Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

More on the French Disease

I was intrigued by the French decision two or three weeks ago to ban head scarves in the public schools, thinking it a sign that the French were starting to worry seriously about Islamists in their midst, that perhaps, just perhaps, the French might still have some stuffing left. Alas, no. It turns out the motivation of the scarf ban is aggressive secularism (crosses and yarmulkas were banned, too), not some kind of civilizational pride.

The whole episode called back to mind Jean Raspails controversial 1973 novel, Camp of the Saints. Raspail’s book told the story of a huge flotilla of Hindus that sets out from India for France, and the lack of will on the part of the French to say "No" to this de facto invasion. It was a wonderful send-up of the multicultural mentality, predictably branded as a racist tract.

In a preface for a 1985 edition of the book, Raspail included the following meditation that is more timely than ever in light of the Spanish election result:

"For 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 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. Looking, for example, at my own country, France, I often get the impression, as in a bad dream dreamt wide awake, that many Frenchmen of true lineage are no longer anything but hermet clams that live in shells abandoned by the representatives of a species, now disappeared, that was known as ’French’ and which did not forecast, through some unkown genetic mystery, the one that at century’s end has wrapped itself in this name. They are content to just endure. Mechanically, they ensure their survival from week to week, ever more feebly. Under the flag of an illusory internal solidarity and security, they are no longer in solidarity with anything, or even cognizant of anything that would constitute the essential commonalities of a people."

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