Sunday, August 30, 2015

Interview: The Camp of the Saints II

The new bogeyman, hex, curse, sneer and left/liberal branding iron is racism. It comes with many names. “Islamophobia.” Bigotry. “White privilege.” It is invoked the moment a single person or publication criticizes the influx of Muslims and illegal immigrants into Europe or into the U.S. It is the “one size fits all” smear that is supposed to automatically silence critics of mass immigration and conflict-engendering multiculturalism and cause them to hang their heads in shame and apology – which it succeeds in doing – and then wave in without control the dross of the earth to loot, murder, rape, destroy, and force “whites” to pay Islamic or welfare state jizya, as the price of being left alone – for the time being.

“White privilege” is bad. But “black” or “Muslim” or Hispanic privilege is good. When blacks attack whites and even murder them, that’s “reparations.” Or “just deserts.”  If whites attack blacks, that’s racism or evidence of genetically- or culturally- inculcated racism in whites.  

What collectivists and the liberal/left will not accept is that ideas such as individual rights, property rights, esthetics, science, technology and so on are not race-specific or the result of inherited genetic "predilections.”The notion that they are has been disproven countless times.  Yet it is important to collectivists and the liberal/left that everyone believe that whites are naturally racists, while blacks and browns are not. And if the latter seem to be racist, that’s only Rawlsian “justice.”
In December 2010 Family Security Matters (FSM) interviewed me about Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints, published in France in 1973 and translated for the U.S. market in 1975. Raspail predicted and dramatized what would happen to Europe, particularly to France, if it allowed the mass immigration – actually, an invasion – of a million impoverished Hindus, first into France, and then into the rest of Europe: the downfall of Western civilization. The relevancy now is the mass immigration of Muslims, which, at the time of publication of Raspail’s novel, was a non-issue. Now the parallels are apparent to all but to those whose minds have been lobotomized, suborned, or silenced by political correctness and various other liberal/left epistemological maladies.

Jean Raspail is the author of a few dozen books – travelogues, novels, nonfiction – and in 1981 was awarded the Grand Prix du Roman by the Académie Française.

By now, some five years later, the consequences of mass immigration are apparent even to many champions of multiculturalism and illegal immigration. Europe is frantically erecting walls and barriers at the cost of billions to block or reduce to the literal invasion of the continent by countless non-European, mostly North Africans and Middle Easterners with absolutely no cultural or political affinity for the West. In the U.S., our nihilist, racist president Barack Obama is deliberately encouraging Mexicans and Central and South Americans to swarm across the southern border with virtually no opposition, and is also importing Muslims by the tens of thousands to swamp and neuter “white” culture in big cities and small towns. The ostensive purpose of this “invasion by invitation” is to create a bigger voting bloc for the Democrats to continue their welfare state policies. Muslims and Mexicans will vote the straight party ticket out of gratitude, of course. But Obama’s core motivation is a malign, nihilist, and racist one.

What must be remembered is that neither the Muslims nor the Mexicans want to invest Western society to “improve” it. They’re not desperate to invade the West to compose great symphonies, invent and perfect new manufacturing technologies or new surgical methods, study the development of individual and property rights, or write critiques of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. They just want to live the good life of welfare state parasites and as a class be “protected” by government rules from criticism or “discrimination.” As I note in the interview, they’re here to game, not just the system, but altruism, as well, together with the sordid culture of “white guilt” that has even developed like poisonous mold in public education via the Howard Zin-inspired “Common Core” curriculum in the nation’s grade and high schools.

Gatestone has run a series of articles on the invasion of Europe by immigrants supposedly fleeing “economic distress,” persecution, and poverty in search of “a better life. Vijeta Uniyal’s August 25th article, “Mass Immigration and the Undoing of Europe,” provides a partial documentation of the anemic, pathetic, and fruitless steps European governments are taking to ameliorate the effects of that invasion. Not to stop the invasion, but to lessen the harsh societal consequences of allowing indigenous populations be swamped by countless aliens with no affinity for any kind of civilized life.

Ingrid Carlqvist’s “Swedish Imam to Muslims: "Do Not Befriend the Unbelievers" – details
one month of how Islam and Multiculturalism don’t work in Sweden, chiefly because the multiculturalism-committed Swedish government patronizes Muslim “asylum seekers” and not Christian ones.

Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard’s February 14th Gatestone article, “Sweden: Rape Capital of the West,” provides in horrid detail the lengths to which the Swedish government and the state controlled media go to cover up the fact that Muslims commit the overwhelming number of rapes of Swedish women.

In 1975, the Swedish parliament unanimously decided to change the former homogeneous Sweden into a multicultural country. Forty years later the dramatic consequences of this experiment emerge: violent crime has increased by 300%.

If one looks at the number of rapes, however, the increase is even worse. In 1975, 421 rapes were reported to the police; in 2014, it was 6,620. That is an increase of 1,472%.

