Pierre Biétry (9 May 1872 – 3 December 1918) was a French syndicalist and politician who initially followed orthodox socialism before moving to the right. He was the pioneer of "Yellow socialism", a movement that has been portrayed as a forerunner of fascism.
Born in Fêche-l'Église, he moved to Algeria as a 13-year-old and stayed four years in the colony before returning home. He then became a member of the French Workers' Party (POF) and was praised in its paper, Le Socialiste, for his activity in Franche-Comté. He was also for a time associated with the followers of Jules Guesde.
His break with socialism occurred around then, largely as a result of his opposition to the idea of a general strike as well as his overall disillusionment with the failure of socialist activity in France. Coupled with his advocation of class co-operation to alleviate working class suffering, that made him quit the POF in 1900. He came to advocate non-political trade union activity and a corporatist relationship between the unions and the employers. He formed his own trade union, the Fédération nationale des jaunes de France in 1902. As a political arm to his union he also formed the National Socialist Party in 1903. Initially the new movement was fairly low-key, but it gained a surge in support in 1910-11 after a series of violent acts by the Confédération générale du travail led to many more conservative workers deserting their ranks. Biétry's somewhat unusual approach to politics and his muddied ideology earned him widespread coverage in the press, which reported him as something of an oddity.
He became attracted to the anti-Semitism of Édouard Drumont and soon grafted it on to his corporatist anti-capitalism. His Jaunes movement surprisingly won the support of traditionally-conservative figures such as Victor Henri Rochefort and Paul Déroulède who were attracted to Biétry's patriotism as well as Drumont. He briefly enjoyed the support of Action Française, but Biétry's headstrong personality meant that was short-lived as it had hoped to dominate his movement. He was elected to Parliament in the 1906 election.
Ultimately, Biétry's period of influence proved short-lived as Charles Maurras and his followers became the main focus of agitation on the right. Les Jaunes held a final congress in 1909, and he declined to run again in the 1910 election. He died in Saigon in 1918.
- Salinger, Pierre (2001). P. S.: A Memoir. St. Martins Press. p. 2. ISBN 0312300204.
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