The Quote Below—More Misinformation from the Media
“One morning in 1972, the French writer Jean Raspail was at his home on the Mediterranean coast when he had a vision of a million refugees clamoring to enter Europe. . . . At the time Raspail was a respected writer best known for his travelogues. But the racist novel that resulted from that episode, ‘The Camp of the Saints,’ would become his most famous and controversial and, surprisingly, most influential work.
“For some 30 years, ‘Camp of the Saints’ has been one of the top two books in white supremacist circles,” said Heidi Beirich, an expert on extremism at the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center leaked emails earlier this month in which the Trump advisor Stephen Miller touted the book to Breitbart. . . .
“Published in 1973, the dystopian novel details how a flotilla of Indian migrants reach France’s southern coast to invade the country. Political elites fail to respond to the influx, and the continent is overrun. For nearly half a century, the book has stoked fears of immigration that have, to its supporters, seemed increasingly prescient as growing numbers of refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in Europe. . . .
“In September 2015, while European countries struggled with an immigration crisis, Miller encouraged Breitbart editors to write about Raspail’s book. Three weeks later the conservative website ran a story noting that, like in the novel, contemporary Western leaders were ‘urging on ever larger waves’ of immigration and may well be ‘unable to erect walls.’ The Trump Administration’s anti-immigration policy is a direct consequence of taking ‘Camp of the Saints’ as a blue book for governing, [said Cecile Alduy, a professor of French Studies at Stanford University].” – A Racist Book’s Malign and Lingering Influence, Ellan Peltier and Nicholas Kullsh, The New York Times, 11/22/19 [Link]
Fact Check of Quote Above: The background of this article was the recent effort by media elites and leftists to oust Stephen Miller from the Trump Administration. Miller has been the strongest advocate of border control and immigration restriction among the president’s leading advisors. The strategy was to discredit Miller for endorsing a “racist” book and thereby cause his resignation. So far it hasn’t happened, and it probably won’t.
As is their common tactic, the opponents of sensible immigration policies try to dismiss any view or person they don’t like by leveling the charge of racism. The “Camp of the Saints” is much too complex and profound for this tactic to work. Admittedly the book depicts the hordes invading Europe in unflattering terms. This is certainly a drawback, but it may also be seen as an artistic device, one not to be taken literally—a use of hyperbole and exaggeration to highlight the peril that massive migration poses to Western countries.
Significantly, one of the protagonists and heroes of the book is an Indian immigrant who passionately defends Western culture and values. That seems to be Raspail’s way of saying that the fate of the West is not just the concern of “white supremacists.”
In any case, the flaws of “The Camp of the Saints” are more than surpassed by its truthful and thought-provoking insights. The authors of the Times article try to slight Raspail’s work by snidely suggesting that it “stoked fears” in readers and merely appeared prophetic. The reality is that it accurately forecast, almost fifty years ago, the massive waves of migration now beginning to overwhelm western countries. That might well give credence to the remainder of his prophesy not yet fulfilled—the demise of Western Civilization. It is imperative to discuss how we might change course to avert this disaster.
Raspail also does a masterful job cutting through the rhetoric of Western elites as they proclaim compassion, tolerance and love for diversity. With a laser wit he employs sarcasm and satire to expose the base motives that belie the rhetoric—nihilism, morbid and pathological guilt, hedonism, and anti-Western ideologies.
Thus Raspail renders a great service by encouraging a critical eye toward the real-life partisans of mass immigration. One example is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which publicized Stephen Miller’s emails. The scandal-ridden SPLC promotes “tolerance” while viciously attacking immigration restrictionists as “haters.” The agenda of the SPLC and other radical-left groups is to promote mass immigration as a means to destabilize society and thereby give the radicals an opportunity to seize power.
“The Camp of the Saints” raises some important questions: Is it “racist” for Western nations to retain their historic cultures and identities? Is not patriotism a better word for that desire? The book also explores key ethical issues. Among them: How far can compassion extend? After a certain point, does it become the vice of moral posturing—and a force of destruction?
When Raspail depicted the events of today in 1973, the questions he posed were academic. Now they are highly relevant to current events. More than ever, “The Camp of the Saints” is worth reading.