But it isn’t all about Muslims and rape and crime rates. It’s also about illegals and rape and crime rates. And it’s also about the kind of racial strife Obama has contributed to with his own racial attitudes. When Hispanic/White George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense, Obama said that if he had a son, he would be like Trayvon Martin, who, in reality, was an aimless thug with a racist chip on his shoulder. But when two whites were murdered by a black (and by a black gay, no less), Vester Lee Flanagan II/Bryce Williams, in Virginia  – for racial reasons, the nation didn’t hear Obama say that if he had a sister, she’d be like Alison Parker, or if he had a brother, he’d be like Adam Ward, the victims.  What Flanagan did many black racists probably see as “counter-racism” or “racial justice.” That’s an attitude that too likely sits well with Obama. He had nothing to say, either, about the murder of Kathryn Steinie, a white, by a Mexican illegal, in San Francisco.

Matt Patterson erred on the side of granting Obama the benefit of the doubt in his August 18th, 2011 American Thinker article, “Obama: The Affirmative Action President.” Obama is not actually incompetent or the beneficiary of an electorate that wants to give a “black man” a chance in the White House to prove he’s just as good as any other president. The man is a malevolent, power-lusting, Marxist, racist. He is the “bright side” of the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Louis Farrakhan.

What follows is an edited version of the FSM interview from 2010.

FSM: What prompted you to read The Camp of the Saints?

Me: An article on FrontPage in December 2010 by Roland Shirk about the book. I looked up the original article.  I hadn’t read the novel in decades, and remembered little about it. What piqued my interest was the nature of Roland Shirk’s comments about it in his original article about the novel from December 10th. His reservations about Raspail’s “biologistic racialism” centered on Raspail went about defending Western values and liberties. He referred to the abrupt invasion of France by what he called “by hordes of culturally and religiously alien interlopers,” with no conditions of assimilation imposed on them, as the beginning of the end of Western civilization.

FSM: Were his reservations justified?

Me: Oh, yes, very much so. But first let me get one issue out of the way. I haven’t read any of Raspail’s other books, and don’t plan to, but, literarily speaking, Camp is an awful novel, badly written, a mess beyond redemption. There is little or no plot, all of the characters are two-dimensional, and pages and pages of it are either expository or just talking heads. I don’t think it is the fault of the translator, and there have been two English translations of the work. Allen Drury, for example, was much better at writing that kind of doomsday-geared story, about the consequences of contemporary political machinations, domestic and international. Many of Raspail’s historical references are obscure, or not well integrated into his central premise. As satire, or even as a serious parable, it’s not very funny, and much of the intended humor is over my head.

Another drawback to the novel is Rapail’s apparent distaste for paragraph breaks. A single paragraph of his can go on for pages, Kantian-style. Such long paragraphs are a mark of bad writing, of not knowing where to stop or pause to allow a reader to digest anything but in humongous lumps. It’s a sign that the writer’s ideas are an undifferentiated, unintegrated mass of floating concepts and ideas.

Ironically, given the cataclysmic nature of the subject, there is almost no drama in his narrative or dialogue.

Reading the novel was like watching a pot that never boiled, or waiting for a glacier to nudge a stone in its relentless push forward. Some of it is darkly but unintentionally comic, such as when a group of monks and Catholic officials in ecclesiastical garb attempt to “ward off” the disembarking hordes of Hindus on the French coast by just “being there,” holding up a monstrance containing the Eucharist, as though it were a wreath of garlic and the hordes were vampires would cease and desist in their march to enjoy the benefits of Western civilization without contributing to it. The monks, the clerics, and the officials are either trampled to pulp by the barbarians, who don’t even notice them, or they’re swept up in the onrush of the barbarians as they move forward to claim the landscape and are never seen again. Raspail may have intended a point to that scene – he was very critical of the Church for allowing faith to lapse into mere empty-worded ritual – but it wasn’t well delivered. Oh, he made many points, but it was agony getting to them.

FSM:  You say Raspail was critical of Christianity, or the Church. Did he discuss the Hindu religion?

Me: Not once.  They were born Hindus, their religion and culture were in their genes. He also ascribed Western values as practically genetic in nature for whites. As he presented the conflict between the West and the Hindus, it boiled down to a clash of gestalts, or collectives whose members couldn’t help being what they were. The Western gestalt is superior to the Hindu, because….well, Raspail claims it is but never really offers a reason why. He couldn’t without ascribing superiority and inferiority to race.

FSM: How?

