have a quite progress ive social programme. The Fascist regimes in Germany and Italy became the most violent ration al istic modern isers of their respect ive coun tries in spite of ideo lo gical commitments to an organic society. Modern defin i tions of right-wing extrem ism are still based on the tradi tional criterion for

differ en ti at ing between conser vat ives and reac tion ar ies: conser vat ives try to main tain the status quo, right-wing extrem ists want to restore the status quo ante. A second criterion has been added, however: the envis aged restor a tion may, if neces sary, be achieved by the use of force. This latter criterion may be better applied to fascism and neo-fascism than to tradition al ist reac tion ary move ments. The commit ment of right-wing extrem ists to the status quo ante can, however, be called into ques tion. In Weimar Germany the move ment called ‘conser vat ive revolu tion’ was the first right-wing polit ical form a tion which did not simply want restor a tion. It was neither cler ic ally-oriented nor very tradi tional in its social ideas, and certainly not inter ested in the restor a tion of the Hohenzollern monarchy.2 The ideas of the ‘conser vat ive revolu tion’ seem to have played a greater role in France than even certain French precurs ors of right-wing thought. Germany was a late comer with regard to the produc tion of this type of ideo logy. Among the revolu tion ary right in France a kind of ‘préfascisme’ had developed, based on atti tudes which remained similar from Barrès to Maurras.3