English translation from the French by Norman Shapiro, Professor of French Romance Languages and Literatures Department 3089, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The full English text can be found at https://archive.org/stream/CampOfTheSaints/Camp_of_the_Saints_djvu.txt
The French writer Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints was published in 1973. It is notorious or famous, according to your politics, for its story of the Third World poor successfully invading the First World. The invaders come armed not with guns and bombs, but the potent weapons of their huge numbers and the knowledge that the self-destructive ideology of Western elites – what we would nowadays call the “anti-racist” part of political correctness – had warped the minds of most of those elites and also those of the masses of the First World, who have been beaten into a state where they either cannot see when their own interests are being sacrificed on the altar of one worldism or are cowed to the point where they are paralysed into inaction.
At the time of its writing the book was set in twenty or so years in the future. As the story opens a fleet of 100 ramshackle ships dubbed the Ganges Armada gathers in India and soon sets off for Europe. In the ships are one million of the subcontinent’s poor. The intention of the Armada is to run the ships aground on European shores – this is a strictly one way voyage – decant their cargo and present the land on which they descend with a dilemma, namely, allow the million to invade or resist them with force with the ultimate sanction being mass slaughter of the invaders.
It takes the ships fifty daysto arrive on the northern shores of the Mediterranean with Southern France as the final destination. As the Ganges Armada sails the Western elites are either starry eyed about their dream of a world in which there is no us and them – no nation states, just Mankind with a capital M – or paralysed by the one-world propaganda which has been so assiduously fed to them.
Even those members of the elite who do not believe in the One Worldism have developed the peculiar state of mind which arises when propaganda is not only incessant but gainsaying the propaganda is seen as dangerous. Such people do not embrace the content of the propaganda, nor play along out of abject and immediate fear. Rather, they sublimate the fear and develop a feeling that to rebut the propaganda is somehow wrong, although if asked they could not say exactly where the wrongness lay. The state of mind is akin to that of a person who feels that a sick joke is inappropriate if expressed in company even if it makes them inwardly laugh. In short, they have been conditioned to think of certain ideas and words as unclean for no other reason that they have been told over and over again that these things are beyond the Pale. As for the masses, they have variously bought into the propaganda, had their true feelings suppressed by the constant propaganda as described above or been censored out of public life.
But human nature has not been utterly transformed. There is the natural human response to trouble of thinking it will not happen. While the Ganges Armada is a long way off heads are buried in the sand with non-pc thoughts such as that the ships will all be sunk by rough weather and seas before they reach Europe because of their decrepit state. Hardly anyone in a position of authority or influence is realistic and honest about the outcome of the Armada if it reaches its destination , namely, that it will be an invasion which if not resisted will overturn the societies into which the human cargo, full of misery and entitlement, is decanted. Instead they either preach the message that the arrival of the Armada will be a great blessing for it will allow the West to show its generosity of spirit by welcoming the invaders with open arms or indulge in the hypocrisy of secretly hoping the ships will founder at sea.
But the weather is unusually clement and the Ganges Armada comes closer and closer until its arrival off the French Mediterranean coast is imminent. This causes the vast majority of the population of the South of France to abandon any pretence of seeing the ships’ arrival as anything other than a threat and the vast majority flee to the North of France. This is only a temporary place of safety and before long much of the French elite also hot-foot it to Switzerland , thinking wrongly that it will be a haven against the One Worldist mania –eventually the Swiss fall prey to the same lack of will to resist the invaders and open their borders to the invading Third World hordes.
The most naïve of the One Worlders advance towards the point at which the ships will make landfall in the sublimely silly expectation that they will be welcomed with open arms by the invading one million. Once they arrive the One Worldist simpletons are at best ignored and at worst attacked. They also find that they are at risk from the Third World immigrants and their descendants who are already in France.
When the Ganges Armada finally arrives and sheds its cargo of one million there is little resistance because not only have most of the population fled , but the French armed forces prove worthless, most having been robbed of the will to resist the invasion with brute force by the ceaseless propaganda which has been fed to them. The result is mass desertions.
The Ganges Armada is only the beginning. Other fleets full of Third World misery to west upon the West are being prepared. Nor is it just a seaborne invasion. Even as the Ganges Armada is at sea huge numbers of Chinese are massing on the Chinese border with the Asiatic Russian territories.