Me: Raspail flays the whole Western apologetic, guilt-driven, self-loathing philosophy that he holds responsible for the invasion of the barbarians. When Belgium announces that it is adopting no more Hindu babies to be settled in Belgium, it precipitates the decision to sail to the West from Calcutta clear to France. That may have been his pronouncement on the repercussions of unconditional and limitless Western foreign aid to the Third World. The Third World became addicted to it, eventually claiming the aid as an entitlement. When it was withdrawn, somehow this gestalt of upset Indians decides to sail West to claim it, and, as an act of vengeance, settle there and swamp Western society with their ragged, ignorant masses.

The difference between why the Hindus invaded Europe in the novel and why the Muslims have invaded it is crucial to note. The Hindus just wanted to settle in “paradise” and no mention is made of imposing an ideology on non-Hindus. The Hindus depicted by Raspail are actual brutes whose minds couldn’t conceive of an ideology. No mention is made of their converting churches into Hindu temples, although they do proceed to trash the country and subjugate the white French citizens, many of whom decide to become “token blacks,” or, as Raspail calls them, “fellow travelers.”

In reality, Muslims were invited to settle in Europe to shore up its various welfare states, to do all the menial work that Europeans didn’t wish to do or thought was beneath them. Raspail mentions Arabs and blacks from various other Third World venues preparing to take over Paris and other French cities once the million Hindus have made landfall in southern France.

I will remark that I found reading the novel so depressing that I had to take a break from it and often take two mental medications as antidotes to the doomsaying. One was the finale of Antonio Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus, the other was the finale of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio. These are products of Western culture (among many, many more in the arts) which the nihilist intelligentsias have deprecated and which the Islamists wish to erase from man’s memory and kill his capacity to produce and enjoy.

The only truly dramatic event in the story occurs early on when a retired professor of literature, observing from his villa on the Cote d’Azur the refugee fleet sitting offshore, has a brief discussion with a hippie nihilist character. He then shoots the foul-mouthed creature because he hoped that the Hindus would destroy everything the professor held dear. This malevolent, nihilist hippie, however, was right in his prediction of what would happen. His ilk in the elitist intellectual class, the professor recognizes, were responsible for the feeble, appeasing policy the government eventually adopts when confronted with a mass invasion of the “needy.”

It was the nihilist intelligentsia who convinced the traditionalists that they had no case and no justification to deny the uncouth and unschooled hordes from India their right to the products of Western culture and their right to smother the West with their numbers. And the traditionalists folded. The nihilists and the traditionalists get their just desserts at the hands of the hordes: they’re slaughtered, their wives and daughters taken into concubinage or sent to Hindu-only brothels,  their homes and wealth taken over by Third World looters,  squatters, and educated Third World racketeers.
This is exactly what has happened vis-à-vis Muslims and their campaign to take over Western countries. Underlying Islamic supremacism is a hatred for the life-affirming superiority of Western civilization. In this hatred Muslims share with the nihilists a malevolent approach to anything free – free men, free minds.

Raspail cites the racism of the Hindus, Muslims, and blacks and paints some very gory pictures of their reign over whites. These are echoes of the Indian Mutiny in 1857 against the British and Haiti in 1791. 

Unfortunately, Raspail only cites “tradition” and religious faith as the bulwark that will defend France against the invasion of the Hindu “Ganges,” as they are often referred to throughout the novel. All the excuses and rationalizations and expressions of self-flagellation uttered by the government, as Raspail assembles them and puts them into the mouths of various vacillating officials and media spokesmen, are just so many disconnected assertions that add up to no argument at all. It’s eerily similar to what American conservatives are doing and saying today, who refuse to question the indoctrination of American schoolchildren from K1 up through university, administered by our Orwellian Department of Education, lest they be accused by the press and the intelligentsia of racism, bigotry, and intolerance.

FSM: How so?

Me: I’ll let Raspail himself answer that question. Appended to the novel are several articles about the novel and Raspail, including an interview of him by the current American publisher. Raspail wrote a reappraisal of Camp for Le Figaro in 2004, “Fatherland Betrayed by the Republic.” He cites the phenomenon of the French being “bludgeoned by the throbbing tom-tom of human rights, of ‘the welcome to the outsider,’ of the ‘sharing’ dear to our bishops, etc., framed by a whole repressive arsenal of laws known as ‘anti-racist,’ conditioned from early childhood with cultural and behavioral ‘crossbreeding’…and with all the by-products of old Christian charity….” I can’t think of a better description of what is happening in America as well in that regard.

One can’t claim that the Christian ethos has been “hijacked” by liberal/left secularists, as the defenders and spokesmen of Islam aver about Islam. Like the ethos of Islam, it is likewise reducible to imperative altruism, self-sacrifice, and suicide, except that Islam is blatantly frank and open about its purpose and ends. In any contest between Mohammad and Christ, it is Mohammad who will be the victor. When Christ turns the other cheek and forgives Mohammad for not knowing what he’s doing, Mohammad will lop off his head. Christ has a kind of supporting role in Islamic mythology, but it’s pretty minor.

FSM: Are there any redeeming qualities to Raspail’s novel?

