"The West is empty, even if it has not yet become really aware of it. An extraordinarily inventive civilization, surely the only one capable of meeting the challenges of the third millennium, the West has no soul left."
"At every level – nations, races, cultures, as well as individuals – it is always the soul that wins the decisive battles. It is only the soul that forms the weave of gold and brass from which the shields that save the strong are fashioned. I can hardly discern any soul in us."
So wrote the great French novelist, Jean Raspail, in 1973 in his harrowing, apocalyptic novel, The Camp of the Saints, that foretold the coming disastrous immigration dilemma facing the nations of the West today. Raspail was far ahead of his time – with a brilliant flair for discerning the "big picture" of humanity's precarious swings regarding culture, ideology, power and politics.
The literati of the day heaped huge scorn upon Raspail for daring to tell them truths they were fleeing from. The mainstream press of Europe and America declared his disturbing novel to be a "preposterous, appalling screed." Time magazine called it a "bilious tirade." Columnist Linda Chavez labeled the book "racist, xenophobic and paranoid." Almost to a man the media attacked Raspail with a frenzied hatred dripping from their reviews.
Admittedly, the book has some racist verbiage that is off-putting. But these prose indiscretions committed by Raspail are picayune in comparison to the monumental message that he is delivering to his fellowman so lost in the decadent sewers of modern day apathy. The book is a didactic masterpiece, one of those gritty, salient sermons of fire and fervency that the daring minds of civilization create every hundred years or so when the societies around them are careening off into insanity. And is this not what modern society has been doing throughout the twentieth century and since?
Of course, this is what makes history the majestic but tragic enigma that it is. Humans continually wish to avoid the law of nature that is ingrained in their existence like the bloom is etched into the seedling of the rose. The natural law cannot be avoided, yet man never learns. He presumes he can climb to the moon on a rope of sand, that freedom no longer requires adherence to rights, that equal honor and fortune are prizes to be given to everyone no matter what their contribution to society, that nations are not based upon ethnicity and tradition, but upon arbitrary legal contrivance and can house multicultural hordes of aliens who do not share a common language, ideology, or system of values.
It is to this terrible default of humanity in regards to the fundamental truth of "ethnic nationalism" that Raspail directs the vision of his novel. And because the establishments of our day are the horrid progenitors of such a terrible default, they became ghouls in their reaction to The Camp of the Saints.
The Purpose of the Novel
The novel is not meant to be a realistic prediction of what will come about if we don't recover our sanity and pride of nation. It is an allegory in the best tradition of fables like George Orwell's Animal Farm and John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. It is a literary method dating back to Homer and the ancient Greeks. It is a stark warning that if we don't get control of unchecked immigration, if we don't muster the will to defend our borders and our cultures against invading third-world aliens, our cherished civilization in the West will come to a hideous end.
The story begins with a million Indian peasants setting sail in a flotilla of ships from Calcutta in the Ganges Delta. They are motivated by the extreme poverty of their lives to seek asylum in the plush countries of the West. Their purpose is to land on the southern shores of France and present themselves as a dilemma to the governments of Europe: Take us into your culture and assure us of a comfortable lifestyle, or meet us upon our landing with force to deny us entrance. The strategy of the flotilla leaders is that the elites of Europe have become so jaded and amoral that they will capitulate and grant them asylum. They lack the will to defend their countries against such an invasion.
The journey's destination is announced as it begins and spreads throughout the Western media. The flotilla takes 50 days to arrive on the southern shore of France. During this 50-day period, the political and social leaders of Europe are awash in leftist political correctness waxing ecstatically about how wonderful such a migration will be for humanity, how humane the affluent can now show themselves to be by integrating these million poverty stricken unfortunates into their homes and families. This will show the world how generous we really are by giving up our lifestyles to welcome the wretched of the earth with open arms. (Raspail foresaw the despotic sham of PC well ahead of his fellow literati.)
What happens when the ships arrive and land is not what the intelligentsia of Europe anticipates. It is a ghastly desecration of all the values that sustain stable and humane life. The ships meet little resistance upon landing because most of the inhabitants of southern France have fled northward. The military prove useless because years of PC propaganda have destroyed their will to resist such a tragedy with brute force. Mass desertions take place as the soldiers opt to default on their role as defenders of the nation's integrity. The aliens infiltrate the country grabbing what they can of homes, land and resources. Because of their successful invasion, they inspire millions of the lower income masses already inhabiting Europe to rise up and revolt also. Chaos ensues. The citizenry of Europe is turned upside down. Only small enclaves of sanity survive. The contagion spreads also to America and Russia.
The ideology of the alien flotilla's members is decidedly anti-Western. It is rife with bristling hatred of the wealth they see all around them and are unable to match with their own productivity. Thus, they intend to seize it.
Imagery and Message
The book's style has a few flaws. Raspail makes no effort to create sophisticated dialogue, and the character development is neither subtle nor edifying. But such flaws pale to insignificance in light of Raspail's towering testament to fundamental truths that modern man is refusing to face in a fit of craven political correctness. The graphic imagery and overall message gleaned from reading this apocalyptic tale are spectacular. It's as if a giant media blackout surrounding the mysterious deaths of a town's citizens over the years has been lifted, and we can suddenly see that the cause of the tragedy was a plague of virulent germs that, from the beginning, was deceptively portrayed as healthful by the authorities.
Our germs today are intellectual – the professorial and literary elites of America and Europe who have, for many decades, inexcusably poisoned the youth of the West with their rabid ideologies of collectivism and egalitarianism. They have taught modern-day Americans self-hatred because 150 years ago misguided ancestors practiced slavery. They have injected insufferable guilt into wealthy people for being successful. They have taken a robust capitalist quality of life and turned it into a despicable criminal endeavor. They have corrupted all the rules of logic and all the traditions of honor to destroy the pride Americans have in the free country they built.
Jean Raspail saw all this coming in 1973. He was a visionary who tried to warn us about the deep hostility to high-minded life that our socialist lessons to the young contained. He tried to tell us about the final denouement that our paroxysm of self-flagellation would bring. We now face the consequences of 80 years of left-wing madness masquerading as rationality. Immense tumult and cruelty lie ahead.
Nelson Hultberg is a freelance scholar/writer in Dallas, Texas and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic www.afr.org. A graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin, his articles have appeared in such publications as The American Conservative, Insight, Liberty, The Freeman, The Social Critic, The Dallas Morning News, and the San Antonio Express-News, as well as on numerous Internet sites. He is the author of The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values. Email: NelsonHultberg (at) afr.org