The novel ends with France overrun and the white native French population reduced to not exactly slavery but an irrelevance as power shifts to the non-white migrants who were either in France before the Armada arrived or are part of the Armada and its successor Third World invasion. The same general thing happens throughout the West, with the white native population everywhere becoming subordinate, becoming strangers in a strange land which was once theirs but is now utterly changed.
How prophetic is the Camp of the Saints? Raspail understood when he published the book that it would not be prophetic in the detail of his imaginings, but only in his general message. Indeed, in his short preface he admits that the detail of the action in the book is unrealistic: “I had wanted to write a lengthy preface to explain my position and show that this is no wild-eyed dream; that even if the specific action, symbolic as it is, may seem farfetched, the fact remains that we are inevitably heading for something of the sort. We need only glance at the awesome population figures predicted for the year 2000, i.e., twenty-eight years from now: seven billion people, only nine hundred million of whom will be white.”
The invasion of the First World has not occurred as dramatically as Raspail portrayed it. If it had perhaps even the Quisling politically correct politicians of the West would have been forced to resist it with force, both because they feared the fury of the people they supposedly represented and for fear of what the reality would be if such an invasion force had landed. Instead the immigration has happened piecemeal, surreptitiously. There has never been a dramatic massing of Third World immigrants to gain entry to the First World Promised Land in one fell swoop, just an incessant trickle through numerous points of entry. The nearest events to what Raspail describes are the various boat people arriving in the West from Latin America, Africa and Asia. But although large in aggregate, each individual attempt at invasion contains hundreds at best and most commonly in numbers of less than ten. When seaborne they come not as an imposing fleet but singly or as a small flotilla at worst. More commonly their illegal entry is by plane, train or motor vehicle, a handful at a time.
Where Raspail was strikingly astute is his prediction of the immense weight of “anti-racist” politically correct propaganda which the West has seen. He l catalogues all the politically correct grotesquery we have today with definitive characters. There are those in positions of authority and influence such Albert Dufort, the trendy radio journalist, who prostitute themselves and their country by representing the Ganges Armada and the other soon to be launched Third World invasion fleets, not as a threat but as a great opportunity to show their humanity. There are those drawn from the ethnic minorities already well ensconced in French society such as the Algerian Ben Suad (who goes by the name of Clement Dio) whose lives are devoted to biting the hand that feeds them. Perhaps most forlornly there are the French young who have had their natural tribal feeling sucked from them: “ That scorn of a people for other races, the knowledge that one’s own is best, the triumphant joy at feeling oneself to be part of humanity’s finest — none of that had ever filled these youngsters’ addled brains, or at least so little that the monstrous cancer implanted in the Western conscience had quashed it in no time at all. In their case it wasn’t a matter of tender heart, but a morbid, contagious excess of sentiment, most interesting to find in the flesh and observe, at last, in action.” Chapter 1
All of this is most impressive because when the book was written political correctness was in its early stages. In Britain a couple of Race Relations Acts had been passed in 1965 and 1968, and one worldism, especially with a Marxist tinge, was very popular in academia. But there was no general propagandising of the British population and punishments for being non-pc about race and immigration had barely begun to get a hold on British society. Even in the United States, the most advanced of states promoting “anti-racist” measures , measures such as “positive discrimination” and “affirmative action” were still in their infancy. The secular inquisition of individuals accused of pc “crimes” that we know today with people increasingly being sent to prison or routinely losing their jobs did not exist. The long march through the institutions still had a good distance to go.
The book’s general argument that the West would be subject to massive immigration which would radically change their societies is correct. In Britain the last national census in 2011 showed this for the population of England and Wales combined :
White was the majority ethnic group at 48.2 million in 2011 (86.0 per cent). Within this ethnic group, White British1 was the largest group at 45.1 million (80.5 per cent).
The White ethnic group accounted for 86.0 per cent of the usual resident population in 2011, a decrease from 91.3 per cent in 2001 and 94.1 per cent in 1991.
White British and White Irish decreased between 2001 and 2011. The remaining ethnic groups increased, Any Other White background had the largest increase of 1.1 million (1.8 percentage points).