Me:  Yes, the fact that the European intellectual elite recognized that it was being attacked in the novel. That is the novel’s only redeeming quality, from my perspective. The novel was not well-received in Europe because the race “metaphor” either eluded the critics or was taken literally by them.

 Surprisingly, it was more favorably received in the U.S.  In France, it was largely vilified, dismissed or ignored. Now it’s a kind of underground cult classic among European anti-jihadists. The bromides and banalities about how the West is guilty of impoverishing the Third World by keeping it dependent on charity and handouts, and so must tax itself to death to share more of its wealth to atone for the sin of being richer, and to open its borders to all comers, regardless of their agenda, echo every collectivist claim and altruist bromide and banality uttered by the news media, the universities, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, the Clintons, and now by the Obama administration. The culpable are many and small. They are the champions of the Ganges, or of the Muslims.

Of course, the claim that the rich are rich and the middle class well-off because they “rob” or exploit the poor or the underclass is illogical.  You can’t become rich by robbing someone who has nothing to rob, you can’t exploit someone who has no values to trade or who is ignorant of the value of what he and his ancestors have ignored for millennia and otherwise had no use for because he and his tribalist brethren chose to remain backward, primitive, and tribalist.

Raspail doesn’t go into economics, doesn’t defend capitalism, doesn’t mention individual rights. While it’s a badly written novel, Camp is still a compelling read, because it does show the consequences of ideas – or rather of the absence of ideas. By the end of the novel, southern France has become a Hindu colony, northern France is overthrown by the “underclasses,” including Muslims, and the rest of Europe acts as a passive blotter for the phenomenon. Even Switzerland falls. The closest thing to the Islamic jihad is one mention of the Archbishop of Paris handing over Notre Dame to the Muslims to be turned into a mosque.

FSM: Going by your description of the novel, it sounds like it might be worth cracking open, but with all your caveats in mind. Is there a moral to the story?

Me: The chief moral to be drawn from The Camp of the Saints is that the West cannot absorb countless immigrants from Third World countries and cultures without establishing legally enforceable conditions for their coming to the West and settling in it. But such conditions are an anathema to the liberal/left philosophy of multiculturalism, diversity, “pluralism,” and tolerance. This is especially important when those same immigrants come to it with no intention of assimilating themselves into Western culture or adopting any of its values, but rather to import their primitive cultures intact and impose them on the West in the name of “diversity” or “religious freedom” or “tolerance.”  Muslims and illegal immigrants from “South of the Border” do not believe in “diversity,” “multiculturalism” or “tolerance.” They didn’t invent these concepts. But they know how to game the altruist premises that underlie those concepts. These are ideas of Western origin, and contain the seeds of suicide.

I doubt that Raspail ever made the connection between individual freedom, industrial civilization, and the wealth the West was able to produce because of them. It isn’t evident at all in the novel or in his prefaces, articles, or interviews.  He didn’t note that the welfare state is a magnet for maggots and parasites, domestic or foreign-born; he failed to suggest that the welfare state, premier among collectivist institutions, must be abolished if any Western values are to be preserved and sustained. And by “welfare state” I mean also foreign aid to any and all countries that pull at America’s altruist heart-strings, which countries usually spit on us and demand more, adopting a stance of moral superiority.

This is not the novel I would recommend to anyone to better grasp what has happened and is happening in Europe, and in slower motion here in the U.S., in the way of concessions and accommodations to the carriers of an alien, anti-life philosophy. Hordes of Hindu manqués are no better than mindless hordes of Huns, Muslims, Apaches, Chinese, Mexicans, Patagonians, or Caucasians. Or, as a distant friend of mine would call any one of them, but specifically Muslims, “not lovable normal human beings – but cultural vacuums, black holes of non-creativity and inhumanity, a tribe of nobodies, just the bloody vanguard foot soldiers representing a totalitarian mindset that has no sense of humor, no capacity for self-criticism and no respect for other people's views.”

Well, I would say that a lack of a sense of humor is merely a venial sin of Islam’s, not its cardinal offense, which is its refusal, indeed, its inherent inability, to “self-criticize.” The creed forbids questions of any nature, which is why it cannot and will not respect other people’s views.  Muslims can’t criticize it, nor kaffirs or non-Muslims without risking the charge of “hate speech.”  Not even Pope Benedict could get away with a circumspect criticism of it. It is forbidden. That explains its totalitarian nature. No one ever said that the face of Big Brother had to be a kindly one staring out from an Ingsoc poster. He can also be wearing a Brooks Brothers suit and a turban staring out from an IslamSoc poster with a scraggly beard and death in his eyes.

FSM:  Thank you, Mr. Cline

*The Camp of the Saints, by Jean Raspail. 1973. Trans. Norman Shapiro. (Petoskey, MI: The Social Contract Press, 2007).

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