Unless We Cure Ourselves
I BEGAN READING The Camp of the Saints after a long and tiring day. Although I promised myself only a few chapters before retiring, I remained in the grip of Jean Raspail’s forceful, apocalyptic narrative until dawn. I finished it in one sitting.
That was almost a month ago. Since then I’ve read several other books, all of which I could have reviewed with little or no difficulty. A few days ago I was drawn back to Raspail’s book and read it for the second time. Even now I am not confident I can review it properly. Nonetheless, something must be said about this book.
The Camp of the Saints first came to my attention a couple of years ago while I was traveling around Europe. Originally published in 1973, this work sent violent shock waves through France which later reverberated across the entire continent.
Raspail’s story, set in some unspecified period in the future, might, in fact, spring to life some time soon. Briefly, The Camp of the Saints is the chronicle of nearly a million starving beings from India who have boarded ships and headed west. France, terminally sick with liberalism, falls to their unarmed invasion.
The average person may feel more than a few tugs of doubt when considering Raspail’s vision of the future but still might wish to read his book as “entertaining” fiction. There are other readers who simply don’t care for fictional works and will pass it up for that reason. However, both categories of readers should bear in mind that this controversial novel wasn’t written without considerable risk to the career of the author, who, as the recipient of the Jean-Walther literary prize and a columnist for Le Figaro, was well known to literate Europeans long before the appearance of The Camp of the Saints.
Indeed, Raspail takes his task very seriously. In the preface he points out that the idea of an invasion by the Third World, or some part of it, “is no wild-eyed dream.” He explains, “Even if the specific action (i.e., the invasion), symbolic as it is, may seem far-fetched, the fact remains that we are inevitably headed for something of the sort.” Raspail reminds the reader that by the year 2,000 the planet will be populated by seven billion people. Of that number only 900 million will be White.
The dust jacket of the American edition of The Camp of the Saints (published this summer) contains an arresting quote from President Boumedienne of Algeria. In an interview given in 1974, nearly two years after Raspail wrote the book, Boumedienne expressed the belief that “billions of human beings” might someday “leave the poor, southern part of the world to erupt into the relatively accessible spaces of the rich, northern hemisphere, looking for survival.” The way Raspail depicts said eruption causes him what public-relations types prefer to call “image problems.”
The reaction of the French media to the publication of Raspail’s book shouldn’t surprise regular readers of ATTACK! With rare exceptions, both the book and the author were denounced in the strongest imaginable language. Raspail became a full-blown “racist,” a moral monster, a champion of everything ugly, sick, and evil.
The media’s sharp response is no doubt due to the way they are treated by Raspail in the novel. For him, they are among the chief inner enemies of the nation. It is as a result of their urgings that France is ultimately swamped by invaders. Marxists, anarchists, homosexuals, overexcited university students, hippies, radical clergymen, one-worlders, racial equalitarians, and neo-liberal members of government also take a drubbing in this book. Black and Arab “guest workers” emerge as sinister national allies of the alien swell of humanity battering down France’s door.
The most disturbing thing about Raspail’s treatment of these anti-national characters, however, is that he draws many of their statements from real life. He culled actual editorials, speeches, pastoral letters, laws; his sampling constitutes a veritable treasure trove of neo-liberal ravings.
Evidence of the inner attitude of the media masters toward Raspail is also given by their reaction to another writer on racial matters. When Negro Communist Frantz Fanon, a hater of all things Western (with a highly cultivated rancor for the French, in particular), packaged his undisguised loathing in book form, he had no difficulty finding a publisher in France. In his Les Damnes de la Terre (now almost 15 years old), Fanon wrote: “For if the last shall be first, this will only come to pass after a murderous and decisive struggle… (for) when the native hears a speech about Western culture he pulls out his knife — or at least makes sure it is within his reach.”
Fanon also observed that the overthrow of the Western world “will be carried out with the indispensable help of the European peoples” who have also decided the White man should be stamped out. Enter, stage left, the lubricous French “philosopher,” Jean Paul Sartre, with the introduction to Fanon’s book. “Read Fanon,” he cries. “You will learn how their impulse to murder is the expression of the natives’ collective unconscious.” We are also told, “Fanon is the first since Engels to bring the processes of history into the clear light of day.”
“Make no mistake about it,” Sartre pants, “by this mad fury, by this bitterness of spleen, by their ever-present desire to kill us, by the permanent tensing of powerful muscles which are afraid to relax, they have become men… hatred, blind hatred, which is yet an abstraction, is their only wealth.”
When Fanon’s book made its debut in France there were few jeers or catcalls from the media. Instead it was hailed as a masterpiece by the decadent French intelligentsia. The message spread. In New York, the Jewish-owned Evergreen Publishing Company (longtime specialists in the porno trade) published the book in English under the title The Wretched of the Earth. It received generally favorable reviews and even a plug from a former president of the United Nations General Assembly.
And at cocktail parties throughout the Western world sensitive intellectuals shivered with delight at the prospect of being humiliated — or, better yet, savagely punished — for their “racism.” Sartre had, after all, noted that even “our worthiest souls contain racial prejudice.” Masochism and self-hatred are now very much in style for Westerners.
Is it any wonder that Jean Raspail (or anyone, for that matter) should write a novel telling us that Western man is on the verge of extinction? That we have been softened and corrupted by a sick and unnatural social philosophy concocted by our inner enemies? That we are losing the will to survive?
The signs are all around us. As this review goes to press the European administrators of the Spanish Sahara are facing a mini-version of Raspail’s apocalypse, and they are reacting just as he predicts the French will react when their time comes.
And as the storm clouds continue to gather and Western man moves closer to the abyss, the media still howl at Raspail and others who underscore the danger. The American edition of The Camp of the Saints was greeted by insult, disgust, and opprobrium. “Preposterous,” snapped the New York Times. “Looney,” screamed the International Herald Tribune. “Trash,” brayed Time magazine.
Read Raspail’s book and then look into the morning headlines and editorial sections of our leading newspapers. It shouldn’t be difficult to determine who is the enemy.
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From Attack! No. 41, 1975
transcribed by Vanessa Neubauer from the book The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard, edited by Kevin Alfred Strom