September 13, 2022


The Conservative Right's Undying Fascination With an Obscene Anti-Immigration Novel (Shikha Dalmia, The UnPopulist)

Raspail, a staunch Catholic, had long been on an obsessive quest to defend the West's racial and cultural purity. And The Camp of the Saint's main objective is to jawbone the West into confronting how liberalism, progressive humanism and Christian meekness are destroying this sacred goal. He sets up a denouement so cartoonish that even Mad Max writers would cringe.

The central plot line of the book involves an armada of "kinky-haired, swarthy-skinned, long-despised" Indians who, exhorted by a "turd eating" god-man to get a piece of the "white man's comfort," board a fleet of rickety ships to France, the land of "milk and honey," to escape poverty and illness.

The sojourners are hungry and diseased. But that evidently does nothing to dull their satyr-like sexual appetite since these are people who, in Raspail's telling, "never found sex to be a sin." So their journey becomes one long orgiastic ride as they hump everything in sight. Here's Raspail in his own words. (And be advised, it's not for the faint of heart.) [...]

Unsurprisingly, this book is a perennial cult classic among white supremacists in America and Europe. Every time a refugee crisis, big or small, emerges, they start chattering in dark, apocalyptic tones about the prescience of the book--never mind that countries have been absorbing refugees of famine and war since time immemorial. The National Vanguard Magazine, founded by the notorious neo-Nazi William Pierce (whose novel The Turner Diaries called for a white-led violent revolution in America) routinely whips out characters and scenes from Raspail's magnum opus to explain current events. VDare, a restrictionist website that has long been peddling racist nonsense against immigrants, has a tag named after the book to archive posts. And then there is the race-baiting Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), whose quasi-white-nationalist founder John Tanton, a Michigan-based ophthalmologist, republished the book in America in 1994. He gushed in his introduction that the book would perform the vital function of evoking "different feelings" toward immigrants from those evoked by bathetic Ellis Island stories that "exalt the immigrant experience."

Posted by at September 13, 2022 5:34 PM