After 1906, party organizations declined; the Right fragmented, and lost ground electorally. Yet a network of Centre and Right politicians, businessmen, academics, and journalists crystallized around an aspiration for ‘organization’ of society, economy, polity, and the family. The organizational movement took from crowd theory its emphasis on organic hierarchy, which it believed could be materialized through proportional representation and representation of business interests in parliament. ‘Organization’ would reinforce the leadership of the competent at a time when the victories of the Radical-Socialists appeared to represent the triumph of mediocrity. As always, Centre and Right disagreed concerning the nature of competence, notably because religion and economic philosophies still posed problems. Nonetheless, on the eve of war, a nationalist campaign for three-year military service reinforced conservative unity, and paved the way for the wartime Union sacrée. This would be a unity from above: until the mid-1920s, popular conservatism was relatively marginalized.
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