The population of England and Wales at the time of the census was” 56,170,900 in mid-2011, with the population of England estimated to be 53,107,200 and the population of Wales estimated to be 3,063,800”. In a generation the white population, British and foreign , has dropped by 8% and those describing themselves as white British were only 45 million out of 56 million.
There is also strong evidence that the idea of deliberately encouraging mass immigration of the unassimilable to change Western societies has been practised by Western Governments. Think of the words of a Tony Blair special adviser Andrew Neather :
Eventually published in January 2001, the innocuously labelled “RDS Occasional Paper no. 67”, “Migration: an economic and social analysis” focused heavily on the labour market case.
But the earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.
I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date. That seemed to me to be a manoeuvre too far.
Ministers were very nervous about the whole thing. For despite Roche’s keenness to make her big speech and to be upfront, there was a reluctance elsewhere in government to discuss what increased immigration would mean, above all for Labour’s core white working-class vote.
This shone through even in the published report: the “social outcomes” it talks about are solely those for immigrants.
And this first-term immigration policy got no mention among the platitudes on the subject in Labour’s 1997 manifesto, headed Faster, Firmer, Fairer.
The results were dramatic. In 1995, 55,000 foreigners were granted the right to settle in the UK. By 2005 that had risen to 179,000; last year, with immigration falling thanks to the recession, it was 148,000.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of migrants have come from the new EU member states since 2004, most requiring neither visas nor permission to work or settle. The UK welcomed an estimated net 1.5 million immigrants in the decade to 2008.
In May 2014 the British think tank Policy Exchange published a report on racial and ethnic minorities entitled A portrait of modern Britain. The headline grabbing statistic in the report is the claim that ”the five largest distinct Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities could potentially double from 8 million people or 14% of the population [now] to between 20-30% by the middle of the century. Over the past decade, the UK’s White population has remained roughly the same while the minority population has almost doubled. Black Africans and Bangladeshis are the fastest growing minority communities with ethnic minorities representing 25% of people aged under the age of five.”
Because immigrants and their descendants have a substantially greater propensity to breed than that of the native white British population and that fact coupled with the much younger average age of immigrants than that of native Britons means that the Policy Exchange projections are realistic.
What the Camp of the Saints should do is force people to accept at both an intellectual and emotional level what mass immigration represents. It is a form of conquest, and conquest of the most pernicious and fundamental kind when it consists primarily of those who cannot or will not fully assimilate into the native population. Oncesuch immigrants are in a country in large numbers, the country is faced with two terrible choices: either capitulate to the fact of their conquest and allow the country to dissolve into a motley multicultural mess occupying a single territory or forcibly remove the immigrants and their descendants through expulsion or massacre. Nor should it be imagined that the dissolution of the country into racial/ethnic blocs will mean an absence of war. History tells a single simple story about racially and ethnically divided territories: violence is an inevitable and ineradicable part of such societies and the more the different groups within a territory begin to be of equal size the greater the risk of conflict.
The question which Raspail brings us to is this, is the invasion to be permitted through an excessive and fatal excess sentiment or is it to be resisted through force, including in the final extremity the mass killing of men , women and children, or will the invaders be permitted to come, breed and settle the territory of the original population? Mass immigration is conquest, just as surely as an armed invasion is conquest. A people who forgets that or buries their collective head in the political sand hoping the bogeyman will go away is doomed.
There are weaknesses in the novel purely as a literary work, although the fact that I am commenting on an English translation should be born in mind. There is little character development, the dialogue is feeble, the language flowery, there is a good deal of Gallic intellectual exhibitionism and a considerable amount of what I can only describe as a third person stream of consciousness. The last I must confess is not to my taste. Raspail also gives his story a strong flavour of the leftist student protest of 1968 and the widespread attraction to the Western intelligentsia of Marxism, especially in its Troskyite manifestations. This seems like another world today even though the period is only 40 odd years ago and may make the work seem alien or simply dated to some readers.
But these weaknesses do not diminish the importance of the book, for it is Raspail’s general message which matters. The message is important both because its general thrust is true and for the shameful fact that it is saying things which if expressed in a new work being offered for publication today would ensure that it did not find a mainstream publisher in